Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#TravelTuesday 12// 30 Places to See in my 30s

Hey Fellow Adventure Lovers! 
It's time for another #TravelTuesday Linkup and I am so excited to kick the year off "traveling" together! 
I am wrapping up a week of 30th birthday posting (you can read the first two here and here), so I figured I would keep with the theme by sharing the top 30 places I want to see in my 30s.
There is still so much of the world I want to see, but as my biggest bucket list item for my 30s would be to become full-time RVers I figured I would share the 30 places within the US and Canada that I could get to by road, since (if that were to happen) those places would be more attainable goals. While I could just go through the list of all the states I haven't been to and call it a day, that wouldn't be near as much fun! However, I will start my list off with the 5 states I most want to get to. And by get to I mean, spend a good chunk of time in to truly see all they have to offer (I'm thinking like a month or so in each would suffice). Anyways, here we go... 

30 Places to visit in my 30s
#1 Colorado (To quote Will Ferrell "there's so much room for activities") 
#2 Alaska 
#3 Maine 
#4 Oregon
#5 Washington 
Places to see in your 30s
Photo Credit: National Parks Site
#6 White Sands National Monument (Sand that looks like snow?! Sand sledding?! Yes, please!)
#7 Everglades National Park (because, despite living in Florida all my life, I have never been yet!) 
#8 Red Rock Canyon (I can't lie, this had originally said Seven Magic Mountains, which is also here in Vegas, but we actually started this morning at Red Rock Canyon and it now MUST be on everyone's list. So I got on here to edit this before it goes live, because I am still in awe at how amazing it is. Plus, now I have one checked off and will hopefully be able to check off Seven Magic Mountains in the next few days. All the pictures in the three strip at the top of this post were taken at Red Rock)
#9 Route 66 (I would LOVE to drive the entirety of Route 66, my old, road-trip-loving soul finds the thought just simply magical)
#10 Cadillac Ranch (If you couldn't tell from the last few, I love a good roadside attraction and have not seen nearly enough) 
30 Places to see in Your 30s
Photo Credit: National Parks Site
#11 The Grand Canyon ("She needs wide open spaces...") 
#12 The Minister's Treehouse (it's a treehouse and church all-in-one and looks something like the Weasley's Burrow! I will take any chance I can get to go to Tennessee... and feel like I am in a Harry Potter book)
#13 Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, British Columbia 
#14 Goat Canyon Trestle (the world's longest wooden trestle, 6 mile round trip hike) 
#15 Johnston Canyon in Alberta, Canada 
#16 Vance Creek Bridge (it may be cliche, but I really want to walk an old, wooden trestle bridge apparently) 
#17 Bitty and Beau's Coffee Shop (I know, just a coffee shop made the list? But Bitty and Beau's is so much more than that. I saw their story come across FB and knew I had to visit. One, because who doesn't love an excuse for a trip to NC?! But more importantly, I would love to see their shop and meet the wonderful team of people they employ. We need more places-and people- like that in this world) 
#18 Jacob's Well in Wimberley, Texas (because I'm all about finding good cliff diving locations these days!!) 
30 Places to See in your 30 www.lifessweetwords.com
Photo Credit: National Parks Site
#19 Joshua Tree National Park (because who wouldn't want to feel like they were in a Dr. Seuss Wonderland?) 
#20 Ski in the Canadian Rockies (definitely be a change from our East Coast ski experiences) 
#21 Dismals Canyon in Alabama 
#22 Mooney Falls at Havasu 
#23 Hike the Big Sur WaterFall Trail 
#24 Cathedral Gorge State Park in Neveda 
#25 See Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon in Arizona
#26 D.C. during Cherry Blossom Season (though I prefer the open outdoors to city streets, and I did spend one day there as a teen, I would really love to actually explore D.C. Babe is itching to see all the history museums and, given that I have never really gotten to visit anything other than the zoo, I figure we should give it a go!)
#27 Niagara Falls (both sides) 
Photo Credit: National Park Site
#28 Glacier National Park (can you say gorgeous?!) 
#29 Zion National Park (maybe we should just saw all the national parks?)
#30 Nashville TN (There's a few cities on my list of places to visit and this would be at the top)

I could go on, but I will start with these 30 for now and see how far I get in the next 10 years! 
As I go along I will come back and cross through the places I've been and I am super excited for the challenge of trying to get all 30 done! 

