Author Archives: ashleekarin

Updated Bucket List 2018

Well, I have done it again. I haven’t written a blog in a long time. I’ve still been knocking things off my bucket list – I just haven’t been actively blogging. I’ve just not felt like writing. I’ve wanted to write, just nothing to say. It looks like I haven’t updated this bucket list since January 2017 so I figured what better thing to get back into writing than an update to this. I do need to write blogs documenting the 2017 and 2018 bucket list items I’ve completed, but for now this is a start.

Completed Items:

Completed in 2018 (so far):

Go For Walk in Central Park

Have a Picnic in Central Park, New York

Attend a Broadway Show

Eat Fish and Chips in London

Eat Greek Salad in Greece

Eat Olives in Greece

Build a Website

Complete a Painting in One Day

Become a Programmer

Learn a Computer Programming Language

Completed in 2017:

Know the Alphabet Backwards

Attend a Beach Bonfire

Complete an Online Class

Completed in 2016:

Attend a Poetry Reading

Experience the Grand Canyon

Get a Self Portrait in Italy

Go on a Gondola in Venice

Go Shopping in Milan

Go to EgyptClimb a Pyramid

Cross Country on a Train

Visit the Grand Canyon

Eat Pasta in Italy

Attend a Cirque Du Soleil Show

Be Photographed Beside the Pyramids of Giza

Previously completed bucket list items:

Have a Cup of Coffee With a Stranger (Achieved 2015)

Dine in the Eiffel Tower (Achieved 2015)

Be Smiling in a Random Persons Photo in the Back (Achieved 2015)

Jump into a Fountain (Achieved 2015)

Drink Champagne in France (Achieved 2015)

Drink Guinness in Ireland (Achieved 2015)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland (Achieved 2015)

Eat Chocolate in Belgium (Achieved 2015)

Eat Crepes in France (Achieved 2015)

Get Lost in a Foreign Country (Achieved 2015)

Dance Like No Ones Watching (Achieved 2015)

Don’t Use the Phone For a Day (Achieved 2015)

Attend a Yoga Class (Achieved 2015)

Become an Early Riser (Achieved 2015)

Do a New Year Dip (Achieved 2015)

Do a Boudoir Photoshoot (Achieved 2014)

Cut my Hair and Donate It (Achieved 2014)

Become a Film Maker (Achieved 2014)

Fly a plane (Achieved 2014)

Be in 5 Magazines (Achieved 2014)

Eat Cajun Food in New Orleans (Achieved 2014)

Go Ice Skating (Achieved 2013)

Drive around Big Sur (Achieved 2013)

Cross-Country Road Trip (Achieved 2012-2013)

View the Golden Gate Bridge (Achieved 2013)

Drive Along Route 66 (Achieved 2012)

Drive Along the Pacific Coast Highway (Achieved 2012)

Drive from Home to the East Coast (Achieved 2012)

Go to Colorado (Achieved 2012)

Become a Runway Model (Achieved 2012)

Stay in Death Valley (Achieved 2012)

Eat a Lobster in Main (Achieved 2012)

Eat Ribs at an American BBQ (Achieved 2012)

Be a Vintage Model For a Day (Achieved 2012)

Be on the Cover of a Magazine (Achieved 2012)

Bake my Own Bread (Achieved 2011)

Incomplete Items:

Climb a Rock Wall

Drink Only Water For a Year
Achieve 1,000 Goals

Add a Picture /video/blog of all my Goals

Attend a 10-Day Vipassana Meditation Course

Attend an Inner Awakening Retreat

Be a Mentor to Someone

Be a Part of an Important Movement

Be a Part of Habitat For Humanity

Be Blind For a Day

Be on Stage in Front of Thousands of People

Be Part of a Disaster Relief Team

Be Part of a Peaceful Protest

Be Passionate About a Cause

Become Courageous

Become First Woman President

Break a Guinness World Record

Build Schools For Women and Girls in Developing Countries

Buy a Stranger a Meal at a Restaurant

Change Someone’s Life For the Better

Completely “Unplug” For a Week

Create a Travel Journal

Do 365 Random Acts of Kindness in a Year

Do a Buddha Meditation

Do a Favor For a Stranger on the Scale of “Pay It Forward”

