What I Got Out of the BELONG Tour- $20 off Discount Code

The BELONG Tour

Thanks to the BELONG tour for sponsoring this post.

I attended the first ever BELONG Tour in Columbus, Ohio. Several of the speakers and artists on the tour lineup have made such an impact on me personally and I was really excited to hear from them in person.

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What you need to know before you get a tattoo

What you need to know before you get a tattoo

I’ve toyed around with the idea of getting a tattoo for years. I still haven’t found a design that I want to permanently commit to for the rest of my life… quite yet. I’m also a big baby when it comes to needles. I would want a tattoo that tells a story and that could be also hidden if needed. I asked my friend, tattoo artist, Austin Fields to share some insight for people who are also considering getting a tattoo.

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How to Use Points to Discount Travel With a Larger Family

How to Use Points to Discount Travel With a Larger Family

Today Dan from Points with a Crew is joining us to share his knowledge of budget travel for larger families using points. I think that you will enjoy his tips to help you maximize your budget and get the most out of your points.

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World Down Syndrome Day March 21- A Mother’s Story of Adoption

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Today I’m interviewing my close friend Michelle. We have been friends for a long time and she has been an inspiration to me with her love for people and her love in action by intentionally adopting a child with Down Syndrome. You cannot be around her special son without smiling. He has been such a joy for our family to get to know. As a person who had a sibling with a disability, I admire the sacrifice and grace she handles with each challenge that comes with raising a child with special needs.

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Practical Advice about Wine from Mike Rosenberg of The Naked Vine

 

Practical Advice about Wine from Mike Rosenberg of The Naked Vine

I asked Adventure Mom facebook fans to come up with a few questions for guest contributor Mike Rosenberg. I met Mike at an event for bloggers at Seasons 52. As a wine novice at the event, I had lots of questions.

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Interview with a Cast Member from the Broadway Play “PIPPIN”

Pippin 3__1143 The Cast of the National Touring Production of PIPPIN. Credit Terry Shapiro

Have you heard of the Broadway play “PIPPIN” before?

I haven’t seen the play before but I’m looking forward to it. Here is a little more about the play.

PIPPIN is a high-flying, death-defying hit musical full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and soaring songs from the composer of WICKED.

This unforgettable new production will lift you up and leave you smiling! Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival. Hailed by audiences and critics alike this “an eye-popping, jaw-dropping extravaganza” PIPPIN is coming to a city near you! Experience PIPPIN, one young man’s journey to be extraordinary.

I had the opportunity to interview one of the youngest cast members of the play. Ben Krieger is one of the actors that plays the role of Theo.

Pippin GABRIELLE McCLINTON (Leading Player) BRIAN FLORES (Pippin) JOHN RUBINSTEIN (Charles) SABRINA HARPER (Fastrada, u/s Leading Player, u/s Berthe) BRADLEY BENJAMIN (Catherine) PRISCILLA LOPEZ (Berthe) ERIK ALTEMUS (Lewis, u/s Pippin) JAKE BERMAN (Theo) DMITRIOUS BISTREVSKY (Player) MARK BURRELL (Swing, Assistant Choreographer, Dance Captain, u/s Charles) MATHEW deGUZMAN (Player, u/s Lewis) SASHA BACHMAN (Player) LOUIS EL (Player) HENRY GOTTFRIED (Swing, u/s Pippin, u/s Lewis) LAURA HALL (Player, u/s Catherine, u/s Fastrada) LISA KARLIN (Player, u/s Leading Player, u/s Berthe) ALAN KELLY (Player, u/s Charles) ANNA KACHALOVA (Player) BEN KRIEGER (Theo) KEVEN LANGLOIS (Player) ANNA SCHNAITTER (Swing, u/s Catherine) KATIE SMITH (Swing) KATE WESLER (Swing, u/s Fastrada) BORRIS YORK (Player)

 

How long have you been an actor?

2 years

How did you get started?

I wanted to be in a play with my big sister. It looked fun.

