Category Archives: Travel

Opportunity is where luck meets preparation

The Collins English Dictionary describes opportunity as “a situation in which it is possible for you to do something that you want to do”.

Some examples of opportunities are getting help on a project, get testers for new ideas or products, create a team to work on an idea you have – of course there are many other examples of opportunity but this is just a short list.

So, can you prepare yourself for an opportunity? Can you foresee the future where the opportunity will arise for you and you are already for it? Some people believe you can. I am trying to make this happen for me.

I know where I want to go, when I want to be there and how long I want to be there. That’s part of the preparation. Am I lucky? I have been in the past. I’d like to believe I still am, I just need to bring it out.

Back in 2011, I made a decision to move out to Calgary, Alberta from southern Ontario. I had no job to go, nowhere to live, but I knew I had to do this. My gut told me to go there. So I prepared. I made phone calls to employment agencies before I left and had an appointment for shortly after I arrived. I scoured the internet for places to live, and one of the lawyers I worked for in Ontario suggested a couple of his friends for me to get in touch with in case they could help me. I sent emails to them before I left as well.

On October 10, 2011, I, along with my son, packed up my car and headed west. We had a couple of bumps on the way out there but we got out there in four days, and three days after we arrived, I had two job interviews and one of them offered me a job to start that following Monday. The day after that, I got a part time with a catering company and found a house to live in the same day. Because of my preparation and a little bit of luck, the opportunities were there and I took the chance and got them.

Calgary was the best move I’d made in my life at that point. I had a great job and met some incredible people who became some of my closest friends. I’m eternally grateful for taking the opportunities given to me.

You have to prepare yourself for opportunities. If the door of opportunity knocks, open it! We have to make our own luck. The difference between lucky and unlucky people is all in our perspective. My perspective is changing and I AM going to be lucky and thrive at this new chapter I’m about to write. I know it!

At peace by the water

The sun is shining down, providing necessary vitamin D to improve my mood. Listening to footsteps walking on the stones and sand. It all brings me back to my time in Chile where I felt free and peaceful. Watching the water sparkle in the sun is dazzling to the eyes, like diamonds.

There were lovely people walking and stopping to chat. It was lovely and quiet today walking on the beach.

I made it to my destination and needed some food so headed to The Boathouse. A bit disappointing for the price but the tacos were decent. The view was spectacular.

Necessary stop for ice cream on the boardwalk.

I ended my day with a walk down Canada’s longest pier and watching the sunset. A beautiful end to the day.

Do you have a good memory?

One of my earliest memories is one that my parents don’t understand how I could remember as I was only 3 years old at the time. But it is a memory that is vivid in my mind.

My paternal grandparents lived in L’Anse aux Cousins, near Gaspe Quebec. We would visit there every summer until I was 17 – I stopped going every summer once I started college as I was working in the summer.

My grandparents liked to take us around to visit relatives, and on the occasion that I remember, we went across the river to visit an aunt.

When I described my memory to my parents, they were both confused as this aunt had died when I was about 6 years old. I remember that it was the summer (just before my brother was born) and we were playing in this aunt’s yard, rolling down the hill and having a really fun time. The river was at the end of her backyard, and we were sure not to go near it.

I remember what the house looked like on the outside, and the backyard, and what we were doing. My parents did recall going to visit this house but cannot believe that I remembered it due to my age at the time.

I have a very good memory – I remember whole conversations with friends from back in high school, I remember (unfortunately) arguments with my ex, almost word for word, and I remember so many other things, both good and bad, in my life. And before cell phones became a thing, I remembered all of my friends’ home phone numbers too.

It’s amazing what the mind can do isn’t it!

Did you know…

That hot water will turn into ice faster than cold water. (I knew this – I always fill my ice cube trays with hot water)

The sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter in the English language. (I learned this in typing class)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

Coca-Cola was originally green. (That’s really disgusting)

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Birthday celebrations

Last night, my son took me to a Vancouver Canucks game. They were playing my favourite team Calgary, and Calgary won! I had a great time even though I was surrounded by Canuck fans.

I hadn’t seen my son since Christmas even though we live close by. Things have been difficult so I was very happy to see him and celebrate my birthday with him.

A happy mom!

My favourite sounds

The sound of quiet.  
The sound of waves crashing onto a beach.
The sound of a baby’s laugh.
The sound of your boots crunching in the freshly fallen snow.
The sound of a park early in the morning, and hearing the birds chirping at each other.
The sound of the excited children coming into school that first day back from summer vacation.
The sound of a far off train whistle.

These are all my favourite sounds.  The train whistle makes me dream of far off lands.  The children coming back to school puts a smile on my face.  The birds chirping makes me stop and be grateful for being alive.  The boots crunching on the sound is a sound that I love because it reminds me of my favourite season – winter.  A baby’s laugh puts a smile on my face no matter what kind of mood I’m in. 

But the first two – are my ultimate favourite sounds.  One of my greatest moments of traveling was sitting on the beach in Arica Chile, with no one around me except some sand crabs, with my eyes closed and listening to the sounds of the waves crashing.  It brings me peace and fills me with content.  

The sound of quiet – some will question if that’s an actual sound.  But it is.  Right now, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and listen.  What do you hear?  If I do this, I hear quiet.  I feel all my thoughts vanishing.  I feel stress being lifted off of my shoulders.  Quiet is my favourite sound.  I relish having a quiet afternoon as I have right now.  The only sounds are the keys of my laptop as I type.   And I feel content.  And happy.

Valparaiso, Chile

Turkey and beyond

As I sit here in my room, recuperating from a possible bout of Covid – to me it’s just a bad cold but there is a back log for getting tested here so it was suggested I just self isolate for the required time until I can return to work, I have been doing some self care. Planning time away is ALWAYS self care for me!

Back in 2019, I had booked a flight for the end of January 2020 to head to England, travel through Europe to Turkey and then spend a month travelling through Turkey. Prices in Turkey were very reasonable and I had my entire trip planned. Where I was going, how I was getting there, what I was going to do when I got there. It all came crashing down at the beginning of January 2020 – the pandemic as well as the problems with Syria and Turkey. I put the trip on hold.

So as I listen to ABBA (going on 3 hours now… I love ABBA), I have discovered that there are very cheap flights from Vancouver to Antalya Turkey. While I have not booked the flight yet, I have booked (with free cancellation) my hotels throughout my month long trip to Turkey in September of this year. Come hell or high water – I am going to Turkey!! And if the Gods allow me, from Turkey I’m heading through Europe as well. There are places I never had the chance to visit, as well as visiting friends in Slovakia and Czech Republic. I’d also like to revisit a place or two if finances allow me to, but that will be decided at the time.

I am not one to travel without having accommodations booked – I have read many blogs about just going and booking when you get there – that would stress me out too much at my age. Questions go through my head – what if I can’t find a cheap place to stay? Is there a hostel that I could stay in last minute with minimal people in the room? I snore and would not want to be that person in a hostel! I stayed in hostels all through Chile but they all had the option of a single room which I took advantage of.

There is so much in this world to see and I want to see it all. I want to be healthy when I travel and I know that 57 is not that old but I feel my age is catching up to me and I need to go now before it’s too late.

So while I was looking for accommodations, I came across a place in Cappadocia (a bucket list place!) for $19 total for 2 nights! How could I not book it?? And it has a rating of 9.0 on That excites me!!

What do you do when you’re sick? Do you listen to music? Watch TV? Plan a trip?

Photo by Alex Azabache on