Why I Travel

Events, Inspiration, Travel
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Skookum Music Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia (September 2018)

“I travel because I need to. …Because my wild, adventurous spirit can’t live according to the ‘norm’. I travel to regroup, to reinvent myself. To be the best me I can be. To find joy in the ordinary and peace in exploring. I travel to just be.”
– Unknown

More & More To Become

Inspiration, Travel
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Shambhala Music Festival, Salmo, British Columbia (August 2018)

“Who you are right now is the culimination of years of editing and becoming. And you’re not done yet. No, not even close. You have more and more to become.”
– Liz Milani

Note To Self

Inspiration, Travel
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Bass Coast Music & Arts Festival, Merritt, British Columbia (July 2017)

“Push yourself to do more and to experience more. Harness your energy to start expanding your dreams. Yes, expand your dreams. Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind. Dare to tap into your greatness.”
– Robin S. Sharma

Take Me Back To Tomorrowland

Travel
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Tomorrowland 2016 (Boom, Belgium)

Yesterday is the past. Today is a gift. Tomorrow is a mystery. 

It has only been one and a half days since I left one of the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world, Tomorrowland. I am already keen to go back to next year as this past weekend was one of the best experiences I have ever had IN MY WHOLE LIFE. There are so many amazing things to say about this festival, and as a festival geek, I was absolutely blown away by the excellent organization and incredibly detailed experiences in every single aspect. I met lots of great people from all around the world. I danced for at least thirteen hours a day, for three days straight. I saw the sun come up over Dreamville on the last night of the festival. I enjoyed so many sets by artists that I have listened to all my life, and enjoyed new-to-me artists as well. This weekend was filled with nothing but good vibes! It was a dream come true to go to Tomorrowland. One of those bucket list moments. And to think, I almost sold my ticket and didn’t go… This is a perfect example that you have just got to jump in with both feet.

Video Blog – June 2016

Inspiration, Study Abroad, Travel

Well, June has been another month of exciting adventures to say the least! A lot of miserable rain, incredible live music (such as Paul McCartney and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), numerous birthday celebrations, camping, getting lost a few times, and exploring new cities in the far south of Holland and Germany.

“Take me to the docks, there’s a ship without a name there,
And it is sailing to the middle of the sea.
The water there is deeper than anything you’ve ever seen…
Jump right in and swim until you’re free.

I will remember your face,
‘Cause I am still in love with that place.
But when the stars are the only things we share…
Will you be there?

Money came like rain to your hands while you were waiting,
For that cold long promise to appear.
People in the churches started singing above their hands,
They say, “My God is a good God and He cares”.

I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hands.
I’m gonna turn when I listen to the lessons I’ve learned.
I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hands.
I’m gonna turn when I listen to the lessons I’ve learned.”

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.

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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.

Kings Day. Best Day.

Events, Study Abroad, Travel

Kings Day is by far one of the best days to be in The Netherlands!

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Kings Day (Breda, April 2016)

I was lucky and one of my very best friends surprised me with a gift for my first of hopefully many Kings Days to come. In the gift was assorted silly clothing to wear, all orange of course, orange tinted sunglasses, a crown, balloons, chalk, and tasty Dutch treats. For breakfast, we had a puff pasty filled with slaagroom called tompauce. These are decorated with orange icing especially for this holiday. Fun fact, there is a 600% increase in sales of tompauce on this holiday compared to any other day. I shared much of my candy and sweets with my room mates as well, and we decorated our flat with orange balloons.

The holiday is a celebration for the Kings Birthday, and all throughout the country there are city wide parties with a sea of people dressed in orange. As I mentioned before, I went to the 538 KoningsDag festival which amazing beyond my expectations. But in the city centre there were multiple free stages that people could enjoy and the terraces of many restaurants were open.

