Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A long year around the world.

Good news! The Concordia International office just announced to Sabrina and me that we were accepted for the study exchange program next year. And what is great is that we can go together! But we were accepted only for half a year in Cairo, so they gave us some options to consider, and in the end we decided to go to Hong Kong first and Cairo second. Hong Kong then! Who would have known?

So next year is going to be a long year around the world. It will start in May in Norway, where I will visit my step family and the vikings, then I will drop by France to visit my own family, and then I will go to China in the beginning of June. There I will travel around the Kashgar region on the silk road for a good 2 months. That should give me plenty of time to discover the area [relatively] in depth. I now daydream about Kashgar and its surroundings, the mighty Pamir mountains, the Himalayas, the desert, the half buried 1000 years old fortresses where the caravans on the silk road would take refuge for the night, and the wild camels! And the Chinese government allowing I might get a glimpse at the Tibetan region of Qinghai, and maybe even Xiahe, which was closed last year.

And when I'll be tired of moving around I'll go to Hong Kong for a couple of months. Then it'll be Christmas time and the 6 weeks vacations that comes with it, thus traveling again. And then the American University of Cairo for a semester, and finally back to Montreal July 2010... In short it is going to be similar to my first sabbatical year - 2005-2006 - when I traveled for a year in Latin America and New Zealand.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


O Mexico! My love for the Caribe has just reached new heights. In every aspects the contrast with winter frozen Montreal is obvious, enormous and tremendous. The 19th of February I finally got out of this country and flew to Cancun, the spring break paradise for American teenagers. After few rhetoric problems with Veronica Holmes, the Continental Airways customer service witch, Kristina, Sabrina and me finally managed to get to the promised land with [only] one day late. We then had to find a car to rent, which took us some more hours, and off we went to meet Thomas in Merida!

Merida was astonishingly beautiful. The small streets, the single storey houses with their pastel colors, the backyards, the Volkswagen Beattles, the Carnaval, the warm weather, the smily faces; it was the perfect accumulation of goodness! Life is just good there. And for us it was the perfect vacation we wanted. Our hostel -La Casa del Tio Dach- was gorgeous, the owner really kind and helpful. The vacation was starting fairly well, let aside Sabrina's magic eye and the Continental Airways situation.

We then moved to Tulum and Punta Allen to find a beach with white sand, turquoise Caribbean water, Cabanas and coconuts. To fit with the "couple's vacation" typical image we tried to catch the sunrise [almost] every morning and stroll on the beach in the daybreak's soft light. It was the perfect vacation like grown up usually picture it.

And then we entered the second stage of this vacation when we met my step familly in Playa del Carmen. With them we went to Chichen Itza in an enormous Chevrolet Suburban, FBI like car in which we eight people all easily fitted. To finalyze our perfect spring break we got a touch of luxury as we stayed at the hotel next to the ruins. And then after a last day at the beach snorkelling and swimming with turtles, baracudas and sting rays we finally made our way back home, and the 1st of March we were all sadly back to Montreal, its snow and its grey weather.
Why am I not living in Mexico?