Sunday, December 25, 2016

3 Goals for My Life

I will start this by saying that my life is not perfect. I'm still single, I can't cook (well), and I get hangry with a vengeance for no reason sometimes. That being said, I'm pretty dang happy regardless. I'm going to say that the reason is probably because I live to meet three goals when I die.

A while back I read an article that listed the most common things people regret on their death bed. It was morbid, heart breaking, and completely eye opening. I think what struck me most was that most of what they regretted not doing were things that I could accomplish right now in my life. So that leads us to...

3 Goals for My Life


1. I never want to say, "I wish I had spent more time with my family."

I get asked all the time...more like pitied in question form. "MeHaley, why in the world did you move back to your home town?" "How do you stand it?"

Because at the end of my life I want to be able to say that I spent AS MUCH time with my family as I could. 

I know I'm single, no kids, no pets, etc. so this is an easy thing for me to accomplish, but I don't care. I love spending time with my family and I refuse to take it for granted.

PLUS my home town is pretty gorgeous.

A photo posted by Me'Haley (@duffeltales) on

2. See the World While You Can

Yes. All the yes. While I'm completely free of attachment my goal is to see the world, or as much of it as I can. Last summer I got the chance to take a month long road trip across the US to see 16 different National Parks, and it wasn't enough. I'm ready to go back out and do it over and over again until I can't any more.

A photo posted by Me'Haley (@duffeltales) on

A photo posted by Me'Haley (@duffeltales) on

A photo posted by Me'Haley (@duffeltales) on

3. Do Something Worthwhile

I LOVE my job. I love it even when I hate it. One thing I love the most is that every day I'm impacting lives. It's not easy and not everyone could do it, but I can. I'm not saying everyone should be a teacher, but there are a million other things that you can do to change the world in some small way. So I may not be a millionaire at the end of my life, but I will for sure have a million worthwhile moments to look back on.

A photo posted by Me'Haley (@duffeltales) on

What are your goals for your life?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

If Life was a Competition

It's been a while! My God has it been a while. I'm sorry. My life has been a series of interesting events and end of school year happenings. You know...normal teacher problems. I guess now is the time to update everyone on my life. That is if you actually care. If you don't that's okay! There are pretty pictures down below to look at instead. Here we go!

I'm right in the middle of summer planning. Between a long-term road trip, going to a music academy for teachers, and visiting family in far off places, it's looking like it will be a top shelf summer!  I love moving and traveling. A quick fun fact about me is that I actually dread breaks from school where I have nothing planned. I'm happiest when I'm either working or seeing the world.


I recently found a quote that to summarize tells you not to compare yourself to others, only compare yourself to your past self. When I read it, it really struck me. I'm not a competitive person at all. I've never been the type of person to set out and be the best. I am however the type of person to compare my life to others', and I need to stop it.  It shouldn't matter to me who's getting married, who has a house, who is starting a business, or definitely who is or is not single. I have an awesome life. That's all that matters. End of statement.

If I want to improve anything about my life, I need only to make it better than the life I had yesterday. So that's my goal for the summer/rest of the year. I hope it sticks! And I hope everybody is happy with their lives, because your life is awesome, and I'm jealous of how well everyone's life is going.

p.s. Photo Credit goes to where I found these adorable illustrations of classic quotes.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Things I've Learned in My 20's

 I am halfway through my twenties. I've learned some pretty important things in these five years that I feel the rest of the twenty something population might agree with.

Buy the Things that Make You Happy.
 Even if this means you have to save up for months, do it. Save the money. Buy the things. If you can't stop thinking about it get it. Your happiness is important.

Sometimes People Don't Know that They are Hurting You Unless You Tell Them.
 This one was actually shocking to me when I first found out. How could people not know that they are causing you pain!?!'s a thing. Not everyone is raised exactly the same way you were. They haven't been with you for every bruised knee, hurtful joke, or broken heart. Let people know they're hurting you. If they continue to do it, punch them in the face.

