Tag Archive | travel

WO: Weekly Obsessions

This week’s obsessions are brought to you from a faraway place — the Masai Mara in Kenya!

During a very deep lunchtime conversation in July, a co-worker reminded me how important it is to use PTO for things besides weddings and babies and birthdays and funerals. Another co-worker chimed in about her friends’ upcoming safari trip in Kenya and shared the info with me to consider.

I literally came home that night to yet another wedding invitation — and while I am truly honored to be thought of by so many for their life milestones, I considered my own life milestones and what I’d like to achieve for myself.

Africa has been on my travel bucket list for some time, but I didn’t ever think a trip like this would fall into my lap. But thanks to some luck and a fabulous family-owned company called Safari Spots, I’m here!

I left Thursday and will return to the US on Monday. It’s been a whirlwind in every aspect of the word and I can’t wait to share more upon my return.

For now, I’ll simply say: Don’t wait. Life is truly what happens when you’re making other plans. So go on that adventure, take that leap of faith, do whatever it is you’ve been itching to do — because you never know if the chance will come again.

Courtesy of 123RF.com

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WO: Weekly Obsessions

I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.

Image Credits Listed Below

 

  1. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
  2. Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
  3. Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
  4. “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.

 

Images courtesy of: Amazon, GoFundMe, FB, Reddit

WO: Weekly Obsessions

My watch says it’s 7:45pm, which I fully believe after a pre-dawn wake-up in California and a nonstop flight to Florida. It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but it’s all been leading up to tomorrow, when I’ll join my dear friend Jess and her family for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria have changed our itinerary, but they’re not stopping us from celebrating Jess’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis. I’ve always known Jess to be strong, funny and full of perspective, but the last year has only further proven to me how remarkable she is.

I can’t put into words how grateful I am for her friendship and being able to celebrate with her this weekend. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait to share how much fun we had when I return!

WO: Weekly Obsessions

MILD GOT SPOILER AHEAD. If you didn’t watch this week’s S7 premiere, scroll on down. Allow me to complain, for just a moment, about Ed Sheeran’s appearance in Sunday’s episode. I know I juuust said I liked the guy, but that doesn’t mean I want him showing up in Westeros. What were they thinking? Grrrr…

Image Credits Listed Beloq

  1. Sacramento: In more important news, I traveled to California’s capital city Sunday to prepare for orientation at my new company’s HQ. It was 105 degrees when I arrived, so my first impression was not the best. It turned out to be an interesting city, though, with decent food options and some incredibly nice people. I look forward to return visits in the near future, too!
  2. Volcano Candle: I don’t recall ever receiving a candle for my birthday before, but this year I was gifted with THREE. All of them smell amazing, but I chose to burn this scent first and it didn’t disappoint. You know how that feeling when you walk into a room and are instantly calmed, just from the smell? Yeah, that’s what this little guy does. It’s sheer perfection.
  3. Purging: Before moving into my new apartment, I had the help of some friends who were supportive of me purging the heck out of my space. While those efforts were super successful — I donated 10+ bags of goodies — I still find I need to cleanse my stock of stuff. I started diving in this past weekend and have the ultimate goal of finishing on Saturday. Who says being a grown-up isn’t fun? This is thrilling stuff, you guys!
  4. “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones: Naturally, I always think of this song when saying goodbyes. It’s a gimme for that, but it’s also one of those songs that always transports me back in time and puts a smile on my face. I simply can’t hear it without getting a little misty-eyed and reminiscent of fond memories. Take that, Ed Sheeran.

Images courtesy of: Sactown Magazine, Zanadia, Life’s Next Chapter Coaching, Discogs

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Courtesy of ThingLink.com

It’s the longest day of the year today, and it sure does feel like it! Not that it’s a bad thing — I am quite amazed at how we’re already well into June and don’t mind a day off feeling a bit longer.

Why am I off, you ask? Well, my HS bestie is in town for a visit and we’re taking on San Francisco like never before. We have tickets to a comedy show, a comedy drag show, wine country and more… a jam-packed 72 hours is in our future.

She even brought a little southern sunshine with her, as our temps climb into the 80s and SF residents freak the F out over the heat. I’m not immune to freakouts myself — life without central A/C is no joke.

