Miles and Smiles Away: Do You Miss Me Yet?

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riley

For those of you who may not know me well, one of my greatest passions in life is travel.

And I am now off on my next great adventure.

And lucky for you – the much loved readers of SaultOnline – I get to take you with me on my journey.

And if you didn’t know me before, let me tell you, you are about to be right inside my head.

You may be wondering, where are we off to, Riley? Where are you taking me?

Well, let me first show you where I’ve gone without you so you can get a taste for the whirlwind to come.

I have explored the delicate streets and grassy hills of France, the holy temples and sprawling rice terraces of Bali, Indonesia, the natural wonders in our own backyard – Ontario, Michigan, Alberta, BC, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, soaked up the sun in Florida, Cuba, California, and Las Vegas, conquered the Amazon and towering mountains in both Peru and Ecuador, explored the ancient world of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, indulged in the most mouthwatering street food in Thailand, and crawled through wartime tunnels and sailed emerald seas in Vietnam.

Every time I travel, I make it a personal goal to do at least one thing that is entirely outside of my comfort zone.

Sometimes, it can be something simple. Sometimes, it’s bigger than I could have ever imagined. Being a huge control freak who obsesses over detail, structure, and order, forcing myself to do something extraordinarily outside of my norm has forced my growth in so many ways.

I’ve rode motorcycles in South East Asia amongst traffic I’d never even imagined could exist, booked a last minute trip into the depths of the Peruvian jungle, and eaten scorpion on the streets of Bangkok, and guinea pig in the restaurants of Ecuador.

I’ve explored Machu Picchu, and most of Peru, in complete solitude.

I’ve been lost in the streets of more cities than I could possibly count.

I’ve been dumbfounded, and culture-shocked. I’ve been embarrassed by my lack of worldly knowledge, as well as humbled and grounded by it. I’ve made assumptions based on preconceived notions and found myself to be wildly mistaken, and I’ve found myself stumbling, tongue-tied, trying to speak basic words in another language more times than I’d like to admit.

I have traveled both alone and with others.

I have traveled to heal.

I have traveled to volunteer, to help, to offer my services.

I’ve traveled to find myself, and I’ve traveled to escape.

Each trip has served a different purpose in shaping the person who I am today, the person I will become, and the person I hope to be.

This time, I travel to learn, and to continue to step outside of my comfort zone.

Alongside my best friend of ten years, Chelsea Lundrigan, I will be exploring the historical, majestic countries of Poland and the Czech Republic.

These two countries have been on my list for quite some time now. Since I am a history/poli sci major, these locations have tugged at my heart strings for years.

Our itinerary looks a little something like this…

Prague -> Cesky Krumlov -> Prague -> Krakow -> Zakopane -> Wroclaw -> Warsaw -> Gdansk -> Leba -> Warsaw.

If it sounds interesting to you, I invite you to join me. Leave a comment. If you’ve been, recommend a place. I love food, and beer, and wine. Share with me your stories.

Let’s bring a little bit of Central Europe to our online community.

 

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Riley Smith
Riley Smith is an enthusiastic and versatile critical thinker who has been with SaultOnline since January 2018. She holds a double Honours Degree in History and Political Science from Algoma University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations and Event Management from Sault College. In addition to obtaining her Google Marketing Fundamentals certification, she is also working towards a Certificate in Diversity and Intercultural Relations. She has hands-on experience in social media marketing, media relations, public relations and news writing, event planning, and stakeholder relations, developed through experience as the First Nations and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator for the Missanabie Cree First Nation. When she's not reporting, you can find her reading, working out, spending time with her basset hound, Douggie, or seeing the world, one breathtaking view at a time.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You are quite an adventurous young woman Riley! I’ll be looking forward to your updates and hope you and Chelsea have a fabulous trip as I’m sure you both will. And yes, I’m certain we will all miss you!

  2. You will love Krakow – the main square is wonderful in the spring and summer – great restaurants! Zakopane is great – we hiked and explored the wonderful little shops – again, good food. Have a great time!

  3. Wowww, sounds very exciting Riley !!! What you have accomplished with your travels is what many of us dream of but many would probably never have the wherewithal to actually do. Being that you’re young and energetic certainly helps. Safe travels to you and your friend.

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