I Visited Six Different Countries in Twelve Months

I Visited Six Different Countries in Twelve Months

Traveling is one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever received.
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Many people cannot afford the opportunity to travel outside of the country, but this past year, I was lucky enough to travel to - not one, not two - but six different countries. Each trip was an incredibly stimulating journey, and I would recommend everyone to travel abroad at least once in their life.

The countries I traveled to over the past year were St. Barthelemy, Costa Rica, France, Poland, Israel, and Thailand. They were all so different from one another but incredibly special in their own way. No matter where you go, you will experience something through traveling that you have never seen before, and it will blow you away.

When I was in St. Barthelemy, I experienced the lovely lifestyle of the French beaches. There, I spent incredible family bonding time, enjoyed an exciting romance, authentic nightlife, and appreciated the night sky full of stars. I also got to ride on a vespa for the first time ever; it felt incredible zooming down streets as the wind hit my face. I tried different foods, met all sorts of people, and did things that pushed me out of my comfort zone, which is a huge perk of traveling.

Traveling to Costa Rica was a completely different experience because I went with a group of my friends. I enjoyed listening to the beautiful Spanish language, riding along the beach and through a forest of trees on an ATV, and flying across a tropical forest on a zipline. I met people from all different parts of the world and was able to stand in a butterfly cage, holding a toucan on my arm.

I would never be able to do these things at home; that is the beauty of traveling.

In France, I traveled without a chaperone; it was just me and one friend, thousands of miles from home figuring out how to navigate our way in a town where we didn’t speak the language or know anyone. I felt like a true adult, forced to put myself out there. As a result, I met incredible people.

One night, my friend and I were walking along a gorgeous beach in St. Raphael (right outside of Nice), trying to get a taxi to take us back to our hotel. We couldn’t find a single person who spoke english or wanted to help us. I thought we were going to sleep on the streets that night! It wasn’t until we came across a group of people on their summer vacation who spoke English.

We were so relieved, and after getting to know these people, we ended up spending the whole night on the beach just talking to them. It’s those spontaneous run-ins that make life so special and bring excitement to the table.

My experience traveling to Poland and Israel was an absolute once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I will be forever grateful that I was able to go on the “March of the Living” trip. We traveled through Poland for one week, visiting five Holocaust camps, marching through Auschwitz with over 10,000 people, and visiting a few Jewish cemeteries. I really felt a connection with my ancestors and to the Jews traveling with me as we all experienced everything firsthand.

As I watched the people of today living in Poland, learning about the way people act and the way the food is cooked, I felt enamored. It was so real but so very different from what I would ever come close to experiencing at home.

The week I spent in Israel, on the other hand, was a bit more of an uplifting experience. After experiencing the lowest point in history for the Jewish population, I experienced their peak. Seeing firsthand how far the Jews have come showed that no matter how bad it is, it can always get better.

The Israeli culture is so cool and so much fun; it was extremely cool to see people dancing all over the streets, people complimenting you as you walk passed them, and the absurd but cool things being sold on the street. It was just overall a warm feeling spending a week there. Whether you are Jewish or not, there is something about Israel that makes you feel connected, which is an unbelievable feeling.

Thailand was something I’d never even come close to experiencing before. It was my first time ever going to Asia, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. My mind was completely blown. Their culture is truly magnificent, and honestly, just watching how people live their life there is amazing.

I was able to learn about the religion of Buddhism (something I had only ever read about in textbooks) by actually visiting temples and watching people get on their knees and pray for hours. I tried all different types of foods, such as authentic Thai noodles and seafood, and I learned how they celebrate Christmas in Asia.

I was also able to experience the nightlife there and see how crazy but different it is from the United States.

There is something about travelling and experiencing different cultures that brings so much light and joy to my life.

When you travel to a new place, you are able to just let go, refresh your mind, and let wherever you are guide you in a new way of life.

Being able to savor all these memories and know that I have seen what it’s like to live a life completely different from mine is amazing. Going to a different state, or a different country truly is the one thing that will never fail to put a smile on my face, and I can’t wait to see what else there is to offer in this world.

Cover Image Credit: Aaditya Arora from Pexels

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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10 Things Everyone Needs On A Solo Road Trip

Sometime the basics is all it takes to get from A to B.

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In this life, we face so many crazy-filled moments that sometimes we need a break from all of it. That is when we pack up the car and get out of town. When doing this, there are a few items we need. For me, these are the top 10 necessities that I can't leave without.

1. Granola

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I am all for stopping to take a break if needed, but there is no shame in reaching to grab a handful of granola.

2. GPS and a basic paper map

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Maps or Google Maps is a must. Especially if you have problems with directions like myself.

3. At least one CD

CD

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As old fashioned as this sounds, there is something very eclectic about the tune of a CD.

4. A water bottle or coffee

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Don't get me wrong, we should probably be drinking water, but mornings call for coffee.

5. Comfy clothes

Comfy AF

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The last thing I want to feel is not being able to breathe in too tight skinny jeans while driving 60-plus miles an hour.

6. A charger

Charger

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Nothing has infinite battery life, so at some point you will need a charger.

7. Debit card/wallet

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Personally, carrying anything over $40 in cash really freaks me out, so that debit card comes in handy.

8. Downloaded podcast

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Sometimes the music gets too heavy, and the open road takes a toll. Then, my friends, is when the podcasts come out.

9. Some comfy shoes

Nikes- the classic

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Personally, I always wear house shoes or sneakers because making a four-hour trip in heels does not sound pleasant.

10. Carjack and a spare

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It is always better to be safe than in the middle of a dead-zone with a blown tire. Trust me, I know enough people who have had this problem.

These are just the basics of many things one might need. If you are anything like me, over-packing comes naturally. So does making lists. When making those lists, include at least these 10 things as well as many others.

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