10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before A Trip

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before A Trip

Traveling doesn't have to be stressful.
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July is the month so many people travel all around the world. Well, I am about to leave on a trip myself and have a routine that I think would be beneficial to others traveling too. Here are 10 questions I ask myself before I leave for any trip.

1. What kind of electronics do I need?

So many countries have different electric systems than America, so make sure to research what kind of plugs they have and the adapters you may need. Trust me, you do not want to be in the middle of a country where you don't speak the language, and you've just burned out the lights in the bathroom and fried your hair dryer.

2. Where is the closest hospital, grocery store and pharmacy?

Before I plan a trip, I investigate different destination options and how close each are to a hospital, grocery store and pharmacy. Personally, I like the destination to be close to a hospital that is nearby and easily accessible. Also, going to local grocery stores and markets can be a great way to be immersed in the culture as well as a prime location to find a snack for those afternoon cravings. Sometimes pharmacies can sell both food and medicine, so that is a good resource to have too.

3. What clothes do I need?

This question can be pretty tricky! Research the destination and make a list of possible clothes to bring. There are actually a lot of blogs that you can use for this very reason. If you know what season it will be, then use that to your advantage. Laundry is also a good area to investigate and think about when packing.

So, for colder weather, I usually bring more clothing than I actually need just so I can mix and match and layer. As someone who goes back and forth between cold Kansas winters and warm Florida winters, I cannot stress enough having a quality winter coat that will keep you warm. If you do not know how cold the temperatures will actually feel, then ere on the side of colder because then you will be prepared!

And, for warmer weather, I try to mix and match outfits with skirts or shorts, and T-shirts and blouses as much as possible. I also bring dresses for those days you just don't want to wear pants, but still feel fabulous.

As always, make sure to take a raincoat, sweater, sweatshirt and tennis shoes.

4. What shoes do I need?

If you know you're going to be walking a lot, then bring quality tennis shoes or sandals. But make sure those sandals are supportive, either they have good soles to support your arches or they wrap around your feet so they won't break. Only bring flip-flops for pool or beach days; do not walk around in them. There is nothing worse than touring a city when suddenly your flip-flop breaks. Hiking boots and tennis shoes are great shoes for colder weather and they are really good for your feet!

5. What are the phones like and what are the emergency numbers?

Phones are a complicated accessory to use when traveling, especially trying to navigate not using too much data and how to make calls. In each country, there is a different number you call for an ambulance, police and fire fighters. Make sure you know those numbers should you ever need to. I have yet to figure out the best system of using phones abroad, but as long as you have Wi-Fi and an app like WhatsApp, then you should be fine.

6. What is my itinerary?

I always like to have a general idea of what my schedule is going to be from day to day and let people know how they can contact me. Plus, making a list of all the activities you're going to do can help you figure out what clothes and shoes you need to pack.

7. What is the currency?

If you are traveling to another country, then you are going to be using a different form of currency. Research the currency exchange rate and try to get some of that currency before you leave. Whether or not you're going to do a lot of shopping, you will need some money to pay for the basics. And, arriving in a country without any of the different form of money is not a good idea. One, it can be hard to find a place that does currency exchanges and two, what if you need to buy something but have no way to pay for it?

8. What is the culture? Are there any rules or norms?

This question more so applies to when you are visiting some historical or religious sites because I know some countries require women to have shoulders covered, or other unspoken rules like that. But, research the culture and language because it can be helpful to know. For example, I have observed that French people hardly ever wear shorts. Even if it is 100 degrees outside, they either wear light pants or dresses, never shorts. That can be good to know, especially if you are trying to immerse yourself in the French culture.

9. What kind of food do they have?

Food is one of my favorite parts of traveling and a great way to learn more about your destination. If you do have any food allergies, then do some research about common cultural dishes and make sure to always bring any medication you may need. Last summer, a family member was having an allergic reaction and luckily we had medicine to administer and a phone to dial the emergency number. It was an experience I would not wish on anyone, but have learned from too.

10. What documents should I bring and what do I do if I lose my passport?

I recommend taking your passport, driver's license, health insurance card and photo copies of all of these. Also, know your social security number to make the process of getting a new passport easier.

Research where the closest American embassy is to your destination. Losing your passport is often an unfortunate reality of traveling abroad, but the U.S. embassy will do their best to help you.

When you lose your passport, immediately report it missing by going to the U.S. embassy. This process is definitely a long one, but you can speed it up by bringing these documents to the embassy.

If you are abroad, then here is more information about what to do.

Cover Image Credit: Zoë's photo

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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10 Things I Wish I Brought To College

All the things you wish you brought to college!

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Everyone loves moving in to a luxuries high rise dorm. Decorating and planning out your dorm is the first exciting thing you'll do in college. After my first three months of living in a dorm, I hauled 3 boxes of things back home that I just didn't need. In the meantime, there are so many things I completely forget to bring to college that I need on the daily. Here are 10 things I wish I brought to college!

1. More socks 

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I swore I brought enough socks when I moved in, but now I am down to two pairs. I can never find socks when I need them. With each load of laundry I do, more and more socks seem to disappear from the earth. Make sure you bring plenty of socks.

2. Hangers

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You can never have too many hangers. I have bought at least two more packs this month. Space is limited in your dorm so make sure you use up as much closet space as you can.

3. Medicine 

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I actually came to college with no medication. Not even a single Advil. The first few weeks of school, everyone is getting sick. You will thank yourself later if you load up now on cough drops, pain reliever, and any other medicines you might need.

4.) My dog

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I miss my dogs. Ok, I know I can't take them with me to college, but that doesn't mean I don't wish I could!

5. My sister 

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The first months of school can be exciting and lonely. I always wish my sister was here to rant to about my day. You will wish everyday that you could bring her with you.

6. Yoga pants

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We all think that we are gonna leave the yoga pants in high school and look like goddesses at our colleges. This is false and you will soon realize that even changing out of pajama pants for class is a miracle. Dress cute in August, but come fall you will thank me for telling you to bring your comfy pants!

7. Dry shampoo 

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Showering is important, but sometimes time slips through our hands. Make sure you are prepared for those in between days by stocking up on dry shampoo!

8. Self control 

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This can apply to many situations. Spending, homework, and parting. This is the first time in your life that you can make your own rules, so please bring a little bit of self control with you. Your bank account and GPA will thank you later.

9. Money 

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Save your money before college. If you spend all of the money you earned in high school or got for graduation in the first month of school, you should look back to item number 9. Money is important and is a scarce resource in college. Spend and save it wisely

10. Phone chargers 

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Like my socks, my phone chargers disappear every day. Make sure you bring a few and keep up with them!

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