Travel, Meet Pinterest

Two of my favorite things are Pinterest and Travel. Today, I am going to leave you with some of the best Pinterest boards to follow for those who love to travel. Enjoy!

1. https://www.pinterest.com/whatsgabycookin/travel/

Love these pictures, get lost, etc…

Orvieto, ItalyBlue Window | Rock | San Laurenz, Gozo, Malta

2. https://www.pinterest.com/enmibolso/travel/

Make your heart ache with longing for these kind of places…

Verdant setting on Lake Como in northern Italy • photo: Daniel Schwabe on Flickr

3. https://www.pinterest.com/carajourdan/travel/

Please those eyeballs with pictures like…

Blue Canyon, Arizona.

4. https://www.pinterest.com/SugarAndCloth/travel/

Satisfy that wanderlust with…

Waterfall of Gods - icelandMandore Gardens, Rajasthan / India

5. https://www.pinterest.com/dodo/travel/

Get obsessed about…

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Hope you don’t procrastinate too long on these boards. 😉

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Netflix Necessities and Must Watch List

Ahhh, Netflix. The source of my happiness and procrastination. I’m sure you feel the same. One of the strongest moments of indecision I have had in the past few weeks is choosing a new series or movie to watch when I have down time.

Google Images.

Google Images.

It’s like the last show you had was building a solid relationship with you and when it ended, your heart cried a little. You go through the list of recommendations others have given you but you refuse to believe a show could be better than the gem you just watched. You aimlessly scroll past shows that you’ve heard of or have a slight interest in but you just can’t bring yourself to press play unless you know it will make you as hooked as the last show.

Your prayers have been answered for those of you who have the same likes as me.

I don’t mind fantasy but I need a solid plot line with meaningful plot twists and romance thrown in somehow. As long as that is present in a series or movie, it will most likely keep me hooked. So below I listed some favorites and explained the strongest argument for watching them.

One Tree Hill: You probably have heard of this show from one of it’s fan girls. However, it’s not just for the sappy women out there. I do know a few gentlemen who got hooked into it’s plot line. Here’s why. It has a growing plot line through the whole series, new characters emerge, the drama doesn’t get overboard and you get emotionally attached to each character.

Dexter: This is my current series. I didn’t think I would like this show that much but after the first few episodes, I was completely drawn in and interested by the unique story line. This is so different from any other crime show you watch. It has humor, darkness, mystery, insane plot twists and a bit of romance. I’ve watched two seasons in one week… oops.

House: If you haven’t heard of house, you’re living under a rock. This show is absolutely hilarious and constantly keeps you on your toes. In my opinion, it’s the best hospital show out there. The dark humor and mystery are great traits of this show. Every episode is a new mystery and there’s an underlying plot line that continues throughout the show.

Vampire Diaries: This is one of my all time favorite shows. There is fantasy, drama, romance, mystery, and humor all wrapped perfectly into clever plot lines. The story line moves slow in some parts that makes you want to scream with the suspense but perfectly in other areas. You will always be kept guessing because there is no signs to predict what will happen next. You know how you can get feelings from shows and take a guess what is going to happen? You won’t see half of the plot twists coming.

I love to find stories on my down time. I love to see stories revealed and connect emotionally with characters. Half of me feels like I am studying for my future career and half of my feels so relaxed. Finding that next wonderful series is like a treasure hunt and the listed shows are gold.

Let me know your other favorites in the comments below!

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

282 Words About Office Drama

I work in a professional environment at a University and the drama and gossip I hear is outrageous. I hear half of my co-workers bashing co-workers and roommates talking about each other behind their back the second one of them leaves.

Honestly? It’s driving me insane. I am one of a few staff members who sits quietly and listens to all of this but after everything I’ve heard these past few months, I am about ready to scream. I have no idea how this behavior will work in the real world when we graduate college and must be adults in our careers. I love my job but some times the people make it quite disappointing.

I know the real world will have some of these offices too, but I will never choose to be a part of one. Quite frankly, I’m really sick of listening to people say one thing and act another.

