Flu shots – yay or nay?

I have never had a flu shot in all of my 52 years, but this year I am contemplating getting one for many reasons.


One, I work in the public field, around coffee and food, every day.  I am sure no one wants their server coughing and hacking all over their coffee and food!  Second, my parents are older, and I certainly don’t want to get sick and have them get sick because of me.


I am not someone who gets sick very often, but if I can do something to hopefully prevent that from happening, then I will.  In my awesome home country of Canada, flu shots are free.   Are they free in your country?  How much are they if you have to pay?  Do you get the flu shot?



Happy Halloween from Canada!


Over the past three years, I have experienced Halloween in different countries.  It’s amazing how different it is, yet so many things are similar.  In Canada, the children get dressed up, anxiously waiting to see how much chocolate they get (and the moms wait to see how many peanut butter cups they get to take from their kid’s stash!  haha – at least that’s what this mom used to do!).  Some costumes are elaborate, some are home made, and some are store bought – but no matter what they wear – all kids in costumes are adorable!!!


In Prague, Halloween wasn’t that big of a celebration – perhaps because it is a big tourist city, there are some celebrations for the expats, but I don’t recall seeing the all out celebrations like in North America.


China surprised me, but perhaps it was also because I was teaching in a private school that wanted the international exposure given to the kids, but they had a huge celebration at Halloween, including a Halloween costume parade, the kids getting treats from the other classes, and a truly spectacular Halloween show put on in the auditorium!  It was a sight to see.  While the kids did not go door to door trick or treating, they did get a lot of candy at school and really enjoyed the party that they had.


Halloween will always be my favourite celebration during the year – I love seeing the little kids all dressed up.  Tonight I saw a skeleton, an Ella from Frozen and a ninja (there were more but not as many as there used to be).


I love Halloween!!


china halloween 1achina halloween 2a

A busy home life

Since coming back to Canada, I have moved in with my parents, and have started a part time job (with basically full time hours).  I have been so busy, working almost every day, that my blogging has taken a back seat.  I hope to be writing at least twice a week now that I have a steady-ish schedule.


Life back in my hometown has been challenging at times to get used to.  I miss seeing the faces of my students.  I miss the Chinese food.  (I do NOT miss the noisiness of China though!)  I miss my teacher friends.  I knew this would happen – that I would have to adjust to living back in Canada after being gone for over 3 years.  While I have discovered just how beautiful my hometown is, I have also realized how much I miss being abroad.  Don’t get me wrong – I am very happy to be back. Being in touch with my kids.  Being with my family.  These are things I am very grateful that I have the chance to have.  But, as I have read in so many blogs, the adjustment is real.


I love my job (I work at Tim Horton’s – a Canadian icon) – the people I work with are fun and it’s such a great environment, meeting and talking to people every single day.  It’s a job I look forward going to every day, and when I leave, my job does not come with me.  Not like teaching – which was really a constant job.  Preparing lessons, teaching online in the evening, it was very busy and so I am really enjoying the “mindless” job I have now.  Another bonus of being back here!


Anyway – life is getting back to normal for me, and my blogging will become steady once again.  I have missed blogging every couple of days – and I want to continue with my writing and reading everyone else’s blogs!!



Re-discovering my hometown


When I was young, all I wanted to do was leave my hometown.  I wanted to live in the big city of Toronto.  I counted the days when I was leaving to go and start my co-op in Toronto.  I was so excited to be there and to be out of Welland.  I was young and naive, and didn’t realize just how great Welland was.


Now that I am back, I am rediscovering my hometown.  It has been so great being back, and I never realized just how beautiful Welland is!  The downtown has been reverberated and there are so many new places to check out (restaurants that I definitely want to try!), and yet the charming older buildings are still part of the scenery.  The river and the canal have pathways to walk along and there definitely feels like a rebirth has taken place here.  I have picked a great time to come back.


