Go Somewhere You’ve Never Gone Before

ALASKA

So I get a call on my lunch break from my best friend that now lives in Seattle.

Brandon: “Um, there’s a deal for round trip flights to Alaska for $75 on JetBlue. You in?”
Me: “Say no more. Send me the link”

Off Brandon, Kim, Griffin, and I went to Anchorage, Alaska—honestly, I still can’t believe I went.

After four steady hours and one not-so-steady-hour, I touched down in one of the most alive places I’ve ever been.

It’s incredible how green and full of life Alaska is. There were waterfalls on the side of the highway—definitely can’t find that anywhere in LA.

We went to the small town of Whittier, population 200. Fitting with its slogan, “It’s Always Shittier in Whittier,” it was rainy and cold and my hair was out of control, but that wasn’t going to stop us.

We were fitted with the world’s most attractive outfits (see below) and set out for the three hour Kittiwake Day Tour in the Prince William Sound.

Again, absolutely incredible.

The sound was completely filled with glacier water, which made it glisten a seafoam green. The area is known for its large presence of black legged Kittiwake birds, which made for a semi-concerning trip.

With little coaxing needed, we paddled under waterfalls! It was as exciting as you think. You’d have to wait for the perfect moment, when the wind wasn’t splitting the fall to block the only (small) opening. Once the time was right, we charged through, laughing like crazy, of course.

Bald eagles, porcupines, otters, and I’m sure other hidden wildlife were all around us! It was so crazy.

Yes. Otters are as cute as you think they are.

We paddled our hearts out until we hit an outreach in the sound. We popped out of our kayaks, stretched our legs, threw an impromptu dance party, enjoyed some snacks, and jumped back in.

The ride back was a lot more grueling than the ride there, but our spirits were high. We had a great instructor who motivated us until the end.

Our little Alaskan abode was the perfect place to come home to at the end of our very active day. We cooked dinner, popped some bottles, and enjoyed each others company until we all passed out.

Having a group of friends that you can simply pick up right where you left off is something that I have come to truly cherish this year. While we have years of hilarious memories together, life has taken us to different places. No matter where we are, whenever we come together, I can always expect to make even more of the best memories.

After a night of silliness and bacon for breakfast, we hopped back into the rental and headed to the airport. We came across this little hill just outside of the airport.

Of course, we pulled over. We sat on top of the grassy knoll and watched in amazement as massive 757’s and small jets soared over us. Brandon, the flight enthusiast, was in hog heaven. We all watched as he hopped up, grabbed the flight info using this fancy app, and come over to tell us the full scoop on the plane. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

Brandon’s mom helped us score some seats in Delta Comfort, aka the in between of economy and first class. We celebrated our mini success by getting plastered with each other one last time before we said our goodbyes.

My connecting flight was in Seattle, Washington, which was the rest of the group’s final destination. After a tearful goodbye and a great big bear hug from my best friends, I hopped back onto the plane and spent the remaining three hours chatting with my new (cute) friend Chad.

We shared our stories over a few more complimentary beverages, greeted the big, bright full moon, and before I knew it, the pilot announced our arrival in the City of Angels. We exchanged numbers, said our goodbyes and both made our way in complete opposite directions.

It was a weekend I’ll never forget.

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Toss Them Out the Window and Have Some Fun

Vegas—the land of all things fun.

This year, I’ve gotten really into this Trap/EDM scene. Which is so crazy, but so amazing.

My friend has introduced me to many dj’s of this variety, but only a few have stuck—and stuck hard.

The DJ’s

RL Grime, Keys N Krates, What So Not, and Porter Robinson have been my honorary boyfriends of the year. Their insane mixes have pumped me up at work, gotten me through workouts, and have kept me sane while stuck in the inevitable doom that is the 405.

Listening to them through the subwoofers of my car can only be so good. Seeing them live is a completely other phenomenon that I have fallen in love with this year.

RL Grime and Porter Robinson have some contract in Vegas for the summer, so I was obviously going to take advantage of it.

The Trip

My friend and I have basically become sponsors of Spirit Airlines this summer. Their insanely cheap airfare is perfect for a quick, turnaround trip to Sin City.

We’d hop on the plane in the morning, hit the pool party, grab a cab back to the airport, and be completely cozy in our beds by 10pm. You really can’t go wrong with that plan.

From the airport to the strip is a measly $15 cab ride, so $30 round trip. If you’re traveling with more than one person, you can see how affordable this is.

To get into the venue, you can risk it and stand in line with all of the other peasants, or you can buy a ticket. Most tickets are around $25, not too bad. Being a girl, I’ve never had an issue getting in with just my ticket, I know the bouncers can be extremely unforgiving to guys, so maybe bring some extra admission cash in case you run into any issues.

The drinks are what will get you.

