I Found Love

A year ago, I prayed for love.

I was broken and betrayed and I wished with all of my heart for love to come find me.

I screamed to the heavens with sorrowful begging.

PROVE to me that I am worthy, I thought.

I cursed karma and told myself how hard it would be to ever trust a man again.

I hated the idea of letting someone else break me.

360 days have gone by and I realize that I got exactly what I asked for.

I found love.

No, a man did not come and sweep me off my feet and fix my broken heart.

But I sure did.

Prince Charming did not ride up on a silver horse and hand me my self-worth.

I built it day by day.

I found love through myself.

Love for the weird quirks that make me who I am.

Like laughing at my own jokes or talking to myself in the emptiness of my apartment.

The inability to make good comebacks and tenderness to cry at the tears of someone else.

I started a journey to truly love the person I am and see my own worth as valuable currency.

I stopped spending my energy on those who didn’t appreciate it.

When I did that, I started meeting new faces.

I found love.

I found friends who cared so deeply for me they would listen to me talk about the same dilemma for hours and days just so I could walk myself through it.

They took me on crazy adventures and introduced me to more and more people until I built a network of love and support.

Losing one person led me to an incredible family of friends who have loved me and protected me in the exact way I need it.

In the way that never leaves.

They have shown me the selflessness it takes to make a relationship work, friendships or any type of relationship.

They have supported me with every dream and decision and pushed me forward when I need a little nudge.

The people I have met in the past year have become indispensable and incredibly valuable.

They have continuously encouraged my self growth and self love.

I prayed for love and at the time, I wanted a man I could call my best friend.

I got something so essential to what I need.

I got a team of best friends who have loved me more than anyone has before.

And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Love,

Anna Marie

 

 

 

 

 

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Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland

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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,

Anna Marie

Laughing in a Foreign Country

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.

merryI 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. 

Making some yummy eggs!

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.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Traveling Cheap: It’s About Who You Know

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.

Hiking with my cousin throughout the beautiful California land.

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,

Anna Marie

THIS Is What You Deserve

You deserve to love the way freckles kiss your face.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of your mind and the strength in not only knowing what you deserve but doing everything you can to be as deserving as you think you are.

You deserve the best night’s sleep. To wake up with a smile that fills you with ambition and energy throughout your day. To have the perfect ratio of creamer to coffee or to buy yourself a cup just because you’ve earned it.

You deserve sunshine warming your veins or the calming pitter patter of raindrops against your window. To feel purpose in what you do and appreciated for what you have done. To feel satisfied in your work yet able to know when to go home and enjoy the other side of your life.

You deserve to be loved by family. To not just know that they care about you but to feel it in their actions and words. To feel supported in your dreams and in your choices. To become more confident in the person you are becoming because of the confidence they instill in you. To feel more of a connection than just blood.

You deserve the best kind of friends. The ones who choose to be your family and will always let you soak their shirt with tears. The kind who will not judge you but push you forward and towards your own goals. Friends who will let you be weak when you can’t be strong and make you laugh when you are in darkness.


You deserve to love who you are.
  To call yourself beautiful.To have pride in where you’ve been and excitement for where you are going. To love the way your hips fit into jeans or how your hair falls around your shoulders. To know that you are worthy of love and to always appreciate the small moments.

You deserve to fall in love. You deserve butterflies. You deserve to wake up to soft kisses and arms tight against you. To laugh louder than ever before and to fall for your best friend. To fit so well with someone that you want to make fun of each others wrinkles and white hair one day.

You deserve happiness. But it can’t all fall into your lap as a gift from the sky. It has to start with YOU. Your attitude, your willingness to grow and push yourself, your determination and your patience all have a say in what you will get, regardless of what you deserve.

Treat the world in this way and you will find happiness in what comes back to you.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

Goodbye USA, Hello Germany

I am so excited to announce that I will be spending the next month of my life with family in Germany!

Not only is this an amazing opportunity to get to know my family overseas but it is a chance to learn about my roots. I get to see where my family comes from and learn details about my heritage. I am so blessed to have this chance and cannot express my excitement for these next four weeks.

I will be on a plane all day as I cross the ocean and as I’m cramped in the luxurious economy class seat, I will be thinking about how this next month will play out. I have another chance to unwind and repair all of the stress this summer has accidentally set on my shoulders.

This is a chance to immerse into a new culture filled with insanely yummy chocolate and potent beer. The memories made here will definitely be shared during my travel Tuesday posts and I cannot wait to see how Germany changes me.

Get ready for posts of family, castles and German everything.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Life’s Little Therapies

There are certain instances in life that you just sit back and think “WOW, did that just make me feel better…”

Life has a funny way of teaching you therapeutic ways to make yourself feel better without you even realizing it. Check out the examples I came up with below.

Riding in a car with the music loud… There is just something about loud music that speaks to you in a car that let’s you experience the environment around you. Riding in a car soothes the soul and rocks your anger to sleep. The music lets you belt out your favorite words and says exactly what you are feeling. The combination drowns out the thoughts in your head as your journeying to somewhere different (even if it is just on your way back home).

Seeing something new… Whether it’s a back road you’ve never taken or a town 15 minutes away that you have never explored, a change of scenery is stimulating. It occupies your brain and can erase your worries for the time being. It’s a reminder that the world is huge and there are opportunities everywhere.

Sticking your feet in the ocean… Grounding yourself. Letting the waves wash over your toes and sinking your feet into the sand is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. It’s a gentle motivation to stay calm and breathe. It makes us feel peaceful and whole in the mass of the world. It is by far one of my favorite therapies.

A get together with your closest friends or family members… There is something about sharing laughter with those closest to you that can lift your spirits. Reminiscing on old times, creating new memories or just sitting in their presence can make you feel so much better. The presence of someone who cares about you can really make you feel less alone and give you something to look forward to. It’s a way to distract yourself from negativity and reach for the ones who can make your happiness soar.

Indulging in something you love… What is your favorite hobby? What is something you haven’t done in a while? Whether it’s cooking, reading, running or calling your grandma, do something that you know will make you feel relaxed or calm. Sometimes we don’t feel like doing anything at all but by letting ourselves just sit around, we aren’t taking a step forward. At least grab your favorite snack or dance around to one song. Do it for you.

These are a few of life’s indulgences that can raise your mood and make you feel even just a smidge better on a gloomy day. Remember that time will pass whether you are enjoying it or not. Take advantage of what days you have left and be happy.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie