I kicked off my 2022 by spending a week in Cape Coral, Florida, and adventuring around Southwest Florida! I had some delicious coffee while I was there and wanted to share some of my favorites!
Penny’s Coffee Bar in Cape Coral
Penny’s ended up being a new favorite coffee spot! I wish it weren’t so far away from home. Not only did they have a wide variety of coffee options, but they also had neat tea and tea refresher options! I got their cold brew twice, and woah was I impressed. It quickly became one of my favorite cold brews of all time. They had baked goods there, too, and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies! I highly recommend Penny’s if you’re looking for a cold brew, a refresher, an iced latte, and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!
Urban Buzz Coffee Company in Cape Coral
Urban Buzz was funky in the best way possible! The coffee shop was a walk-up window/drive-through. They had lots of coffee options and tea refresher options! I tried something brand new there, white coffee. I had never even heard of white coffee, but it’s coffee roasted at a lower temperature, and the beans turn white. The drink I got with the white coffee was soo delicious. Even if it did blow my mind that it was all white, haha!
Funky Rooster Coffee House & Wine Bar in Key West
This coffee shop had such a neat Kerry West vibe! The coffee was great, and they had delicious pastries! It looked like they also sold wine, so if you’re looking for a place to hang out I. In the evening this cafe could be an excellent choice! I wish I had more time to hang out in this coffee shop; the vibes were so cool!
The French Press in Cape Coral
This coffee shop also has gelato, and that’s what sold me! I got gelato twice at The French Press, and it was amazing! Each day they had different flavors! I tried key lime the one day, and it was stellar!! Their coffee was good, and they had a variety of pastry and food options there too. If you’re looking for coffee and gelato, this is the place to go!
I hope this helps on your next trip to southwest Florida! Let me know if you’ve been to southwest Florida and some of your favorite coffee shops there!
Maybe it’s the fact that this week marks 3 years since my trip to Iceland. Maybe Taylor Swift’s new Folklore album has me in my feels. This week I have felt Hiraeth intensely.
I have always felt a longing to travel. A longing to go to certain places. A longing to return to a place after a vacation to somewhere I can’t seem to get out of my head.
I felt this longing before I even traveled to Iceland. I felt connected to a county I had never been to. I have felt it every day since—a longing to return to a place that feels out of this world to my heart and soul. I tried to put this feeling into words many times and could never say it just right.
I came across the word Hiraeth, and it seems to fit this feeling pretty well. I connected with this section of the definition “It’s an unattainable longing for a place, a person, a figure, even a national history that may never have actually existed. To feel hiraeth is to feel a deep incompleteness and recognize it as familiar.” I found this definition on this website that describes the word in-depth: https://peterwarski.com/longing-for-a-home-ive-never-been-to-9ce208aa384c Also, the way you pronounce it is “here-eyeth”.
Hiraeth more accurately describes what many call post-vacation blues for me. Many times it isn’t just sadness of leaving a beautiful place. I connect to certain places and yearn to return and experience them again.
Traveling is stunning, exciting, and fun, but not many people talk about how you feel after you return from a trip. The longing to return to the place that captured your heart. In this time of not traveling as much as you typically would, please take care of yourself if you are experiencing hiraeth. You will travel soon again and see all of the places you long for.
I find it that the holidays are perceived to be relaxing due to the time you have off of work and that you get to spend time with family and friends. I believe the holidays are some of the most unrelaxing and stressful times of the year. Don’t get me wrong, the days off of work and sleeping in can help to recharge a bit but at the end of the day, I don’t get to just relax. Between late nights filled with fun family activities, completing tasks and errands that are hard to do while at work, and traveling from place to place to celebrate, the holidays can leave you tired and dreading January.
I think it can be important to prioritize self-care for the first 2 weeks of January. Go to bed early, do a relaxing activity, go for a walk, whatever self-care is for you do it! I find that mid-January is when winter gets tough. Usually, the cold weather gets colder ( at least where I am from) and the hype from the holidays has fully dissipated. This is the time where I recommend a winter refresh!
A winter refresh is where you plan an activity, go somewhere, or do something to excite you and increase your moral at a rather gloomy time of year. Here are some ways to do a winter refresh:
Travel somewhere that has the opposite temperature/ climate of where you live.
If the temperature where you live is hot, go somewhere cold. If where you live is cold, go somewhere warm. This breaks up the monotony of January and makes you feel like you’re experiencing something new. This also lets you indulge in activities that you may not be able to do in your area at this time of year. How cool would it be to lay on a beach during the winter when you are from a cold area and are used to frigid temperatures? How fun would it be to ski the slopes of mountains for a week if you’re from a warmer climate?
In 2017, I traveled to a warm place in January and a cold place in August. The temperature change was an amazing aspect of both trips. That winter did not feel so long and cold and that summer wasn’t too humid and hot.
