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I've always wanted to get into podcasts. Maybe here (and the massive travel time I'm looking at) is a good place to start.

Hannah Montana talks about body dysmorphia and how it's a real thing that everyone has to deal with. I'm really proud of this girl and all she does for youth.

The blog of Amy V. Norris has been really intriguing me lately. I think it's the aesthetic and lifestyle she's got going. Plus, she gets me.

This should be a handy resource, considering all of the new (and old) habits I'm trying to start up again this semester.

I've really been thinking about eating healthier lately. My roommate is vegetarian, so it's easy for me to forget to buy/cook meat when we make bulk meals together, and vegan meals look really tasty. I probably won't become fully vegetarian/vegan, but I love the health benefits that come with eating that way a majority of the time.

For some reason, international, other-language-speaking Youtubers have been my favorite to watch. I can't understand what they say. At all. (Elodie and Astrid, most recently.)

New blogs I've been exploring recently: Bikinis & Passports, Blog Society, Jessie K. Farris, and Into Mind.


Do you remember a time when you felt so full of inspiration and passion that the ideas seemed to flow like a waterfall? When possibilities seemed endless and there weren't any rules - self-imposed or expected by others - for you to follow? When you did something because you loved it and because you wanted to create something for you?

I remember feeling like that before high school, before important classes, GPAs, and jobs. When all I really had to worry about was figuring how to stay up at night without my parents finding out so I could be my night-owl, creative self.

I don't feel like that anymore, and I want to. Desperately.

I know I need a break from all of these commitments to slow down and get inspired again. That's why I'm taking the Fall semester off (essentially, not actually) from demanding classes and jobs and normalcy. I'll be in Vienna, studying abroad for four glorious months.

This will be my time to explore:

to explore new places: the city, the country, and Europe both alone and with new and old friends.

to explore my passions: reading, writing, drawing, painting, expressing, and creating.

to explore myself: my values, my skills, to test myself in new situations.

to explore my mind: to learn more, develop more, get to know how I work and play best.

I'm so grateful that I've been able to take this time to explore the world and myself, to relax, learn new things, see new places, and meet new people. I want to take advantage of this opportunity to help shape my future to my dreams. There's a lot of slack that I need to pick up, and I'm determined to do it.

Arrival in Austria

After a very long flight, I finally arrived in the Vienna International Airport on Tuesday morning, found all of my luggage, and missed my group taxi to campus. We're off to a great start. It did get better though, a million times better.

I absolutely love it here in Vienna. You can get anywhere without a car. There aren't huge, annoying Walmarts to walk around. You can get the same amount of things in the same amount of distance it takes you to walk around the store, but the scenery is so much nicer! 

The flight took so much out of me. Thankfully I'm on a normal sleeping schedule and actually getting sleep at night. My neck hurt horribly the first day of New Student Orientation, and I have sore legs and blisters on my feet, but walking around all day and seeing something new every time you go out is really fun.

Above are some photos of my dorm room after unpacking almost everything. My roommate, Riley, and I got one of the rooms on the front corner of the building, which means we get an amazing view, a curved room (with more room than a square one), tons of windows, and a beautiful balcony.

Slowing Down

packing, sorting, cleaning, stressing, driving, walking, sleeping, drinking lots of coffee.
That about sums up my past two or three weeks.

It has been so freaking crazy this Summer, and I'm about to embark on a 4 month study abroad (in Vienna!) all on my own (with classmates). I guess what I'm trying to say is "It's about to get even crazier." I could not be more thrilled. I'll finally get a chance to travel on my own and with friends, like I've always wanted. I can practice the German that I've been learning for 2 years and be fully immersed in the culture. I can eat savory Austrian and German food, pastries, and coffee to my heart's (and stomach's) content. I can finally relax for a semester and focus on things that I really want to do, like designing, drawing, writing, reading, creating, and practicing photography skills.

This semester is going to be a wonderful change of pace. I finally have a chance to slow down, explore, and embrace creativity on my own instead of in a class. I need a chance to get inspired since I've been feeling like anything I have done recently hasn't been a very unique or creative or passionate project. I remember drawing and water-coloring and painting for fun when I was younger and I want that passion and interest back.

P.S. As you're reading this, I'm recuperating from a very long flight to Vienna! Ahh!

On a different note though, my boyfriend popped in for a few days down in Texas to meet family and friends again. It was such a great week. We explored museums in Dallas for a day, ate the best barbecue, and visited with friends and family. I really needed to see him this week before I leave for four months abroad. I could not have been more excited to have him here for a week and I can't wait for the next time he visits. We have a lot more exploring (and eating) to do.

In with the New

It's finally all coming together, what I want to do with my online space, that is. Rose & Bandit has been my dream for most of this year. Countless brainstorming and doodling episodes, inspirational ideas, and projects beginning to be fleshed out, and all of this happened during class. Well, mostly during class. What can I say? It's where I can let my mind wander without the pressure of creation!

It seems only fitting that in a new dorm room, in a new city in a new country on a new continent (it seems there's a pattern going) that I begin a new and improved blog. I have a more narrow vision that actually has a focus now. I have access to a beautiful and inspiring city and scenery. It's only my first day and I'm loving it here in Vienna.

I pledge to devote time this semester (actually, though) to writing, reading, designing, photographing, drawing - basically doing anything that inspires me. This semester is about me.