Beating the Post-Travel Slump

We’ve all been there, you’ve spent the last few weeks sprinting to catch planes, experiencing unknown food, basking in sunshine in a foreign land, and now it’s time to go home.


At first you might be excited to get back home, you have the chance to sleep in your own bed and wear something that doesn’t smell like suitcase. After a few days the feeling of relief wears off and if you’re anything like me you’ll find yourself ready for the next adventure.

So here are some tips on how to fight your travel slump.

  1. Plan small adventures.

Day trips can be your best friend when fighting travel slump. They fill your need for adventure while not breaking the bank. Make a list of all the cool locations within a three hour driving radius and get to planing some adventures.

You can look up information on the website for whatever town you choose. There are awesome inexpensive or free events in every community.

2. Plan a Stay-Cation

When you’re feeling bored from lack of travel and you’re longing for an adventure, make your own. Check and see if your town is going to have any festivals or events coming up. Go visit your favorite hiking trail or lake. There are always things to do if you’re willing to go look for them.

3. Look through your pictures.

Selfies on a cliff side in Ireland.

Look through the pictures that you didn’t post on social media. Have fun going through the memories of your trip and laughing at your                             own inside jokes.

4. Have a reunion!

If you went with a group of people have a little get together about a month after you get back. This gives you enough time to decompress                           from the trip and look forward to meeting up  with your pals again.

4. Never stop planning your next big thing

Give yourself a little downtime after your trip to start planning your next one. This will give you enough time to clear your head and pick the                     next place on the bucket list. I find nothing soothes my wanderlust than the idea of a new adventure.


Happy Travels,


Do me a solid and pin this for me!

On Immigration


A few days ago, I posted a Facebook status asking people to like and comment if they were a descendant of an immigrant.

As one might imagine there was a large number of responses and reactions. People were proud to share their unique heritage with me. Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Indian, German, and many other nationalities were represented on my small thread.

Though people did know some of their heritage there was also a great deal of uncertainty in where they came from. Many did not have a complete background of their family’s histories. That seems common, especially when one goes back more than a few generations. Stories of those great adventures get lost in the woodwork of everyday life. It can be hard to have a history when one is so focused on making a name for themselves in the present. It is easy to forget heritage. It is easy to forget what your ancestors went through when they got off a boat in a brand new land.

With all this talk about border walls, Muslim registries, and “extreme vetting”, I thought it would be good to remind people of their own heritage.


It was not too long ago that your family crossed oceans.

It was not too long ago that your family fled.

It was not too long ago that your family scraped enough together to start over.

It was not too long ago that your family came in search of opprotunity.

Your family was in search of  the same things that immigrants now are craving.


How dare you build walls?

We should not propell bigotry and hate.


Your friendly neighborhood Italian/Irish Girl

Five Reasons Ireland Should Be On Your Bucket List


Last year I was given an amazing opportunity to take a kick-ass trip all around Ireland. This was cool for me as I am, as you might have guessed from looking at the bio pic, from heavy Irish descent. Ireland blew me away with its rich history and stunning views. I’d like to share some of that with you today and give you the top 5 reasons why you should put Ireland on your list!


  1. The People.

As socially awkward and paranoid as I am, I never met a stranger in Ireland. Every place we went everyone treated us like family. The leader of a sheep dog demonstration even let my friend Kara give it a whirl.

If you love a friendly and unique experience then Ireland is the place for you.

  1. The Food

Most of the time when you’re heading to Ireland no one talks about the food. Irish breakfast and potato soup are not the only Irish delicacies. If you like a hearty meal Ireland is the place to visit.


  1. The Stunning Views

Ireland is gorgeous. Seriously gorgeous. The craggy rocks, monstrous mountain side, and swift moving sea are sublime. The photos never do it justice, it’s something you have to see with your own eyes.

  1. The History

If you’re really into Medieval History like I am (yeah I know, I’m a nerd.) then Ireland is really awesome, if you’re really into Modern History, then Ireland is still really awesome. While I was there my group and I learned a lot about the 1916 rebellion. We visited places such as Countess Markievicz’s home, Michael Collin’s grave, and the General Post Office. Given that it is Ireland we also stopped at a few castles along the way.

  1. The Atmosphere

I’m not big on a bar scene. Anyone that knows me can tell you that; however, the liveliness of a pub is much different. There is always live music, good food, and dancing. There is always an air of festivity around that just lifts one’s spirits.








