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

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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

To Be In Love With Travel

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.

924111_943279992350941_1436575087_nTo 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.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

A Thailand Montage

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.

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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. .

Watch It Here!

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,

Anna Marie

What Does T-R-A-V-E-L Stand For?

Give me a T! Travel.. defined. I split down the letters of this magnificent word to give you a deeper reasoning to what this word could mean to you.

T: ime! This is huge. We have earned the time off to treat ourselves. We WANTED this time to either get away or explore. Maybe we wanted the time to just breathe and stop our fast paced lives. Travel is time that you have to truly do what makes you happy and reset.

R: elaxation! It makes sense doesn’t it? We leave our homes in hopes of coming back refreshed and ready to conquer our days with a little more OOMPH before we left. The goal is to feel like you don’t have to worry as much because you can handle any daunting tasks when you return. This is the time to just breathe and be for the time being, stress is not invited.

A: dventure! When traveling, you’re usually in the mood to see new places you haven’t ever been to or at least come back to a place that you haven’t been to in a while. It’s common to try new things and explore the nooks and crannies of a new area. Get out on a new path and please those eyeballs with new sights.

V: alidation! Taking a trip is one of those times where you are free to think about whatever it is that is happening in your life. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to figure out what you want and to validate where you are headed in your life. Maybe you’re just validating why you needed this trip and resetting yourself. Either way, validating why you’re traveling, what you’re feeling or where you are can really become an important discovery on a trip.

E: xperience! Travel for the memories of course. You want to be able to say you went to Columbia for a few weeks and share all of the experiences you enjoyed. You want to make sure you lived as fully as that time offered you because you’re making memories that will be stories one day. Experience the world around you.

L: earn! It is my philosophy to always learn something new when I travel. Whether that be about the place you are visiting or something about yourself, take the time to learn. What’s the history behind your vacation spot? Get to know yourself again. What is important to you and your journey? Find out something new that you love. Just learn.

So get out there and T-R-A-V-E-L! The benefits are never ending and the memories last a life time.

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

California Here I Come

When things don’t go right, go left. Way left, all the way out to California. At least, that’s my plan.

A few weeks ago I had plans to embark on a fun-filled road trip but due to some uprising conflicts, the trip has been cancelled. While I am really sad that I won’t be able to experience some of the unique history held in our country, I AM excited that a new opportunity came up.

For the traveling souls, we know that sometimes, you just have TO GO. So when I was talking with my cousin who lives out west, we came up with the idea of me going out to visit her for a couple weeks. A vacation to escape the world I’m used to and give myself time to feel like myself again.

I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch the past few weeks. Because of this, I thought, maybe I should just stay home. I almost did until I thought what would Anna have done one month ago? Answer? She would have bought the ticket yesterday.

I booked my ticket a few days ago and leave in ten days. Spontaneous traveling will be my safe haven. It will allow me to see more of the world and come to terms with the vast possibilities and adventures that await over the horizon.

So California, here I come. Days filled with sunshine and the most therapeutic method of all- the ocean.

I cannot wait to be with someone who has lived a few of the same stories and who is such an inspiration to me. I cannot wait to go on adventures and catch up with myself to process what my life has been like for the past few years. Not many people get a chance like this. To just take a break and breathe. To adjust and understand where they want to go next. I need it and I need it with someone as wonderful as my cousin.

Maybe you don’t get an opportunity like this but I think it’s always important to take time to realize where you are and how you’re doing in your somewhat made up ten year plan. Are you happy? If not, what’s holding you back?

Those two weeks are going to help me recognize what’s important. Once again, travel is going to save me. New faces, new places and new memories. I am going to live every single day to it’s full potential of adventure because that’s what this trip deserves.

Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll hear all about it.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Planning Your Road Trip

Itching to hit the road? For those who cannot wait to get in a car and drive, I came up with a game plan to make the road plan as you start planning your road trip.

1. Who is going with you? Ask around and see which of your friends are willing to go on a road trip, that way you can start matching schedules.

2. How much time do you have? This is what will dictate how far you can go and to how many places you will be able to see. Figure out a chunk of time that you can escape and if possible, get dates ready so you can start seeing if there are any events on the road you could take part in.

3. Where do you want to go? You can’t do the entire United States in a week. Here is how you can narrow down where you want to go. Think of a few landmarks that you have been dying to see. Maybe it’s Mount Rushmore or maybe it’s Times Square, decide on a place you need to see and start looking at different attractions around it. If you find a group of places you could reach within a few days of road tripping, that’s where you can begin.

I recommend using a website that can help you with mileage, gas costs and find you accommodations and near by attractions around you. I use roadtrippers.com but use whatever you  find/like. I really enjoy that website because it’s super easy to use and is really helpful with surrounding information. This way you can easily switch the order of places you go and rearrange attractions in the way they are ordered.

4. Know how many hours you want to drive a day, include time for stopping for attractions a long the way. This could very well be the hardest part of planning. Who knows exactly how much time you will need for each place you want to visit. Try to do some research to see what people have said about the attractions you are willing to stop for. That way you can hopefully get to know how much time you might need in each city/place.

5. Book where you will be staying. Once you are confident in where you will be staying book ahead if you’re going during a busy season (like summer). That way you don’t have to worry about where you will be sleeping. Unless you want to be a camper, then pack a tent and look up some campsites.

6. Plan for snacks and food during the trip. Of course! You’ll never know if you might get hungry while you’re a couple hours away from the nearest gas station. It could happen right? Bring some water while you’re at it.

7. Plan on road games and CDs to keep the mood light. You don’t want to hate the people you are traveling with so back some great road games and CD’s to keep entertained.

8. Expect something to not go as planned. When traveling across states, you will probably encounter something you didn’t think of. Construction, weather, closed attractions, etc. Something may go wrong but just remember to roll with it and move on. It might make the adventure that much more worth it.
Hopefully this can get you started in planning out the right places to go. Get moving, get planning, and hit the road!
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 ❤