CONSCIOUS TRAVEL

St. John, USVI: A Photo Journal

Photo Journals

St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is nothing short of pure magic. With well over 70% of the island being part of the Virgin Island National Park and a coastline dotted with turquoise bays, you can’t help but fall in love.  This small island is just a quick 20-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas […]

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Why I Love Airplane Mode

Stories and Discussions

And (gasp!) don’t believe in WIFI on planes. Said the person who runs her entire life online. REALITY: LIFE IS CHAOS, SOMETIMES Here is a snippet of how my afternoon went yesterday: I spent 2 hours hours visiting one of our stores to both train them on a new system and pick up merchandise for […]

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Searching for Photos, but Finding Freedom in St. John

Stories and Discussions

In our social media world, it is nearly impossible to travel to a place without stumbling across the famous travel photos that now define it. So many places around the world have become famous for their photo ops. In Cappadocia, it is breakfast on the rooftop in front of the rising hot air balloons. In […]

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The Conscious Travel Guide to Miami

Travel

When I think of Miami, I usually think of the ultimate party city – bright, loud, fun and energetic. From the multicolored lifeguard stands to all day pool parties, Miami, especially Miami Beach, has a bit of a wild child personality. As we contemplated our next weekend away, I couldn’t help but wonder if there […]

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10 Ways to Level Up Your Eco Travel Game

Travel

With great privilege comes great responsibility. We have the wonderful opportunity to travel and see the world and it is much more accessible than ever before, but it also means that we need to be conscious as we travel. We need to do as much as possible to lighten our footprint and protect the places […]

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The Beauty of An Unplanned Trip

Travel

Join me on a journey. Let’s imagine that you have three weeks off for a summer break. You agree to meet a friend in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with very little to no specific schedule, just the planned goal to you will make your way to Zanzibar Island off the coast. Aside from airline tickets, […]

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Making Conscious Cool Again

Travel

Really?!! Was it ever cool, Kristin? Do you remember that zero waste video that went viral on social media? What about the one about the all of the plastic floating in the sea? Yea, neither do I. Sustainable living is having a bit of a moment, but I am still not sure the whole concept […]

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Bajos Del Toro: Costa Rica’s Best-Kept Secret

Travel

Bajos del Toro is the waterfall wonderland of Central America. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s cool, because it is relatively unknown. I hadn’t heard of it either until a few months ago when my friends decided to plan a trip there. Surprising considering it was just 6 years ago that I spent 4 […]

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Conscious Stays: Isleta el Espino, Granada, Nicaragua

Travel

I kayaked out onto Lake Nicaragua just as the sun was rising for the day. It was only 5 am; the sunrise is early in Nicaragua, but it was well worth the early wake up call. The sky lit up in the most beautiful pastel colors and the air was sweet and fresh in a […]

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My Best Travel Moments Might Be Your Worst Nightmare

Travel

Do I dream about getting away to a place where I can be pampered and just relax? “Um, no” comes to mind first, followed by “of course not!” I can’t relax in real life and I don’t look forward to it when I get away. In fact, I don’t travel to get away from anything […]

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72 hours in Mexico City: A Long Weekend Guide

Travel

Views from the Chapultepec Castle, Chapultepec Park Mexico City has long been a favorite city of mine to visit. I love Mexico in general, so it makes sense that I fell hard for its capital. Here the leafy neighborhoods, the modern new-builds, the historic and bustling downtown, and the exceptional food scene (they have some […]

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Nicaragua: A Photo Journal

Travel

Nicaragua has been on my bucket list for years, from before we moved to Raleigh, NC, which puts it over 6 years of (wander)lusting over photos and Nicaragua travel itineraries.  When I saw a sub $200 flight deal come across my inbox, I jumped and somehow talked Jeremy into it. Initially we agreed on the […]

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Into the Selva: Visiting the Coba Ruins

Travel

Our alarms sang to us at 5:30 am, which seems like an early hour for a couple of kids on vacation in Mexico. However, we were determined to get a jump on finding some Mayan ruins. A friend of ours had recommended Ek Balam, so we took a couple of screenshots of the map, read […]

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Conscious Stays: The Rockhouse Hotel, Negril, Jamaica

Travel

Want to stay in an eco boutique hotel that has hosted Bob Marley, Bob Dylan ad the Rolling Stones? Perhaps you should consider the Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica for you next getaway. Talk about the dream sustainable stay. Travel for me almost never has much to do with my accommodations, in fact, they used to […]

