I love you Instagram but you’re bringing my travel life down.


Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy”. When we compare ourselves to others while seeing the worst of us then, yes, it is true. When we compare and say “I can achieve that too!” or “If they can then I can!” it does not apply.  However, in this particular case it is sadly is the former. Although I am not the most tech savvy I have made decent use of the technology around us. I use much of it in my daily life. And I frequently use social media. In fact, my favourite platform is Instagram. I enjoy sharing my photos and videos on my feed and in ‘My Stories’. I peruse the posts of those I follow and of various hashtags, delighting in the bright colours and locales of far away. I read the descriptions to learn of the photo’s story. I comment on stellar photos and wish to be there to snap similar pictures. I even use it for research – looking up and saving photos of places that strike me as potential sights for my sojourns. My commute times are filled with with Instagram images.

As much as I love Instagram I have, as of late, found myself thinking I should see as much as so-and-so user. Or look all the places that ‘they’ have visited. Sigh, I should go there because it’s trending!! I’m not posting anything new! And so on and so on. It’s enough to make me feel like I don’t travel far or wide enough. The more I look the more I think my travels are paltry and too few. Comparison is the thief of joy. What brought me so many ideas for future wayfaring is slowing being dismantled, photo by online photo. Comparison is thief of joy.

What brought this on I am not certain. Perhaps it is because I haven’t been travelling much or even being able to plan anything for some time. Perhaps because I have not had a specific destination in mind to focus on while figuring out where and when to go. Or simply I am unfairly comparing my life to those of others. That saying by Mr Roosevelt rings far too true. I have lost that bit where I can see my life for all the things travel has brought to me. I need a shift of perspective as well as a reminder. I may not have travelled to as many destinations as someone who I follow. Or live life as a digital nomad, living and working travel. Yet I have seen what I have seen. Experienced what I have experienced. I’ve nearly forgotten that I am so very very fortunate, lucky, and privileged to live and work in a country where I can travel with such freedom.  

It may be a good thing that this slump has happened. I’m still finding it hard when I am on Instagram these days. I try to remember that I can tell myself a different story. One where I will go where I want to go. And when I can. To work towards it and take the joy that comes from the entire process. I travel for me. To places that interest me. And for my own reasons, whatever they may be, in hopes of understanding more, seeing more and to love our world more. No photos on any social media platform should dictate this for me otherwise. So, Instagram I still like you and will continue to post and browse though I will change my story back to taking joy in hearing about various places. No comparison to that.

Advertisements

Next Trip, Blog Additions, and Videos


20170520_203507790_iOS

Time for new adventures!

I am so very excited to be taking my first trip out of the country in over a year! I will be heading to Hong Kong at the end of January and I am thrilled. It’ll be a quick trip (1 week) and the airfare could not be beat as it’s low-seaon. I hear Hong Kong is warmer than Vancouver and drier at that time of year. Win-Win! So you will see posts about Hong Kong then. I will also be making a trip to visit my folks mid-January.  The stark cold winter may be enough to make me post some snow. We’ll see. 

Some other works I have in progress…okay plan to have in progress shortly, and that  is to add some pages to my blog about travel basics. My intention has never been to provide “how to’s” for travel as the Internet has more than its fair share. However, in the last several months I have had friends and acquaintances ask me about some travel basics, as I call them. So I have decided to add them here as pages that people can refer to. The other thing I may add to my blog, Facebook page and my Instagram account (@wanderstheworld) is video posts. I am hoping Santa (or Boxing Day sales) help me out in getting a GoPro camera. I’ll be video happy I’m sure! So stay tuned to some new things coming and as always, there is the weekly Sunday Special.

Photo taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World 

Mixing Business With Pleasure


My work rarely takes me away on business yet this week was an exception. I decided to attend a one-day course in Victoria, BC – the capital city of the province of British Columbia. Located on the southern end of Vancouver Island it is a quaint city of 85,000 that I find it fairly walkable within its city core. Taxis and public transit are available as well.

