Hey y’all one of my favorite holidays is coming up this week and are you ready? Whether you are hosting a bunch of family over for the day, traveling to be with others for the week or spending it on your own, you’ll want to start preparations early. For those hosting, that’ll start with doing chores one evening, the next making pies ahead of time, then preparing the stuffing mix, etc. If you split it up into a few tasks each evening leading up to the big day, you can enjoy the actual day of a little more without feeling so stressed out. For those of you traveling, the same thing applies! Pack your bags ahead of time, make sure your arrangements for your pets are done, get that rental car confirmed, and then make sure to take time to relax beforehand. Traveling can be super stressful, so take care of yourself and try to alleviate any extra stress that you can. For those who will be spending it on your own, prepare a smaller version of the big meal for yourself, and then find some time to relax. Whether you have to work Black Friday or are studying for a big test, get some of the other things done out of the way chore-wise so you can focus on that and not feel as stressed each day.
Take the day, and go see a new city. You don’t have to go far, just go to a city near you that you haven’t been to before, and see what they have to offer. You never know what magic you may stumble into.
Hey y’all, so I know I’m a bit late on putting my New Year’s resolutions up, but I promise you, I had them written on New Year’s Eve! Between traveling and then the jet lag, I just didn’t have the time I wanted to get them up, but they are here now! I’m putting them up here to help hold myself accountable, as I have several friends who read this and can make sure I’m keeping up with my goals 😉 But I’m also doing it to share with others, and maybe someone reading this will find they want to add to their list from mine.
New Year’s Resolutions
- Be honest about my feelings. Yeah, jumped right into this one, for too long I know myself, and plenty of others, have been hiding feelings or not being honest about them, and for myself at least, that stops now. Feelings aren’t always great, but it’s important to not minimize or pretend they aren’t there.
- Keep up with that fitness. I’ve been pretty good about fitness, but it never hurts to make sure I keep it a priority by putting it on this list.
- Live in the moment. With everything going on, and our giant to-do lists and full calendars, this one can be challenging, but I am ready to give it a try. I’d say immersing myself in what Paris had to offer was a good start.
- Live each day with kindness. I know some days can be trying, and I don’t always have the best reaction to stress, but I can fix that with a quick shift in my attitude.
- Name something I’m grateful for each day. It’s amazing what a little gratitude can do for each day.
- Be neater. Some of you may be shocked to learn that I am not the neatest person ever. But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to work on that, and this new year is the perfect time to start fresh.
- Volunteer more. Giving back is important, and volunteering is one of the best ways to do it.
- Save, save, save. I have several things that I want to do, and the only way I’m going to get there is if I save up some funds for it. So for me, that’s a huge priority, I’m 26, and need to focus on my savings a bit more.
- Be open to new opportunities. There have been several times that I’ve overthought something to the point that it’s gone, and I don’t want to do that anymore, so I’m going to be open to new opportunities as they present themselves.
That may not be everything on my list, but to be fair, I’m very thorough, and I really like lists, so my resolutions are rather long. However, these are some of the most important ones to me, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. I’m hoping for health, blessings, and dreams coming true for myself, and each and every one of you.
You’ll feel so much more accomplished the next day if you unpack immediately after a trip or vacation. Even if you’re tired, empty that suitcase, toss the dirty clothes in the hamper, and empty the toiletries bag. You’ll wake up with less to do.
This past weekend, I was in Paris to ring in the New Year, and celebrate with family. From delicious food to stunning architecture, there was plenty to see and do on this trip. We spent a total of 4 days there, and most of it was a winter wonderland.
Flying in to Paris was a bit less fun than expected, though I will say, business class flights are AMAZING. I never sleep on planes, but on the 7 hour flight from DC to Germany, I slept, in a bed, and it was so helpful, especially since the end of the flying day didn’t go quite as well as the beginning. Unfortunately, during a plane change, our luggage got lost in Germany, and we had to wait several hours for our luggage to be delivered to Paris. That put a bit of a delay on our trip, so by the time we got checked in to the hotel and settled, there wasn’t much time for exploring, and instead we met up with the rest of the family for dinner and drinks.
