21 Things You’re Actually Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about reflecting on our fortunes and humbly expressing gratitude in a way that Kanye West has yet to master. Right now, you might be thinking that posting a pic of your fabulous tropical vacay with the accompanying hashtag “#blessed” qualifies as showing gratefulness, but you know what? We can do better as a society—and we can do it with a mouthful of mashed potatoes! So this Thanksgiving, let’s put down our phones (except to take meticulously composed pictures of our food like a Bon Appetit shoot). Time to celebrate the following things that make us happy:

 

  1. Sweatpants. This item of clothing is normally reserved for nights on the couch (or going to the grocery store…or bank…or let’s be honest, everywhere that’s not work). But nobody wants to wear skinny jeans on a day that involves over-eating like you’re trying to make wrestling weight. Enter sweatpants: the perfect post-meal wear, with no awkward unbuttoning of pants in front of 3rd cousins twice-removed.

  2. ALL DAY PUPPY CAMS. Good luck being productive with growing animals learning to open their eyes and be fuzzy: http://www.liveanimals.tv/dogs-and-puppies/golden-retriever-puppy-cam

  3. The Internet. We might not agree on religion, politics, or whether Taylor Swift produces noises that are tolerable. But we can all agree that the Internet is a gift. Can you imagine having a question and NOT being able to have it immediately answered by Wikipedia/xRockPrincessx on Yahoo answers?

  4. Be thankful for the concept of giving “thanks,” because if there were no “thanks,” Thanksgiving would just be “giving,” and that would be Christmas.

  5. The rare occasion when you take a selfie with friends and no one demands to have it retaken due to closed eyes/blur/“omg I look sooo fat!”

  6. Mason jars. Because they make every beverage seem 100% more hip.

  7. Instagram. If you make a beautiful meal and don’t instagram it before consumption… did it even exist at all?

  8. Sweater weather. These woven bundles of warmth are the best because they give the wearer a sense of timeless classiness–when in reality, you just wanted to be comfy and wear a blanket in the form of a shirt.

  9. When plans get cancelled that you were contemplating flaking on and now YOU’RE the one that comes out smelling like roses (AND you get to watch the Chopped marathon you wanted to watch).

  10. When you serendipitously wake up right mere seconds before your alarm clock goes off. Maybe there’s no tooth fairy, but there’s definitely a benevolent sleep fairy that occasionally decides to take pity on you.

  11. Leftovers. Yay, you get to skip grocery shopping for the week! Get ready to feel like you’ve entered a fissure of time and space where Thanksgiving NEVER ENDS and everything faintly smells of stuffing.

  12. Putting on a jacket you haven’t worn in a while, only to find CASH MONAAAY in the pocket.

  13. Killing three birds with one stone, aka eating Turducken.

  14. Netflix. The best surrogate BFF ever, who never mocks you for watching Gilmore Girls for an entire weekend straight. You’re never alone when you have seven seasons of Rory charmingly coming to terms with adulthood to keep you company.

  15. The “like” button on Facebook. Because we all need personal affirmation from the Internet.

  16. Pie. If you’re not thankful for pie… you need to arrange a doctor visit to check your heart and soul. Now is the time to ignore your gluten-free resolution. You can try that in the new year.

  17. Student ID discounts. After you chow down on your Thanksgiving feast, there’s still time to catch a movie! Let’s be honest here… just because you graduated in 2009 doesn’t mean you don’t still use your student ID to get 10% off at the local movie theater. You’re a student of life, after all. And hey, you can pass as a grad student well into your 40s.

  18. Emojis, for when you “just can’t.” If a picture’s worth 1000 words, the sassy dancing lady emoji is worth 10,000.

  19. Mirrors – because unlike people, they are not afraid to tell you that your fly is down.

  20. Doing a perfect parallel park job on your first try. This is something that should go on a resume, really.

  21. Power naps, aka second sleep. Let the tryptophan wash over you. Your belly is full, your family appeased, and the annual Thanksgiving James Bond marathon lulls you to slumber. You are now complete–and dare we say it, thankful.


