3 Best European Cities to Visit as a 20-Something Minimalist on a Budget

3 Best European Cities to Visit as a 20-Something Minimalist on a Budget

You want to travel, but you also don’t want to break the bank. I get it. Traveling can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be! Here are my top 3 European cities that are just perfect for traveling simply, getting the best bang for your buck, and still having a great time.

#3: Nuremberg, Germany

 

Overview:

This classic German city gives you all the charm without the crowds. Nuremberg is full of history and culture that you can soak up without having to pay a dime.

 

Your Stay:Nuremberg river

Nuremberg is shaped like a big circle, in classic European style. The old town is seriously still within a wall with a castle on the edge looking down over the city. That being said, staying within the wall is a bit difficult.

I stayed in an AirBnB and had the hardest time finding any options close to the old town. I stayed a little bit out from the center but for a really good price and was able to either walk or take public transportation in to the city without an issue.

Nuremberg does have hostels but I would be shocked to find anything affordable within the walls of the old town. Prepare to do some walking before you get to exploring (though the outer areas of the city are pretty cool to see, too!).

 

Your Food:

Nuremberg is VERY German. They love their culture and they embrace it fully! It was a bit challenging to find vegan options for me, but if you want to try some classic German sausages or sauerkraut, this is the place to be!

The old town has the most adorable German pubs and restaurants and even coffee shops are cuter here. I would definitely grab a coffee anywhere in Germany…it is so incredibly good!

Look out for the tourist traps! Sometimes the cutest uber-German places are actually not that authentic on the inside at all. Try to eat away from the center of town and find a side street where the real Germans are!

 

Your Transportation:Nuremberg wall

Nuremberg has trains going in and out of the old town at all times of day. It is pretty easy to hop on a train and get dropped off at the central station that is located right outside the wall of the old town.

Once within the wall, it is only a diameter of about 1 mile so you can easily explore all the good old stuff on foot! (Don’t try driving a car…I saw more than one fancy car get stuck on the super narrow streets within the wall!)

 

Your Entertainment:

Nuremberg’s charm is in her architecture and culture. The most entertaining thing for me was just strolling the streets and learning the history of the city and its people. The old wall itself and the castle on the hill were some of my favorites, not to mention the Nuremberg rally groundsclassic German town square! SO CUTE! Check out the gold gothic churches as well. And it is all free to see!

If you want to learn more about Nuremberg’s darker past, visit the Nazi Rally Grounds Museum just a bit out of town. It is a short train ride away but has an amazing exhibit teaching you more about the Nazi stronghold in Nuremberg and the rally grounds Adolf Hitler had built there and celebrated at annually. It’s less than 10 USD to get in.

 

#2: Prague, Czech Republic

Overview:

prague picPrague is one of the only cities in Europe that wasn’t destroyed by bombs during the World Wars, so it has plenty of rare historical charm. The city is super walkable and the cheapest place I have ever been…splurge a little!

 

Your Stay:

I stayed at an AirBnB slightly outside of the city because I booked a little late but when I first looked, there were plenty of affordable places right in the city. The good news is that all the suburbs are connected by a frequent train so going in to the city for the day is no problem if you want to save money. (And my AirBnB outside the city was SO nice!)

Prague is a huge young tourist destination so there are TONS of hostels available. I suggest booking ahead of time due to the number of visitors, but I don’t think you would be sleeping on the street if you didn’t.

 

Your Food:

Prague has AMAZING food at AMAZING prices. I scored myself a glass of red wine for under 2 dollars…and when I say a glass of wine, I mean a GLASS of wine. I accidentally found myself eating a 5-course meal cooked right in front of me for 20 bucks and it was flippin’ amazing (Long story….let me know in the comments if you want to hear more!).

The vegan food scene in Prague is on point and super affordable. They have tons of amazing restaurants that boast organic products, unique food options, and sustainable practices.

 prague square

Your Transportation:

Prague has a super efficient metro system that gets you from one side of the city to the other in no time at all…and it is incredibly affordable. I think I got a one day ticket for a dollar or two.

I didn’t use the metro unless I had to get all the way across town because once you are in the city, you want to walk around and see it all! The streets are just too cute not to walk around as much as possible and catch the views of old town. And everything is pretty close!

 

Your Entertainment:

Prague has tons to do! I spent about 12 hours in the city just exploring one day and could have absolutely done it for another day or two without seeing it all. My favorite area was in the old town. The castle is so gorgeous and you can feel the history in the streets you are walking on.prague lennon wall

Head over to the Lennon Wall and leave your message of tolerance and acceptance as natives and visitors have done since the 60’s. Walk along the Charles Bridge and take in all the art, music, energy, and history of Prague. It was the first bridge in Prague and built in the 1300s!

