Nostalgia

Exchange ruins school and life.

2 months through the semester and I literally can’t handle any of it. There is so many things I used to like that I am realizing I don’t like anymore and so many things I wish I could do/ had done differently in my life.

For starters I wish I wasn’t in London…

I know I know, only 1 more year to push through,  6 months until graduation. But seriously Ontario is so boring. London is so boring. Between school and downtown there is nothing else to do here. Which means when I am not studying or being bored I am out drinking, which I am also realizing I am completely over!

Adjusting back to normal life and school is terrible.

What I miss the most:

  • The constant adventure and activity I had while away
  • The friends I made
  • Living in a big city
  • Australia…
  • Even studying in a coffee shop was so much better
  • The ease and laid-back atmosphere, especially when it came to school
  • The coffee
  • Outdoor ed classes (camping) – The ability to talk to and connect with people while not being drunk
  • Being totally independent
  • Doing whatever I want whenever I want
  • Being broke if you can believe it! My disposable (ish) income at the moment is not ok
  • Being foreign
  • Planning the next adventure each and everyday
  • Not knowing what the next day, week and month will bring
  • Having an open calendar
  • The mentality I had with being away
  • Being able to reinvent myself
  • Having no fear or ever running into someone I know at the gym, on the train, in the city etc. and just being able to do me
  • The gym!!
  • EVERYTHING

I’m literally so nostalgic right now its not even ok.

I guess it just means I need to plan the next adventure – summer 2014 abroad here I come.

Advertisements

The Hardest Part Of Traveling No One Talks About

couldn’t have said it better myself

Thought Catalog

image - Flickr / Corie Howell image – Flickr / Corie Howell

You see the world, try new things, meet new people, fall in love, visit amazing places, learn about other cultures – then it’s all over. People always talk about leaving, but what about coming home?

We talk about the hard parts while we’re away – finding jobs, making real friends, staying safe, learning social norms, misreading people you think you can trust – but these are all parts you get through. All of these lows are erased by the complete highs you experience. The goodbyes are difficult but you know they are coming, especially when you take the final step of purchasing your plane ticket home. All of these sad goodbyes are bolstered by the reunion with your family and friends you have pictured in your head since leaving in the first place.

Then you return home, have your reunions, spend your first two…

View original post 479 more words

Home

So after a crazy month of June I am back in Canada once again…

The past 6 weeks have been absolutely nuts. Started off with a 5 day bushwalk in the Grampians, final exams, a roadtrip down the great ocean road, a long weekend spent in Lorne, a 2 weeks trip to Thailand and 5 final days in Melbourne and the entire journey has now come to an end. 

Being home has been an adjustment. I ended up getting a nasty cold just before I left so the plane rides were absolutely awful. Everyone on the plane definitely hated me and my runny nose and I definitely did not get near enough sleep. Upon arriving in Toronto I was so full of mixed emotions. Started from when the pilot welcomed us to Toronto, going through customs (which are computers now…), and the security guy welcoming me home everything just started to feel weird. Knowing I was in the same building as my dad and Jill and that in a matter of minute everything was going to go back to normal was just so weird. It was bittersweet really. Part of me couldn’t wait to get my luggage and get out to see them and head home (well to Muskoka) but the other part of me didn’t want this life to be over. The first few days were definitely hard to adjust. The exhaustion really didn’t help plus the head cold. The first day I was back I headed into Windermere to inquire about when I was starting work and it was decided I would start 2 days later, talk about jumping into the swing of things. I was able to drive back to Toronto 2 days later to pick up my mom and Emily from the airport, surprising Emily actually which was a lot of fun. 

“How was your trip”, “Would you go back?” and ” How was Australia” are 3 very common questions I keep getting. But I mean how do you really respond? My trip was amazing, I would definitely go back and Australia was awesome are really the only responses I have – how does one summarize the past 6 months of their life with such simple questions? And it’s funny really, after people ask these questions and I respond you realize no one really cares to hear anymore. Most of my memories are really for myself and that is totally ok. Forever people are going to be annoyed with me and my “In Australia…” comments but I really don’t care. I truly feel like I made a life in Melbourne and this experience has definitely shaped the person I now am. The life of adventure is the life for me and I cannot wait to start planning the next one. So it’s time to settle back into the normalcies of life, make some money, study hard and the next opportunities will present themselves when the time is right. It’s really hard to see the people on exchange currently in Melbourne and I terribly miss all my Aussie friends but in the end I think I am at peace with it all and know that I made the most of my exchange and the next adventure will present itself sooner or later and I cannot wait to see what it will be.

