Posts tagged ‘Travel’

Life Update

Hello all!
I hope everyone’s year is going well so far. I’m so sorry for neglecting this blog, even though I promised to write more. I’ve been quite busy the past few months.
I was accepted to a University and taking online beginner courses in Neurobiology. That’s been taking most of my time, to be honest. It’s super fun though and extremely interesting! (Writing this blog is my err….break from researching for my dissertation.) 
Aside from my courses, I have also been doing barre exercises and yoga at usually three days a week. I am finding it makes my body and mind a lot better. I am still having to take my medication, but I find that the two combined helps a lot – even on my off days.
I have been playing my guitar again (yay!) And trying to relearn all the songs I’ve written that I haven’t played in nearly two years. Luckily, I don’t have a concussion this time so I’m actually able to memorise my lyrics. 

I caught up with some family friends I haven’t seen in SO LONG over the holidays and I have planned to go visit two of them out west. Short political opinion insert here – I have decided to boycott travelling to the US during this Presidency and therefore I’m making a Canadian trip to Vancouver for six days, Banff for three and Calgary for six. I’m super excited because I haven’t been out west in about ten years and truth be told, I really miss it. A bonus being I can go hang out with my friends as well while I’m out there! Double score!

So far, I have been having a pretty good year. Already made a short visit to Montreal and hung out with some band friends there (and a bit in Toronto too!)
I hope that you’re having a great year so far and if so, that it continues. If your year has been a struggle so far, I hope it improves for you! 
I’m going to leave you with some photos and see you later!
Cheers!


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Some Good Things That Happened This Year

Hello all,
It’s really no secret that 2016 was a really shitty year overall. It would be all too easy to focus on the negatives, as it always is so I thought that I would write about some good things that happened this year.
The first good thing that happened this year was my NYC trip back in March. Seeing (and hanging out with) Sons of an Illustrious Father as well as just being back in NYC was exciting and a break from the bleakness that my life was turning into. There’s always just something about NYC that makes people feel so alive.
Another good thing that happened was ditching a toxic friend. Instead of waking up to constant negative messages everyday, I tend to wake up in a better mood overall.
Being hired for TIFF was also so amazing. TIFF is always an exciting time of year and being on the flipside (instead of volunteering) was an amazing experience. Working with the volunteers is always a highlight and one of my favourite things to do during the festival.
The roadtrip to Austin was a pretty awesome experience. The people I met on the way and seeing so much of the US was so neat. I made friends from that and for that I am thankful.
Of course SEEING RADIOHEAD has to be on the list. The amazing setlist, the amazing people I met while waiting in the beating hot sun for Radiohead to start. Everything was pretty damn perfect, to say the least. 

Of course, being able to end the year with friends and family is another highlight. 
Cheers to you all (and stay tuned for my “Best of 2016” music post next week).
Happy holidays! 

After Years of Waiting….

…. I finally got to see one of my favourite bands. Of course, I had to travel to Austin to see them but it was so worth it. The setlist was perfect, the weather that night was perfect (cooled down from the 34Β°C + humidity that was during the day).
The bus ride there was easy going and not nearly as scenic as I thought it was going to be. It looks a lot like southern Ontario to be honest, just with more racists. The bus ride back started with a delay and therefore messed every single one of my connections back. I was not impressed. I had contracted a head cold by this point and just wanted to go home, out of the States, where I could use my money again. 
I met a lot of really neat, friendly people on the way there, in Austin itself and on the way back so that made the busrides a lot easier. It was also a huge trip to be watching the second Presidential debate at the bus terminal in Cleveland (read: a red state) at 3am surrounded by many different people of colour, all looking to be younger than 35. I was actually pleasantly surprised that everyone was paying attention. Everyone. I haven’t really seen something to that extent in Canada.
My heart also goes out to the kind people of Austin that I had a chance to talk to. Their monthly rent was on par with Toronto’s ($800+ utilities for a small one bedroom) and their minimum wage is only $7.35/hr. Unless of course, you serve alcohol – then it’s a measley $2+ tips (that they have to share). It was really eye opening to say the least. I tipped my wonderful server $5 on a $12 cheque because, damn. How are people supposed to afford rent?
Another thing that I noticed about Austin, somewhat begrudgingly, is that it is very, very spread out. I’m a huge walker and you simply could not walk from point A to point B. At least it was only $2.50 for a daypass on the bus.
I definitely don’t think Austin is a horrible place, I would probably go back again (flying this time) but not for awhile. I think I’ll stick with NYC or Buffalo for my States fix if needed. 
Again, finally seeing Radiohead made it perfect. I ugly cried to All I Need and Fake Plastic Trees and just basically stood in complete awe the rest of the time. It was really all I dreamed of and more. 
(PS – that picture was taken in Canada and not Austin. )
Talk to you all later!

Megan’s Big Adventure: Roadtrippin’ to Austin

So as the title suggests, I’m leaving on Tuesday for a two day roadtrip to Austin, TX for ACLfest. I can’t wait. It’s going to be weird going to the States and not to somewhere in New York state. 
My favourite band Radiohead is headlining the Friday. I’m meeting up with one of my friends there who moved to California a couple years ago. This is going to be quite the experience for me.

Other than that, working TIFF(Toronto International Film Festival) was amazing. It was busy, exciting and I got to see a lot of awesome movies. I also got to spend some quality time with my friend Laura, her husband Conor and their sweet dog Merlin. I also managed to attend a few TIFF parties as well, it was a busy ten days.
I am also happy to say that my skin is finally almost completely healed up. Take that dermatillophobia! My mood has still been wishy washy but it’s finally getting to be more good than bad. 
Anyway, that’s about it . I will be writing more on the road as well and if you like, you can follow along on my trip via my snapchat, mmbris. 
Cheers!

30 Day Blog Challenge, Day 6

Today’s blog challenge is write about someone who fascinates me and why.

Well, I technically have two. My friends Dave and Laura. Both are fascinating because they have lived on multiple continents and I met them both at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival, for those that don’t know the acronym).

Dave hails from Catalonia and is fluent in multiple languages. Laura is from Australia and is married to an Irish man so she gets to go to Ireland all the time. If you had read the two previous posts, you will know that I love both Australia and Ireland and would love to go to Spain. It’s neat hearing of all their travelling and life stories. I find the world and all within it fascinating so I love hearing travelling experiences.

Wasted Day, Waste Of Space

Yesterday was nice. It was nice until I get alone with my thoughts and am still up at 4am reeling over everything. 4am panic attacks followed by not wanting to leave my bed seem to be the norm lately. I find when I DO get out of bed, I just stay in my pyjamas all day and watch some mindless tv show or movie, or play mindless, stupid cellphone games to pass time. I also find that this completely suffocates any and all creativity I may have an inkling of. But throw that on the pile of everything else I know but can’t do. Like housework.

To help ease a bit of this (and force me into writing everyday again), I will be doing a writing challenge with my friend Ashley for the month of April. It will delve into some things I don’t like to talk about (read: try to ignore completely) but getting it out might help.

I am still a nervous wreck about my appointment on the 31st. This week is going to drag, especially if my sleeping schedule is all messed up.

On the plus side, I got my first small paycheque from writing. That’s a neat little bonus.

I’m seeing so much of NYC everywhere lately and to sound completely weird, I feel a little homesick. I don’t have any desire to move Stateside at this point in time but I felt free. In that huge city filled to the brim with people. Another thing to add to the pile of things I know I should be doing – getting out and walking around Toronto more. I wanted to live in this city for a reason and I need to relearn what that reason was. I need to fall in love with my apartment as much as I did when I first set foot in it.

When depression and wonderful apathy start kicking in, I let everything go. My dishes get gross, there’s constant mess everywhere, etc. I also tend to overeat or severely under eat depending. I’ve gained a bit of weight but I’m thinking that’s because I’ve been sitting all day and eating crap food. I bought some vegetables to snack on. Wish I had gotten more hummus from the grocery store but oh well, there’s tomorrow I suppose.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, one of the things that are underrepresented when it comes to depression, is that not all thoughts of death pertain to suicide. Sometimes, for seemingly no reason at all, I make sure my cats have food and water before I go to sleep because what if I don’t wake up? Some days these thoughts and feelings are stronger than other days and I tend to self destruct the most when the thoughts are stronger. It’s silly, you would think I would be more trying to prevent death, but it’s the apathy that kicks in and my brain says “who cares?” It is scary when that happens because then I really don’t care if I live or die. When I say I have okay days, it’s when the constant thoughts of death are faint. They’re still there but playing in the background and randomly going louder like a bad television channel has static.

This is also not to be confused with schizophrenia. I do not have a voice telling me to die but rather “welp, I might not wake up tomorrow so I guess this is my last night here.” Sorta the whole “live each day like it’s your last” mindset but thinking it WAS your last day and all you did was sit around the whole day watching Edward Norton movies.

Healing in the Big Apple and Challenging a Band to a Thumb War

I’m back from my four day New York City excursion. Well, technically I returned yesterday. Anyway…

This trip was to be about healing, rejuvenation… Both things I desperately needed. I was kept too busy exploring new art of various mediums to remain stale. I guess that’s a good adjective to describe the rut that is depression. Life becomes stale, you be come stale. Self worth and things you love just become stale.

I stayed in the gentrified Bushwick part of Brooklyn, a few minute walk from the L train. The street art is remarkable there. I shopped at local businesses, not chain stores. The vintage shop was lovely. I picked up a pair of Oxfords for $10 that were in my size. The shoes that brought me into the vintage store (L Train Vintage). It was wonderful, since I have a fairly common foot size so finding shoes my size are a one in a million chance at most vintage shops.

I then travelled from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I walked and explored, eating the most terrific falafel sandwich in Greenwich Village. I walked and took plenty of pictures through TriBeCa, SoHo and The Bowery, stopping to see where the old CBGB was. What wonderful history and art found there.

I saw the band Sons of an Illustrious Father play at The Mercury Lounge. They were the band I was there to see and they did not disappoint. The members – Lilah Larson, Ezra Miller and Josh Aubin, are all wonderful people. They were grateful that I came from Toronto to see them (and said they’ll try to come play Toronto). The show was mostly their friends and family as it was  the official album release party and homecoming. (You can check their album Revol out on iTunes, trust me it is worth it)

Myself and a friend I made (from Toronto as well, who lives sorta near me too) chatted with the band members afterwards. I told them that I was also seeing them the next night at Aviv in Brooklyn.

I travelled back to my Air BNB accommodations in Bushwick and marvelled at how wonderful the whole day was. I actually tired myself out enough that I passed out quite early, which was something that hasn’t happened in a long time.

The Friday I was there, it had snowed a bit the night before but most was melted by the time I got out from the sun. I decided to check out a neat cafe close by (Your Way Cafe – great place) and I took it easy that day, my whole body hurt from all the walking and standing the day before.

One thing I noticed between Toronto and NYC subways, there is no such thing as escalators. Just stairs. A lot of stairs. Constantly walking up and down them is quite the exercise, in addition to the walking through all the little parts of south western Manhattan.

I met my Toronto friend for pizza dinner at Roberta’s (excellent pizza!) Before the Aviv show as it was on the way. We ended up getting there super early after finally finding the place. This venue was a DIY venue (with illegal bar of cheap booze). Many scribblings all over from graffiti to the old sharpie writings in the washroom. It was fantastic!

The first band started off a bit rough but pulled it together by the second sonf. There was a variety of bands that played, with all different types of music which I always tend to find wonderful.

This evening, I challenged Sons of an Illustrious Father to a thumb war. I ended up winning against Josh, then losing against Lilah and Ezra – both calling out my lousy cheating technic, in a playful way. Ezra said I had skills though and was actually pretty good. As I mentioned before, the band is as a whole really great. They also recognised me from the day before and waved/said hi! With big smiles when they saw us. That was really nice.

There was a woman drawing in the dark the whole show. Turns out she was drawing people she thought were cool. I ended up being one of the people she drew! I was honestly flattered. I found out yesterday when I was scrolling through instagram. NYC just has this “cooler than everything” vibe about it. I’ve never been comsidered one of the “cool girls” so it touched me in that way as well. I wasn’t the awkward, disposible person that I feel so much from work and some old social circles I have since left.

I spent my last day exploring my old haunt Coney Island and walking around Manhattan again. If you ever are at a loss at how big NYC is as a whole, try taking the train from Union Square to Coney Island. It takes almost an hour.

Everything was closed at Coney Island, but it was awesome walking the boardwalk again. Then I took the train up to Times Square (which was crowded, as always). I was originally going to skip that area altogether but decided to walk from there up to the Plaza Hotel and Central Park. I walked north along 6th avenue, revelling again in the Rockefeller building and Radio City Music Hall. When I finally saw the Plaza hotel, my heart leapt a bit.

I am a huge Home Alone fan, have been since the first two movies came out. I ate a slice of cheese pizza in the same spot Mac got into the limo with his cheese pizza. I walked up to Central park, stepping in a bit to go through the tunnel that the pidgeon lady was at in the movie. It was something short of magical, to check it off my bucket list.

After that, I relaxed a bit to charge my phone then started heading back down through Hell’s Kitchen, Meat Packing district and Broadway to get to the bus stop to go home to Toronto.

I’m not sure what it is about New York, with it’s overly pushy citizens (for the most part) and vast areas, but my whole “get rejuvenated” thing worked. I actually felt genuinely happy for the first time in over a year. Happy in the heart and mind.

I am now back in Toronto, with my cats not leaving my side once. I also have brought back a nasty head cold, probably from the slightly different climates and all the weather changes (works every time). I’m relaxing from the busy-ness of NYC and taking my “vacation from the vacation” period.

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