This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

Hey Lovely Readers!

Happy Tuesday! On this lovely day I would love to take your mind off of whatever you are doing currently and talk to you about travelling! As you have probably guessed, I love travelling so much. I think one of the reasons why I am struggling to find an appropriate job is because I’m trying to find something that will allow me to spend my life travelling. I want something that will give me the freedom to do what I truly love to do. I’ve always debated moving to Europe for some time. I’d be able to use my anthropology degree, and I’d learn new cultures and seeing how various people around the world live. It’s just something I truly love.

Anyways, I’ve always had the travel bug. When I was in grade 10, I went through a really bad phase and was just getting through it and coming out the other side. I wanted to do something for myself and I was determined to travel. At first I chose to make a list of my top places I wanted to go to and I thought that I would hit all these places when I graduated. However, in grade 10 I found out that my top place was achievable and for the next year! My school let out an announcement saying that the next trip would be in Greece, and of course I had to go! Both my friend and I talked to our parents and both agreed to the trip as along as we could get jobs and pay for it ourselves. So, the next day I went out and got a job at a local restaurant through a friend and we both became dishwashers. We spent that year doing one of the most disgusting jobs, but not caring because Greece was in our future.

Greece was amazing. The school did an amazing job putting together the perfect travel schedule. We travelled throughout all of Greece starting and ending in Athens. Everyday we’d get on a bus and travel to city after city experiencing the towns and seeing ancient temples and ruins. One day we took a day cruise out and visited three different islands (I’ll do another post on this later and specifics). I had no idea what the importance was of everything we saw until I took a classics course in university. We learned about Delphi, Mycenaean architecture, Poseidon’s Temple, Olympic stadiums and so much more. I had no idea that these were that important. I learned about them on the trip, but I didn’t necessarily understand the importance until later. It still amazes me the places we went to, and the things I saw and all in a week during spring break. We also had gone around Easter, and one night we were out walking around, and groups of people were walking through the streets with candles. My friends and I bought some and joined them too. They were all chanting and a priest came out and started the Easter procession. It was amazing. I was amongst the people, learning their culture, seeing just how much religion and practices impact people. Amazing.

The trip was cleansing for me. I made so many friends when I was just coming out of a time of despair. I also learned so much about myself. I knew that university was somewhere I needed to be. I had to go, and now looking back I’m not even surprised that I chose to become an anthropologist. I was in love with the things I saw and the people I met. It was my favorite part of the whole trip. I still plan on going through my pictures to see just how much history I really saw

Teens, if you are reading this, it is totally worth it to go on a school trip. The teachers do give you free reign to wonder with groups of students. They take a step back and let you experience the trip without them breathing down your neck. It also helped me to learn what I needed to do the next time I planned a trip. I learned how to spend my resources and time. One thing I did learn was that a week of straight up temples is boring. So, try to add different things to you trip you wouldn’t normally want to do. Sure see the ruins, but also go see artwork, or go for an evening stroll through town. Don’t focus on seeing one type of thing on a trip. Experience a little bit of everything (Like different time periods)! Also, don’t jam pack your time with sightseeing. You only have a limited time and you’ll be very tired with time change. Make sure you get some time to relax and hang out. Remember it is your vacation! Adults, I think the group trips would be very much like this and it was awesome to have most of our daily activity planned for us. We did get lots of free time too to do what we wanted, so I highly recommend a group trip too!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I will definitely try to go more into specifics about interesting sights to see in the future, as I have a lot of photos that I want to share badly and I have no room for in this post! If you went on a good trip recently, let me know what you saw! I would like to know for my future travels!

– Erin

IMG_0696.JPG
This is a Mycenaean Palace with the famous Lion Gates. They think the Lion Heads were made of Gold and stolen after the fall of the Mycenaean
IMG_0187.JPG
Taken at the Acropolis in Athens
IMG_0398.JPG
We went on a day cruise to three different islands, so this is where I am (I’ll do specifics later, because some of these I don’t even know where I was! It was so long ago now!)
IMG_0486.JPG
The Temple of Apollo in Delphi
IMG_0818.JPG
Temple of Poseidon! I highly recommend going here! It sits on a jut out of land in the water and has the clearest water! We climbed down and put our feet in!
IMG_0835.JPG
This is us climbing down the temple of Poseidon!

 

 

Summer Hikes

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

So, it is getting close to that time of the year again where we can soon spend all of our days outside in the sun, doing what we love to do best! I have already started planning trips and road trips to go on and can’t wait for the summer!

