aroundtheworldorbust

Just another girl trying to find her place . . . all over the world.


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Road Trip May 2013: Abandoned Detroit

So my father and I decided to take a road trip from Toronto to Fairmount to Indianapolis to Tennessee to Memphis and back. On the way there we drove through Detroit. Now, in my experience, Detroit has always been portrayed as a scary, violent city. But driving through it I was shocked to see how much of it was abandoned. It was kind of sad to see a city with some parts just forgotten. Here are some shots I took.

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Gone For A While…

I know I’ve been gone for a while and I completely hate it when bloggers write about why they’ve been gone but I think an explanation is deserved here. I haven’t been doing much travelling… actually I have.

Mostly right now I’m trying to save up for a trip to Australia with a friend I met over the summer. I got a job working at a retail store in a busy mall and with Christmas coming up, I’ve been getting a lot more hours than usual. So hopefully I get to save some money from this after I pay some people back and buy Christmas presents of course.

Anyways, I was just in Nanaimo visiting my best friend for her birthday and it was weird going back there as a visitor. I house-hopped from one friend to the next, and got to see everyone but 10 days isn’t really enough to spend time with the people you love after not seeing them for 6 months. And I’m not going to see them for quite a long time so it’s quite bitter sweet I suppose…


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CN Tower







So it took me 19 years but I finally went up to the CN Tower!!! (I get to cross yet another item off my bucket list). For the past month I’ve had my two friends I made at camp stay with me, one from Germany and one from Mexico. Something neither of them have done is go to the CN Tower so we decided to do it. Thanks to CouchSurfing we found a coupon that allows us to go up for $10 past 8pm.
I did this mostly to get over my fear of heights and at first I was terrified, especially when we were going up the elevator and the ground kept getting further and further away, and we went higher than the tallest building. But when I was up there you realize it’s not that scary. There’s nothing to be scared of at that height. You are secure and what’s the worst thing that could happen? Everything I thought of wasn’t realistic and realizing that helped me calm down. Then I had to get over my ultimate fear…the glass floor.
At first glance I felt like I was falling. It’s a weird feeling being up that high and being able to see the ground with nothing blocking your view. And to be honest I had to hold someones hand the first two times I walked over the glass. But the third time I was able to do it by myself and the feeling of accomplishing that was far greater than my fear of heights. I’m excited to say I may be over my fear of heights.


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Niagara Falls



Oh the great and mighty north! One of the things that both America and Canada share are the Niagara Falls. Now you might be wondering; how is it possible to share the Falls if there is a border? Well, you may or may not know that there are actually two falls and Niagara Falls! Shocker, isn’t it? The one that everyone goes to see is the Canadian Falls (pictured above), also known as the Horseshoe falls. During the day you can get great pictures of the Falls but if you really want to see them light up, you should definitely check it out at night. But remember… If you’re going to the Canadian Falls you will get wet.


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What to Expect: Weather in Toronto

There are some stereotypes about Toronto, or Canada in general.  I’m here to say most of them are false.
No, we do not ride polar bears to school.
No, we don’t live in igloos.
Yes, we have phones.
No, we do not have funny accents. (Maybe in Quebec)
Yes, we say “eh?” a lot.
Yes, we say please and sorry a lot.
No, it is not always snowing here!

One of the biggest misconceptions I find about Canada is that it is always snowing here, even in Toronto. That is not true in the summer. I hope this guide provides you with enough information so you know what to pack on your trip to Toronto.

Summer:
I don’t even know where to begin with summer. Summer in Toronto is unbearably hot most of the time. During the summer, there are constantly heat warnings and smog warnings.
The best thing to do is hit up one of the beaches in Toronto. You could check out Dutch Dreams and get some ice cream.
Don’t bring tight clothing if you sweat a lot… Bring shorts, skirts, and dresses. Also, tank tops and loose shirts. Bring flip-flops/sandals and lots of sun screen. You will sweat so make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
The difference between Toronto and Vancouver is that when it’s hot in Vancouver, it’s hot. When it’s hot in Toronto, it’s 30C plus humidity so it’s probably around 36C. And that’s on a good day.

Winter:
The dreaded Canadian winter!!! It’s exactly how it’s stereotyped.
Cold.
Bring jeans, track pants, sweaters, winter jackets, and waterproof, cold-proof boots. Hats, gloves, and scarves are often required as well. Be prepared for weather to get as cold as -30C!


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Distillery District

Time to go back to Local’s Know Best!! Woooo!! Next on the Toronto list is the Distillery District located in old Toronto. Just a 10 minute walk from the world famous St. Lawrence Market, this artsy attraction is always fun to walk around in. I’ve only been here but both experiences were different. First I went with my mom when she ran a 10K at 8 am. It was packed and the weather was cool. When I went a few days ago it wasn’t busy and the weather was beyond hot.
Local’s Tip: If you go to Toronto in the summer be prepared for unnaturally high temperatures. Like 30C and up plus humidity.


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Working at a Summer Camp Abroad

For those who read my last post, you know that I’ve been working at a summer camp for the past 5.5 weeks. There I met so many different people from all around the world! I worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher as I’m not too qualified to be a counsellor. In the kitchen staff was 4 Canadians (including me), 2 Mexicans, and 1 German. At the camp workers were from all over the world (Spain, Italy, America, Australia). Thanks to this job I now have very close friends in Germany, Mexico, and Italy and have places to stay when I travel to these countries. I now also have a travel buddy to go to Australia and Indonesia with!

I would definitely recommend getting a job at a summer camp if you are working abroad during the summer, either in the kitchen or for the camp. Working at a camp gives you somewhere to live, food, and an income. Plus it’s a great way to make friends. Here are some photos of my adventure there. (For those who are curious I worked at Camp Wabikon)