The Struggles Of Wanderlust

The Struggles Of Wanderlust

And how to get over them.

Wanderlust, or the strong desire to travel, is a word that I relate to all too well. Being born and bred in Florida, I haven't seen much of the world. Heck, I've barely seen the United States. Granted, I am only 19 years old and I have plenty of time to broaden my horizons, but the inner urge to explore the magnificent world around me is thriving more than it ever has. When you're young you want to to do as many things as possible, and you can find traveling on most college kid's bucket lists. But how am I supposed to pay for travel, lodging, food and shopping expenses, and everything else in between when I work a minimum wage job? Here, we are presented with struggle number one: lack of funds.

I know that when people think of traveling, they think of going abroad and exploring countries they've never been to before. Of course this opportunity should be taken if it presents itself, but traveling doesn't always have to mean 12-hour flights and a European country. Taking a mini road-trip to a place you've never been to before definitely counts as traveling, and it will be a lot cheaper too. I know that some day I will be strolling around Paris eating croissants and loving life, but for now you can catch me making a day trip to New Orleans and feasting on crawfish and beignets.

It's easy to get caught up in the chaos that accompanies a new journey, and you're going to want to cram your schedule with anything and everything possible, but sometimes that tour of the MoMA just doesn't happen. This brings us to struggle number two: lack of time. Time is one of those things that is just out of your control at times. Life happens, and it can sometimes get in the way of what you want to do. In order to really get the most out of your trip, try to plan ahead and make a list of exactly what you want to do. And here's the important part: give yourself ample time to do it.

I know that when I go on vacation, it's hard for me to pack up my things and leave—partly because I always come back with more stuff than I came with (RIP bank account), but also because a piece of me wants to remain at the place I'm in. Here's struggle number three: never wanting to come home.

I believe that home is where the heart is, but I also believe that you can leave a little sliver of yourself wherever you go. When you travel, you make memories. Some of those memories can be bad, but I guarantee most of them will be good and you'll laugh at the bad ones later. If you choose to return back to a place you've traveled to, you will be reminded of the amazing gelato you had at that tiny bakery or the way the sun set on the ocean front. These memories and feelings of joy are hard to ignore when you leave, but just remember that you can always venture back.

Wanderlust is an incredible thing, and it can fully consume a person. I have always had a love for traveling and exploring places where no one knows my name. I have big plans for traveling in the future, and I look forward to being able to see what the world has to offer me. Until then, I'll be fantasizing about my journey and counting the seconds until it finally arrives.

Cover Image Credit: Surat Lozowick

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Things To Do in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a big city with a booming night life and beautiful scenery.


I recently took a long weekend trip to Vancouver. Here are some things I did and some ideas and suggestions for those visiting the city for the first time.


You can't come to Metropolitan Vancouver and not go out for drinks at least one night. There are so many restaurants and cocktail lounges around the city, it would be a shame to neglect to try some Canadian alcohol. The first night I was in town, I went to Juniper Restaurant and Bar in Chinatown.

They had a wide selection of different mixed drinks, and I was impressed with the flavors of all the different cocktails I tried. Most restaurants around the city sell alcohol, so do some research and try the different alcohol selections in the different parts of the city.

The drinking age in Canada is 19, so it was strange for me to go out and order cocktails for myself. Some places ask for two forms of Government issued ID, so be prepared by bringing your Drivers License and passport.


The Roxy

During my time in the city, I never went to any clubs. My hotel was on the same block as several of the popular ones, and they seemed like a pretty big deal. I am used to the clubs in my college town, so I was not prepared to walk myself into a real uppity downtown club.

Some of them have dress codes and other rules so be sure to do some research before planning your whole night around being there. One down the block from my downtown hotel was called The Roxy Cabaret. I heard if you are wanting just one club to give you the full Vancouver experience, that was the one to try.


Granville Island Public Market Entrance

The most popular market in Vancouver is the Granville Island Public Market, very obviously located on Granville Island. The market has art galleries, the market itself which includes anything from artwork to fruits and meats, little shops, and restaurants.

There is a lot of entertainment there. Sometimes they host music festivals and other events during the summer, so expect to spend several hours there if you are wanting to get the full market experience.

During the summer, North Vancouver hosts The Shipyards Night Market. If you are wanting a taste of North Vancouver, including food, drinks, and culture, this is the summer event to go to. I ate some tasty Greek dessert and drank a sparkling vodka while listening to a live band. It was a great way to enjoy the beautiful evenings on the shore.

Whale Watching

Killer Whales

Vancouver is known for its beautiful landscapes and its salmon fishing. While I was there, we went whale watching in Steveston, British Columbia located right outside of Vancouver. During our 4 hour trip, we saw bald eagles, sea lions, killer whales, all with the backdrop of the beautiful North Shore Mountains.

Make sure to bring warm clothes and food. It was a really beautiful trip but the breeze from the fast-moving boat was a little chilly. It was also a long trip, so it was nice to have something to snack on to make sure I wouldn't get sea sick.


Vegetarian Poutine

Morgan Fischer

Vancouver is a cultural center. There are so many different people there from all over the world. The majority of the people I met there had accents because they were not originally from Canada.

That means the city is filled with every type of food you can think of. You can get anything from Thai to Italian to barbeque and everything in between. Look up different culture areas of the city and try new food in each one.

I also suggest trying Canadian food. Poutine especially. Poutine is simply french fries with brown gravy and cheese curds on it. There are even restaurants that just serve poutine, but spice it up with different toppings and such. The one I would always walk by was Mean Poutine that was located downtown. There was always a line out the door so it must be good!

Finally, Just Ask a Local

Vancouver residents obviously know the best things to do in the city. All the people I interacted with were extremely nice and helpful. I even had a waitress write down a whole list of places to go get the best cocktails around the city.

Do not be shy while you are there. Talk to your waitress or the person helping you at the store. Ask them about the city and see where they think you should go. You never know a hidden treasure you may find or an adventure you may experience because of their advice!

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