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#travelwithLance

#travelwithLance, Sports

24 Hours in Montreal with the National Bank of Canada and Rogers Cup

201607071299497994Tennis has always been a sport that I have admired. From its rich history to its ultra-prep status, it is something that I’ve always wanted to be more involved with. Last summer, a few friends and I decided to teach ourselves how to play the sport as a way to get outside and learn something new. While we’re certainly no Federer or Nadal, regular weekend practices have finally got us to a point where we can at least have a few good rallies and not totally embarrass ourselves. Consistency is key, my friends!

Continuing with the tradition, it’s that time of the year again where Canada’s premiere tennis competition, Rogers Cup, draws near. With Milos Raonic’s advancement to the Wimbledon finals recently (the first time a Canadian male to ever play for a Grand Slam title), tennis is very much a part of the Canadian dialogue this summer, along with all the great activities and celebrations surrounding the sport.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by the National Bank of Canada on a 24-hour trip to Montreal to celebrate tennis and the upcoming Rogers Cup. Together, with a really great group of friends from Toronto, we joined in on an exclusive private party alongside some of Montreal’s top creative talent, including an art collaboration by pénélope et chloë and Etienne Dufresne and DJ Ryan Hemsworth. Continue Reading…

#travelwithLance, Culture

How to Staycation Like A Pro

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As a young professional working in a very fast-paced city and industry, I thrive on being busy. Perhaps technology can be partly to blame for this, but my short attention span requires constant stimulation that is, for better or worse, remedied via a task list that is often long and winding.

But even for someone that loves to be kept on his toes, I’ll admit that I am often left feeling exhausted and stretched thin. In many regards, the life of a creative is full of peaks and valleys, and for those moments when you’ve reached a deficit in energy and motivation, a recharge is often necessary. I don’t do it as much as I should, but I’ve come to realize that for many of the priorities in my life, scheduling and making concrete plans is the most effective way of making sure my goals are reached. Blocking off your schedule assigns a finite amount of time to a task, which helps to avoid distractions that I would otherwise succumb to with a less structured approach. That includes everything from going to the gym to editing a story for the magazine that I work for, right down to relaxation. And before you say anything, yes, actually marking down time in your schedule to relax is more necessary than you might think. There will always be tasks that need to be completed and errands that need to be run, but having downtime for yourself is just as important. If you’re like me, however, having a vague plan to relax inevitably results in the opposite. Blocking off that time to recoup is a way to re-establish your equilibrium.

Recently, I was put on to the idea of trying out a staycation. To me, the idea of going to a hotel within my own city has never been that appealing, mostly for the reason that I’d rather just stay within the comforts of my own home than go through the fuss of packing and staying somewhere else.

As it turns out, they’re actually great.

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Recently, my friends over at Toronto’s Shangri-La hotel invited me over to experience what a great staycation should be like. Having gone through it, I can understand the appeal. For today’s modern professional, planning a getaway outside of the city can sometimes be more stress than it’s worth. Precious amounts of time are put towards planning, and then furthermore traveling to and from a destination. When you have to accommodate a schedule that only allows you to get away for a few days, every hour counts. Why spend that in transit? Furthermore, the amount of money that you put towards travel expenses could be put to better use via a beautiful dinner or spa treatment within the walls of a great hotel in your home city.

Naturally, the opportunity to stay at one of the city’s most luxurious hotels was one that appealed to me. Should you decide to take a staycation of your own, here are a few things that I’ve learned from my trip to the Shangri-La hotel that you should consider. Continue Reading…