Even though this was a work trip I added an extra day (Friday) to explore and invited my BFF Cat to join me. She was cool with checking out the city on her own while I was at my course on Saturday. For one to make their way to Victoria there are a few options. Of course there is flying as they do have an airport, particularly common if you are coming from further away. If you are heading over from Vancouver there is the added option of taking one of the sea planes with Harbour Air (and possibly the quickest option). Though the most common route is taking the ferry. BC Ferries has regular sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry terminals, transporting both vehicles and foot passengers. Being the latter, Cat and I both used Vancouver’s and Victoria’s transit systems to arrive at the respective ferry terminals as both of them are a decent drive away from the cities. 

We had both decided on some of the things we wanted to see and proceeded to head out as soon as we arrived at our hotel. We lucked out that the rain in Greater Vancouver did not reach Victoria and we were able to meander the town without need of umbrellas, at least on the Friday. As both of us had visited here before we had a bit of an idea of where we were going (okay, actually Cat did as her sense of direction is far superior to mine. LOL). Some areas were planned and others were found by chance. I will show you most of the trip by way of photos yet list a few of the places (with links if applicable) that we saw.

  • Fall colours at Beacon Hill Park where we hung out with both peacocks and Canada Geese
  • Admired the First Nation’s totems and buildings at Thunder Bird Park
  • Strolled along the streets of the downtown core, popping into shops and admiring some of the character of the buildings
  • Walked down Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown, snooping around all the cute shops and then took in the rest of Chinatown
  • Stopped in for shopping and tea at Silk Road Tea (my fav – take my money!!)
  • Popped into Munro’s Books, a beautiful store that has served Victoria for over 50 years and started by Jim Munro and his then wife, author Alice Munro
  • Quenched our thirst at two local craft beer breweries: Vancouver Island Brewery and Phillips Brewing
  • Perused the artisan shops at Victoria Public Market (again, take my money!!)
  • Bought some yummy bread to take home at Fol Epi Bakery (Yates St location) 

All in all a good weekend. Not a bad way to spend a partial work weekend (even if it rained part of the time). Victoria, I’ll be seeing you again.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World.

IMG_2025

Panorama of Beacon Hill Park

IMG_2077

First Nations totems at Thunderbird Park

IMG_2108

The entrance to Chinatown’s Fan Tan Alley

IMG_2146

British Columbia Provincial Legislative Assembly  lit up at night

IMG_2180

Witches in Victoria! LOL

My Top 5 Man-Made Sights


Last month I posted about My Top 5 Cities to Wander. This month my Top 5 is about man-made places or things. These places or works of art hold a special place in my memories, my heart, and bring a smile to my lips.

  1. Michelangelo’s Slave and Bound Slave, Louvre Museum (Paris) – I have never been more captivated by art than these two unfinished statues. They are complete by being incomplete. I do not know how Michelangelo did it but there is feeling, emotion in those statues. I have seen them three times and still my heart stops each time. 
  2. Eiffel Tower, Paris – Anyone who knows me, knows I love this building. It was among the first iconic buildings I had seen when I first visited Europe and has been imprinted on my heart ever since.  I have been to the top twice, once on my birthday where I drank sweet sweet champagne with my sister and friends.  If I had never seen Michelangelo’s Slaves this building would be number one.
  3. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur – The circular and geometric designs of its spires and the walkway them give them a unique look.  I learned of them shortly after they were built I had wanted to view them for myself ever since.  They did not disappoint. I think they are most beautiful lit up at night against the backdrop of the dark sky and city lights
  4. Taj Mahal, India – I had wanted to see the Taj Mahal since I was a child. For a short span of years I thought I may never see and tried to downplay its importance, that it could not be that spectacular.  Silliness really. Yet I did make it to Agra. A hot, humid and crowded experience that was all shed to the side when I finally saw the splendour of this magnificent building. It stands majestically and rightly so.
  5. Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar – There are so many things I could put for number five. Yet the pagodas throughout Bagan are the first I think of. The entire area astounds me with the sheer amount of pagodas to be found. I loved wandering through the back roads on my scooter and viewing the beauty and importance of these buildings  to the people. 

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

 

10881892_10152451716931751_7799701800068538175_n

Michelangelo’s talent is breathtaking

IMG_7304

Gustave Eiffel’s treasure to Paris.

Petronas towers

Those brightly shining Petronas Twin Towers.

IMG_6794

The Taj Mahal, a labour of love.

pagoda

One of the numerous pagodas in Bagan