I'm getting the travel bug...what to do?
I caught the travel bug young. At 8 years old, my parents decided to move our family to the Netherlands. For my parents, this move to the old continent was their big break for us to learn English, which we learned very quickly, and to see the world. I don't think they knew, however, that with this move, they created monsters...monsters infected by the travel bug.
Before moving to the Netherlands, I had never set foot on a plane. Since then, I have been on countless planes and I have visited over 30 countries. Travelling is second nature to me. It is my escape and an instinct when things in my life get boring or bad. Heck, it's an instinct when things are going great in my life too!
The travel bug is in me and now, being an adult, with a job and some responsibilities, I am finding that the bug is running through my blood and can't really get out. With responsibilities comes less time to travel. With responsibilities comes less money to spend on travel. Granted, I was lucky to be able to explore the West Coast after my move to Vancouver 2 years ago but having moved 3 times across the country in the last 2 years, the moves have drained my wallet. It was totally worth it...but I am now feeling the consequences.
So, as a person who constantly seeks a new adventure, I have taken the liberty to write a few suggestions on how to get the fix any monster infected by the travel bug can use in those times.
1) Go local
Ottawa is cool. The countless new little cafés and bars that have opened up in the past few years are really bringing the capital up in the world. After moving here, I have set myself a goal to discover more local things. It is making me look at my city in a different light and I am finding inspiration in a city that I never thought would get my creative juices flowing. The best part about exploring local is that at the end of the day, you've had a new experience, you've potentially met people that you can see again whenever you like and...you can go back to sleep in your own bed!
2) Visit friends and family
Staying with friends and family is the cheapest way to go away, to be around great people and to explore a new city. Recently I went to Québec City for Carnaval de Québec for the first time in over 15 years. I saw the city in a completely different light and being away for 3 days surrounded by family just showed me how very little distance can make you feel like you're exploring a different country and culture...that's what travelling's all about, right?
3) Go on day trips
This is one that I need to get more into. With Nico (my car), I have the luxury to drop everything and go for a day to then come back to my own bed...no need to pay for a hotel room. I have wanted to go on treks in Gatineau Park so with the melting snow and warmer weather, this type of adventure is sure to appease my travel bug. Another place that I have been eyeing for a while is Beau's Brewery up in Vankleek Hill. A boozy day-trip? Sign me up! I'll make sure to find someone who doesn't like beer to drive back...
4) Plan your next big trip
Colombia? Mexico City? Newfoundland? Ireland? Southern USA? They're all on my list and in my wildest dreams I would leave on a big trip to cover them all at once. But that's impossible right now so I'll focus on one for now. I'll try to get lost in the planning...that seems to have a placebo effect for me.
Now, who's up for an adventure?