Just Keep Swimming

Since the summer I found a new found love for sea turtles. All summer I talked about them and how much I wanted to go swimming with them. Well if you follow any of my social media accounts and have seen an overload of sea turtle pictures, it’s because last Saturday I finally got to go swimming with them. And it was AWESOME!

I didn’t realized when I booked the tour that I had done so through a third party site, so when we got to Barbados Blue Diving, they had no idea we were coming. But, they were super quick and amazing and brought us on our own personalized tour which was great! If you’re ever in Barbados, I highly recommend them. We ended up getting on the boat with a bunch of scuba divers, and once we dropped them off we had the whole boat to ourselves! We not only got to see and touch the turtles but we also got the chance to see three shipwrecks.

Overall, it is pretty hard to explain how happy I was that day because pretty much that was the main thing I wanted to do while I was here; and check!

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Tyler, me, Raymond, Emma, Grace, Meike

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My Face the Entire Day

Also if you want to learn more about sea turtles and how you can protect them you can visit Barbados Sea Turtle Project. Simple things such as using reusable bags, water bottles and straws go a long way! Don’t hurt our oceans!

Love always,

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Transition Into Fall Flawlessly

Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons. It isn’t too cold, the colors outside are beautiful and most importantly fall fashion is gorgeous! Because I am living in the year round summer sun, I thought I would share some of my fall favorites that will allow you to transition from your end of summer vibes into full pumpkin spice.

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Click here to view this look!

Fall is all about neutral colors and plaids, so why not mix the two together? This is a perfect example of doing just that and also layering. It often is cooler in the morning and in the evening so be sure to wear layers, so you aren’t too hot during the middle of the day!

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Click here to buy this sweater!

Jean skirts are the perfect way to show off the last of you summer tan before it gets cold outside! Pair a jean skirt with a knit sweater for the ultimate fall look.

Fall 3

Click here to view this look!

Who says you can’t wear white after labour day? My rule is that as long as there isn’t snow on the ground, white is a go! Pairing jeans with a cute sandal or wedge is a great way to transition into the fall weather.

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Click here to view this look!

I love all things knit and this knit dress is giving me the feels! Pair long sleeved dresses with a short bootie for a classy and cute fall look.

Here are some more of my fall favs:

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Click here to view this look!

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Click here to view this look!

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Click here to view this look!

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Click here to buy this super cute cardigan!

Well I hope these looks give you some inspiration for your fall wardrobe. As for me, I’ll be in my bikini for the rest of the weekend soaking up the sun.

Love,

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One Month

Well today officially marks four weeks in Barbados. Four lovely, hot and glorious weeks in this beautiful country. This month has been about learning new things, trying new foods and reminding myself every single day how blessed I am to be living this life. Don’t forget that no matter where you are in the world, you are so so lucky to be living in this beautiful world. Over the past few weeks I have heard the words “well aren’t you afraid” several times. Here is my best advice to that: get busy living. Don’t be afraid to try new things or go new places because you think it might be scary. Try EVERYTHING! You will look back at the things you didn’t do one day and regret all of it. So what if you get lost, or scared or end up not liking something. At least you tried it, that’s what is important.

This week was the first week I have actually been really stressed out about school. All of my classes have some aspect of group presentations (some more than others) and it I find that it is super hard to work in groups to get even a simple project done. Because not too many people live on campus, not only do you have time to meet, but then some people don’t do their work or I am busy and can’t get to things at a certain time and it can get really stressful. Classes seem a little disorganized here as well (ex. not having enough chairs for everyone, people showing up and leaving when they want etc.) I guess it is just the little things that I’m not used to that I will have to learn to adjust to.

This weekend I knew I had to do homework/ presentations to get done, so I devoted my mornings to the beach and the afternoons to studying. On Friday though, a group of the other exchange students and I went to Oistins which has a massive Friday night fish fry on the South Coast. It was one of the coolest things I’ve seen, hundreds of people walking around and eating at picnic tables, listening to music and watching people dance.

The rest of the weekend has been pretty relaxing, mainly focusing on school (which is so hard to do here, when the ocean is calling my name). Later this morning I am going into Holetown with Meike to do some grocery shopping and to maybe pick up some souvenirs! It’s nice to walk around the little towns here, because it seems that every one of them has something different to offer.

I hope that everyone has a relaxing Sunday and a great week at, school work, or home if you’re lucky enough to be retired (aka Gramma). Please let me know if you have any questions about my exchange so far or if you want to see something special on The Blonde Traveler!

Love,

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Hurricane Issac

Well I know that I said I was going to write about my weekend adventures but I have been super busy prepping for a hurricane and class. Never thought I would say those things in the same sentence, but I just did. Sunday morning, we woke up to notifications saying that Barbados was officially under a hurricane warning and that all necessary emergency supplies should be purchased. Meike and I got this notification on our way to a Southern town called Hastings that I heard had a good breakfast cafe. The Artsplash Center not only has art, but a farmers market and amazing breakfast. I had a smoothie bowl and I honestly can say it was one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. If anyone comes to visit, I will definitely be bringing you there.

