Change it up!

After 9 months, 8 countries and a lot of coconuts, it was time for a break.  Being an avid traveller isn’t any easy task. It takes patience, energy, and continual navigating. It takes research, browsing, smart judgment and intuition. While countries are vastly different, the drill is the same. You research safety, plan a rough itinerary, apply for appropriate visas, book flights, find a hotel, pack a bag and get to the airport. Go check-in, make your way through customs, get a quick bite and wait at the gate. Ultimately, being on the move, takes work. It’s the same drill, different country. How am I going to survive today? Where will I sleep? What will I eat? How much money will it cost? Things don’t just get handed to you on the road. You need to be alert, aware of your surroundings, and mindful of a plan. When organizing travels independently, there’s no shortage of administrative tasks to be done. After so many days, so many pillows, so many reviews, so many trains, buses, and planes, travelling can feel more like a chore, than an exciting adventure. Jack and I hit our threshold around the same time my sister informed us that she’s getting married at the end of August. Call it fate, but coming home for a breather couldn’t have come at a better time. Summer in Canada? I think, Yes!

Routine, work & purpose

Routine is a hard thing to find on the road. When you hop around from one place to the next, it’s difficult to predict, plan and execute any kind of regular activity. I’ve often found that too much routine can be a bit boring, tedious and disenchanting. However, the more I travelled, the more I realised how much I actually enjoy having some kind of fixed program in my day-to-day life. Especially around sleeping, eating and exercise. Sure it sounds basic, but once it’s taken away, you see how much it affects you. Going back to Canada for the summer would offer an environment where we could easily sustain a routine. Both Jack and myself lined up seasonal jobs, moved into my parent’s house, and instantaneously started regular duties. Our intention was to bring back some much needed balance, revive our appreciation for travel, earn some extra cash and spend time with family and friends.

Living in Bruce County

I grew up in Walkerton, a small town of 5000 people, about 2.5 hours north west of Toronto. I moved away at the age of 18 for University and hadn’t moved back since. While I made frequent visits home for holidays and family functions, it’s been a whole 10 years since I’ve actually lived there. For anyone who has experienced the culture in Bruce County (an area of scattered towns including Walkerton) knows it to be a pretty unique place. I can’t go for a walk across town, or into the grocery store, LCBO, or gym without running into someone I know. With a small community, comes familiar faces of people who know you, your family, your Mom’s maiden name and what sports you were once good at. People are seemingly less stressed out, and not in any hurry to get from A to B. They’re polite, take their time, and show courtesy and kindness on a regular basis. People are happy to offer you a ride, invite you for dinner, buy you a beer, cut your grass, walk your dog, or watch your house while you’re away. It’s apparent that many people living in small communities (like Walkerton) maintain a peaceful existence. Admittedly, I find that the area is lacking in diversity, and options are fairly limited. However, I can still acknowledge the many reasons why I fondly remember my childhood, youth and early adulthood. I simply wouldn’t be the same person without these small town years. Being back, reminded me of that.

Revitalized & ready to go!

Summer in Canada was an absolute treat. It’s a stunning country with fresh air, clean water, open roads, and beautiful landscapes. I immediately felt a sense of home when I first spotted a collection of cedar, maple, and blue spruce trees. Nostalgia is written all over the place with its smells, familiar spots, friends and memories.  There’s nothing like going back to your roots. However, summer has ended, fall has begun, and the travel bug has hit me. It’s time for a change.

What’s next?

Jack and I have spent the past few weeks preparing for our next adventure. We bought a cheap Van, got it fixed it up, took over ownership, and put on new plates. We are now proud owners of a 1996 Plymouth Voyager. We’ll be throwing a mattress in the back, and taking these wheels across the United States over the next 2 months.  We are also creating some new content and material around our travels that we’ll be sharing soon. Stayed tuned for further announcements.

Blog entries coming up: Travel Tips – Vietnam & Thailand

Thanks for reading!