Recently, I went backpacking alone for a month in some European countries (Scotland, England, Denmark and Ireland). Travelling alone is not something new to me, but a practice I delve into as often as I can as it truly teach me so much about myself and others. In fact, travelling alone forces you to go outside your comfort zone, meet new people, embrace new cultures and do what you feel like doing. Looking back, I would not have imagined doing the same trip with someone else because it would have changed the whole purpose of it. Of course you have to take some safety measures when you travel alone to enjoy yourself fully. One I find really helpful is knowing where you are going prior to arriving to the designated destination; this include where you will sleep at night and how transportation works over there. I avoided travelling at night in order to have a turn around option if anything happened or if I got lost (so it’s easier to ask for help). I also feel like it’s important to remind you that asking for help is totally okay and does not need to feel embarrassing. For a long time I felt so shy to ask a stranger for directions that I would turn in circle for hours. Now I no longer hesitate because it’s just a waste of time and they are probably more helpful than the map. Also make sure to always have an eye on your backpack when you are in public places. I always keep my money and passport on me just in case my bag get stolen and have to find an alternative. Knock on wood it never happened to me and won’t happen in the future! Besides these security measures, I feel like it’s important to go outside your bubble and meet people, either locals or backpackers on a journey like you. The best way to meet people is in hostels. Lucky enough I met at least one person in every city and was able to enjoy some local activities with them. It made the experience so much more exciting and now I have friends all around the world. I feel really blessed! Beside hosteling, I used Couch Surfing as a way to travel as I wanted to meet locals and see if it actually works. Not only does it work, but I had the most amazing surprises using this website. Yes it’s free and you do save a few bucks doing Couch Surfing, but beyond that, you get to really share a part of your journey with them. Honestly I have been really lucky because I stayed with such generous and open hearted people that it made me realize that this is what life is about; interactions, sharing and giving back. It was simply wonderful! Of course you have to read the comments section prior to going to someone’s place to see if you share the same “lifestyle” as them, but then, it is really easy to spot if someone is weird and creepy, or truly nice. I think you need to be a little bit more careful as a girl but once you get a sense of how it works and just go with the flow, the best happens from it. Traveling alone is something so enriching that everybody should do it at least once in their lifetime. You can never uncover the hidden pearls until you go for it! Hope you have a blast on your next adventure. XO
Going to Iceland has never been on my bucket list but somehow I find myself in this beautiful country because the plane tickets were so cheap. I landed in Iceland with no expectations in mind and let the adventure take off. Now that my trip is over, I highly recommend this magical country to everyone. What I experienced during that week is absolutely unexplainable, so here I gathered my itinerary for must-sees and tips if you plan on visiting Iceland in the near future. Hopefully it can inspire your next journey to the land of fire and Ice!
Day 1 - Friday
My friend and I arrived in Iceland on Friday and rented a car at the airport for the entire trip. I definitely recommend renting a car to avoid touristic tours, enjoy the country at your own pace and discover local destinations. We also rented a bedroom on Air BNB about 10 minutes drive from Reykjavík, but renting a few places around the Ring Road is a better option if you plan on driving around the country. Another great way to travel in Iceland is renting a camper so you can drive around and sleep in your car, but perhaps not ideal during winter time. We enjoyed staying with locals because they were able to recommended us activities and guide us throughout our journey.
We spent the first evening exploring the streets of Reyjkavik, the capital. It is a cute little town filled with elegant shops and stylish restaurants, and bars.
Day 2 - Saturday
We embraced the sunny weather to go hiking Mount Esja. It takes approximately two hours to hike to the top and approximately the same time to comeback down including the various stops along the way to take pictures. This mountain is 914 meters while the trail is marked with the difficulty level along the way. I highly recommend this hiking trail because it is challenging and the view from the top is absolutely phenomenal.
To catch the sunset, we headed to Akranes and stopped at the harbour where two lighthouses are located. This unique spot is called Akranesviti and offers a breathtaking view on the ocean. It is definitely worth a stop along the way. You can also visit the main lighthouse between 11:00 and 17:00 where a photography exhibition is installed.
* On your way to Akranes, you have to go through an underground tunnel which costs 1000 ISK each way
Day 3 - Sunday
Mentioned in all the touristic books, we had to drive around the Golden Circle to catch the three major destinations at hand. It is composed of Pingvellir (National Park), Geysir and Gullfoss.
Pingvellir rift valleys comes from its location where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are tearing apart. You can walk in the area consisted of stretches of lava rock partially covered in moss and embrace the history of this site.
