Hey North Carolina, I’m back.

Hi travel friends!

I’m at that point in the year where I’m itching to go away. It’s summer and I’m once more stuck in the bubble that is the midwest. For those that have been with me for some time now, you know that I went to Wilmington alone in October. Well, it looks like that might be happening again later this week. This weekend to be exact. (It’s kind of funny that nothing in my life has changed since then… and also kind of sad. Really sad, scratch that).

One of my friends is graduating from college so I have a reason to be there, but it’ll be nice to be back. It has been half a year and I feel the need to adventure. To the Ocean. Where I belong in the first place.

I’m debating whether or not I want to make it a day trip or get a really cheap hotel there for the night, but as long as i’m breathing in the salt in the air, I’ll be happy either way.

Oh, but I’m driving this time and taking a train, so we’ll see how that goes.

See ya soon, NC 😉

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Storytelling: Something New

Today I woke up with a crazy idea.  I don’t know if the idea is crazy, or if I’m just going crazy in my little cave of an apartment (both), but I had the thought of writing a children’s book.

Let me back up, slow down, reverse.

I’ve always liked writing. I got to it when I have no one to talk to or when a thought flies into my head. I write everything down. I’m one of those people that has 20000 journals. When I was little, my parents gave me a kitten for my seventh birthday. It was the best day of my life, and that cat changed me. She, Matilda, is still with us and she is 16 years old now, in the prime of her life. When I was around 10, I wrote short stories about the adventures of Matilda. The young mind sees and thinks differently. I was super proud of my short stories and they are actually probably the only thing that i’ve finished completely, if I think about it. So, I was thinking of bringing the Adventures of Matilda back.

I don’t know if i’ll ever finish, or if they’ll ever get anywhere, but at least i’ll have them forever.

If anyone has any tips on how to write in general or what to think about writing for children, everything would be greatly appreciated!!

I was thinking about making it colorful with illustrations, but also with enough text.

Don’t really know where to begin — I have too many ideas, so help would be amazing 🙂

— Anna

 

Chicago Day 2: Depressing Zoo’s & Mangos

Hola Everybody!

On the slight chance that you’ve been following our adventures, you know that our first day in Chicago was very eventful and in the end we walked a grand total of 14.5 miles! I’d be so fit if I lived there. Who needs a car with those ridiculous parking garage prices.

Day two was slightly less eventful since it was only half a day but almost just as much walking… so figure that one out.

Our day started with a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo. For all that know me, I am a huge supporter of zoos and frequent zoo visitor. That being said, I had high hopes and expectations for this one. The zoo was three miles away from our hotel which turned out to be quite the walk. My shoes were not having it. And because my shoes weren’t having it, my walk turned out to be weird, and so then my shin wasn’t having it. It all ended with me taking off my shoes and walking barefoot. Yeah, I’m one of those people.

I forgot to add that we had breakfast at the Corner Bakery which proved to be very delicious. It would’ve been absolutely perfect if we ate outside, but it was so popular that we had to sit in the basement…

When we finally got to the zoo, excitement was high. Not only because I just walked for miles in pain to see some animals, but also because it’s a free zoo and … well, it was time to pet some goats. I’ll skip to the point and let me just tell you — I think  the animals in the petting zoo were the happiest ones at the zoo. That was by far one of the most depressing zoo’s I have ever been to. The lions looked depressed, the giraffes looked depressed, even the hippo… looked depressed. Needless to say, we left after nudging though the crows without looking back. 0/10, would not recommend. 

Sad and disappointed we made our way to the Navy pier to find some ice cream to heal our souls. The walk to the pier was again long and strenuous on my feet and I walked barefoot for half of it, which didn’t really help because … rocky cement.

The Navy Pier was crowded. I think everyone on the streets of Chicago decided that they all needed to go to the pier the same day we decided to go. We walked around and eventually ended up finding a garden to sit in with our shaved ice. What is shaved ice you ask? It’s basically frozen yogurt but better. That’s all I got, folks. D got mango flavored ice and I got green tea. I don’t know why i’m being pulled into the green tea mambo jumbo, but nothing beats that matcha latte. The mango one was better, I must admit. My green tea one didn’t taste like green tea, but I also wasn’t feeling anything sweet. My body was craving salty food. I think I complained about it so much that D agreed to stop by Whole Foods and I bought carrots and she got cheese. I’m just hungry, you know?

We took the carrots and cheese and went to sit by the river, not wanting our mini vacation to end. We sat there, admiring and people watching, until our parking time was almost up and we meandered back to the parking garage. And so ended our escape into paradise and if I could, I’d do it all over again. Maybe with different shoes, but, yeah.

Thanks for hanging around 🙂 Can’t wait for our next adventure.

-Anna

Chicago Day 1: Art & Buddhist Temples

Hi Friends!!

What a weekend! I don’t know the last time I’ve walked so much in such little time and have been in this much pain, but it was worth every second!

My friend, who we’ll call D, and I left pretty early on Thursday morning even though she wasn’t feeling very well, as she was just recovering from food poisoning… yeek. Chicago isn’t far from where we started, but we completely forgot to factor in the time difference and came an hour early, which was super cool and unexpected — at least something was going right for us … read on.

We wanted our first stop to be somewhere we could get breakfast and found a nice place called Wildberry, and apparently a pretty popular one with tourists, rookie mistake. Must’ve been some pancakes. Walking in there and trying to get a table felt like a mission to see the queen. While waiting we decided to be tourist-y and check out the bean (the cloud?) and the park. We also somehow found a playground (classic) on which we spent too much time, but I give snaps to Chicago for thinking about the Children. Go you. Two hours later we left our “place” in line (64 people ahead of us!!!!) at Wildberry and settled for a different coffee shop, Intelligentsia Coffee. I was so satisfied with my Matcha latte that I gave them 5 stars on Facebook as soon as I took my first sip. Really, really good coffee. The people that worked there looked really cool too. They probably wouldn’t hire me because I can’t pull off being so hip and retro. One of the guys looked like John Mayer. 10/10 would go again & recommend to a friend. While getting coffee we were thinking about our options about what to do next. We decided that the planetarium seemed like a good fit for us. What’s a good fit? cheap. Little did we know that we were both about to become $40 poorer. (is that a word?)

