What counts as travelling when you were born outside of the country you grew up in?
I think the first time I really experienced travel was just 4 years ago. I had left the country before that, of course, but to places that didn’t register as new exposures – cosmopolises in the developed world and quaint but familiar towns no more than a 2-hour flight from Toronto.
In the summer of 2013, after a couple weeks bumming around continental Europe, a friend and I went to Iceland. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. As an unequivocal “big city person”, I had never been much for nature and the outdoors before this but afterwards, I was hooked.
I dreamt about Iceland.
Tried to get married there.
Doubled down on Sigur Rós and Bjork.
Looked for Skyr at the supermarket.
You get the point.
When it came time to pick an Instagram handle for my travel photos, I wanted “itinerary” but that was taken. So I paid homage to my first bonafide travel experience and looked it up in Icelandic – “ferðaáætlun”. That was a bit much for someone who couldn’t speak a word of Icelandic and had, in fact, only spent 5 full days in the country. “Ferða” means travel, and someone cleverer than I had already registered it. “Áætlun” means plan – this seemed fitting for my ENTJ personality, so here we are a year and a half later with its bastardized English keyboard-friendly version.