George Verdolaga: Think like an entrepreneur

George with wife Maita at a brasserie in Paris.

George with wife Maita at a brasserie in Paris.

As editor-in-chief, I have had the privilege of getting to know and learn from some truly amazing Canadians. It’s my honour that I could now consider some of them as close friends and mentors.

George and his wife Maita have been very instrumental in helping us navigate and appreciate Canada. Here’s his story.  

After growing a six-figure business into a seven-figure business in just three years, George Verdolaga found himself at the crossroads.

He was an Economics graduate who had just generated some impressive growth figures with the business that he was running. However, he found himself yearning for something else.

After some soul searching and exploring many options, he let his inner-creativity transform his life.

“It was a very long road that started with a simple dream. I had just discovered interior design eight years into running my business which had become a big success. I decided to explore it and take part-time classes, and after a year, I thought ‘I really like this’, then I thought ‘I think I’d love to do this for the rest of my life’, which turned to ‘I think I’d like to learn from the best around the world’.”

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Use these tips to curb utility spending

Help save the planet

And help save the planet too.

Guest post.

Household budgeting requires a close look at where your money goes.

By breaking your total monthly spending obligation into recognizable categories, like food and housing, it becomes easier to track the flow of cash through your home. For most families, utility bills account for a substantial share of each month’s expenses, especially in cold-weather climates, where home heating costs push energy spending higher.

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A trailing spouse story: Getting to easier

Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC

Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC

“Happy New year! Welcome to the January #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl.

This January we talk about beginnings. We all were there at some point in time. We all started out in strange lands. How was it like starting over in a new country – if you have done it multiple times, does it get easier or harder? And what are you building in this new year?

Three years, give or take.

That is how long we have been in Beautiful British Columbia. Notice the first letters are capitalized? That’s how the early settlers-migrants-long-time residents see-know British Columbia. And they are right. Mountains meet seas in the in-between, and it is a majestic sight to behold. There’s just the cold to overcome, and the sometime-loneliness that could eat you up, and the opportunities that do not seem to be enough. But this country is waking up, and maybe we are in the midst of a revolution-emergence-stirring of some sorts.

Which gives me hope (and excitement).

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A year for turning finances into a family affair

All in it together

All in it together

It was a new year and with it comes a breath of fresh air, a new lease (leash) on life.

The sun is shining fiercely but it cannot dispel the cold. Still, it was beautiful, it was glorious, a time to start again, a time to start anew, aspire for better things, dream with eyes and hearts open.

Hope, exhausted with the passing of 365 days, is replenished. Indeed, the beginning of the year is the best time for man to gather up his strength, pick up his cross/the flowers/the pieces of his life, and start yet another amazing journey.

My husband and I – we are embarking on a journey of our own. This time, it will be to financial freedom. Transplanted to Canada by choice, we are ready to do this again, and this time, we will be taking our kids for the ride.

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Canada: a compassionate country

Prod and Eleanor Laquian

Prod and Eleanor Laquian

As editor-in-chief of a Canadian newspaper, I had the privilege of meeting some awe-inspiring people. I will be featuring them here and I hope you will let them touch you and enrich your lives as they have mine.

29. That is how many times the Laquians have moved their household.

Nairobi, Kenya, Santiago, Chile, Suva, Fiji in the South Pacific, Beijing, China and many cities in between—they have been there and have called it home. They made lovely memories in all of them, but had little or no roots. The restless (by choice and by circumstance) can grow weary of impermanence too.

Until Canada.

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Christmas

Christmas thoughts

Christmas thoughts

What’s a better way to spend Christmas night than to write?

When I am alternating between light and darkness and the words of people confound me? When the incompleteness of the purely digital experience leaves a lot to be said, even when there’s a whole page, reams and pages, to write on?

We experience the reality of the desires of our flesh – our imaginations come to life, the future come to us – and yet it leaves us wholly empty. Having more than 2,000 friends on Facebook does not guarantee a fabulous night, or life. And thoughts come unbidden, sharper, piercing, made wilder by imaginings fired up by a single stroke of a key. Because as we have expanded our world, the more we have turned inwards. Better to drown the voices with, better to silence what we think are our truths.

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Back

Bowen Island, British Columbia

Bowen Island, British Columbia

Canada has changed my life in a lot of ways. It is a self-inflicted change, the kind one does to push growth, or manifest madness.

Our financial stability has gone to the wayside; forgotten in our scramble to survive in this new country. Are we floating? Yes. Have we enjoyed the things we used to enjoy? Yes. Have we learned new things? Yes.

But the floor has buckled and we have never felt so out of balance as we do so now.

This is the price of immigration. This is the price of leaving the comforts of home. This is the price of a dream.

So should you leave home?

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Books versus real life

Tales

Tales

We live in stories, immerse ourselves in them. Escape. A double triple life. Parallel universes, one we inhabit with glee; the other, with the weary care of the awake.

Books are safe because we are not in it. We are cocooned by it from the shadows cast by our reality. We can escape from its clutches when we put it down, disengage, discontinue. We cannot do the same with life.

It  is far harder to escape life; sometimes even far harder to face it. Its harshness is not tempered like coloured glass hiding us from the glare of the sun. Its tentacles reach out, and clasp, the resonant sting inevitable.

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