Should you book the flight?

I can’t let my streak be blown completely by my travels. I’ve spent two glorious weeks in Bali and the best way to describe my feelings are recharged.  I have tons of tips, photos, stories, and videos to come in the near future on my blog but tonight I am singing a different tune. Honestly, I’m not sure how this song will play out. My words are such a safe and comfortable place for me. It’s as if I could be anywhere in the world and once I start writing it’s like metaphorically being snuggled on the couch on Stinard Ave with my parent’s favorite blanket. They are safe but they are also intoxicatingly surprising. Kind of like a librarian who also has an affinity for S&M. My truest voice comes when I just let my creative one take over and run the show.

As my trip comes to an end I’m feeling reflective( me, reflective? Never) I think that travel in general is romanticized in photographs, blog posts and movies especially to a place like Bali. I know that as an American Bali sounded so exoctic and far fetched to me when I lived in the Northern Hemisphere. The flights alone were way out of my student loan debt teacher salary price range. But once I moved to the Southern Hemisphere, Bali became a totally accessible and logical vacation spot. And one that I simply had to experience.

The first time I went in 2014 was with three of my American girlfriends who I taught in Thailand with and became extremely close to. We traveled to Bali for just over two weeks, Australia for just over two weeks and ended the trip in Thailand for one final shabang on our favorite island Ko Phi Phi.  It was coincidently following my final breakup with my college ex of five and a half years. That trip was one  defined by freedom, exploration and healing. I will never forget the spark it lit in my soul. It is what ultimately led me to move to Australia and fall in love with traveling on a whole new level.

Needless to say, this trip has been a tad different coming to Bali with my boyfriend as opposed to four single American girls.  I wasn’t exactly nervous about traveling with Harry but I was very curious to see how well we would get along with the stressors of an international trip. If you don’t already know this, you may have very close relationships with people but that does not mean that they are always meant to be your traveling buddy. I think traveling exposes the most vulnerable and messy sides of a person and your travel vibes and desires just have to match in order for it to be enjoyable for everyone. No pressure, Har.

Continue reading

How to Stay Fit on the Road

 

Are you passionate about traveling and living a healthy lifestyle? Maybe you aren’t necessarily passionate about healthy living but you know you need it. That’s okay too. When traveling for work, play or anything in between- it tends be to struggle to get workouts in and eat healthy. Many friends of mine complain that they often gain lots of weight when they are traveling and come home feeling bloated, run down and exhausted. Alcohol is often a part of traveling to new places and indulging in the local cuisine so how can you enjoy your trip and still stick to the healthy habits you’ve been working so hard to create?

16935591_10208249480179460_563863298_o@ensusiasm, Where will I take my Nikes next?

First and foremost, like anything else in life-it  starts with the belief that you can in fact do it. If you write off every single weekend trip, vacation and work trip before you even start of course you aren’t going to follow through once you are on the road. If it is important to you, you need to believe that it’s possible(because I promise you it is), plan ahead and accept progress not perfection.

In 12 days my boyfriend and I are packing up our lives here in Australia(maybe we should have already started) and heading to Bali for a holiday. If you follow my blog or social media you know that we aren’t leaving by choice but due to visa complications. We have nicknamed Bali our “deported holiday”  and then we intend to move to New Zealand on a working holiday visa until we can sort out a new visa to come back to Australia.

My boyfriend and I are both very passionate about health and fitness and have spent the past year really making it a lifestyle and not a vicious cycle of backwards and forwards! Both of us have been working extremely hard on our nutrition and our training and it’s a bit intimidating to head out into the unknown.

16865062_1029780610499720_1555726214933138008_n

Luckily, I know what to do. I have the belief I can do it. I have the tools to stay on track. I have a loving relationship with my body, food and adventure. I will never miss out on life for the sake of 3% body fat or a few pounds. I actually have no idea how much I weigh and I don’t care. I don’t expect perfection but I know I want to feel strong, healthy and happy when our vacation is over.