We went grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon and Morning afternoon, mainly because I forgot to get water (which was on the hurricane supply checklist). Also, I bought my first ever pineapple and I can’t believe how sweet and good it was, and why I had never eaten pineapple before?

This week school went by pretty fast, though I did start to freak out a little bit over how many readings that I have to do every week. Most of my tutorial classes started this week and I have to do a presentation in most of them, so I am trying to get those done before November. Why November you ask? Because my Gramma, Aunt Karen and my Gramma’s best friend Karla are coming to see me! It was supposed to be a surprise but I have supersonic hearing and heard my Grampa talking about it in the background!

All week it has been raining or gloomy outside, which means I haven’t been to the beach once and I think I might be going through withdrawals. Wednesday night the hurricane passed us (250km north of the island), so I am well and safe. It is supposed to continue raining for the rest of the weekend, but I really REALLY hope that it doesn’t because I need sand in between my toes again!

Wednesday, I officially booked my flight to come back home and then back to Barbados in January. I can already feel the days slipping away and I haven’t even been here for three whole weeks. I want to do and see so much stuff but at the same time I have to focus on school, which not going to lie, sucks.

Last night I was as I was just about to fall asleep a massive centipede crawled on my leg. You see at the time I did not know it was a centipede, I felt something move on my leg so I jumped out of bed in a panic not knowing what type of bug was in my room. I flipped on all of the lights and looked everywhere and finally after pulling out my bed I saw it still on my covers. I was kind of in panic mode after this so I’m not really sure how i got it off of the bed, all I know is that I had to step on it several times and then eventually jump on it before it died. Overall, I did not sleep well last night, though the cleaning lady told me it is a good thing it didn’t bite me otherwise my leg would have swelled up.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday and a great weekend. More adventures to be written about soon!

Love,

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I’m Jealous of Myself

Almost every time I talk to someone from back home they’ve said “I am so jealous that you are in Barbados” or “I’m so jealous that you’re living on the beach”. I’ve started responding with “I’m jealous of myself”. I am beyond blessed to have been given the opportunity to live abroad for the second time in my short life. Two weeks ago, I was crying because I didn’t want to leave (mainly because I was nervous and anxious about moving abroad again), and now I keep thinking you were an idiot Libbey. I am living in such a beautiful country and I only have 9 months to live it to the absolute fullest. So that’s exactly what I am doing. The hardest decision I make every day is deciding what bikini I should wear.

Every single person in university should go on exchange. If you have the opportunity and you don’t take it, you honestly don’t know what you are missing out on. 

School started on Monday and so far my classes have been going really good. It is super weird to be back in school though, I really got used to the work/strike life. My French class is probably my favorite and my professor is from the Democratic Republic of Congo which seems like the coolest/craziest thing to me. Tuesday was the first day since I’ve been here that I wasn’t able to go to the beach which was a big bummer, but I will definitely be making up for it this weekend!

Our tutorial classes haven’t started yet so I only had a three-day week which was a good way to start off the school year. School might take a little bit to get used to, the way that classes are taught and the fact that they have 60% exams here, which I am not looking forward to.

I know this was just a quick little post but I just wanted to pop in and say hi! I’m going to be putting out a post early next week on my adventures this weekend!

Love always,

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Hello September!

Is it just me, or has this year flown by? Maybe it’s because I haven’t been in school since March, but I am literally shocked that there are only 4 more months until 2019! September is the start of new beginnings, it marks the end of summer, start of school and a fresh start. I can’t believe that I am starting my third year of university in two days. It feels like just yesterday that I was packing up to move to Glendon for the first time.

I’ve been in Barbados for almost a week and things are going really good. I am starting to get used to the heat at night (my dorm room doesn’t have any AC), so I’ve mostly been sleeping on top of my covers with shorts. I’ve gone to the beach every single day since I’ve been here (except the day I arrived, because I didn’t get to school until 7:00pm), and I’m loving every second of it. I can’t believe how dark my skin has gotten already and I can only imagine what it is going to look like in four months when I come home for Christmas.

On Monday, there was a small lecture for all of the exchange students so I got to meet everyone which was really fun. This year UWI – Cave Hill is hosting 36 exchange students, 4 of which are staying the entire year. Probably 3/4 if not more of the students are here for first semester, so next semester there will only be a few of us. After our lecture we had a Bridgetown tour and the school showed us which grocery stores are nearby and whats more expensive where. I made a friend with another Canadian from Barrie, named Meike (pronounced Meika) and she showed me where the closest beach was to the school.

