The Night Before My Life Changes

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Back in 2010 I wrote a post with the same name. It was life changing travel.

I had just sold most of my possessions, quit my job and the following day at the airport I would break up with my 5-year-on-again-off-again-boyfriend.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t a surprise for him.

We agreed airport security was the end of the line for us.

I bought a one-way ticket to Cancun Mexico and had grand plans to travel the world for one or two years.

That was 11 years ago.

Advertising office
My old office in Toronto.

That night before I left my bags were packed and I was as prepared as I could be. And after the Ex went to sleep I stayed up to spend time alone.

I looked around my empty Toronto apartment. I thought about the ten years I spent there building a life and career that I loved.

And I knew I was on the precipice of something big. I had no idea what that would be.

That morning I was very anxious. But when I walked through the metal detector in airport security all of those feelings washed away.

And I never looked back.

Tonight my life is very different and yet somewhat the same.

Honestly, I am nervous.

Also slightly anxious and there is fear of leaving what has become very comfortable here at home.

It’s a teeter totter of being excited to go and dreading the unknown.

Yet I’m now wise enough to know that the feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty are normal.

You’re never ready to go. You just do it and deal with what happens.

2010 at the airport with hiking sneakers and zip off pants – thinking I’d actually be outdoorsy

Traveling in 2010

Back in 2010 Bacon is Magic was just a site I created for my Mom and friends.

Social media was in its infancy and I had no idea people would be interested in my life.

Although my site is about travel and a whole lot of food, I see it as more than that.

It’s the backdrop to my life.

In Colombia I realized that people were following along even though I was visiting places many would never go.

And that’s because I was brutally honest.

This adventurous lifestyle came with its downfalls – mostly crying on buses, getting robbed, not knowing with the F I was doing with my life.

11 years later I’d say this is pretty much the same.

But some things are a bit different!

Same Same But Different

Now I’m comfortable writing here on the website.

But I spent the last 18 months learning to create video.

I’ve always wanted to share video of the places I’ve visited because video just shares a different story.

It’s not better. Just different.

Writing is a way for me to be introspective, to share my thoughts about what is going on in my head when I’m traveling.

But video gives me an opportunity to allow others to share their story, without my narrative or bias.

You see for yourself why I think some places are so special.

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And I think I bring something different than what you read or see in mainstream media.

I travel for a longer time and often have local friends.

I tend to have experiences and knowledge that you don’t get from a guide book or visiting for just a week.

I don’t count the number of countries I visit to post on my social media profile.

I’d rather stay three months in one country than visit five countries in seven days for some arbitrary bucket list.

Video allows me to share all of this in a way that doesn’t quite capture it in writing.

And I’m really excited about its potential to share places I think you’d love too.

Shanty Stays accommodation in Souris Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is always a good idea

I’m Grateful For the Time I Had Here

I’ve spent 18 months in Nova Scotia. This is the longest stretch of time since 2001.

20 years.

Yet I didn’t feel any loss or that my life suffered. Nova Scotia was one of the safest places to be. And I took the time to regroup and reset my life.

I traveled A LOT.

I created this Nova Scotia Road Trip series.

I visited Saint John, Fredericton and Yarmouth for the first time!

And I organized the first Brogan/Osborne family vacation in Prince Edward Island.

But now I’m ready to go.

I reached out to Indigenous Tourism Alberta to partner with me. I’m really interested in exploring the history of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

I’ve chosen 5 Indigenous experiences in Alberta and I’m really excited for this trip.

This is my first trip outside my safe Maritime bubble.

Oh the days when travel was easy breezy.

Traveling Internationally in 2021

Choosing to travel internationally was a complicated decision.

I do feel a sense of responsibility. How can I tell people they should stay home and then take off to Mexico?

I’m trying not judging other people’s choices.

But traveling isn’t just about me being protected. It’s about respecting locals and knowing they will be safe.

So traveling without the two jabs wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t want to be part of the problem spreading it to others.

And I’ve made tough decisions professionally.

