Exploring Lake Minnewanka

As with most of the well-known tourist spots, we’ve visited Lake Minnewanka before. Just a quick stop, though, as the sheer mass of tourists kept us from exploring the area last time we were there. This time, no such thing happened. We drove mountain-side last weekend, stopped at Minnewanka, and could finally see what the […]

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Johnston Canyon Revisited

The last time we went to this magical place, the ice was thick and we had no spikes on our shoes. We’re noobs. How are we supposed to know you need spike strips when visiting Canadian parks in the winter. 😛 We’ve wanted to go back since that first time–heck, we’ve even tried–but somehow, something […]

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Four Years an Immigrant

I was pretty shocked to realise our four-year immigration anniversary came and went on the 25th of August. I was feverish with writing the final chapter or two of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling, so I didn’t even realise the anniversary had passed until a few days later. Four years an immigrant. In the […]

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Trip to Big Hill Springs

During the Summer Holidays, we headed out to hike in Big Hill Springs with friends. It was a super humid day, with oodles and oodles of mosquitoes. The kind of mosquito that bit while we walked, but only some of us were victims. Jan and Kayla, for example, had no bites at all, while I […]

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A Visit to Calaway Park

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but we had family over last weekend and decided to have some fun at Calaway Park. None of us had ever been there, so this promised to be a day of exploration. This is not a sponsored post. 🙂 What I really love about Calaway Park is how family-oriented the […]

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Exploring Bowness Park

Now that the weather is getting better, we’ve had more opportunities to explore Calgary. We’ve been living here for 7 months now (SE-VEN, holy crap, when did that happen?) and still haven’t seen most of what Calgary has to offer. Friends have recommended the Bowness Park trip multiple times, but though we’ve been in the […]

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Survival Tips for New Immigrants

Maybe it’s because I know so many people who have recently moved countries or are about to take that particular leap, but I’ve been thinking about life as a new immigrant a lot lately. Friends and acquaintances have been sharing so many firsts photos in their feeds, it’s difficult not to get all nostalgic about […]

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Royal Alberta Museum

For the first time in forever, we went away for a weekend. Since a blizzard was in the cards for Calgary, we reckoned we’d get the hell away from here, and maybe catch some sun up north. We have friends and family in St. Paul and Cold Lake, and have been dying to visit them. […]

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Johnston Canyon

Since Canada is gorgeous and we have serious wanderlust, we headed out to the Rockies again. As if we could be kept away. This time, our destination was Johnston Canyon and the mission was to see the frozen falls. We miscalculated a little. Who’d have thought the pathways would still be slick with ice now […]

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Peace Bridge Explored

One of the coolest landmarks in Calgary has to be Peace Bridge. Apparently, the locals have nicknamed this one ‘Finger Trap Bridge’, because it kind of looks like a finger trap. I personally think it resembles a diamond back snake. Either way, it’s gorgeous. We haven’t spent that much time exploring Downtown Calgary since we […]

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Things I Don’t Understand – Canada Edition

You know, we’ve been living in Canada for just over a year, and there are still things we really don’t understand. So many things are done differently in South Africa–which makes sense when compared to Germany, but one would think that Canada and South Africa would share more similarities, considering that both have a strong […]

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Downtown Calgary

One of our first exploration trips took us into the heart of Calgary. We hadn’t planned anything specific–it was a see where the road takes us kind of thing, AKA we wanted to get out of the house. Back in Toronto, it was always fun to go Downtown, and while some of us are in full-blown […]

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What’s Different – Calgary Edition

Freshly landed in Germany, I did a post comparing the most obvious differences between Johannesburg and Mülheim an der Ruhr. The post was pretty popular on the old blog, and ultimately led to quite a few comparison-type posts. I’ll link to all of these at the end of this post, if you’re interested. In the […]

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Calgary

Toronto is a city of skyscrapers. Steel and glass. Grey. Yet, there’s an energy there that refuses to be contained. It’s always on the move. Vendors and tourist and business people, rushing from place to place, night or day. Festival after festival, ball games, concerts, camera crews, and every culture represented in food and drink. […]

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Niagara 2.0

The last time we visited Niagara Falls, the fog was so thick we could barely see anything. Going back was a huge bucket list item for us, so we did just on an EXTREMELY hot Sunday this summer. The experience was completely different. Last time, we froze our butts off. Everything was covered in ice, […]

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Moving On

I guess now that the affected parties have been notified, it’s time to announce it here too. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the high cost of living in Toronto, and some personal reasons, our little family is moving on again. This time, we’re staying in the same country, thank goodness, but are moving to […]

