Fulfilling a Dream

When I was in elementary school, my favourite subject was geography. Because I always wanted to travel to countries I had read about, I thought that becoming a foreign diplomat or journalist would get me there. Plus, that would be an exciting way to earn a living. However, when I graduated from university those doors for women weren’t readily open or encouraged, so instead I took a more accepted path as a Grade VI teacher where I got to teach 12 year olds about Japan, China, Iceland, Australia, and Peru. Fired up by my teaching about different countries to my students, I had earned enough money in three years to buy a backpack and a ticket to Europe for the beginning of an eight month trip which took me to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, and London. On five dollars a day, sometimes less, my money eventually ran out forcing me to return home to Canada.

Marriage, teaching, a mortgage, and the birth of my daughter, career changes and a divorce put my travelling days on the back burner for awhile until a second husband entered my life. With the kids all old enough to be out on their own, we were able find time for travel to places in the US and the Caribbean Islands. When the time came to semi retire by moving from expensive Toronto to a quiet fishing village in Nova Scotia, we began to put travel higher up on our “things to do list.”

Thus, began our sojourns to the Eastern hemisphere: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Bali, and Malaysia. Eventually my husband got tired of the long haul to that part of the world, but I didn’t. I loved the Far Eastern countries while his heart yearned for Italy where he felt very much at home. My second home became Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Their many colourful markets beckoned to me so I ended up buying clothing and other accessories to sell at our market here in Nova Scotia during the summers. I could make enough money to travel on my own. After two months of shopping and shipping, I would take off to see places further afield, such as Australia, Singapore, India, and Nepal. In 2016 and 2017, I decided I had to travel to the two continents I had yet to see: South America and Africa. Always wanting to see SA, I chose Ecuador to stay awhile and shop for wool Alpaca/Llama sweaters and leather bags. From there, I met up with my husband in Buenos Aries establishing it as our base while we took short trips to Mendosa, the Andes, and Uruguay. The following year we did the same thing when he flew down from Italy to meet me in Morocco. More European than it is African, nevertheless, I can now say I’ve been to Africa.

It’s not surprising that COVID has forced me to reinvent myself. Betstravelsabout, the name I gave my blog over ten years ago, has morphed into a much deeper place of travel which goes inside the realm of experience rather than outside to other fascinating countries. My bucket list is still long, but I am so thankful that I have managed as much as I have. The way our world is going is forcing me as it is for many of us to go inside. It’s time to change our focus and learn new things. My blog has been doing this for almost two years and will continue to so for as long as I have the urge to share what I learn as I continue the last phase of my life.

Visiting old Roman ruins in Formea, Italy.

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