Bruised hearts belong to the brave and the willing.
The ones who open wide to pain and shake hands with fear.
The ones who love so fiercely we cannot help but savor every last drop of lust and love.
The ones who are abused and used…
Left to be broken and battered in ash filled memories that drift like haze into our lungs.
Bruised hearts beat stronger than the rest.
We know what it’s like to feel heartache with every beat per minute- counting to ten over and over again until the day is done and we can finally breathe in our sleep.
Bruised hearts do not lack self-worth.
We value our beauty and brains because we know exactly what we have to offer and what we deserve.
We aren’t afraid to walk away from anything less than a HELL YEAH and we will never settle for mediocre.
We value the person we are and push against all odds to cling to our dreams.
Bruised hearts exceed exhaustion.
With sweaty palms and empty lungs- we pace ourselves in a life long race of self love and self empowerment.
We constantly remind ourselves how far we’ve come and the strength we’ve tirelessly built along the way.
Our bodies and our minds are a fortress that cannot be destroyed by those who try to manipulate and change us.
Bruised hearts are willing to do whatever it takes to be the person we know we can be.
A person who loves everyone so recklessly that smiles are ignited wherever we go.
A person who inspires those around us to lift others up instead of falling into jealousy’s arms.
Bruised hearts have been damaged and ripped to shreds.
We have ricocheted countless attacks and we are still sewing the pieces back together as we grow.
We will never stop growing.
Our lights will never be dimmed.
Bruised hearts will always glow.
❤ Anna Marie
It’s true, us travelers are wired differently.
We don’t discover our souls, we create them. So once you’ve met someone who has decided to create a soul full of adventure and wander, prepare yourself for how they think and where their passions lie.
We crave change. I’m not talking about moving every few months or trips to Europe every single year. The change of scenery we need is more about exploring something new. We want our eyes to be awakened by new places and that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
I can’t tell you how much small trips mean to us wanderers. Whether it’s getting coffee in the next town over or exploring a new park, we crave a change that will refresh our inspiration.
We seek adventure. We need to have fun in a way that is new to us. An adventure can be as small as going to a new grocery store or searching for a new solitary. Walking new paths or searching for the oldest antique shop around, we just crave an adrenaline rush.
We want knowledge outside of our city limits. What else is out there? As soon as we’ve left, we realize how much we HAVEN’T seen yet. We start planning and plotting for new trips that will teach us more about the world than a text book every could.
Daydreaming is guaranteed to be filled with exotic locations and foods that we don’t even know exist yet.
We love solo adventures that help us create ourselves but we also love sharing our wanderings with loved ones. If you see the most incredible flower field hidden in a mountain valley, happiness consumes you. If someone is with you, you look right at them and smile from ear to ear because it just became a shared memory. You are both witnesses to a beauty that can never be translated into words.
Come on my fellow wanderers. What else makes our souls all about travel?
As my last day here comes to a close, I can’t believe a month has flown by so quickly.
I met most of my extended family from Germany for the first time. I tried a horse patty. I ordered food in German without any help. I made friends whose first language isn’t my own.
I truly lived here for one month.
I can’t explain the powerful vibes that come from a town that your ancestors have grown up in. I brushed dead leaves from the grave of my great Oma who’s name I now carry. I walked the same streets she did and hung out with the children of my dad’s German best friend.
These buildings hold memories that belong to generations of those who share the same blood. The sense of family and love that I get when I talk to the people who live here is unlike any place I have ever been before.
As a stranger, it did not take me long to feel like I completely belong in this small town. Whoever said Germans aren’t friendly did not come to this little village.
I learned the coolest expressions and figured out that Germans cannot say the word ‘squirrel’. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to collapse on the pavement.
Needless to say the people I met here and the memories I made will stay in my heart forever.
This trip has been the most incredible first journey in this country. I am so blessed to have had this chance to make so many memories and I can’t wait to come back for more.
Until next time,
When I came to this little European small town, I never expected to meet so many people. I really didn’t expect to become such good friends with so many of them. Being here has given me the chance to be so extremely happy and I can’t believe my time here is coming to a close.
I know the question that will be asked over and over when I go home. What was your favorite part of the trip? The best way I found that answer?
I stayed in this town and lived like a local. The best way to answer it? Rattle off one of these answers from the list of favorites I have created. 🙂 Enjoy.
I went to the local fairs and festivals. We went on rides and discovered that German fair food includes Chinese noodles and chocolate covered fruit on a stick. YUM.
I wandered the cobblestone streets until I knew them as well as I know my home town. I still awe at the architecture and differences that make this country so unique.
I learned that they don’t refrigerate their milk or eggs and how convenient that would be if I could just take a few boxes home.
The cheese here just can’t match the tastiness of growing up in the US cheese state but their bratwurst and sauerkraut are to die for.
Every night, I take a walk with my sister on a trail that surrounds the entire town of Kriegsfeld and that more often than not, our walks will be intercepted by local friends who want us to join them for a night of crazy memories. If not, they’re filled with sunsets and sights that never get old.
Flunkyball is a game that taught me to chug a German beer faster than some men.
