Five things

This is a ‘tag’ I’ve seen going around WordPress lately. I’ve honestly seen it done so many times that I couldn’t tell you who started it. SORRY! That being said, I enjoy reading lists like these because I believe it tells you more about the person who has written them. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the categories, so I left some out and changed two. Otherwise, the following is my addition to the ‘five things’ tag!

FIVE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN GETTING ME THROUGH QUARANTINE:

  1. A foam roller – These are great for helping to relive muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation. The one I own I actually bought at Dollarama for $4.00. That being said, there are various types of these I’ve seen priced anywhere from $4.00 – $120.00. So if you want to spend some real money on it, it’s not hard!
  2. Vaseline Clinical Care Extremely Dry Skin Rescue Hand Cream – My hands were getting so dry from washing them and slathering them in sanitizer 40 times a day that they were starting to crack and bleed. I think it was $3.99 at the local drugstore and it’s been a real gem for my poor hands.
  3. Herbaland Vegan Protein Gummies – Knight was the person who actually found and bought these for me. They’re an extremely low-sugar, vegan protein snack that kind of tastes like candy. I’m not sure if you can get these outside of Canada as the company is headquartered in Vancouver, but if you can they’re definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of protein snacks.
  4. The Ordinary Caffeine Eye Concetrate – My sister in law bought this for me after hearing me complain about stress wrinkles forming under my eyes and, while I’d never heard of this before she left it at my front door, I can without a doubt say that it’s quickly becoming the best eye cream/serum/gel that I’ve ever tried.
  5. Thrifted Nike crewneck sweater – I actually bought this in summer 2019 at a local Thrift Store for $4.00. It’s just the perfectly comfortable, oversized grey crewneck sweater that dreams are made of.

FIVE BLOGS THAT ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT:

  1. Cynical Wordsmith – Poetry, Introspection, Life
  2. Filosofa’s Word – Politics, Snarky Snippets, World Events, Writing
  3. Marla On The Move – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  4. RebeccaGoesRendezvous – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  5. RTS – Facing the Challenges of Mental Health – Writing, Mental Health, Self Care, Introspection

FIVE YOUTUBE CHANNELS THAT I ENJOY WATCHING:

  1. Abandoned Urbex Canada – Run by a gutsy explorer, this YouTube channel takes a deep dive into abandoned towns, communities, homes and cultures across Canada.
  2. Daniel Schiffer – Daniel is a self-taught videographer who uses his channel to teach, freely, the likes of videography, editing, production and all of the tricks to the trade that he’s learned over the years.
  3. FlavCity with Bobby Parrish – The host talks a lot about nutrition, how to read ingredients lists on processed products and how to understand what’s truly in the food you’re eating. IE There’s a half dozen different terms that can be used on ingredient lists to note sugar, without actually stating that sugar is an ingredient.
  4. Levi Hilderbrand – Levi talks a lot about what it really means to be environmentally conscious and not in the ‘buzzword’ sense of being trendy. Some of his content is a little out there for me, but a lot of his videos really make me stop and think about the choices I’m making and what’s best for the environment and for myself.
  5. True Crime Daily – The content is exactly what the title suggests. I love this YouTube channel because of my deep fascination with true crime and desire to discover what drives people to commit crimes and do horrible things.

FIVE FOODS THAT I LOVE:

  1. Baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  2. Bananas
  3. Cacao Nibs (if I close my eyes and think really hard about it, I can trick myself into believing they’re chocolate chips)
  4. Mashed Potatoes (Yeah, I clearly like carbs. lol)
  5. Seaweed Snack

FIVE TV SHOWS THAT I LIKE TO REWATCH:

  1. Bones
  2. Criminal Minds
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  4. Law & Order SVU
  5. Two Broke Girls

FIVE SONGS THAT I COULD LISTEN TO ON REPEAT:

  1. Arkells – Leather Jacket
  2. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
  3. Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (this version specifically linked)
  4. Mumford & Sons – I will wait
  5. Otis Redding – Sitting on the dock of the bay

FIVE PLACES I’M DREAMING OF GOING WHEN IT’S SAFE TO TRAVEL AGAIN:

  1. Borneo
  2. Denmark
  3. Las Vegas
  4. South Africa
  5. The Cook Islands

FIVE THINGS THAT FASCINATE ME:

  1. Religious Fundamentalism and Extremists versus Cults
  2. True Crime and what causes people to commit heinous acts of violence
  3. Culture and how it differs not just from country to country but from east to west, and how different regions within the same country can be vastly different cultures
  4. How manipulation tactics drive hyper-consumerism
  5. If there is a difference between being good and doing good and if there’s some happy medium between the two

