Hola Amigos 😊
Today I am writing you from sunny Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica. I have had an incredible week volunteering with Latin America Sea Turtles / SEE Turtles and I can’t wait to share it with you! Here are the highlights:
Pura Vida 🌴
Costa Rica is full of some of the kindest people I have ever met while travelling. Costa Ricans use the phrase “Pura Vida” to greet each other and say everything’s great in life. The translation directly means “pure life” or “simple life.” ☀️ I think it is so beautiful as it represents the country so well. I am feeling so fulfilled and rejuvenated 🌿💛
SEE Turtles 🐢
I am so happy to have fulfilled one of my 2018 goals this past week and that was to volunteer with sea turtles. I not only wanted to raise money for the cause (which you can help by clicking here), but I wanted to give back through my own time an energy. In turn this trip has been one of the most rewarding I have ever taken. I only wish I had taken the time to explore volunteer trips sooner! If you are interested in volunteering with sea turtles then check out SEE Turtles – they offer rewarding trips in stunning locations all over the world 🐢❤️🌴
We spotted a SLOTH!
Turtles aren’t the only wildlife I have been hanging out with this week, we actually spotted a sloth in the wild 😮 how incredible! And cute 😊 Costa Rica is full of animals and it will be a miracle if I don’t return home with one… 😋
A Plastic Ocean
As part of the volunteer program this week we watched the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” which was extremely well-done. Through this documentary I have been inspired even more to take care of our beaches, water and to eliminate my plastic waste as a human, and of course continue a vegan diet. I highly recommend watching this documentary to anyone any everyone. It is so powerful when we open our eyes to the problems our behaviours have caused in this world 🌎 in this way and this way only can we be inspired to make positive change. I am happy to report part of the volunteer duties this week has been beach-cleans. I know this is something I will partake in even if I am not on a volunteer project. ❤️
#ZOVEMBER is here!
This week on November 1st, 2018 the second annual #Zovember series has started on my YouTube channel! 😄 This is my yearly challenge of posting 1 video per day for 30 days. This year’s theme can be found in my Welcome to #Zovember video – check it out here!
PS – I am raising money for SEE Turtle’s Billion Baby Turtles Campaign. My goal is to raise $2,500 by the end of 2018. Every little bit counts as $1 can save up to 5 turtle hatchlings 🐢 ❤️ Click here for more information on how you can contribute.
My apologies on the delay in this week’s #FiveThingsFriday. I have taken the week to do a lot of self-reflection at Rythmia Life Advancement Center in Costa Rica. I felt like I needed to take some time offline, so that is why I haven’t posted much on social media. However, I am back! Still in Costa Rica, but ready and refreshed to get writing and posting again 😊 Here are the highlights from my incredible week:
A night in Panama City
I spent Saturday night in a very funky hotel in Panama City called Riande Granada Urban Hotel. I booked this pretty last minute on hoteltonight.com and was impressed. I had a 24 hour layover I wanted to be comfortable and allow myself some space to collect myself before I was to be spending an intense week in Costa Rica – so it was perfect. I treated myself to a nice vegan dinner at The Loving Hut (highly recommend it) 🌿 and then spent the evening in my hotel room watching the finale of Shane Dawson’s latest series 👩🏼💻 I definitely need to check myself in for a cozy night at a hotel more often! It was perfect for some much needed me-time and it set the tone for the rest of the week.
Welcome to Rythmia
Honestly before arriving to Rythmia I had tons of thoughts running through my head and tons of emotions running through my body… I knew the week ahead of me would be challenging, but little did I know at the time it would become one of the best weeks of my life this far. I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you in #Zovember (30 videos in 30 days on my YouTube channel).
The Journey Within
For those of you who don’t know what I was specifically up to at Rythmia it was a lot of yoga, meditation, breathwork and plant medicine 🌿 I had the life-changing opportunity of partaking in 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies with Shaman from all over the world 🌎 Ayahuasca is an ancient plant medicine from the Amazon jungle that has been used for over 5000 years to heal people: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It gives one the opportunity to travel within the deepest parts of their mind, body and soul to allow great healing and soul-reconnection 🌻 I took the journey within and it worked. If you are curious about Ayahuasca, I recommend the free documentary The Reality of Truth with Michelle Rodriguez or the book Sh!t The Moon Said by Gerard Armond Powell.
