Why I Love Japan!

This year I am thinking of making some big decisions and one of them is to decide whether or not I should move to Japan for a year. This thought and inspiration came from my friend who moved from Canada to New Zealand. I admire people who follow their heart and her bold move made me feel inspired to take a risk.

Obviously, this is a big decision especially for someone like me who has never been on my own. Some may ask, “Why Japan, what’s so special about Japan”, well I’ve wanted to visit Japan ever since I was 13 years old. Japan is the only country I am willing to move to and live there for a certain period of time.

With that being said, I want to answer a few questions about Japan and give an insight about how I feel about Japan.

Let’s begin.

1. What got you interested in Japan and Japanese culture?

I’ve been interested in Asian culture since I was 5 years old, I always considered it unique. It’s so interesting to me to see how people live in other countries! However, I became more interested in Japan because of anime. I’ve known about anime from a young age, but I really got into it when I was 13. I initially wanted to go to Japan for the anime, but when I stopped watching anime I began to appreciate Japan for its culture, history and traditions. I’ve met Japanese people here in Canada and they seem so polite and well mannered and I love being around kind people. Obviously, every country has its pros and cons, but right now I only see the pros 🙂

2. Do you want to go to Japan? If so, where?

Definitely, this is the only country I am willing to move to and live there for set period of time.

3. What do you like most about Japan/Japanese culture?

I like the mannerisms of Japanese people, they are respectful and polite. Their culture and traditions are unique and interesting to me. I love their temples, the historic architecture and the history itself. Also Japanese people love Bulgarians because our yogurt is exported to Japan. One day when I went to buy some items from the Japanese grocery store, the store owner asked me where I’m from and I said “Bulgaria”. He told me, “Oh we love your yogurt”, it was kind of funny actually 🙂

4. If you could bring ANYTHING from Japan back to the place you live in, what would you bring?

Well, since it says anything then I would bring back the way people treat each other. I’m sure there are rude people in Japan, but they are more rude people in here. As I said earlier, I like being around kind and respective people, we need more of those in life.

5. Are you able to speak some Japanese? If so, type some words you know and teach the community! If not, are you considering learning?

I know some word and phrases, but I cannot speak Japanese. However, here are some words and phrases I can say in Japanese.

  • Moshi, Moshi (a phrase Japanese people say when they answer the phone)
  • Ii tenki desu ne? (Isn’t the weather wonderful today)
  • Ja ne (see you later)
  • Tomodachi (friend)
  • Konichiwa, watashi wa namae wa, Radostina, yoroshiku onegaishimasu ( Hello, my name is Radostina, pleased to meet you)

This gives you a brief glimpse of some of the words and phrases that I know. There are very basic, but it’s a good start to learning Japanese.

6. What is your favorite Japanese dish?

I like many , but my favorite are sushi and ramen.

7. What is your favorite Japanese sweet/candy?

I love taiyaki, a fish shaped pastry with red bean filling and I also love Pocky or any Meiji brand chocolate treats.

8. Do you listen to J-pop? Who is your favorite group? (Add a song so others can listen!)

I do listen to J-pop, but not as much as I used when I was a teenager. Some of my favorites are Ayumi Hamasaki, Nami Tamaki, Attack All Around, ARASHI, Namie Amuro, and many more.

9. If you woke up in Japan the next morning, what would be the first thing you do?

I would go down to Shibuya and have breakfast at the cutest cafe 🙂 maybe this Fall I will get to do that 🙂

Thank you all for reading, if you have gone to Japan or live in Japan as a foreigner, comment below and share your thoughts and experiences.

See you soon!

Upcoming Post (February Monthly Favorites)

Bell Let’s Talk

It’s that time of the year again, Bell Let’s Talk, the campaign that brings awareness to mental health and helps break the stigma surrounding mental health. Every time you text and join in the conversation on social media, Bell will donate  5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

This yearly event is important because mental health is more prominent for this generation, many people are affected but at the same time they are reluctant to share their struggles. Bell Let’s Talk encourages people to talk about mental health because in order to get better, it begins with a conversation. When we are physically hurt it is easily treatable and doctors are more willing to help. However, mental illness is invisible, it is an emotional pain that affects so many people of all ages. We need to take a stand recognize the problem and help people, instead of ridiculing them.

