Guest Post- 5 Best Places on Earth to Visit Before You Die!

What is your biggest dream? What do you want to do before you die? How many things do you still want to do? And which places have you always wanted to meet?

Do not worry; you can change your mind in the middle of the course. For some people, travelling is the greatest of all desires. Hard as it is to believe, these places do exist. And they’re as beautiful as they look in the photos.

A life is too little to know all the places you want, but this is not an impediment to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world. If you are a travel lover, you sure understand what we are talking about. If not, there is the possibility of becoming one, after seeing these places.

Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

The Plitvice Lakes are undoubtedly the main tourist attraction of Croatia and our main goal in this trip. I know that a lot of people really like beach, ballad and beautiful people and in this respect, you can rest assured that the country gives a show. When you take a look at the colour of this water, the Lakes lies in the central region of the country, which is halfway between the capital Zagreb and the coast.

Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Preferred destination of French Polynesia by honeymooners, Bora Bora has a romantic, quiet and heavenly climate. The island is surrounded by an unmistakable blue sea, white sandy beaches and the Motus, a cordon of paradisiacal islets, which form a natural barrier and impound the waters of the ocean, creating the illusion that you are in a large blue lagoon Known as the “Pearl of Polynesia” and considered by many to be the most beautiful island in the Pacific, is 278 kilometres from Tahiti, or 45 minutes by flight from there. A great advantage of staying in Bora Bora is to admire the blue Stunning views of the ocean from your own bungalow, simply looking down from your feet, as many of them stand on the water and have part of the glass floor; the quiet beaches are the ideal setting for nautical sports.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen lies in one of the most impressive valleys of the Alps, between gigantic cliffs and mountain peaks. With 72 roaring waterfalls, cozy valleys, colourful alpine meadows and lonely mountain lodges, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the largest nature conservation areas in Switzerland. Lauterbrunnen is a charming town at the foot of the Jungfraujoch mountain in Switzerland. Your charm? A chain of imposing mountains cut by a valley. The centrinho has wooden chalets, ancient stone churches, and the most impressive, over 70 glacier waterfalls that sprout from the mountains. A beautiful place as few times I saw the same. And you want to know the best? Lauterbrunnen is close to Interlaken, and right on the way to Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn, two of the most popular rides to whoever wants the nearby Swiss Alps.

Hitsujiyama Park and the Kawachi Fuji Garden in Japan

Have you ever visited a botanical garden or booked a weekend afternoon to spend time with friends or girlfriend in a natural setting? If so, you know that sometimes a visit to a park, square or garden can be a great plan to enjoy the day. And the idea may seem even more tempting when the destination is made up of beautiful landscapes such as those found in the Kawachi Fuji Garden in Japan.

The park is about 6 hours’ journey from the Japanese capital Tokyo, and has its heyday between the months of April and May when the plants bloom. The entrance varies between 10 and 15 reais depending on the time of year. This value is compensated by the beautiful scenery scattered around the place, making even those who do not like flowers and plants appreciate the landscape.

Visiting the Azores in Portugal

The island of São Miguel is a small paradise planted in the middle of the Atlantic. Some believe it is the old Atlantis, others know it from the heart. Any trip to the Azores should include a visit to the island of São Miguel, since the island has some of the most emblematic landscapes of the Azores archipelago. If you want to visit São Miguel do not forget to include these places in your travel itinerary.

Author Bio:

The above content is written by Yousuf A. Raza. He is a professional blogger who contributes on different blogging sites and writes content that is interesting and informative for the readers. Currently, He is working as a digital marketing expert at Dream World Travel, Ltd. You can catch him on Facebook & Twitter.

The Road to Self Employment ~ Step #1: The Business Plan

~Every business starts out with an idea. Then that idea is turned into a business plan of action. There are many steps to follow when starting your own business and with a lot of hard work and determination the last step ends with success.

What’s your key to success?keyboard-621829_1280

I’ve tried a handful of different business ideas and none of them ever worked out for me. But it wasn’t because they weren’t great opportunities full of potential, it was that they were not the right fit for my future. I have tried many multi-level marketing companies that involved selling products such as dietary supplements, cleansing kits, health food alternatives, telecommunications and even coffee.

I also tried out self employment as a Personal Trainer for a few years and ran my business by going to people’s homes, personal gyms and group training boot camps. Each business had a great compensation plan and a bucket load of wonderful people involved, but they just did not fill my heart with passion. Although writing has been my passion for years, I have always held myself back.

