I Fell in Love with Austin, Texas on the Fourth of July

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Sometimes you visit a city, and you just know. You get that little voice in the back of your mind telling you “this is a place I could stay”, or “this is somewhere I belong”. Austin gave me those thoughts, and I just knew. But let me start from the beginning…

One day, in the middle of April, I was sitting at my desk trudging on through the work day, wishing I was somewhere else, when I had an epiphany; I should take a mini vacation. Then it came down to deciding where to go, simple enough, right? Wrong. Being in the center of the country means that my options are incredibly limited, and unlimited, all at the same time. I can take a plane heading anywhere in the country in a relatively small amount of time, and I can take plenty of road trips, but most of the “desirable” places to go in the scorching heat of the summer (i.e., the beach, for obvious reasons) are quite far away. Now I’m the queen of road trips, so per usual, I opted for that, then looked at the map and just chose. Just like that. Austin, Texas is it was. My family vacationed in Texas often when I was young, so the idea of venturing there on my own this year felt comfortable and inviting. So, I grabbed a friend, and off we went!

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Driving from Kansas City to Austin wasn’t the MOST pleasant of things, but I think making that whole drive down, through the construction, traffic, and holiday travelers made driving into the city that much sweeter. I was more excited than I ever would have expected to be when I realized we were about to *finally* make our way into town. I even pulled off the road, just to capture the moment for myself, and you as well, I suppose. For anyone familiar with the city, we stayed just off East Cesar Chavez, and it was a hipster’s paradise, let me tell you. I loved it.

We were only there for the weekend, so I didn’t get the chance to do many of the things I had hoped, but I still had an amazing time. Our first stop was visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and explored for quite a while. I genuinely enjoyed learning so much about his presidency, the good and not so good parts alike. I’m someone that loves learning as much as possible about history, and this was something new for me to dig into. The library itself was quite astounding, walking up the steps towards it was a special experience all on its own, without factoring in the beautifully put together LBJ Museum that accompanied it.

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After we were satisfied with our exploration there, we decided to visit the capitol building. For any of you that may not know, or may be from a different country, in the US, we have our Nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C., but each individual state has it’s own Capitol as well. Austin happens to be the state Capitol of Texas, so the (absolutely beautiful) Texas State Capitol Building is here as well. We took quite a long walk around the grounds, and had a bit of a wander through the interior of the building as well. My favorite part, however, was simply sitting on a bench, near the front of the building, all by my lonesome. Having a tea and taking it all in, that’s what I do best.

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From there, we simply explored. For the next two days, I ate more Tex-Mex than anyone should ever eat, I grew to feel like I was a part of a new place and a new city. I went grocery shopping, I laid by the river and read a book, I chatted with strangers in a bar; I completely immersed myself if the daily life of this city, and I think thats’s what made this trip so special for me. It felt like I was visiting a home away from home, and I was genuinely sad when it came to an end.

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I may have single handedly eaten all of the avocados in Austin, and I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating.

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One of my favorite moments was sitting by the river watching the sun go down around the city. I think this will be a memory I keep close for a long time.

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One of the things I admired most about Austin was the graffiti, which might sound strange to some people. But Austin is filled with beautiful, inspiring, and interesting graffiti. The city just seems like an even more special place after seeing how many people have made their mark here in such a positive way.

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I spent a surprising amount of time in this backyard whilst I was there. The house I rented had a beautiful backyard with a comfy seating area to relax in. I definitely made use of it, particularly the incredibly comfy lounge chairs, they were perfect for reading and relaxing. These popsicles were absolutely scrumptious by the way, check out GoodPop if you’re able to get your hands on them. They’re all natural, and are honestly the most delicious frozen fruit pops I’ve ever had. I’m feeling serious withdrawal symptoms at the moment.

The final day, before we had to wake up and make our way home, was the Fourth of July. Celebrating Independence Day in Texas is not something new for me, I’ve done it a few times in my life with my family, but this was a whole new experience for me. We went fairly early in the afternoon to secure a seat near the water to watch the fireworks over the city. I expected that there would be a lot of people, and Austin didn’t disappoint me there, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would love getting to know all the people that happened to be sitting around me. I arrived with one friend, and left with dozens, and it made me so much more in love with the city, and so much more pleased with the trip itself.

