If you want my advice…

Do you know who in the world wants your advice? Not to worry. I bet even less people want mine. Not even my great advice (as it usually is). What if I tell you I have advice that will forever change your life for the better? Would you be interested in hearing it then?

A good friend recently lamented their (numerous) problems to me. Hearing their issues, I proceeded to give them some good, sound, quality advice.

I haven’t heard from them since.

C'mon, take my advice!


The problem is, we all know better. If I disagree with your advice it’s because I know you’re right.
The angrier you get when I suggest you do something, the more it means you know I’m right.

I hate excuses:

You don’t get it.

You just don’t understand.

It’s not that easy.

My 2010 motto (again, I don’t do resolutions) was “no excuses”. I then used that and “no sympathy” as my 2011 mantras (resolutions are for losers!).  Since then I’ve seen the world anew. People are whiners. Whiners full of excuses. Packed to the brim with reasons why they can’t do this and won’t do that and overall full of ‘poor me’ delusions.

Do you want to know the real truth? Here it is: You can do it. You should do it. And in most cases, you’re the only person holding you back. Yet people just don’t want to hear it.  Instead you want me to agree that the world is working against you, everyone has it in for you and there’s just no way out of your sorry situation.  But there’s no way I can agree to that.

However, the next time your fickle friend prattles on about their sad, cursed, black hole of a life and you know exactly what they should do to get out of it; if you want my advice on this one…

Just keep it to yourself.

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In a Perfect Wedding World

Braving the cold and the pouring rain, a scrappy group of faux wedding party participants came out to Vancouver’s famed Robson Street on Sunday, April 10, 2011 in support of Dress for Success Vancouver.

Proving that people don’t like to come out when it rains, the estimated dozens who were expected to attend got whittled down to an enthusiastic few who withstood the heavy downpours with big smiles and even bigger hearts.

They handed out pamphlets, informed passers-by about the upcoming Dress for Success power walk and provided donation cards for anyone wishing to make a contribution.

The organizers are trying to raise awareness for Dress for Success Vancouver, an organization that empowers low and no income women to transition into the workforce by providing them with professional attire and a small working wardrobe to get them started in their roles. They also provide other services including a clothing stylist, career counseling and an ongoing mentoring program.

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/210313–dozens-of-brides-and-grooms-swarm-vancouver

All this in support of the Perfect Wedding Show taking place this Sunday, April 17 at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel in Richmond featuring traditional vendors offering unique wedding options for all bride-to-be’s.

And this is how the article SHOULD have appeared on all the local newspapers if I had any say in it. Oh well.  2 news outlets out of how ever many there are in Vancouver should be good enough for now.

Shooot!

Photo provided by Tempest Photography - http://www.tempestphoto.com

Unexciting, Non-Adventure

I saw the ad weeks ago and was excited ever since. I’ve been dying to do some exciting outdoor stuff in Vancouver and knew (I KNEW!) The Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show would be the show to help me do it. Woo!

Grabbing an equally excited friend, we excitedly went to the venue, excitedly bought our tickets and excitedly burst through the doors of the convention centre.

And that’s when all the excitement ended.

For a show with the words  “Outdoor Adventure” and “Travel” in it, you would assume  interesting and, well, exciting, right? Well you shouldn’t.  To put it in perspective, the most exciting thing about the show was the free bag of Old Dutch potato chips we got on our way out.

So what was I expecting, anyway?

New ideas! Fun (and preferably local) activities to do on the weekend. Affordable would be nice but outside the box would be better. I already mountain bike, snowboard, hike, camp, ice skate, roller blade, box, kick box and run (well light jog). Gimme something else to do.

Enter the boredom

Soooo many booths. And they all look the same. Oooo! maybe it’s like a maze and if you can find your way around you win a prize? No? Just confusing and maze-like by accident. Oh. Call me lazy (because I can be) but I didn’t want to have to use a map to navigate my way to the one booth I came to see anyway or to have to figure out where I was in the large room without the incentive of a prize for my efforts.

The lows

Free stuff

Free stuff? Yes, usually a highlight anywhere, the Motts Garden Cocktail booth was giving away huge cups filled with tomato juice – I mean garden cocktail. Now I love tomato juice (although I’m used to it including vodka and a celery stick…) but even I couldn’t stomach two and a half cups of the stuff in one sitting. Sure enough, one booth over, there were piles of half filled cups all over an empty table.