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5 Thanksgiving Encounters That’ll Make You Wish You Had Gone to Hawaii Instead

Thanksgiving EncountersLong ago—when tights were vital undergarments and weren’t just worn as pants—Thanksgiving’s purpose was to celebrate the harvest. These days, it exists so you can eat the same quantity as a bear, fight with your grown-ass siblings over the TV remote, and dodge your aunt who always asks about your romantic life. Times have changed. That’s not to say that the meaning of the holiday has eroded just because we gather around a football game and liquid cheese dip instead of a hand-woven cornucopia. It’s just that the festivities have turned into a sort of marathon of physical and emotional trials that are equal parts fun and totally awkward. Luckily, whether you’re looking forward to this year’s gathering, or you secretly hope you’ll be detained by airport security for all 4 days because of the slightly sharp pencil in your bag, you’re not alone. Millions will be eating their feelings in an effort to survive, so let’s go over the obstacles we’re about to face and prepare ourselves:

 

1.       Being home in your old bedroom and being reminded that you once loved N’Sync enough to buy a human-sized cut-out of Joey Fatone

 

Yes, Joey. In your naïve, experience-lacking adolescent mind, you didn’t even have the foresight to recognize that *Justin* was the one with enduring star quality. (To your credit though, his hair almost exactly resembled a loofah, so how were you to know?). Your room is a museum exhibit of your poor teenage taste, but you’re happy your parents didn’t turn it into a home gym. On the other hand, you now how have to sleep in a 4-walled manifestation of Tiger Beat magazine and acknowledge that you bear significant responsibility for Hot Topic’s success as a company. Bright side? Those studded bracelets and black nail polish will definitely come in handy for future Halloween costumes.

 

2.       Family members telling mortifying stories about your childhood to your significant other (99.9% of which involve bodily functions)

 

Dealing with the procession of whacky family members at Thanksgiving is a lot like slogging through the levels of a video game—and if you think your crazy uncle Larry’s annual conspiracy rant about the government is the boss level, you’re probably wrong. Family members are biologically calibrated to make you feel shame in front of potential mates—which seems counterproductive to the perpetuation of the human race, but hey, even science gets it wrong sometimes. With one measly gesture, a relative can make you feel more embarrassment than if you had just come to dinner naked. Even worse, their stories are often corroborated with visual documentation because they are some of the last living souls on Earth who still own a VHS player and satin-covered photo albums. Can a relationship recover after your significant other has just seen a video of your 3-year-old self getting a diaper change at Disney World? It’ll take time, but yes.

 

3.       Observing your parents create a feast from scratch and being reminded of the fact that you burnt a microwave meal the other day

 

There is a discrepancy between the education your parents received and the one you received–and the gap has nothing to do with constitutional amendment knowledge and everything to do with the fact that you can’t cook a damn thing for yourself. Chances are, if it’s not microwavable or laden with enough preservatives to last 99 years on a shelf, you aren’t eating it. Your parents, on the other hand, seem to be able whip up a 5-course meal that would make King Henry VIII so impressed, he’d gift them with a golden harp…or fertile cow..or whatever people in the 15th century offered as a gesture of praise. Not to mention, your parents can expertly pair a tablecloth with a centerpiece like some sort of Martha Stewart-programmed hospitality android. Did your school offer a course in this, but you just happened to have mono that semester? Was it federal law that everyone born before 1970 had to learn how to cook meatloaf or risk being branded a communist? Whatever. You’ve got seven Taco Bells in a 5-mile radius and if you really want to cook something, you’ll YouTube how to do it. Suck it, home-ec!


