Fuck Fear, Take the Leap

It all started with a ladder, deep in a cave in Belize, in 2015.

Having swum my way into a cave once used by the ancient Maya, scrambling my way up and down rocks, and wading through ankle deep water, I, along with the rest of the tour group, found myself standing in front of a ladder set against a tall rock cave wall. It was to serve as our mode of transportation to the cave chamber above housing a fully intact crystallized human skeleton.

For some reason, I became overwhelmed with fear. Yet I had no choice but to climb.

I made it to the top and forgot my momentary panic as I looked on in awe at Mayan pottery and a human skeleton perfectly preserved in the cave floor. Then it was time to come back down… Continue reading “Fuck Fear, Take the Leap”

2017: Travel Plans and Ambitions

The general theme of 2016 for most seemed to be “the worst year ever.” I had my fair share of bad days and challenging circumstances, but there were also a lot of amazing things that happened.

I started the year unemployed, and ended it with immense personal growth. I expanded my comfort zone by leaps and bounds, started my own business, launched this blog, and built a budding career as a freelance travel writer and photographer. I spent an amazing week with John in Belize, went on a handful of fun day trips with my mom, traveled solo to Miami, and discovered new corners of Florida. I witnessed two of my best friends get engaged on Anna Maria Island, ate a LOT of delicious food, spent more time with family and friends, and grew tremendously in my personal and professional life.

While it’s been enlightening reflecting on 2016, I’m ready to look ahead to what’s in store for the new year. This time of year always has me feeling extra inspired and ambitious, and while so much is unknown I’m excited for the journey ahead. Especially the parts of that journey that include travel. Continue reading “2017: Travel Plans and Ambitions”

The Unconventional Guide to Taking Better Photos of Your Travels

Photos are my favorite souvenirs. Whether documenting a night out with friends or an international destination, I’m always thankful to have my photos to look back on the memories. Yet travel photography, or even photographing my own local surroundings, isn’t always an easy feat.

Even as a professional photographer, there are definitely opportunities I’ve missed, shots I haven’t taken, and moments I didn’t capture just because I was too self-conscious to whip out my camera or introduce myself to a stranger.

Improving my photography is an ongoing goal, but I thought it was time enough to share some of the more unconventional tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. Continue reading “The Unconventional Guide to Taking Better Photos of Your Travels”

Central Florida Breweries Worthy of Your Dollars

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I started liking beer. (I lied, it was a house party in Columbus. I was tipsy on smirnoff ice, tried some PBR, and didn’t hate it.)

I’ve come a long way since then.

Ultimately, it was a birthday weekend spent craft brewery hopping in Tampa with John a few years ago that finally solidified my love for great beer. Tampa’s beer scene is amazing – unique breweries are nearby no matter where you are – but that influence is slowly creeping further in to Central Florida.

Should you find yourself thirsty in between Orlando and Tampa, give one or all of these breweries a visit and support a local brewer in the process. Continue reading “Central Florida Breweries Worthy of Your Dollars”

2016: As Told Through the Food I Ate

I began 2016 with little to no direction, having recently left my full-time job.

Naturally, I turned to the Internet for solace. Search results for my situation resulted in three main narratives: do nothing, travel the world, or cry. (I did all three.)

Some days I expanded my comfort zone by exposing myself to new people, places, and experiences. Others I pushed myself to try new foods, or find comfort in the familiar. And on all the other days, there were cookies. A lot of cookies.

Great food is one of the many joys of my everyday life. So while I could easily have written a reflective and introspective recap of 2016, it somehow feels more appropriate to unveil the story through food. Here goes… Continue reading “2016: As Told Through the Food I Ate”