Travel

go, be, do, see

Well happy Wednesday to me! This just in, Another Best Day interview posted. Check it out here!

I learned of ABD this summer and think their message is totally awesome. It was founded with a simple idea:

To serve as a consistent reminder to make the most of every day.

Alaska ir Bust

Amen!

I agree with the Another Best Day crew, that we CHOOSE our thoughts, the same way that we choose our clothing. We choose to think positively, or negatively, we choose to think that we are capable of going, being, doing, and seeing anything imaginable, we choose to sit on our asses, or kicking them into high gear. Luck has nothing to do with accomplishing goals. Goals take hard work and making the choice to stick with them no matter what.

Think of the last time you had “the best day ever” and imagine it happening again and again because you wake up each day choosing that it will be. Seems pretty simple, right?

Thanks for working to spread a great message and including me in your awesomeness, Dave & Brett!

How do you pursue Another Best Day?

#ABDLife #Choices #GoBeDoSee

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who needs a hotel room?

Camping, (whether in the car or in a tent) is so much fun. (And so much cheaper!) We’d much rather spend those extra bucks on some good food and get the bonus of star-gazing and listening to the sounds of nature:

Fall

It was a little chilly at 45 degrees in West Virginia last night, but waking up to this:

Camping in West Virginia

…was so much better than waking up to 4 white walls. I’ll take a little chill for a morning like this one, any day.

When is the last time you slept under the stars?

#AdventureOnABudget #Camping #Fall #RoadTrip

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“i’ll figure it out”

I love when friends send me articles like this. (Reference post title the author’s #4.)

Of course the travel & adventure part of this womans’ story are inspiring and invigorating in that I-wanna-go-out-and-do-those-things-right-now, but the best part of this is lesson is that she took action when she had an aha moment. She started really living, and didn’t just crawl under her bed.

We all know life is short, but it seems like we just don’t live like it is. I vote for more of us to wake up with that carpe diem- life is short-let’s do it now attitude, rather than not. Whaddya say?

After wrapping a 3rd Annual BLR Play It Forward Event, I’m more than ever convinced that spending time with people I love like these:

VT playing tourist

Green Mountains

…and doing work that means everything to me:

BLR Memorial Scholarship Award

BLR Play It Forward 2014

Soccer rules at BLR

…(just to share a very few)- is what’s most important. The rest of life- can always be figured out. Read this article, pass it on, then ask yourself; If you could spend time with who you wanted, and do work that really meant something to you- what would you be doing?

Find your Blue Lollipop Road.  Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#Inspiration #BLR #TodayIsTheDay

*Above photos taken in Vermont during my stay for BLR Play It Forward, 2014

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nola, jazz fest, and a beignet addiction

As promised…our road trip to New Orleans!

The weather was perfect for our trek to The Big Easy the first weekend in May. We rolled in for our long weekend on Friday:

New Orleans welcome sign

…dropped our bags off at the hotel and walked (safety first!) with mimosas to to Jazz Fest. Pit stop at Whole Foods for the bathroom along the way, and naturally I couldn’t resist this photo from their bathroom:

Whole Foods Bathroom

Can you see the “dance flo” text? BHAHHH! (I’m easily entertained. Translation; cheap date:)

Onto the festival, with people, parades, and music- oh my!

New Orleans Jazz Fest

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

Relaxing Jazz Tent:

New Orleans

New Orleans

I would’t necessarily think of Christina Aguilera when I think of jazz, but that girl with her big pregnant belly got me dancing:

New Orleans

New Orleans

Great long day at the festival, trolly ride back to hotel, and sunset:

New Orleans

After a shower and prep for dinner, we ran into this crazy fun and awesome parade of a wedding party one block off Bourbon Street, celebrating their nuptial NOLA-Style:

The next morning, completely random tree/sky/building “up” photo as we wandered around:

New Orleans

(If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I became slightly obsessed with sky/skyscraper/cloud photos while living in Chicago, and took a lot of photos there.)

We probably walked 20 miles on Saturday, just wandering…people, streets, and food:

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

…which is a good thing, because we at beignets 3 times that day. Three. Oh the heavenly beignets at Cafe’ Du Monde:

Beignets

Beignets

Jackson Square was a fun stop:

New Orleans

…for a balcony glass of vino and a perfect people watching spot at Tableau:

Tableau New Orleans

..and of course, a most random street “band” for entertainment:

Next up was R Bar where we met hometown chef Newton Blanchard, stirring up an enormous pot of gumbo:

New Orleans

New Orleans

This guy pulls to the side of the street, every Saturday, preps this giant serving of New Orleans best that’s ready for the taking “around 6pm” and people flock. No charge, just a donation. We chatted with Newton and sat around outside for a good 2+ hours and stuffed our faces. I mean stuffed:

The Big Easy

My sweet, sweet, boyfriend, who’s straight from French-Cajun Country himself- was in heaven:

Gumbo

(Yikes…I think this is the official first photo of us I’ve posted on BLR. Actually, I think this is the first photo I have ever posted of  my love life here and It’s been nearly 6 years. Clearly I’ve held out for someone who was well worth the wait:)

The food was super hot (temperature & spice) I could barely take little bites, but I had to dig in immediately after Newton served us:

New Orleans

New Orleans

I will say it here first. I have eaten and posted here about a lot of food over these years, but holy moses was this roadside, stirred from something that looked like a shovel and served in a styrofoam bowl with a plastic fork some of the best ever. (Good thing I’m living with a Cajun. I’m sold!)

*Side note the striped can in the background above is my total summer favorite. It’s Radler actually, by Stiegel. Beer + grapefruit extra cold = heavenly delicious and refreshing. It’s hard to come by, so if you can get your hands on a can- do. Then bring me one, please.

