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9 of the Best Road Trip Snacks with Land of Pleasant Eating

Companies I Love, Food & Drink, On The Road By October 16, 2017 Tags: , , No Comments

As I was preparing to head out on #ourendlessroadtrip, one of the items top of mind for me was obviously road trip snacks! I came across this topic when I was having coffee with Anastasia of Land of Pleasant Eating and I figured I would get her take. Anastasia is a restaurant owner in Baltimore, but she also has an awesome food Instagram and blog in her free time (for all small business owners, yes, I laughed when I typed “free time”). She’s a huge supporter of all small and local businesses, so I knew I would be getting some good recommendations, but I’ll let her speak to it:

anastasia-keramidas-land-of-pleasant-eating

I don’t know what it is about long car rides that make my snacking go from 0 to 100 REAL QUICK – but I’ve perfected my snacking ability due to biannual 24-hour road trips with my family from Baltimore to Key West. Here are my favorite, useful and wholesome road tripping snacks! Some require slight refrigeration to last a long time, but most will be okay in room temperature for a couple days.

Blueberry Quinoa Bars, captured by Anastasia Keramidas, Land of Pleasant Eating

1.

Blueberry Quinoa Bars – Why: Quinoa has many benefits, for example it has twice as much fiber as most other grains, contains lysine, and it is one of the most protein rich foods you can eat! Also, these bars are delicious, nutritious, GF, dairy free AND travel well in slight refrigeration for up to 7 days!

Cherry-Granola-Land-of-Pleasant-Eating

2.

Orange Spiced Granola – Why: Granola is a staple for long car rides, so just dive right into this wholesome, no refined sugar, crunchy goodness! No snacking guilt here.

3.

Trader Joe’s Popcorn – Why: IT IS SO DELICIOUS. Also, popcorn is such a lightweight snack, full of tasty flavors that will satisfy your bored eating.

4.

Gunpowder Bison Snack Sticks – Why: Contains lean proteins, energizing B vitamins, Zinc and Iron! Trust me, this isn’t your average gas station jerky, this stuff is smokey, textured, local and farm raised in Maryland!

Also, Becky’s new favorite is Ayoba-Yo, which can be purchased at Whole Foods or Diamondback Brewing in Baltimore.

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5.

Unsalted Almonds with Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. Why: Contain vitamin E, copper, magnesium, high-quality proteins and healthy unsaturated fatty acids! It’s a 2 ingredient trail mix because let’s be real, when you’re adventuring on the open road, there is no better time to embrace your childish roots! Fav Brands for almonds: Vitacost and Woodstock

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6.

Tangerines/Clementines. Why: Contains high amounts of calcium, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous! They smell great & give you some vitamins for those long days when you’re feeling groggy and fatigued.

Photo from @madeinnature

7.

Dried Fruits – Why: Dried figs are my favorite – they contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, Iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium! Fav Brands Include: Nature’s All Foods, Equal Exchange, Made in Nature, and Woodstock.

Justins-Land-of-Pleasant-Eating-Our-Endless-Adventure-Baltimore

8.

Nut Butter & Fruit Slices! Why: Who doesn’t love peanut butter or almond butter with apple slices? Fav Brands Include: Wild Friends, Trader Joe’s, and Justin’s.

Health-Ade-Land-of-Pleasant-Eating-Our-Endless-Adventure-Baltimore-31

9.

We can’t forget the beverages:

  • Chameleon Cold Brew EspressoWhy: for those long hauls without a local coffee shop around
  • KombuchaWhy: Detoxification, Digestion, Energy! Helps to keep your digestive system happy (sitting down isn’t the BEST position for your gut) AND it gives you a little pep in your step (or wheels). Fav brands: Health-Ade, Baltimore Wild, or any local Kombucha in the areas you’re driving through!

Do you have any favorites road trip snacks we are missing?

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11 Reasons to go on a Summer Road Trip NOW

On The Road, Travel By September 2, 2017 Tags: , , 1 Comment

If you looked at your calendar today, you might have realized it is officially September, say what? If not, you may have seen the hoards of people claiming it to be the last weekend of summer on social media, but I’m here to tell you that they are all liars and then give you 11 reasons why you should go on a summer road trip now!

