T Minus 10 Days | Travel

So there are only 10 days left until I leave the country (Canada) over to London (UK)! I work every day until right before I leave, and yet I still have so much to do!

Figure out how to unlock my iPhone while still on contract, talk to my bank, buy luggage necessities, meet up with friends—the list goes on!

I’ve never flown before, so I’m also getting  nervous about all of that, especially navigating my way through airport security and baggage checking/claiming.

I have a track record of always getting lost amidst the chaos (like Toronto when I visit) which is terrifying when you’re by yourself and especially when you don’t have access to wifi.

Google can’t always come to the rescue! I guess that’s what paper maps are for?

If any of you have any flying tips, don’t be shy! I have a layover in Toronto (I’m flying from Ottawa) and I don’t even know what goes on with my checked luggage. As long as I make it on the second plane with everything intact (including my sanity), all should be good!

Wish me luck. xx

Going Out More Often (GOMO) | Travel

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The past year hasn’t succumbed to much going out for me. Saving money to travel and intern abroad has taken its toll! Both by not having money to spend on events, or time to try new things due to work.

This is all about to change!

In less than two weeks I will officially be living in London, interning for 4 months and travelling around on weekends.

As my social hibernation comes to an end, I’d like to share just what I have in store for the first few weeks of my internship!

1. Afternoon Tea 

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Bea’s Cake Boutique

Such a quintessential British experience! The first weekend of my internship, there is a tea-going experience at Bea’s of Bloomsbury planned for us interns. Fancy drinks, sandwiches and deserts are to be expected!

How delicious do those treats look?

Photo Credit: Bea’s Cake Boutique

2. Secret Gardens of London

Now, I know these may not actually be secret; but a lovely Vogue UK article alerted me of their presence. It’s always great to know the non touristy places, perfect for capturing special pictures or just enjoying some quiet in a busy city.

Photo Credit: Vogue UK

3. Cliffs of Moher | Ireland

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A close friend of mine from university is randomly starting her Master’s program in Cork, Ireland when I’m starting my internship in London, England. What a perfect chance to get together and spend a weekend trip sight-seeing!

I’d love to see the Cliff’s of Moher, as the area looks stunning. There are various day packages that include transportation.

5. The British Museum 

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The British Museum, London

One classic tourist destination is the British Museum. I love walking through museums and galleries in general, so I’m expecting to have a great time in a place with so much culture!

You might catch me here more than once casually strolling along, or sitting on those fancy white steps, people-watching.

4. Networking Events

Always liking to be prepared, I scheduled different networking events related to beauty/fashion/PR into my calendar.

Eventbrite has been my main supply for these events! You can even track your events with their online RSVP page. It’s a great resource for different cities, wherever your location.

For instance, there are events for bloggers like #BloggersFestival and Bloggers Xmas! Now try and tell me those don’t sound like fun.

I hope I’ve inspired some of you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone! You never know who you might meet.

I mean . . .

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“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.” —Benedict Cumberbatch

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you know of any cool things to do in London, let me know! I’ll be living in Zone 1 this fall.

Flight Changes

So looks like I will be arriving a day later than planned in London. This brings me right up to the day before my internship starts! I’m not sure if I should be happy to spend another day with my family or disappointed to be missing out on whatever the other interns will be getting up to! FOMO is real, y’all.

I guess I’ll just have to be extra prepared, which is something I’m used to. I’m not so much worried about the jet-lag, as my circadian rhythm has never been normal, but having everything in order would be great.

Let’s just hope I can get everything set up in the span of one afternoon! Well hey, if a 3000-word research paper can be written in one day…

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa

My application for my visa has been approved! I am officially all ready to fly to London at the end of August. Under this visa, I have permission to be in the UK for two years as a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility) Migrant.

For anyone from Canada, Australia or other qualifying countries, the process wasn’t as bad as I expected. I hear applying for the BUNAC visa is a bit more difficult. The most painful part was the ~$1200 fee comprised of application and health surcharges. There was a fee to use the Ottawa Visa Application Centre (VAC) as well.

Luckily I was home when the New York UK Visas & Immigration Office returned my Canadian passport via DHL mail service. All in all, the process from start to finish took just over a week.

Now all I have to do is collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the local collection point from where I will be staying in London after I arrive.

I’m excited to meet new people, and if any UK bloggers feel the same, it would be great to eventually meet up/collaborate!

Anyone in or around London, England from September to December?

What to Do in Ibiza

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Some of the girls I’m interning with in London for four months recently proposed the idea of going to Ibiza for a weekend. Which immediately made me think of this:

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Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza

And after confirming sarcastically that this is not what will be happening, the idea has been really growing on me!

I’ve been checking out Pinterest and three articles caught my eye:

  1. 24 Hours in Ibiza
  2. Ten Things You Must Do On Your First Trip To Ibiza
  3. Top 11 Things To Do In Ibiza

And from these lists, my highlights:

  • Hitting the beaches is an obvious must—I’ll be in London for the majority of my trip which equals rain!
  • Watching the sunset—I love images of sunsets in general, and if you could see my MacBook skin, you would know just how much! (Hint: it’s a sunset.) There’s just something about all the colours together like a painting.
  • Check out Pacha, Amnesia Ibiza, Privilege or Space Beach Club—I feel like this is one of those When in Vegas moments; you can’t not experience the renowned nightlife in such a place.
  • Dalt Vila—this place looks pretty cool from an architectural standpoint. I love looking at unique buildings, and wandering around taking photos seems like a great way to immerse myself in the culture.

Have any of you been to Ibiza? Or planning to go in the near future? Let me know!

Flying to London, England

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I booked my flight! I will officially arrive in London around 10:58 a.m. on Sunday, August 28. I wasn’t planning on booking anything for another week, but when I saw one WestJet flight return to my budgeted airfare—I had to take it!

One catch—I will be experiencing a layover in Winnipeg. Now, I’ve never been in Manitoba before, or any other province except Ontario and Quebec, but it should definitely be interesting!

I think I’m more concerned about not losing my luggage in this extremely foreign land. Has anyone ever purchased travel insurance? Is it worth the money? Let me know! I’m travelling from Ottawa to London.

Going to the Gym

Over the past few weeks I have been trying my luck with going to the gym on a somewhat regular basis. I’ve tried going in the mornings, mid-afternoons, to late at night which seems to be the least busy time from my observations.

Last week I ran my first 10k (on the treadmill) in 66 minutes, which was an achievement! I haven’t been running for a very long time, and being able to run continuously and not die like I would in the past is quite something!

Since I’m going to London, England in a few months, I started looking up half marathons. I found three half marathons listed in London that fit the time I would be there—I’m thinking I’ll pick one and hope for the best!

Do any of you newbie (or pro) runners out there have any tips to running your first half marathon? So far I’ve concluded through reading other experiences that:

  • Drink water steadily; not too much to prevent side stitches and upset stomach
  • Eat something light but wholesome a few hours before running; find what works best for your body
  • Drink enough water well before your run to prepare for your body’s loss of water

I’m quite looking forward to the experience!

 

The Beginning—Take 2

Romantic London

I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve been following me along my blogging journey you’ll notice I haven’t posted in so long! And if you haven’t, well I welcome you to what I hope will be a regular blogging experience that I can fit into my work-life integration system.

I think one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get back into things is because I’ve been limiting myself, topic-wise. If you’ve ever blogged before then maybe you’ve also felt that same ‘I’m-not-completely-sure-what-my-brand-is’ feeling.

I’ve been taking social media courses over the past few months that have really helped me identify my interests and what kind of “different” perspective I can provide.

In the current world we live in, finding out what your unique traits are is crucial. There’s a fine line between admiration and imitation of those we find inspiring, which is something I’ve been thinking about recently.

I used to think that there was an exact science to creating the perfect website—you get that streamlined, modern design (which often comes at a price), promote throughout different channels and provide continuously spectacular content.

I’ve decided to take a more organic approach and see where I wind up. Blogging is supposed to be fun, right? And I really do love this writing style. Expect spontaneity if you do continue to read any of my future writing, because it feels more like an adventure when I step back and let the words flow—plans be damned.

SIDE NOTE: I am still interning in London, England (for PR) this fall (2016). I am excited about this new chapter and will share my thoughts along the way! (This isn’t a plan, though). 😉

Have any of you ever prolonged writing because of that ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset?

Plans for 2016

Anyone who’s been keeping up with my posts since the beginning might notice that I’ve been quite absent over the past few months! Well, let me tell you, I’m back. I’ve been keeping myself very busy with working full-time, taking online social media courses, volunteering with my university’s alumni association as a Social Media Officer, and developing my Twitter profile. I am officially accepted into an internship program for public relations in London, England for the fall, and I have many exciting things planned over the next few months.

Let me start by out by outlining what I intend to do with this blogging platform:

  • Create fashion/beauty/lifestyle posts every Tuesday
  • Create travel posts every Thursday
  • Post occasional updates on anything else happening in my life (on Saturdays, perhaps?)

I have always possessed a particular aesthetic for images, products and scenery. I enjoy collecting and storing these things in a database, and different media networks allow me to do so. I have also always wanted to travel abroad, and I am greatly looking forward to getting this chance come September. I plan on posting any travel tips I come across, along with stunning photos that other travellers have taken along their own journeys.

I will be creating content by next week, so hopefully by February I am posting regularly! I also plan on developing my Pinterest account and my Instagram account. My Twitter page is devoted to fashion, beauty, media, and travel; essentially, it’s the micro-version of my ideas for this network. For my Instagram, I plan on fully committing to a white theme comprised of mostly fashion and beauty photography. I will provide links to them here when I feel they are worthy…

Lastly, I hope to use both this network and my others to get to know other bloggers interested in these same areas of focus. From social media to fashion and travel, there are endless avenues to pursue that are all equally beautiful and exciting.

Any beauty/fashion/lifestyle or travel bloggers out there have any tips? How did you start blogging? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Travelling Aspirations

So, as per usual, my poor sleeping habits have left me to wander the Internet until the early hours of the morning these past few days. Aside from the tinge of grumpiness experienced at work with 8 a.m. starts, I’ve had quite a nice time. I have been extremely preoccupied with travelling and whether I will have enough cash saved up over the next year to finance what I want to do. Since I want to go to London, I was looking at nearby countries that I could possibly take a train ride over and experience for the weekend.

This lead to a long and effortful search, comparing prices for different days of the month in different cities to see where I could feasibly go that was affordable. France, Belgium, and Switzerland ended up being my final three choices, although Amsterdam would be really cool too if I could find a cheaper way of getting there. My top two, if I only had time for two places outside the UK, would be Paris, France and Bern, Switzerland. I haven’t done too much research into Switzerland yet, but it does look beautiful and I know some basic German to get around.

Paris, on the other hand, I never thought I would want to visit. But some of the museums there look absolutely stunning and worthy of investigation. I also know a little French, though I’m sure I could brush up a bit on it if I did decide to go. In particular, The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles really caught my attention. I would also have to take the traditional self portrait at the Eiffel Tower, which is a 10 minute ride from The Louvre. It seems you can also get something called a Paris Pass which allows you entry into many attractions and local busses.

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The Louvre – Interior
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The Louvre – Exterior
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Palace of Versailles – Interior
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The Gardens of Versailles

Of course there are many things I want to check out in England as well, like the Bram Stoker Film Festival in Whitby, Yorkshire and the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London. 221b Baker Street is also another must for my inner-geek who adores Sherlock Holmes. I also need to see the British Library in London, just to have something to aspire to with my current ever-growing collection of books. Additionally, I want to walk through the grounds of Oxford University, as the architecture is quite stunning.

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I really hope that I get to travel next year. Some people may think it’s a waste of money, but I figure now is the best time to get out of my comfort zone and experience some new things on my own.