Adventure slide shows

As per the website:

See breathtaking slide presentations, and hear from seasoned adventure travelers as they share incredible stories of the thrill of adventure travel!

Yes, that’s what a true adventurer wants to do. Hear about other people’s fun times and thrilling lives. Complete with a slide show of static pics?? Whoa. That doesn’t sound boring at all!

Even the cafeteria/food services area was un-adventurous. Nowhere was there Eagle meat burgers, Dodo bird flavoured potato sticks or even Unicorn taquitos.  The most adventurous item on the menu – hot dogs.

Whose booth is this anyway?

If any of the following booths cause your breath to quicken, your heart to skip or your pulse to race…then you lead a very boring and sad life:

  • We introduce to you…The Safeway Pharmacy booth
  • The Province Newspaper booth– I like the province newspaper and read it all the time, but I also like Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine and the daily 24 hours newspaper. My point – none of them belong at the outdoor adventure/travel show.
  • Canada Border Services Agency boothreminding you of what you can and cannot travel with (still have that ‘no weapons’ rule? Party poopers!)
  • Canadian Diabetes Association booth????
  • Canadian Food and Inspection Agency booth – ????
  • Green Party of Canada booth????

The highs

Campink – Pink camping gear! We all know we can get camping gear anywhere  (ever heard of M.E.C or Walmart?) so you really need to give me some kind of incentive to buy it at the show and lug it all home.

Answer: Make it pretty and colour it pink.  A unique twist on an original product.

I don’t even need to go camping to use this stuff either. I will happily find a use for a bright pink flantern.

You'll go perfectly with my neon green living room set!

Surfsister – surfing lessons on the beach. They provide the wetsuits and gear so all I have to do is show up. Sweet. That’s how l like all my activities – pre set, exciting, and requiring little more than for me to show up (kinda like a good first date). Now while I’d prefer if they were in Vancouver (they’re in Tofino, BC – a 4 hour trek away), they tell me the reason for the Tofino location is because they need an ‘ocean’ and ‘waves’ in order for us to surf.

Bah humbug. Call me when we can start surfing ‘inland’ or in a ‘wave pool’ (which is a really good idea so somebody invent that!)

On the other hand

iparaglide – It’s the newest thing I want to try – paragliding!  I went to the show specifically to see what price I could get and where they were located (the office address is located downtown which sort of didn’t make sense…).  Turns out that beginners paraglide off a big hill/slope located 2 cities to the south of Vancouver and then after we get better we get to paraglide off a mountain located 4 cities to the east of Vancouver. That (out-of-the-way locations) and it’s pricey are two of the reasons I decided to put my wallet away. Starting in the hundreds, I also have to add in the cost of renting a car to get to the various public transit-unfriendly mountains.

Boo.

So although I love adventure and I crave excitement and I live for something fun to do, it seems I still have no problem doing anything fun and adventurous…

As long as it’s within my city limits.

And for free. 😉

Get your dukes up

Bring on the good times! 

With Christmas now officially over, kaput and done with (stuff it Santa!); we can finally focus on what really matters about this joyous holiday season: the chance to save up to 50% off our favourite brand name items. The time of year has arrived where we can turn those highly desired gift cards and highly undesired crappy gifts into items you truly want. Yes, it’s Boxing Day across the land and all the good (and bad), naughty (and nice) boys and girls can be on this VIP list.

As a veteran Boxing Day shopper, I’ve noticed Boxing Day shoppers can be categorized by 2 types of people:

Those who get it.

And those who don’t.

People who get to the malls right before they open on the 26ththey get it

People who get to the mall at 11am and circle for hours in search of a parking spot and wonder why it’s so busy: they don’t get it

People who bring the biggest car with the biggest trunk: they get it

People who take public transportation and just want to get ‘one thing’: they clearly don’t get it

People who camp out overnight to be first in line: Jury’s still out. While I admire their dedication to the day (because they get it!), I question the sanity of waiting outside in the cold for hours to save $110 off a 32’ Sony Bravia TV (so in this case – I don’t get it)

Boxing Day. What’s the point?

