Today I am leaving the city of Kyiv, Ukraine to fly back to Canada after four months of travels and it is definitely with mixed feelings. People always ask me, “how many weeks do you travel per year”? Ha! There is no easy answer and it changes from year to year.
Another traveller innocently asked me the other day, “Where is your home”? I of course have a place I call home in Edmonton but in the moment I sharply answered that “I am always home”!
I don’t always love being on the road but I have learned to enjoy and be comfortable wherever I am. Wherever I am, I get up in the morning, brush my teeth, have some coffee and get to work just like everybody else. I just happen to work in a variety of locations. Luckily my wife is able to travel with me much of the time and for the time being we enjoy our ability to split our time between Canada and Ukraine.
This year however, was slightly different. As our little company grows, we have started offering tours to other destinations including Ireland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, Romania and Poland and I did hit each of those countries this summer except Poland. I went to China this spring instead!
Yes it’s true, I had the opportunity along with the Lviv Tourism board to attend ITB China Travel Expo in Shanghai, which was a treat as I had never been to Asia before. Although we have no plans to start offering tours to China anytime soon, I did find the history and culture fascinating. I also found cobblestone streets there so who knows!
One highlight of the summer was definitely my short break in Croatia where I had 4 days of nothing. I’ve never been a nothing type of traveller but a little bit of nothing was exactly what I needed to get some work done! Except in between work, I took frequent dips in the Adriatic Sea just north of Dubrovnik in a quaint little sea-side town. I highly recommend Croatia!
Other highlights of my summer including visiting Gypsy villages in Transyvlannia, Romania on our Dance Workshop Tour, as well as the charm of Sarajevo in Bosnia. Although both complettely different travel experiences, both offered insight into a world so different that my own upbringing, that my imagination and curiosity were aroused to consider all the thigns that have happened in those corners of the world.
Without question, no matter where I go, I am triggered to attention when I hear authntic folk music, see old world dance or hear stories of ethnic folk traditions from days gone by. By this, I am continually reassured that the path Cobblestone Freeway Tours is on is correct.
If Cobblestones could talk, the stories they would tell could fill volumes of history books about cultures, people, their lives and their traditions. They would reveal secrets lost to history. But perhaps in some distant remote Cobblestone corner, perhaps those traditions are still alive!
written by – Vincent Rees