31-for-31 – A Recap

A year ago, I decided to start challenging myself with a list of goals – some lofty, some fun, some just random – in honour of my age. Now on the eve of my birthday again, it’s time to check in and see the final tally.

How’d I do?

Ooot and Aboot

1.  Travel to a new country (as in new-to-me, not a newly FORMED country) – Nope
2. Check out an awesome music festivalI saw Tom Petty, and Dylan in November. I think I’ll give myself a pass due to those two.
3. Apply for a British passport – Maybe next year? Still mulling this one
4. Hike in the Rockies – Done! – Consolation Lake hike
5. Reach Air Canada Altitude status – I won’t even come close. And short of taking super-pricey weekend trips to Paris, not sure I’ll ever be able to see this happen. 
6. Investigate garden allotmentsI’m on the waiting list!
7. Explore my own city
8. Go to the middle of nowhere and watch a meteor shower Thank you, camping

Total: 5/8


9. Go to yoga weekly Two to three times a week. Showing my hips a little love. 
10. Run a 10K race in under 1:05Done! Sporting Life 10K at 1:02:13, such an awesome race
11. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night…consistentlyFor the most part, yes. This is an ongoing life goal.
12. Take Meatless Mondays a step further and make mine vegan or gluten-free – Kind of a brutal challenge. I love you, cheese and carbs.  
13. Conquer my fear of heights and go rock climbingI decided to modify this, because I am insanely afraid of rock climbing and falling to my death/being publicly humiliated/both, so instead challenged myself to try different fitness classes. I nearly knocked myself out by throwing and not successfully catching a ViPR, and honestly nearly died from exhaustion from a TRX class. Still can’t move my arms. 
14. Hold a plank for two minutesDone June 18th! Now working on my forearm plank time as a new goal.

Total: 6/6 woo!

Arts and Crafts

15. Watch Good Will HuntingDone! Thanks Target for having cheap, cheap movies. Now I understand the popularity of “How do you like them apples?” and also, it’s a great movie.
16. Get a membership for the Bloor Cinema and check out some docsDone! I’ve now seen three. Loving this addition to my life. 
17. Learn all the lyrics to “I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller” – This song is surprisingly difficult. I’ll keep trying!
18. Do something crafty once a monthI’ve sewn bunting, made Steve’s birthday present, made a guestbook tree for my parents’ anniversary, drawn, made birthday cards and will be making centerpieces for this weekend’s Thanksgiving dinner as well as some crafty goodness for Victoria’s wedding. I think this is one of my favourite tasks. 
19. Listen to the entire Rolling Stones catalogue in chronological order in one weekendDone! This was a beast of a weekend. I felt like my life oscillated between feeling as though I was in a Wes Anderson film…to a Scorsese one. Also man there were some dud albums.
20. Take a photography classDone! May 1st. Intro to DSLR at Henry’s Camera, now to put my lesson into practice more often.

Total: 5/6. Damn you, Skee-Lo.

Money, Money, Money

21. Meet with a financial planner and determine an investment strategy – Done, somewhat. This will likely return in some way for 32-for-32.
22. Set up a weekly and monthly budget. And use it.Ditto for above.

Total: 2/2. Alright alright alright

Personal and Professional Growth

23. Get my French to a basic conversational level (I’m very good at ordering wine…) – Nope.
24. Volunteer
25. Learn Photoshop
26. Overcome my fear of needles and donate blood – Done! It was terrifying. But rewarding. 

Total: 3/4. C’est dommage.

Sam Time

27. Have a digital detox weekend and disconnect from social media and the internetDone, July 25-28th. It coincided with a trip to BC which helped tremendously, but once the anxiety over not knowing what was happening faded it was very refreshing to just enjoy where I was, read more and not worry about what was going on elsewhere. I think I’ll do this regularly as a reset of sorts. 
28. Make time to write at least once a weekA lot of scribbles, not a lot of progress. This will return.
29. Get published – Nope!
30. Read five books that I really should have read by now but haven’t Yes! The Picture of Dorian Grey, Breakfast of Champions, The English Patient, The Old Man and the Sea, and The Rosie Project. My criteria for books I should read varies.  

