Travel | Santorini, Greece

This spring, my best gal pal and I took a European adventure from France to Greece! Out of all the locations we visited, Santorini, Greece, was hands-down the most amazing.

Santorini is actually the most active volcanic center in the Aegean Sea. The island is known for being the site of one the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded in history. The eruption caused a portion of the island to collapse, giving the area the crescent shape of today.

Oia Buildings

Today, Santorini is best known for their blue top buildings and marvelous sunsets. The food is not so bad either and the locals are kind and friendly. Things to do on the island range from sailing to wine tasting.

During our trip, we rented a car and explored every town. The rental was $40 euros for 24 hours. They didn’t even check for a driver’s license!

Black Sand Beach
That day we had lunch in Pyrgos, explored the black sand beaches of Kamari, and caught the sunset in Oia.

Oia Sunset

The following day we set sail on a snorkeling sunset excursion. It ended up being too cold to snorkel, but catching the sunset off the ocean was worth it. The boat sailed around the island stopping at all of the various beaches – black sand, red sand, and white sand beach. The crew made us a great meal and shared their stories with us.

Santorini Sailing

While being on that island was so surreal, hearing people’s stories made the experience humbling. I can’t even tell you how many times we were asked what is what like to be living the “American Dream.” Hearing locals’ first-hand accounts of Greece’s economic state and how they had limited access to money during the initial stages of the banking crisis really put things into perspective. It wasn’t something that we asked, but it was the stories the locals wanted to share… so, we listened. The most amazing part of all is that through it all they were still happy and kind because they have a love of Santorni…. and that’s what made me fall in love with Santorini even more.

Santorini Sailing Sunset

 


XOXO

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Palace of fine arts San Francisco California

Motivation | To take a step without feet


This is love:
to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet

RUMI


Palace of fine arts San Francisco California

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California


What does that mean, “to take a step without feet”?  Feet provide you with stability when you walk.  They aide you with movement and provide you with support.  Without feet, you’d probably have a difficult time running, walking, or even standing up.  It doesn’t mean that it would be impossible to do, it would just be more of a challenge.

I think that the message Rumi is trying to convey is that, “taking a step without feet” is like taking a step not knowing whether you can control the outcome.  Not many people would be willing to do that.  Control is a difficult thing to let go.  What would be the incentive for you to do so?

It’s a scary thought if you think about it.  If you were to take a step without feet, you would probably fall.  But, on the the other hand, there is also a chance that you may not.  Allowing yourself to be okay with that thought is difficult.  To be okay with falling is not an instinctive trait.  Human nature drives off of survival.  It is that little voice in your head that cautions you from doing things that could potentially hurt you; physically and emotionally.

If you’ve been hurt repeatedly, your mind keeps building on that protection and your caution grows more and more.  Sometimes to the point where your mind may be cautioning you too much, and you become fearful of exploring things that may actually be good for you.

While your body is only trying to help, there comes a point where you have to consciously decide, “What are the things you can control, and what are the things you should throw caution to the wind?”  Making that distinction is the first step.  You can’t control everything in life, but you can control your approach.  It is about acknowledging and knowing that, yes, you can take a step without feet – it will be difficult, but it is not impossible.  In the end, sometimes the biggest payoffs are the ones you approach without having firm grounding.  The ones where you let go of life, and you take a step without feet.


XOXO

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Motivation | Why it’s okay to travel solo

Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can.  Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.


Paris

Paris, France


I always romanticized travel.  I imagined one day traveling the world with that special someone.  That we would stroll through the streets of Paris, eat gelato in Italy, and experience the monuments of Rome together.  I imagined that one day I would travel the world, and that ‘one day’ it would be with that special someone.  Yet, I find myself in a point in time where that one day has not yet arrived.  So I have to ask the question, does my decision to travel and experience the world really hinge on finding that special someone?

Growing up, I was taught that travel was a luxury.  That travel was something that you got to do when you were well settled in your life.  Perhaps, this is what helped to shape my romanticized idea.  I guess I equated being married with being well settled in my life.  But yet, here I am, without that special someone and I find myself with this longing to experience the world!

So I took a leap of faith.  I mean, what was I really waiting for?  I decided that I let too much of my life pass without experiencing the moments.  I came upon a crux.  Perhaps a quarter life crisis?  I like to think of it more as wise thought.  I took a friend up on an offer to take a trip to Thailand.  Maybe it was a crazy whim, but if I was going to go out of my comfort zone, I was going to go big.  I knew that by taking that trip to Thailand, life was about to happen.  A second thought didn’t even cross my mind.

Don’t think twice about travel.  Make that commitment to take a trip.  Perhaps you are a little hesitant to go outside of your comfort zone.  Or perhaps you feel like me, where you want to share that experience with that special someone.  But just because you experience the world on your own, doesn’t mean you can’t make different memories with that someone later on.  Whatever it may be, take my advice and travel as much as you can, as far as you can.  Make memories.  Indulge in different cultures.  Experience the moments. Don’t let a longing desire eat you up inside.  You don’t know what is out there until you experience it for yourself.

Travel the world while you are able.  Live and be free.  Let life happen.


XOXO

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Spring Wish List

Yay!  Spring is finally here, which means we are officially closer to those endless summer days.  I am so excited for my next vacation.  2016 has started out to be an amazing travel year for me.  First on the list is Hawaii followed by Paris then Greece and maybe even Spain…?  I’ve been so busy preparing to travel, that I thought I would share a few of my spring wish list items that I hope to purchase for my upcoming trips.  I picked all of these accessories from an online shop called SPRING.  Very fitting right?  🙂  This store sells over 850 brands, so you can shop all of your favorites in one spot.

