I am here where I found myself

I just saved myself from a ninja canadian spider. He was doing a mission impossible move, coming down from the air vent above my bed. FREAKY! And he was the biggest spider I have seen over here. FREAKY! Haha.
I just wanted to write down a few words for myself because thats the reason I started this blog and as it will be coming to an end very shortly I felt that was quite appropriate. I really cant explain how wonderful this journey has been for me, how much I have seen and how much I have learnt. I feel like I have changed and it is a welcome and timely change. I really have no idea what things will be like when I get back home, or what I’ll end up doing but thats half the fun I spose. I think the biggest change in me has been the passion I have grown for photography. Namely creative photography. I love combining words and photos and emotions. All of the beautiful landscapes have really inspired me and found their way into my work. It’s funny how you can intend to go down one path and then somehow end up finding it lead you somewhere totally different. I am looking forward to lots more exploring and travel in the future, this has certainly opened up a whole heap of doors and really hit me with the travel bug. I feel like I am where I am supposed to be in my life. Things arent perfect but I am happy. I have fulfilled a big dream I’d had for many years and along the way several littler dreams too. That’s a wonderful feeling!

Plans and news and stuff.

Hello!! Just thought I’d shoot off a quick post to update on my news.
It’s been very quiet on the Australian friends front. Hope everyone is ok.
I just booked a trip to Portland, Oregon for 4 days from the 16th August.
I am going to see the swell season play in stanley park on I think its 23rd August.
And then I’ll be arriving home in Australia on 28th August. I cant believe I only have 4 weeks left in Vancouver, it has been so amazing and such a wonderful trip.
I have learnt and grown and just.. wow. This is something everyone should do.
Next year I’m planning another trip – this time to Europe!!!
Thats about it, folks.

Did I just do that? It doesnt sound like me.

I did something this morning that is very out of character. I got into the lift in my hotel to go down to breakfast and there was a guy in there with a suitcase – I presumed he was checking out. I’m staying on the 2nd floor, and I noticed that the 1st floor button was pressed as well as the ground lobby, but I didnt think anything of it. I did my usual ‘stare at the door’ thing, and then we stopped at the first floor. The doors opened and I moved out of the way to either let the guy off or someone else in but there was no-one at the door and he didnt move. Then he said (laughing) “sorry, that was me. I pressed the wrong button.” I turned around for a second and noticed that he was quite cute, then smiled and said “no problem!”

I got out at the lobby and went to the breakfast room and I presumed he went to check out. Then when I was sitting at a seat I noticed him walk past outside and he didnt have his suitcase with him. He must have left it at the desk while he did a few things around the city, I thought. As I ate my breakfast some strange part of me formulated a plan. I would go upstairs after I’d eaten and I would write him a letter and then I would ask the front desk to give it to him.

So I went to my room and I wrote:
“Hi! My name is Alesha. We met on the lift, I got on at the 2nd floor and you accidently pressed the 1st floor button. I dont ever do this but I thought you seemed really nice so I wanted to give you my email address in the off chance that you might be heading to Vancouver and want to hang out sometime. I’m Australian and on a working holiday, staying in North Van. It’s an adventure! (insert email address) Take care, Alesha. :)”

On the way down to the lobby I kept debating about whether to do it or not and decided if there was no-one at the desk I would. I always tend to do those little tests. And there was no-one there. So I spoke to the lady and I said “A guy just checked out before and left his suitcase here..”
“Yeah,” she said “did you want to get into it?”
“Oh no, I just wanted to leave him a letter.” I replied.
“Ok sure.” she answered.
“Did you see him?” I said
“Yeah.” she replied.
“Did he have short hair, kinda curly.”
“Yeah, and a suitcase.” she replied.
“Was it a small suitcase?” I answered.
“Hang on.” she said, and went and got it to show me.
“I think thats it, yeah.” I answered.
“Cool, wouldnt want you to give your letter to the wrong guy!” she said.
“Thanks!” I answered and walked away.

I’m not expecting to hear anything (it might not even be the right guy haha) but it was good to do something out of my comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to get a letter like that!

I will be doing a HUGE post all about my time here on Vancouver Island when I get back to North Van. I’m leaving here tomorrow. My camera battery died, so I cant upload the photos I have taken and had to buy a disposable camera today.
I have so many little stories I wouldnt know where to start, so the wrap up post should be up soon!

