Growing up my family didn't really travel. There was the odd trip up to Northern Ontario to stay at a cottage or long weekend trips like the one we took to Ottawa. My dad did a European backpacking trip during his time at university (circa 1970's). I loved hearing tales from his summer abroad. The random people he met. Sleeping on beaches and in caves. Going to the Embassy to send updates home and receive letters from family. My sister and I once found his travel diary from this trip. We found some serious dirt to tease him about!

As I was nearing the end of my undergraduate degree in 2002, my next step was a mystery.  I had applied to Graduate school as well as Teachers College. I won't lie and say that the uncertainty didn't make me nervous. Will I get in? Which one will I choose? What if don't get into either? What is my back up plan? During this time I was volunteering at a cardiac rehabilitation clinic.  Most of the patients were elderly and wanted to hear all about my life. As I shared my post graduation story with them the overarching responses I got were along the lines of  "you're so young and have your entire life ahead of you, these times of exciting uncertainty are rare in life, live it up". This got the wheels turning that, wherever I ended up doing that following fall, I wanted to go on a trip! Not just a week in Cuba, but an epic trip.  I pitched this idea to my best bud and she was in. We decided on the classic European backpacking trip. Upon hearing the details of our sure to be awesome trip, two more friends jumped on board. And then there were four! We departed from Toronto on April 28 for a 5 week trip through France, Italy, and Spain. This was my first time really away from home and I loved the feeling of indepedance.  Everyday was an adventure.  Discovering new places and meeting new people (my husband and I met in a hostel in Paris on that trip). I was hooked.

Looking back on that trip now with those same girlfriends we realize how it was truly a once in a lifetime trip. Some of us are married, some have kids, mortgages ect ect. Turns out the advice from those cardiac patients was right and I find myself (although I am not quite as seasoned as they were) giving the same advice to undergraduate students I advise in my job.

That trip lit a spark in me. I am always thinking about the next trip. I was lucky to have met Kevin on that trip. Not only because I ended up marrying him also because we are total travel buddies. We have gone of some awesome trips together. To this day we still do backpack type trips but have put our foot down at sleeping in a dorm room!

Below are some of the adventures I have embaked on.  For now old trips will be documented with a few photos.  I hope to write reports from some of the more recent and future trips.  I also need to figure out some techy things like how to link to a page from another page.

Eurpoe 1.0 with the girls: need to scan a few pics (before the days of digital cameras)

Southern Spain and Portugal
 Costa rica 
Waterfall near Arenal

Sunset in Tamarindo

South America: Peru, Bolivia, Brazil
Camping in the Andes during the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu
Ipamema beach in Rio de Janiero

 London, Belgium, Northern France 
Brugge, Belgium
Sunset over the Houses of Parliment, London
Central Europe: Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia 
Bled, Slovenia

Prague, Czech Republic
Budapest, Hungary

Cameguey, Cuba

Cameguey, Cuba

Cote d'azur France, Switzerland, Italy Home Exchange

Menton, France
Matterhorn: Zurich, Switzerland
Cinque Terre, Italy

Arizona and California road trip

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Death Valley, California

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala 

Flores, Guatemala
Tulum, Mexico

Colorado road trip

Buena Vista, Colorado
on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park

Cote d'azur - 2nd trip
Latin Quarter, Paris
Villefranche-sur-mer, France
Barolo, Italy
* Photo credit: any picture that is really awesome was likely taken by Kevin

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