Twenty-two cities, nine countries, three lost and unemployed friends, one of many lifelong experiences.
Excitement, butterflies, sadness and fear. But why? The unknown. I've always said 'I want to backpack Europe. I want to travel the world... but next year.' Timing never seemed right and being comfortable felt okay. Aside from personal things going on in my life, there was always hesitation, excuses rather. I knew it then and I know it now, I was afraid. I'm a family oriented person. Personally, I enjoy spending time with my family. From vacations, dinners, cottage weekends, night outs etc. I was fearful of being homesick or the possibility of missing out on something of importance. Then, there was the unknown aspect of things. I was afraid of being in a foreign place, language barriers, pickpocketing, bad travel stories. All of these things running through my mind, expecting the worst.
Meanwhile, I had been working at a desk job, same routine, exhausted long car rides home after graduation. Until one day I couldn't take it anymore. Asking myself, 'what am I going to say when I'm older? No experiences, sat in front of a computer screen in my 20s. Borderline depressed.' I said 'screw it, I'm doing this'. Fortunately, I had Luca and Joe tagging along to give me that extra push. After pondering the idea, we jumped in and booked a one way ticket. The following day I gave my work notice. I had no idea what was in store for me. No return ticket, just get up and go.
We started off with a two week road trip on the East Coast of Canada. This was definitely the most underrated and overlooked part of our journey. Road tripping with no direction through New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia, camping out under the gorgeous stars every single night. We ended off our east coast journey in Sussex New Brunswick and enjoyed the best Canada Day weekend I've ever been a part of. Shout out to Colleen McMackin and Mike Connell for their hospitality. Truly, I will be forever grateful. Next was our real testament in a foreign place, Europe. Prior to this trip, my fear was being in a foreign country, encountering language barriers and not having any sort of direction. Ironically this is what I had fallen in love with. From the amazing foods in Italy, to the gorgeous Swiss Alps in Interlaken all the way to the farmer markets in Portugal. Different cultures, beautiful languages, amazing foods and waking up every morning not having an idea on what the day would hold. To this day, it was the greatest decision I have ever made in my life. It opened up my eyes, my views on the world, my urge to travel. The people we met, the places we experienced, relationships we built along the way. One of the most fascinating things to me about people is when we are thrown into something, we are forced to adapt. As mentioned earlier I have been guilty of putting things off. However, since this experience I have preached to everyone if they want to do something, jump right in and do it. Eternal happiness isn't built off of materialistic things, instead happiness is based off of experiences, conquering fears and learning that there is more to life out of our comfort zones. Since this trip I have and will continue to encourage people to get away from the standardized norms as much as possible and explore the world. Different upbringings, different beliefs, different cultures and different foods, these things are what I’ve learned has intrigued me. The reasoning and passion I have about wanting to travel more and explore our beautiful world.
For those of you feeling lost, unsettled or fed up with the constant societal norms. Pick a place, buy a plane ticket and go explore. Trust me, it’s worth it, I know it worked for me.
If you could buy a plane ticket right now, what travel destination would you choose?