Depression is not a joke.

OCD is not a joke

Anxiety is not a joke.

Hypochondria is not a joke.

Mental health is not a joke.

Stop making a joke of something that affects people so much to point where they cannot function in their daily life. If you feel ashamed of dealing with mental illness, don’t! Get out there and open up because you have nothing to be ashamed about. I’ll open up about past or current struggles I’ve had with this.

I am a 27 (almost 28) year old female, I have been through my fair share of hardships in life. When I was sixteen years old, I used to have depression, anxiety and panic attacks. They were caused by the bullying I had to go through in middle school and high school, whch was a very rough period of my life. I wasn’t diagnosed fully because I was at a mild stage. I have a very strong will and I managed to get through it without medication, instead I applied cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the individual applies technique to change their thinking patterns. I didn’t want to give in to it and let it control me. Not many people are like me and in some circumstances medication is the answer. Seeking therapy to simply vent about your worries is not a bad thing. Counseling or therapy is good for you to express yourself, in addition, it’s good to explain to your family what you are going through because they might not understand. Be prepared, bring some reading material so they can educate themselves and understand why you are depressed, why you are anxious and so on.

You may ask me, why am I telling you this about myself? It’s simple, I am not afraid of sharing a weakness I had that made me stronger. However, there is something that  still affects me and it is SAD, Seasonal Depressive Disorder. Winter is very gloomy and it affects my mood greatly, I have to deal with this every winter but I talk about it and ask my family doctor about coping strategies. It helps greatly to speak to someone! Also, even though my anxiety is not what it was when I was teenager, I still get anxious about stressful events. The difference between then and now is that I am more open to talk about it with my friends and family. Never be ashamed of who you are, life has obstacles and sometimes we need help to overcome the challenges. Do not think you are alone, there is always someone who will be there to listen to you. I’ve been open with my family doctor about having hypochondria, fear of having a life threatening disease. Any symptom that seems out of the ordinary triggers those thoughts, but luckily I have a family doctor that is understanding and helps me. You see I am very open about these things, if it was before I would’ve been ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed about, because I have overcome and still overcoming these obstacles.

So today, let’s start a conversation to lead to a better world where we are not afraid to seek help and talk about mental illness. Bringing awareness to mental illness also starts with societal change. Implementing programs to help people who suffer and have workshops to educate people about the effects of mental illness. Everyone has it, if someone say they don’t, then they are very good at hiding it. 

If you feel brave, please share below how you are battling mental illness. Let’s end the stigma and create change!

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

Travel Q/A

Hello everyone,

I am currently working on the final part of my West Coast travel story, but in the mean time I wanted to answer some travel questions. The purpose of these questions is to find out more about my travel preferences, and which countries I want to visit.

Enjoy!

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1. Where are you from in the world?
I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria which is a small country located in Eastern Europe, close to Romania and Greece. I am currently living in Canada and I immigrated here with my family in 2002.

2. Have you been overseas? When/Where?
Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled too much for past few years. I got the chance to start traveling when I graduated from university and got a job. I’ve only been to the USA, but I want to go to Japan this summer.

3. Do you prefer summer or winter? Why?
Definitely summer, because I can walk around and not worry about being cold. When it’s winter time, I am constantly thinking about how much I want to go inside and escape the cold. Plus, the summer is more fun and there is more to do.

4. Summer or winter fashion?
Definitely winter fashion, it’s easy to put together winter outfits. I am not a big fashion person, so when the summer rolls around, I have a hard time putting outfits together. I usually rely on Pinterest for fashion ideas.

5. Where is somewhere you would love to travel to?
There are so many places but a few are Japan, Korea, Italy, Spain, Norway, Austria, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tibet, Nepal, New Zealand and Iceland.

6. Name your essential makeup items for the beach
Nothing, I don’t wear makeup to the beach. If I put anything on, it would be a tinted lip balm.

