Croatia Croatia

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Wassap all?! Been a while!

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….

 

 

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Marseille

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!

Best decision I could have made

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.

Best decision I could have made.

Amnesia Rockfest 2016!

There’s a reason when you read Nice in English it’s nice.

Bonjour la France!

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. 

Monte Carlo

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.

Promenade des Anglais

“You’re making a mistake. Youth is wasted on the young.”

To hell with that! I’m seizing my youth. I think that I have been very privileged to have been able to have the courage to put myself in foreign situations. 
I spend my days hearing that one day I’ll understand that I’ve wasted my time. That I’ll get old and have no possessions to my name and realize that it’s too late and I should have spent my youth building my future.

No! I love my life. I think by travelling I building who I am today. I may not have a lot of possessions, but do possessions make you rich? Nah, I’m not interested in not having stories to tell when I’m old, I’m not interested in living my life for things I could buy in the future.

I feel very lucky to have been able to travel everywhere I’ve gone and to have met the people that have forever left their marks on me. Through my travels I have been able to learn about what makes people from different cultures happy. I’ve taken the lessons from others and been able to apply them to my life. I’ve been able to open my eyes to other people and learn to accept everyone without judgement. Everyone has a different way of living, a different path and a different approach to how they want to live their life. I want to live mine being happy every day. I think the easiest way to achieve that is to live a minimalist lifestyle. I don’t need much to make me happy. I understand that everyone has bad moments, but I believe that every day you should feel happiness and peace at some point. In North America I feel as though people don’t see life that way. Everyone is always working towards the next big thing wether it be a new house, car, position at work. People are always living for their futures yet not enjoying the moments that matter. The ones that they are living now and the people that they share them with. I agree that goals are important, but the people I’ve been surrounded by in Canada are never accepting of their present state. Why work 51 months just to wind down with a 7 day vacation? How are you bettering yourself as a person by saving money to buy a house? I believe that the most important parts of life are when you are opening your heart to others. And I feel like I’ve managed to do that through travel.
I feel as though Canada may not be for me. I feel very anxious when I’m there, and materialistic. I think it’s a very selfish way to live and I don’t want to put myself in a position in life that I don’t respect. So far I feel as though I relate with the culture in Europe. It’s a place where they enjoy the small moments. Spending time with friends and family. Talking about life without gossiping. Travelling. Taking care of each other.

Thanks to my years travelling I’ve managed to create an international network. I have friends and opportunities in so many different countries. I might not have gotten these opportunities through a university program, but I’ve gained so much experience because of the way I’ve chosen to live my life. I’m opened to people and their ideas. Even if I may not agree with everyone’s ideas I want to learn their thoughts. There isn’t a right or wrong way to live life, just different ways; different choices on how to handle situations. Hearing how others view situations has taught me how to take a step back and consider different possibilities on how to let it affect me.

I can say with complete surety that I am still learning about who I am, but I think I am a good person. I think I’m positive and have a good energy that touches the people around me. I’ve had many people thank me for just being me, because after speaking with me they found courage to leave their comfort zones. Others just thank me for my energy, for being a light of positivity. That’s the most amazing feeling. I don’t think there is anything more powerful than being able to make the people around you feel empowered and happy.

I truly believe that you can do no wrong when you’re in an environment that you love.
I am so happy with where I am in my life right now. I feel as ease, comfortable, safe, happy, serene. Recently I’ve been surrounded by such beautiful souls, and I believe that is so much more important than the number in my bank account or whatever possession I could have had.

Few last words – fuck them all, buy the plane ticket.