I’m Still Alive..

..been quiet the last few months and not on purpose. I’ve been busy working at a startup in East London; heading up all our paid marketing channels while also starting to take on running analytics & UX too. Very happy about the last bit. Something I’ve wanted to do more of in my career. To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement.

While I bunkered down for Winter, worked my ass off and saved money. Happy to say I’ve a weekend away to Denmark and Olso coming up in May & June. Planning out the Summer and Autumn travel schedule… as I always do. So blogging should be back as the food over the summer will be yummy. 

Sadly no pictures from my birthday last weekend but I had BBQ, Italian, and seasonal British meals for the last two weeks. If this is the foreshadow for the rest of 2014. We’ll all be well served.

* photo outside from Hackney Wick Overground station in East London

Goals 2014

2013 was a year of success and a year of losses, setbacks and challenges that make you question why you went for the brass rings. This was also the first year I’ve not written down my goals in the last 5 years. A tradition that I started back in 2009 and stopped this year… well just didn’t write them down. 

This year I simple wanted to survive my first year London and set aside a six month emergency fund of £7,200. I’ve put aside £8,000 just to be safe and glad both those goals are achieved. Even with all the traveling I’ve done and food I’ve eaten, I look back on my time just before I came to London and smile. 

Without further ado, my goals for 2014

Goals 2014
Short-Term 1-2 Years
1. Test deep dish pizza recipes
2. Contribute $150/week to RRSP/TFSA February 2014
3. Take General Assemble class on UX March 2013
4. Visit Asia and Africa November 2014
5. Maintain emergency fund (8KGBP) throughout 2014 

Long-Term 3-5 Years
1. Visit final continents by December 2017: Asia, Africa, South America & Antarctica
2. Use contribution room ($24KCAD) to increase RRSP investments
3. Get out of advertising into own business/deep dish pizza parlour

See you 2014 in just shy of 9 hours.

Year One: Photos from 8 Countries

Patarei Tallinn Prison TowerPatarei Tallinn Prison Tower

As I finish my first year in London, I realize I’ve not posted many photos here from my travels. Below are some of my favorite spots.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Barcelona, Spain

Helsinki, Finland

Zurich, Switzerland

Here is to year two starting on 1st November, 2013!

The Adventure Beyond The Horizon

As I approach 10 months in London on Saturday, I can’t believe I’ve come so far in such a short period of time. The friends I’ve made, the adventures I’ve been on and the challenges I’ve set myself up to take on.

Magnum Work of Art 

As I think about the last 14 months of my current VISA and how to stay in London beyond that, I’m reminded about why I started on this journey to begin with. It was about taking me outside of my comfort zone and challenging how I work and the type of work I get; more international work with larger budgets. Also getting the chance to experience new things and personally grow as a person.

London has been giving me those experiences and more so than when I was in Melbourne. One thing I’ve been thinking about is taking a course at General Assembly the last few days, focus on UX as I feel it’ll help me do my current job better. I’ve never had a traditional CV or experience at school and thinking this would be a good area to add to my focus. Plus my love of people and why we did what we do, would work well in that area of study.

**photo from Magnum World Pleasure store in Amsterdam.

Food

Duck Confi & Waffles

A few days ago I pasted 8 months in London. That’s 2 months more then Melbourne and longer than it feels like I’ve been here.

One things I really love about London is options…store, parks and more food than you can eat.  if you ever find yourself in London, ask me where to go. You won’t be disappointed.

6 months.

We’ve come a long way together London.

Hard to believe it has been that long…felt like just yesterday I was getting use to the London Underground or celebrating New Years with J & friends by Embankment. I remember that journey of finding my first flat and that first paycheck in pounds was bittersweet.

Even though the journey has been met with unexpected challenges with highs and some deep emotional looks. I’d not go back in second. Mostly because I can’t. Toronto may not have changed but I’ve and I’m not the same man who left Toronto on November 1st. I’m the same at the core with a greater outlook on life and the world around me. 

It was about this time in Melbourne I was packing to come home. Sad and happy at the same time about the prospects of seeing Toronto again. Even though I miss people and parts of my former life immensely… as I think about my life now and those glories Melbourne days. I’m excited for the next 18 months.

6 months.

We’ve come a long way together London.

Hard to believe it has been that long…felt like just yesterday I was getting use to the London Underground or celebrating New Years with J & friends by Embankment. I remember that journey of finding my first flat and that first paycheck in pounds was bittersweet.

Even though the journey has been met with unexpected challenges with highs and some deep emotional looks. I’d not go back in second. Mostly because I can’t. Toronto may not have changed but I’ve and I’m not the same man who left Toronto on November 1st. I’m the same at the core with a greater outlook on life and the world around me.

It was about this time in Melbourne I was packing to come home. Sad and happy at the same time about the prospects of seeing Toronto again. Even though I miss people and parts of my former life immensely… as I think about my life now and those glories Melbourne days. I’m excited for the next 18 months.

Fighting the good fight. 

Knowing when to cave and when to keep going.

