I just got back from a few days (not long enough!) vacation in Montreal. I'll be posting some more photos and other things soon, but a few things that are fresh in my mind about this great city and international travel in general:
- If you have the opportunity, take any chance you can to travel abroad. Especially to places where English isn't the primary language, it really puts things into perspective.
- French is probably the most intimidating language I have ever encountered. It seems too elegant for me to attempt to speak it. I feel like I am mangling a beautiful rose when I try.
- Poutine is DELICIOUS
- Google Transit directions are amazing. I would have been lost on this trip without them. They helped me get around the Metro on both train and bus and were extremely accurate with times and ETA's when doing so. Yet another reason not to use Apple Maps.
- If you are going to try to learn a few phrases in the native tongue to assist in getting around during any international trip I highly recommend learning how to say "I'm sorry" (in my case je suis désolé). I'll be honest I did not use it much because of my fear of mangling it, but I'd be willing to bet it goes a long way when trying to interact with locals. In the few times I got the courage to attempt to speak French, I got a genuine sense of appreciation.
I've said it before, if you live in the Northeast this is the best budget international vacation you can get. There are so many things to do. Historic sights, a good nightlife scene, and amazing food; all within a few hours drive depending on where you live. I can't wait for my next visit.