It takes great bravery to face yourself and this is one of the greatest lessons I learned this week at Rythmia. Ayahuasca allows you to face your greatest fears and blocks right in the face – and let me tell you is that ever frightening 😫but the storms I faced always passed, and what is now left of those blocks and limiting beliefs is only a distant memory of what once was. The darkness and negative thought-processes that I once had, even just one week ago, no longer exist in my mind. I realized this week how brave I really am and that is something no one can take from me, not even my own mind.
Hugs & Holding Hands
It has been many years since I have been in a relationship or living near my family… so in that way I haven’t had many moments of long hugs or hand-holding. This is something you don’t realize you need until you have a really bad day, or unless you are in a safe enough space where this becomes a normality. This week at Rythmia I made up for my lost time, there were a lot of healing hugs and in times of need, I had loving hands to hold. I am so grateful for all of my new friends that so quickly became my family 💛
I feel like I’ve been all over the world this week and it has been so wonderful 😊 Here are the highlights:
I couldn’t leave Italy without a stop at Pizzeria Ostiense. Sofie and I spent a beautiful day exploring Roma and catching up, and to top it off we had my favourite Pizza Romana 😍 I don’t look excited at all! We even ate outside because the weather was still warm enough 🌴☀️
Unplanned Trip to Paris
I didn’t plan to be in Paris for long this week – originally my layover was 2 hours; however the Universe had a much different and perhaps more favourable plan for me ✨ The truth is – I could sit here and complain about the inconvenience of the airline of my overseas flight going bankrupt, cancelling all flights and having to fork over almost $1500 to get a new flight last minute – OR – I could take control of my situation, trust the Universe is working in my favour and enjoy a full day of LIVING in Paris – yoga by the canal, a picnic and a visit to the Eiffel Tower ❤️ I’m so grateful for this spontaneous gift of a trip, and to my amazing friend Cheryl for spending it with me! 😊
I love this city and wow, it feels good to be back. So many memories of inspiration, love and finding myself. Although I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, I grew up in Toronto. This city will always feel the most comfortable for me. If you’re curious about my journey and have not yet read Beauty and the Breakdown (my first and favourite book) it is now available worldwide as a PDF download. You can check it out here 😊
I feel Home
As mentioned above I feel the most comfortable in Toronto. I feel a bit of reverse culture shock happening since being away from Canada for almost a year… Upon stepping off the airplane and breathing in all that fresh air, spending the day running around Toronto and seeing familiar faces, I feel a huge sense of home and pride. Proud to be Canadian ❤️
Nicole and I met almost 6 years ago studying abroad in Cuba 🌴 Who would have thought 6 years later we would still be having tons of fun, laughter and smiles in the city of Toronto? 😊 I’m so grateful we spontaneously met in the Caribbean, wound up living in the same city and even though I’ve been gone for almost 2 years are still such great friends today 💕🤗 Love you Nic!
Ciao Amici 😊
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Today I write you from Firenze… it has been an amazing week from Lazio to Toscana. Here are the highlights:
Whenever one door closes…
Another one opens. This has proven to be a beautiful theme for my life this week. I snapped this photo on my way to a Shiatsu appointment. I love walking in Rome – no matter where you are going to always wind up pleasantly surprised wether it’s peering through an open door, spying on a lush terrazza or just people watching through the streets. Every corner of Roma is beautiful.❤️
Thank you so much to everyone who came out for the Rome Bloggers event at The Yellow on Wednesday! 😄 It was so great to meet you and hear all about your journeys and aspirations. Best of luck to you all 🍀
On Thursday I finally got to meet Lorenzo! Lorenzo has been a subscriber and Patreon of mine for a long time now and soon he will be starting a new, inspirational chapter in Switzerland 😊 We had an amazing vegan lunch at Brac in Firenze to celebrate friendship and new beginnings! ✨
Of course, I couldn’t visit Firenze without having a Gusta Pizza – perhaps my favorite in all of Italy 😉👌🏽 I always get the Gusta, senza formaggio con basilico – and I highly, highly recommend it. ❤️
Let your heart lead you…
My heart led me here back to Firenze. I have a “to see” list to he ground of places I still need to get to in Italy, however a special piece of me will always find comfort and inspiration in returning back to Tuscany. 💛 If you remember, the majority of my trips here have been solo and from each one of those adventures I’ve learned so much about myself. I have already done a lot of reflecting and *manifesting* ✨I’m looking forward to this weekend’s gifts. It’s so wonderful this thing called life ☀️
It’s been a beautiful week in Spain and back to Rome again ❤️ Here are my highlights:
Arriving in Ibiza
Our first night in Ibiza will go down in the history books for one of the top nights of 2018 ✨ We spent the evening on the rooftop of our penthouse dancing to our favourite music, laughing uncontrollably and of course admiring the stunning views (like the sunset pictured above). It was one of those nights that felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe I returned to this island one year later with a completely different – but same, life. SO much has changed and I am so incredibly grateful. 💛 The Universe is always creating for you.
