As a part-time traveller and blogger, she wants to inspire others to get out of their bubbles and step outside of their comfort zones. She aims to show readers that it is possible to travel solo and without much money.
Doing this ONE thing in the shower will elevate your mindset!
Oh hi, was it the word shower that caught your attention, or the word mindset? Perhaps both. Either way, you made it here. I am proud of you. So, let’s cut to the chase. How on earth do you increase your confidence by doing one simple thing while in you’re in the shower?
Hint: you can do this outside of the shower too. I just knew that people who want to save time will want to get things done quick. A shower is usually quick. (unless you’re me) Hey, I am a master at relaxation.
The science behind the power pose
The thing you can do is put your hands on hips in a wonder woman stance! Sound crazy? I know it does. But the reality is, there was a study done which proves that maintaining this pose for JUST 2 minutes actually increases your testosterone level by a whopping 20% AND reduces cortisol levels (the stress hormone). An increase in testosterone thus increases your confidence! An increase in confidence elevates your mindset!
Fret not manly men who would not dare be scene taking this power pose. It is not only the wonder woman stance that will create this testosterone boost. Other power poses include putting your feet on the desk, rolling your shoulders back and crossing your arms, planting your hands on the table and leaning forward, and weirdly, squinting your eyes.
I am going to tell you something that you probably won’t hear from other people. EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT TODAY! Life is short. Lord, I just had some warm melted brie cheese that felt like heaven literally landed in my mouth and Channing Tatum danced all over it.
Losing weight is far more about living in joy and not restricting yourself daily. That said, maybe tighten the reigns back up after a couple days so you don’t nail your partner in the eye popping the buttons off your pants.
Other tips I could include:
EAT ROMAINE LETTUCE. After the CDC issued a warning of E coli you could lose mounds of weight on the toilet! (this is a JOKE. Please do not do this and then write to me saying you tried it!)
Really though, drink lots of water. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry you’re just dehydrated! Filling up with water make less space for mashed potatoes. (this is actually not a joke)
Perhaps don’t go back for thirds. Or do, but take miracle nap breaks.
As a former small town girl and west coast girl through and through, my first visit to New York was everything I thought it would be and more. It was good, bad, and ugly, yet beautiful all at the same time.
The garbage piles were putrid, the people were standoffish and outspoken, and the iconic landmarks such as Times Square and the Statue of Liberty were captivating.
Conversely, the energy of New York is like nothing I have ever felt. People’s brazen attitudes are actually something I admire. It’s real, it is gritty, and you actually know what people are thinking.
On my first trip I did all of the touristy things, but on my second trip to New York I explored the different boroughs and got a feel for what New York is really like. (as a tourist anyhow)
Now, you know I couldn’t just do all the normal things on my visit. What fun would that be? Thus, I give you my take on the most unique things to do in New York.
See The Abstract Sleep No More
Upon arrival, I asked the Taxi driver how I could have the most unique or offbeat experience in New York. Their response was to definitely check out Sleep No More. Being the inquisitive one I am, I had to press on further, but I also did not want to know all the details.
He sort of explained that it was just a play that you follow around from room to room. In my brain this sounded off the wall and perfect! So, without ever reviewing what I was actually getting myself into, I happily booked my ticket that night. I don’t read about many things in advance. It ruins the surprise!
This was one of those instances I probably should have actually read reviews. As a person who scares easily, THIS WAS CREEPY and TERRIFYING! However, I can tell you it still ranks as one of the most unique experiences I have ever had.
That is all that I will tell you. You need to go into this experience with a very open mind. It is probably the most Alice in Wonderland-y experience I have had to date, with the exception of Burning Man of course.
Please Don’t Tell Speakeasy
I tried and tried to get into Please Don’t Tell on my first trip to New York without avail. I mean, using a phone booth at a hot dog stand to tell them a number so you can MAYBE get in and have no idea what is even on the menu? That sounds like an offbeat night of fun for every weirdo who has ever existed. Sign me up! Want the exact location details? Atlas Obscura always has you covered!
Host Your Own Escape Room!