What are some of the places on your bucket list?! 
Any you've checked off recently?!

Share your link below and let's travel together! 
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest
~Not many rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. Decembers's fave was from Momma To Go, because we are actually heading for Vegas as I type this and her food recommendations were super helpful to this food-lover! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Great Gift Ideas for a Book-Loving Adventurer!!

I wrapped up 2016 with a big mile stone and turned 3 decades old! My 30th birthday was full of wonderful moments with some of my favorite people. Babe and I kicked it off with a cruise and then I came home to a showering of love. One of my love languages is gifts; not because they are presents (though that's nice too), but because of the thought that goes into the gifts. When I can tell that someone really knows me, by getting a gift that has 'Melanie' written all over it, the happier my heart is. This birthday truly showed me how loved I am and how much "my people" truly know me. They know that I am a book-nerd, adventure-loving, full-time-RV-dreamer!! Between my birthday and Christmas, I was feeling all kinds of cared for!

Here's a little peek at some of the happiness...

Book-Loving Adventurer

I got book upon book and I am not sad about it! Not one little bit!! Between my Rifle Paper print and book, it was an Alice in Wonderland kind of happiness! And oh, how happy my little heart was about the newest Harry Potter Illustrated book! If you too are a Harry fan and haven't gotten the illustrated books yet, you need them!!

Flo got quite a bit of goodies too! I can't wait to hang my Happy Camper frame up and fill it with pictures of all our trips. And while I didn't actually get an Adventure Fuel mug, I did gift a few to other people. Giving gifts gives me just as much joy as getting them and I love seeing people get excited about their mugs!

I also got two RV inspired ornaments- one that was made specifically for us- and my Christmas loving heart can't wait to add them to our tree next year (hopefully one that is sitting in an RV window).

Sweet Babe filled my stocking with so many little adventure knick-knacks, that will come in so handy!! We play cards every night when we are camping and our cards are getting a little worn! The cool thing about the Survival Tip Playing Cards is that they can easily go in the backpack for when we take a little hike break. I am SO excited about my pocket saw! I make it a mission to collect as many little sticks around our campsite as I can, so that we don't have to buy firewood, and this will help me get bigger ones! We also do a lot of our dishwashing outside, so that we don't fill up our gray water tank too quickly, so Campsuds were perfect so that we are being environmentally safe!!

Guide to The National Parks and Off the Beaten Path

I absolutely LOVE our adventure books that my sister and her husband got us!! I am already adding tons of places to my bucket list (come back Tuesday for 30 places I want to see in my 30s). I think one of my top new additions might be Mesa Verde, because how awesome does that look?! It could also be a lot of fun to hit up the Jack Daniels Distillery!

My favorite gift though, would have to be our Inflatable Stand Ups! It was the biggest surprise of all and we absolutely love them!! They are super sturdy and, though we did each get one, one could easily hold both of us if we just want to go out for a quick ride without having to blow up two boards. They are Pulse iSUPS, but they don't seem to have a way to get them online yet. I found these on Amazon and they have pretty good ratings!

And that's a good little peek at some of the happies that made me feel loved this birthday/ Christmas!! I was quite the happy camper for sure!! 

What about you? What did you get this year? 
Any gift that screamed "yeah, they get me!"?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