Tuesday we had another meeting with the exchange students and did a treasure hunt around campus to get to know it better. We played games in the early afternoon and had a pizza lunch during which it started down pouring. Usually, rain only lasts 10 minutes or so before it passes, but this was different. Meike and I had to wait over 30 minutes before we could walk back to residence. We went to the beach in the afternoon, with another exchange student named Grace, and soaked up the sun all afternoon.

Wednesday, the school planned a Safari Tour for all exchange students who wanted to participate. I am so happy I went because it was so much fun, plus I got to see the East side of the island and the Atlantic Ocean. (My school is on the West side of the island and the water is the Caribbean Sea.) Afterwards, Grace, Meike, and I walked to Jordan’s Supermarket which was a pretty long walk in 100 degree weather. I honestly thought that I was going to spend more on groceries, but I think as long as you try new things instead of buying all American products you can really save a lot of money.

Thursday, I had to enroll in my courses and I am happy to say that I still have Friday’s off! I got my picture taken for my student id card and I didn’t realize until later in the day that instead of saying Social Sciences as my program it says Humanities and Education (which Mom thinks sounds a lot fancier LOL).

Yesterday, Grace, Meike and I decided to have a beach day and it was probably the hottest day since I’ve been here. All of the beaches in Barbados are public so we decided to walk down the coast a little bit and try a different beach. We ended up at Ranger beach which is right beside a very fancy hotel, which was pretty cool. It was fun to people watch all the hotel stayers, doing water sports and lounging. We walked back to school for lunch and then met up again at 3pm to go to our regular beach. As soon as we got there it started to rain, so once it passed we walked back to school. There is a little grocery/ convenience store on campus so we popped in to grab an ice cream. I had a coconut ice cream bar and it was amazing, it reminded my of the coconut ice cream in Mexico.

Today we are off exploring again and we are going to take the bus to Speightstown. We are going out for lunch and going to spend some time on some fancy beaches in the area! I hope everyone is well and has a good labour day weekend! For everyone going back to school at the end of this week, good luck and have fun!

If you have any questions or want me to talk about something on my blog, shoot me an email or a direct message!

Love always,

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Our regular beach (10 minute walk from school)

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Grace and Meike

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East Coast Barbados – Atlantic Ocean

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I’m Out of Here Y’all

And so it begins again. 

One week ago I was driving home from Fushimi Lake with the Glamping Squad (Mom, Gramma, Ivy and my Aunt Karen and Aunt Chris) rattling off everything I had to do before I had to leave. Well somehow I managed to get it done because I am now sitting in the plane on my way to Florida (how cool is it that my plane has wifi?!). 

Tuesday the whole family took a party bus to Detroit to go and see the Tigers play the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs only play the Tigers in Detroit about once every four years, so we all went to go and honor our Uncle Doug who was the biggest Cubbies fan of all time. We tailgated before the game and after a small sprinkle of rain the most beautiful rainbow came out. We had a lot of laughs, some tears, and some of us a whole lot of beers. 

Thursday one of my best friends (Michelle) from Glendon came down to see me which was amazing. We didn’t do much Thursday afternoon, just hung out and watched a movie which was nice. Friday, we went to Point Pelee and to Windsor. I really wanted to go to Spagos (my favorite restaurant) one last time before I left so we headed to the Casino Friday night. There was a show going on so Spagos was jam packed, which ended up working to our advantage as we got free tiramisu due to the wait for our food!

Yesterday we had an “empty nesters” party as everyone will be heading out of the house within the next week. It was nice yet sad to be saying goodbye to everyone for a while. This exchange is a little bit different than the first though as I will be coming home at Christmas time and spending a month at home before I head back to Barbados.

This morning I woke up at 3am, packed my bags in the car and headed to Detroit. Mom, Dad, Ivy, Gramma and Grampa came to the airport to say goodbye (Elle couldn’t come because she had to work). We all held our breaths as I put my bags on the scale, but somehow I managed to get 98.5/100 pounds (which is not a personal best) of luggage packed for the beach. After getting a full body scan and pat down, I had to watch security open my carryon and take out my peanut butter. Who knew you weren’t allowed to bring “spreads” on the plane either? I stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and went to wait at my gate for boarding. Somehow I lucked out and my plane needing people to check their carryon bags instead on putting them in the overhead bins. I jumped at the chance to have my bag checked for free, meaning I didn’t have to lift a heavy bag into the overhead bins while people watched me struggle and I didn’t have to lug it around Florida on my layover.

And so, I have started my journey towards the Caribbean islands. I am super excited/ nervous and I can’t wait to see my new school. I will be updating everyone in a few days, so stay tuned. (A little tip; you can subscribe to The Blonde Traveler and you will be emailed every time I put out a new blog so you don’t miss any of my adventures!)

