Getting paid to travel the world is something most people can only dream over, but for Hayleigh Jade, it's a reality. Below she shares what a month in her life looks like
It’s been the busiest month for travel I have ever had
For some context, that means ten flights, three countries and too many hours travelling, I dare not count. As a travel blogger, it is obvious that travelling is something I am passionate about. It’s a sense of freedom I have found no other outlet to express, it's therapy, it’s an addiction.
Its 4 am, I am reluctantly awake and ready to leave to the airport for leg 1/10 of my crazy month. First stop, Riga. The East is somewhere I have never really had the opportunity to explore, I wanted to experience the world without it being that 'West' we all seem to know and love. I wasn’t disappointed.
Latvia was a beautiful mixture of beauty, history and polar opposites. Beautiful beaches to bustling cities. Gorgeous Gastby’esque style monstrosities built next to the physical reminders of the Soviet occupation in the 1940’s. It’s a beautifully chaotic mix. And I have to say, some of the best food I have eaten in the world, and we all know how crucial that is. I left Latvia with a thirst for more Eastern travel, I was surprised by the charm of the East, I didn’t know what I was expecting, but I left wanting more.
I flew home, and within 12 hours was running around my bombsite of a bedroom trying to mentally switch from needing clothes for rain and twelve degrees, to mountains and thirty-degree heat in the Rockies (little did I know it would later drop to three degrees while I was out there).
I woke the next morning and again, rushed my way to the airport (sensing a theme here, are we?). I made my way across the Atlantic Ocean to one of my favourite places on Earth. I mentioned travel is my therapy, well Canada is my drug.
After 17 hours, one lost suitcase and a mental breakdown later I arrived in Canmore, Alberta. I was clothes-less, but I was in heaven. It wasn’t exactly a smooth trip, after losing my luggage we found out that the car we had planned to use for our road trip West to Vancouver Island, was unusable.
In my eyes, it was all a blessing in disguise. We hired a car and decided to spend our time visiting some places locally (locally in Canada is within 3 hours’ drive…) something I had never really had the chance to do in the ten years I have been coming to Alberta.
I can’t begin to describe the staggering scenery in the summer months in the Rockies. Its the bluest water you will ever see, with towering mountain giants and tiny looking pine trees. We drove through mountain ranges, past glaciers and waterfalls.
Crossed canyons and stopped at lookout points that looked as if they were painted. I don’t think I have ever felt so small and insignificant, and sometimes that’s the best feeling.
There was one moment in the 20 days I was out there, that truly took my breath away. I’m one of life’s gazers, I will stare purposelessly at anything beautiful. I looked up at the sky en route home and saw the most amazing starry night, something that would beat anything I had ever seen before online. We drove to a secluded lake in the middle of the mountains, and set up camp for some night photography.
Well, my photographer companion did, I just absolutely lost myself gazing up at the night sky. It turns out I lay there for 2 hours straight and didn’t move an inch, I had lost all sense of time and of awareness. I gazed at the milky way, the stars and the planets, and the shooting stars that danced among them. It was one of those trips that I will tell my children about, something truly memorable and wonderful.
From stargazing, to poutine, to Airbnb cabins in the middle of nowhere, to Canadian puppy friends and ice hockey, Canada is genuinely one of the most intoxicating places I’ve ever ventured to.
My suitcase eventually arrived, but by that point I had almost gotten used to being without. Just in time for me to start heading home…