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travel tips

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4 Practical Ways for Finding Joy

Image source: pexels.com

Image source: pexels.com

Finding joy is like finding buried treasure. It will take work, and you’ll go on quite a journey getting there, but you need to know where you can find it before you can set off. Thankfully, there are many maps to finding joy, and if you’re willing to put in a bit of work getting there, you’ll realize that it’s not that hard to find. Happiness and joy are different, in that happiness is fleeting and often brought about by things that happen around you, while joy is consistent, and comes from inside. In other words, other things can make us happy, but we can make ourselves joyful. Here are some practical ways for finding joy!

Treat everyday like thanksgiving - No, I don’t mean what you think I mean. I’m not talking about the food (although I can definitely whip up some joy with a bit of chocolate), what I’m talking about is giving thanks. When you make a habit out of being thankful for the things in your life, you’re automatically shifting your mind into a positive mindset, and slowly changing the way that you think about things. Do this for long enough, and you won’t be able to recognize yourself from before, because you’ll be so much more joyful.

Image source: pexels.com

Image source: pexels.com

Challenge yourself with something and commit to it - Here’s where that hard work comes in. The feeling of accomplishment is made up of joyful feelings, and is a very practical way to cultivate joy. Think of that project that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time - maybe you’ve been wanting to learn another language, write more short stories, beat the record on track team - and commit yourself to doing it. You’ll have to be more organized, and set reachable goals, but in the end, the effort will be so worth it, and the journey to accomplishing what you set out to will give you a big dose of joy.

Do something you love - This one only is hard when it comes time to stop. Think about the things that give you joy - whether it’s going out with friends, shopping, exercise, painting, etc. - and do that thing. It’s a surefire way to get a good grasp of joy, but you have to be make sure that the thing you love to do doesn’t become a crutch. You’ve probably heard the adage, “Too much of a good thing.” If you do something you love in excess, then that thing won’t give you much joy anymore. Do what you love in moderation, and you’ll be one joyful person!

Image source: pixabay.com

Image source: pixabay.com

Make time for laughter - Anyone’s who laughed knows that it makes them feel better. There’s no wonder that some of the most joyful people you know love to laugh! Think about the last time you genuinely laughed: how did you feel? As you grow older, you’ll have less opportunity to laugh, so while you’re young you should make it a habit. Maybe you have a group of friends that always make you laugh, or you love to watch comedies - you know what makes you laugh. Make time for these things, and you’ll find a whole lot of joy.

Finding joy isn’t as hard as it first seems, no matter where you’re coming from. The hardest part is putting one foot in front of the other, and making the effort to build up that joy. Give yourself time, and you’re sure to find that joy and hold onto it for years to come. If you’re a senior, then you have a unique opportunity to build that joy through a senior session with me. Contact me here to book your session!

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Tips for Traveling on a Budget

We have all been there: drooling over the Instagram of that one friend, the one who always seems to be jet-setting off to a new destination. We have all dreamed of traveling to see new places, and I always love a good vacation! But, sometimes our budgets have other plans, and it can be especially hard to plan for travel when you’re in high school or you are a parent paying for a high schooler as they graduate. I wanted to put together some of my best tips for traveling on a budget today! You can start dreaming of your next trip, even if it’s just an overnight jaunt to a nearby city. Travel is good for the body, and the soul!

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

-Plan with safety and convenience in mind: Never go on a trip without telling someone, and if you’re in high school, be sure to tell a trusted adult when you’ll be leaving and returning. Have your car checked out before you go on a long road trip, so you don’t risk blowing a tire or having your car break down (thus costing tons of money) while you are away from family and friends. Make sure you can charge your phone somehow, and bring along emergency cash, food, and water anytime you are driving a long distance, especially in the colder months or extreme heat. 

-Make a budget: Decide what you will be able to pay, and if you’re traveling with friends, make sure you are upfront about what you and they will be paying for. It’s never fun to have a surprise that you weren’t planning for, or having to foot the bill for something you didn’t know you were responsible for. You can even use an app like Paypal or Venmo to create a money pool and budget accordingly. Be considerate of others if you are planning a group trip, and come up with ways to make it affordable for everyone, even if it means skipping a fancy dinner and packing your own food. Remember it’s about relationships, not the money spent. Make a budget and stick to it, so you’re not left with credit card debt as your souvenir!

-Don’t book your travel on a sketchy site: One of the best ways to lose your hard earned money is to book with a scam website. Don’t fall for emails that say you will win a free cruise or trip, unless you trust the sender. Be sure to double check any bookings you have made, and try to go through a well regarded travel site like Expedia or Kayak, to minimize the risk of putting your credit card and information out there for hackers. If possible, book using a credit card with fraud protection versus a debit card that can drain your accounts. You can also use the airline tools that show you the cheapest fares, in order to select any flights that will save you money. 


-Organize meals and snacks ahead of time: one of the biggest areas that will cost when you travel is food. You can minimize the amount of money you’ll have to spend on dining out by taking advantage of things like a continental breakfast at a hotel, or packing easy to eat items like instant oatmeal, granola bars, or beef jerky in order to skip at least one meal a day in a restaurant. Even something like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may not be glamorous but they will save you quite a bit. When you do eat out, check Yelp for affordable places to eat, and order water to drink (even the few dollars adds up). If you’re going to be dining at places you know ahead of time, like chain restaurants, consider buying gift cards before you go at your local grocery store. You’ll earn gas points when you purchase them at most grocery chains, and it’s money you’d already be spending, so it’s a great way to save on gas.

-Look for cheap travel ideas: If you keep an open mind, you can travel on a shoestring, even if it’s just camping. Camping can be a great way to get out of town without paying for a spendy hotel. Travel is so good to clear your head and get a change of pace, and camping can do just that, even if it’s a short drive away. Gather up some friends, and get into the great outdoors for a trip that won’t break the bank

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