When I was growing up I never went to Disney World like all the other kids I knew.
In the early years I mostly remember rented cottages or tent or trailer camping, gravelly beaches, cutting my toe open in the water, blood sucking fish, boating, fishing, paddle boats, chasing frogs and sitting on the end of the dock watching the sun set.
When I was 15 my family decided to take our first cross country trip. 4 kids, one mini van, 2 parents driving from Ontario to Prince Edward Island. I remember a lot of fighting on that trip! However, despite the bickering amongst us kids it was a great experience to see more of our country. We stopped in a few places in each province along the way and Halifax, especially, left a lasting impression on me. It strangely felt like home. I hope to take our family there someday.
At 18 a family reunion took us to the west coast of Canada. Though we drove again, my parents must have learned something from the first trip and rented an RV. It was much more enjoyable not being so crammed in! This time we drove through the United States on the way to Alberta and through Canada on the way back. Visiting Medora, North Dakota was my favourite part of the trip. It felt like a real "wild west". The badlands were vast, there were wild bison and horses, etc. Alberta paled in comparison.
In 2006 I flew for the first time. After a quick flight to Toronto we eventually boarded a large plane for an 8 hour flight to Warsaw, Poland.
Once in Poland we stayed in 2 hotels spending part of the week touring in and around Warsaw and part of it in and around Krakow.
During our trip we realized we had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. I was really unsure if I wanted to go but in the end I'm glad we did. I had studied the camp as part of history class in high school but it was really crazy, almost surreal to see it with my own eyes. Seeing "Work will set you free" inscribed over the entrance was especially moving.
In 2007 I took one more opportunity to go on a family vacation with my parents and siblings. My now husband and I had been getting pretty serious in our relationship and I suspected he might propose. The distance made the trip really hard on me as I would have liked to share it with him but I had a really great time seeing Portugal.
We stayed in Lisbon the whole time in a beautiful hotel with a great view of the city.
We also got to travel to Cascais, a beautiful coastal town. I would have loved to have explored it more thoroughly but we were with a tour group.
Since my trip to Portugal I haven't really left our country. Maybe some day but in the mean time there's so much of Canada our 4 year old hasn't seen.
This blog post was inspired by Mama Kat's blog prompt number 3: What countries have you traveled to?