My Interview with The Lazy Travelers!

I recently interviewed with the The Romantic and The Wino from The Lazy Travelers. You can check out the interview here, but while you’re there, be sure to also check out their site. Between the two of them, they’ve seen quite a bit of the world, and share their stories and advice with an enthusiasm that’s hard not to like. Also, follow their adventures on Twitter!

South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge.

There’s lots to see in the city that never sleeps, but one of my favorite areas is South Street Seaport. Not only does it feel miles away from Mid-Town, but it also seems to take you a step back in … Continue reading

Reflecting on Resolutions.

Never before have I stuck to a New Year’s resolution as I did this year. Maybe, that’s because the resolution I made was an easy one to keep. Rather than making resolutions to lose weight or go to the gym more often, I promised to live each day as I do while traveling, keeping a few goals in mind for the year. Those goals were to travel solo, visit Africa, take more chances, be more adventurous, and make more friends. It’s only been six months, but each of these has either been accomplished, or will be accomplished, in a matter of weeks.

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Nomading Film Festival.

Just yesterday was the Nomading Film Festival in New York City, and Jeff and I decided to head in for the event. Located in the backyard of Hostelling International-NY, the festival felt more like an outdoor family barbecue than a film festival, which was a welcome feel.

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Lunch at The Culinary Institute of America.

Now, that summer has officially arrived, I have more time to do some exploring close to home. Today, after finishing up my classroom at school, I wasted no time and headed upstate to Poughkeepsie, New York. I had an appointment to get fitted for a bridesmaid dress for my cousin’s wedding, but I dragged my Mom along with me, and she suggested that we have lunch at The Culinary Institute of America. Even though she had been there before, I was excited to experience the school for the first time. Immediately, it exceeded my expectations. Just an hour and a half north of New York City, the campus, which is set on the Hudson River, feels a million miles away.

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Life Lessons and the Last Day.

“Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher. Each day is a test. And each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence, and the list goes on. It’s something money can’t buy and credentials rarely produce. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest, or even the poorest, can’t help. Being a humble person can and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.” ― Philosophy

In life, each day is a classroom and each one of us is challenged to perform. To me, this has an entirely different meaning because every day I truly am in a classroom, and this is because I am a 7th grade language arts teacher. While my primary focus is teaching reading and writing, I try to infuse life lessons into the curriculum by bringing in current events and quotes that make my students truly think about the world. My hope, like every teacher, is to make a difference, but unfortunately teachers often receive more criticism than praise.

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Fears Faced in the Middle of Nowhere.

A few weeks ago, Jeff and I went hiking on the Hudson River in Upstate New York, and I was immediately hooked. I couldn’t wait for the chance to hike again, and as soon as we realized we had a free Saturday, we jumped at the opportunity.

This time, we headed to Palisades Interstate Park, an area that goes along the border of New York and New Jersey. Here, the trails run along cliffs that drop down to the Hudson River, with views of Manhattan and Weschester, including both the George Washington and Tappan Zee Bridges.

Enjoying the view pre-hike.

Enjoying the view pre-hike.

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Hiking on the Hudson.

Hiking hasn’t always been an activity I’ve been open to trying, in fact, like golf, I blindly figured that it would be boring and was unwilling to give it a try. However, like all things in 2012, I have decided to push aside preconceived notions about different activities. And through this, I’ve learned that I have been holding myself back by deciding that anything was boring before actually giving it a shot.

Not a fan of hiking or nature trails in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Not a fan of hiking or nature trails in Bar Harbor, Maine.

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Get Me to Africa: Step Two.

There are exactly fifty-six days until I leave for Africa, not that I’m counting. But, this is the adventure I’ve been waiting years to make a reality, and that reality is feeling a bit more real as the days draw closer.

For months I’ve been telling people that this summer I will be heading to Africa. Each time it felt like a dream. But now, all of a sudden, summer is here; the days are longer, kids are playing out on the street, school is coming to an end, and I am fully preparing for my trip.

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Going Golfing.

Over the past few months, I have been trying to fill the long weeks before travel with activities that make my life feel as exciting as it is while I’m traveling. Whether it’s trying new food, learning something new, or facing old fears, these activities spice up my normal routines and help make life at home a little more tolerable. In fact, this has all been a part of my resolution for 2012, to live my everyday life more like how I live my life when I’m traveling.

While I’m enjoying each and every moment this year has had to offer, what I’ve found so far is that the hardest of these tasks for me to attempt are those that involve physical activities. It’s not to say that I’m out of shape, I’m not, but I haven’t played sports in years. In elementary and middle school, I was constantly playing basketball, tennis, soccer, and cheerleading. Then I was a cheerleader and dancer for the beginning of high school, until I decided that I liked my social life a heck of a lot more than sports, which ended my short-lived “career” as an athlete.

Cheerleading in middle school.

Cheerleading in middle school.

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