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Casey

Casey

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Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe

I’m very picky with salsa recipes and prefer them to be quick and easy. I know, two conflicting things as it’s hard to have easy to make but also taste good.

Thankfully this recipe is fairly easy to make with out a lot of work. Most of the time-consuming part is cutting the ingredients (it’s always best fresh cut).

Let’s get to it!

Delicious Salsa Recipe

Preparation and Tips

There are a few ways to adjust the taste, spiciness, and consistency of your salsa. These are a few tips to help make it fit your taste buds!

How to blend salsa

Using any food blender (link to blender) will work, there’s nothing too thick in this recipe that will be hard to blend. I recommend using the pulse function on the blender to slowly get the salsa to your favorite level of mushy to chunky. I like mine a little chunky, so it didn’t take but a few pulses to get it perfect.

How spicy to make salsa

The recipe we’ll follow uses jalapenos to add spiciness. For a mild spicy flavor only add one jalapeno with no seeds or membrane. To add a little more spice, leave some seeds and membrane in. If you want it really spicy add all seeds and membrane and maybe a few more peppers!

When to eat

Don’t eat the salsa right away, refrigerate it for 30 minutes to an hour. The salsa tastes best when cooled and has had a chance to settle.

Easy Homemade Salsa

Casey
This is a short and easy recipe for homemade salsa!
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 cups
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Cups Fresh Tomatoes on the Vine
  • 1/4 Cup White or Sweet Onion
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1-2 Jalapeno
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt- more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop tomatoes, preserving as much juice aspossible. Thick cuts are fine as you can pulse to the consistency preferredlater.
  • Cut and prepare all other ingredients andcombine.
  • Add combination to the blender and pulse torequired consistency.
  • Taste test and add more salt as needed.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Notes

I strongly recommend letting the salsa sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. It tastes great when it's cold and was the best a day after preparing.
Keyword easy homemade salsa, simple salsa homemade

Enjoy the Salsa!

This is one of the easiest recipes I know and takes maybe 10-15 minutes to make if you’re a slow prepper like me. This recipe was originally inspired by Inspired Taste (ironically), so be sure to check them out as well!

DestinationsTravelUnited States

7 Best Breweries in Bozeman Montana

lockhorn hard cider bozeman montana

Sweet mountain air, the allure of mother nature, and phenomenal beer. Ok, maybe Bozeman Montana isn’t mainly known for phenomenal beer, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be. But it’s difficult to be known for anything other than the great outdoors when Montana is such an amazing place to experience nature.

What’s a great end to a day of exploring? A cool beer!

While Yellowstone, Hyalite Canyon, and other prominent attractions bring people through Bozeman, some of their breweries are perfect reasons to stay a little bit longer.

But where do we start? What kinds of beers are there? We’ll get to those questions now!

Best Breweries in Bozeman!

Mountains Walking

mountains walking brewery bozeman montana

The first brewery that stands out in Bozeman is Mountains Walking.

Mountains Walking has a deep respect for brewing and always ensure quality. Offering Ales, IPAs, Lagers, and more, you’ll find anything to match your taste here.

If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, try out their Nitro Vanilla Cream Ale. Sure, many people may have reserves about a vanilla beer, but trust me, when done right it’s magical.

Nordic Brew Works

nordic brew works boszeman montana

I know we’re looking for breweries and unique drinks, but if you’re going to have a great drink you should have it with a great meal.

Nordic Brew Work is just the place for that, having some very unique menu options that perfectly accent many of their brews. If you’re not looking for a unique meal though, they offer the classic beer brat. To me, there’s nothing that matches better with a beer than a bratwurst.

Map Brewing

map brewing bozeman montana

Map Brewing has a similar passion for brewing as all of the breweries on this list. But Map Brewing has some interesting beers to select from.

They don’t have the longest menu compared to others on this list, but I think they are worth the try for what they have. Honestly, I always heard that the smaller the menu, the better the selection. While it may not always be true, those who specialize in a few beers (or dishes), tend to do them right.

Lockhorn Hard Cider

lockhorn hard cider bozeman montana

Maybe you’re not a pale ale or IPA kind of person. There are other options in Bozeman like Cider!

Lockhorn has a great collection of hard ciders to choose from with some interesting flavors. As an add on, the ciders are gluten free!

Bozeman Brewing

bozeman brewing bozeman montana

Bozeman Brewing has one of the widest menus we’ve found and offers a lot of tasty opportunities.

They also do a great job of giving back and offer a Sunday FUNday where 50 cents of every pint sold goes to a non-profit of the day.

They have year-round options for beer, but some seasonal, so make sure you check online before you go to see what will be available during your visit.

Bunkhouse Brewery

bunkhouse brewery

Bunkhouse is similar Map Brewing in having a slightly smaller menu, but still being astounding.

Personally, I lived in Germany for 3 years so their Bavarian Hefeweizen is made for me! If you have a sweet tooth, they also have the Bozar the Bozarian, essentially a banana beer!

406 Brewing

406 brewing bozeman montana

406 Brewing has an interesting selection that will cover every craving.

Most of their choices listed at time of writing are ales, so if you’re not into ciders and other options listed prior, this may be a good choice!

Enjoy Bozeman!

There’s a lot to do in Montana and Bozeman is a great place to be. The breweries above are a great thing to try when you’re there, but make sure you experience some of their rich culture and outdoor experiences!

