Indonesia – 3 Reasons to Visit

Some places just have it all. Adventure, beauty, romance, culture, and so much more! They enchant visitors so easily it will make you wonder why you never traveled here before. I can’t think of a more perfect example than the alluring nation of Indonesia!

Indonesia - 3 Reasons to Visit

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Pack your bags; the vacation of a lifetime is waiting for you! Here’s 3 reasons why you need to travel to Indonesia on your next holiday.

 

1. Culture

This collection of volcanic islands is rich with history and a unique culture that you can easily immerse yourself in. The nation is home to hundreds of diverse ethnic groups that speak a variety of languages. Some groups still participate in the ancient culture’s traditions and rituals. Check out the highlands of Tana Toraja or Baliem Valley for an up close look. (Just remember to be respectful always!)

Indonesia is also home to two famous ancient temples – the Borobudur and the Prambanan. The land is full of well-preserved ruins of two very different kingdoms. Currently the majority of the population is Muslim, but you can learn a lot about the Hindu and Buddhist people groups that once thrived here.

Indonesia - 3 Reasons to Visit

 

2. Adventure

If you want to have an exciting trip, then look no further. Indonesia is full of breathtaking volcanoes that you can hike and explore. You can also trek through a jungle. Yes, a REAL jungle. In fact, Bukit lawang is one of just a handful of places where you can observe wild orangutans in their natural, tropical rainforest habitat.

The ocean is also full of adventure. You can snorkel in the cool, clear blue waters or surf in the powerful waves. Some popular spots to surf include Bali, Lombok, Mentawai and Panaitan.

RELATED: HAITI – WHAT YOU MAY SEE WHEN YOU VISIT

Indonesia - 3 Reasons to Visit

 

3. Leisure

If you love the water but prefer to have it without the salt and sea creatures, then stay in one of Indonesia’s luxurious hotels. Grand Paradise Lembang hotel is a perfect option for those wanting a sparkling pool as well as the fun of outdoor water slides.

For those wanting a little romance, take a lovely sunset stroll on one of the nation’s pristine beaches or explore the nightlife in the cities. You can even take a dip with your loved one in a volcanic crater lake, Lake Toba. You can also relax, fish, and enjoy the reflection of the mountains on the lake.

Indonesia is jam-packed with fun activities and natural wonders. It’s definitely a destination you don’t want to miss this holiday season. For more tips on how to make it the best vacation yet, read everything you need from Traveloka.

Indonesia - 3 Reasons to Visit

And if you’re from the United States, find out everything you need to know from the Embassy here.

Have you ever visited Indonesia? What was your favorite part? Or if you’ve never been, do you want to now? Let me know in the comments below!

With love,

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3 Things You’re Probably Forgetting to Pack

When it comes to packing, it can be really easy to forget things. Here are 3 Things You’re Probably Forgetting to pack:

3 Things You're Probably Forgetting to Pack

And isn’t that a big fear that most of us have before we depart? Just as you’re boarding the airplane or reaching your destination you suddenly remember that one {probably not that important but it seems really important at the time} item you forgot to pack.

Then comes the frustration and annoyance of having to either live with it for the duration of your trip or having to fork up the money for something that you already own but unfortunately left behind.

I’m with you! I’ve totally been there, and will likely continue to be. So I’ve created a little cheat sheet for us to use before we head out the door. Here are 3 items that you most likely forgot to pack:

 

 

  1. YOUR PHONE CHARGER

3 Things You're Probably Forgetting to Pack

You probably saw this one coming. Yep, I’ve done it too. How can something so crucial in today’s world be so easy to forget?? Honestly, I have no clue. We’re all practically glued to our phones.

I think the reason why I personally forget to pack it is because I always plan to wait until the last-minute to pack it because I need it to charge my phone the night before. If you do this, here’s a tip that I’ve found can really help: keep your phone on the charger until you’re ready to walk out the door. You’ll probably quickly realize that you don’t have your phone, so you will scurry around looking for it. When you remember that it’s on the charger and go to get it, you’ll have a visual reminder that you need to pack your charger. Option number 2: buy a second, travel only charger

 

*HONORABLE MENTION: OUTLET ADAPTORS
Traveling overseas? Keep in mind that other countries typically have different power outlet designs! Next time you’re packing for a European getaway, do not forget your European outlet adaptor! Otherwise that phone charger is useless!

 

 

  1. PASSPORT / DRIVERS LICENSE

3 Things You're Probably Forgetting to Pack

Okay this probably depends on the type of trip and/or your mode of transportation. If you’re flying internationally, then you absolutely can’t forget your passport. I’m hoping that you’re aware of this because you already planned this big international trip. But you may have forgotten to bring it if:

  • you were in a hurry packing, laid it on the table, and just didn’t grab it
  • you decided to fly internationally spontaneously and didn’t think about it
  • you didn’t even know that you needed one (boy what an unfortunate surprise that would be!)

As far as drivers license go, it can be easy to forget them if you change your wallet or you aren’t planning on driving. But you still should bring it with you! It’s important for verifying your identity to pick up your rentals, proving you’re over 21 (if staying in the U.S.), identifying you in case of an emergency or accident, and so much more. You need it. Don’t forget it.

