#Thisis30 : #30by30

 

30by30

And one year later it has come to an end. My #30by30 list has reached it’s deadline. Today. Welcome to 30. As you go through this list, you may notice it doesn’t exactly reach 30, but I didn’t want to focus on what I didn’t complete but what I did. Through the year some of the things on the list, didn’t seem as important, I lost interest, or financially they have been placed on hold. The ones I did complete, I did so proudly, I’ve spent a year pushing myself, gaining confidence, figuring out who I was and accepting challenges like never before.

This year hasn’t been easy, I went through some things that were personally some of the more difficult habits that I had to face. I’ve come through it stronger, and in a better place than I have been in a while. So what next? I continue to embrace the new. I continue to push, to challenge and to dream. Do I have an exact list? Not really. Do I have things I want to try? to accomplish? to face head on? Of course!

So here’s to 30!
To another year!
To challenges, friendships, goals added, dreams completed.

  Read the Bible from cover to cover.

Finished 2/22/2016- Chronological Reading Plan.

  Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

 

 Take a row class at the boat house.

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  Read 100 Books of various genres.

I’m going to count this one as complete because this year although I didn’t read the amount of books I set out to, I enjoyed the books I read, I branched out more than I usually do, and I’ve learned a lot through these books. This past year I didn’t feel overwhelmed about having to read fast to keep up with reviews. I simply enjoyed reading.

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson
15. The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Shades of Doon By: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
19. The Golden Braid By: Melanie Dickerson
20. Creating Magic By: Lee Cockerell (Read this! It was amazing!)
21. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By: J.K Rowling
22. Coldshot By: Dani Pettrey
23. The Only Pirate at the Party By: Lindsey Stirling
24. If I Run By: Terri Blackstock
25. You’re the One that I Want By: Susan May Warren
26. Creativity Inc. By: Ed Carmull

 Intentional Friendships/Relationships

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Y’all stole my phone, which makes this fair game.

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 Finish London/Wales Book

This will be completed this week, the mail was delayed for the finishing touches.

  Redefining Me

I’ve made many changes over the last years, wardrobe, job, who I am, growing and learning. I am happy with who I am, I’ve learned to embrace me as an individual quirks and all. I embrace my nerdiness and I am not afraid to show it, in fact I’m done filtering my nerd and just being me.

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Finish Quilt

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 Tithe

 Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

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 Try a new recipe every month

 


12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

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March: Route 66- Oklahoma

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April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

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May: Beautiful Offerings Tour

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June: Outdoor Movies

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July: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Stone Harbor New Jersey, and New York

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August: Grease Sing-A-Long
Because sometimes the fun things are just down the street.

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September: Disney World

October: Wizard World Comic Con

November:

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December:

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January:

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February:

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Be more decisive

In Progress. Getting better.

Contacts

No contacts but I do have these awesome glasses that I love!

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New York/Niagara

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 Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

 Be More Positive

This is something I need to remind myself daily, so it isn’t exactly completed but is ongoing.

 Make a decision on where to live/work/move

I have a job!

Have/Join a Small Group

I’ve done both!

 Travel

This is a constant in my life. See any pictures from above!

 

30th Birthday Trip

Hotel booked. Tickets bought!

 

#30by30 : New Seasons. New Stories.

The end stretch is near! 3 months to go, which feels a bit crazy because A. I have 3 months to finish my list. B. I turn 30 in 3 months. Where has this year gone? There has been some updates to the list that were unplanned, but mostly because life happens. And the past 3 months have been filled with a lot of good, bad and more emotions than I usually admit too.

It’s been a few weeks of pretending everything is okay when it’s not, and a lot of apologies to friends when frustration takes over and I say things without a filter. Although for the most part my reactions are true and transparent, some times they are said in a moment of frustration and come out the wrong way. Thankfully, for the most part, I am surrounded by people who understand and aren’t offended by life.

