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Travel Tips to Portugal

Portugal is increasingly becoming more popular as one of the leading travel destinations to visit.

With over 27 million visitors a year, you’ll meet other international visitors with the largest nationalities coming from UK, Spain, and France. Listen for their accents!

I spent 7 days in Portugal and wanted to share some of my travel tips that would help and provide insights to others going there as well. At the end of my blog, I have an excel doc of my itinerary for ideas on places to go and where to stay. Please note, that I’m the type of traveler who likes to be on the go all the time. I get bored easily and am not big on seeing museums and cathedrals. I’m big on being outdoors and always down to try new things from eating different foods to skydiving. Feel free to use it as a guide but I recommend doing some research on things YOU like to do.

Anyways, let’s get to the tips, shall we?

  1. It’s safe and clean to drink tap water.
  2. Most cars are manual. If you plan on driving, there are lots of tolls and roundabouts. Make sure you have the Waze app to alert you on all the speed traps.
  3. Trains and public transit are really easy to use. Pull up Google Maps to find transit information on your travels. Uber is also available. It cost less than €10 from the Lisbon Airport to the City Center. Another option is to bike or scooter around and in the city center.
  4. Save money and visit the local groceries stores such as Aldi or Continente. Make bistro sandwiches, get snacks and drinks, all for under €10 for 2 days, 2 people.
  5. Get a SIM card. It cost less than €10.
  6. There is no obligation to tip at restaurants, hotels, or bars. However, tips are appreciated, and I’ve read that between 5% to 10% tip is considered good!
  7. The bread and water are NOT free at restaurants. If you touch it, you buy it! Some restaurants will put bread on your table without asking you and will then charge you for it. Make sure you ask before they do so to avoid unnecessary costs you did not intend for.
  8. Restaurants do not serve tap water. They can provide bottled water for a fee. On average it’s about €3. I always carry water with me everywhere, so I don’t ask for any water.
  9. Depending on your budget, try to find a hotel close to or in the city center. All the city centers of each major city are walkable. My budget was under $100 (CAD) a night for 2 people, plus free parking. Some included free breakfast which we would then pack a lunch for the day! Download apps like Booking.com to see what is available for your dates and budgets.  
  10. Spend, eat and do whatever you want. This is your vacation. Don’t let anyone or money get in the way of living your best life! Live with regret or live with great memories. You decide.
  11. Mask restrictions have been lifted and are only required on airplanes, public transit and hospitals.
  12. Be prepared for long lineups at popular tourist spots.
  13. Not everyone speaks English so make sure you have Google translate or a translation app for your convenience.
  14. A few items I always pack with me on my travels:
    • Advil. Ibuprofen is available at the pharmacy but it’s hard to find one when you are in need.
    • Ziplock bags. For sandwiches, for liquid items, for your electronics when you’re on the beach, for dirty clothes. So many useful things for them!
    • Good walking shoes as you’ll rack up a lot of steps. Most sidewalks are cobblestone and uneven. Additionally, bring slippers for the hotels and beaches if you plan on going.
    • MUST HAVE – Sunscreen and lotion. Skincare is very important. It’s the only skin you have, so take care of it.
    • At least 1 cute outfit for those amazing pictures you will be taking!
    • Bring tissue. Most public washrooms do not have tissue, or you may find yourself peeing in the bushes if you plan on going to the Algarve.

Portugal Itinerary https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CcpXp9vBd42Xn_H5_kc_fTtWM98E6hEl5NEdZGL2x4o/edit#gid=0

If you have any questions, give me a shout.

Have fun 🙂

One Year Back In Toronto

Time flies when you’re having fun!

I moved back to Toronto from Sydney in the summer of 2016.  The weather was fabulous and I spent majority of my time down at the beach. I got myself a serving job down there as well where I worked during the day  and played beach volleyball in the evenings. The only downside of the job I can really say was that I was required to wear 2 inch heels and a tight black dress that would ride up my bum every 5 seconds. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad. The dress did make my boobs look great!

The CL Crew

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In November, I turned 30 and had a dirty old time at Citizens Night Club. I really can’t recall much after downing my first drink. #onehitwonder.

