Thursday, 12 November 2015

Climb one of the World's Seven Summits

I love rock climbing. As in, I went to Grand River Rocks every single day during the summer of 2014. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep up with climbing since my yearly membership ran out this past September but I still consider buying myself another one. It was one of those activities that made me happy, and it was a stress reliever in some ways as well.

So this is why 'Climb one of the World's Seven Summits' is on my bucket list. I've never actually been outdoor climbing (why have I not done this yet, I don't know). However, every single time I go camping in the mountains, I look up at the peaks and try an imagine what it would be like to stand at the very top. In my life, I have hiked up a whole bunch of mountains - in the Rocky Mountains, in Quebec, etc) but I have never had the opportunity to fully train to climb one of the world's seven summits.

Also, although I know it's dangerous and incredibly difficult, I would love to be able to climb the steep rock faces that require the use of a rope and harness at all times. Like this.

Looks dangerous, doesn't it? But that view is so breathtaking that it would be all worth it and the danger is kind of what makes it so intriguing.

I know that it would takes years to train for something as intense as climbing a rock face and camping on the side of it, but who knows where my life is going to take me? Maybe in a few years I'll realize that what I really want to do with my life is become a climber, or a camping guide. Then maybe I'll get an opportunity to climb a mountain summit.

But no matter what I study in university, I know that in the summers I'll do everything I can to ensure that I can go camping at least twice. Being in the outdoors is definitely a passion of mine and I can't help but plan big trips for my future (I'm determined to make at least one of them a reality). So, I'll keep hoping, camping and planning until the time comes for this adventure to finally take place!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Perform a Violin Concerto

Here is another item on my bucket list, and one that I have been dreaming about since I began taking violin lessons at the age of four. Although little four year old me appeared terrified when I was on stage playing solo piece (there were tears streaming down my face), a part inside me also thought 'Woah, how cool would it be to play in front of thousands of people.'

My first recital

Here's the thing, I actually have performed a violin concerto. This one.

Accolay Violin Concerto in A minor

I played it for the Kiwanis Musical Festival, a concert and for my conservatory practical exam in 2014. It's easily my favorite piece that I've ever played. But when I say 'Perform a Violin Concerto', I mean play as a soloist with a full orchestra behind me at Center in the Square. (Unrealistic, I know. But hey, a violinist can dream).

Most performers deal with stage fright. If someone says that they don't get nervous before a show, they're either lying or they are that rare creature that is totally fine with walking out in front of hundreds of people. Which is not common. One of my most favorite quotes is by Eric Whitacre. He says, 'The terrified feeling of performing never goes away. Instead, you get very comfortable being terrified.' I think Mr. Whitacre hit the nail on the head with this quote. When I looked back and thought about it, I realized just how much I've gotten used to having small panic attacks and feeling like throwing up.

This being said, the feeling of bowing and walking off (or out of the exam room) is probably the best feeling in the entire world and I LOVE it. There is nothing (NOTHING) better than leaving and thinking 'wow, I don't have to stress about that fourth finger shift, or making sure those double stops are in tune anymore'.

Basically what I'm saying is that even though it's scary and you want to cry and you seem to always have to go to the bathroom, performing is so much fun. It might sound crazy, but it really is my favorite thing to do. Which is why 'Perform a Violin Concerto' is on my bucket list. And even though I'm not majoring in music in university, I'm definitely going to continue studying music whether it be as a minor or simply taking some studio courses.

Writing this blog post has made me want to go practice. So I'm off. Until next time!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Live in France

This is a big one on my bucket list. Well, to be honest, every single post is a big one for me, but this one could potentially be a real possibility for me. Three years ago, I participated in a french student exchange. My exchange sister lived with my family and I for three months (August, September, October) and then I got on a plane to stay with her and her family for three months (February, March, April). This was definitely one of the top 10 experiences of my life so far, and since then, have loved the language, the culture and simply living in that country.

My french sisters (Adélie and Albane). 

The summer of 2015, I returned to France for five weeks with my family. We spent ten days in Paris, two weeks in Nantes and the remainder of the time driving from small villages in the north to as many castles,museums and art galleries (to be honest, art galleries now bore me) that we could see. Although the majority of the places that we visited were not new to me, I was able to play tour guide and translator for the duration of our vacation. I was even able to help my family skip the crowded streets of Mont Saint Michel (Pictured below) and lead them up through a shortcut, aka the thinnest pathway between two buildings that has ever been constructed.

