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How to Travel Solo with Confidence

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Over the last few months I have dramatically increased the amount of solo traveling I do. I have traveled across the country several times, traveled out of the country, and spend a lot of time planning upcoming solo travels.

One of the biggest aspects to my current position is that I have a lot of travel hours to put in. Between site visits, events, and travels to visit family, I am traveling alone a lot. Solo travel has tons of perks as there is time to reflect, time to enjoy yourself and to just experience life. But it also presents its own problems, no one is looking out for you and no one is there to assist you along your travels.

Traveling solo is all about having confidence and confidence comes from planning and being prepared in all circumstances. When you travel, especially on your own, we want to make sure that you plan for anything that may come your way. Here are some of our tips to help you solo travel with confidence!

Planning & Preparation

Review everywhere you are planning to go and potentially planning to go. Make a thorough itinerary of every attraction, park, transportation route and accommodation during your trip. The more detail the better in circumstances of traveling alone! One thing that has worked well for me is that my husband and I have a shared calendar on our phones. My flights, hotels and other pertinent information are available at the drop of a hat in case he ever needed to find me. Additionally, always keep a copy of your travel documents when you travel. I’ve heard of many instances where these copies could have prevented travel headaches and kept everyone safe. Remember it’s best to be over prepared than underprepared!

Awareness

Awareness is absolutely critical in solo travel. You may be in the nicest private cars, 5-star hotels and Michelin restaurants; but there is no reason to not be aware of your surroundings and the behavior of the people near you. Today’s political and social atmosphere is extremely toxic, making it nearly impossible to fully trust the people around you. Some of my personal awareness tips are: getting off the phone when walking outside or to a new location, keep something in your hand to defend yourself, and keep your eyes peeled for anything that looks abnormal. You are your biggest defender; take precautions, trust your gut and always double check who you get in an uber with!

Key Takeaways:

Have extra copies of your ID/Passport in case you lose your credentials.

Keep all your valuables hidden when traveling and try to avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Keep friends/family notified of your travels and some of the key locations you will be going to.

Wherever you go, the most important thing is to stay safe. Remember is better to be overly cautious so you can prevent any potential travel issues.

Safe travels everyone! xox- Kayla

Bringing Kindness Into the World

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“With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.” Desmond Doss

The world we live in is constantly trying to tear not only itself but you apart. The world doesn’t want you to be confident and happy. The world knows that if you are confident and happy then you won’t need them. Our society thrives on fear, terror, self-consciousness, anxiety, greed and power.

What can you do to put the world back together again? I would say its by starting to see the world as bigger than the bubble you live in. The easiest way to understand this is to reflect on all the things you have thought of in the last few days. Has any of it been focused on what you can do for others? My guess is, most of what you think about are your own problems, issues, ambitions and goals. And while all of these have their place in your day to day thoughts, we fail to add time for others.

A little kindness and generosity goes a long way. A little spark can build a huge fire and truly bring change to the world. Our world will always continue to tear itself apart, there will always be arguments and wars, there will always be those out to hurt and destroy. But where there is darkness, there is light. Be the light the world needs to see. Have confidence that you are the light that can change the world. Confidence that you have the ability to go out and make that difference.

When you look back at your life, what are you going to care about? Are you going to care about the cars you bought, the things you did, the job you had or are you going to care about how you treated people. Are you going to care about the difference you made and they impact you made on those around you? My guess is, you will care more about the impact you made and how you helped those you crossed paths with.

If we are to start choosing to put others above ourselves and bringing real kindness into the world, we should start at home. Start with your community and family and bring a contagious light to all you meet. Remember these three things as you start finding ways to be kind and generous in your community.

1.) Every little act counts.

Everything you do, even if it is the smallest act of kindness or generosity is impactful. It changes the world one step at a time. Buy someone a cup of coffee, bring flowers to your elderly neighbor, help a child with their homework, or just bring a smile to someones face.

2.) You have a clean slate every day.

Every day is a new opportunity. If you messed up the day before, or didn’t show kindness to those around you its okay. Take a deep breath, let it go, and move on to the next day. Change starts with little acts and each day is an opportunity to be more and more generous and kind.

