Wednesday, 21 March 2012

I am famous in Germany

"You're famous in Germany Eeva." 

Well at least according to my (Couchsurfing) friend, Alisa.

Alisa, an enthusiasic, fun-loving blonde from Bavaria is the creator/author of a project called "Dear Google, What is Life?"  In this project, she has taken the concept of how we use and rely on Google for everyday searches to a philosophical level: "What is life?".  Alisa has collected "people" and the Google results for "life" based on their native language and combined it with their photograph and handwriting of the search results. The outcome is a cool exhibit that she is showing around Germany. She has dozens of people involved from all over the world and variety of ethnic backgrounds. And I'm part of it! How cool is that? Okay, ego aside, I find it an intriguing venture she has embarked on. 

My involvement was due to my Finnish ethnicity. All Alisa had me do was a simple search on  of  "Life is?" (in Finnish), hand-write the top results and smile for a photograph. On the Facebook page she explains how her idea emerged and her workings with a web designer with whom she completed the project with. Please click the link about to read about her endeavor.  Scroll some of her photos of the "gallery showing"  as I will be tagged in the background of one of them. I am very glad to be a part of this project that encompasses our real and "cyber" world. I would also ask that you "like" the page (only if you really do) so that it can garner some more attention and help out my friend.  Thanks!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ugly Vancouver/Neon Vancouver Exhibit

This past Sunday I visited the Museum of Vancouver for the first time ever. I didn't even know it existed until about a month ago. I am glad I discovered it though. It is a little gem of a place housed in the same building as the HR Macmillan Space Centre in Vanier Park. Now I know where that is so how come I didn't know this museum existed? Anyways. It is has an interesting (permanent) gallery of Vancouver's past. It's current exhibits are very cool too. That is what brought me there in there in the first place.

Whilst travelling on the bus, as I do, I noticed an ad for the "Ugly Vancouver/Neon Vancouver" exhibit that is at the MOV until Aug 2012. The exhibit contains a selection of the old neon signs that were part of Vancouver's cityscape for a greater portion of the 20th century. I thought it would be fun to find out a bit more about my beloved city and posted it on Couchsurfing as an activity. Myself and CSer M met at 2pm and we stayed over 2 hours at the museum. We discovered another exhibit happening there as well: Art Deco Chic - Extravagent Glamour between the Wars. This was a fashion exhibit that was oh-so-glamorous! M and I really enjoyed that one. As cool as the neon signs were, I enjoyed the fashions of the 20s and 30s more. We also perused the permanent exhibits as well. Overall, it was a great afternoon.  I could talk all about what I saw but I think this time I will let the picutres speak for me.

If you're ever in Vancouver, consider visiting this museum to learn more about Vancouver!


Hastings St (circa 1960s) covered in signage

Powell Cleaners 
Signage (circa 1935) and description below

The elements used in neon

The only non-working sign at the exhibit
A table top sign used at stores


This caption was with the picture below

Early 1920s Evening Wear

Late 1920s Evening Wear
Early 1930s Evening Wear
A modern effect on vintage style

I personally loved the 1930s styles I saw here
1930s Daywear - hats everywhere!

Late 1930s Evening Wear

So elegant

I love the detail


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

FAQ's for Eeva's RTW trip

Since I have "the gift of gab" I tell everyone I know about how I want to travel the world. So over time I have been asked numerous questions about how I will go about planning my RTW trip. I have also asked numerous questions to those who have traveled a great deal. Those two combinations lead me to today's blog entry -- answering the FAQs that I encounter.

"When are going on your trip Eeva?" - Tough one. I'd like to say "tomorrow" but that isn't going to happen. So for now, it's "when the time is right". I have been learning in the last few weeks to let the Universe do its thing and we're working on an agreement so that I do my part and the Universe does it's part. 

"How long do you want to go for?" - A  year + 1 day. So, that would be 366 days! That seems  pretty cool to me.

"How do you raise/save the money for it?" - Good question. If anyone has an answer, please let me know. As well, if you have winning numbers to the upcoming lottery please pass them along. Also if you know of a cheaper but clean/safe apartment I can rent in Vancouver or Richmond that accepts cats please advise. I love where I live but a bit less rent would be helpful.

