10 Tips for Traveling Abroad

Hello Beautiful Souls,

It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year since I left for study abroad and spent about two months in France. It feels like only a few months ago that I was hopping on a plane out of here. I think about my trip everyday; it’s no joke when people say traveling changes your life. This study abroad trip was not the first time I had been to Europe, but it was definitely the most memorable and longest I have ever been overseas.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a bunch of friends jet setting and reaching out to me for some tips and tricks about overseas travel. I love answering and giving them any advice that I have because I am so passionate about traveling and I want everyone to know how to fully experience life abroad. So, since I have been thinking a lot about my trip lately and offering advice to my friends, I thought I should construct a post to give you a list of my favorite tips for traveling to Europe.

My Top 10 Tips for you:

  1. Utilize cash: Exchange rates differ all the time and the value of the currency can change often too. Banks can sometimes charge you when you use your card overseas, this can also differ too. When you withdraw cash there is usually a fee but if you withdraw large amounts it makes it more worth your money, rather than getting charged each time you use your card. This also allows you to split restaurant bills with friends and avoid being in an emergency situation with no money.
  2. Take videos: Pictures are wonderful and I took over 1,000 on my trip, but videos really capture the moments. The sounds can bring back lots of feelings and memories. I took so many random videos abroad and I love them all. They help me relive some moments and it helps me share the vibes with others. It’s also lots of fun to make a cool video after your trip.
  3. Collect little things: When you’re traveling, you will probably stop at a lot of different places. Throughout my trip I collected business cards, coffee cup wraps and other little things. I kept these things in my journal and now when I look back I am able to remember the names of the places I visited and it retains the memories associated with it.
  4. Enjoy the moment: It’s easy to want to post constant snap chats and Instagram stories, but don’t forget to be present. Don’t get wrapped up watching what people are doing at home. You do not want to miss a moment during your travels. Take a little time each night to update social media and check in with home, but don’t waste time on it when you are out and about. Enjoy where you are, fully!
  5. Say yes!: Okay, so you are taking an adventure of a lifetime, now is not the time to be hesitant to new things. Obviously don’t do anything that will put your life in danger or get you into legal trouble; but, take this magical opportunity to live a little. Say yes to adventures and new things. Crush your comfort zone and live to the fullest.
  6. Talk to strangers: Your parents have probably always told you the opposite of this but talking to strangers abroad can teach you a lot and enlighten you on other cultures. There are few things to be aware of when doing this though; be aware of the situations you are in, what your surroundings are and who the stranger may be. Avoid chatting with people on public transportation, it’s best to keep to yourself then. But, if you see other students out and about, try to strike up a conversation with them. If you are taking classes abroad, meet people in your classes and around your school.
  7. Don’t over pack shoes: This one may seem a bit random, but for the ladies, it’s easy to think you need 100 pairs of shoes for every occasion abroad. Honestly, three pairs is probably enough. Take shoes for everyday wear and that are comfortable. Take a pair for going out and looking super cute, and throw in a pair of tennis shoes or flats.
  8. Don’t buy too much for others: I may sound a little harsh with this one, but don’t over buy gifts for people at home. They didn’t take the trip you did, therefore they won’t cherish the gifts as much. Of course you should get your family something small and get your closest friends something too! Just don’t spend too much time or money worrying about what to get everyone and their mother back home. Get things that will help you remember the trip.
  9. Shop locally: It may seem comfortable to stick to what you know, but try to expand your horizons abroad and try locally made things. I know when I stayed in Nice, there were a couple clothing stores that we had back home (H&M, Zara, etc.) and those can be fun to check out, but make sure you hit up some new places and explore what the country has to offer. You will find so many unique styles. Why would you want to buy something you can buy in your native country?!
  10. Eat native foods: This relates to the last one, but try local favorites. When traveling abroad, food can be tricky because flavors and cooking techniques may be different. This makes stepping outside of the usual a little more difficult. Do what is best and healthy for you, but don’t forget to experiment and try what’s out there. I recommend French wine and Escargo (snails), if you are traveling to France.

These are just a few of my favorite tips to share with those who ask. Traveling to new places is fun and exciting. If you are about to take a trip, near or far, I wish you the best in your travels. Seeing new cultures and being in a sea of strangers is life changing, in my opinion. You will become so open-minded and life will become much more valuable.