Because it was such a BEAUTIFUL day out we ended up walking around a bit before making our way to the planetarium. While about to cross the street I suddenly realized that I lost D. Okay, I didn’t lose her, but I turned around and she was talking to a guy resembling a Buddhist monk with very broken, but fast, english. All of a sudden, he’s handing her a bracelet that takes 15 cents to make and she’s handing him $40. If that’s not gypsy work, I don’t know what is. I had all the power to just say no and walk away leaving her $40 poorer and me in the same stable and comfortable position that I was in. But what kind of friend would that have made me? (A smart one). But I caved ( *be more selfish, be more selfish, be more selfish*) and got my 15 cent bracelet. Then, he wanted $20 more “for his family”. No, man, sorry, who do you think I am? We walked away and now wear these bracelets as a constant reminder. Don’t get me wrong, out of all religions out there, I get and appreciate buddhism. I just really hope I funded a temple and not some random guy on the corner.

After that fiasco with our  wallets and souls feeling lighter, we agreed that we need ice cream. We found a place called Red Mango, solely because the word mango was in there, and started heading towards it. We probably looked like ducks that couldn’t make a decision, because Red Mango was nowhere to be found and we walked in circles for the longest time. After almost giving up, we looked at comments online and realized that this ice cream place was found underground. All we wanted was to eat outside — another let down. We eventually found the place, after almost walking into what seemed like an underground murder tunnel, and got our ice cream. It was okay. Very limited choices and my green tea ice cream didn’t taste like green tea. But the mango pieces were delicious. So… 5/10, wouldn’t visit again but satisfied with mangos.  Now I want mangos.

We did eat outside, though, surrounded by kinda-cool art figures made of old tires. That’s when we started making our way to the planetarium, but decided that we would make a brief stop at the Art museum. We’ve checked the prices before and knew that our temple-funding wallets can’t afford it, but decided to check once more just to make sure. We sat on the art museum steps and I felt very Gossip Girl. Turns out, we could get a student discount and it would be like funding half a temple!! FORGET THE PLANETARIUM!!!!! Having forgotten all about the planetarium and the temple (not really) we made a final decision about the art museum. Before totally committing to it though, we made a stroll down Lake Michigan, almost making it to Navy Pier… before the sidewalk quite literally ended. We headed back to the art museum.

This is when my feet started to give out. I recently got new sneakers … but they are the Michael Kors kind. The kind you wear around the city when you want to pretend that you’re sporty … but not the kind you wear when you plan on walking 14 miles. Still, props to MK — I made it FAR in those shoes and they’re cute. Anywho, the Art museum was PHENOMENAL. We didn’t have much time and definitely didn’t cover even probably 20% of it, but it really is one of the best art museums out there. 10/10 recommend.

After being kicked out of the art museum at closing time, it was time to check-in to our hotel. Half of that adventure was trying to find a parking garage and driving in circles around Chicago while we do that. Driving in Chicago is absolutely terrifying, but I get it. People have places to be and only the aggressive ones get there. Makes sense to me. Fun Fact: parking in a garage takes as many funds as it does to fund a temple.

When we finally found a garage and parked, we checked in to the hotel which proved to be the easiest thing we’ve done all day. It was quick and in less than 30 seconds we were on the fastest elevator in the world traveling to the 5th floor (How fast? I didn’t even have time to press the record button on my camera before we got to the fifth floor. Sorcery). Our hotel room was surprisingly nice — spacious and clean, with a Keurig nook (essentials). The view was absolutely amazing as well — bustling downtown Chicago. I’m totally kidding. It was a view of the fire escape and other people’s office windows. But considering we spent minimum time there, we didn’t really care. It was nice to put our feet up on the bed for a hot minute while we searched for dinner options. My feet probably would’ve left me to die in the parking garage if we didn’t rest for a bit. D searched for dinner options while I imported all of my photos, focusing more on that than on her ( shh, don’t tell her). Luckily, she picked a hibachi place without my help. We went to Flattop Grill for dinner which proved to be one of the better decisions of that day (looking at you, temple). It was one of those places where you put your choice of veggies in a bowl and they cook it for you on a … well, a flat top grill. I got lotsa veggies and a much needed (debatable?) margarita. I was hoping it would numb my feet, to be honest, but all it really did was cloud my vision a bit. I turned on my blonde and flirted with our super friendly waiter and I’m pretty sure the margarita was on the house. Again, don’t tell D. It was a lot of food, but having barely eaten all day, I inhaled the whole thing. I’d go back if I could — 10/10.

After dinner we sped walked back to the hotel, seeing as it was drizzling and had one more thing to do before we called it a day. We were soaked and cold and tired by the time we got home, but we had a second city comedy show to go to at 11pm. By the time it was time to go, we ordered an Uber and made it there with time to spare. The show was hilarious. It was an “OKCupid experiment” show and I haven’t laughed like that in a while. It was good and much needed. The actors were super, each and every one of them.   I loved their humor and there were even times when you could tell that they messed up a little and the cool part was that there was so much team work and they all helped each other out. I always say to people that if all else fails then i’m going into comedy (because I honestly am hilarious), but I do have to say that I don’t think I could do what they do. There was an afterparty after the show where you could meet the actors and I really wish we would’ve stayed to say hello and maybe even for a photo, I think I had a little crush on the Canadian actor … and I’d tell you his name if my program was close by. The show definitely woke me up (literally and figuratively) and made me wish I was in a more stable position in life, ha ha ha.

