November 15, 2015

I Say I Want a Revolution

wave I want to start a revolution. A non judgement revolution where people are free to define and live their own happiness.

North America is an extremely judgemental place to live. Who wore it better? Who has the best house? Who gained weight? Who looks younger? Who has the best job/partner/life? As a society we are consistently judging other people on how they live their lives. I am asking for your help, we have to make this stop.

Many of Hollywood’s top actresses have chosen not to have children and they fight a continuous battle of defending their choice. Opera, Ellen, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Kim Cattrall to name just a few. These are talented, driven women who have remained successful in an increasingly competitive and fickle industry. They have won awards, travelled the world, created empires, volunteered and donated millions of dollars yet continue to be asked if they feel incomplete for not having children. Why must they have children to be considered whole? It’s because it’s part of the recipe.

The recipethe North American ideal for success:

-go to post secondary

-get a ‘good’ job

-get married

-buy a house

-have children

-work hard


There you have it folks. Follow these simple steps and you too are guaranteed a life of happiness. While I do believe that this can be happiness for some, it is impossible to believe it is for EVERYONE. That is like saying there is only one recipe for dessert – vanilla cake. If you want dessert you must follow this recipe. That’s boring. People’s passions, dreams and interests are far to varied to be expected to fit into a one size fits all mold of happiness. Many are realizing this and are making their own adjustments to the recipe. The problem is when they deviate from the original they are judged by society.

A women in her mid thirties who did not go to post secondary, works as a server. She has been in the service industry for 15 years and is incredibly good at what she does. She has bought her own car, her own house and has an impressive financial portfolio. Despite all this people ask her when she is going to get a ‘real job.’ She loves her job, why is it not considered real?

Another women has her masters degree and a very successful career. She is exceedingly motivated and holds a position of someone at least ten years her senior. She owns her own house, her own luxury vehicle, and her own membership to a country club. She likes to travel for 2-20 weeks at a time. She is asked when she will ‘grow up’ and settle down and stop with the travelling. Why must she stop when it’s her greatest passion?

Another example, a twenty something, very successful young man works an incredibly challenging and thankless job with children and youth. He works hard and has forged ahead in his career with a rare combination of heart and determination. His job requires a level of giving that not many possess. He is scrutinized when he says he does not want to have children. He is called selfish and childish and told that he will change his mind someday. How is that fair?

A mother of two incredible girls, volunteers at her church, is extremely involved in her community and her children’s school as well as taking care of her house and large property. She is looked down upon when she answers stay at home home Mom to the question ‘what do you do?’ From six in the morning until ten at night she is working, investing everything she has into the future of her family. Sadly she is made to feel inferior to women with careers.

I am sure you have judged and have been judged. Neither one makes you feel good.

I am guilty of judgement. I used to question why anyone would get tired down to a 25 year mortgage, a life of debt for for some brinks and mortar? Why are they ruining their lives getting married so young? Why do you work so much? Why don’t you travel more? Judge. Judge. Judge. Judge. I finally realized that people do not want to live my life any more then I want to live theirs.

One way is not better than the other. That’s the thing about life, as long as you are happy living it it’s the right choice. We have to respect and appreciate the diversity of life without judgement. Everyone has their own path to forge and while you do not have understand or even like another’s path you do not have the right to condemn it for not being like the one you choose.

We need to stop trying to compartmentalize life. No one should ever have to hear “Why don’t you….

get married

have kids

get a ‘real’ job,

travel more/less?”

Happiness is subjective and is unique as our fingerprint. Embrace the diversity.

Will you join me on the revolution or are you going to eat vanilla cake forever?


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BoatWatching the sunset on a clear, calm night, the final rays shimmering on the bay waters. A glowing ball of orange disappearing behind the strong, rustic 500 million year old tablelands. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the natural beauty of the scene. This unique sight can only be seen from the water, which is why you need to get out onto Bonne Bay in a boat.

