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Tag Archives: North America

Travelling light

When I was a little girl, I used to spend two weeks at camp every summer. My mother would let me pack my own suitcase; then, the night before departure, I’d have to drag it out into the dining room for inspection. Whereupon, my mother would add all the things I hadn’t thought of, and any extras she believed I would need. (she was usually right) The end result was that my suitcase always seemed to contain far more than I would need for 13 nights away, and it was full full full.

You would think that after years of cramming a family of five – and their luggage – into a minivan for vacations, that I’d be an expert reducing my luggage to its essentials.

You would think, but you’d be wrong. All those folks that were so upset about airlines charging for checked bags? Yeah, I was one of them. This, in spite of the fact that I usually get where I’m going, use only half of what I brought, and always swear that NEXT TIME it’ll be different.

I’m off to Toronto for the Students in Travel Conference tomorrow; I’ll be away from home a total of 39 hours. Theoretically, I need what I’m wearing tomorrow, something to sleep in, what I’m wearing for the conference on Tuesday, and that’s about it. Sounds easy, right?

Ha!

First, what am I wearing on the train? The train is often cold; I’ll need layers. Plus, things to entertain me, like the laptop, Kindle, etc. And train snacks. At the other end, I’ll be staying with a friend, but I need to use the TTC to get there; hence, I will need my coat, mittens, and possibly a hat. And my umbrella.

I have to decide now what I’m wearing to the conference on Tuesday. Not too big a deal, but what if I change my mind? What if I spill something on my shirt, or something rips? Will the convention centre be blazing hot, or freezing cold? And then there’s the fact that everything I’m not wearing will have to go to the conference with me – on the bus – because I’m leaving on the train again right after. Plus, I’ll want to make sure that whatever I’m wearing will also be comfortable train attire. And the train is often cold, etc.

The inability to travel light isn’t the only thing that’s stopped me from being a world traveller yet, but I have the feeling it’s something I’m going to need to get a handle on.

What are your favourite tips for travelling light?

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Wonder-full places

The Bay of Fundy has not made the short list for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

It’s too bad; as I’ve been learning this year in Cultural Heritage Tourism, it would have been good for the region – and the country – if we were able to lay claim to a Wonder of the World.

However, Canada is home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites – that’s pretty impressive! Looking at the list, I’m sorry to say I’ve only had the privilege of visiting two of them; I’ve seen the Rideau Canal a couple of times, and drove through the Rockies several years ago. It was a lovely afternoon spent wandering in Banff, Alberta. I even got to horseback ride!

Note: If you go to Banff, bring money. Lots of money. Buying a sweatshirt to cope with the unseasonably cold August days that year would have cost more than my entire souvenir budget.

Here are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Canada can lay claim to:

I’ll have to make it my mission – or one of my goals -to get to more on the list. How many have you visited, and what did you think of them?

Groovy

New “vintage” VW vans cost $44,700 – Sympatico.ca Autos.

How’d you like to don the tye-dye, grow your hair long and tool from coast-to-coast in this gem?

Surely there’s a little piece of everyone’s heart that dreams – or has dreamt – of leaving the everyday chaos behind and hitting the highway for an extended road trip. A lot have even done it, whether it was decades ago in an orginal VW bus, or more recently in a Fifth Wheel RV. But at $44k, I’ll have to add this hip set of wheels to the maybe-when-I-win-the-lottery list.