The Wanderlust is Real

I got home from Thailand on October 26. It was a grueling flight home – I was sick, it was about 18 hours long, the food was terrible and my neck pillow was the absolute worst. We got to the airport, hopped into the first cab that we saw and made it home by 6pm local time. At which point, my mother looks at me and asks, “where to next?”. I couldn’t even help but give out an exhausted sigh and said, “I think I’m good for the year”.

And yet here I am, 3 weeks later, getting jittery because I don’t have my next adventure planned.

Maybe it sounds cliché but being in my mid 20s (exactly – I turned 25 while over in Thailand) with a stable job with a 28 day rotation, I need some type of excitement in my life. In the schedule that I’m in right now, there are 7 days that I am not scheduled to work (and before you go get your panties in a knot, there is a week that I work 6 out of 7 days). In those 7 days off, I typically pick up some overtime, do some groceries, hang out with friends and whatever other little jobs that I neglect while I’m on my schedule. That 7 days off though makes it the perfect opportunity to go travel.

One of the reasons that I’m not trying to plan my next travel adventure is because I’m in the pursuit of looking to buy a house. And being in Thailand for 2 weeks and not being able to look at houses before or after then probably caused me to lose out on a few bids. My original plan anyways was to wait until after Thailand to start very seriously looking for a house but this adventure just isn’t the same as looking up a million sights to see in a new country or trying to learn a new language. And the market right now is almost too fast for me to keep up and having only my income is not exactly working out in my favour (#singlegirlwoes).

Some of the places that I’m hoping to go next year is Costa Rica. I just really have this idea about surfing, volcanoes, laying at the beach… I think it could be the perfect combination of vacationing and travelling all in one beautiful destination.

Hopefully my wanderlust will calm down a bit and the housing market will work out in my favour so I don’t feel this nervousness about being in the same place for too long. In the mean time, I guess I should plan some day or weekend trips to keep myself afloat.

Anywhere that you’re planning on going to this year??


Ideas vs. Actions

I love the idea of writing a book but I don’t love the work required to write a book.

I love the idea of running a marathon but I don’t really love the idea of all the training that would be required.

I love the idea of loving winter but I don’t really like the idea of being outside when it’s cold out.

There are so many ideas that I have in my brain. Honestly. (For people who do know me, I’m not always a space case – there are sometimes thoughts going on upstairs… not all the time… hahaha). Yet there are so few ideas that I truly translate into practice.

That’s a huge issue with my generation (people born in the 90’s). We have so many ideas and we’re so open to new experiences but we can’t always pinpoint just one that we want to focus on. Our bucket lists are forever running and yet, how many of those items will we actually accomplish? And will we be sad with the ones that we don’t? Probably not – they were just something that sounded cool but we didn’t bother actually doing the research. Time is fleeting, this I know, and yet it feels like it will always be there. It doesn’t feel like it’s been another year of my life and yet, I’m a week away from being 25.

My generation is going to be one with a long resume from all the job switches. My generation will likely be able to say they’ve lived in four different cities within ten years. My generation is not going to slow down gently. We want to have everything as soon as it crosses our mind. I’m curious to see what retirement looks like for my generation and whether we’ll have the physical strength and monetary support to live the way that we want. What is going to happen to debt and mortgages as my generation continues to age?

I sometimes try to be focused. I try to have specific goals that I work towards as the days go on. I try to have some meaning in the everyday rather than letting the days pass me by. On the last point, though, I will admit that I spend some time waiting for the next travel adventures that I’m about to go on. For example, I leave for Thailand tomorrow! Travel is something that has given my life that clarity that I was talking about – how sometimes it’s worth staying in so many days a week so I can go out on these grand adventures.

My latest accomplishment in enjoying the everyday is the fact that I have picked up more books in the last 6 months than I probably did within the 6 years of post-secondary education. I have rediscovered my love of reading and I’m so thrilled that it was one idea that I was able to put into practice. My library card is definitely getting its full use and my brain is happy for the influx of new ideas. I’m hoping that this new habit (along with this occasional habit of writing in this blog) will help assist me towards writing a book one day. That’s also why I’m trying to gather up new experiences – to give me clarity and new perspectives for writing a story one day.