In Prague, food is entertainment. Grab a 1 dollar Czech beer, stop in to the cute bars and restaurants, and just soak up the addicting energy of the city.

 

#1 Budapest, Hungary

budapest river

Overview:

Budapest is a 20-something minimalist’s paradise. No doubt. This absolutely gorgeous city is bursting with nightlife, food, history, and entertainment, all at an outrageously low price!

 

Your Stay:

Budapest boasts a variety of hospitality options for travelers. I stayed with AirBnB and met one of the coolest people ever (if you ever need to book a stay, search for the passionate and giving Hungarian historian, Zsolt!).

When I first searched, Budapest was one of the most affordable cities in Europe on AirBnB and one of the first stays I booked. There are SO many options, and really affordable ones in the heart of the city on either the Buda or Pest side.

Budapest also boasts a plethora of hostels or affordable hotels and plenty of room for young travelers on a budget.

 

Your Food:

To Die For! Don’t leave Budapest without trying Hummus Bar. It is a local chain throughout the city so you are bound to be near one, and I am drooling just thinking about their hummus right now.

The food in Budapest is super affordable, so treat yourself and go out a bit more than you normally would! If you are into vegan food, this is the place to be! I went the same vegan restaurant, Napfenyes, 3 out of 3 days in Budapest and don’t regret it one tiny bit.

Get lost on the winding back streets full of bars and restaurants and lights and pick one and enjoy the food, the vibe, and the happiness of Budapest.

 

Your Transportation:

Budapest has a killer public transit system. I stayed 3 nights and 4 days and didn’t feel like I needed a car at all (as is true in most European cities).

Their metro goes everywhere, including across the river so you can check out both sides (Buda and Pest) of this amazing city. It is crazy cheap and they offer passes for different time durations (I got one for 72 hours for SO CHEAP (about 15 USD).

The other perk of Budapest is that it is an extremely walkable city. The main reason I used the metro sometimes was due to the 95+ degree temps but if it were milder, I probably would have walked nearly everywhere.

 

Your Entertainment:budapest bridge

Budapest is booming for the young people! On Saturdays in the summer, they even shut down an entire bridge over the river for people to bring booze, grab snacks, and chill on the bridge while listening to some great local music.

budapest barBudapest is full of bars and has a booming nightlife. It felt as though more people were out after dark than during the day! There are bars in some of the parks in the center of the east side, pools, farmer’s markets, and even a giant Ferris wheel.

My favorite thing to do was to walk down some of the narrow streets that light up at night and listen to the music coming from within these cute little restaurants and bars. Stop in for a 2 dollar beer…you can’t go wrong!

 

 

A European vacation or travel experience can seem very overwhelming when it comes to cost…but it doesn’t have to be! With a lot of strategy, some good planning, and a little luck, you can explore some of Europe’s most beautiful cities without breaking the bank! Stay simple and have ALL the fun!

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

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The Perpetual Pioneer is BACK!

The Perpetual.

Hello Everyone!

Oh my gosh has it been one crazy summer. SO many amazing things to share with you all  (stay tuned for new posts all about my insane trip to Europe!) and I apologize for being totally absent all season long.

It seriously made my day when I logged back in and saw that I had so many readers even while being away! I truly thank each and every one of you for reading my content and (hopefully) enjoying what I share!

Now that Fall is here, I thought that The Perpetual Pioneer deserved a facelift! I have a brand new, more minimalistic logo for the site and I am going to be posting all sorts of good content goodies more regularly!

Again, you are all the best and cheers to a happy and cozy fall!

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

The Uber Cheap & Uber Fun Guide to Portland, Oregon

Portland guide

Welcome to Portland! (PDX as you will see everyone around town calls it) I am SO happy you are here and get to explore this awesome city!

I have lived in Portland for about a year now and finally feel like I have done enough exploring to offer a pretty fun guide for travelers.

During my year in Portland, I have lived on an AmeriCorps stipend, so believe me when I say this guide is everything uber cheap, and uber fun to do around town!

This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but it does offer some fun ideas about music, neighborhoods, food, attractions, and more!

Music

So first things first, the tunes. Portland is bustling with a hip and diverse music scene. You can find shows almost every night and there are TONS of different venues that offer pretty fun vibes.

I highly suggest just googling “Music this week in Portland” when you get here and just see what kind of strange, fun, and totally out of this world music will be available for you. The great thing is that a lot of shows around town are free at bars or sell tickets for as cheap as 10 bucks, can’t beat that!

