…woah! When I realized I may be able to visit all 7 continents before I graduate in 2014, I was psyched!
Back in my grade nine business class, one of our projects was to make a computer presentation about ourselves. One slide had to list our life goals/bucket-list items. I can’t remember all of mine but a few stand out: attend an awards show (still waiting for my Oscars invite), get something published (check! though I’d love to publish more), learn another language (not looking too good), learn how to whistle (half-check) and visit all 7 continents. Even at 13 I knew I wanted to travel the world.
So here’s how I’m doing:
North America: Easy peasy. Born and raised in Canada. Countless visits to the States and a few family trips and volunteer experiences in the Caribbean. I haven’t actually been to Mexico yet but I can still safely cross this continent off the list!
South America: Summer 2011 I journeyed down to Lima, Peru with International Volunteer HQ for a few weeks. I worked in orphanages, rural schools and women’s shelters. I’d love to visit other parts of South America like Brazil and Chile.
Asia: The summer after grade nine I joined my family friends on their trip to the Philippines and Korea. We stayed for 5 weeks, visited with lots of family and took in all the sites. It was my first big trip to a third world country. I can’t wait to go back to Asia and see SE Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Bali, Malaysia), Japan, India and the Middle East. There is a lot of that continent left to discover!
Europe: This past summer I finally made my way across the pond to Europe! I blogged about it extensively but to recap I visited England, France, Monaco (yes, it’s a country!), Spain and Portugal. Still need to visit most of West Europe as well as Italy, Greece and the northern countries. I can’t wait to go back! Hopefully I can land a job in Europe one day.
Africa (pending): Next summer I am travelling to Mbabane, Swaziland, Africa with the International Service Learning program at UBC. I’m going to be getting course credit and volunteering at an HIV/AIDS Advocacy organization for 12 weeks, following 4 weeks of seminars in Vancouver. I am so excited for this amazing opportunity!
Australia (probably pending): The plan is to go to The University of Queensland in 2014 on an exchange term. It’s one of the 7 partner schools for my Global Issues Programme and sounds like it would be a great time. I also plan to travel around Australia/NZ during the term and for a little afterwards.
Antarctica (fingers crossed it’s pending!): Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to visit Antarctica….it just costs a lot of money! They run cruises from many southern countries. But we’re talking huge ice-breaking ships and weeks of big waves and freezing temperatures. You jump off for a few hours to see the penguins then climb right back on board before you freeze to death. If you’re really brave, you can camp on
land ice instead of going back to the boat.
As tough and expensive as the journey is, I really want to do it! The views are supposed to be breathtaking, and how many people can say they have been to Antarctica? Time-wise, it works out perfectly! I would finish my semester at UQ in July 2014 (their term is Feb-July) and be done with my undergrad! But I would have a few months to kill while my grades transferred to UBC and I could graduate. It would be the perfect time to fruit-pick my way around Australia/NZ until I’ve saved up enough money for a few weeks down to Antarctica!
If all of that works out, I will arrive back in Canada having visited every continent in the world by my university graduation in November 2014. I would get to celebrate one of the biggest achievements in education and in travel at the same time, knowing there are lots more milestones for me to hit in both categories!