Studying Abroad

My biggest life goal at the moment is to study abroad. Nothing excites me more. Spending several months overseas in a place that you get to choose and you get to go to a new school and still get the credits for the school that you are attending back home. I don’t think it gets more awesome than that. I would love to study abroad right now, but I’m only a high school senior. In my recent post I talked about taking a gap year and I think that may be the best thing for me at the moment. But for right now I want to write about all the pros to studying abroad. Of course, there are cons but I hate debbie downers so I’m not going to talk about them!!

This is me…… not literally. I’m not the baby in the picture. This would be my facial expression. Not good at English nor Spanish.

When I study abroad I want to go to a Spanish speaking country. I’m not terrible at Spanish but I’m also not a fluent native speaker either so I already know that this is going to be me once I’m there for a couple days.

There are countless reasons why studying abroad is a good idea. The list would probably go on for forever. At least when I’m writing because I honestly see no cons to it!

For one, you get to see the world. You get to experience new ideas, cultures, activities, and natural wonders of that country. The coolest part about studying abroad is that you’re not limited to just the country that you are studying in. You can visit the neighboring countries. So yes, you are studying in an amazing and new foreign country but you get to also visit and see new countries as well.

When studying abroad think about all the new things that you’re getting to experience. You get to try new foods, traditions, and a new social atmosphere for creating and keeping new relationships. You also have to think about what you can teach other people about your home country, customs, traditions, and language. As you are excited to learn new things about the country you are studying in, the people in that country will flock and attach to you to learn new things from your country as well!

Studying abroad is also an amazing idea for new career opportunities. It looks great on applications and resumes. You have a willingness to learn new things and new ideas so you are attractive for future employers. Not only that, before you get locked down at a 9-5 job you should take the opportunity to explore the world. You won’t be locked down and studying abroad will give you an experience unlike anything else.

I can’t wait to start planning where I’m going to study!!

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Mental Health While traveling

So yes.. I have been diagnosed with general anxiety and depression disorder. Supposedly, this has been going on ever since I was a little girl. I use to worry about every little thing possible. But the severe depression and anxiety started more recently, like this past summer. I’m not going to get into a lot of details but I was sexually harassed at my job and my life took a complete 180. I was scared to leave my house, let alone my bed. I was scared someone was going to touch me inappropriately again. I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself and thought that I did something to make this happen to me. I know now that isn’t the case..

However, one thing saved me. And that one thing was travel. And adventure. Traveling made me go out of my comfort zone. It allowed for me to try new things and make me come out of my shell again. Traveling got me to meet new people and when I was put in a new setting it got me to talk again. Be able to use my voice and be heard and have normal conversations again.

It’s kind of strange. The one thing that saved me for spiraling down a deep hole was getting up and going. Going where ever my mind took me. My trip to Mexico this past summer had me worried. I was afraid of getting on the plane, I was afraid of the people I might encounter, I was afraid that the one thing I loved most in the world was taken away from me. That wasn’t the case at all. When I went back in the airport for the first time after my situation everything fell back into place. I felt a sort of ease that I haven’t felt in a long time. Like I said in my previous posts, the people I met were beyond amazing. They were the most genuine people. They were kind and watched out for me. I felt like someone finally cared. And while I was on that trip, I felt nothing. No depression. No anxiety. No bad thoughts. No worry wort Payton anymore. It was an incredible feeling.

I believe that travel benefits a person’s mental health. You become your true self and you get to enhance your personality. You get more than just a happy feeling. The excitement and feelings you get during and after your trip aren’t just all. You get that feeling before, you know that you are going to be traveling soon and it gives you that added push to get through tough situations. I think the best thing about travel is it gets you to make and create strong relationships. Traveling puts you in those situations to enhance not only yourself but other’s around you as well. Having people around for you to get through tough situations while traveling will make dealing with situations back in reality, easier.

I’m a Beach Girl

If any of you actually read my posts then you can tell that I am such a beach girl. If I go on vacation to somewhere that isn’t the beach I get a little upset. Is that bad? In my head I’m like, “I belong on the beach”….

This is my moto.. if anyone makes me upset I say “beach please”. Sorry that’s inappropriate but I need to remember that I don’t to waste my time on people when I could just be at the beach. The beach has gotten me through a lot to be honest… I never feel depressed or anxious while I’m at the beach. There is something about it, it’s calming and brings me peace. The waves crashing against the shore have that sound that bring me new emotions and feelings. When I’m at the beach I feel connected with the water, the bright sand & sun, and all the animals that come with it. I’m connected to a deeper meaning. Nature. Living and nonliving. The palm trees have a beauty that is apart of me. I love the beach. The beach will forever be my first love.

