Why I Loved January in Nova Scotia

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January in Nova Scotia was a weird month.

It’s something I think we can all agree upon even if it is for different reasons.

When I returned to Canada last March I held things together pretty well.

My type A personality immediately went into overdrive and decided I needed to use the time at home to work.

It was a gift of time.

I filled every moment with productive work related tasks and I felt focused.

But after walking a tight rope of burn out for month I took ten days off over the holidays.

Something I haven’t done for years.

I was able to let my mind relax, spend time with family and watch a ridiculous amount of YouTube?

   

But when January 4th came, the unofficial day everyone had to go back to real life, I just couldn’t get into it.

This really played with my head. Because in December I had already mapped out what I wanted to accomplish all month.

And yet I couldn’t bring myself to do any of it.

I think a lot of people felt this way.

Wanting to stay in holiday life…not returning to real life where we’re all waiting for life to go back to something that resembles how we once lived.

Luckily, as I’m self employed I made the executive decision to give myself slack. I worked half days. I watched more YouTube.

And I decided to shake things up. I didn’t want to simply wait for spring.

Winter in Canada can be brutal. My non-Canadian friends ask why we don’t like winter?

New Yorker cartoon about winter

Who welcomes cold and darkness?

Sure November through January is OK. But February is depressing. In March we’re all just waiting for it to be over.

April is a bit of a tease because we’ll have one good day.

We crowd onto patios and prematurely rejoice in “shorts weather” and then two days later there is a blizzard.

I cannot do that this year.

 
Winter in Nova Scotia video
Watch my first video in 2021 about winter.

So I launched a challenge to learn to love winter. This is one of the best things I have done.

There is no bad weather only bad clothing.

Yes this is true. And I was so thankful to partner with the Trail Shop as an Outdoor Ambassador this year.

A warm winter jacket, hat, socks and boots made a huge difference.

This month I have been warm and now I’m that annoying person who says the right clothing changes everything.

BUT I really think the key to liking winter is simply mindset.

Instead of waiting for it to be over I have found so much to do. I’m trying new things and appreciating days like this where I can catch up with friends in fresh air.

I loved this article from 1000 Hours Outside about why we need daylight, even on cloudy days, before noon.

And this has been an amazing month of exploration!

 
spruce syrup on open fire with winter foraging text
Watch my winter foraging video here

Winter Foraging

Things changed when I found Gourmet by Nature. It wasn’t simply that I found an opportunity for wild food experiences.

But they had been here all along. 10 minutes away from me!

   

I had an amazing day with Chef Sean and Tara (watch the video above).

And I learned so much about winter foods but the way they embraced winter really inspired me.

I wondered what else was under my nose and I had no idea.

 
Kingsport Beach with text winter beach walk
Watch the video from Kingsport Beach.

Waterfalls + Winter Beach Walks

I am so fortunate to have childhood friends that I still connect with.

I understand that my life, and many of my views are…unconventional.

I love that Dawn and Melissa are up for winter walks, book clubs (we’re reading Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows) and nights in talking about nothing and everthing important in life..

And when we go out they don’t mind that I document my life. That I may walk away from a conversation to shoot something. And that I need them to take photos and video of me.

And when I decided to sign up for 8 weeks of learning to curl (how Canadian is that?) Melissa was on board.

Yes I could go alone.

But my life is usually solo. It’s nice to know one other person…who won’t find it weird when I whip out my camera.

 

Real World Creator Friends

As a travel content creator your friends and colleagues are always there – with text messages.

And some people you feel closest to you may have never met. Or you only see them every few years.

I know that seems strange. But it’s my life.

But Cailin from Nova Scotia Explorer is an hour away in person. And as long as we’ve known each other from blogging (likely 10 years) she’s pushed me to hang out when I’m in Nova Scotia.

I’ve never had time before. Instead I meet up with her in Antigua and Mexico.

But nevertheless she persisted and I now see her here! And it’s so nice to talk work with someone in person!

 
Baxters Harbour Waterfalls with text Bay of Fundy in Winter
Watch the video of Baxters Harbour Falls

This month we spent a morning checking out Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch, Baxter’s Harbour Falls and Maritime Express Cider for lunch.

She also let me fly her DJI Magic Mini and after 30 seconds in the air I immediately had to have one.

Although I typically write about food around the world I rationalized this purchase with being outdoors more for the learn to love winter challenge.

I don’t need a drone. But I wanted one. So I bought one.

 

Grateful for Work

In January I still spent a lot of time (too much time?) staring at my laptop.

I love sharing videos.

But it takes me 8-15 hours to edit them because I’m new to video editing and learning to shoot video.

So when people subscribe to my YouTube channel (hint hint!), comment on a video or share it, it basically makes my day and validates my life.

Yes it’s that easy to make my day, week or even month.

When people comment and share it makes all those hours worthwhile.

And I’m also in the middle of revamping this site so that when we can all travel again it is more helpful!

It’s not exciting work. I am creating country pages, so if you’re planning a trip to Jamaica everything you need is on one page.

You can find everything from the best Jamaican food to Jamaican fruits and even drinks in Jamaica.

And I’m doing this for 30 countries.

It’s a big daunting tasks that requires a lot of laptop time. And it’s going to take months.

But when I’m done it will be worth it.

 

And What’s Going on in February?

Well more of the same. And yet not the same!

I have plans for a twilight snowshoe and raclette dinner. Cailin found some kind of Beaver Tail poutine. And I’m still curling!

And because I need more work to do I signed up for an intensive YouTube training course.

My goal this year is 10,000 subscribers and I’m at 3.71k but I promise not to bug people too much to subscribe.

But seriously, have you subscribed?

Let me know what you’re up to in February. I would love ideas or just to hear from you.

 

Join the Conversation

  1. I love your enthusiasm and honesty! Good luck with your new goals … if anyone can do it, it’s you!

  2. Love the enthusiastic review! Nova Scotia doesn’t get nearly enough credit as it should.

  3. ANUKRATI DOSI says:

    One of my close friends lives in Canada. And he tells me the same thing – Winter in Canada gets brutal. It is so nice to see your positive outlook.
    I am from Mumbai, India. And I think I am soon going to launch a challenge – Learn to love summers. I hope that I succeed 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      How hot does it get there in summer?

  4. Luckily, the ocean moderates the climate in Nova Scotia. The snowshoeing opportunities are amazing, especially in the Bluff Wilderness.

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