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Tulum: Why I Would Skip It

Travel

…at least for now. I seriously believed when I sat down to write this, I would be writing an ode to Tulum, a you-must-visit-now travel guide, probably even a love letter to Tulum.  In fact as I always do, I dug into my research and I started writing a little ahead of time, so when […]

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Those Who Travel Might Just Live Longer

Travel

Your annual vacation might be more beneficial than you originally thought.  Science said it – Travel makes you better and healthier. Best news ever…turns out my very favorite activity – travel, especially of the international variety – is scientifically proven to improve lifespan, general life satisfaction and happiness. So much for it just being a […]

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St Croix: A Travel Guide for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Travel

Turns out the least talked about U.S. Virgin Island has a multitude of amazing outdoor adventures to be had – so many in fact that 3 days wasn’t exactly enough for us to do everything we wanted to do and see everything we wanted to see. Note, while there are two nice resorts on the […]

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Oh What a Joy Little St. Croix: 36 Hours on the Island

Travel

Just a few weeks ago, Stephen, Rose and I agreed to become intrepid travelers of the least visited U.S. Virgin Island, St. Croix. In fact, it was mostly decided within a 10 minute text, just the way I like it. If the travel partners can agree to getaway in 10 minutes or less, we will […]

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St. Croix: A Photo Journal

Travel

They say a photo is worth a thousand words, so for now I will share a selection of our photos from St. Croix (the equivalent to many thousands of words). We hope this inspires you to visit and explore this beautiful U.S. Virgin Island. Turns out that there are still places where you can visit […]

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The Forgotten Virgin

Travel

As I peered out the window of the plane, I couldn’t help but take in the vast expanse of the deep blue ocean. Seated next to me was a relaxed dive instructor headed to the island for the “season” unsure of whether he has plans to stay for a month or two or longer. As […]

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Find Peace Just Outside Miami: Bill Baggs State Park

Travel

For those seeking a little peace and quiet outside of the buzz of Miami, Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Park is just the spot to getaway from it all. Don’t get me wrong, I love the energy, spirit and culture of Miami – it is definitely worth experiencing, but I also need and appreciate […]

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In 2018 Let’s Find the Explorer Within

Travel

I like to believe that we all have an explorer within us – a piece of our being that has an insatiable curiosity, wants to see what is around the next corner and fights to be fed by finding new things. I recently saw the IMAX movie Amazon Adventure and after seeing it, I couldn’t […]

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Majestic Kauai: A Travel Guide

Travel

The first time I saw a photo of the Napali Coast of Kauai, I had to go there. The scenery on this little island is nothing short of exceptional. The thing about Kauai is that you can tell from the moment you step off the plane that is steeped in pride – there are very […]

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Why I Hate Camping, But Do It Anyway

Travel

I hate camping, so much in fact, that I subject myself to it at least once a month. I dislike it just so that I now have an entire guest closet full of gear specifically for the camping experience. Sorry guest, there is no space in our home for you to put your belongings, but if […]

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How I Fell For Maui In 5 Days

Travel

Honestly, I hated the thought of Maui. Literally every single person I know has been there on their honeymoon. Nope, not interested. Nothing against honeymoons and honeymooning, I just pictured too much romance everywhere (what does that even mean?!) and I thought I would feel out of place. So when I started planning a trip […]

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Maui Photo Journal

Travel

Jeremy and I had been to Hawaii once, but just to the Big Island and Oahu, so when we decided to go back we thought it would make the most sense to explore Maui and Kauai. We also hit up Oahu again because that is where my cousin was living and the whole point of […]

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Into The Guatemalan Jungle: Semuc Champey

Travel

For me, there is absolutely nothing like getting off-the-beaten path and in out into the middle of nature. In Guatemala, I was able to get out into the middle of nature, but I wasn’t exactly off-the-beaten path at Semuc Champey. Our third and final stop on our quick trip to Guatemala was Semuc Champey, which […]

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Hiking Volcan Acatenango

Travel

As I sit back and reflect on our hike up to what I can only describe as a beautiful black abyss or the summit of Acatenango, I think about the many things that happen when we step outside of our comfort zone and truly challenge ourselves. It makes me think of the quote on the […]

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24 Hours in Antigua, Guatemala

Travel

I will start off by saying that 24 hours is not enough time to fully explore the enchanting little town of Antigua, but it was all we had this trip. On the plus side now we have an excuse for a future trip. It is rare that Jeremy and I agree that we could spend […]

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Racing Time in Guatemala

Travel

While Guatemala was not initially very high on our travel bucket list, our list regularly gets switched around based on where in the world our friends and family are living, working or traveling. Since our good friends Sarah and Nathan are currently living in Guatemala, we figured now was the time for our first trip. […]