The point is to get as much as possible for as little as possible with minimal wastage

Wastage: (noun)

  1. Spending money on crap you wouldn’t take even if they gave it to you

CAVEAT: Now  just because it’s half price doesn’t make it a great purchase. 40% off crap is still 60% more for said crap than you should be paying for it.

As you know, I enjoy telling people how to do things my way (AKA the right way) so here’s my…

Handy Guide to Boxing Day: Doing it right the first time.

–          TIME:

  1. Plan ahead and as far in advance as you can. Dec 27th of the previous year is definitely not too soon. Starting earlier helps you to learn from your previous mistakes. (remember that time you woke up late? Mistake!)
  2. And for goodness’ sake arrive early! Forget job interviews, funerals (trust me, he ain’t going anywhere), and live births: Boxing Day is the one time when arriving early really matters.

–          PLACE:

  1. Check it out online: Many retailers give you a sneak peak at the potential discounts you can expect on Boxing Day. Can’t find it online? Call the store and ask. It’ll save you time and angry fist waving to know what you can expect in advance.
  2. Make a list and check it twice: (take a cue from Santa) Because you can’t just buy anything. That’s an amateur mistake. Make a list of the things you want and want to buy for less. List everything you would possible buy if it was on sale.  Include condos, pets, and motorcycles too – don’t forget, you drove that U-Haul to the mall for a reason.
  3. Pick your locations wisely. By definition, outlet malls are cheaper and should be frequented first. Malls second, and boutique and specialty shops last (if at all).

–          PEOPLE:

  1. Get the proper team in place: your ideal team is small (2 to 3 people), agile, possess strong elbows, long reaches and upbeat personalities.  There may be high shelves, highly desired items in other customers` change rooms and long lines out there so you need people who can get you through those times (and act as distractions as necessary).
  2. As the day progresses, if anyone in your team shows weakness, drop them off at the nearest food court to keep watch over the bags. This ain’t a joke – it`s Boxing Day. You need to either keep up or keep guard. This is what you sign up for. No bathroom breaks, no snacking, and no naps. You can always stand to lose a few and you can sleep when you’re dead.

New Developments

With the recent creation of a Boxing Week, some people believe they can show up anytime that week and get the same selection and bargains I get on day one, hour one.

These delusional fools obviously had too much spiced nog. That’s the time to get the best deals you’ll ever get. Trust me. The people who arrive early enough to get these deals will NOT divulge them to commoners in order to keep them for ourselves.

Which is why I’m giving you this handy guide for NEXT boxing day (if you even remember it then-muhahahahaha!). I’ve already gone and done it for 2010. I’ve raided the outlet stores, emptied the malls and scooped up the best bargains and lowest ticketed priced items. All that’s left now are sequined flannel pyjamas, bedazzled ties and edible socks. All at 10% off though so please enjoy your mid week savings.

Are you ready for Boxing Day 2011? Please read the following and let’s find out.

A simple Boxing Day Test:

–          An additional 25% off all sale items!

–          Buy one get one free on anything in store!

–          An additional 40% off all sale items!

–          50% off the entire store!

–          Up to 80% off red ticketed items!

–          Over 500 items priced at $10 or less!

–          Nothing priced higher than $9.99!

It’s a simple test really. If these Boxing Day banners above don’t get your blood pumping, your heart racing or your mouth drooling, it can only mean one thing:

You just don’t get it.

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sale sign picture source

25% off sale sign picture source

The End is Nigh!

Well the end of the year is nigh, at least.  So nigh, in fact, it’s pretty much here already. By the time you read this line, there will be less than 2 weeks till the ball drops for 2011. Rather than dropping the ball and waiting for Jan 1, 2011 myself (how passé!) I want to be the first to drop my 2010 Retrospective highlighting one top  post from each month. So without further adieu, I present to you:

2010: A 2010 Retrospective looking back at a year of blogging in 2010. Retrospectively.

January 2010: Why should polar bears have all the fun?

Tempting fate and Mother Nature by taking an ice cold dip in the Pacific Ocean. If you think a person has to be mad to do it – you’re just about right on that. The madder the better.

Would I do it again? I guess you`ll find out in less than 2 weeks…

February 2010: Please, oh please, won’t you be my anti-valentine?

Inspired by love and all its BS, as well as this hilarious antivalentine’s day card courtesy of www.Meish.org/vd:

 

March 2010: End Game

Olympic Fever hit me as early as January and I had several posts on the Olympics over a 2 month period culminating in this final, sad entry. Olymmmmmpicsssss! Those who lived it just know. Those who didn’t could be better off not feeling the loss of a time when the city of Vancouver was engulfed, enthralled and enchanted by all that was and might never be again. Sigh. So as you can tell it’s a fun, uplifting post. 😉

April 2010: Supporting the Arts

Oh Septocus! How I wanted this great performance art piece to be bad. I’ve never been so happy to be disappointed in my life. (Contrarily, I really wanted this performance art to be good and it was…not that)

 

May 2010: I’ve got your future right here

I paid $40 to be told the equivalent of what I could have discovered using a Magic 8-ball. Thinking of getting your palm read and your crystals analyzed? Simply remove my name in this post and paste in yours. Bam! I just saved you $40.

June 2010: Love thy Father

My heartfelt salute to my most favouritest man in the world – Daddykins! Interestingly enough, he doesn’t read my blog – the bastard! 😉 Xoxo!

July 2010: Festivus of Beer

Ah yes, an alcoholic’s dream come true… Assuming the alcoholic liked beer. Unfortunately I don’t. Read on for the details of this living nightmare.

August 2010: Pie Times

22 pies to taste and one spork with which to do it. As any 12-year-old girl with an eating disorder would say: OMG. Get a napkin ready and read on about the best day of my life!

Pies as far as the eye can see! Wheeee!

September 2010: Peaceful Anarchy

Cycling for hours just for the hell of it. If we cause a little anarchy while we’re at it, so be it.

October 2010: The Grouse Grind®

Took on this bitch and it kicked my arse. Twice! Argh! I don’t take defeat very well. I’ll see you again in the spring, you sanctimonious whore! If you don`t know what the grouse grind is, count yourself lucky. And probably lazy. Yah you heard me. Take the challenge! 

November 2010: Wedding Fever

I finally learned about the fun in marriage Weddings! The glam; the photographers; the planning; the fun; the cake (oh my, the cake!); the party; the gifts; and the most important part of that day – the open bar! Marriages do not = weddings.  A wedding is the drug: an ecstasy pill coated in butter cream frosting, served with free flowing champagne.   Marriage is what comes after the drug fuelled, champagne high. Like the hangover if you will. heh heh heh. Hey, there’s always the simple cure (divorce) and then you can have another wedding, woo!

December 2010:

What? A 2010 retrospective looking back at a favourite blog from each month in 2010? What a great idea. 😉

Is this considered a paradox thingy?  Nope. Apparently it’s called Recursion. Learning is fun! (except when it isn’t)

December 2010 (the real one): `tis the season (pt II)

Get in the spirit with this handy guide that should motivate you to get off your couch!… or stay on it. I have tips for you lazy folks too. And yes, you’re welcome.

The Nigh at the End

There you have it. A non-comprehensive 2010 retrospective on the year 2010 (a retrospective).

What’s next for 2011? What’s next on the agenda? What will happen over the next 12 months? What predictions or speculations are on the horizon for the coming year? I haven’t a clue but after seeing that fortune teller back in May 2010, I do know one thing for sure:

Neither does she.

Happy, Sexy, We

Ending another doomed relationship (I should stop judging my potential mates by their appreciation of America’s Next Top Model. Most don’t); I sought out my girlfriends for some much needed consoling (I don’t care what he says; Tyra Banks does deserve an emmy!). As we poured the next round, we compared our man meeting methods and our similar man meeting goals: to meet someone cool to hang out with, someone funny but not funny looking, and someone not looking to tie you down (maybe tie you up, but that’s a whole other post…) Several drinks later, we came to 2 definite conclusions (that I can remember):

  1. Double shots are always the better value. Always.
  2. All men can’t suck (or can they?) and there must be a reason why we just weren’t connecting

Enter Ronald Lee, owner and founder of Happy Sexy You who believes he has the answers to all the questions a single gal can ask.  As a happy, sexy(ish), single gal, I decided to shake him down for the solution to our perpetual problem (and just to be clear- by problem I mean men):

Happy Sexy You, Lifestyle and Dating Coaching for Women is an attraction coaching company that teaches women how to attract men, and keep them!

Myth #1: If a man is interested in you, he’ll approach you. If he isn’t, then he won’t.

Nelley: What the @#$%! So what do we do?

Ronald Lee: Women need to give men a chance and throw them a bone. Approaching a potential mate is always hard and anything you can do to make it easier for them (smiling, nodding in his direction, positioning yourself away from your group so he’s not as intimidated, etc.) will help to increase your chances.

Nelley: What made you get started in the lady coaching service?

RL: The service actually started with me as a professional coach for men. It was also a hobby I had that just took off into a professional career. Guys around me were using clichéd pick up lines, some were unable to even approach women and others just didn’t understand why they weren’t attracting women. I worked with them to give them the knowledge and self-confidence to meet women – in a better way.

Myth #2: Pickup lines work/don’t work

Nelley: So pick up lines don’t work?

RL: It depends. Men or women need to have something to back up a cheesy line. It could be a great icebreaker and make both people laugh and relax but you must have more behind it.  You can’t just rely on the pickup line to get you to the next level- ie. having a real conversation.

Myth #3: Love is just like it is in the movies

RL: This may seem obvious but most movies about love (the Notebook, etc) are not the reality.

Happy Sexy You Reveals all: Top 3 Dating Mistakes

Dating Mistake #1: Holding out for the Fantasy

RL: This refers to people who are stuck in this dream world and are seeking a knight in shining armour or some other person that doesn’t exist. Relationships will never work out for fantasy seekers because no one will live up to these unrealistically high expectations.

Dating Mistake #2: Big Picture Dating

RL: Some people are focused on one thing – like having the big wedding – and then marry anyone to achieve those shortsighted goals. What happens in some cases is that after the wedding day, some people have regrets and are now at a loss as to how to keep the relationship going.

Dating Mistake #3: Communication Malfunction

RL: Communication is huge. People need to understand the opposite sex and how they think so they can better communicate with them. This is the sort of coaching I take both men and women through @ Happy Sexy You

Nelley: So how else can you coach us?

RL: Dating coaching, relationship coaching and breakup coaching. We can help you no matter which stage you are in.

Nelley: How do you help with a breakup? Do you provide the booze and tissues or do you help people to actually do the breaking up?

RL: (laughing) we can help them before, during and after the breakup. Our breakup plan helps you to:

–          Understand who you are

–          See the patterns that got you here (maybe again)

–          Review what went wrong and how to avoid it for next time

–          Really understand what you want

Nelley: Does Happy Sexy You offer dating services too?

RL: We occasionally have mixers and events where you can practice your skills and meet some great people but our goal is for individuals to have the self-confidence to meet and approach people in any situation.  We also teach people how to date because despite what people think, they don’t really know how.

Nelley: So Happy Sexy You can result in an increase in self-confidence, being self aware, gaining skills to (perhaps soberly) handle breakups, and learning the secrets into how men think? It all sounds pretty good to me. Where do I sign up?

RL: Now don’t get me wrong, there are some side effects to this service too.

Nelley: Like what??

RL: People have reported getting better jobs, getting promoted at their current jobs, trying new things, quitting their jobs and going travelling, doing things they’ve always wanted to do, working out more, feeling great about themselves…

Nelley: (laughing):  Yes, I think we get the point. Thanks Ronald!

Next up @ Happy Sexy You? The Art of Meeting Men taking place in Vancouver, BC on December 11th and 12th, 2010. This is Happy Sexy You’s highly popular weekend experience that teaches the modern woman how to meet, date, and start a relationship with the man you want.  Don’t be shy any longer. Interested? Click here for details.

Remembering Y.O.U.

Michael Jackson

Love him or hate him, this polarizing icon has monopolized mainstream media for many years. Even more so after his untimely death last June 25th, 2009. However, a common thread I’m hearing in casual conversations is not a continuation of the initial shock at his passing but the surprise that it has already been a year since he passed.

365 days since three children unfortunately lost their father. 12 months since millions of fans said goodbye to a music legend and 1 year since Bubbles the Chimp lost … well whatever you’d call that relationship (no judging!). While Michael Jackson’s death is significant (you can personally determine the level of significance), my attention has been captured by the  ‘a year has gone by’ part.