I care about treating my body well, nourishing it with quality foods and treating it sometimes too because let’s be real, I love food. Going backwards or stopping all together on my fitness journey is something I did FOR YEARS. I backpacked through South East Asia and Australia in 2014 and I definitely got off track and ended my trips feeling really shitty. The crazy part is I was still implementing some of these and didn’t even give up completely. But not this time. I’m going to share my plan and my tips so that you can take on your next adventure with the right attitude and not feel like you missed out on a thing.

Continue reading

Single, Taken, Heartbreakin: Why we all need Self-Love

Valentine’s Day seems to be a day we obsess over being in love and more so being lonely. I have friends who hate Valentine’s day whether they are in a relationship or single. But love is so much more than the feeling that people share in a romantic partnership. How can you love yourself a little more today? Are you sick of hearing about self-love? Are you confused by what people even mean by that term? I don’t care if you’re married, divorced, or a baby right out of the womb- we all deserve our own affection, attention and adoration. Self-love is a necessary component to being fulfilled, challenged and whole. Ultimately, you loving yourself shapes a better world for all of us. What should you remember to ensure you’re practicing self-love today and everyday?

It’s not selfish– People are typically hesitant to take time for themselves. “I’m too busy.” We pour ourselves fully into our jobs, families, lovers and hobbies so that at the end of the day what is left over for us? Nada. It’s not selfish to put yourself first in fact, that is the only way to ensure you are the greatest lover, teacher, friend, daughter, mother, or  coworker possible. You cannot pour from an empty cup. The first step towards loving yourself fully is realizing it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Continue reading

What happens when you unexpectedly have to change your entire life?

 

28 days…My boyfriend and I walked out of the hearing room and looked at each other with half relief, half sadness, and a tiny bit of sparkle in our eyes. After a series of unfortunate events and being deceived by his previous employer we knew that his 457 sponsorship visa to stay in Australia was not going to go through. We applied in April of 2016 so basically half of our relationship we have been waiting for the outcome of this visa. We prepared ourselves for them saying we had to leave but actually knowing you have 28 days to leave the entire little life you built together behind is quite terrifying once you receive the email of doom.

Instead of dwelling on the logistics, like the apartment we need to sublet, the furniture we need to sell, jobs we have to resign from, accounts we have to close, flights we need to book, (OMG, my to do list is endless right now) I’m taking a different approach this time. Usually, I would freak out- cry, let my anxiety get all out of whack and take control, be a moody brat to my boyfriend, feel sorry for myself, but this time, I decided to take control. Here is my video announcement of the news.

After announcing our news and getting an outpouring of love and support I couldn’t help but feel grateful. Many people were impressed with how positive I was being. People even expressed confusion by my positivity. How? How can you stay so positive?

Continue reading

Why you should meet strangers on the Internet

The digital world can never replace in person interaction, connection and experiences. Life behind a computer screen can cause a lot of issues including comparison, unworthiness, and a feeling of “connection” but ultimately isolation. Then why would I tell you to talk to strangers on the Internet? Because in the past year and a half I have stumbled upon a few interweb connections that have changed my life and I want you to at least give it a shot. Here’s why:

You just moved to a new city- When you move to a new city, especially on your own (without a job or a place to live, wait is that just me?) your main concern should be finding a job and a place to live. If you are moving/ traveling abroad this might land you in a hostel where you could meet awesome people, (I met the love of my life) but you also meet a lot of people who are sleeping until 2 pm, partying all night, and complaining they can’t find a job. Let’s just say not the ideal crowd. If you stick to those friends you meet at the bar, you might not have the most motivated, positive, uplifting group surrounding you. CHOOSE your tribe wisely, don’t stumble into them.

