Let’s Travel, for Cheap!

Spoiler Alert: You will save money!

Hawaii 2

I have lived in many places, some I absolutely loved, others not so much. And I have also traveled to many. One of my favorite places to go is Hawaii! And yes it is absolutely expensive! (Grrrr!) If you’re like me, on a budget, traveling can be very hard, especially when you have other priorities. Things like utility bills and rent, can really leave you without any room for fun. Well I am about to give you the low-down on traveling cheap and keeping some of that extra dough to make the trip extra awesome!

Here is the breakdown of my trip to give you an idea of my expenses.

Flight: $350 (round trip)

Living situation: $0 (free!)

Food for 10 days: $125

Activities: $125

Other: $100

Total: $700  (For Hawaii, including flight! WHATTTTT?!?!?)

So for the flight I got a huge discount using Travelocity.  The only downside is they choose the time you leave, which kind of sucks but hey you’re saving money! So I picked my dates and they did the rest. You also always hear about getting cheaper flights on specific days. I booked mine on a Sunday which ended up being the cheapest of all the flights that I searched.

On to the next… I got a place to stay for free through a friend in the military.  I got really lucky here because this is the most expensive part after the flight of course.  I would recommend using AirBnB. (I am getting no money from this posts by the way! It’s just something I personally use for my travels).  So, after looking at all the places to stay, the lowest I found was a studio for $58 a night. You really don’t need a huge place since there is so much to do, so you will really need a place to sleep and a small kitchen.

Speaking of food…the food in Hawaii is ridiculously expensive.  It’s delicious but expensive! I recommend going to the local market and get food for the duration. Definitely plan your meals you want to eat out.  If you are on the island of Oahu, you have to eat at Helen’s Hawaiian Food. It’s authentic Hawaiian food and priced decently.  Also, heading toward North Shore, there is a great burger joint called Kahuku Grill.  Probably the best burger I have ever had, or at least in the top 5. And it was only $6 with fries and a drink. That’s hard finding in the states!

Now for activities.  Start looking at things you would like to do before you actually get there.  Compare prices on the different things.  If it’s a local spot, you can usually get a good deal bargaining with them. On my trip, we went to a Luau and paddle boarding.  This was the total mentioned above at $125.  Seems expensive but the Luau was around $65.  We also did a lot of other activities that were for free.  Here is the list:

  1. Volcom North Shore Surfing Competition (Went in late January)
  2. Pearl Harbor
  3. Snorkeling
  4. Hiking National Parks
  5. Laniakea Beach which is also known as Turtle Beach (A ton of Turtles!!!)
  6. Kuhio Beach FREE Hula Show
  7. Watch a sunset and a sunrise!
  8. Hang out at the beach

Hawaii 4

As for the other section, that was really just souvenirs.  I actually got a lot for that price because I really shopped around.

As you can see, I did A LOT in Hawaii and it was very inexpensive.  I had a blast!! And I will totally do it again!  If you have any questions, let me know! I’ll be happy to answer!

Hawaii

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Women’s Health

bc

Hey Ya’ll!  It has been a crazy week so I haven’t had much time to post.  I wanted to talk today about women’s health, mainly birth control.  I’m discussing this topic because I recently had quite an experience with getting an IUD.

So my story begins when I started taking oral contraceptive around the age of 13.  I had really bad periods, like bad periods. I couldn’t go to school or participate in any sports or extra curriculars because my period was disabling.  So after I started, I thought it would have been smooth sailing.  I thought I was free! Wrong.

On the first day after I got back on the pill (after the placebo) I would get violently ill. I usually was held up in the bathroom for a few hours until the nausea subsided. On the plus side, my cramps and bleeding wasn’t as bad but they were definitely still there.   After a few months, odd things started to happen.  My anxiety level reached an all time high.  I was having violent mood swings and when I say violent, I mean violent. To the point where no one wanted to hang out with me.  I visited my doctor and we switched up the pills to a different brand and lower dosage.  He said give it a few months.

Well a few months had passed and I was still in the same boat.  Still getting sick and still experiencing mood swings.  So BACK to the doctor I went…same thing, but this time he added vitamin supplement (B12) to the equation.  Well that didn’t do a damn thing. After switching up my pills for a 4th time, I thought I was in the clear.  I was still having mood swings but they were not as bad as before. I was feeling a little different than normal as well, and now that I look back, I was developing depression.  On the day that I realized I needed a big change was the day that I was driving down the road and I thought to myself, ‘If I drive this car off the road, no one will care and that will be the end.’  Like what?!?!  By this time, I was 18 and was set for college.