After the feast and time with the locals, I played with sidewalk chalk at the Frenchmen Street Market:

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

…and laid on the ground because it seemed like a good idea at the time and I was already filthy from walking around all day, anyway. I’m not scared of a little New Orleans, funk:

New Orleans

Love me some life on the Blue Lollipop Road!

One last stop for our 3rd round of beignets after-dark and our day was complete:

New Orleans

We made a good samaritan practice while noshing round 3, and tracked down a guy who had left his wallet at our table. He came back, the group next to us cheered, and missing wallet man from Tennessee gave us hugs. All love at the end of a day in The Big Easy with a full belly, a face full of powdered sugar, and the best travel partner in crime by my side.

I’m already ready to go again.

Where are you traveling to?

#NOLA #JazzFest #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad

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buckle up! we’re going for another ride

Blog

Today is Tuesday April 29th, and I’m FINALLY getting out a big announcement via email and social media about the all new Blue Lollipop Road!

I had to include the above photo, which is one of my absolute favorites taken during my travels. It makes me smile every time I see it. I stopped at random several years ago on the side of a road with an old digital camera somewhere in Pennsylvania, and this is what I got. I’m sure most of you have seen it before. I couldn’t resist sharing again in hopes to spread some more inspiration. (It makes me feel all happy & inspired.)

To me this photo represents an exciting preparation message for everything to come, a bit of a warning, and a jolt of energy that screams; anything is possible! Like a voice saying “Hey People~ You’ve got one life, just one life. What are you going to do with it?”

And here we go…

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #BLR2.0 #TodayIsTheDay

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solo travel = badass

Boy did the Today Show miss out on the perfect person to have on this solo travel segment. Me! I wonder if the woman who was rattling off her tips for travel has ever driven alone to Alaska, slept in her car at truck stops around the country, run trails around Bermuda alone, or sat in a Denny’s outside Oklahoma City sipping coffee while chatting with a 70 year old self proclaimed cowboy in the middle of the night. Just sayin’ 🙂

Hey Today Show! Hire me to be your expert next time. Solo travel is my middle name!

For anyone else who’s reading this, go forth and go far young ones, old ones, meek ones, bold ones! And go alone. The great world awaits! There’s no better way to find out what you’re made of and build a healthy sense of independence that will take you big places in life, than hitting the road…alone. Don’t worry and don’t be afraid, your peeps will be there when you get back. Go earn yourself a badass card. It’s totally liberating. You will have a blast. I promise.

Need some inspiration or a few ideas before hitting the “road”? Check this out, and happy travels!

How do you find your inner badass?

#JustDoIt #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #SoloTravel.

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if I met you at the gap year fair a few hours ago and you’re reading this now…

…HI!!!

I loved chatting with students & parents about the big wide open amazing world that’s out there and why it is so incredibly important for young adults to get out and experience all they can before making big life decisions. I’m probably more passionate about this subject than any other, so it thrilled me to be at the USA Gap Year Fairs tonight, and see so many people open to the concept of a Gap Year.

I hope those I met and shared my information with, will drop me a line and let me know if I can help guide you in any way. I promise, if you take some time for travel and self-learning after high school, you will 1.) Have the time of your life 2.) Meet people and see places you never dreamed of 3.) Become a better human 4.) Find clarity about who you are and what you want 5.) Be best equipped to meet and exceed each and every one of your goals.

Believe.

I’m a huge advocate for Gap Years and living outside the otherwise pre-planned life schedule.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#ThingsThatMatter #GapYear #LiveOfATraveler #NotLostJustExploring.

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how does this author know so much about me?

A friend sent me this blog post today and as I read it, I kept thinking; YES! YES! YES! That is totally me.

DON’T DATE A GIRL WHO TRAVELS

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.

Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

Confession:

I’m amidst one of the worst winter-duldrum/when does this end and get warm again already/why am I not living in the tropics/on the road full time right now- times I’ve ever had. I’m sure you’re probably thinking boo-hoo, Diane- don’t you travel enough? Haven’t you been to enough spots? Aren’t you thankful for what you have done and where you have gone? Well, no, no, and yes. Travel is simply a part of my heart & soul. I can’t explain it. The above blog post makes me want to run- not walk, and do more.

I’ve tried so hard to shake this pesky bug, this lifestyle, this insatiable hunger for all things exploration and travel, but I just can’t. Sigh. I want to (I really do!) I want to be “normal” but I just can’t be. I’ve realized more and more lately, that probably the only thing that will ever keep me happy is living light and free; Free to stay if I want, to go if I want, to embrace the full “Me-ness” that is me, the forever overly curious, fight to feel truly alive everyday, wanderer.

At the moment I’m under a big blanket feeling cold, stuck, pretty uninspired, and not really myself. In an effort to ditch those yuck feelings, I just perused a bunch of my goofy, fun, and slightly ridiculous travel photos:

The above photo should actually say; I just love everything…TRAVEL. 

Ok, now I feel better. I guess when those blah, endless feeling wintery days strike- It’s best to fight back with memories of all the awesome that has been a part of my life already, and all that is still to come.

The reason I started my current BLR 365 project (have you seen it and gotten on board yet?) is exactly for days like this. I really do believe we can feel totally alive and make everyday an adventure, even when we are feeling glum/stuck/yuck. It’s all about taking a minute during your standard day, to look back, dream forward, do something creative, or let your mind wander about all that’s possible in the future.

What makes your soul burst with excitement?

#LifeOfATraveler #Wanderlust #StayUnstuck

PS~ A huge THANK YOU! To my always supportive, fellow lover of all things travel & adventure, fantastic friend, David who sent me Don’t date a girl who travels..

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