I ask myself: “What if I’m not good enough?” or “What if people don’t like what I have to say?”

And those two questions have stopped me in my tracks many times. Now I am finally ready to work on the business plan that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It’s travel blog time!

A business plan consists of many things: statistics, numbers, time frames, information and facts that secure the business idea.

You have to ask yourself: Is this a viable business that can make money?

Will my costs be more than I am willing to pay out?

Can I put in the hours that are required to deliver results?

Do I have the start up funds I need to get going?

mark-516277_1280Once these variables are sorted out then the business plan  can finally be put together. I think of it like a mind map. You must fill in the bubbles with the ideas and connect the dots to create a road map to success.

Well it’s time to get started.

There is a lot of work to be done and step by step I will collect my information and start working on my material.

Are you self-employed? Maybe you might have some advice or would like to connect and chat about self employment.  I would love to hear any success stories out there or even network with others just getting started on this same path. 🙂

If you would like to chime in, please leave a comment in the box below. I love connecting! ~T

Moving Forward in Life: What’s the Next Move?

chess-figure-438446_1280~Life is like a game of chess: you can be extremely patient, choose your play wisely and then carefully move your piece only to find out that your opponent had you in check mate the entire time. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how you play chess. 😉
So moving forward in life: what’s the next move then?

Life can also be a roller coaster ride going up and down and spinning in loops so you feel sick. But then you hit that drop that makes you wail like a little kid laughing the entire time. How can you really know? There are no certainties in life and whether you want to use the chess metaphor or the roller coaster ride metaphor, you are the only person that can make the choices you make.


If you have followed along on this journey of mine you may have noticed my life being a bit of both. I waited for this new fitness studio to open up thinking I had a definite job only to be considered “The Weakest Link” on the 2nd day of training. I’ve also had a great deal of my ups and downs. I felt like a failure and I was lost. Then I decided I would go for a childhood dream of mine to be a Journalist… and I was published for the first time yesterday. If you told me a few months ago that was going to happen I would’ve laughed in your face. It just goes to show that anything can happen whether it be good or bad or ugly… or amazingly awesome!!

The next move: To strive forward.

It doesn’t matter what has happened up until this point. What matters is moving onto another phase of life. Because if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards. That movement can be dangerous and you could wind up bumping into something if you’re not careful.

Have you ever had that lack of motivation when things don’t seem to be going your way for a while? Have you felt like giving up because everything you do fails or doesn’t turn out the way you want?

Well don’t worry that’s completely normal 🙂 I have come to see this now.

I am going to be honest with you now. I have been unemployed since July and sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed. I continually ask myself:

Can I really make a living as a writer? Am I cut out to be a Journalist? Who knows? I will never know unless I give it a try.

It’s tough when you haven’t had “a real job” for an extended period. You start to feel stressed out and depressed that you’re still not working and you feel like you’re being judged. And trust me, I’ve tried to make it right. I’ve handed out some resumes, cold called companies, had a few interviews, attended multiple workshops and I even started working with a career counselor which has been incredibly helpful. I realized a long time ago that I don’t want to be a Dental Assistant and I don’t want to be a Personal Trainer and I don’t really want to work for someone else. I want to work for myself, but it’s no easy task.

That article I wrote took about 2-3 weeks to get a final draft, and that’s including the time it took to edit. Now I just need to do that about 10 times to get some publications under my belt. I also don’t have any formal training when it comes to business and my skills are few and far between because I don’t have a lot of transferable skills now from my previous training. Luckily I have the opportunity to apply for government funding while I’m on EI.

So today I am submitting an application for University funding. I’ve applied for a business program at UVic and hopefully Employment Insurance will pay for it. Fingers crossed!!

It may not be the exact program I want as I would love to do a writing degree, but unfortunately they don’t fund those kinds of programs. At this point in my life I need something and business seems like the best way to go to grab some credentials and learn some transferable skills. Once I’m approved it’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line. I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous going back to school at the age of 30, but I’m also very excited as well. I’ll be able to get myself back onto a routine and being in a school setting will motivate me to put in those extra hours for writing and other things I want to be doing.

I’m going to write my book, actively pitch some publications and get my name out there, get a business certificate and push myself to my limit. I think it’s about time… don’t you? It’s my duty to strive forward and take control of my life. What else am I going to do? Just sit around and wait for that silver platter… NOPE that’s not an option.

