Traveling Internationally

International Travel Is An Investment You Will Never Regret

Grab your passport, and go, go, go!

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Since my return from a study abroad trip to Italy, I have been able to reflect on what I gained from my experiences there. After going back through my journal entries and photos, I came to the conclusion that cultural knowledge is the greatest profit of any investment in international travel.

This is a very different philosophy than the one fed to us by social media handles like Instagram. We've all seen the girl with her bright, breathtaking destination vlogs. It's so easy to believe that the joy of travel is found in the hype of sharing it with our followers. Sure, seeing sights and snapping pics are fun ways to enjoy being in a new place!

But, none of that can compare to immersing yourself in a culture different from your own. Not just by trying a new dish or visiting popular tourist sites, but by learning about the history of your location and what it means to the local population. Real, human connection with people of other nationalities is such a beautiful thing. So much can be learned from spending time with people that different from you! After being surrounded by different customs, mannerisms, and rules of etiquette, I was reminded that my way isn't always the best or only way.

My small-town worries fell away, and I took the time to remember the diversity and enormity of this world.

I believe that international travel is especially valuable to those who have lived in the same place for most of their life.

It's human nature to get caught up in our own little worlds, only caring about the things that affect us or those around us. Changing the scenery begs us to think about the worries and cares of people thousands of miles away. Experiencing other cultures leaves us grateful, inspired and more prepared to see the world as a population, not just countries on a map. In a world where news media flashes a stock photo of a foreign country and spouts accusatory language, it is vital that we consider the humanity living within these far-off places.

If you are considering traveling overseas for the first time, I encourage you to think about the wealth of knowledge and experience that you could gain by putting money and time into traveling.

I have never met someone that regretted a well-planned excursion. Money might be tight and your schedule might be packed, but if you are meant to be in a place, you will find your way there. Put a few dollars away, plan out your time, and do some fundraising if you have to. Your brain and heart will thank you for giving them a new worldview to see life through.

Cover Image Credit:

Ella Pitman

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11 Must-Go To Day Trips In North Carolina

For the wanderers and curious...
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It's finally summer, classes are out! There are so many things to do in this beautiful state. There are many small towns to visit. These towns are perfect day trips. From the mountains to the beach and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Pack your car up and get ready for a summer of adventure.

1. NoDa

This is a small hipster district right outside of Uptown Charlotte. Music and art paint this town and it has a very creative energy flow. Amelie's Bakery, a 24/7 french bakery, is located in this district. There is always something fun and new to try in this cute, artistic town!

2. Asheville


This town is known for the beautiful scenery and historic importance. The Biltmore Estate is located here, and it is open for tours every day of the year. It is the biggest estate in America. The downtown area is very artistic, and the mountains make for a gorgeous hike. This is definitely an adventure you don't want to miss.

3. Boone

This small town has a lot of outdoor activities. It is perfect for hiking and whitewater rafting. If you love nature, this is a must see. It is a college town where Appalachian State University is located. The downtown area is very old school and for modern hipsters.

4. Crowders Mountain

This is located in Gaston County. Once you reach the Pinnacle, the peak of the trail, with clear skies you can see for miles. It is a quick four-mile hike for the short one, the view is amazing.

5. Wilmington

This city is known for the beachfront. It makes a perfect day to hit the waves. There are many beach fronts to visit, such as Carolina Beach. Cape Fear Ocean runs through this city. White sand, waves and the boardwalk. If you are a fan of One Tree Hill, it was filmed here.The small restaurants and characteristics give this town a vibrant energy.

6. Serendipity House

This house is from the movie Nights In Rodanthe located on a beach in Avon, North Carolina. It has been remodeled, but the amazing characteristics of this make it a sight to see.

7. Linville Falls

This is located in Linville, North Carolina. Attractions close by are also the Blue Ridge Mountain. To get to the main fall, it is about a mile hike.

8. Outer Banks

Small beaches on the outer banks of North Carolina have wild horses. Corolla Wild Ponies run free, and you can even take a ride on them in the water.

9. Sliding Rock

Located in Brevard, this rock is actually naturally made from a small waterfall. You can actually go sliding down it. It is in Pisgah National Forest also near Asheville.

10. Devil's Tramping Ground

This is located near Bennett. It is a 40-foot circle that cannot grow life. If you leave something or sleep in the circle, the rumor is it will be outside of the circle the next day.

11. Land of Oz Theme park

Located in Beech Mountain, this theme park that was once full of life is now closed and for the most part abandoned. It comes alive for one night a year for an event. This is definitely a place to take a night adventure to...

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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The Perfect Travel Guide To Cincinnati, Ohio

Learn about the best sites to see, views of the city, coffee shops, and much more!

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I've visited Cincinnati a few times now, so these tips should be adequate for a long weekend in the Queen City! See the sights, eat some amazing food, and make the most of this great city!

Day 1:


- Arrive in the city in the late afternoon and look around as you find your hotel/place you are staying.

- Grab some dinner at the famous Skyline Chili. I suggest either a coney or a classic 3-way chili. Fun fact: their chili recipe has chocolate as an ingredient!

- Go to a park for a night skyline view at a park. Eden Park, Mt. Echo Park, and Devou Park are all parks that I have visited and are located further up a hill to look down towards the city. There are also several parks and parking lots located along the river on the Kentucky side that have great views.

Brooklyn Dillow

Day 2:


- Find a fun coffee shop to caffeinate for the day and grab a pastry. Carabello Coffee, Coffee Emporium, and BLOC Coffee Company are three that I have tried, and I have also heard that Sidewinder is fantastic.

Brooklyn Dillow

-Head over to Findlay Market - there will be an array of meats, cheeses, and other foods, as well as vendors outside lining the market.

- Explore the Over The Rhine neighborhood. Grab some design inspo from Elm and Iron, and stop in for good smells at the Candle Lab!

Brooklyn Dillow

- Find a fun place for lunch. I haven't eaten in this neighborhood, but it is covered with amazing smells that will make your mouth water.

- Stop into Graeter's Ice Cream. I suggest the Buckeye flavor ice cream, or if in season, a black raspberry chocolate chip donut.

- Enjoy your ice cream at Washington Park. There is also a dog park where you can have your fill of "AWE's" for the day.

- Another great place to spend some time is Eden Park. There are Botanical Gardens, as well as butterflies. While I was there, my boyfriend made some friends with climbers and spent time "buildering" (climbing on the outside of buildings or artificial structures) on an old aqueduct, and his sister played fetch with her dog in a large field.

Brooklyn Dillow

Brooklyn Dillow

- All I can ever think about is food, so next up would be dinner. There are several good options around the Clifton Heights and University of Cincinnati area. I have been to Currito and Roll on In, but I have also heard that Keystone's Mac Shack is great.

A Burrito or a Sushi Roll?Brooklyn Dillow

- End the night by heading to the Contemporary Art Museum. Admission is free. If art isn't your thing, maybe architecture is. This museum was designed by Zaha Hadid and is a piece of art in itself. Feel free to explore, and find the locked room. Grab a key from the front desk and you will have access to a tiny room with the best carpet on this planet as well as several hand-selected books and a view out into the city.

Brooklyn Dillow

Day 3:


- Begin the day with one of my previous coffee shop recommendations or go to Taste of Belgium, a good place for a waffle.

- Drive either to the Kentucky side by the river or find parking near Smale Riverfront Park. Spend time to walk across the historic bridge and take in the views as well as explore the fun adventures the park has to offer, such as bench swings along the riverfront.

- Explore Newport on the Levee. There are various shops, chain businesses, attractions such as a movie theater and bowling. Good views can be found here as well.

- Grab some lunchtime fare at Dewey's Pizza or Tom and Chee.

- Find time to explore what I may have forgotten, or what I may have not been to! I haven't spent a lot of time in the middle of downtown so this would be a great time. Going to the top of some of the skyscrapers or riding the Ferris wheel near the river could be included.

- Head out of the city and remember your fabulous time!

Brooklyn Dillow

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