To travel, or not to travel, that is NOT the question

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Our twenties are full of questions, challenges and tough decisions to be made. The entire decade is full of never-ending transitions that have no road map.

One thing that should never be on the list of questions, challenges or tough decisions is whether or not to travel, which does have a road map. If given the option to travel, the answer should always be yes.

Take vacations

I know vacation time at work can be sacred. Use the vacation time. You earned time off and deserve to spend it doing something you enjoy.

Travel to as many places as you can

Whether it’s a two-hour road-trip, a weekend trip in a big city, a beach vacation, a mountain getaway or a 15-hour flight to a different country, it is worth it.

Don’t let money stop you 

It’s okay to say yes. I know all about tight budgets. I know that it’s hard to spend money you worked hard for. I also know there are realistic travel options for twenty-somethings on a budget and then there are unrealistic travel options. Sure you may want to travel to New Zealand, but the several thousand dollar flight is going to potentially stop you from doing that. I get that. But, you CAN afford to take some kind of trip. There are plenty of affordable options to help make it happen.

Never stop wondering

Learn from other people when you travel. Learn from different cultures. Learn from different food. Learn everything you can about everything.

Never stop wandering

Visit family, travel with friends or take a solo vacation. Dream. Explore. Go somewhere new. Try something new.

Say yes to traveling

I double dog dare you.

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Forgetting how to write

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For the past several months I’ve been juggling an editing position with a reporting position. Each had their perks, but trying to do both was stressful. I felt like the wheels of a spinning bike at the gym when the tension is too loose; out of control and going 90+ mph. 

When my editor asked me if I’d like to go back to writing full-time, I had to think about it. I was getting experience in the editing department but, at the same time, my BA is in journalism with a minor writing. While editing I had trouble finding the words I needed to write stories. Fast forward three weeks and I don’t know why I even paused. 

I’m back to writing full-time and loving every minute of it. While I was doing both jobs, I temporarily forgot to write. I was trying to complete too many things. I would sometimes wake up in a cold sweat thinking about a nearly impossible deadline the next afternoon. I’m happy to say that has changed since resuming writing. 

Yes, some days can be longer than others. Yes, sources can be hard to reach. Yes, it involves multi-tasking and yes it can be stressful. But none of that matters because I love it.  

Even more than that, I love talking to people and getting to know their stories; asking questions I don’t know the answer to and then writing about it. 

Here’s  to getting my [writing] groove back. 

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Business cards — who cares?

As a 23-year-old I loved the feeling of being handed a box of my own business cards. It felt very grown up to have something list my name, title and contact info, even if it was a small piece paper. 

When I was a government reporter I handed them to city and county officials who I would be contacting often. After working with the same officials for several weeks they handed me their business cards and, if I was lucky enough, their cell phone numbers on the back so I could call them when I was under deadline. 

While cleaning out my wallet/purse tonight I found business cards from various people I met my senior year of college and this summer while I was interning in Penn. And those business cards I collected months ago at work? They’re in the back of my desk drawer. 

I started thinking about it and business cards can be compared to giving an attractive boy/girl your phone number and having to wait to see if they’ll respond. The person you gave the number to could have tossed it or they could be waiting an amount of time before calling you.

Regardless, in a working environment, giving your business card to people won’t solve anything when what you really need is their information. Let me ask you a question. Which situation do you see panning out? 

A.) Attending a work event, being charming, chatting for a few minutes and handing your business card over

or 

B.) Attending a work event, being charming, commenting on the work the other person is doing and asking about it and telling them you would like to talk about it sometime. Giving them your business card and receiving theirs as well. 

My point is business cards are only successful when partnered with networking. A minute introduction and business card will be forgotten before a friendly conversation with genuine interest in the person  is forgotten. We’re all trying to succeed at something but if we are only focused on ourselves and our goals in the work place we won’t make the relationships that could lead to something bigger, better. At the very least it could lead to a more comfortable working atmosphere. Networking > business cards. 

ex-poet, ex-pianist turned reporter

I’ve been slacking. My last blog update was a month ago.

What’s been going on since then?

I had a birthday and turned 23 (exciting). I also accompanied my cousin Rachel to a wedding in Ohio and crashed the event, Vince Vaughn style (way more exciting).

I fell in love…with New York City and Jon Hamm. I love everything about NYC and I spotted Jon Hamm as he came out of a Broadway play. And yes, Don Draper is just as handsome (if not more) in person.

Well, with the fact that my internship ends on Friday, I have been relentlessly applying to job openings.

On top of that, I have been covering a range of stories at work including car accidents, a bomb threat, a Cub Scout day camp and I went on a 2.5 mile hike for story.

My cousin, Andrea came to visit me and we explored mountain towns, drove around listening to music and witnessed the senior citizen nightlife of Hazleton when DJ QB comes to the Timbers Lounge. (Note, those senior citizens out-danced and out-drank everyone there).

Oh yeah, and I accepted a full-time reporting position. I am happy to say that I am looking forward to the challenging atmosphere that the newspaper business brings. Even though I am a young twenty-something, it doesn’t escape me how lucky I am to have a print job in a profession that is becoming more and more digital.

Well folks, that’s where I have been the past month. Here’s to finishing an internship and beginning a career.