Gypsy Wednesday – Power to the Cubicle Drone!

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday!  Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

Remember when you first started a job, it was exciting?  A breath of a new start?  Two items you received to mark your status in this company were smooth to the touch business cards, the fonts kerning perfectly, and your name plate.  Shiny, hot from the press identifier.  You are… Marketing Manager!  Account Coordinator!  SIGNIFICANT.  To our team; our “family.”

Next you know, those same items are tossed into a scuffed milk crate that doubles for a box, alongside all the knick knacks you carefully placed at your “home”.  The happy family is shattered, your belongings now orphans.

Ohhh, sweet revenge.  Label me a scorned woman if you will.  I spell it this way – FREEDOM.  And I tell you, freedom never tasted so sweet.

Tell me, former or current pod people, what item did you/would you cathartically destroy to represent your freedom from the cube?

By |April 28th, 2010 |Categories: Life |20 Comments

Is The Nomadic Lifestyle Really Available To Everyone?

Are we simply self-indulgent?  Or can travelers be a catalyst for change?  Today’s guest post is by Sarah Robertson from Footprints of a Backpacker.  She asks these challenging questions and then some.  Where do you stand?

The Burning Question

As someone relatively new to the travel blogging/lifestyle redesign community, I have been avidly reading the advice and stories of those who have gone before me. I have devoured the success stories of those who have been able to leave their traditional lifestyle and create something a little more nomadic for themselves.  I have taken solace in the knowledge that there are many others out there like me; still in the dreaming stages, yearning for that departure date.  I have been encouraged and motivated by the bloggers a’plenty who suggest how you can cut down on the amount of stuff you own, cut down on the amount you spend and make preparations for quitting your job and hop-skipping around the world.

I am left with the feeling that anyone can accomplish the goal of designing themselves a life which promotes happiness and fulfillment over a vicious cycle of consumerism.  And yet, as someone with an innately overactive sense of guilt and obligation I force myself to ask…  is the nomadic lifestyle really an option which is available to everyone?

Of course, those who have stumbled upon these blogs are likely to be people who are already questioning the prescribed lifestyle and are looking for guidance and reassurance that other options are available.  But what if we were to take the concept at face value?  What if EVERYONE were given the opportunity to change their lives and not have to

By |April 26th, 2010 |Categories: Life |15 Comments

Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show – Part 2

Thanks to Robin Esrock’s magic wand I got to enjoy The Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show in Vancouver this weekend – April 24 and 25.

While day 1 involved some newly discovered travel treasures, day 2 had me on the hunt for some useful products for travelers.  Face it, most of us are gear geeks.

Major outdoor adventure companies like Columbia had flashy displays, taking up floor space with kayaks and hi-tech clothing galore.  All well and good, but again, I was sniffing out what might aid the average backpacker.

Keen Shoes


If you’ve never heard of Keen, I feel sorry for you.  Keen had a simple, but transparent booth at the show, displaying anything from hiking boots to sandals.  These aren’t those flip flops that will disintegrate upon contact with pavement and leave your feet open to shards of glass or rabid dogs, their sandals cover the toe, are waterproof, breathable, and composed of EGIS Microbe Shield®, a material that prevents odor or staining.  Heaven!  Their hikers are top notch, but what really sold me were socks.  I have tiny feet, so bunching is a problem.  Keen socks are designed to fit to the angle of your toes, each sock is labeled “right” or “left” to ensure a perfect fit on each foot. There’s also built-in arch support and air panels for circulation.  The biggest plus?  Their socks are constructed of merino wool, a natural odor fighting fiber.  You could wear them for 3 to 4 days and never be accused of stinking up a hostel

Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show – Part 1

I had the privilege of attending The Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show being held in Vancouver this weekend – April 24 and 25.

Somehow I lied my way into a media pass and was able to scope out over 300 exhibitors.  Yup, that’s more than the total number of dates I’ve had in 5 years.

