20 Questions with Raymi the Minx

The 20 Questions series seeks to remember what made writing and reading blogs so great by highlighting intriguing bloggers with interesting stories to tell. Don’t miss my past profiles of these bloggers.

 

20 Questions with Raymi the Minx

Raymi and I met years ago. Looking back on the photos, we were babies back then. She’s a girl who is full of surprises. Raymi has been blogging for over 16 years, having established herself as one of Canada’s foremost original bloggers. Her online persona is outspoken, energetic, and often hilarious. In real life I found her to be entirely down-to-earth, sweet (sorry, Raymi, but it’s true), and a true creative spirit. “Relatable” also comes to mind. Raymi has helped pioneer the way for today’s Canadian bloggers, chronicling nearly every detail of her fast-paced life in Toronto. Between running two blogs, freelancing, PR work, burlesque dancing, personal asst job, consulting, representing a ton of national brands, and eating amazing food you should be jealous of, it’s kind of a wonder that she found the time to honestly answer 20 Questions for you today.

1. What are you really excited about these days?

THE BEACH. My new boyfriend (long time friend, new romance, new job, which lead to the beaches badda boom badda bing) plus summer in general.

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2. What was the last picture you took on your phone?

I tweeted it to you over a week ago when I first cracked open these questions so I’m going to wait until I actually send this back to you before looking at my phone gallery. After 16 years of blogging I am kind of burnt out from all things computers, typing, thinking, expressing. It sucks that my passion is in purgatory at the mo’ thanks to things like real life and social media, a deteriorating attention span plus choosing to live in the moment and not obsessively document and write every single thing that happens to me and thought in head. I am always like, “I will get to it” about things because I genuinely want to do them but, wanting and doing are two different things lol.

3. Making yourself accessible through social media and blogging opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?

By giggling at the stupid shit they do to provoke me. Discussing the more insane things with friends and also letting it slide off my back into the garbage where it belongs. I have been called every name in the book and I still carry on. Haters are my motivators as they say. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would totally curb-stomp a few if given the chance and feel no remorse at all about it but yeah, I do this healthy thing called “living my own life” and focusing on myself instead of what a jealous brat attempts to project onto me. I am wholly set in my ways so I don’t understand why after all this time I still piss people off. I guess I am very good at pissing people off and saying the right thing to get under their thin-ass skin. You can demonize me all you want but that won’t change the charming, delightful nutter that my real life posse admires (tolerates).

4. What is your bottom line, number one, golden rule when it comes to blogging?

You stressed me out by saying bottom line! The golden rule for blogging I’d say is when the moment strikes you to do it, just bloody go for it because writer’s block is the worst and you will thank yourself for it later. That being said, I have quite a few unfinished documents kicking about that upon opening is like how drunk was I when I said this…what was the impetus…where was I going there? I am a strong opener with everything I touch I just need a capable genius to step in and finish off for me. When you’re blogging try to be cognizant of the thoughts flowing out of you. Not all of them are gems. If one enjoys blogging and has a knack for it, it’ll show. If it’s just boilerplate crapola just to substantiate a link for a brand, that will show too. We aren’t perfect and society lets us know that all the time.

5. Everyone has a spirit animal. What’s yours and why?

Jungle cat predator. An alpha but also a dipshit cuddlemuffin if it saw some yarn. I mean, I’m a minx but they aren’t even real. A mink is like a ferret, basically a rodent and I ain’t no rodent. I am part monkey and part cat but definitely a wild animal. “MINX: An alluring, cunning, or boldly flirtatious girl or young woman. Has unusual seductive powers such that she could commit acts that would otherwise be considered inappropriate, while still maintaining an air of class or poise.” Sounds like me, yep.

6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?

The outcast on purpose. I towed the line. I did my own thing much to the chagrin of my folks. If I could go back I wouldn’t have cut all my long blond hair off when I went to England for school. That kind of killed the rest of my sex appeal in my opinion and made me like, just like everybody else and “ew” to that. Before that I stood with the popular crowd. I was still known albeit a rebel and was also voted most humourous person at prom. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there is an element of humour laced in everything I ever say ever. Anyway, my school wasn’t cutthroat like that. It was pretty mellow and everyone was friends it seemed. You could travel from group to group if you weren’t a total nerd. Hey man I don’t like boxes ha ha!