30by30

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

I am using a chronological reading plan, so chapters have been jumping around a bit, I have placed an asterisk after the books I have started but not completed.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel*
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms*
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
Isaiah*
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah*
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habbakuk

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 59 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, my credit card was very close to being paid off, but life happens. With an unexpected turn of events in my job as well as a flat tire, dead car battery, and dead computer, this goal has not yet been obtained. I am still aiming to have paid off my credit card soon and will continue to work towards that.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

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5. Lose Weight.

Since the beginning of October I am down 5 pounds, unfortunately the cause was more stress of life related than anything else. However, I’ve started attending an indoor rowing class! So let’s do this!

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6. Learn to play an instrument.

I haven’t done anything towards this goal, I still would like to learn something (Preferably not a harmonica) This may get transferred to my long term list and worked on in the new year.

7. Double Savings Account.

Due to a drop in income this goal has gone in the opposite direction and is farther away to it’s end goal than when I started.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

Although my goal is behind, I’ve been reading many different kinds of books and have loved it. There was a good number of weeks where reading was just not going to happen so I will not be upset if I do not hit the 100 book mark. Afterall that would mean 2 books a week all year!

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson
15. The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Shades of Doon By: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
19. The Golden Braid By: Melanie Dickerson
20. Creating Magic By: Lee Cockerell (Read this! It was amazing!)

Currently Reading:
21. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
22. Falcon by Ronie Kendig
23. Glory Days by Max Lucado
24. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
25. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By: J.K Rowling

 

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

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Y’all stole my phone, which makes this fair game.

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10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working on this, I need to get some pictures printed.

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

This goal will be changing.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

I’m crossing this one off the list, because my church has set up automatic withdrawals, so now I don’t have to worry about remembering!

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Completed!

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16. Blog twice a week

I’ve realized that maybe blogging isn’t for me beyond occasional updates and book reviews.

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

March:

Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

May:

Marzipan

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June:

Garlic Parmesean Pasta

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July:

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese

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August:
Italian Pasta Salad

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September:
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Fail.
Can’t get them right every time.

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October:
Roasted Jalapeno Popper

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November:
Roasted Butternut Squash

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18. Fear less. Love More.

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

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March: Route 66- Oklahoma

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April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

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May: Beautiful Offerings Tour

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June: Outdoor Movies

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July: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Stone Harbor New Jersey, and New York

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August: Grease Sing-A-Long
Because sometimes the fun things are just down the street.

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September: Disney World

October: Wizard World Comic Con

20. Learn to whistle

Time to head to youtube.

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

No contacts yet, but I do have these awesome glasses and may stick with them.

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23. New York

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is. I am grateful for the people in my life that are standing in the gap and being positive for me when it’s been a struggle lately.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

I need a job.

27. Have/Join a Small Group

This should start in the beginning of the new year. Can’t wait!

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City
29. Find a job

July 25. Slide the City.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

  1. London?
    Hawaii?
    Florida?
    Australia?
    Seattle?

When the wait streeeeeetches

This. This is everything I needed to hear.

Okay funny story: I was looking for a photo to go with this post and typed in Okay funny story: I was looking for a photo to go with this post and typed in “waiting” on a stock photo site. This came up. PLEASE. I wish I looked that demure and composed during an extended season of waiting. So I include it here solely for comic relief. LOL!

First of all, who read Kristy’s post last week? I hope you’re doing a virtual hand raise right about now because it was good. Good-good.

And it got me thinking about waiting.

And about how easy it is to grow restless during a long wait. Or impulsive. Or all “what the heck am I doing and did I make a thousand wrong decisions that somehow got me to this weird plateau and has God forgotten about me???”

For some of us, anyway. Maybe there are really great wait-ers out there. People who do the whole patience thing with the ease…

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Decluttering 2015.

