Eden is a Canadian-based travel and personal finance blogger, who is passionate about empowering millennial women to make better financial choices and live better lives. She believes in a minimal lifestyle, living each day to the fullest and traveling often. Eden has lived in Hawaii, San Francisco and now Toronto. Follow her daily Instagram inspiration on @mintnotion
Alex: Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Eden! I write a travel and personal finance blog called Mint Notion. My love for travel started when I was young. I grew up living in Hawaii and San Francisco, and moved to Toronto during my teenage years, where I currently live.
Why do you travel? What are your inspirations?
Simply put, I travel because it makes me feel alive. I love the heightened sense of awareness I get when traveling, it truly is a humbling experience. Growing up living in different cities sparked my interest to travel even more in my adult years. I went on my first overseas trip in 2012 and now I try to visit at least 1 or 2 international destinations per year, or as often as my schedule will allow.
How do you organize your travel plans? Any travel hacks you can share?
I organize all my travel plans in spreadsheets. It’s the best way I’ve found to keep everything tidy and in one place. I love reading travel blogs that feature the destination I plan on visiting. I can usually find great tips on blogs that guidebooks often miss.
My favourite travel hack is using Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” tool. It’s a great way to find deals for your next trip. I also like to charge everything to my credit card, so I can collect travel rewards that can be redeemed for free flights or hotels.
Tell me about a person you’ve met or a memory that impacted you the most during one of your trips?
I’ve always been a city girl, but after spending time in the Canadian Rockies in 2014, I have been inspired to see more nature and explore the outdoors. I hiked up Angel’s Landing last summer in Zion National Park, which was one of the most incredible and thrilling experiences for me. It impacted me so much that I am traveling to Zion again next month to hike The Narrows and explore other national parks in Utah.
Read more about my hike up Angel’s Landing here.
Aside from the basics, name three items that you always bring when you travel.
I always bring my Sony mirrorless camera to capture photos for my blog and to share with my family and friends. I also never travel without a good pair of earplugs. I am a light sleeper, so earplugs are a must for me. Finally, I like to bring an open mind when traveling. Traveling isn’t always pretty or glamorous, which is why it’s important to keep an open mind when visiting a new destination.
What is your motto when it comes to traveling?
“You don’t have to be rich to travel well” – and that is exactly what I share on my blog. I often hear people say that they can’t afford to travel. Usually they are carrying a Starbucks coffee in one hand and a designer purse in the other hand. If you want to travel more, it’s all about priorities.
The best and the worst meals you’ve ever had traveling?
My favourite meal was at the Kale Café in Istanbul. I am a huge fan of breakfast and brunch, so I am pretty easy to please, but enjoying a traditional Turkish breakfast was an amazing experience! The restaurant has a beautiful patio with great views of the Bosphorus. The staff do not speak much English here, but they were very friendly. If you’re ever visiting Istanbul, head to the Kale Café and make sure to order the kaymak. It’s clotted cream with honey and it tastes like heaven.
I haven’t experienced too many bad meals during my travels, but the worst was probably at this beachside bar in Florida. It was the typical freeze and fry experience: frozen food reheated. Even though the food was bad, the view of the beach was incredible.
Which city do you consider yourself an expert on? Can you share any hidden gems in that city?
I’ve spent a lot time in Vancouver over the years, since I have family living in the city. There is lots to see and do there, but my favourite hidden gem is the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge. Everyone likes to visit the popular Capilano Suspension Bridge, but it’s expensive and usually crowded. Instead, the suspension bridge in Lynn Valley is free, less busy and worth a visit.
What is your favorite travel song/album to listen on a trip?
That’s a tough one because it’s dependent on the type of trip I’m on. I am a huge fan of 80s new wave and 90s rock, so throwback hits are ALWAYS on my playlist.
What is the funniest foreign swear word you know?
Other than a few swear words in French, which most Canadians know, I don’t have any other foreign swear words in my vocabulary. Maybe that will change someday haha!
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