What I Learned about Myself Travelling to Europe for the First Time

recently had the wonderful opportunity to go to Europe for 8 days. It was a whirlwind trip, full of amazing sights, being extremely tired, some good French fries and creating art in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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Jardin Du Luxembourg

The thing about travelling long haul for the first time is you never know what to expect. I went with a tour group which was fantastic, because had I not I would not have gotten to experience art in Paris, to experience Versailles, or to experience the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. We also went to perfume museum in France where to say the least I was in heaven, we saw a pick pocketer get taken down outside of the Notre Dame and I got to experience the streets of Amsterdam (and by golly I loved it there, kind of want to move there now). This trip was by far an adventure, it was jam packed like the Amazing Race, from tulip gardens to Vimy Ridge to the extremely overpriced mall in Paris I feel as though I got a wonderful tourist experience that I signed up for.

I cannot describe how the vibe of countries change, Europe is a different place, there is no concept of time, all of the buildings are stunning and people are so fashionable. I think my favourite moment was seeing the women on their bikes in Amsterdam wearing their straight out of a magazine clothing and just riding along without a care in the world.

 

However, I wanted to tell you a few things I learned about myself during this trip.

I like to have a single room. Plain and simple. Nothing further needs to be stated.

I love touristy things but I also love free time. Versailles was amazing, tours are my jam, but I also like to wander. Since our trip was tightly planned (which I am a personal fan of) there wasn’t a whole ton of free time. However, one of my favourite places was Flanders, Belgium. We got some gelato, and I had some time to myself so I got to wander and go shopping, pick some makeup you cannot get here in the Canadas.

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Essence stand in Flanders. LIKE HOW

I like Canadian plumbing. Not going to lie folks, we encountered some pretty sketchy washrooms. And I mean sketchy. Like the toilet seats aren’t big enough and their toilets also don’t fill up? And they smell odd, kind of like when you haven’t flushed your toilet in awhile but all the time.  This doesn’t speak for everywhere we went, but it was an interesting aspect of culture shock I didn’t think I would have. However, this was a small price to pay for such a wonderful adventure.

I want to travel more. Aye there’s the rub. I want to travel but travelling costs money? Okay, so here is what I learned. My bank account is almost empty, there are hidden costs in travelling so OVER BUDGET for things like food, drinks, bathrooms (be sure to have small change on you cause most public washrooms, at least in Paris, cost money to use). BUT despite my bank account being almost empty my heart couldn’t be more full. Its cheesy, but its true.

Amsterdam is a definitely a place I want to go back to. On my travel wish list is London, Scotland and Budapest! Hmmm perhaps the next trip 😉 Where do you want to travel next?

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The New Year is upon us

2017 is upon us. I have never believed in resolutions which are defined by the firm decision to do or not to do something. But I just feel like this world can hold a negative connotation because for so many people resolutions can be very stringent and taking something away from yourself.  So this year instead of making strict resolutions (not that I usually do) I’m making some goals (I guess that can be seen as the same thing).

Goals:

Read more books. I have been on screens way too often this year. I watch TV, YouTube, type all of my notes, am constantly researching for school, many of my readings are online and I’m on social media not only personally for my extracurricular activities because that is just how organizations and clubs communicate now a days. It’s a great way of course to stay in touch and make sure everyone knows but I would LOVE to read for pleasure this year. Even if its just 30 minutes a day.

Another goal, FaceTime my best friend for once. I am always telling her I will FaceTime then it just doesn’t happen. I forget or she forgets or I just revert to my introverted ways and text her instead.

Be better at not making impulse purchases. Do you really need that wet n wild palette? Sure its only 3.99 but in the grand scheme of things do you really need that? Also that 3.99 adds up.  I guess I could say this year 2017 just focus on things I need, like a well fitting beige bra because I don’t own one. Or a pair of black jeans to wear to council events and more casual job interviews. I have been quite good this year with not making impulsive  purchases but sometimes you have that moment of weakness in shoppers drug mart and you total ends up being $50 and you question everything.

Use up ALL of my makeup. I know, so many of you who know me personally know that makeup is my muse. I love blushes, lipsticks, eyeshadows, highlighters, you name it I love it. I shall admit, I may have bought a bit too much makeup in first semester, a blush here and there, a lip stick or extremely affordable eyeshadow palette at Loblaws this “treat yo self” mentality I took a bit too far. This goal directly ties into to the above goal.

Wash my dishes on the nightly. I have been sticking to this quite well but sometimes I forget and then wake up to a sink full of them and I have that instant, well dammit I still have to do these today.

Wake up earlier, yes this is a rather granny like thing to do (stay tuned for a post on this granny life of mine) but also go to bed earlier. I have been finding then when I’m  at home away from university, I go to bed much later than I usually do at school albeit I am currently on holidays. I want to be in bed by 11 and wake up by 8 because I really would love to get things done in the morning. I have been pretty good with this throughout this first semester at school so I’m hoping to keep that up.

I think that instead of people depriving themselves of something in the new year, like the typical “eat less junk food” I would say just focus of adding something positive to your life, even if its just a small positive thought per day or complimenting a stranger, or smiling more or eating an apple a day or making an active effort to hold doors for people, anything really that you think that will have a positive impact on your life.