Tuesday, January 1, 2019

My 2019 Goals

It's another year with another set of goals. 
Do you know what I'm doing to help myself actually accomplish these goals? I'm creating a 'goal jar'! Here's how it works... I've got sub goals (things like walking the dogs, running, yoga, taking supplements, etc) that will have an attached price. My jar will be placed on my night stand and whenever I accomplish a goal I will "pay myself" that day! At the end of each month, I'll be able to take that money out and use it on myself! I'm excited to experiment and see how well I do, but for now here are a few big goals that I am hoping to achieve in 2019!

<Restart Daily Journaling>
I used to be an avid journal writer. I have books filled with entries that date back to as early as when I was 8 years-old. I loved reading about what my angsty little mind was going through when I was growing up. I want to start that up this year again because I want to be able to remember all of the good moments of my life and leave a story for future generations that is worth reading.

<Develop Daily Routines>
The biggest thing that I want to incorporate in 2019 is getting on a schedule. I have so many things that I want to accomplish, that I've got to keep track of everything in a more organized way. Usually my most productive days are when I plan them out hour by hour. Does that sound boring and very tedious? Of course it does, but I've spent many hours wasting time that I could've been doing something more productive, but not this year!

<No More Snooze Button>
Seth will appreciate this one. I am guilty of setting 6 different alarms in the morning and usually waking up around the 5th one. In order for this one to work, I need to make sure that I'm allowing my body to get enough rest and getting to bed early enough that waking up won't be so difficult.

<Less Screen Time>
I think this is a general goal that is great for everyone. Be more present! Don't let your phones consume your time with pointless entertainment. Go do something worth while!

<Find a Healthy Hobby>
Near the end of this year I really started struggling with keeping my head on straight. I think I need to find a new hobby that can occupy my time where I can commit a couple hours a week to help me release any anger or stress that is getting bottled up in my body.

<Travel Somewhere I've Never Been Before>
This is a yearly tradition! This will always be on my goal list! I think there is a good chance that I'll be crossing it off later this year... somewhere like Mexico?

<Cross Something Off My Buckets List>
This is also a yearly tradition! The more I cross of the merrier! Maybe I'll go on a hot air balloon ride, swim with sharks or what about a humanitarian trip? (Click here to see my full Bucket List)

<Use Less Plastic>
Buying local, buying in bulk, there are countless ways that I could improve on this and I feel like if I can accomplish it if I take the time to plan accordingly and choose to make those options. I wrote a post last year that could be a pretty good reference for me about 80 Ways To Help The Environment.

<Read 12 Books>
1 book a month, simple as that! I've already got a couple of books queued and ready to go!

What are some of your 2019 resolutions?
Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

Monday, December 31, 2018

6 Things I Learned in 2018

The year is finally coming to a close. My decorations have been taken down, the dishwasher has been filled, my sheets have been changed and my bank account is nursing a holiday hangover. 2018 has had it's fill of traveling, challenges, break downs and achievements. It's been a year of a lot of firsts for me, pushing boundaries and comfort zones. They say when you turn 25 years old that you're pretty set in your personality and that you won't change much as your life pans out. In all honesty, I feel like I still have a lot of growing up to do so I'm open to any change and learning the ways to navigate through the up's and downs of life!

I'm finally getting better at wake surfing >>>
Wake surfing is probably mine and Seth's favorite thing to do together. We're both water creatures so anytime we can be in a large body of water under warm sunshine would be described as the perfect day together. I was never super athletic growing up, but like everything practice makes perfect!

I did an insane amount of traveling this year >>>
Looking back on the past 12 months, I spent so much of my income on plane tickets, hotel reservations and souvenirs. My bank account has been mending ever since, but I don't regret any of it! Not only was I able to island hop in the Caribbean, I finally made it to Europe and discovered Spain, France and Italy. I took a road trip by myself to Yellowstone for the first time ever, and it was one of the most fulfilling and growing experiences of my life! If traveling the world is something you want to do, then do it. Buy the plane ticket. Fork over the money. If that is a dream of yours then you gotta decide that it's worth it and it will be.

I tried a lot of things that I had never done before >>>
I attended a pole dancing class, tried cross country skiing, maneuvered through slot canyons and even did yoga with goats! I sold my car that I had since High School and cried on my last "joyride" with her around the neighborhood, but I knew that the girl that bought my car needed it more than I did.

