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Monday, February 28, 2011

Plus Une!

This just in! Another traveller is joining Tasha and me on our Camino trek!

Introducing Tatyana: artist, visionary, first class wit, and sushi aficionado (or at least, she and I once ate sushi together).

So happy to have you aboard!

Tonight I had a great chat with my old roommate, Brooke, from Laurentian. I've been feeling so lonely as of late, missing the fun days with my pals, and she feels the same. Brooke and I were roomies back in first year, 2005-2006, and we have never had problems getting a
long. She is currently in Southern Manitoba, right on the U.S. border, on a teaching contract. News on the street is that a repeat of the flood of '97 is on the way... pack your basements
ladies and gentlemen (if you don't know what I mean, you are lucky)!!! In addition, the other day in her area it was -42 Celcius. Before moving there we had a long phone conversation about MB, and how cruel the weather and mosquitoes can be. She confessed that she went for a tan to help scare the blues away; and now I confess, I also tan the blues away on occasion.

Courage Brooke! Only 4 more months left of Mani-snow-ba winter!

On a more serious note, my tan is approaching the orange threshold. Reason: there was a blizzard in Ottawa today.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Countdown: 28

Another weekend without badminton. That's 2 weeks in a row... bummer! Sunday mornings there is drop-in adult badminton at GRC in Stittsville. It is currently Sunday morning and my reason for playing hooky from fun times at the GRC is homework. To be specific, I am transcribing interviews. I've been at it for a while, but Bejeweled Blitz has been helping keep me off task for a little while... and now I'm blogging. Oops!

Fun Fact: Today marks the 1 month countdown until my departure to Europe... leaving on March 27, 2011 from Montreal, QC and arriving in Paris, France!

This morning I have managed to make plans for a few weekends from now; I'm going to Sudbury! Mini road trip to see some good friends before the grand adventure begins. I wanted it to happen this past week; however, as a wise man once said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need". My interpretation of that quote is that good things come in time... and you can't rush visits to Sudbury!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lightening the Load


Okay, here's the deal. I love my ipod, and I don't mean just a little bit. It comes with me everywhere. It was purchased in 2007 as a present to myself after a challenging summer spent working at an oppressive (to the staff) summer camp in the Shenandoah Mountains. It's a classic 80G video black ipod. The question remains... would anyone like to buy an 80G video ipod classic?

Since volunteering at the Prime Time conference, I'm th
inking perhaps I should step it up and get an ipod touch. Here's where getting a touch could be a good idea: eliminates the need for a full on computer because it has wifi capabilities, can have Skype added so no requirement for a phone, it can play music, take small HD video, and looks cool. Basically it would take 4 devices' (ipod, flip cam, computer, cell phone) place and would therefore be more spatially smart. The price seems decent at $229, considering 4 years ago I payed closer to $400 for my classic. I may need to poll some friends about this decision... Facebook, I'm coming to you for answers!

Being prepared is my thing. I absolutely love researching before doing to eliminate unpleasant surprises or plot twists... So when researching the Camino, I came across an advice page that suggested carrying approximately 10% of your body weight or less while doing the pilgrimage. The reasoning behind this figure is of course to avoid injury. Because I am a the master of preparation, this also means I tend not to be a light packer; this poses a challenge, and brings me back to the ipod thing. How much weight am I really saving by purchasing an ipod? Is it wise to put all your bets on one piece of technology? What if it gets lost or stolen?

In addition to selling my classic, I've been considering listing my dog as well. Who knew Bentley, my bichon frise, would actually try to consume a maple chair.

(Dog for sale?)

Sadly, I will not be going to Sudbury, Ont. this weekend. Found out that Laurentian is having their reading week now too; therefore, most of my buddies are back at home relaxing! All the years I went to LU, I cannot recall my reading break and Algonquin's to ever have coincided. This year we all just got "lucky" I suppose.

That's all for tonight, bringing the destructive demon to meet a bull mastiff tomorrow. Perhaps he will be able to put Bentley in his place!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coffee Break

Bridgehead and Beau's Brewery have made the ultimate fusion... Winterbrew beer! They've combined Beau's all-natural beer with fair trade Nicaraguan coffee to create this intense flavour-party-for-the-palette... and it kept me conscious for a fair bit longer than alcohol usually does! Last night I went to a party at the Bridgehead at 96 Sparks in Ottawa that featured this awesome brew. Really hoping that it will be available at the LCBO sometime soon!

I heard about the Bridgehead-Beau's event through an old camp friend, Cameron, who is a barrista (is this a gender neutral term?) at one of the coffee shops. While we were hanging out last night he also recommended I become a couch surfer. I don't know much about couch surfing, but I do know it is an extremely cost effective way to travel AND that joining the couch surfing community is by invitation only... ladies and gentlemen, I may have just found my in. So I'm in the process of signing up with the website... there is so much info to put in... but such great reward in the end.

I didn't clue in until the other day, but this week coming up is my reading week for school!! How college can schedule a March break in the mid-end of February is beyond me. Regardless, this basically means I have made no plans, and it may be too late to make any. Originally I was going to get to Sudbury, Ont. to meet up with some of my amazing friends at Laurentian University. It might take a miracle to pull this one off!!

Anyways, it's the long weekend here because of Monday being deemed 'Family Day'. No difference to me, it's my 'March break' after all! The plan for the week is to get a move on on my school projects, and perhaps pull a trip to the Dirty Nickel AKA Sudbury outta my bag... wish me luck!

(Sudbury, Ont., view of the water tower from the downtown Tim Horton's!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Prime Excellence!

I was fortunate enough to be selected to volunteer for this year's Prime Time in Ottawa conference held at the Westin downtown. The CMPA (Canadian Film and Television Production Association) puts on the conference every year and it's focus is mainly on networking and policy. I volunteered all day Wednesday (Feb. 16, 2011) and part of Thursday; and made sure to attend the socials...

Meeting and mingling with industry people is rather tiring by the way... especially when you stay out past 2:30 a.m. to do it!

I am so grateful I got the opportunity to attend the conference, and even got to come in on the last day(Feb 18, 2o11) and take in panel discussions as well as presentations from a few of the industry leaders. My passion for television and media has been re-ingnited.

I am so happy that I got involved, and was able to get so much out of the experience! Thank you CMPA!!

It's been an incredible week! My positive meter is reading off the charts!!

As far as the planning goes for the big trip... I have acquired a merino wool sweater and a pack lock device. One of the best things about travelling and camping has got to be the before shopping. Ottawa has so many fantastic outdoor stores: MEC, Bushtukah, Trailhead, the Expedition Shoppe. Browsing those stores helps to remind me that I can go anywhere and do anything!

The items I won't be purchasing are the camera and sound kit. Those will definitely need to be borrowed from Algonquin College. I was speaking to the guy in charge of the equipment and he mentioned that the HD cameras are typically reserved for special projects... do we all agree that this is a special project?! Heck yes!

Touched base today with my partner in crime, Tasha. We have different reading weeks so we won't be able to coordinate a face to face meeting before I leave the country; however, when she gets home in early March she will have access to a free long distance phone! She recently expressed to me that she cannot wait for us to embark on this pilgrimage: to laugh, to cry, to argue and disagree... but ultimately to become stronger friends. Who knows, this trip may result in us taking on even more challenges around the world.

A few months ago I made a decision: while I am young a fresh I want to do the physically challenging trips... hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, ship wreck exploration, moon landings. Save the beaches, whale watching and wine tours for when my back and knees give out.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

So It Begins!

Ever feel like doing something epic? Something that is the challenge of a lifetime?

My name is Nicole Godwin... and I am craving such an adventure. And I have found the perfect adventure to fill this need; the Camino de Santiago Compostela AKA Way of St-James.

The Camino is hundreds of historic pilgrimage trails throughout Europe that all lead to the same end point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It is tr
aditionally considered a religious journey; however, modern day pilgrims go for all sorts of reasons...

A bit about myself; I am a 23 year old lifeguard from Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. I have a B.A. in Communication Studies from Laurentian University as well as a specialization in Public Relations from Cambrian College. After graduation, I moved home to Ottawa and came to live with my parents in an attempt to save money. Since
April 2010 I've been working to pay off my loans, and missing all my amazing friends from university.

I definitely was not ready to begin a career after the summer ended; so much as over thinking what the future may hold is enough to make my eyes water. So, I have gone back to college and enrolled in Documentary Production at Algonquin. I've always been fascinated by cinema and how movies are made, and besides, this was a perfect way to be constructive while delaying my "real" life for another year.

This program has been great. We learn how to make a documentary from start to finish including budgets, all the paperwork, proposals, media kits, camera work, editing.... everything! Probably the most valuable lesson in all this for me is that I will truly never be great at every aspect of filmmaking; however, I will be great a some aspects, and those are the ones I need to focus on and develop into a career.

Anyways, I digress...

How am I able to go on any sort of trip at the moment? I am the recipient of an international scholarship from Algonquin College! The stipulation of the scholarship? Leave the country by March 31st, 2011. Okay, check!

March 27th, 2011 I am leaving Ottawa and flying to Paris, France to begin my journey. First I will visit family and friends who live in Europe.

April 27th my best friend Tasha will be arriving in Madrid; we will meet up and head to St-Jean Pied de Port, France to commence our incredible journey! Tash and I went to university together since 2005, but we only met in the summer of 2009 when we worked at camp together. She's the sort of person who is best described by a list: adventurous, spontaneous, unpredictable, easy-going, nothing-is-impossible attitude. Obviously the perfect choice in a travel companion!

Back to the Camino... We will be doing 800km on foot, from St-Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The route we are taking is called the Frances route and is the most popular trail. This hike is going to take approximately 30 days, and at the end of the walk, I will be celebrating the beginning of my 24th year on Earth, and if all goes well the victory of conquering this pilgrimage... and hopefully Tasha and I will still be on speaking terms after all that time together!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I plan to film all of this!

Thanks for reading, more to come...

Nicole!













(Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain... Wow, I can't wait!)