Nomadic blood feeds travel bug

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:39

I have been travelling overseas and across Canada now for several years. I enjoy moving from place to place. I think the need to see new places comes from my people's nomadic tradition of moving over the land regularly as a matter of survival. For the past ten years or so, I have regularly travelled to places in Europe, Asia, parts of the United States and Canada.
As a Cree with nomadic blood, I am capable of adapting to just about any location. However in this modern world, moving from one place to another is very different than travelling in traditional Cree ways up the James Bay coast. There are a whole new set of skills I had to learn to deal with global travel in order to move about in an organized and safe way.
One of the first places to start if you want to take an international vacation is to get a passport. A passport is a necessary piece of documentation that allows a traveller to visit a foreign country, leave that country and re-enter Canada again. Most post offices in Canada provide the forms and information necessary to request a passport. These information packages will provide all the details you need to get a photo and find a guarantor, a person who can confirm your identity. The cost is $87 and the process can be done by mail and completed within a month or in less time if it can be done in person at a regional government office.
The next step in getting ready for an international trip is to organize the actual travel. The most important part of any trip is to ensure you have enough funds to ensure a safe and pleasant holiday. Budgeting money is an important skill for any traveller. When you are on the road in a new country, it is always good to know how much you will have to spend a day for accommodation, food and transportation. I have found that a good rule of thumb when I am on the move from place to place is a daily cost of about $150 for comfortable accommodations, reasonable transportation cost and economical meals. If you really want to travel on a small budget it is possible to stay away from regular hotels and use hostels or dorm type accommodations. Rather than rent a car to get around you can go by bus or train and save money. If saving time is important, you have to budget more money to fly. In Europe you can fly with low cost airlines like Ryanair or Easyjet for a fraction of what it normally would cost.
If you are young and in great shape then you don't mind budget accommodations and low cost transportation. However, if you travel too cheaply it could mean giving up a sense of safety. One of my favourite options is to stick to one location and operate from it as a base. The longer term stay in an apartment, hotel or hostel is much cheaper. Long term apartment living allows a traveller to make meals at home rather than eat out every day.
Do your research before making any travel arrangements, especially when planning on visiting third world countries. The government of Canada has a link at: that provides detailed information on every country. This includes recommendations for health inoculations before travel and health warnings. It is also a good idea to find your own information by accessing English speaking newspapers or news media outlets online based in the country you are planning to visit. Use Google translator or other online translators to read copy and articles in foreign languages.
Packing for a trip is also a skill in itself. Everyone has a preference on what to bring on a trip. This depends mostly on where you plan to go. If you are heading to a warm country, don't bring many heavy clothes. If going to colder climates, bring your long johns and more items of warm clothing. Remember to pack such basics as necessary medication, toiletries, identifying documentation, banking / credit cards and a good camera. Beyond this, it becomes a matter of preference as to what electronics, clothing or footwear to bring. I always travel with a backpack, a basic laptop, writing material and a good book. I include a small first aid kit, electronic translator and a list of family and friend contact numbers. It is necessary to buy medical insurance for every trip you take as a visit to a hospital in another country can become very expensive.
Whatever you pack, pack light. There is nothing more bothersome than moving a hundred pounds of luggage around huge busy airports and gigantic cities. I prefer being able to pack everything I have in one carry on pack so that I don't have to check in any baggage. Many travellers point out that if you can't comfortably carry your luggage on your back, then you are carrying too much. Also remember that if you really need something on the road you can buy it. The new item can double as a souvenir.
Another good rule is to travel with a friend. Two is always safer than one. This is a basic rule of travelling even when venturing into the wilderness of the James Bay coast. I grew up in a world of travel that was done in the warmer months by freighter canoe on northern rivers and the great James Bay. In the winter we moved about on the frozen land with snowmobiles, snow shoes and sleighs. Most of my moving around these days is done at 30,000 feet above land and that has given me another view of Mother Earth. With the way things are going these days on our planet, time is of the