Holiday Travel Tips

As I’ve gotten older I have had to accept that I’m not just gonna wake up Christmas morning and be surrounded by my family. I have to actually travel home for the holidays now because I don’t live in my parents’ house or even in my hometown anymore.

Going home for the holidays can be stressful, but here are my top travel tips for making it home for Thanksgiving dinner and any other holidays you celebrate with your family this time of year.

  • If you need to take public transportation, book your tickets WAY IN ADVANCE

I have extreme anxiety when it comes to taking public transportation so I go a little crazy and book my tickets probably toofar in advance. But hey, I’m just being super prepared. Don’t @ me.

I would recommend buying tickets at least 2 or 3 weeks out if you know the dates you want to travel home. Airlines tend to book up the fastest, just because they are usually the most comfortable/quickest types of transportation during the holiday season. My personal favorite is trains, like Amtrak, if that’s available to you. They are still pretty quick and more reasonable in price.

My favorite site to check tickets is wanderu.com They are great for comparing types of travel and prices! Check them out with the link.

https://www.wanderu.com

https://www.wanderu.com

 

No matter what you choose though, don’t wait too long to book, especially if you are traveling with another person or a group. Multiple tickets are going to be harder to find the closer it gets to the date.

*A side note: Have a backup plan in case everything ends up being booked up no matter how far in advance you looked. Maybe try to take a different form of transportation or take it to a different stop and just have a relative pick you up and drive the rest of the way. Have a plan B (And maybe C, if you’re super prepared like me)

  • Be mindful of the weather this time of year

If you are foregoing public transportation and have chosen to drive some distance back home for the holidays, please be cautious of the weather conditions. If you live in Florida or some shit, then I guess disregard this tip (unless of course hurricanes or tornadoes are relevant to you).

I have to travel north up the state of New York and we have some pretty harsh winters here. So snow is always a problem for me as I’m sure it is for anyone else in the Northeast United States.

Check your weather as far in advance as you can and plan accordingly. Give yourself a few extra hours in case travel speeds are slow or you need to stop for a night in the case of a storm or something. And even if you aren’t driving, still be wary of the weather because it could delay your flights or trains or buses.

  • Choose your travel days wisely

When it comes to traveling home for the holidays, everyone else is gonna want to travel the same days as you to get the most out of their trip. So maybe try to plan it on an off peak day, or just an off peak time. Earlier isn’t always better, especially when it comes to trips that are longer. People love to just sleep on the trip so they don’t mind getting up super early. Try planning a trip for midday or evening so that tickets may be cheaper and the train/plane/bus won’t be as crowded.

As for days of the week, I’ve found that Sunday mornings are a great time to travel. On a more obvious note, if you can travel on a weekday that’s one of your best options. Unfortunately that’s not always possible for people that work weekdays but it may be worth it if you can spare a sick day/vacation day for it. It will just make your travel experience a little easier in the end.

  • Request your days off work well in advance as well

It depends on your workplace but most places I’ve ever worked, days off are given on a combination of seniority and a first-come, first-served basis. If this is the case for your workplace, make sure you know well in advance the days you’ll need off to travel and request them sooner rather than later.

Similar to choosing the days you want to travel, try to choose days that most of your coworkers wont request off to ensure you’ll get the days you want off. Especially if you are new to a company, you may be the bottom of the list for getting days approved.

Also, it can’t hurt to talk to your fellow coworkers and get a feel for what days they plan to take off so you can work around them accordingly.

  • Make the trip fun

You are going home for a holiday celebration and you get to see your family and friends. Be happy! Have fun! Make the trip something enjoyable and don’t look at it as an inconvenience to see people that you love.

Bring fun things to do, jam to some holiday tunes if that’s your thing, or maybe chat to the people you’re going home to see and create some plans for the time you have together.

Happy Holidays!

 

If you guys have any good travel tips, share them in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!

What I wish people knew about Anxiety

I’ve recently been more open about my mental illness and how I deal with depression and anxiety.

If you follow this blog or my social media you will know that I actually wrote a post talking about that which you could read here:

The Blue Chair

I wanted to write this post because I think people are quick to judge when someone says they have anxiety. Oftentimes anxiety is mocked and criticized for not having substance as a real illness when for the people suffering it is very real. Hopefully this post can help eliminate some of the untruths.

Also, I just want my friends and family who are supporting my mental health journey to have a better understanding of what it is I’m going through sometimes. So here are a few things I wish people knew about my anxiety.


