I Did a Thing in Indy…

I love to travel and we know I prefer to leave the US when I do it. But I had an opportunity that took me to Indianapolis and it was life changing!

Meet my tribe and new family. I have “met” these ladies in challenge groups on Facebook and honestly felt like I already knew them. Challenge groups on Facebook? What am I talking about? Let me back up for a second.

My name is Jenna and I am an avid traveler and a Beachbody coach. Okay you know my name is Jenna but all you know about me is that I love to travel. I also love to workout and help people achieve their goals. This all came to a complete ah-ha moment when I attended the 2018 Beachbody Coach Summit in Indianapolis!Imagine deplaning at an airport and seeing that the entire thing has been taken over for the summit you are attending! An entire city prepared to welcome 20,000 people from around the world (US, Canada and UK).

Beachbody is a company that provides fitness programs as well as nutrition and products and so many other things. More than anything, it is a place where total strangers can become a family and work to achieve fitness goals and so much more! This is where the challenge groups come into play and you meet people doing the same thing as you.

We went on a team outing to explore Indy and spend some time not focused on fitness. Did you know you could go on a canal ride and have a singer? It was a great way to spend some time with the team and relax.

Okay, okay, so what did I really do for a few days? I got my ass kicked by some super trainers! I absolutely love working out with Shaun T. and I went to summit to workout with him live. It was an hour of kick ass working out with thousands of people pushing myself to the limit. At the end, I cried. It was an internal struggle as much as a physical one and as soon as it was over, I wanted to do it again. If you have never done a Shaun T workout, I suggest you sign up and try a workout immediately! Insanity, Insanity Max 30, Hip Hop Abs, T25, Cize and so much more! The options of fun are endless!!!

I don’t just workout with Shaun T and there are tons of other trainers to workout with. I was lucky enough to meet Joel Freeman who is releasing a new program July 16th. I have been doing a preview of the workout and LOVE it. It doesn’t hurt that this is the face that will be looking at you during the workout. ūüôā

Now let me tell you about Saturday. Saturday morning my alarm went off at 5am because me and 20,000 other people were about to take over the streets and workout with the supertrainers. 6am rolled around and we worked out. We worked out hard. We squatted and lunged and squatted some more and jumped and pulsed and sweat it all out. It was such an amazing experience and I am doing it again next July!

I can’t explain to you the feelings I had over these few days. I can’t explain to you the emotions. I can’t explain to you the pure happiness and new family I have. You can join me and see what it’s all about!

Sonoma International Film Festival 2018

I often forget that just because something is local, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a travel worthy event. This year I attended the 21st annual Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) and managed to see 6 films over 3 days and enjoy some beautiful if not a wee bit rainy Sonoma Valley.

My favorite part of the festival is that the little town square of Sonoma turns into Sonomawood! It is like be in Hollywood but with good wine!

You can buy festival passes or buy tickets for each film that you want to see. However, everyone with a pass is entitled to enter the movie first and just because you have a ticket, you are not guaranteed a seat in the theater so if you are a big movie buff, the pass is worth it!

Walking around the square there is plenty to see and do between films. We started with an awesome brunch at the Girl and the Fig with an assortment of mussels, duck mousse, truffle fries and steak tartare accompanied by some bubbles before moving onto the main course. It was decadent and delicious!

There is not a lot of space or time to rest between films but we snuck in a few minutes and laid down on a dry part of concrete and caught a few rays and some shut eye just in time to run to another film!

So, what movies did I see? I liked most of them but a few of them I would like to never see again!

In The Orchard

Summary: Charlotte Winston, recovering from a car crash which has recently taken the lives of her husband and child, finds herself unable to stop her downward spiral of despair and loneliness. An eventual suicide attempt is thwarted by Nick, a Marine veteran suffering from PTSD, who comes onto her orchard. Charlotte and Nick begin a tenuous and complicated relationship as Nick stays to help her run the farm. Through a series of unforeseen events, Nick’s mental state begins to wind violently out of control as Charlotte struggles to hang on to their new world together.

Thoughts: This movie had potential but runs too long as the dialogue is slow. It is definitely not an uplifting feel good movie but a movie to discover the relationship that can develop between people. Not my kind of movie but I know some people really enjoyed it.

Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There

Summary: A feature length film that explores the life of award-winning audio artist Joe Frank whose innovative work and career on radio has spanned four decades.

Thoughts: I had never heard of Joe Frank and went into this documentary not expecting anything. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about Joe Frank and I thought the movie moved quickly and seemed to highlight the man as he was. If you want to learn about someone interesting, I highly suggest this documentary!

Beyond The River

Summary: Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit.

Thoughts: Fantastic movie about the life of two men and one sport that brought them together. I knew nothing about the Dusi and watching this movie was like an uplifting unexpected look into a part of the world and a part of life I never knew about. There are some subtitles for the Afrikaans but most is in English.

These are the people the movie is based on.

You Can’t Say No

Summary:¬†Just days from signing divorce papers, Hank and Alexandra give their relationship one final shot by playing a game with only one rule: no matter what they ask each other to do, they can’t say no.

Thoughts: This movie was really funny! The movie takes you on a journey with laughs and fun experiences and a fun love story. The characters are well developed and the movie is based in Sonoma County so grab your wine and sit down for lots of laughs and a great idea for relationships!

Under The Tree

Summary:¬†When Baldwin and Inga’s next door neighbours complain that a tree in their backyard casts a shadow over their sundeck, what starts off as a typical spat between neighbours in the suburbs unexpectedly and violently spirals out of control.

Thoughts: This is a foreign film from Iceland with subtitles and a little weird. The plot is oddly funny and disturbing and you do grow to feel for the characters. The ending is gruesome but slightly expected from a foreign film.

Life Hack

Summary:¬†Life Hack is an incredibly timely ensemble comedy about digital privacy… or lack thereof. A humorous cautionary tale about cyber threats in the digital age. Cover your webcam.

Thoughts: Think The Hangover but for cyber security. Tons of hilarious jokes and oddly true to life for so many people. This was one of my favorite films and absolutely worth seeing. Anyone that has ever owned a computer or a cellphone will understand this movie.

Maui!

Where does one start after 8 days in Maui? With a story I guess. A few years ago (20) I met some amazing girls in high school. 20 years later we are still friends and decided on a girls trip to Maui. A few years ago (3) I met this girl in Rome. We became friends and I decided to visit her in Maui before my girls trip. That is how I ended up in Maui for 8 days!

This will mostly be a picture diary of some amazing experiences because what better way to show off a beautiful place?? Landing in Maui I was scooped up from the airport and whisked off to a kegs and eggs house party. From there, Kimmy (my friend from Rome) took me on adventure after adventure after adventure! There is nothing like hanging with a local to really get to know a place.

The favorite local hangout is Down The Hatch where Monday is trivia night and every other night is just a night for some company and good drinks. If you win trivia night, you win lots of coupons towards food or drinks. Don’t try to beat Kimmy, she always wins. Aside from that, we ate breakfast at Longhi’s almost every morning, had happy hour at Spanky’s and had ocean front dining at Koa’s. The best part of being with a local is the 10% discount on basically everything!

It’s not all about the nightlife so off on a road trip we went. The idea was to end with snorkeling but the water was super choppy and murky which meant danger! Instead I was able to see the blow hole, walk through a rainforest, see some flamingos and penguins and have a drink in a cave. Not a bad way to spend the day when you can’t get in the water.

Still having not set foot in the ocean we were off on another adventure the next day on the Road to Hana. Well, the weather decided against that for us and we turned around and stopped at ho’okipa where I finally got to swim! The ocean was relentless and took me down and I have a bruise to show it! Regardless, I was happy to frolic around for a bit.

The next day my other friends were flying in and it was time to switch gears. We stayed at the Fairmont so I went from Lahaina to Wailea and from being a local to a tourist. One has to switch it up sometimes! The next few days were spent lounging by the pool chatting and giggling and going out to dinner. We had J Rosé and yummy blended drinks to keep us going! We went down the water slide and made new friends in the pool. We strolled the path past all the other hotels and enjoyed just hanging out. I even finally got in some snorkeling!

Sadly it was time to go home. The ladies went one way while I started off on another adventure.

Mobile Pass is the Best!

One of the biggest annoyances of traveling is entering back into the US and going through immigration and customs after a very long flight with pretty crappy food. Global Entry was an awesome solution to this problem and made the customs process pretty easy. However, this came with a fee and you are not guaranteed to be granted access.

There is a new app that has recently been released called Mobile Passport and it is AMAZING! I downloaded this app before I left for my last trip in hopes that it would work when I entered back into the US. I had set up all the information before which was as easy as entering my passport information and verifying that I am who I say I am. Upon landing, I entered my flight information into the app and answered a few immigration questions and a code was sent to my phone. I walked to the mobile Passport line and no one was in it while the regular line was wrapped around forever! From deplaning to reaching baggage claim took me all of 7 minutes!

This app is only available in 20 airports and 1 port at the moment but is growing in popularity. If you want to save yourself a ton of time and headache, download this app and use it and you can thank me later.

My Tour of the PNW…Portland

My last stop on my mini US adventure was to Portland, Oregon. This was not my first trip to Portland but I wanted to hang with my friends for the weekend and do a little wine and beer tasting.

I took Amtrak from Seattle to Portland which was just a few hours and very scenic. For anyone that hasn’t headed down the coast by train, I highly recommend it.

My friend picked me up and we went to Deschutes to start the beer tasting. The selection was pretty great and the beer was was a great way to start the afternoon. After that we went to 10 Barrel Brewing for dinner and some more beer. They have a couple with a pretty high % so watch out when you are ordering!


The next day was all about wine tasting. My friend told me about this wonderful winery called Prive and so we started there. It was a private tasting and husband and wife that run everything. There is a $20 dollar tasting fee that is waved with the purchase of some vino. The bottles start at around $35. This is an absolute must see as far as I am concerned for wine tasting in Oregon.


Next up was Alexana! I was very excited to visit here since I have been to their sister vineyard Corazon del Sol in Argentina. There is a beautiful outdoor patio to enjoy a fine selection of wines. The tasting fee is $20 and the selection varies depending on what they are tasting that day. Unfortunately for us, it was incredibly hot and not enjoyable to be outside.


One cannot just consume wine and not eat. We stopped at this great little place called Red Hills Market where they were having a Veuve Clicquot party. I was hoping for a free glass but alas, only food was consumed.

The last stop was not planned and we just found something in the surrounding area. We ended up at a ¬†winery called Four Graces. The tasting fee was only $10 but once again, it was so hot that we just stayed in the tasting room and didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful picnic area they had to offer. They served a delicious crisp white that was perfect for the weather!


It was an eventful two days in Portland with mouth watering discoveries. There is often pretty cheap airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco which can be found on Skyscanner (my favorite website for booking airfare) for a quick trip up the coast.

As usual, LA greeted me with her smoggy air. Welcome home!

My Tour of the PNW…Fairbanks

My next stop on my PNW was to Fairbanks, Alaska. I really didn’t know anything about Alaska and even when I booked the ticket, I was not quite sure where I was flying in the United States. After looking at a map, I realized I was very far north and not anywhere near where I thought I was!

Blueberry picking with a gorgeous view

I went to visit a friend from high school that I had met up with in Argentina, Brazil and Chile but only once in the US! Once again the plan was to live like a local.

Summer in Fairbanks has A LOT of sunlight so even though my flight arrived at 2:00am, there was still a little sunshine to be seen. It was a little odd to go to bed when the sun was still out but dark drapes are a must! We took a nap and then woke up and went to the local fair. I have to admit, I had a deep fried oreo! It was sugary goodness and I think I’m good for about another 10 years.

I spent a little time a the University of Alaska Museum of the North. They had an entire outhouse on display with many Alaskan items in it to show the continued importance of the outhouse. As you can imagine there is a lot of open space in Fairbanks and many of the cabins do not have indoor plumbing and thus the need for the outhouse.

This is Otto. He is 8’9″ and 1250 pounds. His likes are fish and berries and his dislikes are hunters.

The sky was so clear most of the time that I could not help but take pictures of the clouds and of the expansive views.

Fairbanks is the 2nd largest city in Alaska and is still VERY tiny. We took about an hour drive to Chena Hot Springs on a cloudy and overcast day and enjoyed a few hours of relaxation and good food. Alaska of course has great crab which I did indulge in but also some amazing fresh oysters. The food was not lacking.

