The storm before the calm….

A few people said to me recently that when a trip starts off badly it means that the rest of it will be fabulous. I think those same people believe that rain on a wedding day means good luck as does getting shit on by a bird. I don't really believe in old adages or luck or whatever you want to call it, but I'm quite content to go along with this train of thought since the start to my summer adventure was brutal with a capital 'holy shit, how much more can I take'?! Without going through the whole mess of a journey to get to Asia, let's just say that one "little" mistake by Air Canada set in motion a cancelled reservation, a missed flight, multiple missed connections and eventually the harsh realization that the type of ticket I purchased stipulated that missing the first leg meant my [...]

By | June 5th, 2016|

Do What Scares You

We’re all afraid of something even if we’re too afraid to admit it, which by proxy means we are afraid. I can admit that my list of fears includes both the rational and the somewhat irrational. I’m scared of centipedes, flying, liars, driving in the snow, and people who don’t swear – not necessarily in that order. By far my biggest fear, however, is heights. A common one for many, a fear of heights can vary in terms of severity and rationality. Acrophobia is at the extreme end of the spectrum where sufferers are prone to panic attacks and severe anxiety whereas a fear of falling is at the other end of the spectrum which describes those with a natural degree of fear but one that doesn't impede doing things from up above. I probably fall somewhere in the middle; I can climb mountains, and I frequently fly, but I would rather eat broken glass [...]

By | November 1st, 2015|

A Hard Landing

As I sat in the airport for the world's longest and most painful layover, beset with thunder, lightening and flash flood warnings threatening to make it even longer, I actually contemplated if this trip was a good idea. I'm usually in such a good head space as I embark on an adventure of such magnitude; I actually can't remember a trip where I wasn't. However, this was by far the worst head space I've ever been stuck in as I left the real world for a temporary but nomadic one. I generally relish in airport layovers. While most people hate them, I love the people watching and being able to eavesdrop on the interesting, funny and even annoying lives around me just as much as I like the jittery feelings of anticipation I get during the wait for whatever trip I'm taking. But this time I spent much of it staring at [...]

By | June 1st, 2015|

Pushing Forty with a Backpack

Don’t know about you, but months before a trip abroad, I feverishly scour travel books and websites for places to go, where to stay, what I’m going to see, and what I can do to scare myself. As excited as I get, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be able to do it with the same gusto as I did the year prior. Will I hear bones creaking as I climb a mountain? Will I throw my back out sleeping on a paper thin mattress with a flimsy pillow? I certainly hope not, but I'm starting to question....when will age catch up to me on the road? I say when as it’s bound to happen sooner or later, despite what I like to think of as my zest for life rivalling those 20 years younger. I’m certainly not old by any stretch. I’m only thirty-fricken-eight, but in the backpacking [...]

By | March 15th, 2015|

Kissing Traditional Hotels Goodbye

I’ve never understood why some people travel to see the world and spend more time in their hotel room than actually seeing said world. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never wanted to spend too much money on accommodations - because I want to see so little of it. For me, as long as it’s safe and clean and in a good location, I’m good to go. I usually do what I refer to as, "the-not-too-ghetto-hostel-thing", which could be described as half hostel, half hotel. I think my days of dorm hostels with the flurry of noises and smells from who-knows-who are over. On the other hand, I’m not ready for the fancy schmancy resort either – not because I wouldn’t like that sort of thing; I guess I just don’t care about it since I’d rather spend my time and money on things to see and do. Nowadays, it’s nice to know that there [...]

By | March 2nd, 2015|

My Bucket List

I think having goals and dreams is important in life, imperative in fact. How else can you strive to be better, to do better? So as a proud travel junkie, adventure enthusiast, humanitarian and lover of cultural differences, it's no wonder that many of my goals and dreams have to do with where I can go and what I can do. I know I won't be able to do all of these in 2015, perhaps not even half. However, I know I WILL do them all at some point. In the meantime, they give me something to look forward to, something to dream about. And believe it or not, this is my short list and in no particular order.     What's on yours?

By | March 1st, 2015|

Africa by the Hand

When the conversation of travel comes up over cocktails and I get ready to launch into my African adventures, I'm usually asked the questions that immediately kill the buzz... “Alone in Africa?! Weren’t you scared?! Wasn’t it dangerous?!” As a look of disappointment parks itself on my face, I can’t help but blurt out something to the effect of “That’s what you took from my story?!” Even more surprising is that the answer is usually “ummm, yeah.” Well, the short answer is no. The long answer is sometimes. And they are both true. After the last  of such conversations, I got to thinking about my time there and what exactly it is about Africa that has affected me so profoundly. The media persistently portrays it as unruly and dangerous and rugged and its people as destitute and helpless and indolent. However, I have seen its beauty and felt its warmth in ways that have drowned out the stereotypes and trite inaccuracies, which has allowed me to [...]

By | February 22nd, 2015|

My First Hater!

Since launching my blog a few months ago, I have loved every minute of it. Sure, the building of it caused great stress and profanity to spew from my pores, but now that it’s done and up and on the go, it’s been amazing. I’m learning a ton about the blogging world, the importance of self-promotion (which I’m SO not good at) and the discipline needed to write my little head off all the live long day. This week I wrote a blog post Why Every Woman Should Travel. Alone, which was definitely the first one to receive a substantial amount of views, shares, and comments. Seeing it gain traction and be shared on social media was like watching that little mountaineer on The Price is Right climb and yoddle his way to the top of the mountain and the big prize. It was a winner! And reading all the heartfelt [...]

By | February 7th, 2015|

Why Every Woman Should Travel. Alone.

I’m not always adventurous. I tried my first yoga class about three weeks ago. I’m afraid to eat ham because it reminds me of a dog’s tongue, and if it were up to me, I would still own a VCR. But there are some things that I do with gusto and gonads which surprises people, the main one being that I travel. A lot. Abroad. And alone. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been looked at as a bit of a rebel. No, not in an Easy Rider type of way, but if I was told one thing, I generally did the opposite. So it probably isn’t a surprise that well into adulthood I’m the same, especially when it comes to travel. I don’t mind travelling with other people, but I often prefer to go it alone and to places that many people wouldn’t. I understand the general concern for those [...]

By | February 2nd, 2015|

All That Baggage…

On my most recent trip abroad, I found myself at one of the worst airports I've ever been to for an extended layover. It was dirty and chaotic and most of the people I encountered were not the...'happiest', let's just say. It got me thinking, what is it about airports that brings out the very best and worst of humanity? On one hand, you've got people saying goodbye, greeting loved ones, anticipating adventures and looking forward to making memories of a lifetime. However, on the other (not-so-attractive) hand, you have people who behave as if they were born in a barn or that their precious time is so much more valuable than everyone else's. Oddly enough, I've long since loved airports in a weird way. They are each like a little sociological study just waiting to be done - like a microcosm for the world at large. You see a [...]

By | January 24th, 2015|