If you are able to, getaway for a week and travel to somewhere new with a different climate than your home has right now!
Try an activity that you can only do at this time of year.
Whatever season you are experiencing, there are activities around your area that can only be done in this season. For me, it’s winter and cold right now. Living in the mountains, common activities near me are skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, etc. These activities have a timestamp and end whenever the temperature and precipitation decided it in late winter/ early spring. It is also a good time to try cozy indoor activities like getting a hot beverage at a coffee shop!
If you are in a rainy season is there a hiking trail that has an awesome waterfall that you can only see in the rainy season? Is it super hot where you are? Head to a cool indoor activity you have always wanted to try or dive into water sports!
I challenge you to plan a fun activity for the end of January that has you taking advantage of the current season you are in.
Visit a location you love in its offseason. The beach is an awesome place to visit when its warm and you can lay in the sun all day but have you ever been to the beach when it’s cold?
I highly suggest visiting a place that you love where January is its offseason. You already love the location and it will be fun to see it in a new light. Traveling to a place in its offseason gives you a new perspective of that location and you may notice new and exciting things!
I try to do this whenever I can! Just the other day I visited the lake that I kayak on during the summer. With the trees bare and lake frozen, I noticed new things about the area that I don’t see in the summer. I also love visiting the beach in the offseason. There is something about a vacant beach with loud, crashing, winter waves that excites me in a unique way.
Don’t let January get you down this year and plan something fun! Whether it’s a half-day activity or a week-long vacation, do something this month for YOU!
What do you plan on doing to spice up your January?
Real talk about New Years Resolutions and setting realistic goals for the new year.
With a new year and a new decade approaching it’s hard not to think about the past, the present, and sometimes the daunting future. Every year I try to tell myself that I am going to do this and that in the new year but when the time comes, I end up not following through. I have listened to this podcast called Happier with Gretchen Rubin consistently for about the past year. They would talk about their 19 for 2019 and the different times of the year that can be treated as a time to start new things. I always found this fascinating. As a Gretchen Rubin Obliger ( if you don’t know what this is please click here:https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com ), I tend to need plans and accountability to follow my goals. This means I tend to consistently fall short of New Year’s resolutions and new goals I set during the year. I want to do a lot but do not have the time and stamina to do it all.
I think this is why the concept of 20 for 2020 has really hit me while listening to the Happier podcast. I feel that spending the year focusing on 20 things will give me a variety of things to do yet a structure and priority to tasks in my life. I have spent the past few weeks honing in and thinking of things that make me happy. I thought of things that are good for my well being and my brain. I also thought about what is good for my body. I created a list of things I want to strive toward. These are not resolutions in the sense of if I don’t complete them, I fail. These are 20 things I want to prioritize and work on in the new year. They are things I love and want to include more in my life. I also tell myself and will stick to the idea that these are not things to check off a to-do list. Overall, I don’t want to be perfect with these. I want to realistically incorporate my favorite things in my life.
Below are my 20 for 2020 and how I plan to incorporate them into my life.
Since I work in an office, it can be hard some days to be active. I want to make sure I am a smidge active even if I have a busy day. I have a Fitbit and plan to track my steps to see how many I typically take in a day. I hope to add 500 to 1000 steps every few weeks to slowly increase my activity level.
Begin a regular Yoga and Meditation practice
I absolutely love yoga, especially restorative yoga. I want to make sure I prioritize practicing yoga. It is one of my favorite ways to get active and also slow down. I also think meditation is really awesome for my well being and pairs well with a yoga practice. I would love to get into a regular yoga and meditation practice daily.
Live a more sustainable life
I have been really trying to live a more sustainable life the past year and I want to continue this into the new year. I would like to focus on always using reusable bags at the grocery store, bringing a travel mug when getting to-go coffee at coffee shops, and using reusable straws. Hopefully, after focusing on these sustainability efforts, I can set new goals.
Establish my blog I have been having so much fun writing articles for my blog! I want to set goals for my blog and write material regularly. I want to share my coffee and travel knowledge and think blog posts and videos are the best way to do that.
Schedule doctors appointments
I have noticed that as I get older, life happens and doctors appointments aren’t seen as much as a priority when I am feeling good. I only head to the doctor when I don’t feel well. I want to make sure as I get older I am healthy and staying on top of my health. I want to schedule things like the eye doctor’s appointment I have put off in 2019.
Focus on my Pampered Chef business
I absolutely love to cook and decided in March of 2019 that I wanted to be a consultant for Pampered Chef. Life got crazy and I had to put this side hustle to the side. I want to pick up my love for cooking again and share my love through Pampered Chef.
Kon Mari my life
I loved watching the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo when it came out. I began to use the method to organize my apartment but then I moved and everything got crazy and disorganized! I want to spend this year taking time to organize and get rid of things that no longer serve me.