I am excited to be working here.  I have put aside my teaching for a while – I want to get a good schedule with my job here first and then will re-visit the possibility of teaching online.  For now it is all about me getting reacquainted with my hometown.


Welland will always be my hometown, and I am so happy to be embracing all it has to offer!!



Downtown murals


Courthouse park and the Welland bridge


Looking towards Merritt Island


Welland Canal



Future endeavours

Yes, I am already thinking of my future.  Future travels, future endeavours.  I have made a big step today for my future!


Trips I have in mind already – Costa Rica is on my mind.  Northern Canada.  Norway.  But I have made a bigger step to my future today.  Something I hope that will bring on a possible new career.


I want to become a public speaker to high school kids and young adults, talking to them about budgeting and living without credit.  I have submitted a proposal to the public library to start with weekend classes!   I am very excited to start something that I really feel I can teach young adults about.  I have experience with this, many years of personal experience, so I believe I would be a good person to show this to people.


I really believe that high school students should be learning life skills that are going to help them in the real world.  Budgeting is such a big part of this, as well as teaching them that they can live without credit.


I am excited to be pursuing this next chapter of my life!!

My life has been a bit surreal the past three years – leaving a full time job to become a TEFL teacher, traveling around Europe while teaching and then moving to teach in China.  It’s been amazing, and yes also a bit selfish.  I will admit it.  It has been very nice to think about myself and my welfare.  I had not forgotten that my family has been back in Canada dealing with everyday stuff and yes I have been stressed out at times because of the family matters that I was away from, but it was so nice to really think of myself for a few years.


Well, I am now back in Canada, living with my elderly parents, who are not very healthy.  The real world for me has come crashing back.  I will start a new full time job next week and I will be staying with my parents until some time after Christmas once I have managed to get enough savings up to move out on my own.


Living with sick elderly parents is challenging.  They are both fiercely independent and, even though my dad had a heart attack in the summer, are not happy that I want to do as much as I can for them.  And I really do want to do as much as I can for them.  Making sure they take their medication.  Wanting to do things for them, and them basically saying sit down and we can do it. I want to do everything for them and I know I can’t.


It’s scary and a bit sad to see how much my parents have aged over the past three years.  But I am a realist.  No one lives forever, and I know that probably sooner than later, the time will come to have to say good bye, for now, to my parents.  I am incredibly grateful to have been given this chance to come back and live with them and be able to help out when I can.  And although I want to continue to travel, and I know I will, right now I am here for my parents and am back to the “real world”.


I am anxious to re-start my life here and see old friends and make some new ones.

My hometown – adjusting to life back in Canada

I have now been back in Canada, and my hometown, since Wednesday evening.  It has been good to be back – it’s been over a year since I have been here.  It’s been good to see some of my family (haven’t been able to see everyone yet but I am working on it), and I know in the next month I will see the rest.  Getting used to living in a 2 bedroom apartment with my parents, temporarily until I find my own place, has been good.  It feels good to be back and being with them and being able to help out with them.


But the biggest thing for me is being back in a country where people understand me and I don’t get odd looks when I try to explain myself.  It is nice to be understood.  And not be stared at.  And laughed at for butchering the language of the country (although there are times when I have trouble with the English language haha).


My next couple of years will most likely be spent here in the Niagara region of Ontario and I have already been looking for jobs.  So far, the adjustment is going okay.  But I miss the ocean.  I miss the amazing scenery that has been my life the past three years.  It will probably feel like homesickness in reverse in a few weeks and I know it will be tough.  It is something I am prepared for.  I have been extremely lucky these past three years – luckier than a lot of people – but I am ready to settle down here and be close to my children again.


Life will go on here, adjustments made, a new life to start, with small trips planned here and there, and my blogging will continue.  It will take on a new path (my blogging) and I hope everyone will continue to enjoy my blogs, as much as I enjoy writing them.  And I am so thrilled to see that I now have 200 followers here!  Amazing!!  Thanks to all who have read and I hope continue to read.