Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Gringa Trail's guest blogging appearance

The Long anticipated moment has arrived, my piece that I wrote for onetravel.com has finally been published!

Check it out by following this link;


***Oct 17/2010 update I have noticed that this blog site is suspended for violation of terms of use which is very strange. I have not contacted the site as to why but the link no longer works so I have pasted below what I wrote and what was published and on the site for a few months. I am quite disappointed I was very proud of myself for being published on another site.***
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! More adventures to come...

Confessions of a Travelholic

One of the things of love about being single is that I can walk into a movie store and not worrying about renting couple friendly movies. You know those ones that aren’t too girlie but there are not a lot of killing and car chases, the happy medium movies. I can rent a chick flick without feeling guilty and enjoy it with a glass of wine. I felt fantastic walking into the video store this evening; I was going to watch whatever I wanted. That was until I ran into the incredibly attractive, cute happy couple who were in line in front of me. If the guy wasn’t so gorgeous with his little bit of grey hair sprinkled on his neck they would have made me barf. That’s when I noticed they’re one movie compared to the stack overflowing in my arms. In their cozy watching a movie on a Friday night under a blanket clothes, those bastards! I know exactly what they will be doing! They probably won’t even make it through that one measly movie before jogging pants, fuzzy sock and hoodies go flying to the floor.

The lovely girl at the till tried to convince me to pay extra so I can have my movies for 7 days instead of two nights, that way I avoid any late fees. Being the thrifty girl that I am I declined and went for the cheaper option. Even when she advised me that I had two girlie movies plus part one and two of the Che Guevera movies which are 3 hours long each. I noticed jogging pant clad couple leaving, “that’s quite alright,” I said. I have my weekend all planned out, just Che and I and that’s fine by me.

I initially went to rent Julie and Julia. A friend recommended it to me to get me inspired with my blog and ambition to make a writer out of myself. Apparently working on a seniors cruise doesn’t provide much in the way of inspiration. The movie wasn’t in but I did find confessions of a shopaholic and surprisingly it did inspire.

My name is Tracy and I am a Travelholic. I save every last penny for my next journey. I can’t stay in one place for more than 6 months, I begin searching the net for plane tickets, buses anything. At first I thought it was just dissatisfaction with where I was living. I wanted to live abroad but everywhere I go I want to see more. The thrill of being on a plane not knowing much about where I am going but knowing there are adventures to be had people to meet and sites to see. With every temple, museum, beach and jungle it only brings me knowledge of more that I haven’t seen yet. With every person I meet from a different country it only makes me want to find more out about where they are from, go to their country and experience it. I fear renting an apartment, with the commitment to sign a lease. What if I had the urge to go to India? I do not own a car anymore or a cell phone. I have sold almost everything I own and am continuously looking for more items to put up on the net to provide me with more money to fuel my addiction and fewer possessions to ground me. People tell me I will eventually get sick of it but do alcoholics eventually get sick of beer? Perhaps but then they move into rum, whiskey, vodka or wine. I may tire of Latin America but then there is Africa, India, Asia, Northern and Eastern Europe, the list could go on like the pages in an atlas. The world of travelers is moving on without me while I am stuck on a boat in Canada. As beautiful as it is I am crossing the dates off the calendar, scratching little marks on the wall, biting at the bit and pinching every penny.

T – 92 days and counting, destination unknown.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Festival International De Reggae De Montreal

Recently due to some miscommunication I was left waiting for two hours at the Holiday Inn for a friend to pick me up after my 15 day stint on my boat. Fuming, tired, hungry and in need of a glass of red I gave up and found another way home. I vented via facebook to a friend who gave me this response, “What happened to laid back don't give a damn about time Tracy?? Sheesh, amazing what a boat can do eh? :)”
He was right, I have been back for four months and along with my tan I seem to have shedded my laid back easy going Caribbean attitude. Luckily I had planned to return to Montreal for the International Reggae Festival put on by the Caribbeans of the city. Just walking around the beautiful city with European flair brought me back down. I met up with a friend who I had met the last time I visited Montreal. He is from Martinique but studies in France and now is doing an internship in Ottawa.
It seems he has spent a bit too much time off the island though because he wanted to show up at the festival right at 4:00pm, the time it was officially supposed to start. There was no one there. The volunteers were just showing up and I had overheard one of the head ladies given them heck for bringing alcohol into one of the tents. One of the guy’s working the event said, “Well they are Caribbeans it will start a bit late you know how they are.”

My sweet French friend noticed my Bob Marley T-shirt and was disappointed he didn’t dress up for the occasion. I had to remind him he was black and there wasn’t really a need for it, he already represented. We decided to sit on a patio in the old town grab some beers and nachos and watch the street performers. At around 7:00pm, 3 hours later it started to get underway. Not too many showed up but it was still a great atmosphere with the slight smell of grass in the air. There was a mixture of Caribbean music including some crazy Soca, the singer demonstrated with his gyrating what to do when your lady is giving you directions.

One singer would just decide to change his song in the middle and move on to another he preferred more. In typical Caribbean style they just went with the flow and ease, in the end it just all worked out. I would have liked to stay the entire weekend to see the rest of the festival but I had a date with Michael Buble in the nation’s capital so I got my chilled out self on a bus to Ottawa.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Drinking In Small Towns on the Canadian Waterway; B-Town

My fellow Purser and I convinced our captain and Engineer to let us off our fire duty to do some field work for my blog. It had been ages since I posted anything and also ages since we were able to escape the confines of our boat.

We were in B-Town a beautiful town with the canal running right through the centre. A ghost town in the winter but bustling in the summer with cottagers from the city, day trippers to the beach, and boaters who come and dock just to enjoy the famous ice cream. The unique thing about this Stars Hollow like town is its shoe Empire that has overtaken it with several buildings and thousands of shoes. Our passengers leave forehead and finger marks on the windows as we cruise past the shoe monopoly. I am certain some only book this cruise for the chance to enter the doors with eagerly waiting sales people in their hideous red, white and blue stripped uniforms. They smile happy to have joined the ranks and have made it big in this small town but I question their knowledge of the world outside of this cottage community.

I was approached by a sales girl who liked my necklace. She asked where I got it from and I told her Nicaragua. “Wow,” she said “I haven’t travelled much but once I went to Niagara Falls!” (which is about 3 hours away)

I decided to ask a local guy where we could go for a drink while I was waiting for the swing bridge to return to the main intersection after letting boats go by. The friendly local guy with a red rash up and down his legs told me there was a sports bar down the road with an outdoor patio. He then proceeded to comment on how hot it was. “It's so hot my sandals are going to melt,” He told me. Which I thought to be just a saying but then he went on to tell me his previous sandals melted right off his feet.

Later on we got to the sports bar and were a bit disappointed, it seemed it would be an uneventful evening. How could we really top M-Town anyway? Soon enough though, we were joined by three local guys at our table. They were as country as you could get and were quite confused by the fact that we work on a boat.

Now I’m not from a big city by any means but by the way they were talking to me you would have thought I was a foreigner from New York. My co-worker is from Northern Ontario so she was accepted a bit more but she had them really stumped when she told them she doesn’t listen to country music. Confused the one guy said to her, “So what do you listen to then.” I think they had a sigh of relief when she said she had been hunting. They invited us to go Muddin several times. The one had a brand new Dodge pickup truck parked in front of the bar with a 12” lift kit in it. You would need a step ladder just to get in. He had it just 24 hours when he scratched the entire sides of it from “Muddin” in the bush. He looked half proud half devastated as he recalled this tragedy to us. We refused their numerous muddin offers and as they revved the engine and ripped off down the main street I wondered where they would find mud, it hadn’t rained in over a month.
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