Happy Birthday Blog!

Today I woke up and wished my blog a happy birthday, bonne fête and feliz cumpleaños. As his her its one year birthday present, I got it a brand new theme, which I am sure it’s effectively showing off.

As should be with every aging soul, I thought it would be a good time to dig through my posts from last year and reflect upon some of the milestones that I have recorded in this blog. I primarily tend to stick with blogging about travel and my personal adventures, but when you have an avenue for sharing your sweet stories, you can’t help but talk about some important personal moments that are close to your heart. I read through all my 38 posts and picked three that I am most happy I was able to imprint in the cyber world:

Becoming Canadian

I was knighted as a proud Canadian last winter and blogged about the process of going from being a foreigner to an immigrant to a Canadian. As someone who loves to travel, it was a huge milestone because I didn’t need to wait on visas anymore: I could pack up and leave every time I had the chance to (and that is exactly what I did last year).

Graduation

Finishing university was like the end of an era. Even though I have a degree and many photos to remind me of graduation, I think I will be happy that I wrote down my thoughts and feelings when they were fresh in my mind.

Travel Writing

My entire blog is a collection of informal posts about travel. As a reflection of my writing and adventures I recently wrote about the future of travel writing and the possibility of making it a career. I pick it as a favourite blog posts because not only did a source I quoted in it found my blog and commented on it, but also because it nicely wraps up my thoughts and what I have been up to in the last year.

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The bitter-sweet world of travel writing

When I realized that I could write well enough to score As in my grade 8 English assignments, and that The Amazing Race was the best show ever invented in the history of mankind, I decided that I was going to grow up to be a travel writer. Thanks to further pop culture influences by the 1996-TV show Travelers that I religiously watched every Sunday morning, I wanted to grow up to be like Michelle, Pearce and rest of the gang, globe-hopping with a camera following them as they experienced different cultures.

The first step towards achieving that lifelong goal was scoring my internship at Verge: Travel with Purpose magazine. I helped research several destination guides while sitting in my cozy bed, but day-dreaming of the gorgeous landscapes of Patagonia and Amazon. I did travel on my own during the two years of my association with the magazine but no matter how much I kept my eyes and ears open during my trips, none of the stories I brought back were good enough to meet the magazine’s mandate. Talking to my editor, I realized that you couldn’t land in a place and expect to find a story unfolding; I had to find a story, research it, set up everything, and then plan my trip according to the story requirements and not my desire to travel the place. But, then that’s work… not travel, right?

When I was at Daily Planet, Ziya Tong, former host of Island Escapes, told me how you stop enjoying travel when it’s considered work. I expressed my great interest in becoming a travel show host like herself, after which she presented me the realities of how that gig worked out for her: she flew for hours and once she got to the destination, she had to prep for the camera, show up at location and start shooting right away. What I took from that conversation was that she stopped enjoying travelling to these gorgeous places because she never got to experience the beaches, the culture and the scenery; she was always working to put the show on air for others to see these places. Continue reading

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