Tag Archives: Travel

A little motivation to move

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You might say that in the last couple months I’ve really slacked on eating well and exercising. I think there’s a million reasons excuses that I could give as to why this happens. I mean, in the winter time it’s easy to just get comfortable in a routine of NOT moving around because the weather is no fun and, let’s face it, I hate winter and being part of it.

Actually, as a side note, one of my goals this year was to find a way to appreciate winter. I really tried, you guys, but realized once the snow had melted how truly relieved I was to see it all go. I came to the conclusion that the only part of winter I’ll ever appreciate is the excess amount of teas and coffees I drink, Christmas, and reading with a warm blanket.

Summer is so much prettier anyway 🙂

Back to my point, though. I get into this routine of doing-nothingness and it’s the easiest thing ever to just stay there. The worst part? I was doing a KICK ass job of eating awesome back in January. I’d actually never felt better than when I’d cut 95% of the meat out of my diet and replaced it with other various proteins. I had really taken myself out of my comfort zone & accomplished a goal I’d never even though I could do. I was proud of myself and I had SO MUCH FUN with it.

Now that I look back, I was eating all that amazing food right before I left to spend a week in Florida. And the time before that, I spent a ridiculous amount of time exercising and eating well right before my trip to Greece. I have a pattern that I’m beginning to notice as I started subconsciously eating really well these last couple days & significantly cutting the CRAP out of my every day diet.

I like to eat well when I have a goal to work towards. AKA vacation. AKA I want to feel good when I’m on a beach. The thing is, I book vacations so regularly now, a healthy lifestyle should be so much easier for me to keep up because I know I’ll always have somewhere to look forward to being. But I don’t WANT to just keep up a healthy lifestyle for as long as I travel- I want this to be a long term kind of thing. So why is it SO HARD for me to stay motivated to always eat properly and exercise regularly? Shouldn’t WANTING to FEEL GREAT be enough motivation? Why do the caramel frappucinos always beat out my willpower?

Must eat well now so I can eat pasta every day in Italy! 

I work in a really big store where there is a built-in Starbucks. This has been my ultimate downfall, although I’ve been really good at regularly ordering the ‘skinny’ version of anything I want. They all know to cut all the sugar out of my drinks, and yet I still feel extremely guilty at how often I get a coffee. Like, every day. Sometimes more than once a day.

I want to make a permanent lifestyle change without slipping back to old habits. I’m not sure how to make this a permanent thing yet, but with 2 and a half months before I’m back on the beautiful beaches of Europe, I’m willing to give this good eating & exercising thing yet another shot.

I’m going to start by cutting out a BIG part of the bad stuff I eat and replacing it once again with fruits and veggies. I want to cut down on the meat I eat again. I’d been doing really well at consciously eating LESS of it, but with school & finals that all went away too. I’m going to make healthy choices when I eat out, and try with ALL MY WILLPOWER to pretend there isn’t a Starbucks 10 feet away from where I spent 7 hours of my day.

I really want to give Jillian Michaels another try but so far she’s been my biggest downfall because I can never finish her freaking work outs. She’s too hard on me, guys. I think I may try some easier work outs at first and then kick butt in Jillian Michaels and see what happens from there.

I can do this. 

I’m even going to make myself a nice little deal. If, by July 1st, I’ve held up my personal goal of eating well, avoiding foods that are clearly not good for me & making a conscious effort to exercise regularly, I will buy myself a lovely new bathing suit for Europe & some other treat that I haven’t decided yet. I really want another bathing suit though & the ones I like aren’t CHEAP. If I’m going to spend the money, I better feel damn good wearing it. So I mean, I have to make this work!

What do you do to stay motivated in your healthy eating & exercising lifestyle? 

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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 🙂 

Oh, Summer!

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There is something about summer being just around the corner that gives me a little spring in my step. Despite the chilly, rainy temperatures these last couple weeks, I’m still so excited about the next four months.

I think it’s the freedom that summer brings. It’s this extra little bonus to my favorite season of the year. I love knowing that the next 120 days are all mine to do what I please. It feels like this stretch of time where anything is possible. It reminds me of being a kid, when the last bell of the year would ring, and I knew I had all these beautiful days to play outside with friends.

This summer, I want to focus on me. I wrote last week about the Ups & Downs of life and how I want to learn to appreciate the moment, and that’s just what I want out of this beautiful upcoming season. Without homework or studying to worry about for the first time in a LONG time, I feel like there is the possibility to do so many great things.

Last summer, I did too much anticipating, rather than living. Looking back, I feel like all I did was try and get through every day until I left for Greece. It was the trip of a lifetime, but I wish there were more memorable moments in the other months to look back on, too. This year, I want to fully enjoy each month, instead of waiting for what’s next.

As of this month, I want to start doing more things for ME, feel less guilty about it, and just overall enjoy the gorgeous weather whenever it gets here.

I want to go to lots of concerts, work to save money, focus on my blog & making my writing the best it can be, and maybe even doing some writing on the side for that book I’ve always wanted to write. I want to read more, finish my scrapbook, spend time in the mornings responding to all the lovely mail I’ve been receiving from bloggers around the world, and most of all never let any of these fun things feel like a chore.

So here is to a summer of taking a step back, enjoying all the beautiful things in life, and hopefully going on an adventure in a new part of the world.

What are the things you enjoy most out of life? Any big summer plans?

Currently… #3

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Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! It kind of seems like a while since I’ve just written about life in general, and I always happen to find this type of post an easy way to play catch up on what’s been going on!

Currently… 

Reading

As I write this, I’m about to finish up an advanced reader’s copy of Insurgent by Veronica Roth. It’s the sequel Divergent which came out last May. To be honest, I haven’t been loving it. I had REALLY high expectations for this book, but I set those aside long ago. I think a lot of people will really love it, but I’m kind of feeling like Roth is steering this series into a place that I wasn’t expecting, and it’s not really my style. That being said, it really picked up around page 300 so I’m excited to finish it. 100 more pages to go!

Listening

Our Lady Peace. Their new album is pretty good, but I’ve been listening to their Greatest Hits since last Monday when they were in Montreal for a show. I didn’t have the chance to watch their set which is a SHAME because they always put on a fantastic show. I did however get to watch Raine Maida sound check the song “Thief’ and honestly, current favorite song. He is a musical genius. I also had the opportunity to interview Jeremy, the drummer of OLP. He was one of my very first interviews about three years ago when I first started working for CONFRONT, so it kind of felt like my journalist career was coming around full circle. Interviewing the same big-time Canadian artist twice is something that I am VERY fortunate to be able to say that I have done.

The Ting Tings. I reviewed their newest album ‘Sounds From Nowheresville’ on my blog last week & I must admit it’s grown on me even more since then. I also had the chance to interview Katie, half of the musical duo, on Saturday night on the phone. She was SUCH a sweetheart it was an absolute pleasure. She has the most charming British accent, I’ll be honest it kind of felt like I was interviewing a Spice Girl. Plus she loves SG so it worked out well, ha. 🙂

– I’ve actually had a few other albums on repeat this last week or so, and I’ll be doing a little re-cap on the rest of them later in the week, probably! So much amazing music has been popping up in the last month or two, it’s time I start sharing some of it!

Watching

Community. Why am I so late on this show? IT IS HILARIOUS YOU GUYS. I’m well into season 1 now and I am just secretly so happy I have three whole seasons of the funny-ness to watch. It is so weird but so, so fun to watch.

Best Friends Forever. I downloaded the pilot episode a few days ago (the show just started) and I was laughing the entire way through. It’s a new sitcom, and I really hope there are new episodes coming up. It’s so funny!

Needing

– I seem to write this with every ‘Currently’ post I write, but I still find myself needing more time. I’m hoping to resolve this issue with my April goals of tackling procrastination, but so far I haven’t had much luck because I seem to be LOSING time rather than finding more of it. Long story short, I ended up losing 5 prime hours on Saturday morning/afternoon and I could have really used my day off to do homework and chores and things like that.