DestinationsEuropeTravel

Campingplatz Tegernsee – Where to Camp at Lake Tegernsee

campingplatz tegernsee

What and Where is Tegernsee?

Tegernsee is a tourist town located in the Bavarian Alps with a very popular lake unsurprisingly known as Lake Tegernsee. It’s roughly an hour drive south of Munich, so if you’re flying in that may be the best airport.

There are a few attractions around the town such as a monastery and other historical sites. Honestly, there is a lot of history to this town, but that’s no surprise as it’s been around since the 6th century AD.

For outdoors enthusiasts, the lake offers a base camp to plenty of relaxing hikes in the area. For beer lovers, some of the best breweries in Germany!

Despite all the history to experience and beer to drink in Tegernsee, the main destination for visitors is the lake!

All of these attractions are great, but where do you camp in Tegernsee?

Campingplatz Tegernsee? Where to camp?

camping in tegernsee

While you can theoretically plop a tent anywhere, I only include ASCI surveyed sites to ensure the things recommended met safety standards.

Because of this, there is only one ASCI listed campsite in Lake Tegernsee, and that it Campingplatz Wallberg. The campsite has many of modern-day amenities, including wifi coverage, an on-site restaurant, and allows dogs (on leads)!

What to Bring Camping at Lake Tegernsee

camping gear germany

While Campingplatz Wallberg offers many amenities, there are still a few things to bring with you.

To camp on the site, you’ll need some form of ID, an ASCI ID card would suffice.

Additionally, having a tent should go without saying, unless you’ll be in a camper. After that, some on hand cash (euros) will help in case of emergencies and the main necessities like bottled water and food. Sure, there’s a restaurant, but the campsite also allows grilling!

Enjoy Tegernsee!

Whether you’re going for hiking or sightseeing in Tegernsee, be safe and enjoy your time!

The entire area has so much to offer that it’s sure to be a memorable time.

If you’re looking for other outdoors opportunities in the Alps, check out our guide to visiting Zugspitze!

DestinationsMiddle EastTravel

3 Days in Wadi Rum Jordan

3 Days in Wadi Rum Jordan

Traveling to Jordan is one of the most amazing travel experiences I’ve had. There is so much history and archaeological sites that are beyond astonishing and if you have only 3 days to spend in Jordan, I highly recommend you spend time planning in advance.

Also, be sure to learn some of the basic Arabic greetings and phrases, it will definitely set you ahead!

What is Wadi Rum?

Wadi Rum is a gorgeous desert set in southern Jordan, filled with rolling sands, massive rock structures, and a breathtaking night sky. Also, known as “Valley of the Moon”, Wadi Rum is a 720 square kilometer UNESCO World Heritage site with an interesting history.

It was inhabited by humans as early as 12,000 years ago as shown by the ancient petroglyphs and inscriptions from around the desert. It was even once home (temporarily) to the Nabateans, the builders of Petra.

Today the desert still plays a role in housing Bedouins who live in the desert and acting as a stage for numerous Hollywood productions such as The Martian, Lawrence of Arabia, two Star Wars movies, Dune, and even the live action remake of Aladdin.

How to Get to Wadi Rum

How to get to Wadi Rum

There are a few ways to get to Wadi Rum depending on your preferred type of transportation and where you’re coming from.

The choices you’ll find in getting to Wadi Rum are to rent a car, take a taxi, or take a bus from a nearby city/tourist destination. If you’re renting a car, I simply recommend getting GPS or a map, as that’s the easiest way to get there. Also, if you’re camping in the desert, no tourist is allowed to drive through the desert.

So, you’ll either be parking at the visitor center (which costs 5JD to enter or free with the Jordan Pass) or Rum village and will be picked up by your host and taken into the desert.

If you’re coming from Aqaba there are buses/minibuses that can take you to the Wadi Rum turn off. If decide to take a taxi from Aqaba, it should be around 35 JD to get to the visitor’s center.

Coming from Petra a taxi will cost the similar 35 JD but a bus costs 7 JD and will take you to the Visitors Center or Rum Village. The bus can also be scheduled to pick you up from your hotel in Petra.

Where to stay in Wadi Rum

Where to Stay in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum has quite a few comfortable camping spots in the desert, some surprisingly luxurious considering the location. Self-camping is an option, but you’ll still need to find a way into the desert, pack food and water accordingly, and be fully prepared for any emergencies.

Honestly, self-camping is not going to be a relaxing time in Wadi Rum unless you have a vehicle to take you around.

The option we chose and recommend was staying at one of the camps with shelter, food, and transportation provided.

A luxurious option of these is the Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel. I know you’ve probably seen the see-through bubble tents being advertised and these are those tents. Take in the Wadi Rum sunset and night sky from the comfort of your tent and enjoy all amenities necessary for a relaxing time.

Another cheaper option would be the Wadi Rum Green Desert campground.

They offer similar amenities such as food and showers, but the washrooms are public and there’s no see-through roof in your tent. By no means should the discount option be assumed “cheap”. The hosts of the camp were incredibly nice and very helpful on anything we needed.

We went with the cheaper option to save money as we were there to see the sites around Wadi Rum as exploring was our focus.

3 Days in Wadi Rum

3 Days in Wadi Rum Jordan

All of this rich history and only so many days to see it. Let’s see how to separate some of Wadi Rum’s most iconic sites to fit into a 3-day schedule.