So rising above it? Yes. I’ll keep my mouth shut, eyes wide in disbelief, and make mental notes that I would never befriend these people outside of a work environment.

I could confront them. Yet, is it really worth it? I make them mad, they don’t listen, they continue to talk. So I won’t say anything until they hurt a friend. I’ll talk with the workers I’ve gotten to be really close to and do my best to plug my ears to the words of those who must talk poorly about others.

It’s sad that in my college career, I sometimes feel like I’m back in high school.

If you have any glorious pointers for what I could do, please PLEASE comment below.

Until tomorrow,

Anna the Frustrated Student-Worker

Wanderlust + Craving = Fernweh

fernwehFERNWEH. The beauty in this German word is just overwhelming.Travelers are known for saying they crave new places. This word is even more. I love the addition that we not only crave travel,  but we become homesick for a place we’ve never been.

Have you ever felt this way? I have this constant itch to experience something new and see a place I have only seen on Pinterest. I was on vacation only 2 1/2 months ago, yet I am ready to get on a plane to anywhere.

What is it inside travelers that leaves us longing for adventure. It’s an internal timer that constantly ticks down to the next time you set foot on a plane or in a car. Whether it’s the mountains, the forest, the ocean or city lights, I just want my eyes to be exposed to a new scene.

I want to breathe in air that smells different from home. I wish to meet people that grew up in a culture that is nothing like mine. I need to be awed by foods that I’ve never heard of and taste the strangeness they hold. There’s nothing like a whole new world that’s just a plane/car/boat ride away.

It’s so hard to explain the longing we feel for something new. A change of scenery is something that renews us and going many different places somehow helps us find ourselves. For those who don’t understand why travelers want to travel, we don’t understand why staying in one place is desired.

Yet, it’s kind of frightening when you think of that craving you have to go everywhere right now. Will you be able to settle down if you constantly want to change it up? You’re only young once. You could be young forever if you make it that way. Depending on who you are, maybe moving around is exactly what you want. Maybe you just want to have a home but get your butt to a different country ever so often to have it all.

Either way, I won’t stop. I have never regretted the money I spent on travel. Those experiences helped me find a piece of myself and grow into someone who won’t settle for no adventures. I will continue to travel because I crave it more than I crave the every day wish list. I long for these places I’ve never been and dream of mountains I’ve never climbed.

How would you put all of this into one word?

Fernweh.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Photography and Video Editing: Doing is Learning

I am currently a student in media production and a volunteer learner of photography. So what better project could come along when my professor told me that I would be creating a still image project with only two seconds of video and at least three layers of audio? A creative project, that is.

It’s time to talk about one of my biggest passions and inspirations. I love creating video projects. I’ve been editing since I was in 8th grade and shooting pictures for as long as I can remember. I have always had dreams of using my talent in a career and I still dream of the day I can live that reality.

So here below, I wanted to share some of my photography from the shoot and ultimately the finished product. Comments are welcomed. Enjoy!

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And as promised… this what happened when hundreds of these photos came together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1TTtEPC6w

I hope you enjoy my project and thank you for stopping by Inspired She Lives!

Until TRAVEL TUESDAY tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

The Art of Being Thankful

In a world that demands more, more, more, it’s hard to appreciate how hard we’ve worked and the accomplishments we’ve made. As soon as we complete something, there’s another goal ahead of us, another milestone to reach or another level to advance to.

Let’s just stop for a second and do what’s forbidden. Let’s take a look at your past, even if we aren’t headed that way.

In the past year, what goals did you meet? What did you get done that was a weight off of your shoulders? Are we allowed to high five ourselves for staying sane in world that demands continuity in everything we do? If so, high five to you, if not, under the table fist bump.

We don’t get enough time to reflect on what we do well and appreciate the time we had to get where we are right now. The bad part about the future is most of us are always looking there instead of just being here. I don’t know about you but here is a great place to stay.

Let’s keep this short, sweet, and to the point, eh?

