Grand Rapids, MI (Black and White Photo Essay)

Yesterday I had to drive a total of four hours for a one hour meeting…

Let’s just say that I chose to make the most of it! I walked around downtown Grand Rapids for about an hour, listened to the cars drive by and construction on nearby buildings. Taking in the city air to me is how others feel about country air: peaceful.

My Travel Timeline

One major flaw of mine is that I compare myself to others – I can’t be happy and reach my full potential if this nasty habit continues…

Loved ones around me are “progressing at faster rates”: moving into new places, getting engaged/married, are more financially stable than me…

Rather than getting bitter, I want to get better!

And let’s face facts here: I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t traveled and seen the incredible things that I’ve seen!  So what if I’m carrying a bit more student loan debt because of study abroad?  Who cares that I’m not living with my boyfriend at the moment?  I knew that travel would alter my life’s course, and that’s fine.  Why do I care what others around me (family, “friends”…) think?!?!

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In honor of my choices, that I am VERY proud of, here’s my travel timeline:

Canada (as a baby several times and again in 2011)

*no photo from Canada unfortunately…*

Germany (2012 – one month)

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France (2014 – two months)

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England (2014 and again in 2016)

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Italy (2014 and again in 2016)

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The Netherlands (2014)

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Iceland (2014 and again in 2016, also visiting again May 2018)

*no saved photos of Iceland unfortunately…more to come this spring!!!*

Denmark (a few times in 2016)

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Sweden (2016 – five months)

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Czech Republic (2016)

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Norway (2016)

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Estonia (2016)

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Russia (2016)

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Finland (2016)

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Ireland (2016)

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Scotland (2016)

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Hungary (2016)

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Spain (2016)

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Thailand (2017 – one month)

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Macau (2017)

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I hope this inspires you to live your OWN life!

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it,” – Tina Fey

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Two Years Ago… (In Copenhagen)

Two years ago, I was wandering the streets of Copenhagen in the freezing cold waiting for my connecting train to Sweden, wondering if I was making the biggest mistake or greatest decision of my life. My semester abroad was life-changing. Here’s the photo that started it all…✨

All Smiles With This Guy

My boyfriend, Juan, and I have been in each other’s lives since 2012. We have traveled to foreign countries together, as well as a few states in the US. He’s truly my best friend.

We first met in 2012 during my first semester of college. The rest is history…

Juan and I have been able to enjoy many family events together, like my brother’s high school graduation and family Christmases at my grandma’s house.

Juan and I drove to South Bend, Indiana so I could meet his mom and aunt for the first time!

We also visited Juan’s hometown, York, Nebraska to celebrate his college graduation in 2013. And I thought I grew up in a small town…

Juan and I traveled in France, Italy, and the Netherlands together in 2014 (after my two-month study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France).

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Netherlands (Amsterdam only)

We’ve been to Chicago a couple times since 2012, one time being my 21st birthday!

The list goes on and on! 😊

I can’t wait for our next adventures in 2018!

Less vs. More in 2018

We all have resolutions that seem to fade away by February or March, but not this year! Here’s some things I need to do more often, as well as things I need to cut back on:

More:

  • Sleep!
  • Travel
  • Exercise
  • Confidence

Less:

  • Screen time/social media
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Junk food

In Between the Holidays

A good friend of mine, Johanna, visited the mitten for the first time last week! We met in 2016 while studying in Sweden and it was great to finally show her some of my favorite places.

We had a lovely dinner with my parents at the French Laundry, where I was able to indulge in $38 scallop risotto.

Early the next day, I drove us to Grand Haven and Grand Rapids in blizzard conditions (but the western part of the state was worth the drive)!

There’s no way I could let Johanna leave Michigan without experiencing Detroit! Although Detroit has a bad reputation, it’s up and coming and one of my favorite US cities. It has a lot of hidden gems…

I hope you all have a fun and safe NYE!

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