By 2am we made it home. After enduring a kinda-creepy Uber ride and making a pit stop by trump tower to see the river,  we walked home through a dead Chicago (where did all the people go?). I set an alarm for 8am and dissolved into our cloud of a bed.

 

 

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Matcha Latte. Best.

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Such a beautiful city. Can’t get over the water color.

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Miss it for everything that it is.

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Art Museum steps 🙂

 

 

Destination Chicago: Travel Day 1

9:05 AM

Good Morning everyone. I’m not gonna lie to you, this wasn’t the plan. My alarm was set for 7am and I was going to get up and finish the pile of work I still have to do before relaxing this weekend. That didn’t happen. Not really, anyway. I woke up with a throbbing headache, to which I threw my phone across the room, groaned, and decided that I’ll wake up when I wake up (that’s the headache talking…), and well, here we are. I’m making coffee (in hopes it’s a caffeine headache?) and decided to write a little something something while I’m at it. Oy. Just thinking about driving close to 5 hours makes me a little nauseous today.

SHOOT. My coffee just ran. What? Well, I have one of those old turkish coffee makers (look em up, they’re cool!) but you have to watch them carefully or your coffee escapes and overflows. And that usually happens to me, so no surprises there. It’s just really annoying.

Also, to add to annoying factors: The weather in Cincinnati? beautiful. Sunny. Birds are out. The weather in Chicago? RAINY, COLD, WINDY, GREY, GLOOMY. Ugh.

But anyway. It’s probably time to get moving. I’ll let you know how the rest of the day goes. If it’s anything like it is now … keep me in your thoughts.

 

4:48pm

Well, greetings, I have arrived to the wonderful city of South Bend. I’m slightly kidding but I also didn’t know it was as large as it is until I spent 30 minutes driving through it and its roundabouts. How am I feeling? Like the ride was short, like I still have some work hanging over my shoulders, and that i’m slightly hungry. My stomach is reminding me that it’s that time. And considering i’ve had Sun Chips today …. yeah… and I’m an adult. Plans for today? Not sure, but hoping to feed this little one. All I know is that we are embarking on our adventures tomorrow early in the morning, so I will catch you all on the flip side tomorrow morning!!!

LATAH GATORS 🙂

Destination: CHIcago!

Hi Friends!

It’s been long since i’ve blogged, and I realize that that’s how I start every post… that’s my bad. Life’s been kind of a rollercoaster (as it always is…) but I *think I’m back now so…

You know, I should just get to the point.

I like blogging about my travels and adventures, and I think people like that too so I’ve decided to blog about my next adventure!

This coming weekend I’m taking one of my friends and we’re going on a weekend trip to Chicago! Well, it’s more of like a one day trip, but I’m going to make sure we pack AS MANY FUN activities as we can!

I was just about to say I’m not much of a planner when it comes to these things, but that’s a lie. I already know more about Chicago coffee shops than the average local, probably. SO, i’m not saying that i’ve done my research…. but i’ve done my research AND I’M EXCITED.

I will be leaving on Thursday, spending Friday there (Catch blog then!), some of Saturday (more blogging woo!) and then leaving that evening.

If you saw me right now you’d mistake me for the energizer bunny.

I know it’s only Monday. But. THURSDAY HERE I COME.

See ya later guys 🙂

come join the fun.

Miami Day 1: We’ve Made It!

Greetings Friends!!!

After two days of driving with fun pitstops in North Carolina and St. Augustine , Florida, we have made it to our final destination of Miami! Woot Woot! It has been QUITE the day. We came in around noon and went straight to Key Biscayne (our hotel wasn’t allowing us to check in until 4 anyway, it’s cool it’s cool). key Biscayne is pretty neat. It has clean, white sand beaches and the parks there are well maintained. They also have iguanas and peacocks just chilling, so that’s pretty sweet too. We tried to catch an iguana but they’re surprisingly shy for being around so many people. (Totally kidding about the catching part, by the way. Well kind of). Also a fun fact: the first Miami zoo was there, that’s why the iguanas are still around. Don’t quote me on that, though.

What I DO know is that a lot of tennis stars practice there, so I was secretly watching out for someone like Djokovic, he’s been posting a lot of pictures with palm trees and unless he’s in Spain… hehe, okay enough.

It was surprisingly chilly here today. And when I say chilly I mean a 79 degrees. But the wind was cold, I was wearing a jacket the whole time. Woo, tan here I come. We spent quite some time there and then by 3 we were at our favorite Thai place there, Origin. It might actually be the only food place there, we’re not sure.

After, we checked into our hotel, got settled, and went on a walk around the beach. Because it gets dark around 5, the sun was already setting and by the time we got back it was totally dark.

* My mom just informed me that the walls are super thin and she thinks our neighbors are Russian* . Cool, mom.

Tomorrow I have to be up at 4 — we are catching an 8am ferry to the BAHAMAS, so it’s probably bed time soon. Adios amigos! Here are some photos from today! 🙂

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If you’re a bird I’m a bird. I think I have a thing for birds.

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Pretty beaches.

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“Don’t get hit by a coconut” — My dad

Travel Diaries: A New Segment!

Hello Friends!!

‘Tis the start of the holiday season and I am FEELING it. It’s time to close the super weird chapter of 2016 and welcome in 2017 with warm, loving arms. This year, as with every year, the fam and I are going on a little trip to Miami! I’m not going *alone this time so maybe it won’t be as exciting to document, but I’ll try to get everyday as best as I can!

I am super excited! Not only are we going to Miami, but we are spending Christmas in NC and then adventuring to the BAHAMAS! Okay, so maybe there will be something to write about 🙂

Stick along, it’ll be fun, see ya later gators :).

 

Unplug.

Hi friends.