In no particular order, here they are:

scarf shop springover-sized scarf / Eddie Bauer

An over-sized scarf is an essential travel piece.  Light weight materials are the most versatile.  You can use it as a travel blanket on a long flight or a shawl to dress up an outfit at night.

sunglasses shop spring

mirrored sunglasses / Leonard Mask

For anyone that is as obsessed with Pretty Little Liars as I am, you probably already know that Shay Mitchell lives in mirrored sunglasses.  I love this look for vacation.  I don’t know what it is about them, but just looking at these sunglasses makes me want to be sitting poolside sipping a mai tai.

wanderer snap back

snap back / Weekend Society

A snap back is a travel essential.  Especially for when you are on an adventure and don’t want to risk losing your sunglasses, a snap back is perfect for keeping the sun out of your eyes.  I feel like snap backs are so easy to travel with, because when you don’t feel like wearing it, you can just snap it on to your purse strap or belt hook on your shorts.

stacking rings

stacking rings / Mineral and Matter

I dislike traveling with fine jewelry, so I usually opt for simple more inexpensive pieces.  Stacking rings are the best for traveling.  I just love the look.  It screams effortlessly trendy.  And if you lose these rings, who cares?  They usually aren’t that expensive and you can purchase them in large sets.

moonstone on marquise chain

pendant necklace / Marrin Costello Jewelry

For necklaces, I usually try to keep things simple.  Pendant necklaces are very versatile and can be worn dressed down and up.  The simpler the better.  That way, you can match it up easily with any outfit.


I am definitely ready to go on a vacation right about now.  Hope you all have an amazing spring break.  Let me know what’s on your spring wish list.  🙂

Photo credits: shopspring.com

XOXO

 

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Motivation | Outgrowing friendships: It’s okay

I know this is silly, but I was reminiscing on a friendship past. Someone I used to consider a best friend. How just a couple of years ago we were going out, taking roadtrips, going on vacations, and now I don’t even recognize the person she’s become.  It was one of those give give give relationships. I gave my time, my emotional support, my presence, and she took.  That’s why I feel silly to be missing her friendship now. She would only really reach out when she had a problem, when she needed someone to talk to or hang out with. Like when she wanted to watch a movie but didn’t want to go alone or when she was having another one of her never ending problems with her crazy boyfriend and needed someone to talk to, I was just a phone call away.  Other than that, I never really heard from her.

The last straw was the weekend she cancelled on me for her on-again off-again crazy (ex)boyfriend.  Nothing new, sad to say.  She had invited me as her plus one to a mutual friend’s wedding during one of those off-again times.  I guess somewhere in-between they decided to be on-again, but she failed to tell me.  (Now looking back I realize she failed to tell me a lot of things.)  Then maybe a week before the wedding, when I brought up a dress I was looking to buy and the logistics of things, she told me her boyfriend was accompanying her in my place.  It definitely hurt to be uninvited to something, especially since these were plans made weeks in advance that I cleared my schedule for.  But what hurt the most was that she never told me until I brought it up to her.  As if she was thinking that as long as she avoided the situation it would just work itself out on its own.

What if I hadn’t brought anything up until the day before the event, was she not going to tell me anything until then? Was she planning to tell me in advance at all?  The message that this situation sent to me was that my time wasn’t to be valued.  That my time was not as important as hers.  If the shoe had been on the other foot, she would have thrown a fit.

I took a step back and didn’t say much to her in that moment.  I honestly couldn’t believe the person that was before me.  I realized though, that all those times I didn’t stand up for myself, I was silently saying it was okay for her to dismiss me.  After taking some time to think, I confronted her about the situation and told her how her actions made me feel.  She accused me of not being a good friend, of making her choose between our friendship and her boyfriend.  She never took accountability.

Ever since that day, I never looked at her in the same way.  I felt sorry for her for a really long period of time.  I guess I had always hoped she would change.  That she would leave the crazy boyfriend and live a happy life.  It wasn’t until I was outside of the friendship that I realized she was so negative, so critical and judgemental of everyone else, but so sensitive of anything directed at herself.

That day I exited the friendship. I realized that she didn’t want to grow with me, that we were just growing apart, and I would be okay.

I reminisced today on the good times we shared; the fun trips we did and the adventures we went on. I missed her…  I missed our friendship, or at least what I thought our friendship was.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could still call her my friend.  But then I remember why we grew apart, the reason we were no longer close. I guess we were never really that close to begin with.

It’s crazy to think how you can be so close to someone one day and then not even recognize them the next. I still see her from time to time.  She now has a new best friend.  A mutual acquaintance she used to speak so ill of.

I have no idea if she’s changed.  I’ve tried to speak with her and, while we’re cordial, I feel like she keeps me at a distance. Maybe it’s for the best.

I always say, with any relationship, you either grow together or grow apart. Why not grow together? Change is hard, no one will ever start to make a change until they want to. You can’t force someone to grow with you. You can only hope and wait. But how long should you wait? How long is too long? How can you be sure not to mix loyalty with a blind eye.

You want to believe in the good in people. That sometimes the people you’ve known the longest you think you know the best. And you talk yourself into staying in relationships because you hope that things will be different or that they’ll change.  But people won’t change until they want to; or until they find themselves in a situation in which they are forced to change.  When you find yourself outgrowing those friendships, exiting those relationships is probably for the best.

After I distanced myself from my former best friend, I found myself so much happier and lighter in spirit.  Her energy was almost draining at times when we were friends.  Every day brought a new problem, new criticism, or just drama.  Realizing that I had outgrown that friendship and finally standing up for myself gave me the courage to speak up more often.  I found myself establishing deeper and more meaningful connections with other friendships and new people.  I even made more friends!

Remember, as you grow as an individual, you will inevitably grow out of friendships. Just know that it is okay.


 

XOXO

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