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Lewis Del Mar and Young the Giant at the Roseland Theater

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Moda Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland has SO MANY radio stations but some of my personal favorites happen to be:

89.9- All classical Portland, classical commercial-free

94.7- It’s different here, alternative rock

95.5-Live 95, alternative and indie

96.3-  WE 96.3, hip-hop/rap

I know that is quite a wide variety and it is missing some genres but I have found those to be my go-to’s while cruising around town!

 

Food

You will quickly learn that Portlanders are all kinds of crazy about their FOOD. There are so many different restaurants in Portland it still blows my mind a year later.

Also, food carts are KING in Portland and you can find just about any flavor of anything made out of a food cart in this town. Challenge accepted.

Here are some of my favorite spots to munch (keep in mind that I am vegan so these favs are absolutely skewed in that direction because Portland has SO MUCH VEGAN FOOD):

Harlow– located in the Hawthorne district, Harlow is a gluten-free, organic hotspot that offers american food and other fun seasonal treats both in food and smoothie form.

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Bowl at Harlow

Fuel– Fuel is an absolutely adorable little breakfast bistro/cafe in the NE Alberta arts district. They serve breakfast and lunch and the staff is SO nice.

The Bye and Bye– an edgy little bar in the Alberta district that serves all vegan food and has a huge and cozy patio to relax on with a brew.

Screen Door– on of Portland’s most popular brunch spots. All southern goodness but definitely a traditional southern food style and lengthy lines sometimes.

Food Carts Downtown PDX– there is a cute little pocket of food carts lining around a couple city blocks in the center of downtown. A taste of everything you can imagine.

Like I said, there is SO MUCH FOOD in Portland, this is just a small taste of what is available. Do a simple internet search for the type of food you are feeling and you will be guaranteed to have a plethora of options to choose from.

 

Neighborhoods/Districts

My absolute favorite activity while living in Portland has been to go explore the different areas available.

Every area of Portland has a little different vibe and fun attractions or neighborhoods to peruse.

The perk of this activity? It is absolutely free! (Granted you find parking and you use self control when visiting the cute boutiques and walking by restaurants/coffee shops.)

Here a few of my favs with brief descriptions:

Hawthorne District– the 90’s is alive in the Hawthorne District…seriously. This grungy

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Hawthorne District

fun little area holds an impressive number of people sporting black Levi’s. Full of vintage shops, fun bars, cute boutiques and tons more, this is one of my favorite areas of Portland!

Alberta District- The Alberta Arts District is a street-art appreciator’s dream. There are murals all over the place and little studios and galleries lining the streets. This area of town has strong historic black roots and an amazing vibe.

Mississippi District- This area also has strong black roots but has been a sight of extreme gentrification in recent decades. It currently boasts fun shops, good eats, and a classic Portland quirky vibe. Be sure to check out Williams & Vancouver Aves. while you’re in the area.

Northwest Alphabet District- this is a super trendy and old part of town. There are plenty of old mansions to wander about and cute shops lining about 20 blocks. Be sure to check out the bustling shops of NW 23rd Ave and the grungy bars of NW 21st.

Pearl District- the Pearl District is basically the north side of downtown Portland. This area is super fancy and feels recently upgraded. There is tons of good shopping, food, and skyscrapers!

Downtown Portland- this area has pros and cons in my opinion. Still plenty to see and do, this is home to the Portland Art Museum, many performing arts centers, and Chinatown. This area does attract a large

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Downtown Portland

amount of homelessness which is very disheartening.

 

Belmont District- this is a fun slightly less-grungy area of Portland that offers delicious eats and fun bars for nightlife away from downtown.

 

Division District- I love to cruise down Division and see the wide variety of stores, restaurants, and beautiful houses.

 

Attractions/Must Sees

Portland is full of fun things to do on a budget but I thought I would list a few that are on my must-see list!

Portland White Stag Sign- this is the iconic Portland, Oregon neon sign.

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Portland White Stag

Best viewed while driving across the Burnside bridge from east to west at night!

Powell’s City of Books– this is the world’s largest independent bookstore and it takes up an entire city block in downtown Portland and is 4 stories! Readers unite!

Salt & Straw– iconic PDX ice cream shop with regular and vegan flavors! There are multiple locations and always lines but it’s worth it. My fav is on NW 23rd.

Portland International Rose Test Garden– this is one of my go-to spots for a relaxing morning. Located in beautiful Washington Park, the roses will AMAZE you.

