Category Archives: Life

Travel fatigue

2014-05-03 - Super glasses

It’s been happening for a few weeks. A creeping desire, driven by mental exhaustion, to stop moving around every week. To stop spending time researching sights, directions, transportation, and prices, and to start spending time on my own projects. I miss writing, working out, hockey, and especially DJing. Getting the chance to play a set during a warm up party on Koh Phangan really brought that home. Could a desire to return to work be around the corner? It would sure be nice.

I’ve spent the past month or so feeling guilty for not seeing nearby attractions. Since then I’ve moved past guilt into almost complete apathy. It’s just going to be another temple, or waterfall, or hill top view. Sunsets? They happen every day. Boring! It’s an awful attitude, but even the biggest sponge gets full of water. Having down time has become increasingly pleasurable, and I’m finding myself spending more and more time on my computer, doing the kind of organizational work and small creative projects I would do at home.

Australia is next. The first couple of weeks in and around Melbourne will tell me all I need to know about how much travel I have left in me. Is this full blown travel fatigue, or am I just tired of Asia? Hopefully it’s the latter. Either way, I’m certainly not thinking of changing any of my big picture plans for the trip. I’ll go back to being an excited traveller, or I’ll be desperately pushing myself along. The call to come home isn’t nearly strong enough to change that…yet.

My time in Oz will be slightly different than everywhere else. I’ll have more people to visit, and less I actually have a desire to see. Also, I’m going to be running a small experiment. For the first time in my life, I’ll be wearing glasses than aren’t just for protection from the Sun. I don’t need them, of course, but I’m curious to see if people respond differently to me while they’re on. I’m still getting used to seeing a different face in the mirror, but if that beard could become normal, anything is possible.


When somebody loved me everything was beautiful
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart
And when she was sad I was there to dry her tears
And when she was happy so was I
When she loved me

Through the Summer and the Fall
We had each other that was all
Just she and I together like it was meant to be
And when she was lonely I was there to comfort her
And I knew that she loved me

So the years went by
I stayed the same
But she began to drift away
I was left alone
Still I waited for the day when she’d say ‘I will always love you’

Lonely and forgotten
Never thought she’d look my way
And she smiled at me and held me just like she used to do
Like she loved me when she loved me

When somebody loved me everything was beautiful
Every hour we spent together lives within my heart
When she loved me


I just flew into Tel Aviv, and at the moment I’m just hanging out in the airport waiting until I can go and meet my Couchsurfing host for this weekend. I was questioned by security immediately as I stepped off the airplane. I was questioned at passport control. I’ve been questioned three times by different security people during the eight hours I’ve been here.

It’s nothing invasive. Just the basics. “Passport please”. “Where are you going?” “What are you waiting for?” “Why did you take some pictures?” “Where do you live?” They’ve been perfectly polite each time, and they obviously have their eyes on everyone constantly, but otherwise you don’t see these people. Oh, they’re walking around…somewhere, but the airport is perfectly peaceful.

That’s how you do security. Identify potential threats and confront them right away. Don’t have gangs of uniformed, walking ego trips strolling through the departures lounge looking like they should have a job to do. Don’t treat everyone the same, because we clearly aren’t. It’s not politically correct, but it works.

Istanbul and the end of Europe

2014-01 - Alec in Istanbul

What a great city. I came here with no expectations, which I think is usually the best way to go, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how comfortable and interesting the place is. Turkey is going to be right near the top of my “I want to go back” list. Still, after a little over five months, I’m ready to leave Europe. Everything here feels familiar now, so it’s time for a change of scenery.

I’ve also been really glad to be back in a hostel again after a couple of weeks of almost completely solo travel. The Greek islands and Southwest Turkey were nice, but having to stay alone in cheap hotels has made me appreciate how good it feels to have some company around. They may start out as strangers, but hostel friendships are made quickly. It’s amazing to see how little time it takes for people to connect. This whole experience has certainly made me feel more open to that process than I ever was at home.

At this stage I’m ready to stop travelling alone. It’s been a great experience, but I find more and more than I want to be able to share it. Meeting new friends for a few days is fun and exciting, but nothing compares to the connection we feel with relationships that are years or decades old. I’ve always known that in my mind, but actually experiencing it has been so important.

One last thing for now. Dragging a broken heart around the world is not something I recommend. Do avoid it if you can.

