Memories of… England: Warwick

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Another fun day trip we did was when we went to Warwick Castle. A true medieval castle, another quintessential British monument. I’m a bit of a history buff and though I don’t know a ton about medieval times I do know William the Conquerer, who built the original part of this castle.

(Pics after the jump)

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Memories of… England : Stratford-upon-Avon

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This past summer (July 2012) I took a trip to see some family I hadn’t seen in years (about 22 years to be specific). Most of my extended family still lives in Poland and I have a cousin that lives in England. I finagled my way to get two weeks vacation time, booked my ticket and (over) packed my bags.

Leicester (sounds like Lester) is a nice city and to be honest I spent a lot of time hanging out with my family as I was staying with my cousin, her husband and their baby. I also had 2 other cousins and one of their boyfriends visiting from Poland during my visit so it was a full house and never a dull moment.

We did quite a few day trips and my first taste of the quaint English countryside was in Stratford-upon-Avon, otherwise known as Home of Shakespeare. I really had no expectations of the town but I was really blown away by the beauty of it.

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Henley Street. My first red phone booth.

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Thai Red Curry

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I love to cook. I love to grocery shop and plan my meals and in a perfect world I’d cook a gourmet dinner every night of the week. Doesn’t always work that way though, unfortunately. Thai Red Curry is a dish I’ve been preparing for a couple of years, I always have the ingredients on hand and I can get it on the table in about 30 minutes (my knife skills are legit).

When I mentioned to Bonnie that I make this dish she asked me to do a post on it. I happily obliged. Try this dish, it’s super flavourful, super healthy and quick to make.

Healthy, fresh veggies.

Healthy, fresh veggies.

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Bahamas – Part 3 Le Fin

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So when I set out to recap my trip to The Bahamas I had planned to bang out three or four posts within two weeks, but as you can see that hasn’t happened. I’m going to condense the rest of the trip into this last post, the reason is there’s so much to do in this country, if you’re considering taking a trip there I want to share as much as I can with you. Plus, this is also my last post on The Bahamas because I have so many more trips and dream destinations I’d like to share with you!

Nassau

The country’s capital city, located on New Providence Island is a major port of call for cruise ships. Bay Street is tourist central with tons of shops, restaurants and the famous Straw Market.

The Straw Market is a must, it’s a huge pavilion right at the harbour filled top to bottom with vendors selling their wares. You’ll find souvenirs, sarongs, straw hats and anything and everything the can print The Bahamas on. Be warned: you will be cooed at by every vendor. They are all selling the same things, they all want to make a sale. They will call you every flattering name in the book, if you’re not interested just say “Thank You” and keep walking.

Inside the Straw Market, taken from tripwow.

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Geeks get hungry too!

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Part of the requirements for the Social Media Relationships class I’m taking is for me to attend some sort of social media meet up and I did just that a couple of Saturdays ago. Thankfully my instructor, Jared, was in the know about Canada’s first Geek Breakfast and invited us to attend.

What’s a geek breakfast? It’s a get together for “geeks” to talk about what’s new in social media and techy trends. I would say it was less geek and more cool, but maybe that’s just me. Anyways, we all got together at the Williams at the Harbourfront. It was really relaxed and informal and I’m certain everyone walked away with a positive experience that day.

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Bahamas – Part 2

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Andddd, I’m back. Bit of a blogging lapse, life happens. So to continue with my series on The Bahamas, Part 2 is about Paradise Island and what the island has to offer. The island itself is tiny (just over 1 square mile) and is comprised of private residences and resorts. In fact there is very little to do off the resorts but here’s a quick guide.

The Beach – obviously a big attraction when you’re in the Caribbean. One of the best beaches in the entire country is Cabbage Beach. The beach runs along the eastern coast of the island and is shared by the public and the resorts which line it. There is currently one public access point beside the Riu resort. If you’re not staying at Atlantis you can actually walk through parts of the resort to get to the beach but security may ask to see room keys if you get off course, no big deal, they just direct you back to where you should be.

First glimpse of Cabbage Beach. Photo by me.

First glimpse of Cabbage Beach. Photo by me.

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Bahamas – Part 1

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I can’t think of a better time to reminisce on gorgeous Caribbean vacation than while sitting at my desk overlooking a snow covered backyard  in -7C temps (awaiting the next snow storm). In the next series of posts I’ll take you through our week in The Bahamas, telling you everything you need to know while visiting New Providence (where Nassau is situated) and Paradise Island.