I became a lot more independent >>>
I told myself that this was the year that I wanted to "own" myself in a sense. I bought super expensive tickets to the Nutcracker this season because I've been dying to go for years that I decided to open up my laptop, pick a relatively good seat and purchase the tickets online. I've become a lot more vocal about my likes, dislikes, opinions and beliefs, even to the point where people began to notice and mention "Wow, you're not afraid to speak up anymore are you?" I grinned when I first heard that.

I began to spread myself a little too thin >>>>
My list making and organization skills became unmanageable and unreachable. I never allowed myself to take a mental break because I thought it would be selfish, unproductive and a huge waste of time. I became very easily overwhelmed at times, thinking that if I didn't accomplish all 35 things on my to do list over the weekend, that I had completely failed. I put so much pressure on myself that it felt like everything I did was never enough... but I was the one that was putting that pressure on me.

Stress overcame me, and it made me blind to a lot that I had already accomplished >>>
I have a tendency to let people's remarks and judgments rub off on me and follow me home. I get so upset with myself when I let it happen, but for some reason I can never shut it off in my head. I think with the New Year ahead, I want to find a way to let my anger/anxiety/stress out in a healthy way. I need something that can bring me back to humanity/reality and give me a chance at a feeling of release. I need to remind myself, probably on a daily basis, that no matter what you do with your life or whatever happens, good or bad, that your ability to recognize when you're going to fast or to remember that you already have everything you truly need, then life can be beautiful and you can always choose happiness.

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!
Happy New Year, everybody!



Saturday, December 29, 2018

6 Things I Crossed Off My Bucket List in 2018

(61) Take A Solo Roadtrip
This was one of my biggest accomplishments of 2018. I was a nervous wreck the night before heading on my trip. This was the first time I had ever been to Yellowstone, but I was determined to push myself outside my comfort zone and get the full effect of being entirely on my own. I wrote a journal entry about the trip and also wrote about the lessons learned while traveling by myself. Who knows, maybe 2019 will bring another adventure!

(41) Attend a UFC Fight
Watching live entertainment is the perfect way to enjoy an energetic and exciting night. We traveled up to Boise, Idaho to watch UFC Fight Night! I love the atmosphere of the arena, everyone's adrenaline and excitement is intoxicating!  It wasn't until the last day we were leaving is when we bumped into one of my favorite fighters of all time upon checking out of the same hotel we stayed at...

(2) Skinny Dipping 
I don't really think I need to get very descriptive while explaining skinny dipping, I'm sure you get the picture!

(88) Take a Pole Dancing Class
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon then with a couple of your close girlfriends at a pole dancing class! I had been wanting to do this for so long. I learned that it takes an incredible amount of strength and durability to be able to do what those girls do. It was such a fun feeling to free yourself and your personality on the pole. Our instructor had such spunk and spice for life! I would highly recommend anyone giving it a try!

(91) Yoga with Goats
Yep, you read that right. A couple of friends and I decided to take a late afternoon yoga session while meeting and greeting adorable goats! 'Goga' was such a fun bonding experience where you got a good stretch and plenty of laughs!

(43) Donate my Hair
I have been wanting to do this one for years now. My hair was past my waist line, it so extremely long! I cut almost a full 12 inches of hair! I decided to donate it to a program organized by Pantene called Beautiful Lengths which will actually be discontinued this year. They have provided real hair wigs to cancer patients since 2006 and they have received such an overwhelming amount of support that they are able to keep creating more wigs for the next 4 years!

What's on your bucket list?
Do you have any that you want to accomplish next year?
Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My Traveling Diaries | Florence, Italy

Seth's number one priority while in Florence was to go see the infamous statue of David. We took an hour and a half train ride through Italy to reach the station. We hurried a long to try and keep up with the pace of our tight schedule. We hailed yet another taxi to take us straight to the Galleria dell'Accademia.

The museum could've been so easily missed because it's tucked between streets. Luckily the line wasn't terribly long and we weren't waiting for an obscene amount of time. We bought our tickets and shuffled through the corridors and sections of the art gallery. I could tell Seth was extremely excited about seeing the David, I was feeding off his excitement and anticipation.