Back in 2020 I committed to a trip in Milan, Italy. Although the hospitality show is taking proper precautions, it is a massive food show with tens of thousands of people from 40 countries.

And many on the show floor may have their masks off to eat and drink.

I don’t feel comfortable with that. Not indoors. Actually I wouldn’t want that outdoors either.

Not yet.

Professionally it was difficult to cancel a commitment. But personally I couldn’t risk my health.

It wasn’t right. It wasn’t worth it.

Ecuador traditional dress for a festival in the Andes
Traditional dress during a festival in a village in the Andes

But I am going to Ecuador!

As I am out of practice traveling, I wanted to go somewhere familiar.

And also I wanted to feel safe.

In Ecuador you need to wear a mask indoors and also outdoors, unless you can safely socially distance.

So in the cities people wear their masks while downtown, in fact if police see you without one you can get a ticket.

If you’re out in the country with no one around you it is ok.

This is my fourth trip to Ecuador. But I haven’t been there since 2013 when I wrote this Ecuador travel guide.

More than the Galapagos, Ecuador packs in beaches, mountains and jungle in a small country.

I am really excited because I have friends in Ecuador.

And they have all agreed to help with me with a video series. There will be lots of traditional Ecuadorian food.

I’m heading back to Cuenca

Cuenca is a colonial city in the Andes, it is probably Ecuador’s most popular city.

My friend Andres is a guide and we’ve been planning videos – lots of Ecuadorian desserts, fruits and drinks.

I’m also hoping to head back to Canoa, on the coast of Ecuador. A friend there owns a café and hotel, she’s going to show me how much it has changed!

I’m also going to the Galapagos…again!

Last time I took a Galapagos tour and then rented my guide’s house for five weeks.

This time I have another friend who a guide there that said I could stay at his house for a month. I’ll also take another cruise.

And if you’re wondering yes I do have insurance.

This plan covers me traveling long term. It also covers everything should I need to isolate while away.

Ayngelina at an airbnb skoolie, renovated school bus

My Life is Changing Again

Back in 2010 I thought there would be this lightbulb moment and I would have clarity with what I wanted to do with my life.

But I realized that the lighbulb moment only exists in cartoons.

In reality it is more like a dimmer, the longer you live the more your path is illuminated.

I no longer make 5 year plans or even 3 month plans.

I take life as it comes to me and I make the most of it.

For the most part there are no bad decisions. You make a decision and if it isn’t working out for you then you make another decision.

This is an important lesson kids need to know.

From an early age we are asked to make decisions we think will impact the rest of our lives.

What do we want to be when we grow up? Who will we spend the rest of our life with?

But what we think we want to do at 17 may not be the same at 30. And the person you love at 30 may not be the right person at 45.

For some it works, for others not at all.

It didn’t work for me.

Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala
Guatemala 2010

In 2010 I wondered what was wrong with me.

Why couldn’t I just be happy like everyone else?

I had a great job, friends and a mediocre relationship I thought would get better.

I was 95% happy. That’s more than most people.

Yet I only felt the 5% like a gaping black hole that sucked my spirit into the abyss.

Today I’m comfortable with not being like everyone else.

I don’t want to marry. I won’t have children.

But I do have great friends, an amazingly supportive family and a life that I love.

I hope you stick around to share the next chapter with me!

Join the Conversation

  1. Stay safe. Stay well.
    Continue to enjoy everything! I’m so looking forward to catching all of your adventures on YouTube! ☀️

  2. C.L. Gonzalez says:

    Wow! What an amazing story. I started following this blog because of Cuba, my heritage.
    Now, I am really intrigued to read more about these upcoming adventures! Safe travels!

  3. So much more to come … can’t wait to follow you! Love your posts and honesty!

  4. Teri A Yeung says:

    Loved reading about your upcoming adventures and how life as led you to exactly where you’re supposed to be. Something I’ve learned about making decisions is that what’s important is not making the absolute right one or not making mistakes, but about making a decision at all and then committing to it and having the strength to adjust along the way.

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