Travelling is my passion. I have been through over 20 different countries - I lost count after my fourth trip to Europe. As long as the number exceeds my age, I'm satisfied.

I'm an avid backpacker. I don't just want to see the world. I want to experience it.

I travel in a unique way. I have climbed the Great Wall of China in snow, worked on a farm in Normandy, France, and volunteered at an orphanage in Bali, Indonesia.

Backpackers are constantly sharing information, stories, and advice. I'm not doing this because I make money off of it (which I don't) or because I think I know it all (which I definitely don't).

I am simply doing this because it's what I love to do. Enjoy!

Monday, 15 October 2012

For the First Time

I left the warm, salty Mediterranean waters of Southern France and trekked my way up to the East Coast of the Highlands in mid-September (have I really been here for a month already?!).  Although I suffered an extreme case of culture and climate shock, the transition went rather smoothly as I was welcomed into Scotland by my friend John and his over-friendly rugby team.

Despite being in the cold, wild, middle-of-nowhere up in Wick, I have found a surprising amount to occupy myself with.  From the moment I left home to my three month mark, this has been a vacation of “firsts”:

I have been paragliding in Austria, canyoning in Switzerland, swimming in the North Sea, drinking with the American army, gambling at Monte Carlo, and sleeping on far too many trains.

I was emitted into Bruce Springsteen’s concert for free in London, caught climbing buildings in Interlaken, and completely lost in London at night.  I convinced my mates to have a bonfire next to the North Sea in Wick and sprained my ankle cliff-jumping in Switzerland.

I learned how to care for birds, donkeys, sheep, geese, horses, and other people on a Normandy farm.  I was also head-butted by a goat.  Twice.

I went to a gay club, a Shakespearean musical, a Norwegian church, and a Danish rock concert.  I drank on the streets, danced on a roof-top, and went hot-tubbing on a boat.

I have secured two British bank accounts, a fixed Scottish address to an actual house, an NHI number to accompany my UK work visa, and a horrible English accent.

I began writing weekly articles as a columnist for a local newspaper, visiting countless castles, and turning my phone off more often than on.

I got a job, quit my job, and began to ask myself what I really want.

I am chasing my dreams and watching them unfold before my eyes.

And yes, sometimes things are difficult, and I find myself complaining about being lonely or bored or tired more often than I should.  I talk about 'back home' almost constantly and I really do miss Alberta.  I’m still young and liable to make mistakes or say too much, but I am honest with myself, my friends, and my family.  I am discovering myself and inventing myself.

And that, I think, is the greatest “first” of all.

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