I'm a Midwestern girl in constant search of sunshine + sea. I travel solo, work full-time, and sometimes, I write.

Here's to Twenty-Five

Here's to Twenty-Five

Edit April 20, 2017: I wrote this post almost 1.5 years ago but never posted it because I literally forgot about it. But when I found it in my drafts box and re-read it, I realized how close I was to achieving some of these dreams already. It was fun to cross off some of the items I've done since turning 25, so I decided to post it. Plus, it's fun to look back on!

I was going through a lot of my old journals a few weeks ago and came across an extensive “bucket list” I had typed up 13 years ago. The list was all over the place - a random collection of thoughts and hopes. Join a cheerleading team. See the Eiffel Tower. Be a teacher. At 25, my desire to travel is as strong as ever. So here's a collection of travel hopes and dreams, starting today.

1. Backpack the Philippines. I went to the Philippines in 2011 with my dad. I look back and cringe at how I chose to experience those few, precious weeks; I was constantly whining about the jetlag, the food, the bug bites, the torrential downpours, the culture shock. I want to go back and do it right, with nothing but an open mind and a backpack. Done March 2017

2. Relive my childhood at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I am such a Harry Potter fan. My dad bought me the first book when I was eight years old. I still remember being tucked up on the couch, pouring over every page. How I have not yet managed to make it to Harry Potter world, I do not know. But I want to go! Done September 2016

3. See the Northern Lights.

4. Move across the U.S. I have always had a desire to move some place new. California, Colorado, Oregon, North Carolina. I like the idea - and the challenge of - putting my roots down somewhere else. I am very happy in Indy, but when I’m ready, I know that I’d be willing to move anywhere to start a new adventure. Done Novemner 2017 to Mississippi

5. Bungee jump in New Zealand. I am an adrenaline junkie when it comes to travel. New Zealand’s highest bungee jump is over the Nevis River - 439 feet with an 8.5 second free fall. Done and done.

6. Give back. My trips to Guatemala and Peru, when I was 16 and 19, were volunteer-based trips with Cross-Cultural Solutions. I taught English in an orphanage and after-school program. My travels since then have been largely self-indulgent, but giving back has always been important to me and I’d like to spend some time volunteering abroad again.

7. Take a trip abroad with my parents. This requires my mom to have a passport, which I'm working on.

8. Road trip through the U.S. I haven’t seen the Grand Canyon or any of the national parks. I would love to take a roadtrips - but not alone! Half the fun is roadtripping with friends. So, for any of my friends out there, roadtrip?!

9. Backpack South America. This has been a goal of mine for years. I almost made it happen back in 2013, but I knew I wanted the job at RCF instead. I would absolutely love to backpack through Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina.

10. Scuba dive in Belize. Belize is a stunning country, with the best diving in the world. This is so high on my travel list, but it’s so expensive. Done May 2016

11. Hike the Inca trail.

12. Visit London (again). I was in London very, very briefly when I was 15. Since then, the city has captured my imagination and I desperately want to return.

13. Work and live abroad. People who know me well seem to be astounded that I haven’t actually left yet. Taking advantage of the opportunity to live and work abroad is not so much a goal for me as it is personal fulfillment. I have always wanted to work and live abroad, and I feel it’s important to who I am and my happiness to pursue this for myself. Done October 2016

14. Learn basic photography skills. This would require that I purchase a camera first… which I’m working on. It’s easy to forget how stunning HQ photos are when you’re constantly looking at grainy iPhone photos, but I’ve decided that I want to take the time to learn the basic elements of photography so that I can start to truly capture all of my adventures in HQ glory.

15. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple. Or just go to NYC, period.

16. Update my travel memories. I used to hand-make scrapbooks and photo albums of my trips; now I put a filter on the photos and throw them up on Facebook. I want to take the time to organize and share my photos in tangible way, so I’m looking at websites like Mixbook and canvas prints.

17. Return to Lakeside. Lakeside is this idyllic, little community right on Lake Erie in Ohio. It's a quiet, easy place that forces you to slow down between bites of ice cream and pizza. We used to hold our family reunions there, but as my cousins got older, it became a summer vacation spot for my parents, my sister, and our closest friends. The last time I went there was in 2012 for a short weekend. I'd love to return with my family again. Done August 2017

18. Couchsurf.

19. What happens in Vegas... I was born in Las Vegas and lived there til I was 12. I went back with my parents in 2012 during Christmas, but I don't think that experience really counts. Sooo for my next best friend who gets engaged... Bachelorette party in Vegas?!

20. Visit Iceland. Iceland seems to be on everybody’s radar lately, but it ratcheted to the top of my list after I drooled over a friend’s photos during his recent trip there.
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