Monday, August 31, 2015

Travelling Soul

Hey friends! 

Blogging all the way from Chicago, IL! (Whoops…definitely started this post there! Posting from LA!) As you can tell, I have been MIA for the last couple of months….Sorry! But I must say that although the last several months have been busy and have consisted of a lot of travelling and up & going - I’ve been loving it! (A LOT!) There has been a lot that has changed in my life and I have never felt so good about where I am, I feel so happy, and I can say that the past couple months have been the best months of my life thus far! I finished off school for the year and started my adventures in Québec City, Québec! Pouvez-vous parler en français? Québec City is beautiful! (Or should I say La Ville de Québec?) If you’ve never been, it’s a MUST SEE! The culture, the language and the city is so incredible! It’s nothing like anywhere else in North America! I can’t keep raving about how great Québec is, especially Vieux Québec. Vieux Québec, an area within the city, resembles Europe with it’s cobble stone roads, the authentic architecture of it’s buildings, and the quaint little feel that it carries. It’s quite the sight to see, and a lovely one at that! Spending 7 weeks in Québec City helped me learn so much not only about myself but it helped me grasp a better understanding of what I want and love in life. 7 long but short weeks had finally come to it’s end and I couldn’t believe how much I was thinking, breathing and loving french. I have been learning the french language since I was in 4th grade, but this incredible experience to be immersed in the language for 7 short weeks has done more good for me than anything else has in the last 10+ years of learning french! Leaving Québec was so incredibly difficult for me since I had formed such amazing lifelong friendships with people all across North America that I will never forget. Crazy right? 

Something more crazy was my spontaneous decision to drive down to The Big Apple during my stay in Québec. I headed down to New York City for a few days and took a look at what they had to offer. I will definitely say that staying on Times Square was the best decision ever! I had access to everything, from the Rockefeller Centre to the 9 floor Macy’s! Most of the things I needed to see were within walking distance which not only made for a great workout but also did good on my wallet! NO BUS or CAB FARE! New York City is definitely very fast paced. Everyone is on the go and it seems like the city never sleeps! One thing that I definitely will point out is that the drivers there are very aggressive! Ditch the car and walk! Going from Québec City to New York City for a couple of days was such a big language shock to me because at that point I had already been immersed in the french language for 3 weeks already! It was definitely strange to hear English being spoken once again! 

After returning to Québec for another 4 weeks, I finally got to fly home and sleep in my own bed! Lucky for me, it was only several days before I got to fly out to Greencastle, Indiana for a sorority leadership conference! Theta Emerging Leaders Institute 2015! What an experience it was! Not only did I get to go back to the roots of where my sorority started from, but I also got to stay in the enormous Alpha Chapter’s house! It was absolutely crazy and amazing! We spent long days, learning about who we are and what qualities we hold, Woo! Go #ThetaELI15! After this conference, I had made the spontaneous decision to go to Chicago, IL! (I seem to always be full of spontaneous decisions!) Chicago is probably one of my most favorite cities in all of America. I feel as though it resembles a slower paced New York! Its vibes are just so incredible. 

After my Chicago adventure I got to go home for a little bit and before I knew it, I was off to a big country festival! It was so mind-blowing to see one of my favorite bands, Lady Antebellum play live! #BestConcertoftheYear! They seriously were so incredible! Is it bad that I know every single lyrics to almost every single song!? Being able to dance like no one was watching (even though there were clearly thousands of people watching) was so freeing and fun! Right out of this 3 day country festival I drove from the grounds straight to the airport at 2 am in the morning to catch my flight at 6 am in the morning to Sunny Southern Los Angeles, California for the best 10 days of my life. No word of a lie. I got to attend a leadership conference called Leadershape. Those short 10 days did so much from changing the way of how I’m living my life to what I’m doing with my life and just how I view life in general now. This conference helped me learn so much about goal setting and achieving my goals. This in combination with my experience at Theta ELI has really helped me so incredibly much in learning about who I am as a person and what I want to do with my life! If you haven’t taken the reins in your life yet, I would totally recommend doing so and doing everything you can to set goals and pursue them. Don’t bring your dreams down to your reality, bring your reality up to your dreams! 

