Category Archives: Ottawa Adventures

Wine and Falls

I cannot express how much this spontaneous, yet temporary, move to Ottawa, Ontario has opened my mind, my heart and shown me a different side of myself. My weekends are for exploration – thank goodness for friends and family with cars. Praise the Lord that they are willing to make my dreams come true, let me pull out my camera and try new things.

If you know me at all, you know that two of my favourite things are wine and being by the water. Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes have hundreds of amazing wineries and views. This means, my weekend my stellar.

Sometimes I would rather travel solo – it makes for a deeper reflection and appreciation for the nature around you. It increases the about of socializing with strangers and integration into the local culture. You can create your own selfish itinerary without considering anyone else’s comments or goals. I had a few chances to sneak away, and these were some of the best moments of my entire weekend (beside snuggling and running after my ADORABLE twin baby cousins in Toronto).

Your 20s are for mishaps, mistakes and meaningful exploration. I have a finite amount of time on this earth and I intend to discover all that my life has to offer. With my health, my support systems and my innate desire to discover, I am set.

 

Summer 2017, you are more than I ever dreamed you would be. I am 100% certain that teenage me would never have been able to predict the wonders, joys and delicious treats that you’d have in store for us.

Sidenote: Happy 150th year Canada! I love you so much.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Xoxo,

Micaela

Advertisements

Storytelling

Trophy – an event I had the pleasure to stumble upon this past Saturday afternoon offered the community a chance to hear about life-changing moments that altered others’ lives.

The white tents each had someone in them, with a short, true story that happened to them. All of these tales centred around the themes of hope, change, small moments, shifting and enlightenment. I wandered through the exhibit for hours. Some stories, were hard to listen to, others caused spontaneous laughter shared between us. At the end of each sharing session, the storyteller asked you a single question. They were deep, and meaningful questions you don’t normally share or discuss with people you have just met. However, when someone is vulnerable in front of me, I cannot help but share as well. I almost feel compelled to. If felt safe to share with these people. Everyone was respectful, genuine and lovely. I particularly enjoyed the Native influence stories. Collectively, this small area of the city, had overcome adversity, poverty, sexual abuse, fires, floods, disapproval, insecurity, shame, doubt and so much more.

Some of the questions I can remember are as follows: 

“What have you done for love?”

“Who has impacted your life, in a positive or negative way and how would you thank them?”

“How do you feel about the future?”

19349374_1451025058252285_1354530484_o

 

There were also several stations where you could interact and leave a message of something you want to let go of (This was all burned that night), plant a seed and leave a message of your personal growth and appreciation of self on the tree, send a postcard to a loved one and more. 

19238747_1451025308252260_1234684406_oEveryone seemed more chipper that Saturday afternoon. United and more hopeful than ever. The energy was palpable. I wondered: who thought of this event? Has this ever been done before? And if so, where was I? It was what I needed on Saturday. It was a “treat yo self” type of day and one filled with anticipation of the future, reflection of the past and pondering.

Until next time Ottawa, I hope you amaze me again soon.

 

Xoxo, Micaela

 

On Adventure

Adventure, adventure, explore, explore, and get lost?
But don’t stop trying, don’t stop wandering and seeing buildings, people and places in a new and wonderful light.

I boarded the VIArail at Fallowfield Station in Ontario for the first time last Thursday night after work. It was exciting and I was full of wonder, boundless energy, and soaring expectations. My cousin and his fiance warmly greeted me upon arrival in Toronto. That night I dreamed of sunshine, coffee and taking pictures (so, the usual).

Friday I took an Uber for the first time, as they are somehow not available in Vancouver yet (which they should be). I toured the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and fell in love with the campus, the students and the alumni that greeted me. It’s becoming more of a possibility to pursue this career for me. As this is the only English speaking program in Canada, I may end up staying in Eastern Canada longer than anticipated and may have to brave the chilly temperatures of the winter season.

On my walk back from CMCC, I spontaneously decided to walk along the East Don Mills River. There, I met an uninhibited and wild spirit in the form of a 32 year old woman named Dorsa. We walked the refreshing banks and babbling waters together, sharing a passion for exploration, outdoor adventure and life stories. She was a reminder of an Aunt of mine back on the West Coast; this was an unexpected encounter that brightened my day. It was an instant connection, a peaceful afternoon of good company and genuine conversation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Reflecting on this small encounter, reminds me that we are all human. Whether it be elements of personality, life events and upbringing, you WILL find something in common with nearly everyone. It constantly amazes me how wonderfully we are created. How hand-crafted and individual we are, yet how strongly we are bonded to one another through common experiences, thoughts and themes throughout our lifetimes.