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Sunset Over Eva Simon’s Set (Breda, April 2016)

The weather was not the best, with some rain, some hail, and some cold wind. But that didn’t stop anyone from having an amazing time! I had so much fun spending time with my friends and dancing the entire day away. Artists like Martin Garrix, Tiesto, and Hardwell perform all over the country with multiple shows. Martin Garrix performed around one o’clock, and unfortunately we missed him as we were waiting in line. After his set, he was off into his helicopter for another set in Amsterdam. Unreal!

I was the most excited to see Armin Van Burren during this festival as I had not seen him before. His music was great, and he played one of my favourite songs by Alan Walker called Faded. The ultimate highlight was seeing Tiesto and Hardwell (both Breda born Djs) perform at the same time during a rainstorm. Easily 20,000 people dressed in orange were moshing and thrashing to heavy beats, and cheering in the rain. Seriously, that’s a moment to remember! I am so grateful to be living in a country where there is such a prominent festival and electronic dance music culture. This REALLY is my kind of place!

There truly is no party like a Kings Day party!

 

Sunday Funday

Study Abroad, Travel
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Mediterranean Dinner (Breda, The Netherlands, September 2015)

 The term ‘sunday funday’ rang true today, as after a relaxing morning, I joined my friend at a festival in Valkenberg Park. The entire park was transformed with a “grassroots” kind of atmosphere. The layout, stage design, and co-creation based artwork. This was the second day of the festival. Last night as I was coming home from the train station, I saw many boats in the canal as a form of a parade. It was quite dark out and the boats were illuminated with colourful lights and energetic people dancing to a different beat upon each boat. There were hundreds of people wrapped around the canals watching, dancing, and participating in the fun. Today, I had a chance to walk around the festival grounds and listen to a variety of music. Most of the music was in the Dutch dialect, but I enjoyed an energetic punk rock band call The Deaf. They are a self proclaimed speed beat band from Den Hague and were a lot of fun! There was another stage themed after the board game Candy Land with DJs playing electronic dance music and another stage in the centre of the park with more of a low key rock kind of groove. I heard from a friend that were was a silent disco party the night before as well. Maja and I tried a delicious treat called Poffertjes, which is like a small pancake with icing sugar and butter on it – YUM!

Later on, I joined many friends in the lounge of our building to cook a large, and very delicious, Mediterranean dinner. It was really lovely to spend time with friends, cooking (and dancing) in the communal kitchen together.

HBO Intro Festival

Study Abroad, Travel
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Breda, The Netherlands (September 2015)

Well, I was told that the HBO Intro Festival would be great, but it certainly exceeded all of my expectations! For one night, the City of Breda and collective sponsors, host an annual open air music festival for all of the new (and returning) students during the first week of classes. There were four stages scattered throughout the centre with a variety of promotional businesses, food from local restaurants, and open bars. And the best part was that the entrance was completely free! Alcohol was flowing freely and guests were allowed to bring in their own drinks provided they put it in plastic containers at the security gates. The stages all closed by 23:00, as guests normally go to nearby clubs to continue the party. The festival even hosted five different after parties at popular clubs like De Boulevard, Proost, and Coyote Bar.

It was so much fun to listen to the awesome music and watch thousands of people having an incredible experience. I was lucky enough to meet a new friend who rents a flat above the Main Stage. The view from up there was incredible! I was thrilled to see the festival from awesome heights and sit in the window frame high above the action. During the last fifteen minutes of performances at the Main Stage, the famous DJ Hardwell made an appearance and everyone went absolutely wild! On my way home, I caught a few minutes of a video mapping project being projected upon Kasteel Van Breda. I must say, it is incredible to see so much arts, culture, and social experiences always available in such a beautiful city. I’m falling in love with Breda!

Pemberton Music Festival

Travel
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Pemberton, British Columbia (July 2015)

Thanks to the B100 radio station in Kamloops, I won two tickets and general admission camping to Pemberton Music Festival! This was my first time at an all inclusive music festival and I had a wonderful time! This area is so beautiful with mountains, lakes, and the nearby ocean. I enjoyed all of the music and atmosphere, but my ultimate favourites were Matt and Kim, Tiesto, and Billy Talent. (I was also moved to tears by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.)