I wanted to briefly talk about Lake Louise, because it is absolutely gorgeous, and Canada can be very underestimated as a place to travel at times! Anyone who knows me, or lives in my area has probably hiked or been to Lake Louise numerous times, but it’s so nice to see our readers from around the world reading our stuff and now I can share Lake Louise with you guys too!

Lake Louise is a very pretty, blue lake that is absolutely freezing, because of the glacial water melting off the mountains. It is super nice to dip your toes in after the hike, and you can rent kayaks or canoes if you are less interested in the hike itself, but still want to explore!

Beside the lake, is the Fairmont Hotel, which is absolutely beautiful, and when you walk the trails past the hotel, you can start the hike.

I was at my Aunt’s house one day in Calgary and she gave me her hiking trail book, and on each trail she hiked, she would mark off the experience of hiking it. So I chose Lake Louise thinking it was easy, because that’s what I thought she had wrote. When I looked back at it after, it definitely said hard, so I must’ve been crazy. But yes, it was hard, but so worth the views. At the halfway point, there is a smaller lake called Mirror Lake. At that point, it was so hot and we were so tired that we practically laid in the lake to cool off. The rest of the way was hard too, because of how steep it is, but you eventually get to the top and a tea house at the top, with another small lake. On the way up there is a beautiful waterfall for you to take a breather before climbing the steps up. Make sure you take some extra cash, and water, because it is expensive, but it is so worth it. Apparently, you can follow another trail and go further than that to possibly another tea house and lake, but this was perfect for us. Also, going back took no time at all and we made it back down in time to enjoy the sun going down behind the mountain.

FB_IMG_1444372533528.jpg
The Tea House on the Mountain
FB_IMG_1439008415463.jpg
The Lake by the Tea House
IMG_2161.JPG
Mirror Lake (The halfway point)

 

 

So, if you’re looking for a good hiking trip, I definitely recommend hiking up Lake Louise. It is a harder hike, but take lots of water, and maybe a picnic and you can eat and take a long break halfway up. Then you can finish the hike drinking a nice cuppa at the top!

Hope you get a chance to go camping or hiking in beautiful weather!

– Erin

Living in Italy

Hey Readers!

So we know in our other posts we briefly mention our month away living in another country, but today we wanted to talk more about that and what we did there, and all that jazz!

Kathleen and I decided last year that we wanted to get more working experience with our anthropology degree. We emailed professors trying to find sites in Canada that were more affordable and really could not find anything that interested us. We heard from one professor that she was taking anthropology majors to Italy to get some cultural anthropology experience, and we attended that meeting, but the professor was super boring and Kathleen was road tripping (see other article!) around that time so it wouldn’t have worked out. I had even debated going myself feeling desperate for any sort of experience, but then Kathleen mentioned  looking up archaeological sites online that seemed to be promising! After finding a reliable website, we decided on Pompeii at the scavi (ruins)!

Our month was one of the best things that ever happened to me! We lived with an Italian family and had lots of parties with them, and got to know them really well regardless of the language barrier. We lived with 5 other people in a basement suite and although we could drive each other crazy, we did everything together and had a lot of fun getting to know people around the world. One time we were grocery shopping and we would say something with our Canadian accent and they would say the same word with their British, Scottish, and American accents and we would stop and be like “Wait, how did you just say that” then get in debates about who was wrong. We travelled around Italy together on weekends, and worked together during the week. We had family meals every night and we all knew when to hang out by ourselves so to not drive everyone crazy!

The work we did in Pompeii was also very cool. We had a very strict supervisor, but I felt like I learned a lot. Our artifacts came from a bathhouse within the scavi, and for the first few days of the trip, we would wash the pottery and let it dry. We would have to weigh it, date it, mark it down with a number and try to figure out what kind of a vessel it was. Was it used for cooking, transporting oils… the list goes way, way on! Also, we would have to weigh it, describe it in Italian, and then they would get photographed and drawn later. The pottery was very cool and some pieces could be put together to make up a whole side of a pot!

I like to think I’m pretty used to travelling to new places, however, I didn’t really expect to experience so much culture shock in that month! Something so simple as finding taco seasoning became a guessing game, and the people who ran our dig worked on Italy time (aka being late means nothing). It was super interesting to compare what was expected of us in Canada, versus expected in Italy. Italians have an interesting nightlife, where all the stores and shops stay open until midnight or 1 am on Friday. Saturday, and Sunday. People dress up and spend most of the night hanging out with their friends, dancing, playing.and of course, trying to get the attention of the opposite sex. Plazas and town squares really facilitate these interactions, and its something I miss a lot about Italy! There is no designated meeting place in Canada. Young people meet in coffee shops or bars,which in themselves facilitate interesting interactions, they are just not as universal.  