How long have you been touring with the Broadway play Pippin?

Since July 21

What’s your acting history?

I was in a couple student shows at a place called StarStruck in Stuart, Florida. One of the shows was called “The Composer Series” and featured songs by Stephen Schwartz. My first big thing I ever did was sing a solo in that show. I sang “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin!  After that I did two professional shows at The Maltz Jupiter Theater in my hometown. I was in Fiddler on the Roof and then I played Gavroche in Les Miz. That’s when I knew I wanted to do this forever.

What’s been your favorite experience so far?

All of it

What’s been the most challenging experience?

Trying not to be fidgety

What’s it like to be a younger actor in the cast?

It’s awesome. The grown ups treat me like a friend. I love it.

What have been some of the most memorable cities that you’ve visited?

Seattle, Chicago,  Tokyo, Portland

Do you get much free time on tour?

We did in the summer but now we are in school during the day. But we get to sleep late and I love that.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Playing minecraft, watching Friends on Netflix and Modern Family. I also love puzzles and Soduko and stuff like that.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue their dream to become a Broadway?

Make sure you love it and you have fun otherwise it’s a waste of time.

 

Thanks again to Ben Kreiger for sharing with us today. You can find out more about PIPPIN from their website.

 

PIPPIN will be in Cincinnati at the Aronoff from October 13-18. You can get your tickets here.

Share an Adventure- Tips for Studying Abroad

Tips for Studying Abroad

I’m really excited to share an adventure from Nathan Garbig today. He spent the summer studying abroad and his great photography on instagram helped me take a virtual vacation to Europe. He’s sharing helpful tips for anyone considering studying abroad in the future.

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Gramps Bicycling Across America for His Grandson

 

Gramps Bicycling Across America for His Grandson

I want to introduce you to Bill Fowler. I went to school with his daughter, Deanna and I found out about her dad’s inspiring adventure from a recent facebook post. I immediately messaged her to see if Bill would be willing to be interviewed. His answers will inspire and encourage you to make a difference however you can.

Why are you bicycling across America?

Many years ago, I lost my wife and soul mate to cancer. It devastated me. Faith, friends and two small children that needed a father even more than before were the only thing that pulled me through. Years later, God blessed me with another wonderful wife and soul mate. I have even more children and nine grandchildren. Even with all of these blessings, I carry a scar on my heart that is tender beyond belief.

As much as my loss hurt, I cannot imagine what the loss of a child would be like for a parent. Now my son and daughter-in-law face the very real probability of the loss of their son, Logan, to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I cannot not sit idly by, facing the loss of my grandson.

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Why is your cause so important to you?

There are approximately 30,000 youth that die each year from Duchenne muscular dystrophy and they often die before they are mature enough to have a voice. If I do something bold and daring enough, maybe I can help in being in voice for them. We have cured many diseases. Duchenne’s can be cured also.

Where did you get the idea to cycle solo across America?

There are walks, runs, rides and such all the time for good causes. I wouldn’t begin to know how to organize one of these. However, I thought that if I did something bold and daring enough, it could fire the imagination and accomplish something useful in the fight against Duchenne’s. An old man riding 500 miles? That seemed too short! Ohio to the east coast? Half of a continent still seemed too short. I decided to go all the way across – and to add to the challenge – to go solo.

How did you prepare for your trip?

I began training in January, six months prior to departure, using a three-phased approach. Phase One was conditioning. I used a cross training workout, with a heavy emphasis on cycling. At first, I trained one hour a day, three days a week. Eventually, I increased this to two hours a day, five days a week. I knew that I wouldn’t be as strong as I needed to be, but I planned to start slow and increase my efforts as I built up my strength. Phase Two was knowledge. I read numerous books, blogs, and articles from others who had done similar trips. Phase Three was putting a plan together for the journey based on what I knew and what I wanted to accomplish. Phase Three has changed numerous times and continues to evolve even as I travel.

Continental Divide behind me!

How long do you plan on being gone?

