Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For The Love Of...Travelling!

Oh my - already December 7th! You know what that means - 19 more days until Kwaanza!! And more importantly, 18 until Christmas day! But, no need to discriminate here - to those of other religious beliefs, I wish you happy Hannukah (chanukah, hanukkah, and whatever other ways I have seen it spelled)  and a happy Eid, just in case. I think that covers it all...Think.

Now that I have that out of my system, I will attempt to move forward...I would love to sit back and take complete credit for today's post, but alas, I can only take 98% of the credit. My cousin gets the other 2%, but only because she started an album on Facebook dedicated to her favorite things. Which is more or less the point of this post - and others to follow. I have decided that it might be a good idea to let you peer into my life, into what makes me tick, what I am passionate about. Things I enjoy, and things I loathe. I am going to try to remember to post at least once each month from each category - things I love, and things I hate. There are probably more of the latter, but I hope you will be entertained no matter which one I choose to write about.

So yes, I love to travel. And what is funny is that I am not someone who has travelled very much. Don't get me wrong - I have done my fair share of moving around Canada since I am military brat, but I am definitely unsatisfied. I think my ex-boyfriend might actually be responsible for the travel bug biting me to be honest. When I was 19, and 3 months into my first "real" relationship, JL and I sat down and decided we would go on vacation. We decided that some crappy three-star in the Dominican just wouldn't do for our champagne taste, so we opted for a (fairly) swanky all-inclusive five-star in Ixtapa, Mexico. This place was awesome - it had a gazillion restaurants, more bars than we knew what do do with, and a 24-hour snack shack - more than I ever thought I would have on my first official vacation. The flight was long, and we arrived super late at night, but the week that followed was nothing short of amazing! We went jetskiing, parasailing, had a liquid breakfast most days and met some really cool people! We returned tanned, rested (?) and I was certainly anxious for the next vacation! Getting away was going to be something I now needed required on a yearly basis...

JL and I broke up, and shortly thereafter, the opportunity to spend a month in Italy presented itself to me on a lovely silver platter. I was in university majoring in translation, and my minor was Italian. It made sense to go - what better way to learn the language than spend a month in the homeland! And so, I jetted off to Florence. I spent a month eating paninis and pizza, drinking espressos and aranciata San Pellegrino. I visited Gucci, Prada and Miss Sixty, and even managed to find some spare change for an itty bitty Dolce & Gabana string bikini! While in Florence, I was also treated to World Cup fever...Craziness I tell you! Every day, class would finish and we would hit up The Old Stove for homework and calcio...and pints. Lots of pints. While visiting abroad, I had to stay true to my nature - I managed to get so sick I was almost shipped back to Canada right before finishing my course. Seeing the stress I was under, my teachers told me not to worry about the final exam, and to get out of Florence for the weekend and go explore - always one to take advice(cough, cough), I did exactly that. I peaced out for 3 days, and was lucky enough to venture out to the Amalfi Coast. This remains the most beautiful place I have seen to date. While out on the coast, I got to drink a tad more vino rosso, sleep in a Snatch-style caravan (a.k.a. a trailor) and pull a B&E at a campground pool...I also got to see some of the most breathtaking views that can be experienced in Italy, and swim in the Mediterranean Sea...As the trip came to an end, I was sad to go home, but I was also happy to return to a country where I could get free healthcare, and understand what the nurse was saying when describing my lymph nodes.

Over the next few years, I didn't have quite as much opportunity to travel. I moved out of my parents place and in with my new man. Between school and rent, I didn't exactly have the funds required to vacation at will. The next few vacations were in all-inclusive resorts in either Cuba or Mexico. Nothing fancy, nothing special, but a sunny getaway nonetheless...Sometimes that's all you need really. And even those trips were awesome in their own right; I met some unforgettable people, and made new friends along the way...I also learned that I could be given a crash course in scuba-diving in Spanish and make it out alive, and that contrary to my own beliefs, I could drink Tequilla without a problem. The next vacation I took was after I moved back to Ottawa - I went to Orlando and Miami with the man I thought I would marry so that we could do all the things I never got to do as a kid - we went to Disney, Universal Studios, we saw a Tampa Bay Rays game and then lived the high-roller life in Miami for a few days - it was an awesome trip minus the fact that it was plagued by continuous arguments as he drove and I tried to read the map. Who would have thought that every place we wanted to visit was just not well indicated on the map? It certainly never crossed my mind.

Fast-forward to summer 2010, June to be exact. Freshly heart-broken and armed with more money than I knew what do with, I called my twin from another mother and proposed the following: Vegas. I had never been, and my twisted logic led me to believe a trip to Sin City was bar none THE way to get over this latest failed relationship. Being single was now looking like it might not be so bad after all...We booked our tickets and the countdown began. As the day drew nearer and nearer, I could feel my stomache ball up with excitement! I was so ready for this. We got on a plane and embarked on the most fabulous disaster of a vacation - not disaster in that it wasn't amazing, disaster in that I don't think I have ever been as invincible but incapable all at once. Vegas was paradise, I never wanted to leave. The sun was beaming and it was 40 degrees each day, no humidity. Booze flowed freely, and everyone was there to have a good time. Nothing was ever rushed - you got there when you got there. Girls were treated like goddesses and everywhere we looked, yummy boys could be found. Coming here was the best idea I had ever had - we left hungover, broke and 20 new friends richer. The countdown to my return (to Vegas) had now begun.

As the summer wore on, I travelled a little more. Nothing huge, but I went camping in Maine with some friends, and in the fall, I even hit up California to go visit some of the friends I had met in Vegas, and catch Smoke Out 2010, a one-day, three-stage concert dedicated mainly to hiphop and its culture. As I returned from this trip, my heart sank. I was sad to be leaving. Not because I was leaving L.A., but because I realized that travelling is something I should be doing more of. There is so much that I want to see, and I feel as though I might not have enough time, and mainly not enough money, to see it all. There is so much to experience, so much to do, and so many other wonderful people out there who's paths I have yet to cross. Every time I get on a plane, I get anxious - not because I am afraid that it will crash, but because before my adventure even begins, I know it will sooner or later come to an inevitable end. And though it isn't even really an end - more a pause really - it is the time between different "play" periods that seems so long. I once thought that being single would be the shittiest thing to ever happen to me, and as luck would have it, instead I found a blessing in disguise - now I fear that I might find someone worth holding onto; I don't think I could put this passion on hold yet again.

Where will I head to next? I am happy to say that I have no idea! I know that due to some recent developments, I will be spending quite some time in Brussels in the next three years, but the roster isn't fixed. My travel wishlist? Bora Bora, Egypt, Iceland, Spain, Hawaii, Prague, Turkey, Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine, Ireland, Brazil, Costa Rica, Australia, Bali, Dubai, England and the list goes on for quite some time. Whether alone or with friends, my only hope is I can somehow visit all the places I dream of, and that each trip enriches my life more than the last.

As far as I'm concerned, the best feeling in the world is the sensation you get from the g-force as the plane takes off, and the thrill of not knowing what lies ahead...

-Milie B.

1 comment:

  1. I love that G-force feeling too, it's great fun. I must make it to Italy some day. Europe as a whole, for that matter.