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

–Halfway through 20 Travel Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow!

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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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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Toiletry Bag – Why You Should Always Have One Handy

toiletry bag logo

 

 

For only being on Earth for a little over 2 decades, I’ve traveled quite a bit. My parents love to travel, and they’ve provided me with amazing opportunities to do it multiple times each year. One of their best pieces of advice is something I’m sharing with you today…keep a toiletry bag handy!

 

Always Have a Toiletry Bag Handy

It’s simple. It’s necessary. (Well the items in it are!) Just grab a small bag. (Men, you might call this a Dopp kit. Ladies, a typical make-up bag should suffice.) You want it to have pockets so that you can keep all your stuff a little organized, and you probably want it waterproof since it will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom. It can be any size, but you preferably want it big enough to hold everything that you need but also small enough to easily fit into a backpack or small duffel bag.

 

So Why Do You Need One?

  1. It holds everything you need to use in the bathroom in one convenient bag.
  2. It keeps all your liquids contained and prevents spills into your luggage. (Aka that stylish new shirt you just bought!)
  3. IT’S PERFECT FOR TRAVEL. It fits in all of your luggage and is great for when you don’t have a lot of room or you don’t want to unpack everything when you get there. Disclosure: I’m mostly speaking about travel that isn’t on an airplane! There will be a separate airplane tips post later on! (So don’t forget the 3 oz rule!)

So Why Should You Keep One Handy At all Times?

  1. Weekend trip? No worries, already got all toiletry items packed.
  2. Big vacation coming up? No worries, already got all toiletry items packed.
  3. Spending the night somewhere? No worries…(Do I really need to repeat? It’s stress free!)

sink

 

It’s so convenient. While your travel companions are running around trying to remember every little thing to put it in there, all you have to do is take a quick peek and you’re good to go! It’s so easy. And once you pack it the first time, you don’t have to try to remember everything that should go in it ever again! You just replenish whenever something is running out. It makes packing a breeze!

 

So What Should You Include In Your Toiletry Bag?

Here’s a list of things that I recommend:

  1. Shampoo
  2. Conditioner
  3. Body Wash and/or Soap
  4. Medications
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Toothpaste
  7. Floss
  8. Deodorant
  9. Shaving Cream
  10. Razors
  11. Lotion
  12. Hair Product
  13. Feminine Items if needed
  14. Contact Case if needed
  15. Contact Solution if needed
  16. Special Face Wash if needed
  17. Retainer or other dental items if needed**

**likely will have to add each time because you may only be able to have 1

bag

The key is to use small containers for everything! You don’t need to lug around your regular sized shampoo bottle for a week’s worth of travel. Invest in reusable bottles then fill them up with your favorite shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hair product, special face wash, etc. I recommend investing in travel size contact solution and toothpaste. (Sold in Wal-Marts and other popular super-centers.)

Yes you will have to pay for an extra one of everything, but this is all stuff that you run out of anyway! (For the most part…but I lose my contact cases all the time!) Most of it is cheap and won’t expire, so you will get plenty of use out of it!

Pack your bag, then leave it in storage in your bathroom. (Under the sink works well!) Next time you start to pack a travel bag, just whip out your pre-made bag and you’re ready to go!

There ya have it. A simple way to save time and prevent stress.

Want a FREE printable checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything when packing a toiletry bag?? I even added a few more things compared to what’s up above! Click here to have it emailed for FREE right to your inbox! My gift to you! 🙂

 

Do you have a toiletry bag handy at all times? Why or why not? What would you add to the list?

 

With love,

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CHECK OUT MORE TRAVEL POSTS

12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More

Chicago What You Don’t Want to Miss (Part 1)

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Take My Fun Personality Quiz!

TAKE THE Personality QUIZ

Ever wonder what type of transportation mode you are? Probably not, but I think I can figure you out! Answer a few simple questions and find out what you are! (And why!) Let me know what you get in the comments! 🙂 Yay for a fun personality quiz!

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personality quiz

I love personality quizzes. I always think they’re so much fun. I like to learn about myself, and I think quizzes are a great way to do so! (Although I love Buzzfeed quizzes a little too much, I’ll take basically anything!) That’s why I wanted to create this fun one for you, and I really want to hear what you get! I’m a train by the way! 🙂

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Haiti – What You May See When You Visit

What You May See When You Visit Haiti

Haiti. Oh my goodness this country has my heart. It is absolutely gorgeous with its clear blue water and breathtaking mountains right on the shore. But surprisingly enough, it is the people that make Haiti truly beautiful.

In 2010, there was a devastating 7.0 earthquake. It was reported by the New York Times that 316,000 people lost their lives. If you visit there today, you will likely still see the destruction that it caused. Where houses once stood, there are now tarps forming small shacks. Samaritan Purse did an incredible thing by providing temporary shelters for over 10,400 Haitian families. Unfortunately many families are still living in these and you can still see Samaritan Purse’s blue tarps everywhere.

I’m not an expert on Haiti. I visited once in 2014, and I’m returning this summer! (So excited!) I really got to know the village of Titanyen. But I strongly advise you to go see it for yourself. If you do, here are some things you may see:

  1. Poverty

There is no denying the poverty of this country. In the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is currently the poorest country with 80% of the population living below the poverty line. The earthquake took a massive toll on the nation’s economy, as did the two hurricanes that damaged the agricultural output. There is an airport in the capital,Port-au-Prince, that is air-conditioned and has toilets and faucets like we see in developed countries. But to really experience life as a Haitian, you need to explore the villages.

girls at their home

In the villages you will likely see only dirt roads with very little cars. Motorcycles are popular! Everyone mostly walks. In Titanyen, there was one community well. We would constantly see kids and mothers pumping water and then carrying it back to their homes. They relied on windows for natural light in their homes, and I did not come across anyone with electricity or plumbing. A few people had flip cell phones or a radio. Some children went to school, but many did not. Everyone was barefoot and wore minimal clothing. (It is so hot in Haiti!) They wore the same clothes every day, and were not concerned with the tears, holes or dirt smudges. Diapers were not commonly used, and many toddlers wore only a t-shirt if they were not potty-trained. Yards often reeked of feces or had a swarm of bugs attacking food. The closest thing Titanyen had to a park was a large patch of dirt with one tree for shade, two soccer (football!) nets, and a few benches.

village

2. Community

I saw an incredible sense of community among the villagers. When we traveled to another village, we got to see the markets set up on the main, paved street. It was beautiful to watch the Haitians trade for goods and interact with one another. They were so friendly and full of life. In Titanyen, the villagers trusted their kids to be safe around strangers. So many kids were freely roaming around by themselves. Often elementary aged boys could be seen protectively babysitting their toddler siblings all day long. Kids would jump into our arms and walk with us all around the village until we went too far. Then they would turn around and find their way back home.

baby

3. Joy

Even though they face all kinds of difficulties each day, the Haitians are full of life and love. The children, especially, will blow your mind with the amount of joy that they have in their tiny bodies. They love to sing and dance. They love to laugh and make silly faces. They don’t have their eyes glued to a television screen, but instead they are truly living. They are so free! It is amazing to hear them talk about the hope that they have. Their faith in God and in His protection shocked and inspired me. Most people would expect them to be bitter about all that they don’t have. (And yes some are!) But for the most part, they are content. So many of them came up to me and told me about how blessed they were. The kids were grateful for the small bowl of rice they received for the day, and I grumble if my food is lukewarm, bland, or smaller than I envisioned. When you visit Haiti, talk to the locals. Spend time loving on the children. Enjoy the warmth of their hugs and the joy that they radiate!

young girl

 

The mountains are beautiful. The beaches are beautiful. The people are beautiful. And even the earthquake ruins are beautiful. That’s because they reveal the bravery and resilience of a strong community.

If you’ve never visited Haiti but would like to someday, then I encourage you to sign up for my weekly newsletter because my next travel post will be about the best (in my opinion!) way to do it – through Mission of Hope!