The next day, I flew out to Peru with 3 guys that didn’t know each other. My cousin, a volleyball friend and an American I met on a plane a few years ago. We got spoiled rotten in Peru. We lived in my uncle’s hotel in Lima, had a chauffeur and delicious food made for us almost everyday. The real backpacking adventure didn’t start until we hiked up to Machu Picchu. It was an incredible experience that I highly recommend everyone to do.

The crew in Peru

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I embraced my first Canadian winter in 4 years and IT WAS COLD! I spent majority of my winter at home, reading, drinking hot chocolate and wearing a big granny sweater and pink slippers. I don’t like doing any winter sports. Skating, snowboarding and skiing does not appeal to me whatsoever as I had many near-death experiences and injuries in the past.

In January, I started the new year right with a random trip to Vegas and had the time of my life. Lots of food, shows, parties and pornstars. #davidcopperfield #jabbawockeezs #gordonramsay #zappos #avn #adultdigitalconference.

AVN Penthouse Party at HardRock Hotel. The only PG photo I have.

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In February, I got hired full time as a Digital Marketer. It came with many perks and lots of new friends. My commute was only a 15 min drive. I got to leave at 4:20pm from Mon to Thurs and 1pm on Fridays. I even joined our company softball team and we came 3rd overall.

TR Softball Team

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In May, I took a road trip to Chicago and found myself addicted to Garrett’s popcorn. I remember taking one bite, which lead to another and then demolishing the whole bag in 5 minutes. My addiction was real as I had no shame ravenously licking my fingers and inside of the bag as I was walking around downtown.

Garrett’s Popcorn

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In early August, I got let go. It was a shock to me but truth be told, I wasn’t the least bit sad or upset about it. To this day, I haven’t even looked back on what has happened, it just did.

I have 2 options. I can worry, stress myself out and get white hairs or I can choose to be happy and laugh hard, building my ab muscles.

Life is great at the moment and I am truly happy.  I’m currently living the Canadian dream. Getting paid weekly by doing nothing or working for it.  I’ve been playing beach volleyball almost everyday, while claiming employment insurance 😀  Just want to say thank you to all the taxpayers in Canada for your financial contribution and support!

While I enjoy funemployment, I know the next opportunity is waiting for me around the corner and a trip to India!

Oh lastly, as everybody always ask, YES, I am still single. So if there’s any guys out there that wants this croc wearing cutie pie, just holla at me and I’ll take YOU on a date. I have my own ride so I can pick you up and I have EI to spend. (In addition to freeloading off my mom who can cook us dinner). 😀

Depending on the circumstances, I may even wash my hair for you 😉

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What 30 Days Of Blogging Taught Me

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WOW! I did it! The feeling of accomplishment is like THANK GOD I’M FINALLY DONE! This wasn’t easy, but it was definitely a great creative exercise for me. If I’ve made you smile, laugh or made you think, than that’s a just bonus.

There’s so many things I want to say on what I’ve learned in the past 30 days; my thought process, struggles and so forth. Just to keep it short, I’m going to leave you with my 3 most important lessons I’ve learned throughout this challenge.

To refer back to a previous blog post, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time. I prioritized 3 hours every day to writing my blogs. Some people can take about 5 minutes to write a page blog, some others like me takes ALOT longer. In the end, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there, as long as you don’t stop! YOU’LL BE THERE!

You can accomplish anything you want as long as you prioritize it and keep a consistent habit of deliberate practice. For example, you can jog every single day of your life and not be a second faster or get closer to making the Olympics. Experts practice by setting stretch goals, taking it day by day and tracking their progress along the way.

Lastly, experts don’t become experts by focusing on what they already do well. They strive to improve specific weaknesses. Build your weaknesses, until they become strengths. English was always my worst subject in school. As you can tell, I make a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes when I write but it’s better to do something imperfectly, than to do nothing flawlessly. 

So what’s next for me? I’ll be continuing my insanity workout challenge for the next month and trying to restart my “no process sugar diet” again. However, I’m going to take a break from writing and look at doing some online courses such as web development, video editing and graphic designing. If any of you guys are an expert in these fields, I would love to connect.

xoxo

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Middle Child Syndrome

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I am a middle child of 5 girls. Yes, my parents desperately tried for a boy and ended with all girls instead.

As a middle child, I do believe we are given less attention than our siblings and with no special treatment at all. For example, we’re always given hand-me-down clothes. We’re either considered too young to reap the privileges of the oldest or too old to get spoiled compared to the youngest. This is what’s known as the “middle child syndrome”.

We are often referred to as the neglected, the rebel, the black sheep, and the outcast of the family.

When parents tell you they don’t have a favourite child and loves everyone equally, they are LYING to you. My parents still babies my youngest sister whose 24 now and I constantly hear from my mom how wonderful my 4th sister is and how she turned out so well compared to the rest of us.

This past weekend, my 4th sister flew back home for the weekend from San Francisco. My parents were so excited for her to come home that they spent hours prepping a nice dinner for her arrival. I remember when I moved back home from Australia, I got nothing! No warm welcome or food and I had to bring up my own luggage to my room.

I’m not mad or jealous and I frankly don’t care. I’m just pointing out the evidence on behalf of all the middle children out there reading this blog.

If you think we have the shit end of the stick to literally everything, well you’re kinda right BUT it has shaped us to become driven, ambition, creative, social and independent. Studies have shown that middles are more open-minded, adventurous and are likely to succeed and become great leaders such as Gill Gates, Donald Trump, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.

So go ahead, rub this into your siblings’ faces and be proud to be the middle child as I am.

Thank the oldest for taking on all the responsibilities and pressure of getting good grades and setting the expectations. Thank the youngest for being under the careful eye of the parents while you seek out and hang with your friends. Lastly, thank your parents for dealing with your rebellion because your shit was not easy 😛

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Successful People Have Coaches

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Studies show that most people who succeed have a mentor, a Rabbi, and a coach.  Think about it. Have you ever noticed that an Olympic athlete will have a coach by their side. Top business executives look for executive coaches to help them take their game to a higher level. Those who has faith in God will believe in his promise of living a blessed life.

I’m lucky to say that I’ve always had great mentors throughout my career, Jesus by my side and life coaches to help me through my personal issues.

I love meeting people from different background and from different places.  My most interesting encounters are always the ones who have made the most impact on my life.

When I first tried online dating, I met a guy on Tinder who I befriended. He wasn’t thrilled about it, but he did become my sales coach and got me to follow Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Darren Hardy. This has helped me tremendously in my previous sales role. I built myself to be fearless and resilient when I was making those cold calls.

I’m a binge eater when I’m stressed, emotional or starving. A former client of mine shared his knowledge of holistic nutrition with me which led to monthly therapy sessions, rather than client strategy meetings. I would say he’s one of my many Life Coaches, but he’s also more my Naturopath and an Astrologer. Yes, he does all my astrology readings and tells me who I’m compatible with me.

In 2015, I met a 20 old year guy who was travelling to Australia. We met up once and stayed in touched through Facebook. Since the start of this year, we’ve been having video chats every Sunday at 6pm. We talk about anything and everything that’s on our minds but more importantly, what are our goals and what will it take to get us there.

We’re each others accountability partner. He’s also the one that challenged me to write a blog everyday for 30 days. No matter where we are, whether I’m on the beach or he’s travelling around the States, we always make time for our video chats.

I met my best friend years ago on MSN. He used to be a professional poker player. Today, he’s a very successful real estate agent who is one of the top 6% in Canada. He used to live down the street from me and I would always go over late at night to netflix and chill (with him and his wife). I love him because he’s complete opposite of me. I’m a dreamer,  he’s a realist. I’m a thinker, he’s a doer. I’m a silly girl, he’s a business man.

When I moved back to Toronto last year, I was in a transitional phase and had issues adjusting to my new lifestyle and environment. I met a wise man on the beach who became my life coach. Every time I talk to him, he never asks me questions. He just listens and then makes me come up with the answers myself. THANKS FOR NOTHING!

I don’t think I’m crazy. I do think I’m like the people that I surround myself with.

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I highly encourage you to find a mentor, a coach, a therapist or someone who can provide you with encouragement, motivation or any assistance along your journey in life. If you don’t know where to start, you can holla at your girl here.

 

Can Guys & Girls Be Friends?

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Hair washed – check
Make up done – check
Clothes without stains – check
Fancy panties – check

I’m all ready for a night out in Toronto. I haven’t gone out since …. IT’S BEEN AWHILE.

My Friday night started off at Mercer Rooftop Bar. The weather was calm, the music was pumping and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with my long time friend (who gave me my first journal).

He mentioned to me, expect to get picked up tonight. I was like WHAT? NO WAY!