30 Life Lessons for my 30th Birthday

Happy first Tuesday of 2017!! I hope your year is off to a great start. I turned 30 at at the end of 2016 and this week I am sharing a little review of some of those celebrations. I figured I would kick it off with some of the things life has taught me the last 30 years. Life is an ongoing learning process and each day- each year- teaches us more of who we are and the kind of person we want to be.
Here are 30 things I have learned in 30 years of life....
1.) Age is just a number! That has never felt more real than it does now.
2.) Life will change you; let it! I never much liked change, but I have learned to embrace it, because it’s going to happen no matter what you try to do to prevent it. If someone had asked me when I turned 20 where I planned to be when I was 30, the answer would have been very different from where my life currently is. And I am more than ok with that!
3.) Throw the list away! All the checklists, the pictures you draw and plans you lay that you will just be devastated by if they don’t happen by such and such date, just chuck them. If you cling too tightly to them you don't allow yourself the space to just live.
4.) People are people; we all have hurts and hang-ups, so let’s all just cut each other some slack.
5.) People need people! As much as I enjoy time to myself- which I actually enjoy more and more the older I get- I have also become increasingly aware that we can’t make it through this life alone. We need people to lean on and we need to be a place that they can lean when needed.
6.) Life is hard; don't take it too seriously or it will seriously take you! 
7.) Just be kind! I think those three little words hold so much. 
8.) Relationships are work; but they are worth it. True friendships, spouses, parent/ child, siblings… they all require a sacrifice of self in some way, they mean being part of somebody else’s messy moments, but they also mean sharing your mess in return. Having someone to help you carry your heavy is so very, very worth it!
9.) Finding yourself will happen over and over again! The person I am today is so different than the person I was even 5 years ago. It don’t think it means I never knew who I was, I just think it means that throughout a lifetime we can be so many different things. The things I will experience between here and my 40s will probably mean the picture will be even more changed by then. I’m ready for it!
10.) Give yourself grace! You’re only human, you will make mistakes, forgive yourself!
11.) A smile has a way of catching! Share them freely!
12.) Find what you love and make time to do it as often as you can!!
13.) Some things won’t ever make sense, so don’t even try to understand them- it will just make you so much more confused!
14.) There will always be something that needs to be done, it’s ok to leave time to shut-off for a while and just rest!
15.) You don’t owe anyone anything- yes, we should be kind; yes, we should care for others. We should be giving and generous, but at the end of the day you are only in charge of yourself, don’t let other peoples choices define anything about who you are or take any ounce of happiness from you. 
16.) Hold the people you love close, you never know when it might be the last time you see them.
17.) Forgiveness can sometimes be hard to give, but it’s heavier to hold onto.
18.) A partner who gives you freedom to be yourself is greater than gold!
19.) Marriage is no different than life, it has it’s hard days and it’s easy ones; let the easy ones define who you are as a couple!
20.) Never stop dating! Plan things that you both love and make time to do them. And, every so often, do something that only the other person enjoys; their smile will make you love it too!
21.) Alone time is needed!! Take yourself on dates, just you. Remind yourself why you LOVE being you!
22.) Don’t apologize for being who you are! There are going to be people you just don’t mesh with and that’s ok, but don’t ever make excuses for who you are because someone doesn’t agree with your choices. Simply agree to disagree and move on.
23.) Don’t compare! With all the avenues of social media, this has never been more true. You never know the struggles someone is facing behind that glittering, perfectly-filtered door.
24.) Don’t judge someone on their down days; really just don’t judge period! Give people the freedom to just be.
25.) The real world is better! I can be the absolute worst with my phone, with scrolling Insta and FB, but making more of a point to put the phone down always reminds me that looking up is so much more bright and beautiful.
26.) There is so much of the world to explore! Try to enjoy as much of it as you can!
27.) Love is a verb! Love is not that pitter-patter feeling in your chest; that is the feeling you get when infatuation may have the chance of turning into Love. Love is the commitment to wake up each morning and walk alongside someone; it is remembering the things that will make the other person happy and then doing them. Love falls hard into bed at the end of a long day and still thinks to say, “I’m glad you’re the one by my side.”
28.) There is always hope!
29.) Look for the beauty around you- in the world, in people. It’s always there; in the helping hands, in the sunshine after the rain, sometimes even in the rain itself. The way we choose to see the world is what it will become for us.
30.) Always remember how truly beautiful you are! You were made specifically for this time right now, don’t forget that!

There is so much I could add to the list; 30 years is a lot of life and a whole lot of learning. But we will leave it there for now, who knows what the next decade will have in store... 

How about you? 
What has life taught you up to now?