Tag Archives: Travel

CITY OF ROSES

I’ve been so lazy lately, haven’t accomplished anything with my condo.  I haven’t put up any photo’s, decorated (in any way), taken any bins down to my locker, nothing.  I just kinda stare at the mess that is my den right now.  I’m not sure why I’m in this state of…….um…….non-activity, but I am.  Actually, maybe I’m just still burnt out from all the purging, packing, purging, packing and more purging I went through to move……I’m not sure.  But, I am sure that I need to get out of this funk.

I came back recently from a trip to Portland, Oregon.  It’s probably one of my favourite cities in the U.S.  And, the tax-free shopping helps too.  I’ve been to Portland many times, but usually either went with someone or visiting someone who would take me around.  This time I was on my own, so I decided to do a walking tour, I wanted to do something different and I read some great reviews about these walking tours.  I went on an Epicurean walking tour, so basically I walked around downtown and the Pearl district and sampled food along the way.  It was a terrific tour and definitely worth the money spent.  I learned a lot more about the city then I already knew so that was good.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I had anticipated that I would, but since I’m not a big shopper to begin with, I wasn’t surprised.  I did get to see the Rose Garden, which was so pretty.  Everything was in bloom and I took a few photo’s (as you see above) and smelled a few roses.  I had not anticipated going up there, but glad to have gone because Portland is the “City of Roses” so how can I visit without even stepping foot into the Rose Garden?

It was good to get away it renewed my itch to travel.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of vacation days leftover for the year (thanks to my move) so I need to spread them out.  I really enjoyed my time in Portland, so much so that I want to go back again!  Anyways, I’ll see how things go….I don’t like to plan too far ahead, I’d rather just be spontaneous.

WHAT TO DO?

My nature is to dive into a situation and then just work my way through it.  I rarely shy away from a challenge – it keeps me on my toes since I bore easily.  Of course there are consequences of this type of rash behaviour.  Its always in the back of my mind that I’m going to pay for it, but a majority of the time I just don’t give a shit.  I always have the philosophy that things will work itself out.

My friend emailed me about a month ago to ask me if I wanted to go on vacation with her next year, that’s right, next year.  Hell, I’m still working on this year.  I reluctantly agreed, I actually wanted to say “no” but just didn’t have the heart to (my first mistake), but told her that a resort vacation was out of the question.  Lounging by the pool for a week or two is not my idea of a vacation anymore.

If there is one big thing that has changed since I came back from my work in the Dominican is my view on travel and the goals I want to accomplish in the next two years.  That trip changed me and gave me some clarity.  So, I’m regretting agreeing to this shared vacation.  What to do, what to do…

Its not going to kill me to go on vacation with her – my friend is great. Traveling with someone is nice just for the companionship.  But, I’ve also come to like traveling by myself.  Or at least traveling with someone who is like-minded.  I’m very independent, my friend is not.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but what I am saying is that I’ll probably want to do a lot of things on my own and she won’t do her own thing.  I could be wrong, but I’ve done enough vacations with her to know how she travels.

I can go anywhere by myself.  Its just that simple for me.  My friend, on the other hand, doesn’t like traveling on her own.  So, its my own fault for not answering honestly in the first place.  I will think of a way to make this work.  This is an example of how its not good to be impulsive.  😐

RANDOM VANCOUVER PICS

I was walking down Nelson street in Vancouver and almost created a human pile-up cause I stopped so suddenly.  I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but no, here’s your proof (taken on my new crackberry storm – I’m weak, so sue me – it was handy while I was out of town):

toilet

Now, I’m not sure if I’d use this toilet, although it was tempting just to see the inside of it (I know, a toilet is a toilet, but outside in an urban downtown area?).  It was quite the sight.  I don’t think it was there before, but then again, I never walked downtown as much as I did this trip.  In any case, it gave me a good chuckle.

Then I went down Granville street and couldn’t resist taking a pic of it as well, because I know the next time I’m in town it won’t be the same.  I wanted to capture it’s essence before they try to clean this area for the 2010 Olympics.

granvillestreet

Its a grungy part of the downtown core, but I love its character.  Anyways, these random pics of Vancouver shows you a bit of its character.  And below shows you how proud the city is of hosting the 2010 Olympics, they have a countdown clock at the VAG!  Note that at the time I was there the Olympics were: 351 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes and 28 seconds away.

2010countdown1

HOME AGAIN

northvancouver

I looked out the window after the pilot told us that we were approaching the airport in Vancouver.  I could see the mountains and I knew I was back in my second home.  As we landed, I wondered, for a split second, did I still remember it?  I was worried I wouldn’t remember how to maneuver the roads in the city.  I had nothing to fear though, once I got my rental car and started driving around, it all came back to me.