Things I will miss:

  • The city
  • Fitness First City Flinders aka the best gym ever
  • The hot Aussies who work at the gym
  • Spicy capsicum dip
  • Leroy’s – working there and the free food I would get with every shift
  • The coffee
  • Aussie breakfasts
  • The cheese
  • Tim tams… duh
  • Charming with the Canadian accent
  • Being the foreign one
  • Using being the foreign one to get away with things
  • The train
  • The amazing street music in Melbourne
  • Emma and Tom’s Life Juice – Green Power
  • THe easyness of VU
  • The laidback Aussie lifestyle
  • The Aussie accents
  • The constant life of adventure and new things to experience everyday
  • Being flat broke but being quite ok with it
  • ‘When in Australia” to qualify doing anything and everything

What I learned:

  • It’s ok to be broke – you will always find a way
  • Going off the above statement – how to properly budget my money and how to properly plan everything –  I have developed methods that work for me (probably wont work for many and you may think I’m crazy if I showed you)
  • To say ‘yes’ to things outside of my comfort zone
  • The independence to do things by myself such as going to dinner
  • A better ability to make decisions (I’m still awful)
  • The ability to do what I want to do with confidence
  • I am 1 person in a world full of individuals
  • There are serious stereotypes out there for people from all over the world – they are generally untrue and it’s not nice to stereotype (you learn this when people stereotype you)
  • The feeling of absolute freedom to do whatever you want however you want whenever you want is an amazing feeling
  • Do things for yourself
  • Determination – if you want something bad enough you will make it happen
  • How to make mistakes and learn from them (e.g. loosing money in Thailand – as my dad put it it was a $35 lesson)
  • Planing- I am a huge planner and plan everything and research everything – but I learned you need to have a balance between things you have planned and leaving things up to fate or to be worked out later.
  • The ability to adapt – things do not always (basically never) go as planned
  • How to be resourceful – how to work with what you have
  • How to be comfortable with being uncomfrotable
  • Compassion and the true meaning of treat others how you want to be treated
  • How to ask for help when I need it
  • The talk to strangers, store clerks, baristas, servers etc. just for the sake of talking with someone.

Until the next adventure xx

 

 

Road trip!

School is out!

After finishing classes last week, and writing my one exam for research methods (words can’t explain how happy I am I took that course here instead of at Western) I am officially finished school at VU!

Upon finishing the hour long exam in 15 min, I headed off to pick up a rental car to drive down the Great Ocean Road! Me, Erin, Dayna and Kendra rented a car from this place called Wicked Rentals…. This place is cheap as, basically for backpackers and one of the only places you can rent from if you’re under 21. Since Dayna and Kendra’s licenses both have expired, me and Erin (both under 21) split the driving. So we arrive at the place, which literally looks like a junk yard. We get our car, and like most of the it is spray painted ridiculously. 

So we set off on our roady! Erin started off the driving which was probably good since it is on the left side of the road and I was pretty nervous about it. We drove and stopped in Torquay for a bathroom break and some lunch. I then started driving and it surprisingly is easier than I thought! We then stopped at Bell’s Beach which is the famous surfing beach in Victoria and snapped a few pics…

Image 

We then set off to get on the Great Ocean Road! This road is absolutely breath taking. It literally just winds around the ocean for kilometers on kilometers. It is super windy though where you have to go pretty slow the entire time but the views are so spectacular that it is quite alright. The houses you see are beautiful. If I moved to Victoria I would have to have a summer home down here. Our next stop was Lorne, which is a beach town we stayed in on the VU Great Ocean Road trip. We did a little shopping and looking around the town. It is really quite dead around there this time of year since it is their winter. A lot of the shops were actually closed and it was quite a ghost town. 

