Travel Self Discovery

A Year Ago In Australia

Just a year ago, I began what became not just an amazing adventure but also an eye-opening revelation about my own secrets that I never knew existed. Australia wasn’t just a trip; it was an awakening. It was a realization of what makes me happy.

The Land Down Under ignited the flame of desire for a life of travel and writing. Now the embers burn brightly each day, and sometimes I feel like the fire will consume me. Sometimes I feel like my life isn’t mine. If I only discovered this fire sooner and wasn’t so afraid of getting burned, would my life be completely different? Maybe I would be in the Peace Corps. Maybe I’d still be in Australia. Maybe I’d be living in South America.

Continue reading “A Year Ago In Australia”

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long-distance relationship making it work

Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship

When it comes to any trips I take, the reality is that my boyfriend and I will have to deal with surviving a long-distance relationship. We have done it in college over the summer, and we have done it whenever I have chosen to travel like my trip to Australia. While we have been fortunate enough not to deal with a long-distance relationship for too long, we have learned a few tricks. Continue reading “Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship”

Traveling in Australia Birthday

A Year of Wandering in Review

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY VIDEO!!!!

25! How fast 24 went by. My 24th year on this earth was 365 days filled with adventure and more traveling than ever before.

In the past year, I have ventured around Scotland; spent a day frozen in Philadelphia; lived in Australia; visited San Francisco and the neighboring vineyards; hiked Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon; finally explored Tampa as a tourist, cheered in Nashville for a bachelorette party, and will spend my birthday weekend wandering around Chicago. Not to mention, I still have a move to Fort Lauderdale in October, a wedding to celebrate in Cancun in November; and Christmas carols to sing in the Virgin Islands in December.

It has been a nonstop whirlwind of adventures that will last until 2018 comes to an end.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

UK Travel Telephone BoothIn Scotland I spent 10 days exploring the country. I was able to see the cultural centers of Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as travel through the beautiful countryside with a Scotland native as my tour guide. I felt like I had fallen into Hogwarts at Glasgow University. I watched rivals England and Scotland face off in a rowdy bar.  I walked the Royal Mile and climbed Carlton Hill in Edinburgh in the rain.  I saw two castles and searched (without luck) for Nessie.

I spent a single-digit winter day in Philadelphia. My boyfriend and I froze as we waiting to see the Liberty Bell and wandered around Independence Hall. We had some killer food at Reading Terminal Market and numbly walked around the city center.

Travel Year Melbourne AustraliaI fell in love with the land down under. I got to live half way across the globe in Melbourne, Australia even if it was just for two short months. I spent some time in Geelong with a long-lost cousin. I walked across the bridge and touched the Sydney Opera House. I saw kangaroos and famous surf beaches along the Great Ocean Road. I made friends from around the world. I got to live and fall in love with the Most Livable City in The Word, but I wasn’t done.  Continue reading “A Year of Wandering in Review”

Managing Anxiety on Long Trips

Tips for Surviving a Long Flight with Anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, travel can be a big trigger. I have found that one of the best ways to combat my anxiety is to be prepared. I was able to survive a 15-hour flight followed by a 10-hour flight to Australia because I was prepared. If you suffer from anxiety and are worried about an upcoming long flight, read on for tips on how to combat that anxiety and have smooth flying.

General Tips for Long Travel

  • Pack intelligently. Here is a complete list of what you may need.
  • Get up and walk around or stretch frequently. It will help with your circulation and prevent blood clots. You will find that your legs will start to feel swollen and heavy after so many hours of sitting.
  • Drink a lot of water throughout your travels. It will also help with your circulation. Pack your own empty water bottle and ask the flight attendants to fill it for you. You can also pack powder drink packets if you want something other than water.
  • Preset alarms for any timely medications you need to take. This will prevent you from having to do any headache-inducing math while you are traveling. Also make sure you pack enough medication for a few days in case your checked luggage gets lost.
  • Brush your teeth right before you decide to sleep on your flight. It will help keep you in routine and trick your brain into thinking it is bedtime.
  • Load up on vitamin C, multivitamins, or airborne a few days before you leave. Not only will it hopefully keep you from getting sick (no one likes to travel sick), but also it could help prevent you from getting ill from your travels. (You are stuck in a chamber of stale air and germs for many hours.)

 

Managing Anxiety on Long Flights

Continue reading “Tips for Surviving a Long Flight with Anxiety”

packing for a long flight

What to Pack for a Long Flight

When I discovered I was going to Australia, you can bet I was ecstatic. But before I could have my summer down under, I had to get there. When I booked my flight, I was so excited about the price that I didn’t realize how much I would hate myself later. My travels plans were as followed…

  1. 1.5-hour drive to Orlando airport EARLY in the morning (thanks to my boyfriend for driving me)
  2. 2.5-hour flight to Chicago
  3. 3-hour layover
  4. 15-hour flight to Shanghai
  5. 7-hour layover
  6. 10-hour flight to Melbourne

My flight back was close to the same except I went from Shanghai to JFK and then down to Tampa. In total I spent almost two days traveling each time, but I survived. As someone with anxiety, such a long flight did make me worry. I have found that a good way to combat my anxiety is to be prepared, so I would like to share my wisdom with others.

