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Getting Started With Kayaking Over 50

The origins of the kayak go back over 4,000 years ago and were invented by the Inuit, Yup’ik and Aleut peoples in the arctic regions of what is today Canada. They were often constructed from stitched seal and other animal skins built on either wood or whalebone skeletons. And what an incredible invention they are! Today kayaks are made from a wide range of materials and various designs for both flatwater and open water uses. Ideal for a quick paddle or multi-day trips. The longest recorded trip, according to Guinness world records for a solo journey was by Polish adventurer Marcin Gieniezcko at 3,462.9 miles. The unofficial record is by German Freya Hoffmesiter who circumnavigated Australia alone at a distance of 8,570 miles. Wow! Kayaking at any age is fun and a great way to work out the upper body, build core strength for better balance and get closer to

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Travel

Top 5 Canoe Adventures in Canada 2022

The brilliant mind of Pierre Burton once said, “a true Canadian knows how to have sex in a canoe.” The reality might be a bit different, but the sentiment is there! The canoe was invented by the original indigenous peoples of Canada, most often made with birch bark, wood and pitch. It is a marvel of engineering, showcasing the ingenuity of First Nations. It is so versatile that it was adopted by Western European explorers and settlers as it is able to carry its own weight in freight, can be easily portaged and serve as a shelter or windbreak. Today, the canoe is an icon of Canada and while we may not need it to discover new trade routes, it is a great way to explore and access much of Canada’s great wilderness in all our lands and provinces. Canoeing offer us a chance to leisurely explore, stopping at scenic

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Travel

Top 5 reasons why travelling is good for your health

Going away on a trip and getting away from your daily routine can be a great way to escape stress and anxiety, especially as travel is opening up. Whether it is getting away for the weekend or taking a week or even several months off, it is probably one of the best medicines. Even if you’re uncomfortable with taking a major international trip, you can still travel within your region or province. Here are the top five reasons why traveling is beneficial for your health: 1. It has healing properties When you travel, you get to visit sites that contain modes of healing. For example, the natural hot springs of Turkey or Costa Rica. Getting immersed in these mineral-rich waters is great for your skin, relieves pain and stress and increases longevity. 2. It boosts creativity Anyone who suffers from stress, anxiety or a mental health issue knows it may

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Longevity

Learning from Old John

Growing up in Cape Breton, I found the rest of the world remote, strange, frightening. Then I met a man from Hungary who became a friend. The rest of world seemed closer then. It was only after he was gone that I discovered his last name. He was a European: Hungarian. And it was presumed his last name would be impossible to spell and easy to forget, so people didn’t ask while he was alive.  It was in the mid-fifties. It wasn’t unusual, so soon after the war, for people who were from Europe to be cautious about revealing their last names. A first name was usually enough for most. His first name was John. Or, as we all knew him, Old John.  When we finally discovered his last name, it was just as plain and easy to remember. Suto. He was John Suto. He showed up in my village

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Longevity

Canadian Fiction: Tommy tomorrow

I have so many pretend situations going on you wouldn’t believe it. Documents open on my desktop that say things like Uncle Norm wasn’t Ted’s real father and everybody knew it andPenny liked to say that I saved her life that time when all I did was tell her to go home and When we didn’t have much, Carrie would throw a couple of coffee beans on the stove. The smoke would coil around the room and I’d catch a whiff and smile at her and she’d pretend not to notice. She’d fry one piece of bacon every day so the kids would wake up and come into the kitchen excited. I don’t think they noticed they only got a third of a piece each. That’s not what was important. It was all about hope, Carrie said. Getting out of bed happy, with expectations. I worked at Safeway and brought dinner home every

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Resonance

The animals will know

Paddling up the meandering tidal river near Parrsboro, NS on the Bay of Fundy, I saw eagles sitting in trees, flying overhead. The immatures, those without the distinctive white head and tail feathers, are even larger than the adults because their feathers are bigger. Moving inland with the tide, I hardly had to paddle as the river filled with seawater. My kayak glided underneath a tree branch where a large eagle watched me carefully. When I was almost underneath, he dropped from the branch and flew off. I was so close that I could hear the loud “whoosh whoosh” as his wings beat against the still air. A few minutes later, five small cormorants circled overhead looking for a landing spot. Usually, they are shy birds so I was surprised when they swooped down and landed just in front of the boat and stayed there for a little while. Then

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Resonance

The universe next door

If you know people who are successful over the long haul, you realize they have their own style. At least most of them. They get stuff done, certainly, but they do it in their own way. They have learned to pace themselves and they keep their sense of adventure. Like kids, they stay in touch with their animal selves. Indeed, humans are animals, much as we would prefer it to be otherwise. We are captive to circadian rhythms. We need to sleep. We need down time. Our minds need to wander. We need to goof off. We are built that way. This is one of the lessons of the book “How to be Animal” by Melanie Challenger. As the writer explains, over the last few thousand years, and probably well before that, societies have created elaborate myths and philosophies to assure themselves that we transcend our animal natures. Now in

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Resonance

Where the whales live

Humpback whales are huge mammals that live in the oceans of the world, coming to the surface only to breathe. Like humans, they are purposeful, playful, intelligent social animals with complex languages. Like us, in pursuit of females the males are aggressive. The whales have to prove themselves. They have many vocalizations but only the males produce the long “songs,” as they are called. Not long ago, like many species they were hunted around the globe for their oil, which was used in lamps. Humpback populations fell drastically until the 1960s, when a moratorium was put in place. Until recently it was thought humpbacks lived to 40 or 50 years. Recent research has nearly doubled that. This is something we learned on the Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruise. “Some of the whales we might see could even remember the whaling years,” our guide said. “Somehow they have forgiven us.”

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Longevity

My grandmothers journey

Aggie Missaghian’s faith – in her family, her religion and in herself – carried her from Iran to PEI. It’s February 1984. A family of five stands waiting at the Charlottetown airport with two trolley loads of suitcases – torn and patched in places and tied together with rope to keep them from falling apart. The family is warmly greeted by several locals and three cars. It’s their first day in Canada. My grandmother, Aghdas (Aggie) Missaghian, nee Sobhani, was born in Tehran, Iran in 1943. She grew up in Gonbad city within the province of Tehran and was raised as a Baha’i. The Baha’i Faith is based on unity – the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of humanity. Baha’is believe it their mission to bring harmony and unity to the world through God and His love. The Faith was established in 1863 by Baháʼu’lláh.

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