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Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Canada, Home, North America

My Thunder Bay Lifestyle Change

waiting in limbo - Scotia at Pigeon River Provincial Park

I have managed to come home to Canada once a year. Sometimes for only 2 week stints a few times a year, or maybe for a whole month. Most of these visits had an ending scheduled; I had somewhere to be – I had a next step. But currently, I sit in limbo. Waiting. My lifestyle morphed quickly into an unhealthy one as I let failure consume me. But I needed a change – This is my Thunder Bay Lifestyle Change.

Coming home this time, knowing I had no where to go, felt like a failure. I felt like a failure. All the things I had set up and arranged and planned for had crumbled. So I came home to the comfort of my parents home where my childhood bedroom still looks the same; The same lime green walls plastered in photos of a pre-travel me and bursting with my Winnie-the-Pooh obsession; stuffed toys, pictures, blankets, pillows, stickers, and everything else. I moved when I was 16, so this room is stuck in my past. And each time I return and I climb into my bed with my husky, Scotia, cuddled next to me, I revert back to that world. I know I’ve grown up, travelled the world, gained some tiny shred of wisdom – and yet, I can’t help that feeling of failure.

Childhood Bedroom

My Childhood Bedroom – Winnie the Pooh and All

For the fall I had arranged work placements, travel plans, and mixed in a few other opportunities. Each one fell through. I was supposed to be working in Toronto on a 6 month Human Resources contract – that failed. Next, I planned to moved to Slovenia and teach English for 4 months, the failed too. And finally, I applied to Graduate School in Australia, I was accepted, I waited for my paperwork to apply for my visa, and they have “misplaced” my wire transferred tuition. So I wait in limbo. Instead of jetting off as planned, I wait anxiously and see my life passing by.

But I didn’t want to let the life I had planned, the life I want for myself, to slip away.

I’ve been home for one month with no immediate date set to leave (Oh how I wish I could have a date to countdown to). And I was mentally exhausted of being a lazy hermit – I do not need more time to “relax”. I have endless time. But my brain is hurting with the overload of television I’ve crammed into it. So I kicked myself physically for wasting away mentally. I need to keep myself happy and healthy so I can pursue the life I’ve worked hard to garner. So yes I am in Thunder Bay, where life revolves around 16 year old me, but I want to evolve. So I changed the lifestyle which I built in Thunder Bay.

I started Hiking the Region:

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park - Top of the Giant trail

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park – Top of the Giant trail

Thunder Bay’s greatest asset is its location in Northwestern Ontario. Located in beautiful boreal forest with mountains surrounding and hugging Lake Superior. The region was made to be hiked. So I am doing just that. With Scotia in tow, I have hiked a different mountain approximately every three days. I’ve driven up to an hour to a new Provincial Park to check them off my list. It gives me a goal. I have 15 more major hiking trails to complete.

I started to Cook:

Ricotta Stuffed Shells - Cooking

Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I have always been weary of the kitchen. I don’t understand spices and everything burns when I touch it. But now I have the time and determination to learn. And with Pinterest and Foodgawker being the greatest addiction for wanna-be chefs, I have gone on a cooking frenzy. Since I am a pescatarian (Vegetarian + Fish/Seafood), The sites have made it easier for me to find recipes both matching my dietary choices and requirements. From carrot coriander soup to ricotta and spinach stuffed shells to pumpkin cheesecake dip (I’m a HUGE dessert person), I have gained a new appreciation for cooking and for the people in my life who make it look easy. And I’m realizing that cooking can be fun especially when doing so for others!

I started to Drink Green Smoothies:

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

While I was briefly residing in Toronto I met up with Ayngelina from BaconIsMagic who offered to show me around the city she loves. When we met up she was drinking a Green Smoothie and I stared at the green murky concoction wondering how good it could possibly taste. Delicious is the answer. I did some research and found The Raw Family, I bought their App, and have been addicted ever since. Each morning I blend a new smoothie with a base of either Kale, Spinach, or Chard. After a 2 weeks of this, my energy levels are incredible and my waistline is shrinking (attributable to all my actions combined). I’ve also forced it on my childhood friends who still live in Thunder Bay and received a positive response! Try it – It’s good for you.

I am revamping this website:

Chrystal-Clear theme and new banner

Chrystal-Clear new theme and banner

Every time I loaded my homepage I was struck by how outdated my theme appeared. I liked the colours and the double menu bar, but it simply looked old. It needed a change, and since I was upgrading my life, and this website is a part of it, it received a facelift as well. Tell me what you think! I converted to the Lucid theme from Elegant Themes, and have been working every day to tweak it to be exactly what I want it to be. I still have a few more details to  alter (I am learning to code CSS as I go), and would love your feedback on what you think of the look and functionality of it. And one big step I took for my blog – I joined Travel Blog Success when I saw it advertised by Alex in Wanderland. So far – I love it.

I am jogging again:

My Jogging Buddy - Scotia in Sioux Lookout

Scotia after running up the rocks in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada

I used to run pre-travel days. I never translated this hobby around the globe, mostly because I could not fathom jogging in Thailand humidity. But then I came across The Color Run and signed myself up to run in August in Colorado. I didn’t make it because of work in Toronto, but all my training up til then was wasted because I stopped running. Well, I decided I didn’t need an event to start running again – I like to run and Scotia loves it. So we started running together. She may be the one pulling me for the last kilometre, but her constant exuberance and goofy smile keep me energized and help me tie my laces each day before a run. I think I’ll keep it up to – I haven’t seen my butt looking this good in awhile!

And so that’s it.

Returning to Thunder Bay shouldn’t mean I revert back to an unhealthy lifestyle. One where I feel like a failure. Yes, failure may come my way, and they always will, I just have to have the courage to not let them control me, or distract me from the Life I am choosing to Life: A Life of Travel.



  1. I loved this–the way you rethought how you think of your home and the way you were able to have the time to think through some things and make some changes!

    • Thank you. Its been years in the making because every time I ever returned it was the same instant hermit-mode. So it is really nice to know I can change that for the better and appreciate everything around me.

  2. You are too hard on yourself! Be kind to yourself. I see no failures.

    I have found time to myself in one place is a gift – if used correctly. It will be hard but it’s a perfect time to really get to know yourself. When you’re traveling, of course, you learn about yourself. But you also learn and grow when you’re not traveling and you have time and space to think and reflect. To be able to do it where you grew up is the perfect spot! Embrace it. Enjoy it. It sounds like you’re keeping yourself busy. Don’t don’t forget to take some time to just enjoy where you are and really think about how far you’ve come. Not knowing your next adventure is exciting!

    • Thank you for the kind words. It is hard to change my mindset on a place but I really am trying to alter everything as I know it. I know I am fortunate to have a family who never moves because it is nice to return to the same place, the same house, that I grew up in. It is just hard to think I didn’t achieve everything I had set out to. And not knowing my next adventure makes me fear I may not have one – If I don’t plan one it won’t happen. It is all those insecurities that boil over as I sit and wait. But thank you for taking the time to comment! It helps to have other people help me reflect deeper.

      • Just trust your plan WILL come together – whatever it is, eventually you’ll have one. :-) I can’t wait to read what it is!


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