Bonne Bay is located in the heart of Gros Morne National Park and a tour of this beautiful bay is an exceptional way to see the park from a different viewpoint. Bon Tours offers multiple tours on their boat the EMM CAT. The Bonne Bay day tour is a two hour guided catamaran ride where you can explore and learn about the landscape of this UNESCO world heritage site. The tour guide is informative and interesting as he reveals the geological wonders that are abundant throughout the park. His humour and kind demeanor make him very approachable and demonstrate how much he likes to answer questions.

Before the boat even left the dock I went to the top deck, despite how windy it was. I love being on boats and I was not going to sit inside and look through a window the entire time. I stood on the deck, letting the cold wind blow through my hair and and took a deep breath of the salty air as we set out onto Bonne Bay, 

Every moment and every turn revealed another postcard-perfect scene. On our journey, someone spotted a pair of Bald Eagles perched on a nest. The captain brought the boat closer to shore so everyone on board could get a better look. We were then informed by the guide that the pair was about 30 years old and had been here for most of their lives. I thought to myself how smart these Eagles were, I have quickly realised what an incredibly place Gros Morne is, I don’t want to leave either.

The sunset cruise is a completely different experience from the day tour. If you have time, I highly Viewrecommend doing both. This tour starts with some informative pieces, but is more about the scenery and the music than anything else. Each cruise hosts a different musical guest, the melodies entice your soul as the sun sets over the tablelands. I have traveled to many countries in the world and I can honestly say that Newfoundland produces some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Watching the sky being painted a golden, pinkish hue while listening to live traditional Newfoundland music is an experience that will capture your soul the way this province captures your heart.

As I was leaning against the railing of the boat, appreciating the uniqueness of the sunset, I heard a splash. I turned to the tour guide with a look of confusion and concern, wondering if someone had fallen overboard. He quickly calmed me down by telling everyone on board that there were Minkes, a breed of small whale, playing just ahead of the boat. Observing these creatures jump and play in the water while the sun set behind them made me feel as though I had just walked into painting. That’s the thing about life, the moment you become in awe with the beauty around you, it adds one more detail that will absolutely take your breath away.

View-1Once the sun set it was time for the party to begin. Everyone made their way downstairs where the band and bar were waiting. As the boat pulled into the harbour, everyone on board was clapping, toe tapping, singing and jigging. A truly perfect night spent in Gros Morne, Newfoundland.

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November 26, 2015

Trading Turkey for Tapanade

Our Thanksgiving Table

Our Thanksgiving Table

I was in the middle of traveling through Europe with two of my most favourite friends; Kerry and Rosie. We had just landed in Barcelona, Spain and the small sea breeze, sizzling sun and 25 degree weather was being absorbed by our travel worn bodies.

The three of us rented an apartment in the Gothic Quarter, which is within walking distance to… everything. We were extremely lucky and got an apartment that had not one but two private balconies.The view overlooked the cathedral to the left and the harbour to the right. It was so beautifully calming, just what we needed after our nonstop foot trek exploration of Prague.

After an extraordinary day of discovering Barcelona, Gaudi, paella, and La Rambla. We sat in our stylish little apartment and discussed what we were going to do for dinner.

Oh My God!” Kerrie declared as she was reading her emails.

It’s Thanksgiving. I can’t believe we are away from home for Thanksgiving!”

As a traveler, with your world always on your back, constantly in the unfamiliar with no real time line to follow you can lose track of days rather easily.

Oh, it’s one of my favourite days all year… the turkey and stuffing… Oh the stuffing!!” Rosie exclaimed as her eyes grew wide.

It’s one of the only times all of my family is in one place,” Kerrie added with a sad smile.

I love walking through the forest with all the leaves changing colour and that slightly crisp fall air, then having a nap from the Turkey coma,” I laughed.

Each of us was quiet with our individual thoughts.

All three of us seemed to snap out of our Thanksgiving time travel at the very same moment with the very same thought. We would do Thanksgiving dinner Spanish style!

Off we marched to the nearest market where we bought different sliced meats and cheeses, fresh bread and crackers, olives and artichoke hearts, made guacamole and bought a couple different types of local wine. We set up a table on our balcony where we showcased all of the dishes and opened the wine.