Have you ever been to Haiti? What else could you say about the nation? Or have you been somewhere else with similar characteristics? Let me know in the comments!

 
With love,

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Exploring the Grand Canyon South Rim

Exploring the Grand Canyon South Rim | adventuresandkindness.com The Grand Canyon is arguably one of the most breathtaking natural wonders that this world has to offer. It is a popular destination for both national and international tourists, with an average of 5 million visitors each year. Beautiful and massive, the grand canyon south rim is a must-see for any family, couple, friend group, or solo traveler.

There are numerous spectacular views to see, so it is likely that you won’t be able to see everything. It is easy to adjust a Grand Canyon trip into any time frame. In fact, my family and I were able to conquer much of the South Rim in just ONE day! We drove a rental car from Las Vegas down to the canyon, and while it isn’t for everyone, I highly recommend it. (For more information on how to plan a one day trip from Las Vegas, just shoot me an email!)

Because there are so many viewpoints, you will want to prioritize where you go first.

So why do I recommend starting with the Grand Canyon South Rim?

  • it’s easy to get to from multiple big cities (aka where the commercial airlines are) such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Flagstaff
  • it’s open all year
  • it’s a great way to pack a lot of different spots into one simple drive (hello Desert Drive!)
  • it makes for BEAUTIFUL pictures, especially at sunset

So how do you get to the Grand Canyon South Rim? There are plenty of options out there, so please don’t think that you can’t travel a different way. Another route may be more suited to your individual needs or preferences!

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Don't miss the beautiful photography opportunities at the South Rim! | adventuresandkindness.com

Yavapi Point

How to Get to the South Rim

  • Fly- There is limited service into Grand Canyon Airport (7 miles from the park) or you can fly into the bigger cities mentioned above.
  • Rent a Car- A huge benefit to renting a vehicle is that you have a lot control over where and when you travel. My family and I rented one from the Las Vegas airport, but unfortunately we had to wait hours before we finally got a car. Make sure you do plenty of research beforehand so that you choose a rental company that you trust!
  • Take a Bus- Before you can ride the shuttle directly to the canyon, you need something to get you a bit closer. Greyhound offers bus services to Flagstaff and Phoenix.
  • Ride the Shuttle- You can get from Phoenix to Flagstaff or Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Village by riding Arizona Shuttle. If you need to get to the park from Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix or Las Vegas, then you may want to try Grand Canyon Shuttle Service. They also offer rim to rim services, if traveling in a large group. Trans Canyon Shuttle runs between the rims each day, with a limited schedule in October. It takes about 4 1/2 hours each way, costs $90 per person, and they require reservations.

 

Day Hiking the South Rim

Wanting to go on a day hike during your visit? Here are some of the trails you can use, and I’ve included links to offer you all the information you may need on them! The Grand Canyon South Rim is so beautiful, you definitely don’t want to miss out on opportunity to hike! Personally, I went on a small trail that was less official, so just do what works best for you!

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Don't miss the beautiful photography opportunities at the South Rim! | adventuresandkindness.com

Grandview Point

 

 

Easy: Rim Trail (most of it is paved)

Steep: Bright Angel Trail • South Kaibab Trail •  Hermit Trail

Very Steep: Grandview Trail

Viewpoints That I Recommend

Because I knew that my family and I would obviously have limited time at the canyon, I wanted to make sure we were using it wisely and visiting as many viewpoints as possible. I did a little research on Pinterest, and one post really inspired me to consider Desert View Drive. The photos of it were GORGEOUS and I was so impressed with the variety of views that it offered. It also seemed like the perfect way to conquer a lot of viewpoints in one simple drive.

Exploring the Grand Canyon South Rim

 

In reality, it was all of those things and more! I highly recommend it. We came in through the South Entrance and first stopped at the visitor center. (And you should too!) It was full of great information, had a spectacular view, and it offered restrooms and places to refill your water bottle. From there we drove to Yavapai Point, backtracked to Mather Point, then continued on that road toward Desert View Drive. We stopped at Grandview Point, Moran Point, and Desert View.

