Favorite Things I Wrote, 2013

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2013 was certainly a year of “growth” for me.  The other day, I looked back at some of the first articles I ever wrote for Matador, and compared them to recent ones.  It’s funny how over time you can just sort of “fall into” place, when the place feels right enough.  I’m definitely lucky to have a job that allows me to write, and be creative.  Here are some pieces I am most proud to have published this year:

Books

101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die | St. Martin’s Press.  I just recently read over some of the entries I wrote for this book, which will be officially released on January 7, 2014!  And damn, if there is anyone who excels in the art of trashy travel, I.am.it.

101 Guys to Date Before You Die | Thought Catalog.  While only an eBook, I’m proud to say I have written some kind of literature.  Plus it was fun walking down memory lane and constantly cringing at my idiotic romantic mistakes.

Articles

Why you should start traveling alone | Matador Network.  A fast-turnaround, reactionary piece, I never imagined it would explode over the internet like it did.  I received a lot of emails from people who were inspired by it.  Awesome!

How to piss off a Czech | Matador Network.  This piece was fun to write, but also made me think about what exactly “identity” means to people, and how we should never judge someone, or say they are not something they wish to be, because their sense of identity is not literal enough.

What to Pack for a Travel Shows and Conferences | Travel Fashion Girl.  I always love writing for Alex when I get the chance, and this piece was fun because it combined my love for fashion and design as well.  Plus, it helped me prep for TBEX!

Dear Mom: I want to travel with you | Matador Network.  My mom is imPOSSIBLE to get gifts for, so I wrote this for her for Mother’s Day.

How travel has ruined me | Matador Network.  This was probably THE most fun article I’ve ever written, and one of the most true.

I’m At A Funeral | Thought Catalog.  While not necessarily “cheery,” I felt this was a very vulnerable piece for me, and the style in which I wrote it is very different from what I usually do.  I also found comfort in the people who left comments.

Where to get shitty like a president this July 4th | Matador Network.  While this piece totally flopped, I still had fun combining my love of history with my love of getting schwasted, and that’s all that matters to me.

What are some of the things you’re proud to have accomplished this year?  Link me!

101 Guys to Date Before You Die

Sexy cover page, huh?

I don’t always write about travel.

Sometimes, I write about relationships.

My first eBook has been published!  I’ve been writing about my relationships since I started dating, but never have I really thought about publishing a collection of quirky stories until this past year.  Since semi-settling down, I’ve thought long and hard about the journey I’ve taken to get to where I am.  And what I realized was that in order to really understand what you want, you have to first figure out what you don’t want.

Some girls date three guys and know what they want quickly.  Others date 300 guys and still can’t figure it out.  The amount is not the point – it’s what you learned from those experiences that counts.  Because the best time to work on your relationship, is before you have one.  Too many people get “stuck” and think that they are supposed to be with someone just because they are there.

My eBook is revealing; maybe not 50 Shades of Grey steamy, but pretty damn transparent.  If you aren’t cool with cursing, sex scenes, shallowness and moments that my make you gasp, um, you’re lame.  But if you’ve got an extra $4.00 to spare, why not download it and let me know how you like it?

Available for purchase on Amazon.com and in the Apple store.  No Kindle?  No problem – download the Kindle reader app for your phone, tablet or desktop here!

My Latest for Thought Catalog: Microsoft’s New Commercial Tugs At The Heartstrings Of 90s Kids

90s kid TC

Occasionally, I write things unrelated to travel.

Microsoft’s new commercial was pretty inspiring to me actually, despite their pandering to a generation that knows better than to purchase Microsoft products.  I think I was impressed with their overall treatment of the 90s nostalgic theme – they present it in a way that is relevant (ie using known-brand products instead of stupid makeshift things that don’t infringe on copyrights) and also lyrically beautiful.  But the last line is what really gets me:

“You grew up.  So did we.”

Do I think Microsoft’s revitalized their brand and products? I have no idea. And honestly, I probably won’t be finding out anytime soon. But with all due respect, you have to understand that without Microsoft, the internet wouldn’t nearly be what it is today.

“AND I DO. I DO REMEMBER WHEN WE MADE FUN OF THE KIDS WHO HAD APPLE COMPUTERS BECAUSE THEY WERE SO… strange. I remember those kid-friendly, Ecto-Cooler-clutches on the playground, discussing who had the swankiest PC desktop with an Intel Pentium II processor, and how many hours of free AOL service we’d accumulated in the mail (yeah, I was a computer nerd back in the day). I remember turning on the one computer we owned in the house, seeing the little multi-colored Microsoft flag emblem wave across the screen, hearing that distinctive little jingle telling me the system was up and running, and inserting a floppy disk into the tower to play that famous, pixelated version of Oregon Trail”.

Read it here:

Microsoft’s New Commercial Tugs At The Heartstrings Of 90s Kids