Love Always,

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Back to School

As soon as August hits, I know the end of summer is near and back to school shopping begins. Though this year my school uniform will be an assorted array of bikinis, I thought that I would do a “Back to College/University” fashion guide, in honor of no one in my family being in high school anymore. With Ivy going into her second year at the Wilfred Laurier University and Elle attending the University of Waterloo, their style game has got to be perfect. I’ve already given them the inside scoop and today I’m going to share that with all of you.

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To see this look click here!

An oversized knit sweater: This is a fashion must have! When sitting in lectures in a freezing cold auditorium you’ll be happy to have a cute and cozy layer! In September and October, be sure to wear a light shirt underneath so when the afternoon sun comes out you can transition your outfit like a pro.

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To see this look click here!

Stripes and Black Jeans: I love everything striped and checked because it is so easy to dress up and down! This outfit is chic and casual at the same time (you don’t want to look like you are trying too hard!). If you don’t own a pair of black jeans be sure to put them on your shopping list, not only do they match everything but they can be worn from school, to work, to dates!

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To see this look click here!

Who says you can’t wear white after labour day?: In personal experience, in some classes you have to dress nicer than others, whether it’s to stand out, impress the teacher or even fit in with everyone else! This outfit is a perfect example of how to “dress up” when going to class! My key rule is you can wear white jeans until it starts snowing (otherwise you will blend in)!

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To see this look click here!

No more bad hair days!: College/ University comes with many new found freedoms and in my cases no dress code. You can now take use of your entire wardrobe, even when you’re in class! Throw on a hat when you’re running late and no one will even know you were having a bad hair day. Work the accessories girl!

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To see this look click here!

T-shirt dress: I love a good t-shirt dress and they are perfect for back to school and fall. Add a jean jacket or army coat when you need a layer and you’ll have the perfect outfit!

Overall, just be yourself! Wear what makes you comfortable because that is what’s going to make you happy! Have fun back to school shopping and a huge good luck to anyone going into their first year of college/uni (especially my little sister Elle Belly).

Love always,

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If you are in need of more ideas be sure to check out my Spring Style post! You’ll be sure to find some other great options for this weekend and for Spring!

Northern Living

Well, I’ve been living in Northern Ontario for over a month now and I am loving every second of it. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy with work and I apologize that I haven’t been able to post anything for a while. With limited internet access and cell service, Ivy and I tend to spend as much time outside as possible to pass our time. The weather here has been gorgeous and it has been perfect for swimming and kayaking, which we do a lot of here. Last week I went wake boarding (snowboarding on water) with two girls I work with and had so much fun. Even though I only stood up for a few seconds every time, they were super impressed and said next time I will for sure get the hang of it! The day after I paid my dues though; my arms, legs and back were in pain and I felt like I was 100 years old (LOL).

Last week, my parents came up to visit and we had a great time. We spent lots of time outside and in the water, relaxing and taking in the gorgeous sunshine. The last two days they were here it rained which meant we were stuck in the cabin but we still made the best of it. It’s crazy to think that in 25 days I am going to be getting on a plane for Barbados. Speaking of Barbados, I have been participating in a bunch of conference calls regarding exchange, payments (which have been coming in in buckets full) and meeting faculty at UWI via video. It officially hit me that I am leaving. I knew this was going to happen, as it did when I went to France on exchange but I have been waiting for that “a-ha moment” and it has finally happened. Because I am only going to have few days when I get home before I get on a jet plane, so I’ve been doing as much online shopping as possible to get everything I need before I go.

I hope that wherever you are reading from that your summer is going great and you are taking advantage of the beautiful weather. After all there is only 21 weeks until winter begins and this year I’m only going to have to deal with it for one month instead of four.

Love always,

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100 Posts and 100 Thanks

I’ve hit a milestone on my little blogging adventure, 100 blog posts. 100 different stories, adventures, cries and above all a lot of laughs. In 2014, I started The Blonde Traveler so that my family and friends could read about my adventures while I was living abroad in France. My goal was to publish a few stories and when my year was done I would shut down the blog.Alexa's Adventures.png

3 years passed by and I developed a love for writing, telling funny stories about my day-to-day activities, living in the moment and of course giving fashion advice. I decided to start using The Blonde Traveler as a way to share an inside look at my life and I am extremely proud of how far this blog has come. The Blonde Traveler has been viewed in 56 countries all around the world from North America to Africa to Asia. To the thousands of people who are reading about my adventures and stories each year, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would not be where I am today without all of you readers and you have inspired me to continue my blogging journey.

I am extremely excited to be bringing the traveling aspect back into my blog when I leave for Barbados at the end of August. I hope that I will find a way to bring you smiles and laughs as I share my adventures on my second year abroad.

Thank you again for all of the love and support,

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The Blonde Traveler Readers 2014-2018