I had a flying visit to Toronto on my way home from the Women in Travel Summit. After an 8-hour day road tripping from Quebec, I arrived to Toronto sticky, cramped, and exhausted with my family. My dad was there to receive an award at a conference, but I had only 17 hours in the city before I had to hop on a Greyhound bus back to Michigan and cut the family road trip short. Due to, ya know, work. Besides just being exhausted from all the conferencing and driving and just wanting to stay in one place and CHILL, I think I also wanted to stay in Toronto because it’s… cool! As in, sunglasses emoji cool. It reminds me a bit of a Canadian Chicago. I only wish I had more time to explore, so I’m hoping I can make that happen soon…
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know I just had a 16-hour road trip to Quebec for the Women in Travel Summit! I love road trips because they are cheaper and better for the environment than flying, and you can stop off at so many fun places. However they are also hard. I always feel exhausted after a day in the car, and if you take into account the occasional flat tire or getting lost… well, sometimes road trips don’t seem worth the hassle! Which is why when I was recently contacted about publishing a guest post* on 5 tips for a stress free road trip, I thought it was perfect timing. I don’t usually share guest posts but I think you guys will like this one!
Last weekend I was sipping a gin & tonic in Quebec City’s swankiest new bar, surrounded by 500 female travel influencers, and about 6,000 tiny sandwiches. I was at the opening party of the 2018 Women in Travel Summit! I not only attended my first ever travel blogging conference, but was able to score a free ticket. In this Women in Travel Summit review I’ll tell you all about what I learned, loved, and what I’ll change next time! I’ll also tell you how YOU can score a Women in Travel Summit free ticket!! (This is an exciting blog post I tell ya).
You know what’s fun? When you schedule a blog post for your half birthday, and realize that your half birthday falls on the most perfect date of the year (anyone catching my Miss Congeliaty reference here?!).
Rain is streaking the kitchen windows and I’m surrounded by the rumbling of an early April thunderstorm. I’m writing this as I eat a salad pieced together from leftovers – a late dinner because I went for my training run after work. The dog snores at my feet. Various to-do lists lay crumpled on the counter. These moments are mundane, normal, domestic, and…sweet.
I now live a life with a job, to-do lists, a kitchen table, a dog to walk, and a car to pay for (as of last week!). But these moments also feel bizarre, when I think back on where I’ve been. Four months ago I was driving out into the wilderness of Iceland with a guy I’d just met that morning. And before that there were the refugee camps, my graduation, countless flights and cross-country buses. Life was wild and anything but normal. When I moved back to the United States and gave up my expat and nomadic traveler titles, I thought I’d be giving up my freedom. I wasn’t thinking about what I would gain: A home base, a routine, a schedule, an income, and more.
When I read that the April travel link up topic was “places you can’t get out of your head,” well I knew there was one special place I had to write about! The United Kingdom, of course. I lived in southwest England for 3.5 years, and my heart does a little twinge at that past tense. I was so sad to leave the UK when my visa expired, but like I mentioned when I left the country nearly four months ago, I know my story with the UK isn’t over yet.
It’s been a while since we talked. I mean, really talked. So this month, let’s have a coffee date (and a giveaway, because, why not).
I mixed up my monthly recap last month, and thought I’d try a new style again for March, in the style of Carolann’s monthly coffee dates. As a treat for you all, I also have a giveaway at the bottom of this post! I’m giving away a piece of handmade (by me!) pottery, as well as 10 free subscriptions to the popular GPS My City app. Just scroll to the bottom to see the details. Otherwise, sit down and have a coffee with me 🙂
Sometimes when you travel, you’re not interested in the top ten sights or the best restaurants or Doing Every Possible Thing. Yes, this even happens to travel bloggers 😉 I’ve found myself increasingly craving this kind of travel: travel where I can soak everything up, take a moment to breathe, and not worry about seeing all the sights. I think this is partially because of my health issues lately, that when I travel I want to have the most relaxing experience possible and not further aggravate any of my symptoms. Also, the two trips I’ve taken so far in 2018 (Florida & NYC) were to places I’ve been many times, so I don’t feel that pressure to see the top sights because, well, I already have.