The University of Waterloo, which is where I hope to attend next year, offers an exchange program for students where they study in France (Nantes or Paris) for a term. I would love to use this opportunity to live and study in France again (Nantes, of course), and be surrounded by the beautiful atmosphere of the french culture. Being able to spend consistent time with my french family and other friends that I met during my previous stay would simply be a dream come true.

In fact, not only can I see myself returning to France to study at the university there, but I can also visualize myself moving there and starting a life for myself (marriage, children, a job etc). It is such a beautiful country with amazing traditions, (such as their eating style - three meals a day and no snacks) all of which I could slip right back into without thought.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to live this dream of mine and purchase a house in France. Preferably somewhere in Nantes, but honestly, I'd live anywhere in this country. In the meantime, I'll continue to dream about this big move, continue to study the french language and pray that I would be able to easily adjust to France's wild, insane speed limits.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Learn how to Surf

I've always wanted to learn how to surf. In fact, I don't remember a time when I didn't want to jump on a plane, fly to Hawaii and run into the ocean with a surfboard. That movie Soul Surfer? I've seen it over 20 times.

There's just something so wonderfully freeing when I think about riding a wave of crystal clear water, feeling the wind in my face and the cold sprays of water that spring up onto my skin. And I know I'm not a morning person, but I also know that if I woke up to the sound of the water crashing against the shore, I'd be out of bed in 30 seconds tops.

Isn't that gorgeous?

There's a category called documentaries on Netflix, and every so often I scroll through it, hoping that another surfing movie shows up. There are only few (The Endless Summer, Blue Crush, Blue Crush 2, Storm Surfers, Charlie Don't Surf, and my favorite, Zero to 100 ) but I keep praying that more will come soon because those are the types of movies that I get hooked on and where I zone out of whatever is happening in the real world.

My parents will occasionally ask my siblings and I where we want to go on vacation. My youngest sister who is six always responds the same. Florida. We've been twice, but it never gets old for her. My fifteen year old sister can never make up her mind and I always mention Hawaii, hoping that one day we would get to go. We never did. Honeymoon destination maybe?  

Who knows if I'll ever get to check this adventure off my bucket list, but in the meantime, I'll keep dreaming about it and watching Soul Surfer at 2 am. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Meet Lindsey Stirling

Anyone would jump at the chance to meet their idol, but I would leap 500 feet in the air. Why? Because Lindsey. And come on, who wouldn't want to meet her? Just look at this:

And this:

(This is how close I was to her on Saturday June 14, 2014 {my exact birthday *screams*} )
By the way, she said happy birthday to me when the friend I was with called up to her but like, whatever, no big deal.

What's so great about her? Let me tell you. As a dancing violinist, there was no room for her in the music industry five years ago. So, she did what she thought would be best for her career and she went on America's Got Talent where she made it to the quarter-finals before being told this by Piers Morgan. "You're not untalented, but you're not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play violin at the same time." Interested? Here is the video:

And here is Lindsey Stirling performing as a special guest on America's Got Talent 4 years later.

Take THAT Piers Morgan.

She's magical. Her spine is magical (See picture 1). If you don't think so, try to play the violin and do a grand jeté at the same time. Then come talk to me again and maybe your opinion will have changed.

I first heard about her on June 28th 2013 from my favourite nurse at Grand River Hospital. I had just told him that I play violin and he asked if I knew of Lindsey Stirling. I am ashamed to admit that I said no. But now, I am a Stirlingite 100%. 

Let's talk merchandise. Here is what I own. Multiple copies of  her CD's, a Shatter Me t-shirt, two books of Lindsey Stirling's arranged music, Shatter me sheet music, Take Flight sheet music, Shatter Me: The Complete Experience, Lindsey Stirling: Live From London DVD and I have pre-ordered a signed copy of her book 'The Only Pirate at the Party'. I repeat, SIGNED. (only 70 more days until it comes out) Here is a link so you can go pre-order a copy too. Which you should do. Right now. 

My friends call me obsessed and I like to think that they mean it in a loving way. But to be fair, if your favorite musician/actor etc favourited 3 of your tweets on twitter, you would cry too.

I'm sure now you understand why I put 'Meet Lindsey Stirling' on my bucket list.  

I suppose it's obvious.

She is currently taking a year off touring to focus writing another CD, which I am beyond excited about. Hopefully, she will either go on a book tour, or a CD tour (if she does both, I'll go to both no matter what the cost of the plane ticket) - well, I'll dream about it at least. In the mean time, I'll be freaking out when she releases a new video, becoming speechless when she notices me on social media and listening to her music 24/7. 

If you read this blog and suddenly had a strong urge to look her up on the internet (which you should), here are some links that you can click on.