Travel to celebrate but also to cope with grief

Grief can be heavy at times. Like today.  It’s weighing me down. I slept til 11am on a day I intended to rise at 7. I seemingly slept through 2 alarms to achieve this.

I’m going to try not to beat myself up over this.  I must have needed the sleep. My body out weighing my mind’s desire.

Today is one year since my mom passed away. She was young. 65 years old. Her heart just stopped.

Even writing those 3 sentences makes tears well up.

In any case, people deal with things differently. My brother intends to visit the gravesite. I on the other hand carry her in my heart and plan a somber day. But a day, half way around the world.

I’m in Portugal today.

I tend to cope by traveling. And for this, the first year remembrance I wanted to be alone with my thoughts.

If ever possible I disappear on my birthday too. I’d do the same at Christmas if I had my way… though that’s not always the case. It’s how I choose to cope. Travel allows me to breathe. I find comfort in open spaces and unfamiliar surroundings.

And I write. Alone with my thoughts, but never far from those I carry in my heart. ❤️

10 Great things about travelling with teens

I travel with my kids every chance I get. And yes, I absolutely prefer to travel with them separately. I’m not shy about saying that. I don’t like the bickering and I don’t enjoy “vacations” when I feel like an on duty referee. Choosing to vacation with them individually allows me to let them take the reins, let them make choices and help them develop independence.

I infact LOVE travelling with my teen son. Here’s just a few reasons why:

  1. He packs & carries his own luggage.
  2. He takes care of all our electronics needs. He’s always got a power cord or charger handy.
  3. I can wander into a store, or washroom & leave him alone for a few minutes without fear that he’ll get lost or stolen.
  4. He’s got an appetite and will eat almost anywhere. (Ever travelled with a toddler who’s a fussy eater? It’s hell.)
  5. He has his own money and doesn’t ask for much. Pays for his own souvenirs & snacks.
  6. He’s at that stage in life where he’s connecting his education to real life. Observing & absorbing everything.
  7. We have intelligent, interesting conversations. A real bonus in a travel companion.
  8. He understands my need to write & Instagram things. I understand his need to Snapchat and source wifi.
  9. I believe the more places he sees as a teen, means the further he will go as an adult.
  10. It might just be the once-in-a-lifetime chance to create shared memories. Will we get the chance to travel when he’s 25 or 35? Probably not. So I’m sure going to enjoy this opportunity while I have it.


It won’t seem like a big deal to many, but still, I’m celebrating!

I hit 1000 followers on Instagram! 🎉 Genuine, organic, one-at-a-time travel fans.

Thank you, from @SheTalksTravel

It was almost 2 years ago I chose the name & started building my “brand.” No sales, no gimmicks,  just a hobby documented in print. I purchased the domain name and built a basic WordPress website back in 2015.

Mostly for fun, but at times,  it fed my need for purpose. It’s given me an outlet to express myself. At heart, I’m just a writer  and this has given me a chance to empty my brain when it gets cluttered with travel noise. I sleep better when I share the travel bargains I spy.

I think travel should be for everyone. There’s something at every price point & once in a while a true gem of a deal comes along.

I believe that unlike new shoes or a purse, travel does make you richer. I sure hope you’ve found something worthwhile in these posts.

Thank you for following along & offering feedback & input when you can. I appreciate it.

xo Cathie, @SheTalksTravel

St. John’s, NFLD Hotel Picks


If you are planning to visit St. John’s  Newfoundland and stay downtown for a few days to see the sights,  I can highly recommend the Jag Hotel.

The Jag is a boutique hotel downtown with exceptional service and fantastic rooms. The beds were very cozy.  I got a great night’s sleep! I’m sure I could have slept 12 hours if the schedule allowed.

The showers were also very modern and included big overhead rain showers taps.  The shampoo & body lotion had a very appealing light citrus scent.

Lobby of the JAG Hotel

The bonus to this hotel was the style it had. Rock ‘n’ roll music lightly played in the corridors and lots of great artwork hung on the walls. The restaurant/lounge, “Exile” served up trendy food & craft cocktails.

$25  is the flat rate taxi fare from the airport.  The hotel itself is a 3 minute walk to Starbucks, and 5 minutes to George Street (the club & bar street), but at least 10 minutes from Downtown shops. There is limited parking in the area, but the hotel does offer valet service. We didn’t have a car, so it was a non-issue for us.

Alternatively I would suggest you try the Courtyard Marriott on Water Street, or the brand new ALT Hotel. It’s ideally located to Downtown & tourist stops (like Signal Hill).  Most rooms would have a view of the harbour.

Overall, St. John’s is a compact city.   If you’re just doing basic tourist things you’ll do fine with the cab from the airport to downtown and a good pair of shoes.

Right on the Main Street, and ideally located for walking around downtown & even Signal Hill.

Seeking Serenity

It only clicked recently how much I need the ocean.

Living on the prairies I didn’t think that the ocean had any relevance in my life. Then the lightbulb came on. Almost every trip I plan is to the ocean. And when I get really stressed, I make a beeline for a beach. I once booked a 72 hour Easter time getaway to Newport Beach, California. 2 planes, 2 shuttle buses and a 2km walk to get to the sand and surf for 2 hours. Crazy!! But, for me,  at that moment it was worth it.

This past summer we went to Cape Breton Nova Scotia and spent a few days Oceanside.  If I could have stayed at Green Cove for hours on end I would have. I think I could have solved all the world’s problems (or certainly 90% of my own stress) just by sitting on the rock and watching the waves. That feeling reminded me of childhood….. and how on earth did I ever forget that we lived on oceanfront property 3 years of my young life, before ever moving to the prairies?!!

Three year old me near Shelburne, NS

Now that the lightbulb is on, I realize how incredibly important that ocean feeling is to my happiness and my inner peace. Now I can consciously plan trips to include more of what I NEED.

I was in Newfoundland this past week. I went up to Signal Hill, hiked the trails & sat in the National Parks’ famous red chairs. It was great. I let the waves and ocean sounds work their magic.

More to come about Newfoundland soon. If it’s not on your Canadian bucket list of trips, it should be!

Newfoundland, near the most eastern point of North America and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean


Splurge on your vacation with Air Miles

It might be old news to you, but I’m just learning about the new Air Miles reward certificates that can be used for package vacations with almost every popular, main stream supplier.

For each $100 certificate you will need 909 Air Miles. Frankly, in my opinion this isn’t the best redemption rate. HOWEVER, I’m going to think of it this way…. if $300 is the difference in what I what I feel is a good hotel package, and what I feel is a “splurge” package, then I would definitely use my Air Miles to pay the difference.

For example, it my budget dictates “Holiday Inn” but I’d be thrilled with “Four Seasons Resort” then why not use the Air Miles to cover what my budget would not? Be thrilled with the supplement to the vacation, rather than stress about trying to save enough Air Miles to cover the whole vacation.