FIVE THINGS I STRUGGLE WITH:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Admitting when I am wrong
  3. Seeing the brighter side to life when there’s so much bad in the world
  4. Self-esteem
  5. Understanding my value

FIVE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET:

  1. Anderson Cooper
  2. Jessica Mulroney
  3. Justin Trudeau
  4. Kenny Chesney
  5. I know this doesn’t really count as he’s already passed away, but I would’ve loved to have met Anthony Bourdain while he was still alive. I would’ve loved to just sit and chat about travel and culture and food and life while eating something that scared me but didn’t phase him at all. That would’ve been cool.

FIVE THINGS I WANT FOR THIS WORLD:

  1. Understanding
  2. Progressive governments
  3. Progressive culture so that people don’t have to live in fear of being themselves in the truest and most authentic forms
  4. Belief in climate change followed with effective steps moving forward to help protect the earth and not do unnecessary harm
  5. Equality

Have you seen the ‘Five Things’ tag floating around WordPress? What are your top five? If you make a post about it, let me know and I’ll check it out!

I forgot about most of these photos.

Last June when I got that job offer that fell through, I ended up switching from an iPhone to a Samsung. I was going to need a new phone for the job, and when I went to replace my phone, I decided to take a leap and make the switch.

I still have the iPhone, mainly because I never took the photos off of it. Well, now that I have all this time on my hands… why not?

I am no photographer, just a girl who likes to remember moments. I tend to save my favourite photos for Instagram, so if you want to see my favourites, follow me on Instagram (shameless self promotion).

*These are in no particular order. Just some random photos that documented my days. There’s also no identifiable people in these photos, for the sake of the privacy of my family and friends. Any people you might see are strangers. Hopefully I don’t upload any photos of identifiable people though. I hate it when I wind up in the back of other’s photos so I never want to do that to someone else.

Sunrise from the balcony of my old apartment.
Watching the Calgary Stampeders. Yeah, yeah, I know what people say about the CFL. I don’t know a ton about football but the Stampeders are a fun team to watch.
Golfing in Calgary on one of the few days of the year there isn’t snow.
The view from the top of the Zip Line at Canada Olympic Park. This was the Ski Jump for the 1988 Olympics. 1988… also the year I was born.
Watching the end of summer at Lake Louise, Alberta
One time the road flooded and this is how the neighbours got around for a few days.
This is at Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver, BC
The top of the Westin Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta
This is from Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. I am still not sure why they let us into the Stadium that day… in the middle of football season, but it was a fun afternoon.
This is Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s a very… ‘instafamous’ stop on the Copenhagen crawl. We didn’t really get there until the sun was already setting so it made for a very dark photo. Oh well, still a nice photo!
I haven’t the foggiest idea what this hotel was called. I remember, though, that it was in Whistler, BC. It was a perfect mountain escape.
This is the penthouse of the Westin Hotel in Downtown Calgary. I remember thinking that my entire apartment could fit into one room of the penthouse suite.
An epic display of rainbows on a top secret weekend away.
When the locals cause a brief interruption of your golf game. Canmore, Alberta.
I cannot remember the name of this place but it sure is beautiful, California.
Shopping District in Copenhagen, Denmark
Watching hockey with the Danes in… Vojens (Voyens? Sorry if any Danes read this and I butcher the spelling), Denmark.
This was at one of those UPICK farms in Chilliwack/Abbottsford, BC.
This is what $85 Canadian gets you at Hells Kitchen on the Las Vegas Strip.
New York New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Strip. I am proud to say that I never got drunk enough to risk that roller coaster.
That time I snuck away for a rainy day in the city…
That time that I snuck away for a rainy day in the middle of nowhere. Well, nowhere now. This was the primary route used for British Columbia’s Gold Rush.
The Driveway. It’s just a driveway, I know. I just thought it looked… majestic with the sun poking through like that.
Springtime in Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, Alberta

Alright, that’s enough of a photo spam for now. Next time: Germany, England, New York, Alaska and… probably a lot more of BC and Alberta. Let’s face it, the majority of my days are spent in BC and Alberta. This place is heaven on earth. What’s not to like? Well, there’s a lot not to like right now… but that’s a story for another day.


Thank you to each and every one of the #MillennialLifeCrisis Patreon supporters.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.

We can save our adventures for later.

XOX
Vee

Welcome to the world, baby girl.

The day: May 2, 2019

The time: 10:52 pm.

The location: Esberg, Denmark.

