Monthly Archives: January 2015

Travel Tuesday | Why I Travel

Why I Travel

I talk about travel a lot in this space- both traveling that I’ve already done and the places I’m still dreaming about going. I haven’t yet, though, talked about why I travel and why I just love it so much. So that’s what I’m going to do today. These are just a few of the many, many reasons I travel.

It changes me. My perspectives, my thoughts, my world view. Sometimes I visit a city and the way of thinking so different that it makes me see the whole world differently. I come back with new thoughts and feelings that I never would have had without travel. I learn about myself. Who I really am and what I want and need in this world without local society telling the answers to me. I have to find the answers on my own. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

I meet so many people. Seriously. Especially with solo travel. You would think it would be more lonely but it’s the exact opposite! People are almost always willing to help out, have a conversation, and teach and learn a little more about this world we live in. Sometimes those conversations are almost purely hand motions and broken language, but those are always fun anyway.

It’s hard. Yes. It poses a challenge to me that I thrive off of. A challenge in the best ways. Travel forces you to be a stronger, more confident, and even more independent, person. There is no way to prepare yourself fully for the experience but to do it. It’s so worth it!

I feel the most free while traveling. There’s something about a long plane flight and new place on the other end that makes me feel like I’m free. Free to explore, to dream, to learn, and to be.

I grow so much. Every time I go on a trip, I come back a different person. I mature in ways that are impossible when you stay in one place. Travel forces you to become more yourself and come into your own. There is so much to be said for people who have lived and loved in multiple places. I know I’ve learned so much responsibility and flexibility on my trips. It’s just what needs to be done.

It makes me appreciate more. I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given. The work that others have put in to get me where I am and the work that I’ve put in. It makes me more appreciative on this time on Earth. It’s short, but it’s long. Travel also shows me what’s really important. Money and physical things mean so much less after some experience.

Why else do I travel? WHY NOT?

I have no reason to NOT want to see more of the world. Quite simply, I enjoy it and it makes me a better person. Now, where to go next?

Let’s Make a List: 2015 Goals.

2015 goals

You all already know I’m all about goal setting. Weekly, monthly, yearly, long term, all of it. So on this second Monday of the year, I’m going to set my yearly goals for 2015.

Last year, I set 14 goals for 2014. I’m pretty proud of myself for reaching all of them. However, this year, I really want to focus more on my word of the year and my work. So I’m setting 5 goals. 5 goals that I feel are important and attainable and things I really want to do. Of course, I want to accomplish and do more than these things, but these are the main goals for this year.

Goals for 2015

Word of the year: Strong

|ONE| Take a real vacation- Like, longer than a weekend. Relaxation included.
|TWO| Focus on health in all aspects. Physical, mental, emotional, all of it!
|THREE| Explore Chicago- I’m going to be in this city for at least another year and a half, so I might as well explore and find out all the best spots while I’m here!
|FOUR| Save save save. As much as possible.
|FIVE| Speak kindness into those I meet. I just feel like this is so important. I want to be a source of positivity and goodness.

So there it is. 1 word. 5 goals.

This year is going to be great! I can already feel it. I am excited to take on this year and everything it will bring. I know I need to be focusing on what is to come and not just the things I want right now. Hence the saving goal. But also the vacation goal- it’s been earned!

What are you goals for this year? What can I do to cheer you on and support you? Let’s take on this year together and make it the best one yet!

STRONG- My Word of the Year


Strong 2015

Oh, how I’m excited to be sharing this post today! After 2 days off of work and school because of the EXTREME cold here in Chicago, I’m ready to get back to it and see my kids! It’s still super cold and we are all buried in snow, but I’m trying to accept the fact that I’ll have to go out there sooner or later!

Last year, I grabbed onto the idea of having a word to focus on for the year. I chose THRIVE. And my, how it made a difference in my life to always have that word in the back of my mind, reminding me of my why and to keep on working hard. I was excited and ready to thrive in the new beginnings I was forming. I was taking life by the horns and running wild with it. I was taking risks that I knew would be for the best in the long run and thriving in every aspect. It worked.

This year, I’m settled into a job I love and a city that I’m learning to love. I’m sticking around for a while and don’t see too many big transitions coming my way. This year I want to grow and continue to do exactly what I am, I just want to do it better.

This year, my word is STRONG.

This whole year will be for strength. For putting down roots (at least for now) and doing everything stronger. Better. More.

I want to cement in and strengthen my skills, my knowledge, and my passions. I want to be strong in heart and soul, in my convictions and my values. I want to strengthen my confidence and love for myself.

It took me a while to settle on strong as my word this year. I had trouble deciding on one word that would encompass and improve everything I want to do this year. Then I realized that strong really does cover it all.

Strong is bold. Brave.

I will be strong in myself. Strong in my work. Strong in my school. Strong in my beliefs about myself. And of course, strong in my health. In all aspects, mental, physical, and emotional.


The Holidays Are Hard.

holidays are hard

The holidays are wonderful. But oh, at times they are hard.

They are hard in many ways that I know are unique to me, and in ways that I know touch many more than just me. I know I’m not alone in my grief.

Beware here, friends. I’m about to bear my heart with you for a bit.

The holidays are such a joyful time. They are a reminder of the good and light in the world and of what we have accomplished in another year. They are a reminder of love and of peace and family and close friends. They are a reminder of just how far we’ve come.

For me, they are also a reminder of my sweet sister. Of the New Years Eve we spent huddled at her bedside and sleeping on an air mattress at my brother’s house, waiting for hope, hoping for healing. They are a reminder of the phone call. The one I felt before I got, the one where I knew. 

They are a reminder of crawling into my brother’s lap and crying. Writhing with a pain I never knew possible. Hurting in places I didn’t know existed. A reminder of the moment I became 5 years old again and just needed to be held.

They are a reminder of how life can change so drastically in such a short time.

Today is heavy. January 6th.

I don’t have much more to say in this space for now, so I’ll leave it with this.

My heavy heart today is taking these reminders and pouring the intensity of what I am feeling into giving everything I’ve got to a classroom of babes that need me. I’m loving a little harder today. I am taking my sister’s strength and humor with me as I start this new year. And of course, I’m taking her love of Kenny Chesney with me as I listen to music while I get ready for work.

Remember love today, friends.