You’ve probably heard of or done an escape room by now. If not, you truly are really missing out on a fun and one-of-a-kind group activity I highly recommend. But, have you ever thought about hosting YOUR OWN escape room for either a corporate team building exercise or party?
Believe it or not, the interwebs make it seem fairly easy. Of course, first you would need to select an appropriate venue in New York that is a decent price and allows plenty of space. (this one holds up to 75 people to be exact!) After finalizing the location, check out this site in order to download escape room kits! If you want to go next level, you can even build your own escape room.
Go on a Unique Photography Tour
Most of the things I enjoy doing in bigger cities generally don’t cost a thing.(FYI if you’re new here I am a budget traveler) I am a huge fan of just traipsing around with my camera and documenting interesting art or people I see. Sometimes though, it is worth the extra money to splurge on interesting tours and learn about new photography tricks or obscure locations.
Speaking of which, there is a unique photography tour in New York hosted through Airbnb experiences that actually gives you bang for your buck. Professional photographer Abdiel Coburg has received rave reviews for his guided tours assisting with photography composition, angles, and showing you all the cool and hidden gems in New York!
Get weird with ASMR at Whisperlodge
I know what you’re thinking. How did I get so ridiculously good looking? (Zoolander anyone?) No, you’re thinking what in the WORLD is ASMR and where can I get some. ASMR is a term I had never even heard of until a few months ago. I saw a documentary about it on Netflix and was instantly intrigued by this pop culture phenomenon that seemingly has a cult following.
Wikipedia can explain it better than I can, but if I could put it in layman’s terms, I would say essentially it is producing noises that create heightened sensory tingles for others. That does not necessarily mean it is sexual in any way, and sometimes it is quite the opposite of being sexual.
To be fair, the Whisperlodge is a pop up event so it technically happens in both LA and New York. However, the main headquarters are in New York so I thought it qualified. Sue me!
A Tennis Court in Grand Central Station?!
Yes, it’s true and the courts are even open to the public! However, tracking them down is no easy task! From what I read they are located in the Annex.
According to the Untapped Cities site, The easiest way to access the facility is to head to the currently shuttered Campbell Apartment, a beloved bar and cocktail lounge, located inside the terminal. It’s now closed but there are elevators in the lobby outside the bar that will bring you directly there. Alternatively, you can also take the elevators located halfway down the ramp that leads to the “Oyster Bar” and Tracks 100-117.
So, there you have it. Next time you are in New York make sure you do something beyond the madness of Times Square. Times Square has its own appeal, but there is nothing like falling down a weird and wonderful rabbit hole in the middle of the city. Off the radar activities abound in the city that never sleeps.
What unusual or unique experiences to have in New York exist that I have not yet discovered? Let me know!
Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. You have a few to 10 hours of extra time to kill in between your departure and desired destination. What do you do?
A long layover can either be a traveler’s worse nightmare or an extra long vacation. I’ve even had times where I didn’t plan my layover super well and ended up sleeping at the airport. Let me tell you. You have not lived until you have slept under your coat on a cold clammy carpet awaiting your next departure! (and I STILL love it!) In any case, if you came here looking for how to survive a long layover, I have you covered!
1. Always have something to read!
Airports can be boring if people watching isn’t one of your hobbies. (yes, that’s me over there gawking and imagining what sort of quest you must be on) Even then, sometimes the people get old and you want to retreat into your own world. I always bring one good old fashioned book. Yes, the paperback kind, not some new fan-dangled electronic thingy. I have a hard enough time making sure my phone is charged.
2. Get in a workout!
If there is one thing extra time is good for, it is sneaking in exercise whenever you can. Instead of standing still on the people mover, keep walking! Go outside and find a patch of grass to yoga. I am well beyond people caring whether I look silly while I let my soul feel good for the day. You should be too! I have even done yoga on a plane.
3. Search for your next adventure!
Okay, I can’t be the ONLY one who is so travel smitten that I am looking up cheap flights to New York or Bali while I am already traveling. Leave no stones unturned people. Travel is not a thing you do, it is a way of life!
4. Club lounge time!
Consider staying in your favorite airlines VIP lounge, either as a member, a day pass member, or as a guest of someone already going. Yes, most airlines allow you to bring a guest with you! I’ve done this twice as a guest and it is a much better place to relax. Personally, I’m not exclusive to any airline. You can call me a free agent!
