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Hilarious Travel Planning Memories with a side of Budget Travel Tips

13 Aug

A lot of people ask me how I afford such a pricey (MYTH!) travel endeavor. Listen folks, travel isn’t that expensive. Trust me! In fact, I definitely spend more money living in Canada for three months than traveling for the same amount of time in a faraway destination. You do need money upfront, which involves some saving, but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing fun things with friends or forcing you to live in a cardboard box. Long term travel is quite affordable. You just need to reflect on a few unnecessary items and lifestyle choices. For example, I decided to sell my car to fund my South East Asia trip. It might sound a little ridiculous to some people, but I was moving to the big city after traveling and I didn’t need a car anymore. Cars are luxury money holes. Reflecting on how to fund travel helps put life into perspective and your priorities in check.

Long term travel is a bit different. It requires you to cut a few strings. One way I can afford going on a 6 month adventure is by giving up my lovely studio apartment in Toronto. I’m moving out of my humble abode and moving back in with my family (cringe…..). But hey, every budget traveller needs to make sacrifices, even if they are a tad embarrassing. I could have found a subletter, but I wanted to be free from the shackles of my modern, cosmopolitan life. Sounds a little dramatic, eh? I simply didn’t want to worry about an apartment back home and a stranger doing unmentionable activities on my bed. You get the drift.

There’s a point to this little story….

While rummaging through my book shelf, I found an old notebook my travel partner/best friend and I used to jot down travel ideas and inspirations. Between the pages, I stumbled upon a hilarious doodle from over two years ago. Check it out! Continue reading

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Montreal Weekend Mini-Guide and Osheaga 2012 Wrap-Up

8 Aug

My Osheaga 2012 experience in beautiful Montreal, Quebec was a musical, foodie and party success and thanks to the amazing festival schedule, I was able to skip out in the mornings and after the last set to explore some of Montreal’s best hotspots. With so many world-renowned and much loved festivals hosted in Montreal (Just For Laughs, International Jazz Festival, Pop Montreal, etc.), it’s easy for festival-goers to forget that there’s a slew of hidden gems beyond festival gates worthy of exploration. Here is the Osheaga 2012 wrap-up complete with a weekend guide to make the most of your next Montreal getaway… on a budget of course!

Osheaga Music Festival

Osheaga Arts and Music Festival 2012

Osheaga Music Festival

hillside at Osheaga

The Festival
I spent all three days at Parc Jean-Drapeau meandering my way through the crowds to catch my favourite bands. I twisted and shouted to an envy-inducing roster, including FUN., Of Monsters and Men, Franz Ferdinand, Florence + the Machine, Justice, Young the Giant, Brand New, Little Dragon, Adventure Club, Passion Pit, Santigold, Bloc Party, M83 and Keys n Krates. I also caught the tail end of few others including the Shins, The Weeknd, Sigur Ros and Knife Party. Phew, that was a long list! While most people are talking about the headliners, I actually enjoyed the smaller sets the best and I was pleasantly surprised by a few of my high school day favourites. Oh, nostalgia! Continue reading

The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival SURVIVAL KIT

1 Aug

Osheaga Music Festival

Over 90 talented bands and musicians from around the globe are convening in Canada’s cultural mecca –  Montreal, Quebec – for the 3 day Osheaga Music and Arts festival from August 3-5th, 2012. It’s Canada’s best music festival and this year, I’m lucky enough to go! Yours truly will be boarding a bus from downtown Toronto and enduring the 6 hour journey to one of our nation’s most beautiful and unique cities. Click HERE for the complete line-up.

Like any trip you take, every festival goer needs to come prepared with a few essentials. I’ve compiled the ultimate 2012 Osheaga Survival Kit to ensure you have the most memorable, safe and entertaining weekend. Continue reading

Adventure starts near home

30 Jul

I escaped the skyscrapers and traffic for something a little different this past weekend – a 2-night trip to the lake. Just a short 2.5 hours drive from the bustling cosmopolitan city of Toronto lies Corunna, a tiny town near Sarnia, Ontario. I stayed with family in a beautiful house with backyard river access to Lake St. Clair and it was easy to forget that only a few short kilometres away lies Chemical Valley. You can’t help but notice the interesting juxtaposition.

Lake St. Clair, Ontario Canada

The view from the house – Lake St. Clair

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

9 Jun

This week’s photo challenge is called TODAY. Now, the only rule about this week’s photo is that it had to be taken and published that same day. I’m a bit of a cheater, but all in due cause. I had an extremely late night dancing to old hip hop and r&b with some fabulous people at Levack Block, a Toronto bar located at Queen St. & Ossington Ave.

But all’s well, that ends well and here is my photo for this week’s TODAY theme… Continue reading

To and Fro

7 Jun

Well, well, well.