Happy Travels,


Road Trip Music: The Hamilton Mixtape.

If you are anything like me you are a little obsessed with Hamilton: An American Musical. And, if you are anything like me there is no way in hell that you can afford tickets. (It’s like $2,000. I could fly to England, see 5 shows, and fly back for less than that.) For a long while to quench my love of Hamilton I would listen to the orignal broadway cast’s recording of it during my long haul road trips. That was until The Hamilton Mixtape came out.


Like all of my Hamilton loving friends, I lost my shit when I heard there was more music on it’s way. There are countless stars on the tracks like, Usher, Watsky, Sia, Nas, Kelly Clarkson, and a multitude of others.
The mixtape uses the familiar songs to showcase the big name performers. Songs like Satisfied, Wait For It, and You’ll Be Back are performed by the most famous people featured on the album. Oddly enough, these are the songs that are the most disappointing on the album. They are remixed versions of the near perfect versions of the musical tracks in order to bring in listeners.

The mixtape uses new orignal songs to showcase different talents. The song Immigrants for example, is both a reference to Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de La Fayette being immigrants that fought in the American Revolution, as well as the current situation in the U.S.A. regarding immigration policies. The new songs have a different flavor to them that makes the mixtape feel like more of a concept album than a spin off of the Hamilton musical.


Final thoughts: I like it. It’s definitely worth a listen.


Happy travels,



New Year, New Me. Yeah… Right

As the New Year approaches I’m sure you’ll be seeing a few of these posts on your social media.


If you’re anything like me you’ll roll your eyes and scoff at the “New Year, New Me” people thinking that they will last a grand total of two weeks in their New Years resolutions and be back to the same person they were before. As pessimistic as this may seem the root of it usually comes from our own recogniton of our own New Years failures.


How many of us have resolved to lose weight, eat better, stop being so anxious, or any number or resolutions without any real change to our habits?



That’s what I thought.


The key to a successful resolution is a realistic resolution. Do not set generalized goals for the next year without any concrete plans on how to acheive them. Set mini goals throughout the year and set your sights on acheiving those. It can be harder to see a big picture while you’re in the middle of the painting. Life happens and sometimes you may fall short. Don’t be discouraged by minor failures and setbacks, they do not define your overall success.


With all this talk of resolutions you’re probably wondering what mine will be next year. Well frankly so am I. I guess we’ll both have to wait and see.

Best of luck,


Do me a solid? Pin this!! :)
Do me a solid? Pin this!! 🙂

The Payment Method for Travel

I am often asked how I afford to travel as much as I do. I usually stutter out a response of how I just have some good luck with no real useful advice to a fellow traveler. Recently I was asked again how I could afford an upcoming adventure and my response was “I’ll get back to you on that”, well this is me getting back. 

I sat down with my pen and paper and figured out exactly how I do it.

I make payments.

For clarification, my first two abroad trips were with my college (Shout out UVa-Wise). The way these trips were structured in terms of payment was that the students and other attendants would have to make payments every few months to cover the cost of the trip. The first trip I often forgot about the upcoming payment schedule until it was a week before and I would find myself a couple hundred short of a payment. Thanks to my savings account that I automatically have funds deposited into each month I was able to cover the difference, much to my dismay.

I would love to say that this was a side job but I actually volunteered to do this for my real job. haha

So, the next trip I took I decided to plan trip payments just like any other bill I had to pay each month. I worked a set amount from each paycheck that I would immediately write a check for and pay the Cashiers Office. The payments were not incredibly huge, usually about $50 a month. I would also pick up side jobs here and there and put that directly towards the trip as well.

Any babysitting, stagehand, proofreading, seasonal, or any other job outside of what I considered to be my main job (I was a student at the time so my main job was still a part time position) went straight to funding a trip.

Now that I have graduated I still use this method, it’s just a little altered now. I still make payments each month they are now just to one of my personal accounts. I set up an account with a different bank and have money directly depositited into each month. I now do it based on a percentage of my income rather than a set rate. If I work more hours then I will have a larger payment. This works better for me but it may be better for you to have a set amount each month. I still work a lot of side jobs too and deposit that money into my travel account.

Traveling is a priority within my budget. It is one of the first “bills” to get paid. There have been months where I have had to skimp on other aspects of my life in order to make my travel dreams happen. By using this method you ensure that your travel fund grows by leaps and bounds and that you will be able to take the trip of your dreams.




What are some of your tips on paying for travel?

Happy Travels,


Bah! Humbug!

