Lessons on the Road

Hello . . . it’s me.

I’ve been doing quite the amount of traveling these past few months. As I reflect back, each destination has instilled valuable lessons in me. I’ve endured an insightful combination of rewarding, inspiring, and straight up tough times. With each, I was inevitably led to just move forward / “back to reality.”

Austin, TX | Vanderpool, TX 

Reason for departure: Austin exploring + Camp No Counselors Austin

I actually left for this trip to hang out with a huge group of fellow Camp No Counselors loyalists – many of which I had never met. I wanted to see Austin and that beautiful camp and went for it. I almost switched trips out of uncertainty, but am so glad I didn’t.

I was a returning camper who knew camp was a no worries zone – but I had some. I conquered my very first stand up show *win* at the talent show, but almost missed my second one.

I say that because I busted a hole in my ear drum. Yep. Turns out there are much better ways to land a blob fly than on your ear. All I remember is coming up from the water and everything spinning, shouting for help realizing I was drowning. ~vertigo~

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Before the “landing”

All worked out when a stud country singer came to my rescue. I thought I had lost hearing in my right ear. I was in tears after a trip to the EMT and waking up from a nap still in pain.

I’m so thankful nothing long term happened. I went to an Austin ENT who cleared me to fly but see a Boston ENT asap. After 3 check ups, I’m fully healed outside of being encouraged to not scuba dive or skydive for a few months (you got it, doc).

Last year I had some hypochondria issues I worked through, and I’m so proud of the way I continued to enjoy my time at camp and move on. Even when the Boston ENT told me “the hole is in the worst spot.”

Lesson learned: land in a cannon ball next time. Already signed up for my next camp!

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When I made it to the top of the hike with extreme ear pain

Boynton Beach, FL

Reason for departure: Father’s Day Weekend

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I actually intended for this to be a surprise to my dad. Even though it spilled, I’m so glad I made this trip. I’m honestly so thankful to have such a loving family, and these little holidays mean the world to me; even though every day is Father’s Day.

This one is short and sweet because words can never express how thankful I am for every single day that I get to see my family. I also had the feels of being in a new home, since they just sold my OG home.

I was interested to find easy acceptance that this change is a part of all of us growing up.

Washington D.C. 

Reason for departure: AOII Convention, client meetings, forever friends

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All worked out for an awesome 4th of July weekend which started with my very first Alpha Omicron Pi Convention mixed with client meetings in between! I hadn’t been to D.C. since 8th grade, and I got to go back as someone my 8th grade self wouldn’t have imagined being “10 years from now.” I recently accepted the role of AOII Boston Alumnae President, and was honored to represent.

 

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From 2007 MacBook to 2017 Snapchat filters

I refueled my passion for this lifetime commitment and loyalty. I loved seeing my USF mentors and those leading my collegiate chapter now. Oh, and REAL-LIFE PANDAS. I also spent the weekend with friends I’ve had since ~ middle school ~ which I’m so thankful to have kept – these people really get me. Oh, and they let me be a real tourist. This whole weekend can be summed up by one important value: friendship. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City 

Reason for departure: Her Conference 2017

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My 5th #HerConference – win! I’ve grown so loyal to the incredible company I work for, and it was amazing to see Her Conference grow twice the size this year. This conference is always a clear indicator of why Her Campus exists. Our attendees are so loyal and passionate about Her Campus and I’m thankful I’ve experienced this on the campus level and at a professional level.

+ AND saw Waitress on broadway! Living.

 

 

Martha’s Vineyard 

Reason for departure: A weekend getaway . . .

Save the *most dramatic finale* ever for the end.

So, I was casually-exclusively-dating-but-not-in-a-relationship with someone for the past two months.

He had a vacation planned in the Vineyard, and invited me to come along with. Sweet, I’ll take it – never been, perfect opportunity. For me, this was an opportunity to see a new place with someone I enjoyed spending time with. Not sure if that translates to me expecting a bouquet of roses on the beach, but miscommunications boiled up.

All started really well, and I am thankful I got to see such a beautiful place + stumble across The Moth (which was my first flood of tears that night ~woe is me~)

Long-story-short, the energy quickly turned and he spilled that he didn’t want to continue, among other floods of excuses and thoughts. Just a reminder here: I’M STUCK ON AN ISLAND. I usually spot red flags, and I can honestly say this caught me off guard. I caught the first bus and ferry out of there (not on my dollar) I could, after an evening of tears, frustration, and overall confusion.

To all: I honestly get it if you’re not into someone anymore. I’ll admit that no time is an easy time to say that, but after this story I’m convinced some times are clearly 1000% worse than others. I find humor in this screenshot I couldn’t resist taking —

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Taxi?

I learned that it’s really difficult to date these days (okay, actually that’s not a new lesson). To expand, it’s because I’ll think I really know someone and then I just don’t all of the sudden. For someone to become an everyday happening to literally nothing is hard for me to accept.

 

 

 

 

Everyone has their vices and I wish the best. Next time someone asks what I’m looking for, it’s just someone who is honest with me and honest with themselves. That takes time, so put yourself out there when you’re ready.

I did wait, and I will continue to put myself out there. *drops mic*

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Small Wins

Every month (actually, every day) is a new adventure when you’re 23 and adjusting to a new city + state. I am officially in my first holiday season outside of Florida, and I can certainly feel the difference . . . all I need to do is step outside *grabs big black coat.*

While I tend to look at the “big picture”, I have had many small wins this past month. Below are some that just make me seem so “twenty-something” . . . which I proudly am.

  • Holidays: Halloween + Thanksgiving

IMG_0103Cady Heron identified Halloween as the one time of year where a girl can dress like a total slut and nobody can say anything about it. I took it has the one time of year where you can convince your boyfriend to dress up like a 90s Nickelodeon character. However, I plan on finding excuses for us to wear these outfits multiple times.

For Thanksgiving, I was welcomed to Matt’s grandparent’s house in Long Island, since a trip to Florida was $700+. It was so lovely, and after a nice at-home Thanksgiving dinner, we enjoyed other meals at the Golden Reef Diner, where David met Carolee, and cue the music: “everybody knows their names.” Seriously. I highly recommend their waffles, omelets, gelato, B&W cookies, everything . . .

  • Food: Taking “dorm food” to a whole new level.

I am a very serious #foodie. I also recently got invited to be a featured foodie on the new My Fab 5 food-ranking app, so you know I’ve made it. Below are a few good eats I explored this month, inspired by my dorm favorites! My true friends know to never touch food that we order until I get the perfect picture.

IMG_0267Groceries: I forever miss Publix, but in Boston Trader Joe’s is definitely where it’s at. If you’re looking for gourmet dishes that only require a microwave (aren’t we all?), get their Risotto or the 4-cheese Farfalle. Feel free to reach out if you need more Trader Joe’s recommendations . . . I have plenty to share.

#creationaday: Just look at that hashtag on Instagram, but have some Chobani on hand before you do. Chobani is the best, and after going to the Chobani Bar in SoHo last month, I decided to make my own! Just grab some yogurt + your favorite nuts & fruit. I also always encourage Cookie Butter and/or Nutella.

ramenRAMEN: Matt’s Aunt introduced us to the magical world of Ramen this weekend. Forget the 12-pack you can buy for a $1 and splurge on some real ramen. We hit up the famous Ippudo – after waiting in a line out the door just to put our name in and wait another 45 minutes (there is a bar conveniently inside and next door to pass time.) Whatever city you are in – get on Yelp, and get on this bandwagon.

  • Entertainment: Must-sees.

I know how hard it is to spend $10-$15 on a movie when they all come on RedBox for $1 eventually, but there are some really, really good movies that are worth seeing now. I recently enjoyed Mockingjay Part 1, Interstellar, and Theory of Everything. Next on the list are Hobbit & Into the Woods! You win this time, movie industry.

IMG_0463Lastly, seeing the new off-Broadway comedy, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, really topped off this month. I got discount tickets through work and I am so glad I heard about it! This is as hysterical as the title suggests, and very interactive (be prepared if you sit within the first five rows.) Matt and I were laughing the whole time – and may never look at a juicer the same way again. I’ll leave it up to your imagination, and I encourage you to see it if you’re in New York!

 

 

I can’t believe tomorrow is December already. I’m excited to head home to Florida for two weeks and get some rest & relaxation! Bring it on, winter!