Tuesday, August 29, 2017

When Traveling Don't Just be a Tourist


Dear Blog Followers,

Travel, but don't just be a tourist. 

The best places I have ever been were the places where I just lived as the locals did. You know, the stuff you do here: going to a grocery store, taking a long drive and wasting gas with no particular destination, eating at fast food restaurants, or taking walks around the neighborhood. Some of you might be judging me and thinking, why spend money or why waste your time to go somewhere else if you are just going to do the same at home?  It's just different. You stand out, the smells, the people, the language, the customs. It's all so different.

The best tip I could give about traveling is to get in touch with an organization or a company that you may be curious on how it's done abroad. When people ask me which countries I would go back to my mind goes back to the places I loved living a normal life or built relationships with.  

Here are my top countries in random order:


  • Ecuador
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • South Africa


Why though? Because these are the countries that I was able to invest relationships and authentic experiences. 

The summer of 2014 my sister and I traveled throughout Europe and to this day I don't have a huge desire to go back. We were mainly tourist on that vacation. We saw a lot and checked off everything we wanted to see, but I wasn't too happy. It could have been a combination of being nervous to travel completely by ourselves, that my sister and I bickered for the majority of it (sorry Gaby), or the fact I was thinking of home rather than enjoying the destination that I was at. I was young and dumb and we  have to live and learn.

However, I would say I was most happy when I finally arrived in Spain. I have reflected and asked why and the answer is because I spent authentic time with my cousins,  ate were the locals ate, and just lived life. It breaks my heart to hear what happened to Barcelona recently, because that is one of my favorite cities that I was able to visit. 

I can't deny that tour groups are convenient and I also realize that not everyone has connections around the world.  I'll be the first to admit that I have played the tourist card. All I'm saying that from my personal experience I have had more fun when I don't. I encourage you the next time you go somewhere, call up a local orphanage, school, health facility, and just see how life is different or maybe the same. If you think that you have to get special permission or authorization to do a short term visitation, well maybe you haven't traveled far enough, because there are many places in developing countries that I have been too that just would love the help :) 

Tell me blog followers, where have you traveled to and what tips can you share about being more than just a tourist?

These are the things I had to say.
#DreaSaidIt

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/p-442942/?no_redirect

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Maui-My experience, tips, and pictures

Hey Blog Followers,

Recently I took a trip to Maui with one of my best friends, Brenna. The trip was booked through Costco and I highly recommend it if you are lazy like me and just want easy. We stayed at the Whaler Village, which felt like a mix of condo and hotel living. We were walking distance to restaurants and the beach was right in front of us. Also, the location was convenient for driving to all the places we wanted to see. The rental car was part of the deal too. Talking about my whole Maui experience would take a very long time, so I decided to break it up into 3 parts with the points that I really wanted to share.

The road to Hana
First let me start off by suggesting to download the app "GyPsy Guide-Road to Hana." They have other destinations that you can also purchase. The app does cost $4.99 on iTunes, but it is way cheaper than a tour and plus it gave me the confidence to drive the road the whole way. It didn't eat up my data and it would tell me places to stop, including restroom places. 

The road to Hana is a journey worth doing at least once. It is an all day thing where you will need to get up early and come back for a later dinner. 

Tips: 
  • Appreciate the details that you see on plants, clouds, the different colors of the water, the roughness or calmness of the waves. 
  • Bring snacks with you.
  • Have a music play list ready to go.
Eucalyptus-Look closely to see the natural colors of the trunks.
Beautiful flower
Punaluu-Black Sand Beach

Upper Waikani Falls
  

Holding black sand

 

Nakalele Blowhole Adventure
On one of the days that we were in Maui we went to Nakalele to find the blowhole. Unfortunately, we went a little too early that we weren't able to actually see the blowhole. However, we still got to appreciate the view and even found the rock with a heart in it. 

Tips:

  • Enjoy the road getting there.
  • Stop at a food truck and pick up a snow cone or coconut gelato to enjoy the view. 
  • If you find a parking spot, go swimming at the bay (the picture with the boats).



