This month, I am really focusing on trying to meditate at least once a day and hopefully twice a day. Normally I do just meditate in silence however there are sometimes that I am just a little more wound up and need a guide to help me and keep me on track.
Below is a list of the best meditation apps that I have found and some of their pros and cons. Unfortunately not a whole lot in this world is free therefore all of these apps do have a subscription cost but they do also have some free content!
Simple Habit: First this app is free in the app store! This app is very simple if you are just looking for 5-10 minute guided meditations that are easy to find. There is a premium plan which unlocks even more guided meditations however I’ve just been using free ones and have really enjoyed it! Very simple and efficient way to meditate.
10% Happier: Free, however does have a premium plan that you have to pay for. They start off with 8 free sessions so if you’re looking for simple meditation where you just do the same thing over and over then this might be the app for you! The premium plan provides a coach and various other training sessions and videos that help you really dive into how you meditate and help you stick with it.
Headspace: This app is free in the app store however has very little free content to use without a subscription. At first it give you three free meditations and then after that you only get one free one a day. If you’re open to paying for it maybe look into it more, however it doesn’t seem to contain that much content in general.
I hope one of these apps can give you the inspiration to start meditating more often. Personally for me meditation has been a great way to help ease my anxiety and has greatly improved my sleep. Also if you are looking for free guided meditations check out YouTube! I’ve sound some great content on there that is always “free” after ads. I hope this helped and good luck with your meditation journey!
When I was studying abroad in Venice, Italy I wanted to make sure that I spent at least one weekend traveling completely on my own. I was a little nervous about it, however after months of traveling I was pretty confident that I would be perfectly fine. So I hopped on a bus Friday after class and headed from Venice to the town of La Spezia in the Cinque Terre region. I had decided to stay in a one bedroom airbnb because I wanted to have a relaxing weekend and since it was pretty late I just headed straight to bed.
The next day I woke up at the crack of dawn and went out to search for breakfast. I wanted to get started hiking the five towns of Cinque Terre so I grabbed a couple pastries to go and headed straight to the train station.
My hike started out at the first town of Monterosso al Mare. The sun was just starting to rise and it was the perfect cool temperature for hiking. The hiking conditions in Cinque Terre are definitely a little more advanced than I originally thought. They do vary and they would not be considered extreme however at the time I was hiking without an ACL in one of my knees because I had injured it and I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Regardless, I continued on.
The second town I came to was the town of Vernazza. It was a beautiful little town and I sat down and had a coffee at a seaside cafe to give myself a little break. I was only there for a little because shortly I was off to hiking to the next town Corniglia.
In Corniglia I stopped to have lunch and people watch. It was interesting to see how touristy these towns had become and how there were just buses and buses coming in to drop people off. It kind of makes me sad seeing all of it however I myself am a tourist so I understood still.
While hiking to the four town, Manarola, I met this amazing elderly couple. They had retired and were living in San Diego and were just hiking out here for fun. It was amazing getting to meet them and chat. I’ve noticed that when you are traveling alone more strangers will talk to you. It’s nice in a way to meet new people. It’s actually strange that I feel less alone when I travel alone.
I didn’t stop long in Manarola because I would worry if I did then I would just give up. The last town to hike to was Riomaggiore. This hike was by far the worst. It was one mile straight up hill and then one mile straight down hill. I was a little worried I wasn’t going to make it however, I did, and I treated myself with some gelato at the end.
14 miles and 10 hours later, I had officially hiked all of Cinque Terre. I was on the train headed back to La Spezia and I had planned to go to the store, buy some pasta and wine, and cook for myself in my airbnb. I also really just wanted to lay on the couch because I was so tired.
My evening was amazing, the view from my balcony was breathtaking and it was incredible to be able to sit there alone and really just think and be at peace.
The next day I just did a little sightseeing around La Spezia, talked to come locals, and then I headed back to Venice. It was an amazing weekend and I learned how to stand on my own and be more independent. I highly recommend if you are traveling, make sure you go and spend some time traveling alone, it might just change your life.
Years ago, before people would go traveling to a new country, or even just a new state, they would have to make sure that they have read up on the new place and have all different kinds of maps. Luckily, in this day and age, instead of lugging around books and pages everything you need can be easily head in your hand.
I studied abroad for four months last spring and these are the most useful apps that I found. Some of these work best when things have been downloaded offline so make sure you plan ahead!
- Google Translate. This is THE MOST useful app when it comes to traveling to a country with a different language. You can download and convert to and from any language and download the entire dictionary offline that way even if you don’t have WiFi or service you can still use it!
- Rome2rio. This app helps you find the best way to get anywhere! It shows you by walking, by train, by flying, by driving and it will show up with the train times and flights. It is by far the easiest way to get an easy estimate of how long it will actually take to travel somewhere.
- Sygic Travel. This is the best app for finding what to do in a ton of different cities. It gives ticket prices, best times to go, and tips and tricks! It is really the most helpful if you are traveling to a city that you don’t know a whole lot about.
The best part about all of these apps is that they are all free! I hope this helps in your travels!
Here’s to the dreamers
The forgotten ones
The I can’t wait to leave
The overly idealistic ones
The happy but sad ones
The ones who say “we will see”
The ones who can’t remember what they had for breakfast
The ones that didn’t have breakfasts
The ones who want to quit their job
The ones who don’t feel good enough
The ones who don’t belong
Here’s to the lost souls
This year is gonna be your year
The scariest part is starting the conversation.
What if they don’t agree?
What if they don’t want to talk to you?
What if they don’t care?
But that’s why it is so important.
Put yourself out there.
Tell them who you are.
Tell them how you feel.
Tell them all your hopes, dreams and fears.
All other conversations are pointless.
Start the conversation,
And let it go deep.
New year, new me right????
Well change can be for the good, and let’s not make fun of people that are trying to make a change for the better! There is one BIG change that I am going to try to make this year and it might be a bit of a challenge but if it’s not hard then I’ll never change.
I am going to have one rule. I am not going to buy anything new unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. By new I mean nothing from a first hand store therefore, goodwill is fair game. Only second hand things can be bought (obviously other than food and hygiene products). In my mind this doesn’t seem that difficult however, I haven’t even started yet.
One of the main reasons I am doing this is because I used to be a very materialistic person. I just wanted new things all the time. New clothes, new books, new everything and I thought it would make me happy. PLOT TWIST: it didn’t. I already don’t buy that much however I really want to ingrain this concept of need over want. We all want things, but is it really needed?
I hope you all can join in as long as you can! Let’s stop consumerism! Lets change our culture! Let’s be the next generation that has meaning behind their belongings, that changes the way they view products and how they impact our lives.
Stay tuned to see the challenges I face and how I overcame them!