Oregon Zoo– I have mixed feelings about zoos in general, though friends tell me this zoo is simply amazing and a must see. (visit for “Zoo lights” during the holiday season!)

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Multnomah Falls

Tom McCall Waterfront Park- this is a fun little walk along the river on the west bank. Also super close to the iconic Portland Saturday Market if you around during a weekend.

Multnomah Falls– an BREATHTAKING waterfall about 30 miles from town. If you have the means of getting there, DO IT. (Pro tip: take exit 28 on I-84 and see bonus waterfalls!)

Cannon Beach, Oregon– okay so technically not a Portland attraction, but this town is my absolute favorite town on the Pacific Ocean. Worth the 90 minute drive from PDX any day.

 

Coffee

And of course, this wouldn’t be the Pacific Northwest if we didn’t mention the coffee. I would happily drink Folger’s before moving to Portland…yeah now that seems like craziness…ew. I’m now a coffee snob.

There is an overwhelming number of coffee shops in this city and I am still trying to make my way through trying as many as possible. Here are a few of my favorite coffee spots:

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Portland Roasting Coffee

Portland Roasting Coffee– this is a local all organic (and some fair trade) roaster who has recently opened up some shops around town and you will be sure to see it if you visit the PDX airport!

Sisters Coffee– based in Sisters, Oregon, this cute little spot in the Pearl District is so cozy!

Barista– there are many Portland Barista locations and they totally rock the simple, minimalist vibe that is so at home in Portland.

Stumptown– one of the city’s most iconic coffee brands, be sure to check out their shop in the Ace Hotel…so pretty!

Here are some other fun coffee stops I’ve enjoyed:

 

Well, I hope this guide helps you digest Portland the best you can while you enjoy your stay in the amazing city.

Portland is a wonderful place for anyone to visit in order to open their minds to new, different, and slightly strange things! All while enjoying amazing food, coffee, sights, and some of the happiest and friendliest people I’ve ever met.

I hope you love your time here and that you see as much as possible but also find time to just chill…as Portlanders so love to do!

Be sure to check out my Instagram and tag your Portland travel photos with #theperpetualpioneerpdx I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do!

Have fun!

 

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina

4 Reasons Why Taking Time For Yourself is SO Necessary…And How To Spend It

4 Reasons Time Self

We have all had those days when we feel like we are just a jumbled mess inside. The days when nothing is clear and everything seems wrong and you just don’t know what to do. A messy, not so fabulous day, if you will.

I have these days now and then. They suck, I know.

But I have learned recently to take these days and learn from them and to see them as a sign that something needs to be done to change the way you are feeling.

So what to do?

In my experience, having more than one of these days in a week means I need a moment for myself.

The world is busy and our lives get crazy and there is always something to be doing or seeing or saying to paying or planning or thinking about.

It gets exhausting.

So when I have a messy, not so fabulous day, I make it a priority to find time for myself…pronto.

The worst thing is when you are having a bad time and you end up getting frustrated with others for no good reason. It is not right, and it’s rather embarrassing, too!

They didn’t do anything wrong, and they don’t deserve to be treated poorly because you have had a messy, not so fabulous day.

I’ve learned to be constructive with these feelings and simply take some time for myself to recharge, reset, and just think.

This has worked wonders for me. I feel so much more in tune with my brain and my body and my life after taking just a bit of time to myself to figure out exactly what is going on.

Here are the reasons I think taking time for yourself is so necessary:

 

1. Truth Talks

Taking time to just be with yourself allows you to really think about why you have been feeling so messy and jumbled lately. What has been going on in your life to make you feel this way?

I often find that it is not until I am by myself that I can really break down how I have been feeling and actually figure out what is going on deep down…and how to fix it.

It is easy to blame others for trouble. It is harder to be truthful and look into ourselves for answers. But when you do it, you find the REAL reasons for feeling down AND just how to get back up again!

 

2. Free Flow

I’ve talked previously about what it means to be in “flow.” To be doing exactly what you feel like doing at the moment and to be all in.

The easiest time to truly be in flow is when you are alone. This is the time when you can choose to do exactly what feels right at the moment with no input from others and no holding back.

Read if you feel like reading. Walk if you feel like walking. Turn left or right or spin in circles, all with you as the pilot of your life and no one else to influence you.

Being with others is wonderful most of the time, but taking a few hours to just be you can be SO refreshing and leave you more recharged than you can imagine.

 

3. Bold Brain

Being alone is a great time to encourage your mind to be truly open!

You can think about whatever comes to mind and just see where your thoughts take you.

I often do this in the morning, even if I am around others. I just sit and close my eyes and think and have no judgments about where my brain wanders to, but just let it wander and ponder things in my subconscious.

Often, my brain will naturally work out things it had been worrying about or will think about things that are important in the moment and leave me more at peace with them.

This is even better to do when alone.

It sounds strange, but just take some time to sit or lay in bed on your own and just think.

Don’t read, don’t listen to music, don’t look at your phone. Just let your mind wander freely.

You will be blown away by what you think about and how it makes you feel. Sometimes our lives are just too busy to allow our brains time to work through simple items, let alone complex thoughts.

Being alone can offer this sort of clarity and a huge sense of relief afterward.

 

4. Positive Planning

The BEST way to conquer those messy, not so fabulous days? Plan against them.

Time alone to be truthful, free, and bold with yourself is the best time to plan for a more positive life and more positive individual days.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather limit the number of messy, not so fabulous days that I face in my lifetime, but that can’t be the case unless you plan your positivity!

Take time to really think about what was going on in your life and what all played a part in making it messy and not so fabulous.

Was it something with work? Was it a relationship conflict? Are you unhappy with yourself?

Think REALLY deep about all aspects of your life and how you feel about them and how you can take action to make them better.

What conversations can you have to improve relationships? What changes can you make to allow yourself to work in an environment that you truly enjoy?

These questions are SO important, but no one is going to change them until you do.

You are the only person that has that kind of supreme control over your life and you are held accountable to make yourself happy, or to keep analyzing and changing things until you are!

 

 

Life is too short to not be happy always. If you are having frequent messy, not so fabulous days, make it a priority to spend some time alone.

You deserve to recharge your body, your mind, and your life!

Take time to do things that make you happy. Take a bath, read a book, take a nap! Whatever it is that helps you feel recharged.

You can schedule in alone time weekly if that works for you!

Just don’t forget to use this time to really allow your brain to think openly about the past and present, and to plan positively for the future.

But don’t be afraid to ask for it when the time comes that you really need a break. Those who love you and are close to you will understand and support you being happy and healthy.

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

Beautifully Blurred: It is Okay to Not Always Know Where You Are Going in Life

Beautifully Blurred-

“Hindsight is 20/20.”

We’ve all heard this expression. There is often much more clarity in life when looking back than when you are in the moment or looking forward.

The future is often beautifully blurred, and I want to argue that that is perfectly okay!

We can’t ever know exactly what is going to happen or even where we will be tomorrow, in a week, in a year, in ten years or beyond.

This can be rather frightening and intimidating but regardless of how we feel about it, we still can do nothing to control it.

Society puts a crushing amount of pressure on us to always be thinking ahead. To build our resumes, plan for the future, follow the status quo, and worry about the things we simply can’t control.

Embrace the blur.

I want to advocate for the fact that it is completely okay to not know where you are going or what you are doing next.

To be honest, none of us actually do, we just pretend to and fight day in and day out to control the uncontrollable.

You don’t need to be building your resume every second. You don’t need to be chasing the job others say is right for you. You don’t need to be following the “normal” order of life.

YOU are the only one who has the power to control what you are doing and to make sure that whatever you are doing is making you happy.

Time is an asset that we can never get more of. Once we use it, it is gone forever.

So, what are you spending your time doing? Are you happy each day? You should be. You deserve to be happy every. single. day.

The validity of happiness.

Just remember that it is completely okay if you aren’t working a full time job so that you have time to pursue your passion.

It is completely okay if you aren’t trying to be the lawyer others want you to be.

It is completely okay if you are taking time each day to stroll and enjoy the small and simple things in this world.

In my opinion, enjoying each imperfect, marvelous moment in life as it arrives is forever more valuable than chasing a control over the future that we will never reach.

If you are happy, you are doing something right…and you should never feel shame for that.

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

3 Steps To Turn Negativity into Productivity

3 Steps To Turn Negativity into Productivity (1)

“Ugh…why.”

This is a question I find myself often asking. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, or just simply unhappy with the situations we are in.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Negativity eats away at you and can bleed into every aspect of your life as quick as a blink. Before you know it, you are feeling down, distressed, and just outright negative about everything.

But you have the power to change this! Don’t let the negativity win…turn it to productivity…here’s how:

 

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Why are you here?

Why are you in the situation you are in? What has brought you here? Why are you feeling blue about it?

Understanding why you are where you are and how you got there is the first step to change.

Feeling annoyed and frustrated with your job? Why are you working there? What events have brought you to this place in this time and what are your motivations for showing up?

