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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

10 INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS I LOVE

Instagram is how I draw inspiration from every aspect of my life.

What should I eat? Open Insta.
What should I wear? Open Insta.
How should I do my makeup tonight? Open Insta.
How should I decorate this room? Open Insta.
I had a bad day and need to escape. Open Insta.

I wanted to break down my favourite Instagram accounts because I spend enough time on the damn app to know what I love, and maybe you’ll like them too? Sharing is caring.

Here we go!

@laura_made_it

Laura makes bad ass art and I’m a huge fan of everything she creates.

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@society6

Some more art inspo because, I’m obsessed. Artists from around the world can sell their work though Society6 and there are a ton of art and home products (pillows, rugs, shower curtains, etc) that will soon fill my future condo.

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@wetheurban

Social commentary at its best.

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@patrickta

One of my fav makeup artists. He’s so talented and his creations are usually glowy, natural, and goddamn flawless. He’s also just a cool guy too. Be my friend plz, Pat?

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@streetartglobe

I think the theme here is that I like following artsy-fartsy accounts, and I NEED to share this one with you. These posts feature street art from around the world and I find myself constantly stopping to stare at every single upload. IZZ JUSS SEWW GUUUD!

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@urbanoutfitters

I don’t shop at UB often, if ever, but their Insta account is top-notch. I’m also a big fan of @urbanoutfittershome for small space home decor ideas.

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@bymariandrew

If you ever feel heartbroken or in a funky mood, Mari’s posts usually cheer me up with insightful illustrations that are so #relatable.

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@vespernyc

Who doesn’t like to look at sexy photos sometimes?

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@refinery29

I love Refinery29, and I used to read it every morning before I started my morning classes in Korea. Their posts are usually women empowerment fuelled and of course, I’m here for that.

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@loveandlemons

Everything Jeanine posts always looks delicious, healthy, and AESTHETIC GOALS TO THE MAX! Veggie friends, you’ll LOVE this foodie account too.

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Oh hey, are you following me on IG? You should by clicking HERE! While you’re in a following mood, you should also check out Get Up & Go Girl. Ok great, that’s enough self-promo. What are some of your fav Instagram accounts? Let me know in the comments below!

SUMMER LIST 2018 | ACCOMPLISHED GOALS

How is it September already?! Fall is around the corner and on my street the schools (yes, plural) are testing their recess bells so, I guess the deadline has arrived to accomplish my Summer goals for 2018. I kept them short and manageable this year because I knew this Summer I needed to get my shit together, in pretty much all aspects of my life. I still don’t even have my health card back but, I’M WORKING ON IT OK! Living away from Canada for so long leaves you a little behind compared to others but it’s a slow and steady climb. Alright, summer goals, let’s see how I did..

JESSICA’S SUMMER GOALS 2018

1. Learn the flag of every country.

Technically I didn’t memorize EVERY flag, but out of 195 country flags I know 173. In my world, that’s a pretty solid amount. To practice I used an app called Name The Flag, which gave me something to do when commuting to and from work. I have a 88.75% success rate so, I’M COUNTING IT!

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The flags that confuse me most are from African countries, like the ones below. Can you name them all?

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See bottom of blog post for the answers. 😉

2. Throw a summer dinner party for my girlfriends.

Please inquire within for all sangria or charcuterie board needs.

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3. Take an online financial literacy course.

I totally forgot I did this. I took an online course back in May and learned about the basic risks involved with debt, how to avoid common mistakes people make with their finances, etc. Other than that, I don’t remember much of anything else. The big takeaway was don’t be frivolous with money because XYZ will happen.

On occasion I’ll watch videos by The Financial Diet on YouTube and they’re pretty good at dissecting the finance world and speak in a language millennials like myself can understand.

4. Be able to do the splits.

As you can see this goal is not crossed off. Moving on..

5. Have a photoshoot at a lavender field.

You can check out my vlog below when I went to a pretty lavender field in Campbellcroft, Ontario or read all about the fun day by clicking HERE!

