I’ve been completely sober for just over six months—not even Demi Lovato’s Cali sober—but stone-cold-not-even-a-joint-on-weekends sober. The decision came after a devastating series of losses in my personal life at the end of last summer. I have an addictive personality and struggle to find the fortitude to say “no” to pretty much anything. This decision, along with moving out of New York state, has made it difficult to connect with a lot of my old friends.
Also, St. Petersburg—the small seaside city where I grew up—has become gentrified. Trendy cafes, bars, and shops line the downtown area and rents have skyrocketed to boot. Thankfully, my parents bought their home in 1998 before it became cool to live here and I am staying with them temporarily until I get my life together enough to move out west.
In this town, it’s easy to find support from a sober community. I’m not talking about your uncle’s AA meetings where everyone awkwardly introduces themselves, shares their story on a dimly lit stage, then fumbles for coffee behind a sea of metal chairs. My generation and Gen Z take solace in the sober community surrounding Kava bars.
Kava and kratom are teas that give you a mildly mind-altering sensation without the chemical addiction or negative consequences associated with drugs and alcohol. They also won’t come up on any piss test used by your boss or probation officer. Though I should mention, as with any substance, moderation is key.
My first experience with a kava bar began at The Mad Hatter. I went in alone, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to talk to someone about my somewhat new-found sobriety. The night ended up being a bit awkward as everyone was already paired up and didn’t seem all that willing to chat with an eager newcomer.
Nevertheless, I remained undeterred. The following week, an ad on Facebook for “Ladies Night” at a 4th St. Kava House drew me in. I put on my best makeup and drove my trusty scooter to their second location. The owner, Nick, was incredibly welcoming. He didn’t scoff at me for being a newb. Instead, he explained all of the effects of each drink and when I decided on green with mango flavor, he happily poured it for me. The guests were also extremely warm and friendly. Best of all, most of us were in the same age range so I didn’t feel like an old weirdo at the ripe age of thirty.
I started attending events like karaoke at the Kava house regularly. Each time, I’ve been extremely grateful for the warmth, honesty, and kindness of the guests—all of whom I’ve enjoyed fantastic conversations with. It’s easier to stay sober when you’ve got support. I look forward to my weekly visits at 54th Ave. Kava House. If you ever find yourself in St. Pete, pay them a visit. You won’t be disappointed.
With the advent of vaccine availability across the globe, some people hoped that the return of normalcy would be upon us at last. Unfortunately, we’re halfway into 2021 and that still isn’t the case. The pandemic has left many of us feeling isolated and burnt out. Here are some simple ways to fight pandemic fatigue.
It seems like a no-brainer but nothing beats getting some natural vitamin D. Sunlight helps to release serotonin in your brain. Getting 5-15 minutes of sunlight on your body at least twice a week is enough to receive these benefits. Doing outdoor yoga or hiking can improve your physical health as well, weather permitting.
Call or Facetime an Old Friend
If you’re like me, you’ve probably struggled with the loss of some friendships during this pandemic. It isn’t that anything bad happened between the two of you, but life may have simply gotten in the way. When I don’t post as much on social media, people will DM me to ask if I’m doing OK. Your friends and the people you meet along your life’s journey care about you, sometimes, even more than you think that they do.
Engage in Social Forms of Self-Care
My new city has a ton of kava bars which are a great way to meet folks in the sober community. Going shopping also allows you to be around other people and strike up conversations. There’s a reason some elderly and self-employed folks go grocery shopping daily. The chance to meet new people or chat with friendly strangers makes you feel less alone in the world.
Just Try Not to Be Too Antisocial
With social distancing, masking, and seemingly endless zoom meetings being part of our current reality, it’s easy to want to curl under the blanket during our downtime. Yet, there’s still a world of opportunities out there to explore. All it takes is making the first step, no matter how small.
As a lifestyle writer, I often wonder what the word even means in 2020. Without the things that typically define lifestyle such as dining out, concert-going, seeing a movie in the theater, and traveling, what does the word even mean? Are lifestyle writers still thriving in the era of Zoom meetings and home-brewed coffee? To answer this question, I reached out to my social network and asked them how COVID-19 has altered their perception of lifestyle.
