What to pack for a ten day trip

Hi loves! I told you that I had some posts that fall in line with my upcoming trip! Because it’s the holiday season, and a lot of people of traveling to see family or friends (like me), I thought I ought to do a post about what to pack for a ten day trip. Of course, you can adjust the numbers of each item depending on the length of your trip!

To begin, I have my travel outfit. We’ll be in the car for about 12 hours, so I need something comfy. Whenever I travel, I generally wear leggings and some kind of sweater. These leggings are from American Eagle, and I just have a classic Patagonia pullover (like this).

Next, I just have three basic tops, a tank top, a t-shirt, and a long sleeve. These are perfect for layering, and they don’t take up a lot of room.

Then I have a few blouses/shirts. These are a little heavier than the basic tops but can also be layered. The gray turtleneck and the lilac button up are from American Eagle, and the gray thermal is from Free People. All of these are a couple years old, so the exact ones aren’t available any more, but here are a couple similar ones. Turtleneck: http://on.ae.com/2hrBRjQ Button up: http://on.ae.com/2hpvJv8 Thermal: http://bit.ly/2hiNwnw

The final category of tops are sweaters. These can all be layered with the basic tops. Unfortunately, these are all from thrift stores, but check out your local thrift store. You just might score!

Okay, it’s quite rainy and cold in Oregon and Washington this time of year, so the only bottoms I’m bringing are jeans. I have two pairs of my vintage 501s, a pair of dark wash skinny jeans from Hollister, and a medium wash pair from the Gap. Here’s some similar Hollister jeans and Gap jeans

I’m optimistically bringing one dress just in case we go out to a nice restaurant or do something else mildly fancy. Again, I’m so sorry, but this is an older Free People dress, so it’s no longer available. I will try to find something similar! 1 2 3

Finally, pjs! I usually just wear an oversized t-shirt and shorts to bed. These are honestly nothing special, only comfy. One day, I’ll have my life together enough to wear cute nightgowns and whatnot.

I didn’t take a picture, but I also have my underwear, socks, etc. Always bring a couple pairs more than how long you’ll be there just in case. It’s much better to be prepared.

These are my basic toiletries although I’m sure I’m forgetting something! I’ll just give you a quick run down of everything. I have my glasses, glasses case, contact case, and contact solution as far as eye stuff goes. I also have my Old Spice Fiji deodorant, Body Shop hairbrush (honestly the best brush out there), coconut oil, rosebud salve, rose face wash (I really love roses), a travel sized Burts Bees body wash, a Bath and Body Works body mist in coconut lime, tweezers, my Sonicare toothbrush (you’ll never use another toothbrush), and a reusuable container for shampoo.

And last but not least, I have makeup. Honestly, I barely wear makeup, but I always bring a little just in case I’m in the mood. All I have a my EcoTools brushes, my Real Techniques makeup sponge, a NYX brow kit, a L’Oreal powder, my L’Oreal liquid liner, my Maybelline concealer, my Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, two lipsticks, and a gold Body Shop eyeshadow. Very minimal, and I most likely will only wear any of it once or twice the whole trip.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little peek into my suitcase, and this post helps you with what to pack for a ten day trip! I actually hate packing, and it always takes me soooooo long to do. I honestly read so many blog posts about packing. Anyway, if you didn’t see my last travel tip posts, go check it out! http://www.coffeepotsandthoughts.com/five-travel-tips/. I’ll talk to you soon!

Love,

Emma xx

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Five Travel Tips

Hey, loves! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA the past week. School has been crazy, but I’ll be done next week. From then on, I’ll have nothing to do but to blog and drink too much coffee for a month! Anywho, I wanted to continue this little travel series with five travel tips. These are just what I do and what I find super helpful when I travel. I hope this helps you or just further fuels your wanderlust. Without further ado, here are my five travel tips.

  1. Plan, plan, plan

    I cannot iterate this enough. Yes, it’s good to go with the flow. BUT for major stuff like flights, lodging, and packing, it will make traveling so much easier if you plan ahead. It’s not the most fun activity, but it’ll ease some of the stress of your trip. Instead of worrying about where you’re going to sleep, you can focus on dinner plans or sightseeing.

  2. Comfy clothes are your best friend

    Whether you’re flying or driving, wear comfy clothes. Through on some leggings or sweatpants and layer up on top (planes are always freezing). Like with planning, instead of thinking about how uncomfortable you are, you can deal with more pressing matters (like coffee and food).

  3. Bring snacks and water

    This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s so easy to forget food and water. If you’re flying, don’t pay 10x more for unhealthy, un-filling snacks. Bring your own. My family and I always bring sandwiches and whatnot. Similar to food, water is ridiculously expensive in airports or even at gas stations. Save yourself the extra expenses and bring a reusable water bottle. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you can buy Brita water bottles (like this) with built in filters! Good for you and the environment!

