2017 Travel Year in Review

Now that 2017 is coming to an end, it is time to reflect and be grateful about all the wonderful places I have seen this year. While giving thought about my travels, I have managed to accumulate amazing memories and meet incredible people along the way. With all that said, I now have some crazy stories to share from meeting famous actors to sleeping in a car at bone-chilling temperatures. As cliché as this may sound, my year of travel has wholeheartedly changed me overall as a person. I have seen a great deal of self-growth and I have become stronger as a person with my beliefs, morals, emotions and commutation. I have encountered a succession of ups and downs and have learned a great deal on how to handle almost anything thrown at me. I swear my advice to anyone for self-help is to travel because it truly is the best medicine. You’re constantly living in the moment, which helps encourage optimism. Optimism makes life a little easier to live due to the fact you’re persistently looking on the bright side. I had a man (fool) tell me to my face on my travels, “it’s stupid you travel “and “you’re not doing anything productive with your life.” My response to his utter ignorance was, “you don’t have an open mind.” I think my accusation about him was correct for the fact he joined the army to escape his small town and concluded he loathed his time serving. After his 4 years service was up he was back living in his small town, ending up where he started in the first place and now currently unhappy. I think he should try travelling to acquire some inspiration on how to live his life without settling and to broaden his horizons. Though travelling isn’t for everyone, I know it’s for me because it makes me incredibly happy and I take on every opportunity thrown at me. If you’re searching for fulfillment and love in life, travel will no doubt bring forth those elements.

Things I have learned along the way…

  • Food and everything else is expensive in Scandinavian countries. Example: Fish and Chips in Iceland, $60 CAD.
  • Avocados are $5 each in New Zealand
  • Wine is acceptable to throw at an extremely deserving person
  • You only need to learn swear words in foreign languages
  • I am even more grateful to have amazing friends and family in my life
  • Travelling alone is so healthy for you
  • I’m obsessed with mountains
  • Everything works its self out
  • The way you feel being around someone usually explains how they feel about themselves
  • There are more German travellers in Australia and New Zealand than any other nationality
  • Christmas time in Oceania doesn’t feel like the holidays to a Canadian because it’s not dark, cold and snowy
  • Never take things personally

Now here are brief summaries of all the places I’ve visited this year and some amusing stories that came with them!


Being a proud Canadian I make an effort to travel and see as much of my own alluring country as possible. I’ve been lucky enough to see a fair bit already and want to continue to see more. Canada is recognized for its stunning scenery and diverse landscapes. This year my good friend Mitch came and visited me for a month from Australia and I made sure to show him all the gems.


Some friends and I made plans to take a road trip from Toronto to Montréal for an exciting New Years getaway. To start any Canadian road trip, it is compulsory to stop at Tim Hortons for a scrumptious donut or hot tea. At our pit stop, Mitch ran in before us without any shoes in the middle of winter where there is plenty of snow and ice. Now I’m aware it is customary in Australia to go without shoes, however in Canada it is

Mitch attempting to order his Timbits at Tim Hortons (January 2017)

extremely frowned upon. I looked at him with a “WTF are you doing” face and proceeded to die of laughter because you never see this in Canada, ESPECIALLY in winter. The cashier took notice to his bare feet and declared “no shoes, no service!” Poor Mitch was kicked out and couldn’t order his hot chocolate and Timbits, what a culture shock for him.

Once we arrived in Montréal we explored the streets of Old Montréal, tasted the treats at the Marché Jean-Talon Markets and gazed at the expressive graffiti street art. This was the first time I visited Montréal and I fell in love with the whole artsy vibe of the city and I would fancy going back in summer time so the cold weather doesn’t freeze my nose off.

Niagara Falls.

Since I live an hour and half away from Niagara Falls this easy road trip is never a let down. The impressive sight of the falls puts me in awe each time because it truly is one sight to see before you die. My cousin lives in the area and showed Mitch and I around and we put “tourist mode” on and enjoyed our time in the tacky tourist part of town and Niagara on the Lake region.

During this trip I pulled my back severely to the point where my cousin had to take me to the emergency room because I couldn’t move and was crying like a newborn baby. The doctor fixed me up with some Percocet pills and it helped put me out of my suffering for the time being. Driving home from the falls with a pulled back was an interesting feat when my car completely seized on Highway 401 (busiest highway in North America.) Luckily I was 30 minutes away from home and my Dad was able to save me.

My cousin Breanne and I posing in front of the Falls (January 2017)


My three friends and I visited Iceland at an ill fated time making this 4-day holiday (please excuse my French) a complete shit show. Looking back now, we find the series of events hilarious and hysterically laugh at a slight mention of the trip. To sum the trip up, we visited when the government issued road closures leading us to miss our excursions,

James Phelps (Fred Weasley). (February 2017) 

our accommodation wasn’t ready after being awake for over 24 hours, there was a broken pullout bed and a snowfall of 51 centimeters occurred making it the worst snowstorm since 1952. To top it off, we rescheduled a new excursion to go horseback riding and mixed up the meet up time making us miss out on a second outing. Like I said before, a complete shit show.

