Tag Archives: travel

What I Love About Autumn

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What I Love About Autumn

Hello everyone and welcome to a post in pictures by my favorite It Brit, Dannii, from A Beautiful Thing! Dannii brings so much vibrancy to the blogging world with her fun page that showcases her wonderful travels, fashion, and the most beautiful pink hair you will ever see. She is such a delight and you just have to go check out her page after this post because I, for one, can’t get enough!

What I Love About Autumn

I Love…. Cozy Sweaters

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I Love…. Keeping Warm with a Hot Chocolate

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I Love…. The Leaves Changing Color

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I Love…. Pumpkin Picking

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And I Love…. Halloween

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What are your favorite things about autumn? What is your favorite fall tradition? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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4 Tips For Buying A Lake House

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4 Tips For Buying A Lake House

Maybe you’ve always wanted a place to take the kids during the summer. Maybe you’re just trying to get away from it all. Whatever your reasons for considering the purchase of a lake house, here are four tips for making a smart decision about lakeside real estate:

1. Make a List

How big does it need to be? What features are you hoping to find? What amenities would get you excited? This doesn’t have to be a hard-and-fast list that you can’t deviate from; it can be a flexible collection of ideas that will get you thinking about what you desire in your future lake house.

2. Consider the Location

Location is one of the most important aspects of buying a lake house, especially if you’ll be responsible for maintaining the land around it. You might wind up needing something like weed control for lakes to keep nature from taking over. You’ll also want to think about climate, soil, shade, and the view from your windows.

3. Look Into the Owner

Once you’ve found a potential lake house, make sure that you do your research about its owner. They should have a clean, non-criminal record, and the house shouldn’t have any weird leasing issues or documentation mishaps. If you ever suspect that your lake house deal isn’t legitimate, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and walk away. A little firmness now can save you a world of trouble tomorrow.

4. Think About Year-Round Upkeep

If you’ll only be vacationing in the lake house once or twice a year, what will happen to it when you’re not there? Will you rent it out? Will you hire someone to maintain it? How much will it cost? Think about these things before committing to a particular land or cabin purchase. The little details could end up being a big deal.

These are just a few tips for finding, selecting, and evaluating a potential lake house. They can be a great investment for the future, but you’ll need to know what you’re doing before you sign on the dotted line. Good luck!

The Best Places To Raise A Family In The US

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The Best Places To Raise A Family In The US

Parents usually see the world a bit differently when their kids are young. They choose areas that are affordable, safe, and comfortable with enough storage space, while things like proximity to bars and restaurants take a back seat. Here are the top places that you can stay in the US if you want to raise a family:

Wylie, Texas:

This is one of the fastest-growing areas of Texas, and it has a good community spirit. Thanks to the city’s proximity to Ray Hubbard and Lavon lakes, your family can enjoy a day out in the swimming spots and hiking trails in the area. The crime rate in Wylie is well below the national crime rate, which makes it a great place to raise your children. If you move to this city, you are likely to find a job because it has a low rate of unemployment as well as a booming economy.

North Arlington, New Jersey:

If you want to enjoy the perks of a big town in a small one, North Arlington is the place to be. Situated just fifteen miles from the financial district in NYC, this location will give you an ideal home base with low crime rates and great schools. The town boasts a high academic record and a very high graduation rate. In good weather, you can head to the 85 acre Riverside County Park with your kids. And, on cold and wet days, you can head to Secaucus outlets to enjoy some shopping.

Fishers, Indiana:

This small city of about 86,000 people is located sixteen miles from Indianapolis. Redevelopment projects that total 90 million dollars have made this city an attractive location for entrepreneurs who are looking to relocate.

But, if you are moving to Fishers, you should not expect all work and no play. The recently developed downtown has a number of boutiques and restaurants, which makes it a perfect weekend spot. Moreover, this city has 104 miles of multi use trails and nature as well as 24 parks. During the winter, you can head to Flat Fork Creek Park, which is an ideal spot for sledding because of its high peaks.

Lone Tree, Colorado:

This Denver suburb is a quick light-rail ride or drive into the city, which makes it the ideal location for people who commute to work. Despite its small size, this town is home to a huge shopping center called Park Meadows Mall and an art center that hosts regular dance performances.

With high school graduation rates at more than 90%, you will not have to send your children to schools outside of the town. There are also low crime rates in Lone Tree, making it great for bringing up children. If you are browsing homes using a website like this, you should always ensure that they are in a relatively safe area first.