Being of the Mediterranean Sun
There’s just something about being on an island in the Mediterranean Sea ☀️ I feel so inspired under the European sun and I hope one day still I will be able to call this continent home without a visa 💛 This week I officially got my hard-copy Permesso – Italy, I got you babe, for another year 😉🇮🇹
If you know me well you know that Kygo is my favourite DJ 😄 I have always wanted to see him at Ushuaia as this is where he has residency over the Summer ☀️ I have officially tiked this off of my bucket list 🙌🏽 The night was incredible – so full of energy! Check out the highlights from this night on my Instagram Highlights 🤩
I already miss my little sis Gaby 💛 I always learn so much about life from her. She is truly sunshine in the human form ☀️ We definitely did it up #Grande for the last hoo-rah of Summer 🤩🎉 I already can’t wait for all of the future adventures! We have made plans for our next meet-up! Any guesses where? 🌴
And when you want something…
“And, when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
The beginning of September means the beginning of my Patreon book club! Each month we will be reading a new book in the self-improvement category. Because September always feels like a fresh start to me I wanted to read The Alchemist once again ❤️ Paulo Coelho actually wrote The Alchemist in only 2 weeks! 📚 Can you believe it!? Come get inspired with us, join my community here!
It’s been a beautiful week in Croatia 🇭🇷 Here are the highlights 😊:
I found heaven on earth: it is called Lokram. This is an island just off of Dubrovnik which you can get to in only 10 minutes! ⛵️ This island is definitely the most magical island I have ever visited: castles, peacocks, bunnies, stunning views and so much nature! 🌿 You are only able to visit this island for the day as it is closed to the public by night. I definitely can’t wait to return as one day was simply not enough ✨
Craft Beer & Canadians
On Saturday we visited Dubrovnik Beer Company! 🍻 The week hovered around 35 degrees so there was nothing more refreshing than some delicious craft beer! 🍺 We ended up meeting some awesome Canadians from Vancouver who sat at the bar with us 🇨🇦 I love meeting new friends!
On Sunday I faced my worst fear: heights/falling/BUNGEE JUMPING! 😱 You can watch my jump on Instagram. I never, ever, EVER thought I would bungee jump (and I’m pretty positive I have mentioned this is more than a few YouTube videos), but you know what!? I did it! Because as I have come to realize: fear is an illusion. It only has as much power as you decide to give it. So, as it goes, “Nothin to fear, but fear itself.” 😊
My favourite sunset in Croatia was this evening on the jet skis 🧡 It was an extremely adventurous day from off-reading to zip-lining to parasailing then to jet skiing, but this was by far the highlight of the day and the trip 🇭🇷 The water was soft and so beautifully coloured, perfect for cruising and planting big dreams 🙏🏼 There’s just something about the sea for me that makes me believe anything is possible ✨
Sea Kayaking Along Castle Walls
On our last evening in Croatia Anastasiya and I went on a sunset kayak tour 🌅 We kayaked around the old castle walls 🏰 and along our favourite island Lokram! 🌿 Dubrovnik has quickly made it’s way to my Top 5 Cities list! What are yours? 😊
* this recent trip to Croatia was paid for by Dubrovnik Secrets.
From Italia to Croazia here are the highlights 😊
Conquering Fears with Friends!
On Monday Elyssa and I went paragliding (which you’re about to see). For as long as I can remember heights have been one of my biggest fears, however being with one of your friends makes it easier 👯♀️ You can see more of the experience on our Instagram highlights (@zoeyarielle & @romewise). Can’t wait for future day trips with Elyssa! 💛
I ran off a Mountain!
Yessss! 🤩 This is me and my Pilot at Cloud Hunters named Stefano. Cloud Hunters is a paragliding business in Lazio, just outside of the city of Roma, but close enough to get there by public transportation. This was my first time paragliding and definitely not the last 🙌🏽 The views were incredible! We ran off the Terminillo mountain range, and more specifically Monte Rosato, which translates to Mount Rose 😋💕
After paragliding our new friends from Cloud Hunters took us to explore the medieval town of Labro. The walls, walkways, gardens and castle have been so well-preserved 🏰 The small town is located on top of a hill in the Lazio region bordering Umbria. This allowed for stunning views in every direction 🌄
Sunsets that Steal Hearts
On Thursday afternoon I arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia 🇭🇷 that’s right, I am back! This time for a week of adventure in Dubrovnik ☀️ I’m so excited to share the adventures with you. This was the sunset from last night 🧡
This morning we toured the Dubrovnik walls! I’ve never felt more like I was walking through a fairytale! The sea, the ships, the castles, the ocean!! 😍 What magic! Dubrovnik has quickly become one of my top 5 cities in Europe! More on this next week 😉
From a beautiful weekend in Veneto all the way back to Lazio, here are the highlights:
How beautiful are these ladies? I am so grateful to have spent the weekend in Venice with such inspiring minds. Each one of us met online (on YouTube) and have now become such good friends ❤️ I’m so grateful for the abundance that has not only come out of this special weekend, but from each and every friendship I have with each of these girls.
I can’t believe how I manifested a friend like Kia into my life. Here goes a long-story-short: We became YouTube friends back in the days of 100 subs, we bonded over being vegan, then bonded even further about being girls with BIG dreams… We began Snapchatting each other to talk over seas and before I knew it Kia was here in Italy 🇮🇹 3 years later we have met up in Italy, Germany and Portugal 🌎 I am so blessed. Her entrepreneurship, authenticity, kindness and drive is some of the most inspirational I have ever come across in my lifetime. Thank you for being YOU, beautiful Kia 🧡 You can find here on Instagram here & on YouTube here.
Burano is #InstaHeaven 📸 full of canals and vibrant fishing houses. If you have plans to visit Venice, Burano is only 45 minutes away by Vaporetto (the boat/metro of Venice) and is TOTALLY worth it! 🚤 The vibes were calm and cool – a whole other world 🤗☀️
Green Juice & Rollarblades
I made two purchases this week for self-improvement and these were a Centrifuga and Rollarblades!! 😜 I’ve been feeling vibrant and energized thanks to the both of them. I feel like a kid, really and truly, it is so important to do FUN things! 🤩 To me rollerblading is so fun (and FUNNY!) and juicing allows me to feel creative each morning in a new way. You can find more highlights on both of these on my Instagram 😘
Zoey’s Diary is back tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited about it! 🤩 📺 I’ve been laughing harder and smiling more than I ever have, so I am ready to start documenting more of it – starting tomorrow with my beautiful sister Nanuchka (Anastasiya) – Stay tuned 😍
I hope you’re having a great week so far 😊 This week has been eventful from Roma to Toscana 🇮🇹 Here are the highlights:
Returning to Rome
Returning to Rome is one of my favourite experiences, but this time after returning from two full weeks in Croatia, it was different. This time when I returned, of course it felt like I was coming home, but it felt a little more solid (and exciting!) because I have a Permesso to stay… and I don’t plan on leaving, ever 😉 I can’t describe this intense love I feel each time I get off the plane or the train, but it truly is one of the best emotions I have ever experienced. It feels like falling in love (I think?) I always look forward to re-experiencing it. Have you ever felt this way about a city? If you have, I hope it’s the one you call home 😊
Learning About Love
Have you ever read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? 📘 I recently read this book on my favourite self-improvement app – Blinkist! 🤩 Gary discusses the feeling of love and his theories on the different languages in which people feel the love from their significant other. For me my love language (the way I most feel the affection and “love” of others) is when someone spends quality time with me 💑 I have always been a person who thrives off of meaningful conversations and experiences shared together so to me this makes sense! The other love languages include: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation and Gifts. Understanding your own love language and your partner’s love language can benefit your relationship in numerous ways as you truly will be able to communicate better on a different level 😊❤️ Which Love Language are you? If you have not yet read this book you can download it for free on a 7-day trial from Blinkist! 😃 Click here to get it now!
Roma by moonlight is magic 🌕 ✨ On Sunday night I joined friends for an amazing dinner and after walked around the eternal city 🏛 The beauty of this city so often stops me and I find myself gaping in awe and wonder – How beautiful, mysterious and enchanting is the Pantheon by night? I am still stunned even after two years and I’m sure I will be for the rest of this lifetime.
Piscine Termali Theia
Did you know Tuscany has natural spas? 💦 On Thursday Anastasiya and I spent the day at Piscine Termali Theia – soaking up the sun ☀️ and soaking in the Silene Spring water. The views were stunning and green and the air smelled of lavender as it was planted all around 🌿 This spa visit was the perfect combination of relaxing, rejuvenating and even historical as the Etruscans used to use this natural spring water to heal the body. These waters are rich in carbon dioxide and calcium carbonate which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the musculoskeletal system and are quite beneficial on the skin… and let me tell you, I felt it! 😍👌🏽
This morning started out like a dream ✨ I woke up in beautiful, scenic Tuscany 🌻 and got to spend the morning relaxing and energizing at Terme Sensoriali 🤩 (Sometimes I still need to pinch myself from this life I have created for myself… I am so grateful 🙏🏼 ) This spa was especially unique because it wasn’t just a spa where you can have treatments 🧖🏼♀️ – it was a spa with multiple treatment and experiential rooms! The sensory spa (in English) represents the perfect mix among the thermal experience, naturopathy and the enchanting Tuscan countryside. Some of my favourite experiences include an aromatherapy room, a shower of essential oils, a “river” where you can massage your feet on natural pebbles… it felt like an absolute dream and I can’t wait to share my travel diary with you and plan my next trip! 😉
Thank-you to Blinkist for sponsoring this blog post.
It’s been another beautiful week in Croatia 🇭🇷 Here are the highlights 🤗
This is my beautiful friend Michelle and her daughter Iva! Finally we got to meet up in Europe after years of talking about it (even before I made the move over here myself 😋). We had great times together relaxing in Croatia and of course watching the game! 🙌🏽 What an experience!
Drone Pilots 🚁
This is my little drone pilot Livija 💛 She is definitely one of the highlights of my week! Sometimes we all need to be a kid again and as I mentioned last week this was also a theme. After the devastating loss of my friends just prior to leaving for Croatia I told myself this trip is going to be all about living in the moment, exploring and finding imagination, creativity and play again. Thank you to little Livija for really reminding me what it means to be a kid again 😊
Brinje is a beautiful town about half hour in from the Coast in Northern Croatia 🇭🇷 It was a long bus ride up the coast and inland after getting off the MedSailors boat in Split, but so worth it! The nature, the tranquility and of course the quality time spent with amazing people made this a highlight of my trip and overall time in Croatia 😊🧡 If you’re looking for a relaxing place to be in nature, Brinje is it! I slept better here than I have in months 🌿☀️
World Cup Celebrations
I returned to Split from Brinje late afternoon on Tuesday and these were the sights! 💥 The city was still in high spirits celebrating Croatia’s second placement in the World Cup! ⚽️🎉 You can see there is so much pride in this photo – the atmosphere was incredible. I am happy I got to experience this accomplishment for the Croatia and take in the sights, sounds and energy. 😄🇭🇷
Two Nights in Split
I spent two nights in Split by myself this week before boarding my flight back to Rome 🇮🇹 (yesterday evening). This was just what I needed 😊 As you know I am very comfortable with solo travel. I find it very rewarding, reflective and relaxing. If you have not yet visited Split it is a very special place built up and around an ancient Roman Palace – you feel transported in time 🏰 I can’t wait to share my travel diaries with you from my trip ☀️ I am excited to dive into inspiring editing mode this weekend 🙌🏽 More YouTube content from me very soon!