These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New

I am letting courage carry my journey as I begin my summer in the city I have always dreamed would become my reality.

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Alicia Keys created the song, Empire State of Mind with Jay Z that released in 2009 and quickly became a world-wide phenomenon. I remember listening to this song on repeat for the past 9 years and have been waiting for my chance, my turn to experience the life that Alicia was making sound so beautiful and so empowering.

"Even if it ain't all it seems
I got a pocketful of dreams
Baby, I'm from
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
The big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York, New York, New York"

I got a pocket full of dreams

As a young child, I have dreamed and hoped that one day I would end up at a huge publication company in New York City. I have pictured myself in fabulous shoes, walking the streets and going into an amazing office with a view of the skyline...and here I am. I have always been a dreamer and I feel like a dream is the first place you go to make something a reality. To dream something means that you are thinking about it, you are wishing and coming up with a plan. What I have always imagined myself doing has given me a pocket full of dreams that have started and ended with New York City. So, here I am. My pocket of dreams have been opened and I am standing on the corner of 59th and Columbus Circle and my pocket has been emptied. My dreams are becoming my reality.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

It truly is a jungle. While all that above sounds so glitz and so glam by the way my dreams have come true, I realized very quickly that living here brings out different eyes. While I was dropped off with my bags, I was soon adjusted to a new neighborhood, new smells, new people and new animals...or bugs. This city is filled with people from all over the world. People with different upbringings, different lifestyles, and different mindsets. I truly don't think that one person is the same here in this city. The lifestyle here is concrete based and is fast paced. People are willing to live in this crowded and crazy place to make thier dreams come true and seek their dreams out.

There's nothing you can't do

While this is true, it depends on which way you are looking at the city and the upbringing you have come from. For me, this city truly has endless amounts of possibilites. So many places to eat, socialize, sightsee, watch, shop, walk, drive, and so on and so on. I did come to the city alone and I was scared. But, the light for me was the endless amounts of things to do and new things to see. I think this also means that the sky is the limit. In NYC there are so many people and so many possibilities to get your foot in the door and make your dreams come true in the workforce. I have learned that people work their a$ off to make a name for themselves. Sit in the sweaty subway to and from work, work long hours, live in tight corners, but it is all worth it for this "dream".

These streets will make you feel brand new
The big lights will inspire you

I am here alone and I have had moments and days of weakness. Being alone, lonely, tired, exhausted, hot, and missing Iowa. But, the feeling I get when I am coming off the subway to a crowded street with skyscrapers all around me truly is a feeling I haven't felt before. Watching people hustle to work in their nice work clothes and preparing for their day is inspiring to see and be apart of. At night looking at all the lights the city creates gives me goosebumps and it challenges me to have a positive attitude and keep smiling through this adventure.

New York is an adventure. I have had my struggles so far but am focusing on the dream. The dream that every one has coming here. The fact I can be apart of this, something this big and this inspiring as a 20 year old young woman is something I am not taking for granted. I am ready to see what the next day has to bring.


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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...

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How To Take The Stress Out Of Traveling

Traveling can be much less stressful by following these tips!

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Do you ever find yourself rushing to get stuff done? Do you ever feel like you're always forgetting something or don't have enough time to pack? Traveling can be quite stressful when you wait until the last minute to get everything done. Here we will address the problems that can arise with traveling and how to deal with them effectively, so you are on time, organized, and get everything done.

One of the main issues when traveling is not allowing yourself enough time to get everything done. For instance, you start to pack the day of or the night before your flight and forget that you have to take out the trash, clean your dishes, take care of your animals, etc. beforehand and then you panic and start to forget things. This can be a big problem because you may end up forgetting something important, such as your medication. In order to fix this problem, I recommend starting to pack or at least do house maintenance three days in advance. This will help give you buffer time in order to get everything done and allow for things you forgot about and just remembered to still get done. Planning ahead means a successful and less stressful traveling experience.

Another issue when traveling is forgetting items. This can be very detrimental to the relaxation of the vacation if you forget something very important like medication or a credit card. In order to reduce the chances of forgetting items on your oh so relaxing vacation, you should write out a list. Write out everything you need to bring and organize it in sections, such as "clothing" and "toiletries." Making a list can help jog your memory of things that you would've forgotten if you simply went off the top of your head. A list helps packing go more smoothly. You'll thank yourself in the end when you're sipping a refreshing piña colada on the beach with the sun beaming down on you not worrying about a damn thing because you brought sunscreen and your ID. "Life is good man," you say as you wiggle your toes in the sand, and let the sweet sun kiss your protected skin. Don't you want to be that person? Make a list!

No matter where you're traveling to, its best to be well prepared and ahead of the game. You'll be significantly less stressed and more in the traveling mindset of relaxation and indulgence. Making a list and allowing yourself enough time to get everything done are the keys to having an amazing, stress-free traveling experience. Now go out there and make that list so you can enjoy that well-earned piña colada and not have to worry about a damn thing!

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