New Series Coming


plane

Hello and happy Monday. I want to announce that I am in the works of starting a 5-week series of  interviews from fellow travelers.  These friends of mine have shared a bit about their recent sojourns to varied and interesting locales. My intention is that they serve as a “motivational Monday” for travel. I am waiting on a few more bits of information with an aim to start in 2 weeks. You continued feedback on this series in the comments area will be appreciated. Happy travels! 

Photo taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Small Victories


I ran down the stairs of one of Prague’s metro stations. I was heading to a Couch Surfing meeting at a pub in a neighbourhood that was best arrived by subway. As I descended the stairs I noticed that the ticket vending offices were closed since it was evening. Hmmm…so I will need to find a ticket machine. I spot one and walk towards it as I fish out some coins for my purchase. I look at the machine. Uh-oh…it’s all in Czech. “Of course it is Eeva, cause you’re in Prague!” In a small panic I look at the well-worn machine looking for English anywhere.  I don’t spot any. I look around to see if anyone can help me. A woman walks past hurriedly, too fast for me to stop to ask her for help. I turn back to the ticket machine. “Eeva, you can do this. You use transit all the time. Most machines are the same.” I sigh. “I can’t believe I’m giving myself a pep talk on how to buy a metro ticket.” My worry increases a bit and I am getting flustered. I look at the machine and it’s buttons. “Okay Eeva, you probably have to pick a ticket type, put the money in and a press the appropriate button. Most machines are like that. If it doesn’t work try again.” My internal dialogue is picking up speed as I am nervous. I am freaking out over a metro ticket! As I raise my hand to drop money into the machine my eyes glance downward. “What is that? OMG! English!!”  I found instructions in English in very tiny print. I start to read it and a smile plays on my lips “YES! You figured it out girl! Exactly as you were gonna do it!”  I buy my ticket and so want to do a happy dance on the spot. I figured out how to buy a metro ticket without needing English. The validation was sweet! I never realized how happy I could be for figuring out on my own how to buy a metro ticket in a foreign country with a foreign language until that moment. Every other time I was with someone else, had help from an employee or instructions were in English. Okay, yes the instructions were in English on this machine but I didn’t see them until after I tried (and successfully at that) to figure it out. Happy! Happy! Happy!  Small victories are sometimes the best victories.

The machine that initially eluded me.

The machine that initially eluded me.

What Travel Means Series – Week #1


Hello and welcome to the first in a weekly series of guest authors. As I mentioned here, the authors are friends of mine, people I know and like. I asked them to sum up in their own words and style what travel means to them and a favourite place (or two).
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I met Dempy Kaur through a mutual friend. She is a creative soul who is on the verge of big adventures as her spirit is open. She is a talented photographer living here in Greater Vancouver. You can view some of her work at Dempy Kaur Photography. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram (user name dempykaurphotography).
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Dempy 1When my good friend, Eeva, asked me to do a guest blog write-up about why travel is important I figured it would be easy. I would just describe some of the beautiful destinations I have been to…it was easy. So, over the week I started thinking about what I would write about. What have I seen that made an impact on me? What transformed me for the better and for that instance? What I kept going back to was the many local road trips I have had the opportunity to take. And, all of them have come with a story.

One which stands out is when I still resided in Grande Prairie, Alberta. I needed to leave. I had to get out. It was the time where you could smell the winter in the air. It was the type of cool air that brought tears to yours and eyes and froze your nostril hair. Seriously!

So that night I decided to get in my tiny white Volkswagen and just go.  There was no planning in this. I quickly turned the key and crept out of the driveway and left my then temporary home. The night was beautiful and exhilarating. The windows down and the cold wind that it brought in brushed against my skin and blew my hair against my face. The hair whipped against my skin but the harm was acceptable. It was needed and wanted.  The town was so quiet and dark.

One thing I realized very quickly was that I should have at least planned one thing. That of making sure there was gas in the car. I should have known that. I’ve done this plenty of times. I should kick myself for this. My glances towards the gas gauge became more frequent and more panicked. What if I didn’t make it to Grand Cache? Would I be confident enough to get out of the car and walk if needed?  I have watched way too many horror movies and my imagination was starting to go crazy. I kept going and put my confidence in Lucy.

 ‘You can do it’

‘Come on girl…you’ve never let me down before’ (kinda)

‘I don’t want to die by a deranged and crazy moose’ (sidenote…no moose is deranged or crazy)

I’m also not crazy. You see I named my car Lucy and at this time in my life she better come through. I had confidence in her. And, all of a sudden what I dreaded happened. The tiny light that lets you know you’re close to empty went on. Close meaning it’s going to happen now. NOO! No, no, no! My girl was letting me down and I had no idea how much longer it would be to get to my closest destination. My posture became more rigid and I leaned much closer to the wheel. This had no affect other than to make me more stressed.  Inside I was going crazy and tried to be a little rational about what was going on. And….and then! Grand Cache appeared and I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in that moment and that was a gas station. This has to be the best invention, seriously.

I cannot wait to put some gas in this car (Lucy, I will have a talk with you later)

I ended up staying the night at Best Western since everything had been closed…including all of the gas stations. In the morning I filled up and continued on my journey. I stopped at a few other spots which were just as memorable and just as crazy.

The road trips I have taken have always been the most memorable trips I have taken. It’s the craziest thing when in one moment you’re driving through some trickles of snow and the next a downpour of rain.

Rocky Mountains - Copyright Dempy Kaur Photography (used with permission)

Rocky Mountains – Copyright Dempy Kaur Photography (used with permission)

Alberta - Dempy Kaur Photogrpahy (used with permission)

Alberta – Dempy Kaur Photography (used with permission)

Remember, some of the best adventures can be in your own backyard.

Dempy Kaur
http://dempykaurphotography.com/
“The basis of art is truth, both in matter and in mode.”