After saying goodbye to friends in Croatia, spending my last night in a foreign country’s hospital not understanding doctors or medication being pumped into me (not a fun experience, but and experience all the same. Everything turned out okay!) , spending a couple of days recuperating in Paris , a visit to a friend in London it was time to hit up Canada.
So weird how it was a culture shock coming back to my own country. The colourful plastic money. The Tim Hortons everywhere. It was nice to be in one place for a while. Spent Christmas with a friends family. They were so sweet inviting me into their home. I’m really lucky to have such great people in my life.
I moved into my own apartment (on the outskirts of Vancouver closer to work) and started my Canadian life.
And fuck did it ever make me unhappy!
My life has been wake up at 7am go to work. Be there from 8:30am until 8:30pm eeeeeevery day. No life. I mean I made friends and saw them once a week. For fucks sakes that’s not life. I can’t handle hating my daily life just for a pay heck and to have one day of happiness in SEVEN!
Fuck that noise! So I quit. Bought plane ticket. And I’m packing up again.
Goodbyes suck. I’ll never understand why in the English language out of all phonetics we could have chosen, we choose good-bye. As if the best thing we could do is part. No wonder the English are known to only show affection to dogs and horses!
Cue the violins- I’ve never really been close to my family. I tend to keep to myself. I became independent at a young age. At 16 I moved in with my boyfriend and as anyone could imagine that was an explosive mess of hormones and bad decisions. But it was my explosive mess and my bad decisions that I wouldn’t change for anything. Unfortunately after 9 years of fights and trying to forgive, it became hard to show vulnerability. I’m so used to being accused of doing something wrong and have all of my mistakes thrown at me that I’ve never been able to let people in…
Bring on the percussion ! -Well here in Croatia I met multiple people that were easy to let in. It was drama, judgement and anger free. They showed affection by asking about me, talking to me, checking in on how I am. I’ve never seen people treat each other like that. I do have good friends that I’ve grown up with, but where I grew up, socially everyone tends to have a selfish motive behind conversation. There is a lot of judgement and yes the occasional backstabbing. But here in Croatia, with these people I was lucky enough to find myself surrounded with, it was completely motive free. Pure of heart. Just friendly. They helped teach me vulnerability. They helped me learn that it’s okay to let others in; that sometimes people show that they care just because they really do care. After a heartbreak last year I’m still finding my footing and confidence. I never thought I’d find it through friendship in a country across the sea.
A boat ride and a 5 hours bus away from my lovely island and I was back in a city. Zagreb, the capital. Still with the guy I’ve been seeing, we got an apartment for a few weeks. He had planned to have us stay at his moms, but mummy wouldn’t hear of it. ” Hey mom, I’m bringing a girl home for the next couple of weeks, nah not my gf, just some girl.” I totally understand her ‘No’ . Legit. Way to make me sound like your little whore dude.
We visited friends, went shopping, to restos, the whole shebang. I wasn’t expecting the lovely little Christmas villages everywhere. Zagreb was voted #1 Christmas decorated (Advent) city in all of Europe. You walk through the twinkling lights of Advent, drink hot wine, eat sausage and doughnuts. Super cute. Spent 2 weeks indulging and visiting around and then it was time for goodbye.
Starting out as a tourist, one of many, during the season on the island of Hvar was a good time. The beach, the sun, boat trips, people and all the partying makes for a pretty epic vacay. Well 2 days turned to 3, 3 turned into a week and next thing I knew I was working there. I guess I should specify “working”. My job consisted of checking guests in then keeping the energy up and vibe going. Basically get drunk and show ’em a good time. Uuhhh sure! So spent a few weeks getting my party on then the tourists started to trickle until there weren’t any left. The hostels all closed and so did the bars and restos! Who knew an entire island shuts down for winter season!? Not me. Getting to know locals does have its advantages 😉 once all the tourists left, the island became so peaceful. I went from being one of many travellers to the only one. All of the locals know each other and soon enough I was basically one of them. Couple of weeks of walks and coffee does make one antsy though. So my friend finished up his work and off to the main land we went….
Watched the moon under a blanket of stars while out on a boat in the Adriatic Sea. Mesmerizing. Beautiful. Magic.
