Wanderlust Series – Interview with Alouise from Take Me to the World

Alouise Dittrick is a writer and travel enthusiast from Edmonton, Canada. She shares her love of travel and the performing arts on her blog Take Me to the World. You can follow along with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What Place Do You Often Revisit?

There are few places I revisit because I have family or friends who live there, and I always enjoy seeing them. Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; and Saskatoon; Saskatchewan are three of these places.

There are also places I’ve revisited unexpectedly. I didn’t think I’d visit New Orleans twice in one year, but I did. I’ve also made repeat visits to Victoria, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario; Las Vegas, Nevada, New Orleans, Louisiana; and New York City, New York.


Vancouver – The views in Vancouver are spectacular, no matter how many times you go

What is it About This Particular City or Country (s) That Holds a Piece of Your Heart?

I live in Edmonton, Alberta so revisiting places in Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan) is often a matter of convenience, because a lot of these places are easy enough for me to get to. It’s also expensive to fly anywhere in Canada, so if it’s a destination I can drive to within a day then it gives me a better chance of visiting that place.

The United States is a country I keep returning to because they’re close to Canada. There are many things about the US that are similar to Canada (we both speak English so getting around is easy), but there are little differences that make me realize that I’m traveling in a different country. There’s also a lot of diversity between different regions of the US, and within different states…the same could probably be said of Canada too.

I’m not one of the 70% of Canadians who live close to the US border. It’s about an 8 hour drive for me to get to the nearest US City (Great Falls, Montana), and so I usually only visit the US once a year. Often I’ll tell myself, “this year I won’t go to the US. I’ll go somewhere else,” but I’ll still find myself visiting a destination in the US. It’s close and easy to get to (by flight), and personally there are a lot of places in the US I’d love to revisit. New York City I can never tire of, and New Orleans is a city I miss every day. I’d go back there in a heartbeat. There are also a lot of places in the US I haven’t been to but want to, like Portland, Oregon. One of these days I’m gonna do a big long west coast road trip.

Is it a Feeling of Trying to Recreate Moments from Visiting the City (Listed Above)?

Please Elaborate; For Instance, in visiting Paris I may try and recreate the moments of getting lost with friends I met through Busabout. I remember we tried to find the Sacre Coeur late at night and upon finding it, we climbed to the top of the steps, sat down and drank from a bottle of wine as well as ate the baguette we brought along with us. Perfect ending to getting lost since we got the best view of the city below us.

My first visit to New Orleans was in June of 2012 and I loved the city. I loved the feeling I had wandering around the French Quarter, listening to music in the streets, eating delicious food, taking photos of the amazing architecture, and talking to the people I met.

In October that same year I got to go back to New Orleans for a very brief visit. See I had won a travel contest, a quick weekend getaway, and I invited a friend, who doesn’t get to travel much, to come along with me. I was so excited to show her the New Orleans I saw so many months ago. The trip wasn’t the same. It was much shorter, we didn’t visit the same areas I had seen, we didn’t even hear any music in the streets. I got to visit some places on the 2nd visit that I didn’t get to see the first time, and I am very grateful to have had a chance to visit New Orleans again, however brief, for free, but the experience taught me that a return visit to any place won’t be the same as the first time.

This is not necessarily a thing however. I enjoyed my 2nd visit to New York City even better than the first, because I was more familiar with traveling and didn’t feel so nervous. If I had more time in New Orleans I probably would have enjoyed my 2nd visit more, but you can’t see everything in a city like New Orleans in 36 hours.

New Orleans Streetcar

New Orleans Streetcar – A streetcar on Alouise’s first visit to New Orleans. Little did she know at the time that she would be coming back to this city just a few months later.

What Are Your Reasons for Exploring New Cities Over Revisiting the Same One Again and Again?

I don’t always plan to revisit the same places over and over again, but sometimes opportunities come up that I just can’t say no to. This summer, for example, I went to Vancouver for the 4th time because my friend wanted to do a road trip there. I had the time available to make it work, and I love road trips so we went for it.

There are always things I want to see and do in the cities I’ve been to, so I can say I’d gladly make a repeat visit to any city or country I’ve already been to. Anytime anyone says “yeah I’ve seen everything in ___” I get a little skeptical. There’s a lot to see and do in any city, and even coming back somewhere a few years later you might find things have changed.

In Exploring New Cities; How do You Decide Which Places to Visit?

Sometimes it’s a matter of where I am. A few years ago I was in Toronto for the 2nd time, and I decided to visit Montreal, Quebec, a city I’d wanted to visit for a while. Sometimes it’s a matter of being inspired by a book, or a tv show, or a blog, or something someone said. Sometimes it’s just a feeling. I didn’t have any concrete reasons for wanting to visit New Orleans outside of “it looks like a really unique city” – it was just a feeling I had, that I needed to go there so I did.

Sometimes I go somewhere for practical reasons, because there’s a good deal I can’t pass up on. That’s how I’m visiting Madrid, Spain and Helsinki, Finland in a few weeks. Neither of those places had ever really been on my travel radar, but I got a great flight deal and now I get to see two new places. Often I find the places that were never on my radar to be some of my favourites. Case in point I didn’t know much about Amsterdam before I visited that city, but I loved it.

Do You Want to Visit New Cities Because it Would be a New Experience for You?

Please Elaborate; For Instance, do you visit the Cinque Terre in Italy so that you can walk through all five villages having never experienced it before since this would be your first time visiting them.

I want to visit new cities because I love travel and I love seeing new places and learning about new cultures. Most of my travels have been within the US and Canada (with a very short 10 day trip across western Europe), so I’m really excited because next year I’ll be visiting Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Japan, which will be my first visit to Asia.

The world is very global, and online it’s easy to connect to people from around the world. It’s easy to learn about different cultures, and countries, and see and photos of amazing places from all over. It’s easier now than ever to learn about the world around us, but it’s not the same as being there. I know this. I can’t say my experience somewhere is the experience to have, because travel varies with everyone. All I can really say is a book or a blog will only take you so far. Nothing can replace the feeling of traveling and being somewhere, whether you are there for the first time or returning for the 50th time. Travel is best experienced in person.

Freemont East

Fremont East – A second visit to Las Vegas meant Alouise got to check out more of Fremont Street and downtown