Years ago when I worked with Virgin America I helped them launch service in Dallas Texas. It’s a really cool thing when a new airline joins a city. All kinds of celebrities and media are flown in on their biggest plane and before anyone exits the aircraft, a huge water cannon washes over the plane. It was so neat. Stephanie Pratt (Spencer’s sister) from The Hills, Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, and Xeni from Boing Boing were on the plane too. Read the full post here from Dec 1, 2010.

On this trip I met Richard Branson for the first time, Willie, LMFAO, a few other great people. This quote of his came up in my Facebook memories from this day in 2014 so I thought I’d share a little more about the day I met the author.

Redwood, redwood, coming in for landing xo. 

Redwood is the Virgin America (VX) callsign!

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Tramping in New Zealand

OK, I know what you are thinking and I THOUGHT THE SAME THING.

When I arrived in NZ we picked up the rental car at the airport. Next, we pulled into a parking lot at the airport to change into summer clothes. I took a few laps of the airport to get used to right-hand drive and being on the other side of the road. I was fine.  I drove us down to the Viaduct in Auckland to look at the boats. [Mum is really into sailing and has a boat, sailed from Ontario to the Bahamas and lived there for a year.]

We went into a sailing shop and I saw this mug…

We walked out of the store and very serious I came close to mum, and whispered in her ear “mum, what is tramping?

I was so serious. Tramping?
What is a tramping club?

Mum, WTF IS TRAMPING?

Because to me, ‘tramping’ would be something to do with tramps or going out to find a man. Something you might have done in college that involved a lot of shots. Nothing I would ever do, now.

In New Zealand…
TRAMPING IS HIKING!

Tramping, known elsewhere as backpacking, rambling, hill walking or bushwalking, is a popular activity in New Zealand. Tramping is defined as a recreational activity involving walking over rough country. Wikipedia

“tramps, ranging from easy to difficult”


WELL, THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW.
Here I am thinking something bad and it’s totally hiking. 

So, I went tramping on Piha beach and it was AMAZING.

Black sand due to volcanic sand and iron oxide. Cool eh!

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Settling Back Into Work Mode

This week I have two Mondays. I woke up about 7am Monday in Auckland, NZ and flew to San Francisco in the afternoon. Then we travelled back in time, and here I am experiencing Monday morning again in San Francisco. It’s 8:30am now and my flight is at 12:30pm. The wifi is great.

Luckily for me, I’m someone who looks forward to Monday, it always brings new opportunity and you never know what will happen. I’m glad to have North American power outlets, walk on the right (not left) side of the halls, and Starbucks everywhere. The wifi here is also great and I’m really glad to sit at my computer and settle back into work mode.


Since I’ve been on vacation for the first part of the year I kinda feel like I’m only starting 2018 now. Well, when I get home and wake up in my own bed. I’m excited for what this year will bring. I’m focused on doing more directing, travelling, and speaking. My blog will always be my diary but it’s important to constantly innovate. You don’t want to get left behind and I prefer to be ahead of the pack! 

The last month has been an opportunity to learn more about the things I really love doing and what I don’t want to do. I got a glimpse of lots of different lifestyles and perspectives. I strive to bring more joy into my life and keep my sunshiney positive attitude. The more you live that way the more you bring it into your life. Like attracts like. I have no time for negative attitudes, people, or perspectives.

Last year around this time I had a big awakening during my trip to LA.  This post was written Jan 14th and this one on January 31st if you want a refresh. When I came back to Canada I made a few changes that I stuck with all year.

  1. Do what you want – don’t fall into pressure to go places, hang out, or do anything you don’t want to do. You are the director of your life.
  2. Put yourself first – you need to self-care and make time to be creative, healthy, workout. Make yourself happy and you’ll have more sunshine to share.

I signed up for unlimited classes at Yoga Yoga Studio and went 3-4 times almost every week. At the start of each week, I put in classes my calendar and don’t miss one unless something important or a job comes up. There were obvs exceptions but I was focussed on making my classes because they make ME FEEL GOOD. They’re good for my mental health and great for stretching my bod.

I also gave up going to so many events. For years I went to heaps each week, I WAS EVERYWHERE. Back then, it was essential to getting my name out there and for building relationships. I highly recommend doing that if you’re just getting started! These days, my priorities have changed. I’m doing work I love and have some amazing partnerships. This year I’ll be continuing my work with Telus and Sassoon Toronto. I’ve got some projects on the go with 1188 and am represented by the National Speakers Bureau (Global Speakers Agency). This work brings me so much joy! 


2017 was the year of cutting the fat from my life. I went full Marie Kondo on my whole damn life. If something doesn’t bring me joy, byeeeeeee.

2018 is the year of love and light and I’m excited. 