I would, without a doubt, also recommend attending a LeaderShape conference if you are lacking inspiration in achieving your goals and becoming a leader not only in others lives but your own! I am so thankful and grateful for the experience of attending LeaderShape. Seriously. I don’t even have words to express it. One thing I do know how to express is how grateful I am for the people that I got to meet from the conference. I think that is what made the experience so incredible! I have friendships that I will remember forever that span all across America. 

After 2 free days before the conference, then 5 days at the conference, I got to spend the last 3 days after the conference in San Diego! I will say that this trip to California has changed a lot of my perspectives on life. I know that’s something big to say, and something even bigger to say is that the those 10 days were seriously the best 10 days of my life thus far. (I will say that, in hindsight, I even experienced my most picture perfect/movie "outting" while there too without even knowing it.) But enough of the giddy little teenage girl freaking out and moving on… haha. After this wonderful adventure I got to head home for a nice relaxing but work-filled week! I contradictory right?! These past 2 weeks I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with my family and got to bond with them so much which I am so thankful for! I don’t remember the last time that I actually got to do that! 

Even though the summer is winding down and coming to an end, the amazing adventures aren’t. They're just winding up and beginning! I am so grateful and thankful for the amazing and incredible experiences that I’ve had this summer. I’m so elated to know that I have met so many new, wonderful and influential people that I can now call lifelong friends. This summer will be a summer that I will never forget and has been the best summer of my life. There really are no words that I have that describe how I feel about all these crazy, joyous, unbelievable experiences that I have had. Thank you to everyone for making this summer what it was. I seriously don’t have words to explain how happy, thankful and grateful I am for it all. 

Next Adventure: Funny thing is that, in a week this will all come full circle because I’ll be back in Chicago! 

Some little things I’ll remember about Quebec:
The 800/801 that took you to the only places that you ever really needed to go - Vieux Québec, Chocolat Favoris, and The Dag! 
Chocolat Favoris, where you could indulge in delicious chocolate dipped soft serve ice creams varying from your simple favorites like Vanilla to something as elaborate as Maple! Think DQ but 1000000 times better! Actually…it’s so much better that it isn’t even comparable to DQ, but you get the idea!
The Pub, from delicious wing nights, to the grandiose poutine to the change from pub to night club on Thursdays. I will definitely remember all the nights that I danced it out. 
The Dag - enough said.
Pavillion Charles DeKonick, or otherwise known as DKN, where French was really the only language you could speak or else you’d be at risk of getting a Carte Rouge, which was a definite no-no!
Carte Verte - I’ve never really collected anything in my life but collecting these were fun!
Pizza Salvatore - Unlimited pizza, unlimited salad, unlimited fries, unlimited bread sticks, unlimited ice cream, unlimited drinks. À Volonté! All for $10!
Bureau de Poste - where delicious food and student budgets actually agreed! $5 for anything and everything on the menu? Yes please! 
Res - from the games room and the kitchen to the study rooms and the dorm rooms (Oh, and even the awful BO, cigarette smoke and God knows what else, that lingered on the 1st floor of Wing E), I will never forget Parent. 
Pub Saint Alexandre - Incredible live music to delicious desserts and handsome waiters; this was my definite go to spot for a good time. 
On the same note of Pub Saint Alexandre - Thierry Gomez! I will not forget his angelic voice. Going to more than 5 of his live sets, I always found myself having an incredibly extraordinary night no matter how many times I heard him sing the same set over and over again! Thierry! Get that album out so that I can buy it!
Mario Taquera - Thank you for your hospitality and your wonderful live music as well! When I was left in Québec City by myself, you were always there to accompany me at the pub and fill me in on all the musical deets!
Sister Dorardo - What a coincidence that of all places that you and I could have been, we were in the same place! I can’t even begin to thank you for your love and knowledge! I can’t wait for you to come home!
Metro - Groceries, groceries, groceries. 
Vieux Québec - I can’t even count how many times I went to Vieux Québec but no matter how many times I had gone there, there would be a new adventure to embark on every time. Boredom never existed here.
The people I met - There are no words to even express my love for all of you. My experience would never have been the experience that it was if I had not met all of you! 
The Fam - I love you. If I type any more than that, I might start crying!

