You know what I find really annoying on blogs? When almost every post starts with the writer talking about how much they’ve neglected posting as often as they would like to and promise to get back in the swing of things soon. It distracts from the actual content of the post itself and frankly just gets old to read. Soo…I won’t do that to you. I know, isn’t that so sweet of me? I’ll just, uh, leave the meaning of this paragraph up to your own interpretation.
1. It’s what time of year? Every time I see something Christmas-y online or someone mentions Christmas, it seems like it must be a long way off or a long time ago. When it’s 70 degrees outside (seriously, my windows are open), it’s hard to imagine Christmas being a mere week away. I’m not sure if it is the weather or the blur of events this past year, but it all seems strange and out of place. Or maybe it’s just this guy who insisted we get a photo during dinner.
2. Do you ever have a practically perfect day? Because for me, Saturday came pretty close. At the last minute someone unexpectedly offered to cover for me at work and suddenly the day was wide open. It was the perfect mix of rest and recreation. After a slow morning, we went on a ten-mile bike ride, then went straight to rock climbing for an hour, and then came home to get ready for a night on the town with some dear friends for dinner, dessert, and a show. I enjoyed every element of a day well-spent.
3. Do you know what the best part about a trip is?Planning it. I think it is safe to say that I love to travel, but maybe if we get to the root of it, I really love to plan and dream. Studies show that the anticipation of a trip gives a big boost in happiness. Well, this year’s Christmas presents from family (yeah, I know it’s early, but they couldn’t keep it a secret) happen to include a few trips so my planning mode is in full effect.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming after a brief week of no blogging because it was all a bit too much. So, let’s go ahead and make this a two-week round up of what’s been happening around here.
1. I attended Influence Conference. There may be a bigger recap at a later date as three days can hardly be summed up in a few sentences, but I was so glad to have the chance to go for the final year of this event. After buying my ticket a year in advance, in some ways it was different than I expected but that might be because I’m in a different place and have done a lot of different things since last year. I spent my time listening to some powerhouse speakers, writing my thoughts in cursive, and meeting some incredible women.
2. I got a new logo! I know you thought something looked different, but no, I didn’t get a hair cut (ha!) so it’s a good thing that wasn’t your guess. My friend Jordie did a wonderful job helping me out with a design so I could have business cards for my blog in time for the conference. We’re still working out some of the details for the layout of the blog and how it all works together, but I am so pleased to have this. She was incredibly kind and gracious to me, and I am so grateful for all of her hard work.
3. We snuck in one last trip to the beach. Going in the off-season means it’s cheaper…but you run the risk of it being cold and rainy, which was exactly what happened this time. We still managed to find a few good hours of beach time and played in the rain before returning to Raleigh for another day of exploring. Nevertheless, we had a great time on our 4th annual trip with this fun family we just so happen to be related to.
Okay, we’ve been back for over a month now. It’s high time we shared some photos, don’t you think? We obviously took more than a few pictures, so I had no idea how to narrow them down. Lucky for you, I have a blog and can just make plenty of posts.
For those of you who hadn’t heard, we took a two week trip to Argentina back in March. Then we got back and were inundated with everyday life immediately. Sometimes it’s crazy to think we even went at all, but then we look at the pictures and remember how epic it was.
Let’s start with pictures from Iguazu Falls (also known as Cataratas del Iguazo). Not the first place we went, but definitely the first thing we talk about. It was so breathtaking that for two straight days all we could do was look around in awe, beaming like crazy people.
The ridiculous thing is, the pictures don’t even come close to doing it justice.
Iguazu Falls is basically in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of nowhere in northern Argentina. You can either take a super long bus ride or another flight from Buenos Aires. Given our short amount of time (and a long bus ride scheduled later on) we went with the flight. Unfortunately for us, the day we were supposed to fly out there ended up being an airline strike. After a little bit of stress and a lot of rescheduling, we ended up at Iguazu Falls two days later. It was worth it.
It seems a lot of people aren’t aware of Iguazu Falls. In fact, many people had not even heard of it when I said it was a big reason for choosing to visit Argentina. In case you were thinking it was some small local waterfall, you’d be wrong. (For reference, it’s more than double the width of Niagra Falls.)
We spent two days hiking around the falls with all of its incredible walkways. Lush greens, beautiful rainbows and more butterflies than we could have imagined were everywhere.
We even went on a boat. You see that one? Headed straight toward the falls? Yep…it looks teeny but has probably about 40 people on it. And yes, it did go straight to the falls and we did indeed get soaked.
Then we found more water and got soaked again. Because why not? (Oh yeah, and it was 95 degrees outside)
Within the first week of our trip, we saw Iguazu Falls and couldn’t help but feel like nothing else would ever be able to top it.
Update: While I had good intentions of posting more photos from the trip, my awesome husband created a video which seems to cover it.
2015–this year’s going to be a big one. It will bring change and challenge, questions and joy. I mean it. As much as I haven’t quite figured out all of this year’s goals, I know it will be a big one in our lives. We’ll be coming up on five years of marriage and will have been in North Carolina longer than Iowa in our married life. Change is inevitable in our jobs, as it is with our friendships and families.
Were you expecting something else? Oh, yeah.
It seems like half the people I know are buying houses or having babies. It makes sense, I suppose. It’s the “next step” and I am so, SO excited for all of them. They will all be wonderful parents and homeowners, families and neighbors. I really mean it, too. We’re fortunate to be friends with some amazing people, and I am thrilled for their next steps and adventures.
Well, we love each other a lot. So, we decided it was finally time.
We’re going to…
We’ve been wanting to take a trip outside the country for awhile now and have been saving all of our pennies (read: all money from birthdays & Christmases, tax refunds and freelance gigs) for years. So, we finally bought the tickets, and we will be visiting this beautiful country for two weeks this spring!
At first you might say, “Aren’t you looking for a job?” and then question, “Is this really the best timing?”
You are not alone. I had all of these questions and more. But then we thought about a few key things and decided this was the best timing. Things have not all gone according to my plan this past year, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t brought some incredible opportunities along the way. We have been wanting to take a trip to explore the world a little, just the two of us, since we got married. There was always been something else keeping us, whether it was time or money or other logistics (oh I don’t know, like moving halfway across the country).
When you don’t have a job, you suddenly find yourself with a lot more time. As far as money, well, that’s something we’ve been saving for this specific purpose for years now. This last year without a full-time job has been tough and we’ve had to make certain financial sacrifices. But thankfully, we have been debt-free for a few years now and try to maintain a very frugal lifestyle. It’s a bit of a risk because of course we’re hoping that I have a job soon, but one thing I’ve realized this past year is that we don’t know what’s next. When the hubby asked for the time and it was approved, we decided to just jump at the chance and hope for the best with whatever else is to come this year.
Okay, so why two weeks in Argentina?
Why not? Alright, I know that’s not the answer you were looking for. To some, this seems like a lavish trip and to others in might seem like a small vacation, no big deal. Sure, I wish we could go for a month or more, but the reality is this is still more time than most people get to take all at once. I was able to study abroad twice when I was in college and knew then that it was not something everyone got to do or an opportunity that would present itself again. I feel similarly about this. Of course there are people who travel all over the world and have these awesome experiences, but to us, this is a big deal. This is something we’ve been dreaming about for a while. We see it as an opportunity to explore a different culture, see some different scenery and really invest in our marriage through a unique experience.
As to the location itself, we’ve heard a lot of good things and think it looks like a beautiful part of the world to see. It gives us a chance to brush up on some of that high school Spanish, see an epic waterfall and explore a continent neither of us have ever been to. We’re still figuring out what else might be in store during our time there but are also open to just finding out a bit while we get there.
That said, we’d love to hear any tips or suggestions should you know the area! We’re really excited about this, and I look forward to sharing about it more with you!