Let Go of Relationships that are One-Sided.
If you are the one putting in all the effort let them go. It's not worth it. If they were truly "In it to win it." they will feel the need to fill the void and start doing their part.

Dating is Hard.
Period. End of Statement. 

Find a T.V. Show You Love and Buy the DVDs.
 Despite what you may think internet will not always be available. It goes out sometimes. Having DVDs of your favorite show is like having a security blanket. It's nice to hear a familiar voice when you're home alone.

Spend Time with Your Family.
The older you get, the older they get. Think about it. 

Do Things that Scare You.
 I can't name one life changing experience I've had that didn't scare me first. As long as it doesn't kill you go do it. Meet new people. Go to exciting events. Get that haircut. 

It's Okay to Love Your Job AND Want a Completely Different Career.
 I LOVE my job, and I don't use that word lightly. I enjoy it even on my bad days. This doesn't mean that I don't constantly fantasize about becoming a helicopter pilot. Having dreams pushes you to do your best and gives you hope on bad days.

Hold On to Friends Who Ask for Nothing but Time.
 Your time is more valuable than any material possession you could ever own. If you have friends that know this and cherish your time accordingly. Hold on to them.

Couch Surf as Often as Possible.
 It's a rite of passage. Just do it.

Panicking is Totally Normal.
 ABSOLUTELY no one knows exactly what they are doing. Panic attacks are the brain's reminder that you're still learning.

And most importantly...
You can Absolutely Fix Anything.
 Forget what anyone else says. Anything is fixable.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

See the World from the Woods

My summers are always jam packed with adventures. This summer I've spent a grand total of ten days at home. 

This was a big year for me. I finished my first year at my big girl job and I got a house. What all this means is that my budget was MUCH smaller than usual. So in an effort to be adaptable I decided to stay in North America and see the world like I never have hiking it. The trip plan was to start in Vancouver then hike all the national parks along our route. We started in Garibaldi Provincial Park, then Deception Pass State Park, Seattle (to be touristy), Olympic National Park, and finished off with Mount Rainier. 

After 10 days of miles, mountains, and ocean shores I've learned a few things.

1. Take a chance and go off the beaten path. My favorite part of the entire trip wasn't even supposed to happen. We got into town a little early on that day so we did some exploring and stumbled upon some of the most beautiful bays I've ever seen.

2. Dont under estimate what you can accomplish. Climbing mountains is something I thought I'd never do. With the help of my companions and lots of bribery I made it up two mountains!

This is what it felt like.

3. You need to "wing-it" at least once in your life. Except for our first two nights, hotels came when and where we could find them. There was panic definitely more than once, but it all worked out.

4. Stop and look at the trees. You can take this metaphorically or literally. Either way, I promise you won't be disappointed.

5. Always appreciate the little things. They're what you remember the most.

P.s. Excuse all the different picture sizes. This post is brought to you from my iPad.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dear World: I've Been Busy

I know, I know. I've been slacking. This isn't the first time and we both know it. Whenever my life gets hectic the blog takes a bit of a back seat, and that's okay.

Because my blog is a form of relaxation and a way to keep anxiety at bay, it does exactly what I need when I need it. So between finishing up school for the year, moving into my house, throwing a house warming party, hosting a week's worth of house guests, and traveling all over the United States I think it's forgiven if I take a short break.

I'm coming back though...

My house is almost ready for the world to take an inside tour with me. I mean...I HAVE A SOFA! I almost celebrated an entire day over this until my air conditioning judiciously died on me.

So while my house and I mentally psych up for a home tour I hope you will accept this peace offering of a life update and know that I am completely okay. Just a little busy living my life in the two months of off time I get.

Can't wait to get back into the swing of things. Feel free to tell me about your wonderful lives!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Tattoo Story

I'll be honest. This post has always been a scary thought for me. I've mentioned before that I live in a very politically correct world. I have a politically correct job where I dress within a certain standard and act a certain way. Tattoos have become more socially acceptable since their invention, but they are still frowned upon in my everyday life. I like to rebel here and there where I can get away with it. My biggest rebellions to date are dying my hair florescent pink, and today's story. This is my tattoo story.

