|Yes, it's been three months already that I've left everything and began my journey around the world. In those 92 days, I've travelled more 17,000 km on the ground using mostly buses (14,000 km). I have revisited cities I already knew and loved and discovered new cities I love as well. I have met again with old friends and made new ones along the way. Financially, it's a bit harder than I thought, but that's okay, I was ready for that.|
When I left Montreal on June 15, I had no idea what
was waiting for me (and I still don't!). But these past 3 months
have been filled with adventures. I'm not on vacation though so I'm
not in the usual travelling mindset to see and try everything...
because I have to keep my budget in check. I already knew I wouldn't
have much money to do tours and attractions, so I'm not surprised or
disappointed. I'm often more than happy to just stroll through a
city and let it fill all my senses. That way, I experience the
cities themselves and not the restaurants or the attractions (which
could be located anywhere in the world). After all, a zoo is a zoo
and it's basically the same animals you'll see in them, no matter
where in the world you visit it.
In the past month, I've said goodbyes to Canada and
to known territories (until I arrive in Europe, in 3 or 4 years).
Since San Francisco, it's all new territory... “To boldly go where
I've never been before” :-) And that does change a bit the
perspective of travel. When I had some places ahead I was looking
forward to see again, it was a bit like returning 'home'. Now, I
don't have that warm feeling anymore.
I've already had a few experiences that made me look
differently on life and on people. Although I don't have much time
for myself yet, I begin to have time to think and reflect on my
journey, on life. Maybe it's because of the time of the year, during
which I'm always a bit nostalgic. Those next two weeks are very
significant for me in terms of important dates in my past,
commemorating important events that happened a long time ago but that
are still part my life and influence it. I'm thinking about a few
blog entries for the Thoughts section... just don't know yet when the
ideas will be all assembled.
Financially, I have spent a bit more than budget, but
less than last month, mostly due to transportation again...
especially on the second Canadian leg. I was surprised to see that
overall, I'm right on budget for the US portions.
I've abandoned for now the idea of Couchsurfing
because it requires too much effort on my part to find hosts and with
too few good results. But I realized (a bit late) that the effort I
put in there wasn't worth it and at the end it wasn't saving me money
at all, even cost me money overall. I did enjoy most of my stays
with my past hosts however, especially the inside look it gave me in
the daily life of American people. I look forward to repeat the
experience in the future, although it might be difficult with my
longer stays in cities from Mexico on. But I'll see and I will
adapt. After a few months of spending a week per location, I might
realize this isn't a good pace for me to travel, and I'll change.
That's the kind of flexibility I have for now.
I want to grow used to have more flexibility. Maybe
someday I'll be like those two young Quebecer women I've met on the
bus from San Francisco to Los Angeles. They were heading to the
stars city for a weekend and had not booked any accommodation,
waiting to find once there... and we were arriving in L.A. in late
afternoon! Maybe it's because I'm older, still travelling with a lot
of stuff, still a bit picky about my accommodation (I still prefer
private rooms) and conscious about my budget but I'm not comfortable
doing that yet. I'd like to be able to do that one day. Perhaps in
a few months once I'm more at ease with Spanish and I arrive early in
the morning at a location I'll try that in Mexico. With my luggage
in tow, it will be an adventure in itself. I have bitter memories
about my second stay in Sydney (Australia) where I entered my booked
hotel in early evening to decide I wouldn't stay there... and the
race to find myself something else for that night. I didn't like
that at all. But at least now, I'm used to arrive in a city knowing
nothing else than my way to my hotel/hostel.
Right now, in all this changing environment that is
part of my life, I need the stability of knowing at least where I'll
sleep when I arrive in a new city. More often than not it's a cheap
location, in a bad neighbourhood, where most of my friends would not
stay. But that's fine for me. I'm visiting cities, not hotels. As
long as I have a clean bed to sleep at night and some Wi-Fi
connection (in the room, in the lobby, at the library or at the
closest international fast food joint). I don't care for the looks
of the place or where it's located, as long as it's in a convenient