There are more comfortable places to nap, the free food is a delicious bonus, and you often meet other like-minded travel junkies. Some of them even have showers! Say what?! Now there’s a solid key to surviving a long layover. A nap and a shower will revive your life sometimes.
5. Download the Insight Timer app and kick flight anxiety GOODBYE!
The insight timer meditation app has everything from 5 minute meditations, to meditations on sleep, to full courses on how to relieve depression. I use it to meditate DAILY and have used the guided talks several times to relieve anxiety. Use your long layover to soothe your mind and ease your worries.
6. Explore the area!
Let’s talk about that long layover that turned into an extended vacation. If you use your time wisely, you can make good use of layovers. Let’s be reasonable here now. You won’t be able to do anything with a 3 hour layover from LAX because traffic will be nutty and you won’t make it back in time! However, it is actually possible for you to plan a trip that includes up to 24 hours in layover time, which is more than enough time to do some sightseeing.
7. DON’T FORGET THE SNACKS! NEVER!
I never go anywhere without them, and that includes long layovers!
As a social media marketer and travel blog influencer, Instagram is HANDS DOWN my favorite platform for content curation, brand exposure, and marketing. I am a visual person and following others within the travel vertical keeps me dreaming of far-flung destinations I have not yet visited!
Guess what!? I’m not alone. Instagram has increasingly become the top choice for marketers, businesses, brands, and influencers alike to flex their marketing and sales prowess.
With 1 billion monthly active users spending a whopping 53 minutes per day on the site, it’s hard to ignore the power of the platform! Ignoring it would be akin to having a household phone. As in, you could, but it would be pretty obtuse.
BUT WHY LISTEN TO ME?
I’ve been helping businesses grow their social media and thus expand their network and increase their ROI for 6 years. I currently have over 12,000 followers on instagram. I have over 27,000 followers combined on all the platforms I am on.
Do I have more followers on instagram than anyone? Certainly not! However, I have also grown my instagram followers organically and you can tell by my engagement rate of nearly 5%. (In general, 5% is an exceptional engagement rate).
It is the entire reason I have been able to work with brands such as Cabin Zero and utilize my instagram for press trips in Denver, Arizona, Mexico, and other destinations.
CALLS TO ACTION
First, I guess I should remind you what CTA is if you aren’t familiar with it or don’t have much selling experience.
A call to action is a term used in marketing in which terms or phrases are used to persuade users to buy or do something promptly. I find SOOO many accounts guilty of forgetting a CTA who are trying to build their brand.
Granted, if you aren’t trying to sell anything and your instagram account is just a hobby this is LESS important, but you did come here looking for ways to grow your Instagram following didn’t you?
UTILIZE FACEBOOK GROUPS
I would not be where I am today without engaging and networking with other bloggers. Using Facebook groups to post my instagram account and reciprocate on others instagram accounts have proven extremely beneficial for finding accounts I actually love and that love me in return!
Additionally, it was much more efficient than searching through hashtags and following accounts I thought might follow me back.
Of course, some of these are specific to my niche. That means they may not work as well for you if you have a marketing or pet based instagram and are in the travel group. By doing a basic search on Facebook you can easily find a group that is specific to your niche.
Some Facebook groups that I found most helpful for building MY instagram following are:
Girls Love Travel
Instagram Daily Engagement Group
Instagram for Nomads and Travelers
*TIP: Don’t go into these groups and just start posting links willy nilly! Most of them have specific rules or days in which you can post. Read the fine print!
FLC METHOD (FOLLOW, 3 LIKES, COMMENT!)
It should go without saying that the only true way to build a following on Instagram is to actually BE SOCIAL! Shocker I know! By following someone, liking on 3 pictures, and also commenting, you have made the poster aware that you have a genuine interest in their page. More times than not, they will return the favor in some way.
I have plenty more tips for growing your instagram organically, but to be honest, I would rather talk to you about them face to face!
That’s why I have decided to start offering one on one skype calls to those of you interested in trying to reach 10,000 Instagram followers!