Save money for a down payment on a house
I would love love love to be in the position by the end of 2020 to buy a house. My goal is to buy a cute little house in Scranton, PA!
Start an Etsy shop
One of my destressers is being crafty. Some of my favorite crafting activities are painting and crocheting. I would love to dive into this outlet and sell some of my items on Etsy!
I have never been a regular reader but I love reading. This summer, I spent some of my lunch break reading. This was a great way to get my reading in but also to take a mental rest from work. I plan to find time slots like this in my daily schedule to read. I would like to read at least 12 books during 2020.
Hike once a month
Hiking is one of my favorites ways to connect with nature and be active. I plan to hike once a month to a new location and maybe incorporate some of my favorite hiking locations.
Start my PhD
My entire life I have dreamed of getting my PhD. I get to begin this journey in the summer of 2020!
Deepen my faith
I want to dive into my faith and spirituality this year and reconnect with my faith. I have spent most of my life attending and now working at Catholic schools and I want to learn more about my religion. I hope to attend mass and spend time connecting with God in 2020.
When I was in college I found a passion for painting. I love painting nature scenes and find painting outside incredibly relaxing. I want to spend some of my spare time painting in 2020.
In 2019, I began journaling and reflecting on my day to day life. I would like to make a habit of this and journal every day in some capacity to document and reflect on life.
Deepen my knowledge and appreciation for coffee
As you probably already know, I love coffee! I have spent a lot of time studying, learning, and drinking coffee. I really want to learn more about this passion of mine and try new types of coffee!
Find my Food Freedom
In April I did the Whole 30. (If you do not know about Whole 30 please go here: https://whole30.com ) I mainly choose Whole 30 because I wanted to assess what I have reactions to and what foods I should be cautious of. Food Freedom is the aftermath of Whole 30 by using my knowledge from this food experiment. I plan on doing Whole 30 in January to reassess the reactions I have to different foods and build my Food Freedom.
Decrease social media/ phone use
I am so tied to my phone and social media. I love using Instagram and Facebook but I loved the break I took over Christmas for 2 days. I want to plan some time away from my phone and off of social media. I also want to be conscientious of the amount of time I spend on my phone every day.
Buy a DSLR camera
I have dreamed of owning a DSLR Canon camera for most of my life. I am making a savings plan to get the exact camera I have been dreaming of. I plan to dive into my love of photography once I get my camera.
Kayak weekly in the summer
Kayaking is my absolute favorite outdoor activity and water sport. I live by a lake and have my own kayak. In summers past, I have not kayaked as much as I would have liked. My goal is to try to kayak at least once a week!
So there is my 20 for 2020! I am excited to begin this new decade and focus on some activities that make me happy. I hope this helps you plan your own 20 for 2020. Remember to not hold yourself to unrealistic standards in the new year. Comment below some things from your 20 for 2020 list!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling. The truth is though, traveling can be tough and isn’t always glamorous. Iceland was a magical and gorgeous place to explore but it did come with a slew of unexpected challenges.
The Tale of the Quick Moving Ocean
On the first full day in Iceland, our group traveled to the Snaefellness Peninsula to see some seals. After a long drive from Husafell, tired and excited, we walked out to the beach and moved quickly toward the seals lounging on the rocks. I had dreamed about this moment for a long time and couldn’t believe I was seeing these seals for the first time!! I spot three seals laying on rocks not too far from some rocks that jet out into the water. Wanting to see them up close and spotting a prime location for an Insta pic, I make my way out onto the rocks. I dragged my boyfriend along with me to see the seals. On our journey, we started crossing some rocks with crunchy seaweed and then through an inch of water left over from the tide.
As we made our way out, we started crossing over some slippery seaweed on top of the rocks so we had to be careful not to slip. Once we got all the way out to the edge, we were able to see the seals perfectly! I even had my boyfriend take a killer picture of me for Instagram! We could see my family looking at another seal far off in the distance. After a few minutes, we wanted to head where they were so we began to make our way back to the shore. As we made our way back, we noticed that the path we originally took was no longer the path back. In the 5 – 10 minutes we were out on the rocks, the tide had risen. As we started looking for a new path to take, we realized that the water had risen to over knee deep. Slightly panicked, my boyfriend and I took off our boots and rolled up our pants and waded through the knee-deep water.
Luckily, we made it through the water with only our pants wet. Had we been out on the rocks for even 2 more minutes, we might have been chest deep in cold Atlantic ocean water. When researching about traveling to Iceland, I had read a lot about tourists getting caught in waves that come up on the beaches rather quick. I had read many articles about the water being unpredictable on beaches in Iceland. Even though I did my homework, the excitement about the trip got the best of me on that first day and I almost ended up in a ton of trouble because of it.
Traveling can be wild, amazing, and awe-inspiring. When traveling, please keep in mind that cautions that come along with it. Listen to people who have traveled to the locations you are traveling to. Stay safe and keep on traveling!