Cannabis Use is On the Rise
With nowhere to go and not much to do, many Americans have increased their cannabis consumption. Surprisingly, the Baby Boomer generation is part of the uptick in sales for dispensaries and dealers alike. It seems bizarre that our parents scolded us a decade ago for smoking pot, but now they’re avid consumers. Some studies point to a number of factors including changing attitudes toward marijuana resulting in increased legalization and widely available forms of consumption such as edibles, cannabis drinks, and more.
Online learning is no longer the domain of shady Internet-only universities that advertise on late night TV. Distance learning has become mandatory for students across the globe as COVID-19 makes in-person classroom settings unsafe for students of all ages. It isn’t just K-12 and college students who are using remote learning platforms. Sites like Skillshare are helping people gain new skills in order to remain competitive and even find remote work.
All of us have had to make adjustments to our lifestyles this year. Changes in attitudes toward remote work and remote learning will open up more possibilities for people to control their life paths. Now that a vaccine is available for COVID-19, hope is on the horizon. The lessens we’ve learned this year will not be quickly forgotten.
It may seem like a contradiction in a city so full of noise and chaos, but there are places in or near Las Vegas where you can find a little peace and quiet. For many people, a little bit of Vegas goes a long way. But you don’t have to spend your entire time in noisy casinos or walk amongst the crowds on Las Vegas Boulevard. This article will discuss serene places in Las Vegas so that you can enjoy your time while social distancing.
Knowing this need, many of the large hotels and casinos in Vegas offer quiet sanctuaries off the beaten path. While some of them may not be as chill as your local library, for Vegas, they are virtually silent. Some of these are out front and center, but others require that you know the lay of the land and seek them out on your own.
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
This is located just off the main hotel lobby. On weekends or during tourist season, it tends to be a bit crowded, but compared to the fountain show outside, it provides a charming oasis. The display is changed seasonally and is always full of unusual plants and colors. There are a few small greenhouses containing a collection of orchids to delight the senses.
The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
This 15-acre oasis is not only beautiful and serene but admission is also free. It’s a well-manicured tropical paradise filled with lush plants and waterfalls as well as several species of birds, including a flock of flamingos.
The Waldorf Tea House
In the former Mandarin Oriental hotel, the Waldorf Astoria has created a charming escape up on the 23rd floor. Even though it has spectacular views of the strip, the tea house is dark, relaxing, and peaceful. It offers a traditional afternoon tea service each day and is an excellent place for a quick and quiet break.
Many of the hotels offer spas, and any one of them would be an excellent pampering retreat from the hubbub of Las Vegas. The Venetian has the Canyon Ranch Spa, an expensive and exclusive experience. The Palms has the Drift Spa. Being a bit off the beaten path, this one seems even more private. Just be aware that the steam room is a co-ed experience.
Outside the City
If you have a car or want to rent one for the day, go for a joyride and explore. After all, Bugsy Siegel built the place in the middle of the desert. Forty miles to the east is Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, with a vast national park area. To the south, past Henderson, you can find the Sloan Canyon National Forest.
The closest place to go is just 14 miles west of the strip and just off of the Beltway. The Red Rock Canyon National Forest is a beautiful park full of mountains, rock formations, and wildlife. It also offers endless hiking and climbing opportunities.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but you don’t have to. If you need to get away from the lights and noise of the strip to find a meditative place for a few minutes or a few hours, take advantage of off-the-beaten-path locations in and around the city.
Traveling abroad doesn’t have to involve other people to be a great experience. You can have an awesome time making new memories and developing life skills, all on your own. The freedom to do what excites you is all in your hands. So, whether the next place on your list is an hour away or fifteen, here are some ways to make the most of your adventure abroad.
Planning is Everything
Planning is always a good idea if you are going alone. The first steps should involve researching the place you’ll be visiting. Think carefully about where you are staying. Is the location easy to get to and are there places to eat nearby?
The safety bits of planning should be to do with having an available contact back home. Do you have a person who can offer you emergency funds or help if you need help? Just knowing there’s someone on the other end of the phone can make you feel more at ease before and during your visit; even if you never phone them.