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9 Months

To be exact, we hit the nine-month mark last Thursday. It’s the strangest feeling, looking at the calendar and realising how long we’ve lived in Canada. I can still recall the exact mix of excitement and grief when we had to say goodbye to our loved ones at Düsseldorf airport, then board the plane to […]

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A Comparison – Shopping

Let’s keep chatting about the differences between the cities where we’ve lived today. If you want to go back to the post that started it all, click here. Okay. Shopping in Johannesburg is simple. The shoppers are mostly laid back and the cashiers are friendly. There’s no rush either. People wait in line patiently and […]

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A Comparison – The Weather

The greatest of all the FAQ’s we are asked remains ‘what’s different?’, especially now that we’ve lived on three continents. The short answer is a lot, but that doesn’t seem to cut it with the asker. 🙂 So, I’ll do a series of posts that look at these differences in depth. Please do keep in […]

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Ice Ice Baby

It’s official, we’ve experienced another first on our journey. Last night, we had no electricity due to the insane storm that has been raging here in the north since Thursday. Ice rain, friends, is a bitch. If those of you back in sunny South Africa thought the worst thing that can possibly happen in Canada […]

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Better

I’ve tried to chronicle everything throughout this double immigration journey, more so this time around than the first. Being vulnerable on the internet is difficult, but in the name of helping other immigrants through their journey, I felt I had to make myself just that – vulnerable. As a result, you might have noticed many of […]

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The Five-Month Update

This Wednesday edition of Maple Mondays is brought to you by a broken router. Being without internet in this day and age is a form of torture, I’m certain. First world problems and all that, but seriously, the internet has become such an important part of my work and daily life. Being cut off from it […]

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Canadian International Autoshow 2018

As you can probably guess from the title, we saw some cars the other day. And rightly so, considering I share a house with two major auto enthusiasts. Kayla’s one big dream for the day was to see a real racecar, while Jan wanted to check out all the American cars we don’t usually get […]

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Braving the Weather

This never gets old. If you, like my little family, have immigrated, or are planning to, brace yourself. Winter is coming, as are the questions about it. Moving to a country with a radically different climate from your home country is always interesting. I say interesting, because there’s something magical but challenging about the whole […]

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Sledding Fun

I mentioned on Monday that we went sledding for the first time. Loads. Of. Fun. I never imagined I’d like it, I’m not a very sporty person, but I’m excited for when we go again. 🙂 And if I’m excited, you can imagine what’s going on in the Kayla’s mind. She had an absolute blast, […]

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Say What?

Can you believe that we’re days away from our four-month anniversary of moving? I certainly can’t. In some ways, it seems we’ve been here forever. In others, it’s like we arrived yesterday. This strange limbo also hit while we lived in Germany, so I’m expecting it to last a while. Today, I want to talk about […]

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Vacation Highlights

As many of you know, my parents came for a visit over the month of December. I’ve already shared photo posts of us doing the things tourists do (over here and here if you missed it) but we still had some other expeditions that you haven’t seen. Since there are SO MANY photos, I thought I’d […]

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Snow Fun

I learned one of the most important lessons of my life as an immigrant this week – don’t leave the snow shovelling for the next morning. Also, snow shovelling? Not fun, but really satisfying when it’s over. Having a walkable sidewalk made me feel fantastic, weird as that may sound. And thankfully, I had my […]

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Things I Miss About Germany

Nobody saw this post coming, right? 😛 Truth is, Europe was our home for two years. I don’t believe you can spend extended periods of time in any place and leave it exactly the same as you were when you entered it. People and places change you, whether you want it to or not. For […]

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Growing Pains

So, Kayla started school this week. Kindergarten in the rest of the world (well, the parts I’ve lived) and kindergarten (nursery school) in South Africa are vastly different concepts. ◄ This is something we’ve been learning really quickly. I also know how much some of you loved the differences posts I did while we were […]

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Düsseldorf Kirmis 2017

Another weekend, another fair. Let me tell you something about this one, though – it was huge. Everything is bigger and better in Düsseldorf, right? I almost felt bad for the Saarner Kirmes we’d visited the weekend before. On a cloudy Sunday, we headed to the city to see the fair. Loud music, delicious food […]

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Saarner Kirmes (Fair)

In the post about those things I love about Germany, I mentioned random fairs popping up at every opportunity. This weekend, we found one of those. 🙂 The Saarner Kirmes set up in our hometown of Mülheim an der Ruhr, on the bank of the River Ruhr (Saarn is a suburb of Mülheim). We wouldn’t […]

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Little Differences (TGC)

We’ve been playing house in Germany for almost two years, but friends and loved ones still ask how living here differs from living in South Africa. The first ‘differences’ post was uploaded within the first two months since we moved to Germany, then I told you about some of the strange differences, like the German […]

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