Daisy, May- Hope in Change Introduction

Daisy is a hopeful and curious 18 year old who moves out of her drug-addict mom’s home to chase a better life in Boston…

Meanwhile, May is a freshman in New York Studying for a degree in Business at NYU, when things in her life start going topsy-turvy and people she thought she knew show their true colors. Attempting to put the pieces of her life back together and become successful on her own accord, she must make ends meet with what she has, along with the creative and inspiring help from her new friend.

Where will Daisy, May end up in 5 years’ time? This story captivates the possibilities that arise from life changes when you chase after new hope and embrace fresh, loyal friendship.

(Stick with me during this story- This is mostly a draft of a book i am writing, so i will change things periodically. Thanks for following this journey!)

Daisy, May- Chapter 1.

Daisy sat across from her high mother in the kitchen and listened to her make every excuse in the world why she couldn’t take care of her anymore. She was broke- but Daisy knew that was because she spent it on weed and drugs. She didn’t have energy and always had a headache- that was side effects. Daisy needed a better life- she always said, “don’t be like me”. Daisy zoned out, her head dazed, and didn’t hear most of what her mom even said; but she had heard enough, nonetheless. She was a burden to her mom, even though, with her job, she produced close to half of their income. She had been wanting to get out of there anyways and took this as her chance.

            The next morning, after Daisy packed up her scant belongings, an uber car came around and pulled up next to the curb. Looking back one last time, she saw her mom smoking a blunt through the open side of a dusty window. She probably had ‘I Love Lucy’ on, but a curtain drawn on the other side of the window blocked her view. She sighed, ‘This is it’. Taking a shaking breath, she slid into the uber and the driver started his route to the Daytona Airport, leaving the ragged Florida home behind.

            The palm trees and tall pink and white buildings zoomed by, Daisy was lost in her head, staring out the window. This was all she had ever known. What would life be like in Boston? What would living alone or being outside of a drug addict’s world be like? She would soon find out.

Meanwhile, in New York:

May is cuddled up on her bed under her blankets, holding a warm cup of coffee. She had just showered and was now binge watching ‘Parks and Rec’, propped against three down pillows with a salmon colored throw pillow on her lap that said, ‘Keep Going’. She breathed a deep breath, exhaling the day. Holding the covers up to her chin, she sipped on her Pumpkin Spice Latte from Second Street Café.

‘Parks and Rec’ was her favorite show- she could probably quote every episode perfectly, but tonight she wasn’t really paying any attention to the characters on the screen; the characters in her head shouted over them. Just a few hours ago, as her professor let out her business class and she entered the halls of NYU to navigate to her next class, May noticed her boyfriend standing just outside the class doors, waiting for her.

“Hey, we need to talk.” He had said. And her stomach fell, she knew what was coming next, “I’m getting busy with my classes and senior year coming up. I can’t see you anymore”. ‘This is about another girl, isn’t it’, she thought to herself. She had seen him with Belinda the other day on the football field after practice. Before she could respond he kissed her stiffly on the cheek and turned and walked away. She stifled her tears and hid her face to collect herself. The moving sea of people blurred.

‘Ding!’ she practically jumped; a drop of her latte sloshed onto her white duvet as a text from her best friend came through her phone.

“How are you doing, girl? I heard about what happened.”

She sat for a second, then picked up her phone and replied with several messages as she tried to sort through her own feelings, “Hey, I’m okay.” “I don’t know, right now.” “I don’t understand” “I’m just mad and frustrated, I guess.” “I don’t know why though; he’s always been this way.” … “I don’t know if I’m okay.”

The bubble appeared and then disappeared as Christy typed out her response, “I mean, he was a dick anyways.” “He never really cared about you. You know he wasn’t good for you.”

“Yeah, I know. I just didn’t know what else to do or where else to go, you know?” “I mean, he paid for half of my tuition. I couldn’t just not be with him. I owed it to him, you know?”

“You didn’t owe him anything. He did that to keep you around and use you. You know that. I know it’s scary, and this situation is more than wrong, but you have to know it’s okay to just do what’s best for you.” “You didn’t ask him to pay for your tuition. He offered, so it was essentially a gift. You never have to owe me when I give you a gift, right?” “He was using you, May. It’s good that he can’t hurt you anymore. He’s a shitty guy.”

