It’s a dreary, rainy morning in Toronto today and while I’d rather be back in bed tucked under my duvet and catching up on some much needed sleep, there’s just too much to do! It seems that’s been the phrase these past few months (it’s crazy busy!) and hence why things have been quiet here on the site. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year I was jobless, unmotivated, and overall in a dark place. Fast-forward a few seasons and things have been much different (and busier) since September 2013.
The biggest change was that I got a job, woo! I was working in the RTA School of Media program at Ryerson University. I was leading workshops and tutorials on all things media related; audio, studio, single-camera shooting, editing software, digital media, and on-air performance techniques. No two days were alike and I loved the creative energy that greeted me every time I walked in the door.
With this job came some additional side projects, producing various productions for the RTA School and other programs within Ryerson. Wearing the producer hat was another welcomed change as I now had a team of people to work with instead of the one-women-show I had become used to for all the videos I post here. Great things come out of collaborative efforts.
In March, things REALLY kicked into high gear. Tristan and I took possession of our condo we had been renting out since moving to Korea and started a massive renovation project. We knocked out walls, ripped up carpeting and old baseboards, took out doors and old closet inserts and re-painted everything. I tiled for the first time and Tristan installed hardwood flooring throughout our unit. And in order to save money, since we have a wedding coming up (oh yes, add that small item to the list of things to do), we’ve been doing all the renovations ourselves. Two-months later and it’s still not complete, but we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
While all this was going on, I also created and ran my first video-making workshop for bloggers in late March. It was a two-day workshop split over two Saturdays and had 6 people attend. I took them through every stage of video production from pre-planning a shoot all the way to uploading their videos onto YouTube. It took a considerable amount of time to put the course together. While the theory and principles are the same with TV production, the approach and execution are quite different when creating videos for a blog, specifically travel videos. Overall it was a success and I’m looking at running it again in late June, yay!
So as you can see, things were a wee bit busy and I had to prioritize what got my attention. Plus, I didn’t do any traveling or had much of a social life at that, so I didn’t feel I had much to write about. But, and that’s a big BUT, things are about to change as I have some exciting travel plans for the month of May!
In just one sleep I’m hopping across the pond to London and Belgium. I haven’t been to Europe since 2008 and both destinations will be first-time visits for me. My first stop is London where I’ll be staying with a highschool friend for a week. Then I’m heading down into Belgium and traveling through Bruges and Ghent on my own for about ten days. Then I’ll pop over to Antwerp for a week where my sister has been living and working since August. Then I’ll have a final five days in Brussels on my own before heading back.
I’m excited and nervous about traveling on my own again. I love the freedom of being able to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it, but there are always those moments when you wish you could share an experience with someone else. That, and I’ll miss Tristan being able to carry half my video gear. When I’m not staying with my friend or my sister, I’ll be staying in hostels so it’ll be interesting to see what that experience will be like now that I’m not in my early 20s anymore.
I haven’t had the time to really plan out what I’ll be doing but I do have two exciting tours booked with Viator. The first one will take me through the WWI Battlefields in Flanders, Belgium. It’s the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and the country has put together a lot of commemorative events to mark the occasion. History was never my strong suit in school but since I’ve been traveling, I find I understand and can connect with it a lot easier when I’m there than through a textbook.
The second tour I’ll be doing is a beer tasting tour in Brussels. I was never a big beer drinker, but about 5 years ago I started drinking Belgian beer and I’ve been hooked ever since. Truthfully, I plan on drinking my way through the country as Belgium produces some of the best beer (if not the best, no?) in the world. The country is also home to 6 of the 10 Trappist Breweries in the world where beer is brewed by monks in monasteries using recipes that are hundreds of years old.
But other than that not much else is planned. I’m actually looking forward to just going with the flow and soaking in the culture as much as possible. But if you have any recommendations of things I shouldn’t miss in London or North-Western Belgium, please share below!