A Thousand Words

When my friends started to get Instagram accounts a few years back, I was quite hesitant. In fact, it was the same time my friends convinced me to get a Twitter account, and now, 12.1K tweets later, I think it’s safe to say I became quite obsessed. Thus the reason for my hesitation to get an Instagram. Anyways, back in October I finally gave in.

I have always loved taking pictures. When I would go on vacation, or even just simple outings I would always be sure to bring a camera -I would always have a camera in hand, happily snapping away at everything I saw. But when I got an Instagram account I realized that if I were to get it, I would definitely not post every single picture I took. If I were to get an Instagram account, I wanted my pictures to be meaningful: they had to represent my life, and the beauty I see in this world -because I think we all know how easy it is to slip into a spiral of negativity, and cloud our thoughts and make decisions based on all the bad things we see. Or simply turn into mindless zombies when going from point A to point B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few months of taking pictures and realizing that there’s more to Instagram then their classic filters and then discovering a process of editing my photos, I became obsessed. I became obsessed not in the same way as Twitter, but obsessed with taking the best picture and finding that perfect shot every single day. Instead of becoming obsessed with taking Instagram pictures solely for an Instagram shot, I became obsessed with going out every day to look for new sites in my mundane routine. I looked for the new in the old, and began to notice angles and views that I would normally skim by without taking a second glance. I slowly became better at taking pictures and editing them, and I began to have so much fun taking 30 minutes out of my routine to go on a small “adventure” and see something new.

Now that summer is here, I have barely been home. Although I’m on a student budget, everyday I try to go out and experience something new and see how I can improve my photography while at the same time add a little more creativity and flare into my life.

This might sound corny or cheesy, but Instagram is what forced me, in a way, to work on my photography. It was what initially drove me to do better and get better. Now, I don’t even have to stop and think to maybe look up because maybe there’s something to see up there. Taking photos of the mundane and turning it into something exciting and beautiful is just so damn awesome. Your life instantly becomes much brighter when you start going out into the world and trying new things, and pushing yourself to improve. Like the other day, I went zip lining and I usually can barely look over a railing 1 story above the ground floor. I’m even thinking of going skydiving for my birthday. This feeling of pushing yourself to do better and to discover who you are is completely different to what you feel in school. In school, you feel like you have to obtain good grades otherwise you’ll end up jobless and alone. The only drive you have is fear and the secret and most-likely one-sided competition you have with your friends or school-mates. But when I go outside, looking for those shots and those moments I would not otherwise experience in my daily life; you feel accomplished and satisfied because you did something for yourself. Something which gives you joy and happiness.

All I’m trying to say is, find what makes you happy and accomplished -whatever that maybe be. Once you find that, work on it, and continue to do it. Because really, we all deserve happiness.

See you at my next posting,

G.

 

P.S. If you’re curious: https://instagram.com/sharkiegoesrawr/

😉

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Travel and Time

Lately, I’ve had this urge to travel. That’s not the weird part though, the weird part is that this urge is becoming stronger each day. 
When I’m not pre-occupied with a mountain of homework, it’s all I can think about. I’ve already traveled to quite a few places (which in perspective is nothing compared to the vast expanse of the world), but I want to see more. I want to explore every nook and cranny that the world has to offer me. And I think this feeling is the reason why so many explorers, well, explored. 
I always thought that I was the type to concentrate on my studies and that there will be time to travel afterwards. But now I’m not so sure. Life has been moving so quickly, quicker than I thought time could ever move. You see, it’s my last year of college, in a few months I’ll be looking at open houses for Universities and by February I will have to send in my applications. 
I can’t just stop everything and go travel, it’s not that simple. I can’t pick up my stuff and leave because I need some financial support to get me where ever the wind blows, so to speak. And I don’t know how I feel about taking a gap year either. I’m not even certain that what I want my future to look like is right for me…

But I do know this. Before I settle down for the job I think I would like, and definitely before I grow old, I want to see everything I can. I want to document it. I want to help others, and I want to make a difference- no matter how small the contribution. So I guess what I’m telling you is this, even though I can barely make up my own mind: if you can do something, do it. And if you can’t, then make it happen if that’s what you really want…

G.  

College: For Fresh Meat

Friday. Or in other words, the last day of my first full week back to school.

As my second – and final, year of college I’m quite happy to be back. I expected the same buzz of activity, the friendly hello’s from friends you made the previous year and the reunion of your buddies. I was also looking forward to spotting all of the fresh meat, AKA the first years. Yes, we can tell if it’s your first year out of high school. You guys dress up too much and you’re all sweaty and nervous looking and you look like fish out of water. Crying might also be a dead give away. However, I most certainly did not expect the massive crowds of people. It almost looked as though there was twice the amount of students then there was last year -which there were, we made it on the news with the highest student enrollment with 9000 students. And to top it all off, the freshmen were so ANNOYING. And they still are ANNOYING.

So today I’ve decided to talk about the do’s and don’ts of college. So listen up newbies and you might survive.

1. Escalators: If your school has escalators, stand on the RIGHT side of the escalator so others can WALK UP THE LEFT SIDE. Don’t be a jerk and stand on the left side whilst talking to your friends, or just standing there blocking everybody who’s in a hurry.

2. Stairs: If your school is similar to mine, you might have escalators going up every floor and stairs going down every floor. Well, in case you haven’t already pieced the puzzle together, do NOT under ANY circumstance walk up the stairs that are reserved to do DOWN. Walk up the escalator, or just simply take the side stairs. Don’t walk up the central stairs that everyone uses to go down -especially during the rush hours of school. Otherwise you might just end up encountering very pissed and grumpy college kids.

3. Loitering: If you dare cluster with your friends in front of locker entrances, escalators, doors, staircases, and hallways, people will push you to get where they need to go. So just don’t. Go to the cafeteria, go outside, if you’re lost just ask for directions. And NEVER wait outside of a full classroom and start talking loudly. The people inside hear you, and are most likely plotting your death ’cause you’re probably annoying everyone.

4. Eating: When you’re done eating, clean up your table. This isn’t high school where everyone eats at the same time, and then janitors clean up for you (you should have still cleaned up.) People have very different schedules, so no janitor will clean your trash up right away, and sometimes there might only be one table left. How would you like it if you were starving after having 3 back-to-back classes and the only table left was filled with someone else’s trash?

5. Mirrors: If the bathroom is full, and you’re at the sink fixing your hair, your makeup and just looking at yourself for 5 minutes or more and people would like to wash their hands and go to class or eat….buy a damn mirror or use your camera on your phone, don’t just hog the washroom space.

6. Elevators: Never take the elevator up or down one floor. Unless you’re handicapped or injured. If you’re not, then don’t because some students might need to use the elevator to go up to the top level in a hurry.

These are just some little pieces of advice if you’re a freshmen or if you were a freshmen and are still doing this. If you follow these simple rules you’ll make your life a happier place and everybody else’s. Trust me.

See you at my next blog posting!

G.

Red String of Fate

Years ago I came upon the story of the red string of fate. And lately I’ve been thinking about it. The idea of the red string of fate is that everyone has a red string tied to their ankle or their finger, and those who are destined to meet, or help in some way -their strings are tangled. Thus making it destiny for people to meet in some shape or form.

This got me thinking about strangers you see on the bus, the metro or people you see walking aimlessly through town or the people and things you see on an unexpected trip. Everyday you probably take the same route to and from school, or work. So, you might meet the same people throughout the day who coincidentally have a similar schedule to yours. You don’t know their names, background or where they came from. But you know that at 7 AM they will always get on the same train as you, come through the same doors and stand in the same spot. Then one day you might be late, or you’re forced to take a different route. Then you meet so many other people that you’ll probably never see again. And we all meet because either they also had to change their route or because you took a different route which happened to be theirs. Either way, something caused you to do something differently and by chance met all these different people -making this red string of fate the most beautiful idea to think about. And in my opinion it’s beautiful in two ways: the red string of fate causes you to believe that every single one of ours lives are mapped out from the beginning, or that the world is ruled by chance and a little luck (or bad luck, however you see the situation). And maybe if you look at this idea differently you might think that the world is a little bit of both. No matter if you think that this is because of a higher power or because it’s a chain reaction of events that affected your life and so many others. But either way it causes us all to be connected in some way, some how and some where. Just like in the TV series Touch.

That is why I think life is beautiful. We are all connected by a string or a chain of events. It brings up the idea of destiny, soul mates, best friends and the complexity of life.
And even if you don’t believe in destiny, or you don’t believe in science. When those two topics come together -G-d and the tools of science, they can create something bigger. They can create faith in a time of uncertainty. In a time of need.
In my eyes that’s the beauty of life. Lives that are unknowingly intertwined, events that are unexpected and the friends you make along the way.

G.

Secret Camping Location

Over the weekend I happened to be invited to go trailer camping in the US of A. My family and I went to the usual campsite we go to when camping in the States -Rollins Pond. It’s a very cute and large campground with tall trees, and a beautiful lake.

The first day was beautiful. The sun was shinning on the lake, casting a golden glow through the trees. The air was warm and the people friendly. And it only took a few moments to set up the trailer -which for me, was unusual as I’ve never gone camping in a trailer before, only a tent. Thus making the first night a bit rough. I wasn’t used to sleeping on the top bunk -which had no ladder to climb up to, so I was forced to haul my tiny stature up there. Nor was I used to the rocking of the trailer when someone got up to use the washroom or tossed around in their sleep. Neither was I used to sleeping in an enclosed space, or in other words have four walls so close around me whilst I slept. However, by the next night all those seemingly uncomfortable firsts vanished and I came to like my small bunk, the rocking of the trailer and the real possibility of falling off the bunk in my sleep. Anyways, after setting up shop at our campsite we went for walk where we met Twinkle the dog ( it should have been named Lassie, but whatever.) Then we lit the first camp fire of the summer, and boy did it smell good! And look good too! There’s just something about campfires that make your camping experience so much more enjoyable and cozier…

The second day was very rainy. The rain had started in the morning, around 6 AM and only stopped at around 12 the next morning. However, we still managed to have a lot of fun. We went to the nearest town -Malone, where we went to do a little shopping AKA buy all the cool shit that Canada doesn’t have. Then for supper we grilled our steaks which was absolutely EXTREMELY delicious and ended the day with a few card games. I only won once, my pride wasn’t hurt or anything considering I taught my family how to play this card game. Needless to say I was very happy to climb into my sleeping bag on the top bunk where it was much warmer than in the rest of the trailer or outside.

The third day was very sunny. Albeit cold in the morning, but the crispy bacon and scrambled eggs warmed my belly. After breakfast we went for a good 2 hour walk where we saw a snake, a family of ducks, a few crazy chipmunks, and a couple of dogs. No bears. After our walk, I packed up my things and we left for home!

My 3 days at Rollins Pond was short in duration but nothing short of fun. I had an amazing time and I wouldn’t take back any minute of it. If you ever want to camp in the States then you should definitely consider Rollins Pond in Algonquin Park, New York. It’s absolutely stunning.

See you at my next blog posting!

 

G.

Netflix and Princesses

Recently, I’ve been watching quite a bit of Netflix. Not that it’s a bad thing, not at all. In fact it’s quite the opposite! I have discovered hundreds of movies and new TV series that I enjoy -although these new found discoveries might turn out to be a bad discovery once school begins. But hey, it’s summer vacation, right?

Out of all the hundreds of movies and TV shows that Netflix posts online for thousands of it’s subscribers to watch, there is one movie in particular that seems to have taken hold of my inner child and my intrigue –The Princess Diaries. 

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Giulia, this movie is terribly old, how could you not have already watched it!” Well my online buddies, that is because I clearly did not have Netflix as a child, only VHS and possibly because I grew up mainly around guys and so I was never really interested in the idea of princesses -only butt kicking super heroes.
Anyways, moving on to my bigger point: I may have become a little obsessed with The Princess Diaries and I have no idea why. It’s just your regular Disney movie -a princess and a happily ever after. But it’s more than that. It’s Anna Hathaway (fair warning: this section of the post may contain spoilers) who discovers that she is a princess and she is totally not cool with that. She’s clumsy and dorky, basically a normal teenager who’s life has been altered forever. And for that reason -Anne Hathaway, or rather “Mia,” is not your regular Disney movie princess. She is hard working, determined and butt kicking. The movie is funny and full of action -and not to mention that Chris Pine plays in the sequel (eeek!).
Maybe this fascination with The Princess Diaries is due to the fact that it was the start of Anne Hathaway’s career, and that whilst she was filming this particular movie she had no idea that in 9 years or so she would have become the most accomplished and world-renowned actress. Therefore the resolution to this issue might simply be that myself, in the present, is looking back at these actors and actresses and knowing that I am fully aware of what their future’s will look like, and they do not. I feel as though I am the Oracle of Delphi, in a sense, not literally…obviously!

Now that I have told my serious thought of the day, I will let your eyes and your reader’s mind go free to do whatever they wish to do next. Probably Netflix. Are my oracular visions correct? Haha!

See you at my next blog posting!

G.

My Spirit City and its Tourist Attractions

Usually, when I find myself in different cities or countries, I take hundreds of pictures and look at all the architecture and try to find out all of its history. However, on my Newfoundland Bound adventure, I found myself in Saint John’s with all of my curiosity intact and a little more. I felt at home and connected with the little town just off the sea.

Saint John’s is located at one of the furthest points east of Canada, and just after a 26 minute drive you will find yourself at Cape Spear -the most eastern point in all of Canada. Although the town is quite small compared to the bustling town of Montreal, the locals were very friendly and chatty, the colourful houses are charming and the cool ocean breeze made everything pleasant.

There are many things to do in Saint John’s as well. You can check out Signal Hill -which is a historical landmark because the first Marconi wireless telegraph received the first transatlantic message, ever. If you think about it, it’s pretty insane. Now -113 years later, we’re sending and receiving millions of wireless messages over the Internet EVERYDAY!
You can also check out the Johnson Geo Centre, which is a pretty amazing place as the museum is all underground -yes, it’s all underground and i’m not joking. Another place to visit is The Rooms on Bonaventure, which contains historical records as well as the history of Newfoundland. The Newman Win Vaults are also a must see!

However, and this is especially for the Republic of Doyle fans out there, you must definitely check out ALL the film locations. Such as on Signal Hill you can snap a shot of the Saint John’s aerial view that is shown at the beginning of each episode. The RNC headquarters is actually Bishop Feilds Elementary school on Bond St. BOND ST. That’s as cool as it gets people…Then, you should also check out Quidi Vidi -or “kidi vidi,” as the locals call it.

As you’re walking around town, you will meet plenty of strangers who are quite chatty and might be well versed in the historical facts of the city. For example, Cochrane St. Cochrane was a governor whom everyone disliked. So when he was recalled back to England, everyone started to throw anything they could get their hands on at him and his daughter, whom nobody liked either. This all took place on a street -now called Cochrane. With almost everything on that street named Cochrane.

 

Anyways, I’ve gone on too long and have given too much away. So I’ll end it here so that you -the reader, can experience Saint John’s for themselves.

Saint John’s, wrapped in a silky layer of fog, and dotted with colourful houses -you are my spirit city. One day I will come back and spend the rest of my days by the sea…