4.       Running into old high school classmates and pretending you still have something in common with them

 

You’re tasked with going to the store to get eggs. A simple mission, there and back, no distractions, except for maybe the tabloids in the check-out line. “I hope Jennifer Aniston really is happy these days,” you think to yourself with carefree abandon as you eye the chocolate bars. It’s a routine errand—until you hear the high-pitched squeals of what can only be a distressed hamster and turn around to find former student body president Jenni Newmeyer behind you, pretending to be SOOO excited to see you. You were never friends in high school–in fact, she once told you she loved your Von Dutch trucker hat (the 2000s were a confusing time), only to mock you behind your back. You are now have two choices: fight or flight. Either you calmly confront the frenemy with a quick “so good to see you!” or you pull the old “I have an incredibly important incoming phone call that blinds me to the physical objects directly in front of me” and bail. Either way, you can rest easy knowing the only contact you’ll have with this person in the future is eye-rolling her Instagram posts.


5.       Being stuck at the kids’ table as analogy for where you’re at in life

 

What does it take to earn a coveted seat at the grown-ups’ table? Why, at age 27, are you still being seated with the age bracket of individuals who put rocks in their noses and can’t put on their own pants? Is it because you can’t be trusted with the nice china (or the wine)? Probably not. It’s more likely that the older folks just wanted free childcare for the littlest ones. Regardless, when you’re grouped with the children, it’s easy to think of your assigned dining location as a dig at your maturity level. Never fear—just because you can’t for the life of you understand the stock market doesn’t mean you’ve failed at being an adult. Here’s the (mature) solution to this predicament: hoard the stuffing at your table and make your youngin’ dining companions do your dirty work (clearing off the table, getting you more bread rolls, etc). Take it in stride, because soon, you’ll be stuck with the adults, hearing them spill secrets about their hippie days on a nudist commune–and that is a LOT of responsibility to bear.


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The Top 5 Spots To Go Stargazing In The U.S.

Places To StargazeIf the last time you glanced up at the night sky, you were met by the glow of billboard ads for insurance, it’s time to get away and re-commune with nature! Stargazing is a quintessential road trip activity, and it’s a great reminder that our mortal troubles are pretty petty in the context of the infinite universe. What can we say…there’s something about being out of cell service range that prompts you to stop worrying about what your crush’s Facebook post means and really see the gift of life. Over the years, we’ve combed the country looking for stargazing spots. Check out a few of our favorites:

 

  1. The middle of South Dakota! We know. Most of us probably couldn’t pinpoint this overlooked state on a map if our life depended on it–but that’s the point. A well-kept secret filled with wide open stretches of road, South Dakota is mostly devoid of those distractions and city lights that taint a night sky. We stopped in SD on a recent road trip for a bit of LED light magic. Let’s just say you don’t need Calvin Harris and hundreds of people to start your own rave.

Roadtrips!

  1. Mendocino county, specifically at Anthony Peak. The sunset is hours long, and you can see the shadow of the mountain all the way to the horizon. Stars with flashlight-like powers make the sky bright enough to see even on a moonless night, so you’ll get a lit-up tableau no matter the conditions. When you emerge from slumber in the morning, climb the lookout tower and take in the tree-lined hinterland that’ll make you feel like you’re walking around the Sound of Music.

 

  1. There are several National Parks that offer amazing views of the stars. While each of them has its charms and quirks, we personally recommend Bryce Canyon, The Grand Tetons, Death Valley, and Yosemite. Here’s a photo of the night sky in Bryce Canyon, Utah.

Bryce Canyon

  1. With its tan-colored adobes that appear to be molded from the endless sand that lies beneath, Taos, New Mexico is like stepping back to another time and place. The completely preserved town is fiercely devoted to its Southwest roots and has managed to fend off the soul-killing encroachment of urban sprawl, so you won’t find unsightly strip malls creeping in on these unspoiled lands. Park somewhere–anywhere really– and get 360 degree views of pink rock monoliths layered with the passage of time. When the sun goes down, nothing will interrupt your view.

     

  2. Last but not least: Mount Wilson. Drive only 45 minutes up a mountain road from Los Angeles to where all the cell towers are perched peacefully above the bustling chaos. There are stars, sure, but you’ll also find the incredible, massive sprawl of LA all lit up at night.


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Roadie Blog: Updates from the Road

Hello World!