My tip here is to plan ahead and add these onto your packing list! Get your wallet fully ready to go and stash it (in your purse or backpack) until you leave. I always keep my wallet and passport in a special pocket in my backpack so I always know where they are!

 

 

  1. BATHROOM PRODUCTS

3 Things You're Probably Forgetting to Pack

How many times have you gone somewhere and left your toothbrush behind? Way too many to count, right? It’s easy to forget things that we store in odd places like bathroom drawers, cabinets, showers, or toothbrush holders.

Here are some common things you might forget:

  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • soap/body wash
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • contact solution and case
  • hairbrush/comb
  • hair products or styling tools
  • shaving cream/razor

An easy solution for this is to create a toiletry bag and keep it handy at all times. Lucky for you, I already wrote a post all about how to do this and what to put inside! You’re welcome 🙂

 

This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, so always double-check to make sure you have enough underwear, socks, etc. and that you bring a raincoat or umbrella just in case it rains!

 

Have you ever forgotten to pack something? What was it and what did you end up doing about it? Share in the comments below!

 

With love,

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Kansas City – Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend Trip

Kansas City:

When you’ve got a 9 to 5, travel may seem impossible. Let me tell you a little secret…

 

It’s not!

 

You can see the United States and explore other cities/states on little mini vacations or weekend getaways. A perfect city for this is KANSAS CITY!

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect WeekendBackground: KC is the 29th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and it straddles the border of Missouri and Kansas. There are all kinds of fun things you can do during your visit, but not enough to where you need to spend a whole week (or more) exploring. That’s what makes it perfect for a short trip, like the one I went on with my best friends!

 

To get the most out of your trip, here are some recommendations I have from personal experience and my bestie who lives in KC 🙂

 

KANSAS CITY – IF YOU WANT NIGHTLIFE

 

  • Power and Light District

 

So many restaurants. Bars. Entertainment. If you’re looking for the ultimate frat party, then it can likely be found in the Power and Light District of KC. The Sprint Center is known for hosting amazing concerts such as Drake Summer Sixteen Tour with Future.

 

Pro Tip: KC LIVE! and Main Street Garages have FREE 3-hour parking if you have validation from any merchant in the Power and Light District between 6am-4pm (Monday-Friday). Only $2 parking after 5pm and on the weekends though!

 

Address: 1320 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, MO 64106

 

  • Westport

 

For those of you who love nightlife but like to enjoy it ‘how the locals do’ then check out Westport. It’s KC’s oldest entertainment district. It may not be the rager that the Power and Light District is, but we had a lot of fun! There are so many bars to choose from, but I definitely recommend the Donut Lounge! They’ve also got several food trucks and yummy places to eat! (See below)

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

Address: 400 Westport Road Kansas City, MO 64111

 

KANSAS CITY – IF YOU WANT FAMILY FUN

 

  • Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun

These parks are truly fun! Compared to other parks they may not seem as large or as thrilling, but there’s plenty of stuff for the whole family to enjoy! You buy one ticket and get access to an amusement park (Worlds) and a water park (Oceans). To find out more, read my post about it HERE!

 

the Boomerang

the Boomerang

 

 

 

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The streetcar is a fun (and FREE) way to explore the city. People of all ages were enjoying it and it’s a nice way not to have to deal with parking if you want to visit more than 1 stop.

 

Pro Tip: If you get on at Union Station (Pershing and Main) and have young children, take them inside Union Station. There are some crazy cool train sets that they can gawk at before heading outside to the streetcar stop!

 

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

KANSAS CITY – IF YOU WANT SHOPPING

 

  • City Market

 

Such a great farmer’s market! It’s easily accessible with the free streetcar, and you don’t have to mess with parking! It’s basically a tour of restaurants from around the world as well as tons of vendors in the middle selling fresh produce, flowers, crafts, etc.

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

 

Address: 20 E 5th Street #201 Kansas City, MO 64106

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This is the place to go if you love outlet shopping malls! It’s open from 10 am – 9 pm on Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday. There are a gazillion stores to choose from including Banana Republic Factory Store, Adidas, J Crew, Coach, Forever 21, Jcpenny, and Oshkosh B’gosh. There’s something for everyone!

 

Address: 1843 Village West Parkway Kansas City, MO 66111

 

 

This mall is 15 blocks of all your favorite stores. It has all kinds of beloved high-end stores including Burberry, Sephora, Anthropologie, lululemon, Michael Kors, kate spade new york, Kendra Scott, Tiffany and Co. and The North Face. It also has a wide variety of upscale restaurants to choose from if all that shopping makes you hungry!

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

Address: 4750 Broadway St Kansas City, MO 64112

 

 

KANSAS CITY – IF YOU WANT YUMMY FOOD

 

Breakfast: First Watch

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

Lunch: Food trucks at Westport, Blue Nile Cafe Restaurant

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

Dinner: Beer Kitchen (Ben Rector’s favorite), Cheesecake Factory

 

Snacks/Desserts: Donut Lounge, Insomnia Cookies, Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, Beignet

Kansas City - Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend

Betty Rae's

Betty Rae’s

As you can see, there is a ton of fun stuff you can do in Kansas City, MO! Depending on the kind of trip you want to have, you can incorporate different activities mentioned above! It’s easy to mold this thriving metropolitan area into the little vacay of your dreams! 🙂

HAVE YOU EVER VISITED KANSAS CITY? WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST? LET ME KNOW BELOW!

