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Refinding the Pieces

Europe Trip

I want to start touching on my Europe Trip I took in 2016. I was gone for almost four months and traveled to 21 countries. I saw, learned, and experienced so much, and can’t wait to plan my next backpacking trip! Any takers as a travel buddy? 

I’ll start with all the places I went, and as I write more, I’ll make posts about individual places filled with the awesome photos I took.

Here’s the list, in order:

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland 
  2. London, England 
  3. Edinburgh, Scotland 
  4. Scottish Highlands 
  5. Isle of Skye, Scotland 
  6. Fort Augustus, Scotland
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. Cork, Ireland
  9. Paris, France
  10. Brussels, Belgium
  11. Copenhagen, Denmark 
  12. Stockholm, Sweden
  13. Turku, Finland
  14. Oslo, Norway
  15. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  16. Krakow, Poland
  17. Prague, Czech Republic 
  18. Bratislava, Slovakia
  19. Vienna, Austria
  20. Budapest, Hungary
  21. Zagreb, Croatia
  22. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  23. Munich, Germany 
  24. Venice, Italy 
  25. Rome, Italy
  26. Milan, Italy 
  27. Barcelona, Spain
  28. Lyons, France
  29. Zurich, Switzerland
  30. Heidenheim, Germany
  31. Heilbronn, Germany 
  32. Berlin, Germany 

    The trip was a WHIRLWIND. We took day trips to other beautiful places, but the trip was life changing and I saw more in those few months than some people may see in a lifetime. I learned where I want to return, and where I don’t. I tried more foods than I ever have, and fell in love with all the different cultures.

    But you know the craziest thing that happened?

    I fell out of love with someone, and instead fell back in love with myself.

    This trip changed my life, and I’m ready to share it with you.

    Like I said, I’ll go more and more into depth with some of my stops. If you have ANY questions about the trip, please don’t hestitate to ask! Financial, planning, ANYTHING. I am here to be a resource, I know I would have LOVED to have someone like me to ask questions when planning this trip, so let me help you!

    Love you guys!

    Yogurt bowls

    In my most recent post, I mentioned what I try to eat for each meal. I’ll try to go more into detail with why I eat those components at different times, but I’ll start with breakfast.

    I choose to eat mainly fruit for breakfast because I don’t drink large quantities of caffeine, so the sugar gives me a good kick for the day. I’ve also learned some fruits can be harsh on digestion at night when you sleep, and if you’re like me, can cause acid reflux. I always feel healthy, refreshed, and ready to go when I start out like this.

    My go-to is always my yogurt bowls. These are totally easy to make, are delicious (even if you don’t like eating healthy), and can be personalized for each individual.

    I start with a base of a Greek yogurt, it gives me a good amount of protein to start my day. I prefer Greek God’s, it’s REALLY creamy and my favorite Greek yogurt out there. I usually use strawberry or vanilla honey. I also create a Acai yogurt using the vanilla honey Greek God’s and a packet of Acai puree from Trader Joe’s  (you’ll learn I’m addicted to TJ’s). This gives you an added kick of antioxidants and it doesn’t even change the flavor of the yogurt!

    I follow this up with a small layer of granola, which again usually has a little bit of protein and some carbohydrates to get you going. Everyone has their own granola preferance, you can use your favorite!

    I then add AS MUCH FRUIT AS I WANT. Whatever I have. I prefer kiwi (with the skin on for fiber), a banana, clementine oranges, and berry mixtures (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries). It’s really whatever is in season and what is on sale. You can add whatever you like.

    I follow up with toppings, I like pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and Chia seeds, but I’ve made bowls for other people with flax seeds, dried coconut, sunflower seeds…whatever your heart desires!

    The most IMPORTANT THING to add though  (or at least I think) is the honey drizzle! I choose raw and local honey to help with allergies, but it’s whatever you have or want. It gives a nice sweetness to the bowl that makes it extra delicious.

    You HAVE to try these things. It took me forever for mine to look pretty, they used to be a bowl full of ingredients, so don’t think it’s needs to be perfect. What’s important is to get all the items in there and have a meal full of protein, fiber, and antioxidents. 

    Plus it goes great with a Matcha Tea Latte 😉

    If you have any recommendations on this, or have any questions about products I prefer to use, don’t forget to contact me!

    Love you guys! Enjoy ❤

    Getting healthy

    I’ve been wanting to talk about this for awhile because as I’m currently unemployed, my lazy bone has come out. Bad.

    Usually I’m really active, I’ve never been one to work out, but I’m usually in a job where I am moving enough I don’t really need to. I may do a little cardio here, or a small workout there, but I’m not a huge fan of crazy workouts.

    Luckily for me, my genetics have blessed me with a fast metabolism. 

    However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like to try and be healthy otherwise. Just because you’re skinny does NOT mean you’re healthy (a friend reminded me of this the other day).

    Here’s what I try to stick with:

    Fruit for breakfast, protein for lunch, and vegetables for dinner. Obviously there’s added components to each meal, but these are the main things I focus on getting when I prepare each meal.

    My doctor thinks I have Celiacs  (I’ll touch on this another time) so for the most part I don’t eat a lot of carbs. I also try to avoid large amounts of dairy, although I could never be dairy free because…CHEESE.

    I also make sure I drink TONS of liquids, like 96 ounces a day, and by liquids I mean water and tea (matcha or plain green). 

    I try to do a little yoga either when I wake up or when I fall asleep for a little mental and physical stimulation.

    Right now, I’m applying to jobs like a maniac, so these few practices help keep my mind sharp and my body feeling good.

    If you have any good recommendations, whether it be recipes, easy workouts, or other ways for a lazy person to stay healthy, please feel free to comment! ❤

    Why I like to write..

    Sometimes, I find no inspiration for writing, and I don’t feel my writing is as personal when I have to force it, so I take a small haitus. I’m not a great writer to begin with, so I’m doing my best here.

    I started this blog to allow myself to let all of my feelings out. Holding them in and burying them KILLS my mental health, as it would anyone. I chose to make it public because I know people struggle every day, and maybe if I could help ONE person who may be going through the same struggles as I, it’s worth it to share my journey through life.

    I’m only human. I make mistakes. This blog isn’t perfect. I sometimes contradict myself (if anyone has gone through heartbreak, you know what it’s like to love someone one day, and hate them the next). I definitely make grammer and spelling mistakes. I often change my feelings on a certain person, situation, or perspective. 

    I want to encourage everyone to write, to get their feelings out. Whether it be on paper, on a blog, or verbally, we need to focus on our mental health.

    Today, I made a list of daily activities I HAVE to complete. I’m holding myself accountable:

    Wash my face and brush my teeth, make my bed, drink a cup of tea, eat a healthy breakfast, take my vitamins, do a yoga routine, complete a small workout (I prefer one focused on toning my butt), drink 64 ounces of water (or 96), read for at least 30 minutes, spend 30 minutes outside (on warm days), and WRITE. Daily.

    Some of them seem so simple, and yet sometimes your mental health stops you from completing them. Sometimes, staying in bed is so much easier that doing ANY of those things, INCLUDING brushing your teeth. But that’s not me anymore.

    I’m taking control of my life. I’m eating healthier. I’m drinking more water. I’m mentally stimulating myself. I’m physically more active. I’m putting my phone down. And I’m connecting with myself on a better level.

    I’m becoming me again, and it feels great.

    I want to remind everyone that I’m here, I’m human, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever need someone to talk to, vent to, or cry to. 

    Humans need to learn to be kinder to one another again, this is me starting.

    Much love ❤

    How it feels to be in love with someone you can’t be with…

    I stare at the blank screen and wonder if I can even explain this, explain how I feel.

    My heart hurts, a lot. Every day.

    But hey, at least he finally agreed to be my friend right? (sarcastic laugh).

    In reality, it’s hell.

    I was with a man for SIX years and never felt this way. Ever.

    And here I am, in love with a man I dated for mere months, in love with a man I chose to leave. I put MYSELF in this situation.

    Is it because I was scared? Is it because I was actually that person I used to make fun of for falling in love so quick? Did I not believe it because how could I feel such a way about a person I barely knew?

    But it’s real. This love, it’s real. And I know he feels it too.

    This is the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, I can feel it in every bone in my body. He is my soul mate. He is who I am supposed to be with.

    And THAT makes me sound crazy, especially because I’m usually the logical one when it comes to relationships…

    But this feeling makes everything I’ve every believed in a lie.

    He’s the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last thing before I go to bed. He’s constantly in my dreams. I see him in the car next to me, or getting on the elevator. I daydream about what we could be. I think about our memories together every day. I hear him in every song. I feel him in every movie.

    I don’t even want to think about another man. I can’t get intimate with anyone else.

    And the thing that scares me the most? I don’t want to wait. I just have no other option.

    My heart won’t let me move on.

    It won’t let me even have the slightest interest in someone else.

    Because it knows.

    I’m in love with a man I can’t be with.

     

    Coming from an Introvert…

    Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about people being introverts. Being an introvert has become a sought after quality, like it’s some sort of great thing. But it’s not a quality at all, it’s a way of life.

    All my life I was told I was an extrovert because I can be social. I know how to talk to people. I know how to make friends easily.

