This week we would like to introduce Lindsey of The Wandering Rose. As a teenager, Lindsey emigrated from rural England to the boisterous suburbs of North America in pursuit of new opportunities and experiences. 5 years wiser, she decided to share her adventures and hardships as a young immigrant in her blog The Wandering Rose. Here, she elaborates on how this often harrowing experience guided her to discovering her dormant passion – geography and world travel.
1. What inspires you to travel and how has travel changed you?
I travelled a lot around Europe with my family whilst growing up and therefore learnt to appreciate the contrast and compliments of world cultures from a young age. It wasn’t until my 2007 immigration to Canada however, that I felt a definitive change in my outlook on travel. Since then, I’ve been attuned to the importance of understanding how others perceive the world and how ones geographical situation influences those perceptions. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to experience it for yourself but studying relevant subject matter (like my beloved geography) when travel is otherwise unavailable is a close runner up.
2. What has been your most memorable travel experience so far?
It’s difficult to choose one specific moment but zip-lining through the cloudforests of Monte Verde, Costa Rica has to be one of the most adrenalin filled. Although I think if I had to choose, the one that most often comes to mind doesn’t actually included extreme activities at all. The simple act of camping in Algonquin Provincial Park with boyfriend M and hearing the loons call out mysteriously over the lake is probably the travel moment closest to my heart.
3. What’s the funniest, weirdest cultural norm you’ve either witnessed or experienced?
The act of tipping in North America is expected, whereas in the U.K a tip is added only with exceptional service. This at first may not seem like anything particularly drastic, but when this concept is overlooked or forgotten… well it may just result in a frantic waiter chasing you up to your hotel room!
4. What souvenir do you have to buy at all your destinations?
I don’t necessarily collect any particular souvenirs whilst on the road but what I do collect are iron-on flag patches of the countries that I’ve visited. I order them online in anticipation of the trip and triumphantly attach them onto a selfmade scroll upon return. Not only does this visualize my global journey in an appealing style but it also instills a sense of purpose and achievement that I can’t quite fashion into words.
5. How about the one thing you cannot travel without?
A pen and paper for note taking, itinerary building and organizing my thoughts and daydreams.
6. How do you fund your travel lifestyle?
I’m a hard worker and am not afraid to withstand a mediocre job throughout my time in university to supplement my travels. I’m also blessed with a hereditary gift of good money management skills. After graduation, I aim to work in a field that includes frequent globetrotting – so I suppose studying geography is a good start!
7. Do you have favorite travel blogs that you read regularly?
As a fellow Torontonian and geography student, my inspiration is most definitely the wonderful Seattle of Seattle’s Travels. In regards to being an expat however, K and K Adventures frequent my desktop.
8. Did you experience any culture shock upon moving to Canada?
There is far greater a difference in culture between Canada and England than first perceived. Although the language and history are heavily interconnected, it is the smaller, unexpected details that make for a difficult transition.
9. What has been the most difficult thing about living in Canada?
The extension and intensity of the winter months is, of course, something that drains a lot of mental and physical energy. Yet it was (and still is) the social aspect of being an expat that proves the most difficult. Sometimes you can feel very alone and isolated in a culture that you don’t fully associate with.
10. How long do you see yourself living as an expat? Do you have any plans to return to English in the future?
I’m unsure of how long I see myself living in the Toronto area, despite thoroughly enjoying my time here. Since I learnt so much about myself, the world and my place in it through becoming an expat, I feel inclined to do it all again although where, I do not know. Returning to England however is an option that I haven’t really considered since the expense is too high and other, unexplored countries beckon me forward.
11. What advice do you have to anyone thinking about becoming an expat?
Being an expat isn’t an easy job but if you are willing to endure the inevitable hardships that come with being removed from family, friends, familiar customs and a national identity, then the benefits soon begin to outweigh the costs. Give yourself time to move through these motions before assuming failure and returning home.
12. Any big plans for the future?
This time next year, I’ll largely have a university degree under my belt and will feel ready to begin a new chapter in my life. I already have trips to Montreal (for the Grand Prix) and Florida booked for the coming summer and am still expectant of more. Alongside that, I intend on focusing my energy on finding a career that satisfies my passion for geography, travel and the protection of the environment.
Backpack or suitcase? Suitcase
Window or aisle? Window
Solo or group? Group (preferably with one other)
Tapas or sushi? Sushi
Beach or mountains? Mountains
Want to learn more about Lindsey and her travels?