While we here in Edmonton have been blessed with a relatively mild and pleasant winter aside from a few very cold days, I still find myself obsessively looking at the long range forecast, impatiently waiting for spring to arrive and dreaming of emerald green lawns, reading outside, drinks on patios and long bike rides. As usual, travel is on the brain as I plan hypothetical trips to new destinations. Wanderlust is a definite intoxication of mine, taking up most of my savings year after year. I really do believe travel is the best education out there. The things you learn about yourself and other cultures, and skills you build, are incomparable to lessons learned in the classroom. Truth be told, I am craving a solo trip somewhere new and different. There is more to see in the world than Europe and the United States - the places I personally find myself visiting over and over again.
Depending on where I am and what I am doing this spring, since I am currently applying for jobs all over the country as a part of a student summer job program funded by the federal government, and could be anywhere from Toronto to a small town somewhere completely random. I am currently contemplating a visit to India to visit a friend there while she's doing her PhD field work, as well as a a few other places in Asia. I've heard Viet Nam and Thailand are quite safe for women traveling alone these days, especially given the amount of Westerners visiting that part of the world in recent years. Cuba would also be amazing!
Also related to travel, I've been thinking a lot about how my traveling habits will change in the future. Rather than rack up impressive numbers of the amount of places I've been, I want to see new places more in-depth, rather than just capital hopping. Sure, I've been to Budapest but is that all of Hungary? No. In the future, whenever I visit a new country I wish to visit at least two places on my visits, if not more. I've been to sixteen countries in total now, and of those I've really only visited a few extensively. Canada, the USA, Scotland, England, Germany, Spain, France and Japan are places I have been to three or more places or visited more than once - even though Japan was over then years ago already!! As I travel in the future, I want to focus more on quality rather than quantity, though admittedly I would like to hit that twenty country mark sooner than later. Goals for the next two years. If I am working all summer in Canada, sadly I will not be going anywhere outside North America, although Cuba and Mexico would be amazing, and I really would love to visit a few places in Texas, Chicago or New Orleans.
Anyhow, here are some photos of the last time I went on a massive backpacking trip. It was almost FIVE YEARS AGO already that Kristena and I bashed around Europe, and just one year before I started blogging. Wish I had done so back in 2010, we made so many memories on this debaucherous, crazy trip. There's LOTS of photos - sorry! I couldn't choose which ones to leave out.
Excited for more travel memories!