Day 1 in Wadi Rum 

Every day will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so be sure to plan around those as well.

To start with which sites to see, coming into the visitor’s center will be the start of the adventure. Upon reaching the desert gates, you’ll see the first site.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Seven Pillars of Wisdom Wadi Rum

Viewable left of the visitor’s center is the first notable landmark of Wadi Rum, the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Named after the famous book of T. E. Lawrence “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”, is a massive rock formation with the base of the rock dating back to 4.6 billion years ago!

Lawrences Spring

Lawrence’s Spring is next on the list since it’s not far after leaving Rum Village to get toward your camp.

Also named after T. E. Lawrence and his influence during World War 1, helping to fight against the Ottoman Empire. Visiting the site won’t take long but will be a nice place to experience some history and prepare for your time in Wadi Rum.

Khazali Canyon

Khazali Canyon Wadi Rum

Khazali Canyon can be seen shortly after Lawrence spring.

All of these sites on the first day are relatively easy to see and won’t take up a load of time. I think it’s best that way since you’ll spend some of the day arriving to Wadi Rum, getting a ride ready to go into the desert, and need time to settle into your camp.

Khazali Canyon will take maybe 30-45 minutes to explore and is worth the visit! It may be a little crowded depending on when you go, but it didn’t make it harder to see any of the canyon writings or navigate the area.

Day 2 in Wadi Rum

Obviously, these sites don’t have to be seen in this order, because the best route for the day will depend on where your camp is. But all are close compared to the rest of the sites.

Um Frouth Rock Bridge

Um Frouth Bridge Wadi Rum

The Um Frouth Rock Bridge offers a very interesting sight and some sweaty heights to experience. It’s not a frightening experience, but if you’re very wary of heights, I wouldn’t recommend walking across the bridge itself.

Although, access to the bridge isn’t a hazard and can be accessed fairly easy. So even if you don’t want to cross the bridge, there is still a wonderful view from the top.

Abu Khashaba Canyon

An interesting walk through time in the Wadi Rum, Abu Khashaba Canyon houses shrubbery and life despite being in the middle of a desert.

The hike through the canyon may take 30-45 minutes and will be a nice reprieve from any sun that has been beating down on you throughout the day.

Burdah Rock Bridge

Burdah Rock Bridge

NOTE: If the Frouth Rock Bridge was too high for you, this one will be too. This one is significantly higher and will trigger those little belly rumbles you get from being up to high.  

If you’re fine with the heights, then the Burdah Rock Bridge will be an incredible hike. I would set aside roughly 3 hours to hike up and back as it’s a time-consuming hike. Because of the time, heat, and severity of the hike, it’s also not a trip for anyone who isn’t physically able to hike for prolonged periods of time.

Sunset at Um Sabatah

Overlooking the Wadi Rum desert is a tall mountainous structure known as Um Sabatah, a landmark to native Bedouins. It also offers a wonderful spot to end the day.

Um Sabatah offers a unique view over Wadi Rum from its cliff side and is a common spot for tourist to view the sunset. While it may get a little crowded, it will come as no surprise once the sun begins to set. Just make sure you have safe transport back to whatever camp you’re staying at.

Day 3 in Wadi Rum

Day 3 in Wadi Rum Jordan

The final day!

Hopefully the first two days are as rewarding as they were for me, but it’s not over yet!

Little Rock Bridge

Little Rock Bridge Wadi Rum

If the two rock bridges mentioned earlier in our list were too high, then this one is more relaxing and much less stressful in terms of height. There is still a little hiking to get to it, but it was not very exhaustive.

It did offer an awesome sight over Wadi Rum and was a nice place to spend some time and really take in all that the desert has to offer.

Al Ramal Red Sand Dune

Al Ramal Red Sand Dune Wadi Rum

This was an unexpected stop for us that our guide surprised us with. We were heading back to camp to stop here and take a short hike to the top.

If you’re looking for a little rush, they have sand boards available and can ride the sand dune like snowboarding down a mountain! Just be sure to let your guide know ahead of time so they know to have boards ready.

Make sure before you ride down, you take time to appreciate the peak. At the top of the Al Ramal Sand Dune is hard rock to stand on and take in Wadi Rum. It also offers a magnificent view of Khazali Canyon.

Lawrence House

Rumored to be a place where Lawrence stayed during his time in Wadi Rum, Lawrence’s house is in ruins but still a historical spot.

It’s also very popular for its unique views over the desert.

Enjoy Jordan!

Wadi Rum Jordan

If you’re going to Jordan for Wadi Rum, it’s worth staying longer to see the rest of the country. All of Jordan is rich in history and there is so much to see. Which means that if you’re spending 3 days in Wadi Rum, you may need to plan plenty of more time for the rest of the country!

If you’re interested in other places to see in Jordan, check out our Best Places to Visit in Jordan list!

If you want to share this post, feel free to use the image below!

Wadi Rum

Money

15 Best Money Making Apps – 2020

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Best Apps to Make Money in 2020

Coming across extra income isn’t the easiest thing.

Thankfully we live in a time of opportunity and even during a pandemic there are ways to make extra money from home.

We’ll look at some of those ways here that are specifically useful to make money from your smartphone.

So, let’s get to it, the best apps to make money from in 2020.

Ebates (now Rakuten)

Ebates Rakuten Make Money

The way Ebates works is you get a cash rewards for purchases made at retailers in the Rakuten network.

