Monday, 7 November 2016

The Atlantic Road trip


Summer is filled with road trips and vacation plans, but as an experienced traveler, I would without a doubt recommend visiting the eastern provinces of Canada. Alluring, engaging, and ravishing are all words, I would use to describe the 3 most stunning provinces Canada has to offer. Atlantic Canada, the 4 provinces commonly referred to as the Maritimes, comprise Quebec, Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick. 

My trip started out driving to Quebec, while the ten hour drive was quite lengthy, to say the least, however it was nothing short of stunning. When we got to Montreal we stopped at a small restaurant to get a taste of Canada's national food, poutine. I can honestly say it was the best poutine I have ever had-and that's coming from a Canadian! While in Montreal, I got to see first hand the impact the French had on the city. The city greatly reminded me of Paris. The streets had a special charm and had little quaint shops on the sides of the streets, it really struck a chord with me. The place we stayed in Montreal was really exquisite, our "backyard" was a view of a lake with classic rural farms in the background. 

We then headed to Nova Scotia, I personally was extremely excited to see the world-famous lighthouse Peggy's Cove. The drive to the lighthouse from our cottage was extremely impressive because the rocks that surrounded the lighthouse gave lighthouse a beautiful, picture-perfect look. The less famous, but equally as impressive tourist destination we visited in Nova Scotia was the Bay of Fundy, if you've ever wanted to know what it's like to walk on the bottom of the ocean, then you'd love the Bay of Fundy.

And finally as we made our way back to Quebec on our return journey we stayed in the house of former Prime Minister Hon. Sir Mackenzie Bowell in Saint Andrew's, a beautiful inn called Tara manor. The inn was very old fashioned, but all the while really cozy. During our time in St. Andrew's, I went whale watching, something I had never done before. I got to see whales, porpoises, dolphins and even some seals.  After whale watching we went to go get some traditional Lobster and mussels from a nearby store. The beady-eyed lobsters came out of the pot and then were served, topped with melted butter. We scarfed them down and even had room for the follow up mussels. I even found a starfish in one!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation to the East Coast of Canada and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who visits Canada.   


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Viva Roma!

Recently, my family and I went to Italy. We visited the four beautiful cities of Rome, Venice, Assisi and Orvietto.
In Rome, we visited many famous landmarks including the Vatican, the Colosseum, and we even visited a city called Assisi. For me, Rome represented a place to appreciate architecture,visit religious monuments and to see what how the history of Italy was formed. Rome was a place of relaxation and scenic views. From the time I got out of the airport, the scenes were a constant reminder of how beautiful Italy really was. While Rome is a busy place, there are plenty of opportunities to find Rome’s peaceful aura and vibe. One of my most favourite places in Rome was our visit to the Colosseum, there we got to imagine the long and difficult process, that was building the Colosseum. Our tour took us across the 5 levels of the Colosseum and we learned many interesting facts there.  Another place we visited in Rome was the Vatican. The Vatican is an amazing place, filled with centuries and centuries of art and history. The Vatican is rich with history and full of scenic views. We even had a day trip to Assisi. On our day trip, we encountered a more rural and traditional version of Italy. We were on a hilltop with spectacular views of the land below. We visited  many Churches  and paid tribute to Assisi`s patron saint, Francis. To finish off our day, we walked the cobblestone rock that Saint Francis likely walked, hundreds of years ago. In conclusion,  Rome is an amazing place with beautiful architecture, amazing scenery and is a must visit for Italy. Another place we visited was Orvietto. In Orvietto we drove across many narrow cobblestone roads. The experience was something new for my entire family and is one I’ll never forget.

My second half of my trip was spent in the majestic city of Venice. To say Venice is absolutely stunning is an understatement because in my opinion, Venice is probably one of the most beautiful places on the face of planet Earth, and that’s coming from a frequent traveller. Venice has this special charm that made me feel happy wherever I walked. In Venice, we roamed the quaint city in search of classic Venice traditions. Whenever we weren't walking, we were on a boat, more commonly referred to as a gondola. Gondolas are a major mode of transportation in Venice as the city is built on water. We spent most of our free time on Piazza San Marco, a town square where tourists and locals can, enjoy music and even grab a gelato or two from neighbouring gelato shops. While Venice is a small place, there will never come a time where the city doesn't cease to take your breath away. From Doge’s palace to the Grand Canal, Venice really does have it all. All in all, Venice is a beautiful place and also is fantastic for tourism and relaxation alike.

Monday, 11 April 2016

5 tips and tricks to follow when learning a new language

Languages are great, they enable us to talk and communicate with others, they even  open up a world of job opportunities and can improve your brain power. But when learning a language, it can get frustrating, a lot. I have compiled of here are 5 tips and tricks to follow when learning a new language.
1. Patience, I get it,  when you start a new language  you may feel helpless. Not knowing what to say or do. Where to put the accent and why masculine and feminine are a thing.  There are plenty of ways to remember the facts you need, one of them being time. With time, you'll practice and get it easily, it's all a matter of patience. 
2.  Cause, know why you're learning the language. When you learn anything,  especially a language, a cause will keep you focused and motivated. Even setting weekly goals can go a long way if you have the right combination of determination and focus. Committing to a language is hard, but you need a genuine reason and a passion to learn it.
3. Shows and movies, probably the best way to learn a language. Watching shows and movies in your newly developing language is great when you want to learn the language informally. Starting with absolute beginner videos can be great and will help you a lot. In my experience, I've started with shows that are slightly above my level and gradually made my way up.
4.  Talking to people will help a lot too. When you learn a language with a person you can both talk to eachother and use eachother to practice your speaking skills. Then after speaking to your friend you will feel more confident when speaking to people who speak the language everyday.
5. Listening, a huge part of learning a language is to watch other people speak it. It's why we have two ears and one mouth, to listen twice as much as we speak.  From personal experience, it taught me to pronounce certain words with more flare or less expression.  Listening will be huge on your journey to a new language. Languages will sound weird for the first, but by exposing yourself to the language your actually familiarizing yourself with it and understanding it more throughout.
All in all, my main message is to keep at it. You'll have your highs and lows but it'll all pay off when you realize that there is nothing more rewarding than that sense of completion. Good luck and have fun with it. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Muskoka and me

This past week my friends and I went to a camp up north in a small rural town called Muskoka. In Muskoka, the experiences I had and the new friends I made were amazing. We told scary stories around a campfire in a dark forest where wolves roamed all around, or even the time when we went to the  aerial park with ropes and bridges suspended from 60 foot tall trees. At night we even stayed in log cabins that really gave us an idea of what Europeans would've had to do when coming to Canada. But the best part: NO DEVICES

My absolute favourite event at Muskoka was the time when we had a major event called survivor Muskoka! Survivor Muskoka is a 2 hour long project that really tests your survival skills but more over team work and partnership abilities. Our tasks during the activity were to elect a leader, make a chant and a group name. Once we did that the teachers would assess our creativity from our chants. We would then get  time to build a fire that would burn through a thick rope. We also had to find food and water for our team in order to survive. We also built a hut that supported ten people for people who got cold.

Another cool thing we did at Muskoka was going to the aerial park. In the aerial park we climbed a 60 foot tree and went across rickety bridges, steel cables and even suspended logs. It really tested my risk-taking abilities but also my physical abilities and my mental abilities. 
All in all, I think that it's important to attend camps like this because in our lives we use devices so much that it's important to sit back and take a break from all the games. Along with all the fun I had, Camp Muskoka  also integrated some amazing survival skills with the great outdoors. The experience was truly once in a lifetime.