Some little things I’ll remember from Emerging Leaders Institute:
Small Group. I have never been able to meet such a beautiful group of leading women (and Carson. Haha.) Thank you for allowing me to open up and share who I am. Thank you for trusting me and sharing yourselves with me. I am so thankful for Theta and the wonderful sisterhood we have to connect over it. You truly have inspired me to be a leading women.
BaFa’ BaFa’ - This was just hilarious
Dairy Castle - best break ever.
Alpha House/DePauw - Can’t believe I stayed at the Alpha house..where Bettie Locke started it all!
Theta Ladies - I am so thankful to have met so many other Theta’s. You all are amazing and remind me of how wonderful our sisterhood is. I am so lucky to share that with all of you!

Some little things I’ll remember from AFLVs LeaderShape Institute:
Family Clusters. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better family cluster. #SQUAD! SQUAD ARE THOSE!? SQUAD UP! Can’t believe I bonded with y’all so quick in such a short period of time. I could trust y’all with my life. Maybe. haha P.S. I am seriously have crazy withdrawals right now! I miss y’all so much! 
The Learning Community - I learned so much from this conference that has really inspired me to pick up my life and start going somewhere with it. I absolutely loved every part of it.
Chair set up - There was never one time that we’d return to the learning community and the chairs be set up the same way! Loved the change up!
In and Out - Milkshakes. Burgers. Fries. Animal Style. Late Nights. Way too many calories.
Late Night Walks - First night at institute will be definitely be memorable. Thank you boys <3
Lockdown - You gave us an inch…so we took a mile. 
UCLA/California - Couldn’t have picked a better place to have LeaderShape. It was amazing!
Baby Shark - I sing that song in my head atleast once a day.
APPLESAUCE - Troy. We had the most awesome handshake ever!
My lovely Greeks - This experience made me realize how grateful I am to be part of the greek system and that there are so many wonderful people that are out there. Y’all are amazing and I am still in so much disbelief that I got to meet such incredible, world changing people. You have given me faith that America will make it. ;)

I must show gratitude to the lovely people I met on my journey: 

Sister Dorado - HOW IN THE WORLD DID WE END UP IN THE SAME PLACE!? I have no clue but I know it was in Heavenly Father’s plan to bring us together! I can’t wait until you’re back!

Cameron - Where do I start!? I seriously love you to death but at the same time sometimes I seriously want to strangle you to death haha. Sometimes the things you do make me stop in my tracks and just think…What the heck just happened?! You actually make me rethink life at times and make me wonder why you do things the way you do. I usually am in disbelief every time I am with you but...all-in-all I seriously am so glad we met because you are amazing and just always give me a good chuckle tout le temps!

Trevor - WE MADE IT! Dude, you are hilarious and so funny! Thanks so much for being so patient in teaching me! You are awesome and I am so glad that I got to meet someone that is as sweet as you! You are the perfect guy friend any person could have! I am also so glad that you shared your secret proposal secret with us! I am so elated for you and Robyn!! Fiancé life ftw! 

Elliott - I will have to admit that you are the first male that actually agreed to watching Pretty Little Liars with me! You are flipping amazing and I am so glad that we got to bond! You seriously are the sweetest and I still am going to freak out every time I think about you writing with your left hand haha. Weird I know. BUT true!

