#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?
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And there is so much, so much to see…

I don’t have a full post today, there will be one this week, but for now I leave you with this.

Travel

NerdTours: Doctor Who and Torchwood Edition

 

 

Cardiff. Most have probably never heard of this small capital city of Wales. However, if you are a fan of certain television shows, when you hear Cardiff the first things you think of are Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Time Rifts.

For all Doctor Who and Torchwood fans searching for a trip, the first place to choose to travel to would be Cardiff. Not only is Cardiff filled with many things fandom related, but it is also a beautiful city full of castles, parliament building, shopping, and tons of friendly people to meet up with.

One of the best things about Cardiff is that the city is very walkable, you don’t have to worry about figuring out public transportation, I stayed in the downtown area at The Angel Hotel and walked everywhere. All of Cardiff felt very safe, no matter what time of day/night and there are a few pedestrian streets where you don’t need to worry about traffic and are full of shops and restaurants.

 

For the Doctor Who fan, one of the first places to stop is the Doctor Who Experience on Cardiff Bay. Check out props and costumes and replicas from fifty years of Doctor Who, the exhibit also recently went through refurbishing for the latest Doctor.

 

 

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Unfortunately, I booked this trip last May, and it was announced mid-August that they would be closing for the remodel, and my trip wasn’t able to be moved, I missed being able to actually visit. (However, that just means I will have to go back!)

While in Cardiff be sure to keep your eyes open as you will come across the TARDIS or even a Dalek.

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Just down the way from the Doctor Who Experience you will find Roath Lock, home of BBC Wales.

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The building is beautiful and has really amazing architecture so be sure to walk around and check it out.

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While you are wandering around join one of the walking tours to explore locations where Doctor Who and Torchwood were filmed, as you wander the city you will recognize many of the locations. As you continue around the bay you will recognize the area where Torchwood is located.

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You will even find the headquarters of Torchwood.

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Be aware though that no matter how much you try, your sonic screwdriver will not break you into Torchwood.

 

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You will also run into Iantos Shrine near the docks, be sure to stop by and leave something behind in rememberance of Ianto.

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Every Doctor Who fan will enjoy their trip to Cardiff, and if there is time you can take the train into London to see more sights, see the Shard, Canary Wharf or run into the TARDIS.


-Elle

 

Ready to Travel.

My trip to Wales is just around the corner! I was going to attempt to explain how excited I am and what I imagine this trip will be with. However, I believe these gifs explain it perfectly.

 

This is going to be amazing!

-Elle

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!

Fernweh: An ache for distant places

Fernweh: An ache for distant places. A craving to travel.

Fernweh, a German world that has no true English definition, since I am not German I cannot understand the true meaning of this word culturally, but from everything I read this word courses through me. This word is defined as the opposite of home-sickness.

I dream of far off places, of new cultures and cities, of living in another country, experiencing a new life. It is not that I want to run away from the life I have, but I have always had a desire…a need to travel. I’ve always felt that there was something more for me. That where I live isn’t necessarily where I belong.

I don’t want to constantly be changing where I live and never settle down somewhere but there are places that I feel I must visit. The closer I get to my trip to the United Kingdom the more I believe that I will get there and realize I may never want to leave (which finding a job in the UK is actually pretty difficult).

Fernweh. It is the perfect word. It makes sense. It describes exactly how I feel. I’ve met so many people who don’t care to travel, who don’t understand the need to see other places to explore new worlds. That life isn’t for me. I need to experience the world that God created for me. I need to see the work He has done on different continents, the people from across the glove. The history that has shaped our lives. I’m ready for the adventure. Are you? What places are you longing to see? Where is it you would like to go?

Fernweh.

 

 

 

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

Flying Solo

I’ve always had big dreams to travel, it may have started in high school with my first out of state road trip to Baltimore, Maryland with my best friends and no parents (This one’s for you Erin!). However, I’m almost positive my need to travel started long before that trip. I was always dreaming of the places in the world I would someday see, of the people I would meet and the paths I would follow. I had a list a mile long of where I would go. Time passed, I traveled throughout the United States and than I turned 28 and I realized something.

I had not even begun to travel. Sure I had explored a good portion of the United States, but those were never my dream. By this point I had been to the majority of the Caribbean and Mexico, all of which are places my mom loves (she has this thing about the ocean and palm trees). When I turned 28, after being challenged to create a list of 100 Dreams, I realized I hadn’t crossed off any of the places I wanted to see.

The trips I was taking were the dreams of others. We booked a cruise leaving from San Juan, it was something my mom always wanted to do, she loved San Juan, after numerous talks I finally had to tell her that San Juan was her dream and not mine. In fact most of our vacations were the things she dreamed of seeing, I never regret the trips I’ve taken with my mom, and I will continue to take them but I realized that in choosing vacations I was going on her dream trips and not my own.

So what did I do? I started with the place I dreamed of going since as long as I could remember and began to scour the internet in search of a deal to get to the United Kingdom. I asked various friends to join me on my first adventure across the pond and after half-hearted commitments and people willing to talk about going but not willing to save for the adventure I realized that if I kept waiting for other people, or joining others on their vacations I would never make it to the places I dreamed of.

For a few months, I researched and planned and looked at schedules and finally with the help of Travelocity, I booked the trip. Out of that desire to travel and explore the world and talking to friends who also decided to no longer wait for others to travel was where this blog was born from.

Each time I mention travelling alone, the majority of responses are ‘That’s Brave” “I could never do that” “Shouldn’t you wait until you have someone to go with?”

The truth is I’m no longer willing to wait. If I wait any longer I fear I won’t see all the places I dreamed of, if one day someone decides to join me in my exploration, I won’t say no. But for now I will explore the world by Flying Solo.

-Elle

Flying Solo: 10 Reasons to Travel Alone

In less than two months I will be in Wales. The trip is only a brief visit that will hopefully lead to many more travels in the future. Visiting the United Kingdom has always been a dream of mine. Ever since I could remember I have had a heart to travel to see the world. In all my excitement and preparation for heading to Wales I hoped that others would be excited for me, and while the people that really know me were ecstatic others chose to question my decision and ask if it was safe, if my mom was ok with it (I’m 28! Really?!) and telling me that I should wait until I have a friend to go with me.

As a start to this blog here is my list of reasons you should travel alone at least once in your life.

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10. You are not bound by schedules: Unless you make them yourself

9. Drama Free: No need to negotiate with family and friends on where to go and not to go, where to eat or shop.

8. Enjoy being yourself.

7. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want

6. Cross things off the Bucket Lists: New Years in Australia, Lantern Festivals, Doctor Who Museums,The Globe, the entire world is there for you to explore.

5. Meet new people and learn about a culture different than your own.

4. Escape from life for a little while: Turn off the cellphone, leave the computer behind and truly embrace being in a new place.

3. An opportunity for discovery: culture, history, people, yourself.

2. It pushes you out of your comfort zone: Traveling alone takes you out of your comfort zone, placing yourself in a new place can be exciting and scary, it pushes you to try new things and see places with a new perspective.

1. Traveling alone is a confidence booster: You’ll try new foods, embrace new people and places, and do things you never thought you would.

 

-Elle