National Geographic

Let’s talk about one of my favorite organizations- National Geographic! I mean, it’s amazing. Since being founded in 1888, National Geographic has provided the world with immersive, in depth studies and information about history, nature, science, world culture and wildlife in the form of magazines, photography, and videography. 

My personal favorite content by NatGeo is definitely their documentaries. They never fail to be extremely well researched, produced, entertaining and credible. They have the most fascinating information on ancient cities and ancient cultures, and what they discover in each episode is always incredible. I’ve learned so much about the world from them, and it makes my heart so happy knowing that there’s an organization like this that allows the average person to learn and appreciate essentially everything about our earth.

Everything from the depths of the oceans to the stars, from way back in history to current issues and the future, and everything from teeny tiny insects to the biggest animals, National Geographic has probably published or produced something on whatever you’re looking to learn. One of my favorite tv shows is called Welcome to Earth with Will Smith. It was so surreal to watch, and I couldn’t believe places so amazing truly exist on earth. This show talks about some of the world’s greatest marvels. 

Whether you’re an earth and animal lover or not, everyone can get something out of their content. On Youtube, National Geographic has been livestreaming their television series “The Secrets of the Elephants”. Check it out while it’s on, because this one is so good that it made a lasting impact on me. There was one part where a baby elephant was born, and the mother elephant gave her baby an encouraging hug with her trunk when the baby was trying to take his first steps. This special moment being caught on camera made my heart melt. It’s so special to see moments like that, and NatGeo catches them all the time. It just gives the average person a closer connection with all kinds of animals. 

Subscribing to their magazine is pretty cheap and then you’ll have printed, evergreen entertainment that you’re guaranteed to love. I also love their Youtube and Instagram accounts, as they are free and less time consuming than perhaps a full documentary or magazine read might be. 

Take a break and learn something while being entertained, and maybe you’ll be inspired and feel more attached to nature and wildlife.

We are an Antisocial Generation

Have you ever noticed that the kindest and most social people nowadays tend to be elderly? I’ve often wondered why that is, so I have made countless observations of strangers coming in contact with each other over the last year. My conclusion? We are the unsocial generation. 

90% of the people who have approached me for a short, friendly conversation have been older than 50. I’ve also observed some older people try to approach other young people and they either just get stared at or ignored. Here’s the catch: you have to be very cautious of strangers, especially in the city. I totally understand the saying “creepy old man” because a lot of people that have the guts to approach others are creepy. But you can tell right off the bat who’s going to have negative intentions versus friendly intentions.

I never see young people talking to each other in public unless they’re already friends. I also never see younger people smile at others when you walk by them, and most actually don’t look at other people at all. I find most people have headphones on and aren’t aware of their surroundings. We’re dealing with a whole new wave of technology, accessible to everyone and used by everyone. 

There has been extensive research regarding our brains and dealing with addiction to technology. It’s so unnatural that our literal biological makeup can’t keep up with the technology we have at our fingertips. We have so much power and knowledge in our pockets, and we can’t psychologically keep up. This article describes this phenomena a little better than I can. 

This made me think even further- we aren’t even the generation that grew up with a screen in our face. Sure, we had phones or iPads or whatever from a young age, like 10 or so, but what about the most recent newborns? Those essential years of development are being consumed by watching videos and playing with technology kids don’t understand. How will this affect them in the future? For example, TikTok affects teens and young adults’ attention spans, so taking that one step further… what if we had that quick engagement and entertainment constantly in front of us since birth? The implications may make the situation even worse, creating yet another, even more antisocial generation. 

With a new age of VR, we pretty much don’t have to leave our house anymore, especially to socialize. Is this concerning to you? Everything all together makes me feel slightly hopeless for change, as everything is becoming virtual. I mean, even just take a look at our currency. 

All in all, my opinion is that young adults should take a few social pointers from elders. Kindness goes farther than you could imagine, and I genuinely feel that by ignoring those around you, you could be missing out on some super important influences and connections. Truly, the smallest conversation with a stranger could be life changing.

