I haven’t wrote in a while because, to be honest, I couldn’t find the words. Recently my car (my first car) finally gave way and the rust got the better of him. His name is Monty and for the last five years he has been my best friend. He was there for me when I needed him; when I was sad, angry or happy. Singing my heart out driving to Wasaga beach or balling my eyes out as I sit in my driveway, he was there. My grandma bought him in Alberta and drove him to Ontario when she came to live with my dad and I. That car drove her and my late aunt everywhere! When my grandma could no longer drive, she gave the car to my dad. My dad drove it for a few years before finally passing it on to me. He was really proud to be able to give the car to me, really proud. I was ecstatic to get my very own car! I’m also one of the most sentimental people in the world and it meant more to me that it was passed down through generations.
So can you see why it is breaking my heart into pieces to have to say goodbye? I feel like that safety and comfort is gone. That the connection to my family that I feel each time I get into that car will be gone forever. This may seem silly to most but it’s how I feel. I know it’s just a thing, a piece of metal but to me it’s so much more.
Since Monty is literally undrivable (I held out as long as I possibly could) I gave in and bought a brand new car. I feel safer then I did at the end with Monty and I know my dad would be just as proud that his little girl was able to do that for herself. I’m trying to be positive. But Monty is still in my driveway and once he gets carted off to the scrap yard I don’t know what will happen… That’s the truth.
Sorry for the sad post but I had to get that out.
Can you believe this time last year I was in Dubai? This whole year has flown by, almost too quickly. I’m not one for new year resolutions, mostly because I try to continuously better myself year round (and I believe your new year begins on your birthday). I’m well aware of what I want to improve on in myself but I think change is ever evolving. This year was one of soul searching and deciding what makes me happy. It was a very memorable year as I said good-bye to my 20’s and embarked on a new career path. I am blessed to have found my passion and to be officially starting that new chapter in 2015. I still have more career goals to accomplish in the new year, including becoming certified and taking additional classes but learning is a life long endeavour. Of course I have some travel goals for the new year as well!
It was also a year of learning to trust myself. Often I second guess my decisions or wonder if I made the right choice; what I’ve learned is to have no regrets, mistakes are what make us human. Things might not happen how I thought they would but they happen how they are suppose to, my new career is proof of that.
Your never going to be ready; even if your unhappy, there is comfort in that familiarity.
Be positive; I know some incredible people and for 2015 I want to surround myself with that positive energy.
I’ve spent too long being unhappy and I took this year to make some much needed changes. I wasn’t always sure it was right and rarely was it easy but I didn’t give up. When my dad passed, I lost the most stable and secure element of my whole life. I was lost and I’ve spent the last three years trying to find my way back. Europe helped to put me back together; I finally felt a joy for life again. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. The holidays are hardest time of the year; Christmas was his favourite and every new year, right at midnight, he always called me. It still makes me sad when I think of him, but I know he would be so proud of how far I’ve come. I spent so long being sad. So, for the first time that I can remember, I am making a new year resolution; to be more happy and bring more positivity into my life. This is true for all areas of my life from work to friends to family. My dad always had a positive outlook on life and he found joy in his pets, family, friends and hobbies. I think sometimes we forget the little things.
Time flies and life is too short to be unhappy; take a moment to be grateful for all the good in your life.
Here’s to a very happy 2015!
Below are the pictures of some of the people who made 2014 a memorable year and a couple of those who aren’t with us anymore, but who I cherish in my memory and who shaped me into the person that I am.
In honour of St. Patrick’s Day this past Monday, I’ve decided to do yet another post on Ireland. While I travelled all around the countryside on group tours, my base was at a hostel in Dublin. It was located behind the old Jameson Distillery and I chose it for that specific reason. I love whiskey! I drank my way through most of Scotland and Ireland, trying different scotches and whiskies; which was fun but also caused some painful mornings. The most epic of these nights involved me stopping for one drink at a pub on my way back to the hostel on my last night in Dublin. A few pints of Guinness later and lots of Jameson, I almost left my phone and credit card on my barstool as I was leaving (luck was on my side). Unfortunately, I did lose my room key though but luckily did not have to pay for a new one (thank you reception guy). The night finished with my lovely roommates packing my suitcase for me for my 6am flight to Malaga and setting their alarms to wake me up on time… That was the worst flight of my life. However, Aer Lingus is a great airline and I’m sure if I was awake or not dying it would have been a very enjoyable flight. The next day an Irish friend referred to my state as the Irish Flu, I can definitely understand that saying. It was a lot of fun though, live music, lively people from all over the world, and lots and lots of laughs. I still have contact with those roommates and I still giggle to myself when I remember the adventures of that night. I met so many people in Ireland and had such great fun; it makes me miss it all when I tell these stories. Even the worst hangover could not make me want to change a single moment!