If you have a tip for traveling, share it in the comments below! I’d love some advice for my next adventure.

Thank you for checking out PYM today! I am working on another post for this week too, so stick around for more from me.

Bon Voyage, darling!

xo, Lyss

8 Things You Should Stop Doing Right Now

Hello Cuties,

Ever feel like things aren’t going your way? Do you ever throw yourself a pity party? Well, trust me, I know how that goes. Sometimes we just get in a funk, and it feels like nothing good is coming our way. This is common towards the end of the semester as we begin to approach summer. Lately, I have realized a lot of negativity running through my life. As we know, the way we think can impact our surroundings; and honestly, I have been throwing a pity party for myself these days.

Well, after some thought and a few inspirational quotes, I decided to figure out what my problem was. Why am I feeling like this? So, I created a list of things I am going to stop doing and stop allowing to take up mental space. I thought I would share this list with you as well:

  1. Stop comparing: This is number one for a reason. Stop comparing yourself to others, you are not them and they are not you. You cannot expect to be in their place when you do not even know the challenges they may have had to go through to get there. Everyone has a story that shapes them, wishing to be someone else won’t make things better, it will just inhibit you from achieving your own goals. Sure, look up to people and gather ideas on how you will make the most of your life, but don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else chapter 15.
  2. Stop worrying about what’s next: I am the worst at this one, it’s always about what’s next. What about right now? Why not live for now and let life work on its own. Yes, make goals and plans but if they fail to turn out, don’t give up. Everything will work out how it’s supposed to, so don’t create unnecessary worry in your mind.
  3. Stop negative thoughts: Easier said than done. Block out all negative thoughts and people. Negativity only creates a toxic environment for you. Life is a little bit easier when you are positive, good things start to come your way and people can’t hate someone who is always positive. Your positivity will start to spread to others as well!
  4. Stop being selfish: Now this does not mean neglect self-love, y’all know I am a proud supporter of self-love. Stop being selfish means stop only thinking about yourself in your relationships. Friendship is made up of give and take, when you think about the people you interact with, think about what they may want. This includes friends, family and even strangers. Understand where they may be coming from and be supportive.
  5. Stop giving up: Stop giving up on things that don’t work out on the first try. I know how easy it may be to give up and move on, but if something is important to you, you shouldn’t give up on it. Things won’t always work out on the first try. The path to success is not straight, so you must anticipate a few challenges before you reach your goals. Don’t give up yet!
  6. Stop hating your body: I know you may not be where you’d like to be with your “body goals” but stop degrading yourself. Take care of yourself and be healthy, but don’t be ashamed of your shape. Everyone is given a different body, relating back to number one, don’t compare your look to someone else’s. Just love yourself and be proud of the skin you’re in.
  7. Stop wasting your time: Stop wasting your time on things that don’t matter. It is easy to get carried away on a Netflix binge or caught up on pointless drama, but stop spending your time on things that don’t benefit you or make you happy. Life is too short to waste time on things that aren’t making you happy.
  8. Stop making an excuse: Every day we wake up, we have the option to live life to the fullest that day or just go through the motions. When you make excuses, you are prohibiting yourself from greatness. You cannot grow or become the person you want if you continue to make excuses for yourself. Don’t make excuses, make moves!

Life is too short to be wasting your precious time on silly things, focus more on the good and less on what’s not working. Working on stopping some of these actions will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also free up some mental space for positive and happy thoughts. Don’t let these things hold you back from greatness. You must seize every day and learn to let the little things go.

This list is just one I came up with on my own, but you should think about creating one for yourself. I made this list based off my current life, so maybe creating your own can give you a better perspective of where you want to be. Before I made this list, I made a list of my short term goals, then I thought about how I would go about achieving them and what I had to stop doing in order to do so.

Thank you all so much for reading today’s post! Please share this with your friends and family. You can subscribe on the right side of the page to receive updates on my posts. It is Monday and it is a new week, so wake up and kick ass. If you’re a student, 3-4 more weeks left in this semester…YOU CAN DO IT!

Happy Monday!

xo, Lyss

 

The Intern Files

Hello Pretty People,

I recently started an internship with a local boutique in Grand Rapids, Michigan called Parliament. I am the Public Relations + Social Media Intern for this store and studio space. So far, I am loving it! The space is so aesthetic and inspiring. The shop owners are genuinely good people that have been so welcoming and helpful. The store offers handcrafted goods and accessories, as well as workshops and demonstrations.

Since I am now officially an intern, I thought it would be fun to start an intern series on my blog called “The Intern Files.” In this series, I will share tips and stories from my internship experience. I thought it would be a fun way for me to share and document my experience, as well as offer tips and support to my readers.

To start, I want to highlight the importance of time management skills. That is my biggest struggle on a daily basis; I must pay attention to where and how I spend my time because if I get behind on certain tasks, I may miss a deadline. I am currently juggling 15 credit hours, regular retail job and an internship. My free time is limited!

My tip for you today is to utilize an agenda and a work journal to keep track of all your tasks and information on those tasks. I use two agendas to keep up with my work, internship and school schedule; along with homework, meetings and internship duties. I make a to-do list daily to make note of the tasks I must accomplish. I utilize a small journal when I work at my internship to document information on the business, as well as document my hours and accomplishments.

Being a social media intern, I must keep track of many things. I use my journal to write down popular hashtags, usernames and content ideas. Whenever I sit down with my supervisor, I use this journal to take notes of our discussions; this later helps me produce great content for the store.

This past month I assisted the Parliament team in the campaigning for their Grand Reopening, which took place this past Friday. Some of the responsibilities I have worked on include building social media content, curating a content calendar, sending email blasts and taking photographs. I also learned how to write a press release.

So far, my experience has been amazing and I can’t wait to see where this next month takes me. I am looking forward to learning more about the business and gaining marketable skills for my career. I encourage my readers to find an internship that will best educate you on your desired field. Internships lead to opportunities, and opportunities lead to careers.

Thank you so much for reading today’s Internship Files, and if you have specific questions feel free to comment your requests. I will utilize this series to offer advice on internships and share memorable stories and experiences. My goal is to write two of these each month. Stay tuned for more! I hope your Monday is wonderful and your week is grace-filled.

Enjoy today!

xo, Lyss

 

How to Boost Your Confidence in 3 Steps

Hello Babes,

Feeling stuck? Skin feeling dry from the harsh winter air? Motivation running low? You may be falling into a slump, and it’s okay, I am too. I know how difficult it can be to stay confident & positive all the time. Being a young woman in a judgmental society is already a challenge, then adding personal criticism on top of that is almost inevitable. How can you feel your best when the universe is all wrong? Well, this may be the root of your problem. I know what it’s like to fall in this “poor me” slump. You blame the universe for all your problems.

I understand it can sometimes feel like that, but the moment you start blaming outside sources for your feelings, that’s the moment your confidence will start to tank. You have to keep an open mindset and disregard the negativity that is trying to break you down. When you are confident, you begin to vibe at a different frequency. People and things below you may try to knock that because they will see your happiness. The key to being confident and staying at this level is to continue loving yourself and spreading positivity.

So, if you are feeling stuck in this rut and need to reconnect with the universe, here is my advice to you:

Be Positive & Spread Kindness: 

It’s a lot easier to be confident when you are positive and kind to others. Whenever I am overly sassy and walking around with a “poor me” attitude that only influences more negative energy. The negative energy then feeds my soul and makes me feel more “blah.” Being kind to others makes your heart feel good, and it also makes you feel happier overall. When you fill your thoughts with positive vibes, you will allow for more positivity to enter your life, and how can you be insecure when you are constantly positive?! It’s all about your mindset and understanding that your happiness is your choice.

Create a Daily Mantra:

Finding an inspirational and positive mantra to start your day with is really great for keeping your confidence levels up. You can then refer to this mantra/quote throughout the day. I love a good quote, and I decorate my life with them. I put them on my vision board, as my phone background and in my agenda. They keep me inspired and positive! I challenge you to find three mantras or quotes that inspire you.

