Tag Archives: Life

Traveling With Your Significant Other

Best friend. Boyfriend. Meanie Pants. Feeshy. (Insert profanity here). I called Nick A LOT of names over the past two months but I swear they were all out of love.

We started talking about this adventure almost a year ago, and last week was when it finally came to an end. Over the past 2+ months, I have learned many things. Not only about myself as a person, but myself as a person who is committed to someone else. Many people raised their eyebrows a year ago when we started talking about this so far in advance, “what if you guys don’t last?”; (1) thanks for your support. Yes, that is my sarcasm speaking, and (2) what if we do last? Obviously, we did last despite what some people thought. Not only did we last over this past school year, but also we successfully survived our journey together…although we had some rough patches at times.

Traveling with your best friend is an adventure, not only because you’re hopping from one country to another every other day but also because you learn so much about each other on the way.

What I Learned:

Patience: Yeah, maybe my patience isn’t exactly where it should be (not even close), but it has definitely improved over the past couple months. Before this trip, I had absolutely ZERO patience. I could hold no horses whatsoever. Now, after being forced to hold those horses and take a deep breath (thanks to Nick), I have learned that it’s a lot less stressful when I’m not freaking out about something. Not everything is going to go my way and that’s just something I have to deal with…eventually.

How to plan: I am the definition of a control freak and nothing bothers me more when something doesn’t go my way (see above). This time, there was another person there doing the planning along my side so I had to quickly adjust to working with another person to make sure things ran smoothly. Procrastination often drove our “planning” into the ground, and after being stuck in France for the lack thereof planning, we learned our lesson. It took us a few times to get everything together for each trip but it was well worth the time, effort, and money. I have absolutely no idea how travel agents do this, there are so many minor details that needed to be worked out *sigh*.

How to budget money: Budgeting has not always been my strongest area and I quickly learned that I needed to work on that area unless I wanted to go into debt. I was doing fine: booking flights/hotels/train rides that were all reliable but cheap, and not buying a lot of souvenirs or expensive meals. Since Nick and I aren’t married, we don’t share a bank account so I was doing this all on my own. THEN, about two weeks before our trip ended, I lost my credit card. I had gotten a special Chase account so that I wouldn’t be charged international transaction fees which worked great until I didn’t have that anymore or a debit card to use. This is where Nick came in. He agreed to take care of everything else that had to be taken care of (with me paying him back of course). Unfortunately, since this was no longer my money I was spending, I became obsessed with making sure that we weren’t spending a lot since it wasn’t mine. This was quite the adventure and we were able to work through everything together *high-five*.

How to open up: Nick and I have always been particularly close since we go to school together but we were able to become even closer on this trip (awhhhh). Although we were with other people the first few weeks, I still didn’t have any of my close friends to rant to or take a shopping break with. I felt even worse when we were on our own and all I had was Nick. Don’t get me wrong, he is the best but there comes a time when a girl needs her girlfriends. Of course, I couldn’t keep anything bottled up when something was wrong so Nick learned how to be a “girlfriend”/great listener while I learned that it’s okay to let everything out to him. After all, he is my boyfriend.

How to live: It’s one thing to be on your own and be under the impression that you are truly living but it’s another thing to be with someone else who shows you how to live. I never thought the day would come when I met someone who wanted to push life’s limits just as much as I did. Nick and I went on so many adventures and we did things that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own. He pushed me. I pushed him. In turn, we discovered this amazing force that drove us both into the fast lane. It was truly a great feeling.

So if you are thinking about traveling with your significant other but have doubts, remember this: all of your “kinks” don’t need to be worked out to go somewhere. Traveling can help a relationship grow stronger and it truly shows whether or not that person is in your life to stay or go. Personally, I would love for Nick to stick around, he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I thank God for him everyday. Love you, Feeshy.
nick1

Where the Memories Are

Home: [hohm]- adjective: a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.

For some reason I thought I would actually find a decent definition for this. Yeah, I realize this is the practical definition of a home but this doesn’t even cover the smallest ounce of what it truly means. I have made numerous comments about how I don’t feel like I have a permanent home since I am somewhat of a wanderer and never truly want to settle in one place.

Although, today, I had a different feeling.

Today, my Aunt is selling my childhood home. This is the same house that my mother and uncle grew up in with my grandfather, their footprints outlined in concrete in the driveway. This is the house where my father got down on one knee in the kitchen and asked my mom to marry him. This is the house where my parents brought me and my brother home from the hospital, where I hid dozens of binkies, where I got (and then gave away) my first puppy, where I picked rotten apples from our tree, and where I built numerous snow forts in the back yard with my brother. This is the house that embodies the early years of my childhood and today, it leaves our family. Today, I am sad.

