Bitten by the travel bug early
I’ve lived in Toronto for the last 9 years but I’m from a very small town on the East Coast. At 16 my mother sent me to France for the summer to learn French. This was no easy feat; it was expensive but she understood the value of travel. Drinking cocoa for breakfast and beer after dinner, I returned home with a new outlook on life.
Instead I finished university and looked for an internship abroad. I landed in the Philippines. I knew nothing of South East Asia and saw only photos online of beaches. I arrived with a backpack of sundresses, swimsuits and sunscreen. Completely unprepared for working in a foreign environment, the experience was both exasperating and exhilarating. Returning to Canada, I promised to set off again within the year. I was 23 and expected to spend my 20s abroad.
Ambition caught up with me
My career began to grow and I found myself in Toronto. I hadn’t given up on traveling. Because of a good job and healthy vacation time I’ve visited Italy, England, Fiji, New Zealand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and the standard all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic. A seemingly ideal situation, I traveled wherever I liked and didn’t worry about money.
A life filled with things I ‘should’ do
I longed for something more substantial. I seriously considered taking a year off. I relentlessly tried to bully/cajole/beg my boyfriend to come along with me. I was petrified to go alone, unsure if I had the strength to do it solo. But it wasn’t his dream. I had to make the decision to either abandon the dream or do it alone.
How I felt before I left
The fear was petrifying but it was not paralyzing. As much as I was afraid to go, I was more afraid to regret not going.
I traveled solo through Latin America trying to figure out what my life is all about.
And here I am
I now keep a base in Toronto but I travel most of the year. The longer I travel the more I see that the culture of a place is found in its food. So you won’t see me hiking many mountains, I’d rather stay at the bottom and meet the farmers, fishermen, winemakers and food producers.
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