BE PROUD!

Okay… so this next post is probably not going to be related to travel at all. So, I apologize if that’s what you were looking for, but this is something that’s been going through my mind this whole week and I had to put into words.
I’ll give you a little background story of what I am going to write about, and why. In the last year and a half fitness has been a big part of my life. Not because of the fitness phase that seems to be taking over social media, or to be part of a “fit fam”, or whatever other reason it may be. It’s because I was overweight, unhappy, and alone in a city. I decided to try and find a hobby to get out of my rut. I tried a few different things, nothing I really liked, and then I tried youtube yoga videos (Yoga with Adriene, to be specific). Slowly, I started to do yoga everyday, which influenced me to change my eating habits, to becoming a full out fitness lover. I lost 60 pounds within 9 months, and then gained some back as muscle. While traveling, I am not so strict on myself when it comes to my diet and hitting up the gym, as I enjoy eating local food. But I am conscious, and I add small exercises when I can, plus I do a lot of walking while I travel. But back to what I am writing about…
As I am house sitting for a friend, I have this large full body mirror in my room. I haven’t had one of these in a while. So, when I looked at it and I was pleasantly surprised that all my hard work at the gym is showing, I was proud. I felt so proud I even snapped a picture to show my best friend and to keep as reminder, that a year and a half ago I couldn’t see any muscles, just fat rolls forming when I wasn’t even bending over, and now I see muscle growing. I was so proud, and then I wasn’t. Because I was embarrassed that maybe I was more proud than I deserve to be, that there are people much more fit than me, or will I sound conceited? Now please tell me, WHY THE HELL DOES THIS HAPPEN? Well, I think I have figured it out. We live in a world where we are supposed to be confident and proud of ourselves, but as soon as we truly are, people will think you are “cocky” or over confident. When people post pictures of their workouts at the gym, some will congratulate you, while others will whisper about “not needing to post pictures every time your at the gym”. Why can’t we all just build each other up, instead of tearing people down? Why can’t people be publicly proud of themselves without worrying about sounding arrogant?
So, what I have decided is f*#k it.  Are you happy? Are you healthy? Because that is the shit that really matters. So.. Be proud of yourself. Be confident every step of the way. Do what makes your heart happy and allows you to walk with your head held high. And mostly, let people know that you are impressed with them, that you are proud and they deserve to be proud too.

 

SUP adventures.

Am I the only one when I travel always find myself headed towards whatever river, lake, sea, or ocean is around me? I love water. I don’t even have to be in it, just the sound of the water makes me feel completely blissful.
This is what brought my attention and love to Stand Up Paddleboards, SUP for short. If you’ve already tried it, great you’ll know what I am talking about. If not, imagine this… You crawl onto your board, at first on your knees, and then you get brave and stand up. You are on a beautiful body of water, taking  a paddle and using your own strength and balance to take you wherever you want to go. Eventually, you are surrounded by nothing but water, and the scenery that surrounds it. If you fall, it is okay because the water around you is ready to catch you. But, when you are on the board all of a sudden all your thoughts become clear, and your head can’t stop thinking about anything about how lucky you to be where you are, and maybe that your becoming a little sore from the exercise. Then when you are ready, you return back to reality, back to shore. This would be the same feeling when you are in a kayak, a canoe, or anything of the type. I just fell in love with SUP’s, for the feeling of freedom, strength and control I feel while I am on it, plus, it’s the perfect place to do yoga.
I recently made the big purchase of getting my own SUP, instead of renting. I got an imagine icon board. I have only started riding on it, and so far I only have great things to say about it. I am able to take it with me wherever I go, so expect pictures and videos of the paddleboard on all the beautiful lakes, seas, and oceans I find!
What is your favorite thing to do on the water? What’s your thoughts on SUP? If you’ve gone often, where has been the best place you have gone on a SUP?

My Travelling Alter Ego

Maybe I am alone in this, but maybe their is a whole load of us that as soon as we hop onto a plane to another country surrounded by only strangers we meet our alter ego. This alter ego isn’t necessarily bad, or the opposite of who you truly are, but its a slightly different version of who you are at home.

At home, I am more responsible, I have a daily planner, I don’t necessarily trust strangers, and I sure wouldn’t ask a person I just met to have lunch together without getting to know them more. While abroad, I am quite the opposite. I trust my instincts and become carefree, strangers are the people who become my friends in the city I am in, and I am completely comfortable asking people for lunch, or going by myself. Why is this? Is it the fact no one is there to judge what I am doing, and tell my friends and family back home? Is it that everyone else is doing it around me too? Or is it my travelling alter ego that just makes me more confident in who I am as an individual?

I believe that in each country you are in, you should do as they do. Take on the culture, fully embrace the life and beauty of it surrounding you. When I am home, I am not a smoker, I am actually the person who complains when it smells like cigarette smoke. In Spain, I sat at a table with my beer in a square with friends, rolled up a cigarette, and smoked it until it was done. My friends from home almost spit out their drink when I told them I smoked, they couldn’t believe it. But for me, at the time in Spain, it felt right. I felt that I fit right in to their easy going lifestyle. In Costa Rica, I listened to reggaeton music and danced all night to it, although classic rock is what I prefer at home, and you’d normally catch me leaving the place I was at if it wasn’t playing something more to my taste. But there, it made me feel alive, and that I was living the tica life. In Galway, I watched everyone kissing each other in the bars, and on the streets. At first it was strange, and then I gave it a try, and there became a whole new charm to Ireland and the gentleman in it. It was innocent, it was fun, but it was an experience, and now that night is one of my favorite stories of Ireland. The list goes on and on, and it will continue to grow.