  1. There are different levels of anxiety

I think first and foremost it’s worth mentioning that everyone suffers from a different level of anxiety. Every human gets anxious once in awhile, it’s a normal emotion. But we also need to be considerate of the fact that there is a spectrum, a scale. Just because someone else might have it worse than me doesn’t mean that my anxiety isn’t real or worth seeking help for.

Personally, I think I’m on the lower end of this ‘spectrum’. I don’t need medication to control my anxiety at the moment and I am grateful for that. It doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t still have to overcome it some other way on a daily basis.

  1. When we say we’re anxious, it’s not only an emotional thing

If someone tells you they are feeling anxious the worst thing you can say is something like, “oh stop worrying, it’s going to be fine” or “don’t overthink it, it’s not that big a deal”.

We know you’re trying to help but please understand that anxiety also causes a physical response that can’t be turned on and off by a switch.

When I’m super anxious I find that I sweat a lot more than usual and my hands will get shaky. My breathing is also labored and sometimes it feels like I’m sucking air through a straw (yeah, not so effective).

On days where it’s more controlled I’ll just pick at my nails or wiggle my feet a lot. Just know though that it lives with me everyday in some capacity, emotionally and physically.

  1. We’re not antisocial, we just have anxiety

I have a memory of my mom, sister and I being at a store together, things had gone slightly awry (we had to wait super long, or something was said by the person working there) and I started literally freaking out in front of everyone. Afterwards, my sister and mom laughed at how ridiculous I was being and it made me so angry and upset.

I felt kind of silly for it too, but I also wondered for a long time why I had gotten so upset about something so insignificant.

It’s not that we don’t like being around people but being in certain social situations makes our anxiety worse. If we don’t feel comfortable with the people we are around, our minds start swirling with crazy thoughts that make the time less enjoyable.

I personally avoid doing things alone because I have an extreme fear of being judged by other people. It sounds irrational but I always feel like everyone is watching me and I hate to think about what other people think about me being all by myself.

Please understand that if we turn down a social outing, it’s probably nothing to do with you and more to do with how anxious we feel that day.

  1. We often feel anxious for no particular reason

Some days we wake up feeling extremely anxious. There really isn’t anything particularly thing worrying us. We also have no idea why a certain situation might make us feel anxious, so please don’t feel bad if we don’t have an answer.

  1. We know that our anxieties are irrational

We worry about things that don’t matter, or we immediately go to the worst-case scenario in any situation. We know that we get anxious for things that aren’t happening for days or weeks and that it makes no sense.

I find myself lying awake most nights worrying about stuff that holds no substance (for example: the other night I was worrying about what kind of insurance plan I need to get… when I turn 26. IM 24 YEARS OLD GUYS). I lay there, my feet writhing under the sheets and my mind racing, wishing sleep would come. Anxiety, like any other mental illness can greatly affect sleeping patterns as well.

So I am sorry if I am ever rude or grumpy because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. And I’m sorry if I ramble about my worries and they make no sense to you. It’s just my anxiety talking and I appreciate if you always listen anyway.


I hope this post helped if you know someone who suffers from anxiety and are trying to better understand how to support them. If you’re like me and have some people in your life that you wish knew these things about your mental illness, feel free to share this post with them. Get a conversation started.

Here are some resources if you need more information:

ADAA.org

betterhelp.com

nami.org

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more posts like this or some tips and tricks on how I manage my anxiety.

Thanks for reading!

The Blue Chair

My palms are sweating, but who am I kidding, they always sweat like this. My heart is racing and I feel it beating hard in my chest. I pace the hall, checking my phone to make sure I am on the right floor, in front of the right room. I have no idea who will be on the other side of this door but I reach for the doorknob anyway and push it open knowing there’s no turning back now.

And then I am there, situated awkwardly in a low blue fabric-covered chair. It’s the kind of chair I was expecting, I guess. Typical. Normal. I am sitting on the edge of it, my back miles from the actual back of the chair. My feet are firmly planted on the floor, hoping that will keep me from floating outside of my body.

Then I do what you are supposed to do here, I just start talking…


I’ve finally been honest with myself, so I think it’s time I’m honest with the rest of the world.

I struggle with depression and anxiety.

Sitting across from a therapist was quite possibly the last place I thought I would find myself. But there I was, after months of fighting myself over it. I almost cancelled the appointment more than once and let’s not even get started with how many times I dialed the office number and hung up before someone answered.

I spent so long not seeking help because I didn’t know how to talk about it. And part of me was so afraid of what people would think, so ashamed of what I felt.

I reached a point where trying to handle it on my own was starting to get overwhelming.

So I decided to ask for help.


That blue chair eventually became more and more familiar. I didn’t sit so awkwardly in it after a while. It started to feel comfortable even.

Unfortunately my therapist moved her office and the blue chair turned into this really modern looking red chair. But it was just as comfortable because it wasn’t actually about the chair at all. It was that I finally had someone to listen to me and validate the things that I was feeling.


We live in an unfortunate world where there is a stigma about mental illness and it is greatly underrepresented in the health industry.

I’ve come to realize recently that my voice does matter in all this. I may be just one person, but I am one of many who are fighting everyday to live a happier and fuller life.

I started this blog not really knowing where it would go or what kind of content I would post. I think if I am to do it any justice, I need to use this platform to talk about things that matter, things that people are afraid to talk about. So I hope you will continue to read all my posts, not just the funny, helpful or quirky ones but also the ones that involve mental health.

I am not going to pretend for one minute that it was a simple choice to ask for help. It was hard, almost impossible. And every single day is hard. I will never regret asking for help, though.

One of the things my therapist said to me on that very first day was, “You are brave. Don’t ever forget that.”

I no longer feel ashamed talking about my mental health and neither should anyone out there who is struggling. Despite how hard it may be to get the words out the first time, I hope you find a way to say them.

And when you do, just know:

You are brave. Don’t ever forget that.

Thanks for reading.

Here are some helpful resources if you or someone you love is dealing with depression or anxiety. And please remember that you are not alone. There is always someone who will listen, including me.

My Contact Page

Depression Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call or text 1-800-273-8255  Or visit

Anxiety Resources

Link to BetterHelp- an online counseling service

The In-Between

When I moved to New York I didn’t have a job waiting for me. I had a plan, and I had an opportunity that would make me some cash until that plan could be brought to fruition.

But basically I moved here jobless.

For about a week I sat in my apartment alone, bored and completely regretting my choice. Eventually, I got a part time job that made the days pass. Yet it wasn’t something I wanted to last long. Just a couple weeks until I could work out the kinks of my plan.

But a couple weeks turned into a month, two months, and now it’s five months later and still it drags on. I feel stuck in this “in-between” job. A job that was never supposed to be Plan A.

So in order to keep myself going, to see the light at the end of this dreary tunnel, I’ve compiled a list of things to remember in this type of situation.

If you’re stuck in a kind of “in-between” job situation, hopefully this is hopeful to you as well.

  1. Don’t stop looking for new opportunities

I get it, it get’s disheartening applying to countless amounts of jobs and hearing nothing back or worse, getting a rejection. Those emails are going to keep coming. The ones that say “we regret to inform you…” But that’s ok. Keep sending in those applications because it’s a lot like the lottery; you can’t win if you don’t platy. You increase your odds of getting an interview if you apply to more positions. So set aside a time maybe once or twice a week to just pound out a few dozen apps and you’ll see results. The law of probability guarantees it.

  1. Keep in contact with all contacts

It’s so important to keep in touch with the hiring managers or point of contacts for the positions you are super interested in. They like to see people taking initiative and that might set you apart from every other resume sitting on their desk. So follow up with emails, or phone calls, whichever suits the situation. And don’t forget about the people you know who knows someone, or might know someone. Keep in touch with them as well as they could be the difference between you and another candidate if references play a huge role.

  1. Learn to manage your anxiety about it

If you’re anything like me, I let myself get worked up and anxious over everything. Especially when it comes to jobs. I have learned though, that there is only so much I can control. As long as I am doing everything I can, I have to let what happens happen. So fill out your applications, make your phone calls and send follow up emails and then wash your hands of it. If it is meant to be, it will be. Don’t let your daily life be stressful and anxiety ridden over things you cannot change.

  1. Don’t lose hope

Super cliché, I know. But I have to remind myself everyday to keep being grateful for the things I have and be hopeful for what is to come. If you find yourself at a low point, lean on your friends and family for support. My mom has been an amazing force in all this for me. She reminds me daily that I can do the things I set my mind to and inspires me to keep going. Find the people in your life that do that for you, and reach out to them in hard times. It will make all the difference trust me.

And if you don’t have someone like that, I’m always here if you need to talk! The Internet is a great place to meet people going through similar things.

 

I think there comes a point where we all find ourselves in some sort of “in-between”. It may be in a job, in a relationship, in a certain living situation, or maybe just in life. We feel sort of lost, but that’s ok. Because the important part is that it is only temporary. And we have to begin to let the word temporary take on a different meaning. It doesn’t have a specific time frame, so why do we always put so much emphasis on it being short lived?

All good things come to those who wait, right?

So let’s at least enjoy the wait and stay excited for all that is to come.

Thanks for reading!