Innovative Lifestyles

It's Easy to Buy Kava in Canada. I Wish I'd Known.

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Photo by Ryan

Obliger. Rebel. Upholder. Questioner.

Have you heard of these four tendencies? Even if you haven’t, you probably fit into one or more of them. I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s book of the same name, which details four major personality categories and how each one tends to respond to outer and inner expectations.

Most people fall into the Obliger category, which is described as someone who meets other people’s expectations easily but has a hard time meeting their own. There’s also Upholders, who like clear rules and work hard to meet both sets of external and internal pressures. Finally, the last two categories are Questioners and Rebels: the former resist outer expectations and would rather meet their inner ones, and the latter forgo both so they can do their own thing. Sound familiar? You can take the quiz here.


Understanding My Own Nature

I actually found that I’m a mash-up of both Obliger and Rebel. I’ve noticed that I typically respond positively to external accountability and expectations...until I don’t. It’s a weird tipping point where I like to do what others ask until I snap and start ignoring expectations completely.

Funnily enough, this tendency is how I ended up CouchSurfing in Vancouver, Canada, a few months ago. Even though I dislike being cold, the city of Vancouver had always piqued my interest, so when I got the opportunity to visit, I jumped on it. I was originally deciding between staying at a nice AirBnb or saving money by CouchSurfing—but when my husband suggested that I shouldn’t stay with complete strangers, that’s exactly when I knew I wanted to do it.

Kava is available in Canada

Looking for Kava in Vancouver

Eating shoreside in Vancouver, Canada

Common Ties

And so that’s how I found myself in the home of a kind Canadian couple for five days, exploring the best that the city has to offer. I slept on a mattress in their living room, I ate great food, I went sightseeing (I highly recommend the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park) - it was all great and it exemplified exactly what I love about the CouchSurfing community: how naturally and quickly you become friends with people.

Over beers during the second night, we started chatting about our jobs, goals, and habits—my favorite things to talk about—and we ended up swapping lots of recommendations. I wanted to show them the kava tincture that I normally keep in my purse, but I unfortunately discovered through a quick text exchange with my husband that I’d left it sitting on our dining room table, exactly in the spot where I had reminded myself to bring it.

I was bummed because I had wanted them to try it out. They had heard you couldn’t get kava in Canada because it was banned. Since I’d read so much about the benefits of kava, I was convinced otherwise, so I put my Googling skills to work to see what I could find.

Turns out kava was banned for import into Canada in August 2002 by Health Canada as a precautionary step: they had heard the reports that kava was associated with liver dysfunction and toxicity. However, consuming kava wasn’t illegal; it was recalled from stores and the government had issued warnings for consumers. All in all, it made sense that they thought it would be difficult to get.


Purchase Kava Online Legally in Canada and UK

The Universe at Work

The next thing I read, however, said that kava was obtainable for personal use if it were imported, so I thought I would see if I could simply buy it online. I ended up finding kava on Amazon and through a few other online retailers, but it seemed like shipping times would be anywhere from 3-10 days.

However, by sheer synchronicity, we passed by a health food store and boom, there it was! We  found NOW brand, Botanica, and Natural Factors which are all US brands. Tinctures, root powders, and pastes galore. Canadian based companies cannot import and sell kava but foreign companies can export kava products to be sold in Canada as long as it is only to private individuals—a funny little gift from the Universe, in my mind.

My new friends saw how excited I was for them to try it, and—in classic Obliger fashion—they bought it. Luckily, they ultimately liked the kava calm they experienced and even sent me a message the other week saying that they’ve passed on some of my recommendations to their friends, related to the four tendencies, kava, and more.


What do you think?

Since I always love it when people benefit from the same things I do, all in all, I feel like the trip was a positive experience. Even though I can sometimes see my personality type as frustrating, I felt like this is one of those times where my Obliger-Rebel tendencies ended up working out for the best.

Have you ever had a similar adventure? Which tendency are you? Share your experiences in the comments; I’d love to read them!

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About the Author

Brittany DeNovellis

Brittany DeNovellis

Brittany is a traveler, a reader, an entrepreneur, a food-lover, a runner, an artist, and a program coordinator currently living in Baltimore, Maryland. As a multi-passionate individual, she aspires to deepen her own self understanding so she can find ways to help others live meaningful lives. She's excited to share her forays into creativity, finding balance, and overcoming her worrier gene with the Innovative Lifestyles audience.

More posts by Brittany DeNovellis >
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