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AVEIRO & ÓBIDOS PORTUGAL

First post of 2020! Woo-hoo! If you haven’t seen my first Portugal blog post, you can read about my adventures in Porto here.

After a few days sipping coffee and reading on cobblestone stairs until sunset, I said good-bye to the magnificent city of Porto and hopped on a train to Aveiro. This vibrant town is commonly known as the Venice of Portugal because of the pretty canals and gondolas.

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You only need a couple of days to explore Aveiro and if you get a chance I highly recommend renting a bike and peddling to Costa Nova Beach. I rented from Biclaria for 10€ and was given a bike (with a basket!), helmet, and security lock. I was also given a map to how to get to the beach but it was a little confusing so I just used my phone to navigate. Costa Nova Beach is an hour ride away and when you see the colourful houses, you have arrived!

The beach was a little cloudy the day I went but it was still so beautiful! I brought a lunch and sat on the boardwalk, watched the giant waves crash on the shore, and imagined how busy this beach can get during the summer months.

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After a couple of days of exploring Aveiro, I took a bus to Óbidos. Oh. My. God. I could cry just thinking of the beauty of this town. My Airbnb host, Arlinda, said this place was presented to the Queen of Portugal on her wedding day in 1282. If I’m not given a whimsical town from my partner on my wedding day, I want a divorce.

I stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb that was within the castle walls, you can check it out here. Arlinda was so kind and took me on a tour of the town and it was an incredible experience to stay in her home that has been passed down in her family for hundreds of years. If you’re new to Airbnb and thinking of booking, you can get $60 off your first stay anywhere in the world HERE!

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When in Óbidos I recommend getting up at sunrise to climb the walls the encircles the illustrious town to admire the views without the crouds. You will be one of few people out and about until the tour buses arrive around 10am. But while you can, enjoy the cobblestone streets, classic Portuguese painted houses, and be first in line at the cafes.. mmm the baked goods here were delicious.

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I didn’t mention above but in Aveiro I ate a francesinha, which is a traditional  Portuguese sandwich that’s basically a heart attack on a plate. It. Was. Massive. I vlog about it below so you should watch. Right now. Enjoy!

PORTO, PORTUGAL

I got back from my Portugal trip in October and here I am in December writing about my adventures. It’s not a Jessica Moy blog post unless it’s a couple months late, AMIRITE!? *sigh*

In early October I arrived in Porto, Portugal and was in awe of how beautiful the people were.. not just kind and helpful but, FLAWLESS ON THE OUTSIDE! Airport security lookin’ all fine as hell and here I was after a six hour flight lookin’ nasty and disheveled. Hi my name is Jessica and I brush my hair maybe once a week. K cool.

From the airport I hopped on a bus that took me right into the heart of Porto and was amazed by the beautiful architecture, cobblestone, artwork, and sculptures!

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OH, AND THE TILES! The famous blue Portuguese tiles properly known as azulejos (Arabic meaning small polished stone). These gorgeous pieces of art are built into most buildings, used as decoration in public spaces, and can tell stories about Portuguese history, religion, and culture.

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My favourite part of Porto was crossing the bridge and entering Vila Nova de Gaia. I sat beside the Douro river, ate a pastéis de nata, and read my book until the sun went down. Absolute paradise.

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During my trip I was doing a lot of reading, sitting, shopping, and eating so I ventured off and took a day trip to Guimarães, a charming and historic city where I did a lot of.. reading, sitting, shopping, and eating. Guimarães is regarded as the birth place of the country since the first King of Portugal was born here. It’s an incredible little town with the cutest restaurants that sold a lot of wine.. a lot of cheap.. delicious.. wine.

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After a few glasses of vino I made my way to the historic Guimarães Castle where many battles were fought and hundreds of years later a girl named Jessica Moy ran up and down the stairs of the castle to nail the perfect photo. Not bad for just resting my camera on my backpack and setting my timer.

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PORTO TRAVEL VLOG BELOW! I had so much fun editing this one. I hope you enjoy it. K LOVE YOU BYE!

SUMMER LIST 2019 | ACCOMPLISHED GOALS

Monday was the first day of fall. AKA I’m late on this post, I get it, I know. *eye roll*

Every summer I set goals. I try to accomplish them but sometimes life gets in the way and you lose motivation so you end up just feeling like a huge failure but what else is new (LOL, my mental state right now like, am I ok???). In this case I didn’t complete 1.5 of the goals I set out for myself, which isn’t THAT bad. You can read my initial Summer List 2019 post here but don’t bother because they’re also listed below (I need to drop this attitude asap)*. ANYWAY, let’s see how I did…

1. Be able to do the splits.

Not exactly. I took yoga classes for a month to start myself off and learned a bunch of great stretch moves to help me out so I’m half crossing this off.