Do a Twenty-Four Hour Silence
Do Charity Work Abroad

Do Something Crazy For Charity

Do Something New Every Month For a Year

Do Something Nice For a Homeless Person

Do Something Nice For Someone Who Will Never Find Out

Coast to Coast Train Trip

Couchsurfing in 10 Countries

Cruise Around the World

Cruise Mexico

Cruise the Caribbean

Cruise to Alaska

Cruise to Antarctica

Drive Around Australia

Explore Africa

Explore Asia and the Far East

Explore Australia and New Zealand

Explore the Amazon Rainforest

Explore the Desert on a Camel Safari in India

Explore the Galápagos Islands

Get a Lei in Hawaii

Go Backpacking Through Europe

Go on a Real African Safari

Go Swimming in the Dead Sea

Go to a Big Medieval Fair

Go to a Big Time Movie Premiere in Hollywood

Go to a Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

Go to Brazil

Go to China During Chinese New Year

Be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

Become a Cheese Connoisseur

Become a Freelance Writer

Become a Published Author

Become a Supermodel
Become a Translator

Become a Travel Writer

Become a Wine Connoisseur

Become an Author a Successful Blog

Travel By Seaplane

Backpack Across Europe

Backpack Across South America

Backpack Across the Himalayas

Backpack Appalachian Trail

Backpack South East Asia

Backpack Trough Australia

Backpacking Through New Zealand

Camp in the Backyard

Travel the Amazon River

Climb a Mountain

See the Northern Lights

Hike in Nepal

Visit Yosemite National Park

Hike Machu Picchu

Bake a Cake For Someone For No Reason

Cook 30 Recipes from 30 Different Countries in 30 Days

Cook an Entire Meal from Another Culture

Eat a Gyro in Greece

Eat a Six-Course Meal That I Prepared

Eat a Traditional Food from Every Country

Eat Apple Strudel in Vienna, Austria

Eat Chinese Food in China

Eat Curry in India

Eat Maple Syrup Pancakes in Canada

Eat Mexican Food in Mexico

Eat Poi in Hawaii

Eat Sushi in Japan

Eat Using Chopsticks in Asia

Create Passive Income

Establish my Business Before I Turn 40

Gain Financial Freedom

Go an Entire Month Without Spending Any Money

Invest in a Stock

Invest in Gold

Invest in Real Estate

Invest in Silver

Invest in the Stock Market

Save $10,000

Stay on a Strict Budget and Save For a Goal

Attend a Presidential Inauguration

Attend a Sydney Opera House

Attend a TED Talk

Attend a Writing Class

Become Bilingual

Become Fluent in French

Become Fluent in German

Become Fluent in Italian

Become Fluent in Spanish

Complete a Course to Become a Photographer

Complete a Novel

Complete a Rubik’s Cube

Complete all the Books from ’1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die’

