I travel alone.
I, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a partner – I travel alone. I travel alone because I can. I travel alone because I come from a free and beautiful country that gives me the freedom to travel around the world alone. I don’t have to be accompanied by a man, or by anyone at all. Not all women are so free as to have this privilege, I know. Which is why I so passionately, so gratefully travel solo: I have an opportunity that so many women in the world are denied.
When I told my friends and family I was setting out on this long journey to travel the world alone, they were supportive, excited and of course, a little worried. But they knew I was a strong, smart woman. Others who didn’t know me so well weren’t so sure. In fact, the only thing they were sure of was that I was going to be assaulted, or murdered, or robbed, or raped. Or all of these things. Yes, people said these things to my face. “You’re going alone? To those countries? That’s so dangerous and reckless of you, what must your father think?”.
To which I sadly smiled and asked them, ‘Do you know how many people are victims in our little hometown of all of those atrocities each year? How many people are victims of these injustices in Canada each year? Home can be just as dangerous as abroad. I just have to travel smart and safe”. Continue reading
I put myself through the torture of yet another night bus from Oslo to Helsingborg, Sweden, but for good cause: I was on my way to visit my dearest Kajsa, the little Swedish one that I met within my first two weeks of travel in Guatemala on a boat (read about our first grand adventure together HERE!). We spent the next two and a half months discovering Central America together. From a 40 hour bus journey through Guatemala down to Costa Rica, to becoming certified scuba divers in Honduras; from zip lining in the Costa Rican canopy to learning acro yoga together on the shores of Lake Atitlan; from catching waves surfing in Nicaragua to dancing the nights away at music festivals on the western shores of Costa Rica; from falling off trees in the Costa Rican cloud forest to playing in the waves in Uvita; from watching the sunrise over Laguna de Apoyo to climbing volcanoes in Leon; from practicing henna on each other to swinging naked into the local swimming hole together: this girl and I found kindred spirits within each other and were inseparable. Continue reading
I came to Norway to meet my pen-pal from 16 years past (read about this amazing experience HERE!), and after a beautiful few days together, I set off to explore just a little of Norway before heading East to Sweden to visit another dear friend. After hugs and frantic waves goodbyes and endless thanks, I boarded my night bus and I was off, on the road yet again. It was so warming, so rejuvenating to spend some quality time with such a loving family, it felt like food for my soul. I snuggled in on the bus as best I could and tried to catch a few hours sleep while I headed Northwest to Ålesund, a coastal town near Geiranger, the fjord I was interested in seeing. I had daylight the last two hours of my bus ride and stared wide eyed out the window at the stunning landscapes we were driving through. We were near the coast and curving through winding roads, and under the ocean in tunnels.The mountains towered above us and I felt the excitement bubbling up in me. Continue reading
You should grab yourself a nice steaming cup of coffee, maybe a baguette and some butter, or perhaps a croissant from your local bakery, turn on some Charles Aznavour and enjoy the next few minutes as I take you on a little trip through the romantic streets of sweet, sweet Paris.
When I was in Argentina, I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful soul Stéphanie and we spent the day exploring Igauza falls together with some other lovely friends. We kept in touch, and when I was on my way over to France, she generously invited me to come and stay with her in Paris. She was currently in between jobs so she also offered to show me about the beautiful city herself – how spoiled I am! My plan was to sort of skim through Paris on my way up towards Norway, but I ended up spending four days instead of two because there was simply so much to see, and I was having such a lovely time with Stéphanie! Continue reading
Cuenca, Ecuador, was a city that I had heard much about, but never made it around to on my first time through Ecuador, mostly due to the fact that I fell in love with Montañita and ended up spending all my time there! So on my second time through the country, I made sure this city was a priority. Hailed as the most beautiful colonial city in the country, it’s easy to understand why. The cobble stone streets, the old baroque buildings and stunning churches; the city has the feeling it’s been trapped in time. You can detect a Parisian influence here as well with some of the charming architecture. Wire moulded flower pots hold vibrant red flowers spilling over them, as the pots cling to the sides of buildings on narrow streets. The strong smell of aromatic Ecuadorian coffee fills the streets, and vendors hawk their snacks on street corners. Continue reading
I don’t think that words can really capture Igazua falls. Rather than attempt to capture that which cannot be, I figured I would just post a photo essay and urge you to visit this majestic place at some point in your life and travels. It’s one of those places in the world that will humble you, steal your breath and give you peace in return. It’s beautiful. Every fall, every mist, every cascade is a majesty. I was lucky enough to be able to sneak into the Brazilian side without paying (Canadian’s and American’s have to pay a huge fee to get into Brazil, even just to see the falls). Thankfully border patrol was lax that day and bought our story of ‘we got lost!’. You can read about the adventure HERE in Laila’s blog! Continue reading
Oh my darling Montañita. What sweet, secret, untold treasures you had in store for me! After having my laptop stolen, I began writing everything in my journal, and I had nearly finished writing my account of my time in Montañita on the bus ride from Huacachina to Cusco, Peru, when I stupidly left my journal on the bus. I went back hours later to hopefully reclaim it, but had no such luck. All that writing. Gone. So here I am – a month later – once again, trying to recall the incredible three weeks I spent on the beach on the coast of Ecuador in Montañita. Continue reading
Bright and early, Anthony and I headed to the airport to make our way through the customs-like checkpoints for heading to the famous Galapagos Islands. While we weren’t leaving the country, the islands are treated a bit like their own country, with their own set of very strict regulations to ensure the environmental integrity of the islands. Look for my upcoming blog post on how to do the Galapagos islands for under $1000.
We paid the $100 entrance fee, had our passports checked, our luggage raided (lost a bag of chia seeds in the process, darn!) and then boarded our plane with a load of other tourists all excited for the trip of a lifetime. It was an hour and 45 minute flight out over the Pacific ocean and as the first island came into view we all excitedly peered out the little oval windows for our first look at the Galapagos. Continue reading
I wish I could say I spent a few amazing days exploring the great city that is Quito, but Quito turned out to be a repeat of Medellin and Bogota- sick, sick, sick. You can read about my adventures dealing with illness for over a month on the road here. We spent 5 days in Quito, most of them being in the hostel bed, bathroom and couch, and then in the hospital. All we wanted was to get on the road. Other than exploring the streets near the hostel and on the way to the hospital, we didn’t really get to see any of Quito, unfortunately. We walked to the super market a couple of times to load up on soup, bread and rice which was all we could stomach. After a few days we were nearly delirious with desire for anything other than ichiban soup. The only excursion we set out on was to head to the equator which ended up in me getting painfully ill, almost as a lesson to not leave the hostel! Other than being terribly sick near the end of our day it was a a great way to get out and see a bit of Quito on the long drive to the Equator park. It’s cheap and there are lots of little shops – but it’s a pretty tourist heavy excursion; though still neat to learn the history! Continue reading
Well this also finally happened… I was robbed. Before you freak out, family and friends, no, I was not held up at gun or knife point and stripped of all my belongings, thank god. It was a more of a ghost robbery, where I was left totally unaware. I hopped on my bus in Banos heading for Guayaquil to meet up with Anthony, a nice cheap $7 ride for 7 hours. I walked towards the back of the bus where my assigned seat was. There was a man at the back of the bus who looked as if he worked on the bus as he was directing patrons to seats. He motioned for me to take my assigned seat, which I did and then said I could store my backpack up top or below my seat. There were bags under the seat in front of me so I slide my back pack back under my own seat and settled in. Mistake number one. Unnoticed, the man took a seat directly behind me. Continue reading