Who knows that other ideas I might be able to work towards. I’m a work in progress but I still try.

I write because…

I write because it’s a way to organize my thoughts. As people can possibly tell from reading my blog (or maybe it’s just my own criticisms of my own writing) but my writing seems to come out a little disorganized. I try my best to edit before I hit publish but even as I reread my own posts, I can see better ways to organize my thoughts. Nonetheless, writing gives me an opportunity to blurt out all of my thoughts at once. When I get really into it, I can figure out what’s going on in my subconscious mind. For some reason, this can be very difficult for me and so I find writing a very important part of my life.

I write in the hopes that one day I will be able to provide a thought-provoking blog post or short story or novel that will one day inspire another person. Even just one person. I think I would like to get into fiction writing (but instead I forever blog about my own personal life – my own flaw that I need to work on). It would just be so cool to me to have my own original idea and my own world that I’ve created on my own. And yet at the same time, I think that everyone’s reality is a little bit different just based on their own perspective.

Side note: do we see the disorganization in the above paragraph? Do I want to edit it? yes. But it would be counter productive as proof of why I need to edit and why I like to write.

I’ve always been a strong writer. I wrote a lot of short stories back when I was in elementary school. When I was in high school, I wrote poetry, songs and even plays. And then in university, I just went to academic writing. University seemed to kill my love for reading and writing because it turned it into something so professional and disciplined. It’s something that I eventually learned to love (another little tidbit about me – if someone would pay me my current salary to do my Masters of Arts and PhD, I would totally go for it – that’s how truly nerdy I am) but writing in the creative fashion is still something that I’m trying to get back. It’s a slow process. I have combined my love of academic reading and fiction reading and alternate reading these types of books. Doing this #everydayinspiration challenge with Word Press is my way of trying to get into writing again. I can admit right now – I will not be writing a post everyday. I am saving the emails and going to do them in order and likely be writing once or twice per week. That’s a lot better than writing a post every few weeks.

Maybe if I do more blogging (which to me is more like journal-ling but again, it’s a start), then it will lead to me do some fiction writing. Ideally some short stories. I just need to find some inspiration for characters and what message I want to send out to the universe.

I write because it makes me feel like a more well rounded person. I don’t know if that’s a great answer but it’s the answer that I’ve got tonight for my lovely readers.

Dear Future Me

I came across a blogger who was fulfilling a challenge of writing to yourself exactly 12 months from now. So here goes nothing.

So dear 25 year old me,

I wonder if you’ve been on anymore adventures. I wonder what you’ve learned over the last 365 days. I wonder what new questions you have uncovered that keep you up at night. Have you been playing the piano at all? Or been watching new documentaries and series that you randomly find on Netflix? How is the writing going? Where are you living? What car are you driving? Are you dating?

Did you celebrate International Women’s Day a few months ago? How about Earth Hour? Or International Day of Happiness? Is your hair longer? What are the latest additions to your wardrobe?

It feels odd to write to myself a year from now. In one way, it feels like such a short period of time. Like I should be able to say that you have written that novella (or novel if you’re feeling really inspired) or learned five new classical pieces on the piano. And by the same stretch, it’s barely anytime at all. I can think of how quickly the days, weeks and months can pass by. I can barely believe that in a week, it will be August.

I think that’s what scares me the most about time and feeling the tensions of the shortness and longevity of a year because then it might just be how my life slips away in front of me without being able to accomplish all my dreams.

Today started with a hike with my friend and her dog. We got in almost 10,000 steps (per my phone which might not be the most accurate) before noon. We also got a great picture of a waterfall that I never knew existed. Will this memory come up on my Facebook in a year and I’ll remember this day fondly? Would I remember it without the social media reminder?20160727_102459.jpg

Are you getting more excited or more anxious as you approach 26? Did you keep up with the Birthday Bucket List? What things have you achieved and which goals are you still striding towards? Do you still like going into work?

Overall, I’m doing just fine. Starting to approach more of the adult things in life like buying a home. Dating isn’t anything special but I don’t really stress out too often. My friends are still amazing and I’m glad I’ve been able to keep so many contacts current in my life.