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1.

Because the Autumn equinox is not until September 22nd, so that gives you 21 more days of summer. Yes, I love leaves, hoodies, and pumpkin spice lattes as much as the next basic chick, but summer is not over yet. I repeat, it is still summer.

2.

I get that for many, school is starting up for them and/or their kids, which leads them to think summer is over, but last I checked, I don’t have kids, I am not a teacher, and I haven’t been in school for over 9 years (yikes). So that puts me into this little opportunity bubble of September, kid-free, budget-friendly travel. It’s cheaper, it’s quieter, what more can I say?  

point-reyes-trees-california-road-trip

3.

Well, that being said, you’re running out of time. I know, it is an emotional roller coaster over here, but put on your seatbelt. If you’re like me, you’re wondering where on earth August went… and July… wait, what about June? Shit. The days are flying by and you still haven’t taken that summer adventure you were dreaming about posting on Instagram about. If you were waiting for the right time, guess what? It’s right NOW. Literally, put down your cellular device, go grab a bag and throw some clothes in it!

4.

So what are you waiting for? Many of us are fortunate enough to have a car. If not, maybe a friend with a car who can be coerced into a spontaneous adventure? A relative that can be easily guilt-tripped? A guy you met on Tinder who “loves to travel”? At the very least, maybe you can go rent one. I believe in you. 

carmel-by-the-sea-vintage-car-road-trip

5.

And just like that, you’ve happened upon reason #4, roadtrips = freedom. The freedom to stop and go as you please. If you see something cool? Check it out. If you need to pee, stop. Want to stretch your legs? You might get the point by now, but yes, no one is stopping you. You are on your own schedule, unlike traveling via plane or train where you are being told where to be and when to be somewhere. We know how I feel about being told what to do (hint hint: I hate it).

6.

Speaking of, those methods of transportation can get pretty pricey, especially last minute on a holiday weekend. Lucky for you, CNN reports that gas prices are at a 7 year low. Even with a small car gas tanks, you can put in 12 gallons of gas at a current average price of $2.52 per gallon according to AAA. I’m not great at math, but the Washington Post tells me that the average car gets 23.6 miles per gallon and my iPhone calculator tells me that should get you 283.2 miles for only $30.24. Someone check my math, but shit, if you have a Prius, imagine the possibilities! 

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7.

Driving is also one of my favorite ways to discover a new area. You can get a quick feel for a place without wandering too aimlessly in a bad direction, then you can get out and bike, run, or walk around your fav spots. Or you can be a creeper like me and drive through all the gorgeous neighborhoods, pretending in another life you live there, so much more fun than an overcrowded tourist attraction. Just me? Oh okay, this just got weird.

8.

You can also set your own soundtrack. Music = key. It sets the tone and mood of the trip immediately. So much better than that crying baby on the plane or the dude snoring next to you on the train. I use Spotify to discover new songs and create my own playlists. I even made an #ourendlessroadtrip playlist for you to check out. It includes some of my fav road trip songs, from very literal interpretations (yes, Life is Highway is on there) to anything that just feels right to drive to. Any good ones I am missing? Let me know! 

9.

Besides music, food is clutch. No road trip is complete without snacks. In the car, you don’t have to buy an overpriced dry deli sandwich from the food court inside security or abide by any 3 oz checked bag rule. You can bring your own food and drinks, you can indulge in your gas station guilty snack pleasures, or you can find your new favorite roadside diner. You could even tailor an entire road trip around places to eat. You do you! I’ll have some of Land of Pleasant Living’s favorite road trip snacks hitting the blog soon, stay tuned!

10.

Road trips are the perfect example of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s or whoever-that-person-on-Instagram-who-posts-quotes-too-much claimed said “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” If you disagree, please refer to reason #4, you can stop wherever you want! For instance, if you see a 49 foot Paul Bunyon, you can stop. I suggest you do.

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11.

Then, once you get to said destination, you can make what you want of it. You can tow a camper like us! You can camp out of your car for all I care. Rent a treehouse on Airbnb. Splurge on a baller ass hotel room. Or just turn around and go home to sleep in your own bed. Day trips are better than no trips.