It’s already 7 days into 2015. 7 days. Seriously though, where did 2013 go? And it’s already 2015? I don’t understand. 7 days into the new year and most of us are standing strong on those New Years Resolutions, the goals we have each set for ourselves, hopefully we will not be a part of the group that come March have given up completely. I heard that it only takes 21 days to develop a habit. That means we are 14 days closer to making some positive changes in our lives.

Although this year instead of focusing on a New Years resolution? goal? dream? challenge? I have opted to make a #30by30 list. 30 things that I will accomplish by my 30th birthday. (I promise to post the list, I am still working on it and open to suggestions!)

One of the things on that list is to declutter my life. I’ve lived in Oklahoma 5 years, moved here from Pennsylvania (by way of Denver) in a Chevy Cobalt. Not to much stuff can fit in two rounds in a sedan, yet somehow, 5 years later, I have managed to have enough stuff to fill up an apartment. (The trips home and my mom loading my luggage with odds and ends from my childhood probably hasn’t helped either). This year I plan to declutter. I’ve already started the process. Slowly making my way to accomplishing my 30 things. How am I going to declutter my life? I’m still figuring that out, but here’s how I plan to start.

5. Wardrobe.

Why does my wardrobe need decluttered? It’s old. I realized this at Christmas Eve Candlelight service, I was wearing a skirt (and it was adorable!) and saw a post a few days later for a friends 7th anniversary. How does that correlate? I bought the skirt to wear to her wedding. So it was time to assess my wardrobe, partly because I am in the process of redefining my style and partly because some clothes from college (possibly high school…) were still members of my wardrobe.

First thing I did was empty my entire closet. Everything out. The only things that returned were items I knew I had worn recently. If I hadn’t worn the item in the last year it was gone. If it had a hole or was beat up it was gone. The items I questioned went into a maybe pile, and than I brought in a friend to help me with the maybe pile.

If you are like me you end up with tons of t-shirts, most of them went, I mean I had t-shirts to colleges I never attended…or applied too. The only exception were two sets of paint clothes.

Socks, if it didn’t have a much when the laundry was done it was gone. (Unless you’re like my room mate and can handle mismatched socks. I just can’t handle it though)

The only item that escaped was my Dr. Seuss hoodie, it holds a lot of memories and is the one thing I couldn’t part with. But only ONE.

As I go to replenish my wardrobe I have also chosen to buy items that cost a bit more but will last me a lot longer.

4. Cabinets

Bathroom:

For some reason my bathroom cabinets tend to fill up with items and I convince myself I will use them at some point. If you haven’t used them in the last year, you won’t. Get rid of them. If it has never been opened donate to your local shelter.

The nail polish color you loved in college. Even if you find a time to wear it, it has probably gone bad.

Glitter. There comes a point where body glitter, and glittery lotion are no longer for you. Get rid of them.

Sunblock has an expiration date. After two years it needs replaced.

Kitchen:

Tupperware. If it doesn’t have a lid get rid of it.

Cups: If they are no longer the right shape, get rid of them.

3. Computer

This will take a time commitment, but your computer is full of files and dozens of pictures (of selfies, and ‘artsy’ pictures of nature). Invest in an external hard drive, save the images you must have.

Take the time to label folders, use dates if possible. Get rid of documents that were relevant 3 jobs ago. You only need 1 copy of your resume not 8 (Guilty as charged.) Music, there are somethings you will never listen to again.

2. Paperwork

Just like the computer you have tons of copies of receipts, bills, and pay stubs. Figure out what you need to keep (Google can help if you are unsure about certain documents) If you can get rid of it but would like to keep a copy, make digital copies and save them to a flash drive.

Make sure to Shred all documents that have personal information.

1. Books

As an avid reader, this one will be my hardest to tackle. Over the years I have won books and been gifted many books but lets face it, Great Aunt Opal doesn’t always have the best taste in books. It’s always been hard for me to part with books, but I have so many I haven’t read. I went through my book shelves and 3 piles.