"Where do you want to go Eeva?" - Well I want to visit 6 continents. North America really would have one stop and that is going to Ontario to visit my parents before I leave. Then it's the rest of the world. Which direction I go (east - west or west - east) will mainly be determined by airline costs. I will be budget traveling so cost of airline ticket(s) is key. Currently, my route (subject to change) looks a bit like this: 

  • North America
    • Thunder Bay
    • Toronto
  • South America
    • Ecuador
    • Peru
    • Bolivia
    • Chile 
    • Argentina
  • Europe
    • Finland 
    • Malta
  • Africa
    • Turkey (maybe)
    • Tunisia
    • South Africa
  • Asia
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Vietnam
    • Malaysia
    • Thailand (maybe)
  • Australia
"What will you pack?" - that is a separate blog post for future date!

"Will you stay in hostels?" - Yes!! I will definitely utilize the hosteling network. I intend to get a membership to Hosteling International so that I can get the perks (cheaper pricing, online booking, etc). I will also use Couchsurfing. Other options I will keep in mind is Air BnB which is renting out rooms/apartments. I'm also interested in volunteering sites like Help Exchange (where you work in exchange for your room). In addition, I just recently came across a website where you can house-sit for people while they are on vacation. I am going to research it some more to see if that is an option. And the final accommodations alternative is sleeping at airports. It's more popular than you think and a great way to save money and be at the airport on time if you have a crazy early flight.

"Are you insane Eeva? Sleep at an airport?" -  No, but the after perusing the website it is an option for very early flights and it's free. Well....maybe I'm borderline insane (but not for wanting to sleep in an airport) :-P

"Will you buy a round-the-world ticket?" - Well that will be determined roughly 6 months before I go. The reason is pricing. I want to find out would be the best price. RTW tickets can be purchased through one of the airline alliances (One World, Star Alliance) but they have quite a few rules & regulations and if you're itinerary doesn't mesh with their rules you either pay more or have to change your plans. The other option is a DIY and booking as you go. It can give me the freedom of an open itinerary and utilizing discount carriers (Ryan Air, Air Asia) but means more research and sometimes paying higher prices. Regardless of which option I choose I think I will need to find a good travel agent - any takers?

"How do you learn about backpacking the world?" - THE INTERNET! Seriously, if it wasn't for the Internet I probably wouldn't have learned nearly as much as I have. Secondly, is talking to other travelers. Thirdly, is through travel books geared for backpacking. Below (and the ones mentioned above) are some sites that I really enjoy and have learned from:
  • Bootsnall - Oh the information I glean from this site!! This is my FAVOURITE indie travel webpage. They have so much info and tips. It pretty much covers it all. Most of what I have learned on the web has been from this site. It's indispensable!!
  • Normadic Matt -  To be honest, although I have heard of Nomadic Matt's site I didn't read anything from until recently. I added it to my RSS feed on my  phone's Google Reader app the other day and I am impressed. I enjoy reading mainly his blog entries but the site looks great too.
  • Air Asia - I did mention this site above but I often look at it to check out the fares. Some of them are so inexpensive that it just spurs me on! Silly - perhaps but it does stir excitement in me
  • A Little Adrift - A friend posted on their Facebook page so I asked him about the page and he said it was helpful. I've found some good info on it. Though, as I said above, Bootsnall is probably where I've found most of my info.
  • XE - This is a currency site. It is accurate, up to date and has pretty much every currency listed under the sun. I used it when going to Hawaii & Paris as well just to get an idea of what other currencies are compared to Canada.
"What are you going to do with your apartment and your belongings Eeva?" - I will give up my apartment, sell most of my stuff and the remainder (very bare bones) I will store at my sister's house. Since she lives 14 hours away by car I will have to factor in renting a U-Haul or the like and transporting it there. Much of what I own is still stuff that has been given to me. And it's just stuff. I can buy new (or used) furnishings when I get back. I actually get excited when I think about selling/donating/purging the majority of my belongings. When I imagine doing it, it feels freeing. 

"Are you scared?" - Absolutely. Perhaps that is why I have yet to take this trip. It's not safety issues about the trip that scare me, it's whether I can do it or not that freaks me out. That I will be pushed out of my comfort zone. That once I take that step, buy a ticket, sell my belongings, leave my job for a year, go where I have never gone before (literally & figuratively) and be left to the experiences yet to behold me that makes me want to stay put. Despite that the desire in me is overwhelming and if I don't do it I KNOW I will regret it for the remainder of my life. Just writing this last paragraph has me short of breath and tearing up...okay so I've just put it out there for all of you to read. I've talked and talked about it so hopefully putting it in cyberspace and out to the universe will help me out. Why one big trip you ask? Because it's what I want. It will truly be my life's goal.