I can say with all certainty that being a shy child taught me to be a careful, confident solo traveller once I reached adulthood. Something you will only understand if you have ever been one of those people who is terrified of everything is that the whole of life can sometimes seem like an exercise in calculated risk taking. Every word that passes your lips is an exercise in not stuttering; every set of stairs you walk down is an exercise in not falling; every foray out of your front door comes with the utterance of a prayer that you…

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Oh the relief when you’ve flown long-haul and you finally reach your destination. For me in Montreal, this meant the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont — which sitting literally on top of the city’s central station, smack bang in the middle of the downtown area and seemingly within walking distance to everywhere of note was surely the perfect location for a first-time visitor. I arrived in my room to discover that I had actually had four rooms, which for the sake of factual accuracy I should really refer to by its proper name: a suite. A bowl of fruit, a welcome card…

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Here are the top five things that I loved about the city of Montreal. 1.) Notre-Dame Basilica If you see one thing in Montreal, make it the Notre-Dame Basilica in the old town. I honestly had no idea that churches that looked like this existed outside of Europe. Built in the gothic revival style, the church was originally erected in 1672 in stone, but eventually became too small, so was rebuilt. Rather than depicting religious tales, the stained glass windows show important events from Montreal’s history, which is no surprise given that the building plays such a central role in…

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