With love,

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Off to Iceland!

Well everyone…

I’M OFF!

I’m so excited to visit Iceland for the first time! It was an extremely spontaneous trip (the most spontaneous thing I think I’ve ever done) as we just booked our flights a few weeks ago. I think it just adds to the excitement as we’ve scrambled to get everything we need and plan our itinerary!

I don’t want to spill everything just yet, but we’re planning on seeing volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls, glaciers, black sand beaches, geothermal pools and so much more!

Off to Iceland - Adventures and Kindness

To all my travel blogger friends,

Thank you so much for all of your expert advice!! It’s been so great having all of you to answer my questions and provide me with excellent suggestions.

To my Instagram followers,

I can’t wait to share pictures with you!! I promise not to go crazy and keep sharing stuff long after I get back. I hope you’re excited to travel with me! My boyfriend and I just bought a GoPro so I’m bringing it to hopefully capture some incredible footage! I might branch out to YouTube too…who knows!

To everyone who doesn’t follow me on Instagram

you totally should! 🙂 Comment your links below and I’ll make sure I don’t forget to follow you back!

To my family and friends,

I promise I’ll be safe 🙂

To the best readers,

Thank you so much for all of your support! I’ve loved all the IG and blog post comments that I’ve received from each of you! You all are so amazing and I’m so thankful for you! 🙂

What exciting plans do you have coming up? I’d love to hear all about them! Leave a comment or send me an email!

With love,

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Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun – Kansas City

Kansas City, MO is such a fun and lively city to explore! It’s the perfect place to take a little weekend trip, and it’s a great family friendly destination. One excellent example of this is its amusement park, Worlds of Fun, and connected water park, Oceans of Fun.

I recently visited Kansas City with my besties to visit our other bestie, and we had such a great time exploring the city! In fact, I’m going to write a post all about what I recommend doing. 🙂 We spent a full day at these parks though, and it was a blast! Do you want fun that the whole family can enjoy? Plan a trip to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun today using these simple steps! 🙂

Worlds of Fun Oceans of Fun - Kansas City, MO

STep 1: Buy one ticket for both worlds of fun and oceans of fun

Using the link above, you can easily access a whole page dedicated to various tickets. If you’re traveling in a big group, (family reunion or band trip anyone?) then you can try for a group discounted rate. We purchased daily tickets. $39.99

This 1 ticket gives you access to both the amusement park and the water park. As you can see on the map, it’s easy to walk between the 2 parks. No extra security or ticket swipe needed.

If you buy your ticket online, then you don’t have to worry about printing it out. Just screenshot your ticket from your email on your phone, then you can show it to them when you get to the gate!

the Boomerang

the Boomerang

Step 2: Pack

No worries, you don’t need to break out the dusty suitcase. But here are a few things you might want to pack:

  • sunscreen (stay protected and don’t forget to reapply!)
  • sunglasses (don’t wear them on the roller coasters though!)
  • $$ (lockers for your stuff at Oceans of Fun cost $15 or more!)
  • swimsuit (we wore one under our clothes)
  • shoes that can get wet (for water raft rides, if desired)
  • cell phone (ticket, pictures, and of course you want to text people)

Optional: backpack or fanny pack to carry everything (my Disney fanny was so handy!)

What we brought but didn’t use: Towels

My friend carried 4 towels in her backpack and we didn’t even need them. 🙁 It was so hot that week in June that after the water rides we were wanting to stay a little wet for our last ride in WOF. Although it may be a good idea to bring them, just in case!

Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun - Kansas City

Lockers at Oceans of Fun

Step 3: Familiarize Yourself with the Rides

This can seem a little daunting if you’ve never been before. My KC friend was experienced and knew where to take us and what rides we should/shouldn’t go on. Lucky for you, I’ve done all the work already!

WORLDS OF FUN

*I put the ones my friends and I rode (and recommend!!)  in orange!

 STEEL HAWK
  • don’t go if super scared of heights
  • go if you love big swings, great views of the park, or thrills! *newest ride
  • height requirement: 52 inches
Riding Steel Hawk

Riding Steel Hawk

View from the top of Steel Hawk

View from the top of Steel Hawk

MAMBA
  • go if you love fast rollercoasters that don’t go upside down
  • even if you’re scared of rollercoasters, you can probably do this one! My friend did and fell in love with rollercoasters after it!
  • height requirement: 48 inches
Glimpse of Mamba

Glimpse of Mamba

BAMBOOZLER / zulu
  • go if you love these kind of spinning rides (often seen at fairs)
  • don’t go if you get sick easily/hate spinning
  • height requirement: 46 inches
Detonator
  • go if you like big drops and good views
  • don’t go if you hate rides like Tower of Terror in Disney World or Superman in Six Flags (this is a smaller version)
  • height requirement: 48 inches
Fury of the Nile
  • go if you like exciting water rides that involve rafts and not really getting wet
  • also go if you want a ride you can likely do with your whole group
  • don’t go if you absolutely don’t want to get wet
  • height requirement: 46 inches
PROWLER / TIMBER WOLF
  • go on these 2 rollercoasters if you like wooden rollercoasters and intense thrills
  • don’t go if you don’t like jerky/aggressive rides
  • height requirement: both 48 inches
Cyclone Sams
  • go on this if you like a thrill
  • don’t go if you hate spinning or flashing lights
  • height requirement: 48 inches
Spinning Dragons
  • go on this if you love thrilling coasters (it rotates freely on the tracks)
  • go if you want something your group can all ride together
  • don’t go if you hate spinning
  • height requirement: 43 inches accompanied or 48 inches alone
Boomerang / Patriot
  • go on these 2 rollercoasters if you like fast coasters that go upside down
  • don’t go if you don’t like going upside down
  • height requirement: 48 for Boomerang and 54 for Patriot
  • I personally thought these were so much fun and highly recommend them!
About to ride the Patriot

About to ride the Patriot

Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun - Kansas City

The Patriot

Have kids? There’s tons of family rides! Check them out here. Also check out Planet Snoopy for your little ones and Dinosaur’s Alive if you love dinos!

 

OCEANS OF FUN

There are SO many fun things to do! Here’s a complete list of everything.

But here’s some stuff you don’t want to miss:

  • the lazy river (Caribbean Cooler)
  • wave pool (Surf City Wave Pool)
  • Captain Kidd’s (if have little kids)
  • Hurricane Falls
  • Monsoon
  • Castaway Cove (adult only pool)

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I can’t wait for you to enjoy your day at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun! Send me an email or leave a comment below if you’ve been and have more suggestions or if you’ve never gone and have some questions! I’m always happy to help my readers get the most out of their trip!

Don’t miss out on my upcoming Kansas City guide, sign up for the weekly newsletter below!

With love,

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20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts

Instagram is pretty addicting. It’s easy for your feed to get cluttered up with all sorts of things (pictures of food, babies, animals, etc.) So why not use IG for inspiration to reach your travel dreams? If you want to travel more, then it’s time to follow some incredible travel bloggers who post gorgeous pictures to help quench your inner wanderlust and inspire your next adventure. Check out my list of 20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow:

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

HOW DID I GET THIS LIST? I picked them out myself 🙂 Please keep in mind that this list is numbered for convenience, but there is no ranking! The numbers given were chosen at random. In fact, I’d say one of my favs is last!

When searching Instagram, my criteria for this list included:

  1. Diversity (I wanted this list to encompass a wide range of travel. Everyone’s travel experience is unique and I didn’t want to create a classic list of all the accounts with huge follower numbers. If that’s what you’re looking for, then I do apologize because this list isn’t for you!)
  2. Genuineness (These people are real. I’ve communicated with each of them personally. More than that, their photos tell stories of real travel adventures. They are authentic and relatable.)
  3. Worth a Follow (As you read the individual descriptions, you’ll see why I believe a particular account is worth your follow. They each have something special about them that I think makes them belong on this list.)

But don’t just take my word for it! Click on the account names for a direct link to the account’s instagram page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The photographs you see are not 100% up-to-date on the accounts. Their numbers and feed will likely look different, as it is impossible to keep photos that are constantly up-to-date due to the nature of social media. Please click on their links to see the most accurate visual of their feeds, bios, and number of posts/followers/following. Thank you for your understanding in this!

 

20 TRAVEL BLOGGER INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW:

 

  1. WHEREINTHEWORLDBLOG 

What I love about this account is the wide variety of pictures that it shares. There are some great shots of Europe including cities like Paris, Copenhagen, London, Bruges and many more. There are also shots from the Middle East, the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean. Basically the possibilities are endless, so give them a follow to spice up your (probably) boring newsfeed!

IG- whereintheworldblog

 

2. SEEJADEFLY

Stephanie has such a talent for photography! Her shots are all incredibly artistic. She doesn’t have a large amount of posts, but she doesn’t need to because they are unique and tend to capture even the smallest of details. You should definitely follow her if you’re looking for photos that are anything but ordinary!

IG-seejadefly

 

3. FLY_ISABELLA

Liz is delightful! And her pictures are just as lovely. She’s currently in Australia, so if it is on your bucket list (like it is mine) then following her is a must because she captures such a wide range of Aussie cities. Her photos are colorful and vibrant, so it’s a perfect choice for your newsfeed if you need a little pick-me-up!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

4. TALESOFTRAVELLINGSISTERS

Hema and Suma are positively beautiful, and their pictures capture it so well! They photograph classic landmarks at unique angles, but they also have a knack for capturing the beauty of a wide variety of art. Some of their most popular pictures are when one or both of them are featured! Give them a follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

5. FROM_TEXAS_TO_BEYOND

I may be a little partial to this account because its bloggers are not only from the United States, but also from a city in Texas that is special to me! If you take a look at their photos, then it seems that they’ve been practically everywhere! Their pictures are beautiful and diverse, and they truly take you along for the ride! (So don’t miss out – follow them!)

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

6. THENIFTYTRAVELER

Well this account is certainly nifty! It really caught my eye because of the consistent, high quality photos. Everything on here is beautiful, whether it is an artistic sightseeing shot or a close up of some waffles. You should definitely give it a follow because it is so lively and refreshing! You won’t be disappointed!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

7. SARAHBLUEASH

Sarah’s account makes me think that she must truly be living the wanderlust dream! Her photos are full of color, and she also takes some of the greatest selfies. I love the unique perspectives that her pictures showcase, and I’ve also decided to go on a dog sled adventure on my next trip thanks to her fun videos! Go give her a follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

8. ROADUNRAVELED

If you want to follow someone who’s seen it all, then I would definitely encourage you to follow Stephanie and Adam and their crazy awesome adventures. Scroll through their feed and you’ll see snippets of Italy, Japan, the United States, Iceland, and so much more. Their pictures inspire me, and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

9. SHEWENTTOSPAIN

Hey shewentospain, Iwenttospaintoo! When I think of this account, I think of color. And I love it! Her feed consists of gorgeous photos that capture amazing people and splendid sights. Looking at her photos just makes me happy, so soak up some happiness by following her today!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

10. EXPATANDTHECITY

Samantha is the cutest! The photos of hers that really stood out to me were the ones where she was scuba diving. She’s had some incredible adventures that I would love to replicate someday. Her pictures are both relatable and inspiring, and she is definitely deserving of a follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

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11. LIVEYOURLIFEINSPIRED

My bucket list is basically a replica of Laura’s account! She has breathtaking photos of glaciers, famous cities, spa days at the pool, beaches, colorful buildings, and so much more. Her Iceland photos will make you want to pack your bags right away, so go ahead and give her a follow….then book a plane ticket!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

12. THE_FLYAWAY_GIRL

They say the best Instagrammers have a way of creating a cohesive and beautiful feed. Penelope has definitely mastered this! Her photos of Europe are stunning, and I love the way she easily incorporates human subjects to give her photos an extra edge! Go follow her!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

13. HAPPYTRAVELLINGFEET

I’m obsessed with waterfalls, and I think I watched this account’s video of a ferocious Iceland waterfall a billion times. Their photos do a great job of making you feel like you’re actually right there with them on all of their adventures! This duo is relatable and fun, so go click the follow button for them!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

14. CAMWONDERLANDS

If I could be one of these IGers in real life, I’d probably want to be Camille. She always seems to be having a blast in beautiful locations all over the world. Her photos are vibrant, unique, and full of life. I can promise that you absolutely won’t regret giving her a follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

15. GO4TRAVELBLOG

This account is different in that is operated by a collective group of travellers who are passionate about what they do. I think this is super special because it makes their account interesting and varied. You’ll never get bored looking at their stunning photos so go ahead and follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

16. THEGLOBALWOLFPACK

When I first started blogging, this account was one of the first travel blogger Instagram accounts to really catch my eye. They have created an amazing community of travel photographers, and they consistently post magnificent photos from members of this community. Join in on the fun by following them and using #globalwolfpack!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

17. WYLD_FAMILY_TRAVEL

Family travel is super special to me, and I love the brilliant photos that the Wyld family posts to capture all of their adventures. If you travel as a family, then this would be a great account to use for inspiration for your next trips. I know I always enjoy seeing where they will go next!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

18. JUSTINPLUSLAUREN

This account is like a melting pot of all things that are good in the travel industry. You can find cute animals, breathtaking waterfalls, and delicious looking food all in one place! The photos are lively and the couple’s relationship is precious. Follow along!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

19. THATGIRLSLIFESTORIES

This girl has got life figured out. She’s been everywhere, writes amazingly, and also keeps up with a fabulous IG account that perfectly captures her adventures. I think all of her travel goals that she mentioned have now become mine as well! Check it out for yourself and give her a follow!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

20. PESKINADVENTURES

Wow am I obsessed with this duo. Their pictures are phenomenal and such high quality. The landscapes that they capture are breathtaking, and their adventures look too amazing to even be real. Also, it features some fun yoga talent! Go show them some IG love; you won’t regret it!

20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow

 

Hope you enjoyed reading 20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow and finding new accounts to follow! I definitely enjoyed creating it.

Do you have an Instagram travel account? Leave your links below so other readers can give you a follow as well! It was/is never my intention to hurt feelings or leave anyone out of this list, and I apologize if I have! There are SO many amazing travel blogger accounts out there, so I 100% know that this list isn’t comprehensive of everyone deserving a follow! So please leave a link below 🙂

With love,

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Related: 12 Reasons Why YOu Should Travel More
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Weekend in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee is one fabulous city. It is affectionately known as Music City, U.S.A. and the Songwriting Capitol of the World. Country music has deep roots here (as evident in a beloved TV show of mine, Nashville) which is why it is considered the center of the country music industry. If you’re a huge country music fan, then I know why you’re planning a visit. If you’re not, (and I’m right there with you because I truly only like about 4 country songs) then I can promise that Nashville still has a ton of things to offer. Check out this weekend in Nashville itinerary so you don’t miss a thing!

 

Weekend in Nashville

 

On my most recent trip to Nashville, I was there for a Friday evening and all day/night of a Saturday. And I was able to do a lot! So read through the list and see what interests you the most and best fits in with your other plans. Then send me a quick email (emily@adventuresandkindness.com) to tell me about your plans or ask any questions that you may have! I know some incredible bloggers, like Greta Hollar, that are based in Nashville and could offer some advice. Ready to create your dream weekend getaway? Let’s get started!

Download the GPSMyCity app (see banner above) to get this post with the exact directions you need (offline, yay save your data!) to everything on this list!