The Geysir Geothermal area is the second stop within the Golden Circle. On site you get to observe the Great Geysir which is mostly inactive and his neighbor, Strokkur, which erupts every 5 to 6 minutes throwing water 20 to 40 metres into the air. This experience is very unique and quite impressive to assist.
Last but not least: Gullfoss. This massive waterfall of 32 metres ends the Golden circle tour perfectly. Allowing you to observe it from various stand points, the sight is absolutely mesmerizing. This was definitely my favourite location from the three mentioned.
Day 4 - Monday
As the most trumpeted geothermal spa of Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is quite expensive and crowded with tourists, but is definitely worth the price once for the experience. Formed artificially following the operation of the Svartsengi thermal power station, this heaven on earth is composed of three natural active ingredients; silica, algae and minerals which explain its blue color reflecting sunlight. The Blue Lagoon offers one of the most relaxing experience as the geothermal water ranges between 37C and 40C. You also get to apply a silica mask on your face during your visit which nourishes the skin. Since the lagoon is enriched with minerals, it is necessary to rub your hair with conditioner before and after bathing as for protection.
We headed to Gardur which is 7 km from Keflavik because we were in the area and felt like exploring a bit more before heading back to Reykjavík. After a little while, we stopped at Gardskagil Lighthouse on the harbour where you can enjoy the peacefulness of the sea. It is an excellent place for bird spotting.
Day 5 - Tuesday
Seljalandsfoss & Gljufrabui
Next to one another, these two magnificent waterfalls offers a one of a kind experience. The first one is 65 metres high. A path surrounding it allows you to walk behind it which gives you one of the most impressive point of view. As opposed to Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui waterfall is 40 meters high and hidden behind a cliff called Franskanef. It is possible to walk through the gorge and access the full view, but you definitely need rain boats to cross the watery path.
This powerful waterfall is 60 meters high and 25 meters wide, giving you an enchanting scenery to observe. You can also access the top of the hill above Skogafoss by using the staircases aside from it. The view from the top is mind blowing as the river is coming from further away and you can walk along it. I never felt so tiny next to this natural grandiosity.
Reynis Fjora (Black Sand beach) (Reynisfjara)
The Black Sand beach offers you a terrifyingly beautiful view of the sea. The Basalt cliffs rising from the sea are called Reynisgrandar. A legend recalls that the rock formations were actually two trolls turned into stone after getting caught during daylight while trying to drag a boat ashore.
Vik is Iceland’s most southerly village and most photographed area in the country and is worth a detour after the long journey.
Day 6 - Wednesday
In the morning, we stopped at Hellisgerdi to check out the Elf Garden. It is a cute and simple little garden mostly occupied during summertime so there was not much to see beside walking along the small trails.
We headed south to Hveragerði to go hiking Klambragil valley. After 45 minutes hike, we reached Reykjadalur, a natural Hot Spring where you can bathe. It is quite impressive to be able to bathe is such hot water when the temperature is minus zero Celsius. You don’t find much tourists there but there is definitely an increase of visitors from the past few years.
Near Hveragerði is located the small town Selfoss. After the hike and the bathing, it felt great to stop at a local cafe to enjoy a cup of Icelandic coffee. We stopped at Kaffi Krus and had a chai latte. It was nice to take a little bit of time to rest after such a busy week.
Glo (Vegetarian restaurant)
Since I am pescatarian, I wanted to try out some vegetarian options in Reykjavik so we went to a place called Glo. The price was decent for the city but honestly, the food was a bit ordinary. I tried their vegan burrito and I was a bit deceived so if you go there; try the vegan lasagna. I heard that’s the best thing on the menu.
After dinner, we went to meet a friend in town and got to experience the bar life in Reykjavik for a bit. We went to Bar Ananas which is more groovy and a bar called Olstofan which was more cozy.
Day 7 - Thursday
We hadn’t planned anything before leaving the house on that day so we opened The Lonely Planet and decided to head West for some new discoveries. We opted for Glymur as it had a waterfall design on the map. We did not know what to expect as we had never heard about this place before, but it was definitely not a touristic spot which made us both very happy. We parked the car and hiked for 30 minutes on a rocky trail. The hike was quite smooth and we could enjoy the view of the mountains covered in snow ahead of us. When we got to Glymur, we were actually on top of a hill, catching the gigantic waterfall from above. Needless to say that this view surprised us both in a good way. Since the temperature in Iceland is always changing at a rapid pace, it suddenly started raining, but lucky enough, there was a giant cave next to the waterfall where we could hide till the rain stops.
