Inspiration

A&A Monthly Recap: April 2017

May 9, 2017

Inspired by Adventurous Kate’s monthly blog recaps, I’ve decided to start doing monthly recaps on A&A as a way to look back on my travels, accomplishments, and take the time to reflect on how far I’ve come.

This first monthly recap is coming a little late as we’re already well into May, but I’m going to dig deep and remember all the highlights and great moments of April.

Destinations Visited

Milwaukee, WI

This month I didn’t do too much traveling as I was finishing up my semester at university and was studying for exams for the majority of the month. However, as soon as those exams ended (literally the day after I wrote my last final) I was on a plane to Wisconsin for the Women in Travel Summit.

In my recent post about how travel changes once it’s your job, I talked about how becoming a travel writer has taken me to some places I would never have explored on my own and Milwaukee is definitely one of those places. I’m not sure I ever would’ve even visited the state of Wisconsin if I didn’t have the opportunity to attend and speak at a travel summit there.

I’m grateful I had the opportunity to visit now that I know what I would’ve been missing out on! From the stunning art museum and cozy public market, Milwaukee was surprisingly charming and well exceeded my expectations.

Ottawa, ON

At the end of this month, I took a quick little road trip back to Ottawa to visit my best friend. We attended Ottawa’s Poutine Fest on Sparks Street and watched the Senators play some great playoff hockey. I was so happy to drive the six hours each way to see my friend and spend a weekend fully enjoying a trip as opposed to working all weekend.

Scarborough Bluffs

This month, Logan and I also took a day trip to the Scarborough Bluffs to take advantage of the warm weather and get in some drone flying time!

 

Highlights

Launching the A&A Shop

On April 1st, 2017 I officially launched my Airplanes & Avocados shop! This was a huge step for me and my business and the project was months in the making. I was so excited to see everything come together and have people support me enough to buy the shirts I designed and help spread the message of sustainable travel.

Speaking at WITS17

The biggest highlight of this month by far was having the opportunity to speak at the Women in Travel Summit. I was presented with this opportunity way back in November 2016 and was so happy to finally see the months of planning and hard work come to life.

This was my first time both speaking at and attending any sort of travel summit and it was a turning point for my blog and travel writing career. I had a blast speaking to other bloggers about eco-tourism and sustainable travel and am planning to do much more of it in the future.

Being able to connect and network with other like-minded bloggers was incredibly humbling and inspiring to me and certainly reassured any doubts I had about travel writing for a living.

 

Challenges

Creative Blocks

As many writers do, this month I struggled a lot with creative blocks and coming up with new content. I struggle with this often when I’m between trips because it can feel like I haven’t done or seen anything new to write about. This month was especially difficult for coming up with new content between preparing my speech for the Women in Travel Summit and studying for exams.

Finding a Balance

Speaking of that juggling act of writing new content, preparing my speech, and studying for exams; this month I struggled with finding a balance. This was something I struggled with early on in my blogging career, but have since taken better control of, but this month it felt like everything hit me all at once. I was struggling to find a healthy balance with all the work I had on my plate and ended up neglecting my health, sleep, the gym, and social events. I decided to spend the week after the Women in Travel Summit relaxing and tidying up my life of clutter to get reorganized and refocussed

 

Fitness Update

Kate also does this little fitness updates in her monthly recaps and I thought it would be fitting to include in mine as well!

Like I said, this month I started to neglect the gym and my health in the midst of exams. I found myself only going to the gym 3-4 times a week as opposed to my usual 5-6 and spent a lot of late nights binging on candy while studying.

After the Women in Travel Summit, I took a more lenient approach to my workouts; I wasn’t following any sort of set program, but just got back into some fun circuit workouts to get my body back into the groove.

 

Loving this month

I decided to make this section an assortment of all the things I’ve been loving this month from books, movies, food, and music.

Sea Sick book by Alanna Mitchell

I originally was assigned to read this book for a final essay for one of my university courses, but I loved it so much I could read it over and over again! This book explains the current state of the oceans and how human activity is threatening their survival and thus the survival of the human species. Being an ocean conservationist and focussing most of my environmental efforts on the oceans, I really resonated with this book. When most people think of climate change, they don’t automatically think of the oceans, but the truth is the oceans are the switch to life. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning a little bit more about climate change or our oceans – it’s a quick and easy read, and I know once you start it, you won’t want to put it down!

Riverdale

Though I never read the Archie comics as a kid, I’ve been loving the Riverdale series on Netflix! Call it my guilty pleasure, but I just need to know what happened to Jason Blossom!

Belvita Breakfast Bars

This one may seem random, but I’ve been obsessed with these Belvita breakfast bars. I love them more than any other snack or protein bar – I find myself having one almost every day and I always pack them in my bag while traveling.

Love and War album by Brad Paisley

This month I’ve been loving the latest album by Brad Paisley. I know it’ll be on repeat for all my upcoming flights.

 

Top blog posts

A Quick Guide to Ottawa’s Poutine Fest on Sparks Street

Announcing the A&A Shop

Travel Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

 

Top Instagram photos

Plans for May 2017

I’m starting off the month of May with Logan’s birthday! We’ll be celebrating his 21st before heading off the Singapore and the Maldives. This trip to the Maldives is our biggest together so far, and while we’re definitely not looking forward to the 40+ hours of travel on the way there, we cannot wait to be swimming with whale sharks and soaking up the island sunshine!

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