What to Pack in Your Carry-On

Hygiene

  • Wipes- for when you want to shower but can’t or for those dirty planes/airports
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Mints/gum
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup- Personally, I don’t wear makeup when I travel, but if freshening up will make you feel better, go for it. 
  • Deodorant
  • Advil, ibuprofen, tums, etc- Carry any medications you may need to help with anxiety, headaches, upset stomach, or any other common ailments you suffer from.
  • Prescription medicines- Make sure you have enough for a few days in case your checked bags get lost.
  • Extra clothes- This is for both if your luggage gets lost and if you want to change. 

Continue reading “What to Pack for a Long Flight”

Australian Travel Blog

Half Way Across the World

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE VIDEO

It’s true when they say it’s a small world. Never had I imagined myself going to Australia, especially not living there for two months. A country half way across the world was simply out of sight and out of mind. But it would seem that fate intervened. It’s not every day that you find a new relative willing and eager to meet you. I have to thank Italy again. I have an Australian “aunt” (cousin, or something, it’s all confusing) that my mom and stepdad met in Italy.  My mom was visiting the village of her grandfather’s family and my “aunt” was visiting her family for the village festival. As it turns out the two families are one in the same.

Two Italian brothers. One went to America and the other went to Australia. Two opposite ends of the globe. I can’t imagine they ever dreamed their grandkids would meet. But a few months ago I found myself on a 15-hour plane ride (and then another 10-hour plane ride) flying across the world to meet a long lost stranger who shared part of my DNA. I can’t wait to discover where my next international relative will be.

Australia Blog
Bells Beach, Victoria

Australia was my own selfish adventure… Continue reading “Half Way Across the World”

Australia Graffiti

Trump in Australia

Like most of the world, Australia does not like Trump. It seems that at least part of the United States is blind to the what the rest of the world knows instinctively. As an American is Australia, I was relieved to be escaping the political turmoil in the United States right now. One of the best things about being abroad was not having to see Trump’s name in the news every day. Unfortunately, there is no full escape from American politics no matter where you may be, but it was a nice vacation most days.

Of course, when I was adventuring around Australia, I did happen to stumble upon some anti-Trump rhetoric. It was refreshing to be in a country where whenever Trump was mentioned, it was not immediately followed by “Make America Great Again!” My first exposure was the morning news. Some mention of another outrageous thing Trump has said, a monotonous norm unfortunately. But there was no defense of his actions. Just a quick comment on his stupidity, and they moved on just as quickly as they started. There were a few more similar instances other mornings throughout my time there.

Apart from the news, an obvious Trump outlet, one of my first weeks in Australia, I stumbled upon a flyer with the President of the United States as the main topic. In a country halfway across the world, about as far as you can get from the United States, its citizens were preparing for an anti-Trump rally. The other Americans and I laughed at the sight.

Numerous times I heard conversations nearby of people discussing Trump’s bad behavior or at least alluding to their displeasure for his actions. Even my mentor seemed to be trying to hold back her bitterness toward my American president. It seems that all the way opposite the globe, Trump was a constant topic of conversation.

Even the international people in my program seemed to think our leader was a buffoon. Although they all came from different backgrounds and countries, they all seemed to agree on at least that. One Japanese girl asked me point blank the first week if I had voted for Trump. She then proceeded to talk about her distaste for the man and how she missed Obama. Another intern from the Philippines explained to me and the other Americans about how frequently the United States and Trump were in the news when he was back home.

And finally in my last few days in Australia, I was walking to meet my friends for taco Tuesday when I stumbled upon the graffiti at the top of this post. Melbourne is known for its street art, and it was not the first time I had seen something related to Trump; this one was just so unique. In my weeks there, I had seen images in an alleyway of Trump’s face and his signature combover outlined by a big red circle and a line across it. I had seen the same general theme elsewhere only as paper wrapped around a chainlink fence to form the image. One Saturday in Hoosier Lane, Melbourne’s most famous graffiti laneway, I had even found some street art questioning the size of Trump’s… member.

I can only recall one time in Australia when Trump was associated with something positive. My friends and I were riding the tram back to our accommodation when a man must have noticed that some of us had an American accent. He starting speaking to one of us in particular about how “Trump is the best thing to happen to the States.” As we reached our stop and hopped off the bus eagerly, I could have sworn I heard him say something about “Making America Great Again.” If I had not known any better, I would have thought we were in the heart of Alabama.

Now that I am back in the States, Trump has unfortunately once again become a constant presence in my everyday life. A heated argument almost always follows as Americans both defend and chastise him. Well, my brief respite down under was nice while it lasted.