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by • August 12, 2015 • #ExploreMB, Cultural Immersion, Lively Gatherings, Surprising Discoveries, Wildlife, WinnipegComments (0)2346

Spotlight on: Matthew Bailey

From visitors to locals, we’re putting the spotlight on individuals who share a unique and positive perspective on our province. Fellow Canadian and Travel Blogger Matthew Bailey set his sights on Manitoba for a full summer – a very full summer. Full of lakes, relaxing getaways, exhilarating wildlife moments and sunny city afternoons.

Welcome! What brings you to Manitoba?

I grew up in Fort McMurray and moved to Calgary ten years ago, but for the last few years, I’ve been traveling around the world. My first trip was a solo backpacking adventure to New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, which is what made me fall in love with travel. I’m now married and my wife and I have traveled throughout Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, Mexico, Japan, and China. I usually spend about 6 months at home working to maximize my savings for the next trip. Last year I took a job in sales to gain more experience and moved to Winnipeg to manage a new sales team here. I’ll be in Manitoba for the summer of 2015.

In the past, visitors haven’t exactly known what to expect in Manitoba. What has been your most surprising discovery?

I am surprised by the amount of things to do. Back in 2012, my family and I drove from Alberta to Newfoundland but only stayed for one night in Winnipeg due to time but also because I didn’t think there was much to do. Now that I’ve lived here for a few months, I’ve been able to experience the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Exchange District, Lower Fort Garry, Thermëa Spa, and trips out to the lakes. I’m also surprised by how multicultural Winnipeg is.

You attended the well-loved Winnipeg Folk Fest. What are some takeaways from the festival that might be useful for future visitors?

If you’re camping at the festival, I highly recommend bringing some sort of trolley to help bring your gear to the campground from the vehicle. Another thing to consider is a small lawn chair (not the typical high ones) for sitting in front of the stage and comfortably watching the bands. Lastly, try to be spontaneous with exploring the different musicians. We bought a program to know who was who but I really loved walking around and waiting for a beat to catch my attention. It was very interesting to see different bands from all over the world (Canada, Scotland, Mexico, Uganda, etc) get together on a stage for a jam. It’s a musical composition you’re experiencing for the first time and I really enjoyed expanding my ears and music tastes to different parts of the world.

Venturing outside of the city limits, what has been your most memorable wildlife moment?

We had incredible wildlife experiences when we visited Clear Lake for a weekend. As we drove toward the historic East Gate, we stumbled upon a moose digging its way around a marsh and spent time watching three bear cubs eat dandelions on the side of the road. I also got to hear a loon call once again, which reminded me of growing up in Northern Alberta.

Did you have preconceived notions about Manitoba prior to your trip? Has that perception changed?

There are so many jokes about Winnipeg, both from locals and other Canadians ranging from the harsh winters to the flat land, so I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot. At the same time, I know from traveling around the world that there is always something to discover if you remain open-minded. As I mentioned before, there are lots of thing to do. Whether it’s exploring the city sights and senses or taking a break at one of the many lakes, it’s been a lot of fun exploring Manitoba. There’s still so much I’d like to do as well, such as taking a trip to Churchill to see the polar bears!

How is Manitoba different from other places in Canada you have visited?

I’ve been to all the provinces in Canada but since Alberta has been my home, it’s easier to compare. Coming from the West, the landscape is very different. Instead of Rocky Mountains and foothills, you have big lakes and flat lands. Winnipeg is also much more humid than Calgary and the weather here is equally unpredictable. I’ve noticed that it’s a little more laid back here as well. Malls close earlier and it’s not as work-oriented as Alberta.

What do you have planned next, in Manitoba and beyond?

With only a few more weeks left in Manitoba, I’d like to spend more time at the beaches and see how locals spend their free time. I’m looking forward to experiencing all the different cultural performances at Folklorama as well as revisiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I’m also hoping to spend some time at the Manitoba Museum and I would LOVE to come back one day and visit Churchill for an up close and personal experience with the polar bears.

After Winnipeg, We’ll head to Burning Man then to Europe to visit people we’ve met on our past travels. Europe is our least-explored continent so far so we’re looking forward to spending time in England, Germany, and Italy to name a few. We’re then going to explore Turkey, India and Nepal before coming back to Canada for Christmas.

Lastly, can you tell us a little bit more about Live Limitless?

Live Limitless is a blog I started around 6 years ago to inspire people to really get the most out of life. It’s about getting rid of our limiting beliefs, facing fears, and really exploring life’s possibilities. Before I moved to Calgary and started traveling, I was just a shy guy from a small town. I remember being too afraid to ride a rollercoaster and afraid to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. When I moved to Calgary, it was my chance to create a new me. I began trying anything that peaked my interest. I enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course to learn public speaking, signed up for a salsa dance class, tried out for the Olympic speed skating team, and landed a continuity-acting role in a Hollywood movie. My friends were constantly awaiting my next adventure and my confidence began to grow. I started to love trying new things and expanding my opportunities.

As time went on, I began getting bolder and bolder and ended up taking my first solo trip to the other side of the world where I sky-dived from 15,000 feet, bungy jumped off a bridge, hang-glided over the sea and went scuba diving with sharks. I felt reborn. I also developed a passion for writing, photography and inspiring others to explore life’s possibilities. That’s how Live Limitless was born.

 

See more from Matthew at MustDoCanada.comLivelimitless.net and @MatthewGBailey

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