So if you’re ever feeling stuck or bored with life, just remember this:

It’s NEVER too late to change something. Hell I’ve changed my career a few times now!

Life is what you make of it.

What’s your next move??


Happy Friday!! 😀


Today in the Martlet Newspaper: My first published article!!

Hi friends!

I am extremely happy to announce that today in the Martlet Newspaper my 2200 word feature has been published!!! 😀 I am so honored to have my very first piece published in this paper and proud to have met my subject Mr. Greg Pratt, who I absolutely adore. What a wonderful instructor he is and such a lovely person to write about. I am confident we will have a long-lasting friendship.

Thank you Greg!!

Look MOM I’m a real Journalist!!

Here it is for your reading pleasure: Meet Greg Pratt

Good Morning Monday!

apple-256263_1280~I am so incredibly excited today! GOOD MORNING MONDAY!! Whoooo 😀 😀

Why am I so incredibly excited you ask?

Well, today I am going to meet up with Greg Pratt, my previous Freelance Journalism instructor from UVic, to have an interview with him about his awesome career in Journalism.

Why am I having an interview with Greg you ask?

Well I had this sweet story idea, so I pitched it to a local newspaper at the University of Victoria called the Martlet and I recieved an instant reply to write a feature for the paper!! 😀

Look MOM I’m a real Journalist!!!

The Martlet newspaper is a great independent publication showcasing a handful of amazingly talented writers from right here in Victoria.
his newspaper has a wonderfully driven purpose to share information, break down social barriers and run as a society of like-minded people. It’s extremely community oriented and focuses on a range of meaningful topics. I was quite touched by a recent feature called “Following Brian’s Bliss” written by Kier Robins, about a professors passing. You can read the heartwarming article here.

Finding a mentor is very important to me and Greg may not realize it yet, but he is already a strong influential person in my life. What a perfect person to start my journalism career with. 🙂

I am so honored to write for Martlet. 🙂 Wish me luck! My first big story starts here!!


May your week be full of love and knowledge ❤

The tiny writer xo


The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing!

I’ve learned a lot of important lessons in writing lately. I tend to get excited and make “newby” mistakes still, but I am trying to learn from them. I have prematurely posted on many occasions and commented on other peoples posts without editing properly, and in turn, I sound like a “newby” writer.


But it does seem like there are some general rules when it comes to writing. I’ve observed a lot of formalities and such, but the imperative “rule” is to be professional, resourceful and reliable. Weather you’re posting on a blog just for fun or working with a publication like a magazine, the content should be engaging and helpful. Traffic will come to a blog when there is something to offer, and an editor will hire a freelancer again and again when that writer gets the job done in the right fashion.

Both Greg Pratt and John Threlfall have great advice when it comes to becoming a successful writer. They are both very successful freelancers and… well you know what they say when you are trying to carry out something in life right?

Do what the pros do! Learn from the best 🙂 So here is a list of some of those do’s and don’ts I’ve learned from Greg and John… and some other insightful fellow bloggers of course, such as my girl Erin at All Curves West. I know these tips will help me on my writing journey as they have already shown me how to become a successful writer.


Make a writing schedule– A writing schedule helps keep you on track, trumps procrastination and attracts readers.  This is useful in blogging because regular readers usually like a scheduled post. If they know a post/topic is going to be at the same time each week and they like what they see, they will more than likely come back.

Do your research– Facts, and links to back of those facts. That’s what people like to see!

Connect with like-minded peopleFeed off others, share and gather information from them Again, following people who are doing what you’re doing is the perfect way to build your business and hone in on your skill.

PracticePractice makes perfect. It’s an art… a science. Engaging and stimulating your mind will only improve your skills.                                                                          

Take constructive feedbackAlways be learning from others 

  • giornalistiIn Journalism specifically:
  • Query the editor and ask what didn’t work if your work is rejected. It shows potential
  • Provide tear sheets and clips of your work
  • Good subject lines
  • Email: “Incoming Pitch” to editors
  • Include your name and the date on your pitch
  • Pitch yourself

Why are you the best person for the job?

Most importantly… WRITE! Always be writing.


Publish/Post immediately – Wait and walk away from a post for a while before you edit and publish/post.

