Someone asked me recently if I ever got sick of traveling…   No seriously they did!  How do you respond to that?   I mean really…it’s me they’re talking to.  Traveling is my lifeblood; it’s the thing, other than Zach and Sam that gets me up in the morning.  It’s in my genes…just sayin.

To be clear, this will never change! 🙂

I’m not sure if I have a favorite part of traveling, I’m just as excited at the prospect of planning a new adventure as much as I am of embarking on it.  

I’ve always had a very fertile imagination, which was developed at an early age and quickly refined into an art form.  I guess in actuality it was a form of escapism for me, as often I’d sit as a child wishing I were always somewhere else rather than where I was at that moment.  That imagination was formed in the crucible of poverty and alcohol abuse that surrounded me as a child growing up.  

I would often retreat into my imagination whenever I felt like I needed to be somewhere else, which to be honest was quite often.  I just wanted to shut out the sounds of constant arguing which was the day-to-day soundtrack of my life.  My escape was often finding solace in the images of far away and exotic lands.  A place where I could be in control of the story line…

I still remember reading a discarded National Geographic magazine from January 1962, which had a photo expose of Hong Kong.  I was completely taken with the vibrant colors teasing my senses and its photos firing my imagination and I suddenly longed to be in Hong Kong, strangely I can still see the deep colors in my minds eye…even today.  

And so began my thirst for images and stories which would transport me from the “here and now” to another place in my head, a place that had no conflict or anger, where alcohol wasn’t served, you weren’t surrounded in the blue haze of second hand cigarette smoke and your parents didn’t argue or yell at one another.  Clearly I was dreaming, but I’m pretty sure it all started there.

There were times when I contemplated running away from home…sure, like most kids who go through this phase the reality of actually leaving is such a tall order that I found myself frozen and unable to do much beyond dreaming about it, I felt completely powerless and frustrated by my inability to act.    

When you evaluate the situation on those terms the reality of your situation strikes home, especially knowing that you’re stuck for the time being, so you create coping mechanisms.  

Leaving home was hard enough when I got accepted into University at 17, but if nothing more it was an opportunity to fulfill that dream albeit a few years later.

My thirst for travel and adventure came hand in hand with my need to get to where I was going; I always seemed to be in a hurry.  To this day I’m still not a big fan of dawdling, and it’s only in recent years that have I actually been able to slow down sufficiently to “smell the roses”.

One of the things I’ve come to love is the concept of “slow travel”, whereby you observe with unhurried curiosity the world around you. Literally slowing down everything that you do to appreciate all the nuances of your current environment to draw an appreciation that is impossible to get in our normally fast paced lives. This has to be a conscious effort…

However, there are still times when I catch myself rushing to the next adventure without really fully taking in what’s right before me.  I guess I’m a work in progress on that front… 🙂

Few things excite me like daydreaming about my next trip. All aspects, from the planning to the booking it’s all one big adventure so I sometimes have to catch myself and slow down to enjoy the lead up equally as much as the trip itself.

By the time I’m actually at the airport it’s a mixture of excitement and calm as I wait for the flight and my next incredible destination, smiling inwardly to myself – another escape!

I already have another two overseas trips organized . My first is at the end of July as I head to Morocco to explore Marrakech and Casablanca and to fulfil a lifelong dream of hiking in the Atlas mountains and camping in the Sahara.

Then in October it’s all about going to my sanctuary in Italy at San Giovanni on Lake Como and enjoying my favourite place on the planet. I can hardly wait!

In the interim I know there’ll be at least one trip out west maybe two and that’s before i get to Christmas…

It’s hard to believe but I’ve already had the conversation with Zach and Sam around Christmas this year. Surprisingly neither of them want to travel anywhere, so this could my first in Toronto for a while. Once they’re back at University in January I will figure out my escape from the cold winter weather.

So many places to go, so many places to see and adventures to be had… 🙂 

Until next week!