Image

We then kept on driving a little ways more and stopped in Apollo Bay for the night. We hadn’t prebooked any accomodation so we spent some time driving around calling places and going in and asking. We came across this beautiful looking place on the beach and we decided to give it a shot even though we knew we couldn’t afford it. The lady at the front was SO nice and offered us and apartment style room with a full kitchen, living room and bedroom and a beach front balcony for $150 for the night! Since it was 4 of us we decided to take it. She ended up doing the math wrong too and only charged us $130 for the night! ($32 each – would have been $30 for the hostel down the road). The place was beautiful! The lady also recommended we go to the seafood restaurant down the street. Since we haven’t eaten much seafood at all since being in Australia we decided to go for it! The place was rather fancy and very expensive but probably the most worthwhile meal of my life. I was the only person who got seafood (the others got steak) but I got the seafood linguini which had mussels, prawns, scallops and barramundi fish – it was amazing. We eventually headed back to the beautiful hotel and watched tv while enjoying some tea (the bottle shop closed before we had time to buy wine unfortunately) but the tea was still nice :). 

Day 2 on the Great Ocean Road we started off with a fantastic breakfast at this cute surfer cafe. It is such a cool atmosphere in these towns all revolving around the surfers and tourists. Kind of reminds me of ski towns – the shops also sell really similar stuff. We then hit the road towards the iconic 12 Apostles. We knew there was threat of rain in the forecast but were praying it would hold off. Unfortunately we had no such luck and spent the drive in and out of rain and fog. Not much can ruin the views on this road though. Between being on the ocean and then driving through the forests every corner offers and different breathtaking scene. We eventually made it to the 12 Apostles and well I can now say I’ve been there twice, once when it was sunny and again in the rain haha. We also made it to Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge to finish off the sightseeing. We then hit the highway and took the back way home as a faster option since Erin was headed to New Zealand that night! We got back a little earlier than expected so we decided to stop in Port Melbourne for some Hunky Dory’s fish and chips. This was probably the best fish and chips I have ever had! I got the flake (which is shark) and I got it grilled not fried! (accidentally, but thankfully). The meal also came with chips and greek salad. We then drove back home and had to park our embarrassing car on the street for the night – sorry neighbours!

That night to get out of the house we went to the movies with our free movie ticket from the gym and watched Bad Neighbours. Zac Efron is hot that is all. 

We had the car until 3pm today so we headed to Brighton Beach for a little walk around. The beach is awesome with the beach huts but was absolutely deserted today because it is winter. We got some coffee and looked around the shops – there is a lulu here! I then had to drive back to drop the car off. I was literally driving this car through downtown Melbourne. A) I’ve never even driven in Toronto let alone a city just as busy on the other side of the road! B) Our car seriously is bad and should not be out in public. It was pretty interesting but successful on my part! 

Another week almost done! It is Thursday night and I was supposed to go out for drinks with friends but after getting all ready I started to feel rather ill so I decided to stay in tonight and catch up on some much needed personal time. I love being in Australia and I love being around all the people I have met but I really haven’t been alone very much at all since coming here, which is really weird because I definitely thought I would be spending a lot of time travelling around by myself! Definitely grateful for having people to do things with but I’m always down for a night in by myself once in a while. 

Things are starting to get super busy! Tomorrow i have to plan, shop for and pack for Thailand as I am leaving tomorrow night to stay at Sarah’s then spending the holiday weekend back in Lorne until I leave for Thailand on Monday night! Very exciting but I can’t be very excited right now as I’m stressing a bit over how unprepared for this trip I am and how unplanned it currently is. I mean I seriously only have flights booked that is all… Oh well I’m sure I will figure it out! 

Exciting things are happening! I’m definitely going to miss the constant adventure when I get home – but i guess you have to make your own fun and adventures and that is what I plan on doing!

Peace 

Image Image– Apologise to the people of Melbourne for the profanities on the car

Part time bushwoman

1 more month

Only 1 more month and this incredible journey comes to an end. 

But I really don’t want to think of it as an end. It’s like that quote “When one door closes another one opens” or something like that. Yes at the end of this month I head back to Canada but all that means is that is time to start planning the next adventure (and saving money). While living in Australia and doing as much travelling as I can I have come to the great realization that you can’t do everything. It is really easy to sit here and focus on all the things I have not done, and to dwell on everything other people are doing that I am not. But when I really take the time to think or to go through pictures it’s absolutely crazy to look at everything I have done in the past 5 months. It really feels like the past months have been an absolute blur. They have flown by and I have done more and seen more than I ever would have planned before coming here. 