Write those down.

2) Where do you want to be?

Typically, when we are feeling down or frustrated about something or being negative, it is because we would rather the situation be different.

Ideally, what would you change about your situation?

Would you have a different job? Would you be in a different location? Would you be doing different activities?

Really think about what is exactly causing you to feel this way and what the best possible case-scenario could be that would make you NOT feel negative.

Write this down. (be detailed!)

3) What ACTIONS can you take to go from stage 1 to 2?

Big or small. Long-term or short-term. Easy or difficult.

Really think about things you can actually do to shift you from where you are at in stage 1, to where you want to be in stage 2.

Make these actions achievable. What steps can you take right now to start moving in the right direction?

What steps can you take each day to make progress?

Plan out each little or large step until your goal is reached and DO IT!

Write this down….and turn your negativity into productivity.

 

Now you have your game plan, your goals, your future. Right there in front of you. On paper.

It is real and it is attainable…now GET THERE!

 

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina

Avoid Regret: 5 Steps to Getting the BEST and LOVING Everything You Buy at the Thrift Shop

Thrift

Here in Portland, Oregon, thrifting is King. You can walk down any main drag and see at least a handful of thrift shops full of items just waiting to be discovered!

This is a bit dangerous for the pocketbook!

Walking into a thrift shop or vintage store can be overwhelming. There is always SO MUCH STUFF.

But there can also be some genuine treasures and you can save A LOT of money in comparison to shopping new at retail stores.

But how do you know if you are making a good purchase at a thrift shop? That’s the tricky part. There are many brands, many conditions, many options available and you want to be sure to choose something that will last and that you will LOVE!

So here are some basic tips:

  1. Know What Your Goal Is

Like I said, thrift shops can be dangerous. The number one rule to thrift shopping is to know what you are looking for and what your goal is…and stick to it!

If you go in looking for a new pair of black pants, stick with looking at the pants section and try your hardest to avoid scoping out the glassware that you don’t need.

You will spend less money and also cause yourself less anxiety about wanting to buy a large amount of items.

Staying in one section can make a thrift shop less overwhelming and help you focus on the task at hand. And you will be sure to see all the options you can consider without being distracted by that super adorable cat statue!

 

2) Do Some Investigating

Find something you like? Take a quick second to do some sleuthing. What brand is it? What condition is it in? Does it seem like it will last awhile?

I always like to quickly google the brand on my phone! This helps give me a better idea of what others have thought of this product or item. If it has tons of happy customers, chances are you will be happy with it, too!

If you are looking for a clothing item always, ALWAYS try it on before you buy. Though some changing rooms in thrift stores may not be the most glamorous of experiences, you will be happy to know if you love the item on or not.

 

3) Remember to Compare

If you find something you think you really love at the first shop you try, that’s great! You’ve had some amazing luck!

But don’t forget that there are maybe some other places to check out before you commit to buying. Don’t hesitate to check out a few more shops to see if there is something you may like even MORE than this piece.

If you really can’t bear to think about losing it, some thrift shops will even hold an item for a couple hours for you. Can’t hurt to ask! Just make sure to be courteous and let them know if you no longer want the item.

 

4) Walk Away (if only temporarily)

Your heart is set. This blouse will make your LIFE better and you simply can’t live without it.

Well, try, if only for a minute or two.

If you absolutely adore something, make sure it is true love. Set the item back and walk either to another store or simply to another area of the same store for a little bit.

Is the item still on your mind? Do you still feel super attached and in love with it? Does it fit in with the lifestyle you are living and the goals you have set?

If yes, it will probably be a good purchase! It is always a good idea to make sure that it isn’t just puppy love (sometime seeing an item right away can make you love something you would never normally like).

 

5) How Does It Make You Feel?

Now before you finally make the purchase, ask yourself these questions:

-How does this item make me feel?

-Realistically, how often will I use this?

-Does this fit my goal for coming here?

If the item makes you feel confident and happy and if it fits perfectly into the lifestyle you live and will be used often, it is going to be a purchase you love.

But remember to be realistic with yourself, if you don’t absolutely love it or it doesn’t quite seem like something you will use as much as you should, set it down.

If it stays on your mind, you can always come back and hope to find it again in a day or two!

 

 

And don’t forget to have some FUN! Thrifting is a blast and seeing all the strange, beautiful and random things in this world can fill a day full.

Follow these steps and you will be sure to come home with the BEST items and things you will genuinely LOVE in your life.

 

Forever moving forward,
-Sarina

Easy Energy: 4 Must-Try Natural Herbs to Boost Your Spirit…No Caffeine Needed!