Total: 3/5

31. Most importantly, on February 26, 2015, look back on 31 and realize it was an awesome year, and resist the urge to end up face-down in a cake. – Done.

GRAND TOTAL: 25/31. Okay, but not great. I’ll do better, next time.

It’s been a slice, 31. I’ll be spending my 32nd birthday driving the Icefields Parkway to Jasper with Steve for an unplugged weekend. Not a terrible way to spend a day, and start a year I’m pretty pumped about.

Taking suggestions for my 32-for-32 list! Any ideas?



A warm hello to the almost 100 UK readers that visited my site today! (I’m chuffed!) I hope you have a lovely, celebratory Jubilee Weekend. I’m raising a glass or two to the Queen as we speak. I wish I had bunting.

Photo courtesy of BBC

I’d say here’s to 60 more years, but fear the wrath of Charles.

How are you planning on celebrating?

The Completely Unrelated Sunday Seven

I didn’t write a Sunday Seven. Again.

I sat down with the intentions of doing it, but instead came up with a mental list of seven things I wanted to do instead of writing a blog. And then I went and did those instead.

7. Closet Purge
The warmer weather inspired me to pull out my summer clothes and pack away my winter ones. Coincidentally enough, the temperatures dropped again and I had to scramble to find layers to bundle up in this week. And I also discovered that the leopard print potato sack I had made in Vietnam didn’t wander off…and it still doesn’t fit.

6. Baked!
I have a freezer full of bananas and am going bananas over what to do with them. I baked muffins…deliciousness.

5. Sunday Soups
My freezer, in addition to all the bananas, is slowly being taken over by all the soups I’m making and individually freezing for lunch. I also attempting to make a green curry which was just awful and I don’t want to talk about it.

4. Napped
The antibiotics I’m on are crrraazzzy. I haven’t slept much in the past five days due to the loopy dreams I keep having, so a nap was necessary as I was destroying the kitchen and pretty much any room I went in.

3. Attempted a Run
It was not a good attempt.

2. Finished my Travel Writing Course
Thank goodness. That course has been kind of draining and is one of the reasons why I really couldn’t stomach the idea of writing something else travel-related for a bit.

Hat tip to www.ropeofsilicon.com/ for the image

1.  Went to the Movies 
I almost cried from laughing so hard at 21 Jump Street. Particularly the scene above. There will be lineups for Hunger Games for weeks, go see this instead.

Next week I’ll get my blogging groove back.

Happy 2012!

What a year this has been.

This time last year, I was toasting to my adventures to come and mulling over what resolutions to make. I opted not to make any (who really keeps those, anyway?), except to have fun. It was kind of a blanket statement meant to apply to all aspects of my life, but mainly centred around my travels.

Flash forward 365 days later, and I can say that while I had some absolutely un-fun moments (earthquake, global warming weather patterns, and rooming with a senior come to mind) I think I held that resolution well.

So for 2012, I resolve to not make resolutions again and just continue to see what adventures crop up. Except I do resolve to start writing more blogs again. So one resolution.

Happy 2012 to you!

You’ll Never Forget It

Sometimes I do things on a whim, such as update this blog (ugh, must. happen. more. frequently). I also occasionally enter contests!

I’m a big fan of G Adventures and what they do, after having travelled with them earlier this year. As a result I’m extra-excited about their You’ll Never Forget It campaign and contest. Three winners will win a trip with G and will become one of the faces of their next campaign, and I want to be one of those faces!

Voting is open now until December 31st, and for my “moment” I selected my unforgettable encounter with an elephant at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. Please take a moment if you can daily and vote for me here! 


Two posts in a day!

Yes that’s right – I’m madly trying to catch up. You may also have noticed that I’ve started updating my Flickr stream – now featuring some of my favourite photos from the first two months of my trip!

Stay tuned in the coming days as I’ve got posts on deck about Paris and the long journey home! And, I’ll continue to update Flickr.