Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Not Alone Series: Travel

How do you travel as a single lady?! Any tips or tricks you'd like to share? Do you have anything fun planned for this year?

I love to travel. I don't travel that much but when I do I usually travel alone. My first trip alone was a trip I planned with my sister but she had to cancel at last minute and I decided to go anyway. Fell in love with solo travel and have been doing it for the last few years.

I've taken a cruise, been to Mexico, Jamaica, been to the US a few times.

Travel with someone is great because you have someone to watch your stuff while you go to the bathroom in the airport, someone to take your picture while you grin like an idiot in front of some monument or the other and keep you company during long layovers.

Travel on your own is also great because you do what you want to do especially if your friends and family are not into the same thing your are. You aren't tied to someone else's schedule, my sister had to cancel our trip because of her job.

Now for the tips

Know where you are going - Do a little bit of research whether you are planning way in advance or a last minute trip get a little lay of the land so to speak. Get to know your public transport options if you are not going to be driving. Get an idea of where the places you are likely to visit are in relation to where you are staying and how to get there easily - church, pharmacy, bank, restaurants.

Write down directions - We all use google maps, waze and the like but technology can fail. I have a terrible sense of direction so I like to write down my direction or key words just in case. I once walked at least five blocks in the wrong direction because I entered the wrong address

Keep in touch - You may be on vacation, getting away from it all but it's a good idea to stay in touch just a little so your loved ones know you are okay. Call someone when you land at your destination and probably just before you head home. Post a picture or send one in a message.

Do not keep all your cash together - I keep a money tube around my neck, under my clothes when I travel. It's plastic and water resistant. I don't use it unless necessary because it's for emergencies or as we say in Trinidad "vex money".

Have fun - Even as you stay say safe, try not to get lost or robbed remember to enjoy your travels. Try new foods, do the tourist thing or go the native route. Do as much as you can without driving yourself crazy trying do it all. Take lots of pictures but also make memories that you don't need instagram to remember

I don't have any trips planned right now but I have hopes. My cruise was planned in less than two months while most people plan cruises 6 months to a year in advance so I am not above being a little spontaneous. I would LOVE to go to Philadelphia for Pope Francis' visit. There is an annual youth and young adult ministers conference that I missed out on last but would love to attend this year in December. I have a friend living in St Maarten who I haven't seen in a couple of years who I recently reconnected with on facebook, it's regional and I'll have somewhere to stay. If I just happen to win a million dollars I'll be headed to Australia my ultimate travel destination, it doesn't have to be the whole million enough to cover an amazing two weeks should be enough, maybe a month.

Has the travel bug bitten you? How do you travel? Where would you like to travel to? Leave a comment. Don't forget to visit Morgan for the link-up to see what everyone else is saying.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Not Alone Series: Spiritual Writings

What are some of your favourite or go-to books, devotionals or even blogs that help encourage you in your spiritual life?

I'm a reader. I love to get lost in a book. I love to be challenged, inspired and so intrigued I stay up until 3 in the morning to finish what I'm reading even though I get up at 4:30. True story.

There have been spiritual writings that I have struggled through the first time, there are others that are still sitting there waiting for me to finish them or really start over at this point because I don't really remember what I read in the first few pages. Spiritual writings are very important to me really building my faith so I always try to have something new or old to read.

I am currently reading Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn, I think it's appropriate for the season but it's great at any time.

Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Michael Gaitley.

Sisterhood of the Saints by Melanie Rigney. I use this one daily (or almost daily), I get a short bio of a female saint along with a quote or bible verse to think about during the day and a challenge of sorts.

Magnificat - I haven't used this in a while but I loved it and have to recommend it. I am currently using the Lenten Companion but the main magazine is awesome as well.

My Bible - I fell in love with the bible when I was 5 years old. The bible the book not what was in it. My great-grandmother had a gorgeous family bible with the most amazing colour pictures. I read most of the New Testament along with the Psalms and Proverbs by the time I was 13 but I didn't really get it or into reading my bible including the Old Testament until I was 16 and fully there at 18.