May knew Christy was right, she sighed, and closed her phone. She didn’t know what to reply.

Ding!

On the lock screen, Christy’s message flashed: “I love you. And I’m here for you no matter what.” “Call me if you want to talk or if you need anything. I’m 3 minutes away. <3”

May was tired and set her phone down, soon drifting off to sleep.

            Daisy walked up to the check-in counter at the Sonder-Pierce Boston hotel and stated her reservation, looking past the woman standing in front of her and out the window beyond her.

            “Okay, miss Dayton, you are in apartment 212, is there anything else I can do for you?”

            “Thank you. I think I’m set.”

            “Okay, wonderful! If you have any concerns, you can call us at anytime through the room phone. Have a nice stay!”

Daisy nodded, offered a smile, and began toward the elevator to go up to the second floor. She sat on the bed and tossed her backpack aside. A 3-hour flight and $300 out of her savings left her exhausted- more or less than the complete 360 her life just took. Only 4 hours ago, she was on the curb outside of her mother’s house, and now she’s 1,234 miles* away, not knowing if she’ll ever go back. Laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling, she closed her eyes and breathed deep, “Daisy, you’ve got this. You have to. This is it. This is your life.”

She woke up cuddling her backpack. She looked around, still tired and remembered the entire day before. To take her mind off things, she decided to go out and explore the city and grab some breakfast; she hadn’t eaten much besides complimentary pretzels in close to 16 hours. There was a Starbucks just a one-minute walk from the condo. Since it was fall, they were carrying the Pumpkin Spice Latte again, which was her absolute favorite. After her coffee run, she dipped in to Target, just a block away, to see if they had any jackets, as she only had a skimpy sweater and it was getting cold in New England (that’s what the locals called the area), and also bought a water canteen to fill up. After stocking up on necessities, she headed out to Fenway Park, just a few minutes down the road to enjoy the sun and the air.

Pulling out an old tattered leather journal from her backpack, she opened it to a blank page and wrote, “September 6, 2019- I finally moved out. I’m in Boston, currently sitting in Fenway Park. I stayed in the Sonder Pierce condos last night, and they were wonderful. I’m not sure where I’m staying tonight, but I might go back there. We’ll see. On a bright note, Starbucks is selling their Pumpkin Spice Lattes again and I’m THRIVING on it. Fall warmth just makes everything feel a little better, you know?…”  Her thoughts were interrupted by an old man who came to sit down on the opposite side of the bench from her and pulled out some sunflower seeds to throw to the birds. He sat and patiently cracked each one and tossed it out to them. Daisy watched him for a second in wonder, then asked him, “Why do you crack the seeds for them?”

He replied, “Because, my wife used to love throwing seed to the birds. She would sit outside and feed them the very same way for 60 years until she passed away three years ago. And now I do it; it makes me feel like she’s with me.” His lower lip quivered and a tear rolled down his cheek, “I know they can crack them themselves, but it was the love that she put into doing it for them that made it so meaningful and wonderful. She went the extra mile every time. She always said, ‘birds deserve a spa day, too, sometimes.’ I always watched her in wonder… She was a beautiful woman. I never found love after her.” He sat silently for a moment; Daisy’s heart melted. She had never even heard someone speak so much love for another person.

“What was her name?”

“Margaret”, he smiled and tossed another seed, “Margaret Millie Jackson. Strong, talented, graceful. And the sweetest librarian you ever could know.”

“How did you fall in love?”

The old man looked at her almost in awe and smiled, “Would you like the whole story?”

“I would love to hear it. Please tell me.”

(*according to Google Maps, 2019)

            May’s classes were short on Fridays. She only had two and they were her favorite ones, Business and Marketing. But her mind was foggy and unfunctional today. She sat with her chin on her palm with a messy bun and big circular glasses atop her nose. Her professor, Miss Delaney, noticed her exhaustion and came up to her after class when she didn’t get up with everyone else; instead just sitting there with her face in her hands. Miss Delaney was her favorite professor and often talked with her as a mentor. She sat at a desk next to May and put her hand on her shoulder, “You aren’t feeling well. What’s wrong?”

            May was quiet for a moment and then said, “It’s probably for the best.”