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And just like that, I’m at 11 reasons. I could go on all day about why you should go on a summer road trip right now, but Google tells me that odd number lists perform better than even numbers, so I’mma stop right here. You’re welcome. Hope to see you (or at least your Instagram stories) on the road.

Drive on,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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Terra’s Kitchen on the Road & Giveaway

Companies I Love, Food & Drink, On The Road By August 14, 2017 Tags: , , , No Comments

Hello from Port Townsend, Washington! 3,777 miles, 12 states, 3 time zones and too many smores later, I was ready for some downtime in this adorable historic town. After a day of exploring the Victorian houses and maritime setting, I was pretty thrilled to see a Terra’s Kitchen vessel sitting on the doorstep of my Airbnb. Terra’s Kitchen is a healthy food delivery service with fresh, pre-chopped ingredients, based out of my hometown of Baltimore, but shipping to customers all over the US. Read on for your chance to win $75 in Terra’s Kitchen credit. 

Terra's Kitchen Baltimore Meal Delivery

Traveling is an amazing way to try new foods, but it can also be tough. I find that I am either absorbing myself into a new city, sometimes overindulging in restaurants or I am eating quick and easy meals on-the-go or at my campsite, which often is just hot dogs and baked beans. This can be delicious, but after 2 weeks, it can take a toll and at the very least, makes me crave some fresh veggies.

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Terra’s Kitchen is my fav new way to eat when I’m on the road. I was able to schedule a delivery to my Airbnb address, not having to worry about looking up recipes, finding a grocery store, or even chopping the ingredients. Not only that, the meals are all simple enough, that I could even cook it in my tiny Airbnb kitchen. All of this would have been taken away from my exploring and I still ended up with a delicious meal. Leaving me the time to simply enjoy the Buddha Bowl and share my memories on some postcards to home.

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Not only that, the Terra’s Kitchen’s folks filled up my vessel with a ton of easy grab-n-go items, like Revolution Food bento boxes, pre-made salads, fruit, cheese and crackers. We are all ready to hit the road down the coast now! I might even attempt to cook a Seared Tuna Poke Bowl in a Tipi on the coast of Oregon. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Terras-Kitchen-Meal-Delivery

Now for the fun giveaway part – the kind folks at Terra’s Kitchen and I want to share the food love with YOU. Enter below for your chance to win $75 in Terra’s Kitchen credit! You can also comment on my Facebook and Instagram posts for more chances to win. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, 8/18. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Made the odds be ever in your favor!

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Float Therapy Review | Are Sensory Deprivation Tanks For You?

City Adventures, Lifestyle, On The Road By May 31, 2017 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment
Float-Therapy-Pure-Sweat-Studio-Nashville-Isolation-Tank

Image From Pure Sweat + Float Studio Website

I first heard about “floating” from some co-workers a couple years ago. During our conversation, there were a couple of people who had done it before and spoke highly of it. On the other hand, there were quite a few people who had never done it and thought it sounded weird. That quickly intrigued me, but I didn’t get around to trying it until this past week. Read on to hear what floating is, why you should do it, and my experience! I’ll let you know if I plan on trying it again.

What is Float Therapy?

Float therapy is when a you occupy a tank or pod that is designed for short term sensory deprivation. The tank of water is heated to body-temperature and filled with thousands of pounds epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) in order to make you completely buoyant. It is often combined with a light-less and sound-free atmosphere for an ultimate sensory-free experience.

These tanks were originally created in the 1950s by neuropsychologists, gaining popularity in the 1970s, and with a more mainstream resurgence recently. Float tanks are also known as Isolation Tanks or Sensory Deprivation Tanks. Although, the not so friendly thoughts around the words “isolation” and “deprivation” have led to a rebranding as “floating” or REST, which stands for “restricted environment stimulation technique.”

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Why Should You Float?

Sounds pretty crazy, huh? Perhaps, but it definitely caught my attention. These tanks can create a powerful environment to force the brain to take a break from endless thoughts and technology. I have heard that it can be comparable to (if not better than) meditation, yoga, and even drugs.

Float therapy has been connected with a number of benefits for the brain and body. It has been said that the sensory deprivation can slow brain waves until they reach the theta state, which is similar to the state attained during meditation.

