Birthday

Another Birthday

Monday I turned 32, and as my sweet godson pointed out, “wow, that’s old!”

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I actually spent my birthday in NC with my family, mostly my grandma, who recently got some unfortunate health news. Despite that she is still living her life with vitality and joy as always and that was the greatest gift for me to witness for my 32nd rotation on this planet. While there My family put together an epic bbq with so many delicious dishes and enough food to feed an army. I was also there for my grandmother the morning of my birthday when she had to put down her 19 year old dog suddenly after a couple of weeks of rapid decline. And then there were many grocery runs, cooking of meals, watching of HGTV shows, laughing at random things, and discussions of life that took place. All in all wonderful.

being home made me realize what a treasure it is to invest in time with the people you love. I mean we all know that, but this time I really felt that. It became even clearer that all the hard work I do is not for money, but for freedom to be with the people I want, when I want. That is the greatest luxury.

5 Inspiring Travel Blogs

Last week I celebrated 1 year of blogging 🎉

When I started this blog I primarily wanted a place to share my ever increasing archive of photos and maybe share some of my motivations for traveling. But as I began writing over the past year I realized I have a lot more to say about the topic...

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Travel is very special to me. It’s not just the excitement of seeing a new place and getting out of the everyday routine, but it is a way for me to appreciate the world around me and learn more about myself. I frequently write about how I have become more aware of my values through going away, but through this blog I realized I can also keep developing those values by incorporating some of my travel habits and perspectives to my every day. A manifestation of that has been what I am calling my new hometown tourist mentality. I live in arguably the greatest city in the world (NYC) and although I have always appreciated that, this past year I have been far more proactive about seeing my surroundings. I feel like this is such a gift that my first year of blogging has given me.

Another gift I have discovered more recently is an entire community of like-minded travelers who inspire me. They offer such great advice and place-based inspiration. Plus when I am not traveling to a new land I can live vicariously through them! That's why in celebration of my blog I want to thank 5 bloggers (of the many) who I admire and, although they probably don't know it, truly motivate me to travel farther and deeper and continue growing here at See Soo Much. 

The Free Passport

Trisa Taro is the woman behind The Free Passport, originally from Hawaii but a NYC local her blog spans both the light and serious topics around travel. Visit The Free Passport for stunning photography and travel guides, or for thoughtful articles on issues that impact the way we travel. Some of my favorite posts include 3 Ways the U.S. Presidential Election Will Impact the Way You Travel,  Photo Diary: Hiking Cinque Terre, and Here's How You Can Turn 10 Days of PTO into 34 Days of Travel in 2016 (sounds interesting right!?)

website | instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

The Exploress

The Exploress and founder Nina Grace is all about empowering women to explore the globe while finding beauty in it all. The site just draws you into place you never knew should even be on your bucket list while simultaneously offering truly practical tips for travel. I really love their posts How to Travel Solo with Confidence, 10 Must Pack Tiny Essentials, and The Alaskan Frontier.

website | instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

Sea of Atlas

Sea of Atlas is actually a design studio created by the very talented and stylish Brittany Fabello. Her blog covers topics from lifestyle to business, but my absolutely favorite posts are their travel posts. I am smitten with the photography and absolutely love catching her in the travel act on instagram (can we stay insta-stories on fleek?). Be sure to check out A Weekend in Lisbon, Portugal and her entire Amalfi Coast series!

website | instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

The Travelling Light

I have followed The Travelling Light and author Katie McNoulty for quite a while and love the nonchalant and beautiful nature of her content. There is something so cool about everything she does, and now that I follow her insta-stories I am even more inspired! Explore her website by location, I am currently obsessing over her archive of Bali posts (when I am not stalking here current journey in India on social media!).

website | instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

We are travel girls

We Are Travel Girls (WATG) is a community of female travelers created by Becky van Dijk and Vanessa Rivers. The website is jammed packed with contributed travel tories and advice that serves as a non-stop source of inspiration. Be sure to read the post I contributed as well as follow WATG on instagram for some major wanderlust.

website | instagram | twitter | facebook | pinterest

Thank you to all of you incredible bloggers out there producing great content! I am so inspired by each one of you I encounter! 

Which travel blogs are really inspiring you right now or do you have a blog yourself? Leave them in the comments below, I would love to check them out!

A Perfect Birthday

I turned 29 on Friday, and instead of going to work and celebrating later that night and throughout the weekend I decided to have a me day. It is my last birthday as a twenty-something after all! 

Over the past several years I have been getting to know myself. I have learned that I don't need or want a lot to be happy. I have learned to value experiences over things. I have learned the only irreplaceable things in life are people and the relationships they bring. This year I didn't want any gifts, anything I want or need I can get for myself and I don't need a special day to do so. I wanted a day where I could just be myself with no obligations or expectations and just reflect on what I want this next year of my life to mean. And that is just what I had.

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My day started with a 7am wake-up call from my cousin that I grew up beside as if we were sisters. After a lot of laughs, some seriousness, and a little heckling the rest of the birthday wishes began to come in. By 10 I had finally eaten, showered, taken another birthday call and arranged to spend the morning by the pool with a friend, Rhoda.

By the time Rhoda arrived I had already settled in poolside with 10 minutes of guided meditation and jotting down some things that had been swirling in my mind about this day. We spent the late morning and early afternoon talking about our lives and what we want. We tend to have the types of honest conversations people are afraid to have out loud and I really love it. 

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After grabbing lunch (and a cocktail) we headed to Brooklyn for yoga, naturally. Attending this class in the middle of the day in such a beautiful space made me appreciate all the things this city has to offer, and consider how I overlook those things when I am focused on my routine. And although I only made it through half of the routine (I blame the gin and 90F/100% humidity!), I was proud of myself for trying something new but also caring for myself and knowing when to stop.

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I quickly returned home after class to scrub the sweat and city off of me before a very special and romantic dinner with my love when my shower was delayed by a call from my Grandmother. My Grandma has always been the strongest guiding force for me and often a confidante. I was mildly relieved when she told me 29 isn't "that old" (ha.ha... very funny Grams), but in all seriousness her call was the perfect last birthday call of the day. She always encourages me and this time around she reminded me the importance of looking outside of myself and giving where I can.  

I suppose all of this to say that this birthday was so special to me because it highlighted all of the things I plan to work on this year:

  1. Continue creating more experiences and developing beautiful friendships
  2. Take better care of myself, love myself, and be gentle with myself
  3. Give more of me. Expand my capacity by sharing my time and anything else I have to give

Do you make birthday resolutions or goals? If so I would love to hear some of yours! 

xo