Spending Christmas (solo) away from home?

This time last year, I arrived in Buenos Aires (BsAs), Argentina at the early hours of Christmas Day to begin my 2013 Epic Journey. After a restful sleep, I started early to explore the city – alone – on what is typically a day reserved for family and friends.

I know most people if given the choice, they would rather not be on the road during the festive holiday season – solo. Traveling alone can be challenging. Homesickness is common. I relate it to Valentine’s day, when I see lovey dovey couples together, while I’m spending Vday alone or with other single friends. I admit I am a seasoned solo traveler but I know traveling solo can be a daunting and pushing you out of your comfort zone. Personally, I think and know that when one choose to travel solo, one can end up gaining some new perspectives and unexpected experiences, if given the opportunity. Continue reading

What’s to come…

A year ago today, I was on the brink of something extremely significant and a bit mind-blowing. It would be the final full day and night that I would spend in Toronto, Canada – in my home before embarking on 7+ months of travel to 3 different continents. Prior to this, I had never in my  life traveled for more than 2 months, continuously – alone or accompanied. Also, I had never traveled with such a blank slate of an ‘itinerary’ before. See this post, for a short explanation of that blank itinerary.
A photo says a 1000 words??

A photo says a 1000 words??

People who knows me know and still don’t understand how I do not bounce off the walls with excitement over such events. They also do not understand that I do not realize it’s a ‘scary’ thing to go on trips by myself. To the same degree, I do not understand why people think I am courageous or brave for thinking, let alone traveling anywhere on my own. It almost seems like I get the idea in my head and figure out how to accomplish it on the fly.
For me, travel is not for escapism. Even on a day-to-day basis, I do not go about my day with headphones on, music to block out city noise or mobile phone in-hand 24/7. I do not read books on buses or subways – I tend to get some type of motion sickness. But there’s the odd day that I’ll skim over the daily paper on a long subway ride. I enjoy absorbing the sounds of my surrounding. I enjoy overhearing random conversations. However, I still get spooked by unexpected pedestrians or cyclists or dogs who zooms past me when I zone out.
I prefer to be present in my daily life and not have it breeze by. I still do not have the memory capacity to remember everything that occurred but I try to enjoy the full experience while it’s happening.
What unfolded in my 2013 Epic Journey would change me and help me grow to the extent that I still do not fully understand or comprehend today. With a pair of judgmental eyes, a few words comes to mind: crazy, dumb, idiotic, insane, brilliant, amazing, unfathomable, relaxing, spiritual, nurturing, adventurous, mind-blowing, memorable!
In the evening of December 23, 2012 all I could do was look at my infamous “To Do List” and hope I’ve dealt with the most important items…
Rent out my home for 6 months – to help pay for the journey
Pack up and store all my personal belongings after much purging
Fit all that I can into 1 medium sized suitcase and my 35L daypack (with camera, phone & laptop in tow)
Make sure my bills and mail are in order
Share a few more laughs with my dear friends – in person
Attempt to research the countries I intend to visit (the Lonely Planet book became dead weights in my bags!!)
Hope my broken Spanish would miraculously make a comeback as soon as I step foot onto Latin American soil
… the list actually gets more and more detailed and specific but I don’t want to bore you with logistics
What resulted amplifies my desire to motivate more people to start traveling if they have not already. Just think… Christmas Day in Buenos Aires, NYE on a ship heading towards Antarctica, birthday celebration in Buenos Aires with my tour guide / friend from a trip I took back in 2007,…
Do not wait for life to come knocking on your door.
Open the door and invite life into you – explore and have fun!

Ice storms are beautiful…

On the eve of December 21, 2013 – Most of Ontario, including Toronto got a hit of Winter. It just so happens to be the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.

Personally I love the aftermath of Ice storms – okay maybe not the damages caused (fallen power lines = power outages, broken tree branches, traffic interruptions). However, I find a unique serenity associated with the beauty of frozen water molecules and the thoughts the abstract forms provokes…

These are some photos I captured in my neighbourhood – Trinity Bellwoods.

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