Category Archives: Diary of a Traveling Fashionista

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping
5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

Can you believe it’s already the new year, well almost. Talk about sneaking up on a person! As I have started to make new year’s eve plans, it occurs to me that there are several “resolutions” that I would like to stick with this year. I’m not really a big fan of making resolutions so in my mind these are just a few goals that I will try to be reaching.

1. Writing more

I’ve talked about this before, the fact that I’ve lost my writing mojo a bit. I’m trying desperately to get it back. My goal moving forward to write 3 times a week. Everyday would probably be pushing it so I want to start with 3 days. Writing for me isn’t the issue, it’s coming up with things to write about, that being said, I am going to start compiling lists that I will follow each week.

2. Less TV watching

This is seriously going to be a hard thing for me to let go of. I am such a tv junkie it’s not even funny. If I listed all of my shows right now, you’d probably tell me to seek help right away. I think my plan of attack is going to be, only watching current shows for the time being. I could spend hours on Netflix watching season after season of canceled shows. Hulu + is where I watch my current shows. I’m also going to limit the amount of tv watching to 1 hour during the week and it’s still up in the air on the weekends for me.

3.  New recipes

When I first moved into this apartment I was trying out new recipes to cook. Lately I seem to be stuck in a food rut. Making the same things week after week. A crock pot was just purchased so I’m hoping this helps and allows us to cook more. I say “us” but we all know it’s me.

4. Relaxing

No, I’m not talking about sitting on the couch. I need to mentally relax most of the time. I can be very high-strung most of the time and I know that I really need to work on that. My biggest problem is that I need to learn when to pick my battles. Having anxiety is the reason why I can be so high-strung but hopefully I can get things in check and learn to relax.

5. Weight loss 

I know, I know, typical new years resolution, but I have actually been working on this for a few months now but I really need to kick it into high gear. I’ve been using Herbalife and actually managed to drop 5lbs and a few inches, but with the holiday’s I’ve been slowly falling back off the wagon. I received a gym membership for Christmas so I’m hoping will help me lost weight and relax.

I think that for me these are pretty good goals to having going into the new year. I don’t think that any of these are unrealistic by any means. I’m always curious to know what others have in mind when it comes to making resolutions or goals for the new year. Let us know what some of yours are and perhaps we can compile a great list! Thanks for reading and happy new year!

Losing Mojo: Rants from a 30-something year old

Losing Mojo: Rants from a 30-something year old
Losing Mojo: Rants from a 30-something year old

A wise person once said, write what you know. That was a great idea 4 years ago but now most days I don’t even want to look at my blog never mind actually write for it. If it wasn’t for my agreement with Adbeans I would probably stop writing. This is how I feel most days. Most days I’m not even sure why I still have this blog. Lately I have zero motivation to actually write. Let’s face it, I never travel, I’m not made of money so spending money on make up and accessories is far and few between, so what is there to write about?

This is a rather depressing start to a new post huh? Well it was actually inspired by a recent conversation via Facebook. My friend Teresa shared a post that really spoke to me. She vented her frustrations about being a “blogger”. I was immediately like “I feel the same way.” Her frustrations included everything I spoke about in my first paragraph. The bottom line is we feel lost.

Lost

I feel lost in a world that I used to feel really good in. Maybe it’s because I actually work a full time non-blogging job unlike most of the people in this industry. Maybe its because I don’t have 10,000 twitter followers or have the SEO sense that a lot of others have. Whatever it is, it really sucks! Having zero motivation to work on your blog that you’ve had for almost 4 years is really a let down. I’m not sure when it started but slowly it’s been approaching. Every month when my Dreamhost bill is debited from my account, I think, why on earth am I still paying for something I never work on anymore.

Location

I missed last years Tbex because I was too poor to afford a flight to Toronto. I am patiently waiting for 2014 to approach so I can start saving my money. Maybe I’ll feel better reconnecting with old friends? I’m really not sure I cant wait until then to get my inspiration back. Another reason I feel disconnected is that I don’t live in a great city for blogging. I LOVE Providence but lets face it, I have to get my ass up to Boston for any meet-ups which I never can attend because they are mid-week. How are you supposed to connect when you can never join in group outings? I’ve considered starting something here in Providence but I literally know 1 other blogger here.

Making Money

When did it become all about the money? SEO this and monazite that, I mean come on, it used to be fun right? When I first started I had “new blogger” written all over my face. I think we often feel depleted when we don’t see signs of our numbers going up which really means you won’t be getting any advertisers and or press trips. PR companies don’t want to send you anywhere if you’ve got a low unique visitor count. So how do you get your numbers up? Good question because for a while there, I would write a lot, comment on other people’s blogs, but yet NOTHING. I’m pretty sure the only people who read this are my friends and family.

