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Visualizing Your Future

I started off 2016 without a job, still interning, and dreaming of traveling but having no money to do so. I wasn’t happy and I was extremely stressed. I was a college graduate who had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. I was having a quarter-life crisis.

My mom found this article about visualizing what you want from life & how to make it happen just by putting it on paper or making your goals and dreams visible. My inner-creative was super excited about this idea & I thought why not?

I started thinking, just thinking, about what I wanted to do, see, and accomplish in life. I honestly think that mentally visualizing what I wanted was even helpful in motivating me. Soon after, I found a part-time job doing communications & social media for a local boutique. I’m saving up for a few travels this summer and fall. I’m excited about what I do and what I have planned.

This was all before I even set-out to make a vision board. So I decided to finally start making my vision board. I believe that it would only strengthen what I imagine for myself. I grabbed some old magazines, a large poster board, scissors, and glue. I also used Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr for some vision board inspiration & extra photos.

The key to a vision board, from what I understand, is that visualizing what you want is not enough. You must act on it. Send out good energy into the universe, and it will come back to you.

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I picked out places I want to travel – Cuba, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, New York City, San Francisco, Chile. I printed out images of spaces I’d love to live in or model my bedroom after. I cut out tips on how to run a successful blog. I found lovely pieces of writing & a short bio about how one successful travel writer stumbled into her writing career on accident. I even included some of my favorite fortune cookie fortunes.

My themes of what I want out of life were suddenly very clear. I want to travel. I want to write. I want to be happy. And I think I’m on my way.

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Do you believe in vision boards? Have you made one? What’s on yours?

Balancing a Busy Schedule – School, Work, & Interning

The summer before I started my last year of college, my family had booked a trip to Montreal. As we were packing up the car and were only minutes from leaving, I got an email. It was congratulating me – I was just offered my DREAM internship at one of the world’s most famous media corporations. So I set off for Montreal with my fall semester, part-time job, and internship ahead of me. I was ecstatic – I felt like I had the world at my fingertips.

I like a full schedule. It makes me feel extremely productive to manage my time and get things done. I worked part-time retail at a local kitchenware store in my hometown. I worked Saturdays & Sundays. I had classes from 10AM-9PM Mondays and Wednesdays in NYC. I interned Tuesdays and Fridays 9AM-5PM in NYC as well. I commuted to NYC for an hour and a half each way. Thursdays were the only day I could sleep in, rest, and see my boyfriend and friends.

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1. Drink plenty of water
Getting sick would have absolutely disrupted my schedule and probably have put me behind on a ton of school work. I drank water religiously (and also coffee) and tried to eat the best I could on a meal plan. When you’re hydrated, overall, you feel better. Which means that you’ll perform better!

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Turning NJ Transit into my on-the-go office

2. Optimize your time
When you have a packed schedule, any down time between classes or sitting on the train on your way home for the night can really work in your favor. I used to do all of my course readings on the train to and from NYC and work on my papers when I got home and in between classes in the library. Know when you have free time and know how to take advantage of it.

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Late night commute essential: Marie Claire and cute, comfy booties

3. Take some time for yourself
Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking about all the things that you have to do. Take some time to breathe. Maybe one week in particular is especially stressful. Instead of eating lunch and working on homework, listen to your favorite playlist or catch up with friends. A little downtime should leave you feeling refreshed & ready to take on whatever you’re faced with.

Hello 2016!

So first things first – Happy 2016! I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration and will pursue a happy, healthy, & prosperous new year!

I’ve been finding myself a little bit unmotivated and had a hard time coming up with even one, single new year’s resolution. I’m pretty happy with who I am and all I’ve accomplished so far, so life/attitude/outlook-changing resolutions weren’t ever a consideration. And although it’s more than a few days late, I think I’ve finally come up with a few resolutions that won’t be too difficult to follow through with.

1. Write more. This pertains to both this blog & a novel idea I have. I would love to post content on here regularly and become more involved with the blogging community. I’d love to publish some fashion posts because I love style & clothing. I’d love to write a lot more about NYC and the little hole-in-the-wall spots & big name places that give the city its personality. And with my novel, I’d just like to get a finished first-draft, no matter how terrible. I love to write and I’d really like to do so a lot more often.

2. Improve my Spanish language skills. Duolingo is my best friend but I’ll also be heading back to school for a semester. I am 3 credits short of a Latin American History minor and all I need is an intermediate Spanish class to complete it. I’m really looking forward to going back to school (I love school & learning) and improving my Spanish. And finishing my minor!!!! But I hope practicing the language goes further than just taking this class and my learning doesn’t end when the semester does.

3. Travel more. This is going to be my resolution for every year, for the rest of my life. Even if it’s to another USA city or I manage to save some money up to go abroad, I’d love to see more of this world we live on.

Fall in NYC

Fall in NYC is my favorite time of year and I’m so excited to be heading back into the city (currently an NJ resident) as a development and communications intern for a nonprofit that deals with teen dating violence. It’s something I’m really passionate about and plus I’ll get some experience in a nonprofit.

Happy weekend everyone!

Life Moves Fast

As summer comes to an end, I find myself reminiscing about all of the places I’ve traveled, all of the food I’ve eaten, all of the photos I’ve taken, and all of the people I have shared these things with. My summer began the second I walked across the stage at Madison Square Garden to receive my college diploma and really took off the second I was sitting in JFK airport with two strangers that I’d eventually call friends, waiting to board my first long flight for my first time abroad for the first time without my family.

Somewhere over France as dawn

Somewhere over France at dawn

It’s really strange to me that my European adventure was three months ago, and that I might never run into my EFCB family again. We all signed up for an adventure across Europe not knowing what to expect. We were all at different points in our lives – we were high school graduates, students halfway through college, college graduates, students halfway through grad school, grad school graduates, and some of us had actual jobs in the real world. And for two weeks we were best friends who got to explore a part of the world together.

Then I came home. My boyfriend and I were going to get late night snacks on the first night that I was back and I cried the whole five minutes in the car because it had actually hit me that my trip was over. One of the best experiences of my life had flew past so quickly. I had been with the same 40 people every single second – awake and asleep – for two weeks. And now we were spread out across the United States. It was strange. It was sad.

But a month later, I was on a plane again. To Puerto Rico. With my family and my boyfriend. I would get to share my favorite place on earth with my cousins and my boyfriend who had never been. We watched the same Shark Week episode on our plane tv screens three times before we landed. It was quick and before we knew it, we were preparing for landing in San Juan. But when you’re on vacation and it’s the first day, the whole week ahead of you seems like you have so much time and then all of a sudden it’s two days later and you realize that you’re already halfway through the week. And then you’re back in Newark Airport saying good bye to your family. Vacation is over.

Breakfast in Madrid airport before heading back to the USA

And now I’m writing this, realizing that Puerto Rico was over a month ago and all of my adventures from this summer are actually over. It’s a very weird feeling but it’s also comforting to know that I’ve done some things that were completely out of my comfort zone. I went abroad alone, knowing no one, and came home with a bunch of new friends and lifelong memories. I got to experience things that a lot of my friends can’t say they have. I rode a bullet train speeding at 303 km/hr across Spain. Went wine tasting in Tuscany. I’ve gone rope swinging in the rainforest and snorkeling in the Caribbean. I’ve gotten to check off a lot of things off of my bucket list.

So, maybe my summer did go by fast… but it was one hell of a summer.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are some of my favorite images from this week. As the summer comes to a close, I’ve been really nostalgic for Europe and Puerto Rico. The travel bug is biting real hard lately.

I’ve been watching EF College Break videos on YouTube daydreaming about taking another trip and making a film out of it. Also, I’ve been a huge fan of reading stories on Maptia. My mind has been less focused on what it should be focused on, and completely obsessed with travel.

Next on my to-do list: land a job, convince my boyfriend to get his passport

Lunch in Orvieto

We had spent three nights in Rome and were anxious to arrive at our next destination: Florence. Our tour guide was very excited about making a quick stop in Orvieto –  a quaint city on top of a mountain that she described as the quintessential Italian town. She swore we would fall in love with it and she tried to get us excited by telling us that we were going to ride a funicular. The entire bus started murmuring what the hell is a funicular?

Totally puzzled, we followed her off of the bus, up a few flights of stairs, and hurried through a turnstile – making it with only a few minutes to spare – we packed ourselves into the funicular before it left up the mountain. It was (basically) a cable car on a set of tracks.

We hiked up into the city of Orvieto after our funicular ride, pointing down every tiny side street, gasping at and admiring every last detail of Orvieto’s beauty. Suddenly and unexpectedly we came upon the massive gothic Duomo di Orvieto. Usually, we were noisy, talkative, and always laughing, but our group of 40 fell into a stunned silence in its presence.

Duomo

Next, we toured a few lookout points to take pictures. Photos couldn’t ever do the Italian countryside justice. I visited vineyards in Tuscany, fell in love with rolling hills from the perches of San Gimignano, and watched clouds drift over the land below from Orvieto’s heights. They were views that I never got tired of. I always hoped that from every new place we visited, there would be landscapes as romantic and panoramic as the ones in Italy.

Once we stopped gawking, a few friends and I browsed shops stocked full of wooden kitchen tools, postcards, handmade chocolates, and bags of pasta before we settled on a cheap place for lunch. It had yellow umbrellas, a friendly cat, and great outdoor seating. My lunches in Italy alternated between salami pizzas and salami paninis. For lunch in Orvieto, I ordered a salami and mozzarella panini, water (still surprised that you have to pay for water in Europe), and a cappuccino as dessert. Coffee was always a must-have. My stomach was never disappointed.Orvieto, ItalyORV7 Orvieto, Italy

We had some free time to explore after lunch before continuing on to Florence so we found ourselves ordering gelato. I usually ordered lemon gelato paired with another fruity flavor. This time I tried grapefruit – a little bitter, but not bad. (And if we’re being honest, there’s no such thing as bad gelato in Italy). Then we snuck away into an overgrown alleyway, up a flight of stairs, and sat among someone’s garden to enjoy our refreshing snack and hide from the sun.

Oriveto, Italy

Oriveto, Italy

Orvieto, Italy

We gathered in the cathedral’s plaza and headed back towards the funicular. As we squeezed back onto it and chugged down the mountain, we discovered that we all had the same thought. No one wanted to leave just yet. We wanted a few more days to take in the beauty, explore the cobblestone streets, and discover all of the wonderful little corners of Orvieto.

Friday Favorites

These are just a few photos that have inspired me this week. I love personal/street style, flowers, and obviously NYC (that cute couple photo in the subway makes me want a similar photo!), but mostly I’ve been suffering from wanderlust lately. I would love to go on another EFCB trip and experience either Ireland, or do a London, Paris, & Rome trip. Also… Cuba has always peaked my interest. I would love to explore the island one day.

It’s my birthday weekend and I’m struggling to decide whether I want to spend my 22nd birthday on the high line and at my favorite restaurant or head down to the Jersey shore and spend the day on the beach and the night on the boardwalk. Hmm.

Have a great weekend!
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Just Introducing Myself…

For whoever is reading this… hi!

I’m Heather. I dig coffee, Latin American history, exploring the Caribbean, and being in love. I’m a recent college grad with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and a concentration in media studies… I was three credits shy of finishing a Latin American Studies minor but the class I was enrolled in was cancelled last minute in my last semester. I have a lot of places on my wanderlust bucket list.

So far I’ve posted some pieces I’ve written for tumblr and my friend’s blog (pianoandcoffee.co) but I’m looking forward to writing new, more detailed posts about my post-grad two week adventure through the South of Europe – including Rome, Orvieto, Florence, Pisa, Antibes, Nice, Barcelona, and Toledo. I started this blog with hopes of developing it into a travel blog in the future, but I’m focusing on New York City for right now.

New York City’s electric, fast-paced vibe is what motivated me to apply to Pace University in downtown Manhattan as a high school senior and I have fallen in love with this city over and over again over the past four years of school here. The lull and (eventually) the screeching halt of the subway cars as they drift into the station, the coziness of an art museum on a rainy day, and the high of finding an incredible hole-in-the-wall restaurant has made New York City truly feel like home and a constant adventure all wrapped up into one.

I can’t wait to share my favorite coffee places, food trucks, concerts, museums, and attractions with you. I would love for you to (if you would like to follow me) follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Heather