Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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If I could assign one word as the mission and purpose behind my blog, I believe that word would be honesty, the ability to be completely real with my readers and completely real with myself. And as I think about what it looks like to be honest, I fall in love and am incredibly challenged at the exact same time. Social media can be so good, yet has the ability to allure people in to thinking false accusations, lies, and irreversible truths regarding themselves. Humans can look at pictures, posts, comments, the number of likes, the number of shares, pins, galleries, (the list truly goes on) and the human mind can immediately take this internally and turn it into a direct reflection of “I am not ____.” How wrong this can be. Why is it that so many times our brain/thoughts/mind turn life, events, moments and reverses them to a personal thing of how we are failing, a measure from how far we are at achieving our goals and our dreams. So in processing these thoughts, the reality is, the moments that I have where I am struggling, the moments that I have that are the most real moments a human can experience, my desire is in some way, shape, or form, to write it down, to try to embody these thoughts into a post so that someone out there can feel encouraged, more encouraged to be happy in there skin, in who they are.
And as we were traveling this week, from Vancouver, to Seattle, and through Portland, we experienced so many wonderful highs, yet some terrible lows. And I felt like I was being challenged to acknowledge these lows and to be incredibly vulnerable with all of you (the people who actually read these posts) and to hopefully bring encouragement along the way.
It can be so easy to get in your own head, caught in an argument, a moment of exhaustion and become a less than version of yourself. And this can definitely stand out more while traveling, because we almost expect vacations to be free from… well, reality. So much expectation, so many things desired to see and do. It’s almost like we as humans can put so much expectation and thrill on an experience that when it doesn’t happen the way that we desire or the exact way that we intended it to, or dreamed about in our mind, that we can struggle with the outcome or the experience, because we put way to much expectation on a moment. Hubs and I have traveled quite a bit in the last three years. We feel so incredibly blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunities that we do. We both work a ton, so when our schedules align and allow us the ability to go somewhere, you bet that is what we do. For us, traveling allows us to experience a different part of the world around us, the ability to enjoy ourselves away from a to-do list, criteria of a job, or responsibilities around a home. It allows us to be more in tune to ourselves individually, as well as refine and redefine ourselves as a couple. But traveling can definitely have its challenges, and through all the journeys we have been on we have certainly discovered these things. So I am putting together a different list, a list that hasn’t quite been done before, and I am pretty thrilled about it. So here ya go.
If you consider yourself to be more of a perfectionist, then this one is most definitely for you. Be realistic. Have an idea of what you want to do and a basic picture of what you want your experience to be like, but have an open mind and realize that you might not get to see all that you want or eat at all the places you desire and that is okay. The important thing is to make sure you have your mindset right so that you won’t be disappointed. Nothing will ever be perfect, you may get in an argument in the middle of the streets of Portland because you both are hungry and exhausted.. but don’t let these things ruin your trip. So again, be realistic.
We are the absolute worst at this. And often times find ourselves running around exhausted and cranky. It can be so hard to continue to pour yourself out from an empty cup, so be sure that in the midst of your travel, whether you are beachgoers or city-walkers, that you find moments in your day where you are scheduling rest. Your body and soul will much appreciate it.
It is so great to plan. Trust me. Before we go on trips I have a list completely written out and organized of things to do, restaurants to try, coffee shops to sit in, and other sights to see. However, something happens when you write things down. Writing things done (just like speaking things out) in way bolding states things into existence. When things are written down, there is power to them. And this is so good, but can be scary, because when its added to a list, when these things aren’t accomplished we find ourselves feeling less than and more like failures. So definitely plan a list, write down things that seem worthwhile, but divide that list into a 1. Must-See, 2. Would be cool-but we could miss, 3. If we have time, but not that important.
It can be so easy to get caught up in taking the most Insta-worthy picture while traveling or to capture the most epic Insta-story, but sometimes its okay (actually, more than okay) to put down the phone and to look around you. Stop and take a moment to breathe. Close your eyes and take a mental picture. Think of how you are feeling, how the air feels, what the view looks like or the experience feels like, who are you with, treasure that moment together, whether that is with you or your family, but soak it up, because these are moments worth remembering and treasuring.
Are you moved by good food, or exercise, or beautiful scenery, or exhilarating adventure, what makes your heart race and you feel completely alive. Whatever that is for you, plan your trip or a smaller adventure within the trip that focuses on those things. For us this is nature. We truly feel the most alive and satisfied on our trips when we get out in the middle of nature and find truly spectacular, breath-taking views.
This is so important. Bring a water bottle with you (preferably a refillable one) and make a point to drink water throughout the day. When you get to places with water fountains, fill it up and keep drinking. This is important to avoid fatigue, headaches… and especially if you are drinking adult beverages (because you are an adult) during your trip, then it is even more important to make sure you are staying hydrated.
While you are traveling take the time to appreciate it and take it all in. Have a journal, or simply use the note pad on your phone to write it down so that you can experience the moment later. Write down where you went, the places you saw, things you ate, moments that made you smile, moments that made you laugh.. write it all down so that you can have it to look back on later. You don’t have to be a travel blogger to write these experiences down, it is always just great to have so you can remember the trip by years later.
Some of the best jewels we have found while traveling has been to ask for local recommendations (mainly from our Uber drivers). We have been recommended excellent ice cream shops, hidden bars, unique finds, and superb restaurants all from Uber drivers and each recommendation has always been (mostly) some of the best parts of our trip.
See something that sparks your interest, go for it. Don’t be afraid to take a chance or a risk, or try a new type of cuisine or new adventure. A particular restaurant wasn’t on your list that you so perfectly planned out ahead of time… who cares? This is your vacation. And sometimes the most exciting of things can result from spontaneity.
I don’t know about you, but when we travel we definitely consume way more calories than we usually do when we are back home. And in order to avoid the scale for the week when you return it is so important (and super fun) to incorporate exercise while traveling. Seriously, though… we have found the most sweetest of places while exploring cities through running.
We have found ourselves while exploring trails and landscapes through hiking… we have found our inner child’s heart while biking throughout some of the coolest of places. Seriously, some of your favorite moments while traveling may definitely come from exercising, so definitely don’t shy away from it just because you are on vacay! 🙂
As always, vacationing and traveling is always a remarkable experience, so treasure it all up, store those moments in your heart, come home refreshed and eager, with the anticipation of where to go next. Because no matter where you are or where you are going, the adventure never really ends…
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