Social Media

How many Twitter and Facebook followers does it take to launch a website? Anyone? I tweet all the time and I certainly try my best when it comes to utilizing Facebook pages. Nothing I do on social media seems to be enough to get the word out. I’m stuck in a social media rut. How do I get out? Is it too much to ask to want people to read your blog, subscribe, and comment? Apparently so.

Should I Continue?

That’s a really good question. Apparently Teresa’s Facebook post was enough to spark something in me tonight. Will it continue? How do I get my writing mojo back? How do long term bloggers keep it going? I read plenty of non-travel blogs and I’m curious to know to secret behind sustaining a good blog. Does anyone else feel like this? I sure hope so, there can not be 2 people in this world that feel lost, confused, and a little lonely at times in a blogging world that should make you feel connected, engaged, and determined. Please help a lost blogger out.

 

 

If you’re a bird…I’m a bird…

If you’re a bird…I’m a bird…
If you’re a bird…I’m a bird…

Tonight’s post is slightly more personal than I tend to get on here. Note that I’m using “I” instead of “We”, yes that’s right this post is entirely about the woman behind Fashionista’s Travel. Why am I getting personal you ask? Well it all stems from what tomorrow is, that being my 1 year anniversary to my boyfriend. The date of when we actually met seems to be lost on both of us so we picked a date that seemed appropriate, October 31, Halloween, it is.

Let me back up for just a moment. Prior to being in a relationship with my current boyfriend I was in a long term relationship as some of you know. That relationship I thought was it for me. Little did I know what was really going on and he turned out to be a major asshole. With that being said, I was on the verge of turning 30 and really feeling like the race to find a new mate was on. I went through a series of horrific dates, I even blogged about those for awhile, and when I wasn’t looking I found my boyfriend.

Every great love starts with a great story…

It’s been quite the year together, I’ll say that for sure. About 6 months ago we moved in together. A little fast some might say but its one of those situations that just sorta happened and I’m really glad it did. I would be lying if I said our relationship is perfect because it is the farthest thing from that. Most days I feel our relationship was better before we moved in together, mostly because before you move in together everything seems rosy and those annoying habits don’t seem too bad. Living together was probably the best thing we could do to really test our relationship. We bicker non stop it seems like most days but at the end of the day I’ve never felt more real and honest with someone. I walked on eggshells with my last relationship and I swore I would never do that again. Fighting with someone doesn’t just make you speak your mind but it also helps to build a stronger relationship. Couples who don’t fight? I’m sorry but there is something very wrong there that you are both denying.

We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has only happened once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.

So that brings me to my boyfriend and why I decided to indulge you all in this post. He’s the most irritating, annoying, child-like person I have ever encountered. Why am I with him you ask? Because he is NOTHING like me. I’m a firm believer that we seek out qualities in the opposite sex that we don’t possess ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, my boyfriend is lovable (when he thinks I’m sleeping), thoughtful (but will deny it) tender and warm hearted (when he’s been drinking), most of all he makes me want to strive to be the best version of myself I can be. There is nothing perfect here, I repeat there is nothing perfect here but he is perfect for me.

They didn’t agree on much. In fact, they didn’t agree on anything. They fought all the time and challenged each other every day. But despite their differences, they had one important thing in common. They were crazy about each other.

He doesn’t care much about anniversaries or birthdays, or even holidays for that matter, but he does know how much they mean to me. Just yesterday he was trying to get away with buying my Christmas presents now! So how are we celebrating you ask? Thats simple, a nice dinner out. No presents except a card (I hope) and perhaps a movie at home after. I’m a pretty simple person when it comes to celebrating, I used to feel like go big or go home but I’ve realized over the years its who you are celebrating with that matters the most.

He’s probably going to kill me once he sees this post go live and I’m fully prepared for that (he’s a very private person).  However I am an over-sharer and I have been wanting a way to express how happy and how much I’ve grown in the past year (thank goodness I have a blog)! So in closing, thank you to my wonderful boyfriend for giving me a great year full of laughs, fights, and tons of memories to build on.

You are my best friend as well as my lover, and I do not know which side of you I enjoy the most. I treasure each side, just as I have treasured our life together.

 

Planning a trip to South Africa

Planning a trip to South Africa
Planning a trip to South Africa

So you want to go on a safari? Hey, so don’t we! As this year starts to come to a close (yes we realize it’s only October) it has us thinking what we are saving our money for next year. Going on safari is still at the near top of our bucket list so we decided to do a little digging to see what EXACTLY we should be saving up and potentially needing for this trip.

How much money will we need? 

Flights from this part of the world (east coast) to South Africa are not exactly cheap. You will be looking at roughly $2000 a person for a flight and a hotel. If you decide to go with a safari package you will most likely be able to combine to include that in your price.  We’ve been figuring around $5000 for the two of us.

What part of South Africa should we visit?

Cape Town is pretty popular and it is what we used as a destination in our South African savings fund. There are plenty of safaris that you can go on when in Cape Town. Not to mention trips to wine country, shark cage diving, bike tours, and mountain climbing. As we write this, Cape Town is definitely going to be our destination.

When should we go?

After doing a bit of research, it seems like the summer months are a great time to visit, especially Cape Town. Which is perfect considering someone here has the whole summer off!

What should we pack?

This we really need to pay close attention too. After a slight debacle on an Alaskan cruise (we had to buy water proof pants) this fashionista is going to be ready for South Africa! So what I hear and read from fellow travelers is to pack:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa – if required
  • One other picture identification (e.g. driver’s licence)
  • Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
  • Air tickets
  • Expense money
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy

Clothing wise:

  • cotton pants
  • shorts
  • long sleeved shirts/ blouses (for sun protection as well as warmth)
  • light sweater or sweatshirt
  • lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
  • Swimsuit
  • Sturdy walking or hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
  • hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your ears and neck)
  • gloves (if you really feel the cold)
  • down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
  • a sarong or kikoi type garment

So it looks like we’ve got the when to go, where to go, what we will need and how much it will cost. The next thing we will be doing is figuring out which safari is right for us and or day trips. There is so much that goes into planning any vacation but planning a safari seems to be even harder.

There is a lot to coordindate. Luckily for us we know plenty of travelers who have visited this region that we will be reaching out too in the coming months. Crossing this off our bucket list would be a dream come true! It’s time to start saving money pronto. We would love to hear your tips and stories from visits to South Africa in the comment section below. We can use all the help we can get!

City or Suburbs: Where would you live?

City or Suburbs: Where would you live?
City or Suburbs: Where would you live?

Moving crosses my mind at least once a week. Whether it’s due to my current job, location, or surrounding environment; the urge to move is there. The question now becomes, where would I move to?

I’ve been toying with the idea of making my way over the west coast (boyfriend in hand) perhaps in the next few years. Cities such as Seattle, Portland, and San Diego really spark my interest. When I think of major cities like those mentioned I have vivid images of people bustling to work, skyscrapers, and courier-services. The thought of being around so many people and buildings is almost enough to cause an anxiety attack but it is a tempting thought.

Currently I reside in the suburbs about 10minutes outside Providence. I love Providence so much but there are definitely things that we are missing. So while I am living in the suburbs I have made a pros and cons list that I thought I would share with you and in hopes you will share your pros and cons about where you live.

Suburbain Living

Pros:

Neighborhoods: This is one of the biggest things for me. I like having neighbors and more importantly a neighborhood that I feel safe in.

Driving: I love to drive and be in control (maybe I need to work on this).

Space: There is lots of space in the suburbs; not feeling like you are on top of your neighbors is a good thing.

Cons: 

Driving: While I love to drive and be in control it would be nice not to have a car payment and be able to take public transportation, it would certainly save $$.

Location: While my current suburb is only 10minutes outside the city, you do have to worry about commuting and parking once in the city

City Living

Pros: 

No Vehicle: Not paying for a car or gas is HIGHLY appealing.

Proximity: Living in a larger city means more options for daily needs so your proximity is ultimately closer.

Staying Active: If you don’t have a car then walking to and from places is a huge plus in my book.

Cons:

Space: Living in apartment style housing is not too appealing, I like my space.

Public Transportation: While I’m all for saving money, there is just something a little bit skeevy about taking public transportation, it also doesn’t help that I have OCD and I’m a germaphobe.

People: So while I am revealing my quirks to you all, I should tell you that people in general tend to annoy me, so I can’t really imagine having to see and deal with hundreds of people on a daily basis.

So as you can see my lists are pretty even. I think that I would enjoy both aspects of suburban and city living. When compiling a list such as this one it is interesting to see what you might be willing to put up with. I might be willing to put up with a lot of people if it meant I would be saving $$ in car payments and gas.

You never know where you’ll end up and it’s certainly fun to think about. Please share your experiences with moving to different places with us, we’d love to know your thoughts!