Why Do You Go Away?

Inspiration, Travel
IMG_7119.JPG

Friendly Cove, British Columbia, Canada (August 2016)

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
– Terry Pratehelt

Challenges Make Life Interesting

Inspiration, Travel
IMG_7285.jpg

Cape Scott Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada (September 2016)

“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them makes life more meaningful.”
– Joshua J. Marine

Along with five other family members, I hiked over 50+ kilometres into the Cape Scott Provincial Park nearly a week and a half ago. My mother actually did this trek twenty nine years ago, and it was a great experience to visit again with her, and celebrate my step father’s 55th birthday by a campfire with tiny cupcakes. This three day trip was one of my greatest feats yet, as I really had to push myself and learn my own limits of endurance. It was my first time hiking more than a day trip and with a very heavy pack. I have nothing but great things to say about the trip, as I saw amazing views, incredible eco-systems, slugs the size of my hand, and stunning landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Next time I go back, it will be time to check out the North Coast Trail! Whew! But for now, take this a helpful reminder to set lots of small goals, challenge yourself to try new things, and explore EVERYWHERE.

Video Blog – August 2016

Travel

Well everyone, I have returned to Kamloops, British Columbia and I have begun my last year of university to complete my double degree in Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University. This will be my last video blog for a while, as the most excitement I will have over the next few months will be drinking coffee, hiking in the Thompson Okanagan, late night study sessions, and catching up with friends and family. The past month was filled with a mix of emotions, exciting adventures, and fantastic memories. It began by celebrating a dear friend’s birthday in a small village of the Netherlands, and ended by hiking through Cape Scott Provincial Park, along with an exploration of Vancouver Island all the way from the bottom to the top. All I can say, is thank you dear world, for the beautiful memories. It’s already time for a new adventure!

Remembering & Celebrating The Fallen

Study Abroad, Travel

In The Netherlands, on May 4th, is a day called Dodenherdenking, which means ‘remembrance of the dead’. On this day, around the country, services are held and two minutes of silence are observed to commemorate all civilians and members of the armed forces who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War Two. In Amsterdam, at the Dam Square Memorial, the King and Queen stood vigilant with thousands of on lookers to remember these brave souls.

The following day, is known as Bevrijdingsdag, and is a national holiday to celebrate the end of the Nazi Germany occupation. The nation was liberated largely by the First Canadian Army, which included British I Corps, the first Polish Armoured Division, and in some areas, American, Belgian, Dutch and Czechoslovak troops. Across the Netherlands, free public music festivals were held in honour of celebrating freedom. Most people do not have to go to work, and many are adorned in orange and the country’s national colours, red, white, and blue. Celebrations of big and small are all over the country, as in Utrecht, I saw thousands of people in line for a music festival and in Tilburg, I saw a group of friends who had sat outside on the street curb in lawn chairs drinking cold beverages. Later that night, I was cycling home from seeing a film, and I could hear the British anthem playing loudly on a sound system somewhere in the city centre, echoing over the sleeping rooftops.

IMG_2934

An Adorned War Memorial (Utrecht, May 2016)

In my opinion, it is really a beautiful contrast to see such somber thoughts moved to overwhelming joy over these two days. I’m moved, really, to love such a proud nation who have overcome so much since this time period. I am so proud to say that I am Canadian, and so please to spend time celebrating such a special occasion with a country that now call my second home.

As many of you may know, last December, I won a scholarship in honour of the Liberation. This is also another reason why I am so moved by this occasion, as over seventy years later, this incredible moment of history has affected my life in a way that I never thought possible.

Take a look at some iconic photos of Liberation day, be grateful for everything and everyone you have in your life in this present moment, and remember.

Two Degrees? Yes, Please!

Study Abroad
NHTV (2)

Attendees to the NHTV Double Degree Presentation on November 19th 2015

As you may know, I am studying in Breda for one year to obtain a double degree in International Tourism Management and Consultancy from NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences  (Netherlands) AND a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree from Thompson Rivers University (Canada). This is such an incredible opportunity to become a globally minded, academic professional with access to one of the largest tourism libraries on the world, internationally focused classrooms, and wide range of topics to study.

Last week, Dr. Scherf gave a presentation to seventeen interested leisure students from NHTV and I stopped by to help out. It was so great to visit with her and promote two places that I am very passionate about.

I am the first student representative from Kamloops, British Columbia to attend NHTV and I am what has been dubbed as the “guinea pig” of this new collaboration. If you attend NHTV or TRU and may be interested in this great opportunity to study abroad, please feel free to ask me any questions!  There is so much to do when preparing for this adventure, from visas and residency permits to financial planning and medical preparations. I am more than happy to share my personal experiences with you. Definitely check back here as well, as this blog is meant to be a way of sharing what I have been up to throughout my time in the Netherlands.

 If you would like to learn more about earning a double degree, see here.

Canadian Trivia Night

Study Abroad, Travel

In Canada, this weekend, my friends and family are celebrating Thanksgiving. Back home, my friends and I often gather during holidays for potluck parties. Each one of us brings a home-cooked dish and drinks to share, and we would have a lovely evening of good food, conversations, laughs, and more often than not, board games. So, as a way to reach out to my fellow friends from school and my campus dormitory, I offered to host a Canadian themed party last night.

I cooked poutine in the ovens in the lounge, and as we are students on a budget, we enjoyed making s’mores on the barbecue grill in the garden. It was probably not very good for us, as the main source of heat was lighter fluid; but it was more about the experience of cooking marshmallows on an open fire …with kitchen forks. I was terrible at making gravy, as it turns out, but it turned out all right in the end thanks to the joint effort of a few friends.

Poutine is a Canadian dish that originated in the province of Quebec. It typically is served as fries, with melted cheese curds and gravy, a light brown meat sauce. McDonald’s across Canada serve poutine. There are also a variety of poutines available at different restaurants, such as pulled pork poutine or ‘Mexicana’ with gaucamole and sour cream.

S’Mores are a popular treat in the United States and Canada, that are consumed usually at night, by a campfire. It consists of a roasted marshmallow and chocolate between two layers of graham crackers. National S’mores Day is celebrated on August 10th every year. The name of this treat is a contraction for “some more”. It is unclear where this treat came from, although its dates back to a recipe book published in the early 1920’s.

Of course, the food was not exactly like home as I purchased everything at a grocery store near my flat. For example, I couldn’t find graham crackers anywhere, but I did find small cookies with a chocolate coating, and it still tasted amazing. Besides, this party was more about sharing something from home with people who had never tried this kind of experience before.

To conclude the festivities, I made a Canadian themed trivia game that I connected to the television screen in the lounge. Everyone made their own teams and had to answer the best they could with Canadian themed pencils and paper. The winning team earned a case of beer. You can test your knowledge as well, by clicking on this link.

Overall, it was a great evening spent with friends and sharing a little bit about what Canadian culture is like.