The media pass was not procured by my clever wit or good looks – no, no.

Right now I treat my blogging career as a happy mistake.  I also operate on a high level of denseness.  In this case, I boldly asked Robin Esrock for an interview over Twitter.  Who is he, you  may ask?

Only the Vancouver based travel writer who’s been published in scads of newspapers and periodicals.  Only the creator of Word Travels, airing on OLN and Citytv, co-hosted with the fantastic Julia Dimon.  He literally just returned from China, promptly emailed me that he would love to do an interview, and didn’t I know he was speaking at the travel show?

My response: uh, the what show?

Hmmm.. perhaps mistake is the incorrect word, how about fluke?

So I plod along viciously clueless, caving into the realization that’s how I roll.

Anyway, Robin was kind enough to extend a media pass and the rest is history.  I promise to devote a full post to him, which applies to all the travel writer wannabes out there.

And how did the first day of the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show roll?  Quite a variety.  The usual suspects were on hand

By |April 24th, 2010 |Categories: Travel Tips |3 Comments

Gypsy Wednesday – When Things Fall Apart

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday!  Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

My interest in Buddhism has spanned years, leaving a terrible ache for self-improvement.  Lingering in bookstores is another long held pastime, so the second my eyes devoured its cover, When Things Fall Apart had to be added to my collection.

The interesting tidbit here is I purchased this book 3 or 4 months ago.  It’s obvious my subconscious was preparing for future challenges.

Published in 1997, When Things Fall Apart is based on the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  His student, Pema Chödrön pieces together a transparent guide to higher understanding.  Pema is a fascinating character herself.  After a painful divorce, she sought answers in Buddhism to emerge as the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, the first Tibetan Monastery in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Finishing the book seemed paramount, due to oodles of spare time and my present situation.

How does this book relate to travel?

Frustrating travel days exist.  Sometimes we narrowly miss a flight connection.  Other times the hostel was east, when you walked west.  Or a cafe’s idea of vegetarian is chicken.  The harsh reality is multiple events can turn awry on the road, which rubs the shine off travel.

Obviously the worst is when tragedy strikes.

We are dazed accident victims –questioning why terrible things happen — doubtful we’ll even get through intact.

The ground beneath feels slippery, unstable.  Our emotions ride intense waves, and the result? A jarring sense of lack of control over anything.

When Things Fall Apart is divided into 22 chapters, which

By |April 21st, 2010 |Categories: Life |7 Comments
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Round the World Now

This is It

It’s been a furious few days mainly spent on the pavement, a phone line, or surfing the web.

A week before the demise of my corporate career a chief worry was meeting my financial goal.   That concern forced me to consider setting back my leave date of June to August – a disappointing prospect.

When HR director slid the severance package across a table and I released the freshly printed documents from a brown envelope the dollar amount staring back at me was it.  Basically what I needed to begin.

The first 3 nights of unemployment proved sleepless, my brain revving with scenarios or possible outcomes.  The fourth night I slept soundly.  By the fifth, desire and reality clicked into place – two puzzle pieces slotting together.

What I desperately longed for had come, but did so abruptly.  A whack to the side of the head.

As I processed the layoff,  one question nipped at my heels – what now?

It was obvious.

#RTWNow

My new hashtag.  For those unfamiliar, the Twitter tribe can follow certain lists, which are initiated by hastags, marked with a # before it.  My former hashtag was #rtwsoon.  But, no more.

I’ve graduated, it’s clear forces are pushing me towards that June departure date.

Oh yeah, it’s on.

Inert, slouch mode is replaced with being upright, feeling the ground beneath my feet, a weighty pack against my hips and back.  Morning coffee won’t come from a plastic dispenser, but a smiling, toothless street vendor beneath the tropical sun.  Sustenance will no longer sizzle under cancer forming rays in a microwave.  It’s open fires and grills from now on.

I’m already mining that

By |April 20th, 2010 |Categories: Adventure |42 Comments