Officially an Intern

So a few days ago I was informed of an interview that I would be doing today at 5 a.m. (10 a.m. in London) via Skype. Despite the early call-time, I was super excited and nervous about it for the past few days! It was with this cool fashion trend forecasting agency, and I am happy to say I landed the internship position.

I might go more into detail about it in a future blog post—for now I am not sure how much I can really say about it. What I will say is that it is exactly what I was hoping for!

I have always been interested in fashion/beauty/lifestyle articles and brands, so it is amazing that I am getting the opportunity to see some behind the scenes action.

That’s all I’ll share about it for now, but there will definitely be more posts to come as I get ready for London fall 2016!

 

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?

Switzerland Skywalk

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Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix

Imagine what it would be like to be standing on glass, staring out into the distant mountains of Chamonix, Switzerland. How cool would that be?

I might have the opportunity to experience such an adventure on my upcoming trip. I was thinking that right before Christmas I would pop on over to Paris and afterword mosey my way to Switzerland for some fresh air in the Alps.

Mont Blanc looks like a wonderful crash course into the potential that Switzerland has to offer. Not to mention it has the Aiguille du Midi skywalk!

We don’t have intense mountains in Ottawa, so visiting such a different terrain would be amazing. Has anyone else considered the lofty heights of Switzerland? How is the German over there?

The scenery alone looks worth the trip.

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.

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!

 

Sony a5000

Today marks the first day I am blogging on one of the days I set out to blog on! (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Time for the hard part of keeping up with it—anyone have tips to remain on schedule?

Anyway, a few days ago I ordered the Sony a5000 mirrorless camera from bestbuy.ca. I was mainly looking for a beginner’s professional camera—something that I could learn from and still take amazing pictures on my four-month trip abroad in Europe.

Sony a5000
Source: Saggiamente.com

The four main reasons I chose this camera:

  1. Its size – Compared to standard DSLRs, the Sony a5000 is much more sleek (at the loss of a view finder) and compact, making it ideal for travel photography
  2. The screen – Having a screen that flips up is great for selfie-type shots or vlogging
  3. The price – At CAD $479, I think it’s a great value from what I have researched and compared to other cameras
  4. The quality in low-lit situations – Based upon reviews, this little guy is quite the powerhouse in darkly lit environments (“Score!” says the night-owl.)

I’m really glad I chose this camera! I’ve never had my own camera before, and YouTubing how to put on a camera strap was just the beginning of all the fun to be had.

I also ordered a 55-210 lens for some flexibility, but for now, here are some pictures I just took in my garden with the kit-provided lens:

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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!

Volunteering with House of PainT

So, it’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I’ve been busy volunteering! It has been quite the experience. Working full-time and volunteering during my down-time has been tiring but enjoyable nonetheless. I still think it beats all the readings and assignments from school. One of the places I have been volunteering the past few weeks is called House of PainT. And yes, that ‘t’ is capitalized! They are an Urban Arts and Culture festival that runs in September with music performances, live art, and many other cool activities.

At first, I began by helping out with social media. This included creating possible tweets for Twitter, along with making lists for badge identification for all involved with the festival. I definitely found the social media aspect interesting; it’s crazy how much of an impact those little reminders you see in your feed have on things like fundraising and getting noticed by the right kinds of people. Much of what happens through these media networking sites requires precision with timing and appropriate tags/hashtags that are easily searchable.

Along with being in their office working on these tasks from my computer, I got to see how people outside of school actually do things. It may sound weird, but it’s quite exciting to see how people interact when they aren’t studying or talking about their classes. I really have no idea what life is like outside of school, and even my boss at work asks me what it’s like to finally be done since it’s been about 18 consecutive years of school with no break! And the past few months I haven’t really had an answer.

But now that I have an insanely busy schedule, I feel more productive than I did in school. Mainly because with volunteering, it seems like I am adding something to the community while meeting new people with similar interests to myself. And with my job in retail, I’m at least saving a lot of money for my future travels which will then benefit my career if I land an internship abroad. As much as there were good times during university, it didn’t feel like I was contributing enough.

There was first the fact of tuition that I paid out in full every semester with my own money (okay, and 25% of help from my parents and scholarships), which was a downer. Then there’s the strange feeling of completing assignment after assignment only to have it marked by someone who was also marking hundreds of very similar papers. It just didn’t feel distinctive enough for me. Those who I were involved with for House of PainT felt more interesting and exciting than the tedious life of the average university student.

Anyways, here are some pictures that I took from the event! There are a few that were taken from last year’s festival, which I personally find quite gorgeous. I’ll have to go back and see what the final version looks like from this year, as I have a lot of pictures that are in the midst of being painted. By the way, the graffiti writers were painting on a bridge underpass, it was the first place in my city that legally allowed graffiti, which was in 2003. Enjoy these pictures! I did edit them, my ancient 8MP iPhone 4s could only do so much.

On a side note, the new Communications Coordinator for the festival (who awesomely has the same name as me) had a lens that attached to her iPhone. How cool is that?! If anyone knows of great, but inexpensive, cameras for taking pictures, please leave a comment! So far I have been looking into the Canon PowerShot G7 X. Within the next year I would like to get a camera for travelling that could also be great for taking shots on the train from London to Paris and Switzerland.

Info for House of PainT:

Website: http://www.houseofpaint.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HouseofPainTFestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseOfPainT/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/houseofpaint

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ_96kV1v43zBgk2eE8YsAg

Instagram: https://instagram.com/houseofpaint/