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Going the Distance to End Long Distance

Apologies for the long break since my last post. A lot has happened and a lot has changed! This blog is dedicated to travel, love, and work and, since I’ve last written, my life has shifted in all three of these respects. I now resume my blogging endeavor and hope to continue speculating and advising upon these subjects in as entertaining a manner as I can manage!

I left my job working abroad on luxury cruise liners (er, rather, I was unceremoniously chucked off of my last ship when I broke my wrist and decided not to return).  This wasn’t an easy decision, but I knew I didn’t want to work on cruise ships forever and it seemed as good a time as any to get out of the business and pursue new adventures and new challenges. This did, however, bring about a few pressing dilemmas:

  1. How would I continue to travel?
  2. How would my boyfriend and I continue our relationship? (He’s from the UK and I’m from the US and we’ve all but given up on the hope of working in one another’s countries due to the surprisingly complex task of obtaining work visas).
  3. What would I do for work next?

I found myself at a rather complex crossroads, not even sure which situation I should try to resolve first! Fortunately, the path became clear and the route I have chosen has brought about a fine solution to all three issues.  I decided to go back to school to obtain a Masters degree in Cinematography (a long time passion of mine that has gone wholly unexplored due to my own pathetic excuses, but which I am now ready and excited to pursue!).

Having made this decision, it occurred to me that being a student would be a perfect opportunity to continue traveling and to be with my boyfriend, so I began applying for graduate school in London, England (where my boyfriend lives). Two birds, one stone!

After nine months of applications, essays, and interviews followed by a arduous trek through a jungle of paperwork, appointments, and political bullshit – I finally found myself flying into Heathrow Airport: acceptance letter, loan approval, and shiny new visa in hand!

And here I am. Officially an ex-pat. Starting classes tomorrow for what I’m sure will be a challenging and exciting year of creating films, meeting new friends, and growing in my relationship with my devoted boyfriend in the heart of this beautiful, thriving, cosmopolitan metropolis known as London.

It’s been a long year getting to this point, and standing on the precipice of this next chapter, I’m shaking with nervous anticipation … but, someone once told me that it’s better to be excited than scared. So excited is the word I am using to describe my present state of mind, and it’s sinking in!

I hope that this year will bring about unexpected adventures, intriguing characters, and beautiful imagery to fill the pages of this next chapter of my life … and, in turn, I hope I can translate those stories into informative and engaging posts for this blog spot!  For now, I’ll just say this: never let your life get boring. Once you feel settled and comfortable, change something! You don’t have to quit your job or move to a new country, but find something to change. You can’t grow without change and if you aren’t growing, you aren’t living.

Onward!

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Exercise??!! But I’m TRAVELING!!

With the beautiful Spring weather FINALLY making an appearance, it’s time to begin the daily work-out routine that I promised myself all winter would happen as soon as the weather was nice enough.

I thought the warm breeze and vibrant flower blossoms would be enough incentive to get my butt off the couch, but I gotta tell ya, it’s a struggle.

This is the same issue I often run into when I’m traveling. Every time I globe-trot, I pack my running shoes and my cute spandex and tell myself how amazing it will be to go for morning runs past gorgeous landscapes and through quaint towns and exotic cities. Especially when I am going to be away for weeks at a time, I remind myself that its important to make time to work-out in addition to sight seeing, lounging, and gorging on ethnic cuisine. But, inevitably, I get caught up in those latter activities and often my running shoes lay untouched at the bottom of my suitcase for the duration of my trip. So the question remains: how do you force yourself to exercise while traveling when there are so many lovely excuses available to talk yourself out of it??

Here are a few tricks that help me find that motivation:

1. Pack the gear: Kind of a no-brainer but if you don’t pack your workout clothes and proper footwear, you probably won’t be doing much exercise so you’re just setting yourself up for failure. You can even invest in some nice new gear (it’ll motivate you because you spent money AND you’ll know you’re lookin good!) Plus, packing the gear takes up valuable luggage space so while you are away just remind yourself that you sacrificed a cute outfit or some extra toiletries for the sake of your workouts!

2. Groupon gym trials: In the fall, I spent a month in England with my boyfriend and we found a great groupon that allowed us to pay $20 for 10 gym sessions at the local LA Fitness. We had access to the weight room, fitness center, pool, ball courts, and even classes! This allowed us to get some great workouts in throughout the month for a great value. Also, paying out for something can be great motivation because you don’t want to waste your money!

3. Disguise your workout in fun activities: Just like when you are at home, a great way to get your workout in while traveling is to seek out physical activity! Dancing, hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, sports … the possibilities are endless!

4. Sightseeing: If you’re traveling, you’re going to be sightseeing anyway so why not use it as opportunity for exercise? Go for an early morning walk, run, or bike ride through the city or along the beach – the beautiful landscapes give you something to focus on during your cardio PLUS its a great way to tour your surroundings, learn your way around, and check out some spots you may want to explore further during your trip. If you’re using your phone to listen to music, chances are you even have your camera with you and you never know when you’ll stumble upon a great photo! Apps like Nike Running allow you to take photos and even map your run:

Nike Running App

Nike Running App

5. Look for fun-runs: Lately, I’ve been looking into “fun runs” … lots of cities offer 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathons (especially during the summer months) and often they have fun themes like mud runs, paint runs, night runs, or obstacle courses! Afterwards, there are usually big parties with food and drink which can be a great way to mingle with the locals. You can even walk instead of run and it still makes for a great workout! Check out CNNs list of the coolest fun runs around the world: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/25/travel/coolest-themed-runs/

So, the point is that just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with your workout regiments. In fact, it can be a great way to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings and try some new things! Plus, exercise helps to increase energy, burns off the calories from all that exotic food you’ll be trying, and even helps you sleep better so you’ll be well rested and ready to make the most of your time abroad!

DO IT!!!