Travel and photography: my two loves

I’ve been staring at my computer for past forty minutes trying to come up with a witty and interesting post for you to enjoy this beautiful Thursday afternoon. My head is finally clear after a struggle with bronchitis. And…. nothing. My mind is blank. I have nothing at the moment.

So, to cheat, I’m going through older photos of some of my trips that I would love to share with fellow travelers and photographers.

Photography and travel – my two loves

Photography and travel. Two of my finest loves. Unfortunately, time and money just doesn’t allow for much of it. Health also prevents me from traveling great distances. But I have a passion and love for my country. I’ve been to almost every major city in Canada. Almost. I have a few more I need to get to – before I venture outside the country.

Where have I been? In the last six years, I’ve managed to more travel than I did in twenty years. That’s mostly because I was working contract and did not get paid vacation time. I’ve been from coast to coast – Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto, Montreal – all on my own. And quite the adventure was had.

This one time, in band camp….

My experience as a clarinet player in the Edmonton All City Sr. Band, took me across the province to compete in festivals in Banff, Jasper and Red Deer. In junior high, we traveled to B.C. and stayed with local families wile participating in summer band camps.

We were a pretty impressive orchestra. Minus the stringed instruments. taken in 1996? I think.

Yes, I was a band geek and I’m not ashamed of it. I had some pretty amazing experiences and played with some pretty amazing musicians. I’ll write more about that later.

Alberta born – means lots of Alberta travel

Personally, I have visited all over Alberta and BC. I loved Vernon, Kamloops, Victoria, Kimberly – and many more little towns were explored along the way. Radium Hot Springs will always have a special place in my heart for fond memories of hiking there. Kelowna of course, has a soft spot in my heart because of my family that lives there.

Some of my favorite spots in Alberta as of course, the mountains. Unfortunately, the cost of a hotel room during peak seasons – makes travel nearly impossible now to Banff and Jasper. Canmore and Cochrane are two smaller towns that are just as beautiful. Hinton deserves an honourable mention. And Calgary, okay. I can’t forget to mention you. You are gorgeous too.

Wendy Jensen – Banff, AB, 2012

Riding all night in an 18 wheeler – a summer of love romance, and long-hauling

In my younger years, I traveled quite a bit with my then “partner” Steve, who was a trucker. I don’t know if you can call him a partner. He was more a friend, who took me out for dinner when he was in town in between long hauls. We’d drive all night listening to 80’s rock music with the windows down of his 18 wheeler. We drove to Calgary back and forth several times. And he also took me to Saskatchewan for the day. Now those were fond memories. Sadly, we lost touch over the years and I haven’t been able to locate him since he moved to Texas.

I miss those days. Not just because of Steve, but because of how carefree and adventurous I was. I trusted everyone I met. Contrary to now, everyone is a suspect until proven innocent. Maybe that’s for the better, right? But Steve. I have nothing but fond memories of Steve. I even started writing a book about him last year. I should really finish that.

But anyway. let’s get back to travel photos. We didn’t have smart phones back then so I have no photos to share with you of those over night trips.

Where have I been so far?

Traveling solo, as a single passenger is sometimes difficult. Add on the fact that I don’t drive and it makes it that much more difficult to find places that have excellent transit and are pedestrian friendly. Toronto was great for this. I saw more than I expected to – even though I didn’t get to do everything on my list. And I did it all on my own. But I was smart about it – I did a lot of research before the trip. But the best part of the trip was a toss up between the Hockey Hall of Fame and the beautiful views shown below on the Waterfront Harbour tours. They were both worth every penny. I’ll share more from this trip soon.

Toronto, July 2019 – well worth the experience

Wendy Jensen – Views of downtown Toronto from the lakes.

Montreal, 2017

In 2017, I visited Montreal to take part in the Royal Canadian College of Organists joint conference with their American partners. Over 1500 church musician and clergy met up in Montreal to celebrate and learn about classical organ music. I took part in a few workshops. But unfortunately, I was not in great shape to really explore the city. Some highlights of the trip were: Notre Dame Cathedral, The Basilica, Le maison symphonique during the Jazz Festival, and just wandering down the underground city on a really hot day with 99% humidity.

I was thrilled to find a Tim Horton’s within walking distance of the dorm rooms. That was also the summer I learned to never stay in a dorm room again. Never. Again. But the main highlight of the trip was getting to enjoy cocktails on the 56 floor of Place Marie Ville. Even though we got stuck in the elevator for a few frightening moments!

Toronto and Montreal were definitely two of my most exciting trips. But I adored Halifax and would definitely return. I loved learning about the local history and getting to see the docks where my family docked when they arrived in Canada in the late 50’s.

There are so many more places I want to visit. Travel in Canada is just so expensive – I’m always looking for groups or people to connect with and explore this great country of ours. I would love to blog more about my experiences – especially as a musician traveling abroad.

Where would I like to travel?

The list is beyond long. But money and time are the two factors preventing me from visiting all the places I want to see in my life time. I have a few provinces I need to see in Canada before exploring the U.S. There’s the Yukon – which I definitely need a travel partner for.

NFLD, Cape Breton, PEI – most of the eastern provinces. I was thinking that a car tour from Boston to Cape Breton would be amazing. My friend from Germany did this back in 2014. We met up together in Halifax and enjoyed some beers at an Irish pub. We are desperately trying to match up our travel plans for this next year.

Long distance travel – Denmark is of course a top priority. I’ve never been and have many family and friends over there now from my time volunteering at my church. I enjoy learning about my family heritage. My one regret is not traveling with my father when he was still in good health to do so. One day soon – I hope.

Care to donate?

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Thanks for stopping by.

Read more about my adventures here: Travel Page

1 comment

  1. Wendy Jensen

    So, I just realized I’m quickly approaching my media limit on this site. Can anyone make some recommendations on good photography hosting sites that are free?

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