I'd always known from a young age that I wanted a tattoo. Whenever I want something really bad especially something as big as a permanent mark on my body, I will wait for it. So from the time I was 18 until the time I was 23 I planned, I researched, and I waited. Five years is a long time, but when it comes to commitment I can wait. 

I always thought I'd end up with a small music note, or an epically long quote that meant something to me. What I ended up with was so much better. If there is one thing I know it's that I will love traveling and the world until the end of my life.

Luckily for me when I decided I was making the right decision my best friend was also making the decision to get a tattoo of her own (not her first.) On the day of our appointment I was accompanied by my very best friend, and her always honest husband.

I knew the exact moment that I had made the right decision. My tattoo artist had just put my stencil on to check the placement. I walked over to the mirror, checked it out and thought it was a good placement. When I  asked my two escorts my best friend who had just finished with her tattoo (I don't remember why I thought it was a good idea for her to go first) said it looked great. Her husband said it was "adorable." I had never heard him use the word adorable before so I took it as a sign and I said. Let's Do It!
I chose my tattoo for many reasons. A few of which I told to my tattoo artist while he was drawing it.
1. I've been traveling and flying since I was three years old. It's the love of my life.
2. I have terrible wanderlust and one day I will travel the world. "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."
3. My dad is one of the smartest people I know. He prides himself on his knowledge of geography, so it's kind of a throw back to him.
4. It's brown because I wanted something that would age well. The more it fades the better it will look, like an aged map.
5. It's on my shoulder so I can easily hide it at work and show it off when I want to without being indecent. 
6. It doesn't have edges so any time only parts of it are showing it looks like a birth mark.

Here it is...

Post tattoo I have discovered a few things about myself. 
  • The pain I went through for this tattoo is a lot less than I had originally imagined. Although Africa nearly sent me off the table.
  • I am a one tattoo woman. I crave organization and matching. I've realized that tattoos unless done all in one sitting are insanely difficult to make look like one fluid piece of art.
  • I enjoy the mystery having a hidden tattoo gives me. It's my own personal rebellion and I love it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Travel Tip: Change Your Seat

So you've planned a trip. You've booked the hotel, the transportation, and you got those very important tickets to that special thing you wanted to see. You may have even already booked your plane tickets. Then you find out they aren't the seats you wanted. Now your trip is ruined. Here's a helpful tip.... Change your seats at the gate. 

Once you've gone through airport security and hit every checkpoint imaginable you'll have to sit there for several tedious hours waiting to board anyway. Why not make the most of it?

Usually everyone has checked in an hour before the flight, so this is an optimal time to change. Luckily most flights do not book up completely so there is usually some wiggle room for finding open seats. All you have to do is walk up to the desk, tell them your seat number, show them your boarding pass, and ask if there are any other open seats.

The best part is that if the only other open seats are in fact worse than your previously purchased seats you can politely tell them "that's okay" and walk away no worse for wear.

One example of this travel tip coming in handy is my recent trip to England. Unfortunately the only seats my travel companion and I could secure on such late notice were the very middle seats in the middle of the plane next to other passengers who were inevitably dreading seats next to us as well. (Not because we smelled or anything, but I'm not the most social on 10 hour flights.)

While waiting at our gate we went up to the desk and asked if there was any way we could change seats. Boy did we get lucky. There were two open seats at the back, next to the bathrooms in their own row.

The flight attendant warned us that these were not preferential seats because of their proximity to the bathroom but honestly that wasn't a con it was a pro.

We had our own row, we had extra room because of the awkward placement of the seats, we were some of the first people served because we were close to the attendants which means they were always nearby for help, AND we never had to wait for the bathroom. A quick glance over our shoulders always informed us if there was a line or an opening for the bathroom.

Wait a second...This turned into a post trying to convince you to love the back seats of the plane. That's not what I meant to convey. Instead I'm telling you not to stress about your seats on a flight. You can change them, and they will probably work out better than the original seats anyway.

Do you have any travel tips? We're all friends here. Go ahead and share.

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