7. If I gave you $50,000 to start a business, what would you start?

Well after blowing $5K on an inspiration trip and getting some much-needed book writing accomplished, I’d perhaps invest in a few business ideas colleagues of mine have which I obviously cannot divulge to you here then I’d buy some stocks to mess around with. I’d hire people to help me with raymitheminx and raymitoronto and expand all the areas I have always dreamed to. You really can’t do it alone. I’d set up a studio and make a go at youtube vlogging and editing, put together a webseries and buy a really good light. I bet a smart business guy is shaking his head right now thinking “what a waste.” I know that I am still a viable commodity so why abandon ship yet?

8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?

This is the first one to come to mind [“Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat]. Also this and this [“Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics and “Down Under” by Men at Work]. Don’t get me started on ’90s… too many! Too many! This question is too mean.

9. Blogging can ebb and flow for a lot of people. Where do you see your blog in 2021?

Oh my God no idea. In five years I will be 38 and pretty upset if I am in the poorhouse, STILL haven’t made it, etc., etc. I hope raymitheminx.com in five years will be a tribute to the biography of my life. The book that I have been struggling to write my entire life. It’s not that I want a biography, I just want to write an I want to delight people with my style how I used to be able to like, endearing things about walks in the park and rocks that look like little friends in their own world down there where it is safe from the toxicity of people like us. I am really into imagination and have always brought that element into my blogging and storytelling so in 2021 I will be like JK Rowling but with more tattoos.

10. If I was a highly-skilled bartender, what drink would you ask me to make for you right now?

An Old Fashioned and don’t screw it up! It’s all about the orange zest there babe, and the cherries.

11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and I’ve served you half a dozen of those. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?

Ahaha you’re adorable as if I’m eating. Well, the old me would call a special guy for a special delivery but the new me just crushes a panzerotti, wings or makes something ghetto gourmet from the fridge super loud so everyone can enjoy.

12. In Toronto, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?

Han Moto is one great side-street Asian joint that is so fantastic it doesn’t even have a sign, but on the inside it’s a beautifully-hidden world of epic fusion à la carte delights.

13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?

When people meet me in real life the misconception is that my candor or charming, manic ways don’t translate into the written word or angry tweets the same. In the past its been said that I am less angry in real life than online (I disagree though because I am way angrier irl tbh) and that I’m not as scary as they thought. Which is funny because the older I get the angrier I am, but I am better at channeling it into humour. Some women like to tell me their initial opinion of me like, “they hated me” which speaks to their insecurities in my opinion. I have never felt the need to say, “I hated you” to anyone I think it’s a given.

We hate everybody until they open their mouths and convince us otherwise. Another time two older bitches assumed I was an airhead and by the end of the night I had them almost dying in can’t-breathe laughter and they apologized for ever thinking I could be dumb. I don’t care as much what people think about me anymore as long as young people think I am cool and one of them that is all that matters cowabunga

14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?

Well, it has to be a lead role. The first thought that comes to mind is anything that is Jennifer Lawerence but that’s too soon. It would be amazing to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The movie Factory Girl, the chick that played Edie Sedgwick. Or Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I always wanted to be Jack Skellington in a play if The Nightmare Before Christmas ever turns into a production such as that I am SO first in line I know every lyric to every song in that movie because I am cool like that.

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15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?

To drive. And to be able to do graphic design plus video editing. I would also like to learn an instrument. All of them. Keyboard, drums, bass. I also want to know how to speak French more fluently so I could be a stewardess if I wanted but I would also be an Italian stewardess (I have no idea why I wrote that but I am leaving it). Hobbies…hmm….birdfeeder… making? I’d like my hobby to be tree planting with David Suzuki so please pass that along too. I want to teach water aerobics on cruise ships in my spare time. I wish I was part of a script writing club and a writer for SNL.