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48 Hours in the Tampa Bay Area

Travel

I would bet most people don’t have Tampa on their dream destinations list. I know it sure wasn’t on mine! But give me a few minutes of your time and I might change your mind on it because there is a ton to do in the Tampa Bay area.  Jeremy and I have now been […]

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Make Everyday an Adventure

Travel

I have had the beautiful opportunity to do a fair amount of traveling in my life so far and for that I am eternally grateful. To be able to travel is to open your eyes to so many new people, places, cultures, experiences; it is a place that never fails to push you, inspire you […]

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Shopping in Stone Town

Travel

After relaxing and re-gaining of our energy, we made our way back to Stone Town for some serious shopping. We were on the hunt of all hunts for scarves and fabrics. We also, as usual, chilled in a lot of cafes, enjoying some nice coffees. As I said before Stone Town is one large maze. […]

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This is the Life

Travel

Nungwe, Nungwe, Nungwe. What a place? Due to our unfortunate rat situation, we had decided to move on to the next place. I understand that things like this happen and it is okay; it doesn’t make Pajé a bad place, in fact it is a crazy awesome place and I highly suggested it to those […]

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Making Our Way to Zanzibar

Travel

If you have ever met me, you will know in about 5 minutes all about my love of the ocean and my constant need for salty, ocean breezes and walks in the sand. So my second day in Tanzania started on a different foot than the first. We were armed and ready with our ferry […]

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Arriving in the Land of Mambo! Poa!

Travel

Landing in Tanzania. 1:30 a.m. $100 visa at Immigration. Customs. Why on earth does the only flight from Johannesburg to Dar Es Salaam land a 1:30 in the morning? Just the beginning of all things backwards. All of this just so I can sleep on a bench in the airport until 5:15 a.m, catch a […]

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Sanga Chatwam (May We Be One)

Travel

Tonight at post-port I decided to tell some of my story from India. Post-port obviously takes place following a port and it is a time during which the shipboard community can go to share some of their stories and experiences from each port. Now I should have warned the audience that I am a terrible […]

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Moving to South Africa

Travel

First I have to say that I lucked out and got an aisle seat with an empty seat next to me for my 17 and1/2 hour plane ride from Washington D.C. to Johannesburg (Joburg)! What are the chances? Yesssss I got the empty seat, which is currently housing a pile of books, magazines, and extra […]

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Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam

Travel

On November 3rd at 8 a.m., we made our way up the Saigon River to the one and only Ho Chi Minh City. Yep, that’s in Vietnam. The whole voyage and the time up until the voyage I was looking forward to Vietnam; I thought it was going to be an awesome experience, as I […]

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This Is South Africa

Travel

South Africa is a place where you can go and do anything that you want to do. Are you thinking, okay, but I can do anything I want anywhere I am? Maybe, maybe not. What I mean is that in South Africa you can jump out of a plane, sightsee as a tourist, swim with […]

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Akwaaba to Ghana

Travel

Oh…my…gosh, get your shots, grab your malaria medication and get your butt to Ghana. After one day I have been put under a Ghanaian spell and I do not really want to come out of it (it saddens me to know there are only three days left). Forget every single thing you thought about Africa […]

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Adventure in Morocco

Travel

So my mom has been forwarding me my daily readings and I thought that you all might enjoy this one, or at least I feel like it is a good one for this blog since I am on a journey (not to say I am not always on a journey, but a specific journey). This […]

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Bienvenidos a Espana

Travel

I am in the midst of the preparatory stages for Morocco while also sitting in the reflection stages of Spain and I only have one day to complete both. It is taking everything I have to not pick up my travel book on Morocco and start getting ready, but I made a rule that I […]

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My Life on a Ship

Travel

The ship is certainly rocking back and forth, back and forth, and you guessed it, back and forth. It is interesting though that after three or four days I don’t even notice it. I have not experienced seasickness in the slightest, just extreme drowsiness in my cabin and in classes (hence I take a lot […]

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My First Day on the Ship

Travel

We were informed tonight that we are on a “ship,” not a boat and a “voyage,” not a cruise. So all of you will refer to my educational voyage as such from here on out, even though I fully expect it to have many similarities to a party boat/cruise. I am actually here, sitting on […]

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Here We Go Again

Travel

So here we are, the night before I leave on my four month journey around the world. Wow, I can’t believe it is finally here. Packing went fairly smoothly (not too much fighting with Mom), although some of my small extras had to go to Jeremy’s house to be packed by him. More than anything […]

