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
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 “5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Travel Solo At Least Once In Their Life”
Greetings! You think it’s been a while since I blogged about travel? I couldn’t agree more. Which is why, in December, I booked a spontaneous trip to New York City with one of my best friends… and my 3 month old! Was I a tad nervous to attempt a short jaunt to another city? Actually yes. Sure I’ve traveled a large part of the globe, but never with a baby in tow! Hibernation however, finally pushed me to take the leap and just book it! Five days in the big apple, so three full days of touring the city, much of which, unfortunately, I was bed-ridden with a bug I’d picked up at a Rod Stewart concert the night before leaving. Yes, I’m a 50 year old trapped in a 29 year old body – all I have to say is that Rod rocked our socks off and, as my aunt rightfully pointed out, for a guy his age, he’s got a pretty cute butt.
Despite all my nervousness, the trip was a huge success! The preparation was labour intensive but once we had the necessary paperwork all in hand, and after I’d spent an entire evening making sure I’d packed everything we’d need on our first adventure across the border, we were ready to take on NYC (check out my post on passport applications, pre-departure and landing in NYC for more info on what to take care of before check-in). Needless to say, New York in December is cold, but if you dress for the weather and pad your baby with mountains of protection against the elements, it can definitely be done.
Continue reading “Baby’s First Flight: A Wintery Visit to New York City”
When my girlfriend suggested Vegas for her bachelorette, my jaw nearly hit the floor. With a 7 month old baby (who I love and adore) forcing me to stay at home and work a 7 day week (check out this hilarious video on the subject of world’s toughest job), I was dying to get out of town and – for more than 24 hours – not be responsible for another human being. The planning started sometime into the New Year and all of a sudden we were booked: 6 girls traveling to Las Vegas over the Easter holidays. A dream come true? You have no idea.
Toronto – Dallas – Vegas
Our trip started with a 3 hour plane ride to Dallas (see the cowboy below for proof). Our package had us boarding a US Airways flight operated by American Airlines. This little arrangement made checking-in online extremely confusing, since the confirmation number sent to me by Expedia was completely different than the one required by AA to check-in. If you’re heading to Vegas from Toronto on a similar flight, it’s advisable to note a few things before you board.
- Entertainment: The first leg of the trip will most likely be on a larger plane with an entertainment system (score!) so bring headphones. Unfortunately, on this leg of our return flight, 2 out of 3 units didn’t work, but hey, you might get lucky. The second leg of the trip is on a much smaller plane with significantly less leg room and no entertainment system, however if you bring your ipad or tablet, you can pay for WiFi and get access to movies, etc.
- Food: You get none, so buy snacks beforehand.
- Drink: You get complimentary drinks both ways. Alcoholic beverages are extra. On this note – when you get off the plane in Vegas, there is a liquor store that proves very useful for travelers looking to jump right into the Vegas vibe. The airport is close enough to the strip that your buzz won’t wear off – I promise.
- Baggage: Last but not least, you will have to pay for any checked baggage so if you can squeeze all your shoes into a carry-on, it’s one way to save $50 (money that can definitely be put to better use once you land).
The Dallas airport was awesome. Great places to grab a bite and very easy to navigate. The train transporting passengers between terminals is efficient and runs constantly so if you’re connecting, there is absolutely no need to panic, or leave an hour to reach your gate. You’ll get there in plenty of time, so grab a Starbucks (seriously, avoid the other cafes, I tried them) and wander until your flight gets announced. Continue reading “What Happens in Vegas: How to Bachelorette in Sin City”