New Website and Another Year Off for Tawna Brown

Welcome to my new website! It has been over two years since my last blog post and I’m excited to announce that it’s the end of the hiatus for me, at least in terms of my website!  I feel as though life has been on fast forward for so long. While I haven’t quite mastered how to slow things down, I am getting better at filtering things out, and prioritizing and investing my time in …

Marlborough wine

Marlborough Wine Getaway – The Bell Tower on Dog Point

Do you love wine, slower-paced travel, wide-open spaces and breathtaking scenery? When traveling, do you seek out hidden gems in your accommodation options, perhaps indulging in a bit of luxury from time to time? If you answered yes, read on!   I am taking you to the southern hemisphere, to discover an enchanting vacation cottage located in Marlborough – New Zealand’s largest premium wine-growing region.

While visiting the south island during my round-the-world journey, with …

Polynesian Paradise – The Island of Moorea

I found myself living in a postcard – a picture perfect vignette of a tropical Polynesian paradise, palm trees swaying in the wind, the sun’s rays pouring down on the island, and luxurious white sand beaches. Lying in the hammock at my private Tahitian “Villa Cook,” steps away from the turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean surrounding the Island of Moorea, I had not a care in the world. But I’m getting …

Sailing Solo in the South Pacific

Lazing on a giant floating mat, with the warm waters of the South Pacific Ocean caressing my body, I couldn’t help but be pleased with how well I orchestrated this very moment. I managed to escape the frigid Canadian winter (at temperatures of – 40 Celsius) and am now sailing solo on a majestic four-masted 360ft private yacht, with the sun’s rays recharging me like a solar panel. 

For the next seven nights, my temporary …

Build It and They Will Come Up the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway

November 15, 2017 marks the official opening of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway, a $299 million 140-kilometre all-weather gravel road leading to the Arctic Ocean. This highway represents the final link of a transportation network spanning across Canada, connecting its people from coast to coast to coast.

Located at the top of the world in the Northwest Territories, along the shore of the Beaufort Sea, the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk (otherwise known as “Tuk”) and its 900 residents …

Exploring without a Map

Exploring a city or village without a map is my favourite way to get to know a place; it allows for a more intimate experience. There are no expectations, no schedule, no agenda. I take my time, wandering down roads and paths that poke at my curiosity, taking in the little details like graffiti messages of love painted on the walls. Then for whatever reason, my internal compass leads me to turn a corner, and …

Fabulous 40 and Flying Around the World

I’m at it again, traveling around the world. In celebration of my 40th birthday, I am heading to Tuscany and Bali, two of my favourite places in the world.

Treating myself to a business class (Aeroplan) ticket, my super crazy itinerary confirms that I am a “jet setter”! While I am visiting only two countries (on two different continents) this time, I have flight connections in 10 countries, on 3 continents, with 7 airlines! …

Exploring New Zealand’s High Country by Horseback

Exploring New Zealand’s high country by horseback provides a magical and unforgettable experience. The landscape is visually stimulating and surreal, surrounded by mountain ranges, turquoise blue glacial-fed river crossings and millions of purple and pink lupins (in December). Be prepared for Glenorchy’s High Country Horses to take your breath away!

I first saw this scene in a stunning photo of a calendar; it had been a dream of mine to see this sight with my …

Deline Northwest Territories Indigenous Self-government

September 1, 2016, is the effective date of the Deline Final Self-government Agreement, the agreement (modern day Treaty) which established the Deline Gotine Government, Canada’s first and only community-based Aboriginal public government, located in Deline, Northwest Territories. Deline is a small Dene community (population 550) situated along the shore of Great Bear Lake in the Sahtu region of the Northwest Territories.

Over the coming days, there will be no shortage of news coverage on the …

End of World Travels and Back to Reality

Apparently it’s time for me to go back to “reality.”  This is what people at home have been telling me; as if my round-the-journey I just returned from was nothing but a dream. My sabbatical is over, my time is up and now I have to live a “normal life.” (What is “normal” by the way?)

