A Spring break trip during University with one of my best friends. A week of fun and sun! We explored Havana, toured a rum and cigar factory and danced our hearts out at a local club on my 22nd Birthday.
|DOMINICAN REPUBLIC |
My first taste of the Caribbean at the age of 15. With close family friends I spent a week enjoying an all inclusive resort. My first trip outside of Canada and the US. Possibly where I was infected with the travel bug!
A High School trip at 18 years old. We visited the Swarovski Crystal Factory and sang loudly and proudly on a bus as we drove through the Hills.
A short but sweet stop in Laos. A day spent shopping in the markets, chatting with locals, lunch on the river and sampling various types of local whiskey (including one with a dead cobra floating inside).
A weekend visiting a friend from home and sharing in traditional Swedish meals, walking the city, drinking at the ice bar and dancing to Abba at a local bar.
A winter trip to the beautiful, cold, dark and majestic land in the North. A day spent whale watching, a night soaking in the Blue Lagoon, a hunt for the Northern Lights and few hours of day light each day touring the cozy city of Reykjavik.
I celebrated my 28th birthday with friends in the beautiful city of Budapest. We enjoyed a morning at a fish market, an afternoon of relaxing in the outdoor thermal baths, an evening on a river cruise and a night of partying at the incredibly fun ruin bars. This is a city that ranks high on my list of favourites!
A Christmas filled weekend of markets, mulled wine, Belgian beer, mussels, chocolate and exploring Brussels and the fairytale city of Bruges.
An Autumn trip brought me to Northern Scotland where I took a boat ride in search of Nessie, toured castle ruins, ate haggis in Inverness and enjoyed Scottish music at local pubs.
I was very fortunate to be sent to Lisbon for a three day IB education workshop. Not only was the workshop incredible, but it was hosted in such a vibrant and exciting city. Although my sightseeing time was somewhat limited, I manged to check out the city beaches, try local cuisines, have sangria with new friends, participate in a 'Hippo Hippo' boat/land tour and made connections with teachers/admin from around the world! I also had my reoccurring thoughts of "I could easily live here!"
Andorra is a majestic little country sandwiched between France and Spain. This was my 30th country and I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful place with my parents and their friends. We drove up through twisty mountain roads that soon turned snowy and then drove down the other side until we reached a valley where this little country is nestled. We spent time walking around the capital of Andorra la Vella, found a local beer tasting pub, enjoyed sangria and paella and took a tour of Europe's largest spa.
What have I sacrificed to have this lifestyle? Mainly, time with my family and friends. I've missed out on holidays, weddings, baby showers, births, and milestones in loved ones lives. I've also faced some of my own milestones alone. These are the only sacrifices that have been incredibly difficult. Thankfully I’m able to get home an average of twice a year and I’ve also had many visitors during my time abroad.
Much smaller things I've missed out on are the iPhone craze (in fact, I went two years in the Bahamas without a phone and my current phone I won in a costume contest in Jakarta), I have yet to independently buy my first car, have never owned a home, I don't own a television, I am still paying student loans and I really don't own anything more than what will fit in a few suitcases. I am always behind on music, TV shows and movies and am shocked every time I go home and see the changes in my small home town. I choose plane tickets over expensive gadgets, I choose hostels/cheap hotels over luxury and I choose entering the unknown instead of staying in the familiar. I do all of this because it's what I love. In place of all of the 'things' that I don't have, I do have countless memories and experiences from around the globe. I have yet to learn about mortgages, car payments, taxes (bonus to living in tax free countries over the years) and retirement savings. Let's be honest, I would be lost if I was forced to settle and figure out how to live a life at home. I'm sure those lessons will find me in time, but for now I've learned/am learning not to sweat the small things, be patient, live more simply, enjoy life, worry less, accept that things don't always go as planned and be thankful daily for what I have. I've also learned that there are negative people everywhere, but, for every unkind person I've met on my travels I've probably met ten or more with welcoming arms. A friendly face and kind heart can be found around every corner and the world is not nearly as scary as some may believe it to be.
Seek adventure in whatever form makes you happy!
Cheers to my next thirty countries! Where do you think I should travel next? Comment below and don't forget to follow me for the latest travel updates.