            “What’s probably for the best? Is this about… the guy you were dating?” she caught herself before saying his name; no one wants to hear their ex’s name right after a breakup.

            “He broke up with me for another girl.” She stated almost emotionless, “But he was never good to me. We never had a healthy relationship anyways and he took advantage of me a lot.”

            “It’s hard losing someone you thought you needed or that felt familiar. But just know, any guy who doesn’t treat you right doesn’t deserve you. It’s hard to see in the moment and you can’t blame yourself; it was never your fault. For your own sake, you have to give yourself grace for not leaving sooner and realize that there is better for you out there. I know these next few weeks will be hard, but you are strong, I see that in you… Is there anything specific you want to get off your chest?”

            May couldn’t think of just one thing, her mind was hectic, her heart was not just broken, it was shattered; she really only felt partially alive. All she could get out was, “…I’m sorry.” And broke down and bawled harder than she ever had in her life.

            Daisy sat there listening to the old man replay his romantic love story. He told it so well that she felt the butterflies and experienced that first kiss and felt like she was in the audience when they declared their vows sixty-two years ago. It was like a movie.

“…Love is work, but it’s beautiful work. The most incredible and satisfying decision you could ever make every day of your life,” He finished with a reminiscent nod and a smile, “the most worthwhile job you’ll ever be honored to have.”

            He threw the last handful of seeds and, folding it neatly, tucked the packet in his coat pocket. With a satisfied nod and a warm smile, he said, “Thank you for listening to my story. I don’t think I’ve told it since Margaret’s passing. It was wonderful to remember it and relive the gorgeous life we had together.”

Daisy said, “I loved hearing it as much as you loved telling it” and offered him an understanding smile. He tipped his cap getting up and said,

“It was good to meet you, Daisy. You have a nice day.”

“You as well, Mr. Jorge. Have a nice day.”

As he strolled down the sidewalk toward the street, she finished her journal entry, “…I met a wonderful old man, Mr. Caleb Jorge, today. You should have heard the beautiful love story he told about he and his wife, Margaret. It was true love. One day, I want a love like that… I hope to see Mr. Jorge again someday and I wish him many blessings in his life.

As Always, Daisy”

In May’s Marketing class, Miss Delaney pulled her into a hug and told her, “Oh Sweetie, there’s nothing you have to apologize for. None of this was your fault. Not even him being a dick. That was all by his own rotten intention. A narcissist will always make you feel like it was all your fault. But it’s a lie, no matter how much they want you to believe it.”

            May looked up at her, rubbing her eyes, “You don’t think I’m weak or undeserving?”

            “The only thing you don’t deserve is to be treated like that by anybody.” Miss Delaney assured her, “And I think you are the strongest person I know, so you’re definitely not weak,” She said with a smile, “This will be hard. And it’s okay if it takes you a while to understand what’s happened. Be easy on yourself while you do. And even if it doesn’t seem so right now, you’ll be okay. I know it.”

It was a chilly walk back to her apartment; her fuzzy coat hugged her chin. How was it so cold already? It was burning up just a few days ago under the spell of that August heat!

The weather wasn’t the only thing confusing May; she didn’t know why she was sorry- as if any of it was her fault, or that she was somehow inconveniencing anyone else. She knew she hadn’t done anything wrong and wondered when she began to believe she was the one that had somehow messed it all up. He was always the one texting other girls; standing her up on dates; putting in no effort, except to make a show of it; and abusing her. She frowned to herself. She never meant any of her relationships to end up that way.

Just as her nose was starting to sting from the nipping cold, she opened the front door to her apartment, which was all hers. Her parents were rich. Her dad owned a massive share in Google and was CEO of a company called Shipr (which is basically like Amazon). Money was never a problem in the Kinzie household. Her and her brother Austin always got along well, and her mom was practically her best friend. But, their dad was often busy and many of their relatives lived far away.

None of that could be the reason though, could it? May was so confused. Nothing in her life had led her to an abusive relationship. Maybe, though it was because they had just moved to a new town and her dad had extra busy days at work that year- she was under a lot of stress right before she met ‘he who shall not be named’. Her best friend always called him Voldemort; she NEVER liked him, and for good reason.

