Another really incredible year for getting out and seeing the world! Much like 2014, 2015 was the year of beer, great eats, and having my mind blown by the world around us. Let’s do this.
New York in the Winter
My birthday lands smack in the middle of Canadian winter. I usually abhor winter travel for all of its potential for disaster, but this year was different. My friends and I went to New York for a long weekend and we jammed as much fun into the time there as humanly possible. NYC in winter is terrific! There are far fewer people around, hotels are cheap, Broadway seats are fantastic, and you actually get to see New Yorkers.
During my winter trip to New York, I also, finally, picked a winner in one of the greatest debates of our time: Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s? Plus, I got delayed by a storm and stayed an extra day. Win-win-WIN.
Sudden Unemployment Turned Funemployment!
I got laid off in 2015 which was absolutely no fun at all. Largely because it was still winter in Eastern Canada. Despite the gloominess of it all, it was a great time for personal growth. I spent some time reflecting on what I learned from my Camino de Santiago, and that learning served me well through unemployment. I also created a guide to funemployment, to maintain my outlook and my sanity. It worked! I was re-employed about a month later and all has been well ever since.
Montreal for food and beer
If my French skills were stronger than “ordering food and drinks,” I’d live in Montreal in a heartbeat. It’s the greatest city in Canada for visiting and living like a local. My friends and I stayed in a flat on the Plateau, far, far away from the usual touristy part of Montreal.
Craft Spirits and Acadian Culture in Northern New Brunswick
In August, I road-tripped up to Northern New Brunswick for 15 Août, La fête nationale de l’Acadie. We celebrated Acadian culture, we found a combination craft distillery-craft brewery, and I got reverse-photobombed by the future prime minister. Is that a thing?
Labour Day Weekend in New York
I thought I was only going to make it to NYC once this year, but a after developing a case of YOLO upon hearing Hedwig and the Angry Inch was closing, my friend and I headed to NYC for the Labour Day long weekend. We stayed in Brooklyn, which was delightful in its Brooklyn-ness – our neighbourhood was somewhere between a Caribbean community and hipster enclave – complete with outdoor subway stops.
The weekend itself was a lot of simply being in New York. Roaming the streets, eating Salty Pimps at Big Gay Ice Cream, seeing some shows, escaping the heat for a beer at Tørst. The weather was perfect, and when my last free evening coincided with the opening of Coney Island Brewing Company, I hopped the train for Coney and made a night of it. Coney Island on Labour Day weekend is bonkers. Highly recommended, at least once.
I don’t feel remotely done with Haiti, more like we just met for the first time. I traveled with G Adventures to Haiti in November and the trip was beyond my wildest expectations. The country will amaze you every day: the people, the scenery and art, the food, and so much more.
The lesson learned is simple: the story of a place is never the one thing you know about it. That’s oversimplifying, A LOT, but this trip has completely changed how I think about travel and how I’ll approach destinations in the future. There will be a lot more about my Haiti stops throughout January, please come back and learn more about this astounding country.
Looking ahead to 2016
2016 is shaping up to be the year of going back places I love: New York (once again, in the winter), London (with a possible side trip to Paris), and Montreal (because I got Adele tickets for September).
I’m undecided about a longer trip at this point. I have a hankering to do the Inca Trail trek up to Macchu Piccu, but I may have recruited a buddy for that, so it’ll wait until our schedules line up. I still haven’t been to Eastern Europe or South America, and I have itineraries in mind for both. Or, I may just spin the wheel and let my pals at G Adventures pick a trip for me. I’ve never done ANYTHING like that, so that may be reason enough to do it.
Finally, thank you for stopping in and reading about my adventures in 2015. This blog is strictly a labour of love and I hope you find useful information, photos that delight, and ideas for your own travels. Best wishes for an adventurous 2016!