The holiday season is right upon us yet again and it’s time for taking it easy, meeting with loved ones, taking care of ourselves and eating way too much food. While I’m not exactly fond of Christmas and the mass-consumerism it entails, I know some people love to treat their loved ones with presents. Sometimes it’s also a great opportunity to treat others (or yourself) with something you/they were missing in their brand new house, for example, wink wink, not talking about myself at all here. Today I wanted to compile some great vegan gift ideas.
When I decided to move from Asia to Europe, I didn’t know where I would base myself. Most Working Holiday Visa (also called Youth Mobility Visa) for Canadians end at 30 years old, but a few European countries offer them for people aged up to 35. Upon doing some research, I found that my options were the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland or the Ukraine. I was pretty amazed when I realized the working holiday visa possibilities! I picked the Youth Mobility Visa in Germany based on the number of people who had told me how much I would love Berlin and how easy it would be to find employment as a non-native German speaker. Want to test the water and visit Berlin first? Here’s how to spend 2 days in Berlin!
I’m sitting in the departure lounge with tears rolling down my face, staring blankly at my telephone screen, knowing he is also online, right there at the other end. Part of me would like a few last comforting words, but I can’t seem to think of anything to write that won’t make me look like the desperate mess that I am. What is there to say anyway? We’ve said hello and goodbye briefly a few weeks ago – and perhaps that was all a huge mistake – but this really should not be what the magic of the journey of self-discovery I have been on those past months amounts to, in the wake of a 20-month South East Asian whirlwind adventure. Yet, here I am, balling my eyes out and feeling like I’m back to square one.
“If there is no joy, ease, or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing. It may be sufficient to change the how. “How” is always more important than “what”. See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.”
-Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now
It’s taken me realizing that the amount of money I have left in my bank account equals exactly what I owe on my credit card to ring the alarm. I am broke. The travel fund is empty.
As a lot of you know, my boyfriend of the last ten years and I parted ways a few months ago. People seem surprised at how well I have bounced back, but, in all honesty, this was one of the hardest experiences of my life.
Admittedly, sharing my personal life with you here on the blog was a bit of a gamble. I wanted to show the world how happy we were and inspire other couples to travel, but now that everything has fallen apart I feel I owe an explanation. It’s weird for me to have a diary of our relationship in the form of this blog that I have to face every single day. It’s like an unwelcome reminder of what used to be and what could have been. Did the traveling break us up?
My dad took his own life when I was 21. Through the pain, I vividly remember the feeling of relief I felt that he had set himself free, that he had found a way out of a life that wasn’t made for him. Please don’t take this as me saying that suicide is a solution, because it is not. This is just my personal way of coping with the loss of my father. I was and still am happy that he ended his suffering the only possible way. End of story.