  4. Enjoy and don’t restrict yourself

    I know that you want to be healthy, and you want to work out every day, etc. etc. I get it, and of course, be healthy and work out if you want. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if you eat ice cream and fast food or the only exercise you do is walking around. It won’t be the end of the world. I promise.

  5. Don’t get too caught up in taking pictures or posting on social media

    Similar to number five, enjoy your time. Too often, we become obsessed with taking that picture and immediately posting it to snapchat or instagram. I’m guilty of this. And it’s just been recently that I’ve really tried to take a step back when I’m traveling or on vacation. Soak up the views and just bask in the glow of where you are.

Alright! I hope you enjoyed my five travel tips. I’m actually road tripping to Oregon and Washington on the 15th, so I will doing all of these things very soon. I also already have a couple of blog post ideas in relation to that trip and traveling! Let me know which tip was your favorite or if you have any really good suggestions.

Love,

Emma xx

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Where to visit around the world

Hey, loves! Here’s another addition to my kind of travel series and a continuation of my suggestions for travel destinations.  I already did where to visit in the US , so here’s where to visit around the world. Granted, there are plenty of places I haven’t been too, but of the one’s I have seen, these are my suggestions.

Italy

All right, so eventually if you get to know me a little better, you’ll learn that I’m in love/obsessed with Italy. I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice. The first time, we were in Tuscany, and the second, the Amalfi Coast. I always half joke that one day I’m going to drop off the face of the earth and move to the Amalfi coast. But this is actually a real possibility for me.

Italy is just so full of culture and history. Every single cobblestone street is full of stories and incredible architecture. You’ll also drink the best coffee of your life there too. My love with espresso and coffee began in Italy actually. Additionally, there is amazing food to be had whether that’s a Margherita pizza, a seafood pasta dish, or gelato. I could honestly go on and on for ages about my love for Italy, but let me just give you a short list of my must sees/dos.

  1. Spello, Italy. It’s this tiny little town in Tuscany, and it will steal your heart in an instant.
  2. Anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. Look out for cafes with beautiful views of the Mediterranean and fresh seafood.
  3. Rome, Italy. Okay, so this seems like no-brainer but it still deserves a mention. I was lucky enough to go to Easter Mass at the Vatican, and even though I’m not religious, it was the most surreal experience.
  4. Pompeii. Another obvious choice, but it really is a breathtaking sight. My only suggestion is to go earlier in the morning when it first opens before it becomes overrun with tourists.

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Spain

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I’ll readily admit that I do not love Spain as much as I love Italy. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think you shouldn’t visit Spain if given the chance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to Barcelona, but I hope to go back and see more of the country. I’ll also admit I’m not the biggest fan of tapas. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but I prefer big, fuller meals (aka Italian pasta). However, when in Spain, churros and chocolate are a must. You can thank me later. If you visit, I think you should definitely see:

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  1. Sevilla, Spain. This is a city south of Madrid with some amazing history. You should specifically walk around the mosque and the Alcazar de los Reyes (which has an amazing garden)
  2. Nerja, Spain. This is a small little seaside town that is very popular among British tourists. The beaches are all made up of these perfectly smooth white pebbles. When there or anywhere on the coast, definitely try Paella, a seafood rice dish that’s made with saffron. It is heavenly.
  3. Madrid. Another “duh” suggestion, but I specifically suggest seeing the Palace and walking through Retiro Park.

Vietnam

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This may seem kind of weird and out there, but for those who don’t know, I’m half-vietnamese. My mom came to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War, and we finally went back and visited about a year ago with all of my maternal-side of the family. While I don’t recommend going in the summer like we did (I don’t think I ever stopped sweating), I do highly recommend visiting because it’s so vastly different from the western world. Vietnam is a developing and communist country. The standard of living is much lower than that in the US, and while it’s heartbreaking to see the conditions millions of people live in, it’s similarly amazing to see how kind and generous everyone is.

We went all over the country when we were there, and thankfully, I was with people who spoke the language which made travelling so much a lot easier. It’s definitely possible to visit without knowing much or any Vietnamese. A lot of people do speak a little English. I can really only order my coffee and food and say the names of cities, and even when I wasn’t with my mom or someone, I managed alright. If you’re heading there, you should:

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

  1. Visit Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is in the North, and honestly looks like something out of a fantasy world. (See above picture) We rented a junk boat, so we spent the night on the bay, visited a floating village, and kayaked among thousands of jellyfish.
  2. Eat a lot of really amazing food. No matter what city you’re in, there’ll be great food. For sure try pho and bun bo hue.
  3. Visit Hoi An. Hoi An is a small, more touristy town, but they are well-known for their tailors and ancient town. You’ll immediately fall in love.

