Take Opportunities As They Come And Create Your Own

Take Opportunities As They Come And Create Your Own

Stop planning, start going.

I, like many other people, have a bucket list. However, mine spans multiple pages in a notebook. And when I say multiple, I mean like ten pages, front and back. It's a lot. It's not even things that I want to do. My buck list is just a giant list of cities, parks, monuments, buildings, theme parks, etc. that I want to visit within my lifetime.

Unlike many people, I have been lucky enough to already have crossed some of those places off of my list. Within this past summer, the majority of places I wanted to visit in Italy were checked off. I've even been able to take day trips to places on my bucket list.

Sometimes trips to cross these places off are almost perfectly mapped out. I create timelines, routes, spend months saving up the money. I dedicate a considerable amount of energy trying to find the perfect way to visit some of these locations.

I spent seven months planning my trip to Italy.

However, I spent all of two days planning a trip to the Grand Canyon.

All it took was me telling a friend that I really wanted to go see it and that maybe we should see it during one of the long weekends we had this quarter. His response? "Let's go this weekend."

We went and it was awe-inspiring, to say the least. I never really thought I would ever get to the Grand Canyon. Nor did I think it would affect me as much as it did.

Yet as I stood on the precipice of the South Rim, I realized many of things I had added to my bucket list, I never really thought I would actually get to see. I just wrote places down and thought, "Maybe someday."

But someday isn't going to cut it.

I managed to see part of the Grand Canyon in a weekend. Yeah, I would love to have seen more of it, but it is also completely amazing to actually be able to say that I have seen even the tiniest bit of it. And it was all thanks to spontaneity. To a slight bit of recklessness. To creating a moment when the opportunity presented itself.

I saw the Grand Canyon because I did not hesitate when my friend said let's go. We should all do more of that.

Take opportunities as they come and create your own. Yeah, money is a little tight because we're young, broke, and in college but that doesn't mean we have to wait for a "better" time to make memories. We only have today. Use it. I did and I loved every second of it.

Cover Image Credit: Erika Salazar|Josue Llamas

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.

I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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What Surviving The #Wilderness Taught Me After Living A Life Of Privilege

A privileged city girl's quest for survival in the wilderness.

I have had it easy. From being born in an upper-class family that has provided me with more than I have asked for, to never having experienced the pain of an irreplaceable loss, life has been a flow as smooth as waters of a river for me. But here’s the catch: for as long as the river flows without hindrances, it is effortless. Then emerge the uneven lands, the unwavering rocks and the unforgiving rapids- a metaphor for the quest for survival. The wilderness for me was that quest, an opportunity to survive the easy rivers so I could brave my way to the menacing ocean.

In college, far away from my family, I came to the realization that my privilege was beginning to sound a lot more like a sense of entitlement. Sure I was grateful, but because I was so used to getting it easy, that is how I expected everything to come to me — Easy. I had yet to realize that the real world, outside the bounds of my shelter, is in fact far from easy.

To lose this false sense of security is what it took to grasp that I am actually on my own, just as much as anybody, and maybe even less equipped than them, who have had to earn every bit of what they have. I realized that sometimes hardships are necessary — more than it. They should be embraced than disgraced.

But how’d I know that? Last year, my life took an interesting turn. I traveled to Nepal, my twelfth country, and hiked a section of the Annapurna Circuit. For having spent 18 years of my life in a concrete jungle and the other two at a prestigious university, this was my first time without internet connectivity days in a row and the first time I was fully immersed in nature.

If you know anything about wilderness, you’d know that it is nature naked as it could be, greater than us in any form, with an upper-hand in every way. Nature can embrace us or crumble us, and we are too little to be able to control that. In a spoon-fed life, to get submerged in nature was unlike my personality. But my curiosity was pure and affinity utterly mysterious and hence birthed the purposeful addiction.

Months later, my best friend Jessica Wirtanen in the US, who has experienced all but a sheltered life of privileges and whose passion is to wander in kind, hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail with me. Through my enduring experiences in the mountains in her company, nature embraced me and yet managed to teach me how little and non-impactful I am. There were times I so vividly remember, that I stumbled with a heavy backpack being dehydrated for miles in a row, or those where I had a light head and a blurred vision with certainty that I wouldn’t survive to the next campground.

To have made it out to the other side of fear and vulnerability of the non-shelter was an empowering experience. The lesson I learned having braved the wilderness was the rewarding realization that there is greater strength in having survived such tough situations. In other words, there could be gain without pain, but it isn’t half as rewarding. In pushing myself beyond my own limits, I in a sense expanded my limits altogether. Accompanying this "earned" strength came an optimism brimming with substance, a subconscious trust in the nature, and the knowing that I will survive anything upon persisting.

Cover Image Credit: Arushi Sachan

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