"Fairy's Journeys" fairy_dust's Profile

Brief Notes on my Travels

I am a 32-year-old Canadian who loves to travel. So far in my life, I've been to Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, and the Dominican Republic.

My most significant travel adventure was in the spring of 2007 when I lived in Seville for 2.5 months, studying Spanish for 2 weeks and flamenco dance for 2 months (I also returned to Seville in 2014), and then went to Rome for 2 weeks (which was my second trip to Rome) before returning to Canada. I met a VTer for the first time ever while in Seville during my first trip there (Spanishguy) and hope to meet more VTers if possible. Love you all!

My first big VT meet was Euromeet 2009 in Portugal. Lots of sun, partying, naughty fun, and drunken debauchery - Claus and DAO being crazy (the skinny-dipping incident was just one of their crazy stunts!), Andy and Gareth singing karaoke drunk out of their minds, the pool party as the sun was rising on Sunday morning, etc. Then a year later, I went to Euromeet 2010 in Poland and it was more of an educational experience for me - my first time in Eastern Europe, in a country still recovering from decades of communism, as well as a day trip that included a tour of Auschwitz concentration camp. I can't really compare these two Euromeets because they were so different - Portugal was more fun, but Poland was more intriguing.

Most of my other travels have had to do with either study, religion/spirituality, or dance. I have taken university courses abroad in Spain and Sweden (I lived in Sweden for 5 months as an exchange student and took summer courses in Spain twice). I have been to 3 World Youth Days (in Rome, Toronto, and Cologne) and have travelled to the DR with a Church program to learn about poverty and injustice in the Third World. I've traveled to Spain to learn flamenco, and to Argentina to learn the tango. Here is a list of my journeys, starting the summer after I graduated from high school:

Italy (Rome, Assisi) - 2000
Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo, San Cristobal, El Cacao, Ingenio Consuelo) - 2001
Spain (Salamanca, Madrid, Barcelona, Avila) - 2002
Ontario, Canada (Toronto) - 2002
Sweden (Sundsvall, Kiruna) - 2003
Spain (Salamanca) - 2003
Portugal (Lisbon, Obidos) - 2003
Germany (Cologne, Fulda, Steinhaus, Margretenhaun) - 2005
Ontario, Canada (Toronto) - 2006
Quebec, Canada (Montreal) - 2007
Spain (Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, El Rocio, Algeciras) - 2007
Italy (Rome, Assisi, Tivoli) - 2007


Portugal (Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, Estoril) - 2009
France (Paris) - 2009
Poland (Krakow) - 2010
Argentina (Buenos Aires) - 2012
Uruguay (Colonia) - 2012
Spain (Seville) - 2014

I don't know where I will go next, but I love Spain so much that there's a good chance I'll end up returning to Seville! I've also been developing an obsession for the Argentine tango and went to Buenos Aires to learn it. Just as I went to Seville to learn flamenco, I wanted to go to Buenos Aires to learn the tango, and finally did it as my "big trip for the big 3-0" (I turned 30 in the summer of 2012). And lately, I'm becoming very interested in the Brazilian samba... maybe I should go to Rio de Janeiro to learn it? Lately, I've also developed an interest for walking pilgrimages such as the Camino de Santiago, so maybe I'll try that someday... Aside from that, I moved to Montreal in the fall of 2008 after a long time of wanting to live here.

My home - Montreal (Canada)

I have been living in Montreal since November 2008. I had wanted to move there for years, and finally went while I was going through one of the most difficult times of my life. It was a chance to start fresh and begin a new life nothing like the one I decided to leave behind in the place where I grew up.

I was attracted to Montreal because it's nothing like the other big cities in Canada. The French-Canadian flavour sets it apart from the rest, and its artistic scene is world-famous. I have family here so I visited often as a child and teenager, and when I was in my early 20s, I pondered the idea of living there someday.

My first year here was difficult. I encountered a lot of setbacks - unemployment, difficulty making friends, roommate problems, etc. But I knew I had to overcome these - Montreal was my new home and I was not going to go crawling back to my old hometown and the life that had made me miserable. About a year after I arrived, I finally found a job I liked, a decent place to live, and met new friends who enjoyed spending time with me. I even started meeting guys and dating, though I am not in a relationship at the moment (to guys reading this who only join VT to pick up - DO NOT SEND ME MESSAGES, I AM TOO SMART TO FALL FOR YOUR BULLCRAP).

Montreal is now my home - it is to me, what New York City is to Carrie Bradshaw. I feel comfortable here, and have no plans or intention to leave anytime soon.

My home away from home - Seville (Spain)

Of all the places I've visited, my favourite is Seville. I went there for the first time in 2007. I had originally wanted to return to Salamanca after 2 fabulous trips there in 2002 and 2003 (to take summer courses at the university), but this time, I was more interested in learning flamenco dance and in experiencing the big cultural traditions in Seville, such as Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril (April Fair). Considering all this, I decided to go to Seville instead and figured that if I miss Salamanca that much, I'll go visit for a weekend sometime. In the end, I never went back to Salamanca. Seville had taken its place as my favourite Spanish city, as well as my favourite city in the world.

That trip to Seville in 2007 was a coming of age for me (even though I was 24 at the time). To cut a long story short, I achieved travel and dance goals that I'd had in mind for a long time, realized it's possible for me to fall in love again even after a major broken heart, met friends that I would have never met otherwise, found the courage to do things I never thought I'd be able to do, experienced religious awakenings that I never would have had anywhere else, and went through some very difficult (to say the least) moments that really tested my sanity and my ideas of the world. I felt like Alice in Wonderland - thrown into a mesmerizing new world unlike anything I'd ever known, meeting new and interesting people continuously, and having all sorts of life-changing adventures. In my 2.5 months there, I grew and changed so much as a person that I don't think it's possible for me to go back to being who I was before this trip. I arrived in Seville as a young girl, and left as a young woman.

I returned to Seville in 2014, older and wiser than I was the first time around. But this trip was amazing and unforgettable too. History repeated itself in subtle ways, but I was able to avoid most of the problems I had encountered during the first trip. I will return someday - I'm aiming for next spring, if possible. But I'll definitely be back. Seville is my home away from home and no other place I've visited even comes close.

My years as a university student (2000-2005)

I graduated from university in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts. My major was English and my minor was Spanish. During my university years, I enjoyed being involved in activities, such as:

New Student Orientation. After my own orientation, I was a team leader every year after that. It's a week full of fun for both frosh and leaders. The biggest one I was involved in was in 2004 (which was my last one). Our whole team was very spirited and we all had loads of fun.

The Activities of the Chaplaincy Centre. My friends and I often got involved in retreats planned by the Chaplaincy Centre, as well as Mass and social activities. In my last year, I was vice-president of the Faith Society, a member of a group of students who went to World Youth Day in Germany in the summer of 2005, and have attended the CCSA (Canadian Catholic Students' Association) Atlantic Regional Conference in November 2004. In between classes, my friends and I practically lived in the Chaplaincy Centre.

The Theatre Society. I was in several plays during my last 2 years of university. Aside from the theatre society, I also performed in a musical when I was in Sweden as an exchange student. A few Swedes I knew got me involved in the Spex (theatre society type of group) of the university I attended, and I ended up playing a dancer in "Utan Rim Och Reson" - a musical written and directed by a student of the university (and I even had a few lines in the show even though I could barely speak Swedish). It was a big hit, and one of my best memories from my stay in Sweden.

I did a lot of traveling while in university, mostly studying abroad. I wanted more than just a Bachelor's degree, so whenever I had an opportunity to go somewhere fabulous, I took it. I once even gave up a guaranteed summer job to go study in Spain for a month (July 2003), and I still have no regrets.

My Artistic Interests

I love the performing arts. I love to sing, dance, and act. I have taken voice lessons, dance courses, and acting classes. I have also sung in choirs and gone to music camps. In dance, I am currently focusing on flamenco and tango, but also have lots of experience in ballet (including pointe), jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop, latin (salsa, merengue, etc.), swing/jive, etc.

I've always had a dream of having a career in the performing arts, and during my first trip to Europe (the summer after I graduated from high school), I met a charming young man in Italy who had the same dream as me. The only difference was that he was following his. We wrote to each other for a while, and he inspired me to seriously think about it. I realized during my first semester at university that I did not want to become a school teacher as I had originally planned. I started playing with the idea of a career in the performing arts again. After all, it's what I love, and I want to do what I love in life.

7 years later when I returned to Rome in June 2007, he and I met up again. He is now a successful actor (mostly doing theatre and musicals) and enjoying his life in the performing arts. He still inspires me, and so do other people I've met while traveling.

It's hard to tell people about what I want to do with my life. I constantly face comments such as "You'll never get anywhere with that" or "You should do it as a hobby, not as a career". People always think that I'm just some stupid wannabe with a silly dream.