It was a clear night and the black velvet sky opened itself up to the perfect, pure white moon. It was comforting to think that the very same moon was shinning over all our families and their thanksgivings dinners. As we sat under the night sky, on our private balcony, with a warm breeze in Barcelona, each of us said what we were thankful for:

Kerrie: “I am thankful for this food and wine we are about to enjoy. I am thankful for being able to see this incredible view, to feel the breeze on my face and smell the sea air. I am thankful to have met all the unique people we have on this trip and to have experienced all the adventures that we have. I am thankful to have a family at home waiting for me. I am thankful for awesome friends to share it with.”

Tara: “I am thankful I was born in a country that gives me the freedom to travel and see amazing things, like the view from this balcony. I am thankful I have a family that supports my travel addiction. I am thankful for having friends that love to travel, who have been supportive of my crazy ideas and who have loved me even when I made it hard to.”

Rosie: “I am thankful for having the ability to be able to travel Europe. To have seen things I never could have imagined existed. To wake up in the medieval looking, cloudy, damp Prague and a few hours later be in the hot, sunny, tropical Barcelona. I am thankful to have amazing friends to share this experience with, who pushed me to travel in the first place. I am thankful to have a fantastic family to go home and share the stories with. I am thankful I caught the travel bug!”


Our Private Rooftop Patio

Our Private Rooftop Patio

That’s the thing about life. When you actually stop, take a minute and say out loud what you are thankful for, you realize how rich you really are.

We talked and laughed, ate, drank and enjoyed our view for the rest of the night.

We realized it was not about where you were, or what you ate that made Thanksgiving Day so special, it was about being with people that you cared about, sharing food, stories, laughs and memories. It was about stopping for a moment and saying out loud that you are thankful. That is what makes this day so precious and why we all cherished it so much.

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Our Private Roof Top Patio
November 25, 2015

Monkey Around

monkeyYou learn a great deal when traveling; new languages, how to use the local public transportation, how to travel alone, and most importantly whether or not you can outrun a monkey. I can outrun a monkey and this is the story of how I found out.

I was travelling from Bangkok, Thailand, north to Chiang Rai on an Intrpeid tour. We had stopped at the Monkey Temple in Lop Buri. A monkey reserve where you could buy a bag of peanuts and feed the cute creatures. The monkey’s roamed around the sancuary freely and would come right up to you and eat the peanuts from your hand.

I was excited but also a bit nervous. I had heard a story from a girl the previous night whose friend had been caught in a monkey tourist trap. A man will be carrying a cute little monkey on his shoulder. When you stop and smile at this site, the man places the monkey on you and the creature uses you as it’s jungle gym. The man takes a picture of you and the monkey and expects money in return. As if getting caught in this trap wasn’t bad enough, the girl had been scratched by the monkey and had become infected. She had to be taken all the way back to Bangkok to get rabies shots. Not a cheap endeavour, the trip or the shots, and not the sort of travel adventure I wanted to experience.

So I devised a plan while at the monkey temple. I would kneel down and throw the nuts in front of me. This way the monkeys came close enough for me to see their cute furry faces but stayed out of scratching distance.

When we arrived at the temple there were three little monkeys on the roof of one of the buildings. The first one started to hang off the side of the building, then the second one climbed down and hung off of him and the third one did the same. They reminded me of the children’s game called the Barrel of Monkeys, where you pull out one little plastic monkey and use it to make a chain of plastic monkeys. It was so nastalgic, I had to take a picture.

I stood up and dug my camera out of my backpack. Being a bit too close to get all the monkey’s in the shot I started to back up while looking through my camera lens. Just a little farther and I would have the perfect shot. With one more step I realized that I had stepped on someone’s foot! I spun around to say my apologies and saw it was not a person but a monkey. A big monkey, the granddaddy monkey, and he was mad. He stood straight up on his back legs and growled deeply, exposing his huge barbed fangs. He raised his arms up in the air, let out a loud shout and then lunged for me.