Why 10,000? That is the key number brands are looking for when they want to do a sponsored post. Can you do sponsored posts BEFORE you reach 10,000 followers? ABSOLUTELY! But again, 10,000 gets you more eyeballs and traction.
Growing yourInstagramfollowers organically doesn’t need to be an uphill with these 3 infallible tips. However, there are MANY more strategies that will take your Instagramaccount from mediocre to rockstar. Let’s uplevel your Instagram game! Brands are waiting on you to make it happen.
So are you ready to take your instagram NEXT LEVEL with ORGANIC reach and engagement for only $40?! (payments accepted via Paypal or Venmo only beforehand)CLICK HERE TO PAY VIA PAYPAL!CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A ONE ON ONE WITH ME! YOU WON’T BE SORRY!
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, just as you may be right now, and there it surprised me. A little nudge to remind me that I’m just another human.
It said, hi, you haven’t thought about me in a while, have you?
It said, your dad’s anniversary date of death is approaching.
It said, I bet you haven’t processed all of these feelings yet have you?
As tears streamed down my face, I thought to myself, does it ever end? Is there EVER a moment when you feel like grief will go away?
But I think I am on a quest with no solutions.
Because as you and I both know, in order to know grief, you have to know how to love.
You have to walk that fine line between loving someone and knowing they are not a part of your life, whether they are living or deceased.
I thought I was done being caught off guard.
How could I be?
I still carry so much love that it will never die.
It will go on sneaking up on me at random occasions.
And I will live within the space between love and grief forever.
So rather than fear grief
My new objective is to tackle it head on
To accept it by my side, but then let it leave, as if it was a passerby.
To let the feels flow without JUDGEMENT
So the next time grief sneaks up on you
I want you to know we can fight this battle together
Are you grieving someone right now? How do you heal from it? Let’s talk.
By the way, I just started a free facebook self-love 7 day challenge if you feel like joining. (women only- sorry guys but I am doing another one for you later) For you, AND for me. It kicks off Friday 8/24/18! I will be including some tips and tricks I use to prop myself up when I get down. I will video with you. All I ask is that maybe down the road you write a review if you liked it. Or recommend it to a friend. Join me?!
Why You Should Make Nassau Your Number One Destination This Summer!
Photo by FotoDawg/ CC BY 2.0
From loved-up couples to groups of friends or solo travelers, anyone who is anyone has the Bahamas on their ‘must visit’ list. With its soft beaches, invigorating atmosphere and those warm turquoise waters, travelers continue to be entranced by the Bahamas. There is so much more to the Bahamas than just being a place to get some sun. Let’s discover why a summer vacation in Nassau Bahamas will have you returning to paradise over and over!
Photo by Jerry and Roy Klotz MD / CC 3.0
We are confident that once you set foot on this beautiful group of islands, you won’t look back. One of the coolest places to visit in the Bahamas, is the capital – Nassau. It factors so high on the ‘cool’ scale, it was even one of the destinations that Sean Connery filmed in when he played James Bond.
Travelers can visit Nassau either as a standalone destination or can visit it as part of a wider trip. There are lots of cruise companies that visit Nassau and other areas of the Bahamas, which can be an ideal way to ‘test the water’ so to speak.
As well as it’s beautiful beaches, Nassau is renowned for its varied selection of things to do, which includes water sports, shopping, sailing and more. For those that like to shop, you can pick up any selection of bargains from leather belts and rum to straw hats and sarongs. There is something for everybody!
One of the best things about Nassau has to be the food. Whether you favor fine dining or traditional Bahamian cuisine – there are so many incredible restaurants to try! You will find the locals definitely offer service with a smile in Nassau!
Photo by RubixCuben/CC 2.0
We are sure that you will want to have a drink or two and dance the night away. Downtown Nassau has a number of lively clubs and bars such as Sea Glass, Club Luna, Bambu and many more. If you are looking for a quiet drink by the sea, take a walk over to the likes of the Poop Deck on the Marina where you can enjoy a delicious drink under the stars. It’s the ideal place to spend an evening if you are on a romantic getaway or even a honeymoon!
