In just under two months, my partner and I will be heading to China for a 2+ week vacation before she starts work as a lawyer. I’m looking forward to it, and at the same time, losing my mind.
Before I get ahead of myself, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Dave.
I work as something between a tech specialist and a photographer at a big Canadian institution. My educational background’s in photography, but I’ve let my photo and creative skills languish for a little while.
I’ve been desperate to travel for nearly twenty years, but my vagabond CV is pretty sad. Aside from two months living out of Greyhound busses in the summer of 2008, a trip to Cuba with my family in 2011, and an ill-fated hiking trip to the Grand Canyon with my dad in 2015 (a story for a different day), my adult years have almost entirely been confined to an 700 km stretch of road between the Niagara region of Ontario and the city of Montreal.
But last summer, I met my partner; a fearless badass who’s lived in China, ridden the Trans-Siberian Railway from one end to the other, and traveled all over the world.
Fairly early into our dating, we discussed travel; our experiences, our “bucket lists”, etc. She bought us flight tickets to New York in October for my birthday, but I think the trip served a bigger purpose; I think it was a shakedown run, a test to see if I could hack it. I had to put my money where my mouth is.
I loved it.
I’d only flown a few times before — my longest flight was Cuba, only a couple hours — but I realized by the end of that New York trip that I really love flying. I have even, in my handful of flights, managed to fall asleep before takeoff, only to wake up just as the plane was touching down at its destination. I guess these flights to and from China in July will put my theory about loving flying to the test.
This trip is a bigger test still. If I can handle a culture as different as China’s, and a language in which I really only know a handful of sentences (despite my attempts to learn via Memrise), my partner will know that I am as down to travel as I say. And just as importantly, I’ll know it too.
As for this blog… part of the goal is to document my prep work, the nitty-gritty of getting for the trip. I’ll be writing about the gear I’m packing, the methodology behind my equipment decisions, the how and the why we’ve chosen the destinations we’ve picked, etc. Once the trip gets underway, I’ll put up a few posts from the road, and then follow up with some more detailed entries once I get back.
But that’s only half of what I’ll be doing here; I’ll also be posting interviews with other travellers, both people I already know and folks I meet on the road. If travel is a never-ending learning experience, then part of that experience is learning from other travellers how their own adventures have shaped their perspective on travel.
I’m still fairly new to this travel game. But I’m looking forward to getting lost often, meeting new people, and sharing what I learn.