This is the third instalment for Bootsnall’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project. You can read the first instalment here and the second instalment here. This week the cues were; Home, Quote, City, Baggage, Passion, Budget and Spirit.
For some people, no matter how much they love traveling, there’s always no place like home. Other travelers make their homes wherever they happen to be. Tell us about your home – where is it and why do you consider it your home?
Having lived in the Edmonton, Alberta region my whole life it seems easy enough from me to define home right now. Still being in the same place all the time sorta has given me a love/hate relationship with Edmonton. Times I hate Edmonton include when there’s a white out snowstorm, icy roads and when traffic is stalled on the Henday. Times I love Edmonton include when I’m enjoy a flat white at Transcend, or when I’m sitting on on bench outside the Royal Alberta Museum with a view of the river valley on a fall day. It’s very pretty.
I don’t want my definition of home to be too rigid. I don’t plan to live in Edmonton forever. When I’m done my school program in a couple years I’ll move somewhere else. I know I have to challenge myself, experience something new, and that will only happen if I move away from Edmonton. I’ve learned from other travel bloggers that home is wherever you are. Still no matter where I got I think I’ll always feel at home around Edmonton.
What’s your favorite quote about travel? Why does it stand out to you?
There are a lot of great travel quotes floating around. My favourite quote is from the late Hunter S. Thompson and while it’s not specifically about travel it could be applied to travel. It’s from the book The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 (The Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 1), and was originally from an essay that Thompson wrote in High School.
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself; Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed?” -Hunter S. Thompson
Sure the language isn’t gender neutral, but I still love the message of this quote – to live life bravely and fully. I can be quite observant; it’s in my nature. When I doubt myself, when I doubt if I should take a chance on being happy I think about this quote.
What is your favorite (or least favorite) city and what do you love (or hate) about it?
I’m a city girl. I like theatre, culture, watching people, sipping coffee at a cafe. I love cities. Picking a favourite city is hard, because I generally love every city I go to, but I am always frustrated when I go to Calgary. This is due to one thing – I always get lost when I’m in Calgary. Sometimes getting lost can be fun, but in Calgary it just aggravates me. When I go to Calgary I’m usually driving, and I’m often with friends. I have to pay attention to the road, to the other drivers, and I have to try to navigate while someone tells me to “turn left here, no wait not here there…” When I’m not frustrated and lost in Calgary it’s a very nice city, and coming from Calgary’s rival that’s a big compliment.
Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?
When I was nine years old I got a luggage set for my birthday. I’ve gone through several pieces of luggage since then, but I still have that set. I’ve gotten better with packing. Each trip I always bring along something I don’t need, and I learn what not to bring for subsequent trips. When I went to Europe I packed a giant suitcase, but now I tend to travel with a smaller suitcase. When I fly I prefer to carry on my luggage.
I also spent five years working at airport security where I saw people bring suitcases overflowing with stuff. Sometimes I’d have to look through suitcase and I would think why did you pack a full size bottle of Pert Plus shampoo in your carry on? You’re going to Minneapolis. They’ll have shampoo there. Seeing all the stuff people brought with them in their luggage made me realize that we take too much when we travel. I’ll never be super minimalist, but the less I can bring when I travel the better.
Now take a break and go watch this clip of a stand-up routine from the late comedian George Carlin. It’s funny stuff (pun intended).
It’s easy to be passionate about travel, but does that passion permeate the rest of your life? Do you live and work with passion? Why or why not?
It’s taken me a long time to find my passion of writing and traveling. One of the most important lessons I’ve had to learn is that if a situation/person/place, etc is making you miserable to get out. You don’t have to just “grin and bear it.” Life is too short to be unhappy.
Every traveler has a budget; for some it just might be higher of lower than for others What’s your style? What do you spend very little on and what are you always willing to pay more for?
I try to book lower priced accommodations like hostels or guesthouses, but I believe in safety first so if I need to spend a few more dollars staying at safer accommodations I will. I try to get the best prices I can on flights, and I usually only fly somewhere once or twice a year. I drive, and usually take road trips with friends to save money on gas.
I also believe that you should splurge on things you love. Last time I was in New York City I saw three Broadway musicals. I was originally only going to see one show, but I love theatre so much I saw two more. For me it was worth it.
Some places have the power to make even the most die-hard agnostic reconsider their position. Have you ever been in a place where you felt more alive or more connected to nature, the universe, or a higher power than anywhere else?
I love learning about different religions and spiritual beliefs. I understand these topics might make some uncomfortable, or it may offend others, but since religion and/or spirituality is an important part of many cultures I think it’s an important topic to learn about. It’s one reason why I loved visiting the churches in Europe. I remember being in Notre Dame. It’s a building full of history, architecture, art. It was surreal to wander through as a tourist while there was a service (mass maybe, I’m not sure). Although I haven’t had an opportunity to visit a mosque, temple, synagogue, shrine or other religious building if I get the chance I will.
I have never had a life changing religious experience when traveling, but there always moments listening the ocean waves or sitting in a park where I have this distinct realization that I’m alive and life is good.