Beautiful Places

As some of you noticed, I haven’t had a presence on here for a while.  It has been difficult working away from home and keeping up with my family life, let alone my blogging life.  But my work is over, the season has ended, which means I once again have time for blogging.

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I’ve written this post numerous times with numerous topics because I didn’t know what I wanted to share or where to begin. So, I thought the best thing to do was to share a few images I took while traveling for work. Traveling was the best part of job. If any of you have been on here long, you know how much I love exploring new places. The images above are a few places that I thought was absolutely stunning.  I’ve survived my  st season as a school portrait photographer, just in time for some holiday blogging fun.

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What Are Your 3 Must Have Traveling Essentials?

As your getting ready for a trip, you realize you that all your basic needs are met but it took more room than you thought.  You only have room for a few items, my question to you is:  What are 3 must have traveling essentials for your upcoming trip?  Why?  What do your choices say about you?

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For me my must have traveling essentials are the things I couldn’t live without.  After looking at my choices, I realized that all my items are what I use for when I’m creating, they are all part of my creative process.  Each one brings me inspiration, which is why I couldn’t travel without them.  I guess my creative side is more important to me than I thought.  My 3 choices are:

  • my camera 
  • my journal
  • my ipod

Now, it’s your turn, I can’t wait to see all the things you guys come up with.  Be as creative or practical as you would like.

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If You Could Travel Anywhere, Were Would You Go?

**this post is part of my Silver lining Sunday**
Imagine for a minute you could travel anywhere in the world, where do you see yourself going?  What are your reasons or motivation behind the places you have chosen.

For me Ireland, is hands down my number 1 place to visit.  I hope within the next 5 years, I am able to accomplish this goal.  If I work towards it, saving as much as I can, where I can, I know this will become a reality.  I can’t wait till I am able to photograph this beautiful country, I grew up loving.
Growing up, this was a place my dad always wanted to go and showed me the culture, food, history, music, dancing etc., getting me hooked on it.  My dad always shared that we have ancestors there and how we have a county named after them, the Joyce country, which if you didn’t know consists of regions in the Galway & Mayo counties.  And to make it even cooler, we have our own coat of arms & family crest.  Now, you can see why I’m in love with this mysterious & beautiful country.  What to know where else I would go, check out my top 10 places I will explore in the world:
**1. Ireland**

Breathtaking Ireland

via Real Wanderlust

2. Iceland

via Men Stylee

3. Wales & Scotland

via Pinterest

Here’s the remaining places on my list:

4. Austria, Denmark, & Holland

5. Spain & Greece

6. Australia & New Zealand

7. Romania

8. Bolivia

9. Argentina

10. Japan

Once I went to the above places, I would explore unique places that are less traveled.   If you could travel anywhere, where would you go & why?  Please take a moment to share with one another, places of interest or desire since there is so much in the world to discover.  Add a comment, link, or pic in the comment section below.  Let’s all travel the world through one another and see where it takes us.

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I was going to write about wasting less, but I figured that was a go to for simple living, so I decided to go a different route.  Instead, I’m talking about a piece of simple living that is just as important to me as decluttering & simplifying…….wanderlust.
We have all had that question asked, if you could pick 3-5 words to describe ourselves, what would they be?  Well, wanderlust, would be in the top two.  It’s ingrained within the fibers of my being.  This is something my father instilled in me at a very young age.

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My father always loved to travel and because both parents were in the military, I got to travel a lot, much more than other kids my age.  Sure, I missed out of growing up in the same town my whole life, making any deep connects with others since I always moved, or having a “normal” childhood.  But looking back, I realized I gain so much more, so much that I wouldn’t have experienced if it wasn’t for my father’s love of traveling.  Not only did I gain his love of travel, but the people I’ve met, experienced different cultures (we have so many unique cultures within the US, which is quite amazing), each adventure tells a story in which I can relive through my photography, & navigated my way around which gave me a real sense of life……..cultured me.  I’m am forever grateful to my father for this, because I wouldn’t be the same with my strong desire of travel.
Now, when some think of simple living, traveling is the last on their list, which is totally fine.  Simple living or living simply looks different to us all but for me it is something important not just for myself, but for my family as well.  I am all about giving my family experiences over material possessions.  One way I do this is through traveling.  Since, I’ve always traveled in some way, shape, or form, my children had gained my love of traveling.
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We all make sacrifices for things we feel are important and since traveling is in the top 3 for me, I find ways to travel with my large family.  Depending where we are in life as a family or financially, it looks different.  Sometimes it may look like us getting up one summer’s morning deciding on the spur of the moment to get in our car and see where the road takes us (honestly, this is my most favorite way to travel) or other times it is camping on the ocean in the cape or bringing the kids to Santa’s Village or bringing the children to a new park or playground we’ve never been to before.  No, we can’t jet set overseas yet, but that doesn’t mean our adventures are any less, an adventure is an adventure.  Whatever it looks like, it’s important to get out, explore our surroundings, because you never know when the next adventure awaits and what it has in store for you.  If traveling isn’t important to you, then that’s fine.  But whatever is important to you, continue to incorporate it into your life because you don’t want to have regrets down the road.
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Is traveling important to you and your family?  Why or why not?

Today marks the 23rd day of a month-long challenge that I’m taking part in called Blogging A to Z.  If you’re looking me up on the list, I am #1100.  My theme for this month is simple living.  Are you doing the challenge?  Leave me a comment so I can follow along.  Feel free to share with me any ideas, thoughts, or topics of interest you would like me to cover.  Join me each day for my Living Intentionally Simple A to Z.

4 Ways To Have A Frugal But Rewarding Adventure

This is the 1st of Tues Travels posts


Adventures, who doesn’t like them?  Traveling & exploring is a part of who I am.  I am in my element every time I go on a new trip, whether local or not.  Having an adventure can be as simple or complex as we make it.  For me, going on an adventure means going someplace that I don’t go to very often or exploring a local place but in a new way.  To complete my adventure I must always have 1 thing on hand, my camera.  I keep it simple, fun, & relaxing.  More so than not, it gives me time to reflect & do a little self searching, which is so very beneficial for me.

This year, I made a pact with myself, that once a week I would go on an adventure (big or small).  I would take time out for myself while all 5 kids are in school all day.  We all need this time and for once I am putting it aside and making it a priority to do so.

One thing people ask me all the time, is how I can afford to go on an adventure.  It makes me smile when I get asked because most people’s idea of an adventure is something you would see on tv.  They don’t understand  that these trips don’t have to cost an arm or leg, in fact it usually is only the cost of gas $ and an occasionally lunch.

We have it in our power to make a trip simple, cheap, & fun or a grand, expensive, & stressful time.  Below are 4 tips to help make your next adventure simple, frugal, & fun.

4 Ways To Have An Frugal But Rewarding Adventure

*Change your perspective

You can have adventure anywhere, you just need to open your eyes & change your perspective.  Instead of thinking about a fantasy getaway, realize you can have a great adventure in your hometown, in your back yard.  For me, living in a rural town, I can go on any local walking trail or the local Dam and have a new adventure each time.  I am lucky for this, but in the city you can do the same.  Just act like a tourist & try to look at things from a fresh set of eyes.  For example: tomorrow I will be going out on a trip to an hr or so away, depending how I feel tomorrow morning.  This could mean walking around the city of Lowell Mass or going to a rural Vermont town or going to a Maine seacoast town.  Any of these would satisfy my traveling bug & bring new something to table.  Make today your day 1 and open your eyes to the wonderful world around you.

*Interact with people you meet-

I am an introvert, which makes walking up to random people and striking conversations a hard task to do.  Instead, when I am walking around, taking pics or taking it all in, 9 times out of 10 someone will interact with me.  And then I do engage with them enough to get a story out of them or out of the place I am at.  And let me tell you, strangers have the most interesting stories to tell you.  And for me, if the story interests me, I will add it with the pic I took, as a keepsake of my adventure.  And what a unique keepsake it is.

*Make your hobby a part of your adventure-

If you don’t know me, I am sure by now, you realize that photography is my number 1 hobby, a hobby that I completely just love.  And I love how it goes hand in hand with traveling so perfectly.  If photography isn’t your thing, see if somehow your hobby will fit into traveling like if you paint, paint at each spot you travel too.  I am sure, if you really think about it, your hobby can somehow fit into your travels, your adventures.

*Have a low to no $ budget-

Make the point of your trip about experiencing the world around you, not spending your money.  If you want bring a little something for lunch but nothing more.  I try to pack my own snacks & lunches, that way the $ I bring with me is for gas.  But don’t get me wrong, occasionally, I do treat myself to lunch.  And if I come across something I really want or need, I will go home empty handed.  If it is really that important for me to have, then I will have to pay for gas to get out there again.  Usually, it isn’t worth another trip out.

I hope these tips are helpful in encouraging you to start having your own adventures.  What was an adventure you took that was not only frugal & fun but rewarding as well?  Any other tips you would add to my list above?  Love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂


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