travel

NO MONEY TO TRAVEL? YOUR SUMMER CAN STILL BE AMAZING

  Sitting in the midst of my concrete oasis that is not even close to being Instagram-worthy, I scroll through the photographs of friends and family seeing the world. Pictures of crystal waters, tropical plants, crazy moments, and drool-inducing drinks make me sigh. If only I could plop my lounge chair in the white sands of a beach instead of on our falling-apart deck, the ambiance of neighbor children screaming and honking horns not quite the island sounds I hoped to hear. Instead of cool water excursions or neat sea creatures, I’m photographing my Starbucks cup, hoping for some pity likes and reassurance that summer is what you make it. The Unwanted Staycation This summer is the first summer in a while we’re not going on vacation. There will be no sand between my toes or morning sea...

THOUGHTFULLY ALONE

Spring semester, junior year; last spring, I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for the entire semester. Toward the end I was ready to go home. Ready to stop living out of a suitcase, or a backpack. Ready to have the same ground under my feet for a while. Being in a country where you can’t fully express your emotions and feelings becomes exhausting. You constantly feel a cultural discomfort. Never sure, never secure, never feeling right. Never feeling known, acknowledged, part of the community. Not knowing where you are. No relatives, no connections, no co-worker down the street. No memories attached to the streets, to the paths you take. To the way to the río. To restaurants, to parks, to curbs and crosswalks. No sense of belonging. No sense of permanent existence.  Not being able to ...

WELCOME HOME, DARLING

I anxiously waited for Michigan’s burden to lift: the weight of memories, the fading friendships, beaches overrun by antiquated emotion, streets dampened by old feelings. With urgency bubbling in my blood, I desperately clung to the idea I would be nothing short of another insolvent 20-something in the music industry ‘trying to make it’ unless I found an opportunity outside the Midwest. I closely tied Michigan with failure. How unfairly I treat Michigan; I love her dearly, she’s bled out all she can offer me. Lady Luck took pity on my weary, burnt-out soul; Tennessee called my name and I responded gratefully. Armed with a fierce yearning to escape, I traveled for eight hours alone to arrive alone in the depths of an unfamiliar city. Suddenly, I am here; surrounded b...

9 TRAVEL STORIES TO REMIND YOU OF THE GOOD IN THE WORLD

Is it just me or does it seem like every time you open social media lately you get hit by a wave of negative, scary news stories? Bombings, mass shooting, political unrest, kidnappings – there’s certainly a lot to be fearful of. I can understand when people don’t want to travel because it’s just plain scary when that’s the only kind of story you get. Today I want to flip the switch a little because if you stay fearful and don’t travel then you can miss out on meeting a lot of wonderful people. I have so many good stories that I actually had to cut a lot of them because the post was getting too long, but here are some of my favorites to remind you of the good in the world. The ladies who let me sleep in the nail salon in Dubai When I recently traveled to ...

PRONE TO ENGINE FAILURE

Hayley’s invitation arrived in the form of a Facebook message on a Monday afternoon. “Are you sure you don’t want to go to Nashville on Wednesday?” Hayley and Sammy, two of my closest friends, had been planning this road trip to see our friends studying in Nashville for nearly two months. I’d received these invitations weekly, but hadn’t taken them seriously. Of course I wanted to go, but carving out a week of time in the middle of the semester seemed impossible. But this time—the last time she’d be asking—I was feeling impulsive. Five hours after receiving her message, I was googling the weather in Nashville, mentally preparing what to pack. I’d said “f*ck it,” pushing aside my responsibilities; the mental reprieve was a bigger payoff than an A in the class I’d be blowing off. Hayle...

CALIFORNIA WON’T BURN THE ATLANTIC OUT OF YOU

Everything was falling apart but I didn’t care because the flowers were beautiful. I’d never been to California. The sun was giving my upper-east-coast alabaster skin a heat rash. I was covered in these raised, red splotches, but then, the sparkles on the surface of the ocean seemed infinitely more important. Why here? Why a desolate stretch of sidewalk in southern California? I knew the answer when I left home, but the texture of life changed from one coast to the other. Now, I just want to chat with the friendly faces in line at a Malibu Starbucks, watch the alleyway photoshoots and flirt with cute Mexican boys on the bus. But this wasn’t supposed to be a vacation. It’s fun to jump into a life that’s not yours and look around. Sticking the landing has always been my problem. It’s the sum...