Let the photos speak for themselves

Ok, after several posts about fashion which included several shots of me I can imagine my brother grimacing. Or he would grimace if he actually read my blog – which he wont because “I dont want to read your artsy fashion stuff and see 100 photos of you.” Hehehe. As far as I can tell his lovely new wife reads the blog and just passes on any interesting information. Dont worry, these are no photos of me in this post! Haha.

Anyway, my point was to clarify that I by no means regard myself as a model or a professional camera(wo)man. I love fashion – and art and I like finding ways of combining the two. I have a unique style and if that means people call me weird then I can deal with that. I dont dress the way I dress to get attention, infact if you get to know me you’ll find that in many ways I do as much as I can to avoid attention. There’s nothing wrong with being an individual. I was just brought up to believe that I am unique and worthy and that I should follow my own path in life. My mother is an incredible woman.

The reason that I started this blog (and continue to write in it) was to share my adventures with my friends (new and old) and family. It is my way of debriefing on what has been happening, and I imagine it’ll give me happy memories when the only travelling I’m doing is through these pages. It made me feel like you were all a part of this journey, and it helped to make me feel less alone. It still does!! I love the connections this blog has helped me make, and the inspiration I get from it. When you have a camera in your hand you tend to notice the way the light hits a tree and makes the colors blend, or how the grey sky reflects perfectly with the grey water. You open yourself up to a creative spark and if you’re lucky you can capture life’s wonderful moments.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, in different colors and with different hopes and dreams but we each have something special to give. We could learn a lot from each other!! I have noticed that recently there is a real lack of respect not only for our elders, but also for ourselves. It’s too early to tell if this is true in Canada too (or even worldwide) or if it’s just an Australian thing. I was taught manners, and I was raised with morals. I believe these two things are the cornerstones of respect. When I walk past people on the street I try to think of their stories, the places they have been and the people they have helped. Everyone has a story and everyone deserves to have their story heard. So when you’re outside try to smile at someone you dont know, give a little bit extra when you tip or just make sure to say thankyou to someone who helped you. Little acts of kindness are easy to do, but their ripples can be felt across the whole world. You never know when you can change someones life for the better.

Anyway, this post has gotten way longer than intended! haha. I was planning on just saying a sentence about my brother and then posting some photos without words. I guess that didnt happen. Here are some photos from the last few days (north van, van city and chinatown/gardens).


More on my flickr!

I checked out the Van Art Gallery – Leonardo Da Vinci ‘mechanics of man’ exhibition, which was incredible. Can you believe that 500 years after they were drawn no-one has been able to make a more detailed and correct sketch of the intricate workings of the muscles, tendons and bones. Incredible! The man was a genius.

Sunshine and fir trees

It’s pretty amazing when you go to the shops and this is your view.

I made today my ‘jobhunting’ day, so I went to the local mall and took my resume. I have an interview tomorrow and one for next week too, plus lots of applications. Cross your fingers for me!!

The only thing about new shopping centres (and this one in particular) is that its not easy to find shops and I think I walked past the same guy in the same shop about 10 times -back and forth. He was looking at me as if I was either crazy or just walking past to look at him. Hilarious!!

The buses are expensive over here, I just bought a month pass, which is one zone (only north van) and it cost me $81. Otherwise it’s $2.50 for 90 minutes. That’ll eat a hole in your pocket! You know what else is expensive? Cell phones! They charge you for incoming and outgoing calls AND if you go outside of van they charge you roaming rates! You could use them in the whole of Australia and no roaming! Ah well, I guess it’s all part of life over here.

It is such a beautiful day today in Vancouver. The temperature is I believe 16 degrees celcius and the air has warmed up a little bit to the point where I had to take my scarf and gloves off and undo my cardigan! Hehehe.
We have a gorgeous little deck out the back (where you can go for a walk along a trail into the forest area). I just sat out there and soaked up the sun, eating my apple.

I really want to go for a hike and find some other animals!

I get to go to yoga this afternoon, it has been far too long!! I believe the class is called ‘flow’ so hopefully it’ll be good. I miss my Iyengar Yoga!!

Hope your day is as lovely as mine!

North Shore, mail and creating.

