backtracking to backpacking

Posted on May 6, 2006. Filed under: Travelling |

The first day of conference I ventured out of the hotel for dinner and went up to Yonge and Eglington — there is one quasi-candida-friendly restaurant up there called the Green Papaya (all of their spring rolls, etc are rice based, not wheat).

It was the first day of summer and the sun was beaming down out of the perfectly clear sky, the temperature hovering around 26C. I found the restaurant and had a seat by the window and was immediately whisked away to my days of travelling on my own and desperately wanted to be back there again. I was just in the perfect mood and was overwhelmed by the emotion of the past.

After I finished up at Queen’s I went backpacking around the UK for what was to be 6 weeks. Ironically Brian was on the same flight as me (we weren’t together at this point and I found out later that he was actually back together with the girl he dated right before me — and who cheated on him) and he was pretty much a total jerk. Once we got there I took the tube with him and his friend for a bit and then escaped and was on my way.

I started by visiting family in London. My somewhat-cousin (our grandmothers were half cousins..so you can figure that one out) and I spent a day doing fun touristy things like going on the London Eye and to the Wine Museum and then to a show by The Madness — Could have been called Our House. A perfect day.

I then ventured off to Scotland — got a flight on Ryan Air for 1p (10 pounds with tax) and ended up in Glasgow. It rained for most of the time there, but the hostel I was staying at was crazy! The guy who was running it was from Vancouver and was aptly insane. My favourite comment was one that I overheard in the kitchen about a fight with the police the previous night and a girl saying:

“Glasgow’s even rougher than Vancouver.”

I had to smile because I was about to move to Vancouver in the fall and wondered what I was in for.

In the same hostel I met a girl I had apparently just graduated with at Queen’s and she was going to see some guy named Jason Mraz play at a local pub. And so we set off. At this point he had one radio hit called The Remedy. The pub was so intimate and I bought Jason a beer and took it to him on stage. Then we hit it off with Toca and some of the other guys in the band. One of the girls from the hostel…who was from The Netherlands I think…though I can’t remember her name right now and I went back to someone’s apartment for an after party with the band. I will admit that I took a whole bunch of pictures on Jason’s camera and then stole the film (I did, however give the developed pictures back to another guy in band in Toronto when I saw them play again). The conversation went like this:

me – Hey — I met you guys in Glasgow, I have some photos for you.
him – Oh cool, you were there? I didn’t go to the party, but that’s cool.
me – Here you go…there were some on the roll that weren’t mine though.
him – Wait a minute, these are mine!
me – Well, there you go then.

I wasn’t sad to leave Glasgow despite this very exciting and fun night, the city is pretty rough.

I’m going to have to talk about this trip and the perfectness of aloneness whilst travelling in installments. I’ll post installment number two: post-glasgow leg of trip shortly.

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2 Responses to “backtracking to backpacking”

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Totally with you on the travelling thing. My 5 weeks in the UK and northwestern europe were absolutely amazing. Carefree, silly fun and just meeting tonnes of amazing people. Japan is the same way – its like hitting pause on all the cares of life. Admittedly, there are some guys here who have been on pause for 6…8…10… years. They’re in their mid or even late 30s, and they’re just getting drunk and chasing Japanese girls around. (ok, mostly vice versa, from what I have seen)… travel is amazing, but I can see that you have to put it behind you eventually. Its nice to reflect, but there’s a reason that you don’t do it forever.

Ya, I guess there is a reason why you don’t do it forever — I’m jealous that you’re living somewhere else though. Something I’ve always considered doing — which is why I got the UK passport, but the cards haven’t fallen that way quite yet.


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