Do Crosswords Every Day For a Month

Do Sudoku Every Day For a Year

Get a Scholarship For University

Get a TEFL Qualification

Get Certified As a Lifeguard

Go on a University Exchange

Learn 100 Basic American Sign Language Signs

Learn a Burlesque Routine

Learn a Form of Martial Arts

Learn a New Language and Speak It Fluently

Learn a New Word Every Day For a Year

Learn a New Word from an Unknown Language Every Day For 30 Days

Learn a Trade

Attend a High School Reunion

Attend One Wine Tasting a Month

Create a New Family Tradition

Grow Old With the Love of my Life

Have 50Th Wedding Anniversary

Have a Romantic Flight in a Hot Air Balloon

Apply to Be a Jeopardy Contestant

Apply to Be an Amazing Race Contestant

Attend a Charity Ball

Attend a Concert As V.I.P

Attend a Film Premiere

Attend a Lantern Festival

Attend a Masquerade Ball

Attend a Paint Party

Attend Carnival

Be in Time Square on New Years Eve

Build a Snowman Taller Than Me

Celebrate the 4Th of July in Washington DC

Dance Salsa in Rio Di Janeiro

Dance With an African Tribe

Dine in the Dark

Drink a Glass of Red Wine in Chile

Drink Rum on a Caribbean Beach

Drink Tequila in Mexico

Act in a Movie That Hits Theaters Nationwide

Act in a Short Film

Appear As an Extra in a Drama

Appear in a Music Video

Appear on Television

Attempt a New Recipe Once a Month For a Year

Be a Part of New York Fashion Week

Be on More Than 4 TV Shows

Become Great at Playing Guitar

Build a Computer

Build a Functioning Solar Still

Build a Giant Sand Castle

Build a Gingerbread House from scratch

Live in a Log Cabin

Put together a complex Puzzle

Build a Sauna in my Home

Build an awesome Tree House

Build Affordable Green Communities

Complete a Wine Journal

Create a Children’s Book

Create a College Photo Album

Create a Documentary

Create a Publication

Put together a Scrapbook

Create an Iphone Application

Create Melted Crayon Art

Decorate a House

Capture a Tornado on Film

Circumnavigate the Globe By Sail

Climb to the Top of a Rope in a Gym

Cross a Country With Bicycle or By Foot

Do a Firewalking

Do a Polar Bear Plunge

Do Human Bowling

Go at the Top of the Highest Building of the World

Go Bull Riding

Go Dog Sledding

Go Go-Karting

Go Into a Zero Gravity Room

Go Storm Chasing

Go White Water Rafting

Go Zip Lining

Hang Glide

Have a Nascar Experience

Arrive at an Airport and Take a Flight Randomly

Attend a Beach Party

Attend a Mind Reading Show

Attend an Event at Buckingham Palace

Bathe In Chocolate

Bathe In Milk

Bathe In Oil

Be a Contestant on a Game Show

Be a Couchsurfing Host

Be a Flashmobber

Be a Member in the TV Audience

Be a Street Performer For a Day

Be a YouTube Star

Be an Extra in a Television Show

Be in Two States at Once

Be Inside an Igloo

Be Interviewed By Jay Leno

Be Interviewed On Oprah

Be Invited to the Playboy Mansion

Be Listed As One of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People

Be Nude on a Nude Beach

Be on a Radio Show

Be on the Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Be on the Front Page of a Major Newspaper

Be on Webcam With Someone For Twenty Four Hours

Become Ambidextrous

Belong to a Secret Society

Blow Bubbles in the Rain

Buy Someone’s Groceries Just Because

Call Someone, Tell Them to Look Out Their Window, and Be Standing on Their Front Lawn

Celebrate my Birthday in Another Country

Change Clothing in a Phone box

Climb a Light House

Collect a Coin from Every Country I Visit

Collect a Jar of Dirt from Every State

Collect a Penny For Every Year I’ve Lived

Create a World Map With Pins of Where I’ve Been

Dance all Around the World

Dine at Sanyou Cave Hanging Cliff Restaurant, China

Do Everything With my Left Hand For a Whole Day

Do Something Absolutely Spontaneous

Do Something Unexpected

Don’t Talk a Whole Day

Draw Funny Faces on all the Eggs in my Fridge

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Stop settling for sh*tty men. 

The male unicorn. They’re a fantasy, right? 

They buy you flowers for no reason, and they surprise you by bringing home chocolate (or other sweet treats) on a whim. They kiss your forehead after they get home from work every night, even if you’re fast asleep. They wake up early most mornings to make you coffee, even though they don’t have to get up themselves. Sometimes they even prepare you breakfast and/or lunch to go too. They text you throughout the day. 

They have the best advice when you are feeling down on your luck. They make amazing steak dinner (they actually make most dinners, and they are always amazing). They lay in bed with you at night even though they aren’t tired. They rub your belly because your stomach hurts. They play with your hair and run their fingertips to trace your lips. 

They tell you, you are beautiful. sexy. smart. 

They finish the laundry you started and start the laundry you couldn’t bring yourself to do. They spend most of their free time by your side. They make you laugh, and they wipe the tears from your eyes when you cry. 

They hold you all night, even if it’s hot. even after their arm has fallen asleep. 

They watch sappy movies with you. They plan surprise dates. They walk on the beach with you, and watch the sunset. They take selfies with you. They go on trips with you. 

They make you hot tea when you’re sick. They make you vanilla chai tea and sprinkle cinnamon on top when you feel fine. They introduce you to their family. They plan their holidays with you. They don’t change after they got you. They tell you they love you. 

