With the year almost over I thought it would be a good time to start looking back on 2011, and looking ahead to my travel plans for 2012.
This was a year filled with a lot of school. In that last year I’ve taken courses on technical writing, creative writing, rhetoric, grammar, public relations, and more. I’m certainly no where near perfect, but I believe my writing has improved and that will hopefully help improve this website.
As for travel I was limited a bit by school, but I did get to take a few trips this year. I went to Mexico in May with my family for my cousin’s wedding. It was a fun trip, but also challenging because I was taking an English course at the same time. Some people may point out and say, “yeah but don’t you want to write when you travel?” Well I do, but having to write an essay on Oedipus Rex in a hotel room in Mexico, while you can hear people outside on the beach having fun, that’s hard. So that part wasn’t really enjoyable, everything else though was great.
In June I went to Victoria B.C where I spent a few days in the garden city doing more homework (yes), eating delicious seafood, going on a whale watching tour and walking around downtown. Then I went to Vancouver for the 2011 Traveler Blog Exchange Conference. It was interesting, and fun, but I definitely should have given myself more time to relax before going to TBEX. I also should have pushed myself a little bit more to meet new people. Nonetheless I still had a good time, and I’d definitely welcome an opportunity to visit BC again.
I also made a small trip to Saskatchewan to visit family. Then the rest of my travel has been within Alberta, mostly focusing around the Edmonton area where I live. There’s that idea about being a tourist in your own backyard. Well I’m still finding different things to do around Edmonton, things I’ve never done before, and so I hope to have some more local posts coming out soon.
I’m looking forward to 2012. I’ll be finishing my second semester of school in April and starting my third semester of school in September. I plan on building upon the skills I learn in school to help improve this website. One thing you may have noticed about my writing is a lot of it is pretty analytical. I want to add more narrative travel writing, stories and such, to Traveler Ahoy in 2012.
What are my upcoming travel plans for 2012?
1. Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump and Frank Slide. These are two Alberta based attractions that I’ve wanted to visit, but I never have. With both places being a about a 6 hour drive from where I am there’s really no excuse for me to not got here. They’re close enough I can easily drive down for a quick two day getaway. Plus I have a free pass for Head-Smashed-Buffalo-Jump that expires in July and it would be a shame for me not to use it.
2. Jasper. Another Alberta getaway, but I realized I actually haven’t been to Jasper since 2005, and I feel like a visit back is long overdue, especially since Jasper is only 3.5 hours away.
3. New Orleans. I’ve decided that 2012 is the year where I’m finally going to go to NOLA. I’ve been trying to think of creative ways to get down to New Orleans from Edmonton. As convenient as a flight is, it’s also expensive and will eat up a significant portion of my travel budget. One option I hope might work out is if I can find a trip from a website like Hit The Road going from Edmonton or Calgary to a southern US city, like say Phoenix. Then I can take the train and/or the bus from that city to NOLA. Right now everything is up in the air, but since I have a limited budget I’m also thinking of creative and less expensive ways to get home. I know often it’s cheaper to travel slower and that seems to the direction that this trip will be taking.
Of course if I can afford it I’m open to traveling anywhere during my school break. I don’t have my travels planned out like I usually do, so things are a little more up in the air.
Hope everyone has a great New Year’s and all the best in 2012.