Category Archives: SO EXCITING!

A new countdown begins!

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It’s no secret that I’ve caught the traveling bug, and I think after going to Europe last summer for the very first time it got even worse. I vaguely remember coming home after 3 weeks in Greece with 3 of my best friends and feeling like my ACTUAL home would never be the same to me again. I was wrong, of course, but when that travel high went away I realized that what I REALLY wanted was simply to have the opportunity to travel MORE. Instead of spending all my money on ALL THE THINGS that didn’t matter, I wanted to save & see the world.

Coming home from Greece last year I remember feeling one thing for certain. I LOVED Europe & I wanted to go back and see many more of the countries there. However as a student, that trip was extremely expensive for me. I told myself that  I would go back when I was no longer a student struggling my way through expenses.

Turns out, I just can’ t stay away from Europe.

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or if we’re friends on Facebook you may have already seen my news but… I’m going back to Europe for almost THREE weeks in August! I’ll be spending 19 days with my best friend traveling through Italy, France, and parts of England. Things may change a little bit here and there (we’re still figuring out our itinerary) but basically that is what we have planned.

I’m SO excited. We’ve been talking about this trip for weeks now, but as of Saturday our flight to Rome (and leaving Paris) is BOOKED!

I’m so nervous, to be honest. I love talking about traveling the world but I think this trip will be my scariest yet. I have to find a backpack. I’m going to be traveling into different COUNTRIES. Just the two of us. Probably staying in hostels with strangers. I’m nervous because I’m going back to a country I LOVE and I have all these memories from my last trip. I know that traveling has been SO good for me. I’ve ultimately changed as a person for it. It makes me nervous to see who I’ll be when I get home on August 26th after three weeks of living from a backpack. Last summer I had so much trouble re-adjusting to being home and I just don’t want to go through that again.

But most of all? I’m excited. I’m SO excited. I’m going back to Europe.

I’m visiting places like this:

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Europe 2012. Let the planning begin! 

If you have any suggestions, recommendations or tips for any parts of France, Italy or England… I’d love to hear them 🙂 

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In 24 hours…

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I’ll be in Florida!

Today is my last day at home before catching my flight BRIGHT and EARLY tomorrow morning! I’m so excited to get back on a plane, spend 6 days with two of my best friends, take a million pictures, cross off a number on my Life List, meet my first blogger, and just all around be in warmer & sunnier temperatures in a new city!

I have a LOT to do today, but it felt weird not stopping in to just write a goodbye post on my little internet space. I’m so rarely away from my blog for weeks at a time, I’m sure I’ll miss it around here! A little blog break never did anyone any harm though, so I’m going to embrace the time away to re-energize and just live in the moment. I’m sure I’ll pop in on Twitter, but other than that I don’t see myself doing anything too crazy on the internet while on vacation!

I know I’ll come home with LOTS to talk about, as I always do after vacations, and I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll find a way to do a giveaway with little things I pick up from Harry Potter World and Universal Studios. (I had so much fun doing that after Greece!)

I’ve been checking the Orlando weather regularly on my iPhone, and although there is a lot of possibility for rain, it’s going to be REALLY WARM and NOT SNOWING so I’m happy!

While I’m gone, I have a ton of people guest posting for me once again- there are a few days that have two people because I had such a good response to my call for guest bloggers! So please take some time to read their writing, for half of them it’s their first time writing for someone else, and I know they’d love your feedback 🙂 I’m *thinking* my giveaway when I come home will have something to do with their posts, so check them out, leave them comments & say hi on their blogs too!

Have a fabulous week, see you NEXT Monday! 🙂

My hotel in Orlando! 

Trip Planning

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It’s no secret that I love traveling. I’m not as well-traveled as some of my friends, but I’ve definitely picked up the bug and I constantly feel like I’m working to pay myself another plane ticket.

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And honestly? I wouldn’t have it any other way in my life right now. I wish I could do MORE of it, spend a year abroad even! I love EVERYTHING about traveling. I think my absolute favorite part though, besides the actual BEING there, is planning. When I booked my plane ticket to Greece I spent endless nights with my 3 girls around our various kitchen tables looking at pictures, hotels, hostels, ferry tickets and other things that we could do. I think the whole experience of actual trip PLANNING brought my friends and I closer together every single time I’ve gone somewhere with someone other than family.

I have a thing with to-do lists, ha 🙂

I read a book last year which stated that you can find more happiness in the activities you do if you learn to appreciate the anticipation and the planning of the activity. That line stayed with me because I realized just how TRUE that was. Ever since, I have learned to love planning and anticipating what’s to come. It really is half the fun! When I was finally in Greece and would arrive at the hotel that we had spent hours researching and reading reviews about, I got such a rush realizing what an amazing place it was. The four of us took so much time to pick places that we all intuitively felt good about, it was SO rewarding when the time we took to do things right paid off. Not to mention I have such fond memories of sitting with my friends, sipping coffee & and endlessly talking about everything our future was holding for us. 

