travel more. worry less.

Traveling has changed me.

As a child I was fortunate enough to go on frequent family vacations. I am forever thankful to my parents for providing me with those opportunities. Together we created memories that will last a life time. Something to look back on and reminisce about.

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Although these trips have been special, I believe traveling as a young adult is different. It strengthens you. It allows you to grow and get cultured. It makes you appreciate the little things. And it ultimately defines the rest of your life.

As you know, over the past year and a half I’ve done a bit of traveling to Europe (Finding the Inspiration) to visit my boyfriend. I’ve always been a nervous flyer. I don’t enjoy being on a plane, especially when I’m by myself, surrounded by complete strangers. What am I supposed to do for 7 hours? Who can I talk to? Where do I go when I get off the plane? Will I have enough money? What if I get lost? These thoughts floated around in my head incessantly. Until I decided to let go. I chose to let these worries escape me and learned how to go with the flow (a skill that is difficult to master). It ultimately opened my eyes and changed my attitude into a more care-free, positive, enriched attitude.

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I’ve discovered new things about myself that will stay with me throughout my life. Lessons that I’ll be able to hopefully one day share with my children. Ideas and thoughts that I would like to share with you now.

5 things traveling has taught me:

  1. Experiences over Material things. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to shop. But, I’ve learned to recognize my needs vs. my wants. Happiness isn’t about getting those pair of shoes you’ll probably never wear, or that new handbag that is similar to another one you already have in your closet. Happiness is about making memories and embracing new experiences. My travels have taught me to buy experiences, not things.
  2. Taking a break from social media is okay. We have become so dependent on our phones and computers, that we often forget how to live our life free of them. I’ll admit, I’m still learning to master this. But, traveling has taught me to break free from social media and take time to enjoy what I’m doing, in the moment, rather than spending my time showing everyone else what I’m doing.
  3. The best restaurants are hidden away from tourist attractions. If you’re looking for delicious food at an affordable price, avoid the high traffic tourist areas. Yes, it might be nice to sit under the Eiffel Tower for dinner, but you’ll pay the price for it and it probably won’t be the greatest food. In my opinion, I got more joy out of stumbling upon a small, quaint restaurant down a cobblestone alley than going to a fancy, extravagant lounge.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone. Meet new people. Try different foods. Speak the language. Be adventurous. Say yes. In our lives, we often get scared of trying new things. But, I’ve come to learn that the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. This March, Justin and I are traveling around Switzerland and we decided to go paragliding during our time in Interlaken. I’m terrified. But I know it’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  5. Appreciate the beauty. Breathe in the culture and nature while you’re visiting a new place. Sometimes you have to put your camera down and just enjoy where you are, who you’re with and what you’re looking at. Let it sink in and envelop you. Because that is what you’ll carry with you forever.

I’m sure as a take flight and explore new destinations, I’ll add more lessons to this list. I look forward to exploring and experiencing life the best way I know possible.

10 reasons why I hate winter

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the holiday season. Christmas is by far one of my favourite holidays. However, all of the hype about the pretty white snow and putting up the Christmas decorations wears off pretty quickly. Because eventually, we’re all just faced with the bitter cold weather and a bunch of muddy slush.

So, here are my top 10 reasons why I hate winter:

1. When girls wear those hideous furry boots. I don’t care how warm and amazing they make your feet feel. You look like you’re trying to marry the abominable snowman….and not even he would approve! There are much better ways to spend $200 – these boots are not one of them!
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2. Having to scrape the ice and snow off of your car windshield every morning. You’re running late for work. You hit snooze on your alarm three times too many this morning and now you’re running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Trying to find a reasonable outfit for work and scoffing down a piece of toast. You finally finish, put your coat on and rush outside to your car….Only to find 10-15 cm of snow covering your entire car. COOOOL (no pun intended), now you have to run around like a mad women for the next 15 minutes trying to brush off all the snow, scraping off the layer of ice underneath, and heat up your freezing car. Goodbye, coffee stop at Starbucks. Hello, Grinch.