    What they didn’t understand was how exhausting that can be. 

    At the end of the day all I want to do is put on my pajamas, be alone (with my dog), make a warm cup of tea, and binge on the newest Netflix original. 

    When I go out and socialize, I’m forcing myself to do so. When my friends laugh that it’s so hard to get me to go out, it’s because it’s hard to force myself to.

    We’re also told this is a sign of depression, which terrified me for years and made me force myself to go out on a regular basis, but after a bout of depression, I realized I was never depressed before. 

    People don’t truly understand what being an introvert is unless they are one. You don’t understand that relationships become hard because you find yourself locking yourself in the bathroom to read and have a half hour to spend alone. They don’t understand how hard friendships can be because unless you find someone like you, they think you’re ignoring them or don’t try hard enough. And they don’t understand how hard it can be to socialize for more than a couple hours in a week.

    I feel like people think being an introvert is great because we are loyal, we don’t party, and you can usually find us in bed. But those are qualities that anyone can have. 

    Being an actual introvert is hard. It’s exhausting. So please don’t say you are one unless you truly are. 

    Don’t Expect Kudos

    This comes about because my mom has a certain employee that works under her, and my moms BIGGEST issue with her is she is ALWAYS looking for kudos. Every little thing she does she looks for kudos. A woman making $25/hour needs her supervisor to tell her she’s doing awesome. 

    Here’s the thing guys: YOU GET PAID TO DO A JOB.

    I have been at the bottom of the food chain in jobs.I have also been mid-level, where I trained and managed. 

    When I was entry level, I never expected kudos. Honestly, I avoided anything from my boss. I would rather hear nothing than something, because usually if my boss was confronting me, it was bad.

    When I trained, I did try and include positive reinforcement. A lot of people perform better when they’re told they are doing great.

    But you should NEVER expect it nor seek it.

    When you are given that wonderful little paycheck once or twice a month, that is to remind you you’re doing well at your job, because if you aren’t..well..you would be fired. That paycheck IS your kudos. That is your reassurance you’re awesome. 

    Your boss is not there to tell you that you are great for every task you do, they pay you to do it. It shouldn’t be acknowledged, you should just do it. Because it’s your job. Because that’s what you are paid to do.

    I’m not saying positive reinforcement in a work place is bad, it almost always has positive outcomes, but again…don’t expect it.

    I expect it once a year: at my yearly evaluation. When I’m usually given a raise. FOR THE GREAT JOB I’M DOING. 

    You may be a great employee, but if you are that insecure that you need someone to tell you how great you are every day, I’m going to let you go. Because someone else knows how to be a good employee.

    *rant over*

    Why I hate you

    I hate the way you talk to me

    And the way you cut your hair 

    I hate the way I have to drive my car

    I hate it when you stare

    I hate your stupid tennis shoes

    And the way you read my mind

    I hate you so much that it makes me sick

    It even makes me ryhme

    I hate the way you’re always right

    I hate it when you lie

    I hate it when you make me laugh

    Even worse when you make me cry

    I hate the way you’re not around

    And the fact that you didn’t call

    But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you

    Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all

    {Adopted from 10 Things I Hate About You}

    I love the way you look at me

    and make me feel at home

    I love the way you rub my back

    And hold my hand when it’s cold

    I love the way you carry me to bed

    When I fall asleep on you

    I love the way my heart flutters when you walk in the room

    and so when you don’t call me, it breaks my heart in two

    But I did this to myself, so I can’t hate you.

    Traveling

    I don’t understand how people don’t WANT to travel. How people don’t feel a NEED to travel. In the past year, I have traveled to a variety of places, within driving and flying distance:

    • Portland, OR
    • St. Louis, MO
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Yosemite, CA
    • Indianapolis, IN
    • Detroit, MI
    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • Toledo, OH (don’t ask)
    • Providence, RI (twice)
    • Boston, MA
    • Oahu, HI
    • Hilo, HI
    • Dallas, TX
    • Austin, TX
    • Cozumel, MX
    • 21 European countries (I’ll go more into detail another time)
    • San Juan, Puerto Rico

    I’m ALWAYS looking for a new adventure, something else to cross off my bucket list. My ex once told me “the only item on my bucket list is to live” but how boring is that? Of course I want to live! But my bucket list holds me accountable to do the things I feel are important to live a fulfilling life.

    It doesn’t matter where you travel, near or far. Whether you’re in your car, a camper, or a hotel. Whether you got there by plane, train, boat, or automobile. Remember to TRAVEL. It’s fulfilling. It will mean so much more than an inanimate object. It will make your heart happy, I promise.

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