My Tried and True Travel Tips – Day #23

Hey everyone!

Since I am a seasoned professional who knows how to travel I thought I would share with you guys my tips. Okay, that’s a lie but I do have a hard time travelling. So, I have a bunch of tips to help uneasy travellers. The thing with travelling is that you have to find your comfortable so without further ado here are some of my tips.

Water

One of the most important things ever and I mean ever is to stay hydrated. I’m sure there is a scientific reason behind this but I have no clue what it is. Travelling is very dehydrating. Whether you’re taking a plane or a train or even a car, your skin and body will suffer. I am always thirsty during a trip so I bring a refillable water bottle. I know a lot of people worry about having to stop to pee but I’ve never had problems with that. Maybe I’m superhuman and know how to control my bladder really well, I don’t know. I just don’t think worrying about having to pee is a huge concern. If you’re on a plane, train or bus most times than not there is a bathroom. (Even if it’s covered in poop) If you’re in a car every couple of miles there is a rest stop. If you’re really in the middle of nowhere, it’s time to pop a squat on the side of the road. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it.

A Book (Entertainment) 

I read. So this tip can be open to interpretation. I like to call this tip “distract yourself as best you can”. For anxious travellers like myself, it’s easier if I am distracted by something so I don’t feel trapped. That is my number one panic attack trigger when I travel, entrapment. This tip can also manifest in the form of a movie, music, or even a little game on your phone. This can be whatever you know that will distract yourself. You know yourselves better than I know you. Grab something and make sure it’s close that will be a quick boredom reliever.

Have All Your Documents

This may sound stupid but honestly, you’d be surprised. I have seen it first hand, getting to the border or getting onto a train and realizing…an important thing is missing. Why would you leave without your tickets, passport, or wallet? It happens. Things stay on counters and in bags that were changed out last minute. If you’re an anxious traveller I suggest making sure everything is together the night before. I also like being the one in charge of everyone’s things. If I’m travelling in a group for whatever reason I feel less stressed if I’m in charge of other people. I guess in some twisted way if I have to take care of someone else my anxiety has to go away because I have to be strong and in control for others. If that is for sure not for you, do the opposite, make sure someone else is in charge of you.

A Good Pair Of Sneakers

The only thing I travel in is sneakers. No flip-flops, no heals (Jenna Marbles anyone? Is that too old of a reference?) no anything. If you don’t have a comfortable pair of ugly sneakers or cute workout ones pick some up. They’re like 20$ at Walmart or Target. You will never thank anyone more. Wear something comfortable especially if you know you’ll have a lot of transfers and moving around you’ll have to do. I had a couple of transfers on my last trip and it helped so much to be in sensible shoes.

So here you have it, 4 of my tried and true tips for travel. There are plenty more I could share but I had to end somewhere. If you want to know more trips for anxious travellers tell me! Do you guys have any tips and tricks yourselves?

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12 Hour Greyhound Trip / My Review – Day #21

Hey everyone!

So I took a 12-hour Greyhound a couple of weeks ago. As you may know, this is not the first time I’ve taken a Greyhound. I used to take them all the time to go visit my boyfriend. Those trips were about 2 hours. This time I took a 12-hour trip.

So it was miserable. I hate saying that but it really was. I always had great experiences with travelling with Greyhound before this trip. Some of these things are out of Greyhound’s control though.

I started by taking an overnight trip. I took the bus late at night and I was travelling from Montreal to Philadelphia. So that meant that I had a border check, gas stop and a transfer. It was horrible. I only got about 3 hours of sleep. I was woken up every 2 hours for the border stop and the gas stop then a transfer. I was exhausted.

That was of course out of Greyhound’s control that I had a hard time sleeping. That is not on them. The bus was at the perfect temperature, the outlets worked, the wifi worked and the bus driver was awesome.

It was the ride back home that was what really ruined the whole trip. I literally wanted to cry it was so bad. It started off with my first boarding being late. Now, usually, I don’t really care about late boarding. I’ve never had a problem with missing a bus because of a late bus. Of course, though, I was first in line and I had to go to the bathroom. The line was long and if I left for the bathroom I had no idea if I would miss the boarding or I would be last to board.

