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I Travel because...

... I'm curious, but that's only one part of what drives me to seek other places. I know plenty of people who enjoy the occasional jaunt to Disneyland, Vegas, or Hawaii but have not made travel a priority like I have. I am only semi-joking when I talk about my wanderlust addiction. I have a compulsion to see places I haven't seen. My life is organized around pursuing and satisfying this compulsion. Large chunks of my free time is devoted to travel and it is rare for me to have a day when I am not actively doing something to support my travel. So, what am I seeking that I can't get at home? I want new wildlife to photograph, but there's an awful lot of native Canadian animals I've yet to capture. I like tasting authentic food from other cultures, but there is a plethora of quality international cuisine readily available in my city. I love hiking and being in nature but I am surrounded by incredible outdoor opportunities. I love history but I live surrounded by history in my little fishing village. I adore my creature comforts and yet I cheerfully stay in hostels and campervans. I enthusiastically devote a huge chunk of my time and finances to place myself in situations that are often a lot less comfortable than my home.

It started early. My first travel experiences without my parents were school trips. School band trips were highlights which built my confidence away from my parents. The school trip that truly infected me with wanderlust happened in my Grade 10 year when I had the opportunity to take part in an educational cruise in the Mediterranean. Our student group had a week in London before boarding at Southampton. Our itinerary had stops in Vigo, Naples, Athens, Istanbul, and Palma. My suburban town seemed really small and dull after that trip. Upon my return, I started my first travel savings account and have travelled internationally for pleasure at least once a year ever since.

I don't travel because I'm unhappy or searching for something. I am very content in my lovely little home nest. I suck at relaxing and being chill. I really don't want to spend a day on the beach. I don't travel for business or to become Insta-famous. LOL, I'm not writing this blog with any financial goal. I'm not running from loneliness or heartbreak. I rarely arrange travel to a particular event. I don't keep count of the number of kilometres, continents, countries, or cities I've visited. I will never travel to a destination so I can cross it off list. I love returning to favourite places but I need new destinations, too. A holiday home or cottage is not for me.

These last couple of years have been a constant cycle of hope, plans, and cancellations. I've been at constant war with myself as I weigh the intelligent advice of much smarter people against my own need. Yet, when I actually check my journals, I have travelled. I found ways to squeeze in brief times where my feet were not at home. What is the need that is fulfilled by travel?

My soul is fed through constant creativity, learning, and curiosity with a deep grounding in nature. I travel to feed my soul, to give direction to my creativity, to push my physical limits, and to connect to people different than myself. My mental health requires regular creativity, intellectual challenges, and daily connections to nature. Travel answers these needs.

Travel inspires fabulous projects. My planning notebooks, spreadsheets, and research engage my attention as I fill them with information and ideas. During travel, my experiences, taking photos, editing, storytelling and creating albums all become part of that project. This blog is yet another facet of my life-long travel project. Travel gives me a purpose to learn or to extend skills. My earliest photos are, frankly, quite dreadful. The images are immature, poorly composed, technically awful, and give little information. My desire to improve my storytelling or teaching through photos prompted me to learn how to compose better images, which in turn led me to a deeper understanding of my camera and photography in general. As I type this, I am waiting for the delivery of my very first drone camera.

Communicating and connecting are parts of my travel experience. I've learned that a few simple words in the host language will open many chances to connect. Whether I'm chatting with a local, sharing stories with a new friend, fixing a flute in the back of a Greek shop, or asking for recommendations, travel has taught me that people are people no matter where we live. No matter where I travel, I discover people who are parents, children, spouses, and friends who live, love, work, and socialize. Every one of these interactions reminds me that the world is good, in spite of what is on the nightly news. I cherish both the fleeting interactions and the relationships built. I have enjoyed keeping in touch with people met along the way.

My preteen life was limited by health issues which kept me pretty confined. It wasn't until my teens that medicines were developed and my body matured enough to grow strong and participate in strenuous activity. Those early years gave me a huge appreciation for active participation in outdoor activities. I intend to swim, hike, bike, camp, and trek as long as I possibly can. I feel empowered, energized and connected when in nature. I travel to experience the energy of other places and activities. Yes, I'm curious about everything. The inner me is a 4 year old with a never-ending stream of questions and enthusiastic awe. I'm not satisfied with someone else's explanation or picture. I want to see and experience everything for myself. I learn and understand when I see, do, and touch; when I'm introduced to a new point of view; and when I'm pushed out of my comfort zone.

The past couple of years have been very challenging. I trust that when my government asks me to stay home that the reasoning is sound and being made by people with much greater expertise than myself. I've had time to reflect and realize that I travel to have multiple international opportunities to feed my creativity and curiosity while learning about and connecting to people and my passions. I'm hoping you'll come along while I figure out ways to feed my wanderlust addiction while staying safe, following public health orders, and seeking new places to put my feet and point my camera.


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