Archive | Single RSS feed for this section

Spontaneous Solo Travel 

8 Mar

With the promise of a three day weekend I made the decision to do something I’d been wanting to do; visit St. Augustine, FL.

I did invite a couple of people, with short notice no one could come. I decided to go anyway. Best decision I could of made.

I had the most enjoyable weekend, possibly of all time. I booked and inexpensive hotel right in the center of all there was to see and do and I purchased a trolley tour that came with admission into 5 popular attractions.

I spent 48 hours going wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, seeing and doing whatever I wanted. It was beyond perfection not having to compromise or think about anyone but myself. It truly blows my mind how much I’ve grown and changed in the last three years or so. There was a time when I wouldn’t even go to Walmart alone, now here I am traveling over two hundred miles for a weekend totally alone.

St. Augustine is truly amazing, the history, shopping, food, and all there was to see and experience. Now, the price of admission seemed a little high on some of the attractions but when purchased in the trolley package totally worth it. My only trolley complaint was if you wanted to get on just to get back near your hotel it could be quite a long ride, upwards of an hour/hour and half.

I learned a lot about the area, American history, and myself during this trip. 

The Christmas Card 

16 Dec

15326351_10104927238232114_9134524054777893964_nI’ll start off by admitting I did not want to do a personalized Christmas card. Those are for families and people with babies…not single girls. That’s awkward. But my best friend talked me into it by saying it would be fun, people would love it, and “you live an amazing life in Florida show it off!”

So to continue on my path of “brave, proud, single life”, I sent out 15 personalized Christmas cards. My best friend and her husband took the picture for the card and I created them on Shutterfly; I love that website so much. I buy way too much from them.

At first the plan was to take the picture with the Scooby Shack… but I couldn’t think of a way to take the picture that wouldn’t look exceptionally awkward, as well as have other people an their homes in the background. Ultimately we decided to take the pictures at the beach and the they turned out awesome! The water was a beautiful shade of aqua that day and I wore a great Lilly Pulitzer dress.

img_0791For the card itself I decided to add some intentional “funny” to the body of my card by adding the chorus lyrics to “Single Bells”. On the front I put “Seas & Greetings”. I even made the envelopes special by coloring a large monogram of everyone’s last initial on the front, a snowflake on the back, as well as matching address labels I ordered from Shutterfly. 

It’s funny how there are just some things in our society we don’t do because of social convention, seriously it’s just a Christmas card. But it’s not the norm. All of the Shutterfly examples used to showcase the different styles were of parents with their children, and a few young couples. Our society really sends mixed messages about “single life”. For the most part it is glamorized, exaggerated and celebrated by the entertainment industry. But when it comes to product sales relationships and families are hailed.

The small group of close friends and family I sent the cards to all seemed to enjoy them. I sure would love to know the reaction of the person who printed my cards… I wonder if they thought they were funny, clever, or strange?

 

img_0790 img_0789

Freezing Usable Portions

13 Dec

img_1121I was asked how I prepare meals being single. Well it’s definitely hard. I don’t eat leftovers so I don’t want to waste food… It’s rare healthy that food is packaged in single servings, but I’m figuring it out.

I’ll start posting some of the things I’ve figured out so far. The first is freezing usable portions.

I buy fruit (canned, fresh, or frozen) blend it with water or juice, protein powder and then freeze that mix in ice cube trays. All of those cubes I put into a zip-lock bag in the freezer once they’re frozen. 4 ice cubes of the fruit protein mix then can be blended with a little more juice, protein powder, and a couple of spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt (22% protein!) to make an awesome smoothie.

I also portion out pasta sauce this way. I freeze them in ice cube trays and store them in a zip-lock bag.

Other food that can be portioned out and frozen are meats, even though I rarely buy it. I buy the smallest amount of ground beef or turkey that I can and I break it up into two or three zip-lock bags. This can also be done with shrimp just look at the serving size on the package and break it into that many individual bags.

Tiny House Nation 

11 Jul

be9940b509abf6e671865b9ba51207a6The Tiny House movement is becoming more and more popular with the millennial generation that I am a part of…and it has intrigued to me for some time now.

