3-Month Wrap Up: Getting Rich In Vegas, White Water Rafting, & Committing One Act of Kindness Every Day

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I miss this place. This blog makes me feel the most me. Whenever I’ve just finished writing a post, I feel like I’m floating on a current of energy, like I’m leaning into what makes me tick.

So I’ve been looking forward to making a return to write this for a while now. I’m sitting here on the calmest afternoon I’ve experienced in a month, sipping hours-old french press coffee (and it’s important that I tell you it’s french press because I have been a lazy, trashy Keurig coffee drinker for a while now and I’m very impressed at this new development in my life), and admiring all the summer-in-Denver that is happening just outside the window.

Today feels deeply good. Life feels deeply good.

And I can’t wait to tell you all about why.

These past few months, I…

1. Left Las Vegas richer than I arrived. (#47, long-term list)

Las Vegas was not a planned thing. One day I was not going to Las Vegas and had no reason to even think about going to Las Vegas, and the next day I had a plane ticket booked up for the weekend.

So Las Vegas happened. More specifically, Las Vegas happened to me.

I knew that leaving Las Vegas richer than I arrived was on my long-term bucket list, and I really, really wanted to cross that puppy off. So amidst all the eating, Lyfting, swimming in the pool, oggling at elaborate buildings and people, and *cough* drinking *cough* that went on, I made a point to hit up a casino.

Here’s the thing. I knew I would never win big. There’s no freakin’ way. Have you seen me? I trip up stairs. I’m not someone with the kind of luck to cash out with major bucks.

My game plan was this: put in a small amount of money, play a few rounds, and the very second I came out even a little bit ahead, I was getting out of there. 

So I threw in five bucks. A few rounds of blackjack later, I was up 75 cents.

And I freakin. Cashed. Out.

Never mind that I lost 50 cents of that 75 playing the slot machines. I LEFT LAS VEGAS RICHER THAN I ARRIVED, MOTHA TRUCKAAAAS.

By 25 cents. Someone try and stop me. Maybe I’ll go buy a gum ball. Maybe I won’t. I’m limitless.

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My playground for the night. 😉

2. Headed to the rapids for some white water rafting. (#3, short-term list)

It’s not often you get the chance to throw your mortal body into some waves crashing into rocks and creating whirlpools of death just beneath the surface with only an inflatable raft (which is really just a glorified balloon, if you think about it) to protect you.

So when a group of almost 20 friends invites you along on a white water rafting trip they’ve been planning for the past year, you take the opportunity.

We drove up to Aspen and hooked up with a few guides who took us out for the ride of a lifetime. Not going to lie, there were a few times I looked at what we were about to traverse and thought there was no way I’d make it out alive.

But I did. And with nothing but pretty trees around you, a big sky above you, and good people beside you, it was a trip for the books. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

I’ve never felt more Colorado-ian than I did that day. I’m glad that places like this exist.

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The guides said we were their favorite group that summer.

3. Went camping (#6, short-term list) and soaked in some hot springs. (#7, short-term list)

For my birthday, my friend Amber took me to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Everyone had been telling us that these were the best hot springs the state had to offer, so we knew we had to try it out.

It was nighttime when we arrived, so when we first got out of the car we couldn’t see a thing. But after our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the moonlight was just enough to help us guide our way into the water.

Each pool at Strawberry Park Hot Springs was a different temperature, so you could start off piping hot and move down into lukewarm waters by the end of your time there. It was so relaxing and I can see how people use it as a kind of therapy.

Afterwards, we set up camp nearby and passed out cold in our tent for the night. It wasn’t our first time camping that summer and it wasn’t even our first time camping together – Amber and I had done another trip in July that was super fun too, and I also went camping another time with a good group of folks. There’s something about waking up in the mountains that feels pretty dang cool.

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What a birthday view.

 

4. Started doing one act of kindness every day for a year. (#12, short-term list; #18, long-term list)

Since I’d finally finished on my endeavor to take a 1 second video every day for a year, I knew I was ready to start up a new daily task. This time I set out to commit one act of kindness every day for a year.

To be honest, this challenge is going to be hard for me. I started it on my birthday but then forgot to do an act of kindness a few days later, so I had to start over. It’s also been hard for me to parse out what I’m doing for the sake of the goal and what I’m just doing in my every day life that I’m attributing to the goal. Let me explain.