So although it’s been a few weeks of less-than-stellar obsessions, I promise to be back at it again like Damn, Daniel next Wednesday.

In the meantime, please enjoy…

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

Ayana Byrd began this week’s chapter describing her affinity for staying safe in the middle, never veering too far from the center to make waves.

I didn’t immediately relate. I’ve often considered myself somewhat of a rebel — or at least the black sheep — of my family. After all, I’m the only one who has a facial piercing (my nose, but it counts)! I’m the only one of my generation (until very recently) to get a tattoo — and at that, I have multiple. The horror! I’m the only one who left Florida to pursue a life beyond the Sunshine State.

This is where Ayana and I connect. She detailed her many adventures abroad, feeling limitless as she ventured far beyond the comfort zone of the middle.

It’s always surprised me when someone compliments me on my own big moves. I haven’t given them all that much thought, until now.

New York and San Francisco are largely made up of transplants. Sure, you have your lifers, the people who are quick to remind you they were born and raised there, and will call you out for any embarrassing transplant behavior. But by and large, there are tons of people in both places who’ve moved into these cities for the pursuit of something more. And probably because of that, I haven’t felt like my leaving Florida was all that big a deal. Plenty of people do it. Heck, lots of my colleagues have traveled much further — and risked much more — to come here.

But I shouldn’t lessen its importance, or how much those moves have changed me. Compared to my colleagues and friends, and yes, Ayana Byrd, I’ve done a paltry amount of traveling abroad. But aside from family who served in the Armed Forces, I’ve got the most stamps on my passport.

And without even leaving my zip code, I can see the world in a much more diverse way — challenging the status quo constantly — because I live and breathe in a city that pushes for progress and change.

I’ve had the privilege of learning about more cultures and backgrounds in four years away than I had in the 25 years prior. I’ve experimented with foreign (to me) ingredients, entertainment, customs and traditions. I’ve broadened my perspective on what an impact a life well-traveled can mean. I even spent seven weeks of the last year traveling — albeit, all domestic — because I can always find a reason to say “Yes” to a new experience.

Ayana’s story reminds me there’s so much to say “Yes” to, beyond the 50 states and how it’s OK to be a little scared the first (or every) time you venture somewhere new. Of all my wild and crazy antics, I’ll happily share a full passport and broader understanding of our world for years to come.

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you aren’t ashamed to be seen carrying.

It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I realized how valuable it is to have at least one quality purse, suitcase and umbrella each in my collection.

Despite the Louis Vuitton resurgence during my high school years, plus plenty of travel and thunderstorms in college and beyond, it hit me the night I landed in New York. Yet another Target purse ripped, my suitcase handle came clean off the rails and a Walgreens umbrella failed me in the falling snow.

In the four years — and one day — since I moved to NYC (and now San Francisco), I’ve invested carefully in some quality pieces.

I waited for a handbag sale at Macy’s and used multiple coupons (plus my corporate discount) to treat myself to this Vince Camuto beauty last year. I don’t use it every day, or even every week; but I always receive compliments and am proud of this stylish, yet practical purchase.

Image Courtesy of My iPhone
The luggage I’ve coveted for years finally became mine after I signed my relocation paperwork for San Francisco. Again, I waited for a Macy’s sale and piled on promos with my discount to save a considerable amount of money. The Samsonite spinner set has served me well over thousands of miles, and it’s always easy to spot at baggage claim. My only regret is not adding on a carry-on size at the time, but I’ve got about 26 weeks to do so before my birthday comes 😉

Image Courtesy of Macy's
Finally, the ubiquitous umbrella… such a seemingly simple item, but a puzzling purchase nonetheless. Get one too big, and it’s a pain to lug around — remember, I don’t have a car anymore. Get one too small, and it’s pointless during a downpour. I eventually ditched the last of my $5 drugstore umbrellas, and went with a not-much-more-expensive Totes option. It opens and closes with the push of a button, and it provides enough coverage without breaking my back to carry to and fro. Bonus: It comes in plenty of colors and patterns, so you’ve got endless options to style your stormy day.

Image Courtesy of A New Technology
So, there you have it: the purse, suitcase and umbrella I’m not ashamed to be seen carrying. Which of these items are you most proud you purchased? Post in the comments so I can scope your styles!