2. Film an apartment tour.

As of today it has 700+ views, baby!

3. Go rock climbing.

Nope, didn’t have the time but I am going rock climbing in Portugal. REAL rock climbing. On a mountain. WHO AM I?! I leave in 10 days and I’ll keep you updated on how this goes.

4. Order a burger from Uniburger in Montreal.

Oh yes, all I did in Montreal was eat and it was the perfect summer weekend getaway.

5. Learn a simple song on the guitar.

My brother taught me tune. I can’t remember how to play it but just know I did for a short period of time.

*I have an attitude right now because I’m tired and annoyed. I’m trying to be creative but it feels like work and I hate that I feel this way. Your hobbies shouldn’t feel like work, but it does and it makes me feel bleh. I love this blog, I’ve written (pretty consistently) since I was 21 years old. Young pup Jessica grew up on this platform. I hope one day that spark of inspiration hits me again because I want to feel happy when I write, not stressed and anxious. BRB, looking for inspo. 

 

WHEN I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF

Below is a list I put together during one of my “off” days to remind myself that sometimes when I’m thrown into situations where I’m uncomfortable or unfamiliar, it’s ok to not feel like, me. Forcing a smile sucks and shitty situations happen, but no matter what I (or you) go through, it will pass.

For days when I feel like I don’t belong, below are situations when I feel like I do.

  • When I travel
    • Exploring and going on adventures make my soul smile.
  • When I’m with family or close friends
    • I can eat like a slob and not shower for three days and they will still look at me in the eyes.
  • When it’s late at night and I’m watching Netflix, reading, or writing in my journal
    • Bliss.
  • When I spend time with kiddies
    • All barriers and insecurities are let down because kids don’t care what you look like, what you do for work, or how many Instagram followers you have. They just want to hold your hand as you walk to the park, play boardgames, and for you to share your french fries.
  • When I’m at a concert and I know the words to every song
    • The music just takes over! I also feel like I black out at concerts sometimes, but maybe that’s alcohol induced idk.
  • When I play soccer
    • It’s familiar and something I know I’m good at.
  • When I sleep in the nude
    • This doesn’t need an explanation.
  • When I wear black leggings, an oversized sweatshirt, and sneakers
    • Peak comfort level.
  • When I laugh uncontrollably
    • You can try and hide it but you’ll just look silly. Everyone’s laugh is different and that’s what makes it so truly, authentically you!

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MILA TURNS TWO

My wonderful niece Mila turned two years old this month! I swear yesterday she was learning how to roll on her belly and now I see her running, singing, eating an entire cob of corn (she can do this now because she has all her teeth), watering plants, and saying how much she loves you! I’m proud of this little firecracker and how kind and fearless she has become, except when it comes to airplanes.. and spiders.. and waterslides (lol, k but same).

Below is a little weekend vlog I put together and it includes Mila’s super fun over the top backyard B-DAY PAR-TAY! Thanks for watching, love you more than Mila loves bubbles.

MY SUMMER GOALS 2019

If you’ve been living under a rock and/or don’t follow me on Instagram (how dare you), I officially bought a condo in Toronto and it’s.. a fuckin’ lot to digest. I’ve been here for two weeks and today is the first time I’ve had quality time in it without putting furniture together or tiptoeing over thingamajigs that don’t quite have a place yet. It’s still not 100% put together but it will be, eventually.

But we’re not here to talk about new digs but rather my summer goals for 2019!

Wait, hold on. Can I interrupt that point and let you know I’m currently watching Beyonce’s HOMECOMING on Netflix and this is literally me…

IZZ SEW GEWD!

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Ok back on topic. You can read last years summer goals here.

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This year I’m going to keep it at five again because that’s a manageable number and now that I’m older, shit gets in the way more often. Here we go:

  1. Be able to do the splits.
  2. Film an apartment tour.
  3. Go rock climbing.
  4. Order a burger from Uniburger in Montreal.
  5. Learn a simple song on the guitar.

COZUMEL, MEXICO


This blog post is WAY overdue, by almost three months. My bad.

The last I left you I was in Flamouth, Jamaica and you should read that post before this one so go, right now.

Done? Cool cool.

Mexico was the last stop on my Royal Caribbean Cruise. I explored Cozumel mostly on my own and took time to walk along the colourful streets to appreciate the outdoor markets and street art at every corner. Fun fact: Cozumel in Mayan language translates to “Land of the Swallows” because during the months of April and May pretty little swallows can be seen in abundance during migration. The small city used to be a quaint fishing village but has now turned into a popular cruise ship port.

