Saturday, March 26, 2011

How Winning a Ticket to Vida Vegan Con Has Changed My Life

I know, I know. How can my life already be changed by an event I haven't yet gone to?

Here's the story.

A while ago, Tami from Vegan Appetite put on a contest to win her tickets to the much-anticipated Vida Vegan Con 2011, the first vegan blog conference ever, in none other than the super-green city of Portland, Oregon.

As I scrolled through blogs on Google Reader that day, I noticed Tami's contest and almost skipped past it, thinking, "I never win contests anyway". But then I caught myself, and stopped and thought about it for a moment. In the extremely unlikely chance I won, I told myself, I would force myself to get out and travel for once. Traveling has always seemed a luxury to me, one that I've never really felt I could afford. So if I won, I would have to do it, instead of putting it off, and then putting it off, and then putting it off some more...

Of course, when I made this decision (which took all of 20 seconds), I didn't actually think I would win.

I've always had deep yearnings to travel, but a part of it always seemed impractical to me. I would think, "but I need new pants, and my car needs fixing, and I really want a nice blender." Traveling would always fall to the neglected bottom of my priority list, and because of this, I've experienced very little of the world.

I've also been desiring real, face-to-face conversations with the awesome people in the vegan blogging community. It's nice to be connected to lots of people from afar, but it's significantly more fun and interesting to connect live and in person.

So now here I am, winning ticket and all, and my life is changed. It isn't just the opportunity; it's the fact that this ticket was a missing puzzle piece in my life.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

For months I've been toying around with the idea of attending a session at the esteemed Living Light Culinary Institute in California. The classes I'm interested in, ones pertaining to teaching raw food classes, had recently become available at the beginning of September.

What perfect synchronicity to realize that Vida Vegan Con is held at the end of August, directly on my way to California in Early September! Winning this ticket made me affirm that yes, I absolutely must make this voyage to Living Light.

And how perfect that I have friends that I've been wanting to see out in British Columbia! All of a sudden, what began as an adventure to Portland has grown into a long journey all along the West Coast!

Perhaps even more importantly, this long voyage will signal the end of an unhappy living arrangement. Expensive housing prices have prevented Logan and I from moving into a place of our own, free from roommates. We've spent many months feeling trapped, incapable of taking the action we desperately wanted. This is the ticket out. We'll move and when I return to Canada in October, we will find a place of our own. It might be difficult, but it will be worth it a hundred times over.

In October we'll have to look for a place to live. I'll start teaching people how to create healthy and delicious meals for themselves and their families, moving away from my familiar occupation of teaching piano toward one more fulfilling, focusing on health, nutrition, cooking and uncooking. My band will continue to evolve and I'll perform, record CDs and do all of that fun stuff along the way.

In essence, this ticket to Portland was the piece I was missing for a complete overhaul of my life direction. It's a ticket that puts me on a path to living my dreams, to living the life I want to live. Instead of compromising. Instead of putting up with crappy situations because change is difficult and uncertainty is scary.

Thank you Tami for the contest, and thank you Universe for that fortune cookie that told me last month, "you don't need to worry about your future", right in the midst of doing just that and feeling miserable.

It's all fallen into place now. :)


  1. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing yourself in this way. Here's to happy life adventures!

  2. WOW! This is so awesome. Congrats!! I can't wait to read about your fall adventures :)

  3. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe it! :) And also, way to post a comment at 11:11! Logan did that yesterday too. Weird! I guess I'm being haunted by 11:11 again.