All prepped for the Edinburgh marathon…

Well, I think I’m almost there with last-minute marathon preparations. Flight to Edinburgh leaves this afternoon, passport is at the ready, and I’m full of nerves and trying to remain super-hydrated in this heat! But, hmm… what have I forgotten? Probably something important!

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Back to reality

This past week, I took a break from all things word-related to head to Sauze d’Oulx in Italy for a week’s worth of skiing. For the most part the weather was crystal clear, cold, and perfect for skiing. Sauze itself was beautiful, and the skipass included one day over in France at Montgenèvre, so I got to practice my French a little. The food was great (as expected for Italy!) although there was so much of it we could scarcely make our way through each night. It was a little bit of a trip of misadventures, though, as I took a bad fall on the first day and hurt my arm (luckily nothing broken!), another of us ended up with a black eye, and half the group were struck down with nasty norovirus at the end! Even stomach flu couldn’t keep us down though, and as befitting a holiday that was meant to be a break-from-words, words can’t really describe it as well as a few pictures can:

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A Canadian Tourist in London

Westminster Abbey
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kwothe in sondry londes;
(Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Prologue 12-14, “Then folk do long to go on pilgrimage, and palmers to go seeking out strange strands, to distant shrines well known in distant lands.”)

I’ve just returned from a day out as a tourist and I’m quite exhausted. It brings to mind what I’ll be facing over the next few months — and the fact that there won’t always be a relaxing sofa and a nice cup of tea to return to at the end of a strenuous day.  This is going to be an experience like no other. Even though I try to prepare as much as possible for the future by reading other people’s blogs, travel journals and gapyear messageboards, there’s no way to predict what’s going to happen — and that’s part of what is so exciting and nerve-wracking about this whole thing!

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Jolly Old England

It’s been over 48 hours since I left home, but I haven’t updated this blog. And it’s been over 10 years since I’ve left England, but it still feels so much like home to me that I don’t feel I really need to. This blog is supposed to be about my travels – coming to England is the long-distance equivalent of driving back to Ottawa .

Except, of course, that it’s not. These past few days have been so full of fun and exciting travel experiences that not to write about them would be a travesty. The coming week is filled with plans too, to those places I never visited when I lived here. And in order to keep the habit of writing about my travels, there’s no better time to start than the present.

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