As my vacation to Florida approaches, I’m getting really excited to sit down with my two friends and start deciding what we want to do. I was so exhilarated after we pressed the “confirm” button when we booked, but since then we haven’t had the chance to get together and talk about what we want to do. I’m leaving in exactly THREE weeks and I think it’s time I get back into the excitement of planning my trip. I’ve exchanged e-mails with some of my favorite Florida bloggers, I’ve begun planning who I’ll meet, where I want to go; all that’s missing is putting these pieces together with my girls.

I know that none of us want to fully book our 6 days while we’re there, we want to leave space for spontaneity, which I’ve learned is one of the best things. But I’m so excited to sit down and get MORE excited with them about getting on a plane and visit a new part of the world for the first time together.

I’m definitely most excited about visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (it is on my Life List, after all!) but I am genuinely just ecstatic at the idea of living out of my suitcase, spending every hour of every day with my friends, taking pictures, wearing summer-ish clothing, and forgetting about real life for a week.

I think this week the three of us will be getting together to really talk about what we want to do while we’re there, and I genuinely couldn’t be happier. Let the planning begin! 

What’s your favorite part about traveling? Are you a lover of planning like me? 

I’m going to be a wizard!

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Well, not actually. But ALMOST.

I just booked a 6-day vacation with two of my best friends to Orlando, Florida in February!

I’ve been itching to get back on a plane ever since the day I came home from Greece this summer. I finally have something super exciting to look forward to! We just booked our plane and hotel yesterday, so now we have to buy our tickets for Universal Studios & figure out where else we’d like to go… But I’m just so happy to do a little bit of traveling on my spring break from school.

You’d think that a bunch of twenty-two year olds would be planning a vacation to a beach for their week off, but not the three of us. We’re most excited to be spending some time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (where we’re all clearly going to become wizards, making our life dreams come true)!

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I’m basically just going to go around telling everyone that I’m off to Florida to become a wizard until I leave in February. That sounds normal enough, right?

Any suggestions on what to do in Orlando? What were your favorite parts at Universal Studios?

October: Goals. Seriously.

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September was a month of adjustment. Adjustment to home life once again; to routine, school, work and multi-tasking all these things at the same time.

But now it’s October and it’s time to stop procrastinating things. It’s time to feel productive & get things done. Here’s what I have in mind for myself:

1- Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I picked up this weird habit where I go to bed really late and wake up really early. I’m getting anywhere between 5 and 7 hours a night, usually no more. I am not the kind of person who functions on such a little amount of sleep, especially every day. I know there will be exceptions to this rule if I go out and have to work the next day, but I don’t want to stay online until midnight procrastinating homework.

2- Shut the computer off by 9 or 10pm at the latest. Related to the one above, I’ve been spending way too much time online in the last few weeks for absolutely no reason. I’m wasting so much time it’s unreal. I want to get back into the habit of splitting up my time between the online world and my own world. I don’t want to have my computer on all day and have it take attention away from things that need to get done.

3- Prepare for NaNoWriMo. Okay that was a scary sentence, but NaNoWriMo is NEXT MONTH and from the little research I’ve done into it, I need to have an outline and an idea of what all my characters are going to be like. I haven’t written fiction in so long that I’m kind of terrified about this, but if I complete it, I cross off an item from each of my goals’ lists. I really want to make time to sit down and brainstorm on this one.

4- Read more than 5 books. This one should be easy considering I read two books in the last 2 days… That leaves me with another 4 books (at least) for the month. I just hit 40 books this year and I’ve got 3 months to read 20 more. I don’t know if that will happen, but I’m going to get as close to my goal of 60 as physically possible. On an unrelated note, I’ve *cheated* a little bit by reading some really small novels as well as some manga, but they are *technically* books so I’m still counting them. It’s still more books than I’ve ever made time to read in a year.

As a side-note on this one, my original goal that I created in January was to read 40 books this year but then I thought about it and went up to 60. I’m so glad I challenged myself a little further! Who knows, maybe next year I’ll try for 70 or 80… Ok ok, I need to hit 60 first. 

5- Meet my nephew! This is going to be an easy goal, assuming he’s on time. My sister-in-law’s due date is October 24th. Before I write my wrap-up post on October, there should be a new member to my family and I want to make sure I’m there to say hello (AHH!)

6- Complete at least two random goals on my 101 or my 23 Before 23, and blog about them. I’ve got a few in mind that I want to do, so we’ll see how that goes. I should probably be completing more than 2 a month at this point so I should probably keep that in mind as well… But I’ll just leave it at that for now.

7- Start eating better again, figure out a fitness routine. Okay well this was a goal last month I didn’t complete, so let’s see what I can do to get back on track in October. I feel like if I can start doing fitness-like things again, then eating well will come with it. I also think completing this goal will make me feel a million times better about myself for the upcoming winter.

