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Being Rewritten.

I haven’t written in a while. Why? I don’t really have a simple answer for that. But I can say that my eyes have been opened and I don’t feel like the same person who started this blog several months ago. I am sitting here in class and I can’t even think of the things that bothered me even last month. It seems like years have gone by and yet it has only been 3 weeks.

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When I got here after traveling through France, Netherlands, and Brussels, I was ready to take a hot shower and feel at home. At last, homesickness had caught up with me and I NEEDED to just sleep in my own room by myself. First traveling had been exciting. I had not noticed the subtle changes in my life that I should have when it came to my reality. I started missing my American processed food. As well as the instant comforts of America. While I saw the issues that these conveniences caused in my life, I still missed these comforts of home. I made friends, travelled around my new home, and filled my time with distractions to make my new life seem less empty. I can say now, there is no running away from culture shock or homesickness. I made a few friends who understood what I was going through and slowly started to face my issues. Trying to balance my new life of traveling that I always wanted with what my brain was struggling to accept. That things were different and that I had to accept that.

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Slowly things changed. I am now better dealing with my mixed emotions, but I still struggle with my cravings and mood swings due to the new environment. The longer I am here though, the easier it becomes. I can see the joy of traveling again and can’t wait to explore the rest of my surroundings.

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I guess all I am saying here today is that no matter how perfect something looks, or what exactly you think something will look like, reality is much different. I still love it and I am still so glad I came. But take care of yourself if you make the same journey. Life is not always picture perfect, and in the lows make sure you can make it back to the highs. As my joy comes back to me so does the excitement and passion. I look forward to this being my life, and as that acceptance settles in my mind, the rest of my path is becoming clearer.

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About to go on my adventure, here are my thoughts.

The semester started at my home university. Everyone got back to town this weekend and meetings are in full swing. As this all is going on, I am prepping to leave the country in a week and a half. Working as much as I can and trying to figure out my budget is happening all in preparation for my travel. I started to plan what I will be packing. Whether I want a carry on, or how cold I might be staying in hostels. While trying to get an idea of what I actually will need.

A few days ago, I realized how much I will be missing by going on my adventure. Several of my friends will be graduating without me. I can’t believe after 4 years together I won’t be here to see them graduate. There is also spring break, and valentine’s day that I will miss. I will be missing several of my advisees graduate from the program I work for. I will be missing several months of my dog’s life. It hurts, but I know it is what is best for me going forward.

At the same time, I feel nothing but excitement as I prepare. I will be living my dream and exploring independently. I am scared of settling down because of the fact that I love my independence. I know that having this time to myself to make friends and lifelong memories is what I need to move forward in my life, and I cannot wait to start this journey. I am so excited to meet people in the hostels and at the school. I can’t wait to go see the sights and really immerse in completely new cultures. I am worried that I am going to fall over my head and never want to leave!

I am excited to post more and get this started. I have a great support system and people who love me. I can’t wait to bring you all along with me and see where I end up in this journey.

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New Year, Different Me.

Going into the new year I made a resolution. I decided this year was going to be about me, and making me happy. Rather than aim for a healthier lifestyle or a cleaner house. I am going to actively push to do things that make me filled with joy. Rather than focus on the work, or school I am going to look forward to the weekends. I will push to make my time with friends a priority and make memories that will last the rest of my life. I want this year to be amazing because of me. I am traveling, and graduating college this year. I am going to get my first job in my field this year, and work at several different internships. I am going to be applying for masters or PhD programs overseas, while making a home for my little family. So much will happen, and I am already planning for the year after!

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I am going to focus on making this year amazing! Loving my self and making choices that will make me truly happy while also trying to fix my flaws. This year is Courtney reloaded, and I am going to kill it.

Hello 2019, Im here and Im going to kick your ass!

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Photos and editing.. the bane of my existance.

I have decided to spend my day learning how to process photos and work my camera. I know that taking photos is a huge part of the travel experience and what I will be showing everyone when I get back. But dang its hard to learn how to do it all!