 

 

 

Haleakala-crater sunrise:
This one we did pay for the tour and it was worth it. They came and picked us up at the hotel at 2am and we stood in our spot at 4:30am to see the sunrise at 5:30am. I have to admit that we it was very cold up there, which they gave us wind breaker jackets and pants and I think I napped that day for a couple hours. All worth it though! Part of the tour was that we were able to bike down a 20+mile road and had lots of fun. 

Tips:

  • Bring warm clothes and dress in layers.
  • Get their early.  I thought 4:30am was a little ridiculous, but we got front row views with not worrying about people standing in front of us. 
  • Offer to take other people's pictures and they might take yours too. 



Maui truly was one of the top places I have been too. So much to do and see whether you make it a short or long trip. I hope you get a chance to get there too.

If you made it to the end of this post, then you are one of the first ones to know where I'll be traveling next month! I'll be in Thailand with my niece. We will be volunteering and traveling, so be sure to look out for that vlog/blog when it comes out. Let me know blog followers about your Maui experience or your travel plans! 


These are things I had to say.

-Drea







Saturday, October 15, 2016

Comparing Shopping and Dating

Dress and Sweater from Urban Outfitters

Hey Blog Followers,

I have never been to big into shopping, but lately I have gotten some valuable lessons from it, which I have been able to compare to the dating world or in my case, lack their of.

Waiting for your packages to arrive.
How many of you, do online shopping? I actually don't mind it, because I'm not a huge fan of trying on clothes and standing in long lines. However, waiting for your clothes to come in the mail is sometimes the most annoying part of online shopping. I'm a very impatient person when it comes to waiting, that is something I have learned about myself these past 4 years. That's how I feel about dating-You know it's coming, because you put your faith and trust in God that He has heard your prayers and the delivery has been shipped, but the problem is you have no idea when it's going to arrive. 

When you do online shopping, it will at least tell you that it will be there in 3-5 business days or you can pay extra to make sure it gets there ASAP. Dating doesn't work like that and even though you feel you have submitted your request, the worst part is the waiting. It can arrive any day or in this case...months/years! You can't track the order status. You can't call a customer service rep. You can't wait outside waiting for it every single day. You just have to live your life and then one day, an ordinary day, you arrive home and see your package there waiting for you. You are filled with a moment of brief excitement, because for a moment it had escaped your mind. It feels like surprise with your name on it (literally it has your name because of the shipping address), but just remember, you did order it a while back. 

Shoes-The perfect fit
Shoes are by far the hardest thing for me to shop for. There is a lot to consider such as, style, comfort, being the perfect size, not to narrow, but also not to wide. It's hard. But man, when you find that one shoe that fits perfectly, it's such a relief and joy mixed into one word. The best feeling is when you want a pair of shoes so bad and they go into the back and they say, "It's the last one left and it happens to be in your size." It makes you feel like the universe had it just for you and with no question, it was meant to be. I imagine that's the feeling I'll get some day when I meet the guy I'm suppose to be with. 

Returns:
Sometimes they are just too easy, such as getting your money back with no questions asked and other times returns are such a hassle. Sometimes when you shop for clothes online they look like a certain material or  that they will fit just perfectly, but then when you get them in person it's nothing what you thought it would be. Sometimes that's what dating feels like. You meet a person and it seems like it's going to be the perfect fit for you, but then it's far from what you ever pictured. Sometimes it's a mutual agreement that it's not going to work and no questions or hard feelings are taken, but other times it's a hassle to deal with. Make sure your read your return policy's, before you purchase from that store, otherwise you are going to be stuck with something that you didn't ever intend to be stuck with in the first place.