With my, what some may call, “monkey brain” jumping around from idea to idea, topped off with a layer of anxiety, and occasional bout of insomnia for good measure, I am always ready to try new ways to slow down and enjoy life. Not to mention, many have seen spikes in creativity after sessions, perhaps from giving your brain some much needed time to reboot and refresh. I have even heard of creativity being compared to a deer, if you become very still and quiet, it is more likely to show its face. You officially have my attention, float therapy.

Potential Benefits from Float Therapy

  • Induce deep relaxation and alleviate anxiety
  • Reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels
  • Relieve pain on the back, joints, and sore muscles, manage chronic pain
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase hair and skin health
  • Alleviate insomnia

My Float Tank Experience

As I mentioned, it took me two years from first learning about floating to actually pull the trigger. A few things that held me back: the idea of getting in a small tank filled with water for a long period of time, discovering that my slightly possible claustrophobia is actually real after paying a good chunk of change, and the lack of options in the Baltimore area. But I often hear that all the fun is outside our comfort zones, so hey, I went for it.

I had some extra time when I was in Nashville and had come across Pure Sweat + Float Studio in an article. They just opened a few months ago and the photos looked quite nice, a lovely mix of boho and spa. Not too fancy, but reputable, so I made an appointment online. For first time floaters, it is $75, so at least it was a little less for my first experience.

As I was approaching the new location in Belle Meade (the super swanky, old money side of town), I passed 2 wine bars, 2 juice bars, a yoga studio, and a few high-end boutiques. I was on my way to try something new and while I like all of those things, I was quickly feeling out of place. Spoiler alert: I’m not very swanky or luxury-seeking. Also, hello to the very anxiety I was there to reduce.

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My worries were quickly put to ease though when I walked into Pure Sweat + Float Studio. It is a very welcoming serene environment and I was greeted by some friendly faces. I was taken back to one of the float rooms and had the full process explained to me. I was to pop in some earplugs and rinse off in the private shower prior to getting into the pod, which was about 5 feet wide, 8 feet long, and a few feet deep.

The state-of-the-art Evolution Float Pods at Pure Sweat + Float Studio offered some customizable settings based on my personal preferences. I had the option of keeping the lid open, dimming the lights, and playing some music, or I could lower the lid for a more sensory-free experience. I went for the latter. I figured if I was going to do it, I was going to fully do it. The lid intentionally does not fully close or latch, plus it has a bit of height even when closed, which eased my potential claustrophobia.

I don’t know what I expected, but with the amount of epsom salt, you truly float right up to the surface. It was really cool gravity-free feeling. They had a little floating plastic ring I could put my head in to ensure my face stayed above the surface, which made my neck ache at first as I adjusted my posture forced by my buoyancy, but that passed. I had a dry towel on hand just in case any water got close to my eyes and I quickly took myself through some meditations to help jump into relaxation.

For my first time, I think I was a little distracted by the experience to get into a deep meditative state that I know I can reach, but I can see the potential there and would love to try again now that I know the drill. At some point, with the heat, it felt a bit stuffy, but I easily cracked the lid without taking away from my relaxation. Despite it being very exploratory, I still found myself forgetting about my worries and to-do’s. I tried my best to not let my brain go down the road of all the reasons why I should open a float studio in Baltimore. Before I knew it, the 60 minutes was up, the lights were automatically easing back on and a relaxing voice recording was telling me to exit and rinse off. I left feeling very refreshed and seriously ready to sleep (even though I had to head to the airport to fly home and was greeted with a 2 hour delay, hello reality).

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First Timer Suggestions

  • Show up early for the paperwork and a walk through, ask for a rundown if they don’t readily explain the process to you.
  • Be prepared to shower on location before (to remove the oils) and after (to rinse off the salt), typically places have shampoo, conditioner and towels, but bring a brush.
  • Don’t shave the day of, especially if you have sensitive skin. It will burn.
  • Wear loose clothing and sandals/flip flops to easily hop in and out comfortably.

