I’m late wrapping up the BootsnAll 30 Days of Indie Travel by ONE day…I apologize. Working 60 hours a week gets kinda exhausting, who knew? Then there’s the fact that while I was cleaning the mouse shit out of my kitchen drawers last night, my Internet blew up and I’ve been without it ever since. Happy freaking December.
Anyway. Let’s go.
Prompt #19: SPIRIT
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?
Machu Picchu. I’ve always felt that if I were born in a different time and different place, my religion would be in the earth. I have never felt more blessed than I did in that moment.
Prompt #20: DRINK
Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with?
Uh, one paragraph cannot even wrap up all the awesome drink experiences I’ve had on the road.
Oh, and of course, the famous Julio-Loco invention concocted at our resort in Mexico this past January. I wish I could remember what was in it, but pretty sure there were rainbows and unicorns.
Prompt #21: LOVE AFFAIR
When we travel, our senses are heightened. We feel more alive and we’re more free to do things we might not at home. We can be who we want. There’s an air of urgency to everything we do – we know our time here, in this place, and with these people, is limited. If we want to do something, we have to do it now. It’s no wonder then that many travelers have relationships on the road. Tell us about a “special someone” you met while traveling.
I had an “affair” with a cute French boy in Brittany. By “affair” I mean we had romantic dinners on the waterfront, walked the beach with the moon high in the sky, and adorably stumbled our way through awkward language barriers. Nothing ever transpired—not so much as a kiss—but for those two weeks, I felt like freaking Anne Hathaway in every chick movie she’s starred in.
Prompt #22: TRANSIT
The word travel comes from a French word meaning “work” and sometimes, getting there is work. Between crowded buses, long airline delays, overnight trains and crazy rickshaw rides, transportation can be stressful, but it can also be a rewarding part of the tip. Tell us about a time when the journey became more important than the destination.
Totally mine and Cailin’s Cross-Canada trip. And damn, it was a LOT of work and planning, but things went smoothly…eerily smoothly. I flew to Halifax, we hopped the train to Montreal, then Ottawa, then Kingston…then picked up a car from HittheRoad.ca, and drove the rest of the way to Vancouver. Epic. Until then, I had only been to a handful of Canadian provinces.
Prompt #23: TECHNOLOGY
Where would today’s travelers be without smartphones, GPS, iPods, iPads, or even the internet? Share one item of tech you can’t live without or tell us how technology has changed the way you travel.
Facebook. Yes, Facebook. When I studied in England, I used Facebook as a way to share photos with my family back home. Nowadays, when I travel, it’s still my biggest linking factor. And please don’t tell me picking up the phone is a more personal approach to staying in touch. I hate the phone. Hate. The. Phone.
Prompt #24: GIVING THANKS
Seeing what others have – and don’t have – around the world often helps us appreciate our own good fortune. What are you thankful for this year ?
I’m thankful for warm socks that keep my feet cozy on these blustery St. John’s mornings, my Tassimo machine thing, Happy Hours, mouse traps, and beards. Oh yeah, and friends and family and all that junk too.
Prompt #25: FAMILY
Family shapes who we are, but sometimes the family we create plays a bigger role in our lives than the one we were born into. Tell a story about how either of your “families” have impacted your life and your travels.
I get a lot of support from my family. Every time I’m home, people refer to me as the “world traveller,” even though I’m not nearly as well travelled as most of you. At ALL, actually.
But when my parents and their siblings were growing up, travel was simply not an option. Driving across Canada was a privilege afforded by only a few, and I don’t think my grandmother ever left the province. When I was home last month for her funeral, I was constantly being told how proud of me everyone was. You can do just about anything with a strong support network.
Prompt #26: PHOTO
Post a photo of your favorite place and tell us what you love about it.
Big nature, strong community, peace and quiet, inspiration. To be my home, some day.
Prompt #27: WANDERLUST
Share a photo or video that just makes you want to GO. RIGHT. NOW
THIS. THIS THIS THIS.
(Photo by: Patrick Denker)
Prompt #28: GEAR
The right gear can make or break your trip. What is your favorite/must-have gear item?
A pillow for the airplane and a reading light. I am NOT hard to please. Giggidy.
Prompt #29: ONE WORD
What does travel mean to you in one word?
Prompt #30: 2012 TICKET
Where are you going in 2012? Why is that place great for indie travelers?
My only concrete plans are Dominican Republic for a resort vacation in May.
BUT my goals are Burning Man and the west coast of the US, Iceland, Ireland, and Greece. Too bad I need about 3 months in each country. Now accepting donations.
Finally, I’ve got a little cross-promo going on here with Enrout, an alternative lodging search engine that lets you discover “everything from charming Parisian apartments with huge windows overlooking the Eiffel Tower, to San Francisco Victorian homes complete with hardwood floors.”
They’ve got an epic $500 holiday contest going on right now, and if you’re like me and dreading the financial mayhem of Christmas, I suggest you check it out.