My Spring Bucket List

I am welcoming spring with open arms! I hate winter, I’m not sad to see it go, and I hope there is no more snow in store for me. I managed to get a lot done in winter, but I always like to amp up my spring and summer bucket lists because the weather is usually better and I have more motivation! I made this list extra long to motivate me on weekdays because I’m usually so lazy. Check out my spring bucket list below!

  1. Read 3 books
  2. Finish crocheting granny square blanket
  3. Have friends over to my new place
  4. Go on a weekend trip
  5. Plan a summer vacation
  6. Visit Longwood Gardens
  7. Reach 3,000 WordPress followers
  8. Reach 7,000 Instagram followers
  9. Reach 900 Twitter followers
  10. Reach 600 Facebook page likes
  11. Go hiking in 2 places
  12. Leave the state 3 times
  13. Hold a sloth
  14. Save $$$ for a dog!
  15. Start a garden
  16. See the cherry blossoms
  17. Have a picnic
  18. Take a walk outside once a week
  19. Maintain happiness and presence
  20. Create a photo album

The Nervous Traveler

I’m pretty much always convinced something is going to go wrong when I travel. I get to the airport early, print out all my receipts, and check my luggage about 50 times to make sure I have everything.

Yet, I always get nervous. Even though nothing has ever drastically gone wrong, I always think that it will all go downhill for me.

I think this mostly stems from how much money I put into travel with very little insurance. What if I miss my flight? That costs money. What if the Uber’s are upcharging when we need a ride? That costs money. What if I forget something really important? That costs money.

Like clockwork, every time I have a trip the hours leading up to it include a nervous stomach and a migraine. My only tips for someone traveling with a nervous travel is to constantly assure them.

My boyfriend and I travel together a lot and I do 90% of the planning, when he assures me nothing will go wrong I have a hard time believing him because I planned it so I know the possibilities. But that’s his job, I plan and he makes sure I don’t go nuts.

But in the end, the travel is always worth it.

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My Quick Trip To Orlando

I was lucky enough to ditch the winter weather and head to Orlando for 3 days – it was just the break I needed!

On day 1 we went to Universal solely because we wanted to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Are tickets pricey? Yes. Was going to Hogwarts worth it? Yes.

Here’s a couple things you have to do if you go to Harry Potter world:

  1. Get a butter beer because they are sooo yummy!
  2. Splurge for an interactive wand. It was $55 but doing spells all day and having an awesome wand can’t be beat.
  3. Wait on line for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 3D ride – this ride was NO JOKE. It felt like a real rollercoaster!
  4. Get ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. I highly recommend the lavender and earl grey flavor!

The next few days I spent poolside and just soaking up the sun at Westgate Lake Spa and Resort which was a really nice place.

I will recommend Dixie Dharma, a vegan restaurant, if you’re in the area! It was so yummy, it’s a bakery, restaurant, and shop and they had a lot of cool local prints, soaps, candles, etc. for sale.

Have you ever been to Orlando? Tell me your favorite part about your trip!

5 Don’ts For When You’re Traveling

1. Don’t forget a back up plan

Even trips where you’re winging it require some kind of plan. You never know when the bus you bought tickets for will get delayed and leave you with no ride to the airport (cough, cough, Greyhound).

2. Don’t overpack

Carry ons are really all you need. I usually bring a few pieces I can swap around and create new outfits out of.

3. Don’t forget the do not disturb sign

I don’t know about you guys, but the one thing I hate about hotels is always being intruded on – which is why I prefer airbnb’s. Someone is always knocking to clean or calling to ask something and I just want to be alone!

4. Don’t glue yourself to your phone

My favorite part about going out of the country is only having wifi when I’m chilling in the hotel. I don’t really preach putting your phone down often, but it’s nice when you’re on vacation to enjoy the moment and the people you’re with.

5. Don’t take pictures of everything

Yes, everything is amazing and DO take photos. I have a pretty bad memory so I can usually look back at one photo and get an amazing reminder of a whole day. But you don’t want to travel through a lens. There are plenty of things to do that aren’t instagram worthy or that you can just keep for yourself.

