Live, Travel, Thrive

2021 unfolded in unexpected ways as so much of the familiar and the comfortable felt distorted. Lifestyles have become upended, people we thought we knew have shown a side of themselves that we don't understand or always agree with, family and friends struggled. Somehow though, we have also started to adjust and to gain the skills necessary to move forward. We are reluctantly accepting a different world.

My first decision in this direction was to resurrect a (2020) covid cancelled trip to the UK, and as I write this column, the journey is a few weeks behind me. It was a solo trip of multiple destinations, and with Covid protocols and rules changing so quickly, I knew working with a travel agent was imperative. My choice was Kaleidoscope Travel, and their agent, Kendra Armstrong, provided invaluable information and support.

London for business, Bath and Canterbury for family time and Edinburgh because I wanted to see something of Scotland. Highlights included time spent with an uncle and cousins on my father's side and seeing myself reflected in them. Savouring a fantastic mushroom risotto and a glass of Greek white wine while watching dusk descend on Edinburgh. The abundance of history and culture fed my soul, as did the English simplicity of a pot of Assam tea with a scone. London's railway stations are vast but well signed & staffed.  Being careful but open to conversations with strangers meant I met some fascinating people, especially on trains.

There were a few glitches. Certain tourist attractions were only available for viewing if you pre-booked your ticket for a specific time which was annoying to my spontaneous side.  Google maps and I argued about how to walk to Notting Hill, but it did allow me to take many an unknown path as I knew it would guide me back to my hotel safe and sound.

An expensive oops was being in Canterbury on my last weekend only to find out there were no testing places open for that all-important 'Your covid test must be taken within 72 hours of your flight back to Canada'. So paying for the price gouging 'Test results within 24 hours at Gatwick airport became my only solution.

I arrived home pleased with myself for pushing my boundaries and experiencing life again. Travel proved to be an analogy of our lives today in that moving into the unknown requires a strong sense of self.

Your sense of self refers to your perception of the collection of characteristics that define you.

Personality traits, abilities, likes and dislikes, your belief system or moral code, and the things that motivate you — these all contribute to self-image or your unique identity as a person.

-, Crystal Raypole

June 2020 –


Now more than ever, lacking a clearly defined sense of self makes life incredibly challenging. When it comes to decisions, being uncertain and hesitant may result in no goals being achieved or, even worse; your choice reflects someone else's opinion or influence. So, personally and professionally, we need to be decisive.

As I work on the final edits for this article, headlines in Canada and worldwide are covering the new Omicron variant. All of which reinforces the importance of getting on with life and not putting things on hold. Your current goals and dreams are probably not what you expected them to be, but that is no reason not to rethink and rework plans and move forward. Your 2022 self will thank you for it!

Just to prove I did make it to Notting Hill here is a photograph of one of the areas many antique shops.
About Jill Crossland
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