I had a few drinks, set off a few sparklers, and chatted with more people than I have in the past month, all in one night. The fireworks were stunning, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was the perfect ending to a much needed get away.

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I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Sleepy Sundays | Don’t call it a comeback

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So, we meet again, you cute little blog you. I’ve missed this, I really have. Sometimes you forget how good something simple like this can feel, just releasing all your thoughts onto a screen, letting anyone that’s willing read everything you’ve decided to share. Life gets in the way, I’m sure you know how it goes. But today, after so much time away, I’m back. Will I stick with it? Make time for something I enjoy in life for once? Who knows, but I appreciate each and every one of you that kept following me, even as I was away for months on end. You’re beautiful and I love you.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s chat. After all, that’s what I always wanted to do with this blog. I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head, and written down on paper, even if that was through a keyboard on a public forum. I wanted to talk to people, interact with them, learn from them, get to know them, and become friends with them. So let me just ask, how are you? How are things going? I’m doing well. Things are going okay I suppose, all things considered. Nothing too exciting has happened in my life since we last talked. It may have even grown just a little more monotonous since then, if that’s possible. I’ve fallen into a routine; get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, and repeat. Monday through Friday, this is my life. I wish I were able to switch it up, to add a little spice to my life. How do you do it? How do you keep your life exciting? Please, share your secrets with me Senpai.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was when my Amazon order arrived yesterday, containing a new Electric Kettle and some cupboard organizers for all of my tea; who knew life could be filled with so much excitement?! I know I didn’t! All joking aside, I was sincerely thrilled to open up my new kettle, but I digress. Maybe I’m just in a rut? That’s possible I suppose. Or maybe it’s because my birthday is just a few short weeks away, and I’m beginning to feel the pressure that comes along with it. I’ll be 23, which may not sound old or important, but there is a lot of pressure coming along with this birthday. My parent’s think I should be settled down with that “perfect someone”, thinking about getting married and starting a family, my friends think I should already be finished with college and moved into my own place, partying it up. When in reality, I’m 22, living at home, single, fighting to finish this bachelors degree, and working a full-time job that brings no joy or excitement to my life, and chasing Pokemon in my spare time. Oh goodness, this is turning into a very “woe is me” sort of post. I need to change things up, turn it around.

Maybe I should share some things that make me happy, who knows, maybe that will pull me out of this little funk I seem to be in at the moment.

One seemingly unusual thing that always makes me happy is a strange one to describe. I suppose its essentially just the wind, but it’s much more than that to me. I love that feeling, when you’re sitting outside on a slightly cooler night, in-between the summer heat and the autumn chill, reading or just watching the world go by, when the wind sweeps across your face and you feel completely calm and safe, even if just for a moment. It makes me so happy to know that moments like that exist.

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My cat is also another point of sheer happiness for me. I mean, just look at her! Look at that face! She has this way of knowing when I need her. She’s always so quick to come and snuggle with me when I’m feeling down, or ill, or upset. Even when she’s being obnoxious, or irritating, she still has a way of making me feel so genuinely happy, all the way to my core, no matter what. For instance, she is currently laying on my chest, partially blocking my access to the keyboard on my laptop, and just being a general pain, and I still smile like a fool each time I look down at her sweet little face snuggled up against my arm.

As much as my family has a tendency to be a bit overbearing and hard to handle, I’m still filled with happiness each time I remember how lucky I am to have them. After the horrible events in France, TexasMinnesota, Louisiana, Turkey, and so many more these past few weeks, I’m feeling even luckier than usual to have my family, and to know that I have people out there to fall back on and lean on when things get tough. They are all absolutely insane, pushy, and ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Lastly, one of the things that makes me happiest; daydreaming. I’ve always loved the fact that we’ve all got this ability, this superpower, to transport ourselves to another time or place in our own minds. We’re all equipped with our own mental T.A.R.D.I.S, if you will. If I’m unhappy, or feeling stuck, or sad, or anything in between, I can simply imagine that my life will take a different turn in the future, or imagine that I’ve stumbled into a new place, or just lay back, and let my daydreams guide me. There’s no limit to the amount of things I can accomplish in a daydream. No one cares how I look in a daydream. There’s no body shaming, there’s no cruelty, and there’s no fear. It’s a completely pure space, untainted by the outside world, and it is one of my biggest sources of happiness.

