Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Month and Counting

All is well here in the Pacific! Been here a little more then a month and things are going very well. Time goes so fast its unbelievable.

School is well ... I'm really really happy to be back as a student. Students get it all ... discounts for the gym, food, clubs, etc., classes three times a week, long weekends, and free seminars and lectures. Now its not all fun and games ... my life pretty much involves readings and assignments. Since my terms are only six weeks long we go through the materials really fast and its tough keeping up with the readings but I'm holding my own and I have finals in a couple of weeks so we will see how it goes. One thing that really sucks about being a student again is the regular pay dates. I have a week off before finals and a week off after finals and it would be so great to be able to go away for a long weekend but it just not possible on a student budget ... well not right now anyway. My classes are good, my lecturers are very interesting and I must say not boring now I can't say that about my textbooks but I'm really enjoying my program and the people in my program are really nice. It is such a diverse atmosphere ... the ages ranges from mid-twenties to mid-fifties and all different nationalities so class definitely are interesting and I learning something new every day.

It is so expensive starting over again and getting things setup and I'm also started to look for an apartment which will be another expensive but it will be so worth it. I have been staying on the North Shore of Auckland but I'm so looking forward to moving into the city, however, the apartment hunting hasn't been going so well ... the prices are either high or low and the apartment level goes also from high or low. I'm so thankful that I'm in no rush of actually finding a place even though I can't wait to be in the city. I know that something will come available that will suit me its only a matter of time.

The weather here has been amazing ... winter is starting to come the nights are getting colder and its raining more and more but today its sunny and beautiful. I have started getting some of my tan back but I have been finding the sun extremely strong here and can't be outside to long but I'm still enjoying it a lot and when I hear about the 30cm of snow that they got in Canada or the -30 degrees without windchill I definitely don't complain :)

Other than that not much new ... I'm definitely getting the travel itch, I don't know how I'm going to last 18 months in one place ... I am looking forward to being settled for a little bit and I think it will definitely get better once I find a place of my own and get settled when I'm in the city. I'll let you guys know how it all goes in a few weeks. Cheers :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Zealand Part Two

Wow so I just noticed last time I wrote in my blog was November. I haven't been great at keeping this blog at all and I feel pretty bad that I haven't been keeping you guys up to date on my travels. I guess I'll start from November where I ended off last time.

As you all know I was in Dublin all together for about 5 months during that time I had the chance to visit many different European countries including Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, England, and Czech Republic. I had a wonderful time in Europe and wish that I didn't have to leave it so soon. I will get to that a little later. Anyway while in Dublin I worked for a Security Company in the HR Department which was very interesting at times. I had no real experience in HR, to be honest I never toke an HR course in my life but really enjoyed it and had the opportunity to learn a lot of new stuff. It was a long 5 months, since I really didn't do winter last year it was a real shock to my system when it started to get cold and dark so soon but I definitely don't regret my time there at all. I was able to do lots of traveling which was the main reason I moved there and Dublin is a great port to travel to other countries within Europe. I would have to say my best European country I visited was Poland. This might have had some influence since I did have friends in the country which made it a lot easier to get around and to see everything and more than we wanted too. The food was amazing in all the different countries and it was a completely different experience that I truly enjoyed. It is pretty amazing how the countries can be so different and so close together.

So while I was in Dublin I got excepted to do my MBA down in New Zealand. I had applied last time I was over here but really didn't think that I would get accepted and if I did get accepted I didn't think that I would get things organized in time. However, I spent the five months in Dublin working hard on getting money to fund my MBA, my student visa and all the other things that go along with moving a country. So here I am again in New Zealand I arrived this past Wednesday and still a little jet legged, its 630 am here right now. Very nice weather at the moment and even started to get my tan back. I don't start school until March 3 so that gives me a few weeks to get settled and rested. I am very lucky cause I have my cousin down here and I'll be staying with her until I'm able to find something a little more permenant which also means I don't have to rush into finding a place which takes a lot of pressure off the situation. After moving so many times in the last two years I would think that I would be getting use to the uncertainty of it all but there is always something different about it.

Alright thats all I got for now. Hopefully I'll get the chance to write again in a few weeks after I start school. Cheers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update from Ireland

My two month anniversary of living in Dublin was this past Saturday and I must say that it has been a couple of up and down months. I thought I would write a little about my experiences here since I have arrived.