Emma - hahahahahahaahahaha. All I want to do is laugh. Girl. I can’t even come up with words to say because I feel like we could just look each other straight in the eye and we’d both totally understand what we are communicating to each other. There is not one single word to describe our relationship. Just one look. 

Brian - Brian. French class to Québec to church to every little thing in between. I am so grateful that we are friends. I am so grateful for you. I am so grateful to really call you a friend of mine. I am so thankful for your wisdom, knowledge, patience, kindness and support. I feel like we went from an awkward phase straight to…a I get you and understand you and feel so comfortable around you phase. It’s the best. You’re the best!

Alex - Couldn’t have asked to sit by anyone else in French class! You are the funniest and I can’t wait to learn spanish so I can speak to you in your native language!

Pauline - GIRL. I LOVE EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN PART OF YOU! I still can’t believe you are from Pennsylvania. Girl. Seriously. I love you! The laughs we had. Man. I remember the first day of class and you coming to sit by me. Best day ever!

Amir - You don’t look a day over 24!

Avi - Thanks for being my dance partner! 

Lexi - Thanks so much for sharing your crazy amazing Theta Chants and Cheers with me! I haven’t stopped singing them since you’ve shared them!

Melissa and Bianca - We seriously had a connection right off the bat. Can't deny it. Only if Marco had introduced us in Québec! I love you girls! Come visit soon!

Elizabeth - Thank you for inspiring me so much. Your drive and desire to reach your goals makes me want to complete mine even more. I don’t even have words to describe how you being so headstrong encourages me to pursue my dreams!

Hattie - Empathy. I will always remember that. Your sweet soul and heart reminds me to be kind to others everyday. We need more of you in the world!

Kandice - You’re full of smarts and I can’t believe you are going to take the MCAT! Thanks for inspiring me to do even better in school. 

Emilee - I loved the deep talks we had and I know that you are strong at heart. I know that you’ll do what’s right for you even if it might hurt a little. Stay strong love. 

Angela - Can I just say that I love your style!? Oh I also forgot that..the fact that you know exactly what you want to do in your future amazes me! I barely can decide what I want for lunch! Thank you so much for sharing your passion and opening my eyes to it!

Catherine - I wish I could see you everyday. Just who you are as a person makes me laugh so much! You don’t know how much you crack me up all the time! There is no doubt that I can see you being amazing at whatever you choose to do! 

Carson - Thank you so much for your opening ears and your guidance. Thank you for helping me think so critically and really opening my mind to things that I never thought about. Thank you for helping me learn so much more about myself that I never would have been able to discover on my own. You really have been one of the keystones to helping me begin to discover who I am as a woman and I can’t emphasize how much that means to me. 

Kate - thanks for your over joyous love for english. I love how determined you are even after going to university to still pursue your love in the english language and fly back and forth from state to state just to chase that love!

Cynthia - thanks for showing me that no matter what age you are that you can still really live life to its fullest. 

Jeff - thanks for sharing your story, teaching me all about educational technology, and telling me all about LA…and Compton! Haha Can’t wait to take the educational aspect and apply it in my degree and classroom! I never knew how much you could do with technology! 

Jamie - I will still always be in disbelief as to how we met. Thank you so much for all you have done and for the great and fun talks.Thanks for your hospitality! AND Thanks for showing me around! Connecting over our shared Patriotism since day 1!

Sheridan - I won’t forget the amazing and deep conversations that we had. Thank you for trusting me and sharing so much with me. I absolutely love your radiant personality and I wish I could just see you everyday, to be around it! I know you are a strong girl and no matter what happens, I know you will always pull through! Don’t ever stop being you. I know you can get through anything and I am always here for you no matter what! P.S.  I couldn’t believe that I saw you at the airport when we were both headed home!! It seriously made me so happy!

Troy - Our handshake was dope!

