Tag Archives: Toronto

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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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

South Beach, Miami (Encore!)

19 Apr

So, I’m officially finished my grad school courses for the Master of Professional Communication program at Ryerson University! Phew. To celebrate this fine moment and before I start writing my thesis (my prime summer activity), I’ll be heading to Miami, Florida with two lovely ladies.

And, lucky for me, I’ll be in sun-kissed SoBe for my 24th birthday! Last June, my friend and I took a road trip all the way from Toronto to Miami for two weeks in the sunshine state. We couchsurfed along the way, picked up a Dutch backpacker and partied in Miami until the break of dawn, or until a cockroach ran over my friend’s foot.

Funny enough, I thought I would hate Miami, but it surprised me. I love the Latin flavour and easy lifestyle. Miami natives have good beats, a great beach and wild friends. I really enjoyed hearing Spanish again and trying to figure out what everyone was talking about! I’m so rusty, it made me realize that I need to start practicing again.

I’ll be writing a few posts when I return about the nightlife, the eats, the sand, the scuba and the boys (ha!). Happy 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! =)

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.

April showers… more like snow.

5 Apr

Melissa Medeiros To and Fro

Happy April folks. My favourite month of the year. Why? Because it’s my birthday month, of course. This month is action-packed. I’ll be watching loads of streamed TV shows, working part-time, buying new clothes and apartment decor and wearing my party dress (maybe a few nights in a row). It sucks to be me this month…

It’s not that I don’t have a million things to do, but I’d rather take a break. I can’t believe I even have that option. Hurray for being stuck in student/career purgatory! I am slowly going through my Asia photos – rotating, deleting, enhancing, rotating, enhancing, deleting, deleting, crop, crop, crop!! It’s so tedious. I also recently made a Europe scrapbook/photobook project online. God, I love Groupon! Continue reading

Ryerson….what!?

28 Mar

Great news!! I’m accepted to Ryerson University for the Master of Professional Communication program. I thought I would have my package by now, but I couldn’t wait to share the news. I received a phone call last week from the program director confirming my acceptance.

It’s so intense. Two weeks ago, I had no idea where my life would lead. I didn’t know where I would be living, if I would be traveling more, whether to get a second job or another internship, or just lay low….. and then all of sudden one phone call changes everything. It’s certainly an offer I can’t refuse. The program is new, but highly competitive. There are two (kind of) similar Masters programs in Canada, one in BC and one in Nova Scotia – so you can imagine the demand. The University also offered me two generous scholarships and a guaranteed Graduate Assistant job. Insane…. Continue reading

Toronto

21 Mar

It’s been 11 days since I arrived in Toronto and I am finally getting a hold on things.

I started work this week – maybe that’s why. I needed time to readjust myself and find my old indentations on Toronto life. I missed my bed. There was a lot going through my head… Stefanie’s recent situation being one thing. She arrived safely and last I heard, she was out gallivanting with some lions. Good for her!!

I was able to see my family on Sunday – aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandma. It was amazing. I love them so much and it really put me at ease being surrounded by them, eating delicious food and sharing stories. Oh the food…. I haven’t gorged myself like that in months. It was the kind you could NOT get in Asia, too. Well, you could but it would taste awful. Continue reading

Settled in the homeland – for now!

3 Dec

I thought I would write a little something after settling into my temporary home here in Toronto. It’s weird to think I’ve already been in Canada forĀ  3 weeks now. Time flies… When I look back, I can’t even believe I was in South America. It feels like a strange dream – as if it never even happened and I’m transplanted back to my regular life. Funny how that works.

The last few weeks, I have been living at Kyle’s apartment in Toronto, working at Gap (barf!) and applying for graduate school. Throw in a bunch of doggie walks, coffee dates and family visits and I’ve been one busy gal. Continue reading

Back in my hometown

30 Aug

As I predicted, leaving Toronto was awful. It could have been much worse, if Sarah and Todd hadn’t offered to give me a ride back to Windsor. Our chit chat helped take my mind of the cutest pup and man I left behind.

I still cried, of course – but it was different. When I left for Europe, I think I cried more because of Oli. I was nervous he would not remember me or maybe resent me for leaving. I couldn’t explain to him that I would be back soon and not to worry. This time, I cried because it would be the longest Kyle and I have ever been apart – but I also teared up for Oli during his final tummy scratch. I’m a sucker for good-byes.

Now, I’m in Windsor and I’m trying to gather my things, do laundry, pack and spend time with friends and family – I also watched the Emmys (did anyone else think Dexter should have won?).

Our flight takes off Wednesday morning at 10:30am, which is actually pretty convenient considering I’m used to those dreadful 6:00 am departures. We’re flying Spirit. I know, I know – you are probably thinking, WHY!? But, we didn’t feel like paying an extra $100 for a flight with food. Screw it, we’ll bring our own snacks.

Tomorrow, I’ll pack and go out for dinner with the girls. I have been splurging a bit on food/drinks that I love because I know I won’t be indulging in them for some time. Double tall lattes and green tea frapps from Starbucks AND ribs and med bread from Moxie’s tomorrow. Yes, I already know what I’m ordering! I’m weird like that.

The next post will be from Lima, Peru! Farewell friends.

Checking off my to-do list

23 Aug

I leave for Lima, Peru in just over a week, but I’m leaving Toronto in just a few short days. It feels strange to have two distinct departure dates. My Toronto life has consumed me. Work, the city, friends, Kyle, Oli – leaving it all behind and going back to Windsor for a few days will be hard. Saying my goodbyes twice is no fun. I wish it was possible to leave for Lima directly from Toronto and have my family here to say goodbye.

I hate saying goodbye – and it shows. I become super antsy, anxious, and stressed just days before leaving. Sometimes, I even take it out on the people I love most, which makes no sense at all because they’re the ones I’ll miss when I’m gone. I don’t think I’ve really talked about this on my blog before, but actually leaving blows. Sure, once I arrive at my destination, all the excitement and sensory overload usually keeps my mind at bay – but traveling becomes all the more difficult when you have someone/something/some dog waiting for you back home. It can be a struggle. Continue reading

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