And with that my friends, this Sleepy Sunday post has come to a close, and I’ll have to drag myself out of bed to start my day. My tea is gone and my cup is dry. I hope you enjoyed reading this ramble that I’ve decided to put out onto the internet, and that you found something to take with you from it. Whether that be something life changing, like learning your daydreams are a T.A.R.D.I.S, or simply just the memory of how adorable my cat is, I hope you’ve had a lovely few moments here with me.

Please feel free to leave me a comment and chat with me, or check out the “Contact Me” page to send me an email. I would love to hear from you and get to know you.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

 

 

 

Banned Books Week | Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week

If I’m honest, the whole idea of censorship drives me crazy. But censoring books? That one, I’ll never understand.

I don’t know if I can even begin to explain to you how important books are, and always have been, in my life and in my heart. Books were my escape as a child. Books taught me all the things I didn’t learn at home or at school. Friendship. Hardship. Love. Fear. Excitement. Magic. Lust. Anger. Sadness. Companionship. Books taught me that I would never be alone, as long as I was able to pick one of them up and immerse myself in the world that the author had created for me. There is an endless list of things that books have introduced me to over the years, and there’s no way for me to explain how grateful I am for that.

It seems though, that there will always be people that feel the need to challenge that. People that think they know what the youth of the world should be reading and what words they should be consuming. How dare young people read about sexual situations? Or violence? Or racially charged moments? Or various religious viewpoints? Sexual orientation that isn’t heterosexual? Witchcraft or magic? How dare authors put those things into words? We must challenge and ban those books! Put a stop to them! At least that’s what the various parents, teachers, politicians, and board members seem to think.

In those regards, we must also ban the news, right? And most television shows. And political debates, we can’t have those things popping up and tainting the minds of our youth, can we? Most art should go, right? Quite a bit of nudity in those silly old paintings and statues. And all education should cease in regards to the civil rights movement and things of that nature, can’t have kids hearing of racism, can we?

I hope I’m making it clear how absurd I find this whole thing to be. Banning books on the grounds of things like racism, sexual situations, political viewpoints, the presence of witchcraft, encouragement of “damaging” lifestyles, or violence has never, and will never make sense to me. What will shielding children from these achieve? Are these things that children won’t see or hear on television, in their day to day lives, etc?

Banning books is disgraceful and insulting really, to the intelligence and consciousness of the youth that they are trying to “shield”.

Banned Books Week should be important to all of us. Even if you never experienced that censorship first hand, you should still push for future generations to have the freedom to read and explore. To learn and understand. To be introduced to things in a safe and enlightening way, rather than the harsh realities of the real world. Let them read about depression. Let them understand it. Give them the freedom to explore sexuality. Help them understand it. Make the classics available to them, so they can see the words that helped shape the world around them. Treat them as intelligent and comprehending beings, and maybe they’ll have a better chance of growing up as such.

Parents, teachers, religious organizations, and political organizations alike, have tried to take so many pieces of literature away from the youth of the world. Catcher in the Rye. The Harry Potter Series. The Hunger Games Series. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The Kite Runner. The Great Gatsby. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Lord of the Rings. I think it’s clear that some of these people mean well in their efforts, but I don’t believe that any good has or will ever come of it.

Authors like Maya Angelou, John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and infinitely more have had their books challenged or banned at one time or another, all in the name of censorship.

This is why Banned Books Week matters.

Please, take some time to read and understand what is happening, and why it’s happening, and decide if you would like to stand up for the future of literature.