16. Who are you most proud of?

My niece Hailey she received a scholarship to University! She will be 18 in September but she is also a little shit like me… so I have my eye on her.

17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?

There are so many I just can’t. People that I collaborate with, correspond with and all of the blog community that inspired me to be better. I know I sound narcissistic but it has helped me to create my blog into a work of art.

Douglas Coupland’s writing talked about real-life things and made me excited in becoming a writer when I was in high school. I kind of stopped having heroes. But pop culture – even though it is disgusting and bad for you – for example, celebrity obsession and all that shit inspired me like f—. Because that is what people are into, so if I can be like that and exaggerate it a little why not.

My friend Leslie.  My friend Jamie in New York City. There is a mix of people in my life and people I have never met. Kurt Cobain was also a hero of mine too and John Lennon. I feel like a dick for not mentioning my parents. They totally influenced me and I act like I created myself. I love them both because I have the best parts of both of them combined together to make this fiasco of a person you are interviewing today so you gotta give credit where it’s due.

18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?

Julian Bachlow, John Lennon and Justin Bieber. The three J’s. Julian, John and Justin. Bieber just because I want to see what he does and he probably has good drugs.

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19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?

Do you want to live in my amazing house for free for a year and water my plants?

20. So how are you doing – really?

Stressed constantly but going with the flow. A friend pointed out that she might be addicted to stress and since then I have adopted that mindset to help cope with the constant moving parts of my life. I got my first credit cards in the mail weeks ago but haven’t cracked them open yet because I am an adult baby who shies from responsibilities and has always done things their own frustrating way. I am starting a new gig soon that gives me a bit of anxiety. I have been hired but I am always like, still good, still good? It’s hard for me to relax I’m always like, the glass is half empty, a realist. The question is, Keira, how are YOU?

Ttyl xoxo your pal raymbo

Meet Raymi the Minx:
Blogs: Raymitheminx.com and RaymiToronto.com
Facebook: /Raymitheminxcom
Twitter: @raymitheminx
Instagram: @raymitheminx

All photos are provided courtesy of Raymi the Minx.

10 Ways To Use Lavender Essential Oil

A genuine super-oil, the number of ways to use lavender essential oil seems endless!

I’ve been using essential oils for many years and have tried a lot of different brands. Lavender has always been my absolute favourite and I’ve since found a ton of different ways to use lavender essential oil. I can’t deny that I get a bit giddy about it and I want everyone that I love to discover how amazing it is. It’s soothing, calming, kicks stress to the curb, and has a ton of health benefits.

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Recently my niece, who is only 7-years-old, has also jumped on the lavender train. When she stayed with me for a week, she insisted on sleeping with one of my diffusers in her bedroom each night. Now she has made a few of my tips below part of her bedtime routine, and it’s become a really special bond for the two of us.

Using essential oils doesn’t need to be complicated. These are the top 10 super-simple ways I use lavender essential oil each and every day.

  1. Bedtime Routine – Gently rub lavender oil on the bottoms of your feet, place one or two drops on your pillow, or diffuse it at bedtime for a soothing, restful sleep. I like to blend lavender with cedarwood, bergamot, or arborvitae essential oils.
  2. Headache Relief – A drop of lavender oil rubbed into your temples can be extremely effective. I like to toss a rollerball in my purse that I make myself: 10 drops of lavender, 10 drops of peppermint, 10 drops of frankincense, and topped up with fractionated coconut oil.
  3. Bath Time – Scoop two cups of epsom salts with 7 – 10 drops of lavender essential oil into a warm bath for an absolute stress buster.
  4. Deep Hair Conditioner – Stir up some softness with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 8 drops of lavender oil. Your dry, damaged hair will thank you.
  5. Take the Sting Out – My niece received her first bee sting two days ago. Massaging a couple drops of lavender oil into the sting quickly reduced the redness and swelling.
  6. Impress Your Guests – I recently made this sparkling lavender lemonade for a group of girlfriends and it was a huge hit! Everyone was asking for the recipe and the flavour was outstanding.
  7. Nature’s Chill Pill – Inhaling lavender essential oil sends it directly to the emotional dashboard in your brain (also known as the amygdala gland). Lavender creates a quick calm, perfect for travel, stressful moments at work, or awkward social situations.
  8. Itchiness – Because lavender is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial, it’s great for combining with a bit of coconut oil to relieve eczema, inflammation, and even cuts and scrapes.
  9. Acne and the T-Zone – Add a couple drops of lavender oil to your facial cleaner or moisturizer to support the reduction of redness and inflammation of acne. Or do as I do and whip up a non-toxic, DIY mud mask: Make a paste with 2 teaspoons of bentonite clay, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1-1/2 teaspoons of water, 1 drop of lavender oil, 1 drop of frankincense oil, and 1 drop of tea tree oil.
  10. Massage – A few drops of lavender oil in some jojoba, almond, or fractionated coconut oil is your achey muscles’ best friend. It absorbs quickly and the oil’s anti-inflammation properties can provide much-needed relief.