If you are looking to take the enjoyment from day to night without the inconvenience of moving around, why not consider a day and night at the Atlantis Paradise Island? This is truly a treasure trove of exciting activities. Literally, you can find everything your heart desires under one roof, whether you want a spa treatment, to have some fun, a quiet meal for two or perhaps some poker action at the casino – the world is your oyster!
There are so many reasons why you should go treat yourself to a summer vacation in Nassau Bahamas. From the guaranteed sunshine to the friendly locals, it is a holiday that people dream of. Nassau is one of the most popular places to visit in the Bahamas.
Will you be taking a summer vacation to Nassau Bahamas? Have you been there?
Please note: This is featured post made possible by Katherine Smith
Spain is one of the best vacation spots because it can appeal to nearly any type of person. There are plenty of rugged outdoor events, spectacular shopping opportunities, jaw-dropping architecture, and the most scrumptious food one can imagine. Simply create a travel budget, gather all the right travel documents, and scurry off to enjoy all that this amazing country has to offer.
The Financial Plan Makes It Happen
Many people never sit down and try to figure out how to make a trip possible. Budgeting may not be your most favorite thing to do but it does give you the power to make your goals possible. Travel budgets need to take into consideration:
• Travel Costs – include car rentals, buses, and cabs
• Meals – from going to the airport for your departure to arriving home from the trip
• Entertainment fees – ticket fees, cover charges, and tour guide fees
• Emergency plan
The emergency plan is really important. This is where your budget for medical emergencies and loss or theft of money. It is helpful to also know if family back home can help you if you need extra money while abroad. Having a full emergency plan including who can help and how they can send the money, such as through Ria Money Transfer Spain is the key to ensuring a fun trip regardless of setbacks along the way. This can give you a bit of peace of mind, but hopefully, you won’t have to enact the emergency plan.
The Best Flea Market In The World
If you really want to enjoy some amazing shopping, we recommend making El Rastro Mercado your top priority. This bustling open-air flea market is situated along Plaza de Cascorro in Madrid and is host to both used and new items. The main strip features a lot of new clothing options but it’s the side streets that will reveal some of the best treasures one can find. Imagine the opportunities to own some antiques that you cannot find anywhere else!
This market is open every Sunday and every public holiday from 9 am to 3 pm, and you can use the subway to arrive. It is advised to take precautions to keep your wallet and/or purse as there are incidents of pickpocketing.
Running With The Bulls
Pamplona is a beautiful city in Navarre that everyone should visit at some point in life. The architecture is amazing and the history is empowering. The one event it is most famous for is the Running With The Bulls. It looks dangerous and thrilling but is also rooted in religion.
This event occurs during the Feast of San Fermin, the co-Patron of Navarre. It is a week-long event that includes lots of singing, rockets soaring into the air, dancing the waltz in a parade, and a procession for the statue of Saint Fermin through the streets.
Of course, the running of the bulls takes place amongst all of those events. If you want to go to enjoy the running of the bulls, be sure to stay and take in all of the other events and enjoy a bit of Spanish culture in the best possible way. Also, maybe don’t wear red:)
If bull running is just too thrilling for your blood, perhaps enjoying a tomato throwing festival would be more appealing? YOU BETTER BELIEVE I DID THAT! In Bunol of Valencia, there is a La Tomatina festival that could be one of the most inclusive and enjoyable festivals that highlights the tomato. Originally, the food fight was banned by the city but soon embraced it’s quirkiness and decided to make it a fantastic street festival.
There are pre-parties, after parties, and wine festivals that occur around the same time to offer the most to everyone. The city brings in the over-ripe tomatoes for all to enjoy. Because of its popularity, tickets are now required to participate. There are also a few rules that one should be aware of:
• You must squish the tomato before throwing to avoid harming other people
• No throwing anything aside from the tomato (no bottles, shirts, rocks, etc. )
• No ripping other people’s shirts
• You must stop throwing after one hour
These are just a few things you could do in Spain. What would you want to do? Is there some amazing event or locale we didn’t mention? Let us know your thoughts!
Writing can be a lucrative endeavor in the digital age. From blogs to social media, people consume information at a rapid rate. Many freelance writers, however, fail to maximize their earning potential. Here are some smart ways to boost your income while making valuable additions to your portfolio.
