jordan lpart 2l.


on wednesday i shared with you guys the first couple days of my trip to jordan.  today i’m going to fill you on my stops in wadi musa, petra and wadi rum.

on our drive from the dead sea to wadi musa, we stopped at the baptism site of jesus christ.  we spent a couple hours on a walking tour where we took in the actual place jesus was baptized and put our feet in the river jordan.  even though i’m not particularly religious, being at the site really was something spectacular.  and i know it meant a lot to my mom to be able to be somewhere with such a biblical history!

after this short stop, we continued on.  we arrived in wadi musa during the evening and checked into our hotel (petra guest house) that was actually inside the gates of petra.  after a quick dinner (i couldn’t help put choose pizza), we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

after waking up early and getting some breakfast, we set out for our tour around petra.  for those of you who don’t know, petra is one of jordan’s biggest tourist attractions.  this prehistoric jordanian city was “lost” to the western world for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until the early 1800s when a european traveler disguised himself in bedouin costume and infiltrated the mysterious locale.  in 2007, petra it was actually named one of the new seven wonders of the world.  (fun fact: it was also where some of indiana jones was filmed).

alright, enough with the history lesson.  after entering the gates of petra, my mom and i decided to pay a little extra for an hour long horseback ride up the back side of petra.  i’m not going to lie, although the horseback ride provided us with the most breathtaking views, riding up the side of a rock mountain feeling like you could slip off the ledge as any minute, was a little terrifying.  needless to say, we had two amazingly knowledgeable guides who made this jaunt under the blazing sun worth it.

after reaching the peak of the mountain we hopped off out horses and walked to the base of petra to take in the rest of the sights.

we took a couple hours to do the tour of petra (although it’s recommended to take a whole day), headed back to the hotel, drank about 10 bottles of water, and cooled off before meeting mr. ibrahim to start our drive to wadi rum.

we drove a couple hours, while enjoying the beautiful scenery, and finally made it to wadi rum.  wadi rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern jordan.  it is also the largest wadi in all of jordan.  in wadi rum we were fortunate enough to take a 4×4 jeep tour around the dessert, where we saw amazing sights, beautiful wildlife, and a plethora of bedouins.

and then we camped outside for the night.  now, i knew this was the plan all along, but it wasn’t until we arrived at the camp that i realized what this meant.  i’m not the most outdoorsy person (and have a slight phobia of anything that even resembles a bug), so sleeping in a bedouin-style camp was a bit of an adventure.
**i’m not sure how this happened, but i have no photographic proof that i actually slept in the desert, but i promise it did go down!**

we woke up pretty early the next morning and started our long drive back to the airport and on to our next stop: oman.

i have to say, jordan was tremendously different than i expected, but in a great way.  i love being able to travel somewhere where the culture is nothing like back at home and that is exactly what this middle eastern country provided.  i feel like i learned so much and found such an appreciation for a different lifestyle while taking in all the sights and cities of jordan.

although i was sad to leave after such a short, whirlwind visit, the good news was, that after 4 long days, my backpack arrived at the airport.  i could not have been more happy to finally pick up my bag and have some wonderfully clean clothes to change into for the rest of the trip!

^^where jesus was baptized.

IMG_2797 IMG_2803 ^^soaking my feet in the river jordan. 

^the petra guest house hotel.

^delicious pizza in wadi musa.

^on our way to the top of petra w/ my pregnant horse.

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^my mom walking through the hot, hot desert.

^hanging out with a bedouin & his camels.

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^^wadi rum at sunset.

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^mr. ibrahim wrote out my name in arabic.


jordan lpart 1l.


when my mom and i decided to head to jordan, i really didn’t have any idea of what it would be like.  since i was busy planning the second leg of my trip to asia, my mom took on the task of organizing our trip to the middle east.  besides looking at the itinerary i was sent, i did very little to prepare myself for what i would experience in jordan.  in a sense, though, the fact that i had no preconceived notions about the country, made it that much more exciting to experience everything.

i will get to what exactly we did in jordan, but first, i’ve got to share with you my first misadventure of the trip.  after 3 long flights and 24 hours of flying, i finally arrived in amman, jordan.  i patiently waited at the luggage carousel for my backpack…the problem was that my bag never came.  normally having no bag would be more of an annoyance than anything else, but when that bag has everything you need for the next 5 weeks, it becomes a scary thought to think that it is lost somewhere.  so, i spent the next hour trying to track down my bag.  but, going on next to no sleep, while dealing with a language barrier, the bag tracking down task was no easy feat. thankfully, i was eventually able to put in a claim for my bag and hope it would be found sooner rather than later.

anywayssssss, we can get back to the bag talk later.

my mom was lucky enough to hire an amazing driver (mr. ibrahim) for the 4 days we were in jordan.  since he lives in the capital of jordan (amman), we started off our time with a great tour of the city.  we stopped off at an old castle that overlooked the whole city.  i remember sitting at the top of a hill and thinking how vastly different the sights and culture is than here in canada.

mr. ibrahim was also nice enough to invite my mom and i to his house to meet his wife and enjoy a true jordanian tea and dinner.

after spending a couple hours in amman (and eating some amazing authentic food), we took a drive to the dead sea.  we stayed at the crowne plaza resort and spa and let me tell you, this place did not disappoint.  this was an amazing place to spend our first night in jordan.  we woke up early and spent some time lounging (or shall i say floating) in the dead sea, followed by a mud bath.  i’m not really sure what i thought the dead sea would be like…but i never imagined it would be as breathtaking as it was.  we spent the rest of the morning soaking in the sun by the 3-tiered pool before heading out to our next destination.

next stop…petra and wadi rum.

