My favorite thing to do on this blog is to talk to other Reginans. I love listening to people’s stories and I truly enjoy meeting new people. I have met so many great people since starting this blog and I have enjoyed sharing their stories with you.
You might not know this, but Regina has quite a few writers living here. It also has a pretty big blogging community – which I did not know about until I became part of the blogging community. The very first person to welcome me into this community was Kenton De Jong. He is a Regina based blogger who loves to travel and visit unique cultures in the world. Kenton and I met in the first Regina cemetery – weird, I know! We toured the grounds and learned about the history of some of the people who were here when Regina first became a city. I peppered him with questions that he graciously answered, and he’s been my go-to blogging question guy ever since. He even allowed me to write a blog post for him on a trip I took to Helsinki (which you can check out here if you are so inclined). As one of the better known Regina bloggers, I thought it would be fun to talk to him about blogging and Regina.
Why did you start a blog?
After I got back from Japan, I wanted an outlet to talk about my travels. By that time I had been to Atlantic Canada, New York, Europe and Japan and I had notebooks full of stories with no way of sharing them. I decided then that a blog would be the perfect medium to tell these stories. I started a blog years ago but it never really took off so I was excited to try it again. I think it was originally called “Canadian Meets World” or something lame like that. My first article on my current blog went live December 2nd, 2014.
What do you blog about?
I mostly blog about travel and culture, but I also blog about history, food and just quirky stuff I find interesting. I have a few articles out there about Canada’s immigration history, how radios work and Islam. I’ve noticed over the years these articles don’t do as well but I still like to add them to the mix once and a while. For the majority though, I write about Regina, Saskatchewan and Canada.
What do you like best about Regina?
The weather! We have such wonderful weather here. Mosquito clouds in the summer and Martian snowstorms in the winter! LOL. In all honesty, I like the community Regina has. I like how neighborhoods pool together to help each other improve. I like how small businesses help each other out, and I love watching them thrive. I also like how passionate people are about Regina and Saskatchewan. Whenever I write something about Regina, it catches on like wildfire. Seeing that sense of community is something I know I wouldn’t find in a bigger city like Calgary or Vancouver.
You blog about all sorts of travel – what are your favorite places to go?
Favorite places? Hmmm. I’d say my favorite places to go to are places others won’t. I like seeing the dark hidden corners of the world other people are afraid to go see. I went to Kyiv this past year, and recently Kyiv was listed as one of the most dangerous places in the world to visit. No it isn’t! I had a wonderful time there, and I never felt like I was in danger! I like pushing boundaries and showing people that the world is a much larger and more beautiful place because of them. I’d love to go to Detroit and explore the abandoned buildings. I’d love to go up north and camp in Nahanni National Park, a location where campers have gone missing and people have been beheaded. I’ve always wanted to take a boat through the Bermuda Triangle and see what happens. I’d love to go to Iran. I just want to see all the places in the world where others don’t.
What are your most memorable trips or places?
My most memorable trips would be when I visited Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Hiroshima. Auschwitz put into perspective something I have only ever read about — and something nobody I know has ever seen. I walked out of that place a different person. I still get extremely passionate about it and I want to share what I saw with other people. The same goes for Chernobyl and Hiroshima. These are places most people have only ever read about in history books so to actually visit them was unreal.
Where do you plan to go in the future?
My next trip is to Mexico City and Puebla for a wedding. I’m heading there next week. Although most people go to Mexico to stay at the resorts and crash on the beaches, I’m going to explore the pyramids, temples, war museums and the Island of the Dead Dolls. After that, I’m not sure where I’ll go. With it being Canada’s 150th birthday, I’ll probably explore Canada more. It’d be great to get up the Territories but I don’t have any real plans yet beyond Mexico.
You blog about some of the worst things that happened in the world like war camps and Chernobyl. Why do you go to places like that and what do you think they can teach us?
I had to laugh at this question, because it seems to be something I’m becoming more and more known for LOL I find these locations fascinating. Hearing about Chernobyl or reading about Auschwitz is one thing, but it’s another thing to actually stand on radioactive soil, or stand inside a gas chamber and look at scratch marks on the walls. A lot of people associate places like this with fairy-tales — things that happened a long time ago in a universe far, far away. But this isn’t the case. These events, for some people, are still raw. I know people who were in concentration camps. I met people who lived in Hiroshima when the bomb fell. While these people are getting older, their memories are treasures that humanity needs to keep. As the years go by and these stories fade further and further into history, things are lost — and we can never lose these things. I go to places so that I can have a fraction of these memories. Nobody I know has seen a pile of human hair like I have. Nobody I know has seen a room full of children’s gasmasks. I need to see these things so that I can somewhat carry on the memories of the events that took places decades or centuries post.
You can check out the Kenton de Jong blog here. He’s always blogging about Regina, Canada and the world, so you are guaranteed to find it interesting!