Bonus footage for you! My BFF Dev visited me back in August and I haven’t posted our Toronto video on this blog yet so, here ya go!

It was nice to spend a few days together when he came to visit the land of maple syrup (his words, not mine). Dev and I had the best time going out, being tourists, browsing art galleries, and even hitting up Koreatown (home sweet home for us). I miss him all the time when he’s gone, but waiting patiently until he moves to Toronto. Heh heh.

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Goodbye summer 2018! You were necessary for my growth when it came to getting my career in check, going full-throttle into buying property (BIG UPDATES ON THIS VERY SOON!), rekindling friendships, and getting used to being back on Canadian soil.

I’m very ready for Fall. BRING ON THE PUMPKIN FLAVOURED EVERYTHING! Except for the lattes, you can leave those out. Yuck.

Flag answers: Ghana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Guinea

LAVENDER FIELD IN CAMPBELLCROFT, ONTARIO

A summer goal of mine is crossed off! YUS!

My BFF Katie and I went on a mini road trip to Campbellcroft, Ontario which is a small town east of Toronto, sort of near the Peterborough area. Aka, farm town. We went along the cow ridden, dirt roads for one reason – TO FROLIC IN A FIELD FULL OF LAVENDER! I used to despise the smell of lavender, but it’s currently one of my all-time favourite scents. It’s scientifically proven to relax and calm you and is a natural stress relief (I need allllllll of that in my life right now).

We ended up going to the Laveanne Lavender Field instead of the one in Milton (Terre Bleu Lavender Field) because.. well.. it was free to enter, compared to $20 (!!) entrance fee at Terre Blue.

At 9am we packed the car with snacks, went to Tim’s for an Iced Capp (obvs), and hit the road on our summer adventure. The field was simple to find and arrived around 10:30am. It wasn’t busy when we got there, but got a little more crowded at noon. The field itself isn’t mind blowing but pretty enough for a solid Insta pic.

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I wore a beige bodysuit from Forever 21 and a long, sheer white dress I got for $9.99 at a thrift store (pretty good find, huh?). Laveanne had a tiny (like, SUPER small) gift shop that sold baked goods and lavender scented candles, soaps, lotions, etc.

After touring around the fields, Katie and I decided to get lunch at closest bar, which ended up being in Millbrook (approx 10 min drive away) called Moody’s. On their patio we shared a beet and feta salads and a classic charcuterie board, YUM! So summery, and delicious.

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See the Laveanne Lavender Field in all its glory in my latest vlog below!

 

SPENDING TIME WITH THE FAM

Hey friends,

I hope your summer is going well and that you’re embracing any and all awkward tan lines.

I’ve been enjoying the warm weather with the fam jam as much as I can this season because I’ve missed too many birthdays and holiday celebrations the past two years, I need to make up for lost time! If you’ve never met the Moy gang before, then you’re in for a little treat. Check out my vlog below as I spend time with my parents, brothers, and precious little niece, Mila.

I also chat about my experience thus far with condo hunting in Toronto and, to be honest, I have no idea WTF I’m doing.. but I’m on my way!

A couple weeks ago my cousins from my mom’s side got together for a little quality bonding time, without the actual grown-ups (aka our parents who force us to talk to other grown-ups at family functions and none of us really care for it and we’d rather all just hang out without being forced to talk to long lost aunts twice removed). We all bonded over good food, drinks, games, and a water balloon fight that turned dark, REAL QUICK! Watch the below video and see for yourself.

For instant updates, you can follow me on Instagram because I’m literally on there, always. IG: @Jessica_Moy

10 THINGS I NEED TO UPDATE YOU ON

HI FRIENDS!

I haven’t posted in a month.. and a few days.. BUT I AM HERE! ALIVE!

It feels goooooood to be writing a blog post again. I know it’s been awhile and I definitely owe you a catch-up. So, grab a snack? While you’re at it, grab one for me too? Unless it’s a bag of baby carrots, celery or an apple. Then I’ll pass. Still love ya, even though you may have terrible taste in snack options.