IMG_0386

You can find out about events that peak your interest– Last year I found out about an awesome festival called Rad Livin on Instagram. It was full of inspiring stories from young creatives, live music, pizza, donuts and rad people. Their Instagram account followed me so I checked it out and it sounded like it was made for me. I couldn’t get any of my friends to join so I went alone and I made such cool friends and connections. Still time to go this year if it sounds like something you would like, just click this. I also attended many events in Sydney thanks to social media including Nike Training Tour, World Yoga Day Festival and Taste of Sydney. Cool events usually equal cool people and experiences are always worth the ticket price!

Continue reading

How to not give up this time.. even if you already did

Do you feel frustrated with yourself? Maybe you already broke your “resolution” for the new year or you “gave in” to Netflix and wine instead of what you thought you should be doing. Maybe you didn’t write down any goals but you still feel “the same” and you can’t figure out why? Or did you go in full force and now you feel like you failed because you’ve already skipped the gym for a couple days? Did you succumb to the persuasive power of Ben and Jerry again? Now is the time most people are quitting when the shiny glow of the new year starts to fade. How do you make yourself part of the group that didn’t give up this time…even if you already did?

STOP RIGHT THERE! Take a deep breath.

The new year is an awesome time to start chasing after new goals but the amazing part is, we get a clean slate everyday. You have the power to rewrite your story, every single day. The question is will you let yourself? Are you hiding behind fear? Let’s get to the bottom of this so you can figure out how not to give up this time.

Celebrate progress– Progress comes in many forms- small and large. Saying no to cookies in the staff room or choosing to take a deep breath instead of lose it on your partner- that’s progress. Even if it’s one time! Find something that you feel like was a success everyday and start building on that.

Acknowledge your power- When we give up on our goals we try to place blame on everything around us. I’m too busy, I’m just not good at eating healthy, I have no willpower. How many times can you feed yourself excuses before you begin to acknowledge that that is exactly what they are. Lying is awful and when you lie to yourself, you’re wasting everyone’s time and energy especially your own. YOU HAVE THE POWER. You always have. Act like it.

Try new things– If the same gym membership and Lean Cuisine diet isn’t doing it for you and it hasn’t for the past five years, why do you keep thinking this time will be different? If you want different results DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Don’t just say, “Yeah, that would be nice.” “Someday.” DO it now, for goodness sake. If you hate it, then at least you tried!

Non-food rewards– You are not a dog. You do a trick, you get a treat? Come on. Even if you LOVE food (trust me- so do I) try rewarding yourself with things other than food. Manicures, facials, massages, a bubble bath, new workout gear, or a Groupon for a fun and active date night.  Branch out. Stop saying okay, I ran 3 miles now I shall eat my body weight in pizza. You are not a pet, don’t treat yourself like one.

Allow yourself to quit– What? This sounds silly. No, it’s not. If you sign up for Crossfit and you end up HATING Crossfit, do yourself a favor and find something you do like. Human beings were born to MOVE, so I promise you there is something that will feel good for your body. Don’t see exercise as a punishment but as a gift and blessing.

Find your tribe– MAN. I don’t know how many times I can say this. Find people who motivate you. Find people who don’t sit around on the couch every night. Find people who want to plan the trip, take the class, run the race, start the business. Fire breeds fire. Find people who make you HOT!

Ask for help– You don’t have to do ANYTHING alone. If you are struggling with mental health issues, see a doctor. If you are struggling with your relationship- ask a friend or someone you trust for advice. If you can’t get your diet and exercise under control SEEK HELP! There are experts in every area of your life you want to improve and you’re probably already friends with them. It doesn’t have to be paid advice or programs, just seek out what you need and be open minded!
Be flexible– You should NEVER be so set in your ways that you hinder yourself from finding and creating the life of your dreams. This goes along with trying new things, allowing yourself to quit and asking for help. Be flexible. ALLOW yourself to grow. Don’t feel like you MUST do what you have always done. It’s so incredibly sexy and fulfilling to better yourself. HOP ON BOARD.

Continual Forgiveness– Alright, you messed up? Welcome to the club. Seriously, it will never be an uphill progression. It’s a roller coaster. Be kind to yourself. I don’t like to say be “easy” on yourself because that leaves  a lot of room for excuses. Be kind but firm. Alright, beauty you messed up- let’s do better tomorrow. YOU GOT THIS.