I flew in the other direction, scared for my safety. I have never run this fast in my life, not for school, not to catch a train, not while training on the treadmill, not after Bon Jovi’s tour bus, never. I was just a blur, like the road runner but instead of beeping I was screaming.Angry Monkey in Thailand

My friend, who I had met on the tour was also in danger. She was in danger of dying of laughter at the site of me. After about 60 seconds the monkey lost interest in trying to kill me and went back to his peanuts. I was too afraid to turn around so kept running (and screaming) for another three minutes. That’s the thing about life, sometimes even the best layed plans can’t help you from running in fear.

My new friend found this whole sight so amusing she was unable to stand up and had joined the monkeys on the ground, who were now also laughing (monkeys like to copy humans). When I finally realized I was safe I stopped running and marched over to my ‘friend’ and gave her the same look the granddaddy monkey gave me.

Thanks for your help,” I said out of breath.

You looked like you had the situation under control,” she said standing up again.

He could have attacked me. There is no way I want to take a 12 hour bus ride back to Bangkok for rabies testing.” I told her trying to get her to see the serious nature of the situation.

If you ran like that you could be back to Bangkok in no time,” she said laughing again.

Where did I think I was running to?

Well at least you learned something,” she said

And what would that be?” I asked.

You can run faster than a monkey.”

We both couldn’t stop laughing this time.

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Angry Monkey in Thailand

Tablelands, NFLDThere are rare moments in time where life comes along and slaps us across the face. For me that was standing at the top of the bottom of the earth.

I was visiting friends in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were setting out to hike the Tablelands; a 1000 foot high rock formation of the Earth’s mantle that had been thrust to the surface millions of years ago during a tectonic plate collision. It has no clear paths or marked routes, we had to navigate the path of least resistance ourselves. My timing was perfect, it was August and the snow had just melted from the top.

The Tablelands consist of rough rocks, stones and boulders in a deep burned rust colour that seemed to glow against the powder blue sky. Equipped with my hiking boots and a backpacked filled with water and snacks we set out to conquer the ancient beast. Walking on rocks on an increasing incline is tricky. A few centimetres of a miss mark and you have rolled your ankle. Each step must be mindful and requires consent concentration. After a few hours of this my feet were throbbing, my lungs were raw and I was certain I was about to collapse. Yet my two feet and stubborn perserverance continued to carry me forward. I was focused, determined to reach the top, to prevail over nature, to be a success. I was so engrossed in reaching my destination that I almost missed the beauty of this incredible journey. Because of the toxic amounts of heavy metals in the rocks not much vegetation can grow on the tablelands. It is how I picture Mars looking; rust coloured dry rocks covering everything, barren landscape, cool air and not a soul in site.

When we finally reached the top I lost my breath, not from the climb but from the shear, raw beauty before me. I was literally in awe. I was witness to all of Gros Morne. The lush green rolling hills falling into the dark blue sea. The barren valley below from which I climbed and only the clouds above me. Unable to speak or move I let the beauty of the place surround me. All of the pain and fatigue faded away in a fog that the cool air took down to sea. It was difficult to catch my breath as I realized I was standing on something that was UNDER the ground millions of years ago. I knelt down to pick up one of the jagged rocks that had been my nemesis for the past four hours. This little piece of peridotite had been around since the dinosaurs. That’s the thing about life, in the moments when you least expect it, it suddenly makes you feel very small. Like a tiny grain of sand in the hour glass of time.

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November 7, 2015

Turkey is Calling

TurkeyIt was 5:15am and I sat straight up in my bed. What was that? What is going on? Where am I? As the realm of sleep evaporated from my tired body and reality started to set in, I realized I was in my hotel room in Istanbul, Turkey.

I had arrived at 4:00pm after a very long journey and was looking forward to an early night and plenty of peaceful sleep. My silent slumber was just that, peaceful until about three minutes ago when I was abruptly awoken by this noise!

What was it?

I rubbed my eyes and tried to get my jet lagged brain to focus. Oh, of course it was the call to prayer.