 

MUSTs – Weekend in Nashville

 

  1. Walk Around the Grand Ole Opry Hotel (Gaylord Opryland Resort)

Weekend in Nashville

Why? It’s free. It’s beautiful. It’s crazy amazing that a hotel could contain huge waterfalls, ‘jumping’ fountains, boat rides, and multiple atriums of breathtaking indoor gardens. According to an article I found, there are 50,000 tropical plants, 215 species in the Garden Conservatory, and 449 species in the Cascades Atrium.

Weekend in Nashville

How to Make It Happen – Put it at the top of your list. You can easily swing by the Opry Mills shopping mall and the Grand Ole Opry before or after your visit. My friends and I ate lunch inside the hotel (it’s exhausting to walk through all of the atriums) at the Cascades restaurant. It’s a little pricey, but it was delicious! So you may want to go in the morning/early afternoon to allow yourself plenty of time and daylight to enjoy it!

 

  1. Enjoy the Nightlife

 

Why? Because it is CRAZY. Maybe it was just the specific weekend that we were there, but we were blown away with the amount of people who were on Broadway both Friday and Saturday night. The only time I’ve seen more people on 1 street is when I was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (oh and Time Square year around). Every bar was jam-packed with people and there was so many bars of all sizes and themes. We finally found a somewhat calm piano bar upstairs with no cover charge for college students. It was a great place to ring in my best friend’s 21st birthday so I highly recommend it even if you don’t like/want to drink. (I didn’t!)

 

How to Make It Happen – Soak up Nashville and sleep in a bit so you can dedicate your nights to Broadway. Explore the streets on either side as well as Printer’s Alley for a bit if you want. We parked toward the upper end in a cheap parking lot and walked, but many people took taxis! The traffic on that street was terrible (just a warning) and never drink and drive! 🙂

 

SHOULDs – weekend in Nashville

 

  1. Go to a Museum/ Tour a Venue

 

Why? Nashville is famous for country music, so it has the best venues and museums for it! There’s the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Johnny Cash Museum, and many more. (There’s other non-music related museums too! Here’s a list of more) Venue tours are also popular, especially if you don’t want to pay (or not available) for a concert ticket. You can tour the Grand Ole Opry House and the Ryman Auditorium if you want an impressive, large-scale venue. There’s also the quaint songwriting haven, the Bluebird Cafe! I learned about it on the show Nashville and had to see the place where Garth Brooks and many other stars and famous songwriters were discovered.

Weekend in Nashville

How to Make It Happen – Pick what you want to visit and rank in order of importance. Then figure out times, cost and location for them all. For example, after visiting the Opry Mills mall, we hopped across the street to take pictures in front of the Grand Ole Opry House and check out the gift shop before walking down to the Opry hotel. On the way back to our own hotel we stopped by the Bluebird. Some friends went to the different museums during the day and had great experiences. Figure out what YOU want to do and set aside the time to make it happen. Your weekend in Nashville is worth it.

RELATED: What You Don’t Want to Miss in Chicago, Part 1

 

  1. Visit Marathon Motor Works Building (Marathon Village)

 

Weekend in Nashville

 

Weekend in NashvilleWhy? It’s free. And it has so much character and charm! It’s an old automobile manufacturer building that they have redone into a little shopping area. It has a lot of neat shops like Antique Archeology and The Soda Parlor. Antique Archeology is visible from the outside, and is best known from the TV show American Pickers. If you’re a fan of the show or like looking at cool antiques, then it’s definitely worth a visit! (Warning: I’ve heard the lines to get in the tiny store can be lengthy at times!) The Soda Parlor can be found inside the actual building, and is known because of its YouTube-famous creator, Olan Rogers. Also, there is a perfect-for-a-photo-op mural just around the corner of Antique Archeology on the other side of the building, so don’t miss it if you want a picture!

Weekend in Nashville

How to Make It Happen – Consider it a pit stop. Work the location into your other plans and you can see everything you want to see in 10-20 minutes.

 

  1. Eat at Butchertown Hall

 

Why? It’s delicious and has such a modern, chic, hipster vibe (yes it can be all of those adjectives, it’s hard to fully explain). This was seriously the hidden gem of our weekend in Nashville! We were all craving a really good brunch spot, and accidentally stumbled across this place after our first Google searched choice wasn’t open yet. We got a variety of dishes, and they are all so yummy! I could also spend days talking about how aesthetically pleasing this place was. The interior designer/architect did amazing work. It’s won countless awards so obviously people agree with me. (Check out the list here if you don’t believe me)

Weekend in Nashville

How to Make it Happen – Saturday brunch plans. Got them figured out for you. Your welcome 🙂

Weekend in Nashville

 

CANs – Weekend in Nashville

 

There is so much more to Nashville than what this one post can cover! For example, we had our formal at the Belmont Mansion! It’s a historic home that is beautiful and surely worth a tour. There is also the Parthenon (replica of the famous building in Athens, Greece) and the Adventure Science Center (great hands-on kids museum).

 

Don’t limit yourself! Nashville is a big city with lots of offer, so go exploring and have fun! Take pictures in front of the gazillion murals and eat lots of yummy food. A weekend in Nashville is likely one that you’ll never forget! Enjoy it!

Weekend in Nashville

Want more travel related posts for the U.S.?

Check out Chicago – What You Don’t Want to Miss and Exploring the Grand Canyon South Rim!

 

*I’m in no way sponsored for this post and all opinions/recommendations are my own from personal experience!

 

With love,

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Bye America!

And I’m off! I’m so excited to spend a week in Haiti serving the beautiful people there and spreading the love of Jesus! Mission work can be exhausting, but it’s also so rewarding;  I’m excited to see all that God does while we are there!

I’m returning in a week so I will be back soon! Since it’s not in the States or somewhere with a cheap plan, I will be completely MIA! I promise to answer comments, messages, emails, tweets, etc. when I return! Thank you for being patient and supportive during this time!

While you wait, feel free to check out these posts to learn about my experience in Haiti last time! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Mission of Hope Haiti

Mission of Hope Haiti

WHAT YOU MAY SEE WHEN YOU VISIT HAITI

What You May See When You Visit Haiti

With love,

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Pinnacle Mountain – Hiking Arkansas

Pinnacle Mountain: Are you looking for the best places to go hiking in Arkansas? As an Arkansas native, I’ve decided to do a little side series over the next few summer months! I’ve gone on numerous hiking trips over the years, so it’s definitely time to share them!

 

First up on the list,

 

PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

It seems only fitting to start in the heart of Arkansas with Pinnacle Mountain State Park. It’s located just west of Little Rock and is hard to miss due to the beauty of the 1,011 foot mountain. I’ve visited twice so far, but I plan on coming back quite often in the future! (It’s also my boyfriend’s stomping grounds so I’ve got an expert handy if you have any questions!)

Here’s some quick tips to help you get the most out of your hiking adventure!

 

  1. Be Careful About Using Your iPhone GPS

 

On our second visit, my friend decided that she wanted to search for Pinnacle Mountain on her iPhone’s GPS in order to track our progress and navigate through Little Rock. I noticed that it was taking us a different way than what I was used to, but we decided to trust it because there are probably multiple ways to get there, right? Uh, not exactly.

 

Our GPS did take us to the mountain, but it took us to the East Summit trail which was definitely the wrong side for us. We thought about doing this “harder” trail, but then decided to just go back and try again. We loved our “easier” trail and wanted to stick with our plan! Here’s the address of the Pinnacle Mountain State Park – 11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd, Roland, AR 72135. This will take you to all of the nice facilities (see point number 3) as well as multiple trailheads for you to choose from!

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

 

  1. Take the West Summit Trail

 

So why do I recommend this one? Well from personal experience, it is truly a great hike. It’s a bit strenuous up closer to the top, but it is beautiful on the climb and breathtaking at the peak. It’s really popular among us college students, but I’ve seen a diverse population enjoy it as well. I’ve seen people in their late 60s as well as children as young as 4 (they were on their dads’ backs though). If you have any concerns on your ability to climb it, then please know that there are a lot of rocks and a steep incline the closer you get to the top. Every time that I’ve gone, there have been people complaining about how difficult it is. But there has also been people who literally run down it. Take your time, rest as often as you need to, and be careful to watch your step!

Distance: 1.5 miles

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

a view from the top of the West Summit Trail

 

  1. Enjoy Newly Built Restrooms and a Playground for the Kids

 

On my most recent visit, my friend and I were so impressed by the nice bathroom facilities! They were extremely clean and obviously new. Many parks do not have such a luxury so definitely take advantage of it.

 

If you have children, there is also super fun playground equipment for them to enjoy. There always seems to be a lot of kids on it whenever I visit. If you want to eat lunch before or after your hike, then there are also plenty of tables and grills to use! My friend and I had a little picnic on one near the trailhead!

 

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

This is what the West Summit Trail looks like toward the top!

 

  1. Wander Over to the East Summit’s Viewpoint

 

If you take the West Summit trail, then you will likely reach the peak and veer to the left. It is more obvious and usually more populated. It has gorgeous views of Lake Maumelle and the Arkansas River. It is definitely a must-see. However, the first time we visited we missed the additional viewpoint that is on the right. My friend was about to head back down the mountain but I could hear voices and see people taking pictures over there.

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

Looking down the mountain with the West Summit Trail parallel with us on the right

Let me tell you, it is so worth it to check out the other spot! We explored that entire side of the mountain and I ended up getting my favorite pictures from it! Head down a bit on the rocks and then walk as far right as you can. You’ll end up being parallel with the hikers climbing down the West Summit trail. We hopped on over some rocks and just continued down the mountain whenever we got tired of soaking up the magnificent view! (Well we just got thirsty; let’s be real, you can’t get tired of such a view!)

Pinnacle Mountain - Hiking Arkansas

 

  1. Stay Hydrated

Above all, it is so important that you keep yourself hydrated! Bring a water bottle or use the water fountains near the trailhead and bathrooms. Either way, make sure you drink some H2O before and after your hike! (Also, wear sunscreen! 🙂 It’s important!)

 

Don’t feel like you know enough? Click here for more official information about the park!

Have you ever visited Pinnacle Mountain State Park? What did you think? I’d love to hear your stories and let me know what other Arkansas hiking trails you’d like to read about!

RELATED:  Exploring the Grand Canyon South Rim | 12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More

With love,

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Mission of Hope Haiti

Now that you know how beautiful Haiti and its people are, (If not, read What You May See When You Visit Haiti) let’s take a closer look at one of the fabulous organizations that you can partner with to experience its beauty first-hand. If you’re interested in traveling to a tropical location AND making a difference, then consider going on a mission trip with Mission of Hope Haiti.

Mission of Hope Haiti

{I am not sponsored for this post. I just had an incredible experience and I think they are worth the exposure and awareness!}

 

Why Partner with Mission of Hope Haiti?

 

If you’re skeptical of large organizations “helping” citizens of a developing country, then I completely understand. I am too.

 

Are they making money off of them? Is it a scam? Can they be trusted? Why are they doing it?

 

It’s so easy for relatively rich people to come in and completely destroy the economy of an impoverished nation. Tourists can easily walk into a village and do more harm than good. Many of us have this egocentric mindset that WE are the answer to their “problems” or that the citizens are in need of our country’s lifestyle in order to live a “better” life.

 

This is a lie.

Mission of Hope Haiti

The things that we think we so desperately need do not have to be a need (or even a want!) of these people. Your priorities are not their priorities. What you do for fun may look completely different from what they do. That doesn’t mean they aren’t having fun!

 

Volunteering is great, it really is. But only if done responsibly. Awhile back I read a great post from Globetrotter Joe that captures the importance of responsible volunteering. In my opinion, the whole point of volunteering is to realize that it’s not about us.

 

I think Mission of Hope does an excellent job of putting the Haitians first. Their mission statement is clear – “As an organization following Jesus Christ, Mission of Hope seeks to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti.”

Mission of Hope Haiti

Are they making money off of them?

 

No, they make money off of the volunteers (willingly donated) and use it to employ Haitians. They hire them to cook, clean, guard the perimeter, drive busses, work in a store, work in a clinic, work in churches, work in orphanages, work in a schools, make items to sell, translate for visitors, and so much more. Everything goes back to the Haitians and is designed to help them.

 

Is it a scam? Can they be trusted?

 

It is not a scam. Yes, they can be trusted. I’ve witnessed their passion and love for the people of Haiti first-hand. The story of how one couple, the Johnsons, gave up everything just to follow the call of Jesus is incredible and inspiring. The organization is continually proving its foundation and purpose is all about Jesus. That is ultimately why they can be trusted. They are open about what they do, their finances, etc. on their website. They are changing lives through church advancement, orphan care, education, health care, nutrition, child sponsorship and so much more.

 

Why are they doing it?

 

To bring life transformation to the people of Haiti through the power and saving grace of Jesus Christ. (Those are my words summarizing it all). They are pouring all of these resources into this country because it needs it, yes, but also because taking care of the Haitians’ physical needs can open the door to taking care of their greatest need, Jesus.

Mission of Hope Haiti

 

How You Can Join In

 

There are a lot of ways that you can make a difference! One of the biggest ways is through child sponsorship. I did this for about a year after my first trip! It’s $35 a month ($420 a year) and you get to select the child that you want to sponsor! I had a precious little girl named Mesdarlie, and she was an absolute joy! The money goes toward giving the child a quality education that includes a daily nutritious meal, Christ-centered curriculum, and improvement initiatives that are school-specific.

 

As a sponsor, you will receive an annual photo, reply letters to any correspondence that you send to him/her, and monthly email updates. You can send him/her letters and pictures (via an online tool). You can also pick out generic gifts from an online store (such as a doll, soccer ball, etc.) and the Mission of Hope people purchase these items from the community (see it all goes back to the Haitians!) and give it to your child. If you ever visit MOH’s campuses on a mission trip, then they will arrange for you to meet the child if possible!

 

If you would like to support an orphan in their orphanage, it is $50 a month and you will be combined in a little “family” with four other sponsors for that one child. Again, it is an amazing opportunity to give this child a loving home and receive an education. Education is rare in developing countries, especially with Haitian girls, and it is so important for their future!

 

Going on a mission trip with Mission of Hope can be completely life-changing. It provides you with the opportunity to see the joy and beauty of Haiti and its people. You get to make lasting friendships with the translators, MOH staff, Village Champions, and all of the children and adults that you meet in the village. On their mission trips, you have days where you play/talk with the villagers and days where you serve them by painting houses, planting trees, and other possibilities depending on their needs. You also get to experience church (in French Creole) right alongside the Haitians. You even get to visit other campuses for a vision tour and have a blast as you relax on a “beach day”.

Mission of Hope Haiti

Overall, there are a ton of opportunities to get involved. You can make a difference in the lives of so many! I already told you how wonderful and joyful the people of Haiti are. Go see it for yourself! Experience the country in an authentic way – right in the middle of a village interacting with the locals. God is doing HUGE things in Haiti, like only He can do. And the incredible thing is – we are invited to be part of it!

 

In May, I’ll be leaving for my second trip to Haiti. Please consider praying for my team and I as we prepare, travel, and serve. Please pray for our translators, Mission of Hope, and all of the Haitians that we meet. I’m looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces in Titanyen! I will share an update later this summer with all of you, and in the meantime please be praying for all that God is doing there!
With love,

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Mission of Hope Haiti   What You May See When You Visit Haiti

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