Over the years, I've continued dance classes, taken voice lessons, gotten involved in small-scale theatre, etc, but have pursued other ambitions and held other jobs in the meantime. I know I won't be able to make a reasonable living out of singing/dancing/acting/etc alone without a day job, but thankfully, there are some "conventional" jobs that interest me that wouldn't force me to give up my artistic ambitions completely.

I don't want to give up on it. I've been told by many other people (including professionals in showbiz) that I have talent and potential. So I want to do the best I can. I might not be a superstar, but I'll always be an artist.

My Spiritual Life

I am a practicing Roman Catholic and very serious about my faith. I have been to three World Youth Day pilgrimages (Rome, Toronto, and Cologne), as well as many retreats and religious events.

I wasn't always very religious. Although I was raised Catholic, I never really believed in it until I was a teenager. I was pretty much agnostic at the time. Then, I found the Lord in Born-Again-Christian style, and went back to my Catholic roots.

Through the years I've grown a lot in both faith and practice. Thanks to events such as World Youth Day, DR Faith and Justice Experience, and various retreats, I deepened my faith and knowledge and became a stronger Catholic. I'm not perfect, but I keep learning, growing, and becoming a better person. Other people have helped me along the way, such as my Church buddies, my seminarian friends, and priests I've met.

I had a faith crisis in 2008, and lost trust in God over a lot of things. I won't get into the full details, but several incidents contributed to this and my faith really took a beating. I've been recovering since, and building back that trust. I don't know when or if I'll be fully recovered, but I'm getting there slowly.

I love talking about the Church to anyone who is interested in learning, as long as you don't intentionally insult, diss, or have a bad attitude towards me or anything I believe in. Religion is a big part of my life, so please be respectful of that.

My Ethnic/Cultural Background

I was born in Canada, so my nationality is Canadian. I also have ancestors who were American (from Massachusetts). My ethnic background consists of Chinese, French, and Irish. I was raised mainly in Western culture, but I enjoy learning and experiencing different aspects of other cultures.

Some people have been able to correctly guess my ethnic background, but many have also guessed - Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Dutch, Cree, Mik'Maq, Inuit, and Metis.

I speak English and French fluently. Since my mother and most of her side of the family are French-Canadians from Quebec, I have a Quebec accent when I speak French (though it's not as "authentic" as most Quebecers I know since I didn't grow up in Quebec). While this is normal in Canada, it has caused a few comic moments in Europe. Never having heard the Quebec dialect, a Belgian I met once said "She has a crazy accent when she speaks French!" I also met a French man in Spain who used it as a way to flirt with me, telling me "ton accent est tellement mignon" (your accent is so cute) while attempting to get close to me. Unfortunately for him, I was not interested, so I felt like the cat from the Pepe Le Pew cartoons who's always trying to escape him!

I am also learning Spanish. I took Spanish courses at university and have gone to Spain twice for the summer study program at the University of Salamanca (arranged by my Spanish professor) and another time for a course at a language school in Seville. I have also learned some Swedish as an exchange student in Sweden, but as I nearly flunked that course after much struggling, I have come to the conclusion that I'm better with the Latin languages.

I enjoy meeting and being friends with people of any cultural or ethnic origin. I love learning and experiencing different cultures. I also love talking about my own culture and country to anyone who is interested in learning about it.

Rest in peace, JPII

When in Toronto for World Youth Day, I saw the Pope John Paul II 3 times, driving by in the popemobile - at the opening ceremonies, at Downsview Park before the vigil, and the next morning before Sunday Mass. This picture is from Downsview Park before the vigil.

The 3 times I saw him, I was in the crowd at the gate lining the path for the popemobile, so I got a nice clear view. I was screaming like a maniac, and I remember the time at the opening ceremonies, I was so excited to have seen him that close that when I got back to my group, I squealed "I saw him! I saw him!" to the priests and seminarians in my group. And the time before Sunday Mass, it was pouring rain, and I stood out in the rain in a stuffy crowd for an hour waiting to see him. Thank goodness I had my poncho, and that the Polish woman standing next to me had a big umbrella!

John Paul II has been pope since before I was born, so I thought it would be difficult to adjust to someone new, but I guess that's just one of the many challenges of life... He was an amazing person and awesome leader, and I love how he cared so much about youth like me. He was also not afraid to speak his mind and tell it like it is.

  • Intro Updated Dec 27, 2014
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