I believe it is important for the younger generations to have a chance to learn, dream, and understand, while they’re still able, and I feel that Books are able to give them that chance.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, you can visit the American Library Association’s site dedicated to the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the ALA or any of these other wonderful sites.
Some blog posts I’ve read recently that helped inspire me to put my opinion out there and join the conversation;
The Rambler, Illinois College,“Banned Books Week”
Nathan Biberdorf, “We Must Indeed All Band Together, Or Most Assuredly, We Will All Be Banned Separately”
Lady Jane,“Banned Books Week Challenge”
Kateywrites,“#RaisingReaders Monday: fREADom”

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

New to my blog? Why not read a bit about me; Like how I love Doctor Who, or what I would say to my Future Husband if I knew who that person was, or take a look back at various points in my life in my post about my birthday last month? Or, you know, do what ever you’d like. 🙂

12 Autumnal Goals

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Earlier this year, I did a post entitled “20 Summer Goals” where I listed, you guessed it, 20 goals that I wanted to complete over the summer. I didn’t make it through all the goals, but I made it through some of them, and I honestly had a really good time doing it. Making that list gave me something to look forward to over the summer that helped me look past the burning heat and the long days. After the summer, I wasn’t planning to make any more goals for myself or anything like that, but this morning I felt really inspired to do it. I think it may just become a habit for me, to give myself inspiration to get out and do things throughout each part of the year rather than getting stuck in a rut and letting the year pass me by without taking advantage of all of it. All of the photos throughout this post were taken in or around Grand Marais, Minnesota. Grand Marais is my favorite place to be in the Autumn. Just looking at these pictures brings back so many wonderful memories that I’ve made there over the years, and it felt quite fitting to put a few of them in this post filled with inspiration for myself.
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1. Go to a pumpkin patch.

2. Go apple picking.

3. Bake something new.

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4. Carve pumpkins.

5. Go on a walk/hike in 3 new places.

6. Watch 5 scary movies.

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7. Read 6 new books, in at least 3 different genres.

8. Go on an adventure.

9. Work on more photography.

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10. Write at least 1 blog post each week, if not more.

11. Put myself out there more, let more people in.

12. Explore the city, and document it.

As you can see, some of these goals are ones that I can (and hopefully will!) blog, and others aren’t, but the ones that are blogable, are the ones I’m most excited about. Some of these goals are the most standard of things. Things that people say they want to do every time Fall rolls around. Cliches. But that fact aside, they are all things that I haven’t done since I was a little kid, and I really want to try and do them again. I want to make memories, because when it comes down to it, memories are all that matter. And if there ever comes a time when I can’t remember these things anymore, I like to think I’ll be able to come back to this blog, and relive these moments.

So here is me, wishing myself good luck in completing each one of these goals. I hope you will enjoy sharing these moments with me, and if you yourself decide to create your own goals this Fall, please let me know or tag me in them so I can follow along with you! I hope it can give you inspiration and help you create memories of your own.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 18

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I should start this post off with a bit of an explanation. I haven’t posted in a while, a week to be exact. We’ve had some big storms here lately, and my internet has been down for 7 days; 7 agonizing days. But it’s back now and so am I! I’m a bit torn as to what I want to do with this 30 Day Challenge, do I want to post everything I missed when my internet was gone? Or do I just want to pick up here, on Day 18, and forget about the past few days? I think I may have to go with the latter, just for my sanity’s sake. So here it goes, Day 18, I hope you will join me on the next leg of this writing challenge and will forgive me for missing the past week. Here goes nothing!

Day 18: Post 30 facts about your self.