Books I’ve Read

Books I haven’t Read and will consider reading

Books to donate

I started with the first pile and decided which books I would read again. They returned to the shelf. The second pile received it’s own shelf. I’ve given myself a year, if I don’t read it in that time they will be donated/given away. If I choose in the future that I really wanted to read it, I can go to the library.

Books to donate, pretty self explanatory. Donate to the library, goodwill or friends, a lot of times I fill a crate with books and take it to a small group, usually the crate is empty by the time I leave and I know my books are headed to a good home.

It’s not much, it’s not going to be a quick fix, but it’s a start. Here’s to a new year and a decluttered life.

-Elle

Ending of a Season.

The ending of 2014 is just around the corner. Usually the end of the year prompts people to evaluate the last year and consider what to work on in the next. Although it is the time of year where everyone is posting about reflections and New Years Resolutions, this post has been a long time coming. I started this blog with the intent of posting regularly, I was excited about travel and life and experiences.

Recently, my Pastor was speaking about the year and how if we are not progressing we are regressing, but in the last couple of months I felt like neither was the case. Everything had seemed to plateau, the dreams I once had non-existent, future plans uncertain and unsure what will come next.

There is a funny thing about dreams, sometimes they are better in your head, things don’t always turn out how you wanted. For years I believed I was the type of person that could go to Europe, that could have an amazing adventure. I believed I was the type of person that would travel, maybe it was the fact I was always a dreamer and I believed in big things, but although I enjoyed my trip to Wales, it wasn’t what I expected, and maybe solo travel isn’t cut out for everyone. I don’t mind traveling alone, I don’t mind exploring places by myself, but in Wales, although I was in another country, I was still just me. I don’t know if I was expecting to learn something new about myself, or if I was expecting to find a part of me that could be adventurous or free-spirited.

This year I’ve realized that I’ve lost who I am. I’ve lost the personality and spirit, I’ve lost that part of me that makes me who I am. I’ve lived in Oklahoma for almost 5 years and have realized that no one here knows who I am, but no one actually knows me. I want 2015 to be different. I’m not sure yet how that will happen, or what it will involve.

This next year will be full of decisions. This year I have a job thats ending will most likely coincide with my lease ending. The perfect opportunity to move if I wanted to. Out of city. Out of state. Out of country. I could go anywhere (as long as I can get a Visa that is), but where to go? Do I stay? There’s nothing in Oklahoma holding me here, but there’s also nothing anywhere else that is leading me there. The world is just waiting for me to take a step. To make a decision. Do I move forward? Move back? Stand still? Which way do I go?

Where do I start? Where do I continue? Do I stick it out and try to change who I am? Reach out more? Continue to accept this is how it will always be?

At the moment I am making a list of 30 things I plan to do this year. 30 things, not necessarily goals, or changes but things I would like to accomplish. If you made that same list for the year, what would you add to the list? What types of attainable things would you commit too?

2015 is right around the corner. A new season. A new beginning. A new outlook. A change.

-Elle

Back to the States.

I’ve officially returned from my first trip to Europe. The United Kingdom to be exact. I spent 5 days in Cardiff, Wales with a quick trip into London. Although this trip was planned completely solo, about a week before leaving, a friend who lives in Spain and that I hadn’t seen in 5 years decided to join me for the weekend.

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As you prepare to leave for your trip across the world, the people around you will unintentionally project their fears and worries onto you. The world news and media will make you nervous, second guess you and discourage you from travel. Don’t listen to them! Take the trip! You won’t regret it. With everything going on in the world today it’s easy to make excuses on why you shouldn’t travel. Ignore it. Go have an adventure!

While abroad I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Overwhelmed, yes (Note: Don’t take the early train to London full of all the business paper. When you get off the train you will get caught up with all of the people rushing to work!) This trip was amazing, I’m sad that it has ended. The memories are worth the trip. Taking the time to see exactly what you want, when you want, on no one’s schedule but your own is worth every second of the adventure, and getting past the indecision and opinions of others.