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La Revuelta a Mexico

Travel

So, first I have to thank my cousin Kevin for setting up wireless at Mimi’s house so that I can bring you this blog. I know this is late, but I promise it has been written, I just did not have Internet to update. I have asked my mom to write a guest blog about […]

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Recuerdos de Cholula

Travel

Okay, so I am back in Mexico and I will shortly be updating all of you with what has been going on on this trip, but first I would like to post a blog I wrote a while ago about some of mi recuerdos de Cholula (my memories of Cholula).  I am sitting on the […]

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Cubre Bocas and Swine Flu

Travel

It very much disheartens and saddens me to inform all of you that I will be returning to the United States this coming Monday, June 4th, almost four weeks before my expected time of arrival. We will be missing out on Veracruz and our weeklong service project in Cuetzalan, but it was decided that it […]

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Palenque

Travel

Some people classify Mexico as a developing country, while many other people place Mexico in the developed or at least almost developed nation category. Mexico is a huge country with such a variance and a disparity among its people. If you spend time here in Puebla, Cholula, Mexico City, or Oaxaca, even San Cristobal in […]

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La Historia y Antecedentes de Chiapas, Mexico

Travel

About 14 days ago, I embarked on a journey with just my small Northface backpack and my camera, not really knowing what lie ahead of me. Ok, I read some blogs and travel guides and I did know a good deal about the area I was heading to, but what I did not know was […]

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Estoy Sana y Salva

Travel

Just a quick update to let you all know that I made it back to Cholula sana y salva (safe and sound). It was a great trip overall; it definitely had its ups and downs, which I will get into when I start the blogs on the week, but overall we saw some amazing things […]

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Wandering Mexico City

Travel

So, this weekend I hugged a tree, literally. On Saturday we went to the Biosphere Reserve in en Tehuacan. It was thousands and thousands of different cactus plants and we had a guide that showed us around and talked about all the different types and what they are used for medicinally or as hallucinogens. There […]

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Mariposas en Morelia, Mexico

Travel

“Que no caigan en la bajada, ni en la subida del camino. Que no encuentren obstaculos, ni detras ni delante de ellos, ni cosa que los golpee. Concedeles buenos caminos, hermosos caminos planos.” – Popol-Vuh So occasionally I wonder what am I doing here? I have my moments where I just want to reject everything […]

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Rompi la Pinata

Travel

Hola again, I am still here, alive and well. Speaking of alive and well I spoke to my friend Ben a couple days ago, who is in Prague, and I was very happy to hear that he is alive and well. Anyways not to much has been going on here in Mexico, getting into a […]

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Journey to Oaxaca

Travel

So once upon a time I was studying Spanish in the country called Mexico when I decided to go home to the United States to see my family. I thought that I was not going to come back to Mexico, so I bought an apartment. The apartment was a townhouse with three floors and I […]

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Popocatepetl

Travel

So I know it has been about a week since my last update, but I figured that anyone reading this probably would not care so much about my day-to-day whereabouts. Just to put a picture in your head, I am sitting on my rooftop terrace on a beautifully clear day. There is not a cloud […]

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Loca Por Las Compras

Travel

Hey there!  So, the biggest update is that I moved. As I told you all before my family was going through a hard time and I was sort of isolated and alone, but now I am living with a new family and a girl from Delaware. It is really great, because even though I am […]

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Mi Cumpleaños en Acapulco

Travel

I feel like I should have a shirt that says “I survived Acapulco.” Wow, Acapulco was crazy. I keep thinking about the city of Acapulco and I really cannot get over the number of people that were there; I cannot even begin to imagine what that place is like during spring break time. We got […]

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Es Tu Casa

Travel

OK, so everything is still going really well here. Yesterday, after classes, lunch, and our meeting, I went over to my friend Tony’s homestay to watch the soccer game between Mexico and the United States (U.S. won 2-0!). Tony’s family was amazing, they were so nice and they kept telling me “es tu casa” (it’s […]

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Tengo un Buen Dia

Travel

Hey everyone,  I am not planning on updating this everything single day, but I would like to update you as I am getting accustomed to life here, meeting new people, and learning new things. I am mainly writing (for a second time tonight because the other one did not publish) to put up some photos […]

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Mi Llegada

Travel

So I am here; I made it to Mexico and actually I am starting to get accustomed to this new world that I am in. By the way, it is freezing at night and in my house and I am not very well prepared for that. Luckily my host family gave me a small heater […]

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Estoy muy emocionada!

Travel

Hey everyone!  This is going to be my way of communicating with all of you while I am in Mexico, at least those of you who are interested. If you want to comment feel free, if you want to contact me privately you can get me through facebook or email me.  So I am getting […]

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