My travelling alter ego is adventurous, she isn’t afraid of judgement, she is independent and she is outgoing. She is someone that I could learn from. Maybe this is why I love travelling so much, because my average life, becomes much more than that. Regardless of the reason, I can’t wait until she comes out again.

(Spoiler alert: Booking the next big trip soon here, you’ll find out all about it soon!)

 

F*#k the “should be doing”s

Okay, I’ll start off by saying, pardon my french. But this seemed to be the most accurate way to say what I’m thinking.

I am in my twenties. The most confusing, amazing, self learning years of my life, so I am told. And so far, they have lived up to that. But what people didn’t warn me about, was that everyone does their twenties differently, and it is up to you to figure out which way is the best way for you.

This is the age where all of my friends from high school are posting pictures of their beautiful engagement rings, buying homes with their significant other’s, and popping out babies. Which don’t get me wrong, I think is great for them, but now, this voice in my head starts to tell me “Wow! Look at them go doing things the “right” way”. The right way meaning the way our parents did it, the way the movies make us think we should do, and the way that people expected you to do when you were younger. Everyone talks about “when you’re a mother…” or “when you are married…”. Well what if those things aren’t for me? Thats when the more wise voice reminds me there is not just one right way. For me, traveling and being the “gypsy” of the group is the right way.

I have never had a whole lot of interest in making a family, and I’ve always been adventurous. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that this is the route I am taking in my twenties. I am renting places from friends, I am working as a casual and not looking for full time, and I am consistently searching for the next place to go to, willing to spend my money on plane tickets and experiences. This is exactly what I want to be doing. And if it is something you want to do, but you are stuck in a routine that you think you should be doing, but don’t necessarily like, then do it too. Rethink what you are doing, and why you are doing it? When you are 60 and bones ache and getting around isn’t as easy as it once was, are you going to be able to look back with no regrets?

This is where the F*#k the should be’s come in. F*#k what everyone else is doing, what people thought you would be doing and when you will eventually, maybe one day, do it to. Right now, it is time to do what your heart and soul think you should be doing. Thats where it really counts.

 

The ultimate tip to packing for a trip

This isn’t going to be a list. This isn’t going to be a long post. This is going to simply be one tip to help you pack the perfect case of luggage.
Less is MORE. Think about what you want to pack, and only take half of it. Think comfort, weather appropriate and something you feel good on!
Each trip I go on, I pack less and less. Now I simply bring a carry on with me and have more than enough stuff. The reality is that you are going to find the most comfortable, relatively nice looking, and weather appropriate clothes that you brought and you will wear them over and over. Things to look for when packing, are items that are easy to match, that are simple to wash and dry, and that you love to wear. Then, once you are abroad and you see other people rocking the current fashion trends taking over that specific country, and if you are anything like me, you are going to want to go and get yourself an outfit like that. Leave room for this outfit, or other things to bring home, or be prepared to be scattered throughout your travels.
Be happy with what you wear, but don’t strain your back, and stress your mind by having to bring around a huge bag of clothes that never get worn! Take it from someone who has made this mistake!

If you are about to pack your luggage, where are you packing too?? Comment below!

 

Apps to have while traveling

We are now living in a world where we completely rely on technology, especially our cell phones. Some days, this drives me crazy, how about a little interaction with people without a phone in your hand?! But anyways, while traveling I have great comfort having my phone, and the applications on it to get me through my trip smoothly. Here is a list of a few Apps that have made my life easier while abroad!

  • Hostelworld– This is an amazing way to find hostel accommodations. You can compare prices, rates, locations and read reviews from other travellers. Then with a click of a button, you can book your hostel for your next city. It does require your credit card information (normally I am quite skeptical of this), but I have used this app a lot now, and it is very secure! Once you’ve booked,  you receive and email with a confirmation, plus you can review your reservation on the app itself.
  • SkyScanner– This is a great way to compare all the flights to whatever destination you are going to. It will arrange them, and filter them for your liking. For me this normally includes cheapest price, and the smallest layovers. Once you’ve found one you like, you can select it and skyscanner redirects you to the Airline company’s website.
  • Google Maps– Okay, I know, most people have this anyones. But did you know you can save areas (as big as a whole cities) on to your phone and use it without data or wifi. Or did you know, even if you don’t have the city saved, if you set your destination before you leave your wifi area, it will still direct you to your final location. These tricks kept me out of trouble, ALOT.
  • Google Translator– An easy way to translate if you are in a country that speaks a language your not foreign in. If you know you are going somewhere that speaks one language, I suggest downloading the language on the app, this again allows you to use the app without wifi.
  • WhatsApp– I do know a lot of people (especially europeans) have this app regardless if they travel or not. But for people like me, who come from a country as big as Canada where we don’t normally have to contact people whose phone number does not start with a +1, you may not be so familiar with this app. This is basically an online messaging app. You can text, video call, or send your awesome travel photos to anyone in the world without outrageous texting charges. It’s a great way to keep in touch with your family at home, and your new friends abroad.
  • Citymapper– This is an app that will show you the different ways to get around the city, how long it will take you using different modes of transportation, give you the time of departure and bus/metro numbers, and how much the cost will be. Great for when you are in a big city and have to be somewhere at a certain time.
  • Whatever airline you are flying with’s App! – Online check in, boarding passes, delay notifications. This app will be full of valuable tools preflight!!!!!
  • Instagram– Of course this isn’t necessary, but how fun is it to show your friends all your great photos! Follow my IG account @clarissawilgenbusch if you want to follow along with my travel photos!
  • Lightroom– This is for those who are big into photography, and photo editing. This is a lovely and easy to use editing app!

These are a few apps that have been extremely valuable to me on my travels, and hopefully could help you too! If you know of anymore great apps to have while traveling,  leave a comment!