Explore the Quieter Parts
After you’ve researched the place and settled into your accommodation, you’ll no doubt want to explore. Moving away from the busy streets of a city and crowded areas can seem scary, but there are some great hidden gems to discover in the quieter parts.
Visit during the day time and avoid any areas with suspicious activity. The last thing you want is to place yourself in danger. Busy, touristy areas can be overpriced. The food on offer isn’t always traditionally eaten by the locals. Instead, sold food caters for the tastes of all nationalities. So, if you want to try what locals have, visit places containing mostly locals.
Overcoming Language Barriers
A lack of language skill shouldn’t put you off from stepping inside restaurants. Although less popular places may not speak your language, remember that most communication is non-verbal.
How do other people in the community communicate? Have a go at following their body language and place your first order without saying a word. Have a look at the local dishes you like the look of and show the waiter what you’d like using your hands. Also, a smile can be universally disarming and will get you far in most places.
Catching a car or walking around to see what a city is a norm in the western world, but why not do things differently?
Try methods of transport the locals use. Maybe the city offers tuk-tuks or a sky train or even boat travel between different parts of the city. Visit a tourist center, grab a map or use your phone’s Google Maps, and explore key points of interest within the area.
Wake Up Early
Holidays are a great time to unwind, but late get-ups can stop you from discovering new things. In some cultures, like Buddhism, religious walks take place before sunrise. The religious events feature traditional clothing and music you’ll never hear any other time during your visit. Some cultures stop their working day in the early afternoon, so you can be shortchanging your experience by not seeing what happens during day to day life.
Fears and Phobias
Facing an obstacle without someone you know being there is great on so many levels. You won’t have to face any embarrassment if something goes wrong. When the phobia goes, you can congratulate yourself knowing it was all your hard work and determination which got you through the experience. Challenge yourself while abroad and aim to face as many phobias as you can. You most likely won’t see anyone you meet abroad again unless you share your contact details.
Traveling alone can be a fruitful experience that offers you the chance to meet lots of exciting and interesting people. The next time you’re planning on going abroad alone, have a plan in place to ensure everything runs smoothly. You should also aim to visit the quieter parts of the city, wake up early, and try out new forms of transport to help you learn more about the new culture. Also, don’t forget to face any fears which have been holding you back.
According to RV Life, there are about 1 million full-time RVers in America. If you are determined to become a full-time RVer, chances are you’ll need to find sources of income to sustain your new lifestyle. The most lucrative options are full-time remote opportunities. It’s a win-win, you get a regular paycheck, and the company saves money on taxes and payroll.
Consider developing an independent-location income from affiliate marketing, web development/design, freelance writing, transcription, selling photography online, etc. Also, data entry freelance jobs are plentiful and easy to do if you have can type fast. Search Google for “data entry jobs online” or “data entry work from home”. This type of work is repetitive and boring, but if you just need to make a few bucks quickly, data entry is worth a try.
There are oodles of seasonal or temporary opportunities for wanderers. For example, Workamping finds jobs for RVers who need to make money on the road. Typical jobs are for RV parks, resorts, housekeepers, campgrounds, and so on. Generally, a free campsite is included as part of the job benefits.
If you possess communication expertise and patience, you sound like a candidate for online customer service jobs. These positions have huge turnover rates, because like data entry, customer service work is repetitive and a bit boring. If you’re interested, just type “online customer service jobs” in your search engine.
Amazon reaches out to RVers for seasonal work. If you plan to stay nearby one of Amazon’s CamperForce locations, fill out an online job application. You can expect high hourly pay and a complimentary site for your RV. Amazon furnishes health benefits while you are on the job. Provided you stay on the job until it concludes, Amazon pays a ‘completion bonus.’
The big caveat is that Amazon temporary jobs are physically exacting. You might stand in one spot or walk several miles during your shift. You will also punch in and out on a time clock.
If working at Amazon is too grueling for you physically, other common seasonal jobs include retail stores, Christmas tree lots, amusement parks (summer jobs). Search “Temporary Staffing Agencies” on Google. Important: Incorporate the name of the town where you will stay temporarily into your search parameters.
