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A Luxury Pedicure with a Vegan Twist

Humblebrag: My dear friend Carina Da Piedade, her sister-in-law Saira Fontes and their respective hubbies recently opened a luxury nail bar outside of Montreal called Lux Bar a Ongles – and it’s fabulous. Besides their stunning gold plated decor, meal service and snack bar (yes, you can drink bubbly and while getting your nails did), and luxury products including Christian Louboutin Nail Polish (!?), they also offer vegan mani-pedis. Now, I may be of the pescetarian persuasion these days, but I do try to maintain a mostly vegan lifestyle. Animal rights activists, environmentalists, and even regular consumers have been pushing the beauty industry…

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Why the Last Mile Before the Finish Line is Always the Toughest

Just over a year ago, Vagabond Heels was born. Since that time, I’ve battled depression, survived an abusive relationship, traveled through Asia, visited a Balinese spiritual healer and studied start-up entrepreneurship at the first creative incubator in North America. I’ve seen a lot. Done a lot. Fucked up a lot. And learned A LOT. Tomorrow is my Demo Day. I finally get to present Vagabond Heels as a brand to potential investors, clients, and the media. My self-starter blog now has business cards, marketing materials, and interns. In other words, she’s all grown up and graduated. But like any graduate, she…

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How Vietnamese Traffic Helped me Beat Depression

Last January, I was a shell of my former (and current) self. On the outside, I seemed to be the picture perfect image of millennial white female privilege: an independent, fedora-wearing, smiley, bikini-clad, educated, social media savvy travel blogger. I swum in an infinity pool on top of a luxury condominium complex in Kuala Lumpur. I took sunset photos on a beach swing in Gili Trawangan. I Noraebanged until dawn with strangers in Seoul. But I also started binge drinking on weekends, letting go of my former strict vegan diet, and soon I was suffering from insomnia that left with me little more than…

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When Travelling Isn’t a Great Idea

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” – David Mitchell “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – Anonymous “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St Augustine  In the age of the Millennial, you can’t open Facebook without finding a gaggle of Pinterest quotes spouting wisdom about the benefits of travel. For the most part, we all agree: travelling is fun, worthwhile, educational and fulfilling. Except when it’s not. Here are a few…

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10 Montreal-Based Rom Com Date Ideas

One of the best things about being in a relationship is the limitless amount of places you can hit up on date night. However, if you’re an outside the box kinda girl like me (with ridiculous date standards as a result of overexposure to rom com and chick flicks), the usual dinner and drinks fare can get a little tired. Here are a few creative date ideas (tested and approved by yours truly!) to live out your own rom com in the most romantic city in North America. Drink illicitly by a park fountain  Square Saint Louis, La Joute, and Lafontaine…

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Sh*t You Shouldn’t Do When You Travel

During my travels to 30 or so countries, I learned lots of “do’s”; do pack at least two photocopies of your passport, driver’s license and medical card; do register with your embassy; do compare flight prices on Skyscanner to prices on Google Flights. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot out there about things you SHOULDN’T do when you travel. Here are a few lessons from my experiences abroad. DO NOT leave your bags unattended. I know your mother’s told you this one already – but it’s worth repeating. If you happen to come from a community where everyone leaves their doors…

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Sh*t People Say About Canada Abroad

As a traveller, I’ve met folks from different countries I don’t know a whole lot about – and folks who didn’t know a whole lot about Canada in return. Here are some funny, interesting, and some straight up dumb things people have said to me on the road. “You’re Canadian – you don’t need a visa to work in America.” A charming American believed that Canadians and Americans have some bilateral agreement, where we can essentially search for employment in either country without a work visa. If that were the case, I would have moved to California, New York, Hawaii –…

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13 Laptop-Friendly Montreal Cafes

As a blogger, I’m always looking to mix up my work environments with a varying selection of almond milk lattes, crowds and ambiance noise. Fortunately, with thousands of cafes to choose from, working hard (or hardly working) is a cinch in the 514/438. Though by no means exhaustive (I’m talking to you, Olimpico fanatics), here’s a list of thirteen cafes yours truly is partial to. Le Cagibi 5490 Boulevard St-Laurent  One of my favourite cafes in the Mile End, complete with funky decor, mismatched tables and chairs, and rickety ceilings. What’s not to love? Second Cup (Bernard Avenue Location) 1275…

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Montreal Guide Now Available on Maps Not Apps!

A few months back, Valerie Stimac, travel blogger over at Valerie & Valise, invited me to contribute to Maps Not Apps, a series of city guides focusing on mindful, low key travel. Though Montreal is most often known for its bar scene, restaurants and festivals, locals will tell you it’s easy to wind down among fantastic day spas, artisanal cafes, yoga and fitness studios, walking trails in and around the city, and more. For this guide, I was limited to a few choices, so I chose a sprinkling of different activities and locations for a well-rounded, introspective few days in the city:…

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My Most Memorable Food Moments Around the World

In addition to travel, one of the finest pleasures in my life is food.  Here are some of my most memorable food moments from around the globe. Gyros in Athens Though I’m now happily vegan, one of my fondest memories of my 2007 trip to Athens was sneaking off with my sister Marisa to buy french-fry stuffed gyros. Indeed, I haven’t had a gyro like it since (vegan circumstances notwithstanding). Dim sum in Hong Kong One of the best parts about living in Hong Kong were the dim sum nights I enjoyed with a dozen or so friends. There truly ain’t nothing like…

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