8- Be passionate. I feel like my life has been a little bit lack-luster these last few weeks, and I want to re-discover the things I am passionate about and be happy about the things I do each and every single day. I think that if I can just keep this in mind I’ll complete goals and go through my days feeling so much better about myself.

I’m excited for October. It’s only the second day of the month, but I have really exciting things planned every week & I can’t wait to see how I do with all of these goals.

What do you have planned for this month? 

Home.

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I can’t believe I’m already writing my post about being home from Greece. GREECE. My very first trip to Europe & my longest away from Montreal.

It was amazing.

There was actually so much amazingness to it, I’m not sure where to begin. But there are going to be a lot of posts and I’m going to hash out lots of details for people who are thinking of visiting Greece and want some tips. I’m very excited. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re ready for a week of photos, tips, stories, and more photos.

Today though, I’m going to focus on being home. I’m jet lagged, I’m still living half out of my suitcase, and I have lots of other little things that I need to catch up on.

Before I end this short post, I have a few things I want to announce.

First, go to Greece ASAP (haha, did ya see that coming?) I will share one photo for now, just because I’m home and I want to and you’ve all been very patient:

Standing at the top of Nea Kameni, the active volcanic island of Santorini. Behind us to the left: a view of Oia! 

Second, thank you to ALL my guest bloggers. While in Greece, I checked up on you all here as much as I could, and I loved seeing you share your posts with your readers. So thank you for writing something for me, I can’t wait to plan more posts with you all in the future (hopefully) and, most of all to readers, I sincerely hope you had fun meeting new bloggers and checking them all out.

Third, while I was away I had a guest post featured on the lovely Dana‘s blog about life at the age of 21. Check her out, and check out my story about my 21st birthday!

Fourth, if you read this far well then lucky you, because I’ve been thinking about this a little bit and I’ve decided that I’d love to host my very first BLOG GIVEAWAY!!! Obviously, it has to do with Greece and my guest bloggers and souvenirs.

It’s really not much, but it’s all hand chosen things from my favorite places that I visited. So if you feel like potentially winning a little care package from the Greek islands, well good.

What I’m giving away:

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– one bracelet from Santorini made of real turqoise, lava stone, and the Greek key

– one evil eye bracelet from Mykonos

– one handwritten and stamped postcard from Greece

– one magnet from the most beautiful beach in Kefallonia (a personal favorite too!)

– one key chain with the evil eye and other cute little things on it

– one bookmark with some of my favorite scenery on it

– One surprise of some sort that is not pictured but that I’ll be adding in 🙂

And there you go! That’s what I’ll be happily sending you. Here’s how to enter:

1) You must be a follower of my blog. Let me know how you follow me in a comment for an automatic entry

You must also do at least ONE of the following. Each thing you do gives you an additional entry: 

2) Follow me on Twitter & tweet me about my giveaway, then leave me a comment telling me you did so. You can tweet me this if it’s easier for you (but if you @reply me something witty I’ll give ya an extra entry!)

I’m participating in a giveaway on @melissaa24’s blog ‘Press Play’ to win a care package from Greece! https://imlivinginadream.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/home-2/

3) Go visit one of my guest bloggers’ blogs (not your own of course) and link me in a comment to a post you really like of theirs for an additional entry

and finally…

4) If you leave them a comment on a post & link me to it, you get a final entry

… and if no one enters, well I’ll just have lots more souvenirs to hand out or to keep for myself hehe.

The giveaway closes at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, September 4th 2011. I will announce the winner on Monday in my blog post of the day. You have to be willing to give me your home address so I can ship you the package of course!

And that’s all I’ve got for you for today. Tomorrow I’ll start writing full posts about my trip and sharing pictures, so prepare yourself. What have you been up to? How’s your life? I’m catching up on my Google Reader slowly, but let me know how you’ve been anyway. I missed blogging!

Leaving on a jet plane

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I can’t believe that today is FINALLY the day that I’m hopping on a 10 hour direct flight from Montreal straight to Athens, Greece.

In 17 hours from right now we’ll be touching down and staying for three entire weeks. I’ll be visiting different cities, villages and islands and I’m SO excited. My friends & I have been planning this for no less than THREE months.

Greece is one of my dream vacations, so this is pretty much a dream come true.

First time in Europe, and it’s one of my top 5  places to visit ever.

While I’m gone, I’ve prepared a whole ton of guest posts for all my readers and I’m so genuinely excited for you to be able to read each and every single one. Getting this together has been tough, stressful but more than anything it’s been awesome. So if you’re reading this right now, I hope that for every post that goes up you’ll make that person feel super welcome over here and show them a little bit of love, and go on over and visit their blog too (unless you already read it, in which case just praise their guest post because they all rock).

I’ve got a few posts lined up in there myself, and I hear that Greece has internet (woo hoo!) so maybe I’ll pop in and update when I get the chance.

If not, have the most fabulous three weeks ever, and I’ll see you all on August 30th!