“When the locals ask “But…why are you here”? You know you’ve strayed from the road most travelled. ‘Here’ was Saltilo, Mississippi and indeed why was I here? I hadn’t planned to be here but on this 64 day, solo road trip from New York to San Francisco. I hadn’t done much planning at all, particularly for anything west of Nashville, and as someone who loves a good plan but is also an exceptional procrastinator, my route plotting experience spurned an ongoing inner conflict between the fastidious side of me and the side that just wants to watch TV.”
“As I was driving up towards Asheville, I was just listening to music and thinking. Dwelling on how stupid I was for making that call, and just angry in general with myself for still being so upset about a breakup six months later. It was at that point I decided that that was it. I was going to take control.”
With only two weeks left in this fair freezing city of Toronto, I thought it was time to take note of the places and spaces that have become my spots over the decade I’ve called this collection of streets and buildings and people home. While I have been anxious to leave it for some time, there are many reasons I’ve lived here for so long. The city is vibrant, exciting, and filled to the brim with wonderful people that are up to wonderful things. There’s nowhere else in Canada I’d rather be, and despite my excitement and eagerness to discover all that London has to offer, a piece of me will always belong to TO.
” Looking into pure darkness, only Mother Nature and whispers of wild animals surrounded me. I looked to the sky and had never seen the stars so clearly. I remember feeling a huge rush of emotion take complete control of me. Tears filled my eyes and I had shivers run up and down my spine. The entire time I was in South Africa felt surreal, but during that very moment; reality settled in and it was the moment my life changed forever.”
Happy February, Wanderlusters!
If you’ve been following along on social media, then you may already know that January was a very big month for me. In the first week of the month I called Her Majesty’s Passport Office. I had been checking in so often that I expected nothing from the phone call. In fact, I was only calling to make 100% sure they had my new phone number on file, you know, in case they needed to call me and ask for 235 more documents… Instead, I was put on hold for a couple minutes. A new gentleman greeted me on the line and confirmed my name and date of birth again. Here we go, I thought. It’s going to be like when I call the phone company and get transferred to a million departments –
“Well Miss Dunnings, I have good news”
“The silence was deafening and seemed to last for ages. Then came the immense pain. It wracked our bodies from within, vibrating in huge waves. Almost as if we were a chorus, the gasping began as the wind that was knocked out of our lungs rushed back in at the exact same moment. Six gaping mouths groaned back to life as we realized we had been in an accident. Being in the back of the truck bed of the mini tuk tuk, we never saw it coming.”
As I passed out the cookies to the children I asked myself, how did I get here? The short answer was that I had asked if passing out fruit would be better, and was told: “kids like cookies – if you really want to thank the Ugandans for their hospitality, you need to give cookies.” So what as the long story? I had been fired, and obviously travel was the only thing that made sense.
“Her sandstone body is never more than a foot tall. In some frames her skin is green lichen; in others, she is missing a nose or an arm or a leg. In every photograph, she is dancing, silently defying both gravity and time.
For the rest of my afternoon in the temple she seems to leap out at me from behind every wall – as though she might be trying to tell me something. I feel compelled to take her picture each time I see her.”
Part One of Rachael’s Wedding Blog Series: “I will go through some of the challenges that I faced while planning for and booking an off-the-beaten-path destination wedding, starting with the major pros and cons.”
“Hey, don’t you live in LA?”
Each time, a little reminder; each time a little stab. As I explained my situation time and time again, a second question joined the mix.
“Hey, when are you moving to England?”
These two questions rang in my ears day and night, reminding me that my life didn’t seem to be moving forward in any way. Instead, it sat just kind of stalled here in Toronto, a city I’d given 10 years of my life to and was no longer in love with.