Your eyes don’t deceive you, this former stutterer is going to be a keynote speaker at the first ever female travel blogging conference!
This is historic, epic, and I’m boiling over with excitement to be included in this.
What is the Women in Travel Summit?
The Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is the brainchild of Beth Santos and her amazing team at Go Girl Travel Network – a community of 10,000 adventuring women that has grown from a website to meet ups scattered across Chicago, Boston, New York and now, São Paulo, Brazil.
Since Chicago was where it all began for Go Girl Travel Network, they are taking over the historic Palmer House Hilton for 3 days from March 14 to 16, 2014. I’m particularly zoned in on the Hilton because of it’s close proximity to sites like the Art institute and Millennium Park.
A stone is hurled towards a still lake, when it lands, tiny ripples spread outwards, becoming echoes in the water, undulating and growing, until it finally fades and the water is inert again.
So here I stand with another stone in my hand, measuring it’s weight and texture, figuring out how to angle my wrist best, in order to create stereophonic ripples, their echoes heard above the lake, pitching to the vast sky, and finally sinking into the streamlined wings of a bird.
That’s how I felt about 2013.
Reality hit me hard and I realized the other day I’ve been in China for about 2 years. That’s longer than most of my recent relationships. I may have trouble committing to a man, but a country seems to be an easy conquest.
In those 2 years, my Instagram became a photographic commentary on daily life in China, all that I’ve seen or experienced.
To pay homage to my last year in China and usher in 2014, I’ve amassed 12 of my favorite images captured through my Instagram feed and the stories behind them.
From about age 10 to 12 I harboured a secret fantasy about dim sum carts.
I wanted to hijack one.
Not to serve people, don’t be ridiculous. Obviously to ride one around the Chinese restaurant, flitting past the round tables laden with ceramic bowls and golden colored table cloths, even push it down an alley of the modestly sized Chinatown of Calgary to see what would happen.
At that age I only had one Chinese friend (in a predominantly Caucasian town as Calgary, this equates to a high number) and we use to plot about racing carts down the street of a quiet, suburban neighbourhood, to rankle homeowners who preened over their lawns with those high powered mowers and refinished the exterior in white siding, so blinding it hurt your eyes to glance at it.
The donut is king in my country. There’s Country Style Donuts, Tim Horton’s, 7-11, Robin’s Donuts and Mac’s — a range of donut pushers varying in quality and price. That’s right, pushers. Donuts are a shot to the Canadian identity. You can’t bump into someone who hasn’t thought of or just eaten a donut.
I use to work at an engineering company and the biggest event was birthday donuts. HR thought it brilliant to combine everybody’s birthday for that month and spring for several boxes of timbits. They never got creative, never deviated from the plan, yet like clockwork employees piled into the lunch room and grabbed their donut portion.
It got to the point I avoided donut day, my cholesterol levels and hip circumference just couldn’t take it any longer and to introduce something radical such as cupcakes was forbidden, downright controversial.
Lately though, I feel nostalgic for the donut. My sinful one: Boston Cream. A conservative choice: plain with glaze on the top.
The beauty of the Canadian donut is how universal it is, every facet of society consumes them, not just the pot bellied cops, but firemen, executives, postal clerks and truck drivers (really, you aren’t a truck driver with street cred unless you have a relationship with a donut).