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Riding the buses » Travel tips, Why travel » Why travel: Because I have a year off and can go around the world

Why travel: Because I have a year off and can go around the world

Great Wall of ChinaI was a teacher and decided to enrol in a program where my salary was reduced by 20 percent for 5 years but year five I had off with pay. There were no firm plans when I did this. I thought I could use the year to go back to university for my Masters degree, have a baby (but there was no man currently in my life), or travel around the world.

I first decided to eliminate the idea of having a baby. I applied to universities and was accepted into a Masters program. I polled family and friends and their vote was to travel. When friends of mine decided to travel the world with two young children I thought ‘why not’! So we all bought round-the-world airline tickets and everything fell into place. We decided to start the trip together and meet up every once in awhile. I really appreciated having them to talk to about itineraries. My friend’s sister was a travel agent and that also was helpful.

We started in Tahiti in French Polynesia and then went to the Cook Islands while we waited for the weather in New Zealand to get warmer. After New Zealand it was Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Nepal, India, Turkey, Greece and England. I met up with people at youth hostels and would travel with them and people from home came and travelled with me a couple of times.

I had always wanted to go to China for I thought its history and culture were fascinating, but I didn’t know how I would do it as an independent traveller (this was 1987). After three times bumping into a Canadian woman of Chinese heritage who had grown up in Malaysia and spoke Cantonese and some Mandarin and who was also interested in going to China, I decided it was destined to be. We travelled around China for five weeks. So everything came together.

That world trip is still fresh in my memory and established my travel baseline. I have now been to many places and met lots of travellers. Using my year off to go around the globe was a very good decision.

This interview with Charlotte Fanjoy has been condensed and edited.
© Riding the buses 2011

See also China: Looking back
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3 Responses to "Why travel: Because I have a year off and can go around the world"

  1. Charlotte says:

    It sounds like you have the right Charlotte.

    Where were you from?

    1. Ray Blackport says:

      Hi Charlotte:
      I was from near Sudbury originally, but went to U of W. I lived in St. Clements at the time we met. I remember you well, since we dated for a while. I always wondered what happened to you and your name showed up on this site(which is a great site by the way). I don’t travel quite the same way as you, more outdoor adventure, e.g. the Yukon, Iceland, Northern Scotland. Perhaps we could swap life stories (if you wish) through regular email rather than this site. You could get the email from the site administrator, since you appear to be well-connected. For general information, I have been married for almost 30 years (to the person I went out with before you) and have three grown boys. Hope to hear from you. Take care. Ray

  2. Ray Blackport says:

    Great story. I am not sure if you are the Charlotte Fanjoy that I knew back in university days in the mid-1970s. I was in Waterloo and you were at Western (friend of Barb Haymam). I would have guessed it was you from the photo. If you are I would love to hear from you are that Charlotte. If not, just let me know. Either way, you appear to have a great travelling life and I wish you well. Ray (I still live in Waterloo)

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