For me the tiny house is utilitarian. I can’t see living in one for no reason; I wouldn’t want to live in one just to live in one. I’ve watched Tiny House Hunters and the like on HGTV and the single or young couples going on a tiny adventure are doing so to save money, travel and “live more”. The tiny house is giving them the freedom to live the way they want, wherever they want, when they want.

That’s exactly why I am going to join the Tiny House Nation.

The idea of not being constrained by a lease or tons of stuff to move is very attractive, plus where I am in my life right this second the tiny house lifestyle is perfect for me. I’m single, I travel a lot…I need something inexpensive so I can travel more and save money for later.

My first thought was to build a tiny house myself with my family, since we have all the skills to do so we wouldn’t have to hire it out; making it cheaper. However they can be heavy, still more than I would want to spend, and take time to build. Ultimately I decided to go with a camper. I can use my skills to renovate and make it my own, it will be lighter, and less expensive.

I’ll be blogging each step of the journey to find, renovate, move, and live in my Tiny House.

This is how I live a life with no regrets.

Boil

5 Jun

 

If I could boil this past year down to one list it would look something like this:

img_0952

Boil: to reach or cause to reach the temperature at which it bubbles and turns to vapor.

Lost 30 pounds

Gained four gray hairs

Six total break downs

One and a half car accidents

11, 660 Miles home and back

Two broken FitBit One’s

One shark siting

Two blistered sunburns

137 students

One book published

Risk

21 May

5cc39bb680ca95fd35c8315cb4239db8“Attractive as some things are you have to weigh your risks. How badly do you want it, how badly are you willing to be burned?”

This quote has really stuck with me the last few days, its from a book by Patrick Rothfuss that recently finished reading called The Wise Man’s Fear.

The idea of moving to a tropical climate was so attractive; but ever since I moved I’ve faced trial after trial. It has truly been the most difficult year I’ve ever experienced. I made the rash decision to accept a job outside of my experience and education and move after having my heart-broken. I thought new everything would help it hurt less.

Being in a new place, with a new car, a new job, new friends, has been exciting…but learning a whole new life all at once would be hard in the best of circumstances but I left because of hurt…out of fear and anger.

Now a year later I’m missing my former life. But, you can’t go back right? I’m tired of missing out on my nephew growing up, on family events…it’s not Ohio and the unforgiving five months of winter that I miss…it’s the people.

Sure this is the perfect weather for me…and I have access to the beach whenever I want but is the sun, surf, and sand more important than family?

I have a big decision to make; give it another year or run home.

Spring Break in FL

19 Mar

RuiRicardo-Folio-Illustration-Agency-Vector-Posters-Editorial-Publishing-Beach-LThis past week my younger sister came to visit me in Florida during Spring Break. Here is what I learned in the planning and execution of this Spring Break in Florida.

  1. Go to a local travelers bro: collect their knowledge as well as free pamphlets. I’m new to the area I know there is a lot more out there then I could even begin to know about so enlisting the help of a retired local in a room full of what the area offers is a darn good place to start. I then marked the free stuff from the more expensive things.
    • Something I should of done but didn’t think of at the time is to have a calendar and mark the days an hours that activities are open. We wanted to go on this great nature walk; had a whole day set aside for it…we got there to find out they’re closed on Mondays. Such a bummer.
  2. Don’t assume that a beach day is a free day. The beaches in the area I live in are free, even free to park. So it never occurred to me that other public beaches would charge $4-$6 an hour to park there.
    • We drove over 3 hours to get to the Gulf side of the state to visit a very specific beach -Sanibel Island- that I had read was the best place to find shells. There was a $6 toll to go over the bridge and then $6 an hour to park. Not to mention the traffic was insane. Bikers and cars a like. It took us over an hour to find a beach that even had parking left to pay for so we could get out of the car to check it out. Once we were on the beach we had a hard time finding a place to sit there were so many people, and these famous shells we were so excited about? Totally picked over. Looked to me like the local shop owners would get out early in the morning and collect everything of interest an then sell them for $4-$10+ per shell.
  3. Universal’s free boardwalk is a collection of shops and dinning options before you walk into the actual park. At Universal you pay $20 to park and then you can eat in Emeril Lagasse, or Forest Gump’s restaurant (among others). You can shop in the Universal store, enjoy ice cream or temporary tattoos. You can also take a free boat ride over to one of the partnering hotel’s and back. However: you can not get a Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice unless you’re in the Harry Potter section of the park.
  4. The Disney boardwalk is free to park and offers a lot more variety of stores and food selections then Universal does, it is also at least 3 times as big and currently under construction to add more. Disney also offer’s free boat rides to different sections of the boardwalk, has a Lego store and massive Lego monuments, classic Disney and new Disney…overall if you only had time to visit one of the free boardwalk’s I would go with Disney over Universal.

We had a good week, the more expensive portions of the visit were less fun then the free portions, something to keep in mind in all aspects of life I’d say.

Headlights 

10 Feb

img_8591Where I’m from in Ohio there aren’t many street lights, when it’s dark out; it’s dark. The kind of dark that’s calm, welcoming and gentle. You’re not scared in the darkness there because there is no unknown to fear.

In the fall the sun tucks behind the hill across from my house. A stillness settles in slowly, easing you into the natural light of the night. Stars are close enough to reach out and touch and the moon is a mystical guardian of the rustic orange maple leaves and dull grass blades.

In the winter the air is sharp; stinging your ears, nose, and lungs. The only sound is created by your feet crunching through the thin layer of ice blanketing the snow. Venturing out into the night in the winter is well worth the crisp sting for the sky is at its most clear.

Nights in the spring are short-lived and sloppy. Everything is soggy in its attempt to shake off the cold and regain the healthy stock of green. Summer night are alive, accompanied by the musical talents of crickets and locus.

Ohio nights are dark, there isn’t much around to distract from its stillness. In Florida however nighttime is rarely dark. Streetlights line every street, stop lights are endless, and headlights illuminate the night with enough light that I’ve forgotten its night-time. Forgotten to the point I’ve caught myself halfway down the street before I realize I don’t have my headlights on.

I never forgot my headlights in Ohio.

10,227

27 Jan

img_8329I’ve had 28 birthdays and over ten thousand days on earth so far.

Every year I get older I think back about what I’ve learned, experienced, and all that I hope is yet to come…and every year I get a little more frustrated with myself for what I’m lacking.

One year it was a respectable job, another year it was my weight (that’s a lot of years), and now as I get ever closer to the big three-decade-mile-marker it’s my relationship status.

Lame. Ridiculous. Silly. All of the above: “don’t worry about it; it will happen when its happens.” But people! Women out number men. It’s entirely plausible that it won’t.

“You’re so talented, sweet, loyal, loving, creative, smart, beautiful…someone will snatch you up.” So far my experience is that I’m too much of a “catch” for men to handle so they toss me back into the water. I’m intimidating, I try not to be…but why do I or should I have to hide part of who I am? Shouldn’t a guy love it all?

My observation has been that men are too insecure in themselves and what they have to offer to appreciate what I have to offer.

So….sure. I had a mini or freak out about getting a little closer to thirty (the magic number all women expect to be married by). But I have a career, I live where most people vacation, if I’m bored I drive 12 miles to the beach, I can go anywhere anytime I want, I’m working on the weight.

I have a lot going right and I am so sick of feeling, thinking, writing, and talking about being single. I just want to be happy.

Tracks 

31 Dec

 If a train in Ohio leaves the station in 2014 and spends 2015 gathering speed on the track that it’s on the passengers inevitably get comfortable; they settle in as the train speeds along.

That train is derailed.

Passengers are tossed about, bruised and shaken. They pick up their lives and build new tracks, maybe even a new train and head in a new direction.

That’s been my life this past year. I was headed down one path and was completely derailed and everything that followed changed.

Last year when I was thinking about what 2015 would bring I had no idea it would bring me to where I am right now. So for 2016 I’m not even going to try and guess what’s to come. What I know for sure is what I’m going to leave in 2015 and that’s what caused my train to derail.

It’s a new year. I have a new car and a new job in a new state, so I need to keep trying to make the most of this new start and not worry about having been derailed and the possibility of it happening again.