The moment arrived when we turned the corner to face a long hallway where standing at 14 feet tall in all his naked glory was the statue of David. The year was 1504 when Michelangelo (who was only 26 years old at the time) completed this gorgeous statue. The definition is the legs, chest and face are incredible. The state David is in is meant to depict his battle before Goliath. He has a strong stance of relaxed confidence yet complete alertness. We stared at him for a while. It wasn't until I was 3 feet away from it is when I realized how attractive and empowering the statue is.

The hallways to the left and right of David were decorated with famous paintings. We passed by each one reading about the history of the scene, mediums used to make the painting, as well as learn about the meanings behind it. One painting had foliage that was so incredibly accurate that the plants were able to be identified by professionals many years later.

There was an adjacent hallway sectioned off with art and statues from what I believe to be student's inspired work from the 19th century from the nearby Art Academy. It was inspiring to see such tall ceilings and shelves covered in busts and sculptures of people. They were very inspiring!

After grabbing a few souvenirs, we realized we didn't have a lot of time to make our last train back to the port. We booked it over to the station and bought our last ticket for the day. As the train began to shut the doors, I realized how much we've seen on this trip and how much more left there is to see! We were headed to the place I was very excited for....

NEXT STOP... Rome, Italy!

Friday, November 16, 2018

My Traveling Diaries | Pisa, Italy

We had one day to tackle two cities, Pisa and Florence. We were some of the first people off the ship around 7:30 in the morning and grabbed the first taxi to the train station as quick as we could. We paid for our tickets with only minutes to spare! We watched as the train came screeching by and slowed to a stop. The doors opened and we searched for our seats. We had a 30 minute ride to our first destination, Pisa!

The Pisa Baptistery of St. John
We reached the Pisa train station and flagged down another taxi to take us over to iconic Square of Miracles! We drove pass old buildings and channels of water. The streets were crowded with locals, tourists and souvenir carts. We hopped out of the taxi and passed through the gated area to the square. I know that some people have told me that the tower is very underwhelming, but I personally was amazed by it. It's taller than I expected and gorgeously symmetrical... I loved it!

The campanile, the leaning Tower of Pisa

The Pisa Cathedral and the Bell Tower

The stairway up to the top of the Tower
We decided to pay to get to the top of tower! Why? Who knows how long they'll allow people inside the tower! We finally reached the front of the line and had to adjust our footing to the leaning doorway. The marble stairs were so incredibly worn down that you could see where people have walked over hundreds of years. The view from above was absolutely incredible. We snapped a few photos of the bells and each other. It really is such a beautiful area to explore!

The view from the top of the Tower!
My handsome husband :)

As we made our way back down the tower, I stopped by a gift shop to pick up a magnet to add to my collection. We headed back to the train station to grab a quick bite to eat and reach the next train!

NEXT STOP... Florence, Italy

Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Traveling Diaries | Marsielle, France

The rain seemed to be following us as we sailed through the Mediterranean. We were told by authorities that we weren't allowed to drive into the city because the streets were closed off due to the political strikes continuing across Europe. You could see the flashing red and blue lights of police cars lining the streets a few blocks ahead. We were allowed to stay outside the city and head over to the shopping center. We were bummed we couldn't go to the places we wanted to, but we decided to make the most of it!

We meandered around different stores and did some window shopping greeting a few of the locals. Seth had the idea that even though we couldn't make it into the city, that we should just enjoy a nice relaxing lunch together. We walked passed a restaurant that caught my eye called Dalloyau. We were quickly seated and picked our meals! I chose a delicious creamy sauce pasta with chicken and then for dessert we had assorted macaroons and a glass of wine!

Once we were done with lunch, we walked along the boardwalk and stopped at different locations! As we walked around we hit the Marseille Cathedral. It's a gorgeous cathedral that was built in the middle of the 1800s. It has Roman and Gothic inspired details and is probably one of the most unique cathedrals I've ever seen! We found a spot near the edge of the boardwalk where we played around and snapped a few photos together. We had a great view of the Notre-Dame de la Garde, an iconic church that stands with a bronze Virgin Mary a top the bell tower.

We headed back to the boat for an easy night. We knew we needed to get a lot of sleep tonight because we had a BIG day tomorrow. We were finally heading to Italy and we had plans to go to Pisa and Florence! We only had a limited amount of time so we knew we had to hustle!