Monday, June 29, 2009

The travels of the Grown Up Teenager

Wow, so I had more responses to the 100 things about me blog than I ever expected. I’ve had a few comments on the amount of places I’ve traveled, so I figured I’d elaborate a little bit. I’ve never been a shy traveler, and I have no problem going to places I’ve never been before and just flying by the seat of my pants. I’m not the vacationer that has to have a schedule. That type drives me up the wall. That said, here’s an explanation of why I’ve been where I’ve been, and sort of a general idea of how old I was. (I refuse to look up dates. There’s a lot of books I’d have to look through for that).

C, eh? N, eh? D, eh? (AKA Canada)
Ontario – Um, I’m from Ontario. I’ve been pretty much anywhere you can name, between sports, school, and random road trips. Hence it not being on the original list.
Quebec – Every Eastern Canadian kid goes to Quebec when they’re 18. Why? Because its legal to drink at 18 there, but in Ontario, we wait til 19 (so the law says). Americans that have to wait until 21? We mock you. Also been to Old Quebec City and Montreal, for sports and for fun.
British Columbia and Alberta – Awesome skiing to be had. That, plus dating an Albertan guy for two years meant me spending time out there whenever possible. Fernie BC is another place I’d move in a heartbeat.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI – road trip (plus ferry trip) with the family. Drove up through Quebec, hit all the Maritime provinces, and stayed in PEI.

The USA:
California – Invitational only hockey tournament, grade 12 (senior year for you American folks) Christmas break. 4 days of hockey, 5 days of touristy stuff.
Hawaii – Basketball tournament. Grade 12 again. March break this time. A few days of sports, a few days of surfing.
Florida – Spring break during first year of university, with friends
New York and Michigan – both within driving distance of home. I’ve got for hockey games, to Six Flags at Darien Lake, down to the city for weekends, etc etc.
Arizona – (I forgot this on the first list) Another hockey tournament. Also, note to Americans: whats with hockey tournaments being held in the hot as hell states? Seriously here.

Australia and New Zealand
I spent almost a month between the two of these during Christmas break of first year university (its their summer in December/January). It was with friends. We went diving off the coast of AUS, bungee jumping in NZ, zip lining, surfing, and generally being daredevils down under. I loved it there.

Europe (Warning, this one gets confusing, even for me. Some countries get repeated)
Paris, London, Rome – School trip, March break of grade 11. We did the three major cities and all the cliché tourist attractions.
England, Ireland, Scotland – trip with friends in second year of university. 6 weeks total; 2 weeks in each country. We came home mimicking the most confusing accents ever.
France – school trip in grade 10, to practice our français. We actually went to a Parisian school for a day. (I’m fluent). They fell in love with Canadian accents.
Switzerland – skiing with my aunt and uncle, when I was in grade 9. Took off and explored by myself for a full day. Got in some major hot water for that. Ahem.
Holland – family trips. Multiple, over the span of my entire life. My dad was born there.
Sweden – a work trip from when I worked for the NHL. First class and five star, all expenses paid. It was beauty.
Italy – summer of third year of university, with a couple buddies. Split between Sicily and Tuscany.
Germany – flew there, spent a week or so being a tourist, and drove a rental car to my aunt’s in Holland. Sort of a dual purpose trip; family and tourist, all by my lonesome. I was...19?
Greece – That was my first trip by myself. I didn’t, and still don’t understand Greek, other than “Oopah!” I just told my parents I felt like going, and they said, “So go.” So I did. I was 17 at the time. That was right after high school graduation.

Asia (This part of the list is WAY too short. I’m working on that)
Japan – A trip with la familia. Nothing will make you feel quite as white as Tokyo and it was super cool. I’d go back in a heartbeat, especially since I love sushi now.
Korea – (Fudge. Forgot this one too) I don’t know if this counts. It was a short trip. It was for my cousin’s wedding. His wife is from there. Very pretty country.

The Hot Spots
Mexico – Who hasn’t been to Mexico? Seriously. Do I need to say more than the words “all inclusive”?
The Bahamas – I won a trip there. I forget what year of university it was...maybe 3rd? I should check that. It was pretty fun.
The Dominican – My friend’s parents own a resort in Punta Cana, and we got paid one year of university to be “mystery shoppers.” We had to stay as guests, take notes on everything. Hey, the stay was for free. Why not?

Holy youknowwhat, that took longer to write than I expected. Anyway, hope that explains how the heck my travel list is so extensive at a young age. It better be twice that size when I hit 40. That’s my goal anyway. I may live in the same area for my entire life and not hate on it a little, but I also love seeing the world. Up next? Who knows?!

Where have YOU been? Tell me your stories. :)


bethany actually said...

Despite living in Southern CA for a total of four years (so far) and Arizona for two years and having in-laws on the Texas/Mexico border, I've only been to Mexico once, and then it was only for an afternoon. I did LIVE in Canada (in Ottawa) for two years, though!

Also, the reason Americans have their hockey tournaments in hot states is maybe because the hockey players usually live in really cold places, so they like going someplace warm for fun?

bethany actually said...

Also, in case you're curious, my travel list:

Iceland - We had friends who were stationed in Keflavik at the Naval Air Station, and visited them. It was winter when we went; do we get extra points for that? Extra points because I was 5mos pregnant at the time?

Costa Rica - My friend Erin lived and worked in Costa Rica for almost a year when we were in our mid-20s. I figured, when will I get another chance to go to Costa Rica to visit a friend? So I went for two weeks, and it was awesome. We climbed volcanoes, swam in a hot springs, stayed at a resort on the Caribbean, went ziplining in the cloud forest, and I HELD A TARANTULA for two seconds. It was a blast.

England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland - Again with Erin, who had worked at a summer camp in Massachusetts and made friends in all those places who said, "Come visit!" So she invited me to go with her, and we visited, and...none of those people ever spoke to Erin again. Draw your own conclusions. (Seriously, she never heard from any of them again! I don't think it really had anything to do with us, though, we weren't that bad.)

Canada - Lived in Ottawa for almost two years; visited Toronto and various small towns in Ontario. Visited Montreal and Mont Tremblant in Quebec (saw Kids in the Hall perform live in Montreal, which rocked). Flew to Vancouver and also visited Victoria, B.C. when Troy had a business trip there. LOVED Vancouver.

U.S. - I've been in every state except Alaska, Idaho, and Mississippi, at least to drive through. I've lived in or spent actual time in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utak, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

The Grown Up Teenager said...

@bethany actually - Costa Rica? Am jealous. I better add that to my list of places I need to go. You also totally beat me on the US end of things. Iceland is cool too. Man, I have so many places I still need to go.

And about the hockey thing: nope, that's not it. Especially in AZ, we were dying of heat. We got the area and went, FINALLY! Normal temperatures. (California wasn't bad, since it was December/January) It just always felt weird to go the rink wearing shorts.

Lost In Splendor said...

My travel list is woefully small. Sounds like you have been to some amazing places!

The Grown Up Teenager said...

@ Lost in Splendor - A lot of people my/your/our age have way smaller lists than me. I've been lucky. I've had a whole lot of opportunity to go places (lots of school trips in both high school and university), and the finances to do it.

I'm sure you'll get chances too. :)