Living in A World All About the “Picture”

Living in A World All About the “Picture”

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I am an active participant in technology and the world of social networking, and because of that I have encountered many people in life who tell me to “put the camera down and enjoy something”. For the people who have similar experiences as myself, here is what I suggest you try saying to them next time.

Just because I want to have that perfect Instagram picture does not mean that the moment I am in right now is any less important to me than it is to you.

Just because I am on the beach facetiming a faraway friend does not mean I still do not hear the waves, smell the salt, and have my feet all dug up in the sand.

Just because I am texting my boyfriend while I am sitting in a café halfway across the world does not mean I am attempting to isolate myself.

It is possible to take everything in around you while still having a camera ready to go in your pocket. No one should have to apologize for wanting to snap a photo during a really beautiful moment. We should not have to apologize for picking up the phone to call our mom when something insanely amazing happens. There should not be an apology for blogging about a crazy encounter that just occurred. Just because we want to share the journey that we are all on via social media does not mean that we lack the comprehension of the value in the experience we are having. Who would not want a photo to remember that great moment for just a little longer than your memory can hold. Technology has made this huge world smaller and more attainable for everyone.

I live for the moments when I get to snap a picture in my Ranch Bucket hat on top of the mountain I just climbed in Colorado. Or the beaches I get to photograph in the land down under of Australia. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel and experience and share so many things, so what if I want to take a picture of it. For all of the picture haters, you will be seeing A LOT more of my pictures, from more traveling, to more pictures just lounging at home in my Ranch Bucket and I hope to see some of yours in the New Year to come.

Xx

Gabi

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Small World

Small World

It is crazy how it took me traveling all the way across the world to learn that the world is actually a small place. Yes, I have always understood that the earth is just a speck in the workings of the entire universe. This makes me basically non-existent, but when it comes to our tiny little speck it felt pretty big growing up. There are seven billion people on the planet, and this number is fluid and constantly growing. There are 195 countries on the earth, and all of them possess different cultures. There are five different oceans, and I have only dipped my toes into three of them, but moving to Australia made me realize the world is not actually quite as expansive as my young mind once thought.

I moved half way across the world to live with girls from my home state. Yes, this is true, I moved to Australia only to move in with two east coast girls and two girls from Evergreen, Colorado. Evergreen is an hour and thirty-minute drive away from where I grew up, but a fourteen-hour flight from where we live in Australia. I now have three girls I have met and become close with in Australia that attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. It has lead us to connect over mutual friends and childhood experiences. I will get to keep these forever friends close to my heart and close in vicinity. I got to have little piece of home away from home and I honestly could not be more thankful.

I have a sorority sister that has recently moved to Australia. It was wild to me how this sisterhood had brought me the ability to travel the world and still know there was always going to be someone close by to have my back, no matter where in the world I was residing. That was a feeling that did not parallel anything I have yet to experience.  Along the line of my sorority, even one of my roommates happens to be a sister of mine who attends Boulder. I have now even been blessed with the opportunity to expand my sisterhood through my study abroad journey.

I have met so many individuals from the United States. States all over, states I now cannot wait to visit. I have even made one friend, from Nevada and she knew people that went to my college in Arizona. The world continues to grow smaller and smaller to me.

Coming to Australia I expected a very different educational environment. The most intriguing thing I did not see coming is that one of my professors was American. Not only was he American, but he also formerly taught at my rival school… the scumdevils… sorry Sun Devils back home in Arizona. What are the odds of that out of the four classes I choose to attend during my trimester abroad that would happen.

Along the way we met people from the same state as us, even the same city sometime. That is something I could not have imagined when my plane took off for this adventure. I have had a lot of favorite things about this experience, but my very favorite has to be what I am taking away with me, a whole new set of people who have substantially made a huge difference in my life. Thank you guys, and I love you guys.

Kate, Mollie, Jen, Carroll, Lauza, you have my heart.

Also, big thanks to Veronica for always being down to adventure or for a photo-shoot for my beloved Ranch Bucket! I am so glad to have you joining our team and I am so lucky that the Gold Coast brought me you!

Xx

Gabi

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Review: Bali Indonesia

Review: Bali Indonesia

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” (St. Augustine).  Bali was a great edition to my list of travel destinations for this year. Bali is only a six-hour flight from my home in Gold Coast, Australia. Although not a walk in the park flight, it is a whole lot better than trying to fly from back home in the United States and cheaper. That first step off the plane was hot, humid, and sticky. My roommates and I went in late September and the weather was not unbearable but quite tolerable. My suggestion in the future would be to visit Bali slightly earlier than this, such as in late August or early September for the best beach day weather.

Bali was a new step in life for me being my first visit to an Asian country. There were some challenges I faced my first time in this location which was to be expected. There was of course a language barrier. I know absolutely zero Balinese. I suggest before visiting you make an effort to learn some simple words such as yes, no, and thank you. They are always useful and just like any other nation, the Balinese people are delighted when even an attempt is made at communication. The next challenge was haggling, especially with taxi drivers. Everyone is attempting to rip you off when it comes to taxis. I suggest trying to only use Bluebird taxi service or prearranged drivers. It makes travel plans easier in the long run and you feel a lot safer too. The airport possessed the worst hagglers of all, and once you push past that part the rest is smooth sailing. On our trip we faced some natural problems, specifically Bali’s iconic Mount Agung. While we were in Bali, Mount Agung was on a high-level alert for eruption. Although my time ran smoothly, this did cause problems with locations I longed to visit and caused us to leave a day early out of fear of canceled or delayed flights due to ash concerns. The difficult thing about volcanoes is that there is no way to actually predict when an eruption is going to occur. Three weeks later I am writing this, and Mount Agung is still steaming with no eruption in sight.

Bali is one of the more touristy Asian countries. This is a good thing in my opinion for people having their first Asian country experience, making the experience a little less culturally shocking. Asia is so different than other parts of the world and Bali is a good transition in preparation to travel to less touristy places within the continent.

My suggestions on what to do and where to stay are as follow: We stayed at an Airbnb in the middle of Seminyak. Seminyak was a great location close to beaches and in the heart of the city. Airbnb’s are so cheap in Bali – we stayed at a lovely one called Villa Baci. The owner is Australian and she was more than accommodating. The place felt like a private, five-star resort that possessed its own pool, a kitchen, and three bedrooms with king beds. Get as many massages as you can! We often had them come to the villa at the end of the day which was lovely to do from home. These ranged in price from $10-20 which in my mind is unreal! Shop until you drop. There are so many unique things and places to shop for such a good price. Another warning I have is that some of us in the group did get sick. Bali belly is common, and although we do not know if that is what we had, we assume whatever bug we caught was from non-imported ice or non-filtered water. Do not hesitate to ask everywhere you eat about these issues or I promise you will regret it.

I think Bali was my favorite trip to date. It was the most fun due to the great people I was with, my best friends, and the Balinese are really such kind and compassionate people. They want your business, they want to help you, and they love learning about you and answering any of your questions. A week is plenty of time for people who are just wishing to shop, eat, and hit the beach resorts.  If you desire to do more you might want to extend for a little longer than a week since this country has so much to offer.

XX

Gabi

Things I Have Learned in Australia

Always say yes, whether that be to a new experience, a trip, an event, or a party, always say yes. Who knows when the opportunity will knock again and do you really want to miss that opportunity to go somewhere, see something, meet someone all just because you decided Netflix and your bed were the better option that day? Money comes and goes, experiences do not.

Be friendly, this should be a given, you never know who you are meeting but this is especially important when in a foreign country. Get to know the people of the area, and be genuine with them. Some of the best people I have met I would have never come across if I had not gone up and just introduced myself. Go for it. When you make friends with the locals you gain new opportunities and knowledge which is priceless. (Shout-out to my dear friend Travis and his endless help and knowledge about my Whit Sundays trip. Also, the countless rides back from the grocery store when I did not want to do that dreaded walk.)

Choose travel over the party. If given the chance to get away for the weekend to a new place compared to going to the latest club, this should be an easy call, choose travel. There are clubs and bars and parties in every place you will go in life, but there is not a new culture or scenery within your usual Thursday night club.

Don’t forget to let loose. You still need to let loose every now and then. Dance your little heart out at that club, get up and sing karaoke, run on the beach until you are out of breath. You need to have fun and let go of the travel agenda every so often or traveling becomes a chore or a race to see how much you can see, and let’s face it, races are no fun.

Always go to the beach. See every coastline, every ocean, every shore, it will calm your soul and bring you answers in your life you did not even know you were looking for.

People will make fun of you for being American. Take it lightly and do not get to worked up about it, laugh along with them even if it bothers you. No country is perfect and although they are poking fun at you, I am sure there is something you could tease them about with their country. Be the bigger person and let it go.

America is not the end all be all. The world does not revolve around you because you are an American. So do not act like it does. Prove the dang stereotype wrong and do not subject yourself to the cliché American tourist appearance.

Try the interesting food places, by which I mean the places that are not chain restaurants and not that Instagram brunch place you found on the discover page. The best thing I have eaten here in Australia is from a little Moroccan food stand. I am now known as a regular of at least once a week, and all I get is dang cheese fries and a hot dog. I have never been so satisfied. I can only suggest you do not do this in third world countries as a safety precaution.

You don’t miss home, you miss the people. I do not miss 100-degree weather, I do not miss the desert, I do not miss the American lifestyle or the grocery store I used to shop at. I miss my mom when I get sick or when I am not sure how long to cook the chicken for. I miss my dad when it is the middle of the day in my country and midnight back home and I want to ask him a philosophical question. I miss my boyfriend when I am looking at the prettiest sunsets in the world, or doing my next wild adventure and all I want is his hand to hold so he can feel the excitement radiating off my body. I miss my friends when I see them having fun back home without me, realizing no one elses life paused when I took off. You don’t miss where you come from you miss who you came from.

Love the opportunity and the life you have been given. If you are traveling, whether it close to home or far far away, remember you are fortunate, you are blessed, and never forget to appreciate that.

The Last Note Counts

The Last Note Counts

Decided to share a little wisdom with my little online community today. Something I have learned in the past couple of years and continue to as I get older is the importance of ending on the proper note with people, even if it is a necessity to remove them from your life.

I have been working on this for years, and have only begun to really utilize the curative powers of this in the last year or two. Whether it is a person close to me or just a stranger passing through my life, I am attempting to mend wounds endured or end the negative encounters on a good note. No matter how messy it was getting there, when it comes down to it life has a funny way of making a full circle on us. Even if you do not see a future with a person, they still have the potential to make a reappearance in your life down the road. You never know who may pop back in, and if or when they do, you do not want bad blood over things that in the future will be trivial in the grand scheme of things. I know they may feel huge now, and your blood may be boiling or you do not want to buckle on your view, but that feeling of hugeness inside you now will always fade with time.

When I say, “end on a good note”, that does not mean you have to make amends. You do not have to apologize or compromise your morals for something that you want to continue to stand by, but just do not leave that bridge between you and the person burned. Take a breath, cool off and go back at least to make the amendments of resolution. Do not do it for their sake, but for you own. It truly makes you feel like the better person in a negative situation. Being able to resolve conflict or not holding a grudge, regardless of the other persons feelings, shows a sense of security in oneself and strength. When you do this, regardless of whether or not they have the maturity to leave matters aside to come to a good final note, you have now taken away their reason to speak poorly of you.

When you initiate a positive ending, the justification is gone for them to preach to others why they resent you. It does not reflect well on others to talk ill on you without a sense of real justification of a poor ending. Do not give anyone the power of turning you into something you do not want to be because of a falling out. Swallow an ounce of pride to just say, I am sorry we disagree, or I respect you as a human being, and even though you no longer see each other’s paths crossing again, wish them the best. When you end this way, MEAN IT. It should be sincere because you should want to end on a proper note. It is not compromising you your character and you are not losing the batter by doing so. I think this was the hardest part for me to understand, you are not admitting defeat by agreeing to disagree.

Remember this, we are all the same species. We are all just human beings, that are here for a short time. With that short time that you have, do you want to create a negative environment for people to associate you with, or one that reminds people that we do not all have to be in agreeance, but were all just trying to survive together and we should make it a little less difficult for one another.

Xoxo

-Gabi