Turkey is a 99% Muslim country and each day the Muslims are called to prayer. The prayer is announced out in a song-like voice over loud speakers attached to every Mosque or prayer hall and is heard five times a day: early morning, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening.

As you are exploring a country so rich with history, the call to prayer enhances the ancient atmosphere. Although I had no idea what they were saying I  found it to be very beautiful. I sat there in my darkened room thinking about what devotion the Turkish people had, five times a day! Muslims believe that by offering their prayers five times a day, it strengthens their beliefs, purifies their hearts and prevents temptation. The call to prayer plays an important role in the every-day life of devout Muslims and goes like this:

Allaahu Akbar (4 times) Ash’hadu an laailaaha illallaah (two times) Ash’haduannd Muhammadan-rasulullah (two times) Haya ‘alas-salaah (two times) Haya ‘alal falaah (two times) Allaahu Akbar (two times) Laa ilaaha illallaah

Roughly translated, this means:

Allah is the Most God I bear witness that there is no God but Allah I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah Come to prayer Come to the good Allah is Most Great There is no God but Allah (After the early morning prayer they also say twice: Prayer is better than sleep)

As my nine days in Turkey passed, I came to realize that the call to prayer was not intrusive like I thought it would be. It was beautiful and peaceful and reminds you that no matter what religion you are or what you believe in, you should take time each day to be thankful for what you have.

I wanted to take the call to prayer home with me so all the people who run around every day uttering ‘FML(F*#k My Life)’ for every small inconvenience that happens to them could get a slap in the face five times a day. YOU ARE LUCKY! Stop complaining and be happy for all that you have!

If I could bring the call to prayer home, would people still zip past each other on the streets engrossed in their smart phones? Knocking into each other without even pausing to acknowledge it. When the call rang out, would they stop to make eye contact with one another and realize they are not alone in this world? I would not be asking everyone to believe in Allah or God, just in each other; to stop and take a breath five times a day. That’s the thing about life, it moves so fast if you don’t pause and take a deep breath every now and then you may end up missing it.

When I was reading about the call to prayer I thought it would be the thing I disliked most about Turkey. Incredibly, it turned out to be the one thing I wished I was able to take home. I felt like it was a part of me, the prayer was entangled with my soul.

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iStock_000001416576XSmallWe stood holding our backpacks on the old cobblestone streets of Amsterdam. It was late in the evening and we were all alone except for the young girls in the glowing red windows and the live sex show promoters attempting to entice us in.

Pay once, stay all night!” they shouted.

I stood frozen, staring up at the hostel I had been so proud of finding online, which was situated right in the middle of all of this seedy action.

Trying to be cost effective travellers, my friend Kristi and I decided to take the Chunnel bus from London to Amsterdam. Twelve hot, claustrophobic hours later we arrived. It was eight thirty at night and we awkwardly stumbled out of the bus like half sleeping zombies into the Amsterdam bus station. All we had to do now was find a cab to get to our hostel that sounded perfect, close to everything.

Ok Ladies!”

I was jolted out of my dreamy state by our cab driver opening the door of the cab to let us out. I swung my legs out of the taxi and stepped down onto the cobblestone street. This is one of my favourite things about Europe ~ the cobblestone streets. They make me feel as though I have stepped back in time. I try to imagine all of the people who have walked on these same streets before me; a merchant pushing his cart, a knight riding his charger into battle, a Romeo and Juliet meeting in secret. My dreams of the past where broken apart by the screeching tires of our kind cab driver speeding away.

As our backpacks lay on the ground looking as lifeless as we felt, our fatigued brains were slowly trying to process where exactly we were. Kristi’s brain sorted it out first.

We are staying in the red light district?!?!?”

No, this could not be right. We did not belong in a place like this, we were nice girls. We scooped our lifeless bags off the cobblestone street and with as much energy as we had left in us we ran into our hostel.

As Kristi slammed her bag down on the white prison looking cot beside mine, she asked me what we were going to do about our red light situation. We decided that it was too late to do anything and in the morning we would switch to a more appropriate part of Amsterdam. We then did the only reasonable and logical thing to do after twelve hours in a hot tin can and finding out you are staying in the most famous red light district in the world. We went to find a pub.

