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Guest Blog: Jenalle Dion

Welcome Jenalle Dion of Jenny D's Remedies & Wakeful Travel
↟↟↟ Nelson, BC

We first met Jenny over the world wide web and connected quickly over our love of the Kootenays and outdoor lifestyle. We finally got to meet in person at Nelson's MarketFest in 2017. She is outgoing and so sweet! Since then, we've been in contact over Instagram regularly and she's been an enthusiastic supporter of Kootz Collective, which we appreciate so much. Her lust for adventure and entrepreneurial spirit is contagious and we are so pleased to have her sharing some of her thoughts here today on living the Kootenay life, world travel, mindfulness and her newest project - Wakeful Travel.

Read on to find out how this Nelson-based Boss Babe navigates a job and creative side projects while still getting outside to take in nature and be active.

Jenalle Dion wearing Kootz Collective toque in gold

Tell us about your life in the Kootenays...
(When did you move to the Kootenays / Where do you live)
I moved to the magical city of Nelson in January 2017! I had never been to Nelson before the move, but the mountains had always called to me.

What’s your favourite thing about Kootenay living?
The peaks and the people. I love how everyone you meet is stoked on adventure. I find that people here are super open-minded, welcoming and aware.

You’re outdoorsy, spiritual and love to travel…
Name your top hike in the Kootenays
I really love Whitewater Canyon and Jumbo Pass.

Your fave yoga pose
Eka pada rajakapotasana (one-legged king pigeon pose)


Best advice for living mindfully
Eat intuitively. Listen to your body and enjoy your food. Your body actually absorbs more nutrients from foods that you enjoy. Feeling guilty can put stress on the body, making digestion worse. So, eat the damn brownie!

What are some of your favourite sustainable products you use every day?That’s a tough one. I am a Routine* gal for life. Routine is a natural deodorant, locally made in the Rocky Mountains. For makeup, I use the concealer and liquid foundation from Sweet LeiLani which is a vegan brand made in BC. Both of these brands are packaged in glass or metal - saving plastic!

*We love Routine too! Check out our blog on Waste Free Living to read up on this Canadian-made product.

 

What’s your favourite international travel destination so far? (PS: Jenny had visited over 14 countries before turning 21!)
Old Bagan, Myanmar. I ventured to Myanmar in 2014 after exploring Thailand and Laos, and before heading to Vietnam and Cambodia. Originally, Bagan was home to over ten thousand pagodas, temples and monasteries. When looking out into the distance, there were at least 30 pagodas in any direction. To really soak in the beauty, my travel mates and I explored the area on bicycles, feeling like we were in a completely different world. It was pure bliss.

You are a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Give us a rundown on how you got started in this field.
When I was in Australia on a gap year, I pretty much just partied for eight months straight and gained a lot of weight. I didn’t feel healthy and I developed many problems in my body. I took an interest in holistic nutrition to not only get back into shape but to feel better emotionally and mentally.

I had first gone to college for hair styling. I remember looking at nutrition school online while I was supposed to be studying for a hair exam. Needless to say, hair just wasn’t my passion, so I ended up quitting my apprenticeship and buying a one way ticket to Bangkok!

When I arrived back home after nearly 5 months of backpacking, I decided to move to Edmonton. I then ended up enrolling to study at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.

Attending nutrition school really changed me in the best ways possible. I started to discover my spirituality and found myself absorbed in nutrition and mindfulness research. After graduating, I began taking on clients. I then became obsessed with self-development, entrepreneurialism and taught myself as much marketing as I could!


What lead you to the career path you have now?
I took an interest in writing and began collaborating with like-minded companies and bloggers. I really dove into promoting holistic nutrition, mindfulness, toxic- free living, and sustainability. And of course, I share this all on Instagram!

About 9 months into living in Nelson I applied at Retreat Guru. I actually applied for a support role and had no idea they were primarily a software company! I currently work in marketing and communications on the marketplace, which is a global retreat platform where people can search for their next wakeful experience.

Retreat Guru is a flat organization where everyone is entitled to make decisions. There are dogs running around the office, we meditate together every day, and there’s a yoga class once a week. There’s freedom to work from home, or, take a trip and work from there. Or, just take a trip because we have unlimited vacation time! We have the opportunity to attend company retreats and we sit in ceremony together too.

