Without a doubt it’s hard to imagine the times when women only took care of their house chores and were just a kind of decoration in the company of their husbands. 21st century is a time, which encourages us to take up all sorts of activities, that’s why more and more educated women are deciding to follow their dreams, not only when it comes to their career plans, but also to their passions.
There’s nothing more beautiful than the possibility to broaden one’s mind through getting to know new cultures and countries while traveling to the furthest corners of the world. One can do it in a number of ways traveling by car or even riding a bike, which allows travelers to strengthen the emotions and lessons they have a chance to experience, the ones related to their trips in terms of logistics, physical exertion and mental challenges. Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Marinella Yule – an avid traveler, a long distance cyclist and a fan of pole dance, who will tell you a little bit about her trips, the reasons why she took up long distance cycling and whether everyone can try one’s luck in pole dancing.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Marinella: Hey! My name is Marinella and I have been traveling ever since I could remember. As of writing, I have been to 42 countries and 48 states of the United States (driving to all except Hawaii). I speak English natively, Spanish fluently, and French conversationally (but I’m still practicing!). I currently live in Montreal, Canada, but who knows where I will go next! Though I was born in America, I am dual citizen with Canada. My profession is marketing, which I run my own company and I teach English as a foreign language (TEFL certified). This is all in addition to writing for my travel blog.
Passion Piece: You’re originally from the USA, but now you live in Canada. What made you move to Montreal?
Marinella: So the story to how I got to Montreal is a bit long: Originally, I am from California, but I then went to university in Boston. In university, I lived for 6 months in Argentina. After graduating, I wanted to go somewhere new for new experiences and to travel. I decided to move to Europe. Since I am not an EU citizen, I had to apply for a visa to stay long term as well as to work. After my about year and a half in Europe, I decided to travel around Asia with my first stop being China. I had to do the tourist visa process, which was shorter than for Europe, but still annoying. When isn’t dealing with the government annoying?
After the two visa hassles, I wanted to go somewhere new that didn’t involve paperwork as well as I didn’t have a timer above my head saying when I had to leave a country. I just wanted to be in a place and not have to worry besides what new restaurant to try.
I had previously thought as well that if I were to do a new visa, I would apply in Ottawa and hang out for those few months in Montreal, learning French while I wait. But, as I was tired of being a nomad (for a bit), I thought why not just hang out in Montreal.
So, long answer short haha, this all led me to Montreal. I was able to get a new living experience, learn a new language, and not have any visa problems. There was still paperwork I had to deal with for taxes and healthcare, but I don’t have to worry about getting kicked out.
Passion Piece: You’re a passionate woman who isn’t scared of taking risks in life. You had the opportunity to travel the world and live in the countries located on different continents. How did your adventure with traveling start?
Marinella: Oh thank you! I was fortunate to have travel loving parents. Ever since I can remember, my parents were taking me on different trips – to Asia and around America. Every summer, my father and I would do a road trip. Through this, I have seen 48 out of the 50 states – driving to all of them except Hawaii.
But my traveling goes even further than that. For my gap year, there was much discussion if I wanted to go to university or take my gap year. I was excited for university, but realized I might not have this opportunity again. So, I picked gap year. This idea originally entered my head through my father because he and my grandfather took “gap years”. It wasn’t necessarily by choice as they were kicked out of university for either partying too much or sleeping too much. But this led them to travel around Canada working in different spots of the world through the Navy and then going back to university and getting their career started.
So, in a way, you could say my traveling adventure started even before I was born!
Passion Piece: Do you miss any of these places? Are you still in touch with people you met there?
Marinella: I miss all the places I have lived! I have learned so much from each place and have grown as a person. I do keep in touch, which my dad says that if I keep in touch with anymore people I will be so busy texting all of them and not living in the moment. For example, I met a lovely German woman in Spain when I was 18. Fast forward to when I was living in Prague when I was 24 and I was invited to her wedding! It was such an honor – 6 years later! I also met another German woman in Spain when I was 16. Fast forward to the age of 24 as well and I am going to Oktoberfest with her in Munich.
It is hard moving from place to place as I feel a little bit of me is left there. I do want to say that though I visit that place afterwards, for example, Boston, it never feels the way it was before. I have changed since living there. It took me a few times to realize this, so though I miss the place, it is more I cherish my memories of my time there.
Passion Piece: You set up your own website. What can your readers find there?
Marinella: I have my travel blog, which readers can find all sorts of destination tips and itineraries from my personal experiences to a comprehensive list. For example, 6 things to do in Belgrade, Serbia. However, I am also incorporating anything that is outside the box, which travel is in many ways outside the box. But, I discuss my long distance cycling and pole dancing.
For my personal/company website, readers can find information on my marketing experience and skills as well as teaching.
Passion Piece: You’re not only a keen traveler, but also a sportswoman. Why did you take up cycling?
Marinella: So, I actually hated biking before. My biggest biking experience were wine tours in Argentina. So, it was a surprise to all when I agreed to go on my first long distance trip. I was graduating from university and I knew I wanted to travel afterwards, but didn’t have an exact plan. My father approached me and asked if I would do the Transamerican Trail with him. I said no a few times. Then one day I texted him, I will go.
I do not really know why besides the fact I had nothing else planned and I thought “Why Not?” This is a crazy trip and when would I have the opportunity to do this again?
So in April, we bought my bike and we left on the trip June 1st.
After completing the Transamerican Trail, I vowed never to do it again….until 2 years later when I came across another pause in my life where I didn’t know what to do next. My father invited me to join him from Alaska down. I said yes.
This one, I know why. I visited Alaska once before via car and loved it. I wanted to go back and experience it again. The other reason that I said yes was because I knew how good the Transamerican Trail felt at the end. When I had completed everything, biked every mile of it. I felt awesome. I felt like I could do anything. I wanted that feeling of accomplishment again. Knowing that I biked from the most Northern point by road in the United States. And, I was able to get that a second time. Looking forward to my third!
Passion Piece: What are your greatest accomplishments related to long distance cycling? What challenges did you face on the way?
Marinella: My greatest accomplishments would have to be finishing my two long distance cycling trips. There were many days for both trips that I wanted to quit. But, I know I couldn’t live with myself if I did that. So I kept going.
Challenge is a broad term. There were physical challenges in that I never trained for either trip. There were mental challenges as I had nothing to distract me and I was constantly alone in my head. At one point, I had frosty the snowman song stuck in my head, playing over and over. Yes, I biked with my father, but it is difficult to bike side by side and talk due to passing cars and just our different cycling speeds in general.
In Alaska, one challenge was in the very North. The mosquitos are relentless and would not leave you alone. You couldn’t even out bike them. They were this cloud following you as you pedaled, waiting for you to stop. I also went 7 days without a shower – that was a challenge! This also included being on my monthly cycle. With this, I fully recommend any reusable cup! They are awesome and super environmentally friendly!
Passion Piece: As I’ve already mentioned before, you’ve got lots of different passions and the pole dance has become one of them. Can everyone do well in this discipline? What advice would you like to give to everyone who would like to take up this particular sport?
Marinella: Pole dance is amazing in the sense that anyone and everyone can participate. I have been able to take part in skiing, biking, running, etc and there always seems to be an age cut off. There also seems to be a certain body type associated with that sport. But with pole, I have seen women of all ages and body types maneuvering and doing complex tricks. Young, older, thin, bigger….also, the women in this community are so accepting. People shave or go unshaven, it doesn’t matter. People are covered in tattoos and others don’t have one.
My advice is to not get discouraged. It takes practice to be able to do complex things. Also, for those who have done gymnastics or cross fit before, pole dance might be easier as the strength and flexibility are in place. But, this doesn’t mean it is impossible. I did not do gymnastics nor cross fit. So yes, the learning curve is a big longer for me, but I know I will be able to do it just as long as I practice and for sure do not give up!
Passion Piece: Being dissatisfied with one’s work is quite common and it’s not easy to turn your passion into a steady income. What’s your idea of a perfect job?
Marinella: My perfect job would be able to write about travel while I am traveling or to help others achieve their travel dreams. For example, I adore Lonely Planet and use their books while traveling. If I could travel and write for them – that would be cool! Or, running my own travel book company.
Passion Piece: What are your hobbies? What can’t you live without?
Marinella: Besides traveling and unique sports, I love reading and writing. I love writing my travel blog, guest posting for other bloggers (travel or other subjects) or stories I come up with (currently I am trying to write a book on my dating experience in Montreal and all the ups and downs).
I couldn’t live without meeting new people. I love going to hostels to meet new people, I feel I can learn something new from everyone and I find it fun to find things in common with that person. While I am settled, I don’t stay in hostels, but I go to international events such as Mundo Lingo, a place for people to exchange language practice.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Marinella: In 10 years, I see myself working on my 5th language. I also see myself running a successful business enabling me to continue to travel and have more adventures!
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Marinella: “There is always an excuse NOT to do something.” We have to find THE reason to DO it! Even if you don’t even have the why, like me and bicycling.
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly pleasant conversation and I hope that we will soon hear about your next trips and about your new book, you’ve been currently working on.
I think that my today’s interviewee will inspire you to follow your dreams, no matter how difficult or how unreal they appear to be at the beginning. It’s worth looking for reasons to develop ourselves and to gain new experiences, which can direct our interests onto different paths of thinking. And you? What challenges are you facing at the moment?
See you around!
Photos by: Marinella Yule