10 items I can't travel without

10 Items I Can't Travel Without

Did I mention they can all fit in your carry-on?

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Flying can be a drag for some people, luckily I am not one of them. I love to travel and live it up to the fullest when I can. Being prepared can make all the difference and here are some items I have deemed necessary to have while on my trips.

1. (Empty) Water Bottle

Just make sure it's empty or you risk having to throw it away upon going through security. Airports have a ton of water fountains throughout the terminals and it saves you from having to buy an overpriced Smart Water from a shop.

2. Reading Material

I always make sure my audiobook is downloaded or have a spare book packed just in case. Flights are greatly disconnected from the world time and I love spending that in a good book.

3. Headphones

DUH right? Well yes, but I have had cases where I brought the wrong kind of headphones, or I forgot to pack them entirely, or I forgot the new adapter for Apple or whatever. You get the point. Also, remember if Bluetooth, they need to be 100% charged, if not they will most likely die and leave you very unhappy.

4. Neck Pillow

Planes are uncomfortable as is, give yourself a break and bring the neck pillow. Pro-Tip, get one that inflated and deflates for added storage space.

5. Earplugs

Remember that one time that baby would NOT stop crying? Yeah...

6. Tylenol 

Other than the obvious need for relief of a headache. Tylenol is also a fever reducer which may come in handy for long or international flights.

7. Netflix Downloads

Binge watching your favorite series while being on a four-hour flight is not a bad way to kill some time. Just make sure you have them already downloaded to your device so you can view without wifi!

8. Debit/Credit Card

Any airplane I have been on has never taken cash for payment if you wanted a snack or a drink from the bar. So be prepared to have a debit or credit card to use if taking advantage of the mini bar!

9. Hand Sanitizer 

Planes are infested with germs, stay healthy!

10. (When applicable) Travel Buddy

Sometimes all you're missing is a shoulder to lean your head on. One that doesn't belong to a stranger.

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10 Photos You Have On Your Camera Roll Of Your S.O. When You've Been Dating For More Than A Year

A wide range from "Aw" to "WTF?"

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My boyfriend and I just hit the year and a half mark of dating, even though it seems like we've been together forever. Over the months, we've taken many pictures together... from football games, to his track meets, to holidays. Although we may have a lot of pictures together, I definitely have a lot of candids of him in my camera roll. If you've been dating your partner for as long as I have or longer, then you'll probably notice you have these same pictures in your photos as well.

1. The awkward first photos together

We laugh at these now, especially this one. Why am I so pale compared to him? It was July! And also, we noticed not to long ago that I was sweating under my arms and his underarms were sweating on me... what a great first time meeting!

2. The ones for VSCO

Every girl who has a significant other posts them onto their VSCO. VSCO is like Instagram, but more has more aesthetically pleasing pictures and there are no "likes." The pictures that include my boyfriend on my VSCO ranges from him holding a bunny to him holding my hand while we went ice skating.

3. Them sleeping

I have so many pictures of my boyfriend sleeping (I promise it's not as weird as it sounds), I just think he's so cute when he's fast asleep while cuddling with me.

4. The embarrassing ones they want no one to see

He's going to kill me when he sees this... but we all have those embarrassing Snapchat pictures that we start to send each other because we've gotten more comfortable with one another.

5. The ones for Facebook

The good looking pictures so you can keep yours and his family updated on how you two are doing. I took my boyfriend to a baby bird meet and greet since he loves birds and has one for a pet. I posted this cute picture of him and his new friends on Facebook so my family can see our adventures together.

6. Old pictures

One of the best parts of dating someone is finally seeing their old pictures. Although, sometimes they may make you cringe... like the one I posted above of my boyfriend after prom in his sophomore year of high school.

7. Their accomplishments

My boyfriend pole vaults for his college and he's really good at it. He just went to division III nationals in March because he qualified! I'm always at his meets so I make sure to get him on video in case he or anyone wants to see. I always try to snag a picture with him too because I'm always so proud.

8. The straight up ugly ones

He sure knows how to make me laugh. And I know he's going to be mad at me for this one too but I think it's a talent that he can do that with his stomach! Sorry, Adam, I promise I still think you look good when you send me these snaps for the most part.

9. But you have the hot ones too

He may be funny and sweet, but he is pretty good looking too. I know us girls keep some attractive pictures of our S.O.'s so we can remind ourselves of what a great looking partner we have.

10. FaceTime screenshots

If you and your lover go to different colleges like my boyfriend and I do, then FaceTiming happens a lot. Sometimes I get some great screenshots, like the one above, to make fun of him later.

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How I Found My Voice Through Storytelling

"I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day."

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Storytelling is an art that is at the core of our humanity and it has been a passion of mine from a young age. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by the narratives of my family. The practicality of my dad's voice rings in my ears when he shares the lessons he learned from my grandfather. I can still visualize the vivid tales conjured up by my grandmother, whose words had a magical essence that made them seem surreal. These distinct moments are like video clips that are ingrained in my memory to this day.

My parents and grandparents always took pride in sharing their stories with me, and I was eager to learn about the traditions of our family history. Growing up in this environment completely influenced the person that I am today. It had finally occurred to me when I was a little bit older that not everyone had the same relationship to their ancestral past that I did. Not everyone had insight of into the life shaping experiences that affected their loved ones. Not everyone knew their story.

I thought that was the worst thing in the world. I tried to imagine a life in which I didn't know my story or where I came from. Without this information, it was difficult for me to identify a purpose. From the perspective of my life, my story is attached to my drive to succeed. These components of my identity are entwined like fibers of the common thread that ties humanity together. I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day.

To the people who haven't discovered where they want to go in life or how they plan on getting there, start writing your story. Even if you have no where to start, just pick up the pen and start writing about where you envision your future. Create your purpose, manifest your ideas, and you will begin to become your narrative. Above all, be prepared to use your voice because the best way to add meaning to your work is to share it with others.

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