Mexico

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Last but certainly not least, we have Mexico. We’ve been to Mexico several times, so I do have a few things you can do while you’re there. For reference, I’ve been to Mazatlan, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta.

  1. Obviously spend some time on the beach and enjoy your vacation
  2. Eat tacos al pastor. This is where they shave the meat off of the spit, and it just tastes delicious.
  3. Go zip-lining. You can do this essentially anywhere but we zip-lined through an a agave farm, and it was really fun
  4. Eat mangos on the beach. Because Mexico is so touristy, there are a ton of vendors walking up and down the beaches selling everything from ceramics to food. You have to try mango on a stick with lime and Chile.
  5. Snorkel. Like every beach-y place, there’s a lot to see in the water too. Even though I haven’t personally been there, I’ve heard Akumal is the place to go for snorkeling.

Anyway, there you have it. That’s all of where to visit around the world. I know it’s a short list, and hopefully as I’m able to travel more, I can do some updated editions. Let me know if you’d like a more in-depth post on any of these locations or the trips I’ve been in and leave your travel suggestions below!

Love,

Emma xx

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Where to visit in the US

Hey, loves. I wanted to continue on with this travel kind of segment I’m doing. I decided to break up my travel suggestions to the United States and the rest of the world. Anywho, here are my recommendations of where to visit in the US.

1. MontanaMissoula, Montana

Alright, if you’ve read my Montana post or anything about me, you’ll know that I absolutely love my home state. I know I’m a little bit biased as a born and raised Montanan, but if you just take quick peek at my other post, you’ll understand why I so high recommend visiting here.

If you are able to make it, my favorite destinations and cities are Livingston, Missoula, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park. All of is breathtakingly gorgeous, but these are all must sees.

2. CaliforniaSanta Monica

La JollaOkay, so I know that this may seem obvious, but there’s a reason why Cali is so famous. There are so many beautiful scenes and towns all along the coast, and you’ll never be at a loss for something to do. I have family in the L.A. area, and I love visiting them for the beach and really good food.

If you’re heading there, check out Berkeley for great coffee shops and boutique shopping, Santa Cruz for the boardwalk and the beach, Lake Tahoe for either lake time or ski time, and of course, L.A.

3. OregonOregon

While I do like most of Oregon, I especially love the Oregon Coast. No, you won’t be able to jump in the Pacific Ocean (I mean, you can if you really want to but it’ll be cold), but you will find beautiful agates and equally beautiful cuisine. You’ll probably begin to realize that I’m heavily guided by good food.

Anyway, my favorite Oregon coastal towns are Bandon and Newport. While you’re there, you should also stop by Portland for the famous Voodoo doughnuts and to see all the “weird” residents.

4. HawaiiHawaii

Like California, this may seem like a no brainer, but I can’t stress enough how much I love Hawaii. I’ve only been to Maui, but I hope to go back and explore the rest of the islands sometime soon. Hawaii is paradise, and like many other places, there’s so much to do. When I was there, we went hiking, snorkeling, surfing, shopping, etc.

5. Texas

Kumquat Picking

Vietnamese Food

This is weird one, and I can only really talk about Houston, Texas, but I promise, I have a good reason for putting it on this list. And that really great reason is the food. I’m not going to pretend that Houston is gorgeous and scenic. It’s not. It’s a giant, busy city. The only thing to do there is shop at massive malls and eat. There happens to be a thriving Vietnamese (and Asian in general) community in Houston which translates to amazing food. You can find an infinite amount of small, hole in the wall restaurants that will serve the best food you’ve ever had all for a reasonable price. It’s completely worth the visit.

I hope you enjoyed this brief list of where to visit in the US. I haven’t spent much time on the East Coast or the Mid West, so I can’t really give many recommendations there, but I know there are plenty more great places to explore.

Have you been to any of these places? Where would you add to this list?

Love,

Emma xx

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Planning Your Next Adventure

Hey, loves. Like many millennials, I too suffer from wanderlust. I can blame it on my parents for prioritizing travel, but I do honestly believe that a large part of it is our generation. I was thinking about beginning a new kind of travel series on this blog which includes this post, “Planning your next adventure”, some of my life changing trips, my recommendations of where to go, and any general travel tips and tricks. Definitely let me know if you have any suggestions for posts.

I want to structure this post as me going through planning my next adventure (I’m just going to pick one possibility out of many). So let’s get into to planning your next adventure!

Where do you want to go?

In an earlier post about my bucket list, I listed a whole lot of places I either want to revisit or go to for the first time. One place I really hope to go back to soon is Italy. Two of my best friends and I have always talked about going to Europe together, and it would honestly be the most amazing trip ever. One of those friends is currently spending the semester in Spain, so we’ve been talking about for sure hitting Spain, Italy, and Germany (we all took German in high school). I was lucky enough to go to both Italy and Spain with my parents over the years, and now that I’m older, I want to re-explore the countries with new eyes and without the constant presence of family (not that I don’t love them and love spending time with them but you know what I mean).

As for you, where have you always dreamed of going? Maybe you want to go to South Africa or Egypt or you’ve always dreamed of seeing the Great Wall and the Imperial City. Maybe you want nothing more than to lay on the beach of some small, secluded island in the middle of nowhere. The world is your oyster, and the sky is the limit.

When do you want to go?

This is a wayyy more difficult step. Honestly, I don’t know when we’ll go to Europe because it depends on money, college, jobs, etc., etc. BUT I know that it’ll be in the next few years.

You may be able to set a concrete date like Summer 2018 or Spring Break 2019. It’s all highly dependent on your unique situation.

How are you going to pay?

Money is always a huge limiting factor in traveling. Plane tickets are always ridiculously expensive. I was thinking about trying to go to the east coast for spring break to visit a friend, and the tickets are around $600-$1000. Crazy, right? You also have to consider transportation in the country or the place you’re visiting and lodging costs. Plus, don’t forget food, entertainment, shopping, and all of that.

A lot of my trip depends on my friends’ financial situation, but you’ll still need to layout a kind of budget. This also means you will most likely need to save money. Look at how much it’s going to cost approximately, when you want to go, and how much you can save each month. Unfortunately, this may mean postponing your trip for a year or cutting out $5 lattes (so guilty of this).

Just don’t let money get in the way of your hopes and dreams!

Finalizing details

So I can’t speak much to this yet for my Europe trip, but I do want to highlight this step. As you’re planning your next adventure, and everything becomes more concrete, you can begin to finalize all the small details. This includes flights, other transportation, bookings for hotels, potential places to eat, stuff to do, and so on.

However, it’s really important to not try to plan out every minute of your trip. Allow for some spontaneity! It’s okay to deviate from your plan. In fact, that makes your trip even better. It’s often the unexpected experiences that make the history books.

Spanish Town

I hope this helps give you a rough idea for planning your next adventure! I will have more travel posts coming in the next few weeks/months. Let me know if you have any suggestions for posts or any tips that I didn’t mention!

Love you all lots,

Emma xx

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Montana, truly the Last Best Place

Hi, loves!

So I know that a lot of people have no idea where Montana is. Montana is the 4th largest state in the United States. It is east of Washington and right below Canada. For those of you who do know where Montana is, you probably think that it is all the Wild Wild West where we ride horses everywhere and do not have electricity or running water. I can assure you, we have all the same modern conveniences as everywhere else. Additionally, we get to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. And I know that may be a little biased, but there’s a reason why it’s known as the Last Best Place.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of my home state:

Gallatin National Forest in Winter
Gallatin National Forest in winter

 

On a hike up to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park
On a hike up to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park

 

A early winter morning
A early winter morning

 

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge

 

The pristine McDonald Lake in Glacier National Park
The pristine McDonald Lake in Glacier National Park

I hope this gives you a small glimpse into the gorgeous place I call home. I highly recommend visiting if you every get the chance.

Love,

Emma xx

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My Personal Bucket List

Hi, loves!

I thought I would take some time to write out my bucket list/things I want to achieve for both you guys and myself. I know this may seem cliche, but I do believe setting personal goals is soooo important. So let’s get into it.

I’m going to break this list up into two kind of categories. The first will be more short term, say 6 months from now, and the second will be in the far future.

Short Term, I want to…

  1. Actually learn how to play guitar rather than just letting my guitar collect dust
  2. Wake up even earlier because I truly am most productive in the morning
  3. Read more books for pleasure which means watching less tv (Sorry, netflix)
  4. Learn the dance to Love on Top by Beyonce. I know most of it, but I really want to perfect it
  5. Get back into doing yoga because a. it is a really good workout and b. really sets up your day
  6. Learn how to hand letter with brush pens and how to make block prints. Stalk her insta (https://www.instagram.com/riseandwander/) for a little and you’ll understand why I want the latter

Long Term, I want to…

  1. Travel again to Europe, especially the Amalfi Coast of Italy (aka my favorite place ever)
  2. Go back to Vietnam with a better grasp of the language, so being able to say more than “mom” and how to order my coffee
  3. Drive back up to Glacier National Park and see more of the glaciers before they disappear
  4. Also go to Nicaragua, Peru, and Morocco
  5. Learn French. I am currently in the 5th year of German, but I also want to add French because French
  6. Find what I’m truly passionate about
  7. And ultimately, be happy and worry less

I know that this bucket list (or maybe more of a goal list) will change over time with items being dropped and added. For the short term at least, I really want to make those things happen, and I will make sure to update you guys on my progress.

What are some things you want to achieve whether it be in a few months or in 10 years?

Love,

Emma xx

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