Monterey Park, California:

This location is just a few miles from downtown L.A, which makes it easier to commute through the expensive Los Angeles area. Within the borders of this small city, your children can enjoy recreational activities in a dozen parks. The high graduation rates in Monterey Park don’t hurt either! This region is a foodie heaven, thanks to its ethnically diverse population. Monterey Park also honors the different cultures in the area by holding several special events throughout the year.

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Whether you want to live in a premiere destination in the Bay Area or a rural area, you should make sure that the place has low crime rates and good schools before anything else.

Cleveland Zoo Fun

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Cleveland Zoo Fun

Hello! Last week, I got to enjoy some time at the Cleveland Zoo and it was such a blast. This zoo offers at least five major exhibits including the Asian Highlands, Australian Outback, African Savannah, and so much more. There is also a separate building that mimics a tropical rain forest for you to explore. It’s so cool! Here are some of the pictures that I snapped throughout the day for your viewing pleasure:

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It is always so amazing to take a trip to the zoo, especially a big one like the Cleveland Zoo, so that you can see all of your favorite animals up close and personal. I am a lover of all creatures big and small, but when I am at the zoo, I am incredibly partial to the monkeys because they all have such distinct personalities. It was a hoot to see one of the monkeys passed out in a cat nap and the tiny black one licking his fingers after a yummy treat. But, the orangutans will always be my number one favorite.

Orangutans are such fascinating creatures to me, and I could seriously watch them all day. You can genuinely see such human like traits in their eyes like empathy and humor and I would give anything to be able to interact with them. The baby orangutan seen in the last two pictures above definitely stole the show, though. You could tell that he or she was having the time of its life just monkeying around and making us humans laugh. He was doing yoga-like poses, snuggling with his mom and dad, and playing dress up with the burlap sack. It doesn’t get much cuter than that!

What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo? Do you have a zoo that you like to frequent in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creative Ways To Save For Travel

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Creative Ways To Save For Travel

You can travel with debt, but taking steps to reduce your debt before traveling is advisable. Loan consolidation makes a lot of sense, and could save you enough capital for a trip over time. Generally, when you’ve got any debt, your best strategy to liberate yourself will be to live beneath your means until the cost has been overcome.

For example: say you make $2,000 a month. $800 goes to rent and utilities, $200 goes to gasoline, $500 goes to food. What do you do with that additional $500? Do you spend it, or save it? Well, if you’re living beneath your means, you save it. That, or you put it toward paying off any debt you owe.

Something you additionally want to do is find ways to cut down on regular bills. For example, if you’re paying $200 a month in gas, but you only live two miles from where you work, and this is your primary reason for driving, see if you can cut that number in half. A 250-mile tank can make 125 two-mile trips or 62.5 consecutive work-days.

If you’re only working 20 days a month, then you can make it to and from work and still have 80+ miles left over for whatever you like. If you’ve got a conventional car, a tank is only around $50. So, if you can cut down your time spent driving, you can preserve the lifespan of your vehicle while reducing your monthly expenses, allowing you to either save money or pay off debt with greater expedience.

Practical Considerations:

Certainly, this is easier said than done. Once you’ve established the non-negotiables of your budget, it’s time to see what you’ve got leftover and what you can do with it. Even if you have relatively little, proper planning can help you attain necessary capital for a vacation.

If after you streamline your budget, you can only add an extra $200 to your expendable income, that is still $2,400 in a year; or enough for a pretty decent vacation.

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Budget wisely!

Avoiding Creature Comforts:

Still, this is a fairly ideal circumstance, and cutting down your monthly expenditures in terms of food and gas can be difficult. So, you must find ways that you can eliminate discretionary spending. You may be surprised at how many unnecessary things you buy. Don’t think about creature comforts, think about living at a bare minimum.

For $100, you can eat well for a month as an individual, should you be careful enough in purchasing and preparing your own meals. You can combine such a budget with EBT or food bank sustenance to increase the amount of food you have access to. You can additionally seek options beyond your income to help you acquire what you need.

You may be surprised to find what you actually qualify for, especially if you’re a low-income family, there may be support solutions out there for you. Here’s the AUS Benefits website; it can help you to see if you’re eligible for financial assistance in certain areas of life. Sometimes, this can come in the form of direct support or tax breaks.

Something else that can help you save money is where you choose to travel. You don’t have to stay in the highest dollar accommodations available. You may look for friends, relatives, or look for special offers such as these. There are also after-market type hotel situations which, though perhaps not ideal, can save you a few hundred dollars.