Went out (squid) fishing in the evening, 5 hours later in the middle of the night there was just the two of us left on the water, the squid and the moon. Sure it had gotten colder by then, but so worth the views.
Couldn’t get over how bright it was. You could see the different dimensions of the moon. It lit up the sky so well the islands around were visible in the middle of night. Even midday if it’s cloudy you can’t always see them! Looking into the water beneath out little boat you could see all the way to the bottom no matter how deep we were.
Out on the water on a night like that gives you a feeling of such serenity. The beauty of it all is really very powerful.
Blablacar.fr. GENIUS. I got int he car with some stranger who drove me from Nice to a new city and omg it was awesome. Thankfully I speak the language and I had someone waiting for me at my destination so it was a little less stressful, but it is great. Online, you check from which city you’re taking off from tonwhere you want to end up and you car pool. As a traveller lemme just say you save a f***ton.
So I left beautiful, clean, sunny Nice and took off for Marseille. Now don’t get me wrong, I hit up the beach, walked along the boardwalk and visited the harbour but mehhhh. It was a busy, dirty city. I guess after I was so spoiled in Nice I was a little bit on my high horse as well. Thanks not to say I didn’t enjoy myself though! Met up with a friend from home which was comforting. Got to be in a real bed with a kitchen and get my laundry done. Got to lay my crap around and not worry about putting all back in that damn bag and locking it up.
✨when backpacking DO NOT use a bag with a top zipper, worst mistake I made. Even if there’s one on top and one at the bottom you have to empty all your stuff out because of course what you need is in the middle. No no. Get a bag that zips all around the front. What can I say, we live and learn.✨
My friend had recently moved to the area so we got to explore together, we beached, shopped for furniture, partied up a storm. It was an awesome weekend. Really cool to be able to meet up with someone from home 6000km away!
So this is where my story starts. I guess much like many girls it starts with a guy. “Lets work on us.” Fine, I’m a romantic. Why not. Quit my job of ten years and moved across the country for a guy. Well that didn’t work out. Took three months for me to crack and have him move into the guest room, and another 2 for him to decide Alberta wasn’t for him. If you can believe it, he called me at work to tell me he’d head back to the east coast sometime soon but not sure of the date yet. Three days later he was packed and gone. A nine year relationship ended like that. With me in a small country town surrounded by cows all by myself because of a decision I made to follow a guy across the country.
I was livid. Hurt. I couldn’t understand how someone who was supposed to love me more than anything could desert me so easily. I started to believe that I didn’t matter, that I wasn’t important. Don’t get me wrong, I make friends easily and I have many close friends, but everyone has their own lives and it’s not easy for me to show vulnerability and depend on another person. I made promises at work giving them a year, and well back in Montreal everyone had made bets about how long I’d last out in the middle of nowhere ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months, I wasn’t about to cop out and prove them right!
So I stuck out the year alone, once it was over it was done though. I realized that as much pain as I had gone through (and was still living through) I was free. I didn’t have any obligations tying me to Canada. For once in my life I didn’t have to run back to The motherland for work or for my boyfriend. I took the money I saved, drove across the country back to Montreal, spent the summer partying, going to music festivals , eating, hanging with friends then bought a ticket across the pond.
Sex. That’s all it is. That’s how it started and that’s what we continued to do.
First eye contact in the bar, the vibe, the first thought, sex. It happened. It was fun. Then it ended up lasting longer than the one night. Now don’t get me wrong, one night stands are easy and bed buddies are fun but there has to be a certain amount of respect thrown into the mix. I mean one night stands are exhilirating because of the excitement, the lust, the build up. Bed buddies are a little more interesting because of the freedom you have to experiment. And experimenting has been aweeeesome these last few weeks, but the respect on the other end of the relationship is starting to dwindle. I’m not the one that has slept with other people throughout the last few weeks. I’ve slept with no one but him, yet I’m being called the little slut? Because I had sex with him even though we weren’t together? Because of the things I’ve been willing to try with him? By telling him I’m not a slut and it’s not nice to say that and jokingly saying ” I’m not going to continue sleeping with you if you keep calling me one” gets a “Fine, your loss not mine. I’ll find someone else.” Fuck that noise and that double standard.
Women should feel empowered. They should be able to take their sexuality into their hands. Sex is amazing. It’s good for the body and it’s good for the spirit as long as both parties respect each other. Physically it just feels good, it helps relieve stress while also releasing endorphins which tie into your emotional state. No one is talking about lovey dovey emotions here, just that even if it isn’t a long term thing the intimacy can be nice and it can feel empowering knowing how strongly you can affect a man (or woman) when you see the lust in his/her eyes. Why not be able to indulge? Why should women be judged for having sex without the ring while men are getting high fived for it?
Turn it off. Turn off the need of his approval. Do what makes you feel good. He doesn’t want to respect me? Fine I’ll use him too. I’ll use him for my own sexual wants and needs. I’ll use him to experiment. Honestly I’ve always been one night stand kinda gal because I’ve always been too shy sexually to have to face the guy again. Not knowing what I’m doing right or wrong? What he likes, what he doesn’t? What if I suck at this?! And I don’t mean in the under-the-belt kinda way. Well I guess after sleeping with this guy multiple times a day for over a month, if he doesn’t have respect for me by now, I ain’t gaining it any time soon. So why not use this as a learning opportunity?
Ladies I’m not ranting about feminism here, equality and blah blah blah. Just empowerment. Feel good about who you are and the situations you put yourself in. Life is about choices; which situations you want to flee from, which to deal with and how you choose to handle them. Do what you gotta do to make yourself happy.
Nice. Nice. It’s no surprise that when you read Nice in English it’s nice. This place is beautiful. Reminds me of what I’d imagine California to be except French and in my biased opinion a little better. Walking along the promenade seeing all of these good looking people laying out of the beach, running and biking along the boardwalk; yes I could handle this life. The best part? Not only are they all active and gorgeous but they also eat, and not just salads. Butter! There’s a time to be active but they also know how to enjoy life; and what better way than with food and of course wine!
First night here I went for supper at a resto called “African Queen” next to the water in town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The drive to get there, breath taking. The views along the coast are something indescribable! Arriving at the restaurant walking from the parking lot you pass all these yachts, when I say yacht I don’t mean a boat with two decks to lie out on and enjoy the water. I mean massive things with helicopter pass. Um yes please? The food at the restaurant was nice, the wine was great and well the company….ummm let’s just say when in France don’t expect a nice French guy to take you out as a friend and actually mean it. Friendly dinner to show me around apparently means date. Sorry Monsieur , not interested.
Back the the hostel I could have sworn I was in Australia. It was like being in a scrum and I was in the centre of it. Great peeps but jeez are there any Aussies left in Australia? In the 50 people I met there was a group of 3 French people and a Swiss guy and the rest were Australian. The French were coming to the south of France to chill out and relax and the Swiss guy was running away to a new life. So happy I met these awesome people. Spent the next few days chilling out, drinking red wine, eating croissants, playing guitar, sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash and just taking advantage of time without having to punch in and out of anywhere.
I would recommend to anyone with the opportunity to spend a night with a stranger on a beach in a foreign country. There’s just something about the mystery of the new person, the vastness of the open water, the sound of the waves, the excitement of a new country, the first kiss. Do it! Just beware! Nice is a clean city for a reason, they pass by at 5 am on boats with massive hoses and spray the beach. HELLO! Way to wake up!
Decided to be like the Beatles and be a day tripper. Did the whole Monte Carlo thing. Meh. It’s for some, just not for me. The fancy cars are pretty, the Hotel de Paris is dandy, and yeah there’s the casino. But I’m no gambler, find me a good looking 007 type and hand me a lychee martini while he plays sure, but otherwise it wasn’t quite my scene. A day there was enough and I was jumping back on a train to my lovely Nice.
I must add as a little footnote here the powerful feeling of walking along the Promenade des Anglais and coming across the area where the shootings killed 86 people a few months prior. The path of poems, the teddy bears and flowers left for those that were taken was heartbreaking. I wasn’t personally affected by the shootings but it’s impossible to be in that environment and not have your heart go out to those who were. Love and hate are on opposite ends of the spectrum yet the strength of each emotion is equally encompassing. It’s impossible to ask the world to get along and agree to all the same views, but if only individuals could practice acceptance. Everyone has different beliefs and cultures but if only everyone could accept that and live and let live.