Dublin is a very nice city, it has great atmosphere and I have to say the Irish are right up there with some of the nicest people I've met. The pubs are very nice and if I drank beer I would say the Guinness is great but I have enjoyed a few pints of Bulmers (Cider) over the past couple of weeks. There is pretty much a pub on every corner which is handy but it also makes it difficult to pick a place to go. The pubs are great for going and chilling with some friends over a few but there are also a few night clubs where you can go dancing but I wouldn't say it is a city for that. I haven't really been able to experience a lot of the pubs here in Dublin ... a few that I enjoyed and remember are The Porterhouse and The Market Bar ... Also there is a nice small place just around the corner from my house called the Cobblestone.

I haven't had the chance to do much traveling outside Dublin ... except for my trip to Cork. Even though I have been here two months I have really only felt like I have been settling in the past 1.5 weeks. I have a semi stable job as a temp in a service company working for their HR department which is really not a bad position. The company has about 3000+ employees so you can only imaging how much complaints, lawsuits, etc we get. I got into my bank account finally after about 5/6 weeks in Dublin ... this was definitely a happy day. However, I have been planning some traveling over the Christmas Holidays but I'm going to wait and tell you guys my plans when I have the all confirmed hopefully in the next week or two.

Living and working here is pretty simple, I did luck out with the apartment ... I really pay a great price (350 Euros/month) plus bills of course and its in a great location. People do say that Smithfield is not the best place to live because back in the day it wasn't that popular but the city/government have pumped a lot of money into the community and its really a respectable neighborhood ... a temporary skating rink when up last week in Smithfield square where you can even rent skates so who know maybe I'll check that out this weekend. Also I heard about this great food market in Temple Bar on Saturdays and I'm really hoping to get to that and pick up some fresh food. Food is also a great thing here in Dublin ... I must say they definitely enjoy eating and drinking which is great by me since I love eating and drinking haha.

Alright so let me oo get down to the culture differences that I have noticed since I have been here. The major one was on Halloween night ... I have to drive a long way to get to work and by the time I get home its really dark ... anyway on Halloween people start huge fires in their communities and I don't mean on the beach or in a field I'm talking about right down town city in a children's parks or in a vacant lot. That was definitely a shock for me to see and they weren't really supervised either. I also read the next day in the paper that it was going to take like 1 million euros or something like that to clean up the mess from Halloween night ... crazy eh. Another one I really don't like is that people don't really pick up after their dogs when they take them for a walk so when I go running outside I really have to watch where I step. So far no incidents but I have to be alert at all time.

Finally, the weather here in Dublin I have to say has been pretty good since I have been here. Actually people have been telling me that it was a lot better than the weather they had during the summer. It is starting to get a little chilly in the morning and at night but I'm still running outside and only had a couple of nights I found it really cold. I don't really expect the weather to last though I'm just waiting for that one cloudy/raining day that turns into 40 days of clouds and rain haha.

Well thats all my stories from Dublin for now ... I'll write more again in a couple of weeks and hopefully than I'll have much more to tell you about Dublin and about my upcoming adventures.

Cheers :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dublin, Ireland and the Adventures Continue ...

Wow ... it has been about five months since I last wrote on my blog. How fast time goes. Where do I start? Well for the quick version ... I spent the summer on PEI, Canada working and enjoying the Island summer and then decided it was time to get back on the road and took off around mid-September to Dublin, Ireland and now here I am.

Once I arrived home after a year aboard I really had to think about what I was going to do next. I applied for some jobs on the East Coast of Canada but did get any offers or I should say nothing presented itself. I considered staying at home longer than the summer and studying for my GMATs again and taking a few courses to boost my GPA but it really didn't seem like the time for that either. So around the middle of June I knew I was going to have to make a decision and start on the process of whatever I was going to do and I enjoyed traveling soooo much that I thought I might as well give it a try again and Europe was definitely my next choice. People always ask why Ireland well its like this. My first decision was Europe and then I thought well I want to get a job in Business so I can use my degree and it is definitely going to be easier to get a job in an English speaking country and after a few discussions with friends it was decided that I would move to Dublin in September.

Then the process began, ticket had to be booked, visa had to be applied and approved, insurance had to be bought and the basic things that need to be taken care of before immigrating to another country. By the end of August everything was pretty much in place and my flight was on Sept. 15th. I was coming over to Dublin without a job and without a place to stay so I was pretty nervous when I left Canada. I had moved to different countries before but I always had a safety net ... this time I was really putting myself out there.

After I arriving I pretty much went into full gear ... I spent the first couple of days looking for a place to live. Since I was staying in a Hostel which was expensive and wasn't the best place to prepare for interviews I thought it would be best to get a place right off the bat. I really really lucked out. I set up six viewing but only had to see four of the places. Two of them were awful and the other two were great and luckily I was able to secure one of the rooms and I moved in on Saturday after arriving on Tuesday. Also, during this time of looking for a place ... I was able to get my tax number, meet some friends, and enjoy some of the city. Then the real hunt start ... the job ... I set up a bunch of interviews with job agencies and was able to get registered with six different ones and four of them are decent. I was able to land my first temp. job by the following Wednesday. It was a two week position but I didn't really mind cause I was working and it would bring some money in. After landing a job I really started to settle into my new environment and was able to relax a little even though I still had plenty to do such as set up a bank account, figure out my tax Certificate, etc. but that all didn't really matter since I was now working.

Now I have been here ... well it will be seven weeks on Tuesday. Things are going well. My house/apartment is great ... I have great flatmate's and it is in a great location even though I have to spend 1.5 hours getting to and from work everyday but I'm close to all the action and the bars of course. I did land another job after my two week position and I'm starting my third week tomorrow. The people are nice which helps a lot and I really don't mind the traveling to and from work ... well not yet anyway. Not really sure how long this position will last for but hopefully for a while since right now the market is not that great for temps. and you definitely have to be on top of things in order to get a job. To be honest it wasn't the best time to move to a new country and try to find a temporary position when the economy is having a tough time but I'm managing and as long as I can hang onto a job I'll be happy.

Haven't been able to travel much yet ... I got a bank account set up however here it takes forever to get your card and once you get your card you have to registered it and then you have to send another piece of paper in and then you have to wait to a pin and then you have to wait for another pin and about three to four weeks later you can access your money in your account. Therefore, I have been living off small amounts since I am unable to get money out which has prevented me from traveling. However, I was able to get away this weekend to Cork and I got to see some of the country side. Ireland is definitely as beautiful as people say. It is fresh and clean and green. I really enjoyed getting out of the city. I really enjoyed how there was a castle in every town that we went through ... and pretty much a church in everyone too. I have to say though that the Irish are some of the nicest people I have met ... they are really really friendly but in the nice polite/kind way.

That is all I can think about for now ... time to hit the bed. I've been trying to load pictures to Facebook however my internet is not the best and I always end up with an error but hopefully I'll get it figured out soon and get some new ones posted. Until my next post ... Take Care!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I have been home for about two weeks now and things are going pretty good. Definitely been some readjustments but overall things are working out. I have a temporary job that will help pay off my visa and I have been applying like crazy for a more serious position. One thing I can't shake tho is the weather. I forgot how cold it was in Canada and now I'm struggling to make it through the day and I just look forward to a nice hot shower at the end of the day.

Reintegration is tough though ... little things that you wouldn't think would bother you do like for example I tried to get a cell phone hooked up here and the length I had to go through to get the right plan was ridiculous. In all the countries I traveled in South East Asia and the Pacific I was able to walk off the plane pick up a SIM card, add an amount, and walk away. Here they don't even have SIM cards that will work in my phone and I have to sign up for a contract because pay as you go is too expensive to even consider. My dad ended up having an extra Aliant Phone and I was able to get a month by month plan but I'm not going to mention how much I have to pay to get it to work and my other phone that I have been using the past year is useless here in Canada.

I also miss being out on the road, trying new things, meeting new people, and just have a great time. Here I do the same thing day in and day out ... I know I should be more outgoing why I'm here at home but its only temporary and I really don't want to get to involved with anything until I know some sort of future path.

I must say it has been nice being home and seeing the family. My parents have been great through this transition and have been very supportive. It is also nice that I am home now to help them around the house and with the gardening. I never really realized how much they appreciate some help from me and its great to be home now and help out were I can.

I know that this blog was suppose to be for my travels aboard and now I guess this should be my last post but I think I'll write something up every now and than and hopefully I'll be back on the road in the near future so I'll have lots more to write about.

Cheers from PEI

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Past Year and Taiwan

Well what can I say, its time for me to return to Canada after a year of traveling the world. It seems so unreal like I'm in a dream or something. I always knew that I would be going back but it just seems like yesterday I was boarding the plan in Halifax to start an entirely new life in the Philippines. I have mixed feelings right now about returning, I'm happy to be going back to see family and friends but sad because I have grown to love meeting new people, experiencing new thing and having a life not knowing what the next day will bring. Now it seems like I'm being hit with all these life choices I have to decide on like do I go back to school or do I get a job in Canada and work for a few years or do I say fuck it and save some money and take off traveling again. It's like I'm torn between my heart and my mind. My heart tells me to go experience the world and travel as much as you can and then my mind say be responsible some people your age already have a house and family. I know its something that I'll have to decide and soon but for now I'm going to enjoy the rest of my time left I have aboard.

I am currently in Taiwan but I'm leaving for NYC tomorrow where I'll be meeting up with my parents and brother for the first time in a year and I think its been a year and a half since I've seen my brother. I'm pretty excited about it but also really scared ... mixed emotions again. I have enjoyed my freedom and life aboard and know going back to my old home will not be the same and now that I think about it I might have some problems readjusting. We will see how the re-integration process goes when I start to get back into the swing of things in Canada.

The past five to six weeks have been complete chaos and fun. I have traveled most of NZ (the major parts) but I still have so much to see. For those who have seen my pictures on Facebook you will know that I had the time of my life and I was really sad to have to leave. People always say that they know or have heard of someone that went to NZ for a short period of time and then end up staying the rest of their life ... well I think I could have been one of those people if things would have worked out better. I fell in love with New Zealand and I hope someday I have the chance to go back and live there again. There is so much to do sky diving, bungy jumping, water rafting, jet boating, sledging, etc. You name and you can do it in NZ and that only half of it. What I liked most about NZ is there lifestyle and how they really have a balanced life. I was only there for four months I know but they have an entirely different outlook on life and there balance between work and life is amazing ... a real precise thing to have in life.

After I left NZ I spent six hours in the Singapore airport reading and drinking coffee which wasn't that great. Than I made a short trip to Manila and was able to catch up with some friends from before and had a great night catching up ... now that I look back it would have been nicer to stay a few more days I really missed my friends there. I made my way to Taiwan and spent the first night in Taipei at a nice little hostel and got caught up on some necessary sleep. Then I got up early and made my way to Fulong beach which is about one and half hours outside Taipei. I most say that this place is beautiful but it must be so gorgeous in the summer. I had the unfortunate pleasure of having four straight days of rain why I was in Taiwan and I'm guess tomorrow will be the same. Even though it rained I did make it out for a hike, enjoyed some local food and had time to read almost two books which is pretty awesome since it usually takes me a year to finish one. I'm glad I have had this time to myself in Taiwan to relax, reflect and prepare myself for my return to Canada because I have a feeling that its not going to be easy.

I guess thats pretty much it for now. I'll write more when I make it back to Canada and give you all an update on whats going on and how I'm fitting back into my old life.

Cheers from Taiwan


Friday, April 4, 2008

The Past Three Months in New Zealand

So my apologies for being very slack the past couple of months with keeping my blog up to date. Mostly I have just being working at The Warehouse and saving my money for the traveling I'm currently in the middle of doing. Some of the stuff I have accomplished over the last little bit include driving a standard vehicle, learning to cook proper meals, and running (a lot).

I have enjoyed my time in Auckland working and learning more about there culture but I really wasn't amazed by the country until I traveled the south island which I completed yesterday. I have heard many people say that they weren't so sure about NZ and if they were really going to stay but once they went out and traveled the country they fell in love with it and I completely understand them now. I don't really know what it is about NZ but I do know that this country is beautiful and I have feel in love with it.

I mentioned that I have just finished the south island, I went to Nelson, Westport, Greymouth, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sounds, Christchurch, and back to Nelson with a few stop along the way. My trip was jammed pack with exciting and scary activities. Some include bungy jumping, ski diving, jet boating, glacier hiking and many more. There was always something to do in the south island which was great but was touch on the pocket book but came out to with what I expected. Every town or city we stopped into had some kind of difference to it and the west coast of the south island has to be one of the most gorgeous place I have ever since in my entire life. Even though I got to see so much and do a lot of stuff I still missed out on a lot. There are a few great hikes in the south, I didn't visit a winery, I didn't do any water rafting which I hope to do in the north island and many other activities I had miss out of due to time restrictions.

Tomorrow I had into Auckland city and catch the bus for the northern round about which should take me approximately 10 days. Right now I'm tired but I know that I'm super excited I just hope I get a really good bus team like I did for the south island cause that really makes a lo of difference.

Unfortunately, that is all I'm going to be able to write right now since I'm starting to fall asleep but I will be right more once I get back into Auckland and when I have more time. I do want to elaborate more on my trips and tell everything but right now sleep. If you guys have any questions then send me a comments and I'll get back to you as soon as possible :)

Cheers and Have a great night!!!!!!!