Sure, there are many occasions and tools out there to acknowledge and mark the passing of a year – birthdays, holidays, calendars,  etc. Heck there’s even this monumental event that takes place every December 31st in the evening time. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Nonetheless, Michael Jackson’s sudden passing is different. While we anticipate those other events and plan for and expect them to happen and take place each year, his passing was a surprise to all.  Now that the anniversary of his death has rolled around, the universal feeling is “What? A year already?”

Time flies and the end is nigh.

As I write this entry, I’m flying through the air and we suddenly hit a patch of turbulence causing the plane to drop suddenly, taking my stomach with it. The toddler two rows up starts screaming and crying (and will continue to do so non-stop until we land…) and I quickly realize all this writing could be for nought.

Hey! Why doesn't ur care-antee include "Getting me there alive!" 😮

All these words could go to waste and never get read as we lurch to our deaths 25,000 feet below. Of course, the turbulence only lasts mere moments and we continue on course to land safely as planned (yawn, boring!).  The point though is this: It could all end at ANY TIME.

Now I’m not one to focus on the negative but to recognize that it exists to allow us to make our way to the positive good stuff.

The Positive Good Stuff:

Box of Crayons

Last week I was stumbling online and came across this really cool site called Box of Crayons. It features a cool video titled  Eight Principles of Having Fun that asks the question:  Are you having fun yet?

I really liked their 8 principles of having fun (example principles – #1. Be Creative: Stop following the rules and #7. Take Action: Stop being busy) and after viewing it, I signed up for the newsletter too. Although I’m not nearly as impressed with the newsletter as I was with the initial video that caught my eye, I do like the author’s positive attitude and his creativity is very inspiring so I will allow him to continue sending me occasional newsletters.

Things She’s Done/Places She’s Been

Then I was searching thru random profiles online and came across these notes on someone’s profile that made me green with envy:

I love to travel, visit and see other parts of the world:

  • I have walked the hills of Athens, Greece

A Dubai Gold Souk shop

  • Indulged in cappuccinos in Rome, Italy
  • Tasted exotic crepes in Paris, France
  • Partied at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain
  • Watched amazing sunrises in San Sebastian, Spain
  • Walked through the Gold Souks in Dubai
  • Ate the most delicious mangoes in Ghana…

I wanna do that too! (she cried out immaturely). Now while everyone’s list will be different, I still feel twinges of envy at ‘Partied @ Las Ramblas in Spain’. I don’t even know what this is but I can’t help but think “How amazing would that be?”

100 things to do before you die: The Buried Life

So I sort of started this list in my about me section but these punks outgoing guys are actually doing it on their own MTV show. As taken from their website:

Relying on goodwill, guts and gumption [Canadians] Duncan, Ben, Dave and Jonnie travel the globe in a purple transit bus to complete a list of ‘100 things to do before you die’ and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists.

I’ve watched a few episodes and love it. The episodes show the four dudes planning and plotting their list item and when it comes time to do it, the actual events  in these episodes were shown in hilarious fashion via handheld hidden camera.  Because you can’t crash a stranger’s wedding or Hugh Hefner’s pad with a camera crew in tow.

Sample list items:

  • #6. Attend a party at the playboy mansion
  • #41. Make a toast at a strangers’ wedding
  • #27. Give a stranger a $100 bill

So what’s my point? (Weren’t you paying attention???)

My point is this: that thing you’ve always wanted to do/try; that place you’ve always wanted to visit/see; that person you’ve always wanted to meet/reconnect with; why haven’t we done it yet? What’s holding us back?

You might also note that I’m not mentioning so called ‘rational’ issues like jobs and money and all the other rather ‘irrational’ issues that we use as excuses to hold us back. Everyone has that friend who dropped everything and moved across the world or we know a person working towards their dream job and earning very little income (right now) but is the happiest person you know.  We also might try to rationalize why they could do it but why we can’t do it too (Cuz that bitch is crazy!?).

No more excuses.

Oh and for the record I’m not suggesting selling or donating all your possessions and sailing around the world, however I’m also not not suggesting that either… (The rules are this: You can thank me but you can’t blame me).

C’mon now, whatever you’ve always wanted to do and whatever you’ve always wanted to see, go and do it! Go live it! Go see it!

I know I will…

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Photo credit: Dubai Gold Souk