For blogs

Blessed is she - this has been such a blessing. Daily reflection by everyday women, nothing to high or heavy but so much depth and understanding

Heart of Mary Women's Fellowship - Bible studies mainly. They recently finished one on the Song of Songs and currently have a Lenten Study going on.

What are some of your go to spiritual writings? I'm always on the look out for something new so share. Visit Jen for the link-up to see what everyone else recommends or to make some recommendations of your own.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Not Alone Series: Lonliness

We all have times when we feel alone. What are ways that you combat loneliness? Pray? Join a group? How can we encourage each other to stay positive?

I have always loved being alone. My favourite thing has always been me alone with a book and when I needed it I never had a shortage of people to hang out with. It's hard to be lonely when you like being alone. Right?!?!?!


I have my moments of loneliness not really when I am feeling alone but when I feel like I'm missing someone. Driving in my car and a song comes on and it's one of "those songs" or it reminds you of something and suddenly yo wish that you had someone to share the moment with. Sure you cold call your sister, your mother or yo best friend but it's not the same.

I get these moments sometimes when I'm watching a movie or reading and I just want a special someone to share that time with. At Mass also sometimes it's just being at church and I wish I had someone there with me or the Homily would really speak to me and suddenly I need someone to talk to but they are not there, never have been really.

How do I combat the loneliness. I reach out. I may not have that specific someone in my life but I have other people. People who are there, available and present in my life. People who will cheer me up, talk me through and encourage me forward.

I write. I journal my thoughts and feelings and thoughts. I write letters to my future husband. I need that outlet because sometimes I can't or don't want to share what I'm feeling with anyone else but I really need to get it out.

I reach up. I talk to God. I'll call it "talk", and sometimes it's talk, sometimes it's prayer but often it's "seriously God what is up. You give me these desires and feelings but You're leaving me hanging." In a totally respectful way of course. His timing is perfect but my patience is not.

Loneliness is a feeling, I'm going to feel it but how I react, cope and deal with this feeling doesn't have to be all negative and woe is me.

How do you deal with loneliness? Share in the comments and visit Morgan for the link-up to see what everyone else is saying.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Not Alone Series: Qualities in our Husbands

What are the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in your future husband? We have talked about what we don't want, but it's good to have an idea of those things that are important to us. Discerning religious life? This applies to communities, as well!

I pray about various qualities I want in my future husband frequently. I add and subtract things as I grow and mature, as I listen to my married friends talk and as I notice little things in successful marriages around me.

1. Strong Faith. I need a man who has his own relationship with God. An active prayer life. Lives a Sacramental life including regular confession.

2. He is open t life, wants to be a father. Is patient with kids. Naturally playful with them. As per Natalie's list is able and willing to change a diaper.

3. Automatively handy. A.K.A knows what to do with a car. I have specific gas stations that I stop at because the attendants know me and fill up my car for me. I don't know anything about changing oil, batteries or tires. I am spoiled right now that I don't do those things for myself or have to remember when they need to be done and it may be selfish but I would like that to continue in marriage.

3. Intelligent. I'm not necessarily talking Phd but is able to have great conversations about a variety of topics.

4. Self-assured. I'm all for building up my husband but it shouldn't be a full-time job. He should have a certain level of confidence and security in who he is.

5. Dependable. If he says he is going to do something I want to know I can count on him. I understand that there may be the occasional situations that may be out of his control but I want to know that I can count and rely on him.

6. Tall. The average height for a man is 5'8, I'm taller than that

7. A little bit of a dreamer. Not necessary looking for a man who lives with his head constantly in the clouds or always chasing the next big thing but someone who dreams big or small and is not afraid to step out of the box every once in a while.

My list can get very long but I think these are the top ones. God might decide that I need a short guy who knows nothing about cars but I continue to pray about that.

What qualities are you looking for in a spouse or religious community? Visit Jen for the link-up and Morgan too.