To The Man Who Complained About Putting His Seat Up On The Airplane

Travel with babyYou don’t know me, and by now you’ve forgotten that 4 hour plane ride to Cuba where you and your wife were planted directly in front of the woman with the baby. You remember, don’t you? The really tall one with a 16 month old hanging out on her lap. That would be me.

As a tall woman and frequent traveler, there is nothing I hate more than someone who lowers their seat on an airplane. I won’t do it. But if I have to, if I really have to, the first thing I do is turn around and make sure I’m not slamming into the person behind me, or at least warn them I’m coming. But, a tall woman and a baby? Never would I ever (like, ever). So, as I noticed your chair drop down immediately following take-off, every bone in my body wanted to turn around and give you a break down in airplane etiquette. Continue reading

Categories: giraffe travel, the view from above, thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Solo At Least Once In Their Life

Traveling with people you love is arguably the best way to go about it. Sharing the experience allows the excitement to live on for months or years after the actual trip and inserts a sense of timelessness into memories made over the course of a few days or weeks at most. Yet, despite the obvious advantages to traveling in the company of others, there is a heck of a lot to be said about traveling in the best company of all – yourself. Sure, it can be intimidating and it can be scary (in fact, if it’s your first time, it probably will be) but it is also the most empowering experience you will ever have. And the truth is, I miss it.

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” Jean-Paul Satre

Years ago, I boarded a plane to Singapore with a one-way ticket and no idea of what would come next. I remember passing through security, seeing my dad fade into the group of people saying their farewells on the other side of the gate, and thinking: What the hell am I doing? I wasn’t a first-time traveler and I was use to spending months away from home, but this time it was different.

This time, I wasn’t heading towards anything specific like a 6-month exchange, or a volunteer trip overseas; this time, I was taking off to plant my feet somewhere they’d never been, without any notion of what I’d do once I finally arrived. I mean, I had a rough idea; I’d booked some of my flights before leaving, and sort of, kind of, planned to end up in London where I could stay with family and figure out my next move. I was shocked at the fear that swept over me as I boarded the plane, backpack in cargo and Frommer’s “Guide to South-East Asia” plunked solidly on my lap. Little did I know back then that that whirlwind trip would be the beginning of a love-affair I would quickly develop with solo travel.

5 Reasons You Will Fall In Love With Solo Travel

France, Travel, Solo Travel

1. You will feel empowered: When you’re traveling by yourself, you have no choice but to dive headfirst into uncomfortable situations. Uncomfortable, not dangerous – they are very different and you have to be careful (particularly as a female traveler) to distinguish between the two. From linguistic barriers to directional mishaps, and plans gone array – when you’re away from home, anything can happen, and you have to be able to rely on yourself to find a solution. The best part? The moment you realize you can. After that, the world truly is yours to discover. Continue reading

Categories: giraffe travel, thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Sauna Like a Finn

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good massage. Or facial, or pedicure, or just about any other form of pampering you can imagine. Except for Thai massages. Those aren’t pampering. Those are torture. A few years ago however, my love for massage was overthrown for a love of something bigger, something badder, something… steamy. The sauna.

In 2008, I had a unique opportunity to visit two friends of mine who live in the only place that’s colder than Canada (okay, not the only, but certainly one of): Finland. The three of us met while on exchange in Toulouse, France and bonded after realizing we all had French dictionaries propped front and center on our desks. At the end of 6 months, it was clear, we were destined to be friends for life.

After nearly 2 years of not seeing each other, I decided to make Finland the first stop of my European travels. I was coming in from India and was ecstatic for some quality time spent in formidable company. I arrived just in time for white nights, which meant no matter the time of day, the sun was out and the sky was simply stunning.

Finnish White Nights, Sauna

Continue reading

Categories: giraffe travel, thetravelinggiraffe, top tips from thetravelinggiraffe | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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