May had met Dylan the middle of her Sophomore year of high school. The same year they had moved. She also no longer went to the same school as her best friend. And she was of age to develop an interest in the guys around her. Dylan was quarterback on the football team, funny, and had a handsome face. But things quickly went south after she met him.

May shook the thoughts from her head. She called Christy, “You know what, I’d love to hang out. Maybe pop open that Rosé?”

Thank God her best friend attended the same college as her.

Traveling on a Budget- Earning More than You Spend

Any of you that travel know leisure traveling can become very expensive, very fast. And that’s why I’m here to break it down for you. Here you’ll find what’s worth your time and the little money you bring with you. It’s all about the experience.

  • Plane Ticket Costs

Buying a plane ticket is one of the biggest expenses you’ll encounter when traveling. However, according to several sources and personal experience, the best day to buy a plane ticket is on a Tuesday, a month out from your departure date (for traveling within the US). The cheapest departure dates to book a flight for is Tuesday or Wednesday.

For traveling outside of the US, prime booking windows greatly vary, but most fall within about 4-7 months in advance.

  • Transportation Upon Arrival

The absolute cheapest way to get around is by bike or walking. However, if you’d prefer public transit, leisurely is the least expensive; if you’re looking to take a bus or train, take the slow rather than the express options.

Of course, most people would prefer to have a rental car or take uber. In that case, research and compare your options, as there are many varying prices out there and you’re bound to find one you’re fine with spending.

  • Where to Stay

Hostels are the most popular cheapest option. Often providing meals as well as a room and sometimes excursions, they are practical at a low cost.

An alternative is couch surfing. This mode of travel seems to be on the rise especially for young solo travelers; it’s always worth checking out if anything. It’s also a great way to get to know the locals, make friends, and discover the best places around town.

  • Food and Meals

When traveling, eating out every night gets super expensive, which is why avid travelers usually stop by the local markets and pick up a few things to eat. This is culturally enriching as well as nourishing.

Another cheaper option is to pop in to convenience stores and pick out a snack or meal from there. You can still always treat yourself to eating out a few days during your travels.

  • Attractions and Activities

Spots that tour guide books claim are ‘secret’ or ‘off-the-beaten-path’, are often not touristy locations. The best way to get the cheapest and most enriching experiences is to ditch the guides and follow the locals. Eat at your driver’s favorite local restaurant, or have some good local home-cooking with your host. The best way to fully experience a location is to immerse yourself in the daily life of the locals.

Otherwise, there are always prepared tours or trails you can take. Sometimes the thrill or the view can be worth the extra cost. It’s okay to pull out your inner-tourist and enjoy the attractions.

If you plan on staying for a while, some long-time travelers also say they will sometimes get a volunteer job in a hostel in return for room and board. It’s always an option if you want to have a more affordable stay.

Perhaps the most grand of hobbies, traveling is an inspirational pastime; it’s good for the soul, the mind, and the body. Creating everlasting memories, learning endless tidbits about life, and taking part in incredible experiences is unlike anything any other pursuit could offer. The gain is worth far more than the loss; you’ll earn things money couldn’t ever buy you- that’s why you’re earning more than you’re spending.

References:

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/best-tips-traveling-more-budget-230800304.html

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/how-to-travel-cheap-tips-traveling-on-a-budget

How To Become a Freelance writer- What To Know, Where To Start

There are many ways to go about starting a freelance career. Many successful freelance writers begin through freelance hiring websites like Freelancer. There are also websites like Upwork and Fiverr that allow freelancers to sell their services.

 The very first step of any, though, is to look into freelancing- research it and get a feel for what’s out there. Then of course, take a look at your skills. A few that will be especially helpful to you are:

Organizational skills– know how to set your schedule and keep a notebook of assignments and a spreadsheet of costs/payments. Maybe even plan what article or topic you’ll be writing about/posting if you have a blog. Getting into a routine will serve you well.

Your writing ability– Do you wake up in the morning with an inspiration to write? Is it something you love? This is a great start. Practice-writing articles or short stories can sharpen your writing skills. To that end, getting on a site like WordPress and starting a blog can be extremely helpful. And in that case…

Start a blog- Most freelance writers who become very successful in their work, say this is one of the best things they did for their career. And it’s one of the best ways to keep a growing portfolio, show off your skills, and get your name out there.