1. I am turning 22 on August 7th.
2. My favorite color is Seafoam Green
3. I’ve wanted to live in the UK/Ireland since I was in preschool, there are adorable drawings from me at age 4 describing where I want to live and why I wanted to live there, along with a FANTASTIC little Union Jack flag in the background.
4. I don’t believe I have ever really been in love romantically.
5. In Kindergarten I chose “J.K. Rowling” as what I wanted to be when I grew up. That’s still accurate today.
6. I like to watch the NASA channel on TV when I’m doing things around the house like cleaning, or working on homework. I find it really soothing.
7. I listen to audiobooks to fall asleep at night almost all the time.
8. I consider myself to be an “old soul”.
9. I really, REALLY hate onions. They make me feel sick every time I eat one.
10. I have two older brothers, one 12 years older than me and the other 7 years older.
11. I did competitive cheerleading as a child, won a lot of awards, and absolutely hated it.
12. When I was a little kid, I used to burst into tears and turn off the VCR when the villagers grabbed their torches and pitchforks to go after the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
13. I have an obsession with outer space and maps.
14. I feel most at home when I’m by the sea, especially on cloudier cooler days.
15. I have very pale skin, and burn almost instantly when out in the sun without sunscreen.
16. I am half Italian and half Danish. No one ever believes that I am half Italian until they see my mother. I most definitely took after the Scandinavian side of my family.
17. I sing in the shower. Loudly.
18. I once broke my arm in two places, when riding a bike with no brakes. I have my brothers to thank for that.
19. I love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do.
20. My dream home isn’t a huge mansion like many people would want, but a small little cottage, with fields of flowers in the countryside, with a city close enough to go to everyday, but far enough to keep things calm and quiet.
21. When I was 11, I beat 55 other people, all at least a few years older than me, in a geography bee.
22. I love to fly in airplanes.
23. I have 4 teeny tiny tattoos. And will be getting one more teeny tiny one next summer.
24. When I was seven, my brother spilled red Kool-Aid on the floor, so naturally I laughed at him. He then lifted me up by my ankles and mopped up the Kool-Aid with my bright blonde hair, causing the ends of my hair to be dyed pink. He got in a lot of trouble, and I had pink hair. It was a win-win for 7 year old me.
25. I don’t like to go to family functions with my extended family, because I don’t enjoy being around them.
26. I love my pets more than I love most people.
27. I love to shop and buy new things, but I hate going to stores.
28. I am a really loving and caring person, almost to a fault.
29. I am a dreamer.
30. I believe that someday there will be a time when everyone in the world will be able to get along.

Bonus Fact: Missing this last week of blogging really made me realize how much I truly enjoy it! I hope this little blogging hobby is something I keep up for a long time. 🙂

I hope you all will accept me back into the world of blogging, and will forgive me for being away for a while. I’m excited to be back at this and have missed this outlet dearly. And thank you crispywalker for checking on me and making sure everything was okay after noticing I hadn’t posted in a while, that was very kind of you!

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 5

Day 5: List five places you want to visit.

My blog is full of posts telling you all about where I’d like to visit, and there are many more posts coming up about even more places, but if you haven’t read any of my previous Take Me Away posts and would like to, please check them out! So far I’ve written about Vancouver Canada, Santorini Greece, Skagen Denmark, Krabi Thailand, and Kyoto Japan. But, since this is the prompt for today, I will give you a brief excerpt of some other places I’d like to go, and I hope you’ll keep your eyes peeled for the full posts about all of these places coming soon!

1. Bali Indonesia
2. Champagne France
3. The Amalfi Coast in Italy
4. The Catalonia Region of Spain
5. Nuuk Greenland

For this list, I’ve picked five random places from my list of future travels, so they’re not necessarily the ones I dream of seeing first, and they’re in no particular order, but I do have hopes and dreams of seeing every single one of them, and many more as well! Traveling is one of my biggest dreams. I just feel like I can’t live a life here in my small little bubble knowing that there are so many incredible places and cultures out there to explore. What a dull world it would be if we never took the time and opportunity to have adventures.

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Bali is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, to see the sheer beauty of the place. There is an endless supply of things that I would love to see. Volcanoes, rice paddies, forests, mountains, beaches, coral reefs; everything. I want to see all the beautiful trees and animals, meet many of the local residents, dive around a world war II shipwreck, visit the temples and shrines of the area, and so much more.

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Champagne partially speaks for its self, as I definitely want to take tours of all the various wineries and things that Champagne has to offer. But there is so much more there that I’d also like the chance to experience. Champagne is a historic place, and I love a good bit of history. Later when I write up a full post on this place, you will get an abundance of information on all the things I want to explore in this picturesque area of France, but in a short list, I’d like to see the wineries, the countryside, the “crowned mountain”, and the Gothic cathedrals throughout the city just to name a few.

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The Amalfi coast is a larger area than the other things listed so far, but it is equally as full of beauty. The small towns, the sea, the salty air; I want to experience it all. I’ve never been able to picture myself road tripping in a foreign country quite as much as I can with this place. I see myself in a flowy white sundress, with a big hat on my head and sunglasses on my face, enjoying a nice cone with chocolate gelato on top, walking down the street staring off into the vast blue ocean and the rocky shoreline. I love that I couldn’t help but smile when writing that sentence. There’s something so special about traveling and exploring, even just thinking about it makes me happy.