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You can’t go to Mexico and NOT have guacamole! Living my best basic life.

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A couple night prior, we signed up for a fun excursion which included speed boating, snorkeling, and ATV-ing. It came out to be around $189 CDN each, not too bad for a full day of activities! It was an adrenaline rush to go 100 mph on a boat (tbh I don’t know how fast we went buuuuut it was enough to get sweet air when we hit a wave) along the crystal clear waters and snorkel with the itty bitty fish. We also explored the outback of Cozumel, swerving iguanas and trying not to fall off when waist deep in giant pot holes filled with water. Of course, I vlogged the entire excursion for you.

To be completely honest, cruising isn’t my preferred way of traveling, I don’t love being confined to one place and having a set schedule, but hey.. to each their own. One thing I could never complain about are the views from the ship, and I guess quality family time, that was pretty special too. 😉

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FALMOUTH, JAMAICA

Before you read this post, have you read part 1, Labadee, Haiti? GO!

ahem. All caught up? Great. Time to talk about the next destination on my Royal Caribbean Cruise: Falmouth, Jamaica!

Our second pit-stop on the cruise had us walking into a gated community with a plethora of souvenir shops and restaurants. We all know I don’t love being confined into one place while on vacation so OBVIOUSLY I ventured into town. I was immediately taken aback from the bustle, countless fruit markets, and colourful buildings. It made my travelling heart oh so happy.

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Jamaica isn’t perfect, no country is, and I was advised numerous times to be safe and should not walk alone. I was with someone as I explored Falmouth, but in the four or five hours we walked around, there was no moment I felt threatened or in danger. Locals were kind, did not ever try to force us to buy anything and if we did have a question they would stop and help us out.

My suggestion is to take time to walk around the city, try the local food such as beef patties, fried plantain, jerk chicken, rice and peas.. you name it, you’ll find it, and take numerous photos of the beautiful surroundings.

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VLOG TIME! Watch as I explore around Falmouth, a few cruise ship clips, a belly flop competition and a mini souvenir haul. Love ya! Enjoy!

LABADEE, HAITI

After years of hearing from my mother how amazing cruise life is, I finally bit the bullet and joined her (and some of the fam) on a Royal Caribbean Cruise. Last month we all flew from YYZ to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and boarded one of the world’s biggest ship, Harmony of the Seas!

If you love staying in resorts, you’ll equally love being on a cruise ship. It’s not necessarily my style of travel because you are confined to one place for a period of time with a schedule of when and where to eat. But, when it came to eating, I LIVED for the endless amount of American style buffets. Mac & cheese, steak, curry, and brownies all on one plate. All. Damn. Day.

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After a full cruise day, our first stop was Labadee, Haiti. This northwest corner of the country is leased to Royal Caribbean so it does resemble an amusement park filled with zip lines, water slides, and souvenir vendors galore. The best beach in Labadee (from what I could tell) is Columbus Cove. It is a bit of a walk from the port but it has smooth sand, crystal clear waters, and a ton of palm trees to nap under. See my vlog below for some bad ass beach b-roll.

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Since this particular part of Haiti is quite commercialized, I didn’t get to see Haiti in its raw form. I would love to go back and explore the country, learn more about the culture, and meet the people. I remember Conan O’Brien visited Port-au-Prince and I fell in love with the spirit of Haitians. See below for a little history lesson.

The waters in Labadee were glorious, and I wish I had more time to float around. When you’re here I recommend getting up early and snatching a prime spot on the beach, play volleyball, do some shopping, and walk around Dragon’s Breath Point before heading back on the ship.

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A travel vlog for you! Oh how I miss shooting and editing, I think this probably means I should travel more? Sigh, I wish. See more action on the ship as well as touring around Labadee, Haiti below!

LIFE UPDATE

I haven’t posted a YouTube video in a couple months and decided to brush my hair, set up a camera, and ramble. Rambling is what I do best. I remember in University we had to do mock job interviews and my interviewer, who worked as a sports reporter, noted that I ramble way too much. I’d like to think it’s part of my charm but anywhooooo..

If you have 10 minutes of your precious life to spare then grab a cup of tea and chat with me about my move into the city, tarot cards, travel plans, and other humdrum.. ramblings. xo

LES PANTALONS MODERNITÉS

Last year I was rushing through Busan Station to catch the KTX train to Seoul. It was early morning on a Saturday and I was on my way to the platform when suddenly, a young Korean lady tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and she kindly blurted, “I’m sorry to bother you but, what is your name?”

