65 days ago I took off from Edmonton International Airport on a journey that would see 18 flights through 16 different airports (Edmonton, Toronto, London, Athens, Mytilene, Athens, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Krabi, Bangkok – BKK, Bangkok – DMK, Phuket, Bangkok – DMK, Bangkok – BKK, Shanghai, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Edmonton, Saskatoon) Yesterday when I touched down in Edmonton on my way to Saskatoon I had successfully circumnavigated the world by air! Bucket list – CHECK, haha.
Now as I sit here on my parents couch and reflect on the journey I am absolutely overwhelmed at the entire experience, my heart is full with amazing memories and incredible friends old and new that have journeyed with me along the way. Thank you to each and every one of you, this adventure has been one for the record books. Thank you, Jesus, it is exactly what my Spirit needed after 16 months of beating my brain with academia.
I left Thailand early in the morning on March 31, en route to Vancouver. Along the way though I had a stop over in Shanghai, China. This was the first time I had ever been in China and it was interesting to say the least. First off, because I was only there for about 10 hours I decided not to get a local SIM, this… was a mistake, haha, as the availability of public WiFi was pretty tough to find without one and so Google Maps ended up no use to me. I must admit, it’s a bit alarming at what a crutch Google maps is for me when I travel as without it I was more than a little lost at times, haha. Thankfully, some screen caps and research I had done earlier combined with the help of a friendly concierge at a random hotel I was able to maneuver my way through this adventure unscathed.
My Shanghai adventure begins with a trip on the MagLev train, a high speed train that got up to 431 KM/h how crazy is that! We were zipping by! And most importantly it turns a long trip downtown into a manageable hour as it took me a good 1/2 to 3/4 of the way down the regular transit path. Arriving downtown I attempted to find a dumping house that a friend had recommended, I wandered for a bit using my screen caps on Maps but in the end this is where I discovered that WiFi for tourists without a local SIM is pretty much not gonna happen, oh well. I wandered some more finally consulting the concierge at the Park Hotel on how to get to the Oriental Pearl which as was only a train stop away thankfully. It definitely was a cool sight, but I didn’t go up as I was being cheap and it was foggy/smoggy anyways so I was not confident on the view I would get from it, that and I was already hungry and should be heading back to the airport soon. So instead I went to a little Ramen place and got some food, which was ok but I got the feeling this was like the McDonald’s of ramen and dumplings so I won’t judge China’s cuisine by it haha. From there I got back on the train and headed back to the airport. I did go the wrong direction for 2 stops first (a pretty typical DaveLife move) but eventually I did make it back to the Maglev and Airport. Onward home!
Arriving home in Canada did not stop my adventures. I got in Friday night and had set myself up at the Holiday Inn Express at the Vancouver Airport, nothing beats a comfy bed after a long flight and to my joy they upgraded me to a King bed, ahhhhh. I instantly crashed, only to be woken at 1am with the jet lag hunger pangs, oi, so there I am searching the hotel for food at 1:30 in the morning, but it is a new hotel so none of that has been set up yet, no room service and not even a vending machine. So there I am ordering and subsequently gorging myself on pizza at like 2:30 in the morning.
The next day I laid around in my comfy accommodation till check out, hoped back on the airport shuttle to the car rental place and after some minor confusion (FYI Alamo YAY, National Nay), hit the road to North Van to meet up with my buddy Kevin where I would be staying for the night. Looking for a mini adventure Kev had tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and I had never been so off we went! Great little park there, I love BC, it is so green and air so crisp it really is a fabulous place to spend time. (TRAVEL TIP: There is another suspension bridge not to far from here called Lynn Canyon and I believe it is FREE, so if you are not lucky enough to know someone who has tickets to Capilano and are looking for a little more budget friendly experience I would recommend it because as cool as Capilano was I don’t quite see the value of $40 per person)
After, I met up with my friend Alana for a coffee (ALWAYS a delight) before returning to Kev’s for an evening watching sports. You have no idea how much I missed hockey while overseas. Super pumped to come home to my Flames in the playoffs! Haha, way to go boys!!! We did do a little tour of North Van though, man this town is gorgeous! Definitely not opposed to the Lord moving me out here.
The next morning I headed off to Langley, to check out Sunday morning service at Sonrise Church where my buddy Chris is the lead pastor. GREAT SERVICE! Holy Spirit was kicking some butt this morning. Was so grateful to be able to worship with this crew, definitely felt the love.
The next few days, I were spent fighting jet lag, contemplating life and moving my existing blog posts over to this new venue. If you haven’t noticed yet, I was pretty unhappy with Bloggers user interface so have shifted to a WordPress site. Please let me know what you think of the changes. Hopefully this one will work better for all involved. I have really enjoyed blogging and intend to continue, so please click follow down below and make sure you never miss a post 🙂
Anyways that takes us to yesterday where my touch down in Edmonton completed my circle of the world, and my touch down in Saskatoon ended my journey. Props to my pops for driving the 2.5 hours to Toon town to pick me up.
Thanks everyone for following along and stay tuned for posts sharing all the things I have learned along the way.