Remember to Breathe

Calgary skyline from spruce cliffs

I’ve never lived in a city where people were so eager to leave every weekend. In Vancouver, there’s golf, water, mountains, and hiking basically within the city limits. People will go and explore without ever really leaving town.

In Calgary, people start to pack up and leave sometime around noon on Friday. You can escape in any direction on the compass and find something exciting to do within a 2 hour drive.

It’s awesome. Just remember to breathe.

Travel Alberta‘s Remember to Breathe campaign is spectacular. In addition to the long form video above, there are season specific editions for summer and winter travel.

This week the campaign was honoured as the best in the world.
It won the Diamond Award as the best entry in the annual Golden City Gate international film and media competition at the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin.

Travel Alberta’s entry also won a gold award in the “regions” category, beating out entries from Spain, Mexico, France, Finland, Switzerland and Germany.

“Albertans are proud of their home and they want to share it with the world. Travel Alberta’s powerful new brand captures that pride by showcasing the stunning beauty and the exhilaration visitors experience when they come to our province,” said Jack Hayden, Minister of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. “This award acknowledges our commitment to make a stronger impact in the global marketplace and to welcome more people to Alberta each and every year.”

So, when are you coming for a visit?

How To Get Inspired: Move. Eat. Learn.

2002-06-01 morocco (16)

The world is a big place. You’re just a small piece of it. If you want to make your life better, if you want to enrich yourself you need to explore. I’ve been to just 14 countries a number that’s good but not great. A friend of mine is trying to get to 60 countries before she’s 60 and this week, at 43, said “Hola” to Costa Rica and number 40.

Need a push to be inspired to change things up, take a challenge and move outside your usual all-inclusive or flight to Vegas? Watch this:

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Three friends spent forty-four days touring eleven countries and travelling thirty-eight thousand miles to shoot a few videos of inspiration. Andrew Lees is the start of the short films, Rick Mereki and Tim White were on the crew while the music is by Kelsey James.

Move is just one in a series of videos made by the crew as commissioned by STA Travel Australia.

Eating the same thing for dinner tonight? Don’t know how to cook, bake or fry? Stuck with a boring palate that knows nothing more than a few foods?

Look down the multicultural aisle of your grocery store, don’t skip it. Follow someone who speaks another language or has a different colour skin. Watch where they go in the aisle, see what they pick up and then ask them how to cook it.

Then go home, and eat.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Are you stuck in a rut? Have the same hobbies and do the same things for entertainment? There’s a world of fun out there for you, all you have to do is learn.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

If you want 3 words to drive your life for 2012 try these: move, eat, learn.

Rick Mereki : Director, producer, additional camera and editing
Tim White : DOP, producer, primary editing, sound
Andrew Lees : Actor, mover, groover

Hat tip to Kneale Mann for writing about it.

What Are You Drinking New Year’s Eve?

I absolutely love that video of 500 Days of Summer co-stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt singing What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? They’re not a real couple, but they should be.

When it comes to New Year’s Eve and the question “what are you drinking?”, chances are it will be bubble.

I had a chance to chat with Natalie MacLean, the world’s best drink writer, about her picks for New Year’s Eve:

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When it comes to a < $20 pick, Natalie is a fan of Santa Margherita:

Wonderful bubbly, packed with peach and pear notes! Want to service bubbly at your wedding or large reception but not break the bank? This is your go-to sparkler. Can’t beat the value/taste/price ratio. Yum!

Natalie is a fan of both prosecco (Italy) and cava (Spain) as great affordable alternatives to traditional Champagne. It’s the same festive spirit you get from a sparkling wine, they just can’t be called “champagne” because of copyright issues. Only French wines can be called “Champagne.”

I’ll toss a plug for my wife’s portfolio here, she represents both a cava and a prosecco. Villa Teresa from Italy, is a beautiful organic prosecco while Spain’s Freixenet is always a top bargain wine pick.

If you win the $50M Lotto Max tonight then she suggests you splurge on some Bollinger (James Bond‘s choice).

A rich, smoky Champagne, with hints of marzipan and fennel seed accenting honeyed malt, bread dough, baked apple and gingersnap flavors. It’s all focused by intense acidity, which meshes beautifully into the layers of flavor and refined texture, with a lingering finish.

If bubbles aren’t your thing, then try pouring a little cassis into your glass to make a sweeter Kir Royale or grab a bottle of Riesling. MacLean recommends those from the Okanagan as a crisp drink to have while wandering the tapas tray.

I should add that Natalie MacLean‘s smartphone app is a must. It’s easy one of the best online to help you not only manage your wine library and tasting notes, but it has a barcode scanner to get you access to her reviews and each wine comes with a list of 6 or more recipes to create the perfect menu.

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