We ventured down our cute cobblestone street trying not to make eye contact with the women in the glowing red windows. As we walked past the live sex show beside our hostel, a tall, skinny man with jet black hair tried to get us to go in.

Ladies, one ticket gets you five drinks.”

Keep your head down and keep walking,” I whispered to Kristi.

We have bananas,” the promoter declared proudly.

We walked faster.

What? You don’t like bananas?”

We dove into the first pub we could find which was only a few steps from our hostel. As we walked in all of the heads in the place turned to look at us. Kristi and I immediately turned and looked behind us to see what everyone was looking at. We then realized that they were looking at us, and ‘they’ were all men. After the day we had I did not care if the pub was full of Mohican warriors, I needed a drink. When we ordered our drinks the barman asked who we were here with, Kristi and I innocently pointed to each other.

Just the two of you?” he asked in his thick Dutch accent.

Nodding we wondered why this seemed to be such a big deal. He raised his eyebrows almost saying now I have seen everything and turned to finish his conversation in Dutch with the overweight grey haired man at the end of the bar.

As we started to chat with some of the locals, we learned that females to not often come to the red light district without a man, and they most certainly do not stay in the red light district. I then informed them that we are not like most females and we would in fact be staying. That’s a problem of mine, I thrive on a challenge, especially after no sleep and a few pints.

In the clear light of day, everything looked different. It was not scary and sketchy, it was Amsterdamjpgbeautiful and enchanting. Canals separated the two sides of the street bonded every so often by a bridge. Tall, narrow brick buildings that looked like they belonged in a pop up book lined the cobblestone streets. Kristi and I were delighted to find that it was in fact just a short walk to everything. Ann Frank’s house, the Dam Square, all the museums we wanted, as well as beautiful parks and many, many cafes.

One of the highlights of my time in Amsterdam was visiting Ann Frank’s house. I knew who Ann Frank was before I went to the museum but I had no idea what an incredibly strong, intelligent, positive person she was. The museum is the house that she and seven others hid in during the Nazi occupation. You can stand in the small room that was her world for two years. All throughout the house are quotes from her diary, her only outlet for her fears, beliefs and dreams. I stood in front of one, reading it over and over:

We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.”

What a profound and honest statement from someone so young in the middle of something so horrific. Shame on me for judging the red light district and its people with a single glance! For thinking I was so different from them!!! Did they not just want to be happy too?

The women were still in the windows during the day, as we were returning from Ann Frank’s house. But with the glow of the sun outshining the red lights it no longer looked so seedy. This time I looked up and made eye contact with one of the girls. Her smile was genuine and her eyes were kind. She was a bit younger than me, maybe 21, and I wondered if I had met her outside of the crimson window if we might have been friends. My mind began to open to this district of Amsterdam and I realized I was wrong to judge something I knew nothing about. That’s the thing about life, if you begin to pass judgement after only a glance, you will miss out on much of the amazing it has to offer you.

By the end of the four days, we were known on our street as ‘the girls.’ Bar owners greeted us with hugs and promises that if anyone gave us a hard time, they would be taken care of. The sex show promoters would wish us well as we walked by,

Where to tonight ladies? Have fun!”

The girls in the windows would smile and wave as we walked by. We felt safe and comfortable in our new little world but also sad that we would be leaving in the morning.

Hank (we had learned what our hostel clerks name was) called us a cab the morning we left. As he put our backpacks in the trunk, I stood beside the cab looking at the place that had been our home for the last four days. How different it looked this time. I told myself that from now on I was not to judge a place until I have walked a mile on its cobblestone street.

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November 2, 2015

World’s Best Souvenirs

SignWhile traveling to a new destination you always want to bring home a really great souvenir. Something that reminds you of your time in that place that you will keep and cherish forever. The following are my top three must have souvenirs. Wherever in the world you are traveling make sure you return home with each of these to remember how amazing your trip was.