A statue of moose horns

I spent a few days with these guys and had an amazing time. I was able to relax in a beautiful house and see what it’s like to live in Fairbanks for a few days.

The crew I was visiting

My Tour of the PNW…Seattle

I have been a bit MIA lately but the travels are starting up again. Living in the United States I think I take for granted everything that is within a short flight from me or even a short drive. I took a few weeks to visit friends and family in Seattle, Fairbanks and Portland.

The trip started with an easy flight to Seattle to visit my sister who just moved there to receive her dual masters at University of Washington. The view of the city skyline did not let me down!

We went to Gas Works park and went blackberry picking to make a homemade pie because why not? I would say that the final score was blackberry bushes: 4 Jenna: 2. I walked away with a lot of blackberries and a lot of scratches.

Gas Works Park


The final pie was blackberry and peach with a crumble on top and edible flowers. It really helps to have a sister who knows about plants and can tell you what you can and cannot eat.

There is not a city I can go to without looking for graffiti or street art. According to some Google research I found an alley that was meant to have a legal street art wall. However, once we arrived to what happened to be a warehouse just across the street from the Starbucks headquarters, there was absolutely nothing. But Seattle did not let me know down and there was random art throughout the city.

Our day turned into a random day of exploring different neighborhoods that put us in Capitol Hill and some of the gay bars. There was a large contingent of military around and my sister decided to invite them to a bbq at her house the next day. We had a great time with them and even got to pretend to be a Marine for a moment.

There is a lot to see in Seattle but I was treating the trip as more of a place to live like a local. We took a stroll along Alki Beach and captured a beautiful sunset on the water. 

Each time I have been to Seattle I have had a totally different experience since I was there for different reasons. Like any travel experience, living like a local is the way to go!

Books travel just like people

When I travel I always have an actual book with me and not just a nook or a tablet. When I finish the book I leave it wherever I finished it and I leave my email address in the book with a little note. I have probably left over 50 books around the world and this was the first message I received. I have never been to Paros but I have been to Greece. That means my book went on a little adventure!

Hi Jenna,

Just thought I’d drop you a quick line as I’ve just finished reading this book on the island of Paros, Greece – not sure if that’s where you left it?
I’ve been eating books this holiday and had run out of reading material, I’m a believer in books that have paper pages rather than electronic ones!
As we’re staying in a holiday apartment rather than hostel there was a distinct absence of books – in fact nada!!
We chanced your book in a hotel/cyber cafe in Limivadia, Parikia Paros on Sunday afternoon whilst trying to find a place to print something else of the internet – we couldn’t find any place here that has a book swap – maybe an opportunity here in the future, who knows!
So, where ever you are – you might still be in Paros yourself, or maybe you’ve never been here, but where I chanced across your book – so thank you! All read in two days and 8 pages missing but nothing to interrupt the plot, so I’ll pass it on too!
Happy Reading!

And we are off!

Most people who start off a backpacking tour start with a cheap flight and some pretty crappy accommodations. I am lucky enough to start off this trip with my parents with a business class seat and luxurious accommodations.

In order to get the flight we wanted, we had to fly to Dallas for a night and stay over. I called in a favor and we stayed at the beautiful Four Seasons Dallas. The weather was hot and humid but that didn’t stop us from venturing out with my friend from college to try a new restaurant called LUCK Dallas. LUCK Dallas is just over the Margaret Hunt Hull Bridge built as part of the Trinity River project.

View from balcony at Four Seasons Dallas

View from balcony at Four Seasons Dallas

Redfish from LUCK Dallas

Now I am sitting in the club lounge at the airport waiting to start my adventure. I have to appreciated these moments before I get to the down and dirt part of backpacking Europe!

 

Let the journey begin!

After two years of thinking about actually leaving and 18 months of pseudo saving, I am finally leaving on my world tour. My goal is to be gone for a year, but we will see where life takes me and what I end up doing. Needless to say, my home is now on my back like a little snail.

I procrastinated packing until yesterday and finished packing around 8:30am this morning for my 12:50pm flight. My goal was to keep my backpack under 50 pounds to avoid luggage fees and killing myself while walking! The backpack is 47 pounds and the one for me to carry in the front is about 17 pounds. My snail trail has not started yet and I am sure there are things I forgot to pack. Stay tuned for my adventures from around the world.

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