After speaking of my love for first nations culture I found myself invited along to brunch with some family friends at a place called Tomahawk Restaurant. It was a total coincedence that we ended up there as someone else had chosen the location but I was blown away. There were carvings and photos and basically any first nation thing you could think of on the walls. It was a great introduction. Apparently there are a few festivals and cultural things that go on right near where we are that I can go along to. Oh also it looks like I might get to go to the roller derby next month! 🙂 I actually just saw whip it on the plane to Japan – so thats pretty awesome.

After brunch we went to the “dog park” on North Shore.

It’s just basically a walkway near the water where people walk, skate and take their dogs off the leash. Everyone talks to each other and the dogs love it!

I still cant get over those mountains.

I am loving the sun, I want to bottle it up and take it with me.

I got a photo of the yellow buses!

I realise that most of this stuff probably isnt interesting to a lot of people but hey, it is to me! It’s all new and sparkly. hehe.

So then Georgia took me to this shop.

The only Tommy Haas I know is a tennis player – but apparently this one is a famous pastry chef and chocolate maker and the place was PACKED! There is a macaroon upstairs with my name on it!

So then when I got home I started creating some things.

Georgia reckons I’ll be able to sell my creatures easily, so we’ll see! It’s fun to make some more anyway.

Oh and I have some mail to send out!

I have seven parcels to send to 7 special people – hopefully I’ll get to the post office to mail them very soon! Keep your eyes peeled, my friends and family!!

Back to creating!

Dont worry about me, I’m in a new part of town

Alrighty!! I am all moved in and unpacked, and to look at my wardrobe I really dont know where it all went! I’m glad I packed two big knit cardigans though (probably explains some of the space) as I can wear them now! It’s amazing when you think of your life in a suitcase (or two) – and you unpack and think about everything you have brought along and whether you made the right decision or not. I think I did- overall. I’m just going to have to do more washing than I’m used to – but I can work with that.

My homestay family are really nice! I’ll admit that I was a little worried (as per normal I suppose) but they have been lovely and welcoming. Georgia introduced me to the food cupboards and living with a chef has its benefits I must say!!!!!!! You dont have to worry mum, I’ll be eating very well. Snacks included!! They have a little dog who is a bit hyper – but I’m ignoring her in the hopes that she will calm down soon. She hasnt bothered me in my room so thats half the battle!

Speaking of my room – wanna see some photos? Yeah I know you do.

Decorated already? Me? Yeah you can count on it!

Apparently that is satelite tv, but I need to ask how to use it as I cant seem to figure it out.

The taps are weird over here, and the toilet bowls seem to be a LOT bigger. Wider but shorter. They seem to hold a lot of water and then they flush weirdly too. All the water completely goes and then it fills back up again.

I’m not going to show you a photo of the toilet!

This is my soaker tub and shower

After I’d got settled I went out the back of my place and down the green belt.
I saw my first squirrel!!! He was too quick for me to get a photo.


North Vancouver is a beautiful place, and it’s a lot closer to the city than I thought. I dont know how I’m going to go in winter here though, I’ll be honest. Even though the sun was out today and it wasnt windy there is this cold in the air that almost takes your breath away. It’s a little bitter. Maybe I’ll grow into it!

I went down to the local superstore supermarket thingy. It’s like a combination of big w and the old bilo supermarkets. You should see the size of the small toothpaste – its like family size! They certainly do things a lot bigger in North America!!



I still havent seen the two aisles of chocolate bars though – maybe thats just in America. Probably a good thing, dont need to be tempted! Hehe. I’m still finding it a little strange being in another country. It’s been a week since I’ve been home now and you’d think I’d be used to it. I find myself walking along and I’ll see a big yellow school bus and I’ll do a double take. It’s like I have to open my eyes again as things start to blend in. I can see someone walking along and then when they speak in a Canadian accent I have to do another double take. It’s like I have to keep telling myself ‘hang on, you’re not at home here. You’re in Canada! Things are different.’ Its unusual I know, but maybe it’ll be different in time. Then again I AM unusual so maybe it’s just right hehehe.

A bit later the babysitter came around (not for me, for their 4 y.o son) and we got to chatting over dinner. She was so lovely and even though she is only 14 I think I made a friend. One down, several more to go!
Lovely!

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