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I first learned about Catalonia in one of my Spanish classes in high school. As a part of Spain, with its own language and its own identity really, it instantly captured my attention. Barcelona is the largest city in the area that I intend on visiting, but its not the only place I’d like to see. I am a sucker for a good coast line, and the Catalonia region of Spain has it. The whole thing is absolutely breathtaking. A few other things that pull me to Catalonia are the fact that it was Salvador Dali’s home, Sagrada Familia, Girona, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Casa Batllo, and infinitely more.

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Last, but certainly not least, is Nuuk Greenland. Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland, and it is matched in it’s size by the beauty of the place. You’ll find snow, chilly weather, pebble beaches, and much more when you visit this beautiful area of greenland. I’ll keep this one short, because I am currently in the process of writing up a Take Me Away post for this incredible city, but I will let you in on a few things I’d like to see there, like the Nuuk Cathedral, the art museum, and the Qornok, and so much more.

I know I go on and on about how much I want to travel, but I just can’t help it. It is such a strong and intense feeling for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to explore the world. I’m one of those people that feels like their heart is in a place they’ve never even been before, and I’m happy that way for now.

What are five places that you’d really like to visit? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I’m always looking for new places to dream about. 🙂

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Take Me Away | Krabi

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Next up, Krabi, Thailand. This is one of many areas in Thailand worth visiting in my opinion. As a place full of culture and customs far different from what I’m used to, it has always been high on my list, and the image above is just a taste of the beauty you will experience while there. Located in Southern Thailand, visiting the town of Krabi gives you the opportunity to see limestone cliffs, stunning and lush jungle areas, little islands floating off the shore in the Andaman Sea, and infinitely more. Prepare for the heat, pack your hiking boots and swimwear, and get ready to go on the adventure of a life time. I for one, can’t wait till the day I get the chance to jump on a plane with my backpack and my camera, ready to explore the beauty and life in Krabi.

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I hope this first place on my list captures your attention and helps to show you the sheer serene beauty that Thailand has to offer. Just imagine yourself here, on Railay Beach,  listening to the people and children playing in the water, while the hot Thailand sun beats down on you. Picture the sun slowly setting, the sound of the waves rolling onto the shore; can’t you see yourself laying on the beach, watching the sun setting steadily, with the islands and the cliff sides as the most amazing of frames? I’ve been able to picture myself in this scenario for the longest time, and am more than prepared for the day that I get to experience it for myself. Railay Beach is only accessible by boat, due to the towering cliff sides that surround it, but once you’re there, you will never have a moment of boredom. Aside from being a beach bum, you can always swim, go rock climbing, or even just go for a walk to explore the island. If the photos above haven’t convinced you to put Krabi on your list, I’m not sure what will.

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Next on my list is actually a mixture of two things; food and people. Thailand has a diverse array of both that I want to learn about and understand. I feel like exploring the local markets is one way to do both. Immersing yourself into the life of the place you are going is key when you truly want to learn about it. There’s only so much you can get from reading a book about something; to truly understand it, you must live it. My goal with travel is and always has been to learn about and understand the places that I am going. The food and the people are some of the most important things you can learn about in a country. I want to sit down, and have a conversation with someone. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find someone to translate for me, or maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to learn enough Thai to partake in a conversation on my own. One thing I am sure I can learn about is the food. There are endless markets and cooking classes available for people visiting Krabi, and Thailand in general. You’ll have the chance to learn how to make traditional Thai dishes, and you may even get the chance to learn about the people of Thailand in the process.

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Next up, is another spot of pure beauty, the Phi Phi Islands. This spot is most definitely a tourist destination, but it’s worth it. It takes approximately an hour by speed boat to arrive here, and there are numerous Thai Island tours that you can take to see the stunning views here, but I strongly suggest that you don’t pass it up. Most Phi Phi Island trips, at least the ones I would personally be interested in, are snorkeling trips. This allows you to jump into the ocean and explore what lies beneath along with the amazing Island tours and views that you will have. You can have the chance to explore places like Bamboo Island, Hin Klang, Maya Bay, Lohsamah Bay, Phi Phi Don, Hiking Cave (stunning, trust me), and Monkey Bay, just to name a few.