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JUST HOLD ON WE’RE GOING HOME: live blog from 35,000ft!

Helloo! I’m on United flight 916 from Auckland, New Zealand to San Francisco, California. Mum and I are watching Battle of the Sexes movie about the Billie Jean King story. For years I’ve had a Billie Jean King quote framed on my wall that was given to me by mum when I was a teenager. Perfect timing for this movie considering what’s happening in the world right now. As the plane took off I put through an order for a ‘Time’s Up’ shirt via PayPal on my phone. Mum thought that was pretty cool and such a ‘me’ thing to do as the plane was taking off.

As we were boarding I got a notification a new game of HQ Trivia was starting. I’ve got mum hooked on it this trip. We haven’t got higher than 7 questions but what does it matter?! we both love Scotty (the hilar host) and we have a bunch of laughs every single time.

Before driving to the airport I bought 2 books of stamps and sent off a pile of postcards I’ve written this trip. I asked people to give me their address and also sent them to people I’ve worked with or haven’t seen in a while.

I love travelling so much. Sending postcards is something I’ve been doing the last few years and it always makes me feel great writing them and sending sunshine to people around the world.

This trip was really awesome. I saw parts of NZ I’ve always wanted to and spend a good chunk of time driving the open road by myself.  I learned a lot and mum’s said she learned a lot from me about travelling too.

HOMETIME! Have an extra bag because of all the SHOPPING!


I’m really proud we made it through the 21 days together and came out strong. There were some hard family times to go through and a bit of drama but we stuck together. Both mum and I feel at peace with Nana, it was hard but it’s good we were there. We have nothing but pure joy when it comes to the family and all the cousins. I got to see so many people and build/form new relationships. Mum spent a few extra days in her hometown hanging out with cousins and old friends.  I feel non-ironic, honestly actually, blessed to have great people in my life.

I also feel pretty lucky to have such a great mum. Yes, there were times she drove me crazy (what mother doesn’t!) but we also had so many laughs, went for walks, stopped at nearly every vintage shop we saw, and drove long country roads singing along to Adele (haha). we didn’t make it yoga but there’s time for that.

Excited to be coming home and have memories to last a lifetime. They are serving lamb as the lunch on the way home with couscous and it is delicious. I love new Zealand food! We are also having Heineken!

With love from the sky at 35,000 ft!

 

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On  The Road Again: Palmerston North to Lake Taupo

I spent most of today in the car on a 3hr road trip from Palmerston North to Taupo. Woke up feeling a bit groggy from loud singing Adele with mum after an amazing dinner and few bottles of wine with my cousins. We had so much fun together last night. I love having my family close, getting to know them, making jokes together, them making fun of me, and laughing. This trip has been so exciting.

PETER, ISAAC, COOKIE, ALEC (and the doggos!)


I went to say my last goodbye to nana at the home this morning. She was doing better than yesterday but she’s had quite a decline from the first day I saw her over a week ago. Getting old is sad. Next, we visited my cousin Lisa and gave gifts to her three darling little daughters. It was nice. Lisa came to visit us in Canada when she was 9. Her and my sister used to look so much alike. Lisa is 1/2 Maori and beautiful. Mum is staying in Palmy this week to spend more time with her mum and I’m on the road alone.

The best parts of my trip today were stopping at least 10 times to take photos and post things on the internet. A long drive on the open road is nice but I like to take photos so luckily for me, New Zealand has a lot of rest stops.

Aside from driving on the other side of the road, it’s pretty challenging because the roads are narrow and twist and wind all over the place. You really have to concentrate. I had my GoPro along for the drive and haven’t even checked the card for that yet. I’m planning to do some data backup and management on the long, nearly 24-hour journey back to Canada.

I stopped to take some photos from this lookout.

Stopped at Mt Ruapehu, an active stratovolcano at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. On the way in we drove past but it was too cloudy to see the peaks. Still looks good from the last time I saw it back when I was 18! The last eruption was in 2007.

Then went to the Tokaanu Hot Pools about 45 minutes outside Taupo. For $12 you can get our own private pool. I took a dip in the public one too and was out of there in just over 20 min. One of the joys of solo travel is zipping in and out of tourist attractions really fast. In Wellington, I did both the National Museum Te Papa and the War Museum in about 30 min each. That post is coming soon. I’m a few days behind!


At Lake Taupo I stopped for ice cream at the beach and read my book in the sun. It was so lovely. People were swimming, riding bikes, riding seadoos, parasailing, and boating.

This thing was melting so fast, was hot AF outside!

After a little rest up on the beach, I drove over to my Airbnb. My hosts are super nice. We talked over tea before they headed out for a night swim at the pool. I took in the sunset and soaked up the wifi to write this all down.

Hosts have a nice patio where I sat with my computer for a bit.

I love you New Zealand.

I’m really having a great time. I miss Sean and home but I also love being on the road. Can you believe we sill have 5 more days!? Tomorrow I drive to Auckland to stay with a friend. Can’t wait!

With love from New Zealand,

 

 

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G’day from down under! Haven’t had great wifi the last couple days and it’s actually been quite lovely! We’ve got a small cabin at a park on the beach about 2 hours north of Auckland. I was 12 when I was last here.

It’s so great to spend time with my cousins and family. Today we’re having a New Years Eve Hāngi, a traditional Māori method of cooking for special occasions. Instead of cooking it in the ground, uncle Donald and Linda are cooking the food all day in a beer keg!

Today I went fishing w/ my cousin and caught this big snapper!

Being out on the water was incredibly beautiful and HOT. My god the sun here is brilliantly warm and sun block is essential because there’s a hole in the ozone layer. I’m going for safe gradual tan and we’ve still got 2 weeks to go.

Tomorrow we drive to Taupo and stay in a farm house Airbnb for one night. Next we head to Palmerston North for a couple days then out to the coast near Masterton for the weekend.

Sending love and sunshine from the future (18 hours ahead of Toronto)!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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This is the Best Travel Accessory EVER.

Mum and I arrived in New Zealand earlier this week and the flight was pretty great. I was a little nervous about driving in NZ on the other side of the road with a right-hand drive car but it was totally ok.

I was super alert after sleeping half of the flight from San Francisco to Auckland.

NOT A GOOD TRAVEL PILLOW

Everyone knows the travel pillows below but they’re bulky, not that stylish, and don’t really hold up your head.

Well, do I have the best travel accessory ever for you! 

I ordered the Trtl pillow from Amazon and when mum came over before we left, she was like “ok I need one of these too”. So now I have ordered two. It was an absolute lifesaver for the journey here. It wraps around your neck like a scarf and the plastic bit under the cover holds your head up. I slept 5 hours on the 11-hour flight, incredible! 



I picked up a few other things for this trip and they’ve already come in super handy. We’re in Auckland this week and driving up to the Coromandel Peninsula tomorrow to spend some time at the beach with some family on my dad’s side. I love it here so much.


With love from New Zealand!

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I’m nervous/excited today and that’s my favourite feeling in the world.  The feeling you get before something big happens, before you make a significant change or a go on a great adventure. Tomorrow I’m on set for a few scenes of my cameo in a feature film. Yes, me! Huge call sheet with lots of scenes and set times, characters, craft, lighting. So exciting! On Sunday mum and I leave for New Zealand.

This is where we are spending 3 days over New Years with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

Coromandel Peninsula & Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

If you’ve been following, you’ll know Aeroplan covered the tickets for mum and I to go back to NZ. The video I shot with 1188/Aeroplan is now out and I am genuinely so excited. Scroll down to watch it!

Last week on set with Aeroplan


In other exciting travel news, Aeroplan just launched a new tool for using your Miles to book flights and get travel deals. I’ve been an Aeroplan member since I was a teenager and redeeming miles has been helpful in my adventures. I also have a credit card that helps me earn rewards.

I got a chance to check out the site as soon as it launched and obvs my first instinct was to check the great deals. As more people book the great deals, more will come available. Some of the destinations on my vacation dreams list are Barcelona, Venice, Lisbon, and Athens. The interface is nice and clean and it’s easy to navigate.

I found a great deal to Paris in the springtime which has been a dream of mine for the last few years.  I imagine Sean and I riding bikes with berets and baguettes, romantic walks by the tour Eiffel. Lots of flowers and cafes.

I’m really excited and can’t wait for adventure that lies ahead.
See my Aeroplan video below and check out the new travel site here.



 

FYI I talked about my partnership with Aeroplan here.

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I’m so excited for this month. I love doing Christmas things like baking and getting the tree with Sean and Emily. I love Christmas music! I can’t wait to take the trip of a lifetime w/ my mum. Next week I’m shooting a fun video I already can’t wait to share. Feeling grateful to be starting the month in New Orleans and ending it in New Zealand. It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen ANY of my family and 18 years since I’ve seen most of them! Looking forward to making lots of memories this month. Flying home tomorrow and can’t wait to see my bf!

With love from New Orleans!

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Yesterday was so lovely. I spend hours walking around and taking in the sunshine. I sat in the park reading my book for over an hour then managed to get in some shopping and good food later in the day. Today is a bit overcast and we might get rain but I’m loving the warm air and finding inspiration around every corner. There are so many friendly people and bright buildings here it’s hard not to walk around with a smile.

Gold Joan of Arc Statue gifted from France

Sending sunshine from down south in the Big Easy! 

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