If you’re unfamiliar with Rakuten, they have over 2,500 stores they are partnered with, which means a lot of opportunities for cash back!

As an example, a few of the stores you’ll be able to shop at are Amazon, Walmart, eBay, JCPenny, Macy’s and more! That’s what makes this app so great for earning potential, almost every major store you’ll shop at will offer rewards!

Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards for extra cash

Opinion Rewards is what it sounds like, you get paid for opinions!

Google offers surveys to take on your smartphone and they are perfect if you’re relaxing in the evening and just want to make a few extra bucks.

The surveys are relatively short as well, so it won’t take a serious time commitment.

Once they are completed, payments are given via Google Play credits or Paypal credits.

Bookscouter

Bookscouter

Surprisingly I haven’t seen this one mentioned too often, which is why I wanted it near the top of the list.

Bookscouter allows you to scan the bar-code of any book and it will list out a variety of websites that will buy it and at what price.

So, if you’re like me and had college textbooks at the end of every semester you couldn’t get rid of, this is perfect for you! I made a sizable amount of income back from reselling my textbooks as well as selling books I’ve found at discount stores.

iPoll

ipoll for extra money

Just like Google opinion Rewards, iPoll pays users to take surveys on their phone.

The surveys are also similar to what you’ll find on Google, but instead of Google Play credits, users can cash out in gift cards for Paypal, Amazon, and Apple App store.

Slidejoy

Slide Joy for Extra Money

We’re bombarded with advertisements all day every day, so why not see a few more but make money while you do it?

Slidejoy turns the home screen of your phone into a billboard, displaying ads for you to interact with. Each time you open your phone (which is often for many of us), you’ll see an ad that you can learn more about before using your phone.

The downside is this app is only available for Android users.

Cash outs are allowed through Paypal or through one of Slidejoy’s charity programs.  

Acorns

Acrons investing

Many people are looking to invest but don’t know where to start.

Acorns helps you get started and takes on the difficulty of what to invest in for you.

How it works, is after linking your debit/credit card or other spending account to the app, it tracks what purchases you make. For each purchase, Acorns rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests the difference.

For example, if you make a purchase of $5.80, the app rounds up to $6 and invests the extra $0.20 for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax while you let your money work for you.

Acorns isn’t free and the base plan does require $1/month.

Sweatcoin

Make Money with Sweatcoin

An interesting take on money-making from an app is Sweatcoin, a company that pays you to exercise.

Sweatcoin offers an incentive to workout by measuring how many steps you take in a day and rewards you accordingly with their in-app cryptocurrency “sweatcoin”.

These coins can be cashed out a variety of ways in their in app store. I highly recommend it because you’re going to move around anyway, might as well get rewarded for it!

Money App

Money App Review

No surprise the purpose of this mobile app.

Money app has a list of tasks that can be completed, and I recommend looking through the ones in the “hot” tab for highest rewards.

After your Credits balance is high enough, you’ll be able to cash out to your Paypal.

Foap

Foap For Earning money

Have an eye for photography? Then this is a perfect money-making opportunity for you!

Foap allows users to submit their photos to be bought by anyone who made need them, including larger companies which also frequent the app.

There is a less passive approach to earning on Foap if you don’t want to wait and hope for people to buy your photos. Foap offers “missions” which allow photographers to submit photos to audition for whatever the client is requesting.

All payments from Foap are made through Paypal.

Survey Junkie

Survey junkie earnings

Similar to other survey apps, Survey Junkie allows you to complete surveys for money.

The difference with Survey Junkie is that the app matches you with surveys that are the most relevant to your lifestyle based on questions to answer when signing up.

All points earned from surveys can be cashed out through gift cards or Paypal.

Swagbucks

Earn cash with Swagbucks

This app has been around a while and paid out over $410 million since its inception in 2008.

There are a variety of ways to earn from Swagbucks. You’re able to shop online through their app, take surveys, watch videos, and more! This means there are a variety of ways to earn depending on what you’re able to do at the moment.

Like Survey Junkie, you’re able to cash out Swagbucks points for gift cards or directly to your Paypal account.

Userfeel

Userfeel for income

Userfeel allows companies and small businesses to get data on how users interact with their website or app.

You are the user! Userfeel is the middleman for these companies and you can get paid to tests sites for them.

These tests can get fairly in depth and will require more effort than the previously mentioned money making opportunities.

Offerup

Offerup as a side hustle

Offerup is a marketplace used to sell anything you want to get rid of!

Imagine an online garage sale that you can manage from your phone. That’s the whole purpose of Offerup, an easy place to get rid of the things you no longer need and maybe flip some items you find.

TaskRabbit

Taskrabbit for money

The gig economy has introduced a plethora of interesting ways to make money, from ridesharing to grocery shopping for people.

Taskrabbit is an app that implements the main principles of the gig economy, allowing people to request tasks and you get paid to complete them!

It’s simple to sign up here!

Mercari

Mercari for side hustle

This app is similar to Offerup as it’s a place to sell anything you’re trying to get rid of.

Personally, I use it a lot for clothing as it’s the best for clothing brands and accessories. But other items are sold on Mercari, such as household goods and collectibles.

Check it out!

Making Money on your Phone!

It’s not the simplest thing in the world to make money from your phone. But the previous apps will help and at least provide some extra money per month, especially if you’re consistent. That’s the important part to remember that many forget, consistency is key. If you don’t put in time to earn money, then you won’t.

