Even as a young boy I dreamed of traveling the world.

What can I say…I’m an anomaly in my family. Or am I? I suppose that depends on what generation you look at, cos’ given that Grandfather Conolly was an adventurer in every sense of the word perhaps not. Did my sense of adventure and travel skip a generation??? 🙂

I can still hear my mum’s voice echoing in my head all these years later “you’ll come to no good, cos’ you’re just like your grandfather”…clearly words to live by as a young boy.

Now not having met him because he died the year before I was born I wasn’t quite sure what mum meant, but as I’ve gotten older and learned more about Grandfather and, indeed myself it would seem that there are a couple of similarities.

Although I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I’d come to no-good! Hello, that’s your outside voice. 😉

There is no doubt that he was an adventurer, traveler, explorer in his own right, much in a way like me I suppose…or is it the other way around? Hhhmmm, never quite sure.

The bigger question is, did my mum’s stories and saying influence me or is it my innate thirst for travel and adventure that have made me who I am?

I guess it comes down to the age old question of nature or nurture?

If you examine my early life you’ll see there was no travel or adventure, no vacations or trips to speak of. We lived a simple and meagre existence given that our family was poor. Dad was always working to put food on the table there wasn’t money left over for any form of travel, holidays or extravagance of any sort.

From an early age I had an unquenchable love of maps, geography and history…much like Zach has today. As I got older I was able to turn my love of the big, wide, wonderful world into reality by facing my fears and all that was safe and familiar to travel and explore the world. Ultimately turning my dreams into reality!

I’m not sure what makes me different from that of my siblings who grew up in the same environment, values and parents. I suppose I just had unique priorities…which is neither here nor there – just different!

Some people might perceive my love of travel and adventure as a form of debilitating “restlessness” for which there is no cure. Lol! Yes, they’d be right about the lack of cure, but not about the debilitating part…

Given my grandfathers era and means, his thirst for adventure brought him to Australia at the end of the 1890’s, and then onto the fields of France during WWI which is not the sort of adventure travel I’m interested in. 🙂

I suppose I’m the only one in our family that has spent much of his life abroad, but also traveling the world and seeking new horizons to explore.

It’s impossible to put my finger on why I feel compelled to travel the way I do, I’m sure that all of the money that I’ve spent over my lifetime on travel would see me a wealthy man…at least financially.

However, I believe my wealth lies is in all of my life’s experiences over the course of my life so far. To me this is the best kind of wealth…

Afterall, there are no guarantees in life, and I’m not about to sit on my bum and wait for a better time to go travel. In my mind it’s right now.

What are you waiting for? More money, perhaps retirement, after the mortgage is paid off…as I said…no guarantees!

In September, when both Zach and Sam are both away at University there is no real reason for me to be in Toronto, at least full time. Clearly this opens up the possibilities of me spending even more time traveling and exploring the world.

Yes, I still want to be the best parent I can and there for them when they need me, but with the circle of life they are moving on and now fully independent and creating their own lives. Yes, they’re incredible human beings. (such a proud dad!)

I agree proximity is important for them, but considering that neither of them will be in Toronto full time it opens up new opportunities for me to check off a few more places and activities on my ever expanding list. 🙂

For me, travel is my lifeblood. I know that’s a big statement, but the reality is that it’s true. The exhilaration I feel when I plan my next adventure is crazy, I suppose I’ve conditioned my psyche a bit like Pavlov’s dog…

All I know is that travel and adventure is a non negotiable in my life. There are many things that you can either do with or without in life and be just fine, but if this is my only addiction in life then I’m pretty fortunate.

Here are just a few things on my immediate list…language school in Italy, the olive and grape harvest, my birthday on a beach in the Pacific, maybe hiking the Atlas mountains in Morocco, trekking across the Sahara, a battlefield tour of Flanders, St Petersburg, the island of Honshu, the Trans Siberian Railway…

As you can see my list is long and lots of research required.

So until next time.