A lot has been happening over the past two months since my last post update, most importantly my blog turning 2! Happy 2nd Birthday joolsjots, hard to believe my journey has come full circle since my first blog post. Briefly taking a look back over my stats for the year I’m a little sad that I didn’t celebrate some major milestones for my blog. I think its understandable that with all the change that has happened the past six months, something was going to fall by the wayside and unfortunately it was my dedication to taking the time to write posts. Even though I haven’t been as present, joolsjots has reached over 20,000 views! WOW. I know for many big time bloggers this is probably a daily stat for them, but to me? It means so much. This blog was created to document a massive turning point in my life and to share the trials and tribulations of a girl that was born into the celtic tiger, but who ended up trying to fight her way out of the recession. I held onto all my hopes and dreams, to be able to travel in the US and to find a career that I always longed for. Now, I have people from all over the world reading along with that journey. From Ireland to Canada (of course – thank you peeps!) but who would have imagined people from all corners of the world such as Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Argentina, Vietnam, Guyana, Japan, Peru and so many more (92 countries!) would want to read along with my life? Wait, did I mention Kazakhstan (home of Borat)? Insane. [Read more…]
Planning a big road trip can be so much fun with nothing but open roads, the sky really is the limit. You can choose every single piece of the trip, where you want to go and what you want to see. Sometimes things can get a little bit stressful when you aren’t going through any big companies like Trail Finders or Usit, who will plan the trip for you. Having 3/4 weeks to plan a 16 day road trip with limited time and resources. Kind of stressful. Secretly though, I love the planning and organizing or road trips. It seems to be what works best for us, last minute job.
I found the amount of blogs documenting their Pacific Coast Highway trips were slim to none. And if this was going to be one of the best trips of our lives? I was going to have to depend on myself and my own research. Many hours over the past few evenings I’ve spent google mapping, routing, timing, hotel searching, airbnb review reading, city stop exploring and budgeting.
Finally it all seems to be coming together and as we get closer to the trip I thought it would be good to share with you guys some tips that I’ve discovered along this planning path.
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous scenic routes in the world. Highway 1 hugs the coast line for 130 miles along the winding spectacular cliff drive. I wanted to be sure we didn’t miss out on anything and that we budgeted in all the factors for this trip. [Read more…]
“One can undertake any voyage once the destination is home.”
There’s something about it, something you just can’t put your finger on – but you feel it as soon as you walk in the door. It’s funny when people say Home is Where the Heart Is, I always wonder do they really know what that means.
Growing up, you often don’t realise that your home is the foundation and the beginning of it all. It helps shape the person you become and it stays with you no matter how far or wide you travel. Coming from such a big family, I not only had my parents teach and influence me but I also had 5 other siblings. They each have a part to play in who I’ve become because whether its them consciously being role models or just being themselves – they’ve all given me more than they could ever know. They’ve given me morals, traits and knowing what’s really important in life. Moving away was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. You’ve no idea how difficult it is when you have to leave people you love so much behind. I’ve said it one hundred times over, I wish I could bring my family with me here – everything would be perfect! If only life was that easy, eh? It’s the warm welcome, the familiar faces, the home cooked meals and the laughter. The things you take for granted when its every day life.
“Home is where we start from, and it inevitably also determines how we start to be who we are.”
We’ve been meaning to go to the East End of the Lake since we moved here almost 2 years ago. We live on the west side of the City and so it’s always seemed easier to take advantage of our positioning being right across from the Islands and the west side of the waterfront trail. But we fancied a change last weekend and we had the pleasure of soaking up the first bit of 20 degree heat since last September. *Screams with happiness*
The Beaches is a neighbour hood in the heart of Queen Street East, its about an hour street car ride from Fort York. The streets are filled full of quirky, speciality stores that change as frequently as the weather. One of the things that makes Queen Street so cool is the fact that its always new, changing and different. There are multiple bars, restaurants and patios – perfect for the summer sun. The neighbourhood has a very homely vibe in comparison to the high rise financial condos and sky scrapers downtown. It has beautiful streets and rows of Edwardian and Victorian detached homes, with beautiful lawns and families to fill them.
Once you walk South to the Beach from Queen East, you are met with a beautiful shoreline of golden sand that stretches around the outskirts of the Lake. The Lake was clear blue and glistening on this glorious day. I think the Lake is definitely cleaner and less polluted at The Beaches than downtown at Harbour front. A wooden boardwalk runs the length of the beach and parallel is a bike track. We seen many people exercising from cycling, running, walking, rollerblading to even skate boarding.. a perfect location and back drop for a cardio workout. [Read more…]
I’ve been a little quiet on the blog as of recently due to so much going on. I promise to catch up on some posts for you this weekend but for now, here’s a snippet into what we got up to on the Easter long weekend! A last minute, quick trip home to surprise our family for a few days! A big thank you to my two sisters who made this all possible and my sister-in-law who flew from England to Dublin, so I could not only see her and my niece – but also to act as a decoy!
So much love for all my family, I hope you enjoy!
The small scene at the end of the video is in honour of my Nana Perry, who we miss dearly. Life at home isn’t the same without you, but we raise our glass to the sky and lift up always!
Why a roadtrip you may ask? Because the roadtrip is what makes the journey an adventure. Many people much prefer the convenience of a flight and that’s ok too but sometimes you just don’t have the money to splurge on such trips. That’s why I love to road trip. Something Gary and I have really become accustom to since moving here because lets face it, America is way too close to worry about saving pennies to make a trip. You can cross the border from an hour of where we live and drive into New York State.
Yes living in Europe is a different situation and come to think of it I never really thought about driving any where other than Ireland and the UK because flight sales can be relatively cheap and cost effective. But since experiencing the couple of road trips Gary and I have gone on over the past 2 years, I see now why people opt to take the scenic route.
Just the two of you, an open road, giddy with excitement, a map, a couple of road trip songs, food and a camera. The unexpected element of stumbling across a beautiful natural wonder, not the ‘typical’ tourist spots, going off the beaten track… I cherish those moments we made on our road trips to the US, the feeling of accomplishment when you see the whole city skyline in front of you. I’ve got wanderlust brewing inside and I’m itching to get back into the car and hit the open road! [Read more…]
Is it just me or have the past few months gone by in the blink of an eye?
One minute its New Years Day and the next it’s March…
Luckily (questionable choice of a word) Canadian’s hold on to winter for a little longer than normal – normal being Ireland. The snow and freezing temperatures seem to begin in November and linger on up until Easter or some time around April. I guess one thing that is for sure, is that you are definitely guaranteed seasons here. When it’s winter you know it’s -20, snow storms and windchill. But, when Summer rolls around you know it’s sunshine, +30 and rooftop patios.
If the Canadians are good at anything it’s ensuring that there is always something to do no matter what season it is. Whether it’s snow-mobiling, snow-tubing, skiing, ice-skating or even ice-fishing. The Winter weekends are filled up full or fun and memorable outdoor experiences. So while the weather was still in our favour Gary and I decided that it was time to hit the slopes for the first time! Neither of us had gone skiing before and we definitely weren’t going to turn down the opportunity to do something that both of us have had on our bucket list for a long time now. [Read more…]
I, for one love to travel. It’s one of my favourite things to do! I know a lot of people that couldn’t care less for travel or immigration and that’s perfectly fine because we all have our own hopes and dreams, desires and bucket lists to fulfill. That’s what makes everyones story so interesting and unique. I have not taken the same path as any of my siblings, instead I learn from what they’ve told me, mistakes and advice is a big part of the guidance they’ve provided me on my journey. They’ve encouraged me to do things that they may have missed out on, they not only love to see how happy I am to share my experiences with them but they are also there for me when the road gets bumpy. I’m very fortunate to be the youngest of six because I’ve learnt a lot from them all, every one of their stories. That’s why family is so important to me no matter where you are in the world, they still provide the best support and love even when I’m on a different continent. I read something recently that stuck…
‘The most dangerous risk of all is the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later”.
Well that was one hell of a long January. Lucky for me I welcomed February with open arms and a chest infection. No matter how hard you look after yourself being wrapped up head to toe.. there is nowhere that -30 wind chill won’t go. Until it finally creeps into your chest and sits there nagging you with an awful cough and a pain in your chest.
So I’ve been under the weather for a week now and I feel.. the same. It doesn’t seem to be easing up and that’s probably because of the fact since Feb 1st we’ve had multiple snow falls and storms. But besides feeling like crap, I’m really looking forward to February! It means that Spring isn’t too far away and it means that there is hope in the air. I haven’t blogged because to be honest I haven’t had the energy and who’s inspired when they’re feeling sick? [Read more…]
40th Birthday Celbrations, 1994
Since I’ve moved away from home, I’ve somehow managed to gain even more respect and appreciation for the main woman in my life, my mother. The woman who’s the centre of our family, the mother of 6, the wife of 37 years, the fun sister, the loving daughter, the special auntie… I could go on and on about what she means to everyone, but instead I’m going to tell her what she means to me.
I think she’ll agree as she’s reading this, that I wasn’t necessarily the easiest of her 6 children! The youngest and most babied, I was a latch on child that cried any time she moved from my side. From the beginning she was my best friend and confidant. I knew immediately that when I called she would be there, including every single day when I called from the sick room in my first 5 years of school (and the rest, as she would say). Although now I’m a couple of thousand miles away, she’s still the first person I call. The first person I picked up the phone to tell Gary had proposed to me, the first person I want to share all my moments with. [Read more…]