Western Living Magazine
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These are the trips (local and international!) that brought our editorial team joy this year.
We love where we live, but sometimes, the road just calls. Especially after a few years of limited travel, it’s never felt better to get out and about… whether that meant hopping on a plane, catching a ferry or just grabbing the car keys. Here are the travel experiences that refuelled our editorial team this past year.
The best trip I took all year was also my most recent trip—my partner and I went to Puerto Vallarta earlier this month. It was the first time either of us had been to the city, and I think we got an excellent best-of-both-worlds experience. We stayed at a very charming—and wallet-friendly—all-inclusive (Hacienda Buenaventura), walked the Malecon and bought a ton of art from local artists (the Cuale Island Flea Market was a highlight), visited hole-in-the-wall gems (Taqueria De Birria El Banquito) and some more tourist-y restaurants (La Dolce Vita) and watched a spectacular Cirque Du Soleil-like show on an island lit by thousands of tiny candles. We drank many, many “included” margaritas at the hotel and also accidentally spent $48 on two G&Ts at a nightclub. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.—Alyssa Hirose, assistant editor
Though the world is once again (mostly) open (for now) for business (fingers crossed), I didn’t wind up travelling too far this year—please blame the government for taking their sweet sweet time delivering my baby’s passport. (Are they just obsessed with her adorable photos? I get it!) Thankfully, we live in a province with plenty of great getaways, and I found that vacation high just a few hours away in Tofino. Rent a cabin with your favourite people and spend the weekend playing competitive rounds of Dutch Blitz to decide who has to go do the Tofino Brewing beer run, eating your way through the cheese selection at Picnic, and cheerfully complaining about hauling your surfboard down the looong Cox Bay Beach walkway. Even when it’s raining or dreary (and, let’s face it, it usually is), it’s one of those places that just feels like sunshine.—Stacey McLachlan, editor at large
It was a thrill to head to Salone del Mobile for its return this year—I’ve never seen an event take over a city in quite the same way that the world’s largest furniture design fair does. There’s the fair itself, of course, but it has a ripple effect throughout the city—and literally every street, alley and square has some design-oriented activation, meaning you can wander for hours and still not possibly take it all in. But what a wander! And of course, the great reward to your 30,000 or so steps you’ve clocked at the end of the day? A gorgeous plate of Risotto alla Milanese, rich with saffron and Parmigiano-Reggiano, in a secret garden. —Anicka Quin, editorial director
This small village on the Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia is a slice of coastal heaven, and an unsung hero among B.C.’s many island destinations. I got to go to one of the most adorable AirBnBs this summer with some of my best gal pals (and a little baby gal pal) for a weekend that was both relaxing, breathtaking and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants-level bonding. The water was a bit murky on our private dock (a very first-world-problems complaint, I hear it) and also there were jellyfish and crabs to contend with for swimming, but it only added to the majestic, mountainous scenery surrounding the Bay. As the sun fell, seals would hang out on the docks and deer would emerge from the more forested ridges of the Bay—a true Canadian landscape right out of a Nabob commercial. The biggest draw? Our AirBnB had a fully functioning marine-inspired bar inside—perfect for cooking, cocktails and dance parties. Brentwood Bay with the baes? 10/10 — Kerri Donaldson, assistant editor
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