Summer Vacation 

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to visit Northern California for three weeks. I traveled via train (my preferred means of travel). The plan was this, to travel from Union Station to Monterey and stay with my friend for a couple of days, from Monterey to Lodi and stay with my friends for a week, and from Lodi to Lake Tahoe and stay in a cabin for another week. I said my goodbyes to my parents and hoped on the train.

Monterey, Ca

Spending the weekend with one of my best friends and experiencing “seaside living” was pretty awesome. Over the course of a couple of day, we went to the beach and boogie boarded, had a couple of nights on the town, played pool at the local hotel, and hit up numerous tourist hot spots. On the last day, we hiked at the beautiful Point Lobos. It was an overall eventful weekend. image

Lodi, Ca

My two good friends picked me up from Monterey and we took a mini road trip to Lodi. I was so excited to be reunited with my friends and spend the entire week just having fun. This being my first extended trip to my hometown after moving a year ago, I was pumped. After reuniting with my best friends we all loaded into two cars and headed back towards the coast. image I spent my remaining days just feeling like a kid again, not a care in the world. It’s such an incredible feeling when you are able to grow a long distance friendship and when you reunite, everything seems to just feel like nothing has changed ( the beauty of technology). After a week of fun in the sun, it was time to go on my annual trip to Lake Tahoe. There I would spend my birthday and explore the beautiful Forrests and lakes along the California-Nevada boarder.

Lake Tahoe, Ca

Every summer, I go on an annual trip to Tahoe, hosted by my friend’s family.  There was a group of us and we segregated ourselves via the “generational gap” it was the young ones that graduated that year from high school and all of the returning college students. Of course, it was all a joke seeing that we are all such a close group. We spent the week jet skiing, night swimming, kayaking, playing board games, and sitting on the deck just having the best conversations. image image

I remember one morning as we woke up at 4am to watch the sunrise, I just couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be able to experience unadulterated bliss. I used those moments, as I was sitting on the dock in the silence to just remember that moment in time. In that moment, I had no worries. In that moment, all of the negativity left the world in it’s place, positivity. In that moment, I felt at one with nature. In that moment, I connected with God.

I was just to greatful have three weeks to myself, to just live life to the fullest. Those were some memories that I will cherish forever. As I’m sitting here, tying away, I’m also making a mental itinerary of the week ahead. I’m thinking about all the tests I need to take, my impending shifts at work, and numerous other tasks. I’m also excitedly awaiting my next adventure. My everyday life can be mundane, but those moments of excitement and trips, keep me going.

Sincerely, the refreshed


Flashback Friday: 1 

It’s always nice to look back on the greatest times in life and just appreciate all the incredible people and experiences that have influenced you along the way. Every Friday, I’ll post a “flashback Friday” to give all of you an insight into who I am and some  of the things that bring me joy.  

 This photo was taken two months ago in Mexico. I was so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to take a cruise to Catalina island and Mexico for spring break. This photo is so special to me because it reminds me why I want to continue to travel. Traveling to a new place can be daunting and a little odd at times, but the experiences and impression it leaves is priceless! 

~sincerely, the reminiscer 


The Time is Now 

I have been researching different organizations and ways of traveling, but I want to know first hand: how should I go about it? 

I am on the verge of selling everything I own and moving to Australia. I do not want to live the typical 9-5 all my life. I want to explore, I want to be cultured, I want more!!

I am currently working and going to school, I fantasize everyday of an adventurous, more meaningful life. 

I know it may sound brash of me to want to pick up and leave my life behind, maybe it’s even irresponsible, but this is my life and I want to make something of it. I want God to make something of it. 

What are some avenues you have gone through in order to travel or even accomplish a seemingly unattainable goal?  I’m very curious to know so please, I encourage you to leave a reply. 

~xo Val



My first cruise 

As some of you may already know, I have this insane need and hunger for travel. I’m the type of person who constantly needs to be on the move. 

Last week, I was so fortunate to have been invited on a cruise by my so very generous mother. 

I experienced some amazing encounters and was able to visit a country I’d never been, Mexico. We also stopped at Catalina island. 

I feel so blessed to have gone and here are a few pictures from the trip. Enjoy!

~ Xoxo Val  



Looking for Charities in Australia 

I’m currently planning a one month trip to Australia. I want this trip to help me discover my purpose on this Earth. It should be an odyssey of self discovery. I also want to help out local charities. This is the main reason for this post. I need your help. 

Do you know of any charities that I can assist with while visiting. I would love to get the chance to assist people in need while in return, they assist me by giving me purpose. Please do leave the links or names of any charities you know of in the comments section. Have a blessed day 



LA Odyseey 

Last Saturday, my best friend came to visit me from Northern California. Considering that we both originate from NorCal, we divised a plan to hit the most well known places in Los Angeles. 

The first stop on our list was The Grove. As we ventured into the deeper parts of LA, we realized that Los Angles was a blend of the luxurious and the unrefined. When we arrived at The Grove we quickly realized how common parking complexes are and also how much of an unnecessary hassel they are. The Grove however, was a gorgeous place. It was the epitome of the SoCal lifestyle. Every corner we turned, walked another well dressed and uncannyily attractive person. After about 2 hours, we decided to travel to our next destination, Beverley Hills. 

“Beverley Hills that’s where I want to be,” was the song of choice for this portion of our trip. We drove through the beautiful neighborhoods of the rich and maybe even famous. Rodeo drive is a well known street in Beverly Hills and the main reason for our presence and we weren’t really sure of what to expect. It was actually one of the most chaotic places I have ever drove in, but in a way, it was so exhilarating. We stopped at an overly priced candy shop and I was almosted tempted to by chocolate peanuts primarily for the novelty aspect of it, the packaging was also pretty cute. After getting back to the car, our last stop on our trip was LACMA.

The Los Angeles County Musuem Of Art was an incredible place, well the outside of it was (we didn’t go in). The LACMA was a must see solely for the Urban Lights. We found a nice and secluded parking lot were we summoned up the courage to participate in the beanboozled challenge. If in fact you ever do this, be warned that the assortment of dog food and vomit are accurately flavored, weird. We waited for about two hours to utilize the premium light to night ratio. Before arriving at these becautiful light poles, we stopped in Hancock to climb a bear statue, it was defiantly worth it. The majority of our trip was spent taking awkward pictures at the lights. After getting told off a couple of times climbing the poles, we finally caught the hint. We were in a sea of tourists and locals and couldn’t have felt more at home. 

After a scary walk to back to the car, we made our way to the 101.  Our day had come to an end and we were so fortunate of had the opportunity to gallivant around Los Angeles. 


Anywhere, But Here 

It’s a Tuesday night, I’m watching the popular gossip show ‘Extra’, and eating the last remaining pieces of Valentines candy. Typical, yes? While I’m physically here, my mind is thinking of the imminent Australia trip I plan to take in December. 

I’ve never been outside the country and I’m sure you can imagine How excited I am. I’m currently saving every penny to make my dream of travel, a reality. I bought a travel book at Barnes and Nobels and have done so much research on the country. I’m planning on staying at a youth hostile and getting a working visa to further fund my living expenses. I’m so excited to experience a new and foreign environment. 

Have you ever traveled outside of the country? How did that experience make you feel? Did it change your perspective of the world? Let me know in the comments. 

~ penny pincher queen