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, mostly about where I am in life, where I was a year ago and where I’m heading now. This inevitably led me to share some thoughts about how I came up with the name of my blog. It’s a simple story really.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

29 May

I’ve decided to participate in the wordpress weekly photo challenge *crowd cheers!

Here’s how it works…
Each week, wordpress provides a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

The intent is to take a new photograph, but I’m going to do things a little differently and instead post old photos from my travels (Canada and international) as well. This summer is lacking in travel trips because of a future jaunt in the fall. More on that to come, but it rhymes with ‘regalia’. ha! This means, however, that I have some space to fill in my travel blog and reliving some of my favourite travel memories sounds like the perfect thing to do!

So here it is …. SUMMER Continue reading

Internship blogging

23 Mar

Melissa To and Fro BloggingRyerson University‘s Master of Professional Communication requires all candidates to complete an industry internship. It’s one of the main components that persuaded me to apply for the program. I feel really lucky to have such a great internship position. Since early January, I’ve been interning with Siren Communications, public relations agency extraordinaire. Most of Siren’s clients fall into the ‘travel & tourism’ sector, which is ideal for yours truly. One of my many tasks is blogging and I thought I’d share two of my recent travel tips/advice posts:

Interested in learning the ‘highs and lows’ of Thailand’s crazy capital? Check out: Citified: Bangkok

Need travel advice about Peru’s Inca capital? Check out: Vacation Notes: Cuzco

Have any of your own tips about Bangkok or Cuzco? Leave a comment! =)

FOMO

23 Aug

Fear of missing out.

Simple enough…

A few days ago, I saw this….

FOMO

It wasn’t the first time I heard about FOMO. When I volunteered in Peru, my housemates threw this 4-letter acronym around a lot. I disagree with the article that FOMO is about the internet. It’s so much more than that – it’s about real life debauchery and seizing the moment. Continue reading

99 problems, but a blog ain’t one.

10 Jun

I have neglected this blog for quite some time. I’ve been a little busy, to say the least. Thankfully, there have been some major developments in my personal and travel life (i.e. lots of goodies to share!).

I’ve been slowly settling down in Canada. I must admit, it was difficult managing my ‘regular’ life after coming home from Southeast Asia. As time passed, I was feeling 10x more comfortable knowing that I’ll be settling Toronto – *was* being the key word. All of a sudden, a few challenges sprung up and I’ve spent the last month trying to reorganize my so-called ‘regular’ life. Continue reading

Sharpening my travel senses

18 May
Melissa Medeiros To and Fro

Hmmm…. road trip through Vermont? Camping in Algonquin? Hiking the Bruce Trail? Clubbing in Montreal? Eating hotdogs in NYC? Suntanning in Cuba?

You’ve guessed it. I am in the midst of travel planning – once again! Jessie and I have decided to do a little travel dance at the end of June. I haven’t gotten the time off yet, so nothing is set in stone. Actually, we haven’t even decided where we want to go. We are just searching the best travel deals on the web. If all else fails, we are going camping. Go Canada! Continue reading

Booking flights… but not for myself (how depressing!)

5 May

I just want to cry when I log onto Orbitz or Expedia.

Lately, I’ve been back to my ol’ researching self, trying to find a decent flight from London(UK) to Toronto. Unfortunately, the flight is NOT for me – although I wouldn’t mind a Spring tour of England. The flight is for Stefanie. You may recall our final days in Bangkok when Stefanie’s passport and wallet were stolen, so as the rules of best friendship prescribe: I need to book Stef’s flight back to the homeland using my credit card. yay. Continue reading

Don’t rain on my parade

26 Apr

It’s my BIRTHDAY!! I’m sitting in a coffee shop (not the kind in Amsterdam, although that would be a story) and enjoying a delicious Americano while writing this overdue blog. Despite the dull, rainy weather, today is going to be a fantastic day! Last year, I was in Toronto for my birthday a mere week before backpacking Europe with my best friends. I’ve come full circle. My nomadic lifestyle has finally come to an end, for now. Continue reading

Sorting through it all

19 Apr

A few days ago, I walked to Ryerson University. It took me about an hour from my apartment, but I strolled leisurely through Chinatown. It reminded me of South East Asia. The men sitting on low stools eating out of styrofoam boxes, the duck carcasses hanging in the shop windows, the hole-in-the-wall bubble tea set-ups, the bins of spices and ginger… you can imagine the nostalgia I felt.

I suppose that’s one of the greatest things about living in Toronto – the ethnic diversity. For example, the other day I had a delicious bowl of pho from a Vietnamese restaurant. I loved staring into that steaming bowl of noodles and then squishing in a bunch of lime juice and hot sauce to make it my own original creation. The experience brought me back to those shady food stalls on the street. The only difference is that I paid 5x the price here! Continue reading

I want SUMMER

16 Apr

I want a backpack strapped to me
and a plane ticket in my back pocket.

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