I enjoyed myself.  It was a short but sweet trip.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  Next time.

steveston1

TIME FLIES

It’s 1:50am and I can’t sleep, so I’m blogging.  I haven’t been sleeping well lately and its not the usual not sleeping well, its the I’m still wide awake at 3am not sleeping well (not that its 3am yet though).  And, its been a fairly busy week so that doesn’t help.  I can’t believe how quickly time flies by because my last few weeks of freedom are about over very soon.  I’ve been trying to be as productive as possible these last few weeks, but I haven’t gotten done all I wanted to do.  At least the job hunt is over, so I can concentrate on the things I want to accomplish.

My last week of freedom I’m going to enjoy my much needed vacation.  I haven’t planned a damn thing for this vacation other than book the flight, hotel and rent a car.  I’m going to Vancouver, my second home, so I’m just going to go with the flow when I get there.  I don’t need plans, just do whatever I want to do.  Just the way I like it.  My only plan, if you can call it that, is to see some old friends and enjoy the mountains and fresh air.  And, my only hope is that I don’t have the attack of the allergies while I’m breathing in this fresh air and enjoying nature.  This is the time of year where things bloom there and if history is to be correct, I will be scratching my eyeballs out. 

Scratching my eyeballs aside, it’ll be good to go back there.  I’ve missed it, not enough to move across the country again, been there done that.  But, I’ve missed it.  A part of my heart has always and will always remain there.  Vancouver is such a laid back city so I know I’ll have a chance to breath a little easy and relax (truly relax) before I start a new chapter.  A little calm before the storm is always good….not that I’m hoping for a storm, but it seemed like a good analogy, no?

NEXT ADVENTURE

drbeauty1

Memories of the Dominican

My next adventure – I’ve been mulling it over.  Once I settle the job situation, I’ll be working on my adventure situation.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because one of the girls I went to the Dominican Republic with, where I helped build houses, is going on another volunteer trip.

She does industrial design and she’ll be helping design/build this eco-tourism center and missionary center in Rwanda.  I haven’t been in close contact with her since the trip, but we’re on facebook so that’s how I found out.  She’s leaving in a few days, to do a trip in Europe and then she’ll make her way to Rwanda from there.  I met-up with her briefly today because she’s borrowing my battery charger.  We both have Canon cameras, and she left her charger at her parents, who live 5 hours from Toronto.  She started a blog about her trip and I told her I would stalk it daily, because she is going to Rwanda so I’m a bit worried, and she promised to update it as often as possible.  It was great to see her, she’s got such a bubbly personality, she’ll do good in Rwanda.

I really want to do a trip that will tie in with some volunteering this year as well.  I think I’m hooked now.  I was trying to explain to a friend how I could never do a resort vacation again, and she didn’t quite get it.  She thought it was because of the food, which is ridiculous, but after I explained it to her I think she was a bit embarassed once she understood that the reason why I couldn’t do it was because of what I had experienced not because of bad food.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with resort vacations abroad, but I crave adventure, being active and doing something worthwhile.  I’ve seen what comes out of a volunteer effort and having experienced it I can’t forget it, I want to keep doing it.  

A couple of countries pop into my head for this year – Africa and Asia.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and point somewhere on a map of Africa or Asia and that will be where I go. 

Trust me, there is a method to my madness.  😉

MOMENT OF CLARITY?

There are doers and then there are talkers.  I’m in the middle of this sphere.  I prefer to be a doer, but that often involves taking a leap of faith.  I’ve taken a few leaps of faith in my lifetime, resulting in life changing events and without them I wouldn’t be what I am today.  Lately, those leaps have been far and few between.

So, where is all this reflection coming from?  Well, I was reading this blog I like last night and it got me thinking.  The author is a journalist/film & tv industry person and she’s pretty much done what I’d love to do (and will eventually do), just wandered the world doing what they love.  I envy people who can just pick-up and go without worrying where the next pay cheque is coming from.  She’s a great example of someone who does what she wants and lives life the way she wants.  She enjoys herself and there’s not a lot of people I know who allow themselves that luxury.

Me?  I’m not quite there yet, I’m working towards it, but I’m still chained by my job, my bills and my mortgage.  If I did what this women did, my parents would both have heart attacks.  Although I’ve done a few crazy things in my life time, I haven’t been the rebel in awhile.  Perhaps that is where all my restlessness lies.  Too much thinking, not enough doing.  Its true what they say, your life is yours to live so go and live it.