Travel Writing!

I wrote three travel pieces not too long ago, check them out as you start to plan spring/summer trips!

Tips For First Time Travellers

Top 10 Reasons to Stay in a Hostel

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Hostel

happy travelling!
~ elina x

 

525,600 Minutes

It’s hard to believe it has been one full year since I graduated University! So much has happened in that time. Many amazing things, some hard things. Leaving Canada, travelling, exploring Europe, falling in love with Dublin. So much musical creation, digging in to the music scene here. Seeing with my own eyes what the musical life entails. A Diploma in Songwriting from BIMM Dublin. An EP on the way. Gaining respect for those who spend their lives in the service industry. Leaving that industry to focus on myself and my art, and gaining even more respect for self-employed entrepreneurs, especially artist. Manifesting a wild summer ahead. A Charity Gig & Single. Lots of Guinness. And finally, Its been full of making new connections, as well as nurturing old ones.
It was my first year really being on my own in The Real World, without answering to an institution, without family around. There have, of course, been challenges along the way. All I had was myself, and I really had to trust myself. I learned a lot about what I might want from this crazy, wonderful life. Truth be told, I still really have no idea but I can’t say I’m in a rush to figure it out.
I think it important to look back on the road behind. After all, its the only road we know. The path ahead tends to be much less clear, and much harder to trust. But we can trust the one behind, the moments of joy we experienced, and this can fill us with hope that the one ahead will be just as beautiful, the sunsets even brighter.
Those who know me know that I live on an undying quest for freedom. But freedom can be found in every moment. Freedom can especially be found in gratitude. I think I’m too quick to get down on myself. I need to take pride in the things I’ve accomplished in a year, of the risks I’ve taken, and for doing it all on my own.
I could be absolutely anywhere one year from now, and that fills me with excitement. Looking forward to the summer ahead!

Im Back!

As if the fact that it has been nearly four months since my last blog post isn’t evidence enough that I did the right thing, I finally sent in my notice for work! This week will be my last at the restaurant. It took me a hella long time to come to this decision, even though I thought I had made up my mind when I was road tripping with my parents (everything is better on the road). I realized why the decision was so hard when I realized that it was about more than money. It was about the stability of work. It was about my anxious brain benefiting from purpose, from someone telling me what to do. It was about feeling productive after a 12 hour shift (and then promptly erasing it from my mind). It was about what its always been about, using constant excuses and distractions to keep me from chasing my potential. Last year it was school and friends. Now it was work. I found myself stuck in exactly the handcuffs I came here to free myself of. I remember craving freedom, for once in my life not having to answer to an institution, a school, a job, a boss, a girlfriend. Despite this, the capitalist subject trades in one pair of handcuffs for another. And most of the time she does so willingly, because the handcuffs can be cozy. They give you a sense of purpose and security. Because really being free is scary. When your hands are chained they can’t do too much. But when they’re free there’s no excuse for what they aren’t doing, no excuse for not building a masterpiece, theres no hiding behind chains.
Having the freedom, the time, no excuses present, to chase your dreams and manifest your goals is scary. Theres so much pressure to succeed. Mostly from yourself, but also from those around you. When you choose to commit to something, fully, you’re taking a huge risk. What it comes down to is fear. Its not about money, its about fear. Of the unknown, of that leap, of failure, of feeling unmotivated and not achieving your goals and dreams. When you’re an entrepreneur, an artist, you make your own purpose. When you work for The Man, you show up, are given tasks, complete them, and go home. When you work for yourself, you make your own tasks, your own schedules. You decide your own hours and goals. You define your own success. You watch the hours drip by, constantly tormented by not having enough time.
I’ve been hiding behind work, school, and other defences; using them as wind blockers. Im proud of myself, albeit a little scared, for having the courage to step out from behind them, and face the wind without excuses, without major distractions, without the fear of being blown away.
I got kinda sad for a minute because I felt like maybe I’m not cut out for the kind of life I thought I wanted, for whatever it is I came here to do. Maybe I’m meant to be boring, maybe I’d be happier that way. But then I was like, nah fuck that. Because I believe in doing things that scare you. If it makes you feel something, its probably a good idea. And I believe in being as risk-oriented as possible. If not now, when?

Not to say I haven’t done anything else since I’ve started working. Look out for some post-dated blog posts about what the last few months of my life have entailed!

London

Hurricane Ophelia struck the Emerald Isle the day I was trying to fly back to Dublin from Germany. Then ensued the craziest flying adventure I’ve yet to experience, featuring delays, miscommunications, missed connections, you name it! I finally made it home to Dublin 2 days later, but not without being stranded for a day… in one of the greatest cities on earth. Check out my wanderings in London on flickr

October 8: Streets as Stage


Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing at Dublin’s annual Busker Fleadh. It was a really cool festival, beanbag chairs and a wide variety of street acts. While I was playing I was thinking about busking as an art, and quite an ancient one at that. From Socrates to Jesus to Ed Sheeran, people have always used the street as a stage. That’s why I believe that the streets should be kept public, for poets and preachers alike, to share what they feel they need to with the world. Boycott busking permits, they kill art. The street serves as a dynamic stage, with the performer using the environment around them for props and sets. Your audience is constantly changing, they come in waves, they stay they go they ebb they flow. If you can get even one to pause, it’s almost certain that more will gather. Free entertainment for the world, for the street, and it’s strange that nothing feels better than feeling deserving of someone’s pocket change. I love the streets of Dublin. As much as I miss Hamilton’s quiet curves and bends, it’s subtle charm, I can’t get enough of strolling Dublin streets at the moment. They make for quite the stage. Everywhere you go, the voices of singers and songwriters bounce off tall stoic brick building faces, flow down cobblestones and in front of shops.
As I was playing I was thinking of the Shakespeare poem “all the world is a stage” and rewrote it in my head:
Every street is a stage,
And all the men and women merely buskers,
They enter and exit, sometimes with instruments, sometimes with friends, sometimes on their own,
And one busker in his time plays many parts,
A performer, an observer, a kind stranger, a distracted passerby,
Every street is stage.

September 28

Today I went out and busked for the first time. I was very nervous. New city, small girl. Walking down the main busking street, I was too intimidated, I guess I didn’t want to bother anyone, as silly as that sounds. I found a spot I had made a mental note of when walking past before, away from the main streets, with low benches around.
A mother and her baby stopped to listen, after a few songs they smiled as I announced that the next one was for them. Some school girls requested Katy Perry, I enthusiastically obliged. Several more people stopped, chatted, requested, discussed different projects, their dreams, their backgrounds, what they were having for dinner.
Two older guys drank an entire bottle of wine while listening. Didn’t seem like their first of the day, but they seemed to be in good spirits. A few more drunk Irish men came to hang out. They even started a little dance party and only wanted to hear original music, that and Oasis. One of them even insisted on giving me a grand introduction, yelling into the mic about how “one of the best voices is on George street from Canada, and everyone needs to stop walking by and come listen.”
Most of the time it was just me, and my guitar. It was nice to just play music and watch the world go by for two hours. Great people watching. Most people seemed to be in such a hurry. The more people walked by, seeming to not notice me, the more animated I became, the more fun I had, the more I smiled. Though sometimes hard to believe, its always been true, it doesn’t matter who’s listening.