Crossing Borders – Many Faces Many Places

Crossing borders around the world vary by country. You can just walk in, no questions ask or there is a border patrol officer that actually stops you and you have no choice but to stop and answer their questions or sometimes you have to know to stop.

Patrick & Carmen have been together since they were 19.  They thrive on experiences and traveling.  They both grew up in South Africa where they met during university while studying education. Once they graduated, they ventured off to Taiwan to teach English in order to help pay off their loans. They fell in love, they traveled over the holidays and as part of their marriage together they went off to a 7 month around the world trip.

One of their challenges during their travel was when they had to cross borders from Ecuador to Peru. Patrick & Carmen were traveling overland.  The mode of transportation they decided to take was to go by bus. During the early 2000s, the internet was not as big as it is today. There were not as many forums, blog posts on how to cross from one country to another.  Today, we google it and there are more than 1 million results!

They hop on the bus and fall asleep.  The bus driver did not wake them up when they crossed the border as they thought he would. Once they woke up, the bus driver realized that they did not have the stamps needed on their passports.  When crossing the Ecuador/Peru border, you need one stamp that exits Ecuador and another stamp that enters Peru.  The bus driver dropped them off on the side of the road. They had to walk back to the border, which was a good miles away.

Once they got to the border, they had to go back to the Ecuador side. They took a taxi to the other side that overcharged them. The border agents knew what happened and they decided to take advantage of the situation by charging them more money than needed. At this moment, Patrick & Carmen were both desperate. They needed to cross the border to get to Peru, there was no questioning that. They knew that there was nothing they could do especially when being in a position with people in authority.  You have to bite your tongue and pay what is needed. What got them through this entire situation was patience and remaining calm.

I was in awe at the end of this conversation, that is a scary situation to be in. Patrick did summarize it well – when you travel, even your experiences are not the best, but they are the most memorable. Stuff that seems the hardest, especially when you are about to give up when you are at that moment beyond final despair. Your end goal is that destination and he would not change anything if he can go back in time.

You can follow Patrick, Carmen & Chloe (the new addition to the traveling family) on Instagram via carlsonadventuring.

There is only you – Many Faces Many Places

There are many benefits to traveling solo – you only have to take care of you. You can create your own schedule, you can meet people if you want to, you can be a tourist and everything you do is your choice.  There is nobody with you that you have to compromise with, there is no friend, no partner and no kids. It is great, being a solo traveler myself, I love it! But just like everything there are the challenges that come with it. One of the biggest ones is that it is just you.

Kat Gaskin, the creator of the Salty Pineapple – “Be a pineapple, stand tall, wear a crown & be sweet on the inside” – went on an adventure in 2015 to Australia. Prior to this trip, she had quit her 9 to 5 to freelance and create her own brand because she wanted to be her own boss.  At that time, there were many challenges in her life including her partner who she was with for 11 years. They got married and through time, they realized they had grown apart. She wanted to travel and he was not on the same page.  After they separated she decided to go on her dream trip to Australia.

Her adventure in 2015 was about 6-7 months where she ventured to Fiji, Australia, Bali, Maldives & Singapore. Before she left on her big adventure she met someone (of course, it always happens just before you leave). During her trip they tried to keep in touch, the longer they were apart the harder it was.

One evening in Bali, she got invited to a Chinese supper.  The restaurant was gorgeous, filled with big round tables and inspiring architecture. It was a beautiful supper with tons of people. Even when surrounded with so many people and as she was socializing she realized at that moment that she wished he was there with her to share this experience.  This was the first time on her trip that she felt lonely. That no matter how many people you are surrounded by, if none of them are your friends or family or significant others – it does not make a difference. The feeling creeps in and you feel sad, lonely and scared.

David Mitchell once said “Loneliness is an integral part of traveling. I used to think it was the downside to traveling, but now I realize it is a necessary educative part of it to be embraced.” When we travel and we have feel lonely, we learn something about ourselves. As for Kat, she journaled and wrote down everything – her feelings, her thoughts, her adventures & her experiences. She constantly reflected throughout this entire trip through the amazing times & the tough times. At the end, one of the most important aspect that stood out for her was that she was grateful for the opportunity and a year ago this would have never happened.  This trip was what she always dreamed of and she got to experience it.

You can follow Kat on Instagram via katgaskin & go check out her Salty Pineapple Shop – there are some SUPER cute mugs!