Today, I want to be grateful and thankful for the struggles I’ve been through and the goals I’ve met. I want to raise a toast to those of us who keep reaching for more even when we’ve done so much. Let’s say cheers to the people we’ve become because of the roadblocks we’ve encountered and the hurtles we’ve cleared. It’s a special day to be alive and we won’t get another day like this one.

Let’s live today a little less seriously and allow a breath or two. In a fast paced world, we deserve it. Call your mom or grandma and say I love you because you can. Thank your significant other for being the peanut butter to your jelly. Let your dog give you a sloppy kiss because you know how much he loves you. Even if it’s just for five minutes. Stop and appreciate how far you’ve come.

thankyouAnd now for my huge thank you, it goes to all of you reading this and those who have chosen to read what I have to say before and were amazingly kind to follow Inspired She Lives. In the past few days, Inspired She Lives published their 30th post and reached a few milestones pictured over there. Thank you for your readership and I hope you have a fabulous rest of your day.

Until Monday,

Anna Marie

Do You Have a Grey Personality?

You’re either one side or another, this or that, black or white. At least this is what I’m told. Except that my mind is the most indecisive machine you may ever encounter when it comes to choosing how my personality will be. So let me ask you, do you have a grey personality?

Here is a list of questions you may be able to answer easily: 

Are you sensitive or not?

Are you outgoing or introverted?

Are you a people person?

Are you a listener or a talker?

Are you easily guilt ridden?

Are you optimistic?

Did you answer all of those? Okay now here is how a grey personality would answer it.

Are you sensitive or not? Yes, most of the time, unless you count the people I don’t care for because they don’t effect me. Unless they’re really mean. I mean the people close to me can say something that I can brush off… sometimes, I think.

Are you outgoing or introverted? Oh I’m outgoing because I like people. Wait, actually, scratch that because some days I don’t want to see any human beings in my sight. When I do want to see people I’m outgoing but most days I don’t really want to see people… so… you decide.

Are you a people person? I would say I’m very good with people. Sometimes, they confuse me and I just kind of sit there. Mostly, I am really good with conversations and what not but sometimes people are just weird and can’t reciprocate. I have a love hate relationship with people.

Are you a listener or a talker? I am a solid listener. I am really good at the “mhm” and head nod thing. Then again, I love to get my two cents in a conversation and could go on for hours if its the right people. In those situations, I could do all the talking. Maybe it’s mood based?

Are you easily guilt ridden? You caught me. I feel so guilty for really simple things. I can feel guilty over someone saying I shouldn’t feel guilty. Unless they’re just a bunch of jerks that are trying to make me feel guilty. Then screw them I refuse to cave in to that kind of emotional abuse. Then I feel bad for not feeling guilty. Sometimes… crap.

Are you optimistic? I am an optimistic pessimist. Something wonderful will happen to me and I will know the world is paying me back for my wonderful nature and as soon as something weird or bad happens, I will think the world is out to get me. It’s both, really. I want to see the best in situations, but I can’t expect too much or I’ll get crushed.

 So what do you think? Do you have a grey personality? I struggle with these questions on a daily basis and hope to touch those who share my grey tendencies.

Until tomorrow lovelies,

Anna Marie

Why Thailand? I’ll Tell You Why

“Why Thailand?”

This is the question I heard over and over when I told my friends and family that I was traveling to the “Land of Smiles” this past winter. While my answer never seemed to make sense at the time, I can certainly tell you  why I chose Thailand now that I am home.

First, I must say that I went to Thailand through EF College Break for two weeks. I was in a group of 40 and the only person I knew before the trip was my boyfriend, Zach, who came with me. We paid a price and they had everything planned out for us already including several meals, hotels, transportation, plenty attractions, etc. It was so nice to not have to stress about the planning aspect and I would definitely go through them again.

BANGKOK

We flew into Bangkok, met our tour guide and travel group, and tried to sleep to beat the 11 hour time difference from home. To begin our journey, we went to a Thai home where we tasted raw sugar and saw squirrels doing back flips. We met the Thai family who lived there and were treated with the utmost kindness and respect. The first of many encounters we would have with this kind of treatment from the Thai culture.