Trust me – if incorporating these into my daily routine wasn’t easy and effective, I wouldn’t be wasting my time. If you’re new to essential oils, I’d recommend that you find just one or two ways to use lavender essential oil. It’s a complex, rich oil that I can’t get through a day without in one way or another.

If you want to know more about the brand I trust and personally use, I’d love to chat with you! Just send me an email to learn more and find out where to buy them.

Cammidge House Wedding Celebration

After choosing to elope, my husband and I celebrated with friends and family at our Cammidge House Wedding Reception.

Making the decision to plan a Hawaiian elopement for our wedding was easy. Neither of us envisioned a traditional wedding, and saying “I do” on a quiet beach beautifully reflected us as individuals. Picking the perfect way to celebrate with our family and friends was a whole different challenge.

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With weddings costing what they do these days, my husband and I wanted to buck expectation and save as much cash as possible while still throwing a total kick-ass party. Most of the event venues we found in Greater Vancouver charged a hefty sum to rent the space before adding the costs of catering, decorations, libations, and entertainment.

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As luck would have it, I stumbled across Cammidge House in Tsawwassen – a century-old home on sprawling parkland in the sunniest spot around these parts. The price was right and, after some more savvy finds, we pulled together a truly unique Cammidge House Wedding celebration with dramatic Hawaiian flair.

Cammidge House Wedding

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As it turned out, the delivery and set up of the day went 100% awry. I was so grateful for the level-headedness of good friends to help me keep my cool.

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I wanted the afternoon and evening to be as laid back as possible but still elegant and distinctly Hawaiian.

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Not surprisingly, my niece completely stole the show (and I didn’t mind one bit).

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I love to bake and I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on cake and cupcakes when I knew I could just as easily create something memorable. I made a gluten-free vanilla and coconut layered cake with cream cheese frosting, accompanied by dozens of cupcakes in the same flavour.

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The cake and cupcakes stands were made by me, using dollar store plates, plastic cocktail glasses, tough glue, and gold spray paint. Also not wanting to spend loads of cash on floral arrangements, I hand-made dozens and dozens of paper orchid blossoms and opted for simplistic pineapples for centrepieces.

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Even though you’ll see one at pretty much any wedding reception or party these days, I couldn’t resist the silly lure of the photo booth. A simple backdrop flanked by tiki torches and adorned with letters I hand-stenciled, painted, and glittered, the photo booth was an absolute hit!

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10514363_10152627994861465_7784117747564536560_o 10623684_10152627994916465_4813386457550027766_oNo words are necessary for these two.

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There is nothing sweeter than celebrating something as awesome as your love story with the friends and family who mean so very much.

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And although puppy kisses are totally heartmelting…

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Nothing comes as close as sealing the deal with the one who knows you, gets you, shows up for you, and cherishes you.

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The day was crazy, it was stressful, and an insane amount of work. But it was also touching, memorable, beautiful, and one I will always be grateful for.

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All photos © Snap Weddings.

Venue: Cammidge House Wedding – Metro Vancouver Parks
Caterer: The Healthy Chef
Photographer: Snap Weddings
Wedding Gown: White by Vera Wang
Party Gown: Victoria’s Secret
Groom’s Attire: [groom’s own]

The Keg’s Lobster Summer

A sneak peak into The Keg’s Lobster Summer Menu.