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

You never feel bothered at the beach. There could be numerous people around you and you would feel like you were the only one there. The beach gives me opportunities I never thought were possible. When I stand and face the waters and look out at the horizon I feel like I can achieve anything. Who thought a body of water would be someone’s biggest motivator?

Getting my daily dose of Vitamin D at the beach will keep me happy. I’m kind of like the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Except for me, it’s being out in the sun at the beach. I feel healthy and motivated when I’m out in the sun. It’s rejuvenating. It’s funny though, I don’t like being in the sun at home because it’s too hot and there is nothing to do except bake in the sun and there are no gorgeous views to look at. But… when I’m at the beach, it’s a different story. I will be outside from 9AM to 5PM.

The ocean is my own personal mediation device. I am me when I am at the sea. My emotions flee and my head becomes clear. I believe that the ocean speaks to us, and with how we look at it, the ocean could resemble a deeper meaning. The ocean is what we want it to be.

I hope one day you understand the deeper meaning of mother nature and the beauty of a beach. It’s my place, my happy place. I love it.

 

Why do people live in the desert?

I have never been to a desert. I have seen them in movies and on T.V. and I’m not going to lie… I don’t see what’s so great about them? It’s basically a flat land and it seems like there is nothing for miles and miles. There is usually a lot of sand and hills and I’m pretty sure the desert is extremely humid. Let me tell you, I hate humidity. It not only makes my hair frizz but it feels sticky and you sweat, like a lot a lot.

This is literally my hair when I step outside with humidity in Iowa… can’t imagine what it would be like if I lived in the desert like Arizona or Texas.

I don’t see the benefits of living in the desert.

– The land is undeveloped. – The climate is warmer. – Medical conditions such as allergies and respirator ailments are relieve. – The job market is less competitive. – Housing costs are lower. – An urban metropolis is nowhere in sight. – The scenery is desolate and beautiful.

A leading publisher says that there are numerous reasons for why a person should live in the desert. But to me, these don’t seem like good reasons. I mean they do, but not strong enough reasons for me to choose to live in the desert. Yes, the climate is warmer but like I said, the desert is extremely humid. I don’t know if I could do day in and day out with constant humidity. I truly don’t think I would be happy. I get grumpy and irritable when it’s humid out. Let’s also talk about how dangerous it can be if it gets too humid. A lot of children, pets, and elderly can’t go outside because of the harsh conditions? So why would anyone want to live where they have to be stuck inside all day. All the things listed above can be found anywhere, and the scenery isn’t beautiful in my opinion… it’s flat and dry?

Overall, I think the main reason why people choose to live in the desert is because it is less crowded and their roots dig back to their ancestors living in the desert. If you aren’t a city person the desert will probably be the place for you. In LA for example, there are buildings are almost touching each other and there isn’t a lot of room.

Researchers have found that humidity in the desert can reach a low enough point making the levels easier to prevent diseases specifically lung disease.

I may risk my health to live somewhere that isn’t so humid. I’m not the kind of girl that enjoys feeling like I just took a shower all day. I think I’m going to just take vacations to the desert because I know I won’t have to stay for long. And let’s be real… the views are pretty breathtaking.

How to Save Money

Of course traveling is expensive and typically you never think that you’ll end up spending as much as you do. Time and time again it seems that we all go way over our budget when planning and executing vacations.

I think the hardest part is figuring out how much money that you need to save. Because like I said earlier… you never think it’s going to be a lot until it’s too late. I would say to always save more than you think that you need. A savings plan is always beneficial for any life scenario but it’s especially useful for travelers. Saving before your trip allows for you to take bits and pieces of money and stock it away for safe keeping and still be able to pay your bills. I think saving for a trip is exciting, it gives you something to look forward to and it’s extremely rewarding saving your own money and buying your own trip from it.

There are typically 5 basic steps for this article that readers need to take away..