Monetize Your Blog
If you don’t have a personal blog, you’re missing out on a few key opportunities to market your writing. A blog is a perfect place to maintain a portfolio for prospective clients. It can also be a suitable venue for generating revenue from book sales or affiliate programs.
There are a few ways you can monetize your blog. An obvious choice is to display relevant ads. Google’s AdSense is a major player in the world of targeted advertising. If your blog gets a lot of traffic, AdSense can put some passive income in your pocket. The trick is creating a practical scenario while limiting the intrusiveness of ads on your blog.
AdSense and similar platforms serve ads related to your original content. In theory, you want to expose your website traffic to advertisements that interest them. To broaden the type of ads that are displayed, you need to expand the subject matter of your blog. Try tackling opinion pieces on recent news or reviewing books you’ve read.
If you have an existing blog with a number of followers, then monetizing your blog may be an easy way to start earning money on the side. According to the Site Report Card, quality content is crucial to monetizing your website in a successful way. Your website will only generate traffic if people want to see what you have to say.
If you don’t have an existing blog, it’s important to build up a following before making any attempts to monetize your site.
Step out of Your Comfort Zone
You are probably very confident in your writing ability at this point. Even so, most writers tend to prefer specific subject matter. While it is great to write about your interests, earning more money means that you will have to leave your comfort zone. For freelancers who depend on writing as their primary income source, this can be scary. Subjects you know little about require more research and take longer to write. After a few articles on a new topic, you’ll begin to hit your stride.
It is also vital that you avoid pigeonholing yourself as a writer. Many writers offer editing and proofreading services. These side jobs can fill in the gaps when other work is slow. A side benefit of this is that editing and proofing the work of others will keep your skills sharp.
Remember that it takes time to build a work-at-home career as a writer. You may not be able to speed up the process, but you can learn the necessary tools about the craft while taking advantage of smart ways to boost your income.
My longstanding infatuation for photography began in my teens. I have fond memories of walking with my dad to locations where he would photograph and I would be his eager assistant. Year after year, I became more enamored with the creative thought behind photography and how every little nuance affected the photograph so differently.
Photography is about much more than just taking a snapshot at a new destination. A great photo captures more than the moment. It captures a feeling. As a new photographer, you are just learning some of the tricks of manipulating light and composition.
Truly inspiring locales make you want to experiment. It is easy to spend an entire day taking a million photos using different camera settings from different angles in different light. The only real way to become a better photographer is to practice taking pictures. Here are five destinations that are sure to inspire, so pack your backpack camera bag for adventure.
If you are interested in landscape photography, there are few places as breathtakingly beautiful as New Zealand. From Wanaka and Mt. Taranaki to Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand has a dozen picturesque landscapes sure to bring out the best photographer in you.
If architecture piques your interest, plan a photography trip to Rome. This one city alone has displays of some of the greatest works of architecture and ancient engineering in the world. The old structures, buildings, and intricate architectural details are a photographer’s dream.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park in Alaska combines majestic landscapes with abundant wildlife. You should opt for a sturdy backpack camera bag for this trip. You will likely find yourself hiking to remote areas for the best shots of animals in their natural habitats. You could encounter bald eagles, grizzly bears, and moose along with many other beautiful creatures.
When in doubt, always run from a grizzly. (don’t do that. It is the worst advice ever). However, I still don’t understand how people think they would just stand there if a grizzly came charging at them!
Streets full of brightly colored fabric amidst an even brighter culture, India is a wonderful place to shoot vibrant photos of people and urban life. Indians are often open to photography, but remember to be polite and respectful. Sometimes a longer lens allows you to be less intrusive and really get those reflective, candid shots of city life.
Some of the best street photographs start out in New York City, New York. The city that never sleeps is full of unique characters that practically beg to be captured in all their glory. The streets of Manhattan offer photo opportunities 24/7.
Get out your travel calendar and renew your passport, because the world is full of beauty just waiting to be shared. Invest in a sturdy bag that will protect your camera and lenses through miles and miles of travel. Then hit the road, jump on a plane, or venture out your back door, and start shooting.
What other locations would you include on the list of 5 captivating destinations to build your photography portfolio?