New Friends

~ The people you meet while traveling are the soundtrack to your trip, they add the magic to the ordinary by sharing their life and experiences with you. The locals who welcome you into their country ease your anxieties with a warm smile and kind words. These people share their stories, memories, time and knowledge so you not only see the beauty of the country but the beauty of it’s people. Information from the local people can help you navigate your new surroundings and find ‘off the beaten track’ places that make a place unique and interesting. It is often these experiences that are the most memorial of the trip.

                                                                    ~ The fellow travelers that you meet also make amazing new friends. Travelers seem to have an instant bond with one another. The first questions they ask are: where have you been? and where are you going? From there the friendship begins. Being away from home in unfamiliar territory, thirsty for new experiences makes travel friendships happened at an accelerated pace. As adults in our regular non-traveling lives it takes a great deal of time for many of us to form new friendships. The kind of friendships where you would let a person stay at your house, even if you are not home and with whom you share your most vivid dreams. As travel writer Tim Cahill said;

A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.”

While I was traveling alone in Australia I met four English girls who adopted me as their fifth member. We journeyed together up the east coast for three weeks and when it was time to say goodbye it was a tearful scene. I couldn’t imagine these girls not being a part of my life. They understood a part of me that even my oldest friends back home did not. Although you only know these new friends for a relatively short amount of time, a week or maybe a month, you know you will be friends for life. They shared an experience with you. Even though these friends are not a part of your everyday life they are a part of your soul.

New you

~ Traveling changes you. Experiencing intense beauty, raw nature, the incredible strength of the human spirit. You will never be the same. It opens your mind to new cultures and customs. You begin to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Ideas and notions that were once unwavering and immutable begin to waver and change. You learn new things, not only about where you are but about who you are. That’s the thing about life, every experience you have, person you meet, story you hear and beauty you see alters you slightly. You do things you never imagined you would ever do. In the words of author Miriam Beard;

Travel is more then seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

New Home

~ You see the place you call home in a new light after traveling. Whether it be culture shock or just a massive appreciation of what you have, your world at home looks a little different when you come back. After backpacking for months, staying in dorm hostels and never having a moment of privacy, your small bedroom suddenly appears to be paradise. A tiny part of the world that wraps itself around you and calls you home.

After returning home from Asia and seeing how little the people had there I saw for the first time how much ‘stuff’ I had. I went on a complete overall and began bagging things to donate, only the basics survived. How had I not seen all of these unnecessary things before? It is amazing how it took going half way around the world for me to see my home clearly. To truly appreciate all I already had.

No matter when or where you travel, these three souvenirs will always come home with you. So stop worrying about the perfect thing to buy yourself, you found it already in the friends you met, the change you made in yourself and the appreciation of home when you return. So while you are bartering in the markets of the world for that token of your travels remember that the best souvenirs are not carried in a backpack but in the soul.

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November 1, 2015


imagesI feel the need to clarify something. A few people have commented on the fact that I am on a path that is doomed to fail. I am looking for perfection in a date and perfection does not exist. I feel that I have sent you the wrong message. I am not looking for the perfect man. If I was I was would be waiting for a man who looked and moved like Channing Tatum, spoke like Colin Farrell, wrote like Ernest Hemingway, sang like Bon Jovi and was a pilot. I’m not.

What I am waiting for is a man who is worth it. I am a very rare breed in my gender, I LOVE being single. I would (and have) chosen to be single over being in a relationship any day. I do know that travelling down this road of life is easier with a partner but for me to give up my singledom it is going to take someone spectacular.

That is what I am doing. I am holding out for spectacular. He doesn’t have to be drop dead gorgeous or be a pilot or have a PhD. He just has to make being in a relationship with him more fulfilling then my pretty awesome single life. That’s the thing about life, it’s better with a shot of spectacular.

So if it seems like I am being picky it’s because I am. I deserve to be. I think every one should be a little more picky instead of settling into a relationship because it’s safe, comfortable and convenient.

I am not waiting for the perfect man. I am holding out for one that I think is spectacular and worth abandoning the amazing place I currently live called single.

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