  1. Assessment
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Creating a Plan
  4. Implementation
  5.  Monitoring and Reassessment

Assessment is key because you need to be realistic. Can you actually afford this or are your dreams a little to big? To make things easier you can look over your income and start a budget. Use an excel spreadsheet. Write it in your journal or on a piece of paper for the month. Budget out what you need like food, rent, your car payment, etc. Then of course budget out things like a night out with friends or a new shirt. Dine in, trust me it is cheaper. But set a specific number amount so you can’t go over it. Then what is ever left put it in your savings account. To make it even better start a savings account where you can’t touch the money unless you physically go into the bank. That was my biggest problem when trying to save, I would dig into it here and there because it was so easy to go online and transfer it to my checking account.

You guys might think this is crazy but starting a change jar will end up surprising you. I know there is some loose change in your pockets or cup holders or in the dryer.. put them in the jar. It doesn’t look like it’s a lot of money but over time, it adds up significantly. Find a local second hand store near you that lets you sell your items for money. Donate blood or plasma. Get a side job for the weekends. Create a Go-Fund me account. The possibilities are endless. It will take time but if you start early enough and plan ahead it won’t seem like it’s that long. But if you wait last minutes to book a trip coming up with the money quickly will be difficult.

Creating a plan and sticking to it is what will be the most helpful for saving money for your trip. If you create a plan, sticking to it is the easy part. After the first couple months it becomes a habit. If you love to travel you will find a way to save, no matter what it takes. It’s hard but in the end… it’s worth it.

GoPro

I have always wanted a GoPro. Like actually I’m almost like fan girling because of how excited I am to write this post. These are like every travelers dream. Almost like a new camera for a photographer.

To be honest these look so dumb on a persons head.. lets have a quick laugh really quick.

What is this hahaha.. But, when you see someone with this on you already know that they are catching some awesome and rad footage while on vacation or exploring. A GoPro on a persons head allows for you to capture all the cool things on film and experience them first hand. It’s amazing. These little cameras are durable AND waterproof and it doesn’t get much better then this. Back in the day if you wanted a video or a photo of yourself doing something you needed another human being present. GoPro’s allow for adventurers and travel gurus to get unique and different content. When buying a GoPro and setting up an account makes editing easier then ever, GoPro has it’s own editing software so you just transfer your footage to the software and BOOM. Easy as that.

I always thought that the GoPro was only for videos but it is also for pictures as well. So you don’t need to carry your bungle-sum camera with you on vacation.

Let’s talk about the cool videos we have all seen on Twitter on Facebook of people traveling the world, and capturing footage while using their GoPro. I think it’s after watching videos like these that make me want to pack my bags and go and film amazing videos like this but every time I try it never turns out like I want it. It doesn’t look like this…

I don’t think GoPro’s are that expensive either. I think the newest and nicest one is around $200. However, I think every traveler should invest in a GoPro. Once I’m not broke I think I’m going to go out and buy one.. for my next trip!! đŸ˜‰

Travel Agents

Do any of you still know about these people and what they do? I hope that you do. I honestly think these people are honestly the best and I wish that they were still useful and people used them more. With my experience with travel agents, I encountered nothing but the best. I always think that they have access to sources that we at home do not. Because how do they find such good deals?

Now a days though travel agents are hardly used. With today’s technology everything is 10x easier. You can book your vacation online by booking directly from hotels and airline companies. Travel blogs like ‘Nomadic Matt’ and other websites that provide good deals for the customer are taking over travel agents.

In a recent Huffington Post article it states that even in today’s world it is still extremely beneficial to organize your vacation through a travel agent or travel agency.

International travel especially is extremely important to stay organized and a travel agent can help you with just that. They take into consideration your budget and the dates that you are wanting to travel and they take your travel wishes seriously and do all legwork. As the traveler, travel agents provide a sense of security and ease your travel worries. Not only that, but they give you advice about where you’re about to travel. This is their job so they know what they’re talking about. It’s legit.

In the traveling world, the question of “is a travel agent worth it?” is a big controversy. They come with a lot of myths. “Travel Agents are for non frequent travelers”. That is so not true. I am a frequent traveler and I go through a travel agent EVERY TIME I go international. I’m telling you right now if you are planning to go on a cruise, go through a travel agency. They have connections with cruise lines and they get deals that an average person wouldn’t find on the internet. It’s just like that. They have connections and they are there to find you the best deal.

I know a lot of you think that you can book a trip on your own, yes that is true. But, travel agents are there to help you. They are there to do all the work and are there if anything goes wrong. They do the complex stuff. Travel agents are on the rise again with the millennial generation. And, I couldn’t be more happy. Being a travel agent would be my dream job… making people happy through travel.