Thailand. 2014.

Floating Market, Thailand. 2014

Later that day we went on a speedboat ride down the river, which was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. Water splashed around us and we saw a ton of tiny homes and temples. We drove through a floating market and stopped to shop for a while which introduced us to our very first market. When in Thailand, go to the markets. You learn to barter and it was one of my favorite experiences of the trip (and I don’t even go shopping that much you guys).

Something you must do if you ever go to Thailand, is get a massage. My boyfriend and I got an hour body massage for $8 each. It’s insanely cheap and feels really really good. They have shops everywhere so it’s not hard to find a place. Just walking the streets gives you plenty of opportunities to dive into the culture.

While in Bangkok, we also took a tour of the river that runs through the city. We saw a few beautiful temples as well as the Grand Palace which is one of the most gorgeous and detailed pieces of work I have ever seen. The intricacy of their architecture doesn’t fail to make you gasp every time you see a temple. There were quite a few crowds but you eventually learn to push and shove your way through if needed. Our tour guide always took good care of us.

Grand Palace, Thailand. 2015Grand Palace, Thailand. 2015.

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PHITSANULOK

We traveled to Phitsanulok on our way to Chiang Mai. On our way there, we stopped at one of my favorite places of the whole trip. Temple ruins. There was an incredibly sad story behind the ruins and it shocked us all. How can something so disastrous like a fire or flood lead to such beauty? I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai was a huge adventure. We visited the biggest night market in the city called Night Bazaar which had the coolest trinkets and gifts. We saw everything from insanely inappropriate bracelets to hand carved soap beauties that were made right in front of us.We went to another temple on top of a mountain by way of taxi pick up trucks. That was a great adventure. To think that it was completely normal to ride on a bench in the back of a pick up truck was so different than anything I’ve ever done.

We rode elephants and had the chance to pet a tiger.We also went on a bamboo raft ride down the river to see a Thai tribe. That little tribe was a really great cultural experience. It was such a versatile city and definitely more modernized than Bangkok.

I must say, riding elephants was the chance of a lifetime but I won’t do it again. After we were on the giant mammal, our guide would hit him if he wasn’t going fast enough and it was a horrible feeling to be a part of that. I felt so guilty. After the ride, we had the chance to have elephants do tricks with us in which the owners weren’t hurting the elephants at all. This was really neat to be a part of. They lifted us up in the air with their trunks and shoveled sugar cane and bananas into their mouths as treats. Then they put on an elephant show to show off their impressively intelligent minds. They painted pictures, gave massages and even played soccer.

As for the tigers, some of them were so visibly drugged up I couldn’t bring myself to get in the cage with them. But some people on the trip really enjoyed petting the tigers. It’s all about what you know and what you believe.

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PHUKET

This place was paradise. If you go to Phuket, please go to Phi Phi Islands and to islands around there. That was the best part of Phuket. We stayed in Patong Beach and it was so humid so when you got to the beach, the ocean breeze felt like a slice of heaven. The beaches are very pretty, but once you see the the islands that are a boat ride away, it will outrank every other beach you have ever seen. We had a few free days and went ziplining, beaching and island hopping. Phuket was an incredible place to stay and the pictures can’t do it justice.

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WHY

Was that enough to convince you why? If not, here is a summary of how I felt. Thailand itself was beautiful and so were the people. Thai people are so kind everywhere you go and almost all of them can speak English. It actually makes you feel stupid if you don’t speak another language fluently. The Thai culture is something that is indescribable unless you have experienced their genuine nature.

Here are somethings I haven’t mentioned that just add to the trip overall.

Traffic is insane. There are almost no rules. You run a lot of red lights, people drive the wrong way on the shoulders and you see multiple people riding in the bed of a truck. It was exciting and scary all wrapped into one. Pedestrians don’t have a right of way, you stick your hand out and start walking in the middle of the road to get someone to stop. It’s a lot different from home but a really cool experience.

Stray dogs are everywhere and it will make you sad. Thai people see them as pests and we saw some dogs get rocks thrown at them. The dogs themselves didn’t give us any problems and some of them were so gentle and kind. Buy them crackers and love them up if they don’t seem disease ridden.

Everything is super cheap, which makes you buy everything. It is about 32 Baht to $1. You can get a T-Shirt for $3 and I got plenty of cultural souvenirs.

Be open to experiencing anything. We went to a monk chat that I wasn’t expecting to be high on my list of favorite things I did, but it was. I learned so much about Buddhism and why they live the way they do and it truly opened my eyes to why their culture is so friendly and giving. Take opportunities and run with them.

This is definitely a really short synopsis of my trip, so feel free to message/comment with any further questions you may have.

I have a special place in my heart for Thailand and will always treasures the memories I made there.

Have a great rest of your day and until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Magic Lives in Movies

We willingly go into a theater that can leave us heartbroken, angry or searching the corners of our minds for answers. We know half the story line before we purchase our ticket and as we sit down in the dimly lit theater, we take our first step into the magic a movie theater can offer.

2014.

2014.

As the music plays and people trickle in, we chuckle and talk-whisper about the drama in our day. We overhear people guess about what’s going to happen or how the movie will be.

We anxiously check the time on our phones until the lights fade out and trailers start playing, adding on to your list of must-sees. When the opening titles hit the screen, we turn our bodies toward the screen and get a wave of excitement for the journey that’s about to begin.

The movies that create magic grab our attention from beginning to end. We are so involved in the movie that time is irrelevant and you don’t realize how emotionally invested you are until the climax hits you hard. At this point, one particular emotion can slam into your soul until the movie ends. Sometimes you find a sweet ending, sometimes you are left with this emotion that will be on your mind for the rest of the day.

Great movies will do this to you. When you think of a movie for the rest of the day, that is a movie that deserves a round of applause. It’s different for everyone, of course. You won’t love every movie, that’s why there are so many in the world.

It’s a mini-getaway. It’s a place that can take your mind off your troubles and give you an escape that can make you feel inspired or just happy.

And to me, that’s pretty magical.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Insecurities Are Smothering

Since the dawn of time, us humans have tried to make ourselves better. That’s why there is education and careers. That’s also why there is plastic surgery and fashion. How weird is it that those two go together?

Wanting to improve yourself is a steadfast way to becoming who you want to be and there are fundamentals that get you up to par with the rest of our expectations in society. Reading, writing, social norms, etc. All of these things are skills you learn because it is what’s acceptable and expected of you. Once you graduate high school (in the common case that you will) you finally have a say in what further improvements you want to make on yourself, if any.

You can go to college, enter a steady career, move away from home, join the service and so many other options. On the other hand, you can also stay home.

Once we mill about our lives in our teen years, we start to realize our insecurities as we begin to notice other expectations surrounding us. Fashion standards, beauty standards, athletic standards, academic standards… all of these standards can make us feel like we have to be up to par with the rest of the world so we can be recognized as an adequate human being.

Then we begin to notice deep rooted insecurities that come from our pasts. Such as craving attention from parents who never gave it to you that makes you feel like you’re not good enough. Even when you are. Trust issues that stem from putting your faith in others that only backfires and hurts you. But not all people are bad. Picking on and bullying those around you because you aren’t treated well somewhere else in your life. Even when they don’t deserve it. 

All of these insecurities lead you to act a certain way and BECOME a certain person. Even if you don’t realize it. When we have all of these expectations and standards floating around us, it’s hard to get an A on every test that is given to us. How are we suppose to be everything? How are we suppose to stand out in a sea of people trying to become everything?

Focus on your values and your morals. Focus on what makes you the person you love and what could make you better. It’s hard to see how your past implicates your future but understand that it does. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is confidence. It’s something we must continuously do to accept what we are insecure about and even embrace them as we move forward.

So here’s a to a day filled with baby steps of making a yourself an even better you.

Until next week,

Anna Marie ❤