I’m warning you, go and put the kettle on, this is going to be a long one… lots of words and not many pictures.
So moving on in new directions…
We’ve been living on the West coast of Canada for over a year now and in Vancouver for 10 months. Everything has started to feel a bit too normal for us and I think we’ve honestly just gotten a little scared. We never really make plans, so all of a sudden one day we were chatting and decided to just leave. It’s probably a bit stupid considering we both have fantastic full time jobs and summers here and we finally have friends to hang out with but what the hell, we like to make things difficult. Let’s go to Montreal! Let’s live in a french speaking province with literally NO knowledge of the language. Let’s move there at the beginning of another long winter! All terrible ideas. Good luck to us even finding work. Nothing really makes sense but we will welcome the challenge with frustration while screaming at each other, and enjoy the beautiful snowy old city. Don’t worry, we have a back up plan… move 6 hours away to Toronto 🙂
Seen as we are relocating we might as well travel in-between so we’re off to the airport in 14 hours. Who knows when that chance will come again, and besides we’re due for another vacation. I’m sure friends think that we are constantly travelling but remember that the daily grind still happens even when you’re living in a foreign city. We’ll use our world connections and drop in on friends and family in Europe. Stop in and say hi!. Another long-ish vacation of 9 weeks then arrive in Montreal at the very end of October. So back to living out of a backpack with all that we own over here, very reminiscent of our South America trip which we did last year, but just a little smarter this time. Always finding new ways to travel cheaper and hoping to CouchSurf along the way. Still though, we are only managing 9 weeks. One day i’ll do that 6 month trip that I dream about.
Sometimes Rohan and I think that we are pretty special, but other times we are put to shame. We’ve made so many friends along the way and also met so many crazy nomadic travellers that make us think we aren’t so special after all. This happened particularly in South America when we thought we were doing an awesome 9 week trip, though most of the other travellers we crossed paths with had been away for 8 months and still had an unplanned 6 months to go – AND not having a plane ticket out! Alot of the time though people don’t understand how and why we do it. Let me tell you…
We do it for the adventure, for seeing a world of changing landscapes and interesting people. For the FREEDOM. For learning about each other and our different cultures, and learning the patience that comes with throwing yourself into unknown surroundings or a foreign speaking country. We make new friends knowing we’ll probably never see them again, but will remember a special night forever. We do it to strengthen our relationship and know each other more as we handle situations that would never come up in everyday life. We do it for the shitty hostel rooms and budget meals… just so we can afford to stay on the road for longer. Ask any traveller and they’ll probably tell you something pretty similar.
Our way of travelling is not for everyone and i’m sure some people think we’re crazy. It’s definitely not luxury, and let me tell you why… We book the cheapest seats on planes even if it takes us 20 extra hours. Couchsurfing.org is fantastic but risky, sometime Rohan is literally on a floor while I’m sleeping on the couch (but we’re grateful for anything). If we aren’t couch surfing we find the cheapest room possible, and as long as it’s clean it really doesn’t matter if the towels are old and there is paint flaking off the ceiling. We eat simple breakfast and lunch, then have one decent meal for dinner. Public transport and no cabs. Sometimes we hire a car and sleep in it if we’re moving around the country rather than cities. We walk ALOT. We don’t get caught in cheesy tourist traps. We are careful with souvenirs, a few small things and maybe one decent purchase to take home, besides photos are the best souvenirs, they cost nothing and weigh nothing (nowadays anyway).
So yeah, it’s not glamourous. In my opinion I don’t feel you can properly experience a destination by staying in a fancy hotel room and eating at resort restaurants every night. Even though this is nice, it’s a ‘holiday’, a way to escape everyday life and relax. It’s fine for a week but for most people, that’s hard to budget for 3 months.
We love the madness of travelling and welcome it. It gives us stories to tell, and really, what’s the point in growing old if you never have any stories to tell. True?
Travelling helps us realise that you need very little in order to gain a lot. You only need enough money to get there, then once your there you learn to get by without spending much. This doesn’t mean you have to go without, it just means that you look for a different way of going about it. Instead of having a bottle of wine and fancy dinner on the esplanade, eat from a local’s food cart and buy a $2 bottle of wine from the corner store… take it to the beach and sit in the sand. That’s what I’ll be doing in Italy.
Bring on our next adventure. Scotland. Italy. Greece. Turkey… then living in Montreal.
There will be more stories to tell.