Overall, I would suggest going into the session with a low expectations. Don’t seek a life-changing experience your first time because like meditation and yoga, it takes time and practice to reach that. However, do give yourself the opportunity to rest and recover and see what benefits it can bring you personally! While I am not going to add this into my weekly routine, I think I will try it every few months to help press the reset button. Now to convince Pure Sweat + Float studio to open a Baltimore location!

Please note: I am not a doctor of any sort (surprise, surprise). If you want more medically proven information, I would recommend doing what we all do: google it. Also, this is not a sponsored post. As always, thoughts and opinions are all my own.

 

Float On,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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A Look Back on 2016 in Photos

Art, At Home, Baltimore, City Adventures, Destinations, Engagements, Food & Drink, Lifestyle, On The Road, Outdoor Adventures, Photography, Travel, Weddings By January 23, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It may have taken me a little longer to put this post together for many reasons, but mainly because I got a little lost in reminiscing through it all. 2016 was a big year. It was filled with travels, decisions, friends, milestones, and lots of memories. I’ve heard that the only time to look back is to see how far you’ve come and before I fully kick it into 2017 (yes, I know it is already the 22nd of January), let’s take a look back on 2016 together.

austin1

The year kicked off with a trip to Austin, Texas – where I immediately felt at home with all of the delicious food and funky street art. Ironically, I took a picture of the weather sign while there was nearly 2 ft of snow falling at home in Maryland.

Niece

Despite the snowstorm threat, my brother and sister-in-law had their second child once it all calmed down. Needless to say, we all fell in love.

Nashville-5

I had the opportunity to join my husband in Nashville, which is basically his second home with work travels. I was cool with Nashville becoming my second home for a bit too.

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Especially with all of the cool murals and delicious food in East Nashville. My mouth is now watering for some Hot Chicken and biscuits.

Key-West

We headed to the southernmost city in the US to celebrate a good friend’s 30th birthday. Not much can compare to a friendship that has lasted for over 20 years. Something like that deserves a trip to Key West! Pineapple drinks for all. Even the roosters in the streets were ready to celebrate.

Puerto-Rico

We had the chance to go to Puerto Rico to visit our friend’s amazing home in Vieques with a quick stop in Old San Juan. I. Need. To. Go. Back. If you want in on the good times and laid back vibes, look up the Oreanda!

Light-City-Baltimore-2016-Maryland

2016 was the first year of Light City, a festival of light, music & innovation in Baltimore. From the light installations to the energy on the streets to the official Light City cocktail, it was a very special time for this city. I am honored to be involved with making 2017 bigger, bolder & brighter.

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Our endless adventure then took us to Denver, Colorado – the mile high city. The food, the music, the beer, everything, Denver rocks, especially the Red Rocks. (hey oh)

Chitown

A good friend recently moved to Chicago, Illinois and she gave us the best tour of all the best spots in just under 48 hours. Must return for more deep dish.

Savannah2

What better way to celebrate a friend getting married than to discover a new city together? Savannah was full of beautiful sights, ghosts, and coffee. Thanks for having us, Georgia!

Rehoboth

Then said friend had a perfectly intimate and loved filled wedding in Rehoboth Beach, which I had the honor of capturing. I can’t wait to capture more intimate weddings in 2017.

Loch-Fells

As the maid-of-honor AND engagement photographer, I was super excited when my good friend and her fiance had no issue taking an adventure into the woods of Loch Raven Reservoir and then to the piers of Fells Point. Can’t wait for June 2017!

torchystaco

When I visited Austin earlier in the year, I knew I had to come back. At the very least, for the tacos. Torchy’s Tacos does not mess around.

Austin

I also wanted some of my closest ladies to experience Austin with me. From kayaking to mural hunting to getting down on Rainey Street, a huge thanks to them and the city of Austin for making my 30th birthday one that I will not forget.

San-Diego

We couldn’t forget to celebrate Chris and his birthday. San Diego seemed like a good choice. While the sunshine, beers, and tacos were amazing, it was even more wonderful to catch up with high school and college friends. Thanks for living in paradise so we can visit often.

Baltimore

In between trips, there is always more to explore in Baltimore. 2016 was a big year for @thebmorecreatives. It feels like their event at the National Aquarium was ages ago. Chris and I also fully enjoyed heading back to our old ‘hood to enjoy the lights.