Best of luck and happy earnings!

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Best money making apps for 2020

 

Best Apps to make money on the side

InspirationTravelTravel Tips

Waterproofing a backpack – how to make your backpack waterproof

featured

How to Waterproof a Backpack

Any hiker, camper, or outdoor enthusiast will tell you there’s nothing worse than an unexpected downpour. Sadly, I’ve been in a few situations where I’ve been three hours into a hike that was expected to have clear skies, just to have rain suddenly ruining my backpack.

A little preparation and a few supplies can save you (and me) from the headache of having a soaked backpack.

Rain isn’t the only reason to waterproof a hiking backpack, there are plenty of other reasons! If you’re planning on kayaking, boating, or even hiking through waterfalls, a waterproof backpack is a must.

Thankfully there are a few ways to waterproof your backpack to prepare for any of the previously mentioned activities. So, let’s get to learning how to waterproof any backpack.

Method 1: Waterproof Spray and a Seam Sealer

waterproofing spray

A waterproofing spray is must have for multiple reasons other than a backpack, so keep it handy even after you have your backpack waterproofed.

The function of a waterproof spray is to coat or re-coat a materials already natural ability to resist water. Some backpacks are already water resistant, so adding a waterproofing spray will just improve its ability to avoiding leaking.

There are a few steps to take before you waterproof your bag. First, properly clean the bag and all surfaces that are going to be sprayed. This way all dirt and grime won’t be stuck to the bag after applying the spray. After the backpack dries it’s ready to be waterproofed. Apply a single coat to the backpack and allow the coat to settle, more coats can be applied if necessary.

After the spray is dried, a seam sealer can then be put over any seams of the backpack. Note that a waterproof spray will only make the fabric waterproof and that liquids can still get through any open zippers or holes in the bag.

Method 2: Using a Backpack Rain Cover

A waterproofing spray will help immensely when keeping the contents of your backpack safe. But there are other options to maintain the integrity of your backpack. Another option is to have a dedicated backpack rain cover to seal your backpack in.

Some hiking backpacks come with a dedicated rain cover when they are bought, but that’s not always the case. If not, there are a few that can be found on Amazon to fit whatever backpack you may have.

Method 3: Using a Dry Bag to Secure Your Backpack

dry bag hiking

A dry bag is essentially a bag to keep the contents of your backpack or whatever else you put inside of it, dry. Big surprise I know, but this is a very secure and safe way to keep all your goods dry.

These bags come in a variety of sizes, so there should be one for whatever backpack size you have. It’s important to ensure the bag is properly closed though, because it not it defeats the purpose of using the bag at all.

Extra: Using Plastic Bags to Secure Your Items

This isn’t necessarily a way to waterproof your backpack, so it’s not being listed as an actual number. Instead, this idea is to help protect your items in case your backpack hasn’t been waterproofed.

Fairly often I’ll carry some plastic shopping bags when I hike or camp to keep food in. If you expect your backpack to get wet enough that water may seep through, placing your valuables in a plastic shopping bag will easily keep them dry. The important part here is to tie the bag properly and ensure that no water can get through the opening.

If you have more than one shopping bag, it would be even better to wrap the first one into the second. Having the second bag covering the opening of the first bag means no water will drop through it and the second bag can be tied underneath the first.

Stay Dry!

Hopefully this guide helped and gives some idea on how to ensure your backpack stays water free. If there are any further questions on waterproofing a backpack, then please leave a comment below!

Money

A Short Guide On How To Budget

pexels-alexander-mils-2068975

How To Budget And Why You Should

No one comes into this world with perfect knowledge on how to budget. But if you’re having financial troubles and not sure how to fix it, budgeting can save you from a lot of that stress.

So what exactly is a budget? It’s foreseeing your future income and expenses, then planning accordingly.

To me it’s setting up a set amount I plan to spend, so that my income can exceed how much I spend. No one wants a deficit at the end of the month.

How to budget

What Are The Steps To Budgeting?

There are easy steps to budgeting, it just takes diligence.

  1. Start a cash flow statement to begin tracking what your income is and your expenses in every category. This is a day to day task that can either be tracked on a simple excel spreadsheet or an application. Even a pen and paper if that’s more comfortable. But I personally recommend Mint. It keeps track of all your money coming in and out.
  2. Now you know your monthly expenses. They may change but the last month you tracked is the best estimate to come. Take that and attempt to reduce spending where you can to “budget” yourself. Then see if it’s feasible in practice. Some examples might be, food expenses are too high from dining out often, or paying for services you don’t take advantage of.
  3. The previous two steps are generally all you need to consider it a budget. But for those of us looking for financial freedom, try to find ways to increase your income as well. While continuously finding more things to cut and trim your budget even more.

Cutting It Short..

This is one of the articles I want to keep short. Mainly because a lot of these “how to” articles for finance can be long and have too much information. But when it comes to budgeting, it’s best to start simple and focus on the basics! Something like budgeting is a simple process but needs dedication to complete.

Honestly, the hardest part of it, is in the execution. Carrying on with a bunch of examples will take away from your time of accomplishing this. So get out there and budget for you financial freedom!

Drive Thru Summary:

Track expenses, cut what you can, aim to spend less than you make every month. Read here for more information on improving your financial fitness!

