Posted on May 15, 2013
under To Do
It’s May 15th which leaves me 37 days until I have to be finished everything I have going on in Canada. Eleven of those days will be spent at my job. My last day is May 31st! It’s coming up very quickly and feels super weird to think that I won’t be waking up at 6:30 to get to work for 7:15, climbing the endless stairs to the office, dragging myself through the common area, fiddling with our finicky lock on our door, disengaging the alarm and starting my day with a cup of tea at my messy desk, as I’ve done for just shy of two years.
But I definitely need the 22 days in June to finish a few pressing details such as:
- Storing the belongings I will be holding on to, at my parents’.
- Deciding which stuff to get rid of / donate / sell at a garage sale.
- Actually fitting the massive amounts of clothes I want to bring into suitcases.
- Seeing what it will cost to ship the items that don’t fit that I want to bring after I’ve settled.
- Beginning the process of setting up my international bank account.
- Sorting out some kind of portfolio so I can begin putting out feelers for work.
Then, from when I arrive in the UK in the early morning on June 23rd until I leave to go to Katy’s prior to our Amsterdam trip on the 26th:
- Acquiring a SIM card for my phone.
- Finishing the process of getting my international bank account by seeing them in person.
- Beginning the process of getting a National Insurance Number so I am able to be employed.
All before I can get a job or a place or, hell, even figure out where in the country I am going to live!
There’s still so much to do, and I really need to focus instead of sitting in the state I’m currently in which is more like Ahahahahaha! This isn’t happening; what are you talking about? Moving abroad? Not me. Never me.
Old habits die hard, I guess.
Posted on May 10, 2013
I love all of my friends, but today I want to talk about two of them in particular who have been integral to my decision to take risks and follow my dreams, even if they don’t know it.
The first is my friend Anny. We were in Katimavik together way back in good ol’ 2006 and 2007. Anny was the group biographer. Of the 9000 photos (taken within 9 months) the 10 of us shared between us, she definitely took the most. She kept an incredibly detailed day planner which she then translated into an even more detailed day-by-day journalistic account of our adventures. I admired her dedication in almost everything we did.
When we finished Katimavik and returned to our respective cities, most of us settled into school and work, but Anny wanted to do that and manage to continue to serve her community. Her town’s rodeo had a competition for Queen and Princess of the rodeo, which would have been cancelled without a third candidate. She volunteered, even without any horsemanship experience (a requirement for rodeo royalty), to keep the tradition alive.
Although she came in third, as Miss Congeniality, she used that to apply to be one of 3 BC Ambassadors, a title she won. She loved travelling around the province and representing her town and BC and meeting people. After that, she pursued and won a national title. She’s just the kind of person who decides she wants to do something and does it. So many times I’ve found her on my front step at short notice just because she felt like driving the 11 hours to visit! Last year she sort of randomly went to Disneyland for her birthday. When Anny gets an idea and sets a goal, she goes for it. And in the 7 years I’ve known her, I’ve always wanted to do that too.
The second friend is Amanda. A lot of you are probably perfectly aware of who she is, regardless of if I know you online or offline, because I gush about her a lot. While I’ve always admired her work ethic since we met online in late 2007, I was super impressed when she hatched an elaborate scheme to visit England for few weeks in 2008. I used to read about how she budgeted her life and managed to have an impressive savings account and think it was impossible because I could never be like her! I could never show that kind of self-control and focus! I was envious when she would decide to make a BIG LIFE CHANGE and then she would. It seems simple, but it isn’t. So many people make these elaborate plans and then they wait for life to pick up the slack– but Amanda just seems to take control and make it happen.
When we met in “real life” in Vancouver in October 2011, I was again in awe of the road trip she and her friend Beth had planned for themselves. I could never see myself flying to a different continent to travel up and down the coast, seeing almost every major city and even venturing into another country to explore a bit of that one as well. As we roamed the streets, I dreamed for the millionth time of living in that very city or one a lot like it, but I was still too scared to do anything about it.
I craved what these two women had in their lives. I’m not trying to suck up to either of them (I know Anny will never read this and Amanda may not stumble upon it for a while), and I’m not trying to paint them as infallible saints. I just want you guys to know how much seeing them doing the things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do ultimately awoke something inside me.
Anny and Amanda are amazing women who share a lot of similarities, but also have very different personalities. They come from very different backgrounds and have had very different experiences. And eventually I got to thinking… if they could live this way that I envied, why couldn’t I?
So, even though they are probably unaware, when making big decisions and looking for inspiration and ideas on how to live my own life, these two fantastic friends of mine have always been there as a sort of benchmark for several goals I want to achieve. And I really wanted to take some time to acknowledge that.
Posted on May 08, 2013
One thing I love, love, love is having the opportunity to show people my country. So, when Melissa told me her sister, and her sister’s sister- and brother-in-law, were on a road trip that included Calgary, I practically begged her to ask if we could meet up! So, yesterday evening, we did!
It was obviously a little surreal, hanging out with Melly’s sister, even though I’ve never met Melly (this is my fault– I was supposed to visit Kentucky as part of a college journalism conference but did not get my passport in time). But I have to say that Lisa, Kimberly and Philip were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I am not exaggerating; they were simply lovely.
The evening was pretty low key at first. We met up at a coffee shop and chatted for a bit before heading for dinner (I definitely recommend the 4-maggi pizza at Una Pizza + Wine). Kimberly and Philip aren’t yet of legal age in the U.S. so it was amusing to see them completely able to do whatever they wanted in Canada. Not that they went too crazy (just a glass of wine with dinner)! Following dinner, we wandered through the Mission area and a bit down the Elbow River pathway. We parted ways as they made plans to perhaps tour a bit of downtown, and I decided to make the trek home.
Part way on my transit journey, I began to feel rather ill and was hit full throttle with a migraine I had been warding off all day (please see slightly painful look on my face in above photo, haha), resulting in my stumbling home and returning promptly to my bedroom for an 8:30pm bedtime.
Around 11pm, I was awoken by my phone and a bit of a panicked voicemail from Lisa. Apparently, there had been some rather shady individuals at their campsite who spent an hour in their car staring at them and then proceeded to circle the campsite in their car. The three American travellers were a tad spooked, so they packed up their tent and were heading toward Banff. Obviously I was surprised since it was 11 at night, and I insisted they come to stay at ours, which they did.
Obviously it was a very nice visit with them, but it got me thinking about this strange time of the year in Calgary. For one, it’s not a very tent-camping-friendly time since we don’t really get consistently warm until after the May long weekend (the weekend before the 24th). Secondly, apart from eating a lot of food (we have a lot of restaurants that specialize in one thing) there isn’t a lot to do from an activity standpoint. There’s the zoo, but it’s expensive and there are lots of zoos in the world. The Calgary Tower is hardly worth it anymore since most of the other buildings are taller than it. The parks aren’t particularly fun when it’s chilly. It’s a very weird period of limbo between the fun winter activities and the even more fun summer activities!
Something to work on, Calgary.
(I stole this photo from Kimberly, shhhh….)