Yukon's Kluane National Park

Are you a Traveller or a Tourist?

If you dream of setting foot on distant shores, of strolling beneath foreign stars or if you can’t wait to pack a bag and leave behind the familiar and the comfortable, then you, kindred soul, are a traveler.

There are bits of me all over the world; nail clippings in Taiwan, hair in Oman and skin cells in over 82 countries. It’s not that I mean to leave a piece of myself wherever I go, but every place we travel is touched by our passing as we are altered by it. This is the life of a traveler.

There is a very big difference between a traveler and a tourist. A tourist is one who wants to do the same things they do back home, just in a different location. A traveler walks with respect and tries to experience that which makes their new destination unique. They talk to the locals, try new things, taste the food and learn a few phrases in a different language-they relish new experiences. Continue Reading →

St. Georges

Dancing the Night Away in Lalibela, Ethiopia

I was doomed from the very first moment I saw him.

It was late, the sky was inky black, and I was wandering alone through a sleepy village, lost. In Africa. Lalibela, Ethiopia to be precise. Oh so lovely Lalibela. I had ached to see Lalibela for years, a result of a couch bound weekend of pouting over lost love. The television, in an effort to console me, tempted me with pictures about not just Africa, not just Ethiopia, but LALIBELA. I’m not yelling, sometimes I feel like it deserves to be written in capital letters, and bowed down to. Continue Reading →

Lenin_Statue

Travelling to Transnistria and the U.S.S.R. Era

Transnistria is a breakaway territory in eastern Moldova and the Canadian government says is not overly wise venture this far. The United Nations doesn’t recognize it. Basically, if all hell breaks loose, you’re on your own. Upon entering Transnistria, you have to fill out some paperwork – basically the same form twice, one for you, one for the extremely cantankerous looking Russian military guy with a gun. It comes with a stern warning – you have 8 hours to visit, any longer and you will be arrested. Continue Reading →

Solo travel

The Truth About Solo Travel

When I announced my plans for a 2 month solo trip through Southeast Asia and Australia, I received mixed reactions. Some were very encouraging, cheering me on about how amazing my trip will be, how brave I was for doing it, and how they could never do that themselves. Others were taken aback, confused, asking me why? Aren’t you scared? Won’t it be dangerous?

While I know some people were just expressing concern, I resented that I felt I had to defend my choices. Probably what I resented even more was that those questions stirred up and triggered anxieties that I was already experiencing – an inner battle between self-doubt and a long held dream. The truth was, I was scared, I was apprehensive, I did ask myself, am I crazy? Can I really do this?

Turns out, yes I could – and you can too. Continue Reading →

JellyBeanRow

Long May Your Big Jib Draw! St. John’s, Newfoundland

  Newfoundland had long whispered my name. I can’t decide whether it was the foggy, jagged coastlines, bohemian-coloured homes, witty humour, or I-have-no-idea-what-he-just-said colloquialisms, but I got myself sucked right in. And yep, I even kissed a giant dead fish. I’m not exactly sure why, but I blame the Screech. Oh, the Screech. It was … Continue Reading →

Cuba

The Naughty Way to Catch a Havana Taxi

Thou shalt only take designated tourist taxis. That’s what my trusty guidebook had dictated in my pre-trip studies. For once I thought I might actually do some serious research on my destination prior to my arrival. I had never been to a communist country, my Spanish was limited to ‘dos cervazas, por favor’ and I was travelling solo. On day two of my trip, I left the well-highlighted, dog-eared guide in a taxi, all of my homework sped away into the streets, liberating me from such nonsense. Continue Reading →