My Thoughts On: Travelling

I LOVE to travel. There is just something about travelling that blows my mind. I love seeing major tourist attractions but also being able to see something unique and off the beaten path, to be immersed in the culture and history of a specific place. It makes you realize that there really is a big, beautiful world out there just waiting to be explored. I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout my life and I can only hope that I am able to continue.

My love for travel started as a child when my family and I would all pile into the Cholmondeley van in pursuit of an adventure. Of course there were small trips to begin with: Toronto to see the CN Tower, Sudbury to visit Science North, Santa’s Village every year for my birthday, up north to Elliot Lake for a week of fishing and outdoor fun and Niagara Falls to of course see the falls. These small trips soon turned into bigger ones. Road trips out east to visit family or driving through the states to eventually visit Mickey and Minnie, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel… moving on… Picture my dad driving while my mom navigates the long journey, and my older brother, Paul, and I in the back. Paul quietly trying to read while I listen to my red Sony walkman and insist on belting out “Part of Your World” over and over (and over) again. Please note I have very patient parents. The trips also consisted of writing down all of the passing car’s license plates on the road so that I could be helpful to the police in case of an accident or murderer on the loose (you’re welcome), playing cards (the only time Paul and I got along really well on these long trips), and of course constructing a wall using blankets and pillows to ensure that Paul did NOT cross onto my side of the van. Yes, I have fond fond memories of the Cholmondeley family outings.

Now as an adult I do most of my travelling with my husband, Bryce. How lucky was I to have found him? To find someone who loves to travel just as much as I do. And the best part is that not only do we both love to travel separately but we seem to enjoy it even more together. Almost always we both want to see and do the same things while visiting a new place. Bryce is a little more adventurous than I… for instance I will not be jumping out of a plane of my own free will anytime soon, but we try to make sure that we each get the opportunity to do and see what is most important to us on each trip. So basically, if we were on a trip and it was really important to Bryce that he jump out of a plane… oh man this would be hard… then I suppose we would make sure that he got the opportunity to even if it meant that I stayed on the ground fearing for his life and praying for his safety. We both want to make sure to see the big tourist attractions and mark them off our list but also take the time to just walk around and explore and see where it takes us. And food. We both LOOOOOOOOOVE food. If there is a local staple of the area then we will find it, and eat it (or drink it). In fact certain restaurants and food become part of the “to do” list while travelling. You can’t go to Japan and not eat Sushi! Or go to Costa Rica and not eat Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) with Lizano Sauce. In fact we have travelling to thank for so many of our favourite foods! We will forever be grateful to Hawaii for coconut syrup on banana pancakes. Another common interest while travelling is shopping. Although neither of us may come home with much we do both like to shop around and check out the different stores in the area. I mean H&M in Barcelona MUST have something different than H&M in Toronto right?!… Bryce even supports my going into thousands of tourist shops on a mission for the perfect travel charm for my collection.

Okay, quick back story: Growing up my mom had this charm bracelet hidden away in her jewelry drawer. I never actually saw her wear this bracelet but as a child I was fascinated with it. The charm bracelet has many charms, one to represent her graduation from Nursing School, one to represent her marriage to my dad, but mostly she has an extensive collection that she acquired while travelling through Europe when she was young. I always loved the times we would go up into her room and venture into her jewelry drawer. She would take out her charm bracelet loaded with charms and explain to me all of their meanings. I would point and ask “and this one? And this one?” and she would go around explaining what each charm represented. When I was little these charms always seemed so special. When I became an adult and started travelling more on my own there was a day that we ventured into her her jewelry drawer and out came the bracelet. I realized that I TOO could have my very own charm bracelet. And so it began. Every place that I would visit I would buy a charm to represent the trip and our time there. A little lobster in a lobster trap for Nova Scotia, a red fan for Japan, a hula girl for Hawaii and so on.

Yes, Bryce and I really are good travel buddies and I believe that travelling together has made us even closer as a couple. There’s nothing quite like going to a place where neither of you speak the language and after failing to communicate, you glance at each other and share a smile before jumping head first into a game of charades to find the local post office (yes, that has happened). You really rely on each other to get through. There’s also something beautifully romantic about being in a new place and getting lost together. Of course it depends on exactly when this scenario is taking place and your surroundings at the time, but it always seems a lot less scary when you have someone there who you know has your back no matter what. And finally, there’s sharing a new experience together. There’s nothing quite like seeing the person you love most in the world experience something new for the very first time (“Famous sights I wanna see you seeing…”), and something about being able to share your moment with them. LOVE IT.

Some places that I have been lucky enough to visit are: Barcelona, France (Paris and Marseille), Costa Rica, Italy (Venice), Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, New York, LA, Chicago, Vancouver, Nova Scotia, PEI, Puerto Rico, Montreal, Quebec City, Japan (Tokyo and Kyoto) AND if you follow me on Instagram (s_chumly) you may know that Bryce and I just got back from a wonderful trip to Italy (Florence, Tuscany and Rome). Next on our list for travel is JAMAICA! My really good friend, Julie, is getting married there in November and we’ve never been so I’m super excited for some wedding fun in the sun, jerk chicken and anything coconut!

Other places I hope to visit one day?: Thailand, Peru, Greece, Southern Italy, Lisbon, Hong Kong, Beijing, England, Scotland, Egypt, Germany, San Francisco, Belize, Newfoundland and Brazil. And Australia. And Cuba. And Bali… and Chile… and, man oh man… as I write this list I fear that I have too many places I would like to visit and not enough time or money to do it! Well, here’s hoping I someday win a trip for two around the world. Or the lottery.

*Keep an eye out for my next post to hear about our trip to Italy!