For example, the other day I did something I thought was nice, and I said to myself afterwards, “Hey! That will be my random act of kindness for the day.” But is that the point? Is the point to pick out what I’m already doing that’s kind? Or is it to add more kindness to my life?

I think it’s supposed to be the latter. So on days when I’m feeling lazy and I want to attribute something I did that day to the goal when in actuality I would’ve done it anyway, I need to like, not do that.

Hold me accountable, friends.

5. Started creating a community here in Denver. (#9, short-term list)

Anyone who has moved to a new city where they didn’t know anybody can probably relate to the worries that come with making a new network of friends. I’m lucky to be in a city where it feels like nearly everyone is a transplant, and everyone is looking for a new pal to add to their gang – so I feel like I’m not lacking in social contact at all. It’s also been nice to move into a house with a bunch of girls who are super sweet, funny, and real about life. That’s giving me a lot of hope for what’s ahead. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, and I didn’t expect myself to have community by now. But the people around me these days are nice and friendly and filling me up with great things, and that makes me excited.

6. Did lots of other stuff!

In addition to what’s above, I also ate at Casa Bonita (#4, short-term list), took in the gorgeous views at Rocky Mountain National Park (#5, short-term list), and visited Garden of the Gods (#10, short-term list). But this post is already super long, so I’ll cut it off here. Ask me about those adventures sometime!

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Garden of the Gods was gorgeous.

What have you been doing lately to check items off your bucket list? What’s next on the agenda? Any advice for building community in a new place?

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I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.

 

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In May of 2015, I started taking a 1 second video of my life every day in the hopes that I’d do it for the whole year. It was one of my long-term bucket list goals, something I’d wanted to take on for a while after hearing about the app 1 Second Everyday and learning the founder’s story.

The biggest reason I had my heart set on doing something like this was to commemorate all the adventures I had during the year in a way that didn’t involve me taking 23423408 photos of my friends in the middle of us trying to break it down on the dance floor at our favorite spot to show off our  sick  mediocre moves, The Fat Baby.

Honestly, I just wanted a way to quickly capture some of my favorite moments while not taking myself away from the life I was enjoying. Nobody likes the person glued to their camera when we’re all creating memories together.

And thus, my journey through 1 Second Everyday began.  Continue reading “I Filmed 1 Second Of My Life Every Day. Here’s What Happened.”

Summer 2017 Bucket List!

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LOL. Just, lol.

It’s July 19th and I am only just now creating a summer bucket list. Goooooood job, Amanda. 😉

I’ve never waited this long into a season to create a bucket list – normally I have it ready to go by the time the first day of whatever time of year happens to be rolling in. I think I’d typically be pretty upset at myself for letting the first month and a half of summer pass without a bucket list in order, because I know when I keep a bucket list I live life more fully and I’m more likely to take advantage of every dayContinue reading “Summer 2017 Bucket List!”

How To Make Life More Fun: Tips On Living Adventurously

How To Make Life More Exciting, How To Live More Adventurously; How To Make Life More Fun, Beat Boredom, Passion

Okay, Amanda, I thought to myself. This is like, what? Your third night in a row in bed?

The workday was over and I’d shut myself away with a laptop, some comfort snacks, and a serious determination to finish Insecure on HBO. And I had no intention of getting up. Ever.

Which would have been fine, except that I realized this was becoming a pattern of the week. That bothered me.

I really would have loved to cast away all worries and anxieties about the week to the wind and binge-watched sad documentaries (now you know never to ask me for comforting movie recommendations) until it was way past my bedtime. But I also knew that I’d be really unhappy with myself if I did.

Because while one part of me wanted to spend my third evening of the week this way, there was another part of me that didn’t want to.

The part of me that longed for adventure and excitement and passion in my every day life was pleading with me to get up from under the blankets and get on with living well.  Continue reading “How To Make Life More Fun: Tips On Living Adventurously”

Top 4 Lessons I’ve Learned About Adventure In 2016

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This year was full of wild adventures. I spent a summer experiencing the best of NYC, traveled to Puerto Rico, made many bus trips and road trips along the East Coast, and just generally had a ball of a time exploring.