Looking back on the past few months, I’m realizing that I am in a downward spiral. I have been crashing and burning emotionally and in everything that I do, and the coming winter months aren’t helping with that. Let’s backup and reflect on what’s happening in my life.

I have been in the job search since June. It’s December 1st. That alone, I think, can send someone down in a fiery pit of depression. Rejection and “no thank you’s” are coming from every direction and it feels like being punched in the stomach, except with every “no” you get weaker and weaker. Not only that, but now that I have moved away from home (with my parents helping me, thank god for them), there’s an added pressure and sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating. There have been days where I’ve stopped eating because I’m stressed and all I can do is worry. Sounds healthy, right.

Speaking of not eating and being healthy, the one good relationship that I had (which wasn’t even a relationship, I don’t know what to call it) ended a couple of months ago. And for some reason I still hurt from that and with no job and nothing going on, it’s hard to get distracted. And it’s hard when the only person you really used to talk to, stops talking to you. But anyway, this should be the least of my worries (it’s not).

But it’s time to unplug for a little bit. And get my life together. It’s been time.

Today I went for a run outside and the wind was so cold against my face that I had tears coming down (from the wind), but then the tears turned into real tears and I sat in the park and just cried to myself. I could feel myself getting sick. Today’s the first real cold day here. And that’s when my phone died. It just died. It was at 75% percent battery and it died and wouldn’t turn back on. Take it as you will, but I took that as the biggest sign of all. So I sat on the cold ground at the park, with my headphones still in, and cried. And then I came home and it’s been an hour since my phone has been off. I don’t know how long I can go without it because it is important for life, but my goal is to turn in back on around 6. In 5 hours. Time to unplug from the world and focus on myself.

In reality, there’s a lot to be thankful for. A lot. My parents, the roof above my head, the opportunities I have (and need to find and take), and my best friends who happen to be my neighbors and have been there for me through the thick and thin. Everything is okay, and could be a lot worse. It doesn’t feel that way, but I have to believe that, or I might actually spiral down and crash and burn. And we don’t need that.

If you’ve stuck around thus far, thanks for listening to me rant. It was much needed.

Unplug for a bit. I’ll let you know if it works. But I hear it should.

-Anna

Travel Diaries:Sunrises & Bamboo Sharks

 

 

Day 2: October 6th, 2016

I never win with sunrises. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actual sunrise from start to finish — something always goes awry. Today, I once again with a determined mind got up at 5:30 in the morning to catch the sunrise.I showered, made coffee, and got ready for the day. I was ready. I strolled downstairs, passed some sleepy hotel guests that were unwillingly up for breakfast, and hopped into my stallion of a car and headed to the beach. The beach is actually really close to my hotel, so naturally, I was really early. I always am. For everything. I take it as a good thing, not something we want to change. There were a couple other people on the beach; mostly photographers and tired people walking their enthusiastic about life dogs. Thank goodness I had coffee — it was surprisingly chilly and it was the only thing keeping me relatively warm (and awake).

But guess what. After all of that preparation and determination, it was cloudy. Like “there’s a hurricane coming” cloudy. So guess who didn’t see the sun? This determined bunny. Well, can’t say I didn’t try. Maybe next time.  *Covers eyes with hand*. Every. Time.

Later, I planned going to the Aquarium of North Carolina at Fort Fisher. So, after coming home and getting more coffee (cup 2), and lounging for a bit, I made the drive to the aquarium. The drive, being only 20 miles, took 40 min because of the incredibly slow speed limit. Still, the drive was nice, as it’s pretty much going along the water. The aquarium was more quaint than I thought it would be, charming. In other words it was small. Maybe I’m just spoiled and have been to a lot of aquariums. There’s that possibility as well. The display was what you would see at any other aquarium so it wasn’t that special, but I do have to say the staff was really nice. There were a couple of exhibits where you could touch whatever was in the tank and everyone was really excited to tell you about what you’re touching (which is always nice). I was instantly intrigued by the bamboo shark exhibit and stood there for a good while, while the exhibit director kept telling me things about the shark (I was interested but also just nervous). By the time he was done telling me about this shark, I knew so much about it that it only felt right to feel it. And also I felt like he really wanted me too (and okay, there was a elementary school field trip and if a 8 year old can do it, so can I). So thank you, nice man, I don’t think I would’ve gotten over that fear soon if it wasn’t for you. So that was nice. I also bought a magnet there which happened to be the only thing I brought back from this vacation, so yay for that too.

That adventure in itself made me really tired when I got back to the hotel. I had more coffee (cup 3) and lunch (easy mac n cheese because that’s the only food-like thing they had at the hotel convenience store), and lounged around for a much longer time than expected. Okay, Netflix pulled me in, yes. The lack of sunrise made me tired. And also I think I’m immune to coffee.

Later that day I figured that if I was going to lounge, then I might as well lounge on the beach. It was really nice that day, you would’ve never guessed that a hurricane was coming. Sunshine, birds, surfers battling “gnarly waves”. It was good.

It’s important to take time for yourself. It’s important to listen to YOU. Sometimes, a couple hours on the beach is really all you need. All you need to realize that everything is going to be okay. That you’re going to be okay. Sure, the pretty pictures on Pinterest and google about people finding themselves in 2 days seem realistic, but they’re not. Although I feel like more relaxed and with myself, i’ve been thrown into real life once more. But that’s okay, because you always get through that too. In time, whatever you’re going to, whatever makes you run away miles from home, will be okay.

Would I travel by myself again? Sure. I’d make smarter choices in the respect that I wouldn’t walk alone at night, but we all make mistakes. We all learn. That is the point of life.

love, Anna.

Some pictures:

 

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Morning of the sunrise… yay coffee!

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Favorite aquarium photo

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This dog might be my spirit animal 🙂

 

Travel Diaries: 96% Humidity

Hi Friends!

