(via Pinterest)It's no secret that I have the travel bug. I didn't travel tonnes as a child (we went on a road trip to California when I was like three or four... all I remember is sweating so much you could see the outline of my body on the mattress in the back of the van - yeah - who needs seat belts?, I went to England when I was in grade four, and Disneyland in grade six), so it isn't like I grew up a globetrotter, but it's definitely something I've become rather excited to do in the last few years.
I went to university right after high school (without taking a travel gap-year like it seems all Aussies do), and then settled down with the "I don't want to travel anywhere where they don't speak English" ex-husband (who in turn got re-married in Mexico - maybe he went to the English speaking part... ugh) right after that. I did manage to talk him into a honeymoon to the Dominican Republic, but unfortunately his piss-poor attitude made the trip oh-so-much-fun.
Then, the divorce. And then the realization that I was totally cool travelling on my own. I'd been to Vegas a couple of times (a total of four times now), but when I moved to the big city, I decided that I wanted more. So I booked my Contiki tour in 2008. I thought that this was one of the best ways to see lots of places in a reasonably short amount of time (I'm a big bang for my buck kind of girl), and while I'll never Contiki again (I am not a party-er or a drinker so that part of the tour was lost on me... and I could've used a day or so more in a couple of places) I now knew that I had the confidence to travel on my own without a tour group.
Last year I did my UK trip... I backpacked Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, stayed in hostels, saw the school that Hogwarts is based on, saw Loch Ness and the Cliffs of Moher and had a great time. I rather like travelling like that on my own - I didn't need to wait for anyone, I got to see what I wanted to see, and do what I wanted, when I wanted.
This year is a new adventure... a Western Caribbean cruise with the manfriend. Another big bang for my buck vacation - five countries in seven days (well technically six in 9 days since we leave from Canada!)... I've started booking my excursions - cave tubing in Belize and zip-lining in Roatan so far. I'm appreciating the fact that the Canadian dollar is kicking butt on the American dollar - every little bit will help keep expenses down (which means more shopping!).
Even after all of that is said and done... according to the Where I've Been app on Facebook, I've only touched 8% of the world... still so much more to explore!
(Red = lived there, Blue = been there or trip booked there, Green = want to go there)