3.) Be confident in what you are doing.

Be confident in who you are. This is absolutely critical to being kind and generous to those around you. You have to be confident that what you are doing is the right thing and that each thing you do is for a reason. When you feel like you aren’t making a dent in this dark world, be confident that the smallest beam of light is all that is needed to break up the darkness.

Go out there with confidence and be the light!

xoxo- Kayla

Weekend in Seattle

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Because of all my travels for work, this was the first weekend that I was able to spend in Seattle! It was absolutely wonderful and full of adventure!

We started off Saturday by heading out to Whidbey Island. This island is just outside Seattle and was the perfect place for us to go exploring for the day. My entire goal for the day was to enjoy ourselves and get out there and see the area. As we were driving around we came across this adorable farm stand. We stopped and got some amazing homemade ice cream at K&R Farms and toured their gorgeous tulips. They grow and sell tons of tulips and it was such a colorful and nice surprise in the face of a very grey dreary day.

One of my favorite stops that day was Deception Pass. A gorgeous overlook, bridge and park that tunnels in water from the ocean. The waters were a gorgeous green blue and had crashing waves making a magical and wonderful view. Deception pass was a must see location if you are ever in the area. A view unlike any other!

After Deception Pass we headed off to Coupeville to experience one of their local treasures Kneed and Feed. A local restaurant that’s been around for many years and has a gorgeous overlook of the ocean. The food here was wonderful, but the best part was that we got to see whales and seals for the first time! It was beyond my wildest dreams to get to enjoy lunch with my best friend and see whales and seals passing along as we do so!

A quick ferry ride back to the city and a thirty minute drive down to the city and it was time for our first Seattle Mariners game at T-Mobile Park. This was one of my hubbys bucket list items. He absolutely adores baseball and I knew we had to take time to hit up this ball-field! What I didn’t adequately prepare for was not only does the top of the field open but the sides are open as well. This allows tons of wind and chilling temperatures in. To say it was cold was an understatement!

The next day we went on our first kayak adventure! We had never been in kayaks before and decided to do so in about 8 mph winds, a little crazy! But we had an absolute blast on Lake Union which overlooks Seattle. This lake houses some of the largest yachts in the area, as well as overlooks of the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle. I would highly recommend taking a morning and exploring the city by kayak, it’s a great way to connect with your spouse or travel friends and a crazy arm workout!

Whatever you choose to do during your time in Seattle, there are gorgeous overlooks, activities galore and rich history and beauty all around you. I implore you to just enjoy every moment while you are here, its worth the trip out!

xoxo- Kayla

Ice cream and tulips at K&R Farms
View right outside Kneed and Feed
It may have been dreary outside but it was absolutely gorgeous !!
Deception Pass Bridge
View of the ocean at Deception Pass
Bell that is designated for whale sightings. If you see a whale ylu go out and. Ring the bell so others can experience them as well.
Another view of Coupeville a gorgeous little town.
T-Mobile Park. First Seattle Mariners game.
Walking around the ball field before the game.
Like I’ve mentioned before. Travel And experiences bring out the biggest smiles.
If you look closely you can see the Space Needle in the background!
Another view that my hubby took for me!

Seattle Destination: Snoqualmie Falls

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Snoqualmie Falls was one of my top destinations when we arrived here in Seattle. An absolutely gorgeous waterfall 100 feet higher than Niagra Falls. These falls were only 20 minutes from Issaquah RV Park making it an easy trip on our first Saturday in Seattle.

Snoqualmie Falls is located behind Salish Lodge and Spa and is a completely free attraction! There is free parking right across the street from the hotel, with plenty of spots and room for larger vehicles. A quick walk over the bridge leads you to the first overlook of the falls.

The first overlook is high over the falls giving you a view of the entire falls and the lodge situated next to it. These observation decks were spacious and for a Saturday morning virtually empty. Of course as soon as we got there it was windy beyond all belief.

There is another observation deck that gives you a view of the falls from the bottom of the mountain. If you are willing to hike down, the view is worthwhile. The hike down is full of lush greenery, moss covered tress, and tons of berry bushes. Take your time walking down as there is so much to see and experience as you hike to the waterfall.