Outdoor Ed

Last week I went on my last outdoor ed trip. Again, I was dreading this trip like all the others but it was probably the best trip of the lot. This trip was a 5 day bushwalk through the Black Ranges (basically the Grampians). Me and Dayna ended up in an awesome group which makes all the difference. Coxie was our leader and it was awesome to get to talk with him and learn from him as he is so knowledgeable on the outdoors. This week was spent bushwalking and thats basically it! It was awesome because there was no se route or destinations we had to get to so we could make it up as we went! Day 1 was spent getting everything sorted and hiking for a few hours till we found a good place to set up camp. Day 2 we woke up and started hiking at 9am. We hiked all the way up to the ridgeline in the Black Ranges and hiked all the way along until 9:30pm. It was awesome! The hike itself wasn’t exactly very lon but it was really challenging walking. We were pretty much on the side of a cliff the entire time and were having to climb up and down big rocks etc. We stopped for dinner at the top and enjoyed a beautiful view before setting off to finish the last of the hike in the dark. This made the challenging hike even more challenging and we were all so absolutely tired by the end of it. Accomplishing something like that though makes you feel so good about yourself and what you have done. I absolutely loved every second of it, even when it was raining for a little bit! The views were also spectacular and thankfully I actually had a camera on me this trip! Day 3 we took more of a chill day and we hiked up a mountain and to a cave. We got to have lunch with another spectacular view and a little bit of solo time for some solid reflection aka napping. The weather this week was also fantastic. I was able to wear shorts everyday and got a little bit of sun! It was a little rainy at times but it came and passed quickly and saved the downpours for during the night. Day 4 we hiked back to base camp and did some navigating on the way. I learned that compasses are location specific! So you cannot buy a compass in Canada and use it in Australia and vice versa. That night we had a big group campfire and each group had to present some sort of creative piece to show their week. We wrote a kick ass poem. Doing this I feel a little bit like I’m 12 again and at summer camp but oh well. Day 5 we packed up, debriefed and headed home! We broke up the driving by stopping for a parma (which we had talked about all week) on the way. A nice well deserved Parma was in order but I was a little disappointed when I spent $21 and got totally gipped on the size of my parma. Overall another awesome week in the Australian bush complete to make a total of 4 trips! So happy I stuck with these classes. 

Big things to come in the next few weeks as I count down the days until I go back home! Just have to write one exam on Tuesday then school is complete! Renting a car and driving down the Great Ocean Road for 2 days this week, Lorne weekend with some crazy people this coming weekend, Thailand on monday for 2 weeks – yes I have decided to go ahead and continue with my travel plans despite the Martial Law that is currently in effect. Just might cut Bangkok out of the itinerary and hopefully the curfew gets fully lifted in the tourist spots. Back to Melbourne for 5 days then homeward bound! So crazy how fast time flies. 

Going home at the end of the month is going to be bitter sweet. To be honest at this point I am getting really excited to get back home, see the family and friends and get my life together. I feel like I have done everything I came here to do and more (except meet my Australian husband but theres still a little time) and I truly feel like I’ve lived up this experience to the max. I think that is a really good feeling to feel at this point. Leaving the life I made for myself in Melbourne is going to be super hard and I know I am going to be extremely sad when I leave but I truly don’t think this will be a goodbye but a see you later as the saying goes. My life in Australia and travelling the world is only just beginning. I can say with 100% confidence that I will be coming back to Australia and will travel the rest of the world all in good time. There is no rush to life and I know myself well enough that if I want to do something bad enough I will make it happen. So time to live up the rest of my time here and get stoked for a pumping summer in Muskoka!

ImageImage

Inspiration

I read this a while ago and something about it really stuck to me. Food for thought

“1. Kiss that cute boy at the party, but push him away as soon as he puts his hand up your skirt
2. Smoke a cigarette for the first time, and make it your last
3. Don’t straighten your hair for a week, see how many compliments you get
4. Blast your favourite song even when your mum has told you off for playing it too loudly. Enjoy those 3 minutes of pure happiness before she pulls the plug out.
5. Say yes to going out, you’ll have something to tell your grandchildren about
6. Paint a sun on a rainy day, then stick it to the window
7. Eat the cupcake, you have better things to worry about than those 300 calories
8. Do yoga and meditate as often as possible
9. Stand up for yourself. Someone called you a slut? Someone said you are ugly? Someone said your art work was boring and dull? That is your cue to fucking stand up for yourself and make them speechless
10. Don’t respond to a group of males whistling at you. You’re a human being, not a fucking dog
11. Leave your headphones at home, see how much you are missing out on because you’re always lost in your own thoughts
12. Carry hand sanitizer and bandaids in your purse
13. Wear sexy underwear, loads of leather, a fur coat, heels and purple lipstick. Do it for yourself, not for the hot guy next door.
14. If you’re having a bad day, cry, scream, punch a pillow, throw stuff around. Then you pick up the mess, including yourself and get back up.
15. Smile, be polite and get on peoples good sides for starters
16. Stop waiting for your crush, stop dressing up for the bar man that serves you a free drink or staying extra hours at work for your boss. Stop impressing these dickheads and start impressing yourself.
17. Laugh until you cry, and when the girl sitting next to you in class tells you to shut up, laugh even louder.
18. Do whatever feels right in the moment, laugh, cringe and regret it later. Repeat.”

