Backpacking During the Holidays

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Growing up, I was always around family for the holidays. I celebrated Christmas with my immediate as well as extended family on both sides. In December 2015, that changed. I backpacked the United Kingdom during the month of December, which meant I would be away from my family holiday traditions for the first time. I would miss out on Christmas on both sides of my extended family and cousin gift exchanges. With my immediate family, I would miss the tradition of Junk Food Day. It’s a day where we go to the grocery store and buy junk food we normally don’t eat. I wasn’t sure how it would go. To say I was blown away by my friend’s hospitality was be an understatement. 

Every family I stayed with was incredibly gracious. I experienced my first English Premiere game, experienced the German markets in Manchester and Birmingham, and have a most festive Christmas in Liverpool. I’ll never forget having Christmas in Liverpool. I woke up Christmas morning and my good friend Jesse told me to come down for presents. My parents gave me money for my trip, so I figured I would watch him open his presents and celebrate with his family. When I get down there, his parents pointed to a pile of presents and told me they were for me. I was speechless. I had no idea this would happen. I still smile when of this memory. I thought “I have nothing to give back”, “How will I bring all of this home”, and “This is more than I get at home. I should try this more often”. We spent the morning opening and enjoying presents. That night, I took part in a very delicious five-course meal with friend’s family.

I had fun eating with my friends and their families and learning about how their traditions. I learned Boxing Day is an actual holiday. It’s a bank and public holiday, so families get another day to spend time together. Boxing Day originated in the 1800s. IT’s also a full day of watching futbol (soccer) and so I watched my friend’s favorite team Liverpool play. I celebrated that day almost as much as Christmas.

I learned the families I stayed with had more formal traditions than my own family. My family has a laid back Christmas. I fondly enjoyed dressing up and having nicer meals and afternoon tea. I could most certainly celebrate the holidays in England again.

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**Looks like Nate Johnson had a BLAST backpacking during the holidays! A huge  thank you for being  a  guest blogger!**

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Fashion Road Trip Essentials

Road trips are so much fun! You get to see wonderful sites along the way and you get to see friends, like I did, upon arrival after the long drive. Like many, I want to be comfortable while sitting in the car for such a long period of time. For me I was traveling to Houston,TX to visit friends which is a 4hr and 45min trip.

Before I left I packed 3 essential items that were to go with me inside my car while I was driving to my destination!

1. FLIP FLOPS 

When I drive long distances I love to kick my shoes off just like I’m at home! Flip flops are the easiest shoes, besides flats, that I can kick off and toss to the side.

 

2. SUNGLASSES

Living and driving through Texas during the summer mean the sun is out and shining so bright that it literally blinds you! Within my car alone I have 3 pairs of sunglasses: one in my drivers door, one in my glasses holder, and one in my glove box. I may have to wear my prescription glasses with my sunglasses but at least I can see!

 

3. DUFFEL BAG

You may be wondering, “why a duffel bag?” Well I had 2 duffel bags: one for clothes and one for food. My food duffel remained in my front passenger seat for easy access to snack while on the road. Is it fashion? Not exactly BUT the bag was cute!

 

When you go on your next road trip I hope you think of my 3 essentials! They may come in handy when you plan your next trip!

2017 Experience Bucket List

“Materialism is the ONLY form of distraction from true bliss.” ~Douglas Horton

In today’s world we are all about our iPhones, laptops, and anything else money can buy. We are so glued to our materials that we forget to stop and enjoy ourselves. Personally I always find a way to enjoy myself although many people in older generations say that my generation doesn’t know how to enjoy ourselves without the aid of technology.

In this post, I will be sharing my 2017 Experience Bucket List on things I want to experience this year that have NOTHING to do with materialistic things. As a blogger and as a college student with limited funds I believe that there are things we should experience that don’t involve expensive materialistic things that won’t be around for a long time.

Traveling!

o   Now it’s always been my dream to travel and explore the world! Being a broke college student it seems IMPOSSIBLE to actually travel which is why I have created myself a “Travels Jar.” In my jar I save up with the hopes of traveling to a certain destination. My dream locations to travel are Bollywood, Italy, Greece, and Hawaii.

Photography

o   I have numerous hobbies and photography is definitely in my top 3. I would definitely love to get back into photography this year because it is so relaxing and I am able to see the world through a stronger lens other than my own.

“Crawls”   

o   I know what you’re asking: “What exactly is a crawl?” A crawl is almost like hoping from place to place. The term is mostly used as a “bar crawl.” I, on the other hand, want to use the phrase in many different ways. I would like to go on festival crawls, bar crawls, and even food crawls with a few close friends. It feels good to be out doing things just to have fun without sitting in the house and you get to meet new people.

 

That’s it! That’s my 2017 Experience Bucket List! I want to be able to enjoy my younger years without having to worry about materialistic things. Let’s be honest, the materialistic things won’t be around forever but memories will last FOREVER! This tool can help you plan your own get together’s with friends

Now I want to know how are you going to create new memories and experiences without materialistic things?  Leave a comment below!