Although travel is a luxury, it can be more attainable with the above tips!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The Best Gifts For The Traveler In Your Life

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The Best Gifts For The Traveler In Your Life

The best gifts are always those that show how much you know a person. That’s an ironclad rule across the board. A lot of us know a person to whom travel is more than just a yearly vacation, it’s part of their lifestyle. An itch they absolutely have to scratch. If you know someone bit by the travel bug, then a gift that fits that lifestyle can be the most valuable of all:

Their Memories:

Travelers like to do more than roam the world, many of them like to document it in some way. Gifts that can help them do that encourage them not only to do what they love but to keep sharing it. If they’re a photographer, then lenses, cases, tripods, and so on can help them take better pictures. A handmade, leather-bound notebook can encourage them to start keeping travel diaries. Even photo frames containing some of their best snaps can help them look back on their journeys with pride and appreciation.

Something To Display:

Often, finding something special from one of the countries that they’ve been to can bring some of their best travel memories flooding back. Souvenirs like collectible coins featured on this website, postcards, or even ordering some food that they tried abroad can help them relive the journey all over. What’s more, it might give them something to display in honor of those past trips.

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 A beautiful globe to display is also a great idea!

The World They Love So Much:

A globe or a world map is always a great gift for a traveler if they don’t have one. It gives them the chance to look back on just how much of the world that they have seen. If it’s an interactive map, like the scratch maps shown at this site, then that’s all the better. It acts as another way for them to record their journey, to fuel a sense of accomplishment, and encourage them to scratch more locations off that map.

Somewhere To Go:

If they love seeing the world so much, why not help them see even more of it? Serious travelers know you don’t always have to fly hundreds of miles away to have a great time. You can find closer travel opportunities by suggesting a road trip, finding a national park near you, or even visiting a museum if they’re also an art or history buff. More than simply giving them something, it shows you’re willing to try that new experience with them.

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 Pixabay Image

A Helping Hand:

Finally, there are all kinds of gifts that can help them better enjoy traveling. Translation earbuds, neck pillows, portable chargers, eBook or audiobook subscriptions for those long travels are all good places to start. They might be used to slumming it around the world in discomfort but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to do it that way. Making their life a little easier is the most one could ask for from a good gift.

Hopefully, the examples above give you some idea of how you can treat the traveler in your life. A little acknowledgement and appreciation of that hobby are sure to make any gift all the better.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Why Is Japan Such A Popular Destination?

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Why Is Japan Such A Popular Destination?

If you are a keen traveler, there are probably many places on your list which you would like to visit. One that is commonly near the top of many lists, however, is Japan. For a lot of Westerners, Japan is seen as the ideal go-to for a slice of Asian life. It is certainly true that there is nowhere else quite like Japan, but the question is: why? What is it about this country that makes it so enticing to Western wanderlusters? As it happens, there are a number of reasons you might want to visit Japan, and knowing what they are just might tempt you into making it onto your travel list for the next few years. Let’s look at some of the best reasons to visit Japan:

The Culture:

One of the main things drawing people into Japan has to be the culture. No matter who you are, you have to admit that Japanese culture is pretty much unlike any other in the world. And, for that reason, it is likely that a visit to the country will be a fascinating one for someone who is not used to it. In fact, Japan is one of the places where people most commonly experience culture shock when they are traveling, and if you are someone who likes a bit of culture shock, then this is definitely somewhere you should consider visiting at your earliest opportunity. There are so many aspects to the culture which might attract the traveler, from Japanese anime to the high-tech and fast-paced wonders of the city, so you can definitely expect not to be bored with the cultural highlights if you do visit.

The People:

Japan is also famously filled with some of the most polite and friendliest people on the planet, and that can be hugely important when you are traveling. If you are keen on traveling alone, you will find that the people being so friendly is definitely most welcome, and it will likely be one of the most important factors of all, in fact. Of course, it is never true that every single individual is pleasant to deal with, but on the whole you will probably find that Japan offers you an experience which makes you feel safe and welcome from the very start.

The Terrain:

If you are interested in seeing a huge variety of terrain, then you really don’t need to look any further than Japan. You could be crammed into the train in the busiest city in the world one moment, and completely alone on the top of a beautiful mountain the next. No matter what it is that you actually want from your trip, you can be sure that Japan will be able to offer it. This makes for a fascinating and enormously satisfying experience for any traveler, so it is well worth considering for your next trip abroad. You might even find that it is easier to traverse than you had assumed.

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So pretty!

Featured Image By: Pexels