September 4-5, 2013
I chose this picture for two reasons: one is that I quite like it, and two is that I quite enjoyed meeting those guys in it. I had just come from Amsterdam and was feeling pretty sick (a theme on this trip, unfortunately). I had just heard so much about Bruges from friends that I squished in a two day stop. I tried to do a bit of sightseeing the first day and wandered around the city centre. I was so drained though and didn’t last too long, before stopping to eat. Afterwards I decided to go back to my hostel and rest a little, but it was so sunny and warm, I opted for a beer on the patio. That’s when a slightly creepy situation occurred with a drunken customer talking a bit too intently with me, made me move inside where I felt safer. It was that move inside that led me to meet a new friend, a young local guy. I ended up chatting to him and his friend most of the night and we made plans to meet the next day. Early the next morning, we met at the hostel and spent the whole day together with two of his buddies. It was rainy and grey but we still had a lot of fun; they showed me around town and gave me lessons on local food and beers. I also got them go up the Belfry clock tower which, despite them living there, they had never gone up. We also went to the Saturday market where one of them bought a live chicken! “Chicken”, as I named it, got us a lot of weird looks from passersby and a lot of laughs. This picture above was taken at the windmills, which was really cliché but probably my favourite part. We finished the day with a group dinner, and some more beers (when in Belgium…). I called it a fairly early night though, as I was headed to London in the morning and wanted to be rested. Bruges is an adorable and quaint little city and definitely worth seeing. For me though, those boys in that picture are what made it a great stop on my trip.
August 23-25, 2013
Seriously, pictures do not even come close to the real sight that is, Giant’s Causeway. It is breathtaking, incredible and completely unbelievable. Until you actually see it for yourself, it’s hard to really comprehend how a place like this can exist without being man made. Each column has 6 sides (some more or less) and those columns differ in height; creating a sort of step like appearance. The stones stretch out quite a distance along the bottom of the cliffs and disappear into the sea. When we were there they were filming a movie, so part of the area was closed off. The film crew was also in the middle of a lot of my scenery photos, unfortunately. It was still a great experience though and definitely a must see! I opted for a tour that also took us through the Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, which was a convenient way to travel around Ireland. Beware, as a day trip from Dublin (which is what I did), it was a long day of approx. 12 hours. I wouldn’t have changed a thing though; I had a wonderful time and made a new friend. I met a lovely woman, also travelling alone, and we chatted the whole time. I even helped her to conquer a fear of heights by crossing the bridge and as a thank you she sent me a spoon from Belfast, for my collection (yes, I collect spoons). It was unnecessary but very thoughtful and touching. I made a few friends while in Ireland, maybe it’s due to that luck they keep talking about over there?
September 2, 2013
I was reminded of this place just today by the repost of one of my photos, not that I could ever forget it. I can honestly say I had the funniest experiences of my whole trip here and made a friend I hope to keep forever. Like I said before, people can make a place and the introduction of a certain Australian girl did that for me! We met on the bus heading to our hostel when we both asked for the same stop. After getting lost a bit, we found our hostel, checked in and decided to meet for happy hour; which started an inseparable few days and inspired numerous stories. This is also where I learned about City Maps offline app which saved me consistently the rest of my trip. Our first night we met two American boys and after a few drinks, decided we should go see this area called Christiania. This is not a place you should EVER go to at night; it’s governed by itself and basically is a free zone for drugs (during the day it’s fine). We did not know this going in, but after an intimidating moment of being circled by a very agitated woman we thought it best to leave. Of course we wanted beer for the road and wound up inside a building that can only be described as a mafia headquarters. After thanking them for not killing us and an incident with a man impersonating a zombie (not intentionally or for fun) in the bathroom we finally got the hell out of there. Later, we stumbled upon a young Italian guy singing on the street. We watched him for a long time (he was really good) and I even sang a bit of “Wonderwall” with him. Another musician came along and a bit of a jam session broke out, it was really fun. The random things you encounter are what make travelling so amazing!
The next day we made it to see famous “The Little Mermaid” statue commemorating Hans Christian Anderson and had a wonderfully delicious meal by the harbour. We also saw Amalienborg (the palace) and Tivoli Gardens. I love the ominous photo of Amalienborg with the dark clouds overhead, one of my very favourites. It was a relaxing day of sightseeing and shopping; something we both needed at this point (especially when we both came unprepared for the cold). Our hostel offered free dinner and you had to be early to get a seat, so we headed back and got cheap beers at the convenience store to kill time. This is where I learned to check the alcohol % on labels, because 4 beers later we were drunk! Honestly, it’s a blur but I remember playing darts with hardcore locals and getting schooled. Her brother came the last night and the three of us had a blast. I laughed so hard the whole time! Tip from our hostel and very accurate; the best view is from the top of Our Saviours Church, which spirals outside 360 degrees. Overall, it was one of the best places I visited and that is in large part to the people I met. I wouldn’t want to go back though; but only because it was too much fun the first time around!
August 18-21, 2013
Photos are of Nyhavn Harbour, Amalienborg and outside entrance of Christiania.
I guess you can tell by looking at this picture that it wasn’t taken inside the city. The reason I have just a few shots from this day is because I totally dropped the photo ball here. However, I did go to the famous beer garden Englischer Garten and saw the Chinesischer Turm, where I obviously had to try the beer. Also, while waiting for the bus at Odeonsplatz, my friend pointed out Feldherrnhalle and the site of Beer Hall putsch (1923 failed attempt of Hitler and the Nazis to seize power). This is the only place along my journey where I was staying with someone I knew and my only full day in the area was spent hiking in the Alps. It was a lot harder then I had anticipated and we ended up staying back at a restaurant while the others finished the last leg. I had such a great time though! The Alps are just spectacular and the view during our hike was breathtaking. Just sitting there drinking coffee and looking out at that view, with cows just wandering around; it was so surreal to me. Those of you who don’t know me, cows are actually my favourite animal. To get to see these cows up close and take pictures was really fun for me. The people we went with were so warm and friendly too, it was such a nice experience and I’m glad that’s how I spent my time in Munich.
August 10-12, 2013