This is the Monthly Stories issue

Use this for monthly stories, do not check if article is Cover Story.

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Travel Like a Pro

Tips from an expert to make your next trip an adventure you’ll always remember. Travelling, especially if you’re the type who likes to go off the beaten path, can be exciting, rewarding and just plain fun. Some trips become great adventures, while others can be life-changing. In November, travel company Merit hosted a travel film festival through its TravelCuts website, which books flights, hotels and rail travel. The #travelcutsDOC festival asked millennials to create short films about their travels. The winning entry, by Canadian Mark Harrison, is definitely worth a watch (be warned, it will get your wanderlust pumping). If you’re already adding some of the featured destinations to your ‘must visit’ bucket list, you’re probably not alone. But travel, especially for the millennial first timer, can be daunting. There are always questions about where to eat, where to stay, and what to do if you get yourself in trouble. The Reply recently interviewed Jason Merrithew, vice president of Merit Travel Group, a millennial and traveller himself, to find out how to travel better and …

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The Security Dilemma and the Personalization of Technology

We’re storing increasingly more personal data on services and on our devices every day and this means having strong security is essential. In 2016, my advice is to “lock it down.” If there was one recurring story this year it is the increasing number of data breaches. I feel like we’ve been here before. Despite all of our advances, the tech that makes our lives better relies on old paradigms, that is, we still rely on passwords to secure our data. Despite all our hardware advances, we still use a (mostly) terrible system of securing ourselves online. It’s unreasonable to suggest we simply stop working online because of security concerns; instead the best thing to do is focus on securing yourself. The fact is, as devices become more personable we are putting much more personal data in the hands of others. With data breaches becoming more common, it seems reasonable to ask yourself questions like “am I OK with this data getting into the hands of others?” And even without data breaches, do you know what the …

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Investing Your Money When You’re Still in Debt

Whether you live on your own or in your parents’ basement, it’s time to think about investing your money. We all want to get ahead. We want to get ahead by throwing tonight’s dinner in the crock pot before departing for work in the much-too-early hours of the morning. We want to accomplish Friday afternoon’s project deadline by Thursday afternoon, so can be spent sipping coffee and perusing our favourite websites all day. We want this month’s mortgage or rent payment collected and saved early in order to avoid scrambling when the first of the month rolls around. We all want to get ahead; in our every day actions, our responsibilities, our commitments and maybe most of all, in our finances. Yes, like most millennials, I have debt. Money, in my world, has been an ongoing struggle. It’s one of the reasons I moved back home with my mom after university. But my story is not all that unique. Many millennials work hard to get out of a financial hole after graduating. Still, even the …

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How a Balanced Budget Leads to a Balanced Life

A healthy budget isn’t meant to close doors; it’s meant to open them. We’re living in a culture where spending money you don’t have is not only acceptable; it’s encouraged. And you can do it all without even getting out of bed. Our habits are driven by acquisition and consumption. Closets, basements and attics throughout North American confirm our ability to accumulate possessions. Our garages are so full; we can’t even park in them. It’s a dangerous time to be alive. We know quality of life isn’t defined by the make of the car parked in your driveway, nor is it established by the brand names you wear on your back. And yet we keep wanting more; buying more; spending more. We accumulate stuff we don’t need, using money that isn’t ours. Rather than feeling happier about the lives we’ve built borrowed, we’re left maxed out, stressed out, and completely distracted by the burden of maintaining our status while paying off heaps of credit card debt. Is this really the kind of life you want …

#YoungerMe: You Are One in a Million

Dear 18-Year-Old Me, You are one in a million. Believe that. I want you to know that being yourself is essential to your happiness. You will change, you will grow, and while others (even those close to you) will doubt your ability to do so, soldier on. Prove everyone wrong. The next 10 years will bring more changes and more challenges than you could ever imagine. Embrace your younger years, but keep moving forward. With that said, I leave you with these words: Keep writing. You have loved writing since you were old enough to put pencil to paper. Do not take your passion for granted. Use it to express yourself in all kinds of ways. Use it in your personal life. Use it at work. Writing is an invaluable skill you can always improve upon. Write even when you don’t want to. Most importantly: KEEP EVERYTHING. Your diaries, notes between friends, school projects, and musings on scrap paper are precious. They’re part of you. Let love in. You are going to experience loss in …

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Breaking Gender Norms as a Millennial Male Nurse

Finding acceptance, encouragement and success while pursing a challenging career. There was a time, not long ago, when gender played a big role in the career you picked. For millennials who grew up with parents telling them they could achieve whatever they could imagine, it seems unthinkable, but for the generations that came before us, career choices were by and large limited by your gender as much as anything else, unless you were willing to be a trailblazer and put up with all the detractors, that is. Of course, all this is changing, but it takes time, and while in most professions the old norms about gender roles may have been long overcome, they leave a long trail. Nursing is one of the professions often associated with traditional gender roles. In modern Western history at least it has been a career path mostly taken by women. The 2001 Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey found only 10 percent of nurses in the country are men, the rest – a full 90 percent – are women. So …

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Fill Your Bag With Timely Tech

My elementary school career began in 1989. I was four years old. In March that year, Tim Berners-Lee would submit his proposal for a distributed system at CERN, laying the foundation for what would become the Internet, and changing the world forever.

But it would take a while for the future to make it’s way to Bracebridge, Ontario, so for much of the 90’s I was filling my backpack with books, pencils and maybe a calculator. It was a heavy bag.

Today, I could replace everything I used to carry in my backpack with an iPad. And you know what? I would. Technology has changed everything since I was in school and aside from a few concerns about information retention (more on that later), I think we should embrace it. And since this month’s theme at The Reply is Breaking the Norm, let’s check out some school-worthy tech that you might not usually give a second glance.