Munich, Frankfurt, Home

Finally – it is time to go home! My last stretch of airports is upon me as I fly from Warsaw to Munich. My flight in Warsaw is delayed by almost an hour and I sprint across terminals trying to catch my critical connecting flight – and I miss it.

Probably the best part about this stretch of my journey was this amazing soy hot chocolate from the Munich airport. It topped my European hot chocolate experiences quickly!

I stand in line for probably at least another hour before learning that there are no more flights out of Munich to Vancouver for another 24 hours. I had been so mentally prepared to go home that I almost cried on the spot – I had no more money to spend on hanging out in Europe and I didn’t want to get a free night in a hotel only to have to spend an entire day in the airport trying to kill time the next day while I waited for a flight. So, I met with a very kind German customer service fellow who offered me an alternative: Fly to Frankfurt, stay the night, fly to Vancouver the next morning.


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Poland: Katowice

An incredibly stressful sprint to the airport took me from Brussels to Warsaw, where I stayed for the night before heading to my final major destination: Katowice!


I will admit to having lost my emotional composure multiple times between Brussels and Warsaw, and then again more intensely between Warsaw and Katowice – misinterpreting which airport I was to go to, trying to store large luggage overnight in different languages, avoiding having my phone casually stolen on the bus, and lacking decent sleep for weeks. It could have been a lot worse, but I was quite shaken by the time I arrived in Katowice. Thankfully, my cousin had given me directions to my first stop in the town: Veganka.


Full of traditional Polish food that has been veganized, a very kind employee translated every menu item for me and I found myself with a sour sausage soup and a vegan ice cream sandwich (VERY GOOD). My cousin met up with me, and we began a whirlwind tour of the area that would last for only a couple of days.

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My family moved to a new house recently, after staying in our previous home for nearly 13 years. I was having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this significant change, particularly due to its being plunked right in the midst of many other changes happening simultaneously.

Up until the move, I had been telling myself that the thing to focus on was that no matter where we lived, home would be where we as a family were situated. However, this was more difficult to do than I anticipated when I was faced with the final moments I would spend in the house. I think this would be difficult in any time of my life, but this particular time came with a handful of difficult reminders: The move was prompted by a death that was coupled by another and very unexpected death; I would soon be moving back to UBC into a new role after graduating; a few really important people won’t be at UBC with me; I only have another year of clear plans in place.

I sought comfort and closure with my camera by taking photographs of the empty spaces and surroundings in and around my old home – then I drove away. I’ve got emotions flowing with gusto most moments of my days, and this day was a particularly strong example of this. The weight of the reminders of other life changes was heavy in the back of my mind.

Sentiments constrict my composure sometimes and leave me like an emotional glob, responding to any reminders of my emotions with a flood of them. I tend to experience intense and deep periods of emotion that leave me a little emotionally “dry” when one of these periods passes; it can be tiring to go from so high to so low frequently.

Despite the exhaustion, it is a kind of sickening comfort in spiralling within those low moments – I honour my emotions and those of others, but I recognize for me that I will not be okay if I don’t recognize that I must challenge those lows that debilitate me. I have to reflect on the ways that I can occupy my thoughts without denying myself those feelings. They are and will be with me, but I cannot let life stop whenever they make themselves known.

Too much free time this summer has probably made it more difficult to do this, but when things start up in August, I must make myself accountable to my responsibilities and those I work and spend time with, and I must be accountable to me in order to appreciate all that I have and can work towards. If I value these past experiences so much that weigh so heavily on me, how can I allow myself to sacrifice future experiences because I am longing for familiarity and fond memories? I can’t, because that contradicts my values.

Moving has been a very in-my-face reminder of a multitude of changes, but I have seen how it happened and in a way became normal without my notice – by going through the motions and focusing on what is in front of me and my family, we are finding ways to establish a new familiar or new ways of approaching the unfamiliar. This will need to be how I approach the upcoming changes that will certainly be challenges at time; as things that must be faced head-on and invested fully in in order to be appreciated and transformed into new fond memories.

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#PembyFest: The Ressurrection

Two weekends ago, I had the exciting experience of being an attendee at the comeback-year for the Pemberton Music Festival! My first music festival experience.

While I missed almost the entire opening night’s lineup of artists (including Nine Inch Nails and Cage the Elephant), I was able to catch some serious bass at Bass Camp stage, and get my groove on into the wee hours of the morning within an hour of arriving to the festival grounds.

Come the next morning, the cycle of…

Find food > Walk around > Listen to a new artist > Find an already-loved artist > Find lunch > Nap > Prepare for evening festivities > Find dinner > Dance dance dance dance > Sleep

… began! The weather also had a cycle of rain, heat, silly wind and clouds going on that kept things cool and interesting. 

 We explored vendors (selling a variety of goods from fair-wage Thai-made clothing to bannock) and took in the beautiful scenery that exists in that part of the world.

I think what made this particular event extra-special was that I was able to enjoy it with a large part of my family being there – swinging around a corner every couple of hours to find a friend or relative made it fun and comfortable to take everything in.

Delta Rae performing for a crowd of new (and loving) fans!

The Pemberton balloons that seem to become
lunar come nightfall.

The daisy that I would like to grace my future
home’s yard.
I was able to see a multitude of artists,
some notable ones included…
Delta Rae
Snoop Dogg (oh boy)
Modest Mouse
Chance the Rapper (fun!)
Hey Rosetta!
Randy Newman
Matthew Good
Frank Ocean (ahh)

There was, of course, food to be explored – I think that my favourite item to be found was the deep-fried-avocado taco (referred to as “The Green Bastard”). Holy guacamole, was that texture and taste soooooooo good.

Besides the scenery, the people speckled throughout the grounds always served for fun entertainment or friendly company (or impressive athletic feat inspiration).

I should note that she was doing leg presses with
him balanced like that – no support!

A mini Snoop Dog fan enjoying the show with Dad!

The last night was fun – the atmosphere seemed to have a tangible feeling of building momentum, as it was very quiet and calm leading up to 6PM. Slowly, though, crowds began to gather as a few notable names (Modest Mouse, for example) hit the stages – then darkness descended…

… and with it came Outkast (with, which them, came topless women, clouds of smoke, and a lot of jumping)…

These people seemed to come out of nowhere!

Animated faces decorated the trees, while a light show
was displayed on the mountains behind us.

 … and then Frank Ocean! What a sweet-seeming fellow with a wonderful voice.

By Monday, we vouched for leaving early and finding breakfast along the way – and we found a lovely road-side diner through Whistler! Many vegetarian options to be chosen from, and it was good.

All-in-all, a very enjoyable weekend with good people, music, and memories made.

Catching Up

The last month has been full of family, travel, work and, of course, food. Where to begin?

Summer sunsets.

Belated birthday outings, featuring friendship with
a side of veggie burgers and vegetable chips.

Canada Day relaxation.
A necessary 3AM trip to The Naam.
Drive-in dates!
Summer time BBQs of veggie
dogs and tofu kabobs!
Mischievous kittens.

Birthday sushi fun times!
Riverside chats.
Young entrepreneurial-themed discussions over
newly-discovered (and huge) vegan breakfast dishes. 

In the last month, I have knocked a few items off of my spring/summer to-do list:

  • A new healthy food routine: I’ve gone devotedly into one of my favourite snacks – green smoothies – with new recipes from Simple Green Smoothies! The recipes are delicious and refreshing and give me a little cleansing boost in my days.
  • Attended my 3rd Calgary Stampede and did some serious two-stepping.
  • Consistently spent at least one hour per day outside – power walks with mi madre are almost essential in ensuring that this happens, while simultaneously offering good exercise!
  • I tried out a new exercise regimen for one month, courtesy of the kind-hearted Sophie Gray and her Plyo Madness eBook (only $10!). It was intense and included 3 rest days per week and made me (especially my legs) feel tight and lean by the program’s end.
I also started to read a new book (Gone Girl, for anyone who is curious), and am currently making my way through a philosophy book I bought in Portland that critically examines different aspects of sexual practices in college (from the “walk of shame” concept, to the act of gay/lesbian individuals experimenting with opposite-sex encounters).

Additionally, I have expanded my résumé further: This summer, I have been both a baking intern at Vegan Vices, as well as more recently a host at Nuba! For anyone who is in this city and is not yet familiar with Nuba’s Lebanese cuisine – I can assure you, you will find something that you like, and the prices and service and taste will keep you coming back for more. It is very exciting to have been employed at a restaurant that I so dearly advocate for as a customer, especially a veg*n customer!

While I have not yet exercised my world-wide legality since my birthday, I enjoyed a relaxing day at home with my family and have used one gift received as inspiration to take up hats as a new wardrobe element.