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3. You start looking like one of the Cullen siblings (next level pale). Some of you crazy twihard fans may actually like this one. But for me personally, this is hands down one of the worst things about winter. The sun barely comes out, and it’s dark before 5pm. Everyone instantly looks uglier when they’re pale and it’s not like you can make multiple trips to the tanning bed during the winter months because while everyone’s channeling their inner Cullen, you’ll just look like you belong on MTV’s True Life: I’m addicted to tanning. Not really sure what’s worse..

4. Upkeep gets much more intense. Chapped lips, brittle nails, dry skin, and staticky hair. Every girl feels my pain here. It’s not a good look. Maintaining a soft and subtle glow in the winter season takes some serious work. It can become exhausting.

5. When adults wear those animal HITTS (hat/mittens combined). You’re a 30 year old women…There is no way you should be wearing an animal hat with paw mittens attached. If you are wearing these out in public, there is a 99.9% chance you are a crazy cat lady, and will forever be alone. Get it together people! Donate your HITTS to children, I repeat, CHILDREN who need them!

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6. Immediately sweating the instant you get indoors. I live in Canada, so yes, as most of you can assume, it gets to be extremely cold during the winter. So usually I’ll wear multiple layers to stay warm, along with my down winter coat, a scarf and sometimes a hat. Walking from the car into work, is probably the most freezing trip ever, but why is it that as soon as I enter the front doors, I immediately start sweating profusely? LIKE HI, I was shivering just a few seconds ago, why do I feel like a menopausal women experiencing her first heat flash?! Ugh.

7. Girls who insist on wearing cheap, collapsed UGG boots. Clearly these boots are not offering you the support you need. And you have officially made the transition from fashionable winter glam, to homeless girl looking for money. I don’t understand how these are even comfortable!! All I know, is that it’s time to retire the cheap, leanin’ boot and buy a nicer (maybe pricier?) pair that won’t collapse on you, making you look like frosty the fool.

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8. Having to pay for coat check at the bar. 9 out of 10 times, in the winter, I’ll refuse going to the bar. I mean I already look pale, have scaly skin and it’s freezing outside. On top of all that, I have to pay $10 to check my coat?! UH no thanks. I’ll wait until the summer comes, so I can skip the winter jacket and just wear shorts and a tank. Call me cheap, but I know you’re all thinking it too! That’s a glass of wine I could be enjoying..

9. Wet socks. I don’t even really think this one needs an explanation. I’m sure at some point we have all endured a long day in gross, wet socks. The most uncomfortable feeling EVER. Not about it.

10. Holiday foods, comfy clothes and comfort movies = weight gain! In the winter, we all go into hibernation mode. We lose our motivation to go to the gym. We all start attending holiday functions where lots of yummy and delicious treats are shared and left over. It’s always easier to throw on a pair of lulu’s and a big sweatshirt when you get home. Personally, I like to indulge and watch Home Alone or Love Actually over and over. Then as soon as winter’s over, we go into panic mode…WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO WEAR A BIKINI IN 3 MONTHS?! Winter likes to bitch slap us in the face sometimes.
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I think I need a permanent vacation this winter.

Paddy, not Patty

With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching (aka tomorrow), I thought it would be a good idea to reflect (and rant) about it. St. Patrick’s is a day for college students to get decked out in green attire, celebrate being “Irish” and drink obnoxiously at the wee hours of the morning!  I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for dressing up. However, I haven’t really had the best track record with St. Patrick’s Day. It usually ends up being a disaster!

With that being said, this is officially the first year I’m not celebrating, because, well, I couldn’t book any time off and I got stuck working. But don’t worry, I’m actually kind of okay with it. This is definitely the first sign of growing up (Not sure how I feel about that yet, I’ll get back to you).

BUT ANYWAY….There are many of you out there who refer to this lucky day as “St. Patty’s” when in actual fact, Patty is the girls nickname for Patricia and therefore incorrect! The short form for Patrick is Paddy (for those of you who didn’t know)…I came across this website, which is just a HUGE rant on idiots who call it St. Patty’s Day. I found it quite humourous and I think more people should educate themselves about the proper short-form for the day we all love to celebrate so much! I’ll let you check it out for yourselves… http://paddynotpatty.com/

So remember folks, when you’re doing your keg stand, or chugging your green beer from the pitcher….It’s St. Paddy’s Day NOT St. Patty! Keep calm and shamrock on people!

xo.