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I decided to buy Affinity Photo rather than the more traditional Photoshop. I did this for the price tag primarily. Photoshop runs at about  $523 a month if you want all the bells and wistles, or $20 a month for just one of their applications. Affinity is a one time purchase for one of the applications of $40, meaning in 3 months I will have already saved money. That being said the adobe program is very nice, and there is definatly a learning curve in learning how to use the Affinity program. They make this easy with hundreds of videos tailored just for people like me trying to figure out their program. Plus, you really cant beat the price tag once you get over the fact it doesnt have the Adobe logo. Below I have some videos of people who reviewed the program and did comparisons if you are interested:

Affinity Photo: A Real Photoshop Alternative?

Why Affinity Photo is BETTER than Photoshop!

Along with figuring out the details of that program, I have to discover how my new camera works. I got a new canon digital camera that I need to make sure I know how to use in its entirity. I leave town in 3 weeks and I have until then to figure out how to work everything to an acceptable level. My goal is to get fast enough at it to modify several photos and upload same day.

So, here I go.. I am gonna get back to reading user manuals and playing with my face! Happy Saturday 🙂

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Why is healthcare so terrible..?

Little rant today.

Healthcare in the states sucks. Everyone knows this, or atleast knows it is much more complicted here than anywhere else. I am covered by insurance through the state as well as private insurance. Both of these plans have allowed me to not have to worry about most medical expences that come up. Now that I am leaving the country, I have to get insurance that will work elsewhere.

For some reason there are different plans with different priorities in each country.  While traveling as a student I have to have a plan that will cover everything, and I mean everything. I will be paying to get coverage that will ship me back to the states should I have a medical emergency. Plus, coverage in Germany that will pay any expense should something happen. This includes my current plans as well.

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So now I have 4 plans that will cover me in the case of all emergencies including death. Which, as an american is weird to know that no matter what I wont be buried in medical bills the rest of my life. Why I need so many plans is beyond me, and why I can’t just get one that covers everything is another issue. I understand that insurance companies are a thing, but shouldn’t a person not have to worry about illness out of their control?

I am frustrated at having to pay around 400 euros for several insurance plans to do what one plan should do. Its a bigger issue than me, but something that shouldn’t be an issue at all.

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Christmas is never over.

Since I was little, I have spent every christmas driving from one part of my family to another. I started the day waking up, and getting ready. Then we would head to my grandparents on my step-dads side for a few hours before heading to my dad’s house. Next my grandma on my mom’s side, before heading to my significant other’s family. The rest of the week was spent doing the exact same thing. We drove all around the portland area, never staying long before heading to the next place. Usually this pattern lasts until just after new years.

As kids, the constant moving never bothered us much, but the older I get, the more I hate it. Because of this odd pattern we never got to bond with any part of our families. Now that I am a bit older and have moved away, I have decided no more! I spent this christmas, half with my dad and half with my partner’s family. We spent hours together playing games, talking, and eating. I have never felt so close and happy on any holiday. The benefit of moving away, is I don’t live in my home town and I no longer have to deal with the drawn out holidays. We celebrated and now I am back at my home and away from the crazyness of it all.

I love my family, and I love spending time with them. As I get older, I know what is really important, and thats not driving around trying to see everyone. Spending time with those who really are important and care for you is what is most valuable. I spent my holiday with people who like me, put aside everything to make time for our relationship.

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Christmas is here and that means… driving?

Happy holidays to all!

Today, I am going to spend driving across a state in order to spend some time with my family. While only 6 hours of driving, it is a lot to do in one day and I would much rather just take the train. Along the way we are going to cozy up and listen to holiday music. We will be staying for only 4 days so its hard to pack my entire family into such a short trip, but we will try!! Over the course of the weekend we will be driving all over town to see my various grandparents and siblings. All the while packing gifts into the car!

I wanted to jump on here before we left and say happy holidays and best of wishes to everyone. We live in such a sad world sometimes. Just a little positivity and love can go a long way. Its important to remember the important things, and thats spending time with others and spreading love.

From my house to yours,

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