Jean-André - Your musical talent is incredible and reminded me of how much I love music! Thank you for helping me rediscover that. 

Nate - Filipina/o pride!! There was not one time that I talked to you that you didn’t have a smile plastered across your face. Don't ever let anyone wipe that smile off! You are just full of adventure and I love it! 

Mark - You are the absolute sweetest Kentucky boy I have ever met. Your cowboy hat and boots really ties your look together and I am so glad we got to connect over our love for country music, country clothing and country everything. I am so glad to have met you! You’re one of a kind!

Darren - Man. I’ll never forget tandem biking with you along the Californian beach coast! Meeting up before conference, exploring LA, secret planning and then roaming Los Angeles in the dead of night! You are so fun and I am so glad to have learned your story and am so grateful for people like you that serve. I’m sure this is just the beginning to an awesome friendship!

Ally - New York. Party. Fun times. Every time I think of you I can’t help but to think of you and the crazy fun things you do! I will never forget the first time you confronted me.. about you know what… I will also never forget when I ran onto the bus to tell you about my crazy adventures I was going to have. Yeah I might do crazy things, but I’m just learning from the best ;)

Allison - You have no idea how much your desire to help kids with special needs inspires me. You are so incredible and we need more people in the world like you. We also need more people like you who do donut challenges. haha

Georgia - Mean Girls. California Donuts. Turn off the utilities. You’re my favorite DG of all time! <3

Alex H - Alex. I am so inspired by how you were so driven to complete your goals during conference and how you have continued to help me complete mine after. You don’t even know how thankful I am for you! I am so thankful that I have met someone who is helping me with my Day 7! Don’t stop Alex! You are going to go so far!

Alex B - Never thought I would have met another Youtuber! We NEED TO COLLAB! P.S. You are so incredibly talented!

Mia - I thought I was happy, positive and joyous all the time. Wrong. Your ray of sunshine and constant happy mood caught me in disbelief. No matter were always happy and had something positive to say. Mia. Don’t stop what you’re doing because we need more happiness in this world and you are helping start the movement!

Jacob - I was so amazed to hear your transformation and your story. Jacob you are so goal driven and I know you will go so far. I am so inspired by your movement and how you want to make sure that others experience the same inspiration that you have had.

Jessica - First of all, I have to say that I absolutely love your hair and am so envious of it! Second, I never would have thought that I’d meet someone else that knew ASL! You are so sweet and I don’t think I will ever pronounce “Bagel” the same way again!

Keenan - I LOVE the snaps you send. You are hilarious and I am so glad we could connect over the fact that you have family that lives nearby! You are hilarious on so many levels and I couldn’t find the words to explain how much you make me chuckle, even if you wanted me to. Oh, and sooooo glad that there was someone else that I could share my love of hockey with!

Donald - Donald. First of all..never be anyone else but you. The world needs more people like you. You don’t even know it but you are hilarious and I really wish that you worked on my campus so I could come by your office and have my daily dose of Dangit Donalds! I am so inspired by your outlook on life and how you have taken every part of your life and are living the dream! WOO! You have inspired me so much to want to live the dream too. Seriously. I never knew that it was possible and to really see someone living it day to day gives me hope that one day, I can achieve it too! LTD!

Damien - I really don’t know where to start. First of all, you’re a gem. Seriously.You never cease to amuse me. It’s never a dull moment with you. I will never forget the countless hours on end that we could spend talking. I will never forget Santa Monica. I still go everyday in disbelief that everything happened the way it did. I can’t thank you enough for everything. YOU - are the kind of story that I could only ever dream of telling. Don’t ever change. 

Thank you to EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. You have no idea how much each and everyone of you has impacted my life. This summer and the last several months have been full of changes (...and changes for the good at that). It truly has been the most unforgettable and unbelievable summer of my life and I will never be able to express how grateful and thankful I am for it.

Life is incredible if you just let it lead you. 

(Pictures coming soon!)


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