Back to reality? Hold on a second, if I wasn’t already there, then where was I for the past …

Luxury Sailing in the South Pacific

It is time to experience luxury sailing at its finest…in French Polynesia! I am heading to Tahiti and Moorea for a few days, followed by a 7-day cruise aboard Windstar’s Wind Spirit luxury yacht, the world’s best small ship cruise line. (You might be wondering, is she going solo? You bet I am!  Me, myself and I; and we’re going to have the time of our life!)

My round-the-world journey is nearing its end, and I …

New Zealand – Land of Mountains, Sheep and Wine

In a few days, I will be heading back to New Zealand, (the south island to be precise), where I began my round-the-world journey in April! Seven months ago, I had an unforgettable introduction to New Zealand. It began in Queenstown at the Rees Hotel’s True South Dining Room, with a five-course degustation meal co-hosted by winemaker Kim Crawford and Executive Chef Ben Batterbury (click here for my earlier post), followed by an adventure photography workshop with …

Slowing Down in Bali

For much of the next four weeks, I will be back in Bali, for my 2nd time in five months!  (Surprise!) This means my round-the-world-journey has turned into a two times round-the-world journey!

You may remember my “Silence in Bali” post from May, when I announced that I was going to Bali Silent Retreat for 7 days.  With all the continent and country-hopping I’ve been doing since April, Bali Silent Retreat is a perfect …

Destination Yellowknife-Home Sweet Home

For the past 5 weeks, I have been a visitor in my own hometown, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.  It’s a real strange feeling being here, not living in my own house, no Monday-Friday workweek to follow, no garden to tend to (and yet this is still my home).

When I left Yellowknife in April for my 10-month long round-the-world journey, I had no intention of coming back to Canada for a visit. But after …

Can You Guess My Next Destination?

By the end of this week, I will be giving blood while digging my feet in the sand and listening to music.  I will go on daily walks, be sprinkled with ashes and eat yummy salads on the grass.

I recently decided to spontaneously add a mystery destination to my round-the-world itinerary. For a large number of subscribers, this is a far away and exotic location for many of you (“exotic” in the sense that you …

Feeding My Belly in Tuscany

I love food and I love wine, so feeding my belly in Tuscany should not be a difficult task. I have two or more months in Italy and I have spent one of those months in a little house in a little Tuscan village called Montisi (Siena province). I have no macchina (car), there is no treno (train), and pretty much no autobus either.

Montisi has one tiny grocery store that stocks the very basics; …

Tawna Goes Down Under and Gets High

I went “Down Under” for my first time; my eyes began to well up with tears, as I let out a giggle of joy through my breathing tube. I was entering a magical world that I had never before seen and I was overwhelmed with this new discovery.

I did it! I went “Down Under” at the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, Australia! While visiting family friends in Brisbane, I contemplated adding on a weekend …

Culinary Series Winemakers Dinner - The Rees Hotel

A Symphony of Flavors On Your Tongue – Rees Hotel Culinary Series

After 30+hours of traveling from the other side of the world, there I was seated at the head table (wearing clothes that were not mine) with internationally-renown winemakers Erica and Kim Crawford (Loveblock wine). 

I had just arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand and was about to indulge in a 5-course degustation meal, part of The Rees Hotel’s Culinary Series Winemaker Dinners offered six times a year. This particular event was co-hosted by …

Silence in Bali

News flash of the century! Tonight I, Tawna Brown, am heading to Bali Silent Retreat for 6 nights! No talking (minimal), no electricity, no wine, no coffee…. just peace and quiet, healthy vegetarian local food, yoga, meditation, rice fields, Balinese massages…. Can you imagine?

For those of you who (really) know me, this will surely come as quite the surprise. Me, not talking for 5 days?? And I can’t even work on my computer (nothing …

luggage contents for round the world travel

Packing for World Travel

Preparing for a round-the-world journey is no easy feat, especially for a Virgo photographer (who tends to overanalyze things and has difficult with making decisions)! Luggage choice and what to pack was quite the challenge for me…but somehow I managed to get things together.

I’ve traveled a lot in the past, but not this extensive; packing for a 10-month journey is not the same as a 10-day holiday. I’ve been traveling for 2.5 weeks thus …