Here is a link to my new blog posting: What a trip! The essay invites us to consider the insights that might arise when we view our life as a journey. Please check it out, and let me know what you find!
I chose this essay because this afternoon I am leaving for a two week visit to Egypt. Wow, eh?!
Yes, after a few hours being cooped up inside an aluminum alloy tube ingesting recycled air, airplane food is the last thing you need. But next time you plan on leaving your breakfast (featuring the infamous green eggs and ham) untouched, consider the following...
Recycling aluminum cans is one of the easiest things to do (and best for our environment), but did you know every time your plane lands in Toronto Pearson Airport, none of the pop cans you consumed on the flight gets recycled? (so does all the other recyclable garbage) This is due to possible probability of cross-contamination of disease-carrying agent from one country to another.
I already bike everywhere with an almost-maniacal devotion. Is it my very strong desire to avoid being crammed armpit-to-armpit in one of Vancouver's over-heated buses, or the fact that I don't have to wait, and parking is easy? I sold my car when I moved to Vancouver three years ago and have been a bike nut ever since!
...or so I thought! Now I realize that my range is quite small - from my home near Fraser and Broadway to downtown, west to Alma, east to Renfrew, and south to 41st. That's it. I've never biked, say, to the North Shore, east to Burnaby or New West, or further south than Marine Drive. I'd like go on significantly longer bike trips some day (Seattle? Portland? California?) and that means getting used to having my bum planted firmly on a bike seat for longer than 30 minutes.
So, I'm going to ride farther and longer and expand my cycling range both physically and - probably even more importantly - mentally! I'd like to start in the next week and ride the new Greenway route from Vancouver to New West. Can't wait!
Starting next week, I'm starting a 3000-mile solo bicycle trip from Vancouver to Baja, Mexico (yes, just me and a bicycle and two pairs of underwear). I'm following the migration route of the gray whale, and learning about our beautiful Pacific coast, self-powered transportation, and how to avoid being run over by transport trucks on major highways.
Mostly it's my journey I wish to connect with others, in doing so I wish to effect change in myself and them and the world around me... maybe save a few animals, a rainforest, a way of indeginous life, our species along the way??
A quick update: I used a carbon calculator from an offsets website to calculate the carbon footprint from my last trip (see my post - Running Away to Find Home). It turns out I personally emitted just under three tonnes of carbon.
I recently returned from a five week trip through Southeast and Central Europe. I flew to London, then to Crete, where I met some friends, and then I caught a bus (alone now) into Albania. I snaked my way through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Austria, into the Czech Republic, and then flew back to London.
Being a so called "environmentalist," you may already be chastising me in your mind for erasing any positive carbon impacts from my relatively carbon mature life in Canada, and rightfully so. But it has been a long year, and I haven't had a holiday in two years, and I came back a better person for it; however, I am still a hypocrite. But I am a self-analytical hypocrite. And the question I asked myself many times while I was away was this: why do I need to run away from Canada in order to put my life into perspective? I've been doing it for years. I did two months in Europe in 2000. Eighteen months in Asia in 2003. Four months in Africa in 2005. And now two months in the Balkans in 2007.
Well, the gist of it is... since I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2002 (my focus was on the influences of responsible environmental behaviour) I haven't found my "dream job". I worked at a couple of non-profit orgs in Toronto and then decided to move to Vancouver in 2003. Still didn't find anything here in Vancouver that really made me excited. I volunteered at a bunch of enviro orgs but unfortunately.. its a tough field to break into and find a good job that fits - I guess its difficult to find a job that makes you happy in any field.