Surround yourself with happy souls:

This is one of the most important steps to keeping yourself inspired, and though I encourage self-love and self inflicted happiness, it’s good for you to surround yourself with inspiring beings. When you are surrounded by other inspiring people who are killing it, this inspires you to be better and encourages more positive vibes. I have found myself in situations where I am living with, or surrounded by very negative energy, and I can see its impact on my mood. But, when I have attended a workout class or grabbed coffee with a good friend, I find that my positive energy rises. Trust me, that feels much better than negative energy.

Something to remember with this step is never be discouraged by someone elses successes, envy feeds negativity. When you choose to surround yourself with motivated individuals, you may sometimes feel less than them but that is a poisonous way to think. Think about all you are accomplishing in the present, you must focus your energy on that not on envying others. Allow these people to inspire you and keep you motivated, not discourage you and create jealousy.

If you are able to follow these three steps on a daily basis, you will find it a lot easier to keep your confidence up and your positivity flowing. I know this time of the year can be a struggle for many, but keep calm and be confident, you’ve got this!

Thank you all for reading today’s post! Remember that you can subscribe on the right of the page to stay updated with PYM.

Stay positive!

xo, Lyss

6 Ways to Supercharge Your Morning Routine

Hello Beautiful Souls,

There is nothing I love more than a great start to my morning; those mornings when you can just jump out of bed and seize the day. The problem is those do not happen everyday, and I’m sure you know what I mean. Wouldn’t it be great if every morning was like that though? Well, I may have the tips and tricks for you to supercharge your morning routine.

As we move into a new routine for the new year or new semester, our morning rituals may be impacted from our holiday breaks. Starting the morning off on the right foot effects how the rest of your day will go. We all know what happens when we wake up and something negative happens, right? The day seems to tumble down from there. That is why I am sharing my favorite morning rituals with you. Starting everyday with a fresh and positive outlook sets the whole day up for greatness.

6 Ways to Supercharge Your Morning:

Get enough sleep: As much as we would all love getting a solid 8 hours, it is not always possible with a busy schedule. Although you may lead a busy life, sleep is important to being able to continue daily activities adequately. Try to get at least 7 hours a night. Getting enough sleep is not only important to your mental health, but it is also important to your physical health.

Drink tea: Starting your day with some tea is great for many reasons; first, you get a head start on your water requirements for the day. You may also choose to drink a caffeinated tea that will boost your energy. Tea’s are really good for you too! Tea is natural and it is better than a sugary latte (which I still love). When I wake up and start checking my emails and schedule for the day, I like to drink some tea.

Wash your face (& moisturize): Washing your face is key to keeping beautiful and healthy looking skin, it will also make your skin feel refreshed each morning. Moisturizing is super important during the cold winter months, the wind can be brutal and you want to protect that gorgeous skin of yours.

Eat breakfast: The most important meal of the day, right? It really is! Eating breakfast in the morning, even if it is small, will energize you for the rest of the morning. I use to skip breakfast and instead have a cup of coffee. Now that I have began to eat breakfast, I feel more energy throughout my morning.

Check the biggest thing off your to-do list: Start your list of to do’s early, and start with the biggest task on the list. Once you finish the biggest task, you will be able accomplish the smaller tasks much quicker. My days are most productive when I am able to start early and check important things of my list.

Listen to a powerful playlist: When I am getting ready in the morning I love to throw on my favorite playlist to get my energy flowing. I have different playlists for different moods. When I am working on homework or work stuff, I may listen to a more mellow playlist. In the morning, I like to listen to either a dance/pop music playlist or an alternative playlist (Coldplay, American Authors, etc.).

Each morning you wake up you have a choice on how the day will go, and that decision is up to you. It starts when the alarm sounds, are you going to keep snoozing or wake up and attack the day? Your life is your choice, what you do is up to you. Your mindset for the day starts as soon as you wake up. If you tell yourself the day is going to suck, it will. If you tell yourself it is going to be a great day, then that’s what it can be. The choice is yours!

Thank you for reading today beautiful souls! I hope this post can offer you some motivation or inspiration to add to your morning routine. This semester is looking quite crazy for me but fear not, I will continue to work on bring my readers the best content. Don’t forget to subscribe to PYM if you enjoy reading every post and check us out on social media. Thank you again for reading.

Choose to be the best version of yourself today.

xo, Lyss