In this post I’ll focus on how we got there and our accommodations. Oh, the we is me and my boyfriend, Tom, in case you were wondering. I didn’t have much time to plan/research this trip beforehand, it came together very quickly as Tom found out he had an extra week off during Christmas break and we wanted to spend it together. Being as we’re both fire signs we knew we wanted to head somewhere warm to relax and soak up some rays before  I started school and he went back to an intense work schedule.

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What’s the point?

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The BSMRCCE class was recently given a task to write about our blog goals. Like with any project, having clear and defined goals give us a clear pathway to accomplishing those things rather than floundering (I’m a flounderer).

Setting goals for myself (in writing, that makes it official) is something I don’t normally do for myself. But funny enough, just before Jared gave us this task in our BSMRCCE class, I had been putting some heavy thought into my own life goals (inspired by my Lululemon shopping bag).

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Why do we travel?

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When we were asked to picked a theme for our blogs, the first thing that came to mind (other than food, I think about food way too much), was travel. I am by no means a travel expert and do not have extensive experience traveling but I can honestly say it’s what excites and inspires me.

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I didn’t travel while I was doing my undergrad, I was working as much as possible. After school I focused again on work, finding a career path (think I finally may have decided), renovating my first house (advice: just don’t and if you do, do it one room at a time!) and trying to keep my unemployment stints to a minimum. Growing up we didn’t do a whole lot of travel so it’s not like I really knew what I was missing. However, being a history buff and a lover of adventure, coupled with my strong Sagittarian traits (needing to continuously learn and explore, despise being in one place for too long), I have always known that one day I would be able to travel.

As I get a bit older and a bit wiser I have really started to realize that time is not going to wait around for me. If I don’t make something happen, it’ll never be. Now is the time as I am still young and relatively responsibility-free the biggest question I face when deciding to go on a trip is, can I leave my cat for that long? (don’t look at me like that)

I don’t want to travel as a means of escaping my life here, my life is pretty awesome but I do find that travel makes me much more appreciative of my home, my family and my life. I travel to go, see and do things that I’ve read and dreamt about for years. I travel to have my breath taken away by the beauty in this world. I travel to get outside of my comfort zone, it builds character and trust within yourself. I travel to meet people, to make friends wherever I go and to remember that we are all the same regardless of where we live. I travel to eat, to try new foods and to immerse myself in a new culture. I travel for the adventure, for the rush of not knowing what’s to come and how it will change me.

This blog is more than an assignment, it’s a place for me to really work out what my goals are and to set out to accomplish them. It’s a place for me to share the places I’ve been and the places I dream of visiting. It’s also a place for you to tell me about your adventures/experiences/travel dreams.

With the weather we’ve been experiencing lately in Southern Ontario, I find myself longing to return to the Bahamas, but I’d be happy with just about any beach right now. Do you have any travel plans/dreams for this winter?

A New Beginning

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“To begin, begin.” – William Wordsworth

And here I am at the start of something new. A new blog, new class, new school, new phase of my life and new career path.

I’m actually really excited to have this blog and to have the push to post my own content. All 25 of us have a really unique support system and network built in, we’re lucky to have that. Though taking this course will count as credit towards my diploma in PR, I know I’m to get so much more out of it than just credit.

This course will be teaching us the fundamentals of social media, how to be ethical and stay within legal boundaries as practitioners and most importantly, how to successfully incorporate what Jared teaches us (and what we learn from each other) into our careers moving forward.

My personal goals for this course are:

  1. To become comfortable with posting my own thoughts and ideas and to not over think what I’m posting.
  2. To be consistent with posting! Especially after the semester ends, I want to keep up with this blog and have it serve as my travel journal.

Some questions rolling around my head in regards to Social Media are:

  1. How do I stay on top of emerging trends and know which to focus on over others?
  2. How much of a communications plan needs to revolve around Social Media and how to get the client on board if they don’t initially see the value of this investment?
  3. What are the best ways of engaging consumers without coming across as pushing sales?

At my last employer (I did a mat leave contract at a small agency), I was the social media voice for many of our clients. It was a great learning experience and I enjoyed it so I’m hoping I can take my skills further with what I learn at Mac. I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all!

Cheers,
Misia