I have made it safe and sound (and with a good dose of adventure) to Wilmington, North Carolina!

It’s kind of strange being here alone, i’m going to be honest with you. Makes you think a lot about … everything, really. The weather, what you’re going to have for lunch, who you want to be in life. You know. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I *think that there are definitely more positives then negatives. I think. You have to make sure you don’t get lonely.

What I can tell you for sure is that there IS a hurricane coming. And the ocean showed me. I went to Wrightsville Beach and was the only one there. Is it not beach season? I don’t know, but I liked having the beach to myself. Not sure how big the waves usually get there, but the ocean was not a happy camper today. But it was also beautiful. There’s something so peaceful and religious about the water. If it wasn’t for the dumb parking prices I would have stayed there all day.

I couldn’t though, so I went to a second beach, Kure beach. A lot of people say it’s more private and less “tourist-y”, but I thought it felt smaller and had way too many fishermen for my liking. Not that there’s anything wrong with fishermen, but there was literally no one on the other beach. But still it’s a beach, it was great. The waves picked up even more than that morning.

After the two beach trips, I decided to check out downtown. I didn’t make it too far because I suddenly felt the need to nap (and I DON’T nap), so I went back to the hotel. Hoping to be back downtown later tonight after I check out the sunset (hopefully it’s not too cloudy).

~Later~

The beach in the evening was fabulous! The sky cleared up and the weather was great! … Except that the sun doesn’t set on that side. Oops, what a smart cookie I am. Buuuut,  a lot more surfer boys than expected … and they were all really excited about the huge waves from the coming hurricane, which was cool to see too. Some people are just so passionate. So I guess it’s always beach season, since it was PACKED compared to this morning.

After the sunset, I (stupidly) decided to go (alone) to downtown. Kids, don’t do that. It’s wasn’t the “college” life I was hoping to see, it was older people and men who don’t have anything to do. So of course when people see a 22 year old girl (because I think I was the only one out, of that age) they either stare or say something OR FOLLOW YOU TO YOUR CAR AND HAVE YOU RUN STOP SIGNS IN TEARS BECAUSE YOU’RE SO SCARED. Needless to say it is not even 9 and I am home. Because people are creepy at night. Just don’t do it, lesson learned. [I thought I was being all independent alpha lion girl, but nah, not worth it].

All in all though, I had a very successful first day! Very fun and beautiful city. Wherever there’s a beach, life is good. : )

Tomorrow I’m hoping to go to the aquarium and maybe take a boat tour? And also explore downtown during the day….

It’s time to relax. Until next time!

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This morning…

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Being alone on the beach gives me the opportunity to shamelessly use my selfie stick… Just kidding. (I’m not kidding).

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Pretty sure we were the only ones there 🙂

Travel Diaries: Traveling Solo

Calling all world travelers!

Hi all! This next set of entries will be (hopefully, you know how I am with keeping on track) coming to you live from my next travel adventure — me traveling to the beautiful North Carolina beaches!

There’s a lot going on here. And a lot of it is very strange, so let me back up.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little couped up at home. I’ve been feeling a rush of energy and nowhere to put it into. You might say that the normal person would just take a kickboxing class. And you’d be right. But I need change. I need romance. I need ocean-water. With Fall strolling in, this is the perfect time to do something differently. [Change is all around, so BE the change]. That’s pretty motivational, if I do say so myself.

So, starting this coming Monday, October 3rd, I will be en route to paradise.

Why North Carolina? Good question, easy answer. When you live in the middle of corn fields, this happens to be the closest (beautiful, warm) beach. Unless you’re counting the great lakes, but it’s October and freakishly cold. I need at least a little bit of sunshine. North Carolina also happens to have a lot to offer. Like cheap hotels in the middle of the week in October. You’d be surprised. But if I’m being TRULY honest… It’s where every Nicholas Sparks novel is set. Yes, you caught me. Sue me, but I want to emerge myself into the novel literally and figuratively. It’s like visiting Key West if you’re a Hemingway fan (me, me, me!) — same thing.

Why solo travel? Yet another good question, not so easy of an answer. Honestly, I don’t know. While I am a walking planner and I love to have a 5-year plan, I also make irrational crazy decisions like this once in a while. And then I book a non-refundable hotel, so really there’s no going back. Crazy decisions aside though, I think everyone should solo travel at least once in their life. I’m not saying you should randomly leave your family and say “adios amigos, will be back in a month, en route to Mexico” but when the weather has got you feeling moody and your job search is going nowhere, go. Experience the world. Because the world is a lot bigger than your kitchen island. I also think solo travel gives you the “Me-time” that you need and can also be almost a religious experience. Sometimes you need to be alone and sit on the beach. Read a book. Start a novel. Talk to some locals. Drink some wine. You know. Plus you can do what YOU want to do. Maybe it sounds crazy. Maybe it sounds like an easy way to get kidnapped. But right now it sounds like the right thing. We all need to relax sometimes.

Right, I got a little off track there, but this weekend will be spent planning my week in North Carolina, so be sure to follow this adventure.  It’s going to be great! (I mean, if you want to. Hehe).

Adios amigos see you next week! 😉

Daily Prompt: Panic

via Daily Prompt: Panic

Panic: a word I have become too familiar with. I’m not sure when I became afraid of everything, but I was recently reminded of this on a train ride to Chicago. Going for a job interview, a friend suggested that I take the train instead of driving to avoid traffic. It seemed like a good idea … until I sat down. I felt like a cat being thrown into water. I cringed a every shake and I jumped at every bump. I kept telling myself that trains are made to shake. Just like bridges, I think. I also made the mistake of sitting by the exit seat — which isn’t by a window. There was also a little girl, about 8 years old, that kept yelling “wheeeeee! faster train, faster!!!!!!”. *Cue stone cold stare*. And then my Snapchat speed filter told me we were going at 86mph… I’m not an engineer, but I’m not sure whether small old trains such as the one I was in are supposed to go that fast. I don’t drive that fast.

