Photo Diary: Lyon, France

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What to Pack: Ireland

Europe in the fall = my favourite place in my favourite season!!! I lived in France during the fall of 2014, and got fully obsessed with European fall fashion so I am really excited to be in Dublin in late September to a) shop all of my favourite looks in all of my favourite stores and b) enjoy the best rainy weather in cute warm clothes. Definitely one of my favourite packing lists yet!

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Five Day Irish Packing List:

Clothing:

  • jeans x1
  • leggings x1
  • dress x2
  • skirt x1
  • 1 regular bra
  • 1 sports bra
  • tank top x1
  • plain shirt x3
  • fancy shirt x1
  • rain jacket
  • fall jacket
  • sweater
  • cardigan
  • underwear x7
  • socks x7
  • pajamas
  • scarf

Shoes:

  • Runners
  • Little black booties
  • Sneakers

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Toiletries:

  • Makeup
  • Pearl earrings
  • Necklace
  • Watch
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Face cream
  • Razor
  • Lip balm

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Extras:

  • Straightener
  • Camera
  • Camera charger
  • Selfie stick
  • Ipad
  • Ipad charger
  • Passport
  • Book
  • Portable charger
  • Cell phone charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet
  • headphones
  • Umbrella
  • euros
  • pens
  • journal
  • memory cards
  • eye mask
  • snacks
  • travel pillow

I was hoping that my backpack would fit in my suitcase as I work during the day then fly that night to Dublin. I was planning on ditching my suitcase back at my crashpad in Toronto then heading back to the airport for my flight to Dublin!

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As you can see, I had to make new plans. Guess the suitcase will be coming with my to Dublin!

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xx, S

Three Days in Busy Busy London 

I had four days off between shifts this past weekend and wanted to go on an adventure but because of reading week, all the beach destinations had full flights – so London, England it was! I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and was completely taken away by just how many people were in London. I’ve travelled to massive metropolitan cities before – but I have never seen a city that busy! I had to stumble around with my lugggage trying to find my hostel in the midst of crowds of people who all seemed to be running to get to where they were going.

I had just finished a four day am pairing (wake up time of 330 am each day), and took the red-eye to London, so I was properly exhausted. Knowing I only had 3 days though, I dropped off my bags and took to the streets. I walked along oxford street through the crowds till I got to Hyde Park. I was so blessed by the weather, rainy London was something of a mystery for me because all I got when I was there was sunny skies!

After Hyde Park, I wandered over to Crumbs and Doilies- an adorable bakery with a famous YouTuber as the chef! She has been making unicorn theamed treats lately, so I treated myself to one 🙂


Eating a cupcake and walking around was about all I could manage on my very minimal sleep, so I went to bed and rested for the following day!

The next morning I was greeted by my two pals from Thunder Bay, yay!! We headed out ready to be tourists with no shame all day long. We saw the Big Ben, the Tower of London, got drinks at an English pub and went to Kings Cross!


That night we hit the streets of Soho and met some amazing people in our hostel.


On our last day we really wanted to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. We got there right in time, but unfortunately I was a little too short to see much. It was still amazing though, and that sun was shinning so bright! Afterwards, we went out towards the museums (all of which are free btw) and ventured in the Museum of Natural History for a few hours.


We got back to our hostel exhausted but also anxious because we all decided we would try to spontaneously get tattoos. Luckily for us there were plenty of tattoo shops all around our hostel. On our fourth tattoo parlour we lucked out and they had time to do walk-in tattoos!!! For the past two years I’ve been waiting to get two little x’s on myself for my exchange in France (two kisses on each cheek), but I have been waiting till I had another tattoo idea so I didn’t just spend the money on those little lines. Still without any other idea of what else I want tattooed sooo I just bit the bullet and simply got the two x’s, and I’m so happy I did!! My friends got fun tattoos for London – one got an amazing design of the big ben and the other got “all was well” from Harry Potter. SO CUTE. After our tattoos we went for tea. It was the perfect way to end the day!


I started to get a cold that night so while I attempted to go out with my friends it didn’t go as planned and I ended up crashing in my hostel much earlier than them.

It was such a fun weekend, and I’m so glad we went!! It brought back all my nostalgia for Europe and I cannot wait to return.

xx, S

Review of The Best Greek Islands

Two weeks on the Greek islands is something of a dream and memories of my time continue to fill my heart with happiness and warmth. My days were spent full of laughter, wild adventures, inspiring conversations, and mind blowing views.

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Santorini

Nights spent on the island: 3

Accommodation: When you’re visiting Santorini you can chose to stay in either Oia or Fira. I stayed at Fira Backpacker’s Place for 29 euros/night in a dorm. Oia is absolutely stunning but it is more expensive and WAY more touristy. I recommend staying in Fira (which is still beautiful) and visiting Oia – there are many many buses that go often or you can even hike (which has incredible views along the way)! Continue reading “Review of The Best Greek Islands”

Culture Shock

You’ve been lucky enough to venture off into a new culture, and experience that culture with such depth that your home has become a distant memory. Without even realizing it, your life has changed drastically. You’ve become accustomed to this new environment and all the social norms that come with it. That is until you return home. You step off that plane, and hardly anything has changed around you, yet everything has changed for yourself. People can’t see these changes on you; your clothes might be different, and hair might be longer, but these changes are within you and are not easily explainable, let alone identifiable. It is painfully lonely and isolating. The experiences you’ve had come crashing down on you as you try to shift back to your old routine in your home culture. This, is culture shock. I believe its harder coming home than it is going to a live in a new culture. When you travel to somewhere foreign, you’re expecting to feel like an outsider, to feel out of place and know that you are going to need to work to fit in and get used to the lifestyle. When you return home, you are expecting to feel comfort, ease and welcome; yet sometimes, you end up feeling like an outsider in a place that you’ve lived the majority of your life. And that, is unimaginably difficult. Continue reading “Culture Shock”

15 Things France does differently than Canada

1.  Everybody, including students, reads the newspaper.  Everyone is involved in politics – not just political science majors. People know what is happening in the country, in the EU and internationally. It would be common to go to a bar and get into a debate with someone about a political issue. Politics and intellect are welcomed and admired. I’m not surprised by the incredible response to the shooting in Paris with the Je Suis Charlie movement. It’s a perfect display of how each citizen is involved with their country and is equally proud of it.

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Photo cred: Regatu Asefa @https://aroundtheworldinjustonelife.wordpress.com

Continue reading “15 Things France does differently than Canada”

Aaaaaand I’m back!!

IMG_8594As soon as I return home from a trip the inevitable travel bug scratches its itchy claws at me to book that next adventure. I can’t sit still. I spend hours reading guidebooks and scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. Despite not being over the jet lag from my past adventure or even having unpacked my bags, I’m already desperately looking for where I can go next. The fact is that I’m beyond broke, have an overloaded university schedule, volunteer commitments, a job, hobbies, and sometimes (occasionally) I even go to the gym. I’m outrageously busy trying to balance life and all I can think about is paying off my visa and booking my next flight. Go figure. Continue reading “Aaaaaand I’m back!!”

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