This is the second instalment for Bootsnall’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. To find out more about this project, and to read the first instalment please go here.This week the prompts were; Fear, Celebrate, Love Learning, One Day, Earth, Feast and Meaningful Connections.
Just as travel can be fun and exciting, it can also have its challenging, or even downright scary, moments. Being in a new place pushes us out of our comfort zone and makes us face our fears. Tell about a time you had to face your fear when traveling, and what was the result.
I used to be afraid of heights. Like Katie from Katie Going Global I am more afraid of open heights (like being on a mountain) than being at the top of a tall building, but to play devil’s advocate I’ve gone paragliding in Austria where I had to run off a cliff. That was one of the scariest things I’ve done, but I’m glad that I did it. The experience when I was up in the air, feeling the cold, looking at the towns and valleys below was worth the that momentary fear.
I used to be afraid to travel alone. Then one day I tried traveling alone and I liked it. Now I want to travel alone all the time.
I used to be afraid to talk to ask for help. I’m pretty stubborn in that sense, but I’ve learned that asking for help isn’t the end of the world. People can be extremely helpful.
Joining in a local festival, holiday or special event is a great way to learn more about a local culture. Share the story of a celebration that meant something to you on your travels.
I decided to go down Robson Street in Vancouver during the fourth Stanley Cup game in June. There was a huge crowd, thousands of people, perhaps even tens of thousands of people. I don’t know why, but I kept moving further and further into the crowd. Cheers of “we want the cup,” you could hear horns, cowbells, high fives all around. The smell of pot and beer and cigars was everywhere. “This is because of you” a drunk guy tells me. “Yeah, it’s awesome” I say giving him a high five. I’m not a Canuck fan (Go Oilers!) but the energy in downtown Vancouver was pretty intoxicating that day. I asked a security guard if it was like this for the Olympics. He says the streets were this busy when Canada won gold, but it was much more explosive for the Canucks game.
Travel and learning go hand in hand. Travel teaches us not only about the world and the people in it, but also more about ourselves and our own ideas and values. What has travel taught you this year?
One thing I learned, very well, is that travel and doing homework really sucks. I had to work on some school assignments while I was in Mexico and in Victoria. I love writing, but having to spend several hours a day working on a paper on Oedipus Rex was very tiring.
I learned that being alone is still intimidating for some people, whereas I’ve gotten pretty comfortable traveling alone, dining alone, etc. On the reversal side I’ve learned it’s still pretty intimidating for me to introduce myself to a lot of people, especially if the crowd is quite large.
One Perfect Day
Travel helps us better appreciate the present moment instead of always looking to the next thing. Describe one perfect day you had while traveling this year. Where were you? What were you doing? And what made it perfect?
I don’t like this term – one perfect day. No day is gonna be perfect. Sure there are moments of perfection through a day, but I can’t label one day as perfect. Even the best day I’ve had when I travelled still had imperfections. That’s just part of life.
However I went to Cancun with some of my family because my cousin was getting married. His wedding day was actually pretty amazing. The weather was nice, the ceremony beautiful and the reception after was a lot of fun. I think the only thing that could have made the day perfect would have been if everyone in our family could have made it to Mexico, but unfortunately it was a trip not everyone could take.
At what point in your travels have you felt most in tune with the Earth? Share a story of how you interacted with the local environment or nature.
Most of my travels take place in cities. I’m drawn to the energy, the hustle and bustle, and variety that cities have, but I do love nature too, especially the ocean. I live in a landlocked province, and the ocean isn’t something I get to see all the time. This year I was lucky, I got to go to the ocean in Mexico, as well as in British Columbia. There was one moment in Mexico, where I watched the waves crash against the breakers and I could smell the salt in the air. I had tried to take a video of the ocean before, but the waves just sounded like static. So I knew all I could really do was just stop and let it be. In Victoria I had a similar experience in a garden. Sometimes you try to capture a moment or a place, but other times you just have to stop and be present.
For some of us, food isn’t just a part of our travels, it’s the reason why we travel. Whether you travel the globe to try new foods and use food to form a deeper connection with the culture or just eat to live, food plays a big part in the travel experience. Share a food-related story from your travels or describe your best meal.
I’ve had lots of great food while traveling. The supper we had at my cousin’s wedding was amazing. We ate at the beach, toes in the sand, drinks in hand. I don’t even remember everything that was served, just that it was delicious. There was also on day where we had a fish fry in Mexico. My father had been pretty hesitant to go to Mexico, until my mom told him that he should go fishing. My father loves fishing so one morning he, my brother and some of the other guys attending the wedding went fishing. They caught a few fish, and one of the restaurants at the hotel cooked them up and served them with some delicious side dishes. I love seafood, but in Edmonton it’s hard to get or the better seafood is really expensive. In Mexico the seafood was fresh and delicious.
I also can’t forget to mention the little restaurant Red Fish Blue Fish, located right along the pier in Victoria’s inner harbour. The line was often long, it’s a pretty popular place, but the food there is worth it. I went there 3 times in 3 days, and if I lived in Victoria, or even Vancouver, I’d probably make an excuse to go as often as possible.
Travelers meet dozens, if not hundreds, of new people on every trip. They may become friends, enemies, lovers, and resources; they may stay in your life forever or be forgotten the next day. Tell about a time you felt a powerful connection – for however long – to another person while traveling.
This is probably the hardest one for me to answer, so far. I tend to observe people rather than go up and introduce myself. At TBEX this year I enjoyed it, but I wished it was longer. By the time I was beginning to feel comfortable and not so introverted the conference was over. It was the same thing on my Contiki tour in Europe, I didn’t really feel like myself until the last few days of the trip (when I was sick). That’s not to say I didn’t meet some great people. I did. And I keep in contact with a few of my tourmates on Facebook. I think the more I travel, the more comfortable I’ll be introducing myself to others, and the more I’ll make meaningful connections.