Last Bits Of Autumn: Life Travel Updates From Audrey of That Backpacker

Well, we are in full-fledged winter mode around these parts! We had our first snowfall a couple of weeks back, and as I look out the window today I feel like I’m in a snow globe. The white stuff is coming down heavy.  I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas and all that comes with it – ice-skating, visits to the Christmas market, and lots of cookies and mulled wine – but before I get all festive on you, I wanted to share a few autumn photos from the last couple of months here in Kingston.

A sunny morning around main campus.

Autumn at her very best.

The view from my balcony = free ticket to the Homecoming football game. (We won!)

Limestone, climbing ivy, and sunshine.

There’s a little historic village down my street and this is the local church.

Ahh, blue skies! Haven’t seen those in days.

Life lately

I don’t feel like I have that much to share since my days seem to revolve solely around school, but I guess that’s the life of a student. The good news is that this program is flying by! I survived my very first teaching placement, which was 6 weeks in length, and in 2 weeks time I will have officially completed my first semester. By the time the New Year rolls around I’ll only have 4 more months left, and 1 of those is being spent overseas, so the end is nigh. PTL!

I have to admit, I really miss the stimulation of travelling, facing ridiculous challenges, and being on my own schedule. I did enjoy my placement and I had a great group of students, but travel is tugging at my heart strings a little louder than I expected. Seriously, I’ve turned to watching documentaries about climbers attempting K2 in Pakistan and hippies sailing down to Easter Island, needless to say, I’m experiencing a serious case of wanderlust.


Upcoming trips

Washington D.C.

About a month ago I got an email that I couldn’t quite believe…it was from the White House. I stared at the screen blankly wondering, “is this for real?” As it turns out, this week the White House will be hosting a “Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship“ and I was one of the travel bloggers invited to attend.

I just received my itinerary last week and it’s going to be a jam-packed day. A few of the highlights will include a tour of the White House all decked out for Christmas, a luncheon at the National Press Club, a briefing with senior administration officials, and an evening at the Newseum. I’ve also booked myself a couple of extra days to do some sightseeing around the capitol and some of the memorials, so it should be a lot of fun! If you want to follow along on social media you can check out the #WHTravelBloggers hashtag.

What I’m reading

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I was drawn to this book by the cover alone (don’t judge!) Honestly, I’ve been reading a lot of journal articles and research papers for school, and all I wanted was a bit of a mindless, entertaining read that had nothing to do with academia. I can’t say I’m loving the book so far (I’m getting lost in the cast of socialites and extended family), but it is mildly entertaining.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I’m really enjoying Cutting for Stone. It’s already transported me from India to Ethiopia by ship, and I’m hooked on the mystery and the secrets around the characters. Cutting for Stone tells the story of two twin brothers who were born of the union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon, and well, it’s all very complicated. I’ll leave it at that.

Also, if you have any good book recommendations, let me know in the comments section. I’m looking for some books to read over the Christmas holidays!

Cool stories around the internet

Stray dog found in the jungle treks miles with adventure team to his forever home –

If you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy read, this is it! A Swedish team was competing in the Adventure World Racing Championship, a 430-mile race through the jungle, when they came across a stray dog. The dog and the team soon became inseparable, and well, that pup earned himself a new loving home…in Sweden!

Brave or insane? This woman cross dressed her way across Afghanistan

Candace Lau is a 28-year-old Chinese-Australian photographer who took a year off work to travel on the cheap through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran…and she’s been dressing as a boy while doing so.

Pigs can’t fly: pot-bellied hog taken on plane for ’emotional support’ kicked off

Soooo, an American woman brought a 70-pound pot-bellied pig on board for “emotional support”. She managed to make it through security, but the pig became a bit unruly once they were on the plane and the two were escorted off… Whaaat?!

What have you been up to this past month?