"I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been"


Mark Twain - author? Martin Luther King - civil rights champion? Confucius - philosopher? Actually, it's David Coverdale - Whitesnake.

And while it may seem odd to kick off a travel blog with a quote from an 80's hair band, it does sum up my mindset at the moment as I head off to a new adventure.

I'm writing this on a pleasantly rainy day in my hometown of Montreal, just before heading off to Paris tonight and just after 3 days in New York City. The ticket tonight is one-way - less a statement of never returning and more a statement of just letting things happen for a while, after years of resisting some invisible (and some slightly visible) forces that were not working in my favor in my adopted hometown of Calgary.

For 99% of friends, family, and strangers reading this, my blog will be a mixture of education and entertainment, while being as non-self-indulgent as a personal blog can be.

And for a few souls out there reading this, I hope it will even be somewhat inspirational, in that you may realize that it's never too late to hit the "reset" button on your life and to make changes, big or small. I know I benefitted greatly from a few random sources as well - Bryce Corbett's "A Town Like Paris" and Tim Ferriss' "The Four-Hour Work Week" in particular, among others... so it is possible to get inspiration from anywhere, at anytime. To get moving, I sold the house, the car, put a few things in storage (hung onto the golf clubs), had some garage sales and gave the rest to goodwill.

The itinerary is this, so far: Montreal - New York - Paris - Amsterdam. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess - although Buenos Aires is on the radar. The idea initially is to make a go of it in Europe, where I have extended family and where I can indulge my passions of writing, languages, and living more freely.

I won't get too journal-y here - suffice to say that after some significant challenges in work, relationships, and health, I decided that Calgary was not for me, despite some amazing friends and places (Griffith Woods Park, Steeps Tea House and Brava Bistro foremost among the places part). It's a very nice place to live, but not necessarily to LIVE.

So while it may appear to some that I've lost my sanity in doing this, in many ways it's actually an attempt to reclaim it. To paraphrase the Dos Equis guy: I've decided to live vicariously through myself.

I'm playing catch-up with the blog over the next few days, as I fill people in on the New York and Montreal visits, so there will be almost daily posts and photos for a while. The next post, about NYC, will actually come from my week-long apartment in Paris.

Check back often, and leave comments or send personal messages as often as you'd like. I hope you enjoy it and I'd love to hear from you.

And if you click the ads on the bottom of this page about 5000 times or so, I may be able to afford an espresso or a stroopwafel.



Whits said...

Funny very proud of you! Happy to hear you are living the life. Send Pics from Europe. Glad you have "eliminated and are automating" in Paris.

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" -Bruce Lee

-White T, Khaki shorts, flip flops and pen and paper. All you need brother.

-Keep on living!!!


Daryl said...

Don't listen to Whitson. As i sit here at 10:30 PM, pouring through about 150 mundane emails, I realize... this is what life's all about.

Go get em buddy. Looking forward to the updates.

PS - I'm thinking of getting hair extensions like that Coverdale photo. Do you think I can pull that off?


melissa said...

This is where my love for Wham comes in handy. I think they described your state perfectly in the little heard, and grossly underrated, Wham Rap!

This boy's got better things to do
I ain't never gonna work, get down in the dirt,
I choose, to cruise."

Michael said...

Hiya Jeff! Your bro pointed me to your blog and I think it's great. My wife and I have extremely fond memories of Paris. She lived there a year and I spent that summer there with her and we've been back several times since (just last April as a matter of fact). Just a fabulous city and yes, "the light" is truly special. We're jonesing to get back soon. Sure beats Kitchener! Be well.
Mike Delaney

Sherry Ott said...

Hi Jeff!
I'm a fellow LP blog Sherpa and I'm heading to Amsterdam at the end of July for a week and a half before heading on to Brussels. I searched around LP to see who was writing abt Amsterdam and found you.

First - the comment "I'm living vicariously through myself" is one of the best concepts I've come across - I love it!

I have a few travel blogs, www.ottsworld.com is the one in blogsherpa. I lived in Vietnam last year and have been traveling nomad style now for 4 years.

Anyway - I'm starting to do research on Amsterdam to figure out where to stay and what to do and would love any advice you may have. I loved your post on renting a boat on the canal...not sure that's a good idea solo though. I love the off the beaten path travel so even though I will hit some of the main sites - I'm really looking for the local scene and things that are unusual. Good stuff to write about and photograph!

Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to try couch surfing for the first time ever in Amsterdam...and I hope to rent a bike for the time I'm there...from there - the city is my oyster!