^^hanging out at an old castle.

^^beautiful views in amman.

^^beautiful wooden ceiling inside an old building in amman.

^^an old coliseum. 

^a beautiful mosque (seen right before a soccer ball was kicked at me by a small child).

^^i so badly wish i knew what this dessert was called or made of.  all i know is that it was AMAZING!  and i want more.

^^hands down the best tea i’ve ever hand.  the fresh mint…mmmmm.

^^dinner at mr. ibrahim’s.  homemade hummus and falafels.  

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^^crowne plaza…simply breathtaking.

IMG_2775^^enjoying my early morning float in the dead sea.

oh hey, toronto.

12 flights, 3 countries, and 9 crazy days later, i’m back!

as i mentioned here and here, i was ever so excited to be embarking on a 5 week journey on the other side of the world.  well, like a lot of things, this trip didn’t quite go as planned.

a couple days prior to leaving for my trip, i had to do some last minute re-arranging due to visa issues and would be spending 5 days in bangkok before heading off to cambodia.  well, pretty much as soon as i arrived in jordan, i got word that martial law had been declared in thailand.  and as the week progressed, so did the events in thailand.  more protests and demonstrations continued, and then the curfew was imposed on bangkok.

even though i had been dreaming of visiting thailand for years, heading to thailand by myself just didn’t seem like the safest idea.  so, instead of gallivanting across the world, here i am, back in toronto.  although i’m disappointed that i did not get to see what south east asia has to offer, i still had an amazing week in the middle east with my mom.

i’m slowly easing my way out of this jet lag fog and back to my normal life.  over the next week, i can’t wait to share all the adventures (and misadventures) that i experienced in jordan and oman.

thailand, it was unfortunate timing, but i’ll be seeing you eventually.


see ya toronto.

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today is the day.  i’m finally off on my trip.

after a hectic couple of weeks (and especially crazy last couple of days), i’m so excited to finally start this adventure.  i’m so excited to be jetting out of toronto embark on what i’m sure will be an amazingly fun 5 weeks.

although i won’t be blogging the entire time i’m there, i hope to post a couple times throughout the month i’m away to keep you all updated!

have a safe & happy month, all!!!



friday favourite.

this week i can’t live without: my converse shoes.

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i recently bought these shoes and i’m in love.  i’d been looking for a pair of comfortable ‘walking shoes’ for a while and kept going back and forth about getting a pair of converse because i didn’t think they would fit with my style.  but, now that i’ve got them, i’m not sure why it took me so long to jump on the converse bandwagon.

not only are they comfy, but they are super affordable and can be worn with just about anything.  you can dress them up with a cute summer dress or dress them down with a pair of cutoff shorts and t-shirt.  i know i’ll get a lot of wear out of these and not only can i wear them this summer, but they’ll be the perfect thing to incorporate into my fall wardrobe with a pair of skinny jeans and a baggy sweater.

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^converse paired with white pants and a chambray shirt.

with converse coming in so many colours and styles, i feel like my collection will definitely be growing over the coming months.

tgif and have an amazing (and hopefully not too rainy) weekend!!!

friends forever.

everyone has those friends.  you know, those friendships you’ve had forever.  the type of relationship where you may not talk every day or see each other for weeks, but when you are together, you pick up exactly where you left off.

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^ ❤ these girls.

this weekend, i was so happy to celebrate one of my bff’s birthdays.  the weekend’s bday festivities reminded me how lucky i am to have such a great group of friends who i can always count to have a ridiculously fun time.

2014-05-10 15.54.38  ^^naturally a jay’s game was part of the afternoon bday festivities.

now that everyone is growing up, everyone has their own lives and responsibilities and unfortunately that means it gets harder and harder to find time for everyone to get together.  the good part is that these girls know me better than anyone and that no matter how busy we get, i know they will always be a big part of my life.

we all attended different universities, lived on various continents for the past couple years, and now have crazy busy lives, but through it all, we’ve maintained that kind of priceless friendship that you can only hope to have.

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IMG_7180 ^^fun up north this winter!!

we’ve been through so many ups & downs, big milestones, and really grown up together.  i’m so thankful for all the early mornings, late nights, shameless tears, huge smiles, and endless laughs we shared throughout the years. i can hardly wait to see what kind of crazy we will go through together in the coming years!


mid week moment.

as my big trip approaches (which i first told you guys about here), i am mixed with so many different feelings.

i’ve talked about wanting to do this trip for so long, but could never coordinate timing with friends and never dreamt of doing it alone.  but, sometimes life is about just taking a chance and doing things you never thought you would or could.

first time

deciding to book a month-long solo trip half-way across the world at the last minute, may seem like a nightmare to some people, but for me, the thought of it is thrilling!

like the quote ^^, this trip is all about firsts:
-first time backpacking.
-first time to asia.
-first time travelling completely solo.
-first time taking time out just for myself.
-first time being away from home for so long.
-first time i’m going to starve for 30 days…(just kidding, fingers crossed i’ll find something to eat)
…the list could go on and on.

i’m sure i’ll hit a couple road bumps (and probably have a couple mini-meltdowns along the way), but i’m definitely up for the challenge.

here’s to trying new things and exciting adventures!

happy hump day!

turkey burgers.

once upon a time i was a vegetarian.

whether this was a good idea or a bad idea is still up for debate.  i love the idea of being vegetarian, mostly for the humanitarian reasons, but it can be a pretty tricky regime to stick to and definitely not for everyone.  unfortunately for me, i just wasn’t getting enough (or any for that matter) protein in my diet and was always feeling tired and sluggish.  so, i slowly started incorporating some meat back into my diet a couple years ago to get my energy up.

since un-vegetarianizing, i’ve pretty much stuck to chicken or turkey and stayed away from red meats.  but, now that the weather is warming up and barbecue season is upon us, it’s getting harder and harder to resist sinking my teeth into a juicy, homemade, grilled burger.


after contemplating giving in to eating ground beef, i decided that i can probably make homemade turkey burgers that are equally as delicious. so, that’s indeed what i did.  last night for dinner, i made these yummy (and healthy) burgers:

ingredients (serves 4):

-1/4 cup minced garlic
-1/3 cup red onion
-1/3 cup pepper
-1/3 cup chopped spinach
-1 tbsp cajun spices
-450 g ground turkey
-4 hamburger buns
-salt & pepper to taste


  1. in a bowl, combine all ingredients.  stir until evenly mixed.
  2. shape the mixture into 4 patties.
  3. grill the burgers on a barbecue (or non-stick skillet) under cooked through.
  4. remove from heat, add bun, and serve with your choice of toppings.  ENJOY!

^^combine all ingredients.

IMG_2683^^stir until thoroughly combined.

^shape into patties.

IMG_2688^^grill ’em up!

IMG_2692^^serve! (i added caramelized onions + chipotle mayo).

IMG_2691^^bbq’d potatoes (tossed in olive oil + chipotle) made for the perfect side.

we added a light salad and baked potatoes to our meal and voila!  could that have been any easier??  you bet i’ll be making these again throughout the summer!

happy monday all!!

trip time.

ever since finishing university a couple years ago, i’ve watched friends embark on these amazing trips around the world.

i took a different path and focused on figure skating, work, and going back to school.  needless to say, i’ve always been more than a little envious hearing about these amazing adventures my friends were having.

^skating took over my life for a while, but i wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!

finally, i’m more than happy to say, that i’m now going to be the one gallivanting across the globe…if only for a month.

with my mom living in the middle east until the end of june, i decided it would be nice to pay her a visit over there.  we already conquered qatar, dubai and abu dhabi two years ago (pics below), so this time, we settled on visiting jordan and oman.

IMG_2202^^dubai by boat.

IMG_2273^^my last night in doha.


after what i’m sure will be a surreal 5 days with my mom in the middle east, i’m going to head off on my own to south east asia.

starting off in northern thailand, i’m going to spend some time making my way to bangkok and then off to cambodia and vietnam.

i’ve been to europe a handful of times, but never backpacked, so i’m both terrified and excited about the thought of being on my own in a completely different environment than i’m used to.

^had some down time off of skating while we in scotland.  downtown edinburgh was amazing!

it’s funny though, when i tell my friends and family about my travels, none of them seem to be too concerned about my safety (thanks guys!), but rather what i’m going to eat.  everyone knows by now that i am the world’s pickiest eater, so naturally the food issue is a big concern for me…do you guys think they have cheese and crackers over there?  but, let’s be real for a second, my biggest concern right now is, how in the heck am i going to pack for a month…in one backpack???

in all seriousness, i’ve always been very focused on building my life in toronto and for once i’m taking some time out to do something just for me.  i’m so excited to step out of my comfort zone and just see what else is out there!

see you soon, world!

mid week moment.

can you guys believe it’s may already?

^flowers are finally blooming in the garden. 

i’m not sure where the time has gone, but i can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that we’re almost halfway through 2014…how is that even possible?

i can’t help but look back on all the amazing experiences i’ve had in the first 5 months of the year.  from a new job, quick trips, family time, a renewed dedication to fitness and fun adventures with friends, i really can’t complain about 2014 so far.

through all the amazing memories i’ve already made this year, i’m even more excited for what’s to come.  2014, you’ve be so good to me!

check in to the fit palette tomorrow to hear about the latest adventure i’m about to embark on!!

^it’s true! forever thankful for what i have!!

happy wednesday friends!