16128492_10207946742211200_1791595288_n

 

 

How to make 2017 your best year yet

It’s been a week long series of the 2016 collection. I hope this week brought you some insight, inspiration and friendly reminders to find what makes you happy, treat your body right and never stop exploring the world around you.

As we kick off 2017 one of my goals is to take my blog to the next level. I’ve had this blog for 3 years now. It started as a minor project, a simple way to keep in touch with friends and family when I moved to Thailand. I had no idea what the course of these next 3 years would be;  how deeply I would fall in love with traveling and sharing my storying, and that I would ultimately move from Thailand to New York and down under to Australia. In the past 3 years I have had my heartbroken and found myself in the aftermath, started my own business, taught 3 different aged students in 3 different countries, fallen in love, met hundreds of new and inspiring souls, went skydiving(twice) , conquered my fear by scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, traveled to five countries, backpacked all around South East Asia and Australia, been published on one of my favorite websites, grew my passion for exercise, yoga, writing and helping people, welcomed my nephew into the world, fallen in love with myself again and again and most importantly felt more alive than I ever have in my life.

 

In 2017, I want to shift my focus a bit, I still plan to keep you up to date with my journey and sharing my story but I want to help you to write your own. Maybe that’s in the traditional sense of starting a gratitude journal or your own blog or maybe that’s just getting in touch with where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going. My focus this year is helping YOU grow. I’ve started my first newsletter to give a monthly bonus to subscribers plus special freebies, offers, advice, etc. Make sure you subscribe to stay up to date! I will reserve special content for the newsletter but it will always fit in with the theme of the blog posts happening that month!

So, in honor of January and goal setting- let’s get your year off on the right track.  Resolutions have a negative connotation because so many people set them and forget them or people say things they think they should change but don’t really feel invested in. I am not sure if you are familiar with the term “S.M.A.R.T goals” but I would love to give the quick and dirty refresh.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T for them to work

S- Specific (what exactly will you do)

M- Measurable (how will you know you have reached the goal)

A- Achievable (something that can be done)

R- Realistic (Is this too big? Can I really do it?)

T- Timely (when will I do this by)

So instead of saying “I need to get in shape” try making a SMART Soul Solution- “I will improve my health by exercising four times per week every week. I will measure my success by the amount of inches I lose and how my clothes fit. I will  mark on the calendar when I workout and check in with myself every month and make sure I’m sticking to my goal.”

 

YOU CAN CHANGE! We all have the ability to change. It’s about being aggressive and persistent in changing our habits. I also love the idea of having ONE goal in all the major areas of your life. Don’t try to change it all at once. Don’t discredit that every day is a tiny step in the right direction. One day doesn’t make or break you but one day plus one day plus one day turns into weeks and months of change. Little by little, bit by bit, you will look back and see how far you have come.

 

No matter what your goals are I have some serious and realistic tips for sticking to them.

 

 

  • TALK THEM OUT. Make sure they measure up to the S.M.A.R.T.
  • WRITE THEM DOWN.  Writing things down is powerful in so many ways.
  • HANG THEM UP. You have to look at them frequently. Above your desk, on your mirror, on your fridge!
  • SCHEDULE THEM IN. Make a plan. It’s hard enough to change habits, without a specific plan it’s hopeless.
  • STAY FOCUSED. If you want it, block out anything that stands in your way FOCUS is powerful.
  • HAVE FUN. Goal setting can be intimidating but shit, girlfriend- working on you should be fun. Have a sense of humor about it and remember trying and failing is better than staying stuck.

 

 

I’ll leave you with an awesome quote from one of the best books I’ve ever read The Magic of Thinking Big by David Joseph Schwartz:

 

“You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself and there is more of you.”

