Holly’s fabulous travelogues, installment 1: back to my roots!

Dresses with birds on 'em- I'm starting a collection, if I can.

Dresses with birds on ’em- I’m starting a collection, if I can.

I sit here at my mother’s house, mere days away from another jetset journey across the Pacific. Is it strange that I’ll pay my third visit to Asia before making it to Europe, South America or Africa? It’s certainly a little unbalanced, but I’m in no way complaining!

I’ve taken a few days, as the first hints of fall start to make themselves known, to visit family in southwestern Manitoba. I’ve had to answer a LOT of repeat questions about my upcoming year in South Korea- (Do you have a place to live there already? How cold do the winters really get? Does the school expect you to speak any Korean?). I’ve come to say hi to the pets, have some G&Ts, and dig up delectable garden veggies. It’s nice to be home. 

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Oh hi, Gabby!

Oh hi, Gabby!

This is what happens when you try to take a selfie with your dog!

This is what happens when you try to take a selfie with your dog!

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Princess. What a regal cat.

The corn wasn't quite ripe but I couldn't bear the thought of missing out!

The corn wasn’t quite ripe but I couldn’t bear the thought of missing out!

Mm-mm-mm, fresh from the garden!

My family may love to drive me crazy, but I still can’t help but love ‘em. Yesterday we had professional photographs taken at my grandparent’s farmstead, a place with a family history of a hundred years. I can’t wait to see how those turn out! It will be hard to say goodbye, but the lure of new experiences, people, food, culture and adventure fuel my pull towards travel and motivate me through challenging tasks such as saving my coins, having fingerprints taken, and trusting the Canadian postal service to return my passport safe and sound, Korean working visa intact. (I let out a slight squeal of joy the day an express post envelope arrived in my mailbox.)

So, what is my story? Fifteen-year-old Holly was stricken with a strong sense of wanderlust, an irresistible pull to experience much more than just my tiny corner and limited perspective of the world. I haven’t traveled as far or as wide as some, but I’ve had experiences that have shaped my life in all kinds of unforgettable ways. I’ve collected coral reef data off the coast of Honduras, explored the temples, cuisine and landscapes of Southeast Asia, and studied in Melbourne, Australia during a semester of Tim Tams, wine, cultural adventures and memorable humans.

I’ve spent the last half year living in Winnipeg, both canvassing with an environmental NGO and promoting recycling within my province by engaging with the public at festivals, sports games, and other events. Although I love having a meaningful job, I live to work, not work to live, so what else? A hell of a lot of biking, drinking coffee, reading, knitting, and trying my hand at kimchi and kombucha (kitchen experiments!) I won’t deny that the eternally cold icebox of Winnipeg in February was an adjustment after months in Australia and Asia- -10C is considered a pleasant day in a Winnipeg winter. Eeep!

So, this blog? Stay tuned for my thoughts, photos and stories in subsequent months as I adjust to life in Korea and, hopefully, the wider world! As it stands ,this blog is for my friends and family to stay up-to-date in a way that’s more fun than Facebook, and who knows, maybe random internet users from every corner of the world!

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