When a friend asks if you’d like to join her for steak, lobster, and wine, the answer is “yes.” It is always “yes.” Rebecca invited me to join her at The Keg’s Lobster Summer Menu preview at their Yaletown location, the perfectly opportunity for a girls’ night out on a summer evening.

We were whisked to The Keg’s rooftop dining area along with a number of others who were joining us for the preview, a beautiful setting under the pastel evening sky and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver. After being greeted by The Keg team members, our first course was brought to our table.

The Keg's Lobster Summer

Our appetizer round featured crispy, pan-friend lobster wrapped in warm tortillas with cabbage, garnished with cilantro, and drizzled with a sweet-and-spicy jalapeño maple aioli. These lobster tacos had my mouth watering, and the inclusion of cilantro satisfied my craving for authentic Mexican influence.

The tacos were thoughtfully paired with See Ya Later Ranch‘s award-winning Gewürztraminer wine – a fruity compliment to the tacos’ heat.

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Round two was the star of the show: a half Atlantic lobster, flown in fresh from Nova Scotia with a pot of golden butter for decadent dipping. Sharing the plate with what The Keg is best-known for, a premium cut of steak, this entrée was the envy of every diner in our vicinity.

Being that Pinot Noir is my very favourite varietal, I was delighted to sip Meiomi Wines‘ offering with this course. Its full-bodied flavour from the vineyards of California packed a punch with our meal.

The Keg’s Lobster Summer menu would be incomplete without dessert. In fact, life itself is incomplete without dessert, and nothing is more appropriate than The Keg’s classic Billy Miner pie. The generous slices – served with tall stem of Steller’s Jay Brut – was something I was unafraid to tackle. While many of our fellow diners split a slice, I was scraping the last bits of chocolate crust from my plate before anyone else was finished.

For a deluxe summer dining experience, The Keg’s Lobster Summer offerings are flawless choices. On until August 28th, The Keg locations can be found across Canada and in several U.S. states. Find The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Until July 17th, you can enter to win a complete METRIN Scientific Skincare line worth $152! Click here for more information.

20 Questions with Steffani Cameron

The 20 Questions series seeks to remember what made writing and reading blogs so great by highlighting intriguing bloggers with interesting stories to tell. Don’t miss my past profiles of these bloggers.

 

20 Questions with Steffani Cameron

Confession time: I’ve never actually met Steffani Cameron in real life (or “IRL” as the kids say these days). She and I first crossed online paths by way of an intense conversation over the art of making guacamole with our mutual friend, Duane Storey. Years ago, Steffani shuttered her life in Vancouver, opting instead for Victoria. While island life certainly seemed to suit her, in 2015 Steffani decided to step out in an epic way and live life as a “slow traveller.” It’s sometimes hard to keep track of Steffani these days; one week she may be in Mexico, and the next in Croatia or Portugal. Her blog, Full Nomad, chronicles her global travels. And while Steffani’s story is undoubtedly inspiring, she is more than what she does: Steffani is a writer, cookbook author, niece, freelancer, photographer, and she’s got a wickedly good sense of humour. This week Steffani is answering 20 Questions for you.

1. What are you really excited about these days?

Everything, I guess. My life changes nearly constantly. As someone who no longer has a home, whose life is completely up in the air, the greatest experience of my life could be right around the corner and I don’t even know where it will be. I couldn’t have imagined last November when I pulled up to the Roman Arena in Pula, Croatia, that there would be NO ONE visiting that day and I’d have a 2,050-year-old coliseum to myself. Like, what? I couldn’t have planned everyone cancelling in the rest of the rooms in a Portuguese beach house in December so that I had a $5,500 two-week five-bedroom rental to myself for $650.

Sometimes I get unpleasant surprises, but other times I can’t believe that I get to live this life of mine. It ain’t glamorous. It’s a lot of budget-crunching, penny-pinching, and stress, but it’s also pretty incredible. So right now it’s about figuring out what’s after Mexico. Spain? Morocco? The Balkans? The Outer Hebrides? Prague? Those are some of the places I’m thinking about in the next year and, yeah, it’s pretty exciting to do.