On the plus side, I visited the relaxing Blue Lagoon where I tried their amazing silica mud mask, met the Weasley Twins actors from the Harry Potter series in a random bar (only photographed with the one), got exceptionally inebriated on Icelandic beer to relieve my misery and managed to stay out of trouble. With all that said, I HAVE to go back and explore Iceland a second time and see the ruggedly beautiful country and all the stunning things I missed out on.


My venture to Australia all started when I met a great deal of Australians in 2015 on my European backpacking trip. I spent a majority of two months with Aussies, all while learning about their culture: they like to drink, swear and make crass jokes (we got on too well.) By staying in touch with a few good cunts (whoops, it slipped) I was convinced to journey to the Land Down Under on a working holiday visa. A year and half later I was reunited with my close friends I made overseas and we were back in no time drinking, swearing and offending each other.

Brisbane, Australia with the Euro Gang (March 2017)

To live and travel in Australia was an ambition of mine for some time and when I finally arrived in the country, I can’t explain how amazing it felt to accomplish my goal. Since arriving in March, I have travelled much of the country and am now settled with a job in New South Wales for the time being. It has been an incredible year in Australia and I am so happy I took a leap of faith and went out to try a new life on my own terms. Oh and by the way, remember learning in history class how convicts founded Australia? Well, I have a good friend who’s ancestor stole a loaf of bread and was one of the originals criminals.

New Zealand

In the first few moments of seeing the landscape I was immediately obsessed with this stunning country and easily ranking it in my top favourite country list. I first arrived in New Zealand in July when it was cold, dark and winter. This was not an easy transition coming from warm and sunny Queensland, Australia. Thank the Lord baby Jesus I brought my warm Canadian parka because if you know me well, I am consistently cold in winter

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand (July 2017)

months. A friend and I planned a weeklong road trip in the South Island and we managed to survive sleeping in his car at Mt. Cooke, when the temperature was -6 degrees Celsius. Apparently it was the coldest location in the country that evening. I mostly travelled the South Island and was honestly infatuated with each stop I made. Queenstown, Nelson, Picton, Milford Sound, Marahau, I can’t pick one favourite.

New Zealand brought out the adrenaline junkie in me and I jumped the notorious, Nevis Bungy. This extreme leap is 134 meters and the best way to describe the feeling of the jump was that of an orgasm, it was an unbelievable rush. I almost withdrew out of fear, but I pushed myself to do it and I also didn’t want to lose $300 for nothing. My overall experience in New Zealand was fulfilling and I plan to go back in the New Year and see the North Island because I only visited Wellington and Auckland. I know there is a great deal of sights to still witness.

United States of America

Los Angeles

This city has been on my bucket list for a particularly long time and I happened to visit with a twist of fate. Long story short, I was flying from Canada to New Zealand with a 2-hour layover in L.A and if you’ve ever been to LAX you are aware the airport is huge and hectic. My flight from Toronto was late and I had about 40 minutes to catch my next flight. When I made it to the airline check in desk there was 5 minutes before the desk closed. I was checked in and then the horrifying question came, “do you have a flight booked out of New Zealand?” I didn’t have a booked flight and the woman’s retort, “you have 5 minutes to book a flight out of New Zealand or you can’t get on this flight.”

Hollywood, California (August 2017)

Luckily someone lent me a phone to book something, however the flight confirmation never loaded and I tried multiple times to no avail. At this point I didn’t know what to do and had sincere tears rolling down my face. I think they felt bad for me and I was put on the next flight at no extra cost. With all the chaos, I scored 2 extra days in L.A and luckily had relatives to stay with. My cousin lives in Huntington Beach which is about 40 minutes from L.A. Huntington Beach is quite a rad part to scope out, with great beaches and less tourism than L.A. I had fun wandering Hollywood streets and gawking at the legendary Hollywood sign. To sum L.A in one word would be, “busy.” The city is on the go and the traffic is insane, patience is a “must have” to visit.


By the time this article is out, I should already be in Hawaii or journeying my way. This trip was erratically planned by my family to meet for Christmas because it is exactly the half waypoint from Canada to Australia. There was a point in my life where I fantasized living and travelling there and it is now becoming a reality (well not the living part.) I have heard mixed reviews about Hawaii, that it is either overrated, or it is the best place to visit. I am thrilled to find out for myself what it will be like. Nevertheless, there is more excitement to see my family because this is our first family vacation in 10 years! It will be this Canadian’s first time celebrating a warm Christmas and I’m unable to make clear how happy I am going to be away from the cold.

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