Easy Energy

Lately, I have been (slowly) learning more and more about the power of herbal medicine and some of the amazing benefits that I never expected.

I was never one to much believe in the use of herbs or oils to cure ailments, and to be honest, the reason I became interested was from a historical fiction series I’ve been really into lately, but the more I read, the more I am convinced that some of it is true and really useful!

Different herbs, spices and oils have been used for thousands of years and there is so much literature on the topic, it can be quite overwhelming.

So to make things simple, I wanted to share a few awesome things I have learned that have helped with improve my daily energy levels and overall mood.

I am not saying to cut caffeine completely (I absolutely haven’t) but when you know you have just had too much and you need to tone it down a bit, try these methods instead! And it is never a bad idea to challenge yourself to a caffeine detox once in awhile!

1) Peppermint Oil

Feeling low? Smell a little peppermint oil to get your blood pumping! Peppermint oil really helps to wake up the brain and has helped me get back to being focused.

I just have a little bottle of oil that I smell or dab somewhere nearby but others really love to use a diffuser and make the whole room smell like peppermint energy!

 

2) Rosemary Leaves

If you take a little dried rosemary and crush it lightly between your fingers and take a good whiff, you will feel alert and energized almost instantly!

It’s a good idea to keep a little container of rosemary in your desk to use as needed and maybe lay out the crushed leaves around you for continued whiffs of energy.

 

3) Schizandra

THESE BERRIES ARE MAGIC. No, for real. They are known as one of the most powerful herbs in Chinese medicine and they really pack a punch!

You can always try chewing on a dried berry (yuck!) but I highly suggest making a nice warm tea to sip on and re-energize from.

 

4) Ashwagandha

This herb is basically great for any type of stress relief. It helps with your memory, focus, endurance, and overall emotional well-being.

I like to mix in this herb with some others in an energizing tea (it doesn’t taste that great on its own) and maybe add a little lemon juice or your favorite sweetener.

 

 

By no means are these herbs going to give you the same buzz that a cup of caffeinated coffee will, but if you continually use herbs to boost your energy, you will see some crazy awesome effects!

Have fun with it! The world of herbal medicine is HUGE and you totally have some creative agency with what you make or how you use powerful herbs.

Comment to let me know what works best for you or any other great energizing herbs/spices/oils that you use in your daily life! I’d love to continue learning about this amazing practice.

 

Forever Moving Forward,

 

-Sarina

How To See That The Grass Is Greener On Your Own Side

The Grass Is Greener On Your Own Side

I have been noticing something about myself lately that I have found pretty unsettling…and I don’t think I am alone in this.

I have noticed that no matter where I am or what I am doing or when it is, I am always wishing I was doing something else, being somewhere else, or in some time in the pas or future.

This is unsettling because I feel as though I am always reaching for something just out of reach. Something that I am looking forward to, a time I really enjoyed previously, or something that someone else has.

But this is my life, and living in a state of constant need for something different is exhausting!

I am not content. I always think that I could be content if I could “just get to July so I can go on my trip” or “if only it were summer, I would be happy.”

But I’ve learned that this is just not the case. Even when I reach these moments when I am so sure I will be content and happy, I am still not content nor happy…not completely anyway. “The grass is always greener on the other side.”

So what to do?

Well, I’ve decided that I (and I think many others, too!) need to realize that the grass is plenty green on my own damn side. And here are the steps I am taking to realize this:

 

1) Take a second…

I have been trying really hard lately to more frequently just take a second…

to think about all that I have in the moment.

to take a deep breath and let go of stress and anxiety.

to be mindful of what I am doing and be all in.

to just simply be and see all the wonderful things going on in each moment. So, maybe I am not off being a globetrotter or saving the planet…I am still having a pretty wonderful day. I still had enough food to eat today. I still have friends and family who love and support me. I am still breathing.

 

2) Be thankful…

After I take a second to be in the moment and realize everything that is going well, I try to be genuinely thankful for it.

Everyone has something to be grateful for and taking more time to acknowledge this can really lead to a more content mindset in the long term.

Be thankful for small things, like the coffee you drank this morning or the kiss from your partner as you were leaving.

Be thankful for big things, like the fact that you are living and breathing on this earth or the fact that you have meaningful relationships in your life.

Gratitude is a great medicine and just thinking about it can lead you to feel happier and to brighten that green grass on your own side!

 

3) Spend time doing things you love…

A simple step to being happy…is to love what you are doing! Fill your days with things you truly enjoy.