Don't lose hope-It might even be on sale!:
I have been pretty honest with my dating feelings on this blog, so I have no problem admitting that this past year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs of how I feel about this topic. There are days where I am 100% content with where I am and who I am, but I have had my fair share of negative dating experiences that I can honestly say that I would rather be single for the rest of my life than being with just anybody. Then there are days where I hit a huge slump where I will boldly admit that all I want is just what my family and friends have, a GREAT companion. (DARN YOU family-for picking out good companions and making it hard for me to settle for anything less. You set the bar so freaking high). 

Anyways, the hopeful part lol: 
Sometimes when you go shopping there are times that you walk away from an item and as you walk away you can't help but question if you made the right choice. Here is my thought with it, if it's meant to be, then it will show up again AND usually it's even on sale, so you get a better deal on it than what you were expecting if you were to get it the first time. Same concept with dating. If it's meant to be, then that person will show up and it will be better than what you could have ever asked for or imagined in the first place. 

So to all my hopeful romantics (notice how I said HOPEFUL and not hopeless), don't give up. Your story is going to be AMAZING that Disney will even want to ask for your permission to copyright your love story :) At least that's what I keep telling myself. Until then, go buy some new clothes, pamper and spoil yourself, and on an ordinary day, your perfect fit might be waiting for you at your door step. 

These are things I had to say.

#DreaSaidIt

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Genius instrumental talent in 70's songs!


Hey Blog Followers,

I've really been in a 70's kick for the past year now. I am IN LOVE with some of this music that we often forget about and maybe haven't even noticed. Here are some songs that you really need to go back listen to and specifically find these instruments in these songs.


The harmonica in "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young: Oh man, gives me chills every time. I tried replicating it with my harmonica and let me tell you, this little instrument is trickier than you think! If you don't believe it, then go try it. If you accomplish it, then you are a talented music genius.

The piano in "Somebody to love" by Queen: As a piano player, I'm telling you, these are not easy chords to keep up with. This band is amazing! They are well known by all generations for a reason. In my opinion, this song is insanely amazing for many reasons. The way they put all their high pitched voices and sounds together, but yet make it flow so fluently... TALENTED!

Drums and horn (Brass instrument)  in "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder: Makes you want to move and yet when he sings you are still able to focus on what he is saying.

Steven Tyler's perfectly screaming and controlled voice in "Dream On" by AeroSmith. I recommend that you watch Steven Tyler perform this song. His pitches are so perfect on those high screeching notes and makes you even enjoy this song.

Drums in "More than a feeling" by Boston: Keeps a steady beat, but if you really listen in changes to predictable and yet unpredictable patterns at the same time. I don't really know how to explain it, but just listen to it and maybe you'll hear what I'm trying to describe!

String instrument (Guitar?) and piano in "She's always a woman" by Billy Joel. Let me just say, the piano his songs is something that you can't help but feel drawn too. I love this song, so I might be a little bias right now.


What are some 70 songs you enjoy listening to that we should go back a dissect a bit deeper than just the lyrics?

These are things I had to say.
#DreaSaidIt

Photo Credit
Queen Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_(band)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Loving my student's work!

Hey blog followers!

Today's post is a little random than my normal posts, because I normally don't talk about my students and their work. When I was a kinder aide I usually would put up quotes they would say. Also, when I was a first year teacher last year I would share some things that I was doing with my students, because everything was so new! The ironic part is that even though I am not commuting hardly at all anymore, I feel I am FINALLY starting to balance work and life. It only took 7 months to do so! :)

I am loving the work that my kids have created this year and I wanted to share some of it with you.

My 7th/8th grade Pixlr class (Free version of photoshop...check out the link!) is a fun one for me to teach. I am very much in my element, but more than that I love seeing what my kids create! I give them all the same guidelines and instructions and no art work is ever the same! It's amazing!

One project we did was remaking a book cover and this is what they came up with! They make me so proud :)


Another project we recently did was a typography assignment. Can you see the words in the pictures? What I love about this is that these two students don't sit by each other, but they used the same word with two interpretations. 
If you are a teacher or are into a hobby let me know what are things you are doing that you are proud of lately!