On this day, Sunday, we wandered around Paris seeing the main sights, like the Eiffel Tower and some Christmas markets. The Eiffel Tower is one of those landmarks that you just have to go to every time you go to Paris, so despite having been once, we hiked over again, and it was a beautiful hike in glorious cold weather. Along the way, we got to see some beautiful architecture that unfortunately you just don’t see anywhere. The old columns and the way that buildings are so modern on the inside, but still remain the same outside, is a beautiful tribute to the history of the city, without falling behind in the times.
New Years Eve, this day was spent touring the Louvre, as well as seeing Notre Dame. The Louvre was packed, with lines everywhere, it honestly reminded me of Disney, but even more people. However, despite that, I was able to push forward and get a picture of the Mona Lisa. There are so many beautiful pieces of art, and you can literally wander that museum for hours and still not see it all. They even have the original castle walls in some areas from when it was a castle, and let me tell you, that’s really cool to see.
New Years Day, the final full day in Paris, one spent wandering around, seeing the Arc de Triomphe and wandering different parts of the city, looking at the architecture and buildings. Unfortunately, there were protests occuring in Paris over the past couple of weeks, and we saw some of the damage from it. Shattered ATM machines, graffiti over boarded up windows. While this is the Paris that I so enjoy visiting, seeing the shops in that state was very sad, and very unfortunate for those workers who came into work to find every window cracked and smashed, in some cases, a door nearly pried open and shattered glass littering the street.
Of course, the food was amazing, and my favorites would be the macaroons. I definitely have a soft spot for those sweet treats, and no matter what, they just aren’t the same when I order them in the U.S., so I had to stop for them not once, but twice! I ate several each day on the trip, and have several here for myself for a week.
It was cold, but beautiful, and there is nothing like wandering a Christmas marketplace in nearly freezing weather. I was happy to see they still had Christmas lights and decor up, it added something special to it, and really lit up what could have been a dreary winter day. Instead, it made it a winter wonderland with beautiful foliage, and adorable little shops set up here and there.
However, no matter how beautiful and great all of it was, the best part was undoubtedly spending time with family. There is nothing like ringing in the New Year, and discussing resolutions with those that you love, and cherish spending time with, even if they can get on your nerves at some points during the trip. All in all, it was a great way to start 2019 fresh, and with a bang.
Now that we are in the holiday season, traveling is beginning to get hectic. Whether you only travel for the holidays or you travel year-round for work, I have some travel etiquette tips that will help you and others’ travel go smoothly.
Travel Etiquette Do’s:
- Be prepared when you reach the front of TSA. Don’t slow down the line by fumbling for your boarding pass and ID, have it handy.
- Grab your bags quickly when you get in the aisle. Don’t meander about, get up, grab your bag, and start walking. Everyone wants off the plane.
- Stick to your space. You paid for a seat, and so did the person next to you, so stay in yours and out of theirs.
- Let people with connecting flights off before you if you are at your final destination.
- Use headphones. No one wants to hear your game of Candy Crush on a three hour flight.
Travel Etiquette Don’ts:
- Don’t stand in the aisle near the bathroom. People need to be able to pass through.
- Don’t bring more than the allotted amount of baggage.
- Don’t kick someone’s seat repeatedly.
- Don’t take your shoes and socks off and put them near people. That is disgusting.
- Don’t talk over someone between you and your friends/family. Ask them to switch, that way they can enjoy their flight as well.
- Don’t cut off others who are exiting the plane. We all want to get out of the airport. Mowing people down doesn’t help.
- Don’t bring stinky food on a plane. The smell permeates through the air, and can affect people with sensitive stomachs or smells.
- Don’t wear heavy perfume. Be sensitive to allergies that others may have.
We’re all in this together when it comes to a plane flight, so be considerate, and others will do the same for you. Unless you have a private plane that just you fly on, you will have to be around others, and a little bit of etiquette goes a long way in making friends.
I know it’s tempting to wait until the last minute to fill that suitcase, but if you’re traveling to visit family or just taking advantage of your extra long weekend, pack your bags early. That gives you more time for forgetting something, and remembering before you’re already gone.
It’s Thanksgiving week, and that means lots of traveling. Whether you are driving to see family or having them come see you, fill up your car with gas before work. You’ll beat the crowds, and be able to get on your way much faster.