Our second story comes from Alexander Attridge; Currently travelling through the North American continent
I am a 21 year old aspiring actor who dabbles in photography and cares a little too much about his hair. At around the age of thirteen I found out that the only thing I was any good at was making a fool of myself on stage. In pursing this I met some great people, had some amazing experiences and made my way into drama school. Hoping to take my career in acting further I have dropped it all and disappeared into the wilds of Canada on my own for a year, bracing the politeness and the cold to explore some of the most amazing landscapes in the world. Laid back is commonly how people describe me, too lazy to give a reasonable reaction is more accurate though.
We put together a set of questions to ask travellers whether they travel short or long term. Be inspired as Alex tells us about his experiences in the extreme cold and vast landscape of Canada…
Where are you now?
Where did you go on your first trip abroad?
I don’t really remember to be honest. I remember visiting Calgary (Canada) when I was four years old but I feel may have been to France before then. I still have a lot of memories from Calgary though, it may be what inspired this year long trip across North America.
Longest time away from hometown-
Without visiting at all? Seven months and counting.
What is your travel philosophy-
Don’t have a ‘Plan A’, but make sure you have a ‘Plan B’.
Your favourite place in the world to enjoy a couple of beers-
France, I can’t think of one particular reason just good memories I suppose.
The greatest bit of life advice you’ve been given/heard-
“Drink up, happy hour ends in 10 minutes.”
What is your one indispensable travel item?
A good pair of boots.
How do you break the ice with a stranger on the road?
A good travel story, the funnier the better, is a great way to get a conversation started and to make a stranger a friend.
Do you have a recipe for a meal you use on the road?
I like to soften up some vegetables in a pot until they golden add a little water, garlic, and tomato puree get it bubbling and serve. Great on it’s own and works well as a side to anything.
Best/ worst thing you’ve ever eaten-
That’s a tough one. I can’t pick just one great thing I’ve eaten and I can’t say I’ve eaten anything outstandingly bad. Perhaps I just enjoy food too much!
Your favourite song on your travel playlist?
Again I wouldn’t be able to pick one, something with a beat that taps your foot and guitar that makes your fingers dance will turn that 20 hour train ride in fifth class into a scene from any good window gazing self discovery film.
Are you a planner or do you ride the waves of chance?
A bit of both, I’ll jump in the deep end but as I’m falling in I’ll keep an eye out for a ladder or some one extra buoyant.
What is your best travel tip?
Talk to people. Most are happy to help you get the best of your trip and you can end up with new experiences and friends which you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
How has travel affected you as a person?
It’s made me appreciate people more.
Your edgiest travel experience-
Man. Hammer. Police. Gunfire.
Your favourite travel story-
When I first set out on my year long trip across North America I landed in Halifax, Canada, to -16°C and snowy weather conditions. I was tired from my flight but excited to begin my journey however after immigration I was tired and notably unenthusiastic about my journey. After a four hour battle I strapped myself into my winter gear, threw my pack on and waddled out into the cold evening air of Canada only to find I had missed the bus and must wait at the open air bus stop for an unknowable amount of time until the next bus decided to arrive. A few dropped coins and “sorrys” later I get off the bus at a completely different street to the one I had been told the bus would stop at. Feeling a little defeated I wave down a cab and give the address to the people I would be staying with that weekend. Apparently the taxi driver didn’t want to search for the house and so dropped me at the end of the street and allowed me trudge up and down the street to search for it myself, I finally find the house and knock on the door. The door opens to bearded smiling giant, in a knitted jumper and matching socks, who helps me with my pack and leads me inside his home to a glass of local beer and a bowl of homemade potato soup courtesy of his wife. They were the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met and really made every doubt and worry melt away. I really enjoyed my stay with them and even though I was tired and achey I knew I was going to be ok.
I went on a bit of a road trip around Nova Scotia and ended up at a small town right on the coast with a beautiful old light house. It was -17°C and the wind felt like knives of ice on your face but the Canadians didn’t mind and as far they knew neither did I. We climbed the rocks and explored the area for a good few hours until my friend suggested getting a tourist picture of me ‘holding’ the light house in my hand, I stood in position put my arm up and waited. “Perfect,” she says handing back my camera, “now lets get some damn coffee!”
Where are you planning to go next?
I plan to see more of Europe or possibly Asia…
You can follow Alex’s adventures on Instagram here.