Let me know your tips below!

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grapefruitbrains/

My Trip To The Azores!

I’m back and ready to tell you about my trip to Terceira Island, which is part of the Azores. The Azores are a group of islands off of Portugal and belong to Portugal. I’m sure in Europe they are widely known, but most people from America that I’ve spoken to had never heard about the islands.

To be honest, we hadn’t either when we booked it! We book most of our big trips through Groupon and get great deals, this specific trip went through Groupon to Azores Getaways who helped us plan our transportation, tours, and basically helped us communicate with the hotel and such since we don’t speak Portuguese.

Mostly everyone on the island spoke English and it was extremely easy to get around. Everything was also veryyyy inexpensive. They pay in Euros and their main dishes include fish and beef. It’s an island so lots of fish and they also have a ton of cows. I got a tuna steak with potatoes and veggies for only $13. It was crazy good and crazy cheap.

Things we did:

  1. Bus tour around the island where we got to go to the best view points and explore the other city.
  2. Walking tour of the city we were staying in, Angra Do Heroismo.
  3. Tour of the volcanoes and walking through the lava tubes.
  4. Whale watching – we saw a lot of dolphins and a lot of sea sick people!

Places we ate:

  1. Most notably (and the most referred to us) – Beira Mar had the best seafood and we tried barnacles here!

My favorite parts:

  1. Terceira is green all year round due to the humidity!
  2. The cows are everywhere and soooo cute.
  3. The seafood couldn’t be beat.
  4. Our hotel, Terceira Mar, had an ocean view from every room.
  5. The buildings are so colorful, they’re all works of art.

The Azores are becoming a more and more popular tourist destination, a lot like Iceland. I suggest you try to go to one of the islands in the next few years while you can still enjoy the local flavor! 🙂

You can see some more photos on my Instagram. Have you ever been to any islands in the Azores?

Post Travel Blues

On the last day of my trip, there is always a little bit of excitement. I’m excited to sleep in my own bed again, have access to all of my things, see my friends and family. But as I sit in traffic on the last leg of the trip home, I overwhelmingly feel dread.

Traveling is such an amazing experience. To me, it is all about experiencing new cultures and places. To me, it’s about finding new places that I could potentially call home one day. Some trips leave me with less dread than others, some locations could just simply never be home. But the ones I get emotionally attached to are so hard to leave.

Because I’m leaving them to come home to a place I’m not exactly thrilled about. And I’m immediately thrown back into the real world of bills, work, and mediocrity. Traveling doesn’t always feel like a vacation where I can put my butt in the sand and not move for 5 days and come home feeling relaxed. But it is always a vacation from real life.

The post travel blues hit me hard for a couple of days, it’s like jet lag, and then eventually I adjust. Then I begin counting down the days until I can put that out of office up again and feel free for a while. That’s what paid time off is for, right?

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/barbourians/

My Trip To Vermont!

I took advantage of the three day Labor Day Weekend by visiting Vermont. I had a feeling Vermont would be one of my favorite states and it did not disappoint. It reminded me a lot of Portland, Maine – but better.

Things we did:

  1. Hiked Elmore State Park – a little tough, but a decent hike for beginners. I took a lot of breaks going up because I suck at steep hikes.
  2. Saw the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet – and it was awesome.
  3. Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour – ice cream, need I say more?
  4. Hiked Mount Philo – an easy and scenic loop!

Places we ate:

  1. Penny Cluse – prepare for a long wait, but good breakfast!
  2. Chubby Muffin – we stopped here for some takeaway breakfast before a hike and loved it.
  3. Red Onion – tasty sandwiches for lunch!
  4. Our House – omg sooo many mac n cheese options
  5. Sweet Waters – one of the better places that didn’t have a long wait!

We stayed at an Airbnb in Burlington and college was back in session so it was a little busy, but never really too chaotic. Everyone is very eco-friendly and the scenery was just amazing. Mountains are everywhere and we were lucky to be staying close to Lake Champlain where we watched the sunset. This was one of my favorite weekend trips and I would be so happy to take another trip to Vermont!