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This next one isn’t for the faint of heart. Wat Tahm Seua, or Tiger Cave Temple, is a Buddhist Temple that holds an intricate bunch of natural caves and an overgrown jungle at the top. It is a beautiful place, and if you can make it there, is a very spiritual and soulful place to experience. I say “if you can make it there” because to do so, requires you to climb 1,237 steep stairs of varying sizes and shapes up a mountain side in most likely the hottest and most humid weather you will ever experience. Don’t let that deter you, I know I won’t! You can always climb some stairs, and take a break. Take a few minutes to take in the views, to soak in your surroundings. Watch the monkeys wandering around you, hoping for some food from the various tourists that arrive each day (don’t get too close to them of course, they are still wild animals after all). One thing I can’t stress enough is don’t show up in a beach cover-up and flip flops and expect things to go smoothly, because they most assuredly will not. Bring plenty of water, a towel for the buckets of sweat that will come from places you didn’t even know could sweat, and your most comfortable and supportive pair of tennis shoes (or trainers, if that’s what they’re referred to as where you are from). It is said that a Buddhist monk by the name of Jumnean Seelasettho wanted to meditate in the caves on the mountain, and discovered tigers roaming the various twists and turns that are inside them, hence the name “Tiger Cave”, and it is well known for the tiger paw prints throughout the caves for you to see as you explore. If you choose to make the trek, as I surely will, you will be rewarded with some of the most amazing views, the chance to explore and view a Buddhist temple and memorial, see incredible 1,000 year old trees, and various Buddhist statues and shrines. I hope I will have the will power and the courage to make this daunting trip when I arrive in Krabi someday.

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There is so much more in Krabi that I want to see and experience; Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, Ao Thalane, Amari Vogue, the Emerald Pool, go kayaking and scuba diving, simply exploring the area with no destination in mind, and so much more. These “take me away” posts mean so much more to me than you may realize. They help me to visualize what I am working for, to put my dreams and goals into words and images, and they allow me to be my own inspiration. Too often I let myself be filled with self doubt and negative thoughts, but these posts help me find that positivity again, and help give me the right attitude towards life. If you have the wrong attitude in life, nothing will be able to help you achieve your dreams and goals. You have to stay inspired, stay determined, and stay motivated to continue on your journey in life, and these posts are helping me do that, I only hope they can do the same for a few of you.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Take Me Away | Skagen

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The next place on my list is Skagen, Denmark. This absolutely enchanting seaside town is nearly the northernmost point in Denmark, so it fits beautifully into the mold of the perfect chilly seaside retreat for me. Being of half Danish descent (the other half is Italian, but I’ll get into that another time), I’ve always been determined to learn as much as possible about Denmark, and the beautiful towns and sights inside it’s borders. Skagen is the first of many Danish cities that I dream of exploring, and I’m sure I will post about many more here on this blog, but Skagen is where this look into adventuring in Denmark is going to begin.

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The first thing I dream of seeing in Skagen (pronounced Skay-en, in case you were wondering) is Grenen. Grenen is a long sandbar, located north of the actual town of Skagen. At first glance, this place may just seem like your average beach, but that is far from the truth. Grenen is actually the point where the North Sea, specifically the strait of Skagerrak, and the Kattegat sea meet. The currents of the two seas are traveling in different directions, towards each other in fact, and when they meet, the collide with each other directly at the tip of Grenen. The contrasting colors of the two seas is stunning as well. The idea of walking out onto the sandbar, and placing my feet at the spot where two massive and powerful bodies of water are crashing together, meeting at one point and almost refusing to come together, is an astounding one indeed. There are endless other things to see and do here as well, from being regarded as the best place to view birds of prey during their migrations in spring, to viewing sea mammals and seals, to visiting the nature center; you will never have a moment of boredom when visiting Grenen.

