Friday, March 25, 2016

Planning my Summer

 It's been a whirlwind of the past few months planning out my summer. We've been planning a Euro trip/cruise for about a year now. And packed in so much detail of that planning into the last few months. Why did we plan it out so much you ask... Well because wedding season is a-coming!! And with that... I will be in a wedding that happens to take place on the beautiful white beaches of cancun!!!!

I must admit with all this last minute getting everything packed away and planned out, I can't help but enjoy the rush of emotion and excitement. To function in normal life routines right now is almost impossible. I'm always thinking and planning and moving about my day getting ready to go. 

So what are my plans for the summer... Well in just a couple days I will board the plane and head out to Europe. Can you say Bucket List.... Check!

I don't want to get too detailed now because I will definitely be writing about every place I visit once I'm back and show you all through photos. But I'm excited to visit some of the places in Europe I always dreamed I'd see. And my dreams are finally becoming reality!

And the coolest part about it is that not only do I head to Europe this summer, I'm witnessing two people I care dearly for get married on a beach in beautiful Cancun only a few weeks after I get back. I haven't been to the beautiful beaches of Cancun in years. I mean YEARS PEOPLE. Like since I was 3. Talk about first memories. I'm pretty sure that's why I have such a love for travel and the ocean! 

I've learned a lot in this process of planning. One, how to budget. Because these are not small trips by any means. And two, I really really really enjoy the excitement that comes with planning a memory with people you love. Because it's something you want to enjoy and make sure everyone gets the same pleasure as you do, it really does entail for so much detail. The planning really helps you get into that excitement as well. Like all you want in life is to live constantly in that thrill. Sometimes I think I should plan things for people. Travel, weddings, parties, etc. I mean really people, if you need it, I'm your girl! Haha

But on a more serious note. As I plan this summer of amazing trips and experiences, I realize that summer's have become this amazing journey for me. From Hawaii to Brazil. To Alaska. And now Europe and Cancun. I never want to stop. What a blessing to be on this journey. What a thrill to be so blessed. Journey through with me... On this adventure of summer 2016!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Identity Crisis

Now that I've begun my 26th year.... I am doing a lot of evaluating lately.  It's almost as if I've reached that point where I'm thinking "It's now or never" for a lot of things in life.  If I want to do something, now is the time to decide.  Now is the time to start thinking about it and doing something about getting closer to that end goal.  It is time for me to... (Horror toon...DUN DUN DUN) GROW UP!

But there is a problem with feeling like it's that time.  The time to finally start living the rest of your life.  You have to accept that it is time to let go of somethings and grasp on to the idea and opportunity for others. We have a hard time letting go of those little pieces of ourself that didn't make the cut and start filling them with this "new you".  But are we ever really ready for that kind of thing? NO! It's human nature to not adapt to change well.  It's normal to go through an Identity Crisis and think to yourself "I'm totally crazy, who am I? I don't even know myself? Why was I ever even like this? Who do I want to be?"

Identity crises seem to be the norm for me lately.  It's this odd limbo in life, that I've noticed from my peers, a lot of people my age go through.  We were all students for so long and then had to learn to live the working life which gives us so much free time to actually think about more than "what homework do I have due this week? How am I ever going to find enough research for this paper? OMG did I buy a scantron and blue book for the exam I'm about to take in like .5 seconds?" (even though we may have all this in our hands or written on a calendar... we are still freaking out because the brain is too exhausted... ok, rant about college memories/horrors over).  But even as we fall into that nice routine of a 9-5 and free evenings and weekends, that free time to think almost stresses us out more.  So we make plans to see our friends, who happen to be going through the same issues, and we discuss them further.

So what happens, I'll tell you what happens, we get into this "student mode" and make a list of what we want to do or need to do in life.  And here is mine.

I want a job that makes me feel like I'm not working. One where I wake up each morning and feel excited to start my day. One where my job and my actions not only mean something to me but to a cause, to the people that I'm working for or with.
I love to travel. But I can't constantly be traveling. 
I love to write. But I didn't study literature or writing. Could I even do something with that passion?
I love this blog. But I don't see it at this point being something I can make money out of. And I don't know if I want to. Or where to even start if I were to decide to go through with it. 
I love planning and organizing things. But can I create a business out of it?
I love fashion and shopping. But I need a job to keep this up!
I want to be healthy and fit.  But I hate putting in all that effort (every woman's dream: chocolate cake that makes you actually lose weight... maybe I should try looking into inventing this)
I love to learn.  But am I ready to go back to school?
I want a family... when will I get to that with all these other lists I have going on.
I want to own a house/condo/some place to live in.  But I'm spending and saving for other things as well... so when will I ever move out!?

Honestly, this list can go on for so long.  But the truth is, I'm realizing, that I can do all these things.  I just need to work at it. And there is no right or wrong time to pursue any of it.  I just have to decide to begin the process. I honestly think that once you put things in motion, life just falls into place. Like a destiny of sorts, a plan for your life, you make a choice and the things you need from it fall into place.  I'm not saying that these choices don't come with obstacles.  I know that they do. But if  we want something bad enough, once we've decided on it, no obstacle is too big.

