Solo Travel

Since I was younger, I have fantasized over the idea of going to Barcelona, Spain. In fact, the specific year was 2006. Why this year?

Easy. It’s when The Cheetah Girls packed it all up in went to Spain, and for some reason to eight-year-old me, that just looked amazing.

(It still looks amazing!)

This past summer, I spent nearly 63 hours of my time devoted to earning my way to my dream through the great art of scooping ice cream. It took patience, a lot of time lacking immediate gratification, and several annoying conversations with some particularly unfriendly customers- but my dream was becoming a reality.

I had intended on staying in a hostel, but when I started at my new university, I met a really great girl named Maria, and she offered up her home and time to show me around la ciudad hermosa (the beautiful city)!…Im trying, okay?…haha.

So, when the time came, and I’d set enough money aside, I rushed to the internet and purchased my ticket.

In preparation of the trip, I’ve been watching novellas,  reading in Spanish, and listening to Spanish music in my free time.

I’ll admit, I definitely haven’t done it enough- however I’m starting to recognize major improvements in my comprehension and pronunciation. I had gotten to the point where language programs were no longer aiding my learning experience, but actually discouraging me.


…Anyways.

Being the renown procrastinator that I am, I delayed getting my passport for just a tad longer than what would have been convenient.

Instead of easily mailing my information to the office a short month in advance,  I was forced to take a solo trip to the Atlanta location due to waiting so late.

(Why am I like this?!)

For years I’ve wanted to test my independence and travel alone, but Atlanta was never one of my dream destinations. Also, neither was traveling to a place where I knew absolutely no one.

After a few mini-break downs, I came to the conclusion I was going to make the trip as fun as possible.

And I did!

I did several things:

  • Bikram Yoga
  • Visited the Georgia Aquarium
  • Saw The Belt-Line (a walking path they make a huge deal out of here).
  • Shopped and Dined in Ponce City Market
  • Walked (ALOT)
  • Found a Cute Coffee Shop (Its called ‘Dancing Goats’, I think that automatically makes it amazing).
  • Ate At Miss Pitty Patty’s Porch (And got a free coffee+desert for being pretty!).
  • Discovered I love alone time, but I’m definitely a family/people-person.
  • Got my very own passport (I feel accomplished- seriously).

Today is my last day in Atlanta, Georgia, though. Honestly, this city is fun, but I’m stoked to go home and see my family, friends and boyfriend before I head off to Spain. The people in my life mean so much to me, and I’m truly thankful to have that depth of connection with them.

Have you given consideration to the people in your life lately?

I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my alone time has made me reflect on and appreciate their presence even more.

This week, try taking an hour or two away from those in your life, and see where it puts you mentally. I dare you!

Watch- the time away will bring you closer. You’ll see.

Xoxo.

 

Show Me Something Natural

“Show me something natural, like ass with some stretch marks.” 

146 pounds.

Thats how much I weighed myself to be nearly four days ago.

When I stepped on the scale, my heart leapt into my throat. Everything in me wanted to jump on my bike and ride until somehow that number magically dropped to my usual fluctuating 135-140. Tears swelled in my eyes, and panic filled what I thought to be my newly inflated stomach.

As a little girl, I was classically trained in ballet- which also means I was classically trained to overanalyze my body and all of its imperfections.

I took a deep breath, then immediately ran to the bathroom to do just that- point out every piece of myself in which I craved to thin.

Are my arms jiggling more?

Is my butt not perky?

Oh my god, is my stomach poochy?

Images of those skinny wasted women, and big booty girls ran through my mind. Thats what a “10” is supposed to look like, right?

Not necessarily.

Not to say these women aren’t beautiful (believe me, they are, or else they wouldn’t appear so much on the social media).

But.

Its okay to fluctuate a little.

Looking at this situation rationally, I changed a lot of my habits in order to boost my grades during finals. Instead of sleeping a regular amount, I only got about 2 hours of rest a night. And rather then running around and hanging out with friends, I was sitting alone to study all day.

I know activity needs to be burned into your schedule, however, I realized I could not afford that time. If I wasn’t busy studying, I had to nap.

Whats messed up, though, is how dramatically a five-pound jump for ONE WEEK had me doubting my beauty, even though I’m still at an extremely healthy weight for my height (5’8″).

Its okay to naturally change body weights.

Besides, stretch marks kind of look like lightning.

If I have lightning in my hips, you know my moves are fire.

via GIPHY

Xoxo.

(also, this song is great. enjoy).