The stars here shine so much brighter because it’s not very populated and one night we laid in the grass as a group and watched a meteor shower. I saw about 25-30 shooting stars that night and I realized how happy I was when I couldn’t think of many wishes to put in the hands of the falling star.
If you stay out with friends until the wee hours of the morning, it is tradition to make eggs at someones house and then go home.
I’ve thought so much more about what I’m saying because I can’t speak complicated, messy sentences or no one will understand me. I have to be concise and simple. It taught me the important lesson of talking with a purpose.
Football (soccer) is life. We’ve been to the local town games and are adventuring to a big town game today.
The people are amazing. The girls and guys our age were so accepting and excited to talk to us. They were hilarious and never made us feel like outsiders.
The cart system at grocery stores make so much more sense. Pay a quarter and return the cart so there’s no mess and people put their carts away. Also, you have to pay for plastic bags. So bring your own reusable ones!
If you have any German language training at all, it is so different once you are here. The dialects make the language sound quite different than a classroom setting but being here for one month has definitely improved my understanding of some conversations.
Family is everything. They love you, care for you and spoil you. Without them, this experience would have never happened and they are the reason I had the time of my life.
*disclaimer* today’s post is a little bit rushed but stick with me here! I’ve only got so much time and after all, I’m on vacation. 😉
Wisconsin is the most German state in the U.S. We are considered to be the most drunk state, the one with the most German heritage and who knows what else.
Now that I am finally in this beautiful country, I am so excited to release a list of things I’ve learned when comparing the two. It may not be just Germany, it could be Europe as a whole vs. the US. Nonetheless, here we go.
1. Sparkling Water vs. “Still” Water
Over here, when you ask for water, you get sparkling water. They sell “still” water for your drinking pleasure but I have been the only one who enjoys it. Everyone here drinks bubbly water, even chugging it after a tough workout. I can get used to it if I am forced to, however carbonated water just doesn’t feel right when you’ve been drinking still water your whole life. It sure makes you feel fancy though.
2. Beer and Wine in Germany vs. Beer and Wine in Wisconsin
The beer here is as I expected, way stronger and very delicious. You will not find a can of Busch Light over here. American beer is often much more watered down than in Germany. Also, their wine is amazing but also much stronger. Where as a few glasses can hold you over in the states, one glass can get the job done here. They also mix their wine with sprite, lemonade or water.
My favorite beer that tastes like sunshine and happiness? Bitburger Radler. Amazing.
3. The roads.
The streets here are very narrow compared to the US. When you’re going through a town, it’s not uncommon to pull over to let the oncoming car get by first.
Speaking of their cars, they’re much smaller and more compact. It’s because of their roads that this is more common but it was quite the adjustment from the room you have in the states.
Also, you get your license when you are 18, not 16.
4. The Drinking Age and Rules
This is obviously one of the biggest differences people notice. In Germany, you are allowed to drink beer and wine when you are 16, any kind of alcohol when you turn 18.
The U.S.? 21. In all honesty, I have seen 18 year olds handle their alcohol so much more maturely then 21 year olds back in the states. I think the lower drinking age teaches responsibility at a young age and you learn how to control yourself by the time you are an adult.
In the US, there is so much underage drinking as well as binge drinking. People often go way past their limit and I have not seen nearly as bad behavior in Germany.
Also different, you can have open alcohol in the car as long as you are not the one driving. You can also have it on the streets or sidewalks if you’re going somewhere.
Stick vs. Spray… I must say I have been converted.
6. Drinking games
In Wisconsin, the games we play are based on trying to get the other team to drink. Here? The one game we learned is about your team chugging your way to victory. You are the ones who want to drink in order to win.
7. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Here, your breakfast will never be pancakes or french toast. It’s usually bread and meat. Which, by the way, the bread here is different in a way I can’t explain but so darn delicious. Lunch is usually heavy and dinner is pretty light.
8. Smoking Cigarettes
I have never seen so many young people smoke so many cigarettes. Smoking is so common here for young people and I am actually looking forward to going back to the states so I don’t come into constant contact with smoke. Back home, I don’t have any friends that I know of that smoke cigarettes. Here, I have seen 80% of young adults smoking. It made me appreciate how far America has come with the smoking population.
In Germany, there is country for miles and then a small town where houses all touch and are crammed together. There is no country living. There is beautiful farm land all around you and barely any random scattered houses. This is much more common in Wisconsin where you’ll see farms and the houses that are occupied by those who run them. There are backyards and country living. It’s definitely two very different ways of living.
10. European Hair
Can we just talk about the hairstyle men have here? They all have shaved sides and a nice floof on top that is styled to perfection. The men here just seem to care way more about what they look like then back home. I don’t really have a preference but it’s definitely very different.
This is the very quick version of what is different, I am sure more will be spilling out of me soon.
As a poor college student who works part-time and just above minimum wage, I’ve been asked by several people how the heck I can afford to travel.
It’s about brains… and hugely based off of who you know.
I’m not talking about befriending the son of the man who built the Hilton Hotels so you can get a special deal or marrying the woman who can get you free airfare.
