People Doing Awesome Stuff: Laura, World Traveler

Editor's Note: Happy New Days, is above all, a blog about enjoying your life and your successes. I'm always interested in what inspires people to follow their dreams, and how they turn their dreams into a reality. This series will focus on people who inspire us to work harder and pursue our passions. 

Laura Guarraci is a 27 year older accountant from Union, NJ. She received a degree from TCNJ in 2008 and shortly after began working for a large accounting firm. Always the travel junkie, Laura decided to pursue a relocation to Europe, in order to follow her passion and see as much of the world as possible. She is now in Amsterdam for two years, quickly piling up an excess of stamps on her passport, with no intention of slowing down.

I asked Laura, who I have the honor of calling one of my best friends, to share her insights (and some awesome pics) from traveling abroad and the experiences she has had...

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A List to Admire: The Road Les Traveled

On the heels of my bucket list blog from yesterday, here is one of the many awesome women whose bucket list inspires me. Yes, I did first become a fan of her's from watching the Bachelor. I find there's an interesting quality of a lot of the Bachelor / Bachelorette contestants: yes, a lot of people go on those shows to find " a great love" but the show is inherently for the risk taking and adventurous (also sometimes self promoting and delusional, but I don't believe that to be the case with this awesome lady). In order to set the mood for falling in love, contestants are sent on trips around the world, to some of the most astonishing and romantic locations. It's not surprising that some of the people who sign up for this experience have a strong passion for travel and trying new things. Enter, Lesley Murphy, a southern girl who now lives in South America, and catalogues her endeavors, travel tips, and dream vacations for us all to enjoy. Her bucket list, even just the items she's already checked off, is definitely something to check out.

Check out Lesley Murphy's The Road Les Traveled

My Half-Assed Bucket List

On the eve of my 24th birthday, a friend from high school (who happens to share my exact same birthday) inspired my first attempt at blogging (she also has a way cooler blog now, visit it here). I believe she listed out 25 things she wanted to complete in the next year, and I decided to borrow the idea and run with it (sorry and thanks Kathy!). So I compiled a list of my twenty five things I wanted to complete in the next year, ranging from staying up all night to watch the sun rise on the beach, to taking a spontaneous road trip with no planning. At the end of the year, I celebrated turning 25 having only checked 11 items off my list. I admit, I felt like a failure. When I began, I had no reservations, and I thought my goals were totally achievable- I almost thought I had made the list too easy. But I lost steam, and I got caught up in other things.

There are two major problems that inherently come with building yourself a bucket list, or setting any major goals for yourself...

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Happy New Day

Every New Year's Eve, friends, family, and drunk acquaintances gather around and count down the tickings of the clock together to celebrate the passing of time. And when the clock hits midnight, we may kiss, and we may cry, but mostly we look ahead to a new year full of new possibilities. Resolutions are made; some resolve to be kinder, some resolve to be bolder, and everybody joins a gym. New Year celebrations are full of hope and promise, and we treat the strike of midnight as a tabula rasa, reflecting on the year that has past, right before we wipe the slate clean, making way for a fresh start.

The problem with New Year's is, that, for all literal purposes, it's basically just an arbitrary marker that time has gone by. Some Gregorian guy decided that we had to find a way to count time, employed science & math, and made the year begin on a random day. It probably had something to do with crops or religion too, but this meaning has clearly withered in time.

On New Year's Eve 2007...

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