After this little adventure, we headed a bit more north to another local cafe, this time in Borganes. We stopped at this bakery called Kaffihus which is located right next to the water. You can enjoy the beautiful view while sipping your coffee. After all the intermittent rain, we were even able to catch a rainbow over the bridge in between the mountains. It felt surreal!
Horses and goats
They are everywhere along the road in Iceland and this is probably one of the thing that makes this country so unique. It it definitely worth stopping to observe them and take pictures. The goats are very afraid so it might be a bit hard to approach them but the horses are the complete opposite. They will come toward you if they feel safe so you can pet them. We got to pet this magnificent black and white horse along the Icelandic Coast.
We went to this amazing seafood restaurant in Reykjavik to taste the Icelandic fish and let me tell you; it was delicious. Recommended by our Air Bnb hosts, we couldn’t end our trip in a better way. I had the special of the day which comprised a coconut milk lobster soup and grilled skewer salmon. We also shared a small piece of whale to try it out which tastes a like steak.
Day 8 - Friday
For our last day in Iceland, we drove around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and stopped at the various sight seeing: Ytri Tunga Beach (for seal watching), Budir, Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Djupelonssandur, Hella and Hellissandur, Riff and Olafsvik. We were very lucky to experience our last day with the snow covering the country as it offered us a fairytale like perspective. It totally felt like we were in a mystical world!
My friend and I flew back to our respective country on the following day. We had a very memorable trip filled with adventures. Every day felt like we were in a different country because of the temperature change and the various scenery encountered. I highly suggest this country for your next travel to any nature lover. May Iceland take you on your next dreamy journey!
Welcome to the underground reality where power abuse is a constant challenge to face. This is not only a serious problem in the acting industry but in every industry. People with more experiences use their status to manipulate you and mind fuck you. Having lived in New York, Toronto and Montreal and worked as an actor and model for the past 7 years, I have encountered numerous situations where I found myself verbally and physically abused by men of higher positions. The reason why I think we don’t come out about these stories (as Maxim Roy mentioned it in a radio interview) is that we fear to be blacklisted and we will stop working. We put it aside, warm the women around us and learn from it (sometimes the hard way), so we can recognize the signs if it occurs another time.
The crazy thing about this all is that most often, it is so borderline that we can’t do anything about it. In the moment, your brain is spinning so fast that all you want to do is to get out of that situation without appearing offensive because the moment you state your doubts about THE SIGNS, they belittle you and make you feel like this is all in your head and you were crazy to imagine such things. But it does happen, way too many times. They play with words, your comfort level, your naïveté, your level of experience; some will be persistent, charming and make you feel like you owe them something. They will scare you, warn you or simply make you feel like you missed your chance.
We, as men and women need to become allies in these situations. We need to keep passing the word around and support each other; and most of all, stop feeling ashamed or scared to speak up for ourselves. These people don’t rule the world. If they don’t want you for your talent, they are not worth much and believe me, always comes a time when the truth comes out and all you feared about becomes rubbish. So please, stay united and respectful of each others!
Eva B c’est comme une boîte à surprise! On t’accueille en t’offrant un échantillon de the glacé fait maison, on y sert des repas vegan hyper délicieux et on te propose d'échanger tes vieilles fringues pour un crédit en magasin. A chaque fois que je vais au Eva B, j’apporte avec moi une grosse poche de vêtements que je ne porte plus afin de faire un swap dans ma garde-robe. Évidemment, ils ne prennent pas tout, mais tout ce qui est tendance et vintage. Ce qui est chouette c’est que s’il n’y a rien qui te plait dans les vêtements en vente, tu peux toujours utiliser ton crédit pour un t’acheter un lunch frais.
Eva-B est plus qu’une simple friperie; c’est un monde de couleurs, d’objets antiques et de coquettes trouvailles. Il faut être patient et avoir du temps devant soi, mais une fois la recherche entamée, tu trouves de tout; vêtements, costumes, chapeaux, souliers, accessoires et oeuvre d’arts! C’est absolument formidable et tellement plus écolo que d’aller dépenser son argent dans les magasins à grande surface.
J’adore donner une deuxième vie à mes vêtements; me dire que j’ai vécu ce que j’avais à vivre avec une de mes fringues et que désormais une autre personne pourra en profiter. Avec l’age, on change de mentalité, on acquiert davantage de savoir et on aime que nos vêtements reflète nos nouvelles valeurs (enfin c’est mon cas!) C’est pourquoi j’aime magasiner dans les friperies; ça me permet de capturer l’essence d’un vêtement tout en me permettant de composer un look unique et à mon image (sans me tracasser qu’une fille dans un de mes cours aura le même chandail que moi.)