They plan their future with you in mind. They work hard. They try to better themselves. They listen to you when you’re upset. They apologize and mean it if they ever say anything that hurts your feelings. They know the five love languages, know YOUR love language, and still love you daily using all five. 

They meet your for lunch. They invite you to meet their coworkers. They wait for you when you need more time. They don’t get frustrated at you when you get grumpy or moody or emotional. They are kind, and patient, and the walking version of that 1st Corinthians scripture. 

They do all of this on their own. Because they want to. They prize your happiness as part of their happiness. And they make it look easy! 

The perfect man. (Well, maybe my perfect man… to each their own)

 But what if I told you they are less like a unicorn, and more like a stallion? They exist. They aren’t impossible to find. 

They deserve to be treasured when you do. Man, they deserve to be equally as loved and cherished as they make you feel. 

The problem isn’t finding them, though. The problem is holding onto donkeys while your prized stallion walks by. 

It’s not them, it’s you. 

Stop settling for men who tell you they love you and show you they don’t care. It’s a race you won’t win if you keep betting on the slowest horse. 

**So thankful for finding my male unicorn 🦄 😍 I never knew love could feel so good. 

You can go to Europe too!

This isn’t my most frugal breakdown, but I will walk you through planning a 7 day trip seeing two countries with flights, lodging, and tours that will cost you about $1,260 per person for two people. 

***Trip Breakdown below was priced out for two people.***

Flights Total: $1400 ($700 each)

🇬🇷 🇫🇷 

  • British Airways $1000 ($500 each)
  • (Orlando to Paris to Orlando)
  • Air France $400 ($200 each)
  • (Paris to Greece to Paris)

My recommendation for flights is Skyscanner.com. I usually am much more lenient on the dates I fly and where I fly to into Europe based on whatever is cheapest. Orlando is one of the closer international airports to me (only a 5-6 hour drive) so I usually search for flights out of there. Since we wanted to fly TO Paris, we ended up spending about $300 more (total, $150 more each) to be a bit more pickier about the city we flew to and when we flew. However, flights to Norway from Orlando are usually really cheap ($300-$350 each, roundtrip). Once you get to Europe, flights around Europe are so inexpensive. I flew from Norway to Ireland one way for $30 during St Patrick’s Day…

Lodging Total: $775 

  • Paris AirBnB $341
  • # Nights: 2
  • Greece AirBnB $334
  • # Nights: 4

Airbnb.com is my favorite way to book lodging (thanks to a friend of mine for turning me onto it). The important thing to me is to book the rooms that have the lightning bolt ⚡️ next to them. That means Instant Booking, so you have less hassle to deal with. I also always read the reviews, and I don’t book rooms that don’t have reviews. The rooms we booked above are actually The Entire House 🏡! which means we get the entire flat/studio/home completely to ourselves. Talk about living like a local…

Plus that means fridge and stove, so you can save money on food if you cook at home. 

Tours Total: $365

  • Eiffel Tower Tour $128
  • Louvre Tour $152
  • Athens Bicycle Tour $85

Lastly, tours. I used Viator.com. I like to look at ones with reviews, and won’t book them if they don’t have at least 1 review. Personally, I really recommend doing some kind of tour the first day you are ever in a new city. You learn the places to go (and not go), the things to eat, what’s fun to do, and you have a local giving you all of this information. There are a couple free tours websites I go to when I’m trying to be incredibly frugal (those tours operate off tips only), but since I didn’t use those sites this round, I won’t cover them. 
Trip Total: $2,540 ($1,260 each)

Like I said, not my cheapest breakdown. We still have food, souvenirs, and if anything else comes up that we want to do… but we should probably get away with adding all that on hitting maybe $3-3.5k trip Total, and that’s if we are just doing whatever we want. This is a very special trip – someone’s birthday and first bachelors degree ❤😘
The key to these trips is that I don’t buy everything at once. I started with the main flight (which for a single person, being frugal – you could probably get away with $300-$350 flight to Europe < all of that depends on your closest international airport, but that’s what both my round trip tickets cost me the last two trips). 

I know $300 is a lot of money, but if you can manage to save up to get that, the moment you buy your ticket to Europe, everything else just seems to fall together. Then you start planning any flights you need to get into the country you want to go to (maybe another 50-250 dollars). Then you start buying lodging once place at a time. If you are feeling really adventurous you can try couchsurfers.com (free lodging). Then the tours are optional. Food. Souvenirs. 