Once you get down to the lower observation deck you are greeted with a view of the entire waterfall and the surrounding forest. This observation deck is not as big as the upper observation area so be prepared for a tighter fit. However, you are able to feel and experience the power of the waterfall and see the water in all its glory. The views from this observation deck are best when it’s sunny so if you stay long enough for a bit of the sun to pop out, you will be rewarded with gorgeous views and hints of rainbows in the waterfall. While you are here you can also hike down to the river front. Some of my favorite views were down at the river as you could get up and personal with the water, trees and vast mountainside.

After you head back up the mountain to get back to the upper observation deck, there is the Salish Lodge immediately to your right on the way out. Their restaurant, The Attic, is a gorgeous place that you can go eat at. I highly recommend making a reservation prior to arrival and request a window seat. We were lucky enough to get one of these highly coveted tables and it was a wonderful lunch experience. From our view we were able to watch kayakers paddle up to the falls and then raft down the river, view the falls and overlook the mountainside. Not only was the view to die for, food at the Attic was delicious and the speed of service was amazing. I highly recommend heading there after your experience at Snoqualmie Falls, it was the perfect way to round out our experience.

A few tips for those planning to come to Snoqualmie Falls.

1.) Be sure to bring a wind and rain resistant jacket.

2.) Wear boots suitable to hike in. While the trail is paved, the hike is steep so good shoes are required.

3.) Take your time. It is easy to rush through a site like this. Take a deep breath and enjoy every minute of your time here, the longer you are here the more in love with it you will become!

4.) Don’t forget a good camera! The observation decks are placed a good distance away to protect you against sudden water changes. As long as you bring a good camera you will get the great pictures you are hoping for!

If you ever come and experience Snoqualmie Falls, be sure to tag us in your pictures as we’d love to see your adventures!

Tag us at #cultivateconfidence.

xoxo-Kayla

Biggest tip, wear rain clothes! Since we ignored that recommendation, we got completely and utterly soaked when it started pouring!

Destination: St. Lucia

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Hopped on a plane to St. Lucia that was overflowing with honeymooners and couples fawning all over each other. And there over in the corner is little old me… sitting by myself on the flight to one of the most romantic destinations in the Caribbean. Talk about a hilariously awkward moment! This was a true, its only awkward if you let it be awkward, kind of moment. But when you looked past the adorable couples everywhere, there is the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in the Caribbean! The water is pristine, the food was delicious and there were countless activities to indulge in. Below are some of the highlights from my time in St. Lucia!

I stayed at Sugar Beach Resort, who hosts the most gorgeous views of the Piton Mountains. The beach is white sand and right beside the best snorkeling on the island. This is the best location on the island to see unique fish, stunning views and quiet, relaxing beach time. The food was exquisite and worth every penny, and there were plenty of options for couples and families alike!

The luxury villas at Sugar Beach are the best I’ve ever seen! Equipped with your own private pool overlooking the ocean, these villas are the only way to experience Sugar Beach. These rooms all have their own butler that will assist you with any of your needs, from shuttles to room service, you will not be left wanting anything.

Tet Paul was one of the best ‘easy’ hikes to do on the island. Your guide will take you through the vegetation on the island, show you the villages you overlook on the way up, and give you the history of the island. The Tet Paul hike ends with some of the most amazing views on the island, overlooking not only the island, but the two Piton mountains. This is the perfect hike for families and those wanting to experience a leisurely hike.

They warn you about the smell that volcanoes produce… but oh my… is it intense. The tour of the volcano and learning about its history was amazing and intriguing. But its the mud bath that everyone raves about the most! Extremely warm and slightly gross, these baths are supposed to rejuvenate your skin with minerals you can find no where else. Let me tell you, there was a noticeable difference in my skin after this experience!

Fun Fact: They are opening up another mud bath soon, so you should be able to enjoy even more time in the St. Lucia volcanic mud baths!

Sugar Beach and St. Lucia was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It was STUNNING, full of adventures but also tranquil and relaxing. I would recommend any couple, family or individual plan their next trip to St. Lucia! I promise it will be one of the best trips of your life!

xoxo-Kayla

Wow Wow Lemonade!!

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Can we just talk about the fact that I am now in love with Wow Wow Lemonade?!

Wow Wow Lemonade has a variety of menu items including lemonades, acai bowls and avocado toasts. Today, I tried their lavender blackberry lemonade and their original acai bowl with a macaroon. Both were absolutely impeccable!! Since they source locally they have intense flavors and additionally are supporting the communities they are in.

  1. I definitely need to head to Hawaii after trying their lemonade and acai bowls! Their locations are in Oahu,  Maui, Japan, Washington, California and Arizona. If you visit any Wow Wow location  be sure to let me know!! 😄

Enjoying my Lavender Blackberry Lemonade

Inside of Wow Wow Lemonade

Original Acai Bowl

Malibu Wine Safari

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Wine, safari rides, and good friends. There is nothing better!

I discovered Malibu Wine Safari’s through Amanda Stanton from the Bachelor, and couldn’t resist getting out there to try it out myself! My husband and my friend from college, Victoria, were kind enough to join me on this safari adventure!

Malibu Wines is a gorgeous winery 40 minutes North of Los Angeles. You can choose to relax and enjoy wine at their garden location, or you can choose to go on one of their 5 Safari trips! These Safaris include varying wine tastings, a trip around the venue enjoying the views, meeting the exotic animals, and if you choose the right tour you get to meet Stanley the Giraffe!

Stanley the Giraffe is the vineyards celebrity, he has been on multiple commercials and was featured in Hangover III! He has since retired from the movie life, but is such a fun part of your tour of the vineyards! I highly recommend a Safari that includes a meet and greet with Stanley.

We chose to do the Giraffe Tour which started with a Safari ride around parts of the vineyard overlooking the exotic animals they house. You then go on to feed the alpacas, donkeys and zebras some cut up carrots and lettuce before getting your first flight on wine. The first flight of wine had my favorite wine of the safari, their rose wine (I definitely bought a bottle before I left). You then head off to see more of the vineyards as well as get a glimpse of the Bachelor Mansion! After your glimpse of the Bachelor Mansion you get to see Stanley, which was my husbands favorite part! Stanley is fed almost every 20 minutes with heads of lettuce making him one of the friendliest giraffe’s I’ve ever met. After your time with Stanley you head off to your second flight of wine coupled with cheese and crackers at the vineyards adorable cottage.

This Safari is worth every penny and is a must do event if you are in the LA/Malibu area! If you head to the Malibu Wines, be sure to let us know!

 

xoxo- Kayla

SafariBreakdown copy.jpg

Prices as of 8.24.2018 Please check the Malibu Wine Website for Updated Prices.

The Safari Trucks You Ride In!

Enjoying Our First Flight Of Wine

Views Of The Vineyard

Loving These Views Of The Vineyard

Feeding the Zebras

Love Feeding The Zebras

Views Of The Vineyard

Views Of The Vineyard

Safari’s Are Best With Friends

When Stanley Photobombs You!

Wine and Crackers

Finishing Up Our Second Flight Of Wine

Overcoming Worry with Faith

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There isn’t room for both worry and faith.

Let me preface this by saying that I have struggled with constant worry all my life. My gut reaction is to worry and stress over every situation. Every time I am faced with something that is challenging or stressful, I immediately start to worry. My mind jumps to the worst-case scenario and stays there for hours. I think of the worst thing that could be said to me, the worst possible situation. For years, it was this constant loop of stress and worry.

The first time I felt relief from my constant worry was when I started dating my husband. He would push me to be better, he would push me to look at the situation objectively not as what could happen. In every situation he would help me to look at the situation in a different light, helping push me to have faith instead of fear and worry. I could never figure out why my husband didn’t stress out. It wasn’t until we had been married for a while that I finally realized it wasn’t that he didn’t feel that pang of stress or worry, it’s that he knows that things will be fine. He has complete faith that we can handle any situation that comes our way.

My pastor preached a sermon a few weeks ago where he talked about how we can’t have both worry and faith and my husband nudged me. The pastor was speaking in that moment that if we have faith in the Lord, we can’t have this constant worry. It doesn’t mean you can’t have no worries in your life, it means not letting worry consume you. Instead of letting worry be your reaction, let faith come in instead. He went on to say that God mentions “Do NOT worry” countless times throughout scripture.

Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

My reaction to this verse has always been the same, that God must not understand that I have horrible anxiety, doesn’t he understand that my first reaction is to worry, that my mind always jumps to the worst-case scenario. That this verse was obviously not written with me in mind because I can’t get over my anxiety and worry. When in fact, I think this verse was stated specifically for people like me and you. People who deal with massive anxiety and panic attacks, people who stress over the big and little things in life.

 

Do not worry. Choose faith over fear. Choose faith over stress. Choose faith over doubt. In every situation we have the power to pray, pray for faith in that moment. Pray that the Lord would guide our hearts in faith instead of fear and worry. Find someone who pushes you to have faith over worry and fear!

 

The Lord is guiding you every step of the way!

 

xoxo

 

Kayla

 

 

 

Adventure is out There

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This past Sunday, my pastor did a nontraditional Easter sermon. He spoke about how we are all created with this innate desire to seek adventure, to see what’s behind that door, to see what’s beyond that mountain. As kids we are so excited to try new things, to see what would happen if we went down that trail in the woods, if we went just a little further down the beach, if we climbed up that rock. We craved adventure and craved seeing things we’ve never seen before. But somewhere along the way, we lost this sense of adventure. We lost our desire to explore and try new things, because we are busy and set in our routines.

We sit on the couch every weekend binge watching Netflix, cleaning the house, or doing chores we pushed off during the week. But we don’t do anything new, we don’t step outside our comfort zone and explore. Nothing happens outside of the one to two vacations we take each year. We accept a life where we only explore and try new things two times a year. But what if we just tried one new thing a week? What if you just took two hours out of your weekend to do something that excites you, that challenges you, that makes you feel like a kid again?

So today, I want to go over 5 Adventures you can try this weekend!

  • Skydiving! This is a bucket list item. If you are like me and have always wanted to go, get out of your comfort zone and do it! There are always skydiving deals on Groupon and you can get videos/pictures of you doing this amazing bucket list item! If you are scared to try it, think about it this way; when you are in a plane flying to vacation, you are always looking out the window in awe of what’s below. It’s such a unique sight, and skydiving gives you a chance to see the world from a whole new view and with the trill of having nothing beneath your feet!
  • Go to a New Sporting Event! I am not a fan of basketball, I’ve been to a couple games with my dad as a kid, but it was never my favorite sporting event. But an opportunity arose for me to go to a Phoenix Suns game this week with people from my work. Did I hop on a chance to experience a new venue and a new team that I’d never seen before? Absolutely! You will only regret the things you didn’t do! See what sporting events are happening in your area and experience something you’ve never seen before!
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride – These rides offer amazing views of your city, or the city you are visiting. I have heard nothing but wonderful things from everyone who has been on one of these rides! You have to pay a little more than usual for these, but they are such a unique experience. Most people go on dates on the weekend anyways, why not make this date one you will never forget?! The best rides are first thing in the morning, so you can see the city wake up right before your eyes! (By the way the best place to get deals on Hot Air Balloon Rides is Groupon)
  • Hike a Trail/Mountain – There are trails or mountains to climb everywhere in the world. No area has a shortage of outdoor spaces to explore. Try a hike that is a little more challenging but offers amazing views, don’t sell yourself short on what you can do and see! In Arizona there are hikes surrounding each area of Phoenix, but if you travel two hours north, there are unbelievable views from the hikes in Flagstaff. Take a quick minute and go to trails.com to find hikes in your area! All it requires is your time and energy!
  • Concerts/Shows– I know for a fact there are concerts/shows every month in every area of the country! It may not be your favorite artist, or the circus in town, but there is something! Go see that new Broadway show, or see Pitbull live! (my husbands dream concert) Go see a local play or go to a bar with live music and see what talent is all around you! Enjoy seeing new things with friends or your significant other, there is so much creative talent if you just go out and find it. If you are really adventurous head out to Nashville for some of the best local live shows around! 😉

 

Adventure awaits you!

-xoxo

Kayla