SYDE ROAD is the go-to resource for small group adventurers and hike-loving dog owners that aren’t afraid to stray off the main paths to seek local favorite adventures and hidden gems around the world.
Maria is a Toronto native who loves to plan and refine… well plans! She loves researching and planning for trips and is often the 'project manager' for many of the small group adventures documented on this blog. To her, the excitement of traveling starts as soon as the idea comes up! Friends have often called her the 'overplanner' since she almost always start from smallest details up.
Born in Manila and now a current Toronto native, Angelo is a portrait photographer. Often found exploring a new place with one camera in front of his eye, and another ready by his side, he'll go to great lengths to achieve his vision. To him, there's nothing better than driving 2 hours up an extinct volcano, through layers of cloud cover to reach the peak at 2AM three days in a row to capture that perfect Perseid Meteor Shower moment.
Travelling on little legs since 2019. Limone's favorite types of adventures are long walks offleash on snowy trails or forested areas with trails and streams. When she's not hiking around trails, she's often found hanging around an open grassy area playing fetch for hours on end.
How was SYDE Road Born?
PLANNING FOR 'NOTHING' CAN BE PRETTY GREAT TOO
Before SYDE Road
I was just a very excited student looking forward to her post-graduation trip.
I distinctly remember wanting to create this blog for the sole purpose of sharing the itinerary of one of the longest and probably best trips I’ve ever had.
I had the very lucky opportunity to go on a 30+ day post-graduation trip to visit several countries in Asia and South East Asia with my classmates from my University program: Systems Design Engineering, or SYDE for short.
Here’s the thing though.
Planning made the trip ‘good’, but what took it from ‘good’ to ‘great’ were the unexpected surprises we encountered when we had nothingplanned.
During one of our planning sessions, my friends and I agreed to buffer time in for unexpected delays so on days when our trips went smoothly, we’d end up with chunks of time with ‘absolutely nothing to do‘. This was where things became magical.
We’d explore. We’d get lost. We’d meet new friends. We’d find an unexpected 24-hour karaoke service and sing so long and hard that we’d only stop at the crack of dawn. We’d find a beautiful cliffside ten minutes from our hostel and just sit down to people watch, and talk about life as the sun set.
Sure, our planned hikes, scuba diving classes, and cooking classes that we planned for were great, but when I look back and remember the trip, it’s the smaller, quieter moments that I look back fondly upon.
We all thought that our experience was so great that immediately after our trip, we vowed to continue planning trips together to explore the rest of the world together – leaving a little bit of ‘nothing’ time to discover new local or hidden gems on our way.
My friends and I still travel together, but alas, I got sidetracked…
After the trip, I never did get around to creating a blog. It wasn’t until a couple of years later when we still continued to travel together to Montreal, and Iceland, that I decided to seriously write about my travel adventures, promising to myself that I’d one day write out that huge itinerary and share it with the world.
But by then, life happened, I moved in with my then-boyfriend, now partner and we got a dog! So now our travel adventures have changed a bit, but the spirit of SYDE Road continues to live on.
Perhaps one day this blog will get to see the full itinerary in the future? Only time can tell.
Why is the blog named SYDE Road?
At the end of the day, I really wanted to choose a blog title that reflected its origins and where I want this blog to go:
An homage to the program that brought my friends and I together: SYDE (Systems Degree Engineering). Without this, I’d never have discovered how much I enjoyed the process of planning trips
Like a sideroad, I want this blog to become a source of inspiration and a reminder to myself and everyone that reads this blog that:
It’s okay to get sidetracked.
What can you expect from this blog?
Here are the main topics you can expect to find on SYDE Road.
Researching and writing about places I’ve been to and places I’d like to see is something I love to do.
I believe that honesty is the best policy. To keep my blog uniquely SYDE Road, I write all my own words, do my own research, and plan my own trips. I take every measure to ensure that what I write is well-researched and if need be, information is credited to the appropriate sources.
Whether you’re a long-time reader (Hi! Thanks so much for your continued support!) or a new reader (Welcome welcome!), you may have noticed that we’re not the most active on social media.
Most of the photos and videos on my blog are taken either by myself, my friends, or by Angelo. Sometimes (okay a lot of times) we’re so caught up with enjoying the moment that we forget to snap that photo or video 🙁 . Whenever that happens, I’ll sometimes use photos by others to better illustrate the place I missed. Rest assured though, that when that happens I do my best to credit all photo and video sources that I use.
In terms of social media, I try to use only original photos taken by myself, Angelo, or my friends (with permission).
We (my friends, family, and I) really value enjoying an experience more so than snapping that perfect vacation photo. For that reason I find it difficult and motivating to actively be on social media.
That said, I do try to keep in touch, and you can find me on Instagram.