I got home and started crying and tried to explain to my mom what was happening.  I immediately stopped birth control and went to my doctor.  Within a few weeks, I was back to normal.  No more suicidal thoughts.  No more mood swings, no more toxic chemicals coursing though my body.  That shit is no joke.  I will never go back to oral contraceptive.  I would rather bleed all over myself and be in bed for 3 days.

After that I started researching other forms of birth control and came across the IUD. After the initial consultation, I was ready!  And the best thing, no freaking side effects!! Or so I thought.  I went in for the appointment and the doctor told me that it would be an easy insertion, just like an annual.  Okay cool, let’s do this, I thought to myself.  Well was I wrong. The pain was so excruciating (and I have a high pain tolerance) like high!  I have never cussed that much in my entire life.  I really wanted to kick that lady in the face. The thought definitely crossed my mind (actually a few times).  After it was inserted, I had an ultrasound to make sure it was in properly. I was still hurting at that time.  It literally felt like my ovaries were twisting.

I went home and climbed in bed and cried! So much pain.  The pain subsided after a few days but boy was it bad. I still have a few cramps here and there and am still spotting, which is normal.  I have had it for about 2 weeks now, and I don’t mind it.  No weird things are happening besides spotting and very minimal cramping.  We will see!

I really just wanted to share my BC story. There really aren’t enough out there.  If this helps you at all make a decision about what to use, great! I wish I had some information like this when I was deciding.  I really hope this helps!

Welcome to my life!

I struggled a little coming up with blog content for my very first official post! So I decided on…me!  I want to tell you a little more about my life…so for starters I am a southern gal (which you have kind of gathered from the website).

Once I moved from the South to the Midwest, I really struggled. Not only with the weather but with making friends up here. People were just rude and they totally didn’t understand my sense of humor.  It was a daily occurrence. “I can’t understand you? Can you repeat that??”  I’m not speaking a foreign language people!  The huge difference was the words that I used to describe certain things.  When I would go into a store and tell someone to grab a “buggy,”  they would respond, “I’m sorry, a what??” I would be like “Damn, don’t you know what a buggy is??”  or when I say hill but sounds like heel… I don’t know why people where so concerned with my pronunciation. I always thought it was cute.

People called me stupid, said that I sounded deaf, and that it sounded like I had a lisp.  This was really disheartening. I was thinking that it was true, people really are a-holes up here. I was so conscious of everything that I did; from my speech, to how I carried myself, and I how I dressed.  I was obsessed with fitting in and definitely did not want to stand out. I remember crying on the phone with some girlfriends back home and I have never been that girl. Ever.

It came to a point where I was miserable with life. I was so grumpy all the time and I constantly snapped at people. I was just a miserable person to be around. All the time.

One day something hit me and I just broke down. I told myself that I can’t keep doing this to myself or I was never going to be happy. I was changing into someone that I wouldn’t even want to be friends with.

My friends have always described me as “the girl who dances to her own drum.” Well this girl was determined to get her beat back.  I told myself enough with trying to fit in. That is just boring and no way to live.  I would find people who enjoyed me for me.  I started doing things that I have always wanted to do.  I joined a pole fitness class and immediately fell in love.  I also found a new job that fit me.  I began watching my weight and what I ate daily because I was previously feeling like crap ALL THE TIME.  These changes were life altering.  I have met some great girls in my dance class and they loveee my accent (which I don’t hide anymore).  I have a few coworkers that say they like having me around because I’m constantly smiling and it brings a good vibe to the office.  This was the moment of recognition for me!  I knew I was becoming my old self again!

The point of this story is that you shouldn’t change yourself because people say dumb things about you. People are always going to have something to say and one day you’ll find a group of people that love you for you! They will make you feel complete and will enjoy your company! These are the people that matter!

That’s just a little bit about me! If anyone is reading this, I hope it helps through whatever struggle you’re currently facing!

Love ya’ll,

Taylor

 

Let’s Go!

So… as you can see, this is my very first blog post! Hang in there with me because I have a lot to share.  First off, my name is Taylor! I was born and raised in South Carolina, where the tea is sweet and the sun always shines.  About a year ago I moved to the Midwest and have endured countless, frigid, winters (yuck)!  I currently work for a Marketing firm, creating social media pages and marketing material for companies.  I love it but it’s not as fulfilling as I would like it to be.  I love to help people, with anything and everything.  So basically, that is why I am here!  I want to share my stories (as crazy as they are), my travel experiences (like where to go and when), healthy habits that work for me, and really anything that pops into my head! Even if it is career advice, I want to be somebody’s go to! If I can help 1 person through this blog, then I have accomplished my goal!  So ask me anything and I promise to give you my full attention and honest opinions!  More to come!

Bye Ya’ll (for good measure),

Taylor