So What’s Next? My Summer Game Plan

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I’m a girl that plans.

Since I was small, I knew exactly how many years of elementary school I had ahead of me, then I knew I had four years of high school, followed with five years of university. After I graduated though, it hit me – I was no longer going to be able to plan my life years in advance. While in university, I was under the impression that teaching jobs would open up in southern Ontario and I would have a full-time job just waiting for me upon graduation. I figured I had my life set. How naive was I?

For the past two years, I have been living year to year, not knowing what my new gig would be. After graduating, I was so lucky to land a full-time teaching position for a year out in Saskatchewan. After that ended and I moved home, again, I was graced with another teaching opportunity at a private school. With that contract ending this year and my choice of not returning to that school, I am now going into my third year of post-graduate days, and yet again, I am scrabbling for a job that will pay the bills.

I find it frustrating not being able to map out where I will be in a year from now. I once was determined to see my life five years set down the road. Now, I am just begging to foresee just a couple months ahead at a time. It is tiresome, it is not a consistent life style, but believe it or not folks, I am happy. As long as the bills get paid and all my wants from my recent  self-reflection  are being met, I think I have it pretty good.

As of right now I am just trying to enjoy my summer, job searching in between my DIYs and apartment decor projects, and mapping out my summer travels. Here is what I have on the go for the summer, only a couple months scope at the moment, but I am so eager to share what I have planned:

Exploring Ontario

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Home sweet home is yours to discover, which is exactly what I intend to do with my summer off! I am wanting to explore what has been in my own backyard for years and I am extremely excited to begin! Here are some things I hope to do (and some I have already had the chance to experience) during the summer months:

  • Maid of the Mist – Niagara Falls
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake – DONE (Mumford & Sons Concert – June 15th 2015)
  • Toronto for the Day
  • Tour de Grand – Cambridge – DONE (June 14th 2015)
  • Highland Games – Cambridge
  • Folk Festival – Cambridge

I’m Moving In!

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 3.02.50 PM I’m all moved into my new place! Right in the heart of little old Cambridge, the very location I was looking for! With my summer off I am busily trying to decorate my new place to be a travel-themed oasis, all within budget of course! I am very excited to continue my DIYs and even more excited to start sharing what I have been up to recently, so stay tuned!

Me Time

Again, as part of my action plan to bringing back the old me, Me Time is something I have already started implementing. Since moving into my new place (another goal met from my action plan), I have had time to start up reading again, painting, DIYs, apartment decor, visiting friends, spending time with my very best friend/love, cooking, working out, playing ukulele, and blogging! I actually have time to do things that I have been dying to do for months! It is so nice to have a space to do it all in as well. And to think it is only the beginning of the month!

Find a Job

Important – yes, on my priority list at the moment – not so much. I still get paid for the summer so I am going to take my time to make sure I find a job I LIKE, not just a job I take in order to make do and just pay the bills.

Border Hoping Over into The USA 

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Don’t know if I am going to swing these two mini-trips, but knowing how much I love to travel, I’m sure going to try. Two states I am going to try and visit this summer:

  • Watkins Glen, New York
  • Sault Ste. Marie VIA Michigan

Not sure if I will be able to do both trips or either or, however I am going to try my best to get across the border for tourism purposes this time (not just for shopping!)

Off to Scotland We Go!

edinburgh_website Despite everything that has happened this school year, Andrew convinced me that a trip away was what we both needed. He surprised me one day and told me he was going to take me to Flight Centre to see what our options were. We got to work with an awesome travel consultant named Melanie (if you are looking to book a trip, look her up, she is fantastic!). We went to Melanie, giving her dates, a budget, a list of wants, and from that we told her to find us a trip, leaving the location entirely up to her. Melanie gave us excellent options that all met our budget, including places like Costa Rica, Paris, and Prague! After consulting with Melanie over some places, we realized that we had our heart set on a place she mentioned from our first meeting with her, but at the time she was not able to find us a tour that met our price range. Our aspired destination: Scotland, a place both Andrew and I did not see either in our price range, nor a location we would be visiting together anytime soon. We left it with Melanie though and she was able to whip together a trip for us, budget-friendly and all! So here are the details:

Day 1 & 2 – Edinburgh

  • Flying into Edinburgh
  • Exploring for 2 days on our own

Day 3 – Highland Fling Tour Begins

  • Tour details you can find here
  • Offered through Haggis Adventures (a part of the travel company Busabout – sister company to Contiki)
  • Tour Length: 5 days
  • Places We Get to See: Edinburgh, Dunkeld, Lochness, Isle of Skye, Kyleakin, Ben Nevis, Oban, Glencoe
  • Tour Highlights: Jacobite Steam Train (Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter – eek!), whisky distillery visit, Nessie hunting on ferry in Lochness, ceilidh evening in Oban, Eerie Glencoe, the ‘Weeping Glen’, Culloden Battlefield (backdrop to ‘Outlander’), Eilean Donan Castle, tree planting in ‘HAGGiS Grove’

Day 7 – Tour Ends

  • One last night in Edinburgh
  • Pub Crawl that evening – we hope!

Why This Trip is So Important

This August will mark two years ago that I met the love of my life. Before even moving out to Saskatchewan, literally two weeks prior to me leaving the province, I met Andrew. I did not anticipate on meeting anyone anytime soon, but I guess the saying is true that you meet someone when you least expect it. We talked and kept in touch the entire year I was away teaching in the prairies.

When I finally moved back home, I already had my Maui trip booked for the end of August. We spent the entire summer getting to know each other without a computer and distance between us. Long story short, I went on my trip, I missed him, he missed me, I returned home and we immediately started dating. Here we are now, we have been dating for the past 11 months and we will be celebrating our 1st anniversary together, which by chance will be spent together in Scotland!

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Doing this trip together is so important – it means more to me than anything to do Scotland as our first big trip to start off our adventures together. Did I think a year ago that I would ever get the chance to visit Scotland? No. Did I think a year ago that I would be going on another big trip anytime soon? Not a chance. Did I think a year ago that I would be travelling with my best friend a year later? Never. I think I can count my blessings now.

. . . . . .

A very long post, but I am so unbelievably excited that part of my action plan has been put into motion! Baby steps, but it’s all happening!

Thanks for reading!

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6 thoughts on “So What’s Next? My Summer Game Plan

  1. Julie Smith says:

    Sounds like a lovely summer. I totally agree in trying to remember to be a tourist in your own hometown, because there are usually such great things right under your nose! I have a goal of doing 2 new things each month in my adopted hometown of London (which, granted, is massive, so there is plenty to always do!). Hope scotland is incredible!

  2. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine says:

    What a sweet reason to head to Scotland! That trip is going to be magical in so many ways. I wish you the best of luck with trying to find a job that you like. Good things will come your way. 🙂 I am headed to Toronto in December! I am super excited to see a bit of Canada. Although it will be freezing. Ha!

    • Amanda | Miss P says:

      Thank you so much Amanda! It really will be a magical trip 🙂 Thank you for the well wishes – I am getting a little antsy with job searching, but I’m optimistic it will all work out. Ah Toronto! You will love it! Cold in December yes, BUT check out the Distillery District while you are there. It is beautifully decorated for Christmas time. Enjoy!

  3. Ashley says:

    You definitely made the right decision to choose Scotland for your summer trip 😉 Edinburgh is such an incredible city and the Isle of Skye and Glencoe are both stunning! How was the Mumford concert?! My hometown is near Niagara-on-the-Lake, and I was so upset they came the year I was away!

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