We moved out of that house when I was in fifth grade (~7 years ago) and I was delighted that my aunt was buying it because I knew one day that I would want to buy it and raise my family there. After graduating high school, I realized that this was not something I wanted anymore but I was still glad to see that part of our family was still in the house. I knew that I would never want to move back to my small town but I never knew how saddened I would be to actually see it leave our family. It’s not a big house, it’s color has changed a few times, it doesn’t sit on a huge piece of land but it holds a lot of memories and that’s what matters to me.

I am halfway around the world and now I won’t ever be able to walk into that house and feel the same familiarity that I once felt as a child. It was truly more than a home and I am so fortunate to have created so many memories there.

One of my favorite memories is with my dad and my brother. All three of our rooms were right next to each other in the same small hallway and right before bed, my dad would turn off all the lights and hide in one of the rooms. Me and my brother would spin around a couple times at the end of the hall and slowly creep down waiting for my dad to pop out. Our arms would be locked with one another and the softest giggles would come from our mouths (as if dad didn’t know we were coming anyways). My dad would pop out every single time and make a loud noise sending my brother and I in the opposite direction with a mixture of screams and giggles coming out of our mouths. I love that memory…so much.

As I said before, it’s the memories that matter most which is why this is going to be okay. A new family will move in and I only hope that they create as many great memories as I did. Okay, I’m done with being nostalgic. Image

10 Reasons Why I’m Ready to Leave the Country

1.) I’m getting tired of waking up at 7:30 every morning only to stare at the same professors in classes I don’t like.

2.) This Ohio weather is really getting on my nerves. Freezing. Rain. Snow. Blistering Hot. Perfect. Snow. STOP.

3.) I’m ready for a new adventure. BUT who isn’t? 

4.) I am ready to challenge myself in new ways.

5.) I don’t want to be stuck in this rut anymore.

6.) I need new inspiration in my life.

7.) Food. Tons and tons of new food to devour. 

8.) Beyond excited to watch history come alive. Looking at pictures for the past 19 years just isn’t enough anymore.

9.) I want that amazing reoccurring feeling of being spontaneous again. 

10.) The world is a book and I’m tired of being stuck on the same page

If you’re planning on traveling soon, why are you ready to leave the country? 

Jess

Let the Countdown Begin

81 days.

1,944 hours that will seem to drag up until the minute I arrive at the airport. 58,320 minutes I will spend wishing I didn’t have to listen to the tick-tock of the clock on the wall counting the seconds. 3,499,200 seconds until I am on a plane to Europe.

After two long months, which really were only long because I was waiting, I finally received my letter from Miami saying that I had been accepted into the summer Luxembourg program to study abroad. It may seem like learning is the goal here (I guess it kind of is) but the real objective, to me, is to continue to broaden my perspective on life and expand my knowledge of the world I live in. Through the school, other than Luxembourg where I will be staying, I will be traveling to Brussels, Belgium, Germany, and France (for sure). Thankfully, I only have to attend class Monday-Wednesday which leaves Thursday-Sunday up for travel. The listed locations above are planned through the school and will consume a few of my weekends but my other ones that are free will consist of me hoping on a train to go to wherever my little heart desires.

On another great note, I will be traveling/studying with my boyfriend Nick. Once our studies are complete, we have decided to stay extra so that we can continue to travel while we have the opportunity. He specifically wants to make it to Moscow and Ireland while I dream about Greece. Once again, we have no set plans for our extra travels so I am excited to see where we go. His mother, Rebecca, will be joining us in our last week there where we will travel to Florence, Venice, and Rome. Rebecca LOVES art just as much as I do so it will be fun for her to show me all of the wonderful art since she had already traveled there before.

While I am extremely excited about this trip, I still refuse to hold any sort of expectation. Like I have said before, it is completely useless and only leads to disappointment. If we don’t make it somewhere we want then it won’t be that big of a deal as long as I’m not expecting it. Being in Europe for two months is amazing in itself. Plus, with the kind of time and the resources we have, the opportunities are endless. Freeing up your mind allows for many doors to swing open and say “come on in”.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” -Alexander Pope

Until next time.

Jess.

Think About It.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning..to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears, 1964-1994
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth..
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars..the house..the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you”d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what”s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we”ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile..
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy”s being read
With your life”s actions to rehash..
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Linda Ellis

Sonder

SonderCover

What is sonder? This is a new term to me but I am completely obsessed with it’s meaning.

