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DIY Pin World Map

What you will need:
1) Buy or paint a rolled canvas world map (or map selection of your choice) – example
2) Adhesive spray
4) Frame of your choice that fits the map. I found it easiest to get a frame with turnbuttons to seal in the map
3) Foam board that will fit (or can be cut) to fit the dimensions of the frame and map (roughly 1/4 in. thick)
4) Map pins 

Steps to create:
1) Measure and cut the foam board to fit the size of your map. Note: make sure board fits the frame and isn’t too small that it will push through the frame.
2) The crucial part: after reading the specific directions on the adhesive spray, spray the foam board and carefully lay the map starting from one side to the other. Use a ruler or other straight surface to push down on the map as you go to avoid getting any air bubbles. Allow the appropriate time for the map to dry
3) Remove the glass and excess cardboard from the frame and fit the map into the frame.
4) Turn the pins to seal in the map
5) Now the fun part! Push the pins into the places you have been or hope to go
6) You now have a beautiful decoration that will remind you of your past adventures and those to come!

Feel free to respond with any questions!


Excess baggage weighing you down?

I find that when my life feels too overwhelming to handle, it helps to look at the things that are cluttering my path to a clear mind and contentment. Are there things in your life that are causing unnecessary stress? Get rid of ’em! Just in time for the long weekend…

Abroadened View

What things about my personality and perspective changed abroad?

  • Became accustomed to being different by default
  • I felt the freedom and confidence to be whomever I wanted to be
  • Thrived on the stimulation of new and exciting things (everyday)
  • My overall openness to new cultures and different types of people – very intrigued by unique perspectives
  • Desire to try everything and not miss out. Always wanting to discover something NEW – whether it’s a local event, café, different type of tea, hike, walking path, restaurant. (a.k.a Passionately curious)
  • Illusive itch to travel and ‘get away’
  • Desire to set bigger goals for myself: go out of the country at least once a year, challenge myself physically in an event at least 3 times year
  • The understanding that I, alone, have complete control over my happiness
  • That aloneness yields confidence but togetherness yields happiness
  • I can literally achieve anything I set my heart and mind to
  • Crushing my fears creates a sense of reward and genuine, self-made confidence

What are some things about yourself that you noticed were different?

Emotional Indigestion

I did it. I’m on a bus alone in a foreign country. For a fleeting second, I feel something surprising alongside the familiar emotions of confusion, doubt and apprehension. Later, I’ll look back and recognize this rush of excitement as my first glimpse of what exactly it means to travel alone in a faraway land: I can go anywhere. I can do anything. And the all-important: I can be anyone. Soon enough I’ll come to crave this feeling, seek it out and cultivate it, but right now it’s an indecipherable sensation, quite possibly, I consider, indigestion —
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure by Rachel Friedman

Culture Capital

You don’t necessarily need to travel outside of your country lines in order to experience a good culture shock. New York city has a heartbeat of its own. The pulse of the city is felt in every square foot: from high-rise to subway lines, bagel shop to pizzeria, street artist to business exec, times square to central park. You feel different after being a part of it, you understand it a little better, although terrifying at times, it has a calm center that brings peace to the surrounding organized chaos.

The smell of the nut stands when you exit the subways, the group of park artists rapping to their own beats, the ‘suit’ bumping into you as he sprints past like a bat out of hell, the exhausted expressions of weathered workers, the beautiful conversations on outdoor patios over wine and cheese, hundreds of buildings on every block competing for a height competition, horns honking in anticipation of the green light and people, so many people with so many stories and so much diversity.

Take in the culture wherever you travel – let your senses run on overload just to soak up every ounce of character and personality that makes each place strangely and overwhelmingly unique.

Where is your culture capital?

Thanks Give-it

What is free, doesn’t take much effort and has a huge reward? Giving Thanks.

When I was younger and would return home from playing at a friend’s house, my mom would always ask if we thanked his/her parents. I forgot those simple words one time and had to call her parents to thank them for letting me play! I have always been a big thanker but I have recently realized the power of a simple hand written thank you note, a quick email to report great service or just a spoken thank you for a small gesture.

I have decided to take one hour a week to thank people. New friend, old friend, random person, whoever – you never know how it might come back around.

“There is a reason for everything and life tends to pay back in kind somehow.”

Coffee ‘Dates’

Why networking feels like blind dating.  Now more than ever I can feel the elusive ‘power’ of networking. I have been reaching out to anyone and everyone who might be able to lend a helping….email introduction. From just one networking event, I generated 5 new connections and from those sprouted more connections and so on. So yeah, I get it, it’s a must. However, every coffee meeting still feels like a blind date.

1) Your friend or acquaintance says, ” I know the perfect person for you to talk to. I feel like you two will really connect!”

2) You get nervous beforehand and have those anxious thoughts spinning around:  What should I wear? What do they look like? Will the conversation be enjoyable? How will I know which one they are at the coffee shop? Do I pay or do they? Do I tell them about the other people I have had coffee meetings with?

3) During the meeting (assuming you found them) the conversation can go in many directions: sometimes it flows great while other times the disconnect is so great,  you might as well be speaking a foreign language. And even that might be slightly more interesting.

3) The end of the conversation usually ends in the exchange of digits (business cards). Proceeding thoughts: Did I present myself well? Will I be getting a call again? Is this opportunity ‘the one’?

Don’t give up on networking – the right person is out there for you.

Culture Jock

How to go from reverse culture shock to a Culture Jock:

Get to know your teammates and competitors. 
Engage with interesting people who have a different perspective and background.

Gather information and become an expert. Do the work, research and prepare for your next adventure. Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

Go hard or go home.
Well, technically you are already home but still, put 100% effort into achieving the things you want. Get stuck into the game and immerse yourself into your surrounding work, relationships and hobbies.

Keep your head in the game.
Don’t get distracted by fleeting ideas and temptations to jump onto the next best thing. Focus on mastering your current priorities and surroundings before moving onto the next.

Try a new move.
Don’t get caught in your same routine – step out and try something new, you may surprise yourself and others by the outcome.

Million Dollar Perspective

Have you ever had a random person say something to you that continually resonates in your thoughts? The first day I moved into my itsy bitsy studio [with a really big view] on 8/24 Sandridge Street in Bondi Beach, the painter on his way out genuinely remarked, ‘I think you are going to be really happy here’.  And happy I was. Here are the views of my many versions of happy  [it’s all about perspective]:

Dark but cozy

Tiny speck of hope in the twilight

Seeing the light

Refreshing Fog

My little pot of gold

Blue skies ahead

Overpowering beauty