C’mon let me ride!



Getting a bike, the next piece of advice I will give you if you are going on a J1. I got an old, second hand one by the beach for $50, and let me tell you my little orange bike was a very good friend of mine. We went everywhere together, work, the beach and even nights out occasionally. What made it even better is that me and three friends had matching orange bikes and looked like a proper “crew”. That was of course until I left it at the beach one time, yes it was locked, and came back to find it gone, stolen. Locks are no problem to bike robbers around the area. I did replace it with one I got at a flea market for $40 (probably stolen from some other poor person!) but I did not have the same connection with that bike unfortunately!     


The OCTA…an experience in itself!



Any J1er who has been to Huntington Beach California will be very familiar with the 29 bus, serving Knott’s berry farm, downtown, the beach, etc, but the thing is any locals probably aren’t so knowledgeable about this! The public bus is just not used by the average resident of California (apparently). I was told by a local, “the only people who use the bus are either Irish or crazy!”…and crazy they were! In just a few weeks we met drug dealers, hoarders (with large bags of rubbish), had photos and videos taken of us by strangers and had people attempt to convert us to their religion! My personal favorite story to tell (or most horrific) is that one evening a pretty normal looking man sat beside and started talking, again nothing strange about it, average conversation but what happened next was very out of the ordinary! People at the back of the bus began to shout loudly and I muttered “oh god” or something of the sort, and THEN the man beside me stood up and shouted back “hey! stop it! You’re scaring my little girl!”….I got off at the next stop.        

Welcome to Summer – a photo essay from Canada’s Capital Region

Many people like to travel to Canada as part of the J1 experience, take a look at this!

Travel Destination Bucket List

Summer is here and what better way to commemorate the season than with a photo essay from Canada’s National Capital Region.

Parliament Hill, Canada

The pomp and pageantry of Parliament Hill (Related Link: Canada Day on Parliament Hill)

Canada Day, Ottawa

Canada Day Celebrations and Fireworks on Parliament Hill

Maman outside the National Art Gallery

Maman, the giant spider outside The National Gallery of Canada

Rent a BIXI Bike in Ottawa

Hop on a BIXI Bike and tour the city

rent-a-bike Ottawa

Rent-a-Bike and ride the 180+ kms of shared recreation/bike paths

Inukshuck installation along the Ottawa River

Inukshuks along the Ottawa River Parkway (Related Link: Live the Photo: Inukshuks on the Ottawa River Parkway)

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Camping indoors.

Shops like Target and Walmart will be frequented by most J1ers and what may surprise you is how much value you can get from the “outdoor activities”/camping sections of these stores. First off when you final do find a place to live it will be EMPTY, and sleeping on the floor is no fun, however fluffy the carpet is or intoxicated you might be! Airbeds are an absolute must, but as well as this you can get cutlery, pots and pans and various other nick nacks to get you by for the three months, all at reasonable prices. I bet you can’t imagine how anyone would sleep on an airbed for three months, but I would do it all over again! 🙂  

“Four” Stages of Crazy!


One thing that almost all J1ers can share, (or perhaps avoid sharing), is a “four loko” story/experience. For those of you who have never heard of this mysterious liquid, I direct you to the “Urban Dictionary” which defines it as; 

Legalized cocaine in a can. If you consume Four Lokos you can expect to encounter the same results typically associated with snorting a small mountain of cocaine.
“My dealer isn’t picking up” “Okay whatever we’ll just get some Four Lokos instead”
Four Loko got its name because it sends the person who consumed it into FOUR STAGES OF CRAZY:
Stage 1: Tipsy (loud, might stumble, laugh) 
Stage 2: Drunk (embarassing, stumbling, slight slur) 
Stage 3: Wasted (heavy slur, falling, hitting on fat girls) 
Stage 4: Black Out (no ability to speak, vomiting, waking up next to a fat girl, memory loss)
Okay, so clearly none of that is entirely true, but let me tell you it’s not far off for this unique combination of caffeine and alcohol, just look at it’s equivalent!
Alright I’ll stop being so boring about this because I can admit that some of the best nights of my trip last summer were fueled by these wondrous cans. I mean this stuff is so good it has a whole website devoted the stories it “caused”,  fourlokostories.com, and did I mention it has been banned in numerous states! So I bet you are waiting for me to share my crazy stories, well in truth, I can’t remember them as I seriously suffered from the four loko “blackouts”, but what I can remember is the horrible hangovers which resulted!
Was it worth it you ask? Most definitely!