 

This is Roadie Jenny (or J-Dog as my fellow Roadies call me). I’ll be keeping you in the loop from the road for the 2014 Roadie Fall Tour! We’re ecstatic to embark on this journey and can’t wait to bring you along with us. But first…

 

let us take a selfie!

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Monday night we head out (not too far from home) to sunny San Diego, CA. We were instructed by a friend to try a life-changing breakfast place in SD called Snooze, so we wake up so early and find the restaurant isn’t open yet! (But that’s ok because Rick isn’t even awake yet.)

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We finally get in and it is definitely worth the wait and sacrifice of sleep. (Tip: Try the pancake flight – YUM.)

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We are lucky enough to have an event in the new SD Public Library and it is stunning! The futuristic architecture and contemporary interior make the event that much more exciting.

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Thursday night, we head up to Santa Clarita, CA. The past roadies mentioned that Walmart would become our new best friend for parking an RV, so we do just that. Matt, Rick, and I wake up early and transform the parking lot into our own personal gym with a morning run, yoga, and shower party. We are officially “Walmart people.”

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Bowman High greets us with the warmest of welcomes – we couldn’t ask for a better audience and support from the RTN Outreach Team (Aaron, Loureen, and Kristen). Thank you, all!

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Before continuing on the road, we feel it’s a priority to add to the bobble head crew. Let’s all welcome the cutest one of all (unbiased, of course): Baby Chewbacca!

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We finally make it to San Francisco, CA (Rick’s home) and we’re spoiled with his hospitality and the awesome weather. Gorgeous, eh?

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Lucky for us, it’s the weekend of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, so what better way to celebrate the weekend than with some live music!?

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Since this is Rick’s hood, we get to see him in his element coaching the kids’ hockey team.

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Here’s our outro selfie as we go to our first solo event.

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‘Til next time…J-Dog out.

 


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Season 11 Featured Musicians

Roadtrip Nation Season 11 Featured Musicians

 

 

 

Considering there’s a song by The Clox in almost every episode this season, we believe our affection for the band is apparent. They’re a group of guys from Kazakhstan who came to Brooklyn in hopes of getting the word out about their particular brand of alternative rock. Check out the music video for “Jules Verne” below! If you’ve been following our series, you’ve heard snippets of this track in episodes five, six and seven. We just can’t get enough.

 

 

 

To hear about bassist Igor Reznik’s road to becoming a musician, check out his Share Your Road Profile!

 

 

 

Son of Dov’s (or Dennis King’s) folksy, soft-spoken-yet-triumphant songs were a big hit around the Roadtrip offices. King works as a special education teacher alongside writing, recording and performing his music. His latest EP was released in August 2014 and is available here via Noisetrade. “King of the World” was one of the songs we featured this season, and you can see it performed live and acoustic below.

 

 

 

Check out his Share Your Road profile!

 

 

 

Singer-songwriter Jesse Terry’s music also makes an appearance in the series. We like Jesse a lot for his emphasis on intimacy in songwriting, and his ability to find strength in vulnerability. He’s the sort of guy we see being honest with himself and pursuing his dream, which is what our show is all about. Here’s a video of him performing his song “Grace on a Train,” which is featured on the current season of Roadtrip Nation.

 

 

 

Check out Jesse’s Share Your Road profile here!

 

 

Don’t let the pluralized name fool you! Paper Arrows is the stage name of Joe Goodkin, a lone-wolf kind of musician. That’s not to say that Joe hasn’t had his share of influencers and helping hands. He’s surrounded himself with plenty of other talented musicians, but these tracks are his and now they’re ours. If you’re keen on folksy love songs with vocabularies larger than “Hey!” and “Ho!,” then don’t miss out on Paper Arrows. Episode 2 features moments of the song “What Changed?,” and you can watch the full, official music video for it below! If you keep an ear out, the same song will show up a few times later in the series, too.

 

 

 

Make sure to read how Joe got to where he is today by checking out his Share Your Road profile.

