A Tribute to My Dad, Phillip Dorn MacNaughtan

Phillip Dorn MacNaughtan

Born on the dining room table at the farmhouse in Bracebridge, Ontario, Dad was the youngest of twelve children (nine boys and three girls). Premature at birth, he was taken to the hospital inside the doctor’s little black bag. In those first weeks Dad’s sisters would take turns holding him at night, resting their feet on the wood stove; heating their bodies, which would, in turn, heat his. When it was time for him to eat, they fed him with an eyedropper, and as Dad loved to say, “…now they use a funnel!”

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Why I Decided to Become a Travel Consultant

I am more than happy to admit that I have always thought travel consultants (agents) where pointless. I can book online, myself, and get fairly good deals. Why on earth would I want to use a travel consultant to book my travels?

I know I am not the only person who has thought this.

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Coming Full Circle, 5 Years of Travel

Almost five years ago we found my Grandmother unconscious in her apartment after slipping into a diabetic coma. That started a three-week roller coaster journey that involved my taking leave from my job and sitting by her hospital bed with my Mother. It was intense, draining, and the beginning of this blog (originally called ‘SpunkyGirl Monologues‘). Three months after we found her unconscious, she passed away from pancreatic cancer. Nine months after that I left my job to pursue my dream of long term travel.

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Travel Taught Me To Love Myself and Others

“Just try the new toilet seat, you’ll like it. I bought it because it is raised and you’ll be able to stand up with ease”, I explained calmly.

“NO!” Dad stated with a stubborn resolve that I know only too well.

“Look, if you have an accident because you couldn’t make it to the toilet I don’t mind cleaning up, but if you have an accident because you’re too stubborn to use the new toilet seat, I’m not cleaning up after you.”

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The Realities of Living with a Parent with Dementia

It’s 7:40 a.m. and I’ve barely slept. I’ve been awake for twenty minutes, and out of bed for roughly six.

“There’s something wrong with you!” my Dad says, angrily jabbing his temple and glaring at me with every ounce of energy he can muster.

I’m tired. Too tired to start the day this way.

My Dad has dementia, and unfortunately, this is the new normal.

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Passion Planning Tools, Tips, & Community


A couple weeks ago I wrote about four steps to embracing your passions:

  1. Brainstorm how you want to incorporate each passion into your lifestyle, ie: Passion: Food, eat healthy, learn new cuisine, etc.
  2. Make a plan of the different ways in which you’ll live your passions more fully, ie: Learn new cuisine: subscribe to food blogs that match cuisine, look for a local cooking class, pick a cookbook and try every recipe, etc. 
  3. Set a timeline for when you want to begin living your passionate lifestyle
  4. Work it! Start working on your plans now, learn what works and what needs to be tweaked. Make changes where necessary.

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Four Steps to Embracing Your Passions


Defining your passions can be a cathartic exercise. In many ways it brings them to life. No more hiding them in the corner, you’ve acknowledged their existence and it’s time to dust them off and make them all bright and shiny again.

Yay for sparkly shiny things to get excited about!

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Defining Passion


Pas•sion – any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling. 

A life filled with passion is the ultimate dream. It’s something many of us strive for, and too few of us achieve. Why? Simple, we let the worries, stress, and negativities of life seep into our brains where they slowly spread throughout our being as though we are suffering from a silent and deadly disease. A disease which, if we are not careful, can consume us.

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