The thing is, I like to be in control of everything and nothing about that ride felt controlled (by me). Growing up in a big city, I was constantly on all sorts of transportation and I lOVED trains. So when did that change? When did I become so protective of myself?

Panic also comes in a lot of different forms. The fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, fear of failing. But the thing is, why fear? Why fear when sometime, somehow everything will work out and be okay. You have to believe in the future and believe in yourself and your strengths. Panic is just a major setback in looking forward. It’s time to stop looking back and start living in the moment (while planning for the future). DREAMS DEMAND HUSTLE. And occasionally have some bumps in the road. But nothing we can’t handle, right? [I should write motivational posters].

Cheers!

 

Life: An Update (Or, a downward spiral)

Heelloo:)

I haven’t written in a while. Don’t know why, there’s no excuse really. I’ve been sitting at home for the past few months so I could’ve written a novel by now. Shame.

What have I been up to? Well, Summer came and went, job interviews came and went and now it’s Fall. Fall has always been a “new beginning”, now it’s just more reminders that I’m still at home. Everyone is off and doing something and I am beginning to go a little crazy, especially with my parents breathing down my neck around every corner.

I need a job. I need to move. I’ll take mostly anything at this point. I can’t sit at home any longer and pretend i’m enjoying myself while reading (since that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of months).

Basically, this is my cry for help.

To Start Again

A kiss on the cheek from both parents and a wave goodbye as you sit down in your car to go three hours south of home for eight weeks leads to a tearful journey. You’d think that after four years of college, it would get easier. And yet again, today I couldn’t see the road because my eyes were filling with an ocean of tears. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child and my parents smother me with love, but leaving home gets harder and harder every time.

It’s always weird adjusting from six weeks of home. Being in THIS cold empty house isn’t the same. As much as I love living with my roommates, home has a sense of security; this house… not so much.

Still, people need to leave their nests eventually and this is just a subtle preparation for the future. Oh how that scares me.

It’s time to start again, time to dig into the ocean of knowledge

let’s see how this goes. (Stay optimistic, stay optimistic, stay optimistic).

A Lesson: Runner’s Mistake

If you’re someone that’s been following my running journey, then you know I haven’t been running for long. In fact, this is the first time I’ve decided to run at all and have successfully gotten to 4 miles, in less than a month. How did I do that? By going to the gym everyday and running for as long as I could. (Talk about dedication – I’ve never seen something like this from myself). Yesterday, that didn’t go so well.

Mile 1 went as smoothly as ever, actually feeling like it flew by. Mile 2 was a bit slower, but for me that was expected, so I kept going. By mile 3, my knee felt weird. It felt loose and gooey, like jello. I thought this was strange but still, I kept going. Note: I’m very competitive by nature so if I have a goal I HAVE to finish it. By the time I was approaching the end, my knee felt VERY jello-y and I had to walk, or limp, the rest of the mile.

Walking to the car was another story, with me using essentially one leg to walk.

At home, it was almost back to normal but the sting of occasional pain/ gooeyness was still there.

One day later, it aches. It definitely still aches and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to run today.

The lesson learned? Don’t go for the whole pie at once. Go for a slice at a time. It tastes better that way. But in running terms, set small, achievable goals at first. Going for that big finish right away leads to burnout and energy, and just hating the thing altogether. Don’t learn it the hard way.

So yeah, stay tuned for more running tidbits and my failures that you can learn from 🙂

Life: Coming Soon

Figuring out what to do with life is HARD. It seems as if everyone is getting everything together and finding jobs left and right. Then they ask me what I want to do and they assume, with me being a psych major, that i’m going to grad school. When I reply with “nah, I don’t really want to”, they look at me with…shock? Or is it pity? Sometimes I really can’t tell. They say, “really? … then what are you going to do? Isn’t that all you can do with a psych major?” That’s when my nervous laugh comes out.

Well, friends. You see, I don’t know if I like my major for what it is. (I know, scoff at me). I don’t want to learn more about the cognitive ability of humans and do research on it for years and years and write 50 page papers. If I can’t read them, I sure as hell can’t write them. SO WHAT, are you going TO DO, Anna??

We don’t know. If we’re being honest, i’m more about the artsy creative life, so what does that mean for me? Does that mean that I can’t DO anything artsy just because I have no experience in it? WRONG. (Or so I like to tell myself to calm down). Yeah.

These are the questions that keep me up at night, if anyone’s wondering. Help me.

Hopefully we figure this out soon. It’s time to move on.

How (NOT) to Wake Up Angry

I must admit that I have rough mornings. But I’m also a morning person… funny how that works, right? One thing I know for sure is that if I sleep in a minute after 10:30, my whole day will be ruined: I’m bound to wake up with a headache and make everyone in a ten mile radius of me feel the same way. Then, however, there’s the dilemma of today. I woke up at 8:30am, as planned, but something just didn’t feel right. Surrounding voices were just a little too loud and my cat “meowed” for a little too long. But then I realized how much my happiness (or lack of) influences the mood of others. And we don’t want others to feel my misery. So, I took a deep breath and focused on the things that make me happy in the mornings, and I decided to make a list. List’s are fun, lets go!

1.Actually get enough sleep.

I know I said that I like to wake up early, but I definitely do not like to wake up at 8am if I went to bed at 3am. Get your 7, or preferably, 8 hours of sleep and you’re golden. There really is a fine line.

2. Wake up with the sun.

Or at least when the sun is already out. Sunshine makes world go round and there’s no reason to be up before the sun is. (Okay okay all you sunrise enthusiasts, calm down, sometimes it is nice to be up before then, but not on a day-to-day basis).

3. Think about what gets you excited in the morning.

Whether it’s your cup of coffee about to be brewed or daily bagel ready to be eaten, something should get you up and moving in a happy dance.

4. Wash off your negativity.

Last but not least, if you’re feeling groggy and not in the mood, hop into the shower. We don’t need that negativity in our lives, wash it off!

Well, four seems like a good number to start at! Following these steps made me into a better person this morning, however the coffee seems to be running low… be right back.

Alrighty, my earlybirds, how do you get the worm? What makes YOU tick in the morning?? Feel free to comment and share your secret 🙂

 

Beginning a Runner’s Journey

If you told me 6 weeks ago that by January 20th of 2016 I would be able to run a mile (if not 4), I’d just stare at you with a blank expression, with a few “ha-ha’s” thrown in there. I’ve always been sporty, but not a runner. I’ve played soccer, tennis, and took swimming lessons, but I could never EVER run a mile. I know, I don’t understand it either. I’ve always been athletic but even if you told me that I would be going on a cruise to Barbados after successfully running a mile, I would probably still fall down out of breath at a quarter of a mile and tell you to leave me there.

I don’t know what started my gym rat obsession. Maybe it was the boredom of a six week break, maybe it was the subconscious will to finally get in shape, but whatever it was – it has been surprising me more and more as each day goes on. I’ve been going to the gym everyday for the past 2 and a half weeks now, never skipping a day. Everyday I run. I feel like a little hamster in an exercise ball. But still, I run. Yesterday, I made it to 4 miles. 4 MILES. What?? With the power of the treadmill and Pitbull (and covering up the “distance” display) I made it to 4 miles.

Everyday it’s a different feeling of accomplishment. Everyday I feel GREAT. One reason for posting this is to remind myself of how amazing it is to feel like this. To be able to do something that you’ve never done before. I can feel myself getting fitter and healthier, and I LOVE IT. Another reason for posting this is to show that anyone can run. It just takes patience and motivation. And most importantly, belief in yourself. The belief that you CAN. Because I can. And if I can, well… Yeah. Not a runner, guys, not a runner.

 

Now get out there! Go go!

Crawling Out of Your Shell

If you ask anyone close to me, you’ll quickly learn that I am one of those people that doesn’t like to be out of their comfort zone. Although I do claim to like “adventure” and quick, “out-of -the-blue” decisions, there is a fine line that I straddle when it comes to things that require me to leave my safety nest. I love being at home — I love the feeling that safety brings along with it. However, starting my last semester of college in less than a week brings rapid unease. It’s not that I’m not excited – believe me, I do want to move to a new and exciting city and start my first ever real job, and have some real independence — it’s the process of getting there. Graduating, finding a job, moving on to real- life adulting, seems a little far-fetched as of now. Of course, in less than a week this is going to feel as real as it gets. And don’t get me started on May. God.

I learned some things over this 6 week break (and over life) that could come in handy in self-motivation. Whenever you try something new, no matter how scared you are, you actually end up really liking it. Everyone has to do it, everyone has to jump out of their nest, and it’s almost my turn. Life is about to happen  — stay tuned.

 

 

THIS Awkward Encounter

Well this is weird. What is blogging, anyway? This feels like one of those encounters in Walmart when you see someone you haven’t seen in 4 years and have that awkward conversation that everyone loves. “Hi how are you? good? good. Me? yeah, same. Okay. Cool. See ya later”. *Repeat 4 years later*

Is there like a way I could *not blog only once every year? Get ON it, Anna. Ugh, I’ll try. I’ll put an “X” on my hand and then forget what it means ten seconds later.

So, how have you been, world? Well that’s good. Me? Ah, you know, just listening to Tswift on repeat. (I wish I was kidding). And procrastinating. It’s also Thursday though, so I’m pretty much checked out for this week. In other news, I have entered my senior year of college (lol).

How do I adult.

I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, and I kind of have to know at this point. HELP. Ugh. People are doing such big things. I have a friend working for APPLE. Casually went to China today. It’s fine, I’m not mad.

Okay, well, i’ll start blogging and make this a WEEKLY thing. (lololololololololol says the procrastinator in me.) (HEY, stop that.)

Alright, good luck with today and the rest of this week!!

-Anna

Some Serious Blueees

Well this is a first post in a while, which should be a happy thing, but get ready for some serious blues. I am welcoming MARCH in an hour so let me get all of my winter sadness out before we can embrace the new and exciting! This weekend, I realized just how much I depend on people. Both of my roommates went away for a couple of days, leaving me all alone in this apartment that has never seemed bigger. Instead of, you know, taking a walk or doing something for myself, I just felt restless the whole day. I felt trapped in a box. This is NOT the way to do it. (**side note** it’s also incredibly cold out).

After calling my best friend from home – and complaining about not knowing what to do – she called me needy. Needy.

Wow you’re so needy” she said.  “Which is weird, because you’re kind of an introvert. I don’t get you” 

 And maybe sometimes we need to hear that hard, cold truth. But yesterday was not the day to hear it.

So what did I do today? I cleaned. Scrubbed the whole apartment from head to toe like some Ukrainian Scrub Woman. I walked around (the living room). Called my mom. Called my roommates. Called my mom again. Ate some ice cream.

But you know what? This is kind of pathetic. I have NO reason to be sad! I have no reason to feel like I’m alone. *Cue happy thoughts now*

Tomorrow is a new day AND a new month – where is the time going?! It is almost MARCH, which means SPRING, which means WARMTH – some of my favorite things. It also means that it’s time to start being productive and getting on top things. So let’s do this guys. Let’s seize the month. BECAUSE IT SUCKS TO BE SAD I DON’T LIKE THIS I HATE IT I DON’T LIKE BEING SAD BLAH.