It’s about friends, family and simply asking to stay with them. Out of the travels I have been on so far, exactly half have been with friends or family. This cuts down the price significantly because I didn’t have to pay for hotels or nearly as much food. Just transportation and souvenirs. The BEST part? I get to rekindle family love.
So I took off on a road-trip with my cousin a few years ago. Just a few months ago I asked if I could visit my cousin in California who was more than happy to pick me up from the airport and let me stay with her. Now, I am currently in Germany with extended family who is from here and able to stay with them for an entire month, no charge.
Now, don’t be thinking I’m only visiting these places to travel. To be able to grow close with family that has moved across the country is THE biggest perk of this idea. I’ve dreamed of this trip to Germany since I was a little girl and was so blown away by the love and kindness we received as soon as we landed here. (This is for another post altogether! 😉 )
Visiting family world wide has helped me grow as a traveler and as a person. It’s always scary to ask an extended family member if you can stay with them if you aren’t too close but trust me, they will almost always say yes. They will enjoy your company and appreciate the time you spend visiting.
Start making a list of the people you know in places you’d love to see. Not even that, just make a list of family who’s moved far away and who you miss quite dearly. Next, ask them if you can make a journey out there and here is where your adventure begins.
Whether friends, acquaintances or friends of friends, it never hurts to ask. The best case is you save money and make a new friend, the worst is that they say no.
Take advantage of those who are living elsewhere and invite them to take advantage of you. The more people you meet, the better chance that you will find someone through connections that can help you save a little bit on your next trip.
Start your engines and begin planning,
To be in love with travel is to find bits and pieces of yourself with every new journey.
It is to recognize the value in what the world can teach you and ask questions of what we don’t know.
It is to crave adventure and knowledge that surpasses any type of vacation. It is to learn and feel inspired by a place different than our comfy homes.
To love to travel is to constantly feel the hunger for new people, places and things. It is to love your home but grow tired of small trees and familiar buildings. It is the need to squish your toes in the sand of a beach you haven’t explored and smell the leaves of a forest you could happily get lost in.
It isn’t resentment from where we come from but curiosity for the thousands of places that lie beyond our town lines, state lines or national borders. It is a huge question mark that we need to answer and so plane tickets are purchased and never regretted.
Travel is about scraping together enough pennies to make a dream trip a reality. Never will a traveler look over their shoulder into the past and wish they hadn’t wandered somewhere new. We crave new sights and memories that cannot be priced by humanity.
To be in love with travel is to experience the thrill of a new culture and to explore every corner of a new city until exhaust forces our heads to our pillows. It is to be in love with the world as a whole and to want to get to know as much land as humanly possible.
Travel makes us come home and hug our loved ones because we see so many wonderful and terrifying places across oceans. It makes us sleep better in our own beds and appreciate the towns and cities that raised us because they will forever be our home.
It is not a way for us to escape our own lives but a way to expand it. To reach out beyond our comfort zones and embrace more people and places than we thought we could hold on to.
Travel is a way for us to grow immensely in a way that can never be measured.
We feel all of these things and more, when we are in love with traveling.
Time is fickle.
Time is precious.
Time heals all wounds.
Time waits for no one.
The problem is you think you have time.
What other expressions can you think of that have to do with the shadiness of time?
I like that last one quite a bit. The problem is you think you have time. Guilty. Many have used and abused time as excuses and reasons for not doing what makes us happy. It’s hard not to think, I have the “rest of my life” to do things. Travel, fall in love, work towards a successful career… it will all happen when it is supposed to.
There is no such thing as the right “time” for something to happen. A million dollars won’t fall into your lap unless you buy a lottery ticket or work your tail off. You won’t fall in love unless you start meeting people. You aren’t going to succeed unless you try.
We stop pushing ourselves because we are convinced that we have enough time down the road to fix our ways and become someone we would enjoy spending time with. It’s easy to forget that every day we are a person who won’t be much different from the one waking up tomorrow, so if you never push yourself to become the 2.0 machine you dream of, you are not going to get anywhere.
Time won’t wait for you to pull yourself together.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is the person we want to be.
The leading cause of death is time. With enough time, everyone dies. Time isn’t distributed evenly to all of us. There are rations and extensions, miracles and tragedies. It’s fair and unfair. However, if you knew that you only had one week left to live, think of the incredible adventures and memories you would make. Think of the people you would talk to and who you would go and visit. That’s how we should live every day (with the occasional lazy Sunday).
Stop letting time pass without feeling like you’re progressing forward.
Grab the bull by the horns and keep up with the pace time has set for you.
No one makes it out a live so we might as well enjoy what we’re given.
I always struggle with the internal dilemma of whether I should take pictures/videos on a vacation or not. However, I can’t say I’m disappointed with my decision to capture some of this beautiful country on my camera. I lived in the moment every day and took just enough video to remind myself why I fell in love with the Thai culture.
It made me realize there is such a fine balance between taking things in on vacation and going overboard with pictures that will never capture such a beautiful place.
Watch my adventures and you’ll be searching for the next flight to Bangkok. .
P.S. If you want to read more in depth about my Thailand adventure, you can click on a previously written blog post here!
Happy Tuesday and until tomorrow,