Get too distracted by social media– OK I should probably take my own advice here and finish my damn book already 😉

Copy and Paste someone else’s work and call it your own– That’s a very big no no. New material fresh from your own brain is obviously best.

Get Angry or insulted– Constructive criticism shouldn’t be taken to heart. Learning is the key to success. It can be tough when people make harsh comments though.

  • In Journalism:journalism-cartoon
  • Spell an editor’s name wrong- that’s an instant pass
  • Skip the little things: spelling errors, punctuation and obvious mistakes
  • Hand in an article late
  • Miss your word count: 10 words max give or take from the piece
  • Give an editor attitude
  • Be unethical- this is an extensive topic
  • “Don’t create controversy where it doesn’t exist.”
    – Greg Pratt

Most importantly: Don’t stop writing!

Great tips from great writers! After all isn’t that we’re all striving for? To be great!?

I honestly love sharing and that is what everyone should do. Sharing is caring ❤ If a writer helps you out then pay it forward and help another writer in their journey. That’s what it’s all about. Connections. I am so grateful to those who have shown me the way and I am happy to help anyone who is also just starting out.

Apparently there are a lot of “lazy” writers out there. Both Greg and John say that it’s incredibly surprising how many writers just don’t step up. Being polite, keen and willing to learn should be a no-brainer, but that’s not always the case. This post may sound like a recap of the tips I’ve written about in earlier posts… and it is! I’m still learning myself and now I can refer to these tips for inspiration down the road if ever I lose my way.
Recap. Practice. Perfect.

No one is a newby forever…baby-74163_1280

So why not shine above the rest right?! Be the best writer you can be. I sure hope these tips have helped you out in your writing journey today and if they have… let me know in the comments below!!

Do you want to add some of your own tips as well? I’d love to hear them!!!!!!!!!!

Happy writing and Happy Friday! xo
🙂 🙂  

Freelance Journalism Course #4 and 5

18688409-office-writing-woman-with-paper-note-illustrationIt’s all about the art… the art of writing. Turning words into a compelling story readers can’t tear their eyes away from. This is really all we have talked about in the last two classes of my Freelance Journalism Course at the University of Victoria.

Once you study the way a certain publication works, you understand the tone and the theme of that magazine. I don’t think I will be able to read anything the same again. Now I’m not just reading it but I’m also dissecting it, tearing it apart piece by piece like a science project unfolding. There really is a science behind it.

Our instructor Greg gave us some homework to do over the last two weeks which included: writing a practice article about a tuna delivery truck driver, whose hillbilly quotes made him look “not so bright” shall we put it? And we also had to write a pitch for a magazine. Practice makes perfect so I was pretty excited to write these two pieces for Greg to edit, even if he did rip them apart.
😉 It’s the only way to learn!

Some of the suggestions Greg had for my article were:

-be aware of factual errors and get all the facts straight
-there are no exclamation points is great journalism (oops I get excited)
-read the story out loud to find sentences that don’t make sense
don’t use words that end in -ly: it borders on opinion writing
– stick to present tense
-always use a persons last name throughout the story after introducing them
-headings: you have to make the reader want to read on


We also read some incredible pieces of journalism from different writers and studied them bit by bit. Two of the most fascinating stories were:

Animals by Chris Jones
The Fighter: The Life and Times of Merle Haggard by Jason Fine

I was absolutely captivated reading both of these pieces. Both are quite lengthy but I could not put them down. They are both very different in so many ways. The journalism is just astounding and the emotion that is portrayed in them is very admirable.

What makes great journalism? Fine tuning your work and always practicing the craft.

Greg went into a lot of detail about targeting a specific audience with tone, what works and what doesn’t and how to use descriptive words and phrases when reading someones body language. The moments when the writer takes your breath away by utilizing an emotional moment. A blank stare. A brief pause. A short silence.

Greg shared some of his work as well:

That’s Just the Way it isIsland Parent
Goo Goo Dolls make Victoria women scream for limp rock– Nexus
Shopping Hub Redevelopment- Douglas magazine

He’s a talented writer and so versatile. Each article is different from one another and going through them, seeing the way each piece is written and realizing that words are extremely powerful… it’s humbling. Greg inspires me to become a great writer and definitely has the right tools to apply to this field of writing. Without any university training, Greg has mastered the art of freelance writing and knows the ins and outs when dealing with editors. With only one class to go I feel I have learned so much from him.

As you can imagine, he has also had his ups and downs with his writing. In the articles above he writes from a dads perspective, voicing his opinion about technology. He then writes about middle-aged women singing at a concert and comparing it to dish washing. And lastly he shares a story of a handful of unfortunate events that happen to local business owners when a mall is being reconstructed.

Opinion writing is tricky. You really have to know how to present it properly so it doesn’t come across as something other than what you’re trying to say. Sometimes people get offended or take things the wrong way and it’s hard, as a writer, to have your words misconstrued or the message mistaken. Writing “snarky” pieces full of sarcasm are difficult and Greg has had issues with upset readers, negative feedback and even harsh comments at times.

In the end, I learned a lot about techniques and how important your headline is. Greg made a joke that I wont repeat but I’ll tell you, it was pretty funny when he explained what he was really trying to say when he wrote “limp rock” in the title of his Goo Goo Dolls article. Whoops… a secondary editor is always a good idea when you’re an editor. And Greg says that will haunt him to this day that he published that one a bit prematurely. I guess he got excited too 🙂

Words pack a punch!

John Threlfall also made a guest appearance in yesterdays class and gave us the rundown on the do’s and don’ts of working with an editor and what kind of writer he would work with again and again. You can check out his marvelous blog here 🙂 He has an unbelievable story himself and I think I may just have to write about it! He’s an animated speaker and I really enjoyed listening to his tales of success.

Stayed tuned for my next article… and I will go over some of those do’s and don’ts of writing I’ve learned throughout this wonderful class!

Happy Wednesday! xo

Building an online presence to BOOST your SEO

ball-142738_1280~This week I’ve really been focusing on building an online presence and let me tell you, it’s a job!

I have spent countless hours following pages on Twitter and Facebook, reading a ton of great material, connecting with a lot of talented writers and entrepreneurs… and of course, commenting on posts and having discussions with people about writing.

Here is my new confession: I am a bit obsessed with social media right now!!

It really sucks you in once you get momentum going on multiple social networking sites, but it is definitely an essential tool when building your business. It’s also incredibly exciting hearing feedback, gathering followers and gaining knowledge on many subjects. I’ve met some really interesting people and they are all on their own journeys, which is a wonderful way to learn the ins and outs of networking. You must follow and connect with like-minded people to grow, and the experience is really fun once you really dive into it.

Sharing is caring ❤

Now, this is just my own opinion as I am diving into a few different writing outlets including novel-writing, copy writing and freelance journalism. In all the research I’ve done, I’ve found that most agents will look for a strong online presence when working with writers. It’s the best way to promote ones self when your publishing a book, building your portfolio or for any kind of web writing. Social media sites are a fabulous source for finding publications and clients.

Some people don’t agree though and it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming which some people don’t like. I’ve had a few friends say, “I could never do something like that….” and that’s fair enough. This magical world of social media is not for everyone. I have to step away sometimes and remember that there is a real world out there that needs to be cherished and loved. The best way to do that is make a social media schedule.

social-media-400854_1280Greg Pratt, my instructor at Uvic, doesn’t really use social media to build his freelance business. In Freelance Journalism it’s not always necessary to have a huge following online because most of the time freelancers are communicating with specific editors and using the perfect pitch to land a publication. Also, Greg works as an Editor himself so he has an actual “day job” taking up a lot of his time. He’s been quite successful without using a large amount of social media.

It really depends on what you want to do with your writing.

Do you want to publish ebooks?
Would you like to build a travel blog?
Will it benefit your website to link it to another social networking site like Twitter?

I have answered YES to these questions so now it’s time to take my SEO to the next level. Following the most popular trends, I’ve learned that Twitter and Linkedin are the two major social networking sites most people use to connect. Link ’em all together and BAM!!

SEO at full throttle! 🙂

Here are some great links I’ve found that cover SEO information quite extensively:

and if you work with and use plugins you can really optimize your site:

Thanks Google!

Certain plugins aren’t available for users apparently, which I just found out through… you guessed it, Social Networking 🙂

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who have helped me out with optimizing my website. I am very much enjoying this whole process.

The internet is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

How about you? Is their anything about SEO I’ve missed that you have learned about in your journey?

What are your thoughts on Social Media?

I would love to hear from you! I am just learning all of this myself so any feedback would be great. Let’s connect!

Happy writing xo