 

Your mind is your most powerful muscle. Cheers to a fabulous new year, but not a new you. We can improve things about you, but remember I like you just the way you are. You should too! There are endless possibilities when you look out into the future, focus those gorgeous eyes on a few and let’s do this thing. 

 

img_6055

 

The 2016 Collection: Sharing Your Story

Sharing your Story

“Your influence is endless. Just like heart disease, cancer, alzheimer’s, you name it, mental illnesses can be deadly. People who suffer from mental illnesses deserve awareness, respect, support, empathy, sympathy and love. It doesn’t just affect those who suffer but anyone and everyone who cares about them. No, you may not understand what it’s like, but do you have to understand what it’s like to have cancer to be compassionate towards people with cancer? Of course not. I have so many friends and family members who are suffering or have suffered. I see you, I feel you and I am here for you. Our mind, our body and our spirit all work as one and each entity of us deserves the utmost tenderness, compassion and respect. I don’t want my story to leave you feeling sad, I want it to leave you…feeling. Because that to me is the ultimate kudos for my story and my “why” , to bring about feeling. We feel things when they matter, and this matters a whole lot to me. In my heart of hearts, when you read this I want you to feel like you matter. Because you do. Everyone has a story and every one matters.”

“We live in a world where what matters MOST does not matter to most.”

“When something truly matters to us not only do we voice our opinion on it but we also live in a manner that manifests those core beliefs.”

“I accept the world we live in will always put people in a box and small minded people will mimic this behavior. But I decided long ago that I would follow my heart, my passion and lead with good intentions and morals. Sure I’ve made a million mistakes along the way, but I have never regretted for one day who I am, what I stand for, and what I represent. I am so happy that my words give me a way to share this mindset with the world, my friends, family and strangers passing through my blog or digital universe. I’m asking you to live above the stereotype. Accept that it will happen. But prove them wrong.  Tolle brilliantly stated, “Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life- and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”  Don’t waste your time with worrying, follow your gut and don’t regret a thing. Look at anyone you encounter as a friend first, if they prove themselves to be an enemy, still prove them wrong with the way you live. So… stereotype me, I dare you.”

“We all want to feel like we aren’t in this thing alone. It is a beautiful feeling when you can make someone else believe they are not alone and usually all that requires is listening to them. We all have that power.”

I want to inspire people to:

  1. Love themselves above all

  2. Value their dreams and FOLLOW THEM relentlessly

  3. Not give a damn what their neighbor thinks of them

  4. LET GO OF WHO THEY THINK THEY SHOULD BE/ THOUGHT THEY WERE

  5. Expand their mind as frequently as possible

  6. Treat their mind, body and soul with tenacious tenderness. Cut yourself some slack

  7. Express themselves. Write it down. Scream it loud. LET IT OUT

  8. Sit back and smell the roses OFTEN

  9. Stop buying things and start buying plane tickets

  10. Do what you say you will do ALWAYS

“The stories inside of me are not something that I feel as if I can survive without telling. That may sound extremely dramatic to those of you who do not have specific creative calling(that you are aware of) but to me it is plain and simple. Like the feeling of hunger, excitement, joy, or sleepiness. The feeling to create is plain and simple for me and it is relentless. The more I listen to it, the freer I feel.”

“Committing myself to my health and fitness has been a catalyst for change in every area of my life. I feel like I would be doing a huge disservice NOT to share everything I have learned and experienced. Once I saw how sharing my journey, not just with health and fitness but with navigating life as a 20 something in our society, impacted others and inspired others I made a vow to myself to never stop sharing.”

“Coaching has taught me how important it is to share your journey and story, not just the triumphs but also the struggles. Not only has my business given me the platform to reach out and connect and talk to people every day but it has reminded me how badly I need to share what is within. And luckily for me, expressing myself in words is a talent of mine and one that I desire to pursue for my entire lifetime. I am just a girl who is trying to remind people that being healthy is so much more than having muscles or a flat stomach. Being healthy is a commitment to yourself from the INSIDE… OUT. You need your mind, body and spirit to feel healthy and each area deserves time, attention, relevance and respect. The journey takes so much self awareness, acceptance, actualization and confidence so no wonder we have trouble doing it alone. I am here to remind you that you don’t have to.”