It can be tempting to give up the beauty and freedom of full-time RVing if you’re always two-steps behind your bank account. Before taking such a drastic move, why not try temporary work?
Dark tourism is sparking the interest of travelers around the world. Let’s explore the Tower of London and it’s dark past. Discover what awaits at this historic site in London, England.
Many people around the world have a fascination with the darker side of humanity, which could account for the rise in tourist numbers scouting out infamous historical landmarks. Whether it’s bloody battles or disasters of epic proportions, crowds are drawn in and encouraged to explore where it all happened. The Tower of London in the United Kingdom is no different, and with almost three million visitors a year stepping over the threshold, this place is a mecca for the dark tourist. It’s time to let the imagination run wild, as we look at what to expect when exploring the Tower of London.
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived goes the adage of Henry III’s wives, and this is where the story of his second, and perhaps most infamous, wife, Anne Boylen, ended. It was here, in the Tower of London, Anne literally lost her head after displeasing her husband, King Henry VIII. Unfortunately, she was one of the beheaded wives in King Henry’s past. Visit Anne’s final resting place by stopping by at the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.
Princes in the Towers
A long, horrible history of death and destruction is associated with this landmark. The story of the Princes in the Towers is sure to interest the curious dark adventurer. It begins with the death of King Edward IV. His heir and spare, Edward aged 12 and Richard aged 9, waited in the tower, ready to fulfill their royal duties, under the protection of their Uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Shortly before Edward was crowned, both brothers were declared illegitimate, and dear old uncle Richard took the throne; however, the story did not end there. The last sighting of the Princes in the tower was shortly after their father’s death in 1483. To this day, there are several theories about what—or who—happened to them. In 1674, workers found a box containing two small human skeletons, which were rumored to be the bones of the two Princes in the Towers.
The Yeoman Warder
Walking over these cobbled, centuries-old stones of the Tower of London creates an eerie sense of wonder. This wonder can be shared by the Yeoman Warders, who are no ordinary tour guides. They have worked hard to earn the privilege of showing guests around this dark tourism hotspot by serving at least 22 years in the armed forces. They’ve also worked as warrant officers or non-commissioned officers and hold the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. Now that’s something of a feat!
The Tower’s Guardians
Meet all seven of the tower’s guardians; the ravens. It is said that the Kingdom and the Tower will fall if any of the six ravens leave their fortress, so you will always—hopefully—find the ravens in residence. They even have a spare should one decide to flee the nest.
The Crown Jewels
For a little light relief from the history of murder and mayhem, take a peek at the crown jewels. Located in the Tower of London, ticket holders get to have a gander at bling as they’ve never seen it before. With hundreds of years worth of jewelry on display, it can be hard to avert your gaze.
After hundreds of years of history, The Tower of London is not without its dark past. Whether it’s the cries of prisoners in years gone by ringing in the night or the thought of a headless Queen meeting her maker, this dark tourism location is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for a day of countless dark tales and an unnaturally high level of deathly stories.
Nantucket is a popular island getaway destination off the coast of Massachusetts. With diverse Nantucket vacation rentals available, couples can choose from cottages within walking distance to the beach or scenic homes with recent renovations overlooking the village marketplace. Nantucket Island is a romantic place for couples who enjoy beautiful scenery, history, relaxation, and culture.
Nantucket vacation rentals offer couples a chance to reconnect with each other without interruptions from other people or the annoyance of cramped quarters. Rental cottages on Nantucket island have space and privacy not found at a bed and breakfast or a hotel. Multiple bedrooms and bathrooms allow vacationing couples to spend time alone together without the awkwardness of sharing a bedroom and bathroom. Unlike hotels, they have space to move about without always being in the bedroom. A house has a kitchen which is easily stocked with favorite foods from the local market for quick snacks and leisurely meals. While dining at the local restaurants is a treat, vacationers dining at the house can eat what they want when they want without getting dressed up or adhering to special hours.
A Nantucket cottage is as quiet as vacationers make it. Visitors to this New England island can wake up when they’re ready to start the day, rather than to the pounding of footsteps from the floor above or the sounds of running water from the room next door. Cooking a leisurely breakfast in the kitchen is one way for couples to spend quality time together. After breakfast, a leisurely walk in the fresh air along Nantucket’s cobblestone streets offers a chance to see quaint shops with local artists and crafters at work.
