Remember that time I was going to do monthly updates? Cool, me neither. Let’s pretend that never happened and this is my first one.
It’s not that I haven’t been putting out new content. I’ve actually been keeping a pretty good pace of eight posts a month on average. But for some reason, when it comes to these personal posts (which should be easier since I’m not researching or optimizing them for SEO), they seem to get pushed to the back burner.
The truth is, I’ve been confused about everything going on in my life. I can barely explain it to myself, let alone someone else.
Let’s start with where I’ve been.
After a brief stint in Toronto in late September, I left again for a month in Africa. It was my first time on the continent, and it was everything I had ever dreamed of. By the end of the month, I was actually used to seeing elephants on the side of the road! What a magical place.
I spent two weeks at Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve in Malawi studying the wildlife on a conservation project. I felt really, really happy while I was volunteering on the project. You’d think getting up at 5 am every day would drive me insane, but being that close to nature was an incredible feeling.
Elephants would roam through our camp daily! We also had a lovely troop of baboons that came by each morning, and could often see various antelope, warthogs, hippos, and colorful birds just in front of base camp. I also got to work alongside a group of wonderful scientists and other volunteers, which made the experience all the more special.
Read more about that and get inspired to join your own wildlife volunteer project:
- What it’s like to Volunteer on a Conservation Project in Malawi
- 7 Reasons to Volunteer on a Conservation Project
- 10 Volunteer Projects with Wildlife you Can Join Today
After the project, I started my solo travels in Africa at Lake Malawi. I’m grateful this was the first place I went because it made me feel confident in my ability to travel to Africa solo. Lake Malawi is wonderful. It’s the type of place I could have stayed for weeks, and frankly, four days wasn’t enough.
I had originally wanted to visit Mozambique after Malawi by land/boat, but after being told multiple times that it wasn’t a good idea due to safety, I decided against it. Somewhere along the way in Malawi, the idea to go to Zambia had gotten in my head. I heard about this park, South Luangwa, which is known as one of the best places in Africa to see leopards. SOLD!
I wanted to experience an African Safari and I am so grateful that South Luangwa ended up being the place. Not only is South Luangwa one of the most affordable places to go on safari in Africa, but it’s the only safari park deemed sustainable by the United Nations. I saw leopards, lions, elephants, and so much more. I have a big post about that coming out soon, so stay tuned!
From South Luangwa, I made the long journey towards Livingstone (Victoria Falls). This is a full two-day bus journey, via Lusaka where I spent a night. Out of my entire experience in Zambia, the busses were definitely the low point. They don’t have AC (it was 43 degrees outside) and they rarely stop for breaks. The only reason I got to pee one day was that the bus broke down in the middle of the bush.
But the journey was worth it, as always. I had an amazing week in Livingstone doing all kinds of fun adventures.
In early November I left Africa for a completely different side of the world, Latvia. But not without a bit of stress. I was almost denied boarding my flight to Johannesburg (where my international flight was) because my passport didn’t have any empty pages left. After many tears, begging, and a call to the immigration office, they agreed to let me under the circumstances I would stay in the airport and not actually enter South Africa. Lesson learned. If you’re going to Africa – make sure your passport has LOTS of empty pages! Most countries visas take up one page.
I spent a week in Latvia attending the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) which was a wonderful experience. I was hosted on some trips with the Latvian tourism board and got to explore Liepaja, go bog shoeing, relax in Latvian spas, eat amazing food, and enjoy the local craft beer scene. I’m excited to write all about Latvia on here soon!
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I didn’t know much about Latvia before visiting, but it has charmed me over the last week. Between the beautiful cities, rich culture, wonderful cuisine and connection to nature and wellness, there’s a lot to like about this country. I’d love to come back and explore more of the countries national parks and wilderness! What’s a place you would like to return? ? : @laughtraveleat
Journey to Nomadic Life
I’ve spent most of the last month in Toronto packing my life into boxes, as I’ve decided to “move” back to Newfoundland. I put move in quotation marks, because I’m still going to be on the road all the time. I love Toronto, but the reality is I’ve spent one month out of the last six there. It doesn’t make any financial sense to be based in one of the most expensive cities in the world, so I’ve decided to base myself in my hometown, where I have minimal expenses.
I still don’t know how I feel about this move. I love Toronto, and I was bummed to leave. But for years I have wanted to live nomadically, and this is taking a huge step towards that. I’m still figuring out my plans for 2020, but it’s looking exciting so far.
I’m excited to start my nomadic life and share that journey with you here. I know that Toronto will always be there, and I can come back and visit. I have the rest of the world waiting for me 🙂 Where do you think I should go in 2020?