Loving East Lansing!

Every basketball season, my dad and I head to East Lansing to see the Spartans win!

Although we both love college basketball, that’s not the best part of our time together. We always grab breakfast and dinner, shakes at the MSU Diary Store, some souvenirs and share lots of laughs.

My parents met and fell in love at MSU, which is yet another reason why I enjoy East Lansing as much as I do!

My dad and I are very close and seeing him get all excited about being back on campus fills my heart with warmth 🙂

Wacky Weather in the Midwest

It has truly been a bitter cold, hectic couple of weeks in southeast Michigan! I know most of my loved ones are fed up with the weather, just like my pup Linley…

…and I can totally relate!

Despite the ice on my windshield that has been three + inches thick every morning, the Chicago-like winds and losing my mind by being cooped up in the apartment, I’ve been discovering beauty in this winter wonderland.

Stay safe, keep warm and enjoy your weekend!

Why I Left Social Media (Part III)

Thank you for reading about this and for all of the support! I really appreciate it, and I appreciate all of you.

The final part of this series has to do with privacy. Even though I’m too extroverted and social for my own good, I am a very private, guarded person. I have had my fair share of fake friends, bullying and criticism thrown my way to be as open as I once was.

On social media, I chose to share about my engagement. To my dismay, tons of people came out of the woodwork: old friends who I’ve grown away from, old friends who I’ve had a falling-out with, and even judgmental family members who haven’t ever treated me or my husband with respect.

With all of that said, however, I received a lot of support from my parents, in-laws, true friends and Juan. We had our parents and pup at the wedding, that’s it!

Immediately following our private ceremony, we had 60 of our closest family members and best friends join us for dinner, dancing and pool. Our venue was small and life was good; it was truly a night I will never forget, with those who have supported us every step of the way.

What does this have to do with deleting Instagram? If my own wedding ceremony and reception were private, I’d like to keep my personal life this way, too 🙂

All wedding photos were taken by David Lucas at dsphotomi.com!

Why I Left Social Media (Part II)

Instagram had become a bragging platform. Meanwhile, I was posting photos of what truly made me happy.

I am all about positivity and sharing accomplishments, especially on social media. My favorite posts were comeback stories: stories where someone had lost over 100 pounds and loves who they are now. THAT is what I liked seeing on my feed.

Instead, I saw photos of peoples’ big houses, pools, fancy vacations and brand new cars (meanwhile, I’m in a one bedroom apartment, can’t afford luxury trips and have a humble Ford Focus with a severely cracked windshield). Instagram was flooded with materialistic, superficial garbage that eventually became toxic for me. Why keep on if it brought my mood down?

In the end, Instagram forced me to compare myself with others. This reason is actually the most harmful and what ultimately brought me toward deactivation.

On my friends’ posts, and even strangers’ for that matter, I was seeing “perfection:” perfect hair, skin, bodies, clothes, friends… perfect lives (and there’s me, questioning when I last washed my hair and wondering if I had brushed my teeth yet that day)! As a woman, this was especially detrimental to see on a daily basis. One scroll through my feed and I was suddenly ashamed of who I was, what I was doing or what I looked like.

I have come such a long way in finding myself and creating my own happiness. Why should a few “perfect” posts tear me and my confidence apart?

Why I Left Social Media (Part I)

Those of you who know me outside of WordPress know that I LOVED Instagram! It was my favorite social media platform and it’s the only one that had remained with me (I’ve kissed Facebook and Snapchat goodbye years ago)! With that said, however, there are loads of issues I encountered with Instagram.

Despite the fact that traveling is and always will be a huge part of my life, it isn’t for a lot of my Instagram friends (who are also my friends in life – I only added people I knew). In fact, one of my best friends on this earth has never been on a plane! That’s the beauty of my closest friends: we are so different yet so similar. Instead of sharing about myself, I want to hear about my friends and their successes (their schooling, careers, relationships, etc.).

In a roundabout way, I’m trying to say this: this blog is a community where we all love traveling. We can all share our experiences without envy, without bragging… it’s storytelling and an exchange of memories. Instagram has become a bragging mechanism, which will I expand on in part two, and I don’t want any part of it!

I want to leave travel stories here, not Instagram. And if my best friends ask about my travels, I can share photos and stories in person as opposed to social media (and vice versa).

One positive thing about Instagram is that it made me love WordPress even more! It’s true. I love chatting with bloggers from all over the world, sharing travel adventures, hearing about others’ goals and what we’ve overcome. I absolutely love my blog and it’s definitely here to stay 🙂

Throughout this post, I included some of my favorite photos from my now-deactivated Instagram account. I hope you enjoy; thank you for reading!