 

 

Vince Maccarone is a composer and musician who can do just about anything. When we first heard his music, we were so impressed by how well he can assimilate different musical styles and make them work to his ends that we snatched up two of his songs,“Syncofunk” and “Save My Soul” for episodes 4 and 5 of Season 11. Vince loves a good fusion and he’s influenced by a jumble of genres, but his heart belongs primarily to world music. Hear him explain why and perform with his band, Los Variants, below.

 

 

 

Make sure to read Vince’s Share Your Road profile to hear his journey!


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Meet the Roadies!

Meet the Roadies

Hooray for fall! We love this season… Pumpkin Spice lattes are back AND it’s time for our Fall Tour! We’re sending our student reps (or as we like to call them, “Roadies”) on a high school tour that will spread the Roadtrip Nation message to students far and wide. The Roadies will be conducting events and talking to students to get them excited about their futures and the opportunities that await after graduation.

 

Before the Roadies head out, we thought we’d introduce them to you. So, without further ado, meet the 2014 Fall Tour Roadies!

 

 

Matt, 23

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Fave road trip snack: Jerky

What excites you most about this road trip? Seeing different parts of America.

What place are you most excited to visit? Georgia, because I haven’t been there yet.

Favorite song to blast on repeat on the road: “Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend.

Any hidden talents? Parallel parking a 38-foot RV!

Boom! Genie, three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) Courtside Lakers tickets for life.

2) A new pair of socks every day of my life.

3) Finally, I would wish to be an amazing chef.

 

 

Griselda, 26

 Griselda

Fave road trip snack: Clif bars (chocolate chip)

What excites you most about this road trip? Our random stops.

What place are you most excited to visit?  The South

Favorite song to blast on repeat on the road: Anything by Pitbull

Boom! Genie, three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) To meet a Kennedy–any!!

2) Own an apt in the Upper West Side of NYC.

3) Have Banda el Recodo play my sister’s wedding!

You’ve just been teleported to a deserted island. What do you miss most about civilization? Bathtubs! This trip will prepare me for that!

 

 

Jenny, 27

Roadie Jenny

Fave road trip snack:  red licorice (specifically Red Vines)

What excites you most about this road trip? The endless possibilities of new adventures!

What place are you most excited to visit? Louisiana or Texas because I want to try armadillo meat (I saw it on “Bizarre Foods”).

Favorite song to blast on repeat on the road: Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”

Boom! Genie, three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) My own private jet to travel anywhere in the world.

2) A visit to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

3) To own an island (like Johnny Depp and Richard Branson!)

You’ve just been teleported to a deserted island. What do you miss most about civilization? Hot showers.

 

 

Rick, 32

Rick, Roadie

Fave snack: almond butter and apples

What excites you most about this road trip? Meeting students from all over country

Favorite song to blast on repeat on the road: Anything by Earth, Wind, and Fire

Any hidden talents? I’m great at eating burritos.

Boom! Genie, three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) A long trip with my family.

2) For the ability to toboggan down the side of the Luxor in Las Vegas.

3) To know another language.

You’ve just been teleported to a deserted island. What do you miss most about civilization? My mom.

 

 

Be sure to follow the team’s adventures on Instagram @roadtripnation!

 

Roadtrip Nation's Fall Tour Roadies!


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13 Things that Scare the S*** out of 20-Somethings

Things That Scare 20Somethings

Some anxieties persist throughout life: fear of spiders, discomfort with heights, having to take your laptop out of your bag at airport security and feeling SUCH TREMENDOUS PRESSURE TO DO IT IN .003 SECONDS because everyone is judging your zipping skills. Other worries are uniquely confined to your 20s. It’s a shaky stage, where something as mundane as picking out a phone plan triggers the impulse to call your mom and nuzzle the childhood blankey you secretly still sleep with. But we’re here to tell you you’re not alone. Everyone who’s reached the other side of 29 has experienced the nuisances listed below (and to be honest, none of it magically disappears the day you turn 30…or even 80). So in honor of Halloween, let’s find consolation in our communal fears, and recognize that these situations are totally human–and actually kind of funny.