And I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve gathered from these expeditions and the act of preparing for them. So I thought a good way to celebrate these newfound understandings was to write a post on them! Continue reading “Top 4 Lessons I’ve Learned About Adventure In 2016”

Weekly Wrap-Up: Documentary Appearances, Sporting Events, And Adventures Galore

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So it’s been 8 years since I posted a weekly wrap-up. And by 8 years I mean three weeks. The last one went up at the start of the month, but that feels so far in the past it may as well be 8 years ago. Also, I NEVER use hyperbole.

Anyway.

The reason I haven’t posted as often is not because I haven’t been (mostly) diligent about my bucket list. I’ve been getting after it every day (except for those times when I fail. But hey, I’ve forgiven myself for that).

In fact, I’ve basically crossed off all the things I’m going to be able to complete before the deadline for my short-term bucket list comes to a close.

The reason I haven’t posted is because, well, I’ve been busy. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Sorry I have the most predictable blogger excuses in the world. I feel like whenever my favorite bloggers don’t post something in a while they’ll inevitably validate themselves by saying they were just too busy. Tsk tsk.)

Since it’s been  8 years  3 weeks since I posted a weekly wrap-up, that means this post is gonna be looooooooonnng. I’ve got lots of updates to throw your way, so let’s get to it!

This week, I… Continue reading “Weekly Wrap-Up: Documentary Appearances, Sporting Events, And Adventures Galore”

3 Websites To Check Daily For Last-Minute Adventures

3 Websites To Check Nearly Daily For Last-Minute Adventures | #daily #websites #sites #check #daily #lastminute #adventure #fun #bored #fun #blog

We all have them: those sites we inevitably look at when we wake up and before we’re going to bed. You’ll often find me perusing my Facebook, throwing out hearts like confetti on my Instagram feed (I honestly enjoy almost every picture I see on there!), pinning like it’s going out of style on my Pinterest, or chatting with other bloggers on my Twitter, and I’m not alone in that. But there are a couple lesser-known webistes I check daily that offer regular opportunities for adventure and fun!

Unlike the other websites I mentioned, these sites point me in the direction of tools, resources, and events that spice up my daily routine: Continue reading “3 Websites To Check Daily For Last-Minute Adventures”

Beat The Mundane: A Wake-Up Call To Anyone Stuck In A Daily Routine

Beat The Mundane: A Wake-Up Call To Anyone Stuck In A Daily Routine | #routine #daily #mundane #beat #inspiration #inspiring #live #life #intentional #intentionalliving

When you woke up this morning, were you excited about today?

Or were you full of dread and boredom, not wanting to get out of the comfort of your bed to start the drudgery that would be your daily routine?

If you identified with the latter question, and if you know your answer would have been the same yesterday and will probably be the same tomorrow, something’s gotta change. And it’s gotta change now. Continue reading “Beat The Mundane: A Wake-Up Call To Anyone Stuck In A Daily Routine”

Weekly Wrap-Up: Half Marathons, Creative Writing, and Spontaneity

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Isn’t the back of my roommate’s head so pretty? It’s even cuter from the front.

It’s been a while since I did one of these, hasn’t it?! Okay, so I actually only skipped one week so I could post my Fall 2016 Bucket List last Saturday, but it feels like it’s been a long time.

These past few weeks have been full of adventures and quite the whirlwind of experiences! I feel like I’ve stuffed every day with activities – just a look at my planner will tell you all about it. But I’ve been abundantly excited about life lately, and I think that’s the point. I know when I’m living fully I’m living joyfully, feeling in-step with what I’m supposed to do. That’s what makes life worthwhile.

Anyway, in the last two weeks I… Continue reading “Weekly Wrap-Up: Half Marathons, Creative Writing, and Spontaneity”

The One Encouraging Phrase That Gets Me Through Everything

The One Encouraging Phrase That Gets Me Through Everything | Even on the worst of bad days, these inspiring words help me carry on and find peace.

Please don’t get me wrong: I loved college. I had an amazing college experience filled with great memories and amazing friends, and I loved my major and my school (shout-out to William & Mary! Luh dat place.). But if I had to rank each of my college years in order of goodness, I would probably put sophomore year last. Continue reading “The One Encouraging Phrase That Gets Me Through Everything”