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later // Many Faces Many Places

“Where are you from?”

“Where are you going next?”

“How long you’ve been here?”

“How long are you traveling for?”

Do those questions sound familiar? I know them all too well – they are the icebreaker questions you use all the time when meeting new people while traveling. They are easiest way to start a conversation and they lead to opening up to amazing people but sometimes they can also be the end of a conversation quite quickly.

Brittany, The Sweet Wanderlust, originally from Texas sold all her possessions to travel. Just like every single one of us who travels for a long period of time, we encounter challenges and learn a lot about ourselves and the people around us.

Brittany is the type of girl you will spot having a deep meaningful conversation with someone she connected to at a party and is not much for small talk. When she traveled in an spot for a short period of time, the icebreaker questions were used all the time and the conversations covered surface level. For the locations where she stayed longer, she began making friends with other travelers and every time she had to say goodbye, her heart broke and knew that she may never see them again. Her guard went up therefore she rarely allowed herself to become close with others as goodbyes were always hard.

And then there was Queenstown. The first place she had stayed longer than a month where she worked at a pastry shop and lived at a hostel. She met an incredible community where she opened up her heart to letting people in. She did not even think about the fact that she would have to say goodbye to them eventually. The time did come and it was the hardest one.

It was not a goodbye though, it was a see you later. Within one year after she left Queenstown, she reconnected with them in Germany, Australia, Scotland & London. She realized that the fear of goodbyes had held her back but not anymore.

“Time and time again, love wins. And so as I sit on a bus riding away from Exmouth, Western Australia and the community of surfers, divers, cowgirls, chefs, church-goers and fun-time friends, I’m grateful for the choice to open up and choose to love fully and be in the moment.”

– Brittany @thesweetwanderlust

Solo Journey in Morocco // Many Faces Many Places

Nando takes solo, spontaneous trips, with little to no planning and will often find a way to specifically challenge himself in a new and exciting way. In his first trip to Morocco, he vowed to go completely on his own and figure out his journey, one step at a time.

Arriving late at night, he decided that there would be no harm in sleeping on a park bench. He met a local who informed him that it would not be a good idea.

The local took him to the city center in order for Nando to find a guesthouse to sleep in.  The moment, he stepped out of the car he understood why the local said he needed to find a place to sleep. There were homeless men, following him, asking him for money and he noticed it was odd that he did not notice a single woman on the street. He finally found a guesthouse and stayed the night.

The next day, he was exploring the city with only a camera and a backpack. Eventually, he noticed that someone was following him. He felt uneasy, a sense of danger and knew that he had to get himself out of this situation fast. Based on his past experiences from traveling to dangerous countries, he adapted quickly. He crossed the street and took a taxi back to his hostel.

The locals at the hostel said that given his camera and backpack he was an obvious tourist – an easy target. It was then that he realized that this challenge was not the greatest idea. He went out a bought a SIM card for his phone, switched to speaking French and learned a few Arabic words and began mingling with local people. The situation turned around completely.

He met locals and expats living in Morocco. He started going out and discovering the local culture.

He learned to rely on his past experience and was able to recognize a dangerous situation.  He adapted and turned the situation from negative to positive. He also learned that maybe Morocco was not the best country to travel to without a local guide.

When I was speaking with Nando, he was back home in Aruba but now he has officially moved to Barcelona! You can follow his journey – @Smulldiaz & @mundusurfer that is a platform for young international talent to share their content with the world!

Travel Burnout // Many Faces Many Places

In all of my interviews, I ask travelers about any difficult situations they may have faced. I always hear about pretty typical challenges like cultural barriers, missing flights and getting lost, but it wasn’t until I met Alex, that I heard about the concept of travel burnout.

Travel burnout is when you’ve travelled for so long and so extensively, that no matter how well you’ve planned your journey, everything becomes mundane, uninteresting, and starts to look the same. Your mind and body have their limits and if you’re not careful, you may lose that essential desire for exploration and discovery.  Have you experienced this? I definitely have, but couldn’t articulate what I was feeling at the time.

Alex’s last trip was an 80-day tour of Europe.  This trip had its challenges, but he’s become very adept at identifying the potential pitfalls of travel.  Here are Alex’s best tips for avoiding travel burnout.

  • Don’t leave the most complicated destination last. Certain countries that you travel to can be more familiar than others. For the ones that are quite drastically & culturally different, your sense of awareness needs to be heightened. In this case, those countries will be need to be first on your list when traveling.
  • Do something that you would normally do back home. – go to the gym, go for a run or sit at a coffee shop, whatever it takes to keep your mind and body sharp.
  • Go somewhere that is routine/familiar.  Part of traveling is putting yourself out of your comfort zone. But from time to time, doing something familiar and easy can help you recharge.
  • On long journeys, spend a week in one spot. You don’t always need to be constantly on the move.
  • Lastly, find the time to get good night’s sleep. At least once in awhile.

 

The biggest takeaway I had when talking to Alex about Travel Burnout is that sometimes we need to slow down to get back up.

You can follow Alex on instagram @Alexblock – he is quite on point with his photos, they are absolutely inspiring!

Taste of Travel Newsletter & Update on Many Faces Many Places!

Sitting here at September Surf working away with creating a MailChimp account & figuring out all the shenanigans on how to include it on my website. Google has been my best friend today.

I wanted to actually let you know why I created a newsletter and what is it about? Well first off, I would love to share all my travel hacks that I have learned throughout the years of traveling! Secondly, life tools – as a life coach my goal is to give you tools that will inspire & motivate you to create a life you want (and not what other people expect – it is your life remember? :)).

Lastly, the newsletter will also have snippets of the Many Faces Many Places Stories & the adventures that I embark on that will actually lead to this blog where you can view the whole post!

There are three ways to sign up – first there will be a pop up, but if you are already reading this meaning you either already signed up (YAY!) or you click close which is normal haha. Secondly, there is a link at the bottom of the page that you can click on or even better click on THIS LINK.  Ya can’t miss it ;).

 

 

Calling All Travelers!

Good Afternoon Beautiful People!

This is going to be one hell of an exciting summer.  First off, it is SUMMER – warm weather, park hangouts, beach hangouts whatever jams your boat.  Secondly, it gives me time to work on my project that I will be launching in the fall. I am super excited about this project and I want to share with you!

Many Faces Many Places is going to be a blog series based on interviews that I will be speaking with travelers including (not limited!) bloggers, journalist, backpackers and of course travelers! Each blog post will be a story about their experiences while traveling and how they got there including the toughest challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them!

I want to get the authentic part of traveling and how no matter what the obstacles are, at the end of the day you have this amazing experience and hilarious stories to tell!

 

Want to be part of the series?

  • Criteria: Traveler!
  • Interviews will be via video call on Skype or Google Hangouts unless you are in Montreal, then we have to meet at a cute cafe! 🙂
  • Email me at tasteoftraveljulie@gmail.com

 

I cannot wait to meet you all and hear your stories, this is going to be so exciting! Happy Sunday + Canada Day + Fourth of July!

❤ Julie

Hello, I’m Julie – Can’t wait to meet you!

Who am I? What am I doing? What is this site? How did I get here?

Well let’s start with my name- Hi I am Julie, pleasure to meet you!

I am in the process of starting my own Life Coaching business, which is extremely exciting and scary all at the same time. I had this idea back in November. During that time, I was going through a breakup and it sucked but hey it happens and I am doing a lot better now than I was then. I had to move back to my parents and I started to think – a lot. The person I was with before, I had a vision of the life we were going to have but after that was over it was a complete blank slate and I did not really know what I was going to do. (Also, did I mention I am a planner – I have to have a plan even if it does not go through I have to have one!)

During this time, I was talking to my Life Coach Melissa Colleret and she asked some very difficult questions and at that time I was unable to answer. But they definitely stuck with me, as she would say she planted a seed.

So, I started to brainstorm, what are my passions and what do I want to do? One thing that stuck is I love traveling; it is a huge passion of mine and the world is quite an incredible place. Then I thought, what if I can do something like what Melissa does and incorporate my passion for travel. What if, I can motivate and inspire others to buy that plane ticket to go on that trip that they have always dreamed of. That is when it hit me, Travel Life Coach – that was it. I told Melissa and I was so excited and I just did not know where to start but I knew this was it!

I enrolled in her Y.O.U Collective Coach Certification, which is still ongoing until October 2017. Let me tell you, it has been quite the ride so far and it is has only been 3 months (or something?!).

I am learning a lot about myself, about the coaching industry, about business and how to listen for greatness!

Can’t wait to share more with you on my journey to becoming a Life Coach & my awesome travel tips!