Last Bits Of Autumn: Life Travel Updates From Audrey of That Backpacker

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Well, we are in full-fledged winter mode around these parts! We had our first snowfall a couple of weeks back, and as I look out the window today I feel like I’m in a snow globe. The white stuff is coming down heavy.  I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas and all that comes with it – ice-skating, visits to the Christmas market, and lots of cookies and mulled wine – but before I get all festive on you, I wanted to share a few autumn photos from the last couple of months here in Kingston.

A sunny morning around main campus.

Autumn at her very best.

The view from my balcony = free ticket to the Homecoming football game. (We won!)

Limestone, climbing ivy, and sunshine.

There’s a little historic village down my street and this is the local church.

Ahh, blue skies! Haven’t seen those in days.

Life lately

I don’t feel like I have that much to share since my days seem to revolve solely around school, but I guess that’s the life of a student. The good news is that this program is flying by! I survived my very first teaching placement, which was 6 weeks in length, and in 2 weeks time I will have officially completed my first semester. By the time the New Year rolls around I’ll only have 4 more months left, and 1 of those is being spent overseas, so the end is nigh. PTL!

I have to admit, I really miss the stimulation of travelling, facing ridiculous challenges, and being on my own schedule. I did enjoy my placement and I had a great group of students, but travel is tugging at my heart strings a little louder than I expected. Seriously, I’ve turned to watching documentaries about climbers attempting K2 in Pakistan and hippies sailing down to Easter Island, needless to say, I’m experiencing a serious case of wanderlust.


Upcoming trips

Washington D.C.

About a month ago I got an email that I couldn’t quite believe…it was from the White House. I stared at the screen blankly wondering, “is this for real?” As it turns out, this week the White House will be hosting a Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship and I was one of the travel bloggers invited to attend.

I just received my itinerary last week and it’s going to be a jam-packed day. A few of the highlights will include a tour of the White House all decked out for Christmas, a luncheon at the National Press Club, a briefing with senior administration officials, and an evening at the Newseum. I’ve also booked myself a couple of extra days to do some sightseeing around the capitol and some of the memorials, so it should be a lot of fun! If you want to follow along on social media you can check out the #WHTravelBloggers hashtag.

What I’m reading

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I was drawn to this book by the cover alone (don’t judge!) Honestly, I’ve been reading a lot of journal articles and research papers for school, and all I wanted was a bit of a mindless, entertaining read that had nothing to do with academia. I can’t say I’m loving the book so far (I’m getting lost in the cast of socialites and extended family), but it is mildly entertaining.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I’m really enjoying Cutting for Stone. It’s already transported me from India to Ethiopia by ship, and I’m hooked on the mystery and the secrets around the characters. Cutting for Stone tells the story of two twin brothers who were born of the union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon, and well, it’s all very complicated. I’ll leave it at that.

Also, if you have any good book recommendations, let me know in the comments section. I’m looking for some books to read over the Christmas holidays!

Cool stories around the internet

Stray dog found in the jungle treks miles with adventure team to his forever home

If you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy read, this is it! A Swedish team was competing in the Adventure World Racing Championship, a 430-mile race through the jungle, when they came across a stray dog. The dog and the team soon became inseparable, and well, that pup earned himself a new loving home…in Sweden!

Brave or insane? This woman cross dressed her way across Afghanistan

Candace Lau is a 28-year-old Chinese-Australian photographer who took a year off work to travel on the cheap through India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran…and she’s been dressing as a boy while doing so.

Pigs can’t fly: pot-bellied hog taken on plane for ’emotional support’ kicked off

Soooo, an American woman brought a 70-pound pot-bellied pig on board for “emotional support”. She managed to make it through security, but the pig became a bit unruly once they were on the plane and the two were escorted off… Whaaat?!

What have you been up to this past month?

Join the Conversation


  1. says: De'Jav

    Nice pics liked the lime stone building. Studying will be totally worth it when you finished it will not have even seemed that long. Enjoy DC and congrats.

