Since it’s the dawn of a new year (one that may very well be our last – you know that whole “End of the World” business and all) I figured it was time to share some of my favourite travel moments from 2011.
Jeremy at Budget Travel Adventures came up with the idea for a “Best of” post and thanks to Michael from Strux Travel, I’m in on the bandwagon now too.
So, without further ado, here are my answers to this year’s travel round-up topics…
Best Domestic Travel Destination 2011
Well, since the only domestic travel destination for me in 2011 was Edmonton, I’m sticking with Calgary. Yes, Edmonton, you’re that bad. (Kidding my love).
The Calgary Stampede parade is something I hadn’t attended in years and since the 2011 parade featured Will and Kate fresh from the altar, I just had to swing by to join the mob.
Here’s what I saw…
If you look close enough you can almost see Prince William’s wristwatch! Let’s zoom in shall we…
Ah yes, I believe it’s a Swatch. And I think Kate’s wearing Sears Roebuck.
I can’t be 100% certain, but I believe Prince Henry, feeling a little left out, made an appearance suitably disguised…
Best Travel Experience 2011
The last 2 weeks of 2011 were the very best of the entire year for me — I spent it with a very special someone (that’s ALL you’re getting out of me).
We spent some time at the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort and a few days doing next to nothing on Ko Libong in southern Thailand. Even though I was far from home, it was a Christmas to remember, and a splendid way to round out the year.
Best International Destination 2011
That of course, would have to be Thailand. Despite the floods in Bangkok, the rain in the south, and the scamming tuk-tuk drivers, Thailand was just what I needed. I took a cooking class in Pai, I biked in Bangkok and I biked Ayutthaya, I witnessed sunsets galore and I trekked with the hill tribes. Oh and I guess I did meet that special someone here too. (That’s not him below, in case you were wondering. Although the poor fella does have a bathtub — a rarity in these parts. Hmmm…)
Worst Travel Experience 2011
My worst travel experience without a doubt was the accident on an overnight sleeper bus in Vietnam. Sadly, some poor woman lost her life that night. It really made me grateful for all that I have.
Most Embarrassing Travel Moment 2011
There are so many to choose from. Well not really. The only one that stands out is showing up late for a ladyboy show in Koh Samui, Thailand and then getting a big wet one in the gob. (That’s a big wet kiss, not a big wet Ladyboy. Although she was rather moist. Okay that doesn’t sound any better. Let’s just stop right there.)
Best Local Destination 2011
That would be my couch. That’s where I had my arse firmly planted for the first 6 months of 2011.
Best Travel Lesson from 2011
My best travel lesson is more of a life lesson – take nothing for granted. You’ve heard all the self-help hooey before – this is not a dress rehearsal, you only get one life, there is no redo. Well, turns out it’s not hooey after all. And I am filled with gratitude each and every day lately to be able to do what I am doing.
When I first made the decision to quit my job and travel, I shared a poem that had been yellowing at my cubicle for years.
On an ancient wall in China
Where a brooding Buddha blinks
Deeply graven is the message
It is later than you think.
The clock of time is wound but once and no
man has the power,
To tell just when the hand will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is all the time you own
The past a golden link,
Go cruising now my brother
It is later than you think.
I’m grateful to be finally cruising on…