Happy New Year

2013-12 - Alec in Athens

It’s 2014 and I’m still travelling. It’s been a long time since Ireland, my last post here. Since then I’ve been through Scotland, Northern England, flew to Ibiza, visited Barcelona and the Cote d’Azur, Paris, Vimy Ridge, Holland, Germany, Vienna, and Budapest. I found some great new friends in the Balkans, went to Italy, and I’ve spent the last two weeks in Greece with family.

It’s been an amazing trip so far. Lots of great times, and down days. I certainly haven’t felt like writing very much over the past few months, and I’m not sure yet how much I’ll want to write in the months ahead.

Moving constantly can be exciting, but it’s gotten tiring lately, and the idea of looking up more travel routes, hostels and hotels, countries and places to see…it’s not as appealing now as when I started. By the time I leave Greece in almost a week I’ll have been away from home and mostly on my own for five months. I’m not ready to go back yet, but I can feel that desire creeping in. I think that eventually, I’ll want to go home more than I’ll want to keep travelling, which was my entire goal in the first place.

Travelling alone makes one realize how important it is to have people around one cares for. Places can be amazing, interesting, and beautiful, but are ultimately empty. Travelling can be fun, exciting, and inspiring, but happiness is only found in friends, family, and loved ones.


2013-08 - Cliffs of Moher

I wasn’t really sure how long I would spend in Ireland, both the South and North parts, but it’s been almost two weeks I think, and it’s been pretty great. Dublin has been my least favourite stop so far, since it doesn’t offer much beyond some great pub life, and for someone who doesn’t drink much, that’s not very appealing.

After a few nights I crossed the country to Galway, which is small and charming. From there I did a great tour to the Cliffs of Moher (above), met a few people in a busy hostel and generally enjoyed the place a lot more than Dublin. Next up was Cork, including a visit to the Blarney Castle, and then North to Belfast to visit a family friend and spend what turned out be nearly a week.

Tomorrow I’m off to Scotland.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Belfast. I was expecting a bit more roughness, and although there are a few spots that fit the bill, in general it seems to be a very modern, clean city. Certainly it’s small, but I’ve enjoyed my time here, for sure. Managed to get out to the Giant’s Causeway and see a few other sights, so it’s been well worth it. I’m definitely looking forward to spending a couple of weeks making my way around as much of Scotland as I can manage. Also, it’s been great to visit with a familiar face for a few days, and have a nice place to stay, but I’ll be glad to get back on the road before I get too used to being comfortable here.

Places to go, things and people to see!

The Trip so far

2013-08-19 - London Bridge

London was great, and so far it’s the only place I’d go back to. Liverpool was alright, but without much to do beyond a couple of days. So far Ireland is…meh. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I don’t drink much and am not really into pub culture. I’m in Galway on the West coast at the moment, about to take a tour out to the cliffs of Moher, which I’m hoping is cool. I’ve got a couple more days here before making my way up to Belfast.

So far travelling has been fun. I’ve been pretty well organized as far as the stuff I brought with me, and so far have only had to buy some body wash. It will be nice to meet up with a friend in Belfast and actually do proper laundry!

I took the ferry to Dublin from Holyhead. It’s kind of painful to think that as much as we complain about BC Ferries back home, they’re still the best ferry service I’ve seen. It’s not so much the service itself as the infrastructure. The boat to Dublin operates from commercial ports, and there don’t seem to be truly dedicated facilities to deal with vehicle and especially passenger traffic. We were bused onto the boat before the cars were loaded, only to watch the buses turn around inside the ferry and leave. Upon arrival, the foot passengers must wait until the entire ferry is unloaded, so more buses can drive on and pick them up. It’s just silly to see in operation. They take almost 30 minutes just to unload a ferry. Can you imagine that in Horseshoe Bay?

Otherwise, the only other annoying thing is the high cost of food here, but that’s no surprise. On the plus side, the availability and quality of free Wifi is a lot better than a few years ago. Hopefully that’s Europe-wide.

I’ll post some more updates as I go!

2013-08-22 - Train sign

Good riddance


Finally, what has always been, for as long as I can remember, one of the ugliest buildings in the Lower Mainland has been stripped and gutted. This used to be Eaton’s, then Sears, but it was always hideous. It doesn’t matter what they do now, it will be an improvement.


I’m on the cusp of some big life changes, temporarily at least. For a while I’ve been thinking about changing my website setup, getting away from my host and site design. It’s been almost ten years since I created that site. I still like how it looked, but it would be nice to be able to search, or post from any computer, and so on. All of the things that modern web-based services allow.

Eventually I may decide to migrate my old posts here, but that would be a pretty big job and I’m certainly in no hurry right now. I just want to keep a simple web presence and go from there. Let’s see what happens!