These are things I had to say
#DreaSaidIt



Monday, February 8, 2016

Social Media Break


Hey Blog Followers,

I love this time of year for many reasons and one reason is because lent season is coming up. I have given up Facebook in the past for lent, but this time I'm going to give up all social media in general for AT LEAST 40 days! I will probably use my Twitter account when I go to the CUE conference this year, but other than that you won't see me on it. After the 40  days I don't know when I will be back, because this journey is more than just giving something up for lent. For me it's a season of hope, detox, and living for the present moments.  

I hope you will still keep in touch with me through calling, texting, and emailing me. I don't plan on working on my blog or YouTube stuff during this fast, which I'm not even consistent at keeping up in general haha :)

I'll see you when I see you! 

These are the things I had to say.
#DreaSaidIt

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The kind of guy I will one day end up with

Hey Blog Followers,

I hope this new year has been a good start for you. Even through the valleys (hardships) I'm hoping you are taking some life lessons and will be able to pass down your wise experience on how you have overcame them through this season. 

I feel pretty open talking about the dating/single life, because I feel it's a topic that people want to talk about, but often there is a dark stain that comes with that topic, so I want to try and break that. I'm not saying that I handle it the best way, because my close family and friends know how much it touches me talking about this. 

I want to share a dream and my thoughts about it, because it truly taught me on what I'm really looking for in a life companion. I'll be the first to admit that I had a list of of the superficial qualities that I was looking for in a guy, however recently I am learning it's so much deeper than that. This dream has shifted my heart and mind to think and feel differently. 

The dream:
The dream started off with me meeting a guy that I use to have a crush on. In the dream I was suppose to wait for him to get ready, because he was not ready, but then the next scene in my dream was we were at church singing songs of worship. This person in my dream knew the lyrics to the songs, but wasn't singing it from his heart. He was basically lip singing and then I said to him, "You know the words, so why aren't you singing?" In my dream I felt the change shift drastically all  because of those words I told him. The dream ended with that guy having his arm around me-like a side hug and we were truly singing songs of worship to God from our hearts. The most powerful thing I felt in my dream was, I felt spiritually safe with that person. 

So here are the lessons I learned:
1) You may be ready to date someone, but maybe God is still working on that person. Maybe they aren't ready. Maybe God only wants to give you the absolute best and He knows that it can even better. 
2) A person may "know" Jesus, but does he really know him? He may say he does and sure, he knows the stories or can defend with bible verses that he knows God, but what really matters is his heart. Is he able to sing songs to God with his whole heart or does he just sing the lyrics?
3) Feeling physically safe is important, but feeling spiritually safe with someone is just as important or even more important. Physical looks or protection will pass and is not guaranteed, so I would argue that being with someone who is cheering you on to live a life eternity with God is more important. 
4) You want to be singing side by side with the person you end up with singing praises to God. It was so beautiful that it's hard to describe the feeling (AND THAT IT'S JUST A FEELING FROM A DREAM! I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT THE REAL THING FEELS LIKE!)

I'll admit, that it's so tempting to date someone who you get along with, but isn't pushing you to a deeper relationship with God. I'm not saying that it's easy waiting for the right person. I'm saying that I'm at least going to try and if those feelings from my dream are true, then I rather wait for the right person to spend the rest of this life with than settle.  

My list of the guy that I'm prayer has changed from physical features to something deeper.

The guy I will end up will...
-Love and knows jesus whole heartily.
-Prays with and for you.
-Thanks God for you.
-Values you and your family.
-Laughs with you a lot!
-Has you're back, you're a team!
-Is a gentleman
-Makes you feel physically and spiritually safe.
-Cowboy at heart :)

Why cowboy? Well that will be for another post. Until then, I hope you are able to feel inspired and encouraged. Trust me, I don't always feel hopeful and there are many days that I feel lost in this specific topic, but writing it out or posting on my wall has been such a great reminder to not give up on what I have been dreaming all along. 

These are the things I had to say.
#DreaSaidIt