Now there is a bathroom on the bus so I just toughed it out and waiting to board. Once I boarded found my seat and waited for us to leave I really had to go. The minute I was about to book it to the bathroom I did. The bathroom light didn’t work which should have been my first clue. I went to the bathroom and there was only like one sheet of toilet paper. Ugh. Then, my pant leg felt wet. I was confused so I opened the flashlight on my phone and to my horror, there was someone else’s poop everywhere! When I say everywhere I mean everywhere! It was on the seat, on the floor, on the wall. It was just so gross. On top of that, it was now on me. I did the best to take off what I could with the one sheet of toilet paper. I just had to tough it out till my transfer.

Once I got to New York City, where my transfer was, I ran to the bathroom to clean myself up. At this point, I was tired, grossed out and just wanted to cry! I was googling the greyhound complaint email. It was actually a phone number so it had to wait.

The last leg of the journey was just long. The gas stop in Albany New York was disgusting. It smelt like a bad vagina. Like it was horrendous. Everything there didn’t work or had diseases on it, no joke. I am not someone that is necessarily bougie or think that they are better than anyone. I’ve been poor. I do have self-worth though and this was not okay.

I finally made it home to the Montreal station and could have not been happier! I was so excited to just home be and able to sleep and eat.

The funny part is that I will take a Greyhound again. It may be long but it’s always worth the trip. I was actually thinking of taking a trip to New York City or Atlantic City sometime soon. My anxiety was the best it had ever been during the trip. I was honestly so proud of myself that I did it. My travel anxiety getting better is a topic for another day.

Have any of you guys taken a trip with Greyhound? If so, how was your experience?

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What’s In My Suitcase? – Day #14

Hey everyone!

It’s travelling season up in here! Do you guys need help packing? Do you have no idea what you’re going to need? Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have all the answers you need!

I like packing light. It’s one of those things that I know serves me well when I travel. Packing light means that I have less to carry and less to worry about. Also, I can bring back more gifts!

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I pack an outfit for every day that is there not including the days I’m travelling. I use the same outfit for my travel days. That also helps with not over packing. I always bring outfits I know I will wear too. Nothing new, nothing that is risky, just safe clothing that will be comfortable and easy to wear.

I only bring extra underwear and socks just in case something happens. Other than that I feel like there is no need to pack more clothes. I also bring one sweater and one extra dress in case of a fancy dinner.

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I put everything including the purse and shoes I will be wearing in my luggage. I don’t have a pocket in the suitcase so I use the two exterior ones. In the smaller pocket, I put my toiletries. It’s actually a lot bigger than it looks and fits everything perfectly. In the bigger pocket, I put my underwear, socks, bras and bathing suit.

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My carry on is another story. I have all the extras in there. I have my computer, notebook, books, chargers and water bottle in the big pocket. I put my headphones, wallet, some Tylenol, sunglasses, a face mask and my travelling documents. I keep so much stuff in my carry on because I am a low-key a hoarder. So I guess that is my excessive packing making an appearance.

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I hope this helps you guys if you’re packing for a trip.

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I Wish I Was a Travel Blogger but…an Update

I did something! I did something big! I took that stupid train to Montreal. I thought I would update all of you guys who showed love and encouragement on my last post about anxiety. I did something that scared the hell out of me and I feel so good.

Just a quick recap, I’ve had anxiety my whole life and it’s prevented me from doing that I want to do in life. I want to travel more than anything in the world. I want to be able to take a plane and just go, no worry and no fuss. The only problem, I get crippling travel anxiety amongst other anxiety triggers.

I did it, I took that train! I have never been so proud of myself. I was worried and got a bit panicky, but I pushed through it. On the train back from the trip I felt like I was walking on air. I felt accomplished and independent and like a bad ass bitch. I had finally done something that would get me in the right direction to my dream. I am now planning other trips to Montreal in the near future. I have caught the train bug.

How did I get to this point you may be asking? It’s only been two weeks since I posted my original post. First, I had a project that was due that kicked my ass into gear. I had to go to the city and I have no one to get me there. So that was less about bravery and more I didn’t want to fail my class because of anxiety. The second is writing in my journal. I have been writing religiously in my anxiety journal every day. Every time I feel a bit nervous about something, I write in it. I bring it with me everywhere. I find this is the one thing I need. I find it so funny how I never thought to do this before.

I am hoping to be able to grow and do even bigger things the more confident I get. I may be going to Disney World or down south. I really want to be able to blog about it.

If really hope this helps people. I know my vulnerability helps me. The more honest I am the more I feel better about my anxiety.

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Montreal: A Spring Break Guide from Someone Who Hates the City

If you’re like me and Florida is the last place you want to be this Spring Break, then this is the post for you. If you aren’t interested in getting drunk at noon or getting kidnapped in Florida, then again, this post is for you. If you really don’t want to walk around half naked and risk getting a terminal disease in Miami, this post is definitely for you. If all the things listed above are your thing, well this post is still for you. Just because I enjoy a tea and a book nixay on the drinking, doesn’t mean you have to.

I say this is the blog post for you because this week I am looking at my own city. As much as I would love to travel the world with infinite money, I can’t. So, this Spring Break it’s all about Montreal, Quebec.

If you are anything like me and think your city is the worst and most boring place to exist, you’re in the right place. I would give my left arm not to have to travel into the city, any day. The traffic is terrible, the people are rude and it’s just so…cement-like. (I don’t like cities if you haven’t caught my drift) This is why I decided to do this post. To enjoy my city a bit and maybe it’s time I look at it like a tourist would.

This week I am giving you guys my tip top advice on how to do Montreal this Spring Break. I would also love if you guys commented down below and told you your favourite places in your city. What would you tell people to do if they came from somewhere else?

  1. The Art Museums

The one thing that Montreal for sure does right is art museums. We have a couple of them actually depending on what you want to see. You want to see Modern and Contemporary art, we got that. You want to see classical art, we got that too. It’s a great experience and more times than not it’s free for kids. (TIP: It’s free if you just go see the art pieces that are always there instead of the exclusive collections.) You can spend hours in there just looking at the beautiful and sometimes interesting paintings. You don’t even have to understand art to appreciate this outing.

  1. The Biodome

A classic. I’ve been here so many times it should probably be considered a crime. This is a zoo on a whole other level! Everything is inside which is fantastic for rainy days. You get to go through all the claimants. The best is the tropical one, it really feels like you’re in a rainforest. Also, you get to hang out with penguins towards the end. They are always playing around and really fun to watch. There is a huge array of animals and is very informative. If you just want to kick back and get some cool photos of wildlife, this is the place for you. (TIP: The biodome is close to a space museum and Botanical Garden/Insectarium. You can buy passes for all these places for the day in one package) (DOUBLE TIP: If you are a family of two adults and 3 or less children or a resident of Quebec you can get a discount.)

  1. Sainte Catherine’s Street

Now if you want to shop till you drop, St Catherine’s is the street for you. Close to McGill college, it is an amazing shopping district. It’s our own version of Time Square, just not as flashy and no Broadway. All the stores you know and love are most likely there. You can make a whole day out of it if you really wanted to. (TIP: In Quebec, there is a lot of taxes, make sure to calculate 15% onto everything you buy) St. Catherine’s is the place to see. I honestly recommend always going to the big shopping district of any city. It’s beautiful and chaotic in its own special way.

  1. Old Montreal

If you are looking for a bit of history and very old shit, Old Montreal is the right place. We have a beautiful church that makes it on all the must-see lists, Notre-Dame Basilica. It’s facing the Place D’Arme square that is just as old and interesting. Sainte Paul Street, Place Jacques Cartier, and Bonsecours Market are the best for those cobble street enthusiasts. They have beautiful little boutiques and really show off the New France flair. You will also find overpriced everything, but it is for sure worth the views. It’s timeless and classical in Old Montreal.

  1. La Ronde

I mean how could I not add a theme park. Yes, Montreal has its own theme park! I mean I’m not a fan of roller-coaster or rides in general but I’m sure some of you guys are. It’s big, the lines are long, and it will cost you a fortune just to eat but who doesn’t want to experience Montreal fun? One of the coolest parts is that it’s on an island, sorta. It was man-made. Something you may not know is that this park was built for the Expo 67. Now, if you don’t know what Expo 67 is…well, that’s a problem. Here’s my very short, probably not 100% accurate summary of Expo 67. It was pretty much a world fair where booths from every country got to show off their culture. It was to create world peace or something like that.  Another fun fact, La Ronde has passes that can also get you into any American six-flags. I mean saving money is the one thing that will get me to go somewhere.

  1. La Fontaine Park

The more I write this the more I’m starting to see a lot of similarities between Montreal and New York City. La Fontaine Park has some of the most breath-taking views. It may even remind you of a certain park in New York. I’m not saying any names but…Central Park perhaps. It’s the best place for a nice picnic or a lovely stroll. It’s also a pretty popular spot to take wedding photos. If you had that in mind or something. If March Break is just as miserable and cold as ever in Montreal, then you can probably ice skate. It’s one of those places where if you need to get away and just be with your thoughts it’s perfect.

  1. Centre d’Histoire de Montreal

Another one for all the history buffs out there. Here you can learn all about Montreal’s history. They have all sorts of artifacts and interesting things to go see. It’s also one of the more inexpensive places to go visit if you just want to learn about your new environment. It’s a great place to pop in for an hour on a rainy day. Depending on when you go they show different expositions. A really quaint and cool place. Can be a bit boring for people that have no interest so I really on suggest this to people who care. This is really for the die-hearts or people who don’t mind a quick walk around.

  1. Old Port of Montreal

Free Wi-Fi. I’m joking…only a bit. The Old Port of Montreal is an awesome place to go walk around for a bit. This is also a fun attraction for families. They have some cool actives and plenty of space to run and play. Again, there is the beautiful cobblestone streets and adorable little shops. There is always something to do in the Old Port. The shoreline is also very beautiful to look at. They have a gorgeous Ferris Wheel that looks over the whole port. It’s the perfect place to get an incredible view. Photo ops anyone?

  1. Montreal Olympic Stadium

One of the more devastating things to happen to Montreal was the Olympics. It costs so much for my city. Some other cities that held the Olympics become a ghost town. Montreal, they made the most out of the infrastructures built for the Olympics. You can even go and visit the stadium. The coolest part is the elevator where you can see an awesome view of Montreal. That’s only if you don’t mind heights. If heights and elevators are your worst fear, this is one you should probably opt out of.

  1. The Underground City

The Underground City is the coolest infrastructure you will see.  It’s the best place to get lost for the day. It’s the shopaholic wet dream. An amazing place to just shop and eat till you can’t no more. There are even guided tours for the fun of it. The only complaint I hear from a lot of people is the maps are not accurate and it’s very easy to get lost. I think it’s all part of the fun and magic of the underground, but I guess getting lost is not everyone’s cup of tea.

All in all, Montreal has plenty of things to do and see. As much as I hate cities, I can’t deny that I am lucky to live in a city that has so much culture and love for entertainment. Maybe I’ll even go visit this week if they’re lucky.

I would love to hear what everyone else’s secret gems are from their very own cities. As much as I believe that most people hate the big cities they live in or close to, I’m sure there is at least one positive thing we can all share about them.

Till next week,

Clara

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What’s in My Carry On?? // Long Distance Relationship

Hey everyone!

I thought that I would just surprise everyone by sharing my youtube video this week. I decided to show you guys what my carry on essentials are for when I go see my boyfriend.

Long distance can be very hard sometimes so I thought I would share the lighter parts of it. I love packing and travelling so I thought I would show you guys my must-haves.

 

 

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Clara 🙂