Up & Up

It’s been over a month since my last post and I do apologize, as I usually tell people ‘Life happens‘. I’ve been really busy getting my business up and running, working a lot, and visiting family in Ontario.

Before my trip news; I purchased some really good skates for cheap and have been skating a bit here and there… it’s nice exercise and fun ūüôā .999914_10153703720535022_1710676587_n

My adventure to Ontario started when my first flight was cancelled due to Toronto’s outrageous ¬†-40 weather… everything was pretty much shut down. I scrambled on the phone so that I could get another flight and push my time I had off for work. I decided just to fly into Toronto and then take the Robert Q (really comfy bus) to Windsor, which is usually a 4 hour drive or so. I managed to get a flight the following day (overnight) ¬†and off I went. My travels went pretty well without a hitch. I landed in Ontario took the bus to see family in Windsor. I have to say that the sights really are strange to me now not having been able to see mountains around me.

Windsor is a really strange and interesting place, I was speaking to a friend about it and what we came up with was: Looking into a city/ culture from the outside; I guess I had lived my entire life within this place and never really saw how everyone there lived culturally. I almost had anxiety going out into public… not that I was afraid but more so I felt uncomfortable at the fact that everyone was in such a hurry and so impatient, along with just seeming to only want to help themselves. Living in Windsor I always seen that people were in a hurry and that you almost do have to take care of only yourself. Having travelled and experienced many different environments in the past few years has really opened me to see how important it is to be there for yourself but without being selfish; seeing the majority people in Windsor blasting around and just observing others in public really opened me to see how selfish we can be. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying all people in Ontario/ Windsor are grumpy and miserable, it was just a very common recurrence.

I did manage to see one of my favourite people and long time friend Natalie, we met through wrestling in high school and since both of our schools were french it wasn’t odd our teams saw each other as “team mates”. There was something spunky about this beautiful lady and we’ve been friends since, she’s one of those friends that you can always confide regardless the subject. It’s been a wild ride helping each other over the last few years. The one night I visited her family as we’ve all become rather close over the years, they always keep me on my toes with my french which I enjoy. Little Mich, Nat’s sister I could have sworn was 16 yesterday but is now 20… it’s wild how time fly’s. Since the St John’s have a hot tub naturally we took advantage, it was one of the most enjoyable nights in town sitting with her family talking jokes and catching up.

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One of the nights I teamed up with Em’s mom to surprise her… pay back for her surprising me at my fundraiser. It was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to post about my travels online but also didn’t want Emily to realise what was going on… eventually she kept asking questions so I just told her I was flying to New Brunswick to see the country. I think it worked because I walked in the door and Em was wide-eyed and we shared a haven’t seen you in ages hug.¬†It was a fun night drinking wine and reminiscing on past stories and where we want to be in the future. I ended up spending the night since I had a few too many glasses of wine but it all worked out as I got to see a nice sun rise on my way home.

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I did get to see a few other friends and had a good time, but it was nice to see my family over dinner, and it was really great that my nephew enjoyed playing with me seeing as I’m rarely around for him to get used to me. He’s one smart little dude already talking about hexagons, octagons when I could barely do that when I was 6! As per usual my mom and I went for a nice meal at this little place called Ashton’s in my home town LaSalle, it’s a really nice spot :).

Jules and I have had our differences in the past, we’ve gone from best friends to probably not even wanting to see a picture of each other ever again. I know I’ve done a lot of growing and regardless of what happened I think we both made mistakes and grew past them. Recently we began talking again and even hung out while I was in town… I have to say I miss joking around with Julia, she’s a great person and even better soul. I always like seeing what she will come up with next, all of her creations… I find brilliant. For one one her most recent shows she was doing 90’s paintings/ sketches on “retired”¬†cupboard doors. I’m excited to continue our friendship good and bad!

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Jules makin’ her magic

Coming back from Windsor was a rather great treat, I made it to Toronto from Windsor then from Toronto to Calgary but that’s where the ease disappeared. I was all the way on the plane buckled in and we heard news that the last four flights were re-routed to Vancouver due to fog… so we all disembarked and waited forever in line to be re-scheduled… I was at the back of the plane meaning I was the last one in line, so I just went and sat in a chair till the line died anyway.

I was put up in a rather nice hotel “Acclaim”, there was a sky deck with hot tub… which was occupied by a couple which I decided to leave alone. My room was stunning with a king sized bed tv in the bathroom with a ceiling shower head! I enjoyed it and the hotel restaurant was very nice as well, they are known for their wine and bread. I can’t remember the name of the wine a tried but it was yummy; half a glass had me feeling good. The rest of the night I watched movies from my king sized bed. The breakfast was great and because I was put up for the night I was given food vouchers, so yay free food.

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The next day I get my ticket and find out I’m on a waiting list; off to Tim Hortons for more free food… I had to spend one of the $10 vouchers all at once so I splurged on bagel’s, yogurt, and some hot chocolate with chai tea. They started making announcement asking for people willing to give up their spots, I realised I wasn’t getting on this flight and went and got my next flight booked and compensated handsomely I might add. The lady at the counter said I was smart to come up then. I was put up in another hotel which was… okay, the Sandman was not nearly as nice as the Acclaim but I did still get a King sized room. The restaurant attached to this hotel was Moxies, I had all three meals of the day on vouchers. Since I wasn’t going to be there for lunch and was going to have breakfast at the airport I combined them for supper… that means $32 for some yummy food! Moxies unfortunately didn’t have much of a vegetarian selection but I made do.

My lonesome bag

My lonesome bag

One thing I saw a lot of was “global news”¬†and to be honest it was a little sickening to see what they were reporting on, some things were kind of serious and others were outrageously dumb. I like to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world but the news I saw on TV seems so narrow and hides a lot. I pride myself on multi sighting pages that I read to get accurate information. One thing I learned in the past little while, it’s find the facts and become aware of what’s happening in your¬†World. War, climate change, industrialising, humanitarian issues… none of that stuff realistically has borders, we breathe the same air look at the same sky. The only thing I would pass on to everyone this blog is to be aware. I read a question online recently: ‘If you could get rid of one thing in the world what would it be?‘ I read a lot of good answers most of which were “money” and I happily agreed, but I came across one answer that I think we should be agreeing with and it’s¬†Ignorance.¬†I think our biggest down fall is our ignorance… our lack of knowledge. Don’t let yourself be a fool, learn and investigate.

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When I left BC I didn’t get to see the mountains flying out since it was night-time but I did get to see them coming back and it was amazing! These huge peaks become nothing but little hills that go on as far as the eye can see… I was in awe most of the time and could do nothing but appreciate it. I actually spent most of the flight just watching them go by.

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Departure day had finally arrived without a hitch I made it back to Kelowna thankfully it wasn’t super foggy again. I had called Brent to pick me up and when I saw him I was in a bit of shock as he had shaved his long beard… now I know what kind of shock I put everyone through ūüėõ .

So far not much has gone on since I’ve returned home, just getting back into the swing of working and building my business. I will have a guest blog coming up in the next few days so keep your head up for a new post.

If you’re interested in posting your own little blurb feel free to click the Guest Post tab on the left menu bar.

**Oh yeah… I have yet to set off a scanner at the airport, I don’t see why people always run into issues. Tip just take the extra 30 seconds to check your pockets and take everything off and put it in the bin!

“No biggy; ¬†Life Happens”

Thoughts Gliding

I hope everyone has had nice Holidays so far, I guess I’ve been pretty busy between work and having a expanding social life… always a good thing. I’m going to go through some of the past events and then try to go through some of my thoughts about… just things.

Cold Earth

Cold Earth

I’ve managed to nab some awesome deals recently which is really cool, I finally got my¬†free¬†tablet from TD that they owed me for a while… it just took some nagging to the correct people to get things fixed. I’m very pleased with it as I don’t have to keep running to my computer to write emails or check out videos. I still don’t think I’d ever go purchase a tablet but it is an awesome free addition!

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The next great deal I came across was an amazing recliner from The Brick,¬†this awesome reclining¬†theatre type seating was in the clearance section and was still on the high end of my budget for getting rid of my futon. I returned about a week and half later knowing that if it wasn’t there it just wasn’t meant to be. As I was walking to the clearance section a lot of the furniture had been moved but I kept going and when I arrived the couch had been turned around so I hadn’t noticed it. When I took another look… the price had dropped a few hundred dollars! Right there I said ‘I’ll take it’, and off I went with a $1500+ couch for… $200!

