From travel tips to dream destinations, the top 5 'Dream Big' stories of 2016
Published Wednesday, December 21, 2016 6:30AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 27, 2016 10:15AM EST
Every Wednesday, CTVNews.ca has been inviting you to Dream Big. We’ve given you travel tips, introduced you to quirky nomads and taken you to lovely and little-known destinations. Hopefully we’ve sparked some wanderlust in you! With 2016 now coming to an end, here’s a roundup of our top five ‘Dream Big Wednesdays’ stories of the year.
1. How to afford round-the-world travel: Tips from nomadic families
Rounding up the kids for a months-long globetrotting journey might seem like an expensive – and stressful – logistical nightmare, but in this story, CTVNews.ca writer Angela Mulholland, who sold her house to travel Europe for six months with her family, talks to a few other nomadic families who have made it happen.
From intense savings regimens, to working from a laptop, or just getting around by bicycle, this story is filled with travel tips. And while all these families are different in terms of shape, size and income, they all agreed on one thing: taking off on a round-the-world family trip is worth it.
If travelling with the entire family is your thing, also be sure to check out Mulholland’s other weekly travel pieces, including her story on why it’s great to travel the world with kids and the obvious follow-up: a guide to staying sane on a long-term family holiday. You might also want to read our story on the world's most popular family-friendly hotels.
2. Weekend in Wroclaw: What to see in 2016's European Capital of Culture
In 2016, the European Commission crowned the city of Wroclaw the “European Capital of Culture” – a pretty lofty title considering the competition! Never heard of Wroclaw? This writer hadn’t.
But this picturesque city in southwestern Poland is one of Europe’s oldest and features a host of festivals and events set amidst a backdrop of stunning medieval architecture. Built on the banks of the River Oder, Wroclaw has even been dubbed the "Venice of Poland” and the "City of a Hundred Bridges."
Wroclaw is fairly easy to get to and considerably less expensive than nearby rivals such as Prague. Its location near Germany and the Czech Republic also makes it an easy stop on a trip through central Europe.
3. Victoria: City of Love? Amazon ranks Canada's 'most romantic' cities
For many lovebirds, being able to have time for a long trip abroad might be a romantic pipe dream. Throw in the weak Canadian dollar, and you might be resigned to taking your vacation days in your own backyard.
But why not go somewhere in Canada? In this story, Amazon.ca ranks Canada’s “Most Romantic Cities.” With its ocean views and charming old town, Victoria, B.C. clinched the winning spot for the fourth year running. Wedged between mountains and the sea, North Vancouver, B.C. came in second. The number three spot, however, seems like a weird one: the sprawling tech-hub of Waterloo, Ont.
Somewhat oddly, the rankings are based entirely on what people order on Amazon, rather than the cities themselves! Products like romance novels, relationship books, romantic comedies, romantic music, jewelry and "sexual wellness products" all factor into the ratings. Maybe that’s why sleepy Saskatoon clinched the 5th spot while historic Quebec City didn’t even make the list?
4. B.C. man builds mobile home fuelled by vegetable oil, solar power
Meet Dustin Bowers: a B.C. man who has converted an old school bus into an RV powered by used vegetable oil and sunlight. In January, CTVNews.ca caught up with Bowers and his girlfriend just as they were about to embark on a cross-country Canada road trip in the canary yellow mobile home.
A carpenter by trade, Bowers has outfitted the vehicle with a futon, couches, cabinets and a kitchen complete with a sink, stove and fridge. Bowers even tinkered with a diesel engine to allow it to run on leftover vegetable oil from deep fryers. In a previous trip in another vegetable oil-fuelled vehicle, Bowers claims he made it from New Brunswick to B.C. by only paying $150 in fuel. "My gas pump is now any local restaurant," he told CTVNews.ca.
5. How to choose the right vacation for your relationship status
Vacations can definitely make or break a relationship. But where you decide to go might influence whether or not your holiday brings you and your sweetheart closer together or tears the two of you apart. In this story, travel experts dish out various relationship-specific travel recommendations.
For example, if things are completely new, why not try a quick urban getaway to a romantic city like Montreal or New York? Still in the awestruck honeymoon phase? Keep the flame alive exploring the urban culture and the countryside of Ireland. A decade of marriage under your belt? Mix things up with something exotic yet comfortable, like the beaches of southern Thailand.
Have all the kids moved out of the house? Maybe it’s time for a bucket-list holiday, like a cruise to the Galapagos Islands or a wild South African safari.
Here’s a look at five other Dream Big stories that made our top 10 list.