I can honestly say Retreat Guru has changed my life. When you get to speak with Buddhists, yogis, wellness practitioners and shamans every day, it can have a powerful impact. I also learn so much from my coworkers, who I consider family. The company’s vision is simple: To help more people have transformative experiences. And it just feels really f*cking great to feel so aligned at work… completely congruent with the lifestyle I strive to live.  

You are starting a NEW business and lifestyle venture, Wakeful Travel. Tell us all about it!

Yeah!! My brainchild, the Wakeful Travel Journal, is almost finished being designed! And I’m stoked, to say the least. This is a mindful travel journal where you can document 20 different trips, manifest new adventures, journal about experiences, record places to go and remember people you meet. There are rad art and colour therapy pages as well as grounding yoga posture drawings. The journal also includes mindfulness practices, sustainability tips and spiritual resources. It’s been a pretty fun project.

Who would want to invest in this journal?
The journal is catered towards backpackers, remote workers, wanderlusters and creatives. For travellers who are interested in self-development and personal growth. For people who care about the planet and prefer happiness over materials. It’s for those who say F*CK YES to adventure and F*CK NO to a boring life!

 

What’s the vision behind Wakeful Travel? When can we get one!?
To inspire adventurers to live a life they’re proud of, discover their radical true selves and make ethical choices while exploring the world.

I am going to be launching a Kickstarter campaign in October, so be sure to follow our journey!!

As an independent business owner & entrepreneur, what are some challenges you face? How do you overcome them?
Doing it all alone without a business partner can be lonely sometimes. I try to stay motivated with entrepreneurial books, podcasts and audiobooks. And when the momentum gets goin’, you just gotta fly fast with it!

I also make sure I am doing a lot of activities during the week to help balance out screen time and sitting. This could include practicing yoga, working out, climbing, hiking or playing slow-pitch. Getting out in nature is my medicine to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed.

I genuinely love my day job and my side projects. Is it weird that I LOVE working?!  

How do you balance your time between work, play, and relaxation?
I guess I am lucky that I have flexibility with work. On powder days, I am up at the hill in the morning, then back in the office at noon. With the sunny days coming up, I’d be stoked to soak in some vitamin D for a few hours at the beach and then later work in the evenings.

I’m a social butterfly and enjoy meeting new people. Learning to say 'no' took me a while after moving to Nelson as there’s ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON. I’ve learned to know my boundaries. I say yes to the things that will fuel my intentions and say no to the things that don’t. But I never say no to a good boogie when my favourite artist is in town either. We have our whole lives to work, right?


Can you share with us what/who motivates and inspires you?
I think helping people motivates me. That’s what wakes me up in the morning. It’s why I’m so passionate about my journal. If it can help one person -- whether it be remembering an amazing moment when they’re 80, or having a positive impact on their mental health or spiritual path -- I am happy.

As for humans who inspire me? Right now, I am really diggin’ Amber Rae’s book Choose Wonder Over Worry. I also am a huge podcast fan. I love Kyle Thiermann and Aubrey Marcus. They speak about spirituality in the coolest way possible and interview some epic leaders in the plant medicine and mindfulness space.

Quickfire Questions:
Favourite local spot to “get away from it all”
Rail trail, Taghum beach or a Pulpit Hike.

Best body of water in the Koots?
Little Slocan lakes!

Best eats in Nelly?
Can’t go wrong with an avocado taco and a ginger cardomon marg' at Cantina.

Vegetarian, carnivore or somewhere in between?
I was veggie for four years but recently started eating a bit of fish, turkey and chicken a couple times a week.

Book you are diggin’ right now?
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan.

If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would you be?
An owl… or some type of big jungle cat. Depends on the day, really.

Hot spring or hot tub?
Hot Spring!

Pow or apres?
BOTH.

Beer or ‘booch?
'Booch, but craft beer is great too.

Meditation or HIIT?
Yoga!

And finally, where can our readers find you?
I’m most active on Instagram @jennydsremedies. To follow along with my journal follow @wakefultravel. My website for Wakeful Travel isn’t quite done yet, but you can head to wakefultravel.com to enter your email and be updated when it’s live and when the Kickstarter is launched! 

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Interested in becoming a guest blogger on KootzCollective.com? Do you have a cool Canadian-made product or a local hidden gem to feature? We are looking for Kootenay, BC and Alberta-made products and services, travel photographers and outdoor enthusiasts, artists, entrepreneurs/mompreneurs. Contact us for details and inquiries. 

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