|When I look back, it's hard to realize it's been almost a complete year since I left Montreal (June 15). Here's a series of articles about this extraordinary year. If I simply look at the calendar, time has flown so fast it's like it was yesterday. But if I look at the places I've been to and the things I've done during that year it seems like a lifetime has passed by. This is the first of a series of articles about that landmark, I will also write about other different aspects like my visit highlights and my thoughts about this past year.|
A year is a little and a lot at the
same time. If I look back, yes, a year of travel is a long time,
and most people never get to do that. If I'd still be working in my
old job, it would have taken me 10 years of yearly vacations to
complete 52 weeks away from home.
But when I look forward, I see I
probably just completed 5% to 10% of what I want to do. There are
also other travellers who have been on the road for 10 or 15 years
already. I hope to be in that category one day, just need to take it
one year at a time.
When I look at the distances I've
covered (27 117 km, 16 849 miles) just between the 73 different
cities I slept in, not counting the local transportation - which sometimes was counted in hundreds of km to go to a site, it's very
impressive, yet many people do that just to shuttle to/from work in a
You can view an interactive map of my journey in my This trip so far page.
I'm not one who goes out and do lots of
activities, I'm far from being a socialite. But when I look back and
see all the activities and interesting stuff I've done in the last
year... It almost blows my mind off. I experienced more stuff in the
last 12 months than in the 12 years before that.
I've been in both the Atlantic and
Pacific oceans many times. In fact, I did so in each country: been
in both oceans while in Canada, while in the USA and Mexico as well.
Didn't do the Atlantic from Guatemala but did it in Belize.
I've visited 38 UNESCO World Heritage
sites. That's more than most people in their lifetime, but I still
have about 900 to do :-)
I've probably taken more than 50 000
pictures, and kept "only" about 21 000 (I usually take the
same shot 2 or 3 times then simply keep the best one). I've created
hundreds of panoramas, some of which still impress me, like this one
from Campeche, Mexico.
360 degrees of a street corner of old Campeche, Mexico.
Adapted to lifestyle
After a year, I'm now fully adapted in
the travelling life in various conditions. I've travelled in
tuk-tuks, cars (through taxis and local contacts), mini-vans, buses
of all kinds (sizes, ages and luxury levels), boats (from hand carved
launchas to enormous ferries carrying hundreds of cars) and trains.
I've also experienced all kinds of
lodging options. From couch surfing in various conditions in the USA
and family living in Guatemala to all kinds of hotels with extreme
levels of comforts and amenities (many with cockroaches, about half
with shared bathrooms). I will remember for a long time my emotions
in Campeche when I saw steam coming out of the shower after two
months of only cold water.
I think I've found my optimal
travelling pace for now. It might change in the future but for now
doing a week per location suits me and gives me a balance between
work, exploration and rest.
The next step I have to address is to
earn a living. So far, I've been using my savings but that won't
last forever so I have to earn a living if I want to continue
travelling and truly earn the title of full-time or perpetual
traveller. Before I left, I made a list of possible income sources
and told myself I would decide after a year what I would do. The
more I think about it, the more I want it to revolve around photos.
In the last resort, I can camp myself somewhere and do freelance Web
programming. I'm working on a new Web site I'll be able to reveal shortly, so stay tuned.
I leave you with this video slide show
reviewing most places I've been to in the last 12 months. I hope you