The weekend before last, I partook in my first music festival! The Pemberton Music Festival was resurrected this year, and it was exciting to be there with my whole family and see such an array of talent and individuals all in one place over the span of a few days. More photos from that event will be posted following this.

Overall, the last month has been good to me. I can feel both the strength of the summer season and the imminent autumn, bringing with it my standard crazy year with some new twists. There is barely 3 weeks until I begin my residence advisor training, and from there it will only become more interesting as the school year rolls into effect, I’m sure.

More details and thoughts to come…

Spring: The First Few Weeks

The last week has been fun!

And full of food adventures.

Since my first day at work, just over a week ago, I have declined two job interviews on account of being unable to commit to the hours of the position if it were offered to me, I attended a day of rodeo fun, and I got my ‘Wack fix!

Before I continue, I will provide some photographic updates of my food adventures in the first week or so of being off school…

Strawberry-infused H2O.

A delicious salad from Town Hall.

Mom’s vegan casserole!

Mom’s eggy breakfast with Daiya
cheese and veggies for me!

Vegetarian “chicken” fillet with
mushroom gravy and yummyness.

This is Abby Cadabby, she has been my amiga through most mornings and evenings at home! She carries my tea.
Cyrina’s first experience at The Naam –
Thai Dragon Bowl-style.
Mother’s Day – SUSHI!

Making copious amounts of juice with MZ and G!

The weeks have progressed with some much-needed friend visits (more are needed, though), a great deal of catching up on TV shows, missing my fella’, going on a few adventures and touring friends around my home turf…

The uncertainty of the future with my current job is somewhat exciting, despite the fact that it is a bit unnerving. I think it will involve many learning curves and a lot of delicious baking – that sounds like a good deal to me either way…

The flexibility also gives the the chance to explore my summer opportunities a bit more! I can go on little trips, get in my friend and family time, and establish my incoming-residence-advisor presence at school over the summer (at go to Summer Community Eats). 

All-in-all, things are going well and while I’ve turned away from a couple of different opportunities, I am also going into one that is very interesting and full of nice company and yummy treats! I am also content with my decision to stay at home, as it has been very rejuvenating to be here.

More photo updates will come (along with some stories, I hope!) following a trip to see m’boy and to explore Seattle and Portland with G! This hasn’t been a very in-depth update, but it has been more of a time to be laid-back and to take it easy than to do too much in-depth exploration and thinking.

Looking Forward: The next 4 months.

The next four months: a time I both welcome and fear.

For the most part, I believe that I will enjoy the next four months – the weather will (hopefully) be summery and show signs of life blossoming everywhere, energies will be high, and a reprieve from school will be mine. However, he is going to be back at home, and visits will once again become once-every-few-weeks sort of occurrences; I do not know what job I will be holding (I would really rather not return to my old safety net and have chosen to search elsewhere). 

1. Weather.
– Get all the Vitamin D!
– Wake up by natural light streaming in early through my window.
– Be rid of the chills by simply laying down for 30 seconds outside.
– Rain is exciting and rejuvenating and makes me happy for the plants.
2. School reprieve.
– I love school, but my body feels the strain of spending too many hours ‘loving’ it.
– Social life, work life, and other ‘lives’ become independent of one another. 
– Must come up with a schedule of my own when work is not in the picture.
3. Absence.
– Visits will be the most exciting of times.
– Alas, my heart shall ache often and yearn for its partner in crime. 
4. Employment. 
– Where have I applied? Let us take a look: Chocolate cafes, healthy living cafes, jobs with the city in event planning, program coordinator, communications assistant, internship with local produce delivery company, summer camp counsellor, restaurants.
– Where might I apply? Let us take a look: Favourite UBC-local cafes, restaurants, healthy living themed shops.
– During the school months, I miss work! I miss that income and sense of having done a job well and making others satisfied through my service. Next year I suppose a great deal of my involvements will revolve around a sort of employment – even if it isn’t a regular paycheque like those I would receive during off-school months.
– I want to try something new; I’ve had good times with my ol’ pal Safeway, but I’d like to feel challenged in what I do this summer.

I expect excitement, friendship revival (for which I’m very excited), painful yearning, lots of family time, and hopefully a bit of travel this summer. It would be my wish to feel that I’ve grown a bit more, learned a few new things, and seen one or two new places. Many photos should be taken, and perhaps even a new friendship is to be made!