Two weeks ago I sat in on the last meeting for my contract job. It wasn’t suppost to be that way, since I was only 50% done. Getting let go due to financial issues at a company blows. Especially when you are starting to make headway and create momentum. 

Having been through two M&As since being out of university 9 years. I’ve seen departments and company’s I work for shut down. When that happens, you learn to prepare and mitigate your risk.

Knowing when to fight and not let setbacks get you down is key to surviving. 

Grit is your best friend when you need the energy to keep going. I’ve now started a new job at a small agency and one I’m going to help grow.

Fighting the good fight.

Knowing when to cave and when to keep going.

Two weeks ago I sat in on the last meeting for my contract job. It wasn’t suppost to be that way, since I was only 50% done. Getting let go due to financial issues at a company blows. Especially when you are starting to make headway and create momentum.

Having been through two M&As since being out of university 9 years. I’ve seen departments and company’s I work for shut down. When that happens, you learn to prepare and mitigate your risk.

Knowing when to fight and not let setbacks get you down is key to surviving.

Grit is your best friend when you need the energy to keep going. I’ve now started a new job at a small agency and one I’m going to help grow.

I’m writing this as I sit in a hostel, wash some clothes and wait for my room to be ready. 

I can honestly say this week had been the most exhausting week so far. Out on New Years until 4am, two job offers and realizing time is already starting to fly by while I’m getting use to London. Plus having a client call with more work for me to do. Two 6am mornings and going out 3 nights this week wasn’t in the cards at all….and yet I did exactly all of that.

Last night while out with J, I realized I kinda made it. Australia wasn’t dumb luck and a one off. Everything did take longer to understand and do…get use to the underground, find a job and make my first proper British friend; J, however, it has all been exciting to do.

2013 is already off to a great start and I’m excited to see what’s in store for me.

To quote Conan O’Brien: ” I did a lot of silly, unconventional, spontaneous and seemingly irrational things and guess what —— with the exception of the blue leather suit, it was the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life.”

I’m writing this as I sit in a hostel, wash some clothes and wait for my room to be ready.

I can honestly say this week had been the most exhausting week so far. Out on New Years until 4am, two job offers and realizing time is already starting to fly by while I’m getting use to London. Plus having a client call with more work for me to do. Two 6am mornings and going out 3 nights this week wasn’t in the cards at all….and yet I did exactly all of that.

Last night while out with J, I realized I kinda made it. Australia wasn’t dumb luck and a one off. Everything did take longer to understand and do…get use to the underground, find a job and make my first proper British friend; J, however, it has all been exciting to do.

2013 is already off to a great start and I’m excited to see what’s in store for me.

To quote Conan O’Brien: ” I did a lot of silly, unconventional, spontaneous and seemingly irrational things and guess what —— with the exception of the blue leather suit, it was the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life.”

One Month in London

Hard to imagine that I’ve been in London for one month now. Spending a relaxing Sunday working away in a Starbucks,.. bless their soul for free Internet,… and trying to relax. Been on a go, go G.I. Joe mentality since landing and decided today I’d do nothing but write, upload photos to Flickr and try to keep thing in perspective. 

I do and I don’t have much to say and for anyone who knows me. I rarely don’t have an opinion. I worked last week, which was nice to have some GBP come in, however, still on the hunt for something long term. I know if nothing comes in the next two weeks. It’ll have to wait until 2013. I’ve done a lot in the last month and feel proud of myself. Lets make December 2012 finish like this year started… on a high of happiness and seeing hard work pay off.

Sitting here at Internet Week Europe is a bit of a surreal experience. Never thought I’d be here after coming back from Australia. It’s my second of four nights I’ve an event to go to… Metaphwoar is tonight.

It’s in an area of London I’ve not been to, though there are a lot of areas I’ve not been too yet. Think Liberty Village, Toronto, 20 years ago. Hipsters would love here…tons in advertising here tonight. It’s been a bit of a busy week with more interviews coming up in the next couple days and trying to manager it all.

Moving countries is not for the faint of heart or stomachs…it tests everything you’ve to not just want to go back to your old life. However, I don’t want to go back, even more so, after meeting Kavita last night who has lived in UAE, New York, Indian, London and a few other places around the world.

The event is starting and with a recap of the London 2012 Games open ceremonies from a CTV broadcast…no less. Go Canada!

Sitting here at Internet Week Europe is a bit of a surreal experience. Never thought I’d be here after coming back from Australia. It’s my second of four nights I’ve an event to go to… Metaphwoar is tonight.

It’s in an area of London I’ve not been to, though there are a lot of areas I’ve not been too yet. Think Liberty Village, Toronto, 20 years ago. Hipsters would love here…tons in advertising here tonight. It’s been a bit of a busy week with more interviews coming up in the next couple days and trying to manager it all.

Moving countries is not for the faint of heart or stomachs…it tests everything you’ve to not just want to go back to your old life. However, I don’t want to go back, even more so, after meeting Kavita last night who has lived in UAE, New York, Indian, London and a few other places around the world.

The event is starting and with a recap of the London 2012 Games open ceremonies from a CTV broadcast…no less. Go Canada!