 

  1. Running into people from your past at a coffee shop and having to explain what you’re doing with your life. CAN’T A COFFEE AFICIONADO JUST ENJOY A TRIPLE-PUMP PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE WITH EXTRA WHIP IN PEACE?

 

  1. Making a pop culture reference and a slightly younger person not getting it. How is the cultural legacy of Light Brights not taught in every high school across the world?!

 

  1. Seeing your friends at different stages of life than you, when previously everyone evolved at the same rate. “Uhh, Jake from high school just had a 2nd kid and I’m still on my parents’ insurance. Cool.”–What you bleakly mutter to yourself before vowing to never check Facebook again not log in for at least 30 minutes.

 

  1. Finding yourself intensely drawn to home improvement shows. Literally watching paint dry in a remodeled living room becomes entrancing, and you will cancel plans on a Saturday night just to see how tearing out a wall in a stranger’s kitchen worked out.

 

  1. Marriage/baby/new job posts on social media. Was there a legally-binding pact made among my Facebook friends to reach all adult milestones within 6 months of each other?

 

  1. Realizing that you no longer have a violent reaction to Phil Collins and other comparable music in your parents’ collection. It’s actually, dare we say it…soothing? Like warm milk for your eardrums.

 

  1. The seemingly arbitrary numbers on tax forms. 1040, 1040-A, 1040-EZ, 1040-ES, 1099….did the tax people only have like 6 numbers to choose from when creating these things? And do they have a life-threatening allergy to using clear English?

 

  1. Insurance of any kind. Why does ‘deductible’ sound the opposite of what it actually is?!

 

  1. Wondering if you can still get away with Converse at a formal-ish event. Hey, you paired it with a dress shirt.

 

  1. Seeing teen pop stars and wanting to knit more clothes for them because seriously, that’s an infant in a short skirt.

 

  1. The possibility of having to move back in with your parents. Every time a legally-classified adult has to argue with their parents about what time they’re coming home, an angel loses its wings.

 

  1. Roommates who think placing a dish in the sink and filling it with water qualifies as washing it. Roommates who let their laundry sit in the drier for hours/days so you have to eventually handle their underwear. Roommates who eat your food in systematic increments because they think you won’t notice but YOU KNOW. Roommates whose significant others become another defacto roommate and then start complaining about the lack of paper towels. Just…roommates.

 

  1. Turning 30!!! Which actually isn’t as bad as it seems! It just means you’ve got more disposable income and no longer have (as bad) hang-overs because you’ve switched from vodka shots chased by Jack in the Box to glasses of wine. Ah, maturity.


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5 Quotes That Will Help You Say BOO(yah) To Fear This Halloween

Quotes To Battle Fear

Halloween is scary, but so is life. It’s daunting to become a full-blown adult who owns nice salt shakers and keeps 8 a.m. doctor appointments. You’ve got college loan collectors, who, despite your festive Halloween gesture, won’t accept Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as payment (hey, their loss). Or how about that scary aroma from your fridge that haunts your whole apartment? Just because a decorative pumpkin can sit out for a week and stay intact, your roommate seems to think this rule applies to all vegetables, and now your fridge is a graveyard for rotting zucchini that got rejected for pizza. Oh, and even don’t get us started on the horror of 401ks. Even if we were vampires with thousands of years to study this world, they would still confuse us.

 

All of it is enough to make anyone hide under the covers. But the next time fear rises up, just remember these quotes and they’re sure to keep you from going batty. (Ok, that’s our last pun. Promise!)

 

 

 

 1.

Ward Hessig

 

2.Laura Danly

 

 

3.Joe Quesada


 

 

4.Adam Steltzner5.

JP Barlow


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5 Ways to Stop Thinking and Start Doing (A.K.A. How to Get Your **** Together):

5 Ways To Stop Thinking And Start DoingYou know the feeling: a pressing task looms over you, but when you start to think about all the effort it’ll take to get it done, suddenly you have the overpowering urge to Google what that actor from Boy Meets World is doing now…and actually, isn’t this the perfect time re-organize your sock drawer according to cotton thickness? Procrastination will only intensify your anxiety, but you’re so tripped up on analyzing possible outcomes and planning contingencies that committing to action somehow becomes harder than just performing the action itself. Before you know it, the “I’ll do it tomorrow” excuse turns into months of inaction and you’ve got nothing to show for yourself except a Netflix feed full of binge-watched episodes of Lost. So how do you beat the cycle?

 

Roadtrip Nation Leader Michelle Dreher once said, “Do you really want to spend years thinking about what you want to do? Or do you want to actually do something?” If this quote just made you say “damn, she has a point,” then here are some baby steps to get you started.

 

1) Start

 

Scaling the wall of inertia is about making the decision to just start. And yes, we use the word ‘decision’ here because it takes conscious, steely resolve to turn off Extreme Cupcake Design and start something (OK, that’s not a real show, but you know you’d watch it). The trick? Don’t get bogged down in preparation. It’s rare to feel 100% ready, with your skills at the perfect level and all your ducks in a row. So don’t wait for the “perfect moment” or the “perfect answer” to come along. Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams brewery, didn’t quit his 6-figure job as a business consultant to brew beer in his basement because he knew his product would one day be featured in Super Bowl commercials. He just chased his interest and vision. There’s the here and now, and that’s as good a time as any.

 

2) Write down your goals and give yourself due-dates

 

Writing down goals takes them out of the ether of your brain matter and makes them more tangible. Putting goals to paper (or the fake iPhone yellow notepad) also sets them apart from the cacophony of thoughts inside your head, so your goals no longer have to compete with thoughts like “what should I do for dinner?” or “what causes hiccups, anyway?” Assign a specific due date to those goals, and it’ll make harder to say “I’ll start tomorrow.”

 

3) Move!

 

We get it. Slipping into the comforts of the couch and mindlessly browsing Pinterest pictures of DIY reclaimed wood shelves for the living room you don’t even own yet is an easy way to tune out the stresses of “real life.” But at some point you have to look up from the hypnotizing screen to your room that’s covered in two weeks’ of laundry and an old Lean Cuisine, and hop to it. Blame it on the Endorphins, but exercise can actually be the catalyst for getting you on track and getting ish done. It clears your head, helps you live in the moment (#yolo), and stimulates creative ideas. Don’t like jogging/swimming/doing reps on a gym machine that looks like a James Bond torture device? That’s fine. All it takes is a few minutes of frenetic dancing to Beyonce, and you’ll be feeling ready to take on the world in no time.

 

4) Tell others

 

We’re living in an era where we all aggressively broadcast the mundane minutiae of our lives. So you’re probably already Instagramming the sandwich you just ate, posting pics of that weird (mosquito? ant? CHILEAN WOLF SPIDER?!) bite on your leg, and checking into local bars on Foursquare your friends 5 states away don’t care about. Since you’re giving a play-by-play of your every move, you might as well declare to your friend base the things you want to accomplish. Making your goals public doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind, and it doesn’t mean you need to candidly divulge that you’re “finally going to get a real estate license and stop eating cheese past midnight!” But having a community to hold you accountable and root you on in times of tumult can be the difference between staying on track and giving into bad habits. Want to keep your goals off social media? (and not let your high school lab partner whom you haven’t talked to in 8 years know your plans to lose 10 pounds?) Join a Meet-up, an online forum, or find a gathering of people in your local community who are striving to reach the same goals. They’ll commiserate with your struggles and you won’t have to worry about a future employer coming across the time you asked your followers the best way to do butt squats.

 

5) Focus on the positive

 

It’s important to not beat yourself up when all doesn’t go according to plan. What we’re about to say sounds very “cheesy inspirational poster in a corporate office headquarters” but it’s true: every day offers a clean slate. It’s easy to fail once and feel like trying again isn’t worth it. But failure is simply a piece of data you can use to reconfigure your approach. OK, the data suggests you suck at doing it one way, but can you get at your objective through a different door or tweak the goal altogether? Put on your mad scientist hat and manipulate your methods, but most importantly, be forgiving of yourself. Adopting a mantra of “I’m worthless, so I’ll just eat my feelings with the pack of old tortillas and 3 types of mustard I have in the fridge” doesn’t help the situation. Dust off the debris and dive back in. And hey, if you need a spoonful of Nutella to rekindle your spirits, ain’t no shame in that. Just keep chipping away ’til you break through.