Taking this small and seemingly random afternoon into consideration, I reflected on relationships in general. Breathing a relief, let go of some burdens and opening up with my immediate family this past week was absolute bliss (Yes, bliss!).  It led to amazing growth and opened channels of communication that I only imagined as a small child when I used to have big thoughts, questions, fear and feelings, but didn’t know where to turn to.  21 year old me sits here today, typing obnoxiously loud and quickly extremely proud of the leaps and bounds that I have made in emotional stability and willingness to share and be open with those close to me, and even strangers. x0029599.jpg

I challenge you, my friends, family and readers to ask yourself this question: “If I didn’t care what others thought, if I didn’t fear failure where would I be right now? What would I be doing? How would that be different than where I am now?”

Sorry this turned a little heavy and retrospective! I think it’s important to have these little blimps in our lives expanded sometimes and really give The Father credit where it’s due! Without his support and comfort through this past 6 months, can’t see I’d be the happy-go-lucky and FREE girl I am today.

Xoxo, Micaela

YOW to YYZ

My weekend in Toronto flew by. With so many memories made and picture proof, the 3 days I spent in this city were full of admiration, love and exploration.

I’ll be writing about my adventures in the coming days. For now, enjoy some views and smiling faces.

Rush and Survive

via Daily Prompt: Survive

Oh the joys of being an organized person that dropped the ball, and suddenly had to be a last minute scrambling fool. In the midst of my adventuring in Ottawa, my weekend getaway to a cottage on the water in Merrickville and my new gym obsession I forgot an impending deadline.

download

I am not usually someone that leaves things to the last possible day, especially when other people are involved. However, I stopped keeping a planner for the second summer in a row and I have not learned yet that without one, I am the most forgetful person on this planet.

Hastily I emailed profs, supervisors and program coordinators that know me from university, and past jobs. I needed 2 reference letters for a scholarship application, and I needed to write several personal statements explaining why I deserved to win these awards. Somehow, I was able to write them all within a couple hours. Somehow, the two people I needed most to back me up agreed to write kind words about me with a 3 day deadline.

I am confident they will pull through. I am grateful that God stopped the sun and gave me enough time to complete what I needed to do. The deadline had not passed, I just had to rush and place my faith in the people around me. It was humbling and I survived, but I hope this doesn’t happen again.

 

On Meeting People

Say It In Threes.jpg

With the weekend fast approaching, the most opportune time to “hang with your peeps,” I wanted to write a little something on my thoughts on meeting new people. I honestly expected moving to Ottawa would be a breeze – no challenges and all reward. However, working a typical 9am-5pm job, not being one that ventures into the bar scene and with my mother cautioning me to “not hike alone;” What’s a girl to do?

Image result for meeting people

Well, this girl tried to make friends on Tinder the past few days. As a first time user, I can see the appeal to the swiping left and right. It’s like a game – a somewhat cruel and unusual game, but none the less quite entertaining. If you stick to just messaging the worst that can happen is that people don’t message you back, they annoy you to no end with constant messages OR.. Nope. That’s pretty much it.

Image result for tinder

Quick notes about using Tinder:

  1. It’s high risk, high reward in my opinion. Meeting up with near strangers is risky. Real talk, it is not for everyone.
  2. PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY. Everyone, (aka 2) I’ve met so far have been approachable and overall chill. They’ve shown me some neat places around the city and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore with others.
  3. Don’t swipe right on those classic “jerk” profiles. I’m that person that actually reads the 150 character limit space. Sue me; I’m choosy.
  4. No hookups? No problem. There are definitely people out there just looking to expand their social circle and hangout with people that live nearby. Yay for female empowerment/choice and being honest.

Image result for tinder

I can assure you this is not the only method that I am using to meet people in Ottawa. Just look at the stats though (I’m a big numbers person)!  There are so many people in my age categories.

Let me know if you’ve tried the Tinder scene. I’m sure some of you have some good stories. Maybe you’ve never heard of Tinder, that’s okay too. Maybe, just maybe you’ll make some friends – swipe away. Happy weekend!!

Xoxo, Micaela

Romped in the Rain

There are no bad days. It’s still pouring rain and all that meant was I needed to buy some rain boots for adventuring – not an issue at all! With my newly purchased bright red boots I took off!

This afternoon I romped around downtown Ottawa, eager to see the buildings and rushing canal. Getting there was no issue, however the trip home turned into a trek. Mistakenly I started heading further away from my home and lost all sense of direction. The first people I spoke to was in broken French, and frankly I am happy and shocked with the amount of French vocabulary I recalled.

 

I was not the only one with the idea to look at the Parliament buildings this morning. There were a few other tourist-types and a large protest with ample police presence guarding over them. The rest of the city was quiet, and the campus of the University of Ottawa was silent. Besides a handful of stray students in the library, studying away, and what I assumed to be professors scurrying from building to building, I was alone. Left with my creative eye and the soundtrack of my mind I spun in circles and hopped in puddles – not knowing exactly where I was, but not caring in the slightest. The best kind of rainy Saturday, wouldn’t you say?

On Simple Pleasures

Simple.jpg

Tell me about the last time you truly appreciated the simplicity of life. An undeniably easy, relaxing or comforting moment that made you think or perhaps say aloud, “I have it so good. I am completely satisfied and happy.”

For me, simple things in life excite me. The past few days I have wandered out walking in search of the best grocery stores, little places both indoor and outside to sit and write or read and ways to entertain myself – aka solo adventures.

Some of the things that made me completely giddy and bursting with joy the past 2-3 days:

  • I got a library card FOR FREE – after proving that I live here now. With which, I checked out books to teach myself how to sketch and draw. As well as some of Oliver Sacks work. (If you don’t know who that is, you’re probably not in Kinesiology or Psychology).
  • I found a Bulk Barn store, where I bought WAY too many bulk foods including but not limited to chia seeds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, cashews, raisins, cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and M&Ms.
  • I signed up for a gym membership and the gym is called “Planet Fitness.” This means I will be taking my fitness goals out of this world, where no one has gone before. 
  • I met with a dear friend for dinner and discovered an amazing buffet style vegan restaurant in the city. SWOON. 
  • I came home the other day from work, cooked with one of my roommates and stayed up chatting about university life and how we grew up. Simple. Casual. Wonderful.
  • I have thoroughly enjoying cooking, packing myself lunches, getting to know my co-workers, walking around my new neighbourhood and just getting to know the area around me this past (almost) week.

It’s supposed to rain all weekend (cue tiny violin – jk). I’m looking forward to some museum adventures, reading my new books, drawing and maybe even taking my camera out for some scenic shots.

I have truly appreciated all the sincere goodbyes in contrast to the warm welcomes. I have high hopes that this summer will be one of self-discovery, self-love, solo adventures and evening relaxation.

Join me and stay tuned for more 🙂

Xoxo, Micaela

 

New City Got my Heart Swooning

 

Sand Bar

Ah, my heart. A new city to call home these next 4 months. YES PLEASE!

Landing in Ottawa 3 days ago was a dream. I walked off the plane removing layers like crazy and praising the Lord for sunshine and heat. I was summer ready and everyone knew it with my sunglasses, shorts and a tank top on within minutes. I spent the entire plane ride next to two snoozers. Part of me was so jealous that they were sleeping as I struggled to stay awake while the other part of me was laughing because I would adjust to the time zone no problem. I had the upper hand, for sure, at least that’s what I was telling myself.

I blinked at it was Monday. Over the weekend I slept, secured many food sources and potential places to eat, workout, thrift shop and craft. I also FaceTimed my supportive, and not worried or anxious in the slightest, parents. They were excited to see my little bungalow home, and know that my roommates are sweethearts. Yes, it is different living with boys already but I’m so excited – Pri and Avery are the BEST so far. I pray that a few weeks from now I am still singing the same tune. BECAUSE WHO KNEW THAT A BOY COULD BE CLEANER AND MORE ORGANIZED THAN MYSELF? Certainly, not me.

Quick little facts about my first day at work:

  • DUDE, my office is so sick. This is not your typical intern office – trashy corner kiosk or cubicle situated right next to the coffee maker. It’s a fully functional state of the art office, office that looks like every other office in the building. Tired of the word office yet? Didn’t think anyone could be so pumped and thrilled about an office job? You’ve met her. It’s me.
  • Sorry, still on the office though – it’s got it’s own extension 3103. People can directly call me or call the office and the secretary can patch them through. BAM.
  • I edited and formatted an entire Host Guide and I get to mail it out tomorrow. HYPE.
  • The water cooler is ice cold and I do mean ice.

 

I bet you can’t wait for more office spam like that in the future…

On another note, I brought the Vancouver rain here to Ottawa. It has not stopped raining in more than 30 hours. I know this because:

  1. I was up several times throughout the night too excited to sleep because today was the first day at my office job. Aka every hour I looked out the window and checked the clock.
  2. As I was walking home from work, puddles were lakes and lakes were oceans. Every body of water’s depth was magnified and then quadrupled or something.
  3. I was almost home when a car drove close enough to the curb to drench the ENTIRE right side of my body – movie style. My conclusion, they knew I lived 50 steps away, were having a pretty average day and thought we could all use a movie moment. Best part, I wasn’t even angry about it – it was funny.

 

Stay tuned because more is bound to happen to me here in this crazy city! I’m loving and learning already.

Xoxo, Micaela