A talkfest with the Canadian Deuce

elaine weeks traveler travel dejavu

Canadian Novelists traveling the globe rekindling their past memories of courtship and honeymoon and living it up with three decades of their marriage.

What are your plans for this calendar year 2016 considering the fact that you are marking 30 legendary years of your nuptial life?

We are visiting 16 countries in four months this year: Vietnam, Thailand, (Bali) Indonesia, (Dubai) united Emirates, (Prague) Czech Republic, (Berlin) Germany, (Amsterdam) The Netherlands, (Paris) France, and Iceland! We have been hiding from Canada’s cold winters for the last four years years by travelling through South East Asia, but decided this year to round out our trip by spending April in Europe to celebrate our 30th year of marriage. Also, this year marks the 30th anniversary of our year-long backpacking honeymoon around the world. On that memorable trip we visited 22 countries.

elaine weeks travel dejavu

Believe it or not, we are still backpacking as we like the freedom of travel it provides. But, we learned a hard lesson on that first round the world trip: don’t bring a big pack! You don’t wear everything that you thought you couldn’t live without so you don’t need that much room. (If you forget something, you can usually buy it.) You can put a small pack in the overhead bins on planes so that saves time when you arrive at destinations, and best of all, small packs are lighter. (I was actually able to find a small pack with wheels!)

Mexico 1976 & Mexico 2016: Then and now. How would you like to compare both?

This doesn’t apply to us as we won’t be travelling to Mexico this year.  😀

You are the best selling Canadian author and your book ‘Time Trespasser ‘ has garnered fame for you. How will you compare your book and yourself both as a time traveler and a globe trotter?

My husband and I have written several books bursting with amazing old photos that highlight the history of the border region of Windsor Ontario and Detroit Michigan. They have helped thousands of people learn and appreciate the unique relationship between two cities from two different countries that share a long and surprising heritage. When we tour the streets of either city, we often feel a sense of déjà vous when we compare in our heads the photos from back in time with what we are seeing in the present.

We also feel like time travelers when we visit countries in Europe because of the history that is alive everywhere we look. The spectacular old buildings and the unique traditions that have carried on for hundreds of years make us feel transported back in time. And when we visit countries like Thailand and Indonesia, with their crazy juxtaposition of old and new, there is also that uncanny sense that we have slipped back in time.

What is the kind of fascination you have with South East Asia?

vietnam locals travel dejavu

We love travelling in South East Asia for many many reasons. The food, the culture, the history, the people, the hot weather, the topography (so many beautiful beaches!) and the affordability, which allows us to stay there for months at a time. For example, four weeks in Bali is equivalent to a week in Paris. And, to top it off, Bali is a whole lot warmer in the winter!

How would you compare Canada with the other parts of the world as you are a Canadian yourself?

We love Canada. When we travel to other countries, we hope to leave the people we meet with a good impression about our country and Canadians.

It might sound a little strange but we wish Canada was smaller. It is a huge country so travelling through it is time consuming and expensive. For example, our son lives in Montreal, which is a ten-hour drive from where we live (Windsor). Taking the train is no faster as we don’t have bullet trains yet and rail travel is a lot more expensive than driving. Flying is fast – about two hours, but very expensive. Accommodation is also costly. As a result, we don’t see our son as much as we would like. Our daughter goes to school in Vancouver. One year, we drove her back to school after she had been home for the summer. It took five days!

But, since Canada is such a big country, it has so many differences and there is much to see and do. In fact it is pretty well mind-boggling! So, not only is Canada a destination for people from other countries, it is also common for Canadians to put certain areas in the country on their bucket list of travel. We have driven to both coasts, to northern Ontario, and have seen each one of our five Great Lakes, but it almost feels like we’ve merely scratched the surface. 
We really like our city because of the beautiful heritage neighborhood we live in (the former town of Walkerville, which was built for the employees working in Hiram Walker’s whisky distillery. Perhaps you’ve heard of Canadian Club whisky?), our multi-culturalism (at last count, we have people from 140 countries living in Windsor), the proximity to the countryside where we can buy fresh produce, the beauty of the different seasons, and the bonus of being in such close proximity to Detroit.

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