This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ottawa! (kind of)

I haven't updated this blog in a long time because there hasn't been anything in my life worth writing about - specifically, there haven't been any travels from May until now. My summer was a complete waste on the travel front. I had to study for my comprehensive exams and couldn't get out of the province, much less the country (I passed, by the way).

My wild and impetuous travel days are basically finished, methinks. There are two reasons for this. First of all, I'm getting to an age where I'm supposed to take work seriously. I'm not really in a position to travel while I'm writing my thesis (because, you know, I have to write my thesis), and then presumably I'll have a job of some sort, where I'll be expected to work and not encouraged to strap on the backpack every so often for a grand adventure. Sure, I guess that there's always the chance (hope?) of a debilitating quarter life crisis where I quit my job and board a one-way flight to Algeria. But I doubt it; I'm just not the type of person to dynamite my Plan A without a coherent Plan B.

I realize that lots of people manage to squeeze in trips even while having demanding and time consuming jobs - it's just a matter of capitalizing on the small amounts of time I'll have. And this brings me to the second problem: should I spend the small amount of travel time and money I have to go off on grand adventures, or to go see my family and friends? I live in London, Ontario. My parents live in Toronto during the winter and Greece during the summer. My sister lives in Calgary. I have cousins in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Greece. My closest friends live in Yellowknife, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Sweden. I have other friends that I would love to visit in places like Halifax, Washington, Nashville, Boston, England, Germany, Italy, and Korea. But to do so takes time and money so by doing so I'm basically putting paid to any opportunity of having another grand adventure. It's a terrible, terrible conundrum: I'm basically being asked to chose between my friends/family, and my single most favourite activity. So far the friends and family are winning out. I only had the time for a one week trip this summer, and rather than jet off to San Francisco or Chicago or New Orleans or Philadelphia or one of these cities that I so desperately want to visit, I went to Toronto and Montreal. And I'm perfectly fine with that, because I like both of those places and I like the people I see when I'm there... but at the same time it kills me that I'm not using that time to explore new places. I dunno.

My last hope is school-related travel. Going to conferences for me is a professional obligation, and I even get a little bit of money back from my school as reimbursement. I've been fairly unlucky with conferences so far: two of the three so far have been in places I've already visited before (and the next one I hope to attend will be in Buffalo, New York - which I checked out in 2004). Still though; Ottawa IS preferable to London, and a conference is still infinitely more exciting then my everyday life. The conference is that of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. I'm giving a 20 minute presentation about sports blogging. I don't actually know how to do sociology, so it should be a pretty intimidating experience. Mercifully, I present very early in the proceedings - I'm scheduled for the first day (Thursday) during the second session (the morning) - so I'll be able to relax afterward and enjoy the proceedings.

The conference runs through Saturday night. On Sunday, I head to Montreal for three days of research, beer and merriment. Wheeeeeee!!!!!!


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