InspirationTravel

Top 3 Benefits of Traveling the World

benefits of traveling the world

One of the best examples of why to travel I found, was the description on Quora’s travel section. It reads

“To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.”

As modern men and women, we find ourselves complacent and sometimes afraid of change. The average person has a 9–5 and although may claim to be comfortable, always feels just a little bit off when the silence sets in. Usually set in front of a television or computer with no other purpose in it other than entertainment, never for a sense of self fulfillment.

Granted traveling isn’t for everyone. There are many people who do in fact enjoy the common hum drum beat of everyday life. However, if you’ve found yourself to this article and have stayed in even this far, I can only assume that might not be you.

So here are the benefits of travel and how it can make you a better person!

traveling benefits

LEARNING.

There is no better way to improve your knowledge of the world than going out and experiencing it first-hand. A book or show on the travel channel will never compare to feeling the breeze hit you when climbing through the Alps mid-summer.

Nor is there a course at your college that can truly engrave the emotional impact of tasting the foods of a foreign culture and meeting their native community. Your ignorance will evaporate with every step forward as you navigate your way around the globe.

why you should travel

CONFIDENCE.

Traveling, regardless of where you go, takes you out of your comfort zone. The first trip may be incredibly stressful trying to navigate the airport terminals and unfamiliar bus stations. But after you’ve completed your journey, there are few more satisfying actions than solving a problem through the process of adventure.

The first few trips I’ve taken we’re so surprising on how different things were, that it was definitely a perfect test for self-sufficiency. After all was said and done though, there is no greater confidence boost than knowing you’ve taken on a piece of the world and came out triumphant.

social travel

SOCIAL.

Through improving your knowledge of the world and gaining confidence through your problems in navigation (like the GPS you know is going to die and you still don’t bring a map), you will meet people with a view on life that you would’ve never considered. These people will test your ideas and beliefs and may become foes in your journey. But they can’t take away the joy you’ll gain from those who become friends.

Drive Thru Take Out:

You’ll be nervous undoubtedly, but don’t let it deter you from traveling. Travel to learn, gain confidence, and meet people who may become the best friends you’ve ever had.

DestinationsEuropeInspirationTravel

Skydiving in Spa Belgium

skydiving in spa belgium

Skydiving in Spa Belgium

I wanted to write a post for anyone considering skydiving as an excursion idea, especially if you’re going to skydive in Belgium. It was an anxiety induced ride of fear, adrenaline, and absolute fun!

The idea to go skydiving came up how I imagine it does most of the time, as a ‘why not?’ type conversation. I was stationed in Germany and one of my close friends was stationed in Belgium. Being so close, we figured we’d meet up and were trying to figure out what we could do. He was fairly quick to suggest skydiving and I for some reason said yes without hesitation.

We had another friend that was supposed to join us but backed out, I don’t blame him, my nerves were on edge.

After some debate, I decided to just drive up to Belgium and meet him since I just bought a car and it was cheaper for me to travel.

Getting to Belgium

The whole drive to Belgium it never really hit me I was about to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I was just excited to travel a little and experience Belgium.

But, after a long mindless drive, I made it to Belgium safely.

Side note: Belgium has some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. The gas station burgers there tasted like gourmet food and I loved everything I ate!

I didn’t meet up with my friend until later in the evening and called it an early night as we planned on going straight to skydiving the next day. Looking back, that was the best idea since I probably would’ve changed my mind.

The day of… Time to Skydive!

The morning of, I woke up and the first thought the went through my head was, “s&%t”. The first thing I thought was that I hadn’t backed out and it was too late now, I couldn’t abandon the idea and let my friend go alone.

I slowly went about my morning routine, acting like what I was about to do hadn’t been done successfully by so many before me. I really was over-stressing a bit.

We decided to get something in our stomachs beforehand (neither of us were the throw up during stress type). We didn’t want to be worried and hungry, so we figured just worried was best. Looking back, it was the funniest meal I’d ever had, because neither of us said a word to each other.

It was clear we were both to wrapped up in our thoughts of hopping out a plane to even speak (food was great though).

Arriving at Skydive Spa

I didn’t realize I was able to get more anxious, but when we parked and began walking to the entrance my palms became waterfalls. I’ve heard other people’s stories of when they skydived for the first time and never truly understood what they meant, at that moment I did.

Walking through the front door, we were greeted by incredibly nice staff and a large open floor of people folding parachute packs. That’s it, that’s the moment it hit me the hardest. Just kidding, it got worse.

The staff were very accommodating and spoke far better English than I spoke French, so I am by no means complaining when I say there was a slight communication barrier. We had picked a random skydiving place with no regard to their accommodations and just kind of hoped for the best.

Despite us being the only two people there that ONLY spoke English, they were very reassuring and helpful! We ended up getting a safety brief to just the two of us while the other people we’d jump with got an in-depth brief in French.

I really felt like we missed some info since our briefing took about 3 minutes while their briefing took a solid 10-13 minutes. That made me a little nervous, but with a language barrier, there’s only so many ways someone can tell you “Don’t be dumb and do what your tandem tells you”.

The waiting game

After all the paperwork signing and safety brief, we were given some fancy jumpsuits with little straps on the thighs. Those straps were unsurprisingly used to pull your legs up when landing so you can literally scoot your butt across the ground to slow down. Cool, as a guy, sounds fun (sarcasm).