To skip through the rest of the night, I ended up giving out my number to 2 guys with no intentions of pursuing anything further except friendship. I think both of them were quite disappointed as they were expecting more.

This lead me to think why we can’t just be friends? Is it because of the social environment we were in that led to further expectations of sex or more?

The underlining question here is: Can a single guy be friends with a single girl when they first meet?

In a girl’s perspective, they will say YES.

However, in a guy’s point of view, they will say NO.

Just from my point of view, I consider myself friendly and social. It’s been almost a year now since I’ve moved back to Toronto. I’m still discovering my city and actively seeking new friends who are in the same life stage as me (young professionals);  as majority of my friends are now married with children.  I have many goals I want to accomplish and getting laid is not high on my priority list.

Asking for a guy’s perspective on this subject matter, these are the reasons why single guys and girls do not start out as friends.

  1. “It’s too complicated”. What a typically male answer.
  2. Guy’s first assessment of a girl is “Can I sleep with her?” Yes, talk to her. No, move on.
  3. A guy then ask himself, “Do I want to sleep with her?”. Yes, approach with caution. No, she’s too fat. Swipe left.

I’m not a dude so I can’t say I understand their thought process fully. Again, guys are dicks and girls are crazy. It is what it is so just accept it and move on.

To conclude, I definitely had a good time last night. As for the guys I’ve met, let’s say I’m doing them a favour by not corresponding back to them as they don’t know my true appearance with my unwashed hair and crocs.

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Why Are Guys Dicks & Girls Crazy?

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Have you ever noticed girls are often called “crazy” and guys are normally referred to as a “dick”.

So what is classified as “crazy” and what traits qualified one to be a “dick’?

Crazy can be classified under 3 categories:

  1. Mentally insane – when one has no control over their body or mind like a psycho.
  2. Abnormal behaviour – When someone does something that’s out of the norm or that’s not part of “status quo” like stalking.
  3. Ex- girlfriend – a former lover who is emotionally irrational.

Being a dick can also be classified under 3 categories:

  1. The male genitals – a penis.
  2. Selfish attitude – behaving mean and inconsiderate of others.
  3. Ex-boyfriend – a former lover who is stupid and mean.

From my 10 minutes of research and debates with my colleagues, this is what I’ve concluded on why girls are “crazy” and guys are “dicks”.

1.Girls overthink a simple situation. Girls think about a million things at once.

– Ok, I got to finish this report by 3pm.
– I wonder what Evan is doing right now?
– What should I wear Friday night?
– Rebecca’s outfit is so cute. I wonder where she got it from.

Guys are not as great at multitasking. They can only focus on one thing at a time. True or false?

2. Girls lead and follow with heart first, head second. When the head and heart don’t agree, it causes irrational emotions.

Guys think with their penis first, then maybe their head. If it doesn’t have anything to do with sex, why bother?

3.Girls are insecure. There are so many beautiful woman everywhere and it’s hard not to compare ourselves.

It can be applied to guys as well but they have an ego to protect.

Guys need to feel like they are in power. It goes back prehistorically when men are hunters and women are gathers. Men are providers and women are nurturers. Men make fire and women make babies.

When there is a power struggle, that’s when conflict can arise.

Girls tend to think that they are always right and tend to give advice to their partners. Listen ladies, men don’t want your advice. They just want acknowledgment, food and sex. Simple as that.

4.Girls tend to be more open with their thoughts and feelings.

Guys don’t like to show emotions, which may appear heartless. Showing emotions can be a sign of vulnerability. This goes back to my point of men being the alpha-male, ego and dominance.

To conclude, I think girls and guys are just misunderstood and if you take the time to understand the opposite sex, it’ll save you alot of time, headaches and heartbreaks.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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May 24th – Hump Day Thoughts

 

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5:30am:  Another 10 minutes.

5:50am: Alright! Keys, surface pro, shoes, water. Ok, let’s do this!

6:10am: I’m dreading this so much right now.

6:30am: *Breathing heavily* MY LEGS ARE BURNING!

6:40am:  I’m going to pass out and DIE here in my pool of sweat.

6:50am: *Big sigh* One workout down, 2 more to go this week.

7:10am: This sports bra is soo soaked it’s clinging to me like a limpet.