7. Are you currently saving up for a trip?
Yes, I am saving up for New York City and Japan. Hopefully I can go to Japan in the summer 🙂

8. Do you like/dislike travelling?
I love it, I can’t think of a reason anyone would hate travelling. The thought of it sounds absurd, we live in such a big world and it would be shame not to see it all.

9. Name a place in the world you would love to shop.
Japan, I love Japanese fashion.

10. Who is your favourite beauty guru and where do they live?
I have lots of favorite beauty gurus i.e. itsJudyslife, Bubzbeauty, Ingrid Nilsen and more. Most of them live in the States and Bubzbeauty live in he UK.

11. What accent in the world is your favourite to hear?
I love the Australian accent.

12. How many countries have you visited?
One lol, but I’m working on adding more to the list.

13. Why do you travel
I travel to get away from the daily hustle of life, and remind myself that there is more to life than work. I also travel to get in touch with my inner peace and take that with me home and start fresh.

14. Favourite city or country?
Japan!!!

15. Most memorable experience abroad?
Traveling to Cannon Beach, Oregon was an amazing trip. It was the first time I’ve seen the ocean and that was a big deal for me. It was super relaxing, my friend and I relaxed on the beach and had roasted marshmallows. It was the best!

16. Best item purchased abroad?
I love the Converse shoes I bought, a hat from Portland and a purse with smiley faces from Journeys.

17. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?
It might sounds like traveling can take a big chunk out of your bank account, and it can do that. However, it doesn’t have to be that bad because you can look for chartered flight which are cheaper, and booking a hostel. Hostels are significantly cheaper! Most of us cannot travel due to financial reasons, while others who can afford it make up excuses. Just pack up your bags and go, it’ll be the best thing you do.

18. Travel accessory you always pack?
A neck pillow for long flights.

19. Can you recite your passport # from memory?
No.

20. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles
Anything, airplane, train or car.

21. Top 3 Travel items?
Hmmm this one made me think, but it would be my electronics (laptop, camera, chargers), sanitary wipes (for when I am out all day or on the plane to wipe off any sweat) and travel size shampoo, conditioner and body wash. These would be the essentials, but of course, there are more.

22. Hostel or hotel?
I would prefer a hotel, but for a more inexpensive trip I would book a hostel.

23. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I am a repeat visitor, but I do enjoy visit new places too.

24. Do you read up on your destination for culture, history or safety or do you wing it?
Yes, I like to go prepared to a new country I’ve never been to before. I especially read about the country etiquette, I want to make sure I act respectfully. For example, Japanese people are very quiet and shy, I am more outgoing and loud. I would have to bring it down a notch if I’m interacting with a Japanese person, but I don’t mind doing that.

25. Favourite travel websites?
I like trip advisor because it offers great reviews, and tips when travelling to certain destinations.

26. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? City and why?
Well, I haven’t traveled too much but I would recommend Cannon Beach because of the amazing beach and peaceful town. Portland because it is small and hipsterish, and very unique. Lastly, Vancouver because of the amazing nature and landscape, it is one of a kind.

27. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
Asia such as Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, Taiwan and New Zealand. I want to explore the East, I am not that interested in the West right now.

28. Favourite landmark you have visited?
The Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, Canada.

29. Beach holiday or travel/explore holiday?
I can’t choose, I love both. It’s nice to go on vacation to lounge around and tan in the sun, but I also want to explore and discover new things.

30. To travel is to…
Feel alive and have an open mind about the world, travelling is fundamental for me and it changes you in a positive way.

Thank you so much for reading everyone, let me know what’s your favorite travel destination. I will be writing a post about my favorite foreign cuisines, so look forward to that 🙂

See you soon!

 

Note: Every blog graphic is created by me!

Understand Our Dreams!

Life is short, you never know what will happen in a day! In one day all you’ve ever wanted may come true, however there are people who will try to stop us.

People may claim they know what’s best for us, but we know  better than anyone. We are not meant to live life in misery and settle for less, just because that’s what other people do. No, you are a fighter and you work hard to accomplish what you want in life. You work day and night to make your dreams come true, but there are always those people who will discourage you.

I have only one question for those people: why?