Best of luck to myself over the next 365 days. Who knows what will happen but I am surely curious to see the end result.


Novel Writing

So it’s been a little while since I blogged. Thankfully, I don’t have a zillion followers and even if I did, I doubt they would believe that a whole lot was missing from their life haha. Nonetheless, I am back!

I still marvel at the idea of writing a book one day. I recently thought about renting a cottage in the middle of nowhere for six months to a year and just spending time with my laptop, my desk and my ideas. I don’t know if it would be the most effective way to get a book finished but I think it would also be pretty cool to try (even if it’s just an extended vacation from work). I would like to write a fiction but I think non-fiction interests are more in my interest. I am still waiting for that “a-ha” moment or question that someone else asks me but I’m getting some ideas of characters.

One character that I want to flush out more is a classy, put together woman. This character would actually be inspired by my trainer from work. Michelle (name changed) is someone who very rarely gets stressed out and is just always put together.

I think one of the reasons that characters like this are rarely featured or focused on is because people can’t always relate to this character. Even Michelle for example, I wonder if she thinks of herself as a put together woman… as someone who is never jittery, never speaks without thinking and never has a piece of clothing or even a hair out of place. That’s how I see Michelle, though.

Obviously I need to flush this character out more because obviously a perfect character isn’t relatable but still has potential. She’s going to need some flaws and she’s going to need a deeper story (you can tune in next year when I finally figure that out) but I think the idea of a balanced character is somewhat more intriguing than someone who is still trying to get their shit together. Maybe that’s why I admire Michelle and so many of my co-workers so much is because they are actually full functioning adults (versus me, which I like to brand as a “pseudo adult” but more on that another day… or maybe never because I don’t think it’s the most interesting thing). I find this character inspiring because she’s someone I’m clearly not. Society thinks that it’s just something that is supposed to happen but I don’t know if society gives enough credit for everything that needs to be done in order to get to that point.

One of the other interesting things about this Michelle character is that she is a full functioning adult without children. This is so contrary to what society seems to tell us to do – we’re supposed to grow up, find a partner and reproduce. I remember Michelle once telling me that she couldn’t have kids. I didn’t ask any further questions, I thought it was best to keep my nose where it belonged. I believe it’s something biological with the phrasing but I could be wrong. Yet it’s a lifestyle that is not always chosen so I think that’s what’s more enchanting. It’s a life that I see as so fantastic. She’s married but as a couple, they have the options to travel the world, to host elegant parties and go out until 3am on a weekday. AKA all of their money doesn’t just go into their children, which sounds pretty cool.

Stay tuned as I further discuss and delve into the issues of this character. And I’m trying to keep this character separate from the inspiration – there are obviously going to be features and quirks I will add and change to not just make this a weird biography haha.

Another characters that I want to feature in my fiction is what I see as a problem to feminism. Karla (again, name changed) is inspired by another one of my former co-workers and she made me question how feminism should be practiced. Was she empowering women by leading with sex and trying to get people to do what she wanted because she was good looking? I would mostly say no but she felt and acted so powerful that it was a bit disorienting. Karla was a very problematic person to me because she wasn’t exactly fighting for equal rights but she was using the different powers between the genders to her advantage. She kind of reminds me of Samantha from Sex and the City.

So even though it’s great that I have two character ideas, I still don’t have a fiction novel setting or even a message. And I still struggle with whether it’s the characters or the plot line that really makes the novel.

I guess it’s just one thing at a time. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more punctual with my next post and maybe it will continue on from this point or maybe I’ll just leave this until another day when I’m feeling inspired.

Trip Planning

A girl that I worked with at my previous job just got back from what looked like a magical solo vacation. I’m not 100% sure where she went but I see that there were beaches, great food and what looked to be like a great time.

I have done some solo vacationing… for my 22nd birthday, I went to Montreal on my own for 4 or 5 days. And while I was alone, I wasn’t lonely.

So my wonderful friend’s latest instagram posts have re-inspired me to look at doing some trip planning. I have full time hours at my job and a flexible schedule that includes a week off per month (but before you hate me, in exchange, I work weekends and night shifts haha). So I’m trying to plan a trip within a week. This has left some of my options somewhat limited but I think it can be done.

