Your next weekend adventure is officially sorted, Ottawa. Unexpected Journeys is a locally owned business offering one day, self-guided surprise adventures that explore the Ottawa area—all within 30 minutes to an hour from downtown. With an emphasis on exploring the rich and diverse landscapes surrounding the city, Unexpected Journeys allows you to see Ottawa with a fresh set of eyes, taking you to five different locations all curated by owner and experience-designer, Jennifer Sloan.
Each journey has a unique feature that highlights the self-guided tour, with options such as Wonderful Waterfalls and Lookouts and Bridges, Rapids, and Trails, giving you a small peek into your destination before purchasing. In the descriptions for each journey you’ll find all the relevant information you need to decide if the adventure is right for you, including a general direction and what type of group the package has been curated for (i.e. couples, co-workers, families).
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of these curated explorations is the element of surprise, “You don’t know where you’re going until the journey begins, and each stop is a mystery,” Sloan explains, “along the way you will open 5 different notes, each one leading you to the next destination and filled with information about that location. At each stop there are optional bonus activities, delicious restaurants and beautiful shops for you to discover as well”. These optional recommendations highlight locally-owned small businesses that fit the theme of the journey, and Jennifer includes accommodation options, should you choose to turn your day trip into a weekend-long adventure.
Unexpected Journeys is built fundamentally upon a deep appreciation for nature, and the goal of establishing connection, to both the people and places around you, “each journey is a chance to get out with someone that you love and spend an amazing day together creating some lasting memories, because life really is as much about the journey as it is the destination” Sloan states. “We did the first of several Journeys that we purchased and we were thrilled!” writes Facebook reviewer, Danielle, “…it’s amazing what we can discover just an hour away from our place – we had no idea some of those places existed.”
After taking an early retirement from her 28-year long teaching career amidst the pandemic closures last year, Jennifer turned her focus to her passion for curating adventures, “I always like to give my partner experiences as gifts,” Sloan states, “one day he commented[…]that I should think about doing it for other people, and it just took off from there.” As a proudly Canadian and Indigenous-owned business, Unexpected Journey’s aims to get you exploring the lesser known places that make-up the Ottawa landscape—while appreciating the natural world through a carbon neutral approach.
A portion of the proceeds from each purchase from Unexpected Journeys goes to Tree Canada, a non-profit organization that aims to create a greener country through tree planting initiatives, education, and research. To learn more about the journey packages offered, check out the website at www.unexpected-journeys.com