My backpack is packed, my class is registered for, and my plane ticket has been purchased. Getting ready for a six week trip to Montreal while finishing a year at college has been a hectic time. Not to mention the fact that I signed up for this class spur of the moment and had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew is that, as a polyglot on a budget, I wanted to travel, learn French, and not have balance of $0 in my bank account. What is a girl to do? Go to Canada, apparently.
My only experience with Canada was on a family vacation when I was 14 where we drove through the desolate part of Canada from Niagara Falls to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Needless to say, it was terrible. A nine hour drive through…trees. Just trees. The idea of going back to Canada was not the most exciting at first. However, now that I’ve had time to get psyched, I am truly psyched. The idea of strolling through the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, cruising by the St. Lawrence river, and reading all of the French signs makes me giddy with excitement! Why Montreal? Well, that’s very simple. It’s a beautiful, vibrant city, the US dollar is strong, and, most importantly, it’s bilingual.
And truthfully, there is only one person I can accredit my excitement to: Anthony Bourdain. I grew up watching the Travel Channel, but Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations was probably the only Travel Channel show my mother would not watch with me. The vulgar language, smoking, and drinking did not appeal to her, but in the name of raising well-cultured children, she let me watch it myself. Thankfully for me, Anthony Bourdain’s show, “The Layover,” is now on Netflix and includes an episode about Montreal.
My favorite aspect of his shows is the interactions with locals. In addition to the food, he involves himself in the local cultures and customs. I love seeing interviews with the people giving information about everyday life. This time, it has actually made all the difference in my enthusiasm for my upcoming adventure.
Where do you go for travel inspiration?