The History of My Travel Addiction
"There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – he took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost"
Replace "man" with "Canadian twenty-something woman" and you have a picture of me. I love to travel. I feel like my life revolves around the need to see as much of the world as possible. The destination doesn't matter, as long as I'm travelling and experiencing something new.
I was raised in southern British Columbia, Canada, and didn't leave my little corner of North America until I was 19. At that point I'd only been as far as neighbouring Alberta and Washington, but in 2005 the opportunity to take a month-long university trip to Spain came up and I just couldn't say no. Best decision I've ever made. It was my first time on a plane, and the first flight alone was ten hours long. But let me tell you, the feeling in my stomach as that first plane lifted off is something I'll never forget. And it's something I'll never tire of.
|A typical afternoon spent drinking sangria with the other students in Spain|
A few weeks after I returned from Spain I spent my 20th birthday in Las Vegas (lucky me I have older friends to buy me drinks and I'm not much of a gambler), a tradition I was happy to continue for the next five years.
|Hanging out with Hef in the Playboy mansion (ie Madame Tussaud's in Vegas)|
-see pyramids are made of rocks, and they were deposited by glaciation
-ohh so that's how it works. But Charlie said the aliens built them
(Geography humour at Palenque, Mexico)
|Hanging out with some of the youngest members of the Karen tribe in northern Thailand|
|About to enter a silver mine in Potosi, Bolivia|
A couple of months after the Jamaica trip I set off for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I was an intern at a women's rights organization. I figured I should do some good in the world rather than spending my life as a dirty backpacker (as much as I love that life). I spent three months as an intern as well as spending time with the kids at a children's home outside the city. I also had the opportunity to indulge my passion for tourism and work on the city's tourism website. After my internship I spent a month exploring Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. I went on safari in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, spent a weekend in Zanzibar, and got back to my dirty backpacker roots bussing on my own from Nairobi, to Mombasa, Lamu, Victoria Falls and everywhere in between. I truly fell in love with Africa on this trip, and I actually cried as the plane taking me home took off.
|Learning how to dance in Tanzania|
|Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska|
In another endeavour to get paid while travelling, I will be teaching English in Seoul, South Korea in January. I have never taught English before, but it's only a two week English camp so we'll see how it goes. Who knows, maybe this will be a recurring thing.
After that I will be heading back to Tanzania (yay!) where I will be interning again.
This urge to travel only gets worse the more I indulge it, and I can see that I shall be doing this the rest of life. If you are a traveller just starting out and you are anything like me, be warned: you are going to devote all of your time, energy and money to this new addiction, and you are going to love every minute of it