Spring Break Packing List

This year, like last, I am traveling to the beautiful and sensational Florida Keys. The islands and reefs will be the prettiest you’ll see around, and the rich culture you will crave to soak in. That, along with beautiful sun to take in.

Only 2 days away, I actually haven’t started packing yet, but my friend that’s coming with us asked what to bring, since she has never been to the glorious place. So, I figured I would share that information with you. Even if it’s not necessarily helpful for you, at least it can get you excited for the fun to come!

The things to bring for the best time ever:

A couple, or several bathing suits. The outside is my best friend during Spring Break. Bring a variety; sporty for activities, bandeaus for tanning, bikinis for walking around with a light coverup on. Down in the Keys, bathing suits are pretty much considered clothing. So do it right. For more information, Check out my blog post about wearing the right bathing suit to suit your body!

Sun tan lotion and proper moisturizer. I bring a ton of lotion with aloe in it. It’s my favorite and it helps a lot since the sun is more intense down there. My personal favorite is Banana Boat Lotion with Aloe. It’s my staple and has preserved my tan long after the sun! Although a tad pricey, usually running around $6-8 depending on where you go, it will be an investment. Goes a long way, feels great and soothes skin, and it smells nice too. But at Target, it’s on sale!!! Check out these other good lotions at Target too!

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Pool hat and/or some other hat. I bring a huge pool hat for the days I want to read by the pool without straining my eyes and then a small little snapback guy for the beach. I got one down there last year with my name on it with neon colors, and I’m obsessed. Trust me, it’s a water thing, and it’s great to have one. Or even a cute Fedora! Fedora’s are ultra chic and cool.

Me and my sister, Lauren, on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Summer 2012

Me and my sister, Lauren, on Duval Street in Key West, Florida. Summer 2012

Shopping bag (over the shoulder). You need one with a good strap. Too skinny and it will kill you, eh! I’ve had that happen. So while you’re wandering the Duval Street with the shops or looking at coastal antique stores, bringing the right bag can save your stuff, and your shoulder!

Beach reads (although it’s not a big beach since the keys are mainly reefs, for the beach club bring books or magazines). I like bringing reads because it’s relaxing and it can keep you occupied. Catch up on your celebrity reads or classic novels; my reading will have both!

Down by the Shore

Down by the Shore

Sun dresses, shorts, tanks, etc. Bring some easy, breezy outfits that require minimum maintenance. When you’re done in the water and are rushing to dinner with your friends, the last thing you need to worry about it ironing or second guessing your outfit choice. Light materials are the best and try to avoid dark colors if you’re trying to stay cool since dark colors absorb the heat.

Wherever you’re going on Spring Break, remember the essentials! And to add to that, be aware of your surroundings, keep your stuff close to you and don’t get completely swept away in the scenery. You still need to be safe after all.

But go! Have fun! Where are you going? Know anything else I need?

As always, be blessed, and this time, be extra sunny!

Quick Tips for Taking Pics while Traveling!

One thing I will always love is traveling; getting your passport stamped,
seeing places and having a blast. Are you ever the tourist in the equation? Well, I have a confession: on every trip I on, I act like a tourist. NO, that does not include fanny packs, hawaiian shirts, or those odd travel sandals.
What I do mean, however, is that wherever I go, I take pictures each step of the way.

An Albino Python on my neck and birdie kisses on my cheek! Key West, FL 2011

An Albino Python on my neck and birdie kisses on my cheek! Key West, FL 2011

Even if I’ve visited the place seven times previously before, like the Florida Keys; every year since 2004 I have gone there, and I’ve taken a ton of pictures every time!
“Why?” you might ask? Because I crave new sights, new viewpoints that I might have missed other times, and to truly experience the place each day.
  • When you first arrive, try to take notes on your first impressions. Think about what appealed to you and plan to get that particular shot. Get out there and experience the land.
  • Try not to steer solely to the tourist parts of town. Explore the beauty for yourself. Take this abandoned warehouse for instance; it was up this tangly hill, but I’m glad I found it! It was rich with history as the building lay open to explore!
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I found this abandoned warehouse skeleton near Atlanta, Georgia, in October, 2011. Off the beaten path, but beautiful!

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I found this abandoned warehouse skeleton near Atlanta, Georgia, in October, 2011. Off the beaten path, but beautiful!

  • Take an abundance of spare batteries and memory cards. Imagine you run out of juice or space for pictures.

    taken from Nikonrumors.com

    You’ll kick yourself later, trust me.

  • If you have lens options, bring a small variety to vary the angles. If there is only room for one or two, a fast zoom or shutter speed lens.
  • If you simply don’t know where to start, ask locals for their recommendations to visit. They know what they’re talking about.
  • After your day around, take a little time to jot down the day’s events. It will help tell a story and remind you what you still need to get a shot of.
  • Zoom in on the smallest of things: your food, the cobblestone road, a flower. Get in close, and you’ll never see the world the same again.
  • Taken at the "Fancy Flea" Market in Lakeland, FL October 2012

    Taken at the “Fancy Flea” Market in Lakeland, FL October 2012

    The way I see things. Clearwater Beach, 2012

    The way I see things. Clearwater Beach, 2012

  • Don’t walk around with the camera up to your eye the whole time. Take time to see the whole scene, not just a glimpse.

But those are just a few. Go out there yourself and discover, AND photograph, what this beautiful world has to offer.

Bucket List…”#boom”

Face it, there are things in life that we dream of doing, things we dream of seeing, and places we dream of visiting. Somewhere deep down, there is something that craves to have a part in a captivating adventure, and we simply can’t live it through anyone else; we merely need to put ourself in the wind and find adventure that satisfies our curiosity.

Personally, I don’t have a detailed, written out list yet of things that I want to accomplish, but just imagine…..if money were not an issue, and given time, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?! The places on the earth that take your breath away in pictures could some day be one that takes your breath away, and then refills it with the wind of that beautiful place. Have you ever thought about what’s on you bucket list? And don’t feel intimidated by big, long lists; start small if you have to…. but just for giggles, check out some of mine.

taken from Pinterest.

taken from Pinterest.

taken from Pinterest.

taken from Pinterest.

taken from Pinterest.

What about you? What are some things that you aspire to do or see? I want to hear others dreams too.