May 09, 2015

10 Years Ago

I'd like to share a journey with you, a trip that I took 10 years ago...

I left Toronto on May 5th, 2005 and experienced a year's worth of adventures, friendships and stunning views.

Several months prior, I had this strong desire to do something different. I knew I wanted to see more of the world, to draw new things, to meet people from different cultures, to see unusual landscapes and to experience different ways of living.

Then I started reading travel books, and emailing artists from Singapore to New Zealand, and figuring out a budget. The more I researched, the more feasible it seemed to become! I made a decision: to travel around the opposite side of the world for 1 year.

It became a mission, there was no stopping me. And it probably gave me strength to get through the harder parts. Saying goodbye to everyone for a whole year isn’t easy! I left a good job, sold almost everything I owned and relied on a Lonely Planet to help guide me where to eat, sleep and how to say hello in every language.

So I put everything I needed into a backpack and flew to Hong Kong. It wasn’t until I was on the flight, and the pilot announced, that I realized the day… “Welcome aboard, on the 5th day of the 5th month of 2005… 05.05.05!!! Andrea's Number says 5 means big change—and May 5th also happens to be her birthday :)

Throughout the year, I took about 20,000 photographs and filled 11 sketchbooks. I did keep a blog, although this was right before Facebook and social media, when most things were shared privately. So now I’d like to share those photos and sketches that many of you never saw. And I’m looking forward to reliving every day of those experiences and conversations and beautiful things from 10 years ago.

I hope you enjoy this 1 year journey!

Follow me here on Instagram, as I post a photo a day...


  1. Rob Reid8:52 am

    Hi Pam, reading your blog has totally brightened up my rather overcast day in Bristol. It's great to see you taking the time to post a small number of the 20k photos you took on your travels. I've not signed up on Instagram until now, but this has encouraged me to do so. I'm going to enjoy being taken along for the ride.. :-)

    1. Hello and thank you Rob! So happy to hear it's cheerful to read. I'm also feeling invigorated just "re-living" the adventure all over again! This is so much fun--and in a few months we'll meet in NZ...

  2. It's almost 10 years to do the day since I started my adventures. In fact, I reckon I left these fare shores around your birthday - monumental for many reasons.. Maybe I should take the opportunity to pop my Instagram cherry by rekindling some of the magic from NZ and beyond. Look out for a new follower in due course...

    1. Yes Instagram is so much fun! I think you'll find it just as exciting to do the same thing and post a photo a day of where you were 10 years ago. I'd love to follow all your pics too!