To book a vacation. I found myself gazing at this cup I keep on my desk where I collect various shells, rocks & coins from my travels around the world. There are a lot of things from all the beaches I visited from Greece as well as the volcano I climbed, and I’m just itching to find new things to add in there. I need to travel!

More days spent with my nephew! It seems like forever since I’ve written about my favorite little boy, but he is still growing and getting more of a personality each time I see him. I wish I had more free days to see him, but with finals that just isn’t possible. Luckily photos like the ones below happen to surface on Facebook and in my e-mail with the heading ‘BAD BOY FOR LIFE’ and that makes it a little bit easier. I can’t wait for the summer to see his cute little face more!

Avoiding

– Homework. Studying. But is that anything new? Not at all. This week though, regardless of my ridiculous work schedule, I’m getting my work done and I’m going to NOT procrastinate. That’s the deal I have with myself & I refuse to take no for an answer. From myself. That sounded less weird in my head…

Loving

– Drinking too much coffee. Why must it be just SO delicious?!

– The fact that classes are over for 5 whole months. WHAT! In 2 exams I am free for 4 months!

MY BRAND NEW HARRY POTTER SCENE IT GAME. Yes. Love. Indulging in my obsession/addiction, needing to find more people to play with!

Now that you’re all caught up… What’s currently going on in your life?! 

It’s a promise.

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Some days, I feel like the top of the world. Other days, I really just need someone to realize that I need a big hug and some reassuring words that everything is going to be okay.

I knew this was going to happen to me, it always does after a vacation: I start to get very sad. I didn’t even think it was going to happen THIS time, because I was only gone for about a week & I was trying to prepare myself beforehand… But I have to face the facts. I’m an emotional person and I tend to let my feelings get the best of me when I least expect it. 

Coming home makes me sad, because I always realize one big thing after the first couple days: I’m ready to leave again. My vacations make me feel AMAZING and FREE and like I can DO ANYTHING I want. I love it, and I know that one week just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. My heart is telling me that bigger things are waiting for me in this world.

So what’s holding me back? 

I’m not gutsy enough yet. I’m a worrier. I’m bad at saving money. I’m convinced I wouldn’t survive out there, even though I really want to. Maybe I’d miss home too much. Maybe I’d miss friends & family WAY too much. People might forget about me or lose interest in keeping in contact with me if I was gone for too long.

The list goes on, and on, and on, and on. 

But the feeling of wanting to leave? It’s still there. It’s been lurking in my mind for the last year or so, and it just isn’t going anywhere. I have very little motivation to complete my schoolwork because I don’t currently feel like I’m pursuing what I WANT to be pursuing. My heart just isn’t in it. I don’t feel like I’m living the life that I want to be living at 22 years old. I’m still young, there are so many things I want to do, and realistically there isn’t THAT much holding me back at home (other than friends & family that I would miss). The truth is, I want to pack a bag and I want to immerse myself in a far away land for a few months. Maybe I could study there, or work, or volunteer, or just roam the different cities and discover how different people live their lives.

I just know I want to go somewhere far. I KNOW I’ll miss home, but I *want* to miss home. Next time I leave, I want to come back and not feel like I’ve lost an opportunity somewhere.

What I’m saying is that I talk a lot about accomplishing goals, making lists and living life on my own terms, but there’s just SOMETHING I’m not doing right, because this isn’t how I should feel every time I’m back home. I LOVE home, I love my “me time” and I really love the people I have back home, but really really deep down? I know all these things will still be here after I throw myself out of my comfort zone for a little while. I want to stop being jealous of the stories I read of people living their dreams. I want to be the person writing those stories from a distant continent. 

I needed to write this post to remind myself that I need to take a look at myself and choose what’s best for ME, not for everyone around me or for the me in 10 years. I’m making myself a promise. A big one that I 100% intend to keep.

By the time I turn 25 years old, I want to be traveling the world in a BIG way.

It’s time to start planning and making this happen. I think that planning THIS kind of trip is going to make everything a LOT better for me.

I’m already smiling. 

Florida Adventures

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Yesterday, I blogged all about my 3-day adventures at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but surprisingly enough I actually had time to visit OTHER stuff during my 5 day vacation to Orlando, Florida. Today I thought I’d try and re-cap the rest of my trip so that I could have some pictures and words to remember it all by!

On my second full day in Orlando, we decided to have a relaxing day by the pool to catch up on reading, music-listening, and basically just enjoying the fact that we’re on vacation in HOT weather when it’s COLD back home.

Unfortunately, after about an hour and a half outside, we realized it would not be a very good day to stay in the sun because… The sun was no longer out. Of course we chose the one cloudy day, sigh. Instead, we got ourselves prettied up & walked down I-Drive to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not for a little bit of adventure and fun picture-taking.

 

After learning all about lizard people, the tallest man, and people who made famous paintings out of food, we bolted back to the hotel with big, stormy clouds above our heads. We didn’t quite make it before the rain started because we ended up stopping in a little ticket booth where we purchased spontaneous tickets to the Pirate Dinner Theater show for that very night!

The show was SO awesome- I had never experienced dinner theater before, and the idea and set-up was just so cool. We were seated in a really BIG pirate ship that was split up into different colors. The color you sat in was the pirate you cheered and helped for the whole show, and we got green! I couldn’t take that many pictures because it was quite dark, but it was a really fun experience; I would recommend dinner theater to anyone who wanted to give it a shot!

The next day we decided it was time to head back to Universal and discover the second park, Universal Studios. Instead of leaving our hotel super early we caught the later shuttle (10:25) because we wanted to stay at the park until later this time without getting too tired.

Universal Studios was SO fun. I had no idea what to expect and I had a great time. It’s a little bit different than Islands of Adventure because it’s set up as different cities instead of themed worlds like Harry Potter. We walked through San Francisco, New York City, and Beverly Hills, we met some TV/movie characters, and we did all the themed rides there!

 

My favorite rides in Universal Studios were definitely the Simpsons Ride and The Mummy- even though I don’t like rollercoasters, The Mummy was a lot more exciting than some of the other rides there- but I still think my absolute favorite in the whole park was in WWOHP.

Overall I had a really great time wandering through Universal Studios, seeing which characters I would run into. Mascots in general tend to creep me out but I made the best of it! The Simpsons was such a fun experience because I grew up LOVING Bart Simpson (I had a doll of him when I was little that came with me everywhere). I was like a kid when I saw them taking pictures, it was so surreal even at my age!

We spent most of our day at Universal Studios, but later in the day we wanted to go back to Islands of Adventure to see the things we hadn’t seen on our first day.  This is what my 2 days at Islands of Adventure looked like:

 

 

I think overall, I had a lot more fun at Islands of Adventure, but not JUST because of Harry Potter. Jurassic Park was AWESOME and the ride (although terrifying) was a lot of fun too. I didn’t have very much fun at Poseidon’s Fury (it was more of a show, which we didn’t realize) but I loved walking through Marvel World, Toon World, and Seuss Landing. Islands of Adventure was BY FAR busier than Universal Studios, but that’s probably a big part due to WWOHP.

On our last full day in Florida the sun was FINALLY out, so we decided to spend some real vacation time outside by the pool in the morning. It was scorching hot and I loved the feeling of reading with the sun shining down on me. I ended up getting pretty sun-burnt before 3 in the afternoon, so we called it a day after about 3 hours outside. We made ourselves a hotel lunch (very yummy, I must say) and got ready to go out. Although we weren’t sure HOW we wanted to spend our last day in Florida, we ended up back at Islands of Adventure for 3 hours to enjoy a few more hours of WWOHP and finally we went to experience The Hard Rock Cafe.

 

 

 

We got back at our hotel around 10PM because we had a VERY early wake-up the next day for our flight home. Although we were delayed due to snow, I finally got home around 4PM the next afternoon.

I had SUCH a fun trip, I wished I could have stayed for just a few more days to escape the cold snap Montreal is having right now. I definitely plan on going back to Orlando to visit the theme parks again once they expand (read: when HP expands) because I was VERY impressed with everything there. Both parks were so well organized and the staff was always very nice to us.

Phew! That was a long post, but I really wanted to wrap up. Thanks for reading! Have you ever visited any of these places? What were your experiences like?

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!