ANYWAY! While I was in the shower tonight, nicking my ankles while shaving, I thought about how this dumb little blog has been around for six years. SIX. YEARS. It has seen me through university, various jobs, questionable outfits, boyfriends, moving across the globe, traveling, etc, etc. All of this to say.. I love this space, a lot. Even though I don’t write on this blog as often as I would like, you my dear readers are ALWAYS on my mind.

How are you doing BTW? Did you get a new haircut? You look great! 😉

10 THINGS I NEED TO UPDATE YOU ON:

1. I suppose the biggest update is, I GOT A JOB! After a month or so of applying and going on various interviews, I landed an incredible/creative position in PR. I work with an awesome team in Toronto and feel happy and fortunate to be in the position I’m in. *happy dance*

2. I reached 1,000+ followers on Instagram. I’M PRETTY MUCH A FAMOUS INFLUENCER NOW! Right? No? Kk.

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3. I’m looking into buying property and am going to very soon. Well, not VERY soon, but before the end of the year. If you have ANY advice on home buying PLEASE get in touch and tell me EVERYTHING!

4. I will be vlogging again. OH YES! DA VLOGS WILL BE BACK! I need to update Final Cut Pro and buy a new camera, since mine drowned itself at Victoria Falls. I miss editing and being creative with video so hopefully within the next couple months I can hop back on the vlog train. EEK! So much content to share. SO. MUCH. CONTENT.

5. I’ve been watching marathons of Kitchen Nightmares. I don’t know why or how I stumbled upon it, but it entertains me and Gordon Ramsay is a hoot.

6. I don’t think I’ll be able to do the splits by the end of the summer like I told myself I would.. it’s just too darn hard. I’ll keep trying, I guess..

7. MY NIECE MILA TURNED ONE THIS MONTH! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S BEEN A YEAR SINCE HER LIFE HAS BLESSED OUR PRESENCE? I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

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8. I feel fortunate to be back in a country where a) people hug b) french fries are not sprinkled with sugar and c) I can communicate without an obsene amount of hand gestures.

9. I don’t miss living in Korea. Lol. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Korea and it’ll be my second home forever and ever. But, I def don’t miss living there.

10. I have a lot of exciting projects and life changes that will happen within the next little while, and I hope you’ll be around to share them with me. 🙂

SEE YA SOON! I LUUURVEE YOU!

xo

Jessica

P.S. I REALIZE THAT I HAVE WRITTEN IN CAPS A LOT IN THIS BLOG POST! I’M JUST EXCITED TO BE BACK ON THE BLOG OK!

WHEN LOVE ARRIVES

When Love Arrives is a spoken word poem written and performed by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. I stumbled upon the video tonight and the words touched ma wittle hart. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict. Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep; You are in California, Australia, wide awake. Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone. Maybe love is not ready for you. Maybe you are not ready for love. Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type. Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love is older now, but just as beautiful as you remembered. Maybe love is only there for a month. Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit. Maybe love stays- maybe love can’t. Maybe love shouldn’t. Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to, and love leaves exactly when love must. When love arrives, say, “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.” If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her. Turn off the music, listen to the quiet, whisper, “Thank you for stopping by.”

SAFARI & CAMPING AT CHOBE NATIONAL PARK IN BOTSWANA

 

Botswana is a country smack dab in the middle of southern Africa. Note: Botswana is not in South Africa but the countries do border each other and yes, South Africa is its own country (just clarifying for my mother). If you travel to Africa, Botswana is well-known for their epic safari adventures. The country is home to 150 species of mammals, 460 species of birds, and 200 species of reptiles/amphibians. Plus, national parks and wildlife reserves make up 40% of the land (!!). It is also the place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle fell in love.

All of this to say, it’s a pretty special place.

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The hostel I stayed at in Livingstone, Zambia set me up with Kalahai Tours, which offered a 2-day, 1-night boat/4×4 vehicle tour and camping at Chobe National Park (all food and transportation provided!). I can’t remember the exact price I paid for it all, but roughly $300 USD.