Each drink is around $12-15 dollars, but the pour is heavy. I usually just get two drinks, maybe three, and call it a day—always fearing being rejected at the airport, or better yet, missing my flight back home all together.

Encore Beach Club

Aka my second home.

Close your eyes. Envision a pool party in Vegas. I’m sure whatever your vision looks like probably looks exactly like Encore Beach Club.

Insanely attractive people everywhere wearing basically nothing, an endless supply of booze, and people going absolutely insane when the beat drops—that basically sums it up.

And I loved every second of it.

Every time I step foot into this venue, I always think, “This can’t be real”. But, of course, it is.

If you’re willing to make a fool out of yourself at LAX in your party-gear, then I highly suggest trying out a turnaround for yourself. It’s a bit cheaper than staying for the weekend, but you still get the full Vegas experience.

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Talk About the Sour Stuff

Nothing is worse than bottling in all the crap that’s driving you mad, yet I do it more than I’d ever admit.

If you’re like me, you replay a moment or scenario over and over in your head until you’ve exhausted yourself into a Netflix-induced coma.

You don’t want to think, eat, sleep, or talk—you just want to watch Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, and Monica live their unrealistic NY-lives until you fall asleep.

Been there.

Even though I know it is the WORST thing for someone to do, it happens!

Here’s How You Can Recover

 

Journaling

I know, I know. You’re not a writer. We’ll, I hate to break it to you. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE!

Journaling doesn’t have to be some epic novel of your daily life. You don’t have to use proper sentence structure, grammar, or punctuation. It’s your place to get the stuff that’s bugging you off your chest.

I started journaling when I was a sophomore in college. I got a little extra push from a book I was reading called 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction. I was feeling a little lost about what I wanted, where I was going, and what I needed in life to feel fulfilled and after a few Google searches, I came across this.

Right off the bat, the book prompts you to bust out your pen and paper and tackle some of life’s most pressing questions.

I’m so happy I did.

The first page of my journal now serves me as a guide to get what I want, and to remind myself what the past version of me looked like.

I love reading through all the crap I wrote years ago. It’s like a kaleidoscope of Kaleigh—blurry visions of all the good and not so good times I’ve had.

It got me through love, heartbreak, failures, accomplishments, and, of course, a ton of silly stories that make me DIE every time I read them back.

I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest journaling. No matter if you love to write or haven’t picked up a pen in years.

Blogging

As I’m writing this, I’m still VERY new to blogging.

We’ll, I’ve written over 600 blogs, but all for other people and businesses, not me.

It’s quite fun, and as I sit down to write this, I get more and more excited about how it will come to life on my site.

I always loved the idea of having a blog, but I didn’t know what to write about. As of recent events—a life changing breakup and [forced] career change, I thought I’d share my stories of figuring it all out.

That’s been my motto for the past year, “Just figure it out”. And what a year it’s been thus far.

Creating my site was a challenge, and I’m sure it will continue to be, but I know it is going to be the best learning experience I can give myself.

[Will be posting tips and tricks for tackling WordPress ASAP]

Blogging lets you get out all the stuff you have in your head—when your journal won’t suffice.

Talking to Friends

When something goes wrong for me, I shut myself out—again, not healthy, I know.

Every SINGLE time I do this, a friend gives me a piece of advice that gets me out of my funk and brings me back to life. I always think, “why didn’t I go to them sooner?”

Typical.

Friends are there for you in the good and the bad times, and I always seem to forget that. My friends have become an extension of my family and I wouldn’t trade their craziness for the world.

Grabbing drinks, dinner, or even going on a bike ride with a friend has proven time and time again to work wonders for me. I can only hope you have the same.

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Mix Them with Cayenne Pepper & Start a Cleanse

I’ve actually never done the classic lemon juice-cayenne-honey detox, but I can just hear all the girls from high school sawing, “I can’t, I’m on a cleanse”.

ANYWAY

Now I’m the one saying it—for good reason. I’ve been super unhealthy lately (aka burgers & parmesan churros) so I decided to make a change.

I started by visiting my local Trader Joe’s to stock my pantry with all things clean and green. For a week, I was doing so great with my self-proclaimed, clean eating challenge, but I was starting to protrude like a flesh colored balloon.

My body was like, “Kaleigh, make up your mind—vegetables or junk food”.

This is when the idea of a cleanse popped into my frizzy-little head.

 

Google Search “HALP”

Back to Trader Joe’s I went, thanks to a few google searches and one video review, to pick up the Complete Body Cleanse.

After reading the 5 Pound Bag of Sugar-Free Gummy Bears review, the word “cleanse” really gave me the heeby jeebies, but I was desperate for some help.

This cleanse promotes fiber, liver, and digestion benefits, basically designed to get your body right before you start any form of diet/lifestyle change.

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