My first experience in a hostel was in 1999 while traveling with my parents in Europe as a teenager. We were staying at a beautiful, country-looking hostel in Gimmewald, Switzerland, talking to young random travelers who had interesting stories when I thought to myself: “One day, I want to do whatever they are doing”.
“One day, I want to do whatever they are doing”
An opportunity to study abroad rose while I was looking at a pamphlet during my orientation session in University. After going through a long application process, the next thing I knew, I was packing my bags and saying my goodbyes to friends and family for the first time to depart into the unknown. I didn’t know what to expect from the experience and yes, I had butterflies in my stomach but my boldness got me through the intial terrifying phase of leaving Montreal for a 7 month period. Living in Italy and traveling across Europe was an eye-opening experience and molded me into who I am today. After traveling to 15 countries in 6 months, I realized that it wasn’t enough and wanted more… and so, I applied to go study abroad a second time! Four months after returning home with memorable European experiences, I was packing my bags yet again, to spend 5 months in Mexico. This is where I realized that my love for travel was officially engraved in me. This being said, it wasn’t just any type of travel… if the travel isn’t adventurous enough, it ain’t good enough for me! I am a backpacker!
With a degree in Business, a career that started off on the right foot and a comfortable life in Montreal, life is great or then again, it should be great! Yet, the whole 9-to-5 office type of work is far from being adventurous and travel is limited to only a few weeks per year instead of months at a time. This is where the idea of starting a blog dedicated to the main factor that defines who I am today was born… Off-Track Backpacking!
My first step of curiosity for traveling, was when I was 12 years old. I stepped onto a bus to head to Michigan State by myself, with only a backpack in my hand! From that moment on, I knew that backpacking the world was my lifetime aspiration.
The day I graduated from high school in 2004, I grabbed my backpack, kissed parents, friends, and reality a goodbye and headed off to Europe for a year. I was eager to explore new cultures, traditions, and connect with my passion for traveling. Yet, from the beginning of my trip I had many moments of panic and fear that overwhelmed me. From those moments I knew I made a decision that made me strive for what I truly love. Within that year I lived/worked in Dublin, Ireland for 3 months and traveled the remaining 9 months to 17 European Countries. Following that year of traveling I developed a larger obsession for backpacking, which is why I made a promise to myself that every year I would go on a backpacking adventure. Afterwards, I continued to travel between my university years of studying Advertising and my 9 to 5 job now in Toronto, Canada.