Steffani Cameron

2. What was the last picture you took on your phone?

It was a video I was trying to do of a storm that had broken out here in the high desert of Mexico’s Guanajuato. Turns out 10,000-foot mountains can make it tricky to see all the lightning, but it also turns out that timelapse video doesn’t capture lightning since it happens between the frames. Oops. Cool storm, though.

The last photo on my phone was this funny poster I saw on a telephone pole walking home from my not-very-good meal in the hotel next door. It was for computer skills teaching and included “graphic design [diseno grafico]” and “Photoshop” but it had all the visual prowess of something I coulda laid out in the early ’90s with clipart. Oh, Mexico.

3. Making yourself accessible through social media and blogging opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?

It helps to realize the world has petty, angry, jealous people and nothing’s ever gonna sort that out. They have their damages, I have mine, and I really don’t care if they don’t like what I’m doing. That wasn’t always the case. I used to get hurt and be offended, but eventually I toughened up and can ignore it after I take some time. Haters gonna hate.

That said, I’ve had terrific feedback and critiques. It’s all about looking at the source and their language, and deciding if they’re coming from a place where they’re genuinely interested in helping me grow. If so, I’m likely going to not only listen to that feedback but probably also look at whether maybe they’re onto something about where I can improve. At times it’s been incredibly helpful.

4. What is your bottom line, number one, golden rule when it comes to blogging?

Never, ever phone it in. Every word on my blog today is a reflection of who I am as a creator, writer, and person, and if I can’t do it authentically and to a level that it’d be something I myself would read, then I’d rather not post at all. (But sometimes I am weak or overspent. It happens.) Still, write well, write what’s true, and edit minimum 4 or 5 times.

5. Everyone has a spirit animal. What’s yours and why?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never given it thought. I think “Chewbacca Mom” is my spirit animal, maybe. Can I say that? Not because I’m like her but because I’d like to be more like her. She didn’t care what we thought. She bought a mask for herself, not for her kids, and proceeded to enjoy the hell out of it and laugh her ass off. If it needs to have real fur, then likely a Westie or Yorkie just because they plod through life without a care in the world, looking at everything, enjoying themselves, in no rush at all.

6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?

Outcast/Brainiac, in that order, because I wasn’t as smart as I could be back then, but I had a lot of potential. I was that kid in grade 10 who’d go read a book in the stairwell for lunch. I had friends, too, but I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. There’s a Jesus & The Mary Chain song called “In With the Out Crowd” which posthumously feels like the anthem for my grade 11/12 years.

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7. If I gave you $50,000 to start a business, what would you start?

I’d probably just keep doing what I’m doing but hire people to expedite it. Finish the book I’m writing, put my photography on my blog to sell, put myself in some situations that could further my career — conferences, hire people to help edit the countless hours of videos I’ve shot between Europe and Mexico, that sort of thing. I’m doing what I want to be doing… I just need money, time, and help to do it better and more profitably.

8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?

Hard question. I think two songs that really resonate for me right now are Gomez’ “Get Miles” and Wilco/Bragg’s “California Stars” because they both evoke travel for me today and the feeling that comes with it — sometimes a world of isolation, sometimes a world of beauty-filled bliss.

9. Blogging can ebb and flow for a lot of people. Where do you see your blog in 2021?

Blogging’s dead, long live blogging. I had my brush with blogging fame in 2005/2006 and my flame burned out when life got tough, catapulting me from 5,000+ visits a day down to 50 basically overnight. For a long time now blogging has been solely about me having a voice for anything I’ve got worth saying. I don’t see that changing. It’s a soapbox and a way of casting my voice into the winds of time. Whatever other people blog for, I dunno, man, but just having a voice is the means to the end for me.

