Author Archives: Travel the world with Duey

About Travel the world with Duey

I'm a 50+ lady traveling the world, teaching English, trying new foods, and experiencing everything this world can give me!

The art of listening

Do you actually listen when someone is talking to you, or do you listen to respond? Or perhaps listen to the beginning and wait until the person is over to tell your own story?

It really is an art to listen just to listen. To hear the person’s words. To recognize the story they are telling. To listen and be empathetic.

I am guilty of not always listening. But for the most part, I believe I’m a good listener. I don’t listen and then jump in right away to tell a story of my own. I try to respond appropriately and with empathy. It’s not always easy and sometimes I get quite distracted with life.

I have encountered many people in my life, and most recently on a weekly basis, people who don’t really listen to what me or others are saying and immediately start talking about their own stuff. There is one person in particular who comes in and takes care of my dad once a week. She just doesn’t listen to listen. I find this frustrating and just separate myself from her. On the plus side, she takes good care of my dad which I am grateful for.

I wonder sometimes that if maybe we all learned to be more empathetic to others that we could make this a better world to live in.

So today – listen. Listen to the words and feelings people are saying. Don’t listen to respond. Just listen. You may learn more than you think.

Touring Canada’s Capital City

Ottawa is Canada’s National Capital. It’s a beautiful, incredibly clean city located on the Rideau Canal. I finally made it last week to this beautiful city. It’s a great walking city and has amazing museums to visit. Here are some of my favourite pictures I wanted to share.

The eternal flame burning in front of the Parliament buildings

Looking across the canal to the Parliament buildings
National War Monument
The sun setting over the canal
The beautiful Canadian tulips made in and sent from the Netherlands in honour of our 150th anniversary

Favourite places to eat in Ottawa Ontario

I finally had a chance to travel to Canada’s capital – Ottawa, Ontario. I had the pleasure of trying different restaurants while there and enjoyed everything I tried! Here are my favourite places that I went to.

You can’t go to Ottawa without having a beavertail – it’s a Canadian tradition. A beavertail is basically a sweet dough that is pulled and fried and topped with different things, including nutella, peanuts, and the basic cinnamon and sugar. This one is my favourite! Sweet, warm and chewy – and oh so delicious!

This is a beavertail -yum!

Nate’s Deli is a tradition in Ottawa, located on Sparks Street right in the heart of the legislative buildings and business. It opens early and serves a wide variety of breakfasts, as well as lunches and dinners. I tried the spinach and goat cheese omelette with the crispiest hash browns and it was absolutely delicious. If you love goat cheese, this is the omelette to try!

Nate’s Deli – spinach and goat cheese omelette

Another tradition in Ottawa is the King Eddy. It’s a cool restaurant with lots of 50’s memorabilia and traditional diner foods. I tried the King Eddy burger with their secret sauce – just enough of a spice to give it a bit of a kick! Definitely give it a try!

Delicious burger and the best fries I’ve ever had!

Of course, it wouldn’t be right if I travelled and didn’t try a dessert or two. I indulged on my last night and headed to the Byward Cafe and had a delicious triple chocolate cake. Just look at it – it tasted just as good as it looks!

Triple chocolate decadence…

But my favourite place in Ottawa was Zak’s Cantina – they are famous for their margaritas apparently but as someone who doesn’t drink very much, I stuck with the food. The chicken burrito was so filling I couldn’t even finish it all!

Delicious!!!

There was so much to see and do in Ottawa, and definitely the food scene is one of the best I’ve seen in Canada. I will be going back just to indulge in more food!

WE THE NORTH – Hopping on the bandwagon!

Am I becoming a ….. basketball fan??? Ummm nope – but I am hopping on the NBA Final bandwagon and rooting for the Raptors. It’s pretty exciting to watch the last 5 minutes of each game, but honestly, to sit down and watch an entire game of basketball is not my cup of tea. Free throws and travelling are about the only terms in basketball that I know and can describe. For me, it’s like watching baseball – another riveting sport to watch. Perhaps live these sports would be exciting but watching on TV listening to the annoying sports announcers just makes it tedious to watch.

My favourite sport by far is football – CFL or NFL – either one. I love the game, the excitement of the game, the throws, the tackles. I know the rules, and I love the physicality of the game. It helps that the players also wear those nice tight pants haha.

Hockey would be my second favourite sport. I don’t really have a favourite team, but I always root for the Maple Leafs if they are playing, no matter how bad they are. It’s a fast paced, exciting game as well.

But since none of the Canadian teams are presently any good (sorry Blue Jays – but you suck this season so far!) – I will hop on the bandwagon, root for the Raptors, and exclaim with the rest of Canada – GO RAPTORS and WE THE NORTH!!!!

LOVE MY COUNTRY!!

Being a quinquagenarian

Awwww being a quinquagenarian is exciting.  First of all, finding out that a person my age is called a quinquagenarian is exciting!  For those who don’t know (and probably don’t care), it’s someone who is between the ages of 50 and 59.  You learn something new every day right? 

There are many reasons to be excited for this decade.  You get to experience menopause – you know, the hot flashes, mood swings and all the other fun things that happen to a woman of this age.  Hair on my chin?  Yup, and learning to have tweezers close by for that one just popped out of nowhere on your upper lip.  So much fun.

You also get to experience the thrill of unexpected releases of bodily fumes whilst walking, running, exercising and even when you stand up.  Yeah, farting for no reason – another great thing about being this age.

There are some other fun things about this age.  Waking up and hearing everything creak and crack (and yes that includes more bodily fumes being released).   Having to wear glasses to read anything and watch TV, and even at work now.  Oh joy. 

You’re probably thinking – there has to be SOMETHING that is enjoyable about being this age.  Of course there is! 

At the age of 55 (the age I am slowing creeping up to in less than a year), you get some select senior discounts at different stores and restaurants.  And yes this actually is a good thing, and one that I am looking forward to!!

You also get the satisfaction of saying no to people without having to give a reason for saying no, and feeling empowered at doing this.

As a woman, I love when people ask my age and are always so sweet and kind and lie to me when they say “wow you don’t look that old – I thought you were in your 30’s”.  Thank you sweet old ladies who tell me that to make me feel good.  It really does make me feel good, as I stand behind the counter at Tim Horton’s wearing the god-awful hat and hairnet and knowing that there is no way on earth I look like I am in my 30’s.  I do appreciate the compliments!

I also love that I can state my opinion on things that matter to me, and know that I can stand my ground and state that it is MY opinion and that we are all entitled to our opinion.  It’s neither right nor wrong –it’s just my opinion.  Some people just don’t get that, and that’s not really an age thing.

Today I am relishing the fact that I am a proud quinquagenarian, and if I want to fart while I work out, I can.  If my body creaks and cracks as I get out of bed, that’s fine.  It just means that everything is working itself out and getting me ready to start my day.  Like a car, it needs to warm up and the creaks and cracks help me out with that.

So be proud – creak, crack, fart and do anything else you want to as a quinquagenarian – we have all earned that right!

Talking about mental illness

Many images come to mind when you hear the words “mental illness”.  There are people who think that person is weak or it’s just an excuse for the way they act.  It’s not true. Mental illness is a real thing and it can be debilitating to that person and those around them.  It can also lead to destructive behaviour which of course only worsens the illness.

I suffered a nervous breakdown a few years after leaving my husband.  It was due to many things arising out of my life at that time, and I didn’t tell anyone except for my work (because I needed time off) and my therapist.  I had everyone believing that my life was fine and that I was fine and nothing was going on.  At the time, I felt that people would think I was so weak and that I couldn’t function on my own and what happened that caused this?  So many things went on in my head that I believed people would think.  So I said nothing.  I slept all day, was awake all night and it was not a good thing that I didn’t tell anyone.  I went to a really good therapist who helped me work out what was going on, and gave me great suggestions on how to cope with my stress and anxiety.  I am happy to say that everything this man suggested helped me to get to the place I am at now.  A positive strong woman who is a realist.  Not every day is great but I know how to get into my head to deal with whatever starts me to stress out.  Meditation is a big thing.  Listening to music calms me down.  Going for a walk.  And sometimes, just sitting outside in the quiet brings me peace. 

I was lucky.  I know I was.  Not everyone in this world who suffers breakdowns and mental illnesses recover as well as I have.  Again, the stigma is out there.  Let’s not talk about what is happening with me because people will think less of me.  It doesn’t have to be that way anymore and there are ways to help.  And people are talking more about this issue which is fantastic.   

We need to let those around us who suffer from any kind of mental issue, whether it’s depression or anxiety or any of the disorders that they are suffering from, that it is okay to talk about it!  It’s okay to go to a doctor and ask for help.  It’s okay to admit that you have a problem and you need to talk about it.  Don’t shy away from talking about it.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be talking about it.  IT IS OKAY TO TALK ABOUT IT!

So get out there, seek the help you need, talk to family and friends and know that it’s okay.  People are there to help you and to love you.  You are not alone in this battle.