An experiment in being on vacation

If you’ve spent any time with me, you know I walk quickly—I’m a woman on a mission with places to be! When I travel somewhere, the same is true. Before I go on a trip I research places I want to go and things I want to do and figure out how I can fit in the maximum possible number of things on said trip. Any of my travel posts demonstrate this very clearly, especially my trip to the Azores last year, where I was in charge of planning what we’d do.

In my current stage of life, I travel a lot, which ostensibly means I’m on vacation. But it’s hardly ever a relaxing vacation: these days if I’m traveling, I’m going somewhere new (in which case I have a list of places to visit) or I’m visiting friends (in which case I want to do things with them in their town). Sometimes both of those things overlap (see also Portland and LA and New Orleans), so bring on the packed itinerary!

The one exception to that trend is the beach, where my mom’s family has been going every summer for 30-something years and where I’ve now spent 27 weeks of my life, one for every summer I’ve been alive omg I’m so old. Continue reading “An experiment in being on vacation”

A Maximalist’s Guide to Minimalist Packing (guest post at Tiny Ambitions)

Remember that time I bought a 38 liter carry-on backpack right before my trip to the Azores? In the year since that purchase I’ve been experimenting with carry-on packing. And that’s been an interesting experience, especially given that I am very much not a minimalist (if you need a reminder of that, let me direct you to that photo of my desk!). Continue reading “A Maximalist’s Guide to Minimalist Packing (guest post at Tiny Ambitions)”

Twelve months of experiments: January 2018

When last I wrote, dear readers, I’d cliffhangered you at the end of the first of what’s likely to be an exhaustive series on how my first-ever request for a raise goes. I regret to inform you that today’s post is not a continuation of that series, which is something you’d probably surmised from the title.

Instead, since it’s a new month (also my birthday month! I suppose turning 26 means my quarter-life crisis will be over, right?), here’s an end of month update on the challenges I took on in January. I was decluttering, doing a no-spend/uber frugal month challenge, a barre challenge, and still trying to meditate every day.

In case that sounds like an overwhelming number of things to do all at once, may I remind you how the last bit of my first post of 2018, which laid out the four challenges I was doing, ended?

Ridiculously overly ambitious? We shall see!

In a surprise to absolutely no one, turned out it was ridiculously overly ambitious! Continue reading “Twelve months of experiments: January 2018”

How I’m starting off the year

Hello, and Happy New Year, friends! (Are you tired of hearing that yet?)

I thought about jumping into 2018 with my December spending report, but instead I’m going super-topical and talking about resolutions. Or, more specifically, a lack of them.

I’m doing something new and not setting resolutions this year. Sure, I’m setting money goals, and like I said in that post, I have personal goals I’d like to work on this year. But typically every year I’ve set resolutions, so this is a weird departure from the norm for me. Continue reading “How I’m starting off the year”

The intersection of money and mental health

While this is ostensibly a personal finance/financial independence blog, I don’t want it to be strictly about money. I tell a lot of stories about my life to illustrate points, that yes, are related to personal finance, but I want to continue talking about travel, food, privilege, mindsets, habits, and my ridiculous collection of brightly-colored flats. This blog is about my journey, which involves way more than the cold, hard numbers of grocery price comparisons.

Here’s a big thing I haven’t talked about yet: I deal with depression and anxiety. Continue reading “The intersection of money and mental health”

Getting away from a “someday” mentality

I have a plain white t-shirt that I’ve never worn; it’s sat in my drawer since I bought it two years ago, despite the fact that I already owned a perfectly good plain white t-shirt. Given the alarming rate at which white t-shirts tend to discolor, stain, and get grungy, it seems ridiculous to own two of these highly impractical items, but I bought the second one for “someday.” Continue reading “Getting away from a “someday” mentality”

How the hell do I get started?

As much as I talk a big talk about money and pretend I’ve got it all figured out (and if I could just get a damn 50% raise already I’d be good to go!), that’s not actually the case. Some days I’m internally screaming because while I’ve maybe started figuring out my shit, I feel like I’m sitting at the bottom of Mount Everest and financial independence is aaaallllllllll the way at the top. Y’all, I haven’t even done the math on how long it’s actually going to take to reach FI/climb the damn mountain because I’m afraid to. Continue reading “How the hell do I get started?”

Progress, not perfection

Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with perfectionism. Maybe it’s oldest child syndrome or something, but somewhere early on I got this idea in my head that everything I did needed to be perfect. I had to get perfect grades growing up, and let me tell you, in college that translated into way too much time spent studying and absolutely way too much heartache over my few A- grades. I had to be the nice, well-behaved child or I’d let my parents down somehow. I needed to know what was happening three weeks in advance so I could put it in my planner. I didn’t start drinking until fairly late in college because I was afraid to lose control.

During college I recognized that being so inflexible and focused on everything being just right was making my life harder, not easier, and less fun, so during my sophomore year I tried to start relaxing my uptight perfectionist qualities, just a bit. Continue reading “Progress, not perfection”