Heading into the world…

By Caitlin Kelly


I’m on an airplane today, for the first time in almost a year, the last time also headed back to the city where I grew up and lived for 25 years, Toronto, a 90-minute flight from New York.

Last June I flew up for only three days, (a splurge we couldn’t really afford), to attend the wedding reception of a dear old friend, marrying at 70. It was an elegant crowd, many of the guests sporting a tiny white enamel flower lapel pin — a signal to the cognoscenti that they had won the Order of Canada.

This time I’m heading north to renew my passport and to take a badly needed break from work, from the U.S. and from the daily stress of life under a President whose behavior leaves me, at this point, adjectivally challenged.

I don’t really miss Toronto as a city. Housing is very expensive and often not of great quality. Winters are long, cold and gray (or grey, as Canadians spell it.) Traffic is now monstrous.


But I do miss my dear friends, people I’ve known since summer camp and high school and university and my first newspaper job. I’ve stayed in close touch with them and can’t wait to see them again.

I’m also planning an extensive — six week — trip to Europe, beginning in early June to celebrate my birthday (again!) in Paris with my husband and some friends who live there and some friends who’ll come over from London to share our rented apartment. (I’ll be blowing through some savings. Gulp!)

I’ll have one week there with Jose, who then flies home to photo edit a major golf tournament in Wisconsin. We’ve been to Paris together several times, usually staying in a rented apartment on the Ile St. Louis, (this time in the Marais.)

I know the city well, having been many times and having lived there for eight months on a journalism fellowship.

Then I’ll head off solo to wander, something I’ve done many times before.


I know people in various parts of the world, so that even new-to-me places like Berlin contain people I’m eager to finally meet, like this blogger and two Twitter pals, one of them an archeologist.

From Berlin, I’ll head to Budapest to meet up with my best friend from university and one of her grown daughters.

I’m also looking forward to visiting and writing about Korda Studios, near Budapest, one of the largest sound stages in Europe — where The Martian was filmed.

One of the fun things about being a journalist is that I sometimes find great stories to write about while traveling, and can then deduct some of my travel costs while working there as legitimate business expenses.

After Budapest…not sure yet!


I’ll finish up that trip with a visit to my friend C in London, who writes the fab blog Small Dog Syndrome. We share passions for several things, including beauty products, great food and vintage clothes. We had a blast the last time roaming Bermondsey Market and a few flea markets.

Another friend has moved there, so I’ll have another playmate; it’s a real luxury to travel and to re-connect with pals abroad.

In 2016, I only left home for six days’ vacation; three in D.C. and three in Toronto, all in June — not enough for me, having so far been to 38 countries, 38 American states and most of Canada.

I love to savor the familiarity of beloved old haunts and the excitement of making new discoveries.


Are you heading out into the world on an adventure this year?

22 thoughts on “Heading into the world…

  1. I’ve been travelling a lot for work this past year. Mostly in the US but have been to Canada. Unfortunately this work has meant hotels and indoor work in casinos. So little time to sightsee. Enjoy your trip, I am envious.

      1. Thanks. Yes, we’ve had a busy few years. Moving country back to be with the family, so some things have slipped. But I’m getting settled again and finding time to write, read and take pictures once more. Although going back from self-employment to paid work has meant a change in habits.

  2. Oh Caitlin, you’re heading into a terrible snow storm. It has just started and will carry on for a few days, I hear. Do keep warm and I do apologize for the awful weather.

  3. Enjoy your adventuring! I hope you don’t get too snowed under in Toronto.

    Your European trip sounds wonderful. Six weeks! Now that’s a holiday. 🙂

    What month will you be in London? It would be fun to meet for coffee if you have some free time and if I’m not away.

    I’m planning a few adventures this year: Spain in May or June, and a two-week holiday on the Scottish west coast in June/July. A few short UK breaks and long weekends, then maybe another European break (maybe Spain again!) in the autumn.

  4. have a wonderful, wonderful adventure, full of special moments and people and places. it is worth whatever it will cost you and more. as for me, i have a desire to take a cross-country train trip, possibly this summer. fingers crossed )

    1. Thanks!

      YES, take the train cross country!!! I have a blog post in the archives about my train trip from NY to Minneapolis….but I also did the entire trip in the summer of 2003. I started in Chicago and went out to Seattle, then returned the whole way from Seattle to NY — you have to change trains in Chicago.

      It’s one of the best trips I’ve ever taken anywhere in my life. It truly helped me much better understand what it means to be American….the diversity of that HUGE nation, geographically and among fellow passengers. I still see some of those landscapes in my memory, fresh as yesterday.

      1. good to know, and i once took a cross country bus trip just to talk to the people about why they were on the bus. had a great time. this time, i’d love to do the train. also would love to do the canadian version one day.

      2. The train is amazing — they have an observation car with seats that face the windows and you just sit and watch the nation flash by. It’s SO cool.

        Yes, Jose really wants to do the X-Canada one as well. Realistically, the western bit is the one to do — the Rockies!

  5. Yes – #45 is exhausting -that’s the plan I believe. Exhaust people, confuse them, make them think they’re losing it so that no one can stay focused long enough to nail that deceitful turd (who has likely been financed by Russian banks). Yikes.
    But I’m jealous – I love the Marais. 🙂
    Try not to get buried in 30 cm of snow in TO. 🙂 I’m in the NWT right now with a great job that is paying huge (or yuge 😉 ) bucks. It’s cold though.

    1. It feels SO good to be back in Canada, even for a week. Luckily I have lots of warm clothes, so I’m OK.

      What’s the job???? So glad to hear this one has worked out. YUGE bucks are wonderful. 🙂

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