Enfin bref, si tu ne connaissais pas Eva-B, jette y un coup d’oeil avant d’aller faire ton magasinage de rentrée!
In a generation where work is a sign of success, most people will lose themselves into their work no matter how much they love doing it. Therefore, it is important to remind ourselves that life is not only about work but also about growth, making new discoveries, experiencing new things, building relationships, etc. In this article, I would like to address the four major things you should consider doing on your free time.
Exercise: Because it energizes your body and mind. Eating well and exercising goes hand in hand in staying healthy, motivated and strong. It will allow you to have more energy throughout the day and even after your long day of work to invest on your activities.
Reading: As oppose to watching random videos on youtube or scrolling your social media feeds, try reading instead. Reading requires your full attention and your imagination. As you grow older, the best ways to keep your brain active is to keep it alive by feeding it new stories, ideas and words. If you don’t like reading, I strongly believe it is only because haven’t found the genre and style that suits you. Don’t give up, give it a try again and go at your own pace; only a few pages or a chapter per day will bring you more than you can imagine.
Meditation: Yes, we hear that one all the time, but it is true. It looks boring on the surface, but its actually training your brain by learning on what thought to focus on and which thought to ignore. Only ten minutes a day will bring you the benefits of this practice and the headspace for creativity.
Develop a passion: That’s my favourite one! Making time to develop your passion is healthy for your mind and soul. It gives you an occasion to create, learn more about yourself and life and bring something unique to the world. It can be anything from playing a musical instrument, practicing a sport, doing arts and crafts, writing, filming, etc. It also gives you an opportunity to try new things and break out of your day to day routine. You might find yourself new interests as the years go by and which keep your inner fire alive. You can also enjoy your hobby with other people and get a chance to build new relationships. At last, your passion can become a second source of income in the long run and that’s even greater!
If you feel like you don’t have enough free time, perhaps you are prioritizing the wrong things. Making time for yourself on a daily basis, even if it is just for 30 minutes, will remind you that life is not only about running around and making money. Life is meant to be lived so make the most of it!
You love theatre and you are on a tight budget, but would still like to enjoy the perks of New York City incredible art scene; here is the solution: Ushering! If you've never heard of ushering before, it is a term used to describe volunteering at a theatre for a designated show. The main tasks include simple things such as stuffing a few Playbills, guiding guests to their seats and picking up leftover Playbills at the end of the show. In exchange, you get to grab an empty seat before the show begins and enjoy the play for free. Its absolutely awesome! When I used to live in New York for my acting studies, I used to usher two to three times a month at off-Broadway venues. It was surprisingly so accessible and allowed me to capture the magnificent NYC art scene for free. On top of that, I got to learn and watch major stars perform on stage such as Ellen Burstyn, Brian Bedford, Topher Grace and many more. Here is a list of theatre where you can easily usher in NYC:
Theater Contact / Information to Become a Usher
Abingdon Theatre Company / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlantic Theater Company / Call: 646-216-1191
Century Center Theater / Call: 212-982-6782 ext. 11
The Cherry Lane Theatre / Call: 212-989-2020
Classic Stage Company / Email: email@example.com
The Culture Project / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensemble Studio Theatre / Call: 212-247-4982
Here Art Center / Call: 212-647-0202
Labyrinth Theater Company / www.labtheater.org/get-involved/
The Laura Pells Theatre / Call: 212-719-9393
Lucille Lortel Theater / Call: 212-924-2817 ext. 207
Manhattan Theatre Club / Email: email@example.com
Mint Theater Company / Call: 212-315-9434
New York Theater Workshop / Call: 212-780-9037
Pearl Theatre / Call: 212-598-9802
Playwrights Horizon / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Primary Stages / Call: 212-840-9705
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater / Email: email@example.com
The Roundabout Theatre / Company Call: 212- 719-9393
Second Stage Theatre / Email: JSchleifer@2ST.com
The Signature Theatre Company / Call: 212-244-7529
Soho Repertory Theatre / Call: 212-941-8632
Studio 54 / Call: 212-719-9393
Theatre Row / Call: 212-714-2442
The Vineyard Theatre / Call: 212-353-3366 ext. 214
The Wooster Group / Call: 212-966-9796
Women’s Project Theatre / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
York Theatre Company / Call: 212-935-5824 ext. 15
Hope you find this list useful and get to enjoy many more shows for absolutely nothing!
I recently watched a video about the difference between being busy vs. productive and I thought it was quite interesting to share the main highlights to differentiate both. The main difference is that busy people have many goals as oppose to productive people who have priorities. Productive people handle one goal at the time while busy people try to do too many things at once and fail to excel at one specific thing. It may sounds obvious but most of the time, we get lost within the pool of tasks we have to accomplish and ignore that key to resolve this repetitive pattern is to start saying no. Busy people say yes to everything; productive people take the time to consider the task at hand and only agree to do it if it brings them closer to their ultimate goal. I also believe that in order to become more productive, you need to trust life; trust that the hard work you did will pay off if you prioritize and always take a decision in consideration of your ultimate goal. Of course everybody has dreams and goals but the only way to reach them is to give yourself deadlines because dreams without an action plan are just dreams.
As Bruce Lee would say:”One does not accumulate but eliminate” which means that the height of cultivation always runs on simplicity not the other way around. Train yourself at becoming more productive rather than busy, and with time your life will turn into the way you envisioned it.
I started doing yoga six years ago when I was in college, back when I lived in Brooklyn for my acting studies. I came across yoga from learning the morning salutation in one of my movement class. Strangely enough, I fell in love with this practice and started practicing it every single day. I have always loved to work out because I find it energizing, so when I found out about yoga, it was a revelation to me. This practice was combining everything that I was looking for in a workout; cardio, tonifying your muscles, flexibility and balance. I also fell in love with the simplicity of this activity. All it requires is a mat (and not even). When I travel, I do not bring my mat but I simply use yoga paws or a towel instead, but that is another story.
I like to exercise in the morning, so I begin each day (including the weekend) with a yoga practice that I vary depending on how I feel and my what my needs are for the day. Sometimes I feel like moving a lot so I go for an Ashtanga practice and when I am feeling a bit tired or have less time, I go for a shorter routine that works more on balance and flexibility. I also enjoy going to yoga studios when I have the time in order to strengthen my technique, but I prefer to do it at home though with yoga videos (DVD or youtube videos) because it starts my day in a positive and motivated state of mind. Since yoga develops your self-awareness by staying connected to the present moment, I find it is the best way to wake up and get your body moving. It is also my favourite moment of the day to reflect on my objectives along with acknowledging recurrent and stressful thought patterns such as worries about relationships, work or money. Indeed, I never try to stop myself from thinking about everything that is going through my mind during a yoga practice because it is my way of organizing my thoughts and reflect on what I need to let go in order to feel happier and at peace. Consistency is the key to really feel the benefits of yoga, but once you try it, it turns into an addiction. I dare you to give it a morning try! It will put you in the right state of mind to start your day!
This weekend I had the opportunity to assist at my first Rogers Cup ever. This is the biggest tennis tournament in Canada along with the Rogers cup in Toronto. I did not have much expectations as I have never really been to a live sport game in my life. All I can say is that it was one of the most exciting experience to live. Now, I completely understand the addiction and it is definitely not like watching a game on TV. The energy is contagious and sustained throughout the game. It almost feels like people’s heart beat in unison.
One thing that really blew my mind was the unbelievable support from the crowd toward our nation player, Denis Shapovalov. The young rising star in Tennis hooked up many hearts over the weekend. Even if he did not go to finals, Canadians really supported him till the end. It was my first time acknowledging the pride Canadians hold toward the nation’s athletes. This pride was pure collective love. I felt very happy to be able to live those electrical moments and also very proud to be a Canadian. This is surely the beginning of long career for him and I hope I get to see him evolve in this journey along my fellow Canadians. Shine Bright Shapovalov!
Welcome on my artsy blog! I decided to create this section because I also have a huge passion for writing aside from acting. I thought this would be the perfect place to share my inspirations, experiences and adventures with you. I also write a lot of poetry so you will definitely get to read a lot of my poems here. Hope you enjoy ! Xo Sara Sue
Welcome on my artsy blog! I decided to create this section because I also have a huge passion for writing aside from acting. I thought this would be the perfect place to share my inspirations, experiences and adventures with you. I also write a lot of poetry so you will definitely get to read a lot of my poems here. Hope you enjoy ! Xo
"Let life be your playground"
"I provoke the odds
And learn to sew the dots"
"Do not live in excess
But embrace the success"
"Creativity cures the soul"
"Face your fears
Rehearse your journey"
"Make your dreams your priority"
"Set the bar high
"Prepare yourself for
Be ready to take on the wave When it comes your way"
"We live in a world of tomorrow's..."
"We die to live."
"Life is not against you"
"The unknown is the path to greatness. Jump on the train."
"Assume your choices.
You are ready."
"There is no rush
Give it your heart
"Go back to your roots"
"Spider web of dreams"
"All blocks are mental"
"Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death"
"Make your pain push you to greatness"
"Set the bar high,
"Take you time. Abandon. Love"