“Jessica!” I responded with a smile, “what’s yours?”

“I’m Rachel” she said shyly. “Umm, I’m a fashion designer, and I know you’re in a rush but I would love for you to model my clothes.” I was in shock, mostly because her English was flawless and that was something I wasn’t normally used to hearing. She mentioned she grew up in Busan, learned English in school, and now studies fashion design in France! I told her that I was actually on my way to Seoul Fashion Week and would love to work with her once I’m back. We exchanged Kakao info before splitting ways.

A couple weeks later, Rachel set up a photoshoot at a classy French restaurant in Haeundae. She dressed Emma, the other model, and I up in her designs and wanted the focus to be on the pants.

Cue: The photo shoot

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Designer: Iseul
Photographer: 지금 이 순간
Editor: Lucas Lehmann

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Fast forward a few months when I was back at Busan Station, ready to take the KTX to Seoul. I was going back home to Canada and documented my solemn departure on my Instagram stories. She saw my story and DM’d me saying she didn’t know I was leaving forever and wanted to say goodbye. I told her my train leaves in 20 minutes but if she makes it to my platform I’d love to see her.

Rachel found me just in time. She ran, with multiple bags on her because she was in the middle of running errands, and opened her arms for a hug. I was so sad that day and to have someone, who I only hung out with that one day, want to hug me goodbye made leaving a little more tolerable.

As cheesy as it sounds, I’ll never forget that wonderful moment and I’m happy to have worked with such a beautiful soul.

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I’M OFFICIALLY 28 – HERE’S EVERYTHING I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR

It’s six days past my birthday (whoops) but I have to admit, turning 28 was the absolute BEST!

Here are a few reasons why my b-day was incredible:

  • It was on a Saturday which means I got to sleep in!
  • When I woke up my mom made a cute little breakfast and even put a candle in my eggs (lol, it’s the little things).
  • I hosted my first Get Up & Go Girl workshop which was such a dream come true.
  • I bid on my first place in Toronto! I lost, but still, it was my first one and I’m moving in the right direction of finding my home.
  • Went out to dinner with my best friends and then to a couple fun bars afterwards.
  • My cousin Melissa baked me raspberry chocolate cupcakes and they were DIVINE!
  • 💋😏 (hehe).

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As you know, I had goals I wanted to accomplish for my 27th year of life.

Let’s see how I did..

1. Start a career in a creative field

I have the best job at rock-it promotions. So proud to work here.

2. Purchase property

Although this is not done as of yet, I am WELL on my way! Can I count this at 0.5 complete? DOING IT!

3. Go to my 6th continent

I went to Africa back in March, which you can read about here and here.

4. Commence secret project (Mwhaha! Sorry, you’ll know in time, I promise!)

GET UP & GO GIRL WORKSHOP WAS MY SECRET PROJECT! AND I DID IT! WOO!

5. Donate blood

Mmmmk. Since I went to Africa I’m technically not allowed to donate my blood and have to wait an entire year. I’m adding this back on the list.

NOT SO BAD! Those were some pretty lofty goals and I think I did alright. 3.5/5!

Now, we move onto this year. Below are the goals I will strive to achieve during my 28th year of life:

1. Purchase property.

2. Donate blood

3. Travel to Portugal

4. Write a book (or at least, on my way)

5. Secret mission I can’t talk about, but next birthday I will tell you

MEEP! Ok. One more thing. I have a vlog for you. It’s not a birthday vlog but it’s been a couple months since I’ve uploaded so, here ya go! Cheers to another year of being an almost-thirty-goal-achieving-bad-ass-betch (or at least trying to). ENJOY!

DR. FORD SPOKE UP TO PROTECT US

“I will tell you something because I am a sexual assault survivor and the truth is, Trump the other day was speaking in a rally and said, ‘she has no memory of how she got to the party, should we trust she remembers the assault?’ And the answer is, yes. I’ll tell you exactly why. I also know this woman is smart because she’s a psychologist, she’s no dummy. If someone is assaulted or experiences trauma, there’s science and scientific proof, it’s biology that people change, the brain changes and literally what it does is takes the trauma and puts it in a box and files it away and shuts it so that we can survive the pain. It also does a lot of things, it can cause body pain, baseline elevations of anxiety, it can cause complete avoidance to remember or think what had happened to you but what I believe, what I have seen is that what this woman saw that Judge Kavanaugh was going to be possibly put in the highest position of power in the judicial system of this country, she was triggered and that box opened and when that box opened, she was brave enough to share it with the world and protect this country.

– Lady Gaga