Love exercising? Make sure to set aside time each day for you to do so. Really enjoy getting lost in a novel? You can do that each and every day and truly love that time spent.

If you feel like you don’t spend time doing things you love, think about what changes you can make in your life to adjust this.

Are there other employment opportunities that align better with your hobbies and values? Can you spend less time watching Netflix, and spend more time getting better at something you are passionate about?

If it doesn’t make you smile, if it doesn’t make you happy, change it. A life doing things you don’t enjoy is a sad one. You will be much more likely to feel content if you spend more time doing things you love (no excuses!).

 

4) Talk it out with someone you trust…

Always remember you don’t have to go it alone.

Discussing how you feel with someone you trust can really help releave some of the frustration that comes with not feeling content.

Tell them about what makes you anxious, what makes you stressed, what you are not looking forward to, what you ARE looking forward to, or anything else that is on your mind.

Having someone listen and truly hear you can help you feel better, but also, realize how grateful you are to be spending time with that person and building a strong relationship!

And don’t forget that it goes both ways. Listen to them when they are having good, bad, or ugly days as well!

 

5) Find meaning in what you do…

Take a moment to think about why you are doing what you do each day.

Is it because you feel like you have to? Is it because someone else is telling you to do it? If these are true, this could be the reason happiness is fleeting for you. I know I feel this way when I am doing certain things.

You need to be doing everything with meaning and purpose. Every little step you take and decision you make each day should reflect who you are deep down.

Are you spending time putting on that makeup because you really enjoy it or because you feel like you have to to please others?

Are you going to work each day because society tells you it is the way to be a successful human or because you thoroughly enjoy the work you do there and it means something to you?

If you find that you are doing things for others or that you can’t find meaning behind things you do often, it is time to re-evaluate.

How can you spend more time doing meaningful things? How can you integrate your values into things you do everyday?

This may seem daunting and making these changes can be difficult, but in the long run they can make a huge difference. And even in the short term you will be taking steps to reach your goals, which will also bring contentment!

Educate yourself, explore, try new things. Believe me, you will get a feel for what you are passionate about and why, what means the most to you, and what gives you purpose.

 

 

Boy, the grass is looking mighty green now isn’t it!

I’m not going to lie, I still have a good deal of trouble with this feeling. I still catch myself thinking, “If only it were Friday, I would be so happy.”

But the reality is that isn’t true.

I am happy right now. I am succeeding right now. I am taking steps toward my goals right now. And you are, too.

So breath, be grateful, talk it out, and find meaning. And SMILE! Because today is freaking awesome!

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

 

6 Steps To Deal With Something Difficult

6 Steps to Deal With Something Difficult in Life

The bad news? We all deal with difficult things throughout our lives. Whether it is something like the loss of a job or the loss of a friend, we all need to learn how to cope.

The good news? We all CAN deal with difficult things. With grace and with resiliency. And not all is bad. Many times good things come from bad. So keep your chin up and try this:

1) Come to terms with it

It happened. It is how it is. If you have done all you can do and the rest is out of your control, come to terms with it. You can’t change it. You can try to will it to change, but it won’t…so coming to term with the fact that something difficult is happening or has happened is the first step to moving on.

2) Celebrate what is great

Even if something difficult has happened or is happening, there are still wonderful things that you are experiencing. They could have something to do with the difficult event/person/thing/experience, or they could be completely unrelated. What’s important is to realize that there are good things in this world. And sometimes the best things actually come from the difficult ones.

3) Make the most of it

Even if something difficult is going on, there are always ways to make it brighter. You lost your job? Think of the time you have to do things you truly enjoy or the open opportunities that are waiting for you ahead. Don’t just give up. Make the most of what you have and think on the bright side. Positivity leads to more positivity.

4) Find support

If you are going through something difficult, there is no need to go it alone. Call up an old friend and ask to talk things out. Speak with your spouse about what is going on. There is no need to take the burden all yourself, asking for help and support is not weakness, it is strength. And being there for others when they experience difficult times is even sweeter.

5) Write about it

Sometimes talking to others isn’t exactly what will make you feel good. Try writing about the experience/person/place/thing that is difficult. Write how you feel about it, write what makes you sad/angry; write about what makes you happy/joyful; write it all down and get it out of your mind and on paper.

6) Be happy

Unfortunately, not everything can be wonderful all the time. Difficult things happen. It is a part of life we all deal with. It is okay to feel sad or frustrated or confused, but in the end, be happy. You are doing your best. Take a deep breath, let it out and smile. Think about what makes you happy and be that.

Everything will be alright.

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina