I have officially landed back in Canada after a very long and arduous trip back Thursday. I was unable to find a direct flight so I had to fly from Dublin to Montreal and then to Toronto afterwards. We boarded 15 minutes late, flew out over an hour late, and spent 40 minutes dilly dallying in Montreal before we flew home. I can't tell you how ready I was to get the hell off of that plane by the time we landed. Not to mention, I got off the plan an hour late and had no way to communicate with my dad to coordinate our meeting. In the only stroke of good luck I could've asked for, my dad was coincidentally late and we both met up at the exact moment we should have. I was so ready to get the hell home at this point.
My last few days in Ireland were incredibly stressful after I realized the Canadian dollar had dropped so low against the Euro. Ultimately, I was left considering what my next move was knowing I was technically losing half of my savings. Every decision I made regarding money was beyond stressful as I tried to pinch pennies everywhere I could. This realization of the drop in the Canadian dollar ultimately ruined a good portion of my trip to Ireland. I basically had 2 choices, pray I found a job in the next week or cut my losses, call the trip a vacation and come home to regroup. Despite my wanting to say, the responsible side of me knew I couldn't stay.
Coming home, I felt a bit defeated but only because I was so underprepared for the experience. I am accustomed to failure and it really doesn't bother me anymore. Part of taking a risk is knowing that there is always a chance it won't pay off and that's exactly what happened.
I had never travelled before, never flown, never visited Europe, none of the above. Instead of looking at my coming home as a disaster, I'm looking at all of the positives! I flew for the first time and LOVED IT! I stayed in a hostel for the first time, travelled alone for the first time, visited Europe alone for the first time. How could I not be proud of myself? Ultimately, this experience has taught me an awful lot in a short amount of time.
Lastly, it took a lot of responsibility and intelligence to decide I had to come home. Did I want to stay? Of course! Was I financially able to stay? No, and that's why I made the choice to come home.
Through this, I've learned now what I'm up against in Dublin and what I can actually handle. If my finances had been doing better, I very easily could've stayed. I was starting to really like Dublin and the people I had met there and it wasn't the easiest decision to come home but it was the right one. For now, it's back to cooking, blogging, and getting this cookbook together. I'll go back to Dublin with a lot more money and a lot more confidence the second time around!
I've been in Dublin for a week now and I've spent a good portion of my time sightseeing and trying to get my life back into some kind of order. For someone who's literally never travelled before, this has been an incredibly big adjustment. There's so much work that goes into an International move, I've admittedly felt overwhelmed and unsure if I made the right decision.
With that being said, I've been enjoying the experience and everything that comes along with it. I've been lost countless times, struggled to switch my phone over, missed several buses, and encountered many other challenges all within my first week. I wasn't expecting this to be easy and it certainly hasn't been but the point of this was to challenges myself. I wanted new experiences, new challenges, and new everything, and I've certainly tried to face these things head on.
There's something so rewarding about taking this kind of chance and throwing caution to the wind. My emotions have been a roller coaster going from positive to overwhelmed in seconds but despite this, I'm here and I'm trying. All I can do is my best and that's exactly what I'm doing.
I've found a place to live but also spent quite a lot of money as well. I'm in the process of finding a job which is turning into a debacle thanks to this hurricane. I skipped handing out CVs in favour of online applications but will be printing out CVs tomorrow to hand out with hopes of finding a job by week's end. Cross your fingers for me.
This journey is hard, stressful, and enjoyable at the same time and I look forward to returning to my regular routine of blogging, working, and activism. I think once I can return to my routine I'll start feeling more positive. Until then, I'll continue enjoying this ride of uncertainty because it's all I can do right now.
The past two weeks have been pretty crazy as far as getting myself together for this move. I've been trying to keep a mental checklist of everything I need to do but I end up starting a new mental checklist every ten minutes so it's been a bit of a tizzy I must admit. I've also had a wrench thrown into my plans with my proposed living situation falling through which was shocking but also admittedly fine for me. I kind of enjoy the idea of going and checking out the places in person upon my arrival. I've already set up a viewing so I'm looking forward to that.
Saying goodbye to friends and family has most definitely been the hardest part about this move so far. Saying goodbye to all of my work friends was brutal. I met quite a few people between both jobs who I would definitely consider friends as well as all of my current friends. I've been lucky enough to spend a good amount of time with all of these wonderful people but saying goodbye is always super hard. Saying all of these goodbyes has also reminded me of how much love and support I'll always have here.
I've been overwhelmed with all of the well wishes, love, and support, I've received over the past few weeks. I couldn't be more grateful for all of these wonderful people and I'm looking forward to periodic visits over the next two years from some of them. A little taste of home while I'm away will be most welcome.
Tonight is the very last night I'll be sleeping in my bed at home. It's quite a surreal feeling. I've moved a handful of times prior to this but this one seems a bit more legit. I'm moving across the world, kind of different. Lot's of things going through my mind at the moment but I think I'm ready. I'll be heading to my grandma's house in Owen Sound to spend a few days with her and my family prior to flying out. I'm expecting a lot of laughs, some peace and serenity before the storm, and some time to reflect.
It's time to truly say goodbye, not forever of course, but for now. I'll miss my friends and fam so very much but I expect to stay close to them while I'm away. Here's to new adventures!
The last week has pretty much been a blur. Between finishing at both jobs and saying lots of goodbyes to getting together with friends for what could be the last time for a while, it's been hectic to say the least. Through all of this, I've been consistently reminded of how little time I actually have left to get myself together.
I've still got a monumental amount of printing and photocopying to do, last minute items needed, and packing to address. It seems so miniscule but based on several half completed to do lists I have scattered all around, there's a lot more to this than I'm thinking. I'm the most organized messy person you'll ever meet which is to say that I've always got everything take care of but I find the most difficult way to get to the end result. I've kind of always been like this, on top of being a worry wart which helps nothing.
This time around, I'm really just going with the flow. I don't want to overwhelm myself with worry when there will be so many new and exciting situations to encounter right off the bat. I really want to try and go into every situation with positivity, curiosity, and excitement without worry or angst. It's refreshing to approach new situations this way, unlike my natural instincts which are to always freak out!
Back when my mother was ill, I had recently been prescribed anxiety medication. I made a decision to stop taking my medication and face my mother's illness head on, clear of mind. Through doing this, I discovered that I could handle just about anything, anxiety aside. I will always be anxious, but I feel like I can handle life without medication. I'm trying to look at being anxious as a positive thing, a form of excitement rather than a nuisance. This simple change of thought has truly helped me immensely.
Here I am, 2 weeks from arriving in Dublin, and I feel amazing. Am I nervous? Hell yes I am. Am I anxious about a million things that haven't happened but could? Of course I am! At the end of the day, I attribute this all to being overwhelmingly excited at what my future holds. I'm so excited to take this journey whatever comes of it, I'm ready for the experience.
So am I packed and ready? Nope. And that's ok, because I know I'll be just fine!
For the longest time, this trip to Ireland was mostly talk so it was easy to continue with my day to day activities without any nervousness. In the past week or so, I've caught myself taking note of silly little things like the park by my house or the tiles in my bathroom. I find myself strolling a bit more slowly on my walks and really taking everything around me in. I know that this is because I'll be leaving soon and it's my way of appreciating what I'll be leaving behind for some time.
With the trip approaching quite quickly, I find myself choking up when I think about everything I'm leaving here. I worry about my family (although there's no need) and how they'll be without me. I worry about not seeing my nephews for two years and what I'll miss with them. I worry about my friends and not seeing them either. With all of this worry comes the peace of mind that I'm just a worry wart and all of my friends and family will actually be just fine without me. It's natural for me to worry about everything and I have to keep reminding myself that worrying is like poison. There's no need to worry about all of the people in my life, I need to be more focused on myself.
After my mother passed away, I started focusing on everyone else around me and rarely took the time to focus on myself and my own issues. It was so easy to pull myself in all of their directions while forgetting about my own. I've spent the last two years focused on everyone but me and this trip is really going to change all of that!
This trip is going to be so much more than just some travelling. It's an opportunity to really get to know myself, to focus wholly on my own needs and desires without constantly worrying about everyone else. It's a way for me to hopefully move past my mother's death, to move past all of the worry and fear, and to finally understand my own needs. This trip is going to be the beginning of something very special for me and I can honestly say that despite all of the nerves I have, I'm so ready to finally focus on me.
When I think about the things that are important to me in life, I consider animal activism to be one of my biggest passions. I truly want to devote my life to helping animals in any way that I can but there has always been something that has prevented me from taking the plunge. Although I film animal rights videos and preach on my blog about living a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle, I haven't been able to bring myself to attend protests & demonstrations out of fear. That fear is directly related to my General Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety is something I have struggled with since I was in high school. Being bullied, struggling with an eating disorder, and trying to figure out my sexuality really overwhelmed me growing up and I believe that's when my anxiety became out of control. It got so bad that I was paranoid of walking, crossing the street, or being in public altogether. It has been so hard to fight those feelings off and there have been many get togethers put on by friends that I have avoided for fear of being in social settings with people I didn't know. I've avoided connections with guys because of the fear of having to develop a relationship which scared the bejesus out of me. Anxiety has truly wrecked a good portion of my life.
After my mother passed, I started to realize that life is way too short to be anxious about everything. That event really changed my life in so many ways but there was still a lingering anxiousness that persisted.
What does this all mean?
Booking this trip to Ireland and taking the plunge so to speak is sort of my way of taking control of my anxiety. Thrusting myself into a situation that I know will test me in every way imaginable is how I intend to conquer my anxiety. I know I can handle myself and I feel like putting myself in this position will really help me break out of my shell. I will be forced to meet people, forced to step outside of my comfort zone on every level, and forced to face my fears head on. I am almost sure that this experience will change my life in so many ways and I especially hope it helps me take control of my anxiety and be done with it.
My ultimate hope is that in conquering my anxiety I can return after my 2 years and really thrust myself into activism. All of the fears and thoughts that have prevented me from stepping up to the plate will be distant memories and I should be able to really involve myself in the fight for animals wholly.
This trip means so much more to me than just travelling and having fun, it's my opportunity to tackle what has always been the biggest hurdle in my life. My anxiety has stood in the way of so many things in my life and I truly hope that this trip snaps me out of those feelings and allows me to be the very best version of myself.
I've got big hopes for this trip and I can't wait to embark on this journey of self discovery, travel, and excitement. I know that I am in control and this trip will truly prove to myself how in control I am. That's exactly what I need!
This past week I had a meeting with my bank to talk about dealing with my finances while I'm overseas. There was so much information given to me that I thought my head was actually going to explode. I knew this was going to be a big change but meetings like this really make me realize how big this move truly is. It can be a bit overwhelming when I try to think about everything I have to achieve prior to my leaving especially considering I'm working both jobs and leaving myself very little free time to try and plan or organize myself.
It's kind of a double edged sword type of situation. I need to be working to save money but I need time to get my sh!t together as well. It's so hard to try and manage everything I need to be doing when I'm literally at one or both jobs nearly every day. I definitely see myself scrambling to get myself together in the 3 weeks I'm off of work leading up to my departure. Although the idea of rushing at the last minute is kind of scary, it's also kind of exciting and honestly, I feel like it is part of the experience.
Can anyone truly be prepared for a move like this? I've certainly never done anything like this before so I don't really know if I'll actually feel ready by the time I leave but I know I'm so ready for this. I'm so ready to have free time to actually do the things I enjoy doing like sightseeing and learning how to use my DSLR camera that has been sitting in the box nearly since I purchased it. Time to go out and meet people, make friends, maybe find a boyfriend one day lol, all of those things that I'm NOT doing right now.
I leave in 3 months. 3 short months and I'll be heading to Ireland. Time flies that's for sure!
There are so many things going through my head every day that sometimes I forget if I've already thought of something. I'm pretty overwhelmed between working, blogging, and trying to do ANY planning for what is likely to be the
Biggest Trip of my Life!!
Amidst all of the chaos, I am constantly reminded of what I am most excited about. Not only am I going to Ireland for two years, travelling, and trying all sorts of new things, but I am also dropping down to part time work. That might sound daunting to some of you, but I've literally worked my whole life away (minor exaggeration) and the prospect of having more time for myself is so exciting.
Under the stipulations of my program, I am entitled to work part time hours to help fund any travelling / living expenses I'll incur. I've worked full time hours since I was 15 / 16 years old and have really never taken any kind of break. Even now, I'm working both jobs and up to 65 hours a week which I'll tell you is extremely exhausting. I'm super grateful to have some pretty amazing people to work with every day, makes working a lot so much more enjoyable!
Anyways, working so little in a new country will truly be a remarkable experience. Having time to focus on my blog more and dive into more videos / travel vlogging is exactly what I need at this point in my life. I truly love blogging and learning / sharing new things all the time and I can't imagine a better opportunity to truly put my all into blogging and really taking care of myself.
Every day I wake up and think about all the scary things about the trip, but at the end of the day I'm always reminded of the opportunities I'll soon be encountering. I'm just so ready for this step in my life and I can't wait to get things going despite being so anxious :p
As I sit here watching House Hunters International, I can't help but think that in 4 very short months I'll be moving to Ireland for 2 years. I've watched these shows religiously for the last few years and always admired the courage it took to pick up and leave everything behind. Here I am, soon to do the very same thing.
I have been working literally day and night between jobs in an effort to save as much of a cushion as humanly possible. I am beyond exhausted but the prospect of working part time and travelling for 2 years has me motivated! I am overwhelmed with both nervousness and excitement and realize that 4 months is very little time for what I'm about to do. I have so much to accomplish in a short time and definitely have started to feel the pressure.
I am thoroughly looking forward to the opportunity to explore a new culture, see beautiful places and things, and meet some amazing people. Despite the fact that this is about as far outside my comfort zone as I can imagine, it is unusually satisfying at the same time. I'm nervous as hell but so excited to experience everything.
I imagine I'll be freakin' in a few months, but for now I'm enjoying the nervous excitement I'm feeling!
This morning I woke up and my first thought of the day was a reminder that I was leaving in 5 months. 5 months is both a long time and really no time at all when you consider the scope of the change I'll be engaging in. I'm already racking my brain trying to figure out everything I need to accomplish over the next couple of months prior to leaving and I can honestly say, my brain is on overload.
I'm in the process of selling off some of my appliances to help add some more funds to my bank account and I'm also working on getting maps and such together so i can start learning streets and spots to remember prior to my arrival. I definitely want to be prepared so that I don't allow myself to become overwhelmed when I get off of the plane in my new home. I'm sure I'll be overwhelmed regardless, but the thought of being prepared is a good one.
I am so excited for this opportunity and I will be keeping you all updated on how things are going as we wind down to my date of departure. :)