If you break everything down into much smaller more manageable pieces then it’s so easy to do. 
So yes, $1.5k IS a lot of money. But in the grand scheme of things – less than $1.5k for an entire trip to Europe including flights, lodging, and tours is nothing. We had 4 months to get this together. (My last trip I gave myself 9 months to do.)

 It’s Europe… 

Carpe diem 

Bucket List: Miss my flight

On Craigslist there is this whole page dedicated to missed connections (to people, really.) But what if I told you that sometimes missing a connection can be a good thing? 

Like in this instance, where my boyfriend and I missed our flight from Paris to Greece, and we were stuck in Paris for the whole week. (Wah, wah.. right?)
At this point, you could ask “how is that a good thing?” But you could also ask “how is that even a bad thing at all?” At the end of the day, you’re stuck in a beautiful city with so many options; the city of love with the man you love. A city filled with so much history while your boyfriend is a history major. This just can’t be a bad thing. 

But this is also how it’s a good thing – sometimes you don’t really know people until they are disappointed or upset. When someone is thrown into that situation, you quickly learn who they are deep down. 

For me, I know that I need space (without distance – try figuring that one out. I’m a woman. Let me have it.) so that I can gather my thoughts and plan of action. I become withdrawn, and my initial reaction is typically that of the situation- disappointment or negativity. If you allow me that space, it will pass, as logic and reasoning sink in. “Woah is me, I am stuck in Paris for a week” becomes as sarcastic as it should be with the twist of first world problems. I’ll then joke about it. Laugh it off. And I’ll move on. 

Scottie – he stayed so upbeat and loving the whole time. He believes everything happens for a reason (which I chimed in “and sometimes that reason is because you’re not paying attention and it’s your fault” lol) but this man always, for the last 7 years, has stayed positive, upbeat, and loving. He kissed my forehead and told me we will still make this a very romantic trip – and in that moment I realized all he cared about this whole time was me. I am over here wallowing in a lapse of momentary self pity because we didn’t make it to Greece and I wanted him to have the best Birthday, and he’s over here having an adventure with loving me on his mind. 

So, an adventure it will be. 
✈️😍

It’s not me, it’s us. 

😍❤☕️


 I understand that there are challenges in relationships. I just don’t think more challenges should come from INSIDE the relationship than from OUTSIDE the relationship. 

You pick a companion to face the world together, not to have to face. 

That’s why I think it is so important to find someone you are compatible and in sync with. If you date a partygoer and you’re a homebody – you will probably hit a lot of opposition, etc. 

It doesn’t mean everything has to be aligned. You should just have an honest conversation with yourself about your’s and your partner’s compatibility. 

Wanting or having the desire to be compatible and being compatible are two entirely different things. 

There are A LOT of aspects of another human being to look at and compare yourself too. If you are opposites in a majority of those categories, prepare for a lot of opposition and tension in your relationship. 

Only you will know if the relationship will work. 

Love is deliberate. But if love is exhausting, then I would dare to say that it isn’t love. 

Try to breakdown your Compatibility in these areas:

Lifestyle (partygoer, homebody, drinking (if yes, how often, how much), drugs, fitness, career oriented, travel, working class, students, military, retirement, beach/surfing, concert/music, artsy, introvert/extrovert, etc.)

Love language (Read the Five Love Languages book – Physical Touch, Quality Time, Gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service) [how you show love and how you receive love, compare both]

Hobbies

Goals

Career (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there, work schedule of both current and ideal)

Place to live (current, ideal)

Types of food

Religious beliefs

Family relationships

Previous relationship(s) status (married, divorced, single, friends with ex, kids from relationship)

Types of sexuality/relationships (open, monogamous, view on porn, bdsm, vanilla, etc)

Education (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there)

Desire for kids (if yes, when. If yes/no or when changes, how open are you to those answers)

Politics

Finances (current, ideal and the steps you are making to get there)

Current 1, 5, 10 year plans

Habits (good, bad, current, ideal)
Disclaimer: Again, just because you are opposite in some areas doesn’t mean it won’t work. It’s just important to be aware of your comparability with another person. 

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