As we were partnering up with who we’d be jumping with (obviously I was jumping tandem since it was my first time), I was the only one without a partner. Remember how I said it got scarier, this is that moment. As I looked around, I began to worry, “Was there a misunderstanding? Did they think I was jumping solo?! What’s happening, is my guy late because he got really drunk last night and won’t be able to function a parachute?!”. Yes, the ideas got dumber and more ridiculous with time.

Eventually, I talked to someone with a clipboard (she seemed official) and asked who I was jumping with. She said a name I couldn’t pronounce, and I asked where he was. After a second of looking around, then down at the clipboard, she stops and goes “oh”, and points directly up to a group of people falling out of the sky to point out the only guy wearing what looked like shorts. My jump partner was currently falling to Earth with someone else.

He was going to do two consecutive jumps and at first, I was relieved there wasn’t a mix up. That was until I heard screaming and looked up to see my partner spinning in circles (voluntarily) and scaring the hell out of the person he was with. “Great, I’m going to die of a heart attack at 21” was my only thought.

Boarding the plane!

Eventually my guy lands, unclips, and rushes over to me before introducing himself. He was the last person we were waiting on, so we all begin to board the plane.

The plane wasn’t large and is something you see on movies being used to smuggle small amounts of drugs. Not the friendliest comparison but it’s all I got. We all line up on the seats so we can easily be strapped to our partner before hopping out, my heart is now beating fast enough to dance to.

Before I know it, we’re off speeding down the runway. As we get enough lift to get off the ground, I notice a little turbulence. “Ok, I’ve flown before, a little turbulence isn’t bad”, I think. Then there’s more turbulence, worst than before.

Eventually, the plane is shaking around like it’s a saltshaker and a chef is trying to get the last specks of salt out. I thought the plane was broken and we were about to skydive before we even got out of the plane. Nope, it was business as usual.

I guess it’s normal for smaller planes to have a level of turbulence that causes you to rethink your entire life.

TIME TO JUMP!

I look out the window and people are ants, the plane is still rocking, and then a little light comes on at the front of the plane. My mind stops, time stops, and I strongly considering showing everyone on this plane what it looks like for a grown man to dehydrate from crying.

No time for nonsense, the door slides open and the solo jumpers are already on their feet approaching the gaping hole in the plane. They plan on jumping together and two straddle a pole on the outside of the plane. Then I realize, “That guy is on the outside of a plane, in the sky” and that thought took away a lot of the fear. The fear wasn’t gone because he was being brave or anything, it was because my brain couldn’t process how absolutely ridiculous the sight was.

Eventually the tandem jumpers (me included) begin scooting ourselves down the bench to get out, I’m the second one jumping. I watch the first two guys sit on the ledge of the door with their feet hanging out and just like that, they’re gone.

“S#!t, it’s my turn.”

Before I realize what’s happening, my feet are dangling out of this plane (that’s still shaking) and the guy I have entrusted my life asks me to move my head to the side so he can see.

“You got it! I’ll move my head if it helps, hell, I’ll give you my bank info if you need it to get me out of this alive!”

And just like in other stories of skydiving, he counted down from three before jumping, and jumped on two… asshole.

The first few seconds of falling, my stomach became one with my throat and I could taste the lunch from earlier. Just kidding, I couldn’t taste anything because my mind was fully focused on screaming internally.

But that was it, that was the worst of it. Honestly, after my stomach hit my throat and returned to its normal position, every single fear and worry of jumping was just gone. I can’t explain it and it doesn’t make any sense, but I opened my eyes (we had goggles on for the wind) and felt absolutely zero fear.

We were just peacefully falling, and the ground didn’t seem to even be coming at us that fast. Sadly, we were only able to freefall for so long, because you know, the ground is coming. But I loved every minute of it and even parachuting was so calming that I could’ve floated down for hours and never gotten sick of the view.

After a few minutes, we came down to land and as expected scooted to a stop. I got up, felt an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment (even though I did nothing whatsoever) and walked to greet my friend.

Just like that, all that anxious anticipation and fear was replaced with a feeling a tranquility. What a rollercoaster of emotions.

Would you do it again?

Skydiving truly is a one of a kind experience. I highly recommend for everyone to try it once and I may do it again someday. I don’t feel the need to do it anymore as it’s marked off my bucket list. But overall it was a moment I’ll always remember and am so glad I didn’t back out.

DestinationsEuropeTravel

Travel Guide to Santorini Greece

travel-guide-to-santorini-greece

Visiting the Beautiful Island of Santorini

Honestly, when Linn first suggested going to Santorini, I had no clue what she was talking about. Most of the destinations I was aware of/wanted to go to, were places I saw in Indiana Jones films. Yes, the majority of my bucket list came from 80’s and 90’s cinema.

After looking up the island of Santorini, I realized that I had seen the famous blue domes before. So, roughly 30 minutes of google searching later I was also hooked on the idea of visiting Santorini.

Don’t make the mistake I made in assuming it’s a small island. There is plenty to see on Santorini and you’ll need a few days to hit the hot spots.

How do you get to Santorini Greece?

Considering Santorini is an island, it’s no surprise that there are two ways to get there, flying or taking a boat!

We chose to fly as it was expedient and there were affordable flights coming straight from Athens. There are direct flights from other locations, so don’t feel the need to stop in Athens unless it’s a budgeting option.

If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option (or more costly depending on the one you pick), ferry’s leave to and from Santorini every day. The trip can take between 5 and 8 hours, so you can save a little money, but at the cost of time.  