Writing tips- Know your voice (and your client’s voice). What are you writing about? What are you trying to convey? Who are you writing for? Lots of companies want to know that you can catch on to their style and write for them in their business’s tone.

Also, if you’re going for less formal and more casual/conversational, when typing out your blog post, format your article as if each thought is its own paragraph. This creates white space, making it more pleasing and easier to read.

Get out there!- This is the biggest tip to take with you. Just get out there. Start anywhere. Writers land some pretty good gigs just starting on a freelance hiring website. It may not pay a lot, but you’ll get a nice profile rolling, and you’ll be making something.

Start a social media page- This will help you spread your name and connect with the community. You can share your blog post and have it viewed faster.

Setting your price- Know your targeted client and their budget, if you know the value of your writing and can find someone who is able to pay up for it, you can make some good money. In that case, research your clients.

And hey, good news! Freelance writing is on the rise. Companies are beginning to seek out freelance writers, marketers, and consultants. That’s a good thing for us!

References:

For more information, and some tips for your particular style of writing, visit this helpful website to find blog posts geared toward your specific desired writing career. Happy Writing!

Love- Undeniable, Unconditional

For today’s article, I want to talk about one of the unfortunately most controversial subjects in today’s world… but with a positive spin. Love.

Is it possible that there can be so many definitions of ‘love’ and so many ways to show it? Yes. And sometimes, all of it gets twisted.

What is love? What does it even mean? Frankly, love is unconditional care. That’s really what it is. And sure, there are different types of love, but ALL of them point back to that- you care.

How do you show love? When you love someone, you are always considering them, always wanting them to be well. Patience is a form of love, so is sacrifice, so is encouragement.

Love is in the smallest things. The tiniest expressions; but also, the biggest actions. Love is not a word, nor is it just a feeling; love is a verb. It is an action. If love is not shown by actions, it is not love.

That’s why we care for the people we love, that’s why we sacrifice time and money and energy for them. That’s love.

That’s why even when it’s hard and we’re low on resources, we don’t give up. That’s why, even when it means we sacrifice a position at a job, or an extra paycheck, we keep going.

Love holds everything together. Think of just one thing that love doesn’t hold together. Love holds families together, friends together, communities together, … even sometimes strangers together. Trust is built off of that care and empathy of love.

Without love, none of us would be here. None of us would be born, none of us would survive. This world is already too full of malice and deceit and hatred, be the love- even if it’s tough; and I’ll sympathize with you.

Loving a stranger or a person you don’t like is hard. Hatred divides this world, it makes people fight, it makes people kill, it makes people segregate. But love doesn’t do any of those things.

Love is not conditional- it is not on a basis of what someone looks like, what they believe, or how they think.

Love brings together- even the people that don’t look or think alike. They are people too. All of us are imperfect human beings. But that doesn’t mean we should hate each other or bring each other down.

Love is a powerful thing. And that’s why we need it. With that, I encourage you to love someone today. Smile at them when they’re having a bad day, give the cashier some grace and an encouraging word.

Life is hard. Love is sometimes hard, but love makes life worth it.

Freelance Writing: Travel-friendly computers

Photo courtesy of: http://www.hispotion.com

As with any job, there are certain supplies you need to get started. The first thing you’ll need to kick off your new venture is a smooth-running computer and strong Wi-Fi. The search for the best functioning and most efficient computer can be a scavenger hunt. However, with some research, I have pulled together the three best possible fits.

According to my searches and talking with the company, Lenovo seems like it has the very best efficiency and quality for the price. At $850, the Ideapad S540 15” offers 8th Gen Intel Core with Windows 10, 12GB RAM with speeds of 2400Mz, and 256GB of hard drive space, and having 802.11 AC wireless connectivity. What this means, is that this computer offers phenomenal working space and storage at a very nice speed and the network connectivity is also great. The battery lasts about 12 hours, taking just under 1½ hours to achieve a full charge. This computer is just under 4.5lbs. Also, Lenovo’s online chat service was the most efficient, friendly, and thorough; if the Ideapad is not your fit, they are sure to find you the right one for you.

 Coming in second place, the Dell Vostro 5581 Laptop also has 8th gen Intel Core and windows 10, but has more RAM space with 16GB (you can get more ram space at a higher price). It has 2,666 MHz of speed, and 512GB of hard drive space. Weighing in at 4.1lbs and having 802.11 AC, this computer prices at $1,099. This computer is incredibly fast and has a fantastic amount of RAM and storage (unless you are editing photos/videos, the RAM does not need to be more than 8 or 12, though).

Finally, Windows served up a great, lightweight fit: the Surface Laptop 2, which had nice features, including Windows 10, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of hard drive storage. Has a battery life of 14½ hours, has 8th Gen Intel- costing $1,300. It is easy to carry at 2.8lbs and measuring only 13.5”. This computer is most conveniently sized, has sufficient RAM and great storage. The battery life on this one is amazing.

Any of these would be a great start for freelance writing. For working with blog posts and other writing jobs, 8GB RAM is plenty. Though, hard drive storage depends on your preference, how many projects you decide to take on, and whether you store everything on your computer or on an external hard drive. I find the smaller more lightweight computers to be easier for traveling. The wireless network connectivity can be important when you travel a lot; However, if you plan on staying home and using your close-by home WiFi, it would not be a big deal to have lesser connectivity range.

Thanks for Poppin by and I can’t wait to see you on Friday to share with you how to get a freelancing gig. And may the WiFi be with you.

Products:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/dell-laptops-and-notebooks/vostro-5581-laptop/spd/vostro-15-5581-laptop/cav155w10pc24502

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/ideapad-500-series/Lenovo-IdeaPad-S540-15IWL/p/88IPS501191

Taylor Swift- New Persona, Same Great Sound

Photo courtesy of: new1027.radio.com

Taylor Swift has had a long, wild music career. She started out as a country/pop singer in 2006, transitioning to more contemporary pop over the next few years. However in 2017, to meet the trending flow of music she abruptly altered her persona as well. We’ve all been hooked for the crazy ride, but still sometimes wonder, “why?”. Giving us an answer, just two years ago Swift released an album ‘Reputation’, stating in the debuting song, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she’s dead!”.

This was the whole idea behind her song ‘Look What You Made Me Do’. Culture had changed so much from the time she began music that all the now teenagers (who were only young kids when she first made an appearance) began demanding different things from music than what she was producing. All of her fans had grown up and the audience had totally changed. With the new taste in music, she realized she had to give her young listeners what they wanted, or she may no longer be popular in the business. Swift easily met the demands and wowed the crowd once again, receiving the ‘Video of the Year’ award in August of 2019.

Still that same cat-loving personality writing songs about love and heartbreak. She really is the teenage dream and nothing can change the major footprint Swift has been leaving in music. A true legend.

References:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Taylor-Swift

https://www.pandora.com/artist/full-bio/taylor-swift/ARmVthhk5kVgdJchttp://www.mtv.com/video-clips/d00ofp/vma-2019-taylor-swift-wins-video-of-the-year

Freelancing: Pros and Cons of Freedom

image courtesy of: http://www.machinedesign.com

Vacation sounds great right about now, doesn’t it? You could get out of the office, stretch your legs, feel the sun on your skin and sip on a piña colada or be sitting in a hotel with a view of the Eiffel tower. That’s the life of a freelance writer, and it sounds fantastic. But what does this self-employed job exactly entail?

Freelancing has a lot of perks. You set your own hours, you’re your own boss, you can take as many holidays off as you want. Many people have become very successful and live a comfortable lifestyle off of freelancing. You could get paid wherever and whenever… as long as you’ve got a computer with Wi-Fi and someone who’s willing to hire you.

However, with the benefits come some drawbacks. Although freelancing gives you the freedom to only do what you want to do, it can be hard to find consistent work that pays you what you desire. Finding a business to hire you for your work takes patience. Usually, to make what you want, you have to pick up a bunch of gigs at one time, and it can get exhausting. But of course, there are always a few places that will pay you really well, you just have to find them and snag ‘em.

To that end, motivation is the most relevant skill in freelancing. You have to always be on the search for job offers and jump at the good ones. Being your own boss, there’s no one to give you your workflow, that’s all up to you. But because of that flexibility, freelancing is a wonderful option for stay at home moms or single parents or even students who have to balance classes and work. There is so much freedom that comes along with the responsibility.