Absorbing Nantucket Culture
Visiting museums and other historic landmarks adds a quiet touch of relaxation and appreciation to a peaceful vacation. Visitors will find a handful of museums sharing Nantucket’s nautical history of shipwrecks, lighthouses, and floating lightships dating back to the early days of stargazing, fishing, and building.
The local library has a museum-like atmosphere. Couples can browse through more than 40,000 titles. Vacationers may find that reading borrowed books and watching classic movies are just two inviting ways to spend a rainy or windy afternoon in a Nantucket vacation rental after a visit to the library. Those interested in browsing the walls will find details of Nantucket’s early whalers with hanging artifacts, paintings, and pictures. The library’s grounds feature plants and flowers in a colorful display entwined in pathways with relaxing benches along the way. The occasional free concerts and poetry readings held there add unique culture to a getaway vacation for two. The library also has free wireless Internet access and laptop use on the premises for island guests and residents.
Nantucket island is an option for couples seeking a relaxing getaway, culture, fun, and quality time together. The escape is even more inviting with added amenities of Nantucket vacation rentals.
Disclaimer: As the threat of COVID-19 spreads across the globe, this blog strives to provide high-quality, freely-available, up-to-date, accurate, and verified information for self-described nomadic freelance creatives around the world. However, both of our writers have been reassigned to the U.S. since the end of 2018 due to increasing instability in East Asia as a result of international political tensions. Therefore, the majority of our resources are U.S.-centered, unless we can gather information from other countries. Please help us by participating in the conversation via the comment section of this post. We’d love to know what’s going on in your city and which resources are available for you.
Last updated April 17, 2020
Millions of people around the world have lost their incomes due to the coronavirus pandemic. With governments incredibly slow to act, more people will be scrambling for easy-to-obtain, temporary or gig work simply because that’s what’s available right now. Though freelance creative professionals are no stranger to potential employers low-balling us, it’s pretty much inevitable that they’ll increasingly take advantage of mass desperation by offering insultingly low wages for skilled freelance work. For example, the other day I was offered $10 to write three product description articles in the medical cannabis niche. We all know they’re making a lot more than that off of a single purchase. Basically, they’d have used my content to make continuous profits while denying me a chance at my fair share in lieu of adequate compensation. A less experienced or more desperate writer might have fallen for it, unfortunately. These are the times we live in.
No matter what stage you’re at in your creative career, I hope this list will prove valuable to you as a traveler and/or freelancer. Stay tuned for periodic updates.
During a pandemic, central governments will attempt to avert the crisis by temporarily suspending all business activities that are deemed non-essential. On March 19, 2020 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a memorandum to specify the scope of essential services. This includes:
Staffing operation centers
Utility services such as waste management, water, gas, and electricity
Telecommunications (including call centers)
Transportation & Logistics (Limited public transportation available in many regions)
Defense & Law Enforcement
Non-essential workers have been asked to work from home, but not everyone can. People who were chefs, entertainers, and bartenders for example, now have to quickly figure out what else they can do to pay their bills. While this is worrying for a variety of reasons, with the right strategy, resources, and community support, you can protect and grow your freelance career even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additional Support for Gig Workers & Skilled Freelancers
With millions of Americans relying on the gig economy to pay their bills, protections for freelancers have never been greater.
After losing my passport in China at the end of 2018 and resolving tons of personal matters in the year 2019, I felt pleased when my new 50-page passport book came in the mail in early February. Due to financial constraints brought about by the loss of my main source of income–talent acquisition and management for nightlife venues–I’d been unable to go anywhere except for Miami last year.
The Tempting Cheap Flight
I wanted to go to Atlanta so badly and with no work for me in my college town in Upstate New York, getting a cheap flight with JetBlue to one of the biggest party cities in The South to go hustle and make some fast money seemed like a solid way to finally resolve my debts, rebuild my cash savings, and get ready to buy an investment property in the area. Additionally, I had an idea for a pitch to Vice revolving around these clubs. As soon as I got off the plane, I knew that the universe didn’t want me to be down there just yet.
Whew Chile The Ghetto
Not only was a train blocking my path to the AirBnb for close to 20 minutes while I stood out in the rain, but the neighborhood I’d chosen was scary AF. Unlike New York, if you’re a woman walking around on the sidewalks down South, they’ll assume you’re a street walker and start messing with you.
There were so many super aggressive homeless people all around me and I was alone, unarmed, and carrying thousands of dollars worth of equipment for a work trip.
I’d spent a week preparing but somehow forgotten to pack an iPhone charger. After self-checking into the bnb to drop off my suitcase, I walked back outside with my giant, over-the-ear, white-and-red Skull Candy headphones and blared Cardi B.
The rain had stopped and when I waltzed up to the first corner store, I stood behind an old lady with my pink face mask on and waited to ask the owner about an emergency bodega iPhone charger.
“I don’t like the way she’s breathing,” the old hag remarked.
I wanted to tell her I didn’t like the way she was still breathing, either, but after a 2.5 hour train ride to the LIRR to the AirTran to a 2 hour plane ride, I had zero energy to argue with ignorant rednecks.
When she stepped away from the counter, me and the Asian American shop owner played a fun game of charades until he realized I had a dead phone battery and handed me a $5 cord. I walked back to the bnb and plugged the cord in only to realize that it didn’t work.
Frustrated, yet determined to hit the ground running that evening, I went back outside to a gas station in the other direction. On my way there, I observed a burnt out bus in the middle of an arid field and a rundown discount furniture shop.
Hardly anyone I spoke to seemed friendly or helpful except for one burly Chevron worker, who tested different iPhone chargers for me behind the counter before making me a promise that I could bring the it back for a refund if it didn’t work.
I plugged my weary phone in as soon as I closed the door to my room. It charged to 13% before it started beeping as if it were being plugged in and unplugged simultaneously, over and over again until I pulled it out and chucked the second cord. Fortunately, the hostess, a svelte, bespectacled woman in her late forties loaned me a charger.
Instead of going out that night, I crashed immediately, even though my good friend Kam, a club promoter, really wanted to meet up for the first time since last summer.
Welcome to Atlanta, Baby
I set the borrowed iPhone charger on the kitchen table and made my way down to Buckhead by way of MARTA. With Pandora set to the Migos station and drops of sweat crowded under my Deadpool hoodie, I hopped off the train into the unknown.
The Apple store in Lenox Mall had what I needed to get me through the rest of the trip. Or so I thought.
That evening, I put on my glimmer eyeshadow, winter foundation, and fake eyelashes. I decided to try a mid-level club. When I got there, the male manager–a stout, bald, smily gentleman at the front of the house–told me they weren’t hiring for night shift.
“What’s a place that’s really easy to get in where I can work tonight?” I asked with a smile.
He put me on to a place not too far up the road and I hopped in another Lyft.
Um…Where’s the Nightlife?
When I got there, a pale-skinned hostess with a red-shirt and delicately plumped lips who looked a bit like an older, wiser, Kylie Jenner sat at the front. I asked for an application and with a smile she handed me one.
When the house manager came to the front, my heart sank. I knew I wouldn’t be getting in as soon as I saw her; an old, conservatively-dressed, bone-white bob-having, traditional Southern madame. As a New Yorker who’d traveled in the middle of a national emergency, I had regional bias and legit health concerns working against me.
I tried to chat her up but she grabbed the inner door and swung it open. “See? There’s no customers here and we’re normally packed on a Thursday night. I can’t take girls from out of state, especially New York. We might be under quarantine in two weeks.”
With no club to work in so that I could go undercover for my assignment, I broke down and called my boyfriend to get me an emergency, next-day flight out of Atlanta. I stayed up all night talking to my friends in various group chats. My bank account suffered an overdraft, but luckily, through the help of a friend, I found a temporary job I can start tomorrow in Albany while I continue to grow and develop my freelance writing business.
This post contains paid affiliate links. As an adventure blog, we are part of the travel industry and rely heavily on tourism to stay afloat. However, social responsibility is paramount and we feel a responsibility to advise our readers that the WHO and the CDC recommend social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel at this time.