Go to dictionary.com and look up “sonder”, you will be left with a list of suggestions and a simple “no results found”. The internets most used site for looking up words and it lacks a word that means so much. Look it up anywhere else and you’ll find a wide variety of definitions but they all more or less share the same ideas.

Sonder: (noun)- the realization that each passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Woah. Mind blown.

I can only speak for myself when I say this but I can not stop thinking about this. We realize that each and every day we are passing tens, hundreds, thousands of people yet we never think about who they really are. In the grand scheme of things, there is no actual need to know every person’s life story that you pass by but it’s an interesting concept.

You can pass by just one person and, as humans, we tend to judge a person by their appearance. That in itself is a whole other topic that I may get into on a later post. Go beneath the appearance of that individual. Within that person exists a daily routine, a cluttered inbox of emails and text messages, a family, a network of friends, feelings of anger, sorrow, happiness, and hope.  

Now, Imagine yourself going to dinner with your boss because you really want a promotion that is on the table. This is important for you, right? This could change your entire life yet if I am sitting in the same establishment with my boyfriend, you’re merely an extra in my movie. Your presence in the background has no real effect on how I’m living my life yet your story can be just as amazing as mine. 

Now take the time and think about the last time you drove through a major city at night. There was probably a decent amount of traffic, street lights had been on for a few hours and the tall office buildings towered over your car. Thinking back to that moment, were any of the lights on in any of the buildings? Even just one? Within that small rectangle of light there existed a person. A person who is just a tiny blip on your radar but you’re the exact same thing to them. 

My thoughts may seem odd and just sloppy but I’m still working through this idea of sonder because it is something that truly amazes me. I love people and I love listening to stories of individuals who wishto share. But sometimes, I wish I could have a quick look into the minds of those I pass by. Even just a glimpse. 

Digging deeper into this (and slightly off topic)…I heard once that when you dream, your brain is not able to fabricate individuals. It doesn’t just come up with brand new faces. Every person that you have ever dreamed of, even if you have no idea who this was/is, you have seen at some point in your life. Interesting.

Its weird to think that there is (probably) some other college girl sitting on her laptop on a Monday night typing up a blog. Go her.

I promise I’ll have a better post next time.  Night.

 

Testing the Waters

Wanderlust (won-der-luhst): A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

Let’s start off by addressing the fact that I grew up in a small town. When I say town I really mean village because we technically are not even big enough to be considered a town. BUT, the way village rolls off the tongue just doesn’t sit right with me. Kind of sounds like my childhood took place in a horror movie when I say I grew up in a village…

Anyways, a lot of my family lives where I grew up, they grew up there and their parents before them also grew up there. I graduated with less than 100 people in my class and it was even a public school. Everyone knew your secrets so there were never really secrets at all. What I never understood was why people go back. I watched people graduate, return and start their families in the same place they were raised. To me, it was weird and still is. My small town had nothing to offer, people were nosey, drama was an everyday thing and we all were labeled “racist”. Maybe it’s just me but I find that annoying. I worked about 20 minutes from my home in a suburb outside the main city and whenever I would tell people where I was from they automatically assumed I was racist. No.

This is where my strong desire to travel comes into play. Wanderlust. I grew up experiencing the same closed-minded people year after year and I wanted something new. Other schools offered three or more languages while I was offered one. Some schools were able to take class trips out of the country while we got to go to Washington D.C. in the 8th grade. Among other things, my school had no diversity whatsoever and that wasn’t okay to me.

Traveling opens those doors to new languages, new places, and the diversity that everyone should experience. So far, my travels only extend across two continents but that is enough to make me realize what else is in store. In New Zealand I experienced people from all over the world, especially in Queenstown. There were people who shared this same feeling of wanderlust. It was amazing. 

I think as we grow up we start to crave the things we are denied. I suppose “denied” is a strong word to use in this sense. I was not necessarily denied diversity, but it was something that never found a way into my life. It may sound silly but it’s true. What better way to cure my lack of diversity than seek out new experiences of diversity? It just makes sense to me.

With that being said, I want to challenge myself. Challenge myself to seek out all the diverse aspects of this world we live in. I want to seek out all of the diverse people, languages, places, monuments, books, etc. I want to discover anything and everything that will broaden my horizon on life.

Life is not short; it is literally the longest thing you will ever do. Within that time frame though, I want to seek out all the adventures and opportunities that unfold. Doors are constantly opening, some even shut, but it is the willingness and curiosity that drives my ambition to continue on.

Life is not meant to be lived within the boundaries that others have placed before you.

Jess