brave, New Zealand, travel

Brave Series: Exploring New Zealand’s ‘White Island’– an ACTIVE marine volcano

According to Maori legend, White Island was formed when Maui first came in contact with fire, holding it in his hand, feeling the intense burn, diving deep into the sea and letting it go. What resulted was ‘White Island,’ New Zealand’s active marine volcano.

James Cook first saw it in 1769, it last erupted in 2001, and it rises about 1600 meters from the seafloor.  As scary as it sounds, there are actually tours that take you out there for the opportunity to experience it yourself. In an effort to overcome fear and give in to my curiosity and intrigue, we booked a tour to the mighty, natural formation. That’s right, we voluntarily went on an active volcano and into its inner crater– and it was cray.

I can honestly say that I’m not the same person I was when I last left New York City earlier this year, already. We all grow and development is natural, sure. But, I can tell you this: New Zealand has put my love of nature and understanding/intrigue natural disasters on a whole different different level.

Volcanoes are scary, yeah? Especially if they are active. But that fear inside of me, is a fire of its own, driven by a cloud of bravery that peeks over, dodging the flames and wanting to experience and understand more of the world’s offerings.

We booked a trip with White Island Tours and I honestly couldn’t sleep the two days beforehand; I was shaking in my bed sheets, worried that I was surely going to die.

I remember eating my last meal the night before: pad thai. And I remember putting on my shoes one last time that morning: hiking boots. Sure, it seems silly to some, but don’t we all go through things like this?

We checked-in around 9am that morning and departed Whakatane on a boat; destination: White Island. We passed rivers, islands, marine wildlife and, 80 minutes later, we saw her. I turned for a quick photo, thinking: “Gosh, I’m okay with just cruising, do we really need to land?” Fear was present, but there was no turning back.

We were handed life vests, hard hats and a gas mask. Anchored just a few meters away from the volcano, we got into a little inflatable raft and landed on the beach. Continue Reading

Australia, guide, travel

Coral Reefs and Beyond: Your Guide to Cairns

For our latest travel adventure, we ventured off to Australia and spent a good while at the Gold Coast; in an effort to continue chasing the sun and shed any extra layers needed, we decided to make our way up to Cairns.

Cairns is part of the The Tropical North in Northern Queensland, which boasts subtropical weather year-round (with an average temperature of 84°F/29°C)– yes, please! I learn more and more each day that I am so much more of a warm-weather kind of gal. Additionally, my husband was like: “There’s no way I’m going to Australia and not going to the coral reefs,” so I guess us going up worked out pretty well!

We grabbed an early 6AM flight from the Gold Coast Airport and, two hours later, found ourselves in sunny Cairns. I must mention that we flew JetStar and, though it was the first time I used them, it was quite possibly the nicest budget airline I have ever been on; so, if you find a sale with them down around here, go on and grab a fare!

We spent about a week taking in the sun’s rays, fulfilling our need of relaxation, while injecting some fun activities, too. I’ve listed out our little excursions and what I would recommend; take a gander and let your travels lead way to memorable treasures! Continue Reading

brave, lifestyle, travel

9 Ways to Help Ease Anxiety on Long Flights

Seeing the world is a beautiful experience and I vowed to myself, even when I suddenly became afraid of flying from my first panic attack years ago, that the fear and anxiety would never stop me from exploring this beautiful, blue planet of ours. With some self-work and self-education, I was able to overcome my fear of flying and started with small 2-hour flights and grew to our most recent (total) 24-hour flight to New Zealand! Yay!

The key is to try new things and feel yourself out, all while moving forward. Throughout the years, I’ve experimented with ways to help soothe my nerves while in the skies and have found my own recipe for the tried-and-true. Check out my must-list below and don’t forget to comment what you think/your own ways of coping in the skies!
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lifestyle, travel

Gap Year Abroad: How to Choose a Country & Visa Type

Days of day-dreaming finally giving you the itch to take a gap year/break from your routine and jump into another experience? And abroad, too?! You little dare-devil you.

I get it. I’ve been thinking of taking a break from New York for a while— a few years, actually, but was never able to convince myself to just peel away and ‘go.’ After attending the  Tony Robbins seminar, though, it gave me the validation I needed for my soul and just knew that we just had to make the move sooner rather than later. If I didn’t, it would be something I would regret.

But the question was: where?

I mean, it seemed very much like a first-world problem at the time: we could go anywhere in the world, but we didn’t know where to go. Portugal? France? Spain? All of these countries brought me so many questions. This wasn’t just a vacation that would end in two-weeks you know; this was our life for a year. We would stay there and not come back for a while. I needed to think about: the cost of living, quality of life, health insurance requirements, ease of getting a job, what the job market was like (a lot of countries require employers to prove that none of their citizens who applied were capable of doing the job so they, last resort, offered it to you), the occupations that the country needed, safety, transportation, etc.!

In an effort to hopefully help make your road-to-country discovery smoother and less overwhelming, I’ve laid some steps below from my own learnings!

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brave, confidence, new beginning, personal growth

Tony Robbins UPW: How It Changed My Limiting Beliefs & Life

 – – part 3/3 – –


CONFRONTING MY LIMITING BELIEFS:
Post Tony Robbins’ UPW seminar, things seemed pretty clear to me. I mean, talk about immersion; you were non-stop working on you, day after day, four days straight. Forget eating and sleeping. You didn’t really need that. The energy was all in you and you alone. I opened up to total strangers who became some amazing friends. Those amazing friends, in turn, opened up to me about some things they were going through. It didn’t matter where we were from, what the color of our skin was, or if English was our first language or not: at the core of it all, we were humans with emotions and our own set of goals (remember, there were 42 different countries represented in one arena!).

It showed me that, as a community of support, we rise; we are all here to help each other on this earth. We can all learn from each other. Overall, the seminar taught me that we all need to listen to our most inner desires, pivot our mentality to “can-do” and go after what we were seeking for a more positive, true and meaningful life.

Remember that deep exercise I shared in my previous post that we did, where Tony made you think about something that was a limiting belief and how it would affect you up to forty years from now? Well, to share with you candidly, my limiting belief was Continue Reading