Just Walking Along...

I felt the need to change my look up! My online look, that is. The new name, "A Place In This World," describes what my current thought process is like. I listened to this song the other day and the lyrics describe how I'm feeling right now very accurately.

I don't know what I want, so don't ask me cause I'm still trying to figure it out.
Don't know what's down this road, I'm just walking trying to see through the rain coming down.
Even though I'm not the only one who feel the way I do. 

Got the radio on, my old blue jeans, and I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve.
Feeling lucky today, got the sunshine, could you tell me what more do I need?
And tomorrow's just a mystery, but that's okay.

I'm alone, on my own, and that's all I know. 
I'll be strong, I'll be wrong, oh but life goes one. 
Oh I"m just a girl, trying to find a place in this world.  

That's where I am right now. Just trying to figure it all out and where I fit in this world. That's what the 20's are for! Deciding what to study, who to have in your life, what to do for the world, where to go, and a zillion other things (or so it feels). I don't feel like life is grandiose, and I like it that way. Chilling in my jeans and listening to music. I guess it's in those simple moments we start to find out who we are. I can't just wait for some huge road map to fall down from Heaven for me. I can't over think things. Just keep on walking down the road I'm on and try to live as fearlessly as I can. It usually so happens in life that the map is perfectly clear looking back. But while you're walking along it seems as if your location in life is completely unknown! 

I have decided: I like the uncertainty. Even if I could, I wouldn't take a personalized map of life. I like trying my best to find my ever-changing place in this world. 

Just thinking bout stuff on a gorgeous lake in Switzerland


The Almost Summer Vacation

So my family was planning a trip to Lake Powell. Which is practically one of the greatest places on Earth. As long as you have a nice, comfortable houseboat. Camping = never. If I've said this before forgive me, but I loathe camping. Hate doesn't even cut it. I saw a great quote once, "camping is fun if you like to pretend you're homeless." I guess some people (with greater souls than mine) must feel more at one with nature when living in the great outdoors. Praise you. I'd much rather pay to sleep in a warm bed, eat nice food, and smell clean. I really hope my future husband does not enjoy this hobby because I would not make a fun camper buddy.

I digress. Back to Powell! Unfortunately we are no longer going to that little slice of heaven in Southern Utah! Darn those last minute complications. I spent a lot of time there as a little girl! My extended family's SLIGHT obsession about the red rock of Powell must run in our blood. My great grandparents would drive down before the dam was even built. They'd endure hours of driving on unpaved dirt, rocky roads just to camp (which apparently did NOT rub off on me) by the creek and Indian ruins. Well the years went by. Now it's 254 square miles of pure awesome. But almost every year in between my whole family has been avid enthusiasts of all things Powell. And for just about every summer for as long as I can remember my family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins have packed up and lived on the lake! 

I really love that place. Probably because it feels like home. The boating, learning to water ski, extreme tubing, lizard hunting, lake bathing (floating soap is crucial), tons of sun, life jacket rash, delicious food, marina ice cream, cliff jumping, the warm water, late night card games, family time, gorgeous view of the stars, sleeping on top of the houseboat, the still of the lake at night, hour long boat rides, tight french braids, and falling asleep to the rock of the houseboat have all made my Lake Powell experiences some of my favorite. 

Oh well... next summer. My cousins are still coming into town and so it will be a party still! We're exchanging the red of LP for the pine trees of the mountains. Cabin lovin' instead! Which is still serene. Close to Lake Yuba, which means boating and waverunning! Some casual hiking. A rope swing. Four wheeling. Good food. Fun people. And most importantly: work is off for the week!


Weekend Lovin'

Those two and a half days at the end of every week are really beautiful things. Here are a few reasons of why last weekend was totally great:

Sleeping In. Not having to set an alarm and knowing you can sleep for as long as you want is one of the best feelings in the world. Especially in college. The older I get the more I realize just how great sleep is.
    The weather. Last weekend's weather was gorgeous! Warm summer rain is always welcome! I love overcast days and great temperatures.
Sister. She came down and we laughed our guts out, watched hilarious movies, had deep talks about life, and had some overall great sis bonding time! It's weird how we're both growing up. We're facing big decisions and we're not just idly chatting about high school drama anymore. It's real life. Hopefully we always stay close! It's nice to know she always has my back. We're pretty loyal to each other. In our teen years, it was because we both had too much dirt on the other. It was more troublesome to turn the other in because of the information she could spill about you! At this point in our lives it's out of love.

Boyfriend. Of course, everything is much more enjoyable with him around! I love talking and hanging out with him. It's so nice to be with someone that just understands and will let me talk about all my dreams (and also frustrations!) and support me through it all. He's great.
Movie. The Amazing Spiderman was indeed amazing. SO intense though. Movies stress me out! For some reason I just feel like the story is real and I can't stand it when sad things happen. Like when Uncle Ben died....gosh so sad. But I thought the story was great. I have high hopes for him joining the Avengers! He and Emma Stone are great. Not to mention Andrew Garfield made a much better looking spidey than Toby. Ugh not a fan of the old ones at all.

Shopping. Kinsey is definitely one of my favorite people to shop with. Fast but efficient. Blunt but fashionable. Willing to splurge but also fairly frugal (emphasis on "fairly"). Why are two of my very favorite hobbies both very expensive? Shopping and travelling.... maybe if I start taking vacations to Beaver, UT instead of Europe that would fit my budget a little better. But they're just such great things!

