2017 Bucket List

2017 Bucket List

Can you believe I've never been camping?

I know myself, and know that I won't keep a New Year's Resolution if I make it, so instead, I decided to create a 2017 bucket list! Here's some things I've never done, habits I'd like to create, and things that I want to make happen this year!

1 . Go camping

Oddly enough, something I have NEVER done is been camping! Sure I've been to camp and stayed in a cabin but the whole sleep in a tent outside and cook your own food... never.

2. Blog more

I have a website, check it out if you want, but I hardly ever write on it! I write things from personal things, religious things, political thoughts, I post my "photography", and talk about my travels! I would love to write on that more. Check it out here!!

3. Declare a major I love

I'm on the track to declare a Communications and Political Science double major, so I'm not really struggling to find my place and what exactly I want to study, but I'm really hoping to declare that this year!

4. Learn how to cook a really great meal

If you know me at all, you know that I am physically, mentally, emotionally, and really all over just completely inept in the kitchen. I can maybe cook a can of soup and not screw it up. I would love to leave 2017 saying that I can make a chicken or a steak or something a little bit above pasta!

5. Get up and watch the sunrise

My campus, Furman University, is located LITERALLY right next to Paris Mountain in Greenville, South Carolina, and it's a really great place to hike and explore and spend time outside. During my time here, I would love to get out one morning and see the sunrise from Paris Mountain!

6. Travel somewhere I've never been

I've been really fortunate and able to travel to some fantastic places like Greece, Rome, China, and I have a huge heart for traveling. This year, I would love to travel somewhere that I've never been before. I'm a certified SCUBA diver and it looks like our next trip will be an intentional dive trip.. places on the list are Belize, the Grand Cayman, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, etc!!!

7. Be intentional

Something I've learned in college is that some friendships just "happen", but some do not! I've seen (or stalked) a few people that I would really love to get to know better, but have been too afraid to talk to them. In 2017, I want to be more intentional, send that first text, set up that lunch date, and make those awesome friends!!

8. Learn a new language

In high school, I took five years of Latin. Coming in to college, I was unsure of whether or not I would want to continue Latin, or if I wanted to try something new. Obviously I've made my decision seeing as it is on the bucket list, that I want to take a new language in college and learn something new!

9. Watch Gilmore Girls

Literally everyone watches or has watched this show except me. It's time.

10. Send more letters in the mail

One of the best forms of communication, and a lost art in my opinion!! I have an article on just why we should send more snail mail. Check it out!!

Thanks for staying tuned during my 2017 bucket list! Hold me accountable for these things and maybe even come out and do them with me! Looking for a way out of your new years resolutions that you won't keep? Create your own 2017 Bucket List!

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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5 Reasons You Should Visit Stonehenge

One of England's Most Famous Tourist Landmarks

Whenever you are traveling, it is more than normal to look up things to do while at your destination. For England, one of these things would be to visit Stonehenge. I had the opportunity of taking the trip to this landmark and it sure was something.

1. There is so much to see

So many rocks that apparently, you’re not supposed to count twice, because you can summon the Devil or something. Go, see everything, take pictures and be on your way in fifteen minutes.

2. You can summon the devil

Legend has it, if you hear voices coming out of the so-called ankle rock (above), it is someone from hell... or maybe you're crazy, who knows!

3.The rocks look as big as the pictures

The pictures are not representative of the landmark at all!

4. So much history

5. The Stonehenge Gift Shop

You can get yourself something from the variety of merchandise, including a bottle of Stonehenge Strawberry Wine. (If interested, here is the link to the online gift shop: https://www.english-heritageshop.org.uk/)

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I Have Never Visited The Country Of My Birth, And That Terrifies Me

My constant fear of never knowing where I came from.

On the first day of school, everyone shares an interesting fact about them under the questioning of a very eager teacher. I always shared mine with little pride and more longing for a place I have never been.

I was born on a small island in the Caribbean Sea, tucked away between the countries of Aruba and Bonaire called Curacao. Living there only for six months after my birth, I never had the chance to explore the island’s beaches or its historic downtown marina. Growing up, I have always been told about the island’s charm and quaintness from my parents, who met there 20 years ago at a travel agency. I was always called an "island girl" when I was young, going along the rhythm of life without a care in the world.

But I have never visited this place full of life.

Curacao, with its pastel-colored Dutch buildings and the most vividly blue waters, became simply an idea in my imagination. From photographs taken by my parents to the word of mouth, I created an idealization of where I was born, from the beach lifestyle to the exciting nightlife.

However, I am afraid I will never discover if my idea of the island is true. Having been raised in Texas for the majority of my life, I have only come to know the world of the United States. Every year that passes that I don’t find myself on the small island I should call home, I believe there is less of a chance that I will ever identify with Curacao. I have traveled abroad, walking streets of cities that I wish I could call mine. But to discover the place that I came from, where my mother grew up and where my parents met, is something that could and will change me for the better.

There are many people in the United States who feel displaced, longing for a place they feel they belong. Immigrants move here for the promise of a brighter future for them and their families. Some leave to escape war, famine and persecution of their own people. They may find refuge here, but they may miss the place they came from. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in the United States for a majority of my life, but I constantly wonder what I may be escaping because I never visited Curacao.

My mother constantly tells me stories of her childhood on the island, and she always compares her upbringing to my own. Half of my extended family resides there, and the only chance I have to see them is the seldom times they come to visit my mother. Lacking the proximity to my grandmother, aunts and cousins has been difficult for my mother, but I know she has found happiness with our family. She has the same longing to return to her home as I do to make Curacao part of me. Her voice aches for a place so far that I wonder what I will be like after I visit. Will I have that same love for Curacao? Will I finally feel a sense of pride of where I come from?

The only way to know is to step out of my comfort zone and find myself in Curacao, a place yet to be.

Cover Image Credit: Everypixel.com

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