Helping to inspire amazing experiences through travel.

Winter Love

Outdoor Ice bar - Quebec City -Urban Traveler

In the dead of winter, you’ll never hear me complain about being outside in the cold*!

Outdoor Ice bar - Quebec City -Urban Traveler

Outdoor Ice bar – Quebec City

I am one of the few who actually enjoy the change of temperature, scenery and environment.  I simply love each season for what it brings.

four-seasons-Chicago Seasons by Ryan Kapp-urban traveler

Chicago Seasons by Ryan Kapp

A change of wardrobe, a change of colour and a change of hairstyle (let’s keep it real, I can’t keep my hair straight in Toronto’s humid summer air!).

I grew-up skiing (cross & downhill), figure skating and often played ringette in my neighbourhood outdoor rink.  I grew up enjoying the winter, not dreading it.

It was when I travelled to Sweden, to visit my friend Alicia, where I learned what true Winter love‘ was.

Early November brought cold temperatures and even colder nights but that didn’t stop anyone from bundling-up and enjoying it.

berns-outdoor-bar-urban-traveler1.jpg

Club Berns’ Outdoor Winter Bar (Stockholm)

Club Berns' Outdoor Winter Bar - YES it was THAT cold! (Stockholm)

Club Berns’ Outdoor Winter Bar – YES it was THAT cold! (Stockholm)

Clubs gave you blankets to go out for a smoke, bars were located on outdoor patios and cafe’s had blankets & heating lamps on their patios to keep their patrons warm. The concept blew my mind!  Based on our similar climates, I didn’t understand why we (Canadians) haven’t embraced the cold like the Scandinavians had.

My friend Alicia modeling a fleece blanket the club provided for a ciggy break. (Stockholm)

My friend Alicia modeling a fleece blanket the club provided for a ciggy break. (Stockholm)

Fleece blankets provided for use at outdoor cafe. (Stockholm)

Fleece blankets provided for use at outdoor cafe. (Stockholm)

Recently, I was watching the CBC’s ‘DocsZone‘ which aired an episode called “Life Below Zero“.  It was an in-depth look into Canada’s history with winter and the cold.  I learned that back in the early 1900s, the Montreal Board of Trade actually cancelled all winter carnivals, including the popular one held in Quebec City because “…holding such carnivals is harmful to the interests of Canada, creating the impression that ice and snow were normal conditions here.  This discourages immigration, which is necessary for the development of this dominion.”

'No carnival' signage

‘No carnival’ headlines

Isn’t that wild?  I mean, in hindsight, perhaps that actually influenced my father’s family to immigrate from Trinidad and my mother’s family from the Netherlands.

It also explored Russia’s attitudes towards the cold, where complaining about it is practically treason.  Russia’s stoic people credit the cold to having won 2 wars being that their enemies could not stand the conditions that they were used to.

The TV program also visited Scandinavia, sharing similar stories of what I had experienced.  They also pointed out how downtown Oslo’s heated sidewalks eliminated the need to shovel snow, thus saving money that would have been used for snow removal.  I’d have to agree with a lady who brought-up the fact that heated sidewalks would allow people to be more active, allow moms to push their strollers around and would also mean wheelchair accessibility was not just a concept for the other 3 seasons.

Click the image to watch “Life below zero” (sorry, only available in Canada)

CBC's presents #DocZone "Life Below Zero"

CBC’s presents #DocZone “Life Below Zero”

So my winter loves, don’t dread the cold, the snow or the ice!  Embrace it, learn to love it because let’s face it…it ain’t goin’ anywhere and complaining about it won’t make it get warmer either! 😉

So jump online, google your city and a combination of winter activity terms, check-out the results and then….GET OUT THERE!

 

Don’t forget to share some of your favourite winter activities OR why we won’t see you until late April in the comment section!

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*unless I’m not dress appropriately and well…sometimes looking cute wins!

1 Comment

  1. amym_brown@hotmail.com January 24, 2013 Reply

    I thought of you when you when I saw this one for Winnipegers who love getting out in the winter! http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/bougeons-en-hiver-the-jack-frost-challenge-2013/

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