To the beautiful, brown haired, blue eyed baby girl who turned my brother from dude to dad, I love you already. I know he is going to spend his whole life chasing, protecting and admiring all that you are. And I know you’re going to be powerful beyond measure. He will raise you to always speak you mind, follow you heart and to live without fear.

Today is day one of a beautiful life. Your strong, fierce, monumentally intelligent mother will provide you everything you need to become whatever and whoever you want to be.

If I can give you one thing in this life, baby girl, I will remind you:

You will put the win in win some… lose some
You will put the star in starting over and over.

And no matter how many landmines erupt in a minute
be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting, I am pretty damn naive.

But I want you to know that this world is made out of sugar.
It can crumble so easily.
But don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.

Baby girl, I’ll tell you, remember your mama is a worrier
and your papa is a warrior. And you’re the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.

It’s a brand new day and a brave new world and they are both beautiful. Welcome to the world, baby girl.

All my love, Auntie Vee.

Travel Diaries: Copenhagen is calling

Something inexplicable happens when I step off the plane in a foreign land. Overcome with the possibilities of the unknown, I can’t help but want more.

It’s been two years since I stood at the edge of Nyhavn. Two years since I wandered the cobblestone streets and felt the gracious charm that is Copenhagen.

When I look back on my travels there is always one memory that stands out in each country I’ve visited. One moment in time that I remember above the rest. Something that stands out as a just a little bit brighter and a little bit better in my mind than all the rest. In Copenhagen it was Thai Food.

I know how that sounds. Trust me, I do. Who goes to Scandinavia to find Thai Food? Shouldn’t the best Thai food be found in Thailand?

“I can get Thai food at home!” I remember yelling at my brother as I followed him down Strøget after watching the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace.

“Trust me, sister. You haven’t ever had Thai like this before.”

Though I didn’t believe him, I reluctantly chose to follow him and my sister-in-law anyways… daydreaming of lunch at any of the Danish cafes and restaurants we passed along the way.

Very few times in my life have I had to admit that I was wrong. And oh boy, was I ever wrong about this.

Scurry Hub, an unassuming hole-in-wall restaurant with fewer than 15 seats inside, dubs itself as “Street Food” that can be eaten in or taken out. And, if you intend to eat in, good luck finding a seat. Truthfully.

From what I gathered during the hour we spent there, people in Copenhagen are also aware of just how phenomenal Scurry Hub’s food is. People continued in and out the doors the entire time we ate lunch… hoping to find a seat, realizing there weren’t seats and having to take their food with them to ensure they didn’t miss out.

We sat, we laughed, we talked and we planned the rest of our day and we ate some of the most incredible food that I’ve ever had.

‘Did we magically get the only table with four chairs?’ I asked my brother.

‘I guess so’, he laughed as he took another bite of food.

That day, that food, that restaurant will forever stand out in my mind. It was a shining reminder to myself that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover.

As we got up to continue on with our day, a group of locals was already scooping our table before my jacket was on. I remember thinking that I couldn’t blame them for doing that. I also remember thinking that I’d be back there one day.

Copenhagen is a magical city. The old-world charm I witnessed as I wandered cobblestone streets, ate incredible food, shopped in one-of-a-kind stores with salespeople who LOVED learning of my Canadian’ness made it feel like home. And, though I didn’t speak the language, know the culture or even how to read the street signs, I felt as though I belonged.

The wanderlust has hit hard in 2019. I will be back, Copenhagen. I can promise that with certainty.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VISITING COPENHAGEN:

  1. Eat at Scurry Hub – It is THE BEST Thai food that you will ever have.
  2. Climb the Rundetårn – The top of this tower has 360 degree views of the Copenhagen skyline. And, on clear days, you can see across to Sweden.
  3. Visit the Nyhavn Canal – Quite possibly one of the most synonymous sights of Copenhagen, this is one instagram opportunity you won’t want to miss.
  4. Walk. Walk everywhere – There are so many unique stores, cafes and restaurants all over the city. If you’ve got a good pair of walking shoes then I strongly encourage you to walk so that you don’t miss any hole-in-the-wall along the way.
  5. Amalienborg Palace – Amalienborg is the winter home of the Danish Royal Family. Tourists flock to the Palace Courtyard each day to watch the changing of the guards. It’s a very ‘touristy’ thing to do. But it’s definitely a cool thing to witness if you’re up for it.
  6. Shopping in Strøget – If you want to shop in Copenhagen visit Strøget. It’s the shopping district in the centre of the city that is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe. There’s something for everyone, no matter your tastes.

-V