Fun in Fenton

I hated Fenton in high school: there was “nothing to do,” no diversity and I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there! With that said, however, I always enjoy my time in Fenton now.

I think this has something to do with the people. A lot of my close friends live in the area, including Donna. No matter what kind of mood I’m in or what stresses the week threw my way, I can count on her for a good time and great conversation! Plus there’s so much to do in downtown Fenton now, it’s unreal. Of course it became fun once I left…

Even my pup loves it!

In all honesty, I appreciate Fenton more than ever now. I have made amazing friendships there, and visiting always feels like home.

Halfway through 2019

2019 has been a year of turbulence and exhaustion as opposed to the year of happiness and fun that I was hoping for. But I’m going to look at my worn-out, busted glass as half-full…

This year has been filled with:

Jazz music

Quality time with the ‘rents

Concerts

Trevor Noah

Quality time with my best friend and my Little Sister

Selfies with the pup

A sick honeymoon

Bark in the Park

Carolyn’s amazing bridal shower

I’m hoping that the rest of 2019 is full of weekend getaways, more quality time with loved ones and music!

And if not…

“Let’s raise our glasses and lower our expectations” – Geoffrey Zakarian – Cate Spader

Longing for “Moher” (April 14, 2016)

Exactly three years ago today, I was galavanting around Ireland with two good friends. The beauty of these cliffs is insurmountable and sometimes on the windiest of days, I feel like I’m sitting right where I was on this day in 2016.

Thank you, Kaila

Kaila’s message arrived when I needed it most…

My family drama is so bad that I’ve been losing sleep over it for weeks.

My job and responsibilities are constantly changing against my will.

Many friendships that I thought would last a lifetime are ending right before my eyes.

I’ve been living day-by-day, going through the motions all while hiding my hurt. Reading Kaila’s letter taught me that I do have great friends around the world, even though we may not speak or see each other often. Her kind words showed me that no matter what I’m going through personally, I’ll always have support from my truest friends!

Seeing this picture of us together took me back to that weekend in Chiang Rai. I have never felt better about myself or where I was going in life; I was confident, passionate and carefree.

I hope I can find her again…

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today’s post is for some of my favorite women that I’ve either met abroad or are from another country (or both)!  People are the reason why I love travel as much as I do; it’s about immersing yourself in new cultures and creating strong friendships along the way.  In case you’re reading this, thank you for all of the fond memories, laughs and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences with me 🙂

Saskia – friends since 2011 (met through foreign exchange)

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Hamburg, Germany – 2012
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Hamburg, Germany – 2016

Carolyn – friends since 2014 (met as roommates in France)

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Aix-en-Provence, France – 2014

Anwar – friends since 2015 (met as coworkers at our SVSU Writing Center)

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Saginaw Valley State University – 2015

Bethany – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Chicago – 2018

Jacomijne – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Arctic Circle, Sweden – 2016

Gloria, Jagoda & Hui Jun – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Lund, Sweden – 2016

Kaila – friends since 2017 (met as volunteers in Chiang Rai, Thailand)

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Bangkok – 2017

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?