Okay everyone, have a good night, cheers to all the good things and happy thoughts 🙂

-Anna

From Juicing to … Disaster

You know those horror stories about something going terribly wrong before the first day of school? Someone chipping their tooth (that actually happened to a girl in my dorm freshman year, it was an actual “LOL” moment) or breaking their nose right before they have to enter the jungle of judging teenagers? Well, this isn’t a story about that, but it falls under the same category: Major (Un)Avoidable Disaster.

IMG_2117I already know I’m making too big of a deal about this so put down your guns before I even start talking. Let me give you the back story of this first:

For Christmas this year, I got my parents a juicer. (Woo! Best daughter award!!!!) Nice , right? You would think that good karma would be on my side and everything would be alright, if not better. Well, we’ve been juicing for a while now, everything from apples to oranges to Kale. Yes, Kale. And yes with a capital K because Kale. Because power of life.

I’m Rambling.

The juicing process went beautifully. I recommend trying it to everyone. Makes you feel alive, makes you feel fresh. Like the juice! (I’m so weird, moving on).

Sunday, I move back in to college. TODAY after drinking a glass of apple and carrot juice (featured on the left (beautiful, isn’t it?)) my BODY decided to react to the juice. So my face and body had an allergic reaction, let me repeat: TODAY, to the carrots. Best part, is that it’s not going away, meaning that all 20,000 people that are going to see me on Monday are going to soak in my beautiful-ness.

I’m kidding, it’s not that big of a deal and I don’t really care what people think..  (Who are we kidding, everyone cares about what people think (ESPECIALLY ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS) and I’m praying to ALL the Gods that this bastard goes away before Monday).

I just think it’s IRONIC that the day would be TODAY after this whole juicing period of time. Funny how things work out for the best.   

Moral of the story: be careful when juicing. Don’t drink too much. Because no sane person can “eat” 7 carrots in ONE sitting. Don’t do it.

Lol, happy Friday everyone.

-Anna

Saying “I love You”, Making Amends

[This is a post about (me) making amends ]

It’s important to tell people how you feel. We often forget to tell the people closest to us a simple “i love you”…

… probably because it’s not that simple.

Today I realized that in THIS sense, I’m a horrible person. Example A, I have never told my parents that I love them, because I can’t say those three little words a loud. Sure, I’ve told other people, but not them. It’s weird, it just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Obviously, they know, but it would probably be nice to just say it once in a while. This is my mission for the week. Plus I’m curious to see how they would respond. In all honesty they would probably assume that something really bad happened.

Also, since my day one (almost literally) I have had my primary best friend. That sounds really weird, but our parents met at a playground and we have called each other our second halves since then. However then I moved over seas when I was 7 and we kind of lost contact. We would call each other maybe once a month and occasionally send a letter. As we got older, though, staying in touch became harder since we both started doing our own things. My parents were all about that school life and her parents were all about that modeling life (cultural differences, man). I would see her once a year for a day in the summer – that’s all we got. With the rise of technology, it was a little easier to drop in a few words here and there, but it was still hard since seeing someone once a year isn’t exactly how you stay close. Well last year (2014) I was the one who was the worst at staying in touch. I didn’t make plans to see her, so it has now been a year and a half. TODAY, it is her birthday (exactly six months after mine, let me point out #MeantToBe) and I am making amends on this beautiful day. I am reaching out and wishing her the best birthday a girl can ask for. She is the most beautiful person, inside and out, that I have met and I hope that everyone is lucky enough to have someone as amazing as her to call their best friend. We don’t see each other much, but when we do, it’s like we are 7 all over again and nothing in the world matters but us.

It’s important to tell the people close to you that you love them. Even if they know, just drop it in there, remind them. Love is a beautiful thing.

Sleep?

Good morning, everyone?

Let me tell you about this strange sensation I am feeling right now.

If you needed to know the 3 most important things about me, one of the things would be that I am a huge supporter of sleep. I can do sleep — I dig it. I am the person that falls asleep at 9 o’clock watching a movie. I am the person that looks forward to sleep. I am that (horrible) person that might not make plans with people because I don’t want to leave the house.

Yes, I might secretly be a grandmother.

I love sleep and there is nothing I would rather be doing right now than that exactly. THEREFORE, being completely awake at 3am on a Tuesday (Wednesday? How does this work) night is not my cup of tea.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

So, short story short, I am even bored of Netflix right now. Yeah. That bad.

The night definitely brings out the weird.

Goodnight everyone, sweet dreams. [Lets hope]

-Anna

New Year, Old You?

Hiya fellow bloggers!

We just got through a week (or a little more… shh) of the New Year! And because I haven’t been here in a while, cheers! Happy 2015! Hope this year brings only the good things, with lots of love, laughs, and life! (How original, I know). But I do wish you all the best 🙂

Crazy how fast time flies! I mean, I can’t believe it’s not butter  it!

Me being ME I’ve already broken some of my new year resolutions. This was expected. Which is exactly why I’ve made a revised list that should be easier to follow. [Yeah, okay. Don’t be fooled].

1. Be Shakira. Okay, okay – metaphorically. Be bubbling with spunk and creativity.  [She’s my spirit animal, it’s fine].

2. Try to be healthy. Try not to eat that chocolate bar at 11pm, kay champ? Maybe run sometimes. Or have a dance party … that counts as exercise, right?

3. Don’t be the president of procrasti-nation. Please. Read a book.

4. Wake up earlier. It’s worth it, it’s worth it, it’s worth it. (I promise).

5. Netflix is not your friend. Don’t listen when it tells you that it misses you.

6. Clean your room.

7. Blog more. [No comment necessary].

8. And last but not least, be a people person. *Shudder shudder*

Well, that should keep me occupied for the next week (L – O – L) and maybe I’ll actually go back and check on this list once in a while to keep reminding me of the good person buried somewhere deep, deep inside of me.

Once again I hope you all have had a fabulous start to the year and i’ll see you soon!

Happy Green Goats,

-Anna