Coloured Confessions – Lessons I (re)Learned during my year in Edinburgh

Moving to Edinburgh was one of the hardest moves I’ve ever had to make. 

I’ve lived in Nice, Montréal and Indonesia, but this experience was something different… 

PART I: Foundations – Managing Your Mental Health 

I was in a really vulnerable state when I moved here which I will not go into, but what I will say is that I needed the love and affection that only family or close friends could bring, and that’s not something that you can typically get from people you’ve just met for the first time. 

I wasn’t the bubbly, outgoing and comedic Carmela I normally am (**if you’re reading this and we met at the beginning of the year and you’re thinking, ‘But Carmela, you weren’t like this at all!!!’, I promise you, I’m naturally way, way more bubbly than that and feelings/personal tribulations are quite easy to hide). I was a darker, more numb version of myself that was struggling to balance personal recovery and a transition to a whole new country, a new lifestyle (work life versus student life) and a new industry (politics to the marine world) all at the same time. I felt — quite literally — like a fish out of water, fighting against myself and this new environment for a gasp of fresh air. 

But in these moments when you’re presented with unideal situations, you have a choice: to continue with the way things are, or to make a change (and work for something better). I chose the latter. 

– – –

It was in October when I started looking up ways to drop out of my program while recuperating the most amount of money that I could given that I actually left my program. School was kicking my — and I wasn’t in the best mental state to handle the transition neither from a mental, social nor personal point of view. 

I wanted to go home. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I needed someone to talk to; I needed help… so I looked for it.  Continue reading “Coloured Confessions – Lessons I (re)Learned during my year in Edinburgh”


I began writing this article as a “living on a budget does not mean you cannot eat well!” / “Let me show the world the cheap eats of Edinburgh,” but slowly I began to realize that there is just so much good food out here, and I want to share them with you all. I’ve split them into breakfastlunch, dinner, and dessert, so there’s no ranking of restaurants — only really, really tasty suggestions.

Here are my favourite places to eat centred on authenticity, uniqueness, and all-around good flavour. Enjoy!


We all know we have to start our day out right — and that means a hearty and nutritious breakfast (at least it does for me 😬). My favourite choice?

Tani Modi, 103 Hanover Street

Tani Modi Blueberry Pancakes

Tani Modi is an Italian restaurant located just north of Princes Street on Hanover. It boasts authentic Italian food complete with piadas, paninis and antipasto. But my reason for going here: their to-die-for blueberry pancakes (pictured above). These pancakes are a gift from God: they’re warm and made fresh to order. Sandwiched between two pancakes are ripe blueberries mixed with yogurt and blueberry coulis. It is an explosion of flavour in your mouth with every bite without being too sweet nor too dull. This is my absolute breakfast go-to. They also have apple cinnamon, bacon and maple syrup, nutella and banana and even spinach and feta cheese pancakes, but that’s not all: they also have smoked salmon, bacon and eggs, something savoury for every type of taste bud, AND also ridiculously rich chocolate cakes amongst other pastries. You should definitely check them out. I highly recommend. Continue reading “BEST EATS – EDINBURGH”

My top 5 places to study (University of Edinburgh, Central)


I don’t know about you, but when it comes to exam season or even nearing the end of any semester, I find it nearly (basically) impossible to find a place to study (especially on campus). Hence, why I’m only uploading this blog post now 🙂 #sorrynotsorry

Here are my favourite study places that I found while doing my Masters.

*Before I continue, know that I like quiet and sterile environments (emphasis on the quiet) so if you don’t like quiet places to study (like libraries), this article is definitely not for you. However! I do make some suggestions in the end that are a ‘something for everyone’ type of thing. Let me know if I’ve missed anything in the comments below! After all, exam season is over… so no one will steal your study spots now 😂

1. Main Library

Okay, so this might be cliché but the main library was my absolute favourite place to study during the year. There are six floors where you can study (including the basement), and each floor tended to host different years (at least I thought so and found that pretty funny). I always stuck to the fourth and fifth floor: fifth because it’s meant to be for post-grads though we know you undergrads always joined us 😉 and fourth because the views from fourth are incredible (photo below).


I always sat in the same place because this was my view on a daily basis. In the winter, those mountains were snow-covered. In the spring (as you can see), they’re lusciously green and you get a full-on view of the meadows. When the cherry blossoms come out, it’s a site to see. I loved this spot.

Continue reading “My top 5 places to study (University of Edinburgh, Central)”

Why (and how) I quit my job to pursue a MSc in Marine Systems & Policies

I remember looking out of my office’s window on the 31st floor of one of Toronto’s beautiful skyscrapers asking myself, “Is this it?” 

I had a great job with a satisfying pay. My office overlooked the entire skyline of the Financial District, Nathan Philips Square and the Toronto Sign with Lake Ontario in the background calling me out like a child reaching for your hand to play. The line where lake met sky beckoned me and reminded me that there was always something more — something beyond suits and fancy glass buildings (with no intent to offend those who choose and love this lifestyle!). 

I was on a steady track towards what many people would call “success”, but that “success” (a stable job with a steady income and a future in the downtown core) was not for me.

“Success” for me meant sun. Call me crazy, but “success” was embracing uncertainty if it meant waking up to the sea and the potential for an endless array of summer days. “Success” meant adventure — but most importantly and above all, it meant purpose — and I found my meaning and purpose in dedicating my brain and willpower towards achieving sustainability in our seas.

I found my meaning and purpose in dedicating my brain and willpower towards achieving sustainability in our seas.

— Okay, wait Carmela, what does that even mean?

Lol, let me tell you. Continue reading “Why (and how) I quit my job to pursue a MSc in Marine Systems & Policies”

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