8 Things I Learned From Flying Solo For The First Time

8 Things I Learned From Flying Solo For The First Time

Traveling alone is a different, awesome experience!
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This past week, I took my first solo flight to visit my best friend in Texas. I've flown in planes multiple times with my family, but never by myself. Here are some things I learned about traveling on my own:

1. Figure Out Ahead Of Time What To Do About Parking!

Especially flying out of Newark or any other major airport, you're going to pay A LOT to park overnight for your whole trip. I was lucky that my wonderful boyfriend loves to drive, and took me all the way to the airport! Either way, make sure you're prepared ahead of time!

2. Pay Attention!

It's incredibly important to be aware of your surroundings all the time, but especially at the airport. Make sure you're keeping an eye on your belongings and paying attention to where you're going - anything can happen.

3. Bring A Book - Or Something Else To Do! (Or Portable Charger.)

When you're traveling alone, you usually don't have anyone to talk to unless you like talking to strangers! Bring a book to read while standing in line for security or waiting for the plane. And, most importantly, bring that portable charger!

4. Be Responsible

This goes along with being aware - know when your flight is coming, what you have to do when you get there, and how to get to where you need to be.

5. It's Not As Scary As It Seems!

I promise, even if you've never been on a plane in your life, as long as you know where to go, you can do it. Airports actually make it super easy to navigate your way around, and if you're totally stuck, there are plenty of people working there who know where to and how to direct you.

6. Be Ready To Spend Time With Yourself

One of the best and worst things about traveling alone is all of the time you get to spend to yourself. Be prepared for all that thinking/working/reading/whatever else you like to do time.

7. People Watching Is SO MUCH FUN

While I was waiting for my plane to arrive, I people-watched in the airport. I'm a storyteller, so watching people go by was fun for me because I tried to guess where they were coming from, where they were going, and more. You will see some really interesting people, trust me.

8. You'll Learn How YOU Travel

I've always traveled with my family, and I learned quickly that traveling by myself made for a very different experience. You have no one to take care of besides yourself - take advantage of that and learn from it!

Cover Image Credit: Google

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Celebrating The Grand Canyon's 100th Birthday

Cheers to 100 years of climbing, camping, and boat trips down the Colorado River.

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100 years ago last week, the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th National Park. Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of incredible desert wilderness, the Grand Canyon is consistently among the most visited parks and is recognized globally as a true wonder of the world.

While the canyon layers were formed long before dinosaurs roamed, fossils of ancient marine animals are often uncovered – some dating back 1.2 billion years.

The Great Unconformity refers to a gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved — a geological mystery of epic proportions.

Meaning 250 million-year-old sediment layers can be found right on top of layers holding those very same billion-year-old fossils. What happened to the millions of years in between? Nobody knows yet.

Of the many unconformities observed in geological strata, the term Great Unconformity is frequently applied to either the unconformity observed by James Hutton in 1787 at Siccar Point in Scotland or that observed by John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon in 1869.

These are both exceptional examples of instances where the contacts between sedimentary strata and either sedimentary or crystalline strata of greatly different ages, origins, and structure represent periods of geologic time sufficiently long to raise great mountains and then erode them away.

Carved over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and measuring 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is a major natural phenomenon, but it is also a place of deep historical mysteries and oddities as well.

It's days like today when I feel the most grateful to live where I do and to be able to appreciate so much of the great outdoors. To be able to climb and hike rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

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