 

Time flies

I arrived in melbourne exactly 4 months ago

Crazy how fast the time has flown!! It has been an incredible 4 months and I can’t wait for all the last month and a half has in store. It is officially Aussie fall which is kinda depressing. Bye bye warm weather! Its actually super strange too, the leaves are actually changing colour which I was not expecting at all! What makes fall even more difficult is that I do not have a coat here. I was that idiot that thought “I’m going to Australia where it is all beaches and sun all the time” and did not bring a coat except my rain jacket. In February (Feb 25th to be exact) my parents sent me a package.. well a box containing pants (I also only brought 2 pairs of those), a coat, a scarf and some other fun stuff. Canada Post quoted 6-30 business days. Well would you guess what, the package still isn’t here! Yes, it is May 17 and I have yet to receive the package. No words can express my angry I feel, but at this point its been so long that I’m almost over it (almost). I just better get it at some point, it has my stuff in it!

This coming week is the last week of classes! I have a bunch due but school here really isn’t even half as demanding as it is at home but I am certainly looking forward for it to be done!

Recently I have just been in Melbourne, basically living my life. I got a gym membership finally at Fitness First right in the city which is awesome. The gym is literally right across from Flinders Station (the main station) in the city so its really easy to get to.  A few weeks ago I went on another (yes another) outdoor ed trip. This one was a canoe trip down the Murray River. Thankfully the trip was only Thursday-Sunday so a little more manageable. So far this has been my least favourite camp but it was great to get out of the city for a few days and paddle down the river! I lucked out and got to be in the back of the canoe the entire time except the very last day which I much prefer. The water was really low in the river so it was a little tricky at points with avoiding logs and rocks and we definitely had a few close calls with getting stuck on things and almost flipping (woops) but thankfully we survived!

My time left in Australia is slowly diminishing and it scares me yet excites me every time I look at the calendar! They (don’t know who ‘they’ are) always say “Time flies” but you don’t truely appreciate it until you are living it . The next few weeks are going to get exciting which I cannot wait for as I definitely have caught the travel bug again and I cant wait to pack my bags and go on more adventures.

Run down of what is to come:

  • Phillip Island on monday
  • Hopefully renting a car and driving down the great ocean road at the end of this week (if we can coordinate the time)
  • Dayna’s birthday this weekend
  • Last and final camping trip next week (monday-friday) –> bushwalking trip in the Grampians
  • Sarah’s birthday that weekend
  • Exam week – thankfully I’ve only got one exam haha –> research methods
  • Going to Lorne with all the aussies who went to western in the recent past, and some other Canadians who are currently here travelling
  • Thailand on monday!! – Koh Phangan, full moon party, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and more!! –> 2 weeks
  • Back to Melbourne for 4 days
  • CANADA BOUND June 30th

So yes I’ve got quite a busy few weeks!

As much as I don’t want this adventure to end I am ready for all that is to come in the coming weeks and to head home at the end of June. it probably helps that I’m just going straight to Muskoka to work a killer summer job with some awesome people and live the dream on the lake but I think I definitely will be ready for home when the time comes. 5.5 months (or 6 months as I just tell people) ha been the perfect amount of time for me. It’s been enough time where I have been able to not just feel like a tourist in this country but to actually feel like I’m living here and part of it. I have basically decided my life rocks –> Australia for 6 months, Thailand for 2 weeks then Muskoka for the summer – could anything be better??

(In 100% honesty I am pretty bummed about missing May 24 in Muskoka right now)

And that is that!

To be honest I can’t wait to move out of this house….

xoxo gossip girl

 

….. yes how original of me

murray3

View downstream

murray2

Everyone love the moose song!

murray

Why not handstand when there’s a pretty sunset?