America, Canadian, Interviews

Mike C.

1. Where are you originally from (country and city)?

I’m originally from Scarborough which is located on the east side of Toronto, Canada.

2. Do you currently live in the same place where you were born?

Scarborough is where I was born and raised. My parents have lived in the same house for 30 years. It’s a very vibrant and extremely diverse area of Toronto. I moved back home after traveling and working in Europe for a few years.

3. What do you do for a living?

I am currently a substitute teacher for a school board in Toronto.

4. What kind of traveler do you think you are?

 I’m a very adventurous and outgoing traveler. I like to explore new cities and towns, even if they don’t have the best reputation. I can enjoy myself anywhere I go. I like to try local customs and activities that celebrate culture. I also love just chilling out and relaxing on a beach somewhere.

5.  What is important for you while traveling and why are you traveling?

I love to learn about the local history and explore significant sites. I enjoy trying different foods and meeting new people.

I’m currently traveling as a facilitator for a not-for-profit organization. I’m hosting a high school class from Canada. Our group will be building a new foundation for a school classroom in rural India, just outside of Udaipur. Our organization also builds hospitals, develops water projects, creates farms, and provides women and families with economic opportunities that allows them to be financially self-sufficient. We work in many places around the world. As a facilitator, I ensure that the group is safe and having a positive experience. It’s also my duty to ensure that we are being respectful of local customs and that my students are aware of the diverse set of challenges that locals face in rural India. It is a highly rewarding experience and I highly recommend that everyone partakes in a service trip at least once in their life.

6. What kind of travel advice would you give others?

  • Be open minded.
  • Things in other countries are different, not wrong.
  • Get to know locals.
  • Automatically introduce yourself to other people in your hostel or accommodation. It will break down barriers right away.
  • Have a few fun games or ice breakers in your back pocket during hostel parties.

7. What is your next mission/trip?

I am heading to Mexico in May for a friend’s wedding. We are staying in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort.

Travel tip for all-inclusive resorts: Bring your own giant cup, preferably a Bubba that will keep your drink cold in the hot sun. The resorts often give you small plastic cups which you finish quickly and then you must line up again for another drink. If you bring your own Bubba, they will fill it up for you and you won’t have to constantly deal with going back and forth to the bar. It’s also more environmentally friendly.

8. What is the best place you visited so far?

It’s very hard to choose one destination as the best. My top three choices include:

  1. Barcelona, Spain – The culture, food, and partying are incredible.
  2. Masai Mara, Kenya – Its absolutely stunning and you can do a safari to see all the wild animals.
  3. Marrakesh, Morrocco – It’s a very rich culture and experience. They have many shops and markets. They also have one of the largest public squares in Africa.

9. What is a place you want to visit in the future?

I really want to go to Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.

10. What is your favorite place in your home country that you would recommend to others?

I would recommend visiting Toronto, Canada. It offers a very large multicultural city with plenty of delicious food, shopping, and site seeing. I highly recommend visiting the new Ripley’s Aquarium and grabbing a drink at the Steam Whistle Brewery across the street. Also, there are plenty of sports teams in Toronto and its always worth watching a game. (hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, etc)

The Toronto Island is a beautiful island located just a 15 minute boat ride from the downtown core. There’s plenty of nature and wildlife in and around the island. The atmosphere and serenity feels like you are visiting cottage country. They have walking trails, boats, kayaks, canoes, restaurants and bars. When your finished, you can easily hop on the ferry to take you right back to the big city.

11. (If answer to Q2 is “No”) What is your favorite place in your current country that you would recommend to others?


12. Do you have any other tips or tricks based on your experience that you wish to share?

My tips for Traveling in India:

  • Try the cheap street food. Just make sure it’s well cooked
  • Bring a large reusable water bottle and fill it up at your accommodation before you leave for the day
  • The subway is cheap and effective in Mumbai and Delhi
  • Try the rickshaws (tuk tuk) at least once. Its fun!!!
  • Uber is also cheap. You can show it to the rickshaw drivers to get a fair price
  • Be brave walking through traffic.
  • India is a very safe country. However people might try to overcharge you. Be careful!
  • Negotiate prices and don’t be afraid to pretend to walk away from a deal. If they want your money, they will call you back.
  • Make friends in hostels and hotels. Other travelers will watch your back.
  • Embrace the chaos.
  • Have fun!!!!!!!



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