To Journal or Not to Journal? | Travel

I’ve been researching the past few days on personal experiences related to travel in the UK. I found this great website, Rick Steves Travel Form, that has daily questions and answers about travel in England.

It has been great to read what locals think of certain spots in London, as well as experienced travellers. Amidst the posts, I came across a comment that linked to a travel journal by a woman whose first trip solo was in London.

Since I’m going in less than a month and leaving on my own, I figured I should check it out! The blog is by Deborah Guber and titled The Independent Traveler | The wayfaring journals of a single woman making her way through Europe, one city at a time.

Reading through her daily journeys made me think that I could do that too, especially to serve as a memory keep-sake for years down the line.

It might be overly ambitious to think it’s possible to create these logs on top of my twice per week posts and the fact that I will be interning full-time in London and travelling on my weekends.

I’m not sure, but it would be amazing if I could pull it off! If anyone else travel blogs or  knows of any good ones—feel free to comment links! I love getting inspiration from reading what people have done.

Goals, Plans, Success | London 2016

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So everything is coming together for my trip in exactly one month! I called my phone provider today to find out the details of paying my device balance, cancelling my contract and unlocking my phone.

To my surprise, I spoke with a lovely person who clarified the process and took as many times as it needed for me to feel 100% confident on what I needed to do.

Since I will be arriving in London (UK) the day before my internship starts, I went ahead and ordered a UK SIM card off eBay with the carrier o2. Now I have a number that will work over there, and I can make business cards ahead of time which is one less thing to worry about. I want to spend as much time over there having a great time, not fussing over details!

Other than that, I am really excited to start my placement and get my foot in the right doors. I plan on blogging throughout my stay—expect a lot more travel posts! I can’t wait to start using my new mirrorless camera (Sony a500), of which I blogged about here.

Stay tuned, and let me know if any of you will be moseying around England this fall! I hope to visit many other cities other than London on the weekends—it’s so hard to choose between them all!

If you had to choose, what city would you visit in all of the UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales) and why?

 

Back at It – Gym & Health

Now that my internship is all sorted for the end of August, I can finally relax and take a breather! I had been quite good at keeping up with exercise and healthy eating, except for the past week, where I was just preparing like mad for interviews.

Today it was quite easy to step back into the swing of things; having whole grain toast for breakfast and fruits and granola for my snacks. I may go to the gym later tonight and run a 5k on the treadmill.

I still would like to try a half-marathon in the fall—so far the farthest I can run is 10k non-stop. I will keep trying!

I have also been doing simple ab workouts and weight training with dumbbells from home. I really notice that I feel so much better when I keep up this lifestyle! Feeling comfortable in your skin really is the most important result you can achieve.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share how my fitness has been going! I’m quite happy with how far I have come, especially with long-distance running.

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.

Travel 2016

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I’m starting to get more excited about my upcoming travels interning in London, England from September to December! I’m currently applying for my Tier 5 Visa which has been interesting. 

I’ll be in London with others who are also doing internships, and we’re going to be staying in student apartments. I’ve never lived on my own before so I’m both excited and nervous!

I like sticking to a planned budget—doing groceries will be something new. I’ll be using my XE currency app all the time to figure out what I’m actually spending.

Despite all the possible challenges, I think it will be worth it for the experience.

Sleep Schedule

With such a varied work schedule, it can often be hard to pencil in sleep. I had a beautiful streak a few months back where I was going to bed at 10:30 p.m. and waking at 6 a.m. Alas, that didn’t last long.

Last night was the first time in weeks I had a solid five hours of sleep without waking up—quite the achievement! My friends think I’m crazy for being able to run on three hours, but I always think nothing is impossible with caffeine at hand.

Sure, you get those pesky eye twitches, jittery hands and occasional brain fog, but the insane amount of energy received is worth it! Having the motivation inside your mind match the energy needed to get things done is a great position to be in.

Do any of you night owls rely on caffeine as much as I do? Early birds, please share your ways in the witchcraft of normal sleep cycles!

I’ve heard of these mystical guidelines:

  • Turn off electronics an hour before bed
  • Have a routine every night
  • Only use your bed for sleep
  • Do not eat a large meal or drink a lot before bed
  • Do not exercise preceding sleep

These tips seem as foreign as my knowledge of politics. How does one do these things? Is it nature or nurture? These are the questions I have late at night.

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!