Italy, the country that stole my heart.

Italy has stolen my heart. It has been over a week since I've left, and all I do is sit around and look at the pictures I took on the trip. To get to experience the culture was amazing, and I do plan on going back some day. Here is a quick run down on where we went.

We made our first stop in Venice. We spent 2 nights there and explored its magical water ways and little alley ways.

Getting to ride around in water taxis, gondolas, Venice was a magical place to experience first.

We then made our way down to Tuscany, where we stopped at a vineyard and olive farm for lunch. We got to have a taste of Tuscany that we would never forget. Or...we would forget because the wine was really flowing that day.

After lunch, we made our way to Pisa to see the famous leaning tower. Yes, we attempted "the" I wasn't able to get mine. My mom tried, that's all that matters

We then went to Florence for a couple of nights. This is the city that stole my heart. This has been …

Next stop...Italy!

Tomorrow’s the day! Italy!
Our trip is going to take us to Venice, through Tuscany, stopping in Florence, down the coast, heading to Rome, then leaving from Naples. 
It’s been a while since I’ve had a vacation, let alone went out of the country, so I am PUMPED. 
In my effort to keep a low impact lifestyle, I’m bringing along some essentials. 

I’m obviously bringing my Keepcup. I don’t really go anywhere without it. Along side will be my Contigo water bottle, metal straw, metal lunchbox from Lunch Bots, bandana, and my switch utensil from UCO gear. 
I’m travelling pretty minimally. In total, I would fit my 35L Cotopaxi Allpa back pack. Upon request, however, I was aske by my mom (who’s birthday is the reason we’re going on the trip) to take my big suitcase, so she had room to bring home presents. 
In any case, I’m so excited to see what this trip has in store for me. Get ready Italy, here I come! 

Italy- T minus 22 days

I head out for Italy in about 22 days.

I am ecstatic, to say the least, even though it's a tour group type of situation.

In any case, I'm going to try and keep just a carry on for the trip. I've got my Allpa 35 L backpack from Cotopaxi just itching to go.

As the days get closer, I've been collecting some gear for the trip. I got Gonex compression packing cubes, to reduce the amount of space even more into my bag, and a new TSA approved carry on toiletries bag.

This will be my first trip overseas just using a small carry on back pack. In the past, I used a gigantic suitcase.

I'm getting incredibly excited, and I can't wait to talk more about the trip.

Stay posted...I'll eventually have pictures!

Hopeful 2019

Happy New Year, my fellow humans.

2019...hopefully this year all the goals I set out to do are done.

I want to write more on this blog. It might shift focus a lot, or I'll just keep adding sections, but I do want to sit down and write more. I feel like I lost a lot of myself and a lot of accountability when I didn't write here.

My first resolution: Write more

Stating the accountability, I posted a while back about saving up for my trip to Italy. Yeah, that's not going well. With having to move unexpectedly, and my rent doubling, I had to essentially trash my entire savings that I had for the trip.

So my second resolution: Save more, spend less!

Definitely easier said than done...but I do need to get a better handle on my money and make sure that I am aware of where my money is going and be on top of it more.

I believe that I'm starting to disassociate with what I'm doing half the time. I spend so much time making sure I take pictures, or I keep my Instagram up to dat…

Trying to Find the Right Gear?

In an effort to live a zero waste lifestyle, yet travel and see the world affordably, the one thing that's hard to come by is good gear that doesn't support a linear economy.

If you didn't know, a linear economy is one that we are in now. We buy goods, use it till it breaks, throw it out, and then buy a new one. Items in this economy have a linear life. Production, use, waste. In a circular economy, an item is bought, and when someone doesn't need it anymore, they give it to someone else, or sell it to someone else. Or instead of buying something brand new, you buy it secondhand. That's a circular economy.

Buying good travel, hiking, or camping gear secondhand can be difficult. Most people think about throwing it out, rather than repairing or seeing if it can be reused and recycled. My brother-in-law mentioned to me a website,  Gear Trade. I haven't bought anything on it, but seeing that it is full of people selling their used or even unopened and unused gear m…

Camping...with a purpose

I love the outdoors. I'm a Park Naturalist and I get paid to be outside, where I teach people about nature. Even though I get paid to be outside, it's never enough!

I'm huge into camping and want to do it more. Now that I'm in this full time position, where I get vacation time and such, going out and camping becomes more of a reality. I'm absolutely thrilled that I'll have plenty of time now to go and explore my back yard that is New York.

With this free time to go camp, new gear is in order.

I just found this website, Madera, that sells outdoor gear. If you read their mission, you will see that for every product they sell, they will plant a tree- or two!

As someone who loves the outdoors, this is beyond amazing! Having great gear that has a meaning and a purpose, like planting trees and helping countries who are devastated by industry because of resource acquisition, and revitalizing their land in order to help the locals re-stabilize and provide for themselve…

In Review: 35 L Allpa Travel Backpack from Cotopaxi

The 35 L Allpa Travel Backpack from Cotopaxi is a fantastic bag. I brought it with me to Orlando, Florida last week. I was able to fit about two weeks worth of stuff in it, despite me staying for only one, and I did buy a couple of new shirts while I was down there. It was easy to use, very roomy, and quite manageable in size. I drove down, so I didn't have to worry about the size, though if packed correctly, you would be able to fit it in overhead storage with ease.

The design of the bag itself was great. When you open the pack, the left side looks like it only has a half sized pocket, and two small zip pockets on top. The half sized pocket, however, extends past the two zip pockets on top, giving you more room than expected. The straps inside definitely help reduce the amount of room the contents take. I do recommend using packing cubes, just to make it even simpler.

Overall, 5/5 on this bag. With it's aesthetic design, usability, and amount of space for a 35 L bag, I woul…