15-hour working days plus sore feet minus real food does not equal a healthy being. It does however mean that I have been having an amazing time and staying busy. So much is transpiring that I can barely keep track of what day it is, but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I’m meeting some of the most amazing, sweetest people ever and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity. My job this week is remaining consistent, so when I can actually piece together coherent thoughts, I will be sure to give an overview of my tasks.
I know some of you are dying to hear something exciting; here’s a sneak peek: I met Mandy Moore today! She was gorgeous, down-to-earth, and friendly–all the more reason to love her. I’m making an attempt to go to sleep at a decent hour tonight, so here’s another guest post from someone I know and love very much. 🙂
Hey, readers! I’m Natalie, Colleen’s 18-year-old sister. Perhaps you would recognize me if I said I’m the sister Colleen typically mentions with babysitting duties. Or maybe you remember when she referred to me as the chihuahua and world traveler.
While Colleen is off having the week-and-half of a lifetime, I am in Baltimore insanely jealous and already analyzing my planner, trying to find a time for my next trip to New York. Though I would love to own countless designer handbags, shoes, and jeans (like someone we know, ahem, Colleen…), I limit my purchases and instead put my money towards another love: traveling. Whether I’m just visiting friends at college or flying across the world, I feel like I am always on the go! There is something about exploring new towns, cities, and countries that I absolutely thrive on.
I know it sounds like a cliché, but I truthfully have been hooked on traveling ever since I was little. Since my dad was born and raised in Iran, my family and I have visited several times—I think I was three years old on my first trip overseas. Additionally, my dad also has family in Canada, so again, I was exposed to new cultures and places at an early age.
Once I was in eighth grade—and really able to appreciate my experiences—I started to grab every opportunity to travel that crossed my path. Trip with my dad to Nova Scotia to visit my cousins? Count me in! Last-minute idea to venture over to California and Las Vegas with my dad and younger siblings? Yeah, I’ll sacrifice a couple school days!
And then the fun really began during my sophomore year of high school. I became heavily involved with my school’s chapter of an exchange program with China. I hosted a Chinese exchange student for two months in the winter, and then I lived in China for two months that following summer with the same student and her family.
At the time I was involved, the program was only on its third year, so it was still kind of a work-in-progress. I felt truly honored and blessed to have been part of something so unique and worldly. It was easily one of the best years of my life. Any of you young readers out there: if you have the chance to be part of an exchange program (either in high school or college), do not let this opportunity slip away!
During my senior year of high school, Colleen and I decided that a sister trip was in order. Cancun, Mexico, anyone? Yes, I had to miss a few days of school, forgo a couple of trips to the mall, and keep a box under my bed labeled “Cancun $$$,” but it was all worth it in the end. My sisters and I had an awesome trip and captured enough beach pictures to decorate the walls of our entire condo in Ocean City.
Also during my senior year, one of my best friends, Amanda, and I casually talked about visiting Italy after graduation. Well, one half-joking discussion turned into a plane ticket purchase. Why not, right? After all, the summer before college is when you should make time to do something that you truly want, because after that, you will be busy, busy, busy!
Though my trip weighed heavily on my bank account, I would no doubt do it again—it was the highlight of my senior year. Besides, the friendships I made with Amanda’s Italian cousins, the culture I experienced, and the adventures I took on were priceless.
We were also fortunate enough to take a train into Nice, France (talk about an adventure). What would have been the point in going all the way to Europe and not trying to visit as many places as possible? I adored France and can’t wait to return some day.
Phew, this has been quite a lengthy post! I hope my travel diary didn’t completely bore you, but rather inspire you to treat yourself to a trip now and again. Don’t ever say a vacation isn’t affordable, because I promise, after plenty of research and some time saving money, you can go wherever your little heart desires. Whether it be as small as taking a mini vacay to New York, visiting family across the country, or flying overseas, it will be worth it in the end!
If you want to read about any of my recent travels, check out my blog, Taming the Frizz :).