Monthly Update: February 2016

February is probably one of my least favourite months, partly because over the years it’s usually meant minimal travel. Skiing would usually take my mind off things but we rang in the new year on the slopes and while I’d never say no to going skiing again, we’ve had to save for other adventures this year.

That doesn’t mean this month wasn’t eventful in other ways, though. We planned, we ate out at a fair few restaurants as part of Toronto’s Winterlicious (a couple of weeks where restaurants all over the city offer menus at lower prices) and I handed in my notice at work, ready to move on and focus on finding the career I really want.

Here’s my monthly update for February.

Toronto

Where I’ve Been:

Just in Toronto this month.

Highlights of the Month:

Explore Canada Instagram featured my picture

Maybe it’s a silly thing to have as a highlight and I know social media is not everything. But to have a huge Instagram account like your picture and choose to feature it is a lovely feeling. It’s a picture I chose as last month’s Instagram pick, and I really do like it. Shout out to the lovely boyfriend who froze his fingers taking this…

Explore Canada

I won a trip to Texas!

I attended an event with Texas Tourism and Travel Massive (the latter is global, so I first knew about it in London and thought it might be a great way to meet other bloggers based in Toronto – it is) and managed to win a stay in San Antonio!

This is our time to focus on North America (while we’re living in Canada) and we want to go to Austin anyway, which isn’t far from San Antonio. Time to get planning!

Lowlights of the Month:

Plans falling apart 

This is two-fold. First, my plan to go dog sledding got messed up: I thought I was booked, but the company never marked it down… I’m now going this weekend, it’s just a shame these things happen and are out of your power!

Secondly, after trying again and again to reach through to Havasu Falls Campground, we never managed it. We wanted to do a trip to the Grand Canyon, Havasu Falls, Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park and Vegas in March, but couldn’t firmly arrange anything until the booking for Havasu opened on 1st February (it’s a big hike down so you have to spend the night there). I honestly think we tried calling the four phone lines hundreds of times. We tried every day and could never get an answer; the line was always engaged or it rang but ended up with a piercing sound and an automated voice saying “All phone lines are busy”.

Of course, we didn’t absolutely have to go to Havasu Falls, but it’s somewhere both my boyfriend and I have dreamed of going and if we’re going to head over that way, we want to go all out and do it all.

Eventually it was time to give up, but we refused to have all hopes dashed on a trip in March – so we’re going to the Cayman Islands in less than a week! Yay!

Most Popular Instagram:

 

My Instagram Pick:

A sentimental little #tbt: 4 years ago today I flew to Australia for my semester abroad. I MISS YOU AUS, TAKE ME BACK. 🇦🇺

A post shared by Kirsten Powley (@kirstovertheworld) on

What I’ve Been Writing:

Monthly Update: January 2016

6 Months in Canada: How Do I Feel About Toronto Life?

My Travel Guides with moodAway

In Pictures: New York City

What I’ve Been Reading:

8 Tips to Becoming a Travel Writer – Travelettes

I’m usually pretty wary of writing tips online as they’re rarely genuinely helpful, but this was a good read.

Why Solo Travel Can be Good for a Relationship – Girl Tweets World

People often associate solo travel with single people, which is fine as obviously they’re out there. But Jayne put together this post which really struck with me as a woman who loves travelling with her boyfriend but enjoys travelling alone and how it can positively affect your relationship.

Don’t Quit Your Job to Travel the World – Willful and Wildhearted

I’ve referred to this whole ‘quit your job and travel’ phenomena on my blog a fair bit and it’s something that irks me greatly, so I love it when people write about how that isn’t always the answer and job doesn’t necessarily equal bad.

Emma Watson and bell hook Talk Feminism and the Importance of Reading – Paper Mag

Not about travel, granted, but I love Emma Watson and I am a feminist.

What’s It Like to Travel the Cook Islands? – Never Ending Footsteps

I love reading Lauren’s posts so much – she’s practical yet entertaining and it feels like you’re friends with her (I have to remind myself I’m actually not before I end up embarrassing myself and inviting her round for a cuppa…). This post was a great insight into how you could do the Cook Islands on a budget and on your own, something I don’t think is really considered much.

My Most Hated Travel Quote – This Battered Suitcase

There are hardly any words I need to add to this, Brenna says them all and I wholeheartedly agree. You are lucky to travel at least to some extent if you come from a middle-class background with a fortunate passport.

Also, some travel quotes actually really suck.

Toronto

I’ve finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants – funnily enough, I think I preferred Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, which surprised me as I always thought I related more to Tina than Amy (first name basis now, obviously).

I’m now reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I went from loving it to a bit put off to now enjoying it again. There are good lessons in attitude towards your work and how to get the most out of your ideas and creativity. Even as I write this now it sounds incredibly pretentious, but sometimes when you want to be a writer, you need a steer in the right direction when you’re stuck.

What’s Next?

Toronto

As mentioned above, we’re going dog sledding! Then the day after we fly to the Cayman Islands for five nights of sunbathing, eating, diving and swimming. I’m really looking forward to having some sun and discovering somewhere new.

In a couple of days I’ll have left my full time job so once we’re back from the Cayman Islands I’ll be able to focus on trying to find something more down the career path I want and some freelancing opportunities. I’m sure I’ll freak out soon, but right now I’m choosing to think of it as a good time to really work on my writing and plan what I want.

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