Casually in Cabo

Casually in Cabo

So, I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for two days. And it was…quite the [great] journey.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ilse found out that she would have days off that fell on my days off. Considering it was her birthday week, we decided to travel together to somewhere warm where we could have fun and relax at the same time. Enter: Cabo San Lucas!
IMG_5156Getting to Cabo was sort of a hot mess. Originally, I sent out on a 7:30 a.m. flight out of Dallas to connect in Houston on the way to Cabo, while Ilse would fly nonstop on American. As luck would have it, the first flight out of Dallas to Houston got canceled which rolled paying customers onto the next flight. I fly standby which, for those who don’t know, means I do not have a confirmed seat. I kept getting rolled over so I assumed I wasn’t going to make it out of Dallas and ended up canceling. I decided to Uber home from Southwest headquarters and made it out to the employee shuttle, but somehow ended up getting on the wrong shuttle.
ANE_0014Considering I had to be taken back to the airport anyway, the passengers on the shuttle convinced me to give my trip one more try and to ask a gate agent to help me out. Once I arrived back at the airport, a lovely lady named Summer helped me out by re-routing me to L.A. I made it onto the flight with a minute to spare and one seat left. Once I got to L.A., I had four hours until my completely open flight to Cabo where I spent most of my wait time chatting with a couple of people at one of the restaurant bars. As we prepared to board, two of the ladies I was chatting with asked me about my plans and offered to drive me to my hotel considering they were already getting a rental car for their week-long stay in Cabo as well. Yay! Or so I thought. Continue reading “Casually in Cabo”

The Travel Bug

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not, in any way, to boast about or show off my travel experiences over the past couple of years. I know that traveling is not feasible for everyone for various reasons, but I want to share how it can be possible even on a budget.

Is it just me or does it seem like in the last year or so, traveling has become sort of a trend? With all the different discount websites/apps and opportunities through college and internships, it makes sense. But why? Why, all of a sudden, is everyone rushing to travel the world? Well, for me, taking that plunge to travel to a different country was life-changing. I know, it’s cliché to say your study abroad experience was ‘the experience of your life,’ but it truly was for me. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you already know this.

Before I studied abroad, some of my friends claimed that, besides the financial component, they did not have the desire to travel, that they feared missing out on a semester on campus. At that point in my college career, which was midway through junior year, I definitely understood; classes were not beating me down, I made some amazing (and life-long) friends, and I finally had someone to drive me around and explore L.A. (thanks, Cynthia!). But I had been dreaming of studying abroad since I went on a spring break art trip to France and Spain in 2009 and my senior trip to Italy in 2012. By 2015, I felt it was my last chance to see what was out there without any obligations in life.

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Château de Versailles

I know some people have been bitten by this travel bug recently, especially with apps like Instagram where people can consistently show off their amazing travel shots. But some people, even with the financial means, see it as something that will be a luxury to them later in life after they have worked a few years. Here is my suggestion to all of you: if you can, TRAVEL NOW. I say ‘now’ because if it is something that has crossed your mind that you have consciously decided to put off for a few years, your experience will be totally different than what you are imagining at this stage in your life.

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Pont des Arts bridge

Like my friends, my family had to suffer through my endless talks about London and other countries I visited. My parents are completely content at this stage in life in not having seen the world, but even my brother never thought much about traveling since having his senior trip in 2010 to Costa Rica. He explored the idea of studying abroad in Japan during college, but ultimately didn’t. Like most people, it was mainly a financial thing, but after I persuaded [re: forced] him to go to London with me last summer before I started my internship abroad, he said it was the best trip of his life. Still, this trip would not have been as great as it was had we not planned as much as we could.

Here are five ways you can make traveling an option sooner than you think: Continue reading “The Travel Bug”

How to Press Reset

How to Press Reset

Kind of a long one, but there has been something on my mind lately.

Aside from my birthday celebration, I have been stuck in a rut of sorts. I thought once I got a job, the rut I was in before would subside (for obvious reasons). There were a brief couple of weeks where everything was exciting because, well, I was starting a new job and my work schedule was ever-changing. The gear-shifting within the team was different and kept me on my toes. Once I switched into my official schedule, however, that is when I noticed my everyday life started shifting tremendously as well.
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When I was still in training at work, I worked a typical eight-hour day/five-day work week with weekends off, starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m. The week of my birthday celebration, I switched into my new schedule which meant officially moving into a 10-hour day/four-day work week. My shift is now 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday through Monday. At first, I was very excited about the switch because how can you not love the idea of a three-day weekend? But I knew there would be some major disadvantages I would have to adjust to with having mid-week off. Initially, I thought my biggest hurdle would be that my social activities would be few and far between. What I didn’t expect, however, was how it would affect my daily life.
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For most people, getting off at 10:00 p.m. isn’t so bad. Technically, if I wanted to go out on weekends, I could just leave straight from work and still be able to sleep in the next morning. As an introvert and an early bird, getting off at 10:00 p.m., and not getting home until 10:30 p.m., means only one thing to me: time to go to bed. Naturally, my body wakes me up around 7:00 a.m., but I have been pushing myself to sleep until 8:00 a.m. to get the maximum amount of energy needed for my shifts. Yes, my job only requires me to sit and stare at a screen and/or take phone calls for 10 hours, but that is still 10 hours of mental and physical attention. When I get home, I am less likely to spend time on my bedtime routine and even more less likely to motivate myself to get up and work out in the mornings like I had gotten used to when I was not working.
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Almost immediately, I started to notice weight gain and breakouts on my face. Since I am sitting for so many hours, my usual [and unfortunate] snacking habit only amplifies because I have a scheduled, 30-minute lunch break everyday. I tried to combat and, frankly, justify this habit by working out on my off days, but eventually it just started to feel like I was staying at the same weight because I hadn’t changed anything about my routine at work. I also stopped focusing on my skincare rituals because I just wanted to get to bed as quick as possible. When you’re borderline falling asleep, who has the energy to stay up an extra 15 minutes just for a face mask?
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That feeling of laziness further translated into me really falling into the casual dress code at work and overall just looking and feeling like a slob. I did not like what I was seeing in the mirror and I was losing my self-confidence. I know it seems like these “daily life problems” are extremely vain, but personally I like the feeling of taking care of myself. At first, I too did register this as vanity and trying to ‘keep up appearances’, but then I realized, the things I used to do everyday when I was unemployed were things I enjoyed. I enjoyed working out four times a week. I enjoyed my morning and nightly skincare routines. I enjoyed being in my own skin! I have always believed in the saying, “When you look good, you feel good.” All of these little things that seem vain from an outside perspective truly affect my self-confidence and ultimately takes an effect in the way I operate.
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I decided to bite the bullet. I needed to press reset. This meant waking up a little earlier on a couple of work days to get a quick workout in. This meant staying up a little later to prep my skin to repair overnight. This meant choosing healthier snacks and eating full meals. Overall, it meant that in order for me to feel like me again, I had to make some small sacrifices that I knew would ultimately make me happier. Now, I am definitely fortunate that my only problems right now outside of student loans are trying to work on looking and feeling better about myself, but we all have our own personal struggles. Self-confidence has always been an issue for me and I know it will never really go away. The issue is, I am always looking from the outside in instead of the inside out and telling myself, “Things could be worse.”
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I realized, however, that I should not let others/other things dictate what should and should not be important in my life. What is important to me is working on that so that I can ultimately be a better person for myself, for my job, for the people in my life. So yes, liking what I see in the mirror reflects in other areas for me personally. Naturally, we sacrifice parts of ourselves for different things whether that be a job, a relationship, or a personal goal. The lesson here is that we have to always remind of ourselves of what brings happiness into our lives. It is about making sure that every now and then when we get lost in it all, we remind ourselves of those things that bring us a sense of confidence; things hat help us restart, refresh, and renew.

xx, AE
photo cred: Ilse Campos

A Time to Celebrate

A Time to Celebrate

Welcome back!

