Remote Beach Clean-Ups

I love when travel works its way into your everyday life. For me one of those distinctive times was when my volunteer work with the Surfrider Foundation lead me to being sent to Ucluelet/Tofino to hike into a remote beach to clean up debris from a cargo ship spill.

Protecting the environment has become something that is deeply important to my heart. In these last few years the extent of my knowledge and personal growth for making changes to my daily life to help reduce my impact has been huge. Realizing the deep impact travel can have on the environment I have since altered the way I travel to be more eco-friendly.

(If you want to learn more on how to reduce your impact feel free to join my free Facebook group for Women to network and talk about how to reduce our impacts)

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The trip started off with an early 5:30 am start. Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t do early mornings unless it involves travel or adventure. My alarm went off and I woke up to darkness. As I walked along the sleeping city streets of Vancouver I smiled at the familiar sound of suitcase wheels rolling along the pavement.

It had been too long since hearing that lovely sound and knowing I was headed toward something new. I realized it was a sound so closely related with joy that I had missed dearly. Walking past the few commuters and street cleaners I remembered what it was like to see a city before it was awake.

The trip itself was out of my comfort zone. Being an avid and almost exclusively solo traveller I knew I would be pushed on this trip. Despite that I was excited for the adventures to come and relinquished control. I was looking forward to returning to such a beautiful area of British Columbia.


After a typical Pacific Northwest rainy and overcast drive through the mountains we came to settle in a wood cabin which backed onto a marsh area. Hammocks laid tucked away in the trees and an overgrown trail led to little hide aways for bonfires and a spot to sit with candles that was overrun with wax accumulated, I am sure, from many memories.

I explored the area while I could before the familiar coastal downpour of rain descended. I retired into the common area, relaxing into a seat to drink tea while admiring the lush greens through the water covered window. Eventually the rain cleared and the sun peaked out from the clouds just in time for an outdoor movie night hosted by the local area’s Surfrider Chapter.


The night’s events were held at the local botanical gardens which gave way to some post dinner beauty. We settled into our chairs bundled under heaters, holding warm drinks. There were many short films all filled with love and devotion to the ocean from all over the world (as well as some made by locals). It was a contrast of love and loss for our natural world.

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We met early the next morning to set off on our cleaning expedition. 13 volunteers (including me) headed off down back service roads to a location we were asked to keep secret. We hiked down paths and through bushes and down to the rocky rugged Pacific Rim coast and broke off into different sections to tackle as much debris as possible.


We balanced over the rocks as we headed to where we would clean. We watched the time knowing the path we had just crossed would be swallowed by the rising tide if we didn’t return in time. As we rounded the corner to our designated section of beach we were greeted by a cargo container on the shores torn apart. Styrofoam littered the beach reaching up into the forest line where the tide had pushed it.

We all broke off individually to different areas of the beach and started filling garbage bags. I worked along the side of the beach against a rock face and then into the forest area where the water line ended. I discovered a trove of plastic bottles and styrofoam debris. Eventually moving further down the beach knowing that any log you moved would reveal more.


This wreck was one they had been working to clean for quite awhile. It was a big undertaking that required a lot of effort and by far wasn’t the only remote beach or area littered with debris along the coast. We were told stories of different things they would find from their many clean ups through the years, including wreckage from the tsunami that happened in Japan 8 years earlier.

The 13 of us ended up filling 7 tonnes worth of debris into super sacs. Everyone worked together to manoeuvre what we had found into each sac. Once we had fit all of the debris into the bags we roped them all together to be picked up by helicopter and dropped to the proper sorting facility.


It was a successful clean up done by a lot of hard working individuals. Despite the continued hard work of the locals and our additional help for this clean up the area was still filled with micro plastic of the broken styrofoam that would require more cleaning in the future.

(If you want to learn more of the dangers of plastic and especially micro plastic to the ocean and animals watch the documentary A Plastic Ocean)

TofinoTrip-45After our hard work we all enjoyed a lunch together at a local favourite: Ukee Dogs. We ended our combined time and headed back to our accommodations to relax before our next adventures.

A failed hiking plan lead to us accompanying one of our group members as she went to go surfing before the sunset. The wicked waves splashed onto shore and against the ragged coastline rocks while surfers and kite surfers alike took advantage of the swell.

I myself opted to explore the shores and take photographs. I wandered along the coast line and noticed a light house in the distance. My wonder for light houses and the low tide lead me to a rock island. A few secluded homes laid atop the rocks and I explored it’s surface to catch a better glimpse of what may lay beyond.


As I headed back toward my group a rainbow was laying over the beach and view of the landmass in front of me. By the time I returned to where we had left our gear the setting sun gave some stunning photographic opportunities. Our friend returned from her work out on the waves and we watched as the last light of the day coloured the sky with subtle pastel purples.


We briefly sat for hot chocolate and popcorn at the beachside home of the local chapter’s leader discussing what we all did beyond our volunteer work. As our visit ended we thought that our night was at an end as well until we received a message from fellow Surfriders we had met earlier. We were invited to one of the many beaches for a bonfire. Luckily because we are all outdoors lovers we had our packs and our headlamps ready to walk down the dark trail to the beach.


We followed the distant light of the fire and found familiar faces. Our eyes eventually adjusted to the dark and we stayed warm with the burning fire. The night was spent chatting and laughing. But being the artist I am I was more mesmerized by the stunning night sky, the sound of the crashing waves, and the rotating light from the light house in the distance.

I spent more time taking photographs than I did interacting. As I continued to take night shots (using the logs as my makeshift tripod) others from the group became curious to see my creations. I had asked a friend to help me so I could light paint and it ended up being a hilarious party trick I never knew I had. Once the others realized the end result of someone running around with a flashlight everyone wanted a chance to try.


We laughed hysterically as we yelled letters out and guided the painters to get the picture right. After a lot of tries I finally got the perfect shot I wanted showing the lights of the city in the distance and the city name painted above the beach. We left the beach that night having had great conversations and having gained some new local friends.


I woke up early the next morning knowing I didn’t have much time to enjoy the beauty of the area since I was on someone else’s schedule. I decided to head out again to the marsh area behind our accommodations and was greeted with the beautiful natural world already underway.

Steam rose from the ground as the frost was thawed by the rising sun. Birds chirped and flew over head while a heron stood on the waters edge looking for food. I followed the almost non-existent stream toward the open water and admired the sleeping boats and their mirror images. I felt so much joy experiencing the natural beauty and grabbing some beautiful shots.

While we didn’t do much extra exploring we did make one stop on our way to the ferry and that was to an amazing area that still holds some of the oldest trees in British Columbia. Some of these big beauties are bigger than the tower of Pisa and over 800 years old. It is one of the few areas with giant trees that thankfully remain untouched from the logging industry.


It was my second time there and I was glad to be able to appreciate the magnificence of these huge beauties again. It is so humbling feeling so small compared to their size and history. It’s a place despite being packed with tourists still feels relaxing and a place I was happy to return to.


We caught a later ferry and while some of the girls relaxed and tried to nap I was too captivated by the setting sun. I ran all over the upper deck of the ship to capture the lands edge and the colours painting the sky. While I am often afraid of boats I find most of my journeys on them are the most memorable and packed full of stunning photo opportunities.

I returned home with some amazing photographs, having made some new connections, and having learned a lot more than what I had known before. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to gain the experience of participating in a remote beach clean up. It definitely won’t be my last.


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To see more you can watch a video created from our journey from a fellow Surfrider and content creator Crystal Chan:

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I have absolutely loved the volunteer work I have done and through doing so I have gained great value in my life. My knowledge has grown so much, I’ve met like-minded people, I’ve gotten to be connected with more organizations I love, and have grown my resume significantly. I truly recommend volunteering within areas you’re passionate in.


Boating Around The Adriatic

I woke up early and headed out onto the barren early morning streets of Hvar – a stark contrast to the bustling crowded market streets later in the day and the partying streets by night. I had been told by a Scottish friend I met a few days earlier that I had to do “the blue and green cave tour”. Upon googling I found one that I thought would be great and a full 8 hours of adventures boating around the Adriatic and the islands of Vis and Biševo.

I boarded a little speed boat and made new friends with three other girls from North America. Even the view of Hvar as we left was stunning (the feature photo on the article). I knew the day would provide quite an amazing adventure and some beautiful photos. Despite the packed itinerary I really had no idea then just how amazing it would be. It ended up being one of the best days of my life and the happiest.


As we got further out from the harbour we came upon our first stop which was actually an unplanned surprise. We were greeted by a family of dolphins which our skipper told us were often around. It was the second time in my life seeing dolphins so close. They stayed around for awhile and we all sat and admired them. Once they had gone we sped off to Vis to see the Green Cave.



The Green Cave seemed like a popular spot.DCIM101GOPROG0741892. Despite it being earlier in the morning there were still quite a few boats around waiting their turn to head inside. Once we got into the cave we learned more about it and got the chance to jump in and explore. Our skipper offered some goggles but I definitely recommend bringing your own snorkelling gear to be able to really see these caves for all of their beauty without worrying to wait your turn.

We were a bit early for the full green cave glow – which happens from the sun hitting the bottom of the cave and illuminating the colour of the ocean floor below. But as you can see from the picture here it would be quite a sight to behold when it’s fully lit up.

The task of getting back into the boat itself was hilarious and provided many laughs for the group itself. At times the skipper had to help lift people back in. Putting one leg and the opposite arm on the side of the boat we had to try to lift our body weight up and in. After a few tries of it you start to get the handle of it.

We all got back in safely and headed on our way to our next stop. We weaved our way through many different geologically fascinating places while being told the history of the area. He pointed out holes in the mountain side which were from World War II and told us about the intricate tunnel system that was created through the island. We learned about the local vegetation that thrives in the area and about the Croatian culture on the islands we were experiencing.


Our education part of our tour led us to our second stop at the edge of a cliff where we were shown sun pools. If you’ve never seen these or heard of them they are little naturally occurring round pool spots where the ocean waves wash up into them. When the tide is low it gives the sun time to warm them up. When we stopped here we were given the time to explore and relax in the pools or we could also do some small cliff jumping. I love cliff jumping and although this wasn’t anything huge I thought it was a great addition. It is a safe jump and one that is easier and more welcoming for a beginner.

After we had our fun in the sun we went into our second cave of the day which was a giant vertical slit in the side of the island. It was a dark one, with light only streaming in from the opening. It offered a huge contrast to the rest of the caves we would get to experience that day. Not just from the lighting and the shape but also because of the experience inside. It was easy to notice how the temperature changed much cooler in it’s dark depths. This was just one example of the many caves that lay along the islands on the coast and are waiting to be explored responsibily.

Next we were taken out to a piece of rock that comes so close to the surface that you can take pictures as if you’re walking on water. For mine I didn’t get exactly onto the spot

adriatic-7closest to the surface. But if you do it looks like your feet are standing on the surface of water. This was an awesome unexpected addition to the day. It was great to be able to be in what looks like the middle of the ocean and to be standing like you’re on the shore. This part was slippery and provided entertainment for everyone as we watched people try to catch their balance. Many of us, including me fell over a few times trying to stand up. Water shoes would definitely help you with this one as it definitely was tricky.adriatic-8 You also have to dodge the sea urchins (as you’ll become aware swimming anywhere along the Croatian coast). These are black spiky sea creatures and I was forewarned by an Aussie friend that it hurts a lot to step on one.

Surprisingly as little effort as the adventures seemed, when it was announced we were headed for lunch I was excited and starving! Our skipper told us we were going to Biševo, an island with a population of 8 people, with a small local restaurant on its shores. I was so excited to experience this small communities way of connecting with those wanting to visit their beautiful shores. It was fascinating to imagine what life is like for the local people running the restaurant. And I am sure they meet many amazing people with interesting travel stories stopping in for a bite to eat while off on their explorations.

I smiled as we docked the boat and walked along the path toward the little wooden “Restoran” sign. Me and my new friends took a seat to relax at the restaurant. I ended up ordering their special for the day which was calamari. I had been so use to the deep fried cut up pieces at home I was slightly surprised when two full squids were on the plate in front of me. But I am always up for experiencing different things and it ended up being delicious.

I enjoyed my wine and meal, with some chats with my new friends, and then I went off to admire the beach and to see the surrounding area. This beach was the clearest water I had seen anywhere and I spent quite awhile admiring it. I also spent some time taking in the small community they had built in this part of the island. I day dreamed about hiking to different areas of the island and wondered what it looked like beyond the hills. I have to admit I could have relaxed there all day. When I return to Croatia I would love to come back here with a book and just relax in the sun or go hiking on the island.


It was one of those places where although there were lots of tourists it didn’t feel packed or overwhelming. Everyone was off doing their own thing. Some were enjoying their meals with a view and others were out in the water or on it’s shores. The stop helped to recuperate at just the right time. I think we were all feeling we needed it because it gave us the energy boost for our next stop – the main event which I think most people book the tour for: the Blue Cave.

IMG_3906This stop took up a chunk of time because we had to dock, line up and get tickets, and board another boat that was with a specific cave tour (I don’t believe they allow outside boats inside). This cave was spectacular and unlike anything I had ever seen before but the boat went through it so fast you didn’t really get time to enjoy it.

If you go to this particular one (yes there are more than one of these caves in the world), remember that it goes by quickly so forget about taking photos – your phone or camera won’t focus properly anyway. Sit and enjoy the amazing natural feature of the deep blue glow in the pitch black cave.

To be honest, as amazing as the Blue Cave was, it was probably my least favourite of all the stops. It took out a big chunk of the day due to switching boats that could have been better used elsewhere and I think it would have been more spectacular to swim within it versus doing a quick float through. That being said our skipper did get us there at a quiet time so there were no line ups. But I personally would have rather have just taken a boat to see the cave on a different day or saved the experience for another one of these caves in the world where I could swim.

Afterward we continued on and got shown some more interesting geological features of the type of rock style in the surrounding area. While this type of thing may be boring for some people it was immensely fascinating to me. I think even people with no interest would find it unlike anything they’ve seen before. The whole coastal scenery was stunning. He educated us on the natural processes at play and got us to interact by guessing what we thought was natural or manmade.


Our next stop was getting to see the harbour city of Komiža on the island of Vis. Just like Hvar, I was blown away by it’s beauty as we came in. A little church stood out from all of it sitting higher up from the rest of the buildings on the side of the island. I could have sworn I took pictures of this but when I looked back I couldn’t find any which shows me that it was so beautiful I was too busy admiring it to remember to pick up my camera.


We only had 45 minutes here which I felt wasn’t enough time. It was a small community but there was still so much that I wanted to explore and I would have loved to go see the small church at the top of the hill. Most of us used this as a rest stop because of the shorter span of time. Per the skippers recommendation I went to a restaurant and tried their local island wine called “Vugava”. I loved that the day contained so many opportunities to experience island culture. And before getting back on the boat we cooled off with some gelato.

After departing this beautiful small community we headed off to see our last cave of the day which we were told was one that no other tour does as they don’t know where it is. Sure enough there were no other boats in sight and we had this awesome place to ourselves. Our skipper took our boat close to the island rock face and most of us were confused as to where the cave was. He then explained that to get into the cave we need to swim under the water, through an opening subtly hidden by the height of the water. When he told us this all my adventure senses were tingling.

I didn’t have goggles with me and others were using the few the boat had to offer. So with one hand plugging my nose and the other hand above me to feel the top of the cave opening I closed my eyes, dunked down, and swam fast. When I no longer felt rock on my hand I popped into this beautiful little cave which I feel was the true “green cave” of the trip.



I think this little cave stop was a overall favourite of the day – which is hard to say since it was all so much fun. There is so much I love about Croatia and it’s coastal scenery. These experiences were unparalleled to anything else in my life. Even just being able to swim in such clear and beautiful water was an experience I cherished. The adventurer and earth science nerd in me absolutely adored what we got to see and experience.

When we left the cave all of us swam around in the ocean for a little while just enjoying the beautiful area and trading off goggles so we could all take a look around. But even without them the water is so clear you can see pretty well anyway. This area would be a divers paradise.

After this we were exhausted despite the time we got to rest while visiting Komiža. We knew we only had one stop left which was Stiniva Beach; voted the best beach in the world for 2016. It’s exclusivity is what brings a draw. No motored boats are allowed in past that rocky edges protecting this beach. You’re only option is to anchor and swim (or paddle a smaller boat) in or to hike from the other side. Those of us who wanted to decided to swim in. I would love to return some day to hike into it as the pictures looking down to the beach are stunning.


The beach was a great end to the adventures for the day. I didn’t check out the cafe there on the beach but I think if you were to hike in it would be a great area to relax for the day. We just sat on the shores, took pictures, and chatted with our skipper. We ended up learning that he learned how to speak English (which was very well spoken) simply from watching shows and movies in English until he knew the language. It is quite amazing story to hear and all of us were extremely impressed. Once the sun no longer touched the area we swam or were paddled back in a little boat.

We headed back on the speed boat to Hvar exhausted in the best way possible. We were all silent admiring the beauty and I knew that it was one of the most epic days of my life. There was so much packed into those 8 hours that were unbelievable and just trying to explain the day doesn’t do it justice. The tour itself was an amazing combination of information, rest spots, and adventure and all of it was optional whether you got off the boat or simply enjoyed the views. I usually don’t like to take tours but as tours go this is by far my favourite that I’ve done and so well worth the cheap price! (And this isn’t sponsored – I am saying this because I was genuinely given one of the best days)

Since this visit and my time spent on the coast the Adriatic Sea is now my favourite body of water in the world and Croatia is my favourite country. Spending the day jetting around the Dalmatian Coast, experiencing Vis and Biševo, was such an amazing gift. Something spontaneous that I happened upon but which became of the best days of my life. I am so glad that my friend had recommended it and that I had chosen the specific tour that I did. I will absolutely never forget this day. It was the perfect mix of everything I love and the experiences I had were ones I would have never had the chance to do otherwise.

I know that I will be back to experience some of the same places in a different way in the future. Some of it will be spending a day on the shores relaxing, to fully exploring Komiža and hiking into Stiniva. I also can’t wait to explore more of the islands along Croatia’s coast. It’s called the Dalmatian Coast for a reason because of the spots created by the various islands. I would recommend Croatia to anyone because of the enormously friendly people, the amazing natural and architectural beauty, and the safety!

Bonus Travel Tips

Want to do this same tour? Support this local Croatian company (which you can find near the main market in Hvar if you’d rather book in person).

• You can also do the same tour from Split – just plan for a longer day. And it looks like they offer many other island tours as well. It’s totally worth giving yourself a few days in Hvar which is a cheap ferry ride away from Split and you save yourself some time while also getting to experience another amazing place in Croatia.

• If you’ve got any sort of back issues I highly recommend boarding the boat first and sitting in the very back. The back has a full bench to sit on where as the other seats need to be straddled like riding a horse which can be painful on the lower back when you’re doing it for a full day.

• I highly recommend bringing snorkel gear. You can buy this anywhere at the little market stands in Hvar (as I am sure you can also do so in Split). It’s cheap and well worth it to be able to really see the ocean floor and sea life! After this trip I learned my lesson and got myself a pair of goggles.

• Swimming shoes are also a great option to help yourself grip climbing up the rocky sides and also to protect your feet from sea urchins.

• Almost all of these stops require cash! Although most travellers don’t like to carry cash Croatia is one of those places (especially in the smaller communities) where cash comes in handy!


Drink Up As Much Life As You Can

As nomads we are pros at the statement “if you love something let it go, if it’s meant for you it will come back to you”. We can’t ask someone to stay when we know we wouldn’t want to be asked either. It’s the truest form of unconditional caring when you allow someone to go after their dreams even if it means you’re left behind, even if it means the end of a good thing.

I learned a really important lesson in my early twenties that has been a crucial part to understanding and coping with life. It was the simple statement of “this too shall pass”. And of course that helps to get through the tough times but I didn’t learn it in that way. I learned it in the positive way of making the most out of your days and enjoying the ride because nothing will last forever. But our memories are a collection of our lifetime, so we should create the best ones we can by really making the most out of life.

I’ve come to learn that even if you know something will end eventually that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it full force and make the most out of it. If we take the opportunities life gives us and make the damn most out of them there is no room for regret.

I’m still trying to master the art of letting go. But I do know that a key factor to being able to let go is to have lived it to the fullest so much that when it ends you can feel happy about it versus destroyed. You will feel grateful for the experience and the memories, sad to say goodbye, but you will know that you still have happiness ahead of you. Of course you will feel sad over the ending of something but not so much that it will destroy you, hold you back, or stop you from living in the present.

Some of my best memories and the best people in my life came from moments I knew wouldn’t last but I made the most out of it regardless (isn’t that the essence of what travelling is?). I’ve been more graceful at letting go of some people and places, others took me a long time to learn how to move forward because of their depth of meaning to me and the way they changed my life.

I think there will always be places and people I’ll be willing to welcome with open arms for all my life because of how deeply I’ve cared for them and they’ve cared for me. They are the people and places that I view highly, that have given me the best memories, and have changed me in the most positive ways.

Life has an interesting way of working itself out. I know this well. And because of it I have faith that sometimes what seems like an ending is only temporary and even if it isn’t, as cliché as it sounds, every ending is a new beginning. But you can’t hold on to that hoping and waiting. You’ve got to move on, you’ve got to live your life, and if those amazing things come full circle it’s an amazing experience. If they don’t you’ll most likely have made new amazing experiences and will continue to regardless.

Moving forward in the present is something which, if mastered, can free you from attachment and possession. It is easy to look at the past as better than it was and because of that, when our life’s aren’t to our satisfaction, we fall down the dark well of nostalgia. Nostalgia can be a friend or it can be a foe. It is when we get lost in wishing our life isn’t what it was that we lose ourselves in that well of despair. But if we are grateful for where we are (even if it may not be where we want to be), and look at the past with gratitude for helping to grow us, we then have a positive nostalgia.

We can also get trapped in the daunting fear of what is to come. The “should’s”, the “what if’s”, the list of all possible things that could go wrong in the future, so much so that it stops us from following our dreams or things that could make us happy. And when we get trapped by those mind games with ourselves, we lose sight of what is in front of us. And ironically, what is in front of us is what will determine our future. Our moments, our memories, our days, right here and right now, what we fill them with will determine the outcome of our lives.

I invite you to live in the present moment and know that your time is the most precious thing you have. We are given moments, we aren’t given more time. How you spend your minutes is how you spend your life. So you better make the damn most of it. You better honor how precious your time is and only offer it to those who also honor your presence in their life.

I hope you use your days to go after your dreams, to follow your joy. I hope that you get the blessing to meet people, or places, or situations that make you want more time or to make time stand still because you wish you could continue making those memories forever.

I hope that your time is filled with people and things that make you laugh, that keep you smiling, and help you to feel grateful for the life that you lead. Make sure you make the most of these moments, make the most out of your days and drink up as much of life as you can.


One Heart, Two Homes

Someone once said to me “I think you can fall in love with cities the same way you fall in love with people”. I didn’t know it then but that statement would have a profound influence on my life. In my travels, and the countries I’ve lived in, I have learned that cities hold their own personalities just like people. One city can hurt you and another can heal you, one will be a place where you’ll thrive and another will be one with struggle.

Each city you reside in will bring out different parts of your personality. They have ways of forcing different parts of yourself to the surface. Of showing you different traits and skills are more important there than you may be use to. You are never the same person in each place you call home. Different cultures, languages, and lifestyles help to shape and mold your daily life. I am a different version of myself in each city/country and because of that I care for them differently.

Over the years I have come to know well the blessing and curse of having multiple places that you consider home. It is truly amazing to have multiple places in the world you can go to and feel at home. But your heart will never be whole again. No matter where you are there will always be another place you miss. That is the compromise you make in your heart when you love more than one place at the same time.

You see, I have one heart but two homes. I grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada and it will always be where I come from. It will always be “the true north strong and free”. I feel I have its beauty to thank for leading me to pick up a camera and start shooting. But I left that home and moved to London, United Kingdom. There is where I made a home and built friends into family. Where I fell in love with its streets and the European life. These two places hold two very different lifestyles for me and I love both.


In British Columbia the outdoor adventurer in me becomes prevalent. You’ll catch me in work out clothes, doing yoga, climbing mountains, swimming in the oceans or chasing waterfalls. But B.C. is mainly an unrequited love. No matter how much I love the natural beauty it has never treated me right. It is not where I am happiest, it is not where I am most appreciated, it is not where I feel like I am living my best life.

In London you’ll find me in formal business clothes, sitting in rooftop bars and beautiful places, enjoying the city life. It is where I chose to live for myself and where I built a home. It is a city I fell head over heels in love with and where I always feel complete. In London I am always grateful and happy. I have been the healthiest I’ve ever been. And I had friends who became family that love and support me unconditionally.

When I am in London I do miss the beauty of always seeing mountains and having the ocean or a lake just a short drive away. But when I am in B.C. there is a part of me that is missing. When I am in British Columbia I know which one has my heart more because there are times I can sob from how much I miss London and the United Kingdom. And when my plane lands in London I get this overwhelming sense of calm, happiness, and peace. I know I am where I need to be.


I love both for different reasons and they each have a different place in my heart. They are both great loves of my life but different loves. I have no doubt that throughout my life I will come back to British Columbia to visit and spend months exploring its beauty. But it’s not where I will build my future. Instead London is a city I can see myself in for a long time. I don’t know that I will grow old there but it will be a significant chunk of my life.

You see there are some places that are special and unlike any other on the planet in the way they make you feel about yourself and your life. You feel like your life is a gift, you are always grateful and even on the days when your life may be up in flames you still feel lucky that you live in such an amazing place. London is that place for me and I’ve come to know how extremely unique that is to find. And my piece of advice is: if you find that place for yourself don’t let it go for anything.

Cities have a way of unlocking different parts to yourself that you didn’t know existed. London for me is a place where I thrive, where I am sure of myself, and where I am irrevocably happy. I became the woman I knew I always had in me but was beaten down and wired for struggle in Canada. Sometimes the home we were raised in isn’t the place we are meant to stay in. I encourage people to make homes in different cities and countries. You’ll discover new places but more importantly you’ll discover yourself.

Having a nomad and wanderlust filled heart I will always be moving and exploring and making different countries home. And in my travels I will miss my homes. But I know I have to explore and experience the world. I need to keep learning and discovering parts of myself. And in the end of the day I know that London will always be the one. The one I come back to, the one I am my truest self in, the one that I will love most.