About Me

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I'm Shannon and I am applying for THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD. I am an outgoing, self-motivated, funny girl who loves to travel. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Theatre and English, I lived in Australia for one year. During that time I spent 6 months living in the Northern Territory; three months in the mining town of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpenteria, one month in Darwin and two months in Alice Springs. I did spend some time in Queensland, I LOVED Townsville and Rockhampton and Great Kepple Island. I had the opportunity to dive the Great Barrier Reef and I learned to surf. I sailed the Whitsunday Islands and am KEENLY aware of what I will be missing out on if I don't get to experience Hamilton Island for myself. On this blog I will be writing about me, my past travel experiences and hopefully showing everyone why I am the best candidate for THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD! If you would like to email me you can reach me at shannontheislandgirl@rogers.com If it takes me some time to respond to your email, it's just because I'm busy packing my bags! See you on the island!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Next Stop - Venice

Italy marked a few firsts for me. It was the first time I had ever been in a European country and the first time I had ever traveled by myself in a country where I did not speak the language. While preparing for the trip and working at the film festival I kind of forgot that I don’t speak Italian. I work at an Italian restaurant so I knew all the words for food, but something told me that would not come in handy when I would, invariably, get lost. (I am the girl who got lost in the town of Coober Pedy, and it’s the size of a drive in movie theatre, and everyone lives underground so you always have a clear view of where you are going and where you have been). The day before I left I bought the Frommer's Pocket Italian Phrase book and I have never been happier to spend $9.99. From my first moments on Lido Island when I couldn’t find my hotel, to my last day in Rome when I was having trouble ordering dinner, that little book came in extremely handy.
Venice proved to be the perfect place for me. Lido was fantastic because there were very few tourists there, and I love that. I love being where the people actually live when I am travelling. I don’t just want to see the ‘sights’, I want to see it all. My first breakfast was in a coffee bar filled with Italian Nona’s who got a real kick out of me and my phrase book. I ordered exactly what the woman in front of me did, (it looked good!), and although I thought I was ordering a honey croissant, (my French ear tells me that mele is honey. My French ear was wrong. In Italian it means apple. It was the first of many times when my French would lead me astray in Italian. I like apples so it didn’t much matter), and I learned to say my first Italian sentence. “May I have the bill please.” The Nona’s were very proud of me.
After breakfast it was on to Venice proper. I live in Toronto and I never really noticed that it was a noisy place. But compared to the quite that is Venice, Toronto is an assault on the ears. I loved how there were no cars, only the taping of stilettos on the street. (I can’t walk in stilettos on normal pavement. How these women manage it on cobblestones is beyond me). As someone who gets lost vey easily I was initially afraid of the twist and turns of Venice. It occurred to me that it was entirely possible that I would never find my way back to Lido. But being lost in Venice was fantastic. I loved that the map in front of me bore absolutely no resemblance to what was unfolding beneath my feet. I did all the ‘must dos” of Venice. St Marco’s, the Doge’s Palace, the Ponte Rialto, they all had my attention for a few fleeting minutes, and then the cruise ship patrons drove me back in to the alleys, or on to a boat.
The islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello were must sees for me. On Torcello I was expecting a deserted island with the remains of the first settlement in Venice. What I got was a boring church and vendors selling the same tourist crap they were selling all over Venice. Not exactly what I was looking for. Burano and Murano did not disappoint. Burano was my favourite part of Venice. I have always wanted to live in a house painted in bright bubblegum colours and on Burano that is the only kind of house there is. Pink, purple, yellow, blue, you name it and it’s there. The brighter the better it seems. And I couldn’t agree more.