Definitely a key component of this experience was knowing when to take alone time. It’s important to remember that we all need some time to ourselves! In the house we all took alone time after our day of work, sat on the couch if we wanted and cooked meals together if we wanted. If you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) as I do, it can be EXTRA hard to find the time you need for yourself, since there is always something going on! As long as you recognize that the party is not going to take off without you, you might be able to charge your batteries a bit! Cook some meals with your friends after and you’ll jump right back into the fun!

– Erin and Kathleen or Kathleen and Erin

Road-Tripping

Hi everyone, it’s the middle of the week (and it’s starting to feel like spring) and I know most of us are thinking about getting out of town. Today I’d like to talk about a type of travelling – road trips! I am pretty used to going on road trips, my family and I used to do two-week road trips every summer when I was young and so now I definitely have a soft spot for hitting the road. There is something so intriguing about travelling across the province (or country) and seeing all the nooks and crannies the space has to offer.

Last year I did two road trips; the first was a road trip across Canada and the U.S with one of my closest friends, and the second was to the west coast with my boyfriend. The first road trip was long, two weeks worth of driving across Canada and the United States to a music festival. I drove the whole way and all I can say is driving through Chicago was the craziest driving I’ve ever experienced.

13557739_10153759742747825_9070736357454476213_n

(Geographic centre of North America in Rugby, North Dakota)

13438913_10153759758472825_3333233510858203531_n

(Somewhere in the middle of Manitoba)

The second road trip was much smaller, just short of a week, and I didn’t drive any of it. It was my boyfriend and I’s first trip together and it went great!

All I can say about road trips is to be prepared to spend lots of time in the car (uh duh). I think lots of people romanticize road trips but in reality there is usually a lot of travel time in relation to visiting the place your heading to. Pack lots of snacks, get the tunes going, and strike up an amazing conversation! I felt so close to my friend and boyfriend after these trips because you can cover all manner of conversations. Also pro tip, download some good podcasts because music can become a little monotonous (Serial is a great one). If you don’t have access to an auxiliary hookup try listening to talk radio. There are usually some pretty great radio stations bursting with Canadian stories to tell.

Got any great road trip stories? Let me know I’d love to hear them!

That’s all for now! Happy Driving

K

Villa Pollio, Sorrento, Italy

Hey Readers!

So one fun fact about Kathleen and I is that we lived in Pompeii, Italy for the month of July doing archaeological work at the ancient ruins. In Pompeii, we shared a basement suite with five other people who also worked at the site with us. We had weekends off, so on those weekends we would jam pack them with trips around Italy, such as Milan, Venice, Rome, Florence- basically the works. Our first weekend we were supposed to go to Milan and Venice, however, when we got to the train station I found that my Eurorail was missing. I felt so guilty, and was so disappointed that we had to miss Milan, but in the end it was worth it. I did find my Eurorail later, but in the end we realized it was so much better that we ended up staying back! We became excellent friends with our roommates and ended up spending the weekend getting to know them. We went out to the beaches and went for drinks. The one day we were there, one of the girls who had already been to Italy took us on a day trip to Sorrento, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trips.

If you are in Naples, it is an easy train ride from there to Sorrento. It’s about an hour and a bit to get there on that train, but it is worth it. This post is dedicated to our swim at Villa Pollio. It is a collapsed, ancient, roman villa that has been filled in with ocean water. It is the most amazing swim ever. To get from the train station to the Villa, we walked for about an hour. You could probably take cab and hire someone to take you up and show you where to go if the hour walk is not ideal, but definitely research how to get there.

The swim and the walk up was beautiful and well worth it. It looked like something out of Pinterest (I will be pinning the pictures). In the rock there was a massive crack in the wall where water and light come in and fill up the villa, so you could swim through into the ocean. The waters were a little rough for me that day, so I swam back and just floated in that swimming area. It was extremely relaxing and soothing. Pack lightly as there is only rocks to store your stuff on, and do not expect to be able to read or be on your phone lots. The area is all rock, so there is no beach to sit and read and tan on. Personally, I preferred to stay floating in the interior area, because there were no waves and large rocks in the middle to stand on if you wanted to sit in the water. My friends swam out, though, and were able to swim around close to the exterior of the villa and around in the ocean.

I highly recommend checking out Villa Pollio in Sorrento. It was one of the best parts of the trip and also a happy mistake. I am very thankful that I lost my Eurorail for only that weekend so that I could explore cities closer to Pompeii.

– Erin

13620390_10154522790690695_1467559127934502551_n.jpg
View on the climb up!
IMG_2378.JPG
The view on the walk!
13620276_10154522789175695_6177788625343114918_n.jpg
The First Views When Getting to The Villa!