I’m not sure it will happen this year, but I would like to go to Europe sometime. I have never been out of the country, the last time I was on an airplane was when I was 3. I would love to go to Italy, particularly Venice. It has water around the entire city and you get around in canoes. I would love to try gelato. I would love to go to Paris as well, I would love to go shopping and go to the Eiffel Tower. I studied French for 4 years in high school. I would also like to go to a bakery there! I would really like to go to Greece and see the white buildings and royal blue water. Lastly, I would like to go to London. I love Harry Potter and would like to pretend that I’m going to Hogwarts.
I would also like to go to Hawaii, Mexico, or any other place in South America! I have seen lots of pictures on Facebook and it looks like lots of fun. I love to surf on the beach and know that Hawaii is known for its gigantic waves. In the meantime, there are places in the U.S that I have not visited yet. I would love to go to California, New York, and New Orleans. Ever since I watched the Princess and the Frog I wanted to go to New Orleans. Last year I attempted to visit the White House during the Pro-Life trip. Because the trip got cancelled due to weather conditions, I was unsuccessful. But I’ll try again this year.
This has quickly become my mantra this year and I have never been happier. For as long as I can remember, I have always gone somewhere with someone. No big deal, right? Wrong. Going anywhere alone sounded crazy for the longest time and I always dreaded just the idea of it. Recently, I have taken up *practically* hibernating at Starbucks. This has lead to me not only being more productive, but has also been my first stepping stone into truly unleashing my independence. I’ve done countless things 100% on my own since then and even strike up conversation with friendly strangers from time to time. I know it may not seem like a huge accomplishment just yet, but it’s all about the stepping stones, people. My goal by the end of the year is to be a-okay (and actually enjoy) going to a movie on my own. My goal in the next couple of years is to move to a place where I know absolutely no one (just don’t tell my mom just yet). When I step back and think about where I want to be five years from now, my options are truly endless. Life is about adventure and dreaming big…and I can’t wait to see where my post-grad adventures take me.
Keep on dreamin’, friends.
Last Wednesday my brothers and I took the train by ourselves to Chicago to visit my aunt and cousin. The train was fun because I got to watch movies on my computer. Once we got there, we got to walk around the city. We went to a french market, and I got to try Belgian fries, mini doughnuts, and a lavender tea smoothie. Then we went to a Greek restaurant. The next day we went to Chinatown, and then we walked on Michigan Avenue. The next day we went to the beach and then went back to Michigan avenue and stopped at Ghirardelli. I got a giant cup of ice cream. We also stopped at the American girl store. Then we went shopping at the Water Tower Mall! The next day, our parents picked us up, but first we went to a breakfast restaurant and I got cinnamon roll pancakes!
On Tuesday I caught an early flight from Raleigh back to Saint Louis. I was in Raleigh, NC for a week visiting my boyfriend’s family and spent some time exploring the area. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved Raleigh! The city had a small-town vibe with the excitement and entertainment of a big city. I ended up falling in love with the city’s endless nature trails. My favorite trail was at Duke Gardens, a large and beautiful garden behind Duke University.
Before I left for vacation I admit that I was a little worried I would stray from my regular physical activity and healthy habits while on vacation. Despite my concern, I ended up staying on track with all the walking we were doing, plus I found other ways to stay active on the trip such as swimming and doing morning yoga indoors. I also discovered my boyfriend’s mom did personal training on the side, so she was just as in to fitness as I was!
That said, I sometimes forget that missing a workout or two won’t kill me. Nor will treating myself to “special occasion foods” (don’t worry, I did plenty of this!)
Trying popular local foods is one of my favorite things to do when traveling. We treated ourselves to the “best doughnuts in Raleigh” at Duck Doughnuts and had frozen custard another night (these were my two favorites during my trip). I won’t even mention that it was Glynn’s sister’s birthday that week, so we had ice cream cake too… (hey, balance in everything, right?!)
I had a great time on my trip, but it’s nice to be home and back to a regular routine… I hope I get to go back and visit Raleigh soon 🙂
(Top: Glynn & I at Duke Gardens; Bottom: Doughnut w/ Coconut and Rainbow sprinkles at Duck Doughnuts in Raleigh)