Kitsilano Wings (PPAC #50)

This was from a trip to Vancouver in 2018. Was it this recent? For some reason, I thought this was far far longer. We’ll travel international again…one day…even with baby Lana in tow. We were initially planning to go to Australia, but plans fell through :-/.

Continue reading Kitsilano Wings (PPAC #50)

Picture Frame (PPAC #20)

This is from Vancouver from a trip I believe in 2018. When I first saw it, I thought of it as a large picture frame in the middle of the park framing the bay. But in doing some quick research (aka Wikipedia), it’s more like an arch titled Gate to the Northwest Passage to commemorate Captain George Vancouver.

Continue reading Picture Frame (PPAC #20)

Sign Post Forest (PPAC #5)

It was a deceivingly busy week with life. I thought for this week’s PPAC I take a break to share some public art from my travels. I could have a whole blog on public art in LA only, but I decided maybe every 5th or 10th PPAC I could share some public art from outside of LA.

This Sign Post Forest was from a trip back in 2004 when my family and I took a roadtrip from Los Angeles to Alaska. This Sign Post Forest is located in Watson Lake, Yukon in Canada. I was in high school at the time and I recalled being in awe of all these signposts in one place. It was almost like art.

Sign Post Village Canada Yukon

Mel in the Wild

These interviews are moving to Travel Tuesday. The more interviews I’ve done, the more I felt it would be a deserving spot for these interviews to take place on Tuesdays. Bloggers are from all over the world and from all walks of life. I love asking other people about their lives because I’d love to see their city, town, farm through THEIR lenses.

Meet Mel of  BRB Travel Blog where she documents her travels and uses it to fuel her wanderlust. Mel is from Montreal, Canada — a city I’d love to come visit some day.

From this interview I learned Canada only offers 2 weeks of paid time off just like America. I had no idea! In my opinion, it’s too little. But just like me, I too, am creative with my paid time off by framing it around work holidays to making those long weekends even longer.

Also she speaks French, Spanish, and English fluently — that’s another thing we (sort of) have in common. I’d say I’m more professionally proficient in French and actively learning Spanish. I am actively seeking opportunities to speak more of i.

Découvrez son interview ci-dessous!


What’s your 9-to-5? (or 6-to-2 or 11-to-7)? You get the idea. No need to list your employer.):

I’m a production manager at a 3D animation studio. I’m currently working on an animated TV-show for NBCUniversal / Dreamworks. In the past, I worked in movies like Ballerina (Leap! in the USA). My day-to-day consists on managing 50+ artists and making sure we deliver the project on time as well as on budget; Client communication is also a key task in my daily activities. My favourite part of working in an animation studio is to be with very talented artists and to see all the beautiful things they draw, animate & light. I love to see the whole process coming to life everyday and see how we go from an idea on paper to an art sketch to character moving in 3D.

Location: Montreal, Canada

I’ve been living in Montreal for the past 13 years. I’m originally from Venezuela and I’ve lived in France when I was a kid.

What was your main drive behind your blog?

I like to share travel tips of what to do and where to eat and drink. In the past, I’ve found myself wondering “is there more to a city than what I just saw?”, “I’ve tried 2 crappy restaurants in this destination, I’m sure there must be a good one near by, but which one is it?”. In my blog, I thrive to answers those questions for future travellers who might find themselves in similar situations.

What topics does your blog cover?

This blog is for wannabe nomads, for those that want to explore the world but don’t want to quit their full-time job. The blog mainly focuses on exploring weekend getaways near Montreal and other world destinations as part of my yearly 2-week vacation.

Wow! In Canada you also get 2 weeks of paid time off per year? What are your thoughts on that? Personally, I am not a big fan. I’ve been creative with my time off by framing it around 3 or 4-day weekends.

I love to have paid time off to travel! It feels like all your hard work of that year gets compensated in these weeks of excitement and adventure. I do a mix of long weekends and weeks of vacations. Long-ish vacations are great because you can travel to the other side of the globe. For example, without my 2 weeks vacations, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Japan. Like you, I get creative with 3 or 4 day-weekends. I often tend to leave early on Fridays during a statutory holiday so we can go travel for 4 days in a row. For this year Canadian Thanksgivings, we went to one of Canada’s wine country, 7 hours away from Montreal. To enjoy the break to the fullest, I took Friday afternoon off and combined it with Monday off (the statutory holiday), I had plenty of time to enjoy the weekend.

Also, I do a few overtime hours here and there which get banked in exchange for days off. Most of the time, I use these hours for longer weekends or I add them towards a longer vacation.

For people who are visiting your blog for the first time, what posts and/or series should they read?

The blog is split between different destinations, so it will depend on what you are looking for. I would recommend following the series of post of Bulgaria by starting with the one from Plovdiv. The series takes you in depth through an uncommon destination.

What are the top things to do in Montreal?

20170715_194048126_iOSDifficult question! Montreal is a big city with multiple identities. There are lots of arts, great food and very nice areas to discover. My main suggestion would be to leave the main tourist spots like downtown and the old port and go visit some beautiful neighbourhoods where locals go.

The Mile-End, one of the world hipster headquarters, has cute artsy shops and the best bagels in town! Go to Montreal’s South-West boroughs, stop by the Atwater market, a public market where the aromas of fresh picked strawberries and cooking herbs will make you want to stop at every stand. Then, take a walk in the banks of the Lachine canal for an astonishing view of the city’s skyline. Just 3 blocks north, there is Notre-Dame street where you can stop at one of the best restaurants, bars or cafes. The uneven 2 floors buildings with red brick from the early 20th century make up the charm of this gentrified working-class neighbourhoods.

For a complete guide of things to do in Montreal, follow my series #BRBinMontreal, to discover Montreal like a local.

What are your short/ long-term goals?

In blogging, my short-term goals will be to finally understand what SEO is without having to roll my eyes because I keep procrastinating into diving-into the specifics.

As a continuum goal, I would love to improve my photography and writing skills.

DSP_4762How do you start your day?

I really dislike mornings! My work days start by my husband dragging me out of bed after 2 snoozes. I spend another 10min in bed by trying to open my eyes and checking the weather forecast. Then, I rush out of bed to shower and get dressed, eat breakfast and prepare our lunch boxes. I have a 45min minute commute split between metro a walking.

What is your favorite way to end the day?

My favourite way to end the day is by being lazy on the sofa watching a movie on Netflix while eating a square (or two) of dark chocolate.

You got a free plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?

Can I have a ticket with multiple destinations?

I would like to go to a remote island in the Pacific. I’ve never been around that region and the tickets are quite expensive, so this will give me the option to go to a destination that would have been inaccessible otherwise.

Most valuable advice you’ve received (can applicable to life, career, family, etc):

My parents told me to always look after myself because I might not always have them around or have a safety net to help me.

You can never leave your home without…

A scarf. I took the habit of always having one in my purse while living in Canada because you never know when it’s going to get chilly. You can use it in winter and in summer. Also, when traveling, it can be useful to carry around if you want to visit a religious site that request you to cover your shoulders or head.

How do you find time to blog?

Blogging can be very time consuming. You don’t only write your post and tweak your pictures, you need to participate in blogging threads and do a lot of outreach. I do most of the outreach and blogging threads during the week usually after work. I can easily spend around 1h-2h per day which allows me to write full posts and edit my pictures during the weekend.

Want more from Mel? Find her on social media!

Interested in a blog interview? Let me know!