Things to do in Santorini Greece

Santorini Greece

Santorini offers plenty of different experiences! If you’re into relaxing, sightseeing, or outdoor adventures, it doesn’t matter as you’ll find something for you. Because there are so many options, I wanted to separate the places based off what you might prefer. So there’s going to be a outdoors section, food, sightseeing, and extras.

Nature and Outdoors Things to do in Santorini

Exploring Amoudi Bay

We discovered Amoudi Bay on accident after exploring Oia. As you reach one side of Oia, you’ll notice down the cliff filled with homes a small cove. Obviously we decided to check it out and walk around the bay past the shops and restaurants. We eventually reached what turned out to be a popular diving spot. Neither of us expected it so we didn’t have swim attire, but we still enjoyed hiking along the coast below Oia.

Hiking Trail – Fira to Oia

I love hiking and spending time outside in nature. If you’re the same, then hiking around Santorini is something you won’t want to miss. If you add in some nice weather and a full breakfast, hiking the Fira trail will make the day perfect!

The trail obviously goes from Fira to Oia and can take up to 5 hours. You can take a side trip to Skaros Rock and add maybe an extra hour for some better views!

Kamari Beach

Some outdoors fun in the sun and a place to relax. The beach isn’t on a “10 must see beaches before you die” list or anything, but it is a nice spot to grab a drink by the sea and enjoy some peaceful time.

If you were planning on going, I’d go with an empty stomach. Most of the restaurants have free beach sun beds for patrons, meaning you can have a comfy place to sit and eat. Also, the beach is pebbly and may not feel the best to walk on so bring some shoes for pebble beaches.

Jet ski in Santorini

While relaxing on a beach is fun, so is riding jet ski’s! If you’re more of a thrill seeker, then there are some exciting things to do in Santorini to get your blood pumping.

There are plenty of rentals on the island and a tour is even offered around the island!

Sunset in Oia

While not as thrilling as taking a jet ski tour around the island, this is a great way to end the day. We spent a whole day exploring Oia and it was suggested by a local to watch the sunset. We just figured it was something they personally liked, we didn’t realize there would be crowds on the hills watching it as well. It was peaceful and serene despite being crowded, and I highly recommend ending one day with an Oia sunset.

Food & Drink in Santorini

greek food santorini

Seafood in Amoudi bay

I already mentioned exploring Amoudi Bay for an outdoor adventure, but there are other things to do in the bay. There are a few options for restaurants with seating roughly 1 foot from the water. In fact, if you do plan on going to the diving spot in Amoudi Bay and come from the top of Oia, you’ll end up walking through a few restaurants to get there. These restaurants have some amazing options for seafood and other types of Greek dishes.

Venetsanos Winery

I love good food and good wine, and there isn’t any wine like what you’ll find in Santorini. You’ll have options for booking a wine tasting here as well as visiting their café. Their café offers some interesting foods (not like any café food I’ve had in America) and it’s definitely worth checking out if you plan on doing a wine tasting anyway.

Santorini Wine Museum

If you fell in love with Santorini wine from other places and want more, then you’ll be happy to hear that Santorini has a whole museum dedicated to its wines. Take some time to learn about how wine is made here and get some tastings in. If that’s not enough, they also offer the very unique experience of grape stomping!

Sights and Landmarks in Santorini

Atlantis Book Store Santorini

Akrotiri Archaeological Site

I personally love archaeology type travel and learning about the long-forgotten history of the places we visit. Akrotiri is a perfect example of a site that we love! While Santorini was inhabited as early as 6,000 years ago, it wasn’t until 4,000 years ago that it became an official urban center. Having evidence of multi-story buildings and remnants of local art, Akrotiri gives a glimpse into the distant past and lives of those who lived there.

A Day in Oia

One of my favorite experiences of Santorini was just walking the alleys and streets of Oia. Exploring around is an experience in itself, everywhere are whitewashed walls with scattered blue domes, making the cliffside city shine. We ended up gathering all of our souvenirs from Oia as there were multiple shops everywhere we went. There’s also some of the best bites of Greek food I’ve ever had, so make sure to stop at as many restaurants as you can.

Ancient Thera

Moving forward in time past the Akrotiri settlement, you’ll eventually get to the city of Thera. With a history ranging from the 9th century BC to the 8th century AD, Thera had a long history in the Greek timeline. Thera’s history is far too much to write about in a short paragraph, but I strongly encourage anyone visiting Santorini to stop by and experience it firsthand.

Megalochori

A small city located on Santorini with picturesque neo-classic architecture and phenomenal sights, Megalochori offers a similar walkthrough experience to a day in Oia. Obviously, they are different though and exploring both are worth the effort. This is also located around the “vineyard areas” and offer some unique tastes for wines!

Places to stay in Santorini

With all these great things to do in Santorini and wonderful sights to see, it can distract you from planning the rest of the trip! So, here’s a reminder to book a comfy place to stay during your time there.

There are a lot of hotels in Santorini such as the El Greco and the Santorini Princess Spa, but those are the only accommodations on the island. We ended up staying at an AirBnb for a very affordable price per night and the host was incredibly welcoming!

Is Santorini Worth Visiting?

Overall, Santorini was an unforgettable experience that I’m glad Linn talked me into. I thought it might just be another destination in Greece, but it was a beautiful island with phenomenal people.