Gypsy Wednesday – Swan Song or New Start for You?

Since I began full-time traveling nearly 4 months ago, I’ve had to accept the ebb and flow of life.

Gypsy Wednesday has been a blast for the past 9 months, without it I wouldn’t have met Keith Savage, Colin Burns, Colin Wright, and Christine Ka’aloa. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to express my feelings, the trends in travel.

Sadly, it’s time to let GW go.

To continue as I delve further into the travel life is proving difficult. At this point I would rather concentrate on pitching to editors, telling travel stories or capturing interviews on the road.

I also want to focus on producing a few e-books, which is hard to do when I have to coordinate a weekly feature that usually takes several days to compose.

BUT…

Another option I’ve been dancing with is inviting a guest writer on-board to take on GW. So, if you’re a new writer to the travel universe, want to gain exposure, or just meet other travelers email [email protected]. Pitch me, make it happen!

This isn’t a sad occasion at all, but a new chapter as I jump right into the thick of travel! I plan to bring exciting stories, wanderings, and much more!

My travels morph from sleepy Canada into a possible trip to New York, TBEX Europe, then onto India for most likely 6 months. We’ll see how I weather that one.

To those who loved and supported Gypsy Wednesday, thanks for all the masterful comments and lively discussions.

Also, let’s leave it to democracy, a poll is attached for your voting pleasure.

By |September 29th, 2010 |Categories: Life |7 Comments
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Social Media, Too Familiar?

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.  Perhaps Delhi isn’t what you anticipated.  It’s triple the assault of rancid smells and malicious touts.  Simply too much city.  It’s time to go, accept, and move on.

Could be you’re in the same position as me.  Torn between a quick trip to New York City or devoting more time to Europe before I attend TBEX Copenhagen.  Just plain torn.

The choices. And at times these choices are tied to emotional responses, even determined relationships.

Take social media.  I was semi-immersed in it before Nomadic Chick came to fruition, now 9 months later, it is my second life.  I pretty much understand the ins and outs, thought I could chart it’s reasoning.

This week I made a decision.  I actually blocked a follower on Twitter, something I never once flexed in 9 months.

It started innocently enough.  People in the travel industry engage in reconnaissance to build up a Twitter account. One such individual found me, probably blurred past my bio, then clicked “follow”.

After that, they started tweeting.  I’m guessing seeking useful articles to retweet, chat to other travel enthusiasts, and so on.

This person chose to retweet an article of mine, but drizzled their comment with sarcasm.

I read over my mentions on TweetDeck the next day, genuinely taken aback once my eyes caught it.  Was I dreaming?  After a second, third reading it was clear – not nice.

I’m Canadian, we are nice.  In fact, told my best friend the other day how often I say sorry, and this must be beaten out of me prior to heading overseas.  Nobody wants to hear “sorry” for merely existing.

To nasty follower, I

By |September 24th, 2010 |Categories: Culture |36 Comments
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Gypsy Wednesday – Yoga + Travel

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

Travel is an exertion in mental and physical limits.  I’ve caught some recent articles about the benefits of yoga, particularly how it can be incorporated with travel.  The fashionable yoga set purchase yoga paws or reversible travel yoga mats, but sometimes forget what lies beneath the physical.

Yoga is thousands of years old, a meditation for the body, an elixir to a deeper understanding.

I liken it to a mainline, one that bears witness to how far you can soar.  In my estimation, across vast oceans and dense lands.

As a practitioner for over 10 years, yoga has taught me irreplaceable lessons.  I had unwittingly engaged in this ancient art not realizing how much it’s prepared me for travel.

Sometimes long-term travel can beat a person down.  Ayngelina’s post 12 Reasons I Hate Traveling illustrates these uneasy feelings acutely.

Below are some standard poses you can utilize on the road for some peace and quiet.

Downward Dog

Physical value: Stretches and strengthens the entire body.

Travel value: Keeps shoulders and spine limber against the weight of backpacks and cramped tuk-tuks.  Heightens focus and concentration, juice needed in copious amounts when juggling those overwhelming aspects of travel – food, transportation, lodging.

Seated or Lotus Pose

Physical value: Improves posture, stretches the legs, and opens the hips.

Travel value: Promotes inner calm, quiets the mind especially when rankled by a sleazy shop owner, who clearly ripped you off.

Seated Forward Bend

How To: Live Like a Nomad in Your Own Country

If you haven’t heard by now I kicked off my round-the-world trip in June, which isn’t special in itself.  What is strange was the decision to travel in my own country instead of opting for a full blown escape overseas.  Most travelers stretch their budgets by leaving their homeland, so where do I get the authority to stay put?

Some points to consider when traveling in your own country.

Rely On the Kindness of Friends

I’ve been lucky enough to see a fair number of provinces in Canada.  I also have an army of friends and family stationed from the Rockies to the salty East Coast.  One way to save money is to stay where you know people.  They also have to love you enough to put up with you.

Don’t view this as free loading though, always show appreciation for their hosptiality by buying dinner, cleaning up, offering to do laundry.  Just because you’re related or have known them since age 3 doesn’t qualify for thoughtless behavior.

The tally:

  • Calgary – brother and visit my mommy.
  • Toronto – old friend and fantastic new gal pal.
  • Montreal – new friend, but I did pay for a hostel for 5 days, $18 per night.
  • Saint John – best friend.

Do Weight Watchers Unintentionally

When eating out or drinking, having to pay in your own currency is undesirable.  My recommendations:

  • Order a lot of salad.  They are generally the cheapest item on a menu and can be filling.
  • Share appetizers – a good way to be satisfied and split the bill.
  • Restrict how often you eat out.
  • Suggest drinking at a friend’s place.  Alcohol is cheaper in liquor stores and goes longer.  A bottle of vodka or rum will
By |September 21st, 2010 |Categories: Travel Tips |25 Comments

Worst Washroom of the Week

Navigating the stairs of washroom doom?  Not a sound idea…

Montreal, Quebec

By |September 18th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal |7 Comments

Toronto Subway vs Montreal Metro – A Comparison

If you’re a Canadian, two major cities on everyone’s lips are Toronto and Montreal.  The two most populated cities in Canada boast extensive train systems, and yours truly had to navigate both on a daily basis.  So, how do the two stack up?

Access

Toronto: While in Toronto, I stayed in two fairly densely populated areas, Yonge and Spadina.  Both subway stations were a bit of a walk, at least 15 minutes.  The stations in general are laid out decently, but seem to cover a concentrated area.  The Yonge-Unversity-Spadina line is a U-shape, while the Bloor Danforth runs east and west, leaving out some grey areas in between.

Toronto platform

Montreal: No matter where I was in the city, or what time of day a Metro station was always near.  Whether hanging in Verdun, The Plateau, or NDG, I never felt stressed about finding a station to return to my hovel.  Montreal’s lines are organized by color and destination name, which renders it simple to understand, even if you’re a lowly Anglophone. The orange line is a U-shape, but two separate lines (blue and green) intersect at different zones in the city east and west.  That’s a lot of coverage.

Metro turnstiles

The winner? Montreal.  Excellent access all around!

Layout of Stations

Toronto: Their system is a veteran, first built in 1954 with 12 stations, but since then has expanded to 69 stations.  Accessing the platforms is either by turnstile or heavy, awkward revolving doors, difficult to push myself and a backpack through.

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By |September 17th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal, Toronto |17 Comments