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Don't miss the beautiful photography opportunities at the South Rim! | adventuresandkindness.com

Desert View

There are a lot of other possible viewpoints, but some required extensive hiking or offered basically the same view. Even though we did cover a lot of ground, it was nice to enjoy each viewpoint and really take in the canyon’s beauty. We spent the most time at Desert View where we watched the sunset with a lot of other visitors. There was also a gift shop, small restaurant, general store, and restrooms. It’s a great place to get some hot chocolate, and you can even climb to the top of the watchtower!

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Don't miss the beautiful photography opportunities at the South Rim! | adventuresandkindness.com

And Don’t Forget…

WATER. I can’t stress this enough. If you plan on hiking, then you really need a refillable water bottle. You can scout out all of the refill stations at the grand canyon south rim, and definitely replenish as often as needed.

CAMERA. I just used my iPhone for all of the pictures you see in this post, but if you want a higher quality then definitely don’t forget your camera! (And if you’re using your phone, invest in a car charger just in case the battery dies on you!)

MONEY. This may seem unnecessary, but once you are there you may really want to get a souvenir t-shirt or magnet. You also might get hungry, and want a snack or drink. When we left the canyon we found a yummy restaurant, We Cook Pizza and Pasta, that I recommend if you’re looking for some dinner after the sun sets!

Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? Don't miss the beautiful photography opportunities at the South Rim! | adventuresandkindness.com

There are so many things to see and do in the Grand Canyon South Rim area, you probably can’t go wrong. Just remember to really take your time and soak up the canyon’s majestic beauty! (Thankfully you probably won’t have cell service so you’ll be forced to :)) Seeing it is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am so thankful for it! Want to go? Let me help you make it happen!

What do you think about visiting the Grand Canyon? Is it something that you would like to do one day? Or if you have already done it, what advice would you share? Let me know in the comments!

 

With love,

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12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More

12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More

12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More- I’ve heard it all before. I’ve even thought of a few of them myself. The excuses that we tell ourselves about why we can’t travel. I see beautiful pictures of snow covered mountains and think to myself, “Wow I would love to go there someday!” Sometimes I see pictures of pristine beaches, and I start to imagine the warmth of the summer sun on my face and the golden grains of sand between my toes. And just when I start to get hopeful, a little voice inside me quickly shuts me down.

You don’t have enough time.

You don’t have enough money.

You can’t walk away from all of your responsibilities.

The list is endless. Stick with me, because I’ll be tackling each of these excuses in the upcoming months. But for now, why is travel even worth the hassle?

Here are 12 Reasons Why You Should Travel More:

 

1. It Makes You Humble

The world is a really big place. We often forget that we are just tiny droplets of water in the middle of an unending ocean. Travel wakes us up from our egocentric slumber. It reminds us that there is more to life than just our suburban homes or the United States. There’s other cities, oceans, landscapes, and ways of life. The world doesn’t consist of just us. (Thank goodness!)

Photo by Jose Murillo/ Reasons Why You Should Travel More

Photo by Jose Murillo

2. It’s Really Really Fun

This is so obvious, but it still needs to be stated. Travel is just plain FUN! If you do it correctly, then you can plan a trip that is specifically designed for your personal definition of fun. Do you enjoy relaxing and reading a good book? Do you want to check out the nightlife in a major city? Do you like to be active and ski? Do you like watching Broadway or visiting museums? No matter what you do for fun, I can guarantee there’s a city out there that can help make it happen.

 

3. It Makes You more Open Minded

Another one of the reasons why you should travel more is that it makes you more open minded. We all have opinions, and if you’re anything like me, you love to be right. Traveling the world continuously shows me that there is more than one way to do something correctly. The culture of a new city or country shows us that different perspectives are interesting and refreshing. Your mind will soon open up in the most rewarding way.

Photo by Skyler Smith/Reasons Why You Should Travel More

Photo by Skyler Smith

4. It Teaches You Things That You Never Knew You Never Knew

Pocahontas said it best when she sang; “You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.” There are always things to learn and explore. Traveling to a  new place is the perfect way to learn how to navigate, problem solve, appreciate history, interact with different people, and so much more.

 

5. It (Usually) Tastes Delicious

The lasagna in Italy doesn’t exactly taste like Olive Garden. The Subway in Ireland tastes nothing like it does in the States. McDonald’s in Switzerland is surprisingly like 5 star dining. You’re in a different city/state/country/continent. Food is going to taste different. It’s going to be weird and intimidating, but you MUST give it a try. Eating at chain restaurants exclusively will rob you of the chance to experience authentic native cuisine. So always give it a try; your taste buds will thank you!

 

6. It Reminds You of All the Good in Humankind

If you watch or read any world news, then it is easy to get sucked into the notion that the world is a dark and evil place filled with people who only want to hurt you. Thankfully, this isn’t true at all. The world does have mean and hurtful individuals, but it also has men and women that are brave, sacrificial, forgiving, kind, generous, and hospitable. Travel can give you a fresh perspective on humankind and help you see the goodness in others. This is why it is one of the more rewarding reasons why you should travel more. If your first interaction in a new city is a negative one, then please do not get discouraged. There are more people out there, and they will likely give you a friendly smile if you offer one to them first.

Photo by Daniel Roe

Photo by Daniel Roe

7. It Can be thrilling or relaxing (or both!)

Sometimes all we want in a vacation is to sit back and relax. We want a getaway from our stressful and busy lives. On the other hand, there are times when we want an exciting and jam-packed trip that is full of fun activities and sightseeing. Depending upon the itinerary that you create, you can enjoy a trip that is thrilling, relaxing, or (if you want a little variety) both.

 

8. It shows you all of the things that you can (or can’t) live without

Materialism is rampant in the United States. According to a recent survey by Pew, 8 in 10 Americans have debt, and 7 in 10 say that “debt is a necessity in their lives.” When you get the chance to experience other cultures, you start to appreciate their values and lifestyle. Also, being away from home makes you start to miss things. And these “things” probably won’t include your designer handbags or fancy jewelry. You’ll start to realize just how important your family, friends, and pets are to you. (Maybe that big comfy bed too!)

Photo by David Marcu

Photo by David Marcu

9. It can strengthen relationships

On that same note, it’s possible that the distance might be good for some of your (ahem how should we say this?) more delicate relationships. You know, that person that drives you crazy, and you are able to better love him or her from far away. Even if that’s not the case, it’s possible that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. And if you don’t travel solo, then you will make hilarious inside jokes and memories which will grow your relationship with that individual(s) even more.

 

10. It pushes you outside your comfort zone

Never been on a plane before? No problem, we were all there once. With travel, there’s basically endless possibilities for never-have-I-ever statements. That’s what makes it so fun and exciting! Get ready for a little adventure and doing something that scares you or makes you uncomfortable. Stretch yourself. You’ll be amazed at the growth that will take place.

 

11. It helps you figure out what you want out of life

What do you want? To see the world? To have an adventure? Maybe it’s to stay at home and never leave. If so, that’s great. You know what you want. If you don’t know, give travel a try. If you hate it, oh well, you figured it out. If you love it, awesome, welcome to the wanderlust club!

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel

Photo by Sebastian Gabriel

Want help planning your next dream vacation? I can make your life a whole lot easier! Click here for more information.

12. It creates memories that you can treasure forever

Memories are often the most valuable thing that we ever own. It allows us to remember loved ones and think fondly back to our crazy fun adventures. It leaves us with a sense of satisfaction, like we really soaked up every ounce of this life. Experiences shape who we are, and our overall happiness with life. Let’s commit to making memories. Let’s open our eyes to what’s beyond our doorstep. There is so much out there to experience; let’s live out the reasons why you should travel more.

Do you have any more reasons to add? Why do you want to travel more? Let me know in the comments! »»

With love,

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