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

Yummy Grilled cheese w. Broccoli & OJ

I have decided I want to begin collecting Beatles albums (vinyl), mainly starting with the¬†Apple Records¬†albums. My goals is to pick up at least one a month which isn’t too bad considering I can find them for 15 – 30 dollars each. There is one album that I plan on scouting for a mint copy… that’s the¬†“White Album”¬†. I’ve been listening to the¬†“Blue Album” for a couple of weeks now, I love the sound of vinyl there’s not much like it.

As stated before I hope everyone’s Holidays have been good, great, or amazing. As much as I consider Xmas just another day on the calendar I tend to be drawn into dinners and parties… I’m definitely not complaining about it… it’s good to know there are people with huge hearts out there. I did get some Christmas cards which was kind of cool… I’ve never really received any before despite living on my own in the past. I ordered some for a few people because I didn’t really get a chance to get all creative and make my own… unfortunately they are late and I have yet to receive them/ send them.

My work… well my colleagues and I decided to throw a party for the holidays and let loose. It was a pretty great night with finger foods, good laughs… oh yeah and a full-sized beer pong table which made for a fun night for sure! I’m not going to lie my head did hurt a lot the next day despite how much water I drank. I don’t normally drink alcohol, it doesn’t really have the lustre is did when I was in college… even then I didn’t drink as often as my friends had.

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For Christmas one of my friends Maria invited me over for Xmas dinner with her boyfriend and his kids. Maria so kindly accommodated my vegetarian diet which she has been helping me with for great recipes since the beginning. It was a really fun night of Yatze and there was even a dance show done by the girls! Even if I hadn’t been invited by Maria, Brent and Ryan my¬†Hostel Mate¬†neighbours¬†invited me to their family dinner since they know my family is back in Ontario and they already had their big Xmas on the East Coast. It’s nice to know that there’s great people out there.

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Just when I though I was catching up on bills and such, in abundance I had to get my car inspected to pass for BC plating… I now have to do a bunch of work to my car which is going to cost me a couple hundred bucks and… make her ugly ūüė¶ ; I have to take off the tint on the windows as it’s illegal in BC and change the lights on the front and back because they are both the incorrect colour? Oh well such is life so I will do what I can myself and get er’ passed.

It has been an interesting past few weeks as things in my life seem to be settling… which to me is good and¬†unsettling for me. I’m usually in constant movement; it’s exciting for me as I am creating new adventures all the time learning new and exciting things about the world, people and most of all my self. I continue to try to get my business on track and stay on top of my game at work.

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Frosted Bush

Some days I find myself waking up and just wondering where I am in life, where I’m headed and what my next adventure will be. To see how far I’ve brought myself is exciting knowing the successes I’ve obtained and the lessons that were learned through mistakes and gut feelings. I find myself constantly surrounded by music and different types everyday, it’s a nice escape from the constant day in and out of work.

I’m really happy where I am now and things are slowly on the move in the direction I’ve been striving for, yet I’m still at a loss for words to convey how I feel submersed in my music. As I sit here writing contemplating my writing, smiling in-between pauses.

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Oh by the way apparently my girlfriend made me admin to being lame as my black board states

 

Take a moment to look at yourself now; close your eyes and breath in life, enjoy the air that fills your lungs. Every breath is the next step to a new journey. 

 

Steady Visit

I don’t expect this blog post to be too long… but that’s what I usually expect.

I’ve being doing pretty well getting back to “normal” life back in Canada, I’m not going to lie though I still feel like I’m visiting. I’m starting to make future plans on what I’m going to do down the road, of course going back to Haiti is in the plans and I think it always will be but not immediately.

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I’ve come to realize my next adventure won’t be for a while, I’m still looking for work and have had a few hopeful situations but they wouldn’t start until later in the summer and may require travel… hmm did I just say travel I think I like that word! Anyway I’ll indulge you into some of my future plans and this is all in the works no concrete plans; I find if you set specific dates… this is for most people not all, but if you set specific dates for life goals you tend to bring yourself down and stress out too much when the time comes closer and closer so I’m being very liberal and understanding that it will take a few years to get my jet off the ground… unless I land it rich or someone wants to give me lots and lots of money… I prefer the latter :P.