My original plan was to be on the road for about 8 to 9 weeks. At my current rate, it looks like it might be more like 10 to 11 weeks, but I’m getting faster and the road conditions are improving.

What do you hope you accomplish?

My hope is to raise over $100,000 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes and to raise awareness of this disease that affects over a quarter of a million people.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to start your journey?

I had to find the courage to say to the world that I was going to do this, even though I wasn’t sure I could. And I had to leave my wife with a heavy load and tremendous anxiety. I worked hard to leave her with as light a burden as possible before my departure.

Day 13 - looking back at Glacier

What challenges have you encountered on the road?

I’ve encountered hours of physical exertion so intense that it left me unable to eat. Cycling up mountains in 100 degree temperatures with no ability to stop, put me close to heat exhaustion. I’ve had several incidents where I ran out of water and didn’t know where or when I would find more. I’ve had hundreds motor vehicles passing too close for safety. I’ve experienced loneliness such as I haven’t felt in years. Finally, I’ve worried about whether I’m a worthy voice for the thousands afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences so far on your trip?

  1. Finding numerous encouraging messages waiting for me after a particularly difficult 2-day ride.
  2. The smell of the cool air while I ride towards the sun as it slowly lights up the eastern sky.
  3. The view from mountain tops that I felt I might never reach.
  4. My grandson saying I was his hero.

Gramps Bicycling America 4

What have you learned about yourself during this journey?

I have learned that even though age has softened my body, mentally, I can be as strong or stronger than I have ever been. It has also reinforced my knowledge that, with God’s blessings, nothing is impossible when people pull together.

What have you learned about the people you’ve met along the way?

I knew that I would meet some wonderful people during the course of my cycling trip. However, the kindness and generosity of people that I’ve met has been unbelievable. One person responding to my blog said that my stories had restored their faith in the goodness of people.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to raise awareness for a cause?

Even at my advanced age, I feel more confident in my ability to meet the physical challenges than in my ability to raise awareness for a cause. With that said, I’d recommend having a good story and sharing it far and wide. It’s important to recruit and use help – friends, family, organizations and such. It’s also helpful to have a website and a blog and to use social media, flyers and business cards. Last, but not least, prayers.

Gramps Bicycling America

How can someone connect with you on social media?

Easy! People can read more about the trip on my website grampsbicyclingamerica.com. They can also find me on Facebook and Twitter or can email me directly at bill@grampsbicyclingammerica.com.

 

Tips for Traveling in Your 20’s

Tips for Traveling in Your 20's

I want to introduce you to Shalee from Shalee Wanders. I met her a few years ago on a media trip and I instantly connected with her over our love for travel and adventure. We even auditioned for the Amazing Race together after only knowing each other for a few days! Her incredible pictures will inspire you to travel and explore more often. I asked Shalee to share about her adventures along with some of her tips for traveling in your 20’s.

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What are the advantages of traveling in your 20’s?

Learning is the biggest advantage. Someone once used the term “reverse retirement”, and I completely agree with that concept. I think we should travel when we’re young because you learn about the world.

Traveling while in your 20s is also a freedom unlike any other. You can survive by sleeping in hammocks, eating freeze dried potatoes and living off very little sleep. I like to hike mountains and jump off cliffs—everyone in their 20s is slightly stupid enough to do things like that.

Share some of your favorite adventures so far.

It’s so hard to choose! A few weeks ago I did the east coast and had a blast, so that one is stuck in my heart at the moment. Australia was my first big trip and it opened me to a whole new world of travel. Yosemite was killer, I would be perfectly okay with being a hobo in Hawaii and Canada always blows my mind.

What challenges have you overcome to travel?

Managing and saving money was my biggest challenge. My background doesn’t include a trust fund or a family that can afford travel. When I left high school and moved away to start college, I was really lost. I wanted to travel, but could barely afford gas to go to work. Once I developed a saving method and found out travel was possible, I knew I was hooked. It saved me from a really difficult time in my life.

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What are your tips to save money and finance your fun/travels?


Tracking where you spend your money is the most important way to save. A lot of people don’t realize how much their morning coffee costs overtime. If you’re spending $4 on Starbucks coffee 5 days a week, your total over one year is $1,040…that adds up to a pretty epic trip!

Before I had a travel credit card, I would pay in cash for almost everything. When I would receive any one dollar bills back, I would put them away and act like I didn’t receive that change. In 6 months I managed to save over $400 in single bills alone. It’s a really great method.

What adventure were you scared to try, but you did it anyway?

Hawaii was my first big solo trip and I was terrified. I left on my first plane without a secure place to stay once I landed. I really thought I may have to sleep in my hammock my first night there. Thankfully, it worked out and I had the time of my life!

Shalee Wanders 5

What adventures are on your list right now?

America’s northwest, Iceland and Thailand! I’m headed to Iceland in August and couldn’t be more excited. America’s northwest is my last unvisited region in the United States and Thailand has a culture that really intrigues me.

What advice would you give to someone who thinks they don’t have enough money or time to travel?

You do! If you make travel a priority, there is always a way to make it work. Make the most of your weekends and travel regionally if you must. I don’t get to travel non-stop, I have school and another job to balance, but I make time. Too often we get caught up in school, work and society and forget traveling is always possible.

What are some of your favorite travel hacks?

Finding cheap flights is my specialty. When I booked the trip to Iceland, my ticket was $450 round trip—including a $65 baggage fee. I am flexible with my travel dates and use sites like Skyscanner and Wow Air, who can offer amazing deals.

I also rarely stay in hotels, unless I use Hotwire. I like to use Couchsurfing, which is an online community of people who let you stay in their homes for free when traveling. Hotels are often the most expensive part of a trip and I try to avoid them as much as possible.

Shalee Wanders 3

 

What have you learned from your solo travels?

People will either think you are the weirdest or coolest person alive. It also allows you to open up and meet other travelers. It’s hard at times when something goes wrong and you have no one to lean on, but it’s part of the experience.

Most importantly, it taught me the world is not as scary as it seems and the number of good people far outweigh the bad.

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What did you do to make sure that you were safe during your solo travels?

I always try to make smart choices and follow my gut instinct. I’ve never been put in a bad situation, so that is good. I think it’s really helpful that I’m not afraid to speak up and be a complete brat to anyone who thinks they can take advantage of the fact I’m alone.

Most importantly, it’s important to stay in contact with loved ones back home. I give addresses to every place I’m staying and contact them daily.  Even when I don’t know where I’m staying until last minute, the first thing I try to do is send the info their way.

Shalee Wanders 7

You take amazing pictures, what are your tips for capturing a great shot?

Thank you! I try to capture images that tell a story. I have an IPhone 5 and a Canon 70d. Some of my best photos are taken with my phone, so having a big expensive camera isn’t a must.

You can never take enough pictures on a trip and the best ones are sometimes the candid unexpected shots. I’m a big believer in the rule of thirds, which means that the subject of the photo should rarely be in the center of the shot. Lastly, I never use filters or big edits on my photos, I think over edited photos ruin the image.

Where do you find travel inspiration and adventure ideas?

Everywhere and anywhere. I find a lot through social media and other blogs. I also get ideas from others who have been places and recommend them. I have a giant list of places that I’ve seen or heard from somewhere that I want to go. It continues to grow every day! I love seeing a place—especially in the Midwest—that I never knew existed. It’s so exciting to start planning a trip to go there.

 

What is your blog about?

My blog focuses on adventure and budget travel for people in their 20s. I focus on destinations away from tourist zones that will bring travelers back to nature. My specialty is anything related to hiking, camping, adventure, the Midwest and mountains.

Right now I am based mainly in the Midwest and Michigan region, but will be moving globally next year. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store!

How can someone connect with you on social media?

I love connecting with followers! Anyone can find me on Instagram and Twitter , Facebook  and my website Shalee Wanders.