“I find it fascinating how people are so reluctant to talk about subject matters that are painful, powerful, but undoubtedly important. Why should we brush over the surface of matters instead of diving in deep?”

“My words are my weapon against the future, my cure for the past and my ticket into the present. Sure, I can think about the past when I write, I can still dream about the future, but the magic happens when I sink my teeth deeply into right now. It’s my space. It’s unbelievable how often we hold the ticket to our own success. It’s like we are locked in a jail cell with the key around our neck screaming for someone to let us out. If only, we took the time to look down and into ourself, we would see the power has always been with us.”

The 2016 Collection: Travel

Travel

DCIM167GOPRO

 

“My biggest takeaway from all of my adventures living abroad in two radically different countries and returning back home to America in between, has been that the world is an absolutely captivating and magical place, if you allow it to be. Being open minded is the key to happiness, success, relationships and quite honestly, life.  I truly believe that for the most part people are their own worst enemies and let their fears hold them back from the life they deserve.”

“Traveling has forced me to be okay with not being in control(which if you know me was a VERY hard lesson for me to learn.) Traveling has forced me to see how taking risks is worth the reward. Traveling has forced me to savor the moments as they pass because you may only have a few nights with these new friends who you feel like you’ve known a lifetime. Traveling has made me realize that you don’t need a lot of money to travel you need a lot of GUTS. You need a lot of resilience. You need the willingness to get out of your OWN way and take some risks.”

“You have to be open minded in your approach to your traveling or you could circle the whole globe and not change a thing.”

“You are someone who decides that the desire to see the world is stronger than any other guiding factor.”

“Every traveler holds those stories in their memory, some to share and some to keep, but no two people will see the same world twice.”

“You can see a big and beautiful world or you can see a world full of pain and darkness. That is totally up to you.”

“Good and evil have existed since the beginning of time and will continue to exist. Traveling has reminded me to be open to the magic that this universe has to offer. Not just when you feel like it. Not just for a week or a stage in life. Be open to what the world has to offer you and see the magic in everyday life. Don’t ever stop seeing life as an adventure and that mindset will manifest your reality.  Leaving home does not mean that I never look back, I look back all the time. But my eyes have changed, my mind has expanded, my heart has opened.  I take life as it comes and I take people for what they are. I control myself (this is without a pitcher of sangria in my blood) because I know that’s the only thing I can control. I EMBRACE uncertainty because instead of holding myself back or being afraid of it, I am learning to celebrate the fact that I have no clue what’s next. None of us do. The more authentically you open your mind and your heart to the world around you the more the world around you opens. Allow the world to be the magical and captivating place that it is. Get out of your own way. I’m not saying everyone should quit their job to travel the world but DAMN, I am glad that I did.”

“The travel bug isn’t a creature you want to take lightly.”

“Traveling pushes me to my limits and pushed me out of my comfort zone to allow me the room to blossom into who I want to be. Or at least put me on the road to who I want to be. Traveling gave me the reason to start sharing my writing and the confidence to believe I had something to say.”

“When I lived in Syracuse last year for a short time, I might have taken for granted a nice dinner with Mom, an afternoon with my niece and nephew or getting ready with one of my best friends, but now, these moments feel like memories as they are happening. I cherish them with the sense of fragility and preciousness they deserve. Because I can’t see everyone I love as often as I want, I am able to invest fully in those moments and give my full self.”

“Wherever you are, and however you celebrate, remember to make this holiday season about love, celebration and admiration for life and the many blessings you have been given. It’s not wrong to miss what you’ve left behind, but don’t let it stop you from experiencing what is right in front of you.”

 

“Home will always be home for me. But the greatest feat of all, is feeling at home within yourself. I can be alone on the other side of the world but I am confident enough in who I am and where I’m going to feel at home.”