Mindréal: Traveling Mindfully in Montréal
The Mindful Tourist is thrilled to publish a guest post from Montréal writer Daniel Baylis. Read on for some very fun stuff!
“Bienvenue” or “Comment ça va? – just a couple of words you might hear when arriving in Montréal. The French flair of this city gives it a sexy, European feel, while its creative nature encourages new ways of living. That’s why I moved here five years ago; I wanted to be in an urban space that was progressive, yet had style.
What can I say? Montréal just does it for me.
As a travel destination, Montréal is increasingly popular for North Americans. It really is like going to Europe, but without the pesky jetlag or the shocking conversion of Dollars to Euros. Plus, in terms of a carbon footprint, shorter distance trips are much more environmentally friendly!
So if Montréal is on your list of places to visit, here are my recommendations for keeping it mindful…
- Running Tourist – Instead of sitting on a carbon-spewing bus, travelers can hit the streets with a friendly local and get the “inside-scoop” on what’s really happening in the city. With daily runs there is no excuse to let the training slide, and besides after eating a couple poutines, you’ll be craving a jog. [Ed. - maybe not craving but definitely in need.]
- BLANK – Did you know that the founder of American Apparel is from Montréal? That’s great and all, but he created jobs for folks in LA and not in his hometown. Thankfully BLANK came along with classy cotton basics that make us look good while stimulating local economy. Plus they sell t-shirts with Montréal images. I smell a perfect souvenir. (Watch a fun video on BLANK.)
- Bixi – North America’s first bike-share system has recently been installed throughout the city. A measly $5 will get you a day pass where you can grab a bike on one side of the city and leave it on the other. With 300 stations, you’re never stranded. My fave part – each Bixi bike has a bell! Ding Ding!
- Robin des Bois – Translated as ‘Robin Hood’, this restaurant is using the rich to feed the poor. Volunteer sous-chefs and servers staff the bistro, enabling the lion’s share of your bill to go to a variety of charities (such as a local youth shelter and a meals-on-wheels program). The service might be amateur, but the food is divine and you’re being kind to the community.
- Espace Nomad – Relaxing. Unpretentious. Ecological. If you’re in the mood for (mindful) pampering, this is your best bet. Get a massage or a private yoga session, or for a truly unique Montréal experience, ask for the Maple Syrup Facial!
Happy Travels! À bientôt!
Daniel Baylis writes a blog about gay life in Montréal… but he does more than just ‘gay’ things. For instance, just yesterday he did his laundry in a very traditionally straight way. Check out his Montréal Blog on Gay Life here.