Are you unhappy? Was there ever a time you wanted to accomplish something, but you didn’t? Are you jealous? Do you wish you had that drive and passion too? Do you simply wish no one is more successful than you? Do you not understand why this person is passionate about their dream or do you claim you know what’s best for them?

It could be a combination of all these factors, or people simply do not understand. You see most people are content with living a simple life, going to a job they somewhat like and following the same dull routine daily. I don’t know about you, but for me this is not a happy life. It’s like being a prisoner of this life society says we should live. According to society, you are born to go to school, then university, after that you graduate, get a job, get married, have kids, and retire. So that’s it? There has to be more to life than this, life is too short to do something you hate.

Whether your passion is to travel or change careers, you should feel free to do so without people’s objections. Nowadays it feels as if people are more opinionated than they were years ago. There are many celebrities who were told things to discourage them from pursuing a successful path. However,they didn’t listen to the negatives and continued working on their dreams. Here are some honorable mentions!

Oprah Winfrey

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We all know how successful Oprah is today, she had her own talk show, TV network, magazine and so much more. Can you believe she was once told that she is “unfit for television”. Who is laughing now in her big mansion, and success. Oprah is a legend!

Lindsey Stirling

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YouTube sensation and violinist, Lindsey Stirling, used to be a contestant on the America’s Got Talent. Lindsey’s style of music is very unique, she clashes the worlds of classical and electronic music, while adding choreography to her performances. If you ask me, this is a  very unique style and I like it. However, Sharon Osborne who was a judge at the show told Lindsey the following, “You need to be in a group, what you are doing is not enough to fill theaters in Vegas”. Stirling has stated she was devastated and humiliated, but she turned this experience into the fuel she needed to succeed. She started a YouTube channel, from that it led her to earning millions of subscribers, millions of views on her videos, chart topping songs/albums and sold out shows. If that’s not hard work and determination, I don’t know what is.

J.K. Rowling

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The beloved author of the series, Harry Potter, that defines my generation, faced obstacles too.  J.K. Rowling had a rough patch in her life when she was a jobless, and  adivorced mother with a dependent child. She suffered from depression, had difficulty making ends meet and applying for government welfare. She made it through the struggles, and she is now known as one of the most famous authors. We cannot be victims of our circumstances, we need to learn from them and become stronger.

Walt Disney

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I grew up watching Disney movies, there are simply magical and so, so wonderful. Can you imagine, Sir Walt Disney was told that he had “lack of  imagination and good ideas”. The person who brought us Mickey Mouse, and many timeless classics triumphed on top of the adversities.

I hope these few examples of people who achieved their dreams was inspiring.

Today I have a message for people who tried to crush our dreams…please mind your own business! If you do not understand what it means to have a dream, do not interfere and dim the flame that fuels a person’s determination. I would encourage you to ask three questions, to gain a deeper understanding of a person who is a dreamer.

  1. Have you always felt this way about this?
  2. Why does it make you happy?
  3. How can I help?

Dreamers want to feel supported and have people who are rooting for them, trust me they will never forget this kind gesture.

To all the dreamers out there, keep dreaming high and mighty! Do not let small minds make you feel that something is impossible, it is only impossible if you think that. The mind destroys more dreams, than people do. Be brave, take risks and step out of your comfort zone. It all begins when you say, “I can do it”, prove it yourself!

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Good luck lovelies! Make 2017 your year, but remember to take it easy too 🙂

See you soon!

 

 

A Look Back at 2016 

Another year is coming to the end, I feel like time is going too fast lately, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing. I think we can all agree 2016 was a messy year, a lot has happened in the world that has caused distress. As I look back on 2016, it was definitely a year of lessons. I was faced with challenges and people who tested my patience, but I’m a fighter so raised above the adversity. I learned that risk taking and stepping out of my comfort zone allowed me to grow as a person. I learned self-care should not be taken for granted and next year I’ll take better care of myself. In previous blog posts, I’ve written what my goals will be for the following year. This time I want to try something new and talk about what I’ve learned in 2016.

For me personally, 2016 was a tough year, but not as tough as other years. This year was challenging for me because I was faced with the challenge of figuring out my life and how to deal with difficult people. My mentality at the beginning of the year was to have maximum control of how the year would unfold for me and try to prevent anything distressing from happening. Oh, how foolish I was! We do not have power over how life will unfold, things happen to us when we least expect it. However, I have learned you can control your reactions to certain situations. This year I had to deal with a challenging boss, who is not bad person, but she can be condescending. I took on a lot of stress from this and I got sick throughout the year. I had strep throat, ear infection, glands infection, horrible flu with high fever, borderline anemia (I’m cured now) and sinus infection. I would like to point out that I am a teacher at a before and after school program, so that contributed to the sicknesses. On the other hand, the stress from doing a job I do not enjoy and dealing with a difficult boss is definitely another factor to take into consideration.

Let’s take a look at what I’ve learned from 2016.

1. Self-care and Health.

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I have learned that self-care and your heath is the most important thing! Your health should always come first, I had to teach myself to slow down with the daily hustle and tell myself that it’s alright to take a break. I am changing career fields at the moment, switching from youth counseling to work in the arts/culture as marketer or a social media coordinator. I am doing a lot of volunteering, along with working during the week, therefore the exhaustion was building up. Health always comes first, remembered that!

2. March to the beat of your own drum.

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As I mentioned above, I am changing my career path to chase my dream career. I have to start from scratch, learning, gaining experience and networking with others. I have to make up for years I’ve lost, trying to gain knowledge in a very short amount of time. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. I was faced with some obstacles and very opinionated people, who think they know what’s best for and what would make me happy. I appreciate people’s opinions and I hear them out, but when these opinions become forceful, that’s when I have to draw the line. I became swayed from all of these individuals and allowed myself to feel doubtful about my choices. This can be very toxic, that’s why you have to watch out what you say and to whom. Make your own decisions, if you know that’s for sure the best thing for you do not let anyone stop you. Go out there and show them what you are capable of, you are unstoppable. So what I have to say is: just wait and watch me succeed.

3. Control Your Reactions.

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I am prone to anxiety, if something very stressful happens to me I tend to feel so stressed to the point where I make myself feel sick. It’s a very unhealthy habit, you can’t control what happens to you but you can control how your react to it. Going back to my condescending boss I was talking about, I allowed her behavior to affect me emotionally and also affect my work performance. I sat down one day and took long hard look at how I was approaching the situation, I knew I had to change and made it my goal to control my emotions when she was being rude. The moment I began to change my reaction, I noticed I responded to her differently and that made me feel calmer. I am still working on it and reading about how to master this, I guess this hardship was necessary to happen so I can learn how to interact with people who are similar to her.

4. Take Risks.

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If you don’t take risks and step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never move forward. The sense of security and the feeling comfort is great, but it won’t get you anywhere. This year I learned to be spontaneous and face my fears, and you know what it’s not that scary when you take that step forward.

5. Let It Go.

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No, I’m not referring to the song from Frozen (ok, bad joke). Letting go of things from the past or present is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of respect for yourself and your feelings. I have learned that what’s in the past stays there, and I need to focus on the here and now. You never know what will happen in a day, so don’t waste your life living in misery.

6. Forgiveness.

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Pride always gets in the way of forgiving, we think that if we forgive we we lose a battle.

  • Resentment is the poison you feed yourself, hoping someone else will die.
  • Forgiveness is a choice.
  • Refusing to forgive is living in the past.

I couldn’t agree more, I am far from perfect and I’m still having a hard time with forgiveness, but I realized it really is like poison for your mind. When you forgive you begin to feel free.

Even through 2016 was challenging year, I see why I had to go through it because I needed to learn more and grow as a person. My wish for everyone for 2017 is great health, happiness, success and piece of mind! Remember its okay to be kind to yourself and do something that makes you happy, make sure you are healthy and laugh a lot.

Happy New Year everyone, let’s make 2017 a calm and exciting year for us all!

See you soon and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

East Coast, Meets West Coast 2016! Part III – Portland, Cannon Beach, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

Welcome back everyone,

We are back with part three of my West coast travel story, sorry to keep you waiting with the next installment of the story.

Where did we leave off from the last post? Ahh, yes it was right at the moment when my friend and I crossed the border. It was a great feeling to know that I am finally in the United States, I didn’t know what to expect so I made sure I enjoyed each moment to the fullest. The first thing we did was to stop by McDonald’s to get something for the road, because we had a long drive ahead of us. We ran into a family that was travelling together, they had a mini van and they made it look so cozy inside for their journey. We chatted with them for a bit, the mother was telling us about their road trip journey and that they are on the road all time. It was cool to see a family that is so adventurous! Afterwards, we got in the car and continued driving to Portland. On our way there, we passed by Seattle, which was our last destination after exploring Portland. The drive was really pleasant, but also very tiring.


We were up all night, so we decided to stop at a McDonald’s parking lot to catch a snooze. The nap didn’t last too long because some questionable individuals started gathering in the parking lot, so we drove off as fast as possible. Before we drove to the hostel, we did some research back in Vancouver and we went to see the Rocky Butte Look Out. It had a beautiful view of Portland, the architecture was also very unique, it had a medieval vibe. We took so many photos and then it was time to go to the hostel.


This little red car took us everywhere this summer! What an adventure.

 We checked in early, but we couldn’t get into our room until 4:00pm and it was only 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning. We checked in and then my friend suggested to go to the beach and grab some of her favorite gluten free pizza from Sizzle Pie.


It was the best pizza I’ve ever had, if you ever come down to Portland make sure you stop by to grab a slice. We drove to the beach and spent a few hours there just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. There were many people coming to enjoy the sunny day we had, I went up to the shore to collect some seashells and there was a playful dog I played with on the beach. After spending a few hours at the beach, we decided to drive back to the hostel and rest. We were both very tired because of the lack of sleep so getting some sleep was essential. I believe the next thing we did that same day was to go out for a walk and have dinner. I saw someone’s Trader Joes shopping bag in the fridge at the hostel, so of course I had to go because I’ve always wanted to. Trader Joes is a grocery with tons of organic and healthy foods! After exploring around the downtown area, my friend and I went out for dinner at Deschutes Brewery. It was a delicious dinner, after eating   we continued walking around.

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The following day was really fun, we had a lot planned and a spontaneous trip to Cannon Beach. We went to Chinatown, my friend took me to see the famous “Keep Portland Weird” sign, and we stopped by Voodoo donuts but the line was took long so we left.

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Afterwards we went down to Steel Bridge, another popular tourist attraction in Portland.

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It was a sunny day, the weather was nice and warm, and there were lots of people exploring. My friend and I decided to rent a bike and bike around the park. It was so much fun and it was also very funny when were struggling to go uphill. We had a fun, but we decided to head back to the area near our hostel. My friend had a suggestion to travel down to Cannon Beach, which was hour and a half away from Portland. Before we drove down to Cannon Beach, we went to Starbucks to cool off from the warm weather and we also went shopping at World Market. I wish we had World Market in Canada, it has great selections of household items and much more.

When we were done, it was time to drive to the best beach I’ve been to. Now we are getting to my favorite part of the trip! I had no idea I was going to fall in love with this beautiful place, it was so picturesque. The drive to Cannon Beach was a lot of fun, it was long but scenic. Rows and rows of trees, stunning views and the anticipation of going somewhere new was exciting. We had some snacks and listened to music. As we were driving, the weather started to change, it went from sunny, to cloudy and foggy. This was slightly disappointing because the reason we drove to Cannon Beach was to take pictures of the sunset. The drive seemed slightly long, but it was enjoyable and super relaxing! I was in love with the scenery and I couldn’t look away.

Before we knew it, we arrived at Cannon Beach! It was getting dark, but there was some daylight left. As soon as we entered the town, I got an instant feeling of peace. There was something about this place that captured my heart instantly, the cute little houses and overall vibe of a small town appealed to me. I was born in the city and I grew up in the city as well, so I never thought I would like a small town and prefer it more than the city. When we got out of the car and it quite chilly, I believe it was around 14 degrees. My friend rushed off to go see the beach and followed behind her slowly (I was freezing actually). As soon as I stepped foot on the beach, I knew at that moment this will be my favorite part of the trip. I was mesmerized by the beauty of Cannon Beach, it seemed so unique with its iconic Haystack rock. It was also very foggy so we couldn’t take the pictures we wanted, but we sat down by the bonfire to warm up. I looked around at my surroundings and the beautiful hotel resort. My friend jokingly suggested to book a room, but I agreed! I’m rarely a spontaneous person, but for this place I knew I wanted to stay longer. Did I mention that this was my first time seeing the ocean? Yes, it was and it was an amazing feeling. Following our relaxing break on the beach, we decided to stop in the hotel resort to look around and find out the price for one night stay. It turned out it was $250, we told the hotel receptionist we will think about it and call back if we wanted to book a room. We got into the car and drove off to Portland. We sat in silence for a while, both of us contemplating what to do and I finally said, ‘I want to stay there, I want to go back again” and my friend agreed. I didn’t know when I would have the opportunity to go there again and I wanted to make sure I don’t miss out on anything that was within my reach. Eventually, we came to the decision to book a room for one night. I was so excited to leave the hostel and go back to the ocean.

The next morning, we got ready, packed up our bags and checked out of the hostel. Before we began driving down to Cannon Beach, we had a few things that we had to get done 1) buy souvenirs 2) go to an outlet mall to buy some gifts for family and something for myself. For souvenirs we went to Powell’s Books, a very popular book store in Portland. They have used and new books, along with more merchandise. I found some pretty cool stuff there and bought the souvenirs I wanted. Our next stop was Woodburn Premium Outlet Mall.

Guess what, the shopping was tax free and that’s something we don’t have here in Canada so I was excited to buy clothes for a reasonable price. There were so many stores, my friend and I decided to split up for an hour and go get the stuff we needed quickly. I got a purse from a store called Journeys and I also got my first pair of Converse. I had a lot of fun exploring the outlet mall,and I can’t wait to go back again when I go back to Portland.  Then it was time to continue driving to Cannon Beach. The drive to Cannon Beach was quite nice and scenic as I mentioned earlier, there were rows and rows of trees. This was probably the most peaceful I felt in a very long time, getting away from the hustle of every day life is so important and the best way to do it is by travelling. We were lucky this time because the weather was great and sunny, still slightly chilly but not too bad. I got so excited as soon as we drove into the small town, there was such a nice vibe about it and it’s quite charming.

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We went to check into our hotel and as soon as I walked into our hotel room I jumped on the bed, I was so excited. The hotel room had a nice big TV, a king size bed and the the wonderful view from Haystack Rock. We also had a minibar, a sink and all sorts of snacks and treats. The bathroom had a hot tub and it was really nice and spacious.

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When we settled in and we put our stuff away, we stopped by the convenient store near the hotel to get some food and other necessities such as marshmallows to make roasted marshmallows.  After we bought our food we gathered our camera equipment and headed out to the beach to take sunset pictures. It was absolutely perfect, the sunset colours were so nice even though there were some clouds hiding the sun. We took a quick break going back to the hotel room to have some dinner. I loved the hotel room, this was a family resort and it had a very cozy vibe. After we ate and watched some TV, we went out again to the beach to have roasted our marshmallows by the bonfire.. We stayed outside for a while enjoying the evening and then we went back to our room to sleep.

The next day was bitter sweet because we had to depart to Seattle, Washington. We went to the beach one last time before we departed to Seattle, Washington. Before, we drove off, my friend decided to make a final stop at Ecola State Park. The view of the ocean and Cannon Beach was mesmerizing, we were lucky because the weather was lovely. We took a few pictures, enjoyed the scenery and then it was time to say goodbye to Oregon.

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It is such a beautiful state, and the drive to Seattle was so scenic (this is a common word I’ve been using, but that’s the best way to describe Oregon). I can’t recall for how long we drove, but I think it was close to 2-3 hours, but then again I may be wrong. The drive to Seattle felt long, I was tired and I wanted to go back to Canada. However, I knew going to Seattle would be worth it.

After driving for so long, I finally saw Seattle’s skyscrapers. Our stay in Seattle wasn’t very long, we arrive around 7pm and we left Seattle around midnight. We went to see Public Market Center, the original Starbucks cafe, the waterfront, Space Needle and we rode on the ferris wheel. Seattle is a typical city, but it also has the view of the mountains and that’s something Toronto is missing.

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The famous gum wall, really gross but cool at the same time.

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Beautiful view from the waterfront in Seattle.

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The first Starbucks cafe. I’m a huge Starbucks lover, so it was cool to see this in person.
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The view from the Space Needle.
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Space Needle, Seattle.

After a week of driving around in the States, we finally made it back on Canadian soil. I like the States, but I love Canada more 🙂

With this, I conclude the United States road trip chapter of my story! The next part of my West Coast story will be the final one. Stay tuned!

As usual, thank you all for reading and see you soon!



  
  

  


  

Struggles of Blogging

How many times have you sat down in front of your computer to write a post, but suddenly your posts didn’t seem that original?

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That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately, blogging can be difficult especially when you are taking it seriously. Having a original and creative ideas can be difficult because you feel as if every topic has been used already by a blogger or a YouTuber. Let’s face it, there are a ton of bloggers and you have to try very hard to be unique, original and stay true to yourself. Throughout my journey as a blogger, I’ve noticed that I pay close attention to other bloggers and try to be like them. That being said, I don’t mean copying their content because that’s plagiarism. It means, I like the way they blog and what they blog about so a thought goes through mind mind that I should probably write about fashion or beauty or any other topic. I like both of these subjects, however I don’t consider myself a fashionista and I love beauty products but I am not an expert. I also do not enjoy writting about theser things. We may have the tendency to compare ourselves to other fellow bloggers and that’s when blogging becomes like a chore.

When I first started blogging, I wanted to write about things that I’m interested in for fun, but along the way I started to take seriously and treat my blog as a growing business. I am still learning a lot about blogging every day, marketing strategies change thanks to the expanding social media world. My biggest struggle lately has been to go back to doing blogging for fun, and my blog does get recognized, that would be great. But it is no longer an aspiration of mine because I just want to have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be about competition or anything else, it is simply a platform to express myself. That being said, other people use blogging for business purposes and that’s great. For example. I have an Instagram photography page and I want to flourish as a photographer, so one day I can turn it into a business. I have taken many photos of my friends, I was asked to be their wedding/engagement photographer and I want to continue doing that. But for this blog, it is meant as a hobby.

Another struggle some bloggers may relate to is narrowing down your blog to one or two specific topics. In the past, my other WordPress blog (jadoremusic), was about a variety of topics such as TV shows, books, food, beauty, travel and etc. A while back I read a post about blogging and the author of that post said that it is better to narrow down the category of your blog to one or two things. When I read that, I felt a bit discouraged because it meant that I had to change my style of blogging . I took two months to revamp my other blog and now it is solely about music and photography. However, after I did this I felt the need to write about other subjects such as cooking, travelling, and pretty much everyday life things. I am excluding fashion and beauty from this blog, sometimes I may post something related to it but don’t expect fashion look-books or makeup tutorials! My blog title is Daily Talk, I liked the name because it incorporates talking about anything and feeling as if you are talking to a friend over coffee. That is the meaning and purpose  behind my blog! I want readers to come here and just chat in the comments with one another about a particular topic I’m discussing.

In conclusion, I have learned that writing is not a smooth process and inspiration is vital. It is okay to have those day when you feel like writing is not going your way, don’t force it, leave it and come back to it another day. It shows in your writing that it feels forced, because it may sound like you are rambling. I have also learned that as long as you stay true to yourself, that originality will come and show on your blog. Be unique, express yourself and talk about what you want. Come up with a realistic schedule when you know for sure you can post, even if it is once a week, it is enough for now. Have fun with it, isn’t that what blogging and Youtube-ing is all about.

 

Thanks for reading, if you have ever felt this way please share your experience in the comments and tells us how you have overcome it.

See you soon!