I love Christmas. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you about my countless hours watching Christmas movies in my PJ’s, wrapping presents, drinking hot cocoa, and eating candy canes up until the glorious morning of December 25th. This year though… this year is different. As my usually favorite date draws nearer I am overcome with anxiety. I look under the tree and see an inability to provide satisfactory gifts for the people I love. They want more than I can give but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.

Christmas is expensive. I see people buying popular toys and reselling them for three times their worth in an effort to play off of the emotions of parents who do not want to disappoint their child on Christmas morning.


I see comercials constantly trying to demonstrate that how much you love someone is defined by how much you are willing to spend on them.

I see people skipping car payments in an effort to put more under the tree this year.

humbugCall me Scrooge, but I’m done being stressed by the holiday season.

A time of merriment and joy has been transformed into a time that is defined by a checkbook, and I say no more.




As the author of my favorite Christmas tale once wrote,

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” -Dickens

Let’s rethink our ties with Christmas. Let’s focus on the spirit of generosity and good will instead of toys and material goods.

Happy Holidays,

-Ebeneezer (Carlie)



The Best Budget Gifts for Travelers.

We all have that one friend that is always talking about their next great adventure. These people can be a little hard to shop for. With their love of adventure what could they possibly want? Well I’m here to help, here are some affordable gifts any traveler would love to have.

A battery pack screenshot_2016-11-27-06-21-03
Make sure your loved one will never be without juice ever again.

Power adapterscreenshot_2016-11-27-06-23-20

Make sure they can charge or plug in anything they brought.




screenshot_2016-11-27-06-23-51Toiletry Kits

You were probably already thinking about buying them body wash. Just buy travel sizes so they will be sure to use them on their next trip.

TSA Approved Luggage Locksscreenshot_2016-11-27-06-22-08

Safety first.




screenshot_2016-11-27-06-22-20Packing Cubes

A godsend for any traveler.



Microfiber Towel


Good for camping, or just in a pinch.





First Aid Kit


Just in case.



A Map/travel guidescreenshot_2016-11-27-06-26-13

If you know their next location get them a paper map or travel guide of that place. Sometimes cellphones don’t work and it’s better to have a map you can look at.




screenshot_2016-11-27-06-24-17Luggage Scale

Avoid those pesky overage fees.


Passport Wallet screenshot_2016-11-27-06-24-45

Keep things a little better organized.





Bonus: Stain Stick

Just trust me on this one. One word: Mustard


Artist Spotlight: Colleen Vaughan

Here to celebrate Inktober is the final edition of October’s Artist Spotlight segments with an artist who has posted a different piece of art daily on their social media in celebration.

This weeks artist is the very talented Colleen Vaughan whose artwork takes various formations from page to screen.

She continues to create characters and scenes in her own unique styling, but also focuses on a group of characters whom she draws in different social situations and varying expressions.

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Colleen says that she can’t reveal too much information about her specific characters because an unnamed comic featuring them is in the works!

Please checkout Colleen’s social media pages on DeviantArt and    Instagram (@coyoteimagination) to see more of her beautiful artwork and characters!

Until next time,


Wanderlust Wednesday: Staunton Va

Hey guys what’s up?bloody-bloody-andrew-jackson

For this weeks Wanderlust Wednesday I’m going to talk about one of my favorite places in my home state, Staunton!

My friend William and I were jonesing to see the American Shakespeare Center’s performance of that wonderful Shakespearean classic, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (ba da tis). So we decided to take a little day trip to explore one of my favorite towns. Here is what we did.

1: The American Shakespeare Center!! american-shakespeare-center

The American Shakespeare Center is one of my favorite places ever. The shows are always awesome, the atmosphere is great, and you can buy beer. What’s not to love?

This is the only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars, in the world. They do all their shows with traditional staging conditions, which leads them to say, “We do it with the lights on.”

pipe-organ2. We went to Mass at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

We wanted to scope around and look at all the historic churches in the area, however graveyardwe lucked into a Saturday mass that welcomed us.  The church boasts a long history in the community as well as some stunningly beautiful stain glass windows.

3. We hung out in a graveyard.  Trust me it wasn’t as creepy as it seems. As major history buffs we decided to check the dates on the headstones. We also took in the magnificent Hogwarts-esq Episcopalian church.

All and all it was a lovely day trip! If you ever get a chance, make your way to historic Staunton and catch a show at the ASC.

Happy travels,



See things from my angle.