Reflections From The Road: 39 Months of Unconventional Living

Life’s gone crazy.

Between trips to the Caribbean, Long Island, NY, and Orlando, I’ve moved apartments, I’m speaking at a huge conference, writing a ton and I’ve been steadily chipping away at my goals for 2014. There have been some unexpected bummers in the past three months since my last Reflections from the Road entry, but mostly everything is looking sunny from my porch here in Florida. Here’s the update!

One of the oldest churches in the Western Hemisphere can be found on St. Kitts. How about that view?

One of the oldest churches in the Western Hemisphere can be found on St. Kitts. How about that view?

Highs

St. Kitts. If St. Kitts isn’t already on your radar, trust me, within a couple of years it will be. This sweet little island in the Caribbean is on the verge of becoming the next hot island destination, and after just spending five days there, I’ll be the first in line. Unbelievable new hotel properties like Kittitian Hill and Christophe Harbour, casual beach bars like Mr. X’s Shiggedy Shack, a new YU Lounge, a concept guaranteed to change the way you travel for the better, for real, an unending sea breeze and a virtually untouched rainforest are just a few of the offerings… oh, and they have cheeky little monkeys. Watch this space for stories & pictures from a lovely place – my 43rd country, yahoo!

Jacksonville. I’m really starting to connect with my hometown, and I gotta tell you, I like it! When I left for college, um, a few years ago, I wasn’t sure I’d ever come back. But the Jacksonville of today is so different than the Jacksonville I left behind, and I’m so excited to be a part of it right now. Generation W is coming up on Friday (and I’m speaking!), One Spark is next week (and Master Radical is playing!), the marketing initiative Downtown Is On Fire is bringing so much attention to the city… I’ve recently found about a dozen different restaurants that I adore close to my place, and I’m absolutely crazy about my church. Locationally, everything’s coming up roses! Even CNN said Jacksonville is the best place for entrepreneurs and start-ups, so how about that?! I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and it’s right where I started. (Check out my Jacksonville bucket list if you’re heading this way!)

New apartment! And speaking of Jacksonville, as of Sunday, my sister and I moved into an adorable new (two bedroom!!!!) apartment, so I’m here for at least another year. A bigger apartment means more DIY furniture projects and many more gallons of Mod Podge, so stay tuned if you’re into travel-themed decor.

Springpad partnership. As an organization loving, Type-A kinda gal, it only makes sense that I’ve partnered with app Springpad – I live and breathe to-do lists, you know what I mean?

To help travelers plan the perfect trip – be it long-term, short-term or anything in between – I created the Perpetual Traveler Notebook, a guide chock full of travel tips and tricks I’ve learned in 3+ years of galavanting. You can subscribe to my notebook and then save the bits and pieces of info that apply to your own trip planning efforts. It’s easy and it’s free, so pop over and check it out!

Good morning, downtown Jacksonville!

Good morning, downtown Jacksonville!

Lows

Healthcare. It’s been 39 months since I last had a “real” job, so I’ve been officially uninsured that long. I decided to look into insurance this year since we’re being “strongly encouraged” by the government to do so… but unless I want to live in a rat hole and eat ramen noodles for the rest of my life, affordable healthcare just isn’t going to be affordable for me. I researched all the plans and crunched the numbers, and I just don’t think $400 a month is reasonable if the deductible is $7,000+. So I have two options. 1 – I can marry someone with great healthcare or 2 – I can do without and pay out of pocket for anything that comes up. In the absence of a suitable husband, it looks like I’ll be doing the latter for the time being.

Just making sure I can still do my cheerleading jumps at Air Trampoline Sports on Long Island

Just making sure I can still do my cheerleading jumps at Air Trampoline Sports on Long Island

Lessons

Heed the warnings. I was zip-lining last week and I foolishly ignored the part on the waiver that asked about previous neck or back injuries. I’d been zip-lining before with no issues, so I figured it was just one of those things they say in legal documents to cover all the bases. Well, this zipline was rather different than others I’d been on, complete with a jarring stop. I should’ve heeded the warnings, as now I’m on Day 6 with no range of motion, no lifting and little sleeping. I’m living on pain medicine and IcyHot patches and hoping to be miraculously well like, now, because the next two weeks are chock full of events, speeches and festivities and I need to be able to turn my head!

Mind the budget. I’m in the middle of a financial study with my disciple group from church, and though I feel like I have a strong background there already, I’ve been really focusing on where my money goes and how I could be a better manager of all that God has blessed me with. One of my 2014 goals was to get back to budgeting now that I’m only traveling part time, and it has been a bit of a struggle. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I really need to stay out of Target.

Holding the Queen's Baton - similar to the Olympic Torch - but for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. I never felt so close to my future husband, Prince Harry.

Holding the Queen’s Baton as it passed through St. Kitts – similar to the Olympic Torch – but for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. I never felt so close to my future husband, Prince Harry.

Next Steps

We can make our plans but God determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

Speaking at Generation W. Yay and yikes. That’s how I feel about speaking at Generation W, an enormous women’s conference taking place this Friday. Founder Donna Orender is my brilliant mentor in Jacksonville and a firecracker of a woman, and she’s asked me to speak about social media to an audience of some 1,300 folks who’ve come in from all over the country to learn, share & network. WOW. While my nerves are frayed, as we get closer to the date I just find myself getting more and more excited. Perhaps the days of my public speaking fear are behind me? Wish me luck!

Angie Away Redesign. If all goes according to plan, things are going to look very different around here very soon! I’m working with a wonderful designer to revamp the site and you’re going to love it.

Harry Potter. My life is going to be very wizard-focused in the next few months as I help out with a huge, super fun Potter project, so as you can imagine, I’m elated. Stay tuned to the blog but especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for real time updates from Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

Travel. Coming soon… Ginnie Springs, The Bahamas, Little St. Simons Island, Universal Studios and more. Stay tuned =)

So much wizarding magic to come this year!

So much wizarding magic to come this year!

Thank you for reading & sticking with me for this wild journey! Where did 39 months go? Have you been to St. Kitts? Are you as excited as I am about the grand opening of Diagon Alley this summer? Tell me in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “Reflections From The Road: 39 Months of Unconventional Living

  1. Lance | Trips By Lance

    Good luck at the conference. I don’t like reading about people without insurance, but as someone with a pre-existing condition that does need meds I understand the costs. I’m fortunate to be at a job where I have decent insurance. It’s what keeps me from striking out fully on the freelance road. I know I could, but no insurance isn’t an option.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..48 Hours in New Orleans on NBA Road TripMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Angie Away Post author

      Not having insurance is definitely NOT ideal. Especially when things go awry… and considering how often I hurt myself, that’s a lot!

      Reply
    1. Angie Away Post author

      Well, to be fair, I COULD afford it. I choose not to, because the cost is unreasonable the way the new plans are laid out and I have to live a much lower quality of life just to be insured. I’m young, single and healthy, so I’m stuck footing a large portion of the bill for the rest of the country. Short of something catastrophic happening, God forbid, spending thousands on insurance for very little preventative care is not going to be helpful to me in the long run. American healthcare has a long way to go before it makes sense, but I’m not one of those folks who expects the government to pay for me to exist. I’ll gladly fork over my own money for emergencies if I have to, but regular doctor visits are just out of the question for the time being!
      Angie Away recently posted..Reflections From The Road: 39 Months of Unconventional LivingMy Profile

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