My original plan was to save up for a visit to ex-Siam… Thailand :), I’ve always been fascinated by their culture and their way of life and I’d want to be visiting none touristy area’s. After doing much research and talking to many people who’ve been there it is rather cheap to live there day by day close to $14 USD for full meals and lodging. As most of my plans are like a living being it’s ever evolving, originally I had decided after Thailand I would purchase a house and rent it out. Now I’m planning on getting a house first then travelling to Thailand once I get the landlord thing down and eventually breaking even or even making a bit of a profit. The idea for this is if I start travelling more I don’t want to come home and have to work for 2 years then go travel and work for 2 year again… it seems like such a waste, I’d rather take the extra time to secure myself and then live “freely” before I settle down.

I finally got my iMac back up and running but ran into an issue when I went to Bootcamp it to run Windows now it will only run that… guess I have to bring it in for another fixin’ but at least I know everything is backed up!

I’ve been thinking lately about changing the name of my blog since I won’t be working specifically on Haiti especially in my blogs, more so about my life and travels. I’ll still have my Facebook Page for Haiti but I feel like I need a name change on the blog and was wondering what everyone else thought? I may start-up a poll with some names, if you guys have any idea’s feel free to comment new names or email me at Justinparkinson@hotmail.com

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Recently I went to DEMF which this year was named Movement Electronic Music Festival… MEMF not as easy to say as the old name but change is bound to happen! It was fun despite all the rain and cold, but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the Urban Festivals, it draws a lot of “not fun” crowds. I much prefer Big fests like Electric Forest or Feel Good, Waka etc… it’s more of a family/ Hippie group, everyone loves one another and will take care of you if you need it… even being a stranger.

Hippie-Psychedelic

Anyway I just wanted to shoot this off real quick to update everyone yes I’m still in Canada I didn’t jet off to Haiti again… Yet haha just kidding. I’ve got to get back to writing my  book. Don’t forget to think of names for my blog and make suggestions!


 

“Changes happens roll with it”

Closing In

So I guess I’m overdue for a blog post… Thanks for the heads up and honesty Lauren :P. I think everyone should check out Lauren’s blog/ book it’s an awesome read… I don’t read, and I loved it, she’s got an amazing writing style! Her book and blog were very inspirational and a reminder to a lot of lessons I’ve learned in life. I think her words¬†definitely¬†helped me in my journey to Haiti (No she didn’t ask me to advertise for her haha).

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Anyway back to the blog. So like I’ve said before my journey is slowly coming to a close and I’m super excited but sad at the same time. Haiti has provided so much for me; from learning experiences to upsets to just pure joy. There’s lesson’s from here that I will take with me for the rest of my journey through life and I’m sure I’ll be back to Haiti soon… that’s the plan anyway.

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Tomorrow Julia is supposed to be arriving in the morning where I’ll be meeting her at the airport, as for Emily I don’t think she’s coming back… ¬† Just kidding she’ll be arriving later in the afternoon she took a different airline to come back than Julia did. It’ll be one big happy family again soon! It’ll be nice to have some blan’s around… That sounds terrible but I mean it in a sense that I can relate with them with some things (1st world things) and speak proper English without having to try and explain myself. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks without Emily here but it was a real adventure and experience to partake in; no regrets.

So everyone is sick, I talked about how it’s pretty much world-wide… I think I talked about it on my other blogs. Well a few of the kids are sick, I’ve been taking care of them, the nanny is sick as well. I’ve been filling everyone with Vitamin’s especially Mr. C. Hopefully everyone gets better soon. I woke up this morning with a bit of a scratchy throat… like seriously I spent 2 months here with everyone around me being sick and me not a Hint¬†of sickness!¬†The last week I’m here I get sick, I hope not! So now I’m shoving my body full of fluids and vitamins praying not to get sick because when I do it’s usually horrendous bad.

If you haven’t seen the Facebook updates Jodnice is now standing on her own… but she’s not walking. I honestly think her sister could probably stand as well, but if you try and stand her up she just¬†lunges¬†herself at you and laughs. Another thing they like to do is laugh at you from upstairs through the bars like they’ve done something wrong.

Cheering she can stand!

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Cheering she can stand!

Val held a class the other day “Kids Opinion Club” or something of the sort and they all talked about what they are good at etc… Val also talked to them about Cholera and the facts about it, it was a very educational weekend!

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Here’s some pictures of the kids when they get a hold of chalk.

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Thanks for keeping up with the blog if you’re not already¬†subscribed¬†to be notified by email just set it up on the side bar ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†<—————

Enjoy your current moments, they make you who you are and where you’ll be in the future.

~Justin Parkinson

Perception of Life’s Lessons

Today I spent some time in the hammock because I was rather tired from being up really early. I figured while I tried to fall asleep I would ponder some things I may have learned while I’ve been here in Haiti.

Priceless

Priceless

I don’t think this next paragraph will be agreed upon for a lot of people but remember it’s my perception you don’t have to like it ūüėõ

One night I was out with Val getting some food and drink when most of everyone I saw out was young and thriving, then I saw 2 older gentlemen walking around but with no¬†discontent¬†or judgment for the somewhat¬†rowdy¬†youth. When I think about being back at home and lets say you’re in your car listening to music a little louder than “they”¬†would like, you tend to get a bad look/ glare or you have tattoo’s… something a long the lines of that. I started to think that maybe these people are to close minded and¬†un-cultured¬†who are judging (I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times don’t judge other’s until you know them… bet you probably still do it; I know I do sometimes). By no means am I saying all “older people/Elders or¬†supposedly¬†mature people” ¬†are this way but I just think they might be lacking exploration of different things, all the way from different culture around the world to seeing life’s¬†necessities¬†around the globe. I am absolutely not saying that I’ve been exposed to way more and learned a lot more but I still feel I’ve had a lot of experience especially from Haiti alone. If some of these people have… maybe they just weren’t open to learning or changing from it.

Some people may say “well I’ve been around the world, experienced¬†culture etc“. ¬†For a lot of the people I’m not talking about “hey I went and visited family in Europe and then we went to a shopping center and saw some museums and historic places” or “hey I went to¬†Cancun¬†for spring break… it changed my life!“. I’m talking about getting into the community doing things with¬†neighbours¬†living in the culture not just visiting family.

I think that was most of my thoughts a lot people may not agree with.

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Mixing cement Haitian Style

Hmm… I really need to keep a recorder with me because I feel so¬†incite-full¬†during the day and then think I’ll remember what I’ve learned or thought of but it seems to escape me. Well here’s ¬†stab at it anyway:

  • I think a lot of people need to pride themselves in a lot more of the little things they do… it’ll bring up your spirits and confidence. Just the little hammock/lounge area Val and I build, I feel was something minor, but it’s something to feel great that we completed and I’m proud of it.
  • Feel good about yourself, of your¬†appearance¬†be happy that you woke up and the fact that you can smile and breathe air.
  • Be happy with the people who are in your life, they will be the ones that give you the hardest time but get you through the worst of times.
  • Just be open to life, hold no expectation and be willing to learn… even if you think you’re a pro, there’s always something to learn.
  • Bring¬†enthusiasm¬†into the world every day (today I was tired and ugh was it a chore to get up the stairs… I forces a smile said “Yuppie”¬†and what do you know my climb was so much easier!). Try slapping a smile on during the hardest crap you’ll tell yourself “this is stupid” but I bet it’ll probably get you through what ever it is.
  • Time passes things get easier you become comfortable or you find somethings that guides the time along and to cope with the negatives. If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll notice I tripped on a rough patch… well sort of, but look at me now, I’m ready to go for another 6 month’s… haha just kidding but I’m good now I have a smile on things are¬†dandy!¬†
  • This ties in with my last point, FIND SOMEONE TO CONFIDE IN! Find some one you can trust that you can talk to, they don’t have to have any answers… they just need to listen. You’d be surprised what a difference it is to share your¬†squabbles¬†BIG or small. (Honestly everyone wants to be heard. If you don’t think so it’s probably because you don’t want to bother others… but trust me you want to be heard)

I took this in Stratford, Ont.a good "Wisdom" picture.

I took this in Stratford, Ont.
A good “Wisdom” picture.

I really just wanted to put pen to paper or… letters to screen on a lot of the¬†“Wisdom or Insight”¬†I feel I’ve gained and maybe share it with others to¬†hopefully¬†take away from it :). I’ve kind of known all of this before it was there, but I think Haiti was the cement that solidified these thoughts.

I’ve decided to leave out the “be happy with what you’ve got, avoid complaining” for one I thing it’s been shared over and over and I’ve¬†definitely¬†touched on it already if past blogs. If I had to sum everything up I guess I would have to say “Greet the world with a smile, breath in life and share your love. Only you can bring yourself ¬†up so why let other bring you down.

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Hope everyone enjoys this read I’ll try to write my lessons down when I think of them, I’m lazy though… oh yeah throw on a smile and just do it right?

¬†I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and input feel free to comment, email or post on my Facebook Page.