Travel Interview with Emilie: Travel Sketching


You're an awesome traveller. Can you tell us some of the places you visited?

For work, I visited many places along the Canadian coast.  I went and relax on nice hot beaches in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Cuba, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.  I travelled to discover new cultures, different scenery, and architecture in London and Paris. I went on an organised trip to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia.  I recently started to do some travel sketching and that brought me to middle and eastern Europe, New Orleans, Tanzania, Kenya, and recently to the beautiful Okanagan Valley.

"Emilie, I would like to put a flag on an Iceberg."

What are some of the strangest most unique experiences you’ve had on the road and what are some of the similarities you’ve found no matter where you go?

I got to put a flag on an iceberg up north. That was quite unique. Experiencing 24 hours of daylight is also special.  I remember going out at the Top of the World club in Thule, Greenland.  At the end of the evening, I was slightly under the effect of alcohol and it was time to go back on ship. When I left the bar, it was so strange that at 2h00 in the morning the sun was shining. To add to the strangeness of the image, there were numerous jack rabbits standing still all over the land. Weird. In Africa, it's also particular to see animal in their actual habitat, free and happy.

As for the similarities, hum, I guess no matter where you go, we can find street, houses, people with the twist given by the ones using them regularly, which is interesting to see how each society approach these needs.

Why do you think you travel?

I travel to discover, open my mind to what else is out there, to relax, and so I don’t get comfortable at home doing nothing.

For how long have you been travelling?

I’ve been travelling since 2009, but only since last year did I start travel sketching.

What is the first memory you have of travel? How old were you and what feelings or senses still stick with you?

My first memory dates from a long long time ago. I was two or three years old. I went with my family to Walt Disney World and, for some reason, I remember being crazy scared of Goofy.

If we talk about more recent days, I was 27, in Paris, thinking how lucky I was to be there.

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

I’m 34.

How does your age effect your decisions when travelling? If you were 21, would you do things differently? What if you were 65?

I think as far as age goes, I'm more confident in myself. Fear has less control over where I decide to go.  For the rest, I think it’s more my physical shape that could affect my decisions as far as travelling is concerned; more comfortable hotels, shorter days, wild hiking, and so on.

Again, if you don't mind me asking, how would you describe your fitness level and do you have any injuries or limitations?

I’m healthy, but not in good shape.  So, I usually plan a smooth travel where I can relax and not be rushed.

There are a lot of people who want to travel but often have a long list of excuses not to. How do you overcome any limitations, physical or mental, when you travel?

I usually get excited and book a trip. Then excuses to give up appear in my head and can be quite tenacious, but since I invested money, I go anyway.  Once I’m there, so far, I’ve always been happy I didn’t let these excuses stop me.

Can you describe your work or income source?

I work on a Canadian coast guard ship as a navigation officer, which gives me a lot of time to travel; I work on a 28-day on and off schedule.

"When I was in Namibia, I skydived."

Our regular job can also be a passion and very rewarding beside travelling. Do you have any related achievements or adventures you would like to share?   

The captain came up to me one day with a very special request: "Emilie, I would like to put a flag on an iceberg."  I worked very hard to paint a flag on a bed sheet with ship paint and since I worked so hard on it, they allowed me to go with the team to put it up on the iceberg.

Many modern lifestyle are ideal for travel, but there are still things that can pose genuine roadblocks, for instance having pets or children, even romantic relationships. Do you have any of these types of responsibilities and how do you handle them when comes time to travel?

Well I have a cat that my parents take care off when I go to work or travel.

Who do you mainly travel with?

I travelled with my parents, on my own, and with friends.  

Are you comfortable travelling alone? If yes: What do you suggest for people who are not comfortable travelling alone to get over their fear? If no: What do you do to overcome this fear or to find a partner to travel with when everyone you know is busy?

I’m not comfortable travelling alone, but it's that or staying home and missing out on what the world has to offer.  That being said, I wouldn’t travel alone everywhere.  I'd go to places I feel safe, mainly where there is no conflicts and where they speak French or English.  

"One of the villager wanted to give 10 cows to my dad so he will be allowed to marry me…"

How is your relationship with food while on the road? Do you stick to a diet? Do you try local dishes even when they are strange to you?

I have a very sensitive digestive system so I’m careful, but it’s generally the same routine as home. I always have Imodium caplets with me and I take probiotics everyday.  

What is the most daring thing you have done while travelling?

When I was in Namibia, I skydived. It was quite amazing as on one side was the ocean and on the other was the deser. The feeling of free falling is amazing.

What was your biggest cultural shock?

When I was in Tanzania, we went to visit a Masai village.  That was different.  One of the villager wanted to give 10 cows to my dad so he'd be allowed to marry me…  Luckily, my dad said no!

Have you ever been injured, sick, or in a dangerous situation? How was it resolved?

I just had some ingestions here and there, nothing serious.  In the worst cases, I made people wait after me. Luckily, I carry Imodium pills with me at all time!

Were there moments where you wished you could have stayed longer or are you always happy to come back home?

There are always mixed feelings for me:  I never want my trips to end, but after 2 weeks, I start to feel the need to head home.  So, I never do more than 3 weeks.

What is next on your bucket list?

Going to Japan in the fall with a friend who sketches too. It should be fun!

What is the place you would most recommend and which one would least recommend? Why?

Most recommended?  I think I would recommend all the places I’ve been, depending on people’s interests… hehehe.

Could you share a few travelling tips and tricks with our users that have been useful to you over the years?

One of the things I’ve learned is that I usually bring way too much stuff.  With all the travelling I did, I don’t bring anymore the things I didn’t use on my previous trips. Light luggage is great.

Emilie and Marie in Disneyland Paris, France

What is the best way for people and new fans to see what are up to?

Who Am I? I'm many things. I'm passionate about tons of stuff. I love travel. I love self-improvement. I'm a sucker for optimization, efficiency, and minimalism. I renewed with mathematics and science, those are so amazing. Astronomy and chemistry are just plain awesome! I'm a student, a mentor, a traveler, a learner, an artist, an animator, and Disney brings me tears of joy! I love to grow and I will never stop! So who am I? All that and everything else I have not discovered about myself yet. It's a never ending answer!

Qui suis je? Je suis beaucoup de choses. Je suis passionné des tonnes de trucs. J'adore voyager. J'adore la croissance personnelle. Je suis vendue à l'optimisation, l'efficacité et le minimalisme. J'ai renoué avec les mathématiques et les sciences, des mondes tout simplement incroyable. L'astronomie et la chimie sont tout simplement génial! Je suis étudiante, mentor, voyageuse, artiste, animatrice et Disney m'apporte des larmes de joie! J'aime me pousser à fond et je ne cesserai jamais! Alors, qui suis-je? Tout cela et tout le reste que je n'ai pas encore découvert de moi-même. C'est une réponse sans fin!