Looking back on 23

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This past Sunday (April 3rd) was my 24th birthday. I don’t feel any different, if anything, everything feels right. I’ve got big things planned this year and I couldn’t be more excited to start another chapter of this crazy adventure we call life. Cheers to the last year of my early-twenties!

Since the past year flashed by with a blink of an eye, I wanted to take a moment to give gratitude and reflect on the top memories that made my 23rd year so special. Epicentr Academy 2016

My #EpiFam. Epicentr Academy 2016

For the past three years, I’ve poured my heart into creating Vancouver’s first student-run agency and summer social media training program designed to introduce students and young professionals in the fundamentals of digital media. During summer 2015, I led a cohort of 15 students from universities across Vancouver through 10 weeks of workshops and tied all the lessons towards solving a case competition sponsored by Whistler Blackcomb! Even though I had to make the difficult decision to close Epicentr, I believe it was for the best. I’m walking away with a family of friends, new community connections, and gained a plethora of experience in leadership, entrepreneurship and event planning. Epicentr has been one of my proudest achievements and I’m so grateful fo all the support and love I’ve received along the way.

Ordinary Extraordinary

Photo credit to my good friend Mish @Cityandrainn

When I was in grade 5, I was petrified of public speaking. This was a fear that I knew I had to get over so I challenged myself to enter my school’s public speaking competition and gave a speech on endangered animals (at the time I thought I was going to be a veterinarian). The result? I went on to represent my class to present my speech in front of the ENTIRE school. The story gets sweeter, I later won that round and represented my school at the district level! After that experience, I not only found my voice but I learned to love public speaking!

So when I got asked by a friend to give a talk on any topic this past summer, I was pumped. I gave a talk on the Three Moments That Catalyzed My Life (So Far) and for the first time, openly talked about my mom’s death, past relationships, and let my vulnerabilities show to a crowd of strangers. Happy to report that my talk was met with so much love and was followed by a healthy discussion on death and its meanings in different cultures.

Guatemala La Lancha

Paradise at La Lancha Resorts, Guatemala

This past March, I got to visit to El Salvador and Guatemala with my good friend and travel journalist, Robert Michael Poole for two weeks. I’ll be writing a longer post later detailing this trip but it was the first time since Europe (almost two years) that I’ve taken a vacation. It was a much-needed reminder of my love for travel and a break from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver life.

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