 


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Buckets: Uncategorized

30 Things To Do Before You’re 30

30 ThingsCrippling existential freak-outs.

Waking up on your friends’ couches with your shoes still on.

Getting Taco Bell for dinner (and paying with the change you scrounged up from various pants you haven’t worn in a few weeks).

 

These are all routine events in your 20s. It’s a phase of life characterized by “what the hell am I doing?!” unrest. And it can be tough. Things are up in the air, in flux, spinning in an unpredictable roulette wheel that may or may not land where you want it to. But there’s an upside. Because even though you only own 3 plates (from the 80s, that your mom gave you) and have no idea whether you should just go to grad school, there’s also value in the uncertainty you’re feeling. Your 20s are prime time to try things on, screw up, and assess what you do and don’t want in life. There’s no better time to offer yourself up for potential failure/embarrassment/triumph, so here are some bold things you should do before the big 3-0. Hop to ‘em!

 

  1. Stay up all night talking to a person you just met.

  2. Eat something you think will be disgusting (but might turn out to be delicious. Or still disgusting. Either way, you stretched your borders and know you could make it on Survivor).

  3. Learn how to drive a stick shift.

  4. Make embarrassing art. Write a poem and read it outloud to friends.Take that salsa dancing class even though you can barely walk without tripping. Do something creative even if you suck at it.

  5. Live in a foreign country.

  6. If that’s infeasible, travel. Travel alone. Travel somewhere where you don’t speak a lick of the language. Travel somewhere without using a plane, train, or automobile. Travel with only a backpack. Just travel.

  7. Learn how to make at least 3 meals (that don’t require a microwave).

  8. Write a letter – with like pen and paper.

  9. Forgive your parents.

  10. Watch the sun rise (preferably over the Grand Canyon, and preferably having not gotten a wink of sleep the night before because you were so engrossed in talking/pondering the universe/skipping).

  11. Learn how to change a tire… you’ll thank us for this one at some point.

  12. Do an extreme sport that terrifies you (bungee jumping, rafting, skydiving, cliff-diving, etc.).

  13. Go see a movie in the theater alone.

  14. Interview the oldest members of your family. Learn their life stories.

  15. Do a physical challenge – train for a 5k, ride your bike the length of your state, or just vow to take a walk every day for 30 days.

  16. Learn how to make a fire.

  17. Go on a spontaneous road trip (with us, if you want!)

  18. Date all the wrong people so you know what you don’t want.

  19. Fall in love…or fall in lust, realize it’s not love, and move on.

  20. Try a series of odd jobs–deliver food, stock supplies at 3 am, clean bathrooms. You’ll pick up surprisingly useful skills that translate to subsequent jobs.

  21. Break a bone (hopefully doing something that’ll make a good story).

  22. Quit the jobs that don’t fulfill you (and identify what you hated about them, so you don’t repeat the pattern).

  23. Adopt a daily mantra and stick to it.

  24. Tell people you care about that you love them (even if it’s induced by alcohol and shouted at 10 decibels higher than everyone else is speaking).

  25. Go camping. Sleep under the stars.

  26. Learn how to play a musical instrument. It might sound like whales yelling for a while, but stick with it.

  27. Get out of your own head and volunteer at an awesome organization for a day.

  28. Leave an inspirational note for a stranger to find.

  29. Cold call and interview someone you really admire. (We had to put that one in, obvi. But we truly believe in the power of it!)

  30. Turn off the internet and get started.

 

 

Disclaimer! Even if you’ve already hit your 30s (or beyond), it’s never too late to accumulate these experiences.


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Buckets: Miscellaneous, Uncategorized