  2. says: Charlie

    Lovely autumn photos, Canada in the autumn has such beautiful colours! And congrats on the white house invite, very well deserved to be among the bloggers invited! Thanks for sharing the book recommendation too, I’m always looking for new books to read.

  3. says: Rebekah

    Oh fall- its such a great time of year but I agree – I don’t celebrate it until fall. I actually refuse to eat anything pumplin flavored until September and stop the second December comes. It makes me enjoy it more.

  4. says: Justine

    Whenever I’m not traveling I always take to watching documentaries. Last year I watched like every mountain climbing movie ever made – Touching the Void, North Face, etc. I’m sure the next few months will fly by. Hang in there!

  5. Such cool news about the White House! Well done 🙂 Looking forward to hearing all about your experiences there.

    And I have to say, I love all your autumn photos! As someone who’s spent the last eight years in the Middle East and Asia, I’ve MISSED the season so much!

  6. says: Eric @ Poplar Travels

    Such refreshing autumn photos. We will be having a hot winter here in Thailand this year and I miss the snow already. Have a blast in D.C. the Newseum is one of my favorite museums. I lived and worked in D.C. for 3 years so if you’d like any suggestions on what to see, feel free to contact us on our website!

  7. Lovely uni photos. University was always such a calm and serene place for me. It was a rude awakening when I landed in the world of reality! Congratulations on being invited and honoured as a blogger, to The White House. We want to hear all about it!

  8. oh how I feel you about the blue skies! Here in Munich I haven’t seen a single ray of sun going on four weeks now!!! Love the photos with the colorful leaves against the gray buildings — really made both elements in the photos pop 🙂 Happy travels and passport stamp collecting!

  9. says: Katie

    I’m excited to hear all about the visit to the White House! And lovely fall pics, by the way! Cutting for Stone has been on my must read list for ages, I’ve got a long flight coming up in a couple months, and it’s coming with me!

  10. says: Jennifer

    If you like Cutting For Stone I guarantee you will like “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” and the sequel “A well-tempered heart” both by Jans Phillipe-Sendker!

  11. says: Emma Knapp

    These photos are beautiful, Canada looks absolutely stunning in the autumn! I definitely need to add ‘visit Canada in the Autumn’ to my ever growing travel list!

    I’m with you on the missing the daily travelling lifestyle! I’m longing to hit the road a little more permanently, I moved to London earlier this year but spent a few months travelling through Nepal and India before arriving here. While I absolutely love London, and am lucky to still be getting a lot of shorter travel in I can’t wait to become a full time traveller again!

    Also, congrats on the WH Travel Bloggers invite!

    Emma x

  12. I read Cutting for Stone while I was doing the Trans-Siberian last summer. It was such a great train ride read. Perfect for those long hours and looking out the window. Congrats on the big invite! Will be amazing I’m sure.
    See you in Southern Ontario??

  13. says: Glamourous Traveller

    Those autumn pictures look wonderful. I guess it’s not the worst time to be home/ school bound. A beautiful walk to school would always perk me up.

    And congrats!! on the white house invite! Looking forward to reading about it. Sounds amazing1

  14. says: Viv

    I think autumn pictures are my favorites, the colors are just beautiful! Also, if you’re looking for an easy and fun read, maybe check out ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ if you haven’t already.

  15. says: Emma

    Canada looks stunning in Autumn! Will have to make sure I visit sometime during autumn!!

    Good luck with your 4 months left of school! I’m sure it will fly by and you will be off traveling again soon. I moved to London about 9 months ago after a few months of travelling around Nepal & India and I’m definitely ready to hit the road and be a full time traveller again! I love London and I’m pretty lucky with how often I’ve still managed to travel while being here but it’s not quite the same as the freedom of travelling fulltime.

    Congrats on the White House invite!! That is incredible, definitely well deserved 🙂

    Emma x

    (PS – I’m sure I commented on this yesterday but it seems to have disappeared, so apologies if you get 2 similar comments from me!

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