When I arrived at Chobe National Park the only goal I had was to snap a glorious Insta-worthy pic of giraffes strutting freely in the wild. I feel as if giraffes are my spirit animal, with their long limbs and general awkwardness. To my luck, only an hour or so into a 4×4 adventure, I saw these beauties.

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Chobe National Park is home to Africa’s largest elephant population. I read once that elephants think humans are cute the way humans think puppies are cute (the same part of the brain lights up when they see us!) so I just about peed myself when I saw this beautiful creature smirking my way.

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I don’t LOVE camping, but the experience in Botswana was tolerable. Things you need to bring that I didn’t: A FLASHLIGHT, EXTRA CAMERA BATTERY, WET WIPES, AND LOTS OF SNACKS! Obviously the “toilet” is a hole in the ground and there are no lights or running water so have a buddy system if you have to go in the middle of the night. The area is not fenced off either. Watch out for mischievous baboons who may take anything you may leave outside of the tent (which is provided, btw).

After our overnight camping experience, we had a light breakfast and left super early on our next 4×4 expedition. To our surprise, only a few minutes from our campsite, we saw this little kitten.

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My weekend in Botswana was incredible. It was inspiring, emotional, and grounding to witness beautiful creatures roaming freely in the wild. Please put Botswana on your travel bucket list, you seriously won’t regret exploring this beautiful country. Obviously, I’ve got a vlog for ya! Take a look at the boat adventure (HIPPOS GALORE!), our campsite, and all of the animals we encountered (buffalos, zebras, and crocodiles.. OH MY!).

Time to get sappy.

The past 2.5 years have been full of remarkable adventures! ✈️ It all started in Tokyo 🇯🇵, then shortly after I galavanted around London 🇬🇧, Berlin 🇩🇪, Paris 🇫🇷, moved to Busan/Seoul 🇰🇷, then ticked off Bali 🇮🇩, Chiang Mai 🇹🇭, Sydney 🇦🇺, Livingstone 🇿🇲, and many other spectacular places off the bucket list. I have garnered a few more freckles, scars, tattoos, stretch marks, Facebook friends, and a giant scrapbook of memories about the people I’ve met and places I’ve been. 🌎

I had a local seamstress in Livingstone design the jacket I’m wearing below. It’s a piece I will hold near and dear to my heart, as it represents the end of a challenging, yet wondrous chapter of my life. To everyone who has thought of travelling but doesn’t know where to start or worry they could fall behind in their career, let me tell you what my idol Eva Chen once told me: “When you open your heart and mind to life and opportunities, opportunities will, in turn, find you.”

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because you never know where it could take you or who you could meet. The experiences you will have along the way will forever be embedded in who you are. Go see the world my dear because a ship in a harbour is safe, but that is not what ships were built for.

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MY SUMMER GOALS 2018

As I’m writing this post, there is 5ft of snow outside my doorstep (LOL.. it’s April) so writing a summer goals list feels a little odd. If you’re a long time reader (bless your sweet soul), you know that I start my list in May and go until the end of August. The month of May is exactly two weeks away (!!) and I’m about to get crackin’ on my goals whether there is still snow on the ground or not. Plz note: If there is snow fall in May, I’m literally moving my ass to Mexico.

Last summer I had 10 goals I wanted to accomplish, but life got in the way and my focus shifted, leaving the list unintentionally abandoned. *cries* I did cross off a solid 6 out of 10, which is a pass, but still disappointing.

Now that I am back in Canada, a majority of my summer will be spent focusing on my career so, I’ve narrowed the list down to 5 goals. Still cute and fun but manageable, ya know?

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JESSICA’S SUMMER GOALS 2018

1. Learn the flag of every country.
2. Throw a summer dinner party for my girlfriends.
3. Take an online financial literacy course.
4. Be able to do the splits.
5. Have a photoshoot at a lavender field.

BRING ON THE SUNSHINE!