Madiera

As if 2016 didn’t have enough fun packed in, one of my dearest friends, who I have know since I was about… 6 months old, decided to get married on New Year’s Eve in Madeira, a tiny Portuguese island off the coast of Africa. We couldn’t say no.

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It was a truly a magical island and a magical night. I’d like to find other words to describe it, but magical is really nailing it.

Home

But at the end of every trip, there is nothing like snuggling up with my little family at our home in Baltimore. Not pictured: our spotted pup that I was cuddling.

Looking forward to 2017 and all that it will bring.

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Cheers to 30 Years and Birthday Goals

At Home, On The Road By November 14, 2016 Tags: , , 2 Comments

Yesterday, on the eve of the my 30th birthday, I sat in a yoga class 1,344 miles away from home, learning how to do handstands with some of my closest and dearest people. The night prior, while a bit tipsy from some local Texas beer, there were a few failed handstands, followed by many giggles. Then yesterday morning, with proper focus towards being light, many drills, and always a sense of humor, we were able to push ourselves up into the air with blind faith and calm minds. The title of the class, Bittersweet Yoga, couldn’t have been more accurate for life right now.

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Our yoga instructor, Jerry, was explaining the idea of the return of Saturn. How it can lead to big life changes right around 29.5 years, sometimes lasting up to 32 or 33 years. You may often feel like you are a basketball that is being dribbled, but you are quickly figuring out what you want and don’t want in your life, sometimes by the process of elimination. You may quit your job (check), you may take on a new adventure (check), there will be highs, and there will be lows (check), but you will go into your 30s being like “ohhhh yea,” which I couldn’t be more excited about.

As I reflect on the changes in my life over the past few months, sometimes I question myself, sometimes I wonder what the fuck I am doing, but often there are peaks of wild excitement about how I can spend my time and energy. I try to remember to harness those highs to help push me through, to rise up through the murkiness, a bit like a lotus flower, and to help create the life I want to live. With that, I want to continue to focus and use this as a time to set some goals as I enter my 30th year on this planet.

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First and foremost, I want to continue to push myself outside of my comfort zone, knowing that the experiences I gain will quickly outweigh the fear and anxiety often associated with doing new things. Perhaps over time, it will help contribute to less fear and anxiety overall, one can only hope. As I do this, I want to capture the beauty and experiences I discover around this city, country, and world and share them with you. While being alone is always great for this introvert, there is nothing like sharing experiences, whether it be with friends or complete strangers.

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Secondly, I want what I share to help inspire and encourage others to get out there themselves. I’d love to hear more about what would help inspire you – more photos, guides, or travel tips? You tell me in the comments!

Thirdly, I believe that travel often opens your eyes to new perspectives and what I love most about that, is the ability to bring those ideas with you, back home. Through all travels, there is nothing like coming home and for me, Baltimore is home. While I have had many random business ideas over the years, I am hoping to discover that next idea elsewhere and that it is just what Baltimore needs.

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And the last goal, one just for me, I want to be able to do a handstand. A real one, no wall behind me, not wild nor out of control, but a strong and focused escape into the sky, followed by a light return to the earth. In order to do this, I must remove any heaviness, at least as much as I can control, whether it be within me or the people or ideas that surround me. As Jerry at Wanderlust Yoga told us, life need not be heavy, but I also know that I can’t just literally jump right into this or I will hurt myself. It will take some work and some practice, as with most things in life. You may have noticed this is about more than just a handstand, but actually a reflection on how I want to live my life, but still, I want to do an actual handstand before I turn 31.

As I get distracted, as we all do, throughout this next year I am going to remind myself of these goals and bring myself back to them. Although, I must also remember to be open to any ideas or opportunities that arise, unplanned as they may be, they could be magical surprises. May the next few months be a time of magnificent transformation. If you would like to join along for the adventure, you can sign up for my email newsletters or follow on Instagram.

Also, a kind soul has nominated me for a couple Baltimore Sun Mobbies. I would absolutely love if you would take the time to vote for me for Best Use of Photo and Best Newcomer. Consider it your birthday present to me! You can vote once a day per category.

Namaste Y’all,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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