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM A YEAR AS A FULL-TIME LIFESTYLE BLOGGER

Like most twenty-something’s nearing the end of their college careers, I thought for a long time that I would use my English degree to go the corporate route, working for a publishing company, maybe, or writing for an editorial. As my time at university started winding down, however, I felt more and more hard-pressed to take a little hobby I had become incredibly fond of and attempt to turn it into a full-fledged business. I wanted to be a blogger. More than that, though, I wanted to see if the shared love my boyfriend, Porter, and I had for photography, minimalist style & travel could help us connect with people, positively impact the social media sphere, and simultaneously create the kind of freedom we both felt our lives could never really be our own without. Fast-forward one year, ...

MY GYPSY SOUL

She will always believe in magic. She believes in fantasies and miracles and beautiful surprises from the universe. She believes in fairy tales and she vows to live a life that keeps her eyes sparkling. She embraces and finds beauty in the chaos of life, she can’t help but wander to try to find her happy medium. She can’t peace being locked and controlled, she was born to roam. She makes no apologies for her wild heart, but she is gentle. She is a paradox, predictable in her unpredictably. She has an old souls and wander through many lives. She is a dreamer and a free spirit. She is scared to love. She’s scared to give her heart away because this is truly all she has. She’s scared to give her freedom up. She loves unconditionally but it takes her a while to trust someone becaus...

I’M AFRAID, TOO

  I don’t think I’m a brave person. I’m anxious, I over-analyze and spontaneity is usually reserved for late night Waffle House runs. I constantly kick myself for living my life in fear. My boyfriend and I were recently talking about how we feel were not “that outdoorsy” or “that adventurous” compared to some of the crazies we see on Instagram.  But when I really started to think about it, we are pretty outdoorsy and adventurous compared to a lot of people. I’m shocked when I run into somebody who’s lived in Colorado for a couple years and has never made it up to the mountains. I can’t believe it when someone says they’ve never camped or been to the top of a 14er, snowshoed or skied. But then, I have to back myself up. Fear is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing something new is freakin’ ...

LAS FALLAS FESTIVAL – AN EPIC SPANISH PYRO EXPERIENCE

  A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Valencia, Spain in search of sun and looking for a quick respite from London’s cold weather. Although we were on the brink of spring, Valencia is only a 2 hour flight from London, and was only £50 round trip! So my husband and I headed for a weekend getaway looking for some much needed relaxation and delectable food. Eating is our favourite part of any holiday, so first thing Friday we headed over to the Mercado Central in search of some delicious tapas, Jamón ibérico, paella and, most importantly, cañas of beer! After a few cañas, fresh oysters, and many tapas later the chaotic market had a sudden mass exodus around 1:30pm. We had no idea what was going on, and decided to follow the crowd anyway. Unexpectedly my parents’ voice...

BE ENCOURAGED

Writing has been a struggle for me this past week, but I find it funny how the words you need find their way to you. On March 28th it’ll be 365 days since I packed my Florida apartment and hopped on a plane to New York City. I felt so intentional about my reasons for moving, but no amount of good intention can hold things together that just aren’t meant to be. Sometimes we see it as misfortune, but usually it’s our saving grace. Intentionality is great, but why not put it towards what sets our soul on fire? Probably the hardest lesson that I still struggle with. New York City shook my world. The hustle is infectious and overwhelming, but it shows you that it’s okay to jump into your life with both feet. There’s nothing to be scared of. Being here is what finally pushed me to follow my inne...

OFF THE PAVED PATH: FINDING WONDER IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

It’s a 16 hour, 33 minute drive from Bloomington, Indiana to the mountain town of Frisco, Colorado. Frisco sits on the Dillon Reservoir, along with the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne, each of which are about 20 minutes from Breckenridge. My husband, father, 10 year old nephew, and I left at about 9:00 PM and drove straight through the night and the next day to reach our destination, stopping only for bathroom breaks and cheap gas station food. Our maroon Jeep Wrangler, with bulbous tires and a removable top, would be more of an essential character on this journey than I realized as we passed the flat, dusty Kansas landscape on I-70. It was July, and as we progressed through the plains that stretch down the center of the United States, the air sweltered to 100 degrees. When we final...

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