EXPLORING VICTORIA FALLS IN LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

I’ve been back on Canadian soil for nearly a month. Can’t say it’s been easy, but also can’t say it’s been hard either (bless Momma Moy’s home cooking). Part of me feels like I never left, but then I walk around the streets of Toronto and nothing feels familiar, not even the snow! Haven’t seen snowfall in a couple of years (I’m not a fan of cold weather so I never missed it, tbh). It’s hard to explain the complexities of reverse culture shock, but I won’t be focusing on that today because we’re talking about something SUPER EXCITING! MY DAY TRIP LAST MONTH TO VICTORIA FALLS! A NATURAL WONDER OF THE WORLD!

If you haven’t read the first part of my Livingstone, Zambia trip, catch up plz.

Victoria falls is the largest waterfall in the world. Not the tallest, nor the widest, but the largest. I don’t know the mathematics of it either, but I do know that the width reaches nearly two kilometers spanning across Zambia and Zimbabwe, and it’s hella beautiful.

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3 things I learned on my day trip to Victoria Falls:

1. Merchants will try to sell you slingshots to scare off the wild baboons who putter around the area. You don’t need a slingshot, a giant stick does the trick. But also, these baboons could care less about your presence, if you leave them alone they’ll do the same.

2. Bring a raincoat. I rented one once I got there for $2 USD and it’s a MUST, especially if you want to cross the scary bridge of death and horror (refer to vlog below in regards to death bridge). If you go anywhere near the falls, it’ll feel like you’re in a shower so bringing an extra pair of socks would be smart too.

3. There are three main trails you can take once you get to the falls. An easy, scenic photography walk (do first), a 40-minute roundtrip hike to the Boiling Pot where you can watch people bungee jump (do second), and then the trail to the falls (do third, because you’ll get soaked and it’ll feel nice after your hikes).

The day after my day trip to the falls, I took a bike tour around Livingstone, an activity I also highly recommend. My tour guide and I cycled around the entire city. He told me historical stories about the Livingstone railway, the contrast between the different communities, and discovered hidden roads with barely any people on them and nature as far as the eye could see.

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Below are the gorgeous and intelligent grade 6 girls I spent my two weeks with, and I miss them already. They were cooperative and energetic, a teachers dream, really. Check out Girl Impact if you want to get involved with the wonderful volunteer organization that took such great care of me while I was in Livingstone.

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Do you want to have a bit of insight of what it’s like to attend Livingstone’s Linda Community School? I created the video below on Get Up & Go Girl, watch and come hang out with us!

While I was in Livingstone, Zambia I stayed at Livingstone Backpackers. Even though the hostel life isn’t for me, I thoroughly enjoyed my two week stay. It would have been a nightmare if all of the beds were filled (I had 4 bunk beds in my room.. eek) but only ended up having one roommate (#bless). The hostel had comfy lounge chairs, a relaxing pool, AMAZING food (local and western options), and helpful staff who booked EVERYTHING including a (free!) ride to Victoria Falls and bike tour. 10/10. Would recommend.

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Sad new: I said goodbye to my beloved Canon Vixia Mini. It has been my travel companion for 2.5 years and the scary bridge of death and horror at Victoria Falls took it away. *sigh* All is explained in the vlog below.

VOLUNTEERING FOR THE GIRL IMPACT IN LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

I have left South Korea! 안녕히 계세요!

Departing from Seoul on March 3, 2018 I hopped on a plane, had a quick layover (and Burger King meal.. omgzzzz burgers and iced tea, I’ve missed you!) in Singapore, then Joburg, and before I knew it I was breathing in the sweet air of Livingstone, Zambia. Woo! Or as I actually said when I landed, “holy shit I’m in Africa.”

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Before settling back home in Canada, I wanted to go on one last adventure. A few months before my departure I researched volunteer opportunities within Africa and came across African Impact’s Girls Impact program in Livingstone, Zambia. What attracted me to this particular program was the fact that I could get my hands dirty and be immersed within a community that invests in adolescent girls. The Girl Impact initiative works with girls, boys, and women by hosting classes and workshops that range in topics from health, female health, safety, making a living, and self-confidence.

The workshops I worked on specifically tackled subjects such as teamwork, leadership, hygiene, HIV/AIDS, and how to build a business within the community. We also worked with elementary school boys and had a class about respect, which surprised me the most since the boys were knowledgable and mature about having important conversations about consent and HIV/AIDS. They were interactive and didn’t giggle when the word “sex” was spoken, like most boys (and girls, including me) would at their age. It was a great workshop and I was left thoroughly proud and impressed.

No matter the workshop topic, we always made it as interactive and as fun as possible, I mean, kids are still kids, right?

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The best part of going to a new place? TRYING OUT THE FOOD! Muli bwanji nshima!

Nshima to Zambia is like rice to China or potatoes to Ireland. It’s a staple food they eat every day made from cornmeal and served with a vegetable, tomato sauce, and eaten with your hands. Nshima itself has no particular taste (quite like rice and potatoes) but when you mix it with the veggies and sauce it’s a hearty, fulfilling meal.

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You can’t go to Zambia and not run into exotic, wild animals. You can simply walk down to the Zambezi river and watch zebras crossing the street or hippos swimming in the water. But, don’t get too close. Believe it or not, hippos are the animals that kill the most people each year in Zambia. They may be cute, but they’re aggressive AF. If you squint, you can see their noses from the water in the photo below.

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On March 8, 2018 it was International Women’s Day! A day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women in Zambia (and around the world!). Although, I believe we don’t necessarily NEED a specific day to celebrate women, but I will always say “YES” when it comes to marching on the streets alongside nurses, pilots, teachers, mothers, and daughters of the community.

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The African Impact team got together and created a banner for the march that read, “TIME IS NOW NOW!” The extra “now” is commonly used in Zambia because if you simply say you want something done “now” it will be done, eventually. But if you say you want something done “now now” it means you want it done right away.

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One of my favourite days in Zambia was the morning we went to work at the local farm. We grabbed a couple slashers/hoes and pulled out okra plants, cut down corn stalks, and kept an eye out for wild crocs. No crocs were sighted, thankfully. I don’t even know what you’d do if you saw a wild croc.. like.. hop on the back? Close its mouth? Pose for a selfie?

The children in the area were the best! They were social, playful, and even taught me how to do flips with no hands! Well, they didn’t teach me HOW to do it since I knew I would break my neck, but I watched them teach me. They were incredible!

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From the hostel I stayed in, the food I ate, and the people I met, it can all be seen in the vlog below. *sigh* I miss it all already.

THE FINAL ONE: GOODBYE SOUTH KOREA

Two years later, here we are.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to leave South Korea, the place that has made me constantly crave spicy food, challenged me with language barriers and (many) cultural differences. The place I pushed my limits, challenged myself, fell in love, and battled loneliness. The place I found inner strength, discovered the power of my voice, and (most importantly) a place I felt safe and called home.

Busan, will always be a special place for me. I’ll miss the mountains, beaches, prompt public transportation, cheap convenience store ice cream, and of course, my students.

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Leaving has been an extremely emotional and overwhelming process. I was not prepared for how much it hurts to say goodbye to people, places, and memories.

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But such is life. You grow and move on.

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Currently I am in Seoul, wandering around the city until my departure on Sunday. I’ve been taking my time to walk in and out of shops and discovering new places such as the COEX Mall‘s Starfield Library, which holds approximately 50,000 books and magazines. FIFTY THOUSAND! It’s an incredible sight!

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I also had to make a stop at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in Gangnam, which I’ve seen on Instagram a thousand times so I had to check it out for myself. The baked goods were just meh for me, but the interior was beautiful.

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South Korea has been good to me.

I could not be more thankful to have the freedom to travel, meet new people, and creatively express my journey with you. It has been a blast taking you along on this crazy ride. Through my videos and blog posts you were there, every step of the way and I thank you for all of your support, it truly means the world to me.

I’m sad that I must say goodbye to this chapter of my life, but there’s much more to look forward to in the future. But for right now, here’s a video that captures the past couple years perfectly.

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