Over the coming week I will share about my experiences, the tours I took, pictures, and things I learned. In the meantime, continue planning your trip, while I search for the next destination for mine.

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Flying Solo: Fighting your Parents Fear

Recently I have been talking with a friend who is heading to Australia for 3 weeks on her first big trip. Although she is excited to go and will be meeting up with friends, her mother is fearful of what could possibly happen flying to another country.

Now, my mother is on the opposite side of the spectrum, she is excited for me to travel (and would find a way to join me if possible). She has concerns, but has never considered that I should not go. Mostly because I inherited my travelbug from her, secondly because I am 28 years old and she can’t say no to me anymore.

The fact is our parents will always worry, especially when we head to far off reaches of the world where we will have little to no contact back home, you may choose to upgrade your phone to an international plan, or you may choose to use your trip to disconnect from the world and fully embrace your new location.

Some of us will choose to ignore our parents (or friends, families, roommates, co-workers) concerns, but there are a few things you can do that will help reduce some of the fear:

1. Itinerary: It is always a smart choice for someone to have a copy of your itinerary, flight numbers and times, hotels and addresses. If you are visiting other countries and/or cities what days you plan to go/how you are getting there.

You don;t need to provide a minute by minute update, but providing an overview will be helpful, especially if something happens someone will know how to get in touch with you.

2. IMessage and FaceTime: If you own an Iphone or Apple product, even if you choose to not get an international plan, if you connect to wi-fi, even with data turned off you will be able to send messages. I don’t plan to use this much, but I know being able to send a ‘Just landed! See you when I get back!’ message is helpful.

3. Do your Research: My mom isn’t as worried about me because she knows I’ve done my research, I’ve learned about the area, places to go, places to avoid, cultural references/sayings/words. This will also be helpful for you being in a new place. Know your surroundings.

4. Social Media: Give updates, most likely you will probably be doing this anyway throughout your trip, if your parent doesn’t use social media, have a sibling update them, or hook them up to instagram, twitter or a blog for the time you are away.

5. Have Fun. Don’t let the worries of others put a damper on your trip. Taking a few steps will save your family some sanity from their worry while you go out and see the world! Enjoy it!

Side Note: You as an individual may be the one that is fearful about taking your first trip. Everyday we see the news and hear about things happening all over the world. Know this: Crazy things will always be happening in the world. Do not allow that to deter you from living, from seeing the world. God did not give us a spirit of fear. Do not let it stop you. If you are fearful remember this passage, Isaiah 41:8-10

“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Safe Travels!

Travel can be affordable.

Finances often are the main thing that keeps us from travelling. The truth is that you do not need to be rich to travel, you just need to have the desire to go.

Travel isn’t just about saving the money, there is a lot to do in planning, and finding the right price. Before thinking of all that, the biggest hurdle to tackle is finances. For the longest time I told myself that when I had the money I would travel, but the truth is that we will always have bills to pay. Car Payments, Student Loans, Rent. They are a part of life, but they don’t have to keep you from travelling. I don’t advise putting travel onto a credit card unless you are able to pay it off immediately.

Last year I came across a savings plan on Pinterest that has allowed me to travel, it was very simple. The first week you start you put $1 aside, the second week $2, the third week $3 and so on. I attached a chart that will get you through the year. I found that listing out each week of the year and crossing it off as you go is helpful, if I had extra money one week I would cross off a larger week. After a year you will find that you’ve saved 1,378.00. My upcoming trip with hotel and airfare has cost me 1600.00. What I did was I started this savings plan in October and than a second separate in January. Throughout the year there is always temptation to take money out of your travel funds, but if it’s something you really want to do you will let it be until you are ready to travel.

There is no need to do two savings plans through the year, I found it beneficial because it has also allowed me to have spending money. It is also possible to find trips for less. Travel takes planning, it may mean waiting a year until you save up the money, but in the end it is worth the wait. And when you return you can start all over again!

Savings Plan

 

Elle