Life is a journey... and I've got to admit, I'm pretty excited to see where it leads me, the places I'll get to see, the people I'll get to meet.  Enjoy your journey, I'll be enjoying mine.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Chicago, It's Bean Real!

Chicago, Illinois
September 25-28, 2015

If you are reading this then you already know me by now. I'm crazy about traveling and I take the chance to explore with anyone who offers it. So when I was asked to go to Chicago I was like "I've never been there. I might be cutting it close on the vacation time and finds. But hell why not!?!" So yup I booked my flight. 

Let me tell you this Windy City is... well not so windy (at least not that week in October). But it's beautiful. The sky line is marvelous and the weather is better than I expected. Though it does get pretty chilly at night. 

On day 1 we ventured out and just headed on an adventure to find the BEAN! (we thought we had a plan this whole trip... but really we just has a list of things we wanted to do and hadn't figured out when, what time, and how) Haha that was not easy regardless of the fact it's like 2 blocks, a flight of stairs, another 2 blocks, and a walk through Millennium Park away from our hotel to get to that BEAN. (Don't ever depend on your iPhone maps people. They are not all that accurate.). But we did find this super cool bridge that went over a... Freeway or street haha. No water under that bridge. But the bridge was still so cool. And is set in a beautiful background of the sky line and an outdoor concert hall that had an awesome design.

While in Chicago there is no living if you don't have a deep dish pizza... which is actually called a stuffed pizza at Giordano's. Of course we ordered the Chicago classic. And it was AMAZING cheesy goodness with a beautiful deep dished crust made of the most amazing dough. I mean it was pizza heaven! (sorry, pizza did not make it for a selfie... haha)

Magnificent Mile shopping is an everyday must. With just about every shop you can think of at a walking distance. It was a shopaholics kryptonite. Didn't help that it was two blocks from my hotel!

Day 2 was a bit slower for me. I got to savor in some R&R through the day and let me tell you, it was needed!!  Highlight of the day however is definitely the fact that I got to go to the John Hancock building.  As I walked in and had to wait in line for for an elevator ride I had no idea what to expect. I'm thinking "this is definitely exclusive and they are going to realize I don't belong here!"  But they let us in the elevator and took us up 96 floors. I'm thinking "ok this is interesting". I walk into the bathroom and BAM! a view of the city... Ya in the bathroom. Like seriously "don't mind if I take a selfie before I pee... But that view is amazing!!  (see video... ya that was in the bathroom) I was not prepared for that view at all. We finally were allowed in and were seated right at the bar. Ordered our Moscow mules of course, and sipped from our copper cups as we enjoyed the ambiance and stared out into the city. Experience of a life time. and perfect setting for when you just wanna feel like you are doing something grown up, classy, and different.  We enjoyed another drink, a bit more chattering, and decided shopping was A Great Idea.... (give a couple girls a couple drinks, a set of credit cards and a Magnificent Mile to shop in... and you will have two girls who forgot they didn't eat dinner) And as we are leaving the store and thinking "man we shoulda ate something". A frikin cupcake food truck is right there!! Answered prayers. I swear... Chicago just knows!

Day 3 led to an even more amazing experience. The weather got a bit colder so I only took a brisk walk around the block to see where I was. But later on we took an uber to Willis Tower. Where again an elevator took us high up... this time 103 stories high and we stood out on a clear platform over looking all of Chicago. Conquering my fear of heights as I looked directly below my feet and could barely make out cars, buildings, let alone people. I mean seriously, I was hyperventilating and literally took baby steps onto the platform.  It is not an easy thing to stomach people!! That is 103 stores up... above a city! But 3 minutes into a photoshoot and SnapChat sesh, and I was actually comfortable with the height!  If you have never experienced looking out into the world from high up above, please I beg you. Do it!!  It's amazing and put so much into perspective. It's a must. Plus a few failed selfies always make the experience even more fun! (Tip: bring a selfie stick!!)

Failed Selfies... not a good angle ha!

We ventured out into the rain and found a quaint Italian restaurant that was actually quite good and ended up finding a small donut shop called Firecakes!  It was so good. And perfect for the rainy weather. 

Random fact. President Obama was there in Chicago that day. And he attended a Bull's game... Why didn't we think of doing that?!

Well Chicago was amazing to say the least. The architecture was classic and modern and blended so well. Adding beauty to just about everywhere you looked.  This city could very well be one of the most beautiful places I've been, as far as an urban jungle goes... I can still admit the natural beauty you see in nature has no comparison.  But the city sure was pretty.  I've been lucky to journey with my travel buddy and can't wait for the adventures i have in store!  Stay toned... 2016 is looking quite promising.

Enjoy the journey through my eyes (and by my feet)... Chicago style!