Salt Lake City. City Creek (totally beautiful) + the Gateway + some good ole McD + temple square (for some reason, probably the lights, I only walk around temple square when it's freezing cold and miserable. It's very, very pleasant in the Summer!) + a lot of talking + eating frosties = an unforgettable night.

Life lessons. Learning a few more things about myself and what I want (and don't want) in my future. Figuring out what's really important to me and what I'm not willing to live without. Deciding who I really am and what I want out of life. These types of lessons aren't always great, but they're important.

I have successfully used great 10 times. I think you get my point. I am rather sick of that word now... but I just didn't feel like tapping into my mental Thesarus to come up with different adjectives. That's what college paper writing is for! Speaking of that, one of the worst things in the world is writing an essay and having the SAME one word in your head. Like "feel" or "strong" or "journey" or something and you feel like you're being extremely repetitive and unoriginal, but you just have to use the word. I hate that. So here's a post rebelling against that. 

ANYWAYS, the weekend was great. 


Adventure In The Great Wide Somewhere

I've been thinking a lot about the places I've been and the people I've met. There's something about all these travels that has changed me. I can't even fully describe it, but I'm definitely not the same person as I was before I headed out to see the world. Once of my favorite poems is by Alfred Tennyson. It's pretty long so I'll just share a few of my favorite lines:

I cannot rest from travel.
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known: cities of men
and manners, climates, councils, governments.
I am a part of all that I have met.

Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough 
Gleams that untraveled world, whose margin fades
For ever and ever when I move. 
And this grey spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
beyond the utmost bound of human thought. 
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite
 To sail beyond the sunset, and scenes
 Of all the western stars, until I die.
 Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
 to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

I love that idea that we become "a part of all we meet." I think that the point Tennyson is trying to make is that we NEED to get experience in order to grow. You can do that in lots of different ways: travelling, adventures, growing up, gaining an education, making friends, trying new things, falling in love, serving, moving, new jobs, developing talents, or really anything that takes you out of your comfort zone. Just always be pushing off to new things in order to explore life. All those things work together and become a part of us. The more variety we have in our experiences the more we learn. We have more things to add to who we are.I happen to have gotten very lucky and was able to really find a lot out about life and myself through travelling. 

I have a plaque in my room that would compliment this poem nicely. It says, 

"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."

That is so true. My adventures (thus far!) have really changed me. So I was going through some pictures and reminiscing on some good times I've had travelling that have made me into the person I am now. 

Hiking in the Swiss Alps!
Eating Gelato till I physically (and financially) couldn't! 

Standing where Paul stood during his famous
 preaching in Corinth! Surreal.
Riding donkeys into Santorini, Greece
 (and feeling like I was on Sisterhood of the travelling pants!)

Westminster Abbey, London....

My first Catholic Mass in the Notre Dame
Running into the middle of the Champs Elysees
 in Paris  just for a cool picture....was it worth risking my life?
 Yes definitely.

I'm usually not a "flower garden" girl but Monet's garden in
 France is gorgeous! Looks like it's out of a movie.

One of the prettiest things:
the Eifel tower sparking every hour on the hour! 

Just some old Roman citadel in Greece, cool right?!

Making great friends and mocking the cheesy gear we had to wear!
The gorgeous view of the Mediterranean from my
hotel balcony in Italy! Oh my how I  miss this...

Taking really stupid tourist pictures in Italy

Gondola rides in Venice ...

...and thinking Italy was just the neatest thing ever.
Audrey Hepburn photo shoot at the fountain of
 truth in Rome! Gotta re-create the Roman Holiday. 

On top of the mountain (correction, volcano) that destroyed
Pompeii back in the day! With beautiful Naples in the background.

Sprinting up the Spanish Steps in Rome

The incredible Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey...
I LOVE the Middle East.

Drinking apple cider in Istanbul sitting on legit Turkish rugs
chatting about Islam and Mormons with some friendly English
 speaking Arabs... makes for some highly interesting discussion

Watching the moon shine on the other side of the world :)
Well, from the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence, Italy if we're being exact!

Well now I'm in the mood to go on another adventure...blast my college budget. I guess I'll just go start a vacation board on pinterest or something! 


Don't Give Up

My thoughts exactly. Never give up on things that you feel strongly about. There is usually always a stumbling block or two on the road to getting the things you want more than anything. I guess they are what filters out dreams from what we just think we want, and what we're actually willing to work and fight for. But there's something I've been thinking about lately....It's not just about "getting through." Where's the excitement in that? Life is meant to be lived with passion. To me, that means not doing things half way. It's about doing things with quality. It's about not giving up, on the dreams you desperately want, the people you love, and the things you know are right.

If you think about it, we do pretty much the same things everyday for our whole lives.Getting up. Working out every morning (ha, heavy sarcasm). Going to work. Going to school. Seeing the people you see everyday. Eating. Going to sleep....and the thing is, those are all GREAT things. But they can seem so dull when we look at them in a humdrum light. Sometimes I find myself completely forgetting to infuse them with passion. The passion of my dreams, ambitions, and love. I think one of the secrets to life is finding those things and people that ignite that drive to really live. Once you come across those people and things, life just isn't the same. They bring new energy and focus to your life. Ordinary things become exciting.

Anyways, tonight I'm having a much need girl's night! With myself. You know, sometimes you just need some personal time. I've got my T-Swift on, finger nail polish out, journal ready to write in, new clothes to be organized, pinterest calling my name, buttery popcorn, and possibly a chick flick. I'm stoked!