My latest destination in mind? Iceland. At the beginning of March.

There are a few reasons for choosing this country. One of them being that this country is incredibly safe which would mean that my mother would not be overly concerned with me being by myself. Another of them being that there seems to be enough to do within a 5 day period that I wouldn’t be stretching myself thin but will still be able to get a great experience out of those five days. As much as I would love to see other parts of Europe, I think I am going to try to save those for the summer or early fall when I would be able to enjoy the weather more. Iceland has a climate a lot like Canada so it wouldn’t be a total shock. Another reason for the timing would be in order to see the northern lights. For some reason, this is just something that I really want to see soon. Iceland is also a great country for hiking and beautiful landscape pictures, even though it’s cold. Even though it’s cold though, don’t be shocked if I go swimming in one of those thermal baths! How cool would it be to say you went swimming outside in March? I think it would be awesome!

I’ve been reading, pinning and Googling random and different phrases about Iceland to see what adventures I should choose to do and what the cost might be. I’ve used Tripomatic as a way to organize myself along with finding other peoples’ blogs about adventuring in Iceland. I found a great review about a Hostel which is a cheap(er) means of sleeping and showering and a way to meet other people. There also seems to be quite a few tours that will come pick up at the hotel in the capital city so I’m still debating about the necessity of renting a car. Flights look to be very reasonable but the rest of the shopping and food in the country is pricey but hopefully worth the experience. It’s amazing how the act of planning a trip can be as exciting as doing it.

Maybe it’s a combination of being restless and the wanting of a new years’ resolution but planning this trip has made me feel more grown up and looking forward to something. Between getting my new job in the middle of the year last year and getting used to shift work, I wasn’t able to travel anywhere last year. I’m hoping that 2016 and onward will let travelling be a possibility. And even if I don’t have as many friends in the same position, both monetarily and schedule wise, that’s not going to stop me from exploring different cultures and getting to know myself. My friend posted about the importance of travelling alone to get to know yourself and though she’s a year younger than me, her wisdom reminded me the importance of using my time and money for myself.

Any readers have any recommendations of things to do in Iceland in March?

Bucket List

So my birthday is coming up at the end of the week. A few years ago, my friend introduced me to a tradition of doing a set of new things per year (the number being the age that you’re going to turn). AKA this year, I should have done 24 things before turning 24. Now, I haven’t really kept up with this tradition but I think that it’s a pretty cool idea and I’d like to get back into it. I also want to try to tie some ideas from The Happiness Project and adding new things to my life to try to add to my happiness.

So my 24 things included the following:

  1. Donate blood – I did try to do this and did not weigh enough. But once I’m 24, that no longer matters
  2. Volunteer at a soup kitchen – nope 😦
  3. Go skating – nope
  4. Go see a psychic – nope but this is definitely still on my list
  5. Be a vegetarian for a month – not done but I did adopt meatless Mondays
  6. Play a game of chess – no
  7. Swim 10 x 100 IM on 2:05 – HA. no. Maybe next year without the time request
  8. Join a choir / something to start singing again – no but it’ll roll over
  9. Mail a letter to a friend abroad
  10. Bubble soccer – no but one day that would be cool
  11. Go hiking – started doing this one again, which is awesome. Just need to keep it up.
  12. Run over 10K – just barely over but it was done 🙂
  13. Do something crafty – knitting, cross-stitch etc – I did a few puzzles back in December
  14. Read a Stephen King book – I tried to read The Shining but I just couldn’t get into it.
  15. Take a cooking class – nope
  16. Buy someone a vacation – nope. Maybe in a few years
  17. Wine/beer/spirits class – no but that would be cool
  18. Go rockclimbing – no but I really want to do this asap
  19. Take up kayaking – nope 😦
  20. No bra picture – nope 😦
  21. Go on a picnic – nope 😦
  22. Hang up my SG singlet – donezo! Got my big girl career and left COB the beginning of June 2014
  23. Start and maintain a blog – kind of.
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So not the most successful when you look at it this way but I’m starting to think of 25 things to do before I turn 25… anyone got any ideas or suggestions?