The Definition of Travel | explore:NW 

Publishing a magazine in two radically different seasons of life challenged what travel means to me.
explore nw summer fall 2023 mikaela

Travel can mean something different to us all. And, our definitions tend to evolve, sometimes changing slowly or radically. They can be influenced by age and past experience. They can be shaped by proximity. But more than anything, I believe our personal definitions of ‘travel’ are deeply rooted in our current season of life.

We put this issue of explore:NW together during two radically different and exciting seasons of my life — the first while I was expecting our second daughter and the second while we celebrated her arrival. Each was sweet in its own way. (And challenging. And sleep-deprived. But I digress.) Each was also wildly different.

During the former, I packed every minute I could with out-of-the-house adventures. We made countless memories as a family of three. My husband and I even snuck in a few romantic dates and getaways. 

The latter season was a bit blurry. Who am I joking, it still is. Midnight feedings. Early mornings with a cooing (sometimes crying) baby. Afternoons juggling said baby, while running after a toddler.

Judd Family Smiling

The first season is the kind that has my soul calling for more. More items on the itinerary list. Most sultry date-night ideas. More luxury destinations. The second makes me relish low-key adventures. The kind that are easily accessible. Or even, better yet, the ones that can be re-lived as memories from the comfort of your own home through small mementos.

Scattered throughout this issue, you’ll find a nod to both of those seasons. Our staff put together an epic list of swoon-worthy things to do in Victoria, BC. I can personally attest to several of these items, not the least of which is an urban hike through Beacon Hill Park. I find that doing a thing with your partner, engaging with them through a shared experience, heightens your connection and strengthens your relationship.

And for partners who have kids, taking time to be two people — outside of the business of living — can offer a similarly beautiful chance to grow, relax, and reconnect. Lisette Wolter-McKinley’s luxury resort recommendations are the perfect place to do just that (p. 46). So too does the San Juan Island itinerary I shared.

The second season had me wildly focused on smaller excursions. The simple kid-friendly hikes, like the gentle stroll to Kinsol Trestle, are the ideal outing for those who want movement without tons of effort. I’ve also found the small keepsakes collected while traveling can fill the heart with such joy. They offer a way to share and relive a trip long after you’ve returned home. You’ll find such keepsakes at Northwest Printshop, where handprinted shirts can be found or stamped to order. Alternatively, you can pick up a handmade cutting board from River and Luna Wilde of Studio Wylde. These beautiful pieces are made from island-foraged wood and a highly-durable resin. Regardless of your season, I hope you find that travel fills you with joy — as the recommendations here are intended to do.

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