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The next thing on my list is the Den Tilsandede Kirke, or The Buried Church. Being built between 1355 and 1387, it is one of the oldest buildings in Skagen. The name may sound a bit odd, I mean, why would it be called The Buried Church? But during the last part of the 18th century, the church was just that; buried. Nearby sand dunes consistently ended up burying the church, and the congregation struggled with the task of clearing the sand out until 1795 according to google, when they threw in the towel and abandoned the building. After this, most of the church was demolished, leaving us with only this tower to serve as a memory of the original structure that once stood. As many of you know by now, I love history, and flock to the most historical and old sites of every place I visit, so I would never pass up the chance to walk around and view this church. Thinking about how hard it must have been for the congregation to try and clear all of the blown sand off of the old structure over and over, and how amazing it is that this piece of it is still here after all this time and so many things working against it is incredible to me. If you are near Skagen, I highly recommend checking this out, I know I will when I have the opportunity.

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This next place is merely one of the five historic lighthouses that grace the coastline in Skagen. This one in particular is known as The Grey Lighthouse, or Det Grå Fyr, and was built in 1858, and is still very much in use today. I am one of those people that are obsessed with lighthouses. A beacon of light emanating from the coast, keeping ships passing in the night safe from sailing into land; what a beautiful thing. This one in paricular is 151 feet tall, and absolutely beautiful with the stunning blue Skagerrak as it’s back drop.

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Skagen is simply one beautiful place that I have always wanted to go. I’m not sure that I’ve done it justice in this post, but that doesn’t change the fact that I dream of seeing it for myself. If you haven’t been able to tell from my other posts, I have quite a love for the sea. I feel completely relaxed and serene when staring off into the ocean. The beauty of it, the sound of the crashing waves, the sea breeze brushing across my skin; it all just puts me in the happiest of moods. If I could, I’d pop a little cottage right by the seaside, in a country with a nice cool climate, and spend my days writing novels and daydreaming for a living. What a beautiful life that would be, and Skagen fits the bill for a nice chilly seaside retreat almost perfectly.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Ancora Imparo

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I went out today to grab some tea and a little lunch after leaving work early, and stumbled upon a little cafe that I hadn’t been to yet, which is rare in this city. I ordered my lunch and sat down at a little table near a group of men and women that didn’t look too far off from my age, maybe a touch older, and couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation a bit. They were talking about life in a very general sense for a while, but then they came upon a topic that is very important to me, one that I feel should be important to everyone; Learning.

One of the men sitting nearest to me said something a bit shocking. He said quite causally, “I really feel like I’ve learned all I need to know in life”. His friends nodded and agreed with his sentiments, adding things like “yeah, I feel the same way” or “exactly, what else is there that we really have to learn?” I sat at my little table, sipping on my cup of Earl Grey, completely confused by the whole thing; how could there possibly be nothing left for them to learn? Have they explored every country? Read every book? Heard every song? Learned every language? How could they possibly have learned and absorbed all of this information, all of this knowledge, in the short few decades that they’ve been alive?

The short answer to those questions that raced through my mind is that they haven’t, and they never will. Not with that attitude and thought process. At no point in anyone’s life will there be nothing left to learn. Knowledge is infinite, and there will always be something new out there in the world that you have yet to experience, or even hear about. There are tribes in Africa with customs that we know nothing about. There are new scientific breakthroughs happening every single day that have yet to be published. There is new technology being thought of every second that has yet to be completed. There are new lives entering the world at every moment, that you may never have the chance to learn about. Even Johann Goethe, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Leonardo da Vinci left the world before they had the chance to learn everything, and just imagine how much more there would be for them to learn if they were to come back into the world today.

Learning is something that is immeasurably important to me. It is the thing that keeps me going every day. I hope to learn as much as possible about the world. I want to travel and see as much of it as I can in my lifetime. I want to sit down with people from different walks of life and hear their stories. I want to write my own stories, to add to the material out there for people to consume. I want to learn. For the rest of my life, the thing I want to do most is to learn.

Ancora imparo. These were the words I wanted to say to those people sitting next to me, the ones that thought they knew everything, but really knew nothing. Ancora imparo. The words uttered by Michelangelo at the age of 87. Translated from Italian, it simply means “I am still learning”. Even one of the greatest minds, the sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer, knew that he still had so much left to learn.

With that, this post of ramblings and thoughts is over. If there’s one thing you take from this, I hope it is that you can never be done learning. There will never be a moment when there is nothing left in the world for you to learn and explore.
Ancora imparo.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx