If you've been following my blog at all, you've probably noticed the little blurb I have at the bottom of each article reminding my girlfriend that I love her. I have been dating Jessica for over five incredible years now and I wouldn't have it any other way. She's a blessing to my life, and I miss her every day I'm not with her.
However, me missing her now is nothing compared to how I feel when I'm travelling the world and she's back at home. She might think I'm having a wonderful time without her, but the opposite is true: she's all I think about when I travel, and I always wonder what she would say or think if we were experiencing places together. It is especially difficult to travel somewhere romantic without her, like New York's Central Park, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Quebec City.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who has this struggle, so I compiled a list of tips to survive travelling without your sweetheart. I'm no expert on love, but Jessica hasn't left me yet, so I must be doing something right!
1. Don't Go / Take Them with You
When I told Jessica I was writing this article, "Don't Go" was her number one solution. Our relationship has been speckled with me going on adventures without her, beginning only two months after we started dating, so I respect that she is never happy with me when I tell her I'm planning a new trip. However, I really enjoy seeing the world so "Don't Go" isn't a viable option.
Another solution is to take them with you on your travels. You don't necessarily have to pay for them, but sometimes it's more efficient if you're travelling with a partner. For example, G Adventure charges in groups of two. You could travel solo, but you'll pay the same price as if you travel with another person. Let's say you want to go on a 73 day camping trip across South America for $10,440, it would be much for efficient economically for both of you to go for the same price than for one of you to go
Travelers Tip: Any time you can travel somewhere for less than $100 a day, you're doing great! By two of you going on this trip, you're spending $71 a day instead of $142! Nice!)
2. Skype Them
I tried this when I visited Japan, and it worked wonderfully (minus the 14 hour time difference)!
Skype's calling rates are very reasonable and are only slightly higher if you want to call mobile phones. For example, I can call home to Canada anywhere in the world for $3 a month. This allows me to call my girlfriend, my parents and my sister multiple times while I was in Asia. I can call my girlfriend on her lunch break and hear about her day while I'm on zipping across Japan on a train or call and wish her good morning while I'm drinking wine on a gondola in Venice. It's a very cheap, very reasonable way to talk to your significant other while travelling the world.
Some countries have different calling rates, such as India, but they are still very reasonable, ranging from 0.012 cents a minute to 0.008 cents a minute!
Sometimes you don't have time to talk to your beloved, but you still want to let them know you're thinking about them. Spotify has this awesome feature where you can make custom playlists and share them with fellow listeners. My girlfriend and I have made several playlists and sent them to each other, although apparently my playlists aren't very good.
Nevertheless, listening to songs that the two of you have made memories with – or that you think the other would really enjoy – is a fun, easy and personal way to communicate with your beloved, even tens of thousands of kilometers apart.
Another fun thing to do is to send them popular songs sung in the language of the country you're visiting. Travelling the world really helps see how different cultures mix, and since music is universal, this would be a perfect way to show it!
4. Send Them Letters or Postcards
Phone-calls and playlists are great, but sometimes something they can touch and hold is what's really needed. The art of sending letters is dying thanks to instant communication, but there's still something romantic about receiving letters sent from abroad. Your letters or postcards can say anything you want, such as what you did that day, how much you missed them or how much you can't wait to see them again.
I did something like this once. In Grade Twelve one of my teachers had us make our bucket lists. One of the things I put on it was to one day visit the Vatican City. When I finally did visit it, two years later, I sent my teacher a postcard from it, telling her I had crossed one of the items off my list. When I ran into her years later back home she told me how much she appreciated getting it, and how happy she was to see that I remembered her assignment.
You could also use this idea to tell them you are taking them on a surprise trip. It's really easy, actually! Just send a letter to the post office to the destination you are travelling to and ask them to send a postcard back with a message, such as:
We're really excited to see you in 2016!
Hope you enjoy Ireland!
It would be an unforgettable way to announce your travel plans, just be sure to give yourself enough time for your letter to get to its destination, and for their letter to get back.
5. Place a Lock on a "Love Lock" Bridge
The idea of a "love lock" is simple: two people hold the lock, confess their love to each other, close the lock on a chain or rail and throw the key into the river below. This is a very romantic, yet permanent expression of your love for another person. There's no reason why you and your significant other couldn't express your love with the lock before your trip, and then you add the lock to the bridge when you get there.
The Pont des Arts is Paris is the most famous of these bridges and is frequented by thousands of tourists a year. Unfortunately, the weight from all these locks has begun to damage the bridge and the city has asked tourists not to place any more locks on it. The Mayor of the City of Love began a campaign in 2014 asking people not to place locks on the bridge and instead take selfies with the #lovewithoutlocks hashtag, claiming "Our bridges can no longer withstand your gestures of love."
There are many other bridges in the world where this same action is celebrated, with some in China, South Korea, Italy, Slovenia, Germany and even the United States!
If you want to do this, but not damage public property, an alternative is to place a ribbon on the bridge instead. While ribbons aren't as permanent as locks, they can be much prettier and not nearly as heavy!
Regardless of what you do and how you do it, be sure to take a picture and send it to your loved one letting them know your love for them is eternal.
6. Carry a Memento with You
Prior to me leaving on my first trip to Europe, Jessica got me Teddy, a plush teddy bear for Valentine's Day. I took Teddy to Europe with me, and carried him everywhere. There were times I misplaced Teddy or forgot him and had to go back and get him, but for the most part he was my travel companion everywhere I went.
As silly as this might sound, having Teddy with me was one of the best things I could have done. Not only did I miss Jessica like crazy during my trip to Europe, I was pretty terrified to travel around the world for the first time by myself. Having Teddy with me to talk to when things got rough really helped me out since it was like talking to my girlfriend, who has this incredible ability to make me feel better.
Although it's been just over 5 years since I got Teddy as a gift, I still carry him with me on my travels. Of all the ways that made travelling without my sweetheart BEARable, travelling with Teddy was my favourite.
Let me know in the comments below how you deal with travelling without your loved one!
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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When it comes to Saskatchewan, your next adventure can be around any corner. As you venture off the main highways, signage is scarce and directions such as "if you've passed the gate with the buffalo skulls, you've gone too far" are all too common. Communities grow smaller, people grow warmer and the list of things on your Saskatchewan Bucket List seems to only get longer.
My adventure to Leader started a few months ago when Christine over at Cruisin' Christine shared a list of Leader bus tours on Facebook. Some of the tours were in June, but one was in September. The September tour caught my eye because it was a two-day tour and I had to ask myself what we would do for two days in Leader. Leader has a three digit population, so I was perplexed on what the tour would comprise.
I was so perplexed that I decided contacted Leader Tourism and booked the tour to find out.
I was recently asked if I preferred my time in Montreal or Quebec City more, and while Montreal is a gorgeous city, decorated with thousands of green copper spires, hosts incredible festivals, has some of the most fantastic food I have ever tasted, and is spotted with beautiful parks, there was just something about Quebec City that spoke to me. Being over four hundred years old, Quebec City is one of the last remaining "walled cities" in North America, and is the only one north of Mexico. Quebec City was the location of some of the greatest conflicts in Canadian history, including the Siege of Quebec by the British.
Belonging to three very different countries (France, England, and Canada) in its four hundred year existence, Quebec City is a mixing pot of old traditions, new ideas, cobblestone streets and modern architecture. Since there is so much to see in Quebec City, I figured I would narrow it down to a couple and let you discover the rest! Here is "8 Places to Visit in Quebec City".
Although the hot summer days of July are long behind us, 2017 is still Canada's 150th year. In honour of Canada's sesquicentennial birthday, I decided to put together a list of 150 things about Canada. This list talks about our quirkiness, our strengths, our weakness, and our legacy, for better and for worse. There are some sad facts, some odd facts and some facts that will probably make you open another tab to look into for yourself.
Hope you enjoy this list, and I hope you all had a great 2017!
1. Canada's two official languages are French and English, but only 20.6% of Canadians speak French.