10. If I was a highly-skilled bartender, what drink would you ask me to make for you right now?

I was just in Oaxaca for a few weeks and the last four days I was there, I discovered this drink called Señor Pepino. It’s (expensive single-village) mezcal, cucumber, spearmint, and lime. It is the single-most refreshing drink I’ve had in my life. I had a few Vancouver people together in what, in itself, is a weird long story, but we all went there on my second-last night in town and I introduced them to it. All four of them sipped at the same time and literally said simultaneously “WOW!” It’s that bafflingly good.

11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and I’ve served you half a dozen of those. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?

Good lord, I couldn’t even tell you. In my youth, it’d be eggs and bacon at Hamburger Mary’s on Davie Street [in Vancouver]. Poutine would be a good fit too, but I don’t know who makes it great these days. But, honestly, who has standards at 2am? That’s “easy” hour. Gimme a Mickey D’s cheeseburger and I’d be thrilled. I can slum it like that.

12. In your city, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?

The last place that was “my city” was Victoria, BC, and there I fell in love with Chorizo and Co. After about 3+ months in Mexico, Spain, and Portugal, they still make the best chorizo of my life. It’s a little tapas bar. They make churros & chocolate fresh to order, also better than any I had in Spain, and they have this breakfast sandwich to die for — the “bocata,” on a Portuguese bun with red pepper aioli, an egg, Manchego cheese, and this thin salami-style chorizo called “chorizon” they crisp up on the grill top. I’d stab a granny for one right now. YOUR granny. No, not yours, you seem nice.

13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?

I go by “Snarkysteff” on Twitter and I think people suspect I’m gonna be really in-your-face or obnoxious, but I actually am the kind of person who says please/thank you, holds doors open for strangers, and the like. The other thing I get is that I’m “so erudite” in my writing that I’m going to be intimidating to talk to because I’m a smarty-pants but then they discover I’m really low-key and quite the opposite, except when I wanna be eloquent and there’s enough coffee in me to make it happen.

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14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?

Oh, geez. Hmm. I had to Google for lists because there’s no stand-out for me. I’m a work in progress and flawed to beat all hell, but I like working on this work-in-progress, you know what I mean? If I had to pick someone, though, I guess it’d be Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen in Out of Africa because she was a fearless adventurer who moved to Africa, didn’t put up with shit from her man, struck out on her own, fell for Robert Redford, and wrote an incredible book. It’s a true story. Plus, Africa.

15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?

Spanish. I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall right now in Mexico. If I had more money and time, I would take classes, but I’m strapped and it’s not an option right now. I’ll figure it out over time, I’m sure, but it’d be real swell to speed that progress up. It’s a struggle to even order meals. I keep shrugging and saying “Yo soy guero!” which means “I’m so white!” and they laugh and forgive me for butchering their tongue.

16. Who are you most proud of?

I can’t name one person. My brother overcame his brain injury to be the first person to ever graduate with distinction from his phlebotomy courses. My friend Mark already had the job and career he wanted but went back to get his GED and graduate high school at age 40 for no other reason than to do it for himself. My nephew, because he’s just a really principled young man. On it goes.

17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?

Probably my mom, who died when I was 26, because she decided in her late-40s that her life wasn’t doing it for her and she started learning to sail, became a skipper, raced yachts in the Mediterranean, climbed mountains in China, all before she died at 57. I think it was the fact that she decided it wasn’t too late to chase her dreams that helped me eventually have the courage at 39 to say I, too, could still chase my dreams. And here I am.

18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?

I probably would’ve said Hunter Thompson in my youth but he’d be an obnoxious drug-addled guest that I wouldn’t have patience for now. So, likely someone like Mata Hari because of the stories she could tell. Paul Theroux because he’s spent 50 years travelling the world and is one of the most prolific writers of our time (and a huge influence on my own writing). And likely my mom because she’s been dead for 16 years and it’d be nice to check in with her. Or my grandmother.

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19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?

“I have too much money. Can you take a million dollars off my hands?”

20. I have too much money. Can you take a million dollars off my hands?

Can you refer me to a good accountant?

Meet Steffani Cameron:
Blog: Full Nomad
Facebook: /FullNomad
Twitter: @snarkysteff
Instagram: @snarkysteff

All photos are provided courtesy of Steffani Cameron.

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