The Ocean’s at Your Backdoor

We live in such a unique place, being so close to the ocean. Do you take advantage of our world-class West Coast beaches? If you live in the Lower Mainland, I’m willing to bet that you’ve has been to Kitsilano beach at least once. Although it’s a fun party spot, I personally think it’s a little overrated. My favorite beach is only 10 minutes from Kits; Jericho! 

I like Jericho because when the tide is down, you can walk so far out from the beach. There’s still a thin layer of water to walk through, but it’s so warm and the washboarded sand massages your feet. 

It’s also fun to just sit on the sandy beach there- you can be entertained by parasailers, paddleboarders, and lots of little creatures like crabs. The seagulls are so funny to watch. Sometimes they’re jerks to each other and it’s just very entertaining to watch. There’s also a surprising amount of sea glass to find along the shores here.

There’s also lots of bunnies. Yes, bunnies! There’s a colony of black bunnies that live on the outskirts of Jericho beach. Who would’ve thought they’d be black, standing out being in a sandy and bright area? They’ve expanded significantly in population in the last couple years. A lot of days, I went to the beach specifically to visit them. I brought them some lettuce and carrots, and one of them even climbed on my leg and put his paws on my hand to reach for the snack. They’re super friendly, and although it’s good to be cautious, I wouldn’t worry about them being feral. Last May, there were a couple new babies! One was dark grey (obviously my favorite) and he was so cute and friendly. Definitely check it out and get some free bunny therapy!

Another unique spot is Wreck Beach at UBC. You go down a ton of steep stairs in a massive jungled area. I guarantee you’ll experience some of the biggest trees you’ll ever see! It magically opens up to a big beach with an endless ocean ahead. The beach is a mix of sand and rocks, and there’s a couple abandoned towers you can check out, too. The experience you get from visiting this beach just feels like an all-around adventure! 

Many people dream of being so incredibly close to these ocean beaches. Take advantage since you’re here, and make some unforgettable memories, meet some curious and cuddly friends, and have a fun adventure!

21 Suggestions for Success

This September I moved into a new house. One day, I noticed a sign tucked away in the corner by the living room fireplace. It read, “21 Suggestions for Success: by H. Jackson Brown Jr.Instantly, I was intrigued! I had never heard of such a concise, useful list, so I sat down and read it carefully. A lot of these points are seemingly obvious, however I truly believe most of us forget them on a day to day basis. The other ones made me stop and seriously think for a minute, and it hit me just how important each and every point here is to remember. This list is a wonderful motivator and reminder to have, and that’s why I wanted to share it as well as my thoughts on it with you.

  • Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

Right off the bat, this was one of those that made me stop and think. It’s true- once you move away from your family and start your own career, whoever you decide to marry will be your new family. They will have the power to support you or not- financially, emotionally. A good partner is someone you should be able to share life with through the good and the bad, making life easier to get through because you’re together.

  • Work at something you enjoy, and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

The part that stuck out to me here was “that’s worthy of your time and talent.” At the end of every day, do you feel that you’ve accomplished things that pushed you and fulfilled you? Take a second and think of what truly is worthy of your time and talent.

  • Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Nobody likes an unhappy person. Whatever you do will seem extra well done if you’re genuinely  happy to do it. 

  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

This one takes a lot of energy, and possibly self reconstruction, which is a major commitment. However, it’s all in the mind. Only you have the power to change you. Isn’t being positive and enthusiastic everyone’s goal in life?

  • Be forgiving of yourself and others.

This one is really hard, but that’s why nobody says “success” is easy. Personally, I struggle with forgiving myself, and that’s something I’m trying to work on. It’s easy to forget to be easy on yourself when you have so much pressure and self expectation, but this is all about growth and awareness!

  • Be generous.
  • Have a grateful heart.

It’s important to remember to be grateful for the little things in life- after all, it’s the daily stuff people end up missing, right? Again, trust me when I say you’ll get so much more out of life when you are generous and grateful.

  • Persistence, persistence, persistence.

Simply don’t give up. Just that easy… hey? Just kidding. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and out of your comfort zone, but it will pay off if you don’t stop trying. 

  • Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

This one can feel like a massive lifestyle change, but it is possible and super important. There’s nothing worse than having a big unexpected repair bill and no way to pay it. It’s always better to be prepared, even if that means you have to go without a lot of things.

  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

Everyone, and I mean everyone. In my opinion, there’s nothing in life that’s more difficult than consistently being the better person, but if you are, you’ll have a lot less regrets in your life.

  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Commit yourself to quality.

These are essential- people change, and you can change for the better. Like starting with this list! There’s nothing better than being committed to improving yourself, whether that’s at work, school, in your hobbies, anything!

  • Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

It’s truly all about who you spend your life with and surround yourself with. Are they positive influences or do you feed off drama, gossip and negativity with them?

  • Be loyal.
  • Be honest.
  • Be a self-starter.

These are super important in all aspects of life- professional, personal, in your relationships, and so on.

  • Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

This is something I definitely struggle with. It’s hard to make big decisions when you don’t know how they’ll turn out. The lesson here is that sometimes you have to take risks and if it works then it works, and if it fails then you’ll learn for next time.

  • Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

This one’s a biggie!!! And I mean, it’s huge. To me, this is arguably the most important point out of the whole list. If all you do is blame others, that means you’re not reflecting on yourself. If you’re not reflecting, then you’re not improving or changing. If you think everyone around you has a problem and you don’t, maybe you should reassess and you might find it’s actually you with the problem. It makes a person feel terrible and belittled to admit when they’re wrong, but at least you won’t be pushing your supporters away. Of course, it’s also important to remember that it isn’t always going to be you with the problem.

  • Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

This point couldn’t be more true. Take risks and experience new things, and it’s even better if it’s outside of your comfort zone! You’ll have much more to look back on.

  • Take good care of those you love.

It’s worth your time and energy. There’s nothing as special and precious as the people in your life.

  • Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

Come on, this one’s a given!

I hope these points made you think a little and reassess some things in your day to day life. Whether that’s how you handle certain situations, treat yourself and those around you, or committing to put in extra energy for self improvement.

Local Natural Escapes

Are you suffocated from being cooped up indoors for so long but don’t know where to explore outdoors? I’m here today to help you find enjoyable escapes in nature right here in Burnaby so that you can make the most of our last couple warm and sunny days!

One of my all time favorite places is right in the middle of Burnaby- Deer Lake Park!

Not only is there a large green space surrounding the lake, but there’s also beautiful manicured gardens to wander, historical buildings, the Burnaby Village Museum, the Art Gallery, the prestigious Hart House restaurant, and the Shadbolt Centre of the Arts! There’s so much to explore and do here- you can’t go wrong with spending a full day relaxing here.

At Shadbolt, they have shows and events happening all the time. Most are free, and some are live performances you have to pay to see. I went to a free Jazz Jam where local musicians were paired with other random musicians and they worked together to improvise different songs. It was so incredible to see so much talent and appreciation in the audience and performers alike. They host little events like this all the time, so I’d definitely check out their upcoming events here! 

If you go just to experience nature, you can walk for hours on the various trails here. There’s really nice boardwalks that surround the lake and benches are scattered along the path. You can also rent a canoe and spend the day peacefully watching the wildlife on the lake. See a trails map here

Another place I’ve discovered and come to love is Burnaby Lake. You can do the 11km loop around the entire lake, and it’s also right by a skytrain station so it’s very easy to access. Parts of the trail look like a beautiful big jungle, and there’s lots of places where you can see the water either from a boardwalk or crossing a bridge. You’ll see lots of birds, ducks, tons and tons of lily pads, and lots of little creatures like chipmunks and squirrels playing in the bushes. If you’re a bird watcher, you’d never get bored here. There’s a lot of rare birds commonly sighted from the viewing tower, like blue herons! This is the perfect escape without going far from home. Find a trail map here. All trails are wheelchair accessible and bikes are permitted!

Between these two close-to-home locations, you ought to get a couple days worth of fresh air, entertainment, and beautiful memories. Enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Guichon Creek

Welcome to Guichon creek, BCIT Burnaby’s own little sanctuary of nature and wildlife. On September 20th, BCIT will be hosting a Guichon Creek day in honor or World Rivers Day. On campus, you can walk quite far through a lovely forested area following the creek. After attending the creek day last year, I learned a lot about Guichon creek and grew a true appreciation for the work people have put into restoring it and how far it’s come.


Guichon creek is a tributary from Still Creek. It was a popular spot for fishing about 100 years ago, and it was common to see wild animals like bears, salmon, cougars, and more. However, this oasis almost completely disappeared, and wouldn’t exist today at all if people hadn’t started to do something about it. Guichon creek was damned, built around, and part of the land was used for growing crops. The salmon and fish that once thrived here struggled, and eventually were no longer able to return as it was now unnavigable. 

People at Guichon Creek day 2022 spoke on how it used to look when it was at its worst. The water level was so low that there was hardly any water at all. They remember seeing a lot of garbage in the creek bed, including a toilet seat and a bed box spring. It’s assumed that the garbage was thrown off a bridge on the highway and into Still Creek, eventually washing up at BCIT. 

These extreme and upsetting changes triggered people to not only notice, but to take action. Starting at the South end of the creek, BCIT, students, the City of Burnaby, and the Rivers Institute worked together to start restoring it in the 70s. 

As the years go on, work is still being done to improve and grow back what was once there. Trees are being planted, and wildlife is slowly rediscovering the area. Bears and cougars have been sighted again, and one of the most massive breakthroughs was the return of the salmon. Last May, I saw a family of geese walking along the banks of the creek. The sun was setting and the gosling’s fur looked so fluffy against the bright orange light, and lots of ducks have taken it up as home once more. 

However, this change didn’t magically happen. Restoration is a long and grueling process with major dedication and continuous hard work. The sad part is, so many creeks and rivers in our city have been destroyed from what they once were. The main reason people have been working to restore these creeks, particularly Still Creek, is to see the salmon return on their crucial migration path. Learn more about the restoration of Still Creek here

We’ve learned from our mistakes, and green spaces Canada-wide are now cherished, respected, and preserved. After all, the animals need a home too! And in fact, there are still plans for Guichon Creek! The new Trades and Technology Complex plans to add a “daylight” section of the creek, as well as removing invasive species. This will help the salmon and trout navigate and will essentially complete the restoration process, as it will once more have a functional aquatic ecosystem! What an accomplishment.

What’s Your Style?

If there’s one thing that will never stop evolving, it’s fashion. Every country, every era, heck, every person has their own sense of style. What’s in goes out, and what was out comes back in. It’s always changing and you never know what’s gonna be next. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but that’s why you’re reading this! I’m here to let you know what’s currently in style so you can step up your fall closet to the next level. 

The first thing you need to know is that there’s a lot of different styles- so the first step is to find yours. Take this quick quiz to find your personal aesthetic! Make sure to keep this information in mind when you’re applying the rest of what you read here!

The next step is to understand your body type. It’s not so much the clothing you wear as how it fits you. Different looks look better on different body types.

For example, if you have a long torso, high waisted pants will look really good on you compared to low waisted pants, because they will give you a look of longer legs. If you have a short torso, low waisted pants would look better to make your torso look longer and your legs a little shorter. Understanding proportions like this is exceptionally important when it comes to fashion and looking your best. An outfit may look great on one person and the exact same thing may not look as good on someone else. For more information, watch this great video

It’s important to keep up with worldwide fashion icons, too. It’s New York fashion week, so it’s the perfect time to see what’s new! Keep in mind these are designer outfits and they are very out there- so if that’s not quite in your style and budget, don’t worry! It’s just to give you an idea of what’s going on in the fashion world. 

Finally, here’s the top 8 fashion trends of 2023 that you should know about. 

Putting all this information together, your style should be brand new and banging! Remember to put your own twist on your outfits- whether that’s through accessories, hairstyles, or the outfit itself, make it yours and own it! I love just looking through the new trends for inspiration, and who knows, maybe you can upcycle your old closet instead of going out and buying a whole new wardrobe! Because trust me, I know how expensive things can be nowadays. Annnd don’t worry, upcycling is totally in fashion! Enjoy making your closet comfortable and just being you!

Quotes and Motivation to Lighten Your Day

We all need motivation in our lives at one point or another. For me, a good way to keep motivation to do my best and continue moving forward is by repeating some of my favorite quotes to myself in dire times of need. Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite, most helpful and motivational quotes with you. I hope you can take something valuable away from today’s short article.

A skillful sailor never sailed a smooth sea


This quote has given me a lot of courage over the years. During moments where I feel like giving up, or I feel like I’ve failed, I remember that nobody had it easy to get to where they are. Everyone puts in endless diligence to achieve excellence, otherwise you’ll get nowhere at all.


Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself


I struggle to remember this simple fact on a day to day basis, but it’s so true. What does your heart desire? That is who you are. I’ve felt a lot of pressure of having to decide on a career path recently. However, it’s important to remember that you are where you are for a reason. Following your heart and what you believe in deep down, even if it’s scary or hard, is ultimately allowing yourself to flourish. After all, there wouldn’t be rainbows without the rain!


You can’t cross the ocean simply by standing and staring at the water


This quote has a similar message. You can’t get to where you dream of being in life by putting in no effort or not going through any obstacles. Rewards come from hard work and perseverance, not just waiting around and being scared of putting yourself out there and hoping something will come from it.


Your mistakes don’t define you


This quote is very straightforward yet extraordinarily powerful. Everyone makes mistakes. As unfortunate as it is, that’s reality. What defines you is how you handle failure. Are you resilient, or do you succumb to the pressure? 


Only in the darkness can you see the stars


All I have to say is that even when you’re at your all time low, there are still glimpses of light in your world… you just have to see them. You can really only see the light once you’ve experienced the darkness.

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful


It’s true. Life can be what most people would call pretty crappy… yet still be wonderful! It’s all about perspective. What kind of lifestyle do you want, what lifestyle do you need? Step back and look at what you do have, and maybe you’ll realize just how wonderful your life truly is. 


You are far too smart to be the only one standing in your way


The first time I read this quote, it almost felt like a blow to my gut. This short sentence puts life in an entirely new perspective- nobody is to blame but yourself for holding back, being intimidated by new or difficult situations, and not putting yourself out there to your full potential. Life is full of excuses, and this quote made me realize that you’re truly just damning yourself by making excuses for yourself all the time. Life was never meant to be easy, and you have to allow yourself to go out there and excel. 

All in all, the main message I want to share overall is to remember that you are enough. Dreams seem so far out of reach and unachievable, because they’re dreams… right? No. Put yourself out there. Heck yeah it’s hard, but amazing accomplishments and dreams aren’t meant to be easy. That’s why it’s so important to be confident and remember you are loved and have so much support from the people you fill your life with. If you want to make a difference or make change, do it. You have the power to be just as amazing as your heroes, and maybe one day, you will be someone’s hero!

The Best Dog Breeds

There’s no best friend one can have like their dog. A dog is loyal, unconditionally loving, and always there for you. Different breeds of dogs have different personalities, but truly, each and every dog is unique. Today I wanted to tell you about my two favorite dog breeds, and how having a pet can make your quality of life so much richer. 

My favorite dog breed is actually the dog I have, and I had never heard of it before in my life before adopting her. This breed is called a Stabyhoun (also known as Stabijhoun or Stabij). The name of the breed originated from the words “Stand by me”. Bred purely in Friesland in the Netherlands, there are only around 3,500 ever recorded. Only in the 1960’s did Staby’s leave Friseland and expand to the rest of the world. In North America, there are only about 600 recorded. Therefore, they are the 5th rarest breed in the world, as they are neutered before leaving the Netherlands in order to upkeep their purity. 


Additionally, Stabyhoun’s are one of the most loving and gentle breeds you’ll ever find. They live around 13-15 years and don’t have any common major health issues. They are playful and fun, but they also love to have a long snooze after a big walk. Stabyhoun’s are really friendly and good with other people. Whenever I’m upset, my lovely dog Daisy never fails to come and comfort me. She always gives everyone big hugs and lots of high fives. See a picture of her enjoying the grass above. 

The second best breed in my opinion is the Samoyed. Originally from Siberia, these large coated dogs have a thick insulated coat. 

They are sooooo fluffy!! I mean, have you seen them? They remind me of massive puffy snowballs. They’re so fluffy because they actually have a double coat of fur. Samoyeds are also super friendly and good with people, as they’re very social companions from a young age.

They are very loving and never disappoint as a wonderful family dog. They’re such happy dogs that a widely known nickname for them is “Sammie Smile” or “smiley dog”. They live about 12-13 years. Unfortunately, Samoyed’s are one of the most expensive dogs to buy, ranging anywhere from $600-$3,000. But trust me when I say this little furball is totally worth it!

So if you’re on the hunt for a new best friend and life-long companion, consider checking out these two breeds! They are so fun and friendly that there would never be a lonely day with them around. As they’re both easy to take care of, friendly, don’t have huge common health issues, and are cuddly, I don’t think you’ll find a better companion than a Stabyhoun or a Samoyed. Just maybe don’t get both, they’re pretty jealous! 😜

TransLink isn’t as bad as you think

Another day, another tortuous commute… right?

We’ve all had to take transit at one point or another. I know I’ve had my fair share of transit for my first year here at BCIT. I was sort of all over the place- first commuting from New Westminster, then Port Coquitlam, and finally from Downtown Vancouver. Every morning and every night, to and from the BCIT Burnaby campus. Luckily this year I was fortunate enough to find a rental in Burnaby, however my commute is still around 45 minutes.

For real though, we live in a big and busy city. Burnaby is just as busy as Vancouver, if not worse in some neighbourhoods. In my opinion, a commute under an hour is actually pretty decent. Think about it like this: you live in a random spot, and you have to go to a random spot, from anywhere in the entire Lower Mainland. To have enough buses coming frequently enough to get you there on time or slightly early to when you have to be there is pretty awesome. 

As someone that has spent a lot of time on the SkyTrains, I’ve gotta admit that my favorite line is the Millenium line. Most of the Canada Line is underground, so there’s not much to entertain you, however it’s the fastest line and takes you from Richmond to Downtown Vancouver in under an hour. The Expo line is really long, spanning from both King George in Surrey and Production Way University in Coquitlam all the way to Downtown. This line is really busy as it covers the biggest hotspots, such as New West, Metrotown, Burrard, Waterfront, and more. As for my favorite, the Millenium line, it’s not as busy as the other lines. It spans between VCC-Clark to Burnaby to Port Moody and Coquitlam. This line covers a lot of green space and takes you through a lot of beautiful scenery and amazing places you have easy access to explore. I remember one early morning watching the bright orange sun rise with a light fog covering Burnaby Lake. Additionally, all the SkyTrains now have free wifi, and if you’re ever bored give the new podcast called What’s the T – the TransLink podcast a listen! 

I know it’s not a perfect (or necessarily desirable) system. I mean, the bus gets so full of people that you feel like a sardine packed into a tin can. I also swear that I picked up at least 3 colds last winter from sick people sitting beside me on the bus. The only thing I would love to see changed is allowing super sketchy people who are literally tweaking out on drugs onto the bus. The transit police are very present so if an issue pops up, you know you have backup, but sometimes things go wrong too fast. 

As for the actual system, it’s exceptionally well organized. In fact, TransLink was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement award. TransLink employs almost eight thousand people. That’s a lot of jobs and people committed to helping you out to complete your day. Think of it like this- they make your day possible. And most importantly, don’t forget to thank the bus driver. After all, without them, you wouldn’t get where you need to go safely and on time! 😄