However, in the hype of picking up exciting jobs, be careful of taking on too many. That paycheck will look great, but those competing deadlines won’t. With some of these jobs, there’s a lot to do and only a short time to do them. Watch out for loading up too much work and not having time to complete it all. Don’t blast into this wonderful job, just to fall flat from burnout and stress; the best part of this lifestyle is the room to breathe, so make time for it.

In the end, if you have an exceptional ability that you are confident of, and motivation to get yourself hired, you’d be a great fit for freelancing! Pull out those flip flops, because you’re totally gonna want to be writing that article in Paris. Why? Because you can.

Thanks for hanging with us, today! I hope this allowed you to dream of your best lifestyle. Mine was to be writer and I am now living that dream, minus the convertible Rouche. Come back for a ‘how to freelance’ article this Friday!

Luggage and Storage- Packing Helpers

When travelling, having items to sort and store your belongings is essential. Here are a few helpful things to get you started on your search for the perfect Travel necessities for your lifestyle.

Since liquids cannot be stored in a bottle that is any more than 3.4 ounces when traveling by plane, it is helpful to have a container just that size to travel with. If you can’t find your favorite kind of shampoo or body soap in a 3.4 oz version, that’s okay! In many stores, there are empty 3.4 oz containers available. You can find these at Khol’s, Target, Macy’s, Walmart, or on Amazon.

Shampoo is important, but so are clothes, amiright? Speaking of clothes, packing enough of them in the space you have can be difficult. Packing cubes makes that adventure a lot easier. They are small zip pouches that compact your clothes and other things, so you can fit more in your bag. Super helpful for frequent travelers or flight attendants. You can find these at Walmart, Macy’s, Khol’s, or on Amazon, to name a few.

 But of course, what’s the point of having your shampoos and whatnot ready to go, if you don’t have a suitcase to pack them in! TravelPro© has great rolling suitcases. Designed with four wheels, they are easy to pull by your side and have straps to tighten your clothes down, along with plenty of zip pockets to store your extra essentials. They conveniently come in carry-on sizes. (Not sponsored).

 If you prefer traveling with a backpack rather than a suitcase, JanSport© has durable, long-lasting backpacks with comfort-padding straps, so they’re on your shoulders. With plenty of pockets and compartments, there is room for everything you need. Spacious, but not too big, these are totally perfect as a carry-on that could fit all the essentials for an easy 4-5 day trip. You can find JanSport© backpacks at Academy Sport, Khol’s, and Amazon, among others. (Not sponsored).

 With the right accessories and luggage, any trip can be made a little more organized. It can take time to find a brand you fall in love with, but these products are a great place to start and will help your next vacation or business outing a little more comfortable.

Products:

https://www.jansport.com/

https://travelpro.com/

https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/travel-size-bottles

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=travel+cubes

Spread Your Wings- Trip Hacks to Make Traveling Easier

Photo courtesy of: lastminute.com.au

Have you ever booked a flight and wished there was a training course on how to get through the airport in one piece and with all your stuff? Maybe you’ve thought it would be nice to have some sort of guide to easily get you through? Well, here it is! Let Popp!nTalk be your guide through your next airport journey.

            Truth be told, it’s a skill. It’s a gained ability to actually make it through the airport or a flight with minimal stress. It takes a little patience, but it can be totally worth it. In this article, I want to share with you some simple hacks to make your next trip a little easier.

TripHack #1: Prepping for the trip- fitting the most you can

One of the most difficult parts of traveling is fitting everything you need in a reasonably sized bag. But, there are ways to curb using a larger bag or too many bags. First, try keeping it to the necessities. I know it’s hard, trust me! But start with your daily wear like shirts, pants, socks; fill in the less-necessary things later. To fit the very most you can, pack all your clothes in a rolled-up fashion. If you half-fold your shirts/pants and then roll them up, it’ll save a lot of space- and then you’ll have room to fit that bathing suit you absolutely need.

Keep in mind, on American Airlines flights, your suitcase can be a carry-on if it is no larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches (aa.com). Also, make sure any liquids- like shampoo or creams- you bring are no more than 3.4 ounces each and stored in a quart-sized bag in an outside pocket of your roller-board or backpack. According to their website, American Airlines also allows one diaper bag per child (if you are traveling with babies) besides your carry-on/personal item.

TripHack #2: Your One Personal Item- What You’ll Need During the Flight

            There are a few things that are convenient to have with you easily accessible during your flight. Such as:

Consider bringing a book or magazine to read on the plane or at the airport to help the time go by and have something to enjoy meanwhile.

A snack is good to have on hand as well; easy snacks include: sunflower seeds, beef jerky, a snack bar, m&ms, chips, gum or even a simple sandwich (most of the time, you can carry a small lunch in a grocery bag separate from your backpack and it’s no problem- but make sure that you have room in your bag to store it if you’re not able to carry it on like it is- then you can just tuck it into your backpack if you need to).

Another thing I bring is EarPlanes©. If your ears are sensitive to altitude pressure, these are good to have with you and they are small and easy to fit in your purse. They are available in most airport market stops, but they are cheaper to buy outside the airport (in the airport, they are about $10 for one pair, compared to elsewhere, which average at about $7; they are cheapest at Bed Bath and Beyond, for $5.19). Available in both kids’ and adult sizes.

TripHack #3: Naviagting and TSA- “Where Do I Go and Will I Make It?!”

            Directional hints are always given via light-up signs throughout the airport on the ceiling, these will tell you which way your gate/concourse is and where restrooms and exits/baggage claims are. There are also billboards located around the airport that have flight status and updated gate information on them- they’ll help you know if your gate changed and if your plane is on time. If you can’t find one of these (they’re usually around each concourse and near the entrance), you can always ask a agent and they will guide you to where you need to go.

            Once you find where you are going, you have to get through TSA, which is the most fun part of traveling… and I say that most sarcastically. If you have ever been to an airport, you know how much of a zoo TSA usually is. Always plan to be at TSA about an hour and a half before boarding time so you can get through with no rush. It’s best to be at the airport two hours before you need to be at your gate- it makes it a lot easier and less stressful knowing you have time to get to your gate and maybe have time to eat as well. If I could give you only one piece of advice, it would be to get there early and give yourself time. Be sure to also throw out any drinks you have before getting into the TSA line. Any other specifics vary from airport to airport- most of the time though, if you are not Pre-check, you have to remove any belt, jacket, shoes. So prepare for that if your boarding pass doesn’t state that you are Pre-checked (it often costs extra per ticket to get it).

TripHack #4: Valet/Checked Bags- What You Need to Know

            You can check your bag upon arrival at the airport, by visiting a ‘check baggage’ or ticketing counter or a self-serve kiosk. If you do it yourself, make sure to attach the tag to your bag so it makes it where it needs to go. The first checked bag is usually complimentary, however, for a second bag, there is usually a charge of $40 or more. Though, for a bag weighing above 50 lbs there may be a charge, nonetheless. Look on the website of the airline you are flying with to see their checked bag policy prior to getting to the airport so that you are prepared. Remember to take out any batteries, e-cigarettes, or any other items on the airline’s restricted list (you can find this list on any airline website) from your luggage before you valet them.

Your bag will end up at your final destination, so you don’t have to worry about it on any layovers (unless you have a connecting flight with a different airline). It will be on the baggage claim carousel of your arrival concourse. Make sure you have your name or something on your bag to make it stand out so you know which one is yours- you’d be surprised how many people will have your same kind of suitcase. If you don’t see your bag, talk to an agent and they’ll let you know what the next steps are.

TripHack #5: “I Bought Too Many Souvenirs and They Don’t Fit in My Luggage!”

            I’ve totally done this before, but, to be honest, it’s no big deal! When this happens, you can simply ship things back home. Go to a post office before the day of your flight and send your souvenirs to your address (or right to whoever you bought them for)! Just be careful about buying large, heavy souvenirs that you didn’t already plan on having space for, as those can get pricey to ship via mail. Keep in mind though, any package will cost some money, even if it’s not large.

            With that, although traveling can take some patience and getting used to, it doesn’t have to be all that bad! There’s plenty of ways to reduce travel stress!

This concludes our Trip Hacks segment! There will be plenty more articles on traveling in the future, but I hope this article was able to touch on some important flight and airport questions. If you have any others you’d like to have answered in a future blog post, send us an email and we’ll be glad to look into them! Thanks for sticking around and I wish you the best of luck on your upcoming travels.

References: