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My First Post: How This Blog Was Born

 

first post

Wow! My first post! Can’t believe the day has finally come.

See, I’ve been thinking about starting a travel blog for years, but have always been too afraid, too uncertain, and frankly, too lazy to actually go ahead and do it. The excuse I kept making to myself was that I couldn’t think of a good name for a blog, and I couldn’t very well start a blog if I didn’t have a good name for it, could I? Then just a few weeks ago, as I lay awake in bed pondering for the umpteenth time what the hell I could possibly name my would-be blog, it suddenly occurred to me that the short form of my name (which my brother and sister always call me) rhymes with the word “road.” (Roads symbolize travelling! Travelling is what my blog will be about! Eureka!) Now that I had a catchy (even if slightly cheesy) name for my blog, I had to admit to myself that I had absolutely no excuses not to go ahead and begin the creation of said blog. And so here we are!

first post Mykonos

Hi! I’m Jode, and as you can see, I’m on the road.

Allow me to tell you a bit more about myself and how I got into the whole travelling thing. Amazingly, I never once set foot outside of my home province of Ontario, Canada until I was 22 years old. (Embarrassing. I know.) I grew up in a small town (population circa 7,000), but had been living for the past four years in a mid-sized city (population circa 300,000), where I was attending university. After graduating, I decided to treat myself to a short overseas vacation as a sort of congratulatory gift to myself. The only problem was that I was scared to go on the trip alone, having never stepped outside of Ontario, and consequently viewing the outside world as some big, terrifying, dangerous place full of horrible disasters waiting to happen to an innocent girl like me. So I dragged my mother along on that first trip, a one-week cruise in the western Mediterranean, even though I felt guilty because I knew she really couldn’t afford it. Although the places we visited and the sights we saw were amazing, my mom and I ended up fighting throughout pretty much the entire trip, which really put a damper on the experience, as you can imagine.

first post Barcelona plane view

Arriving in Barcelona at the beginning of my very first overseas trip in 2012. Oh, the excitement!

After we arrived back home, I was convinced that the only trips I would dare to undertake in the future would be with me, myself, and I. No fighting, no asking anyone else what they want to do, no answering to anyone but myself. It would be the ultimate freedom, I thought. The trip with my mom had shown me that travelling wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought it was, and I was fully convinced that I had what it took to embark on an overseas journey all by my lonesome. (I was also convinced that I would never again travel by cruise ship. On the seven-day cruise, I gained a good eight pounds. I was helpless in the clutches of the all-you-can-eat onboard buffet!)

The following June, when I was 23, I decided to go to the magical city of Paris for nine days. And whaddaya know, solo travel turned out to be just as liberating, empowering, and fun as I thought it would be! After that I couldn’t stop. I went to New York City for a week that December, where I did some pretty cool things that I never thought I would have the chance to do. I took myself out to see The Nutcracker performed by the New York City Ballet, I saw the famous Rockettes put on their Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall, I visited the stone lions guarding the New York Public Library with the traditional wreaths around their great necks. The year after that I went to England and Scotland for two weeks in the spring, and to NYC again at the end of the summer (because, duh, it’s a completely different city in the warmer months, and I hadn’t even seen Central Park yet!). The next year it was San Francisco, Lisbon, Madrid, and Amsterdam that I visited. The year after that I went to Austin, Los Angeles, and the Grand Canyon on one trip; to Athens and the Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini, and Ios on another; and to Puerto Rico on a third.

first post New York Nutcracker

Taking myself on a date to see The Nutcracker in NYC.

As I write this (May 2017), I am preparing to head out on a three-month trip around Europe at the end of May. This will be by far the longest trip I have ever taken – up until now, the longest I have been away from home was just over two weeks. As you can imagine, I’m tremendously excited for this upcoming odyssey, which I plan to document here on this blog. Please join me in hoping that I somehow find the motivation to post on here regularly while I’m on vacation! I’m sure I will need all the encouragement I can get.