Tag Archives: Travel

Holguin, Cuba

22 Nov

Our trip to Holguin, Cuba provided lost of adventure! We ate with the locals, made many friends and explored the beautiful countryside. We rented a scooter one day to visit Guardalavaca- it was great! There were lots of little shops and vendors and a beautiful public beach.

I love Cuba and often find myself humbled by the people’s generosity, kindness and happiness. Most people have hardly anything and live in shacks, but their love of life and their spirits are so vibrant. We met a waiter at a resort who invited us to travel to his town and have dinner at his home with his family. It was a wonderful experience-one I will not forget for a long time.

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Annapolis, MD

21 Nov

Hello! Jess here,

We’ve just returned from Annapolis, Maryland!  The primary reason for the trip was because I was attending a three-day SailTime Base Owners Meeting. Annapolis is well known as the center of sailing and boating in the Mid-Atlantic. As soon as you enter the town, you immediately sense the nautical ‘vibe’. Almost everyone looks like they’ve just stepped off a sailboat. Scenic Main Street is lined with sailing stores and boutiques. If you’ve never been, I would suggest you go check it out… but only for a day or two.  (Pictured below Chris and I are on Main St.)

Not being a ‘hard-core’ sailor, I find the town a bit boring. Annapolis is the type of place where you enjoy good food, good wine and good company. When I typed ‘Annapolis’ into Trip Advisor, the top things to do where Sailing, Museums, the local Park, Dining and the United States Naval Academy. Yes, the academy is pretty neat, but unless you’re a sailor there isn’t much to do other than wander the cobblestone roads and check out the old architecture.

The meeting I attended was a gathering of the global SailTime base owners. It was very cool to be in a room filled with people from all over the world who do the same thing I do for a living and suffer the same frustrations and challenges. I learned a lot and had a very good time. If you’re interested in the fractional sailing program I manage, you can click here for more information!

During the meeting, sailing legend Gary Jobson lectured on sailing, leadership, teamwork and his past adventures. I do admire sailors for their love of adventure and their free spirits. Gary told us wonderful stories of America’s Cup Racing, the founding of ESPN, his many years of commentating sailing events for the network, his love for the sport and sailing mishaps he’s since learned valuable lessons from. Gary is not only an inspirational athlete, he is also an exceptional leader and speaker. I was very excited to meet him. Gary’s website can be found here. Pictured with gary is myself and my collegue Andrew. We manage the SailTime GTA base and program together.

If you’ve never heard of the America’s Cup, you’ve got to check it out. The America’s Cup is the oldest active Trophy in international sport!  As sailing has progressed throughout the ages, so have the sailors. originating on monohulls in 1851, the boats racing this year in the 34th America’s cup are lightning fast catamerans. The sport is INTENSE in every sense of the word. As I persue learning the sport of sailing, I hope to eventually crew on a race boat. These guys are the real deal.

Check out the America’s Cup on their YouTube Channel. Here is one of their latest videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OwmwNEw6oA&feature=plcp or here.

I had the privilege of seeing these boats live in action last summer in Newport, RI. They sail three times the speed of the wind- it’s almost unbelievable!  I intent to blog about the America’s Cup in the future- stay tuned!

When Chris and I travel throughout the USA, we often drive to Buffalo, NY and fly out of BUF on SouthWest. On our way home, we stopped for some Buffalo wings… when in Rome…

Until next time! Thanks for following along :)

The Decision to Travel

6 Nov

There seems to have always been a gnawing desire within me to be places that I am not. I find myself wanting to travel far and wide, for long periods of time. The idea of living out of my backpack and finding my own way seems appealing.  Adventure awaits and my indecision delays!  As a young professional, it’s hard to know what to do. Questions like “What about work?, What about money?, What about my house and my ‘stuff”?” seem to create barriers and limitations for those with the desire to travel.  Most of my friends and family discourage my aspirations abroad- pointing out safety issues, economical issues and tell me to start preparing for my future now.  As a new graduate, I don’t feel ready to jump into my ‘social obligations’ of building a career, buying a house, getting married, having kids and saving for retirement.

How do we know when to make the leap? When’s the best time to travel? Will this feeling and need wear off the more places I go or will it only grow stronger? Both Chris and I are saving up for our ‘big adventure’. I’d like to travel across Asia. We’d also like to travel across Canada as well- with so many exotic locations we want to go, we should probably see all that our own country has to offer first!

In my online wanderings, I came across a post from the travel blog Vangabondish: http://www.vagabondish.com. 

This short post answered a few nagging questions in my head.

I’m Going Traveling, Damn It! (When to Ignore the Advice of Others).

Enjoy :)

West Coast Trail- Video Diary Day 4 Excerpt

2 Nov

We hiked on average 9 hours daily on the West Coast Trail. Some portions of the trail are fairly difficult to negotiate and take over one hour per km. I remember km 68 and km 69 being extremely difficult- Those two km’s seemed to take half a day!

Here is a short video Chris took during the later half of the trail (we hiked from Bamfield towards Port Renfrew). The forest was much harder going than the beach, but we had missed the tide and were forced to higher ground all day. Enjoy :)

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West Coast Trail Video Diary- Day 5 Excerpt

1 Nov

During our time on the trail, we kept a video diary. We’ve since edited all the videos and put them together. Our entire diary video is over an hour and a half long. Here’s a quick excerpt from Day 5.

Gallery

The West Coast Trail Pictures

31 Oct

Into the Wild – Considerations and Reflections

23 Oct

Hello, Jess here.

Chris has been busy working late hours on set this past week and I’ve been home sick for two days. I hardly ever get sick and find myself overwhelmed with the underwhelming boredom of bedridden-ness. Today in my ‘despair’, I decided to start another novel: Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. What an amazing book and intriguing story. Reading this book, I found myself pausing to reflect on what I had read, even re-reading passages to fully absorb the message.

I began Into The Wild with the impression that Christopher ‘Alexander Supertramp’ McCandless was a nutter. The book begins:

In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do East Coast Family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. (Jon Krakauer, 1996: 2).

Throughout the book, however, I found myself intrigued by Chris’s (aka Alex) actions. The author brings to life the triumph and tragedy of Alex’s physical and spiritual journey. I find that his message challenges my own decisions and aspirations. Whether he was crazy or not, I found myself relating to his contempt for middle/upper class North American society, his rejection of his career obsessed family and his lure to nature, adventure, travel and personal freedom.

I found myself relating especially to his upbringing and the way such experiences altered his outlook on the values of conventional society. Raised in a middle-upper class family, I also enjoyed the privileges of modest wealth. His parents, like mine, were consumed by their successful careers, often working late into the night and early in the morning. And yes, I too have come to abhor the idea of greed and societal restriction. There must be more to life than climbing ladders, achieving wealth, and empty houses.

Krakauer writes that when Chris’s parents suggested that he needed a college degree to attain a fulfilling career, “Chris answered that careers were demeaning twentieth century inventions, more of a liability than an asset” (Krakauer, 1996: 114). I found this small and simple statement very moving.

I did not enjoy University. In fact, I hated it. Growing up in North America, we are taught from a very young age that if we are ever to achieve anything worthwhile in life, to ever attain happiness and prosperity, peace and security, we must go to University. University, University, University. College is for idiots and if you have no-post secondary, or worse, didn’t graduate high school, well, then you’re a complete failure. University is simply the admission fee for any job making over $15/hour. Because of this ridiculous notion, we now have millions of youth over educated and under employed. The job market is so tough that there are Ph.D grads waiting tables and working in malls for $10.25/hr.  CBC Radio had a wonderful program the other day on ‘Malemployment’. Mal-employment is a form of Underemployment, specifically relating to those in a job that is far below your education and skill level. You can find the radio program here: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/ID/2296024601/?page=3

I entered University completely unaware of the Malemployment crisis in much of Canada. Because of this, during my second year of study at the University of Waterloo (the school my father had insisted I go) my idealistic, socially constructed and internalized values that ‘University is key to success’ were obliterated.  I was horrified. ‘What do you mean I may not find a job when I graduate?’  My fourteen years of education had instilled in me a focus on the all-important ‘Career‘. Over time, however,  both my career obsessed parents as well as the idea of malemployment created a hatred for such a term.  I once read somewhere that you should “Never find yourself so busy building a career that you forget to make a life”.  These words stick with me.

Back to the book… While reading Into the Wild, I found this young man’s love of adventure and progress is compelling. I truly enjoyed Alex’s words in a letter to a friend:

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences…” (p 57). 

Ultimately, I admire this man for living his dreams and pursuing adventures unobstructed by societal restraints. To those who condemn his actions: I agree that he was reckless and a bit too sure of himself. He failed to respect the reality of living in the Alaskan Wilderness and ultimately, that unpreparedness lead to his death. That being said, I do not think we should cast Alex aside as a hippie-tramp obsessed with the beauty of nature. This man found happiness in his travels and had important ideas worth sharing that are still very relevant today.

This blog is meant to challenge those who find themselves living in ‘unhappy circumstances’ to go beyond their safe boundaries of desks and laptops and rush hour traffic. Things as simple as enjoying a walk with your dog through a hydro cut, metal detecting and experimenting in your own backyard, or stopping to watch the beetles on a leaf in the morning sun… these small adventures can create appreciation and exhilaration much like Alex’s extreme adventure. I would highly suggest reading a book and getting some sunshine. These things are important.

Cheers,

Jess

Reference:

Krakauer, J. (1997). Into the Wild. New York: Anchor Books.

 

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