While I would have loved to make a post sooner than now, this weekend actually ended up working out to share some awesome stuff with y’all. I suggest reading to the end! Some of you may know this, but my birthday was this past Tuesday. 🙂 I didn’t actually do anything the day of, but I had a little celebration last Saturday in the city with my closest local friends.
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It was the quintessential G.N.O. spent dancing all night long and viewing a drag show at Station 4. Though there were a few faces missing, I could not have asked for a better night! Continue reading “A Time to Celebrate”

The Epiphany

The Epiphany

A few weeks ago, I had a breakdown. I passed my seven-month mark of unemployment and I could no longer focus on the idea that change was around the corner. While I am completely aware that millions of people are in my current situation, knowing this did not bring me a sense of peace or comfort. I felt that I had accomplished so much through my college career that I could not understand why, at the very least, I was not getting interviews. I started to rethink and regret everything.
I gave in to the belief that my major was useless. I started to overanalyze job descriptions, convincing myself I did not have a skill set beyond knowing “how to talk.” I especially beat myself up for participating in the internship program this summer in London at the expense of a potential full-time job opportunity with a company I love. But something changed–I had an epiphany. Continue reading “The Epiphany”

Local Finds

Local Finds

Yesterday, I went to the Dallas Farmer’s Market. I don’t think I have been to a market since I was in London, but I took my friend Naomi up on her offer to do something new in the city. While the farmer’s market takes place every weekend, this weekend was highlighting all things boho, thus giving us “The Boho Market.” There was really a little bit of everything from clothes and jewelry to apothecary items and organic foods. I did not end up buying anything, but it was a beautiful day to be outdoors and it was nice to be out and about soaking it all in!
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March Madness

March Madness

Disclaimer: As you may have guessed from the picture, this post is not about college basketball. Though there is some basketball in it.

If you read my last post, you will know that the last month or so has not been that eventful for me. However, I was able to do a couple of things this month that were pretty amazing.

At the beginning of the month, my brother and I went to a Dallas Mavericks game. They were playing against the Memphis Grizzlies,  a.k.a. our second home. We already had amazing seats, but with the help of an old friend, we had the chance to view the last quarter of the game in a suite! We felt very exclusive. We also explored the Old No. 7 Club after the game as neither my brother nor I knew that they even had bars in the American Airlines Center. Actually, maybe we did, but we just didn’t know the general public actually went to them. It was a really fun night!
IMG_4762FullSizeRender (2)DSC03776FullSizeRender (3)Last weekend, I planned to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in Dallas with my friend Ilse. Why it wasn’t yesterday instead of last weekend, I do not know. I am not Irish (as far as I know) and I never celebrate this holiday, but I figured why not? Anyway, I say “planned to attend” the parade because we never actually made it; we spent most of the parade time trying to round up other people so by the time the whole party arrived, the parade was nearly over. However, we still headed over to Greenville Avenue–where the parade was held–and caught up with the after party. It was incredibly crowded [as expected] with an unnecessary $10 entrance fee to simply walk on a street, but it was a lot of fun! Day drinking is always an interesting experience. I just hope next year I can actually catch the parade.
IMG_4770Finally, my friend Kalyn from school came to visit this past week from Oregon. She is from Dallas as well so we knew we had to meet up when she was in town. She and I decided to go to Topgolf as neither of us had been before. Aside from the fact that they charge you for a membership card that you then load money on for the games, I surprisingly enjoyed my time there! I won both games between the two of us, but that is not saying a lot. We agreed that we are definitely not golfers. I would say that it is more worth the price(s) to go with a group, but if you are going with one other person, paying for one hour ($20) is enough time. Like I said, we managed to play two games while also stopping to take pictures and record videos for Snapchat and Instagram. It was so nice to not only do something we both had never done before in our hometown, but to also catch up considering we haven’t seen each other since graduation last year. 🙂
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I may not be able to get out and about as much as I would like, but these have definitely been amazing highlights of the month. We still have a couple of weeks left though!

xx, AE