I’d spent a day in Calgary and all I did was go to IKEA, check out a play and take a dip in the hotel pool. That would normally sound like a good day, right? So why the guilt? Part of my brain tells me that I should be go, go, go, always checking out some new sight or seeking out unique experiences. That just relaxing in your awesome hotel room is time wasted. Travel guilt. It’s totally a thing.
“They like me! They really like me!” I channeled my inner Sally Field when I got my BlogHouse acceptance letter. I’ve been blogging less than a year and I would never have had the guts to call myself a writer, but it’s a skill I’ve always wanted to improve. So when I saw that the Navigate Media Group were going to be putting off BlogHouse – a small group, multi-day intensive mentorship – in Toronto I applied and crossed my fingers. Being one of a dozen chosen gave me validation that I wasn’t wasting my time at this. Maybe I didn’t suck after all.
It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare to groggily open one eye and look at the clock and see 4:36am staring back at you in big green numbers when you have a seat on a 5:00am flight. So…I missed my flight. First time that’s ever happened. I shot out of bed, yelling “oh God, oh God, oh God” as I ran up the stairs and went straight for my phone and computer. Even though the plane was already boarded my brain was telling me there was no time to lose in re-booking. It was hard to talk to the Expedia agent though with my stomach up in my throat. Keep calm and carry on, my ass.
The night air was warm in Dubrovnik as I walked down the Stradun. The streetlights made the polished marble streets shine as if they were still wet from a washing. The cruisers had all gone for the day and the old town had quieted down. A brief respite from the hustle and bustle. It would all repeat the next day but for now it was quiet. One night in Dubrovnik listening to men sing folk songs to entertain themselves helped ease the jaded feeling about the town that had crept up on me. Sometimes you can find those little nuggets of authenticity that restore your faith in a destination where and when you least expect it…and it makes all the difference.
“We can only check your bag through to Istanbul,” the check-in agent in Dubrovnik told me. “But my final destination is Seoul,” I replied. “I can only check it to Istanbul,” she repeated. This is not going to end well. That conversation rang in my head as I stood forlornly at the luggage carousel at the airport in Incheon, South Korea watching everyone else on my flight flit off with their bags. Lost luggage. Foreign country. Just what I needed.
2012 was another year full of travel. I visited five new countries and even circumnavigated the globe like a boss. I pushed my limits and had some incredible experiences. I worked on learning some new languages and tried lots of great new foods. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will have in store for me.
I have a love/hate relationship with group tours when I travel. If we were in a relationship on Facebook, it could only be labelled as “it’s complicated”. When they’re good, they’re very, very good but when they’re bad they’re horrid. I tend to stick to day trips rather than multi-day tours. What’s your opinion on group tours?
Sometimes it’s the simple, unplanned things that leave an impression, like the lunch my father and I had in Mullingar, Ireland. It wasn’t a planned stop. We had no list of things to see or places to eat or have a pint. We were simply on our way from Galway to Belfast and in need of food and Mullingar was in the right place at the right time.
I saw this topic being passed around by travel bloggers awhile ago and I thought it’d be a great framework to get me started. A little get to know me post, if you will. A: Age you went on your first international trip It may have been before, but the earliest I can remember was when I was 9, being in Ontario for my birthday and crossing the border at Niagara Falls into Buffalo. I don’t remember much about that short day trip other than goingfor wings. Buffalo wings in Buffalo…it just had to be done. B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where My first ever pint of Guinness in Dublin. It’s hard to beat a pint served right at the brewery. Second runner up: Goose Island’s Honker Ale. Chicago totally counts as foreign to this Canuck. C: Cuisine (favorite) Southwest followed by Indian. If someone invented a butter…