Having family in Canada, some of my best childhood memories were spending my summers in Ontario, swimming and jet-skiing on Lake Huron, getting up-close and personal with Niagara Falls on the Hornblower, watching Shakespeare at Stratford Festival, indulging at London’s annual Ribfest festival, and watching the Toronto Blue Jays.
I have been fortunate enough to travel to 30 countries, highlights of which included skiing in Austria, skydiving over The Palm in Dubai, and seeing the Aurora Borealis in Lapland. Before joining Audley, I spent three months travelling between Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
My most recent trip to Canada gave me the opportunity to explore Montréal and Québec City (both of which provided incredible cuisine and heritage), go whale watching off Vancouver Island, and drive through the beauty of Jasper and Banff National Parks.
I have visited Canada in every season; each is as beautiful as the other and I can’t wait to share the variety that this country has to offer.
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Q&A with Natasha
What's the best local dish you've tried?
Poutine! The quintessential Canadian dish of fries, thick gravy and cheese curds and yes, it's as indulgent as it sounds. I would say some of the best that I have eaten was in Montréal and Ottawa. If trying for the first-time stick to the basic recipe, but subsequently — as I assure you there will definitely be a next time and probably within the same trip — opt for something a bit different. For example, try adding meat, vegetables, extra cheese, sauces, just about anything. I challenge you to find “YOUR” Poutine!
Your best piece of travel advice?
Ask the locals! Some of the best restaurants, places to see, things to do and knowledge have come from these conversations. In Canada, particularly, everyone has a hidden gem up their sleeve that they are more than willing to share it — not just getting to experience it myself, but hearing the story behind why they love it.
What's your most vivid travel moment?
Whilst I was in Canmore, I hiked Ha-Ling Peak; a short but steep climb. It remained a perfect bluebird day as I ascended the luscious forest part of the trail before the tree canopy gives way to open rock face and sunshine. Several flights of newly created stairs later, I reached ‘The Saddle’ but intent on reaching ‘The Peak’ I scrambled up the loose, rocky terrain to stand accomplished 2,377 m (7,800 ft) above sea level. Quite literally “peaking” over the peak, you are met with an unobscured view of Canmore, the vibrant blue of Rundle Forebay Reservoir and the looming peaks of multiple mountains. This image is picture perfect, etched in my brain of exactly what I wanted the Canadian Rockies to be.