7:15am: To wash hair or not wash hair? Ehh, just tie your hair up in a bun. It’s fine.

7:40am: *Sniff* Are these socks clean?

8:05am: Oatmeal, yogurt, egg, coffee, laptop, yoga bag, gym clothes… anything else?

8:10am: I’m in love with the shape of you, we push and pull like a magnet do…..

8:30am: Where’s my badge?  I do this everyday. Argh!!! I wonder if Scott is around to open the door for me.

9:00am: Oatmeal time. Nom, nom, nom.

9:04am: DAMN IT! Not again. I hope it doesn’t stain. Classy, so classy!

10:15am: I gotta fart. Ok, washroom time.

11:00am: Me so hungry. Should I eat my lunch now or save it for later? What do I have in my draws? Rice cakes. Sure.

11:30am: I’m still hungry! Damn it. The more I workout, the more I eat. I’m not losing weight at this rate.

1pm: Ok, time for my lunch walk. Really Lisa. Running shoes with dress pants? You so trendy.

2:30pm: Is it home time yet? *Sigh* Let me eat this disgusting Kirkland protein bar to pass time.

3:00pm: Argh…. These pants are so tight. My knee is itchy.

3:02pm: Aiii.. yup, this fork is hitting the spot.

3:05pm: Did some say “cake?” Mmmmm…..

3:30pm: Such a nice day for beach volleyball. I wonder if I should sneak out early and head to the beach? No…… I don’t have time. I got to blog tonight.

4:50pm: WOHOO!! I’M OUTTA HERE!

4:53pm: DAMN GIRL! What nice long legs you got there with a big round ass to go with it. I wonder if the face matches the body? Yup, I would totally tap her.

5:05pm:  It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes. I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off .

5:10pm: Yoga or no yoga? I’m hungry. I’m going home.

6:00pm: What should I write today?

 

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I Ain’t Got Time For That

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What is the most valuable commodity in your life? Some say its money, family, health and so on.

Have you ever thought about your time as one of your most precise resources you have and can give to others?

Because time is an intangible object, we often don’t think of it as a commodity.  Rather more so as a reality check. Ex. “What time is it?”, “I had a good time”, “Time for bed”, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Time is equal for all. Everybody has the same amount of hours and minutes in a day. Nobody can buy it, save it or multiple it. All anyone can do is spend it. How YOU spend it reveals your true values.

A person could say his health is important to him, but if he’s too busy to spend time on exercise and nutrition, we would question how truthful he is being about his values. (labrada.com)

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Most of us think carefully about how we invest our money, but how many of us put as much thought into how we invest our time? You can always earn more money, but when time is gone, it’s gone. (shaa.com)

So please…..

Don’t waste time craving things you don’t have.

Don’t waste time living in the past.

Don’t waste time being angry about things you cannot do anything about.

Don’t waste time complaining.

Don’t waste time on someone who doesn’t have time for you.

Ultimately, don’t waste time on people or things that don’t bring any value to you in the long run.

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Week 3 Recap – Not There Yet

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I am tired. I am very tired. I’ve been working out every single day last week doing Insanity workout videos or playing volleyball. I look at my body and I look at the scale and I haven’t seen any changes.

Argh! Why am I not seeing results?

You often hear stories of how people lose weight quickly, like drop 10lbs in 2 weeks. It is possible, but we have to realize that those are either exceptional cases or those people have committed to a very strict short-term diet.

Everyone is always look for that “quick fix”, when in reality, it takes hours and hours of hard work and dedication that you’ll see any progress with anything you do.

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Typically, when people start a new workout program or a diet, they are highly motivated in the 1st week because it’s new and exciting. On average, people usual give up in the 2nd or 3rd week as the excitement wears off and the willpower is gone.

Thinking logically and not emotionally, I’m putting into perspective that I’ve only completed 21 days of my 60 day Insanity challenge. I still have a long way to go and giving up now is not an option, as I thrive for that sense of accomplishment.

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It’s been difficult, but it also has been a good experience writing a blog a day in conjunction with my fitness challenge. It gives me the chance to reflect on myself and write out my thoughts, rather than thinking and forgetting about them afterwards.

Now that my head is clear and I’m thinking reasonably, I can plan out my actions for success this week and push myself even harder.

P.S. I’ve given up on my 30 day no process sugar challenge so hello ice cream, we meet again!

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