There are things one will do in life for anything. For me, nothing can compare to my determination to see the person who has changed my outlook in life - LIVE. Not even the annoyance of a 12-hour drive, train, bus and yes, the plane.
As if this commune was not long enough, downtown Toronto greeted me with another hour of traffic jam on a rainy Saturday night, I arrived at the Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto, literally three minute before Ian Wright, one of TV Globe Trekker's original hosts, came out onto the stage. Within seconds, my anxiety disappeared. I was ready to be loaded with travel stories. This time - LIVE.
For the next two hours, Ian bombarded the audiences with his unusual travel experiences. For example, camping next to the Berlin Wall without knowing it, illegally crossing borders and performing the 'Big Spender' to the Mongolians etc... I had to hold tight onto my chair just to avoid falling off with extreme laughter. For two hours, I was in a trance.
What I didn't expect, however, was to see Ian's childhood and most surprisingly, his artwork. Remote open areas such as Greenland's iceberg, SE Asia's paddy fields and Mongolia's landscape came alive with his colorful palettes. Pictures speak a thousand words, in this case, a different side of this funny host. Two hours went by like two seconds. I left with a refreshed spirit and a few more destinations added on to my travel list.
My itinerary next morning took me to MEC, the outdoor equipment store, to greet Ian in person. I had already rehearsed over and over again in my head what to say while I was on the wheels. It was not after more than an hour of waiting in line to pay for some great basement bargain did I realize that the actual autograph line is 'inside' the store. Luckily, Ian was still chatting with someone when I nervously approached just in time, again. I stepped up the table while Ian was packing up his postcards. My prepared greeting was nowhere to be found in my head. 'A long-time fan,' I said, 'came all the way from Jersey.' We chatted a little about the show while the 'artist signed his paintings'. Not willing to repeat anything others would say to him like 'good work' or 'you are my inspiration'. The 'Jersey' line has to be pretty unique. Afterall, who else would do such crazy thing like traveling for 12 hours to another country to see a show? This is not Europe.
To me, it was a worthy effort for a worthy cause. I needed the assurance, and some new paint brushes.