Today is my 1-year anniversary of starting my new arthritis medication! Meet Cimzia-once a month I get one shot of this stuff in each leg. _____ I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis for 7 years now, and I’ve been on 4 different medications. (sparks notes: rheumatoid Arthrits is an autoimmune disorder that causes your joints to swell) I was super upset to have to start this medication a year ago, because I really didn’t want to be back on injections. ____ For the most part, this medication has been working super well for me. While I still hate the injections, I’m happy to feel good. I don’t know if I’ll continue to feel good, or if my body will still be capable of doing things 10,20, or 30+ years from now. Even photography is probably legit bad for me. Holding a camera for long periods of time makes my hands and wrists hurt. I try not to think about what could happen too much because it’s a really scary black hole of thoughts. _____ For now, I’m thankful for what I can do, happy to have a medication that works well, and trying to do my best to keep my joints in good shape for the rest of my life. 💪🏻
Yesterday I told you how I got pick-pocketed in Athens, Greece. Today, I’m sharing what I learned from the experience. Here is my advice on how not to get robbed, or at least how to minimize the effects if you are: * Keep your money in different places!! I cannot stress this enough. Always keep at least one credit card and some cash in a place totally separate from your regular wallet. That way, if your wallet gets stolen from your purse or backpack, you have another way to get money. From now on, I will always bring 2 different credit cards with me, and keep one in my wallet and one inside my suitcase. Don't carry all of your cash in one place either. All my credit cards were in my wallet when it was stolen, and I literally don’t know what I would have done if they had stolen my cash too. * Only carry what you need in your wallet. If you know you don't need your driving license that day, leave it in your hotel or in your backpack. I had my license and SCUBA card in my wallet when it was stolen, and it was a pain to get those back. * When on a metro, or especially when carrying all of your luggage between locations, stick your purse/wallet somewhere that is difficult to access-inside your shirt, at the bottom of your backpack, etc. * If you find yourself on an uncomfortably crowded metro or in a super crowded area of town, stick your purse or wallet down your shirt on the spot if you can. Don't let anyone talk to you to distract you, and keep a hand on your purse/wallet/phone. If you're on the metro, try to sit down in a seat or stand with your back to a wall if you can. And lastly, if you do get pick-pocketed, move on and don't beat yourself up. The thieves are often professional, and probably really need the money. Do what you need to do, and don't let the experience ruin your trip. Do you have any other tips? Let me know! _____ Photo of Sarakiniko beach in Milos, Greece
CONFESSION: I got pick-pocketed while I was solo traveling in Greece. I haven’t shared that publicly. It’s kinda embarrassing. I could tell it was happening and couldn’t stop it. I was on a super crowded metro in Athens. One woman was trying to talk to me, I had all my luggage, this other woman was right in front of me staring at me, and when I tried to get off, they shoved me and somehow got in my zipped purse. They were SKILLED. Luckily it was the last day of my trip and they only got my cards, not cash. _____ Today I was thinking about safety as a female solo traveler and adventurer. Am I afraid? That someone will rob me? Assault me? Follow me? That I’ll hurt myself? Get lost? These scenarios have all crossed my mind. _____ But things can happen anywhere. Is it worth not doing things because you’re scared of what might happen? I don’t want to live in fear. _____ It wasn’t a good things to get robbed on the metro in Athens. But at the end of it I felt a little proud that I made it through. I cancelled all my cards immediately and made 60 euro last for my final 24 hours. And now I know how to better prevent being robbed in the future. _____ You do have to be careful when traveling or hiking alone. For some of my tips for staying safe while solo hiking, check the link in my bio!
Things that happened in the last week: •I worked the Hershey RV Show for 3 days with @destateparks. •I hiked up Hawk Rock, and then back down in the pouring rain. •I turned 26. My coworkers surprised me with chocolate cake and my parents sent me an entire Smith Island Cake. •I saw the luminary lights at Longwood Gardens with @phoenix_gf. •I photographed a wedding and 2 engagement sessions. •I organized a bike trip for @delaventure_de _____ It's been a crazy, wonderful week. Many of the above happened because of Instagram. If you're reading this, thank you for making this app a place where I can connect with people, make friends , and and share my life. I appreciate you.
I’m working the Hershey RV Show for @destateparks this week! What is an RV Show? People come from all over to look at tons of different RVs, and learn about different places to camp. I’m here telling people how great Delaware is, and that they should camp in a Delaware State Park. We have 5 campground throughout the state, including 3 pond parks and 2 beach parks. _____ I’ve probably asked this question 50+ times today, so I’ll ask you too! Have you ever camped in a Delaware State Park? If not, you totally should! _____ Check out my stories this week for behind the scenes of working an RV Show.
I had a “staged” camping photoshoot last night with @destateparks. We needed more camping photos from Trap Pond State Park, so I coordinated and shot a shoot at the cabins last night. Here’s one of the photos, featuring @hannahrossdukes and @fullerxfitness. _____ why do we coordinate staged photoshoots? Why not just walk around the campground and ask people if I can take their picture? For one thing, it took me probably 20 minutes to get this ONE shot. I had Hannah and Hans (our lovely models) sit in variations of this pose for a long time while I adjusted lighting and settings and the fire. I also had them walk toward me in different ways probably 20+ times to get the shot I wanted. _____ I can’t really ask visitors to drop what they’re doing, clear their campsite, make a fire, change into something that will photograph better, and then let me photograph them for 30 minutes. I could, but that’s kinda unfair to them while they’re on vacation. _____ And while this photo might be “staged”, I don’t really think of it that way. I think it’s more about showing camping in the best way we can. Hannah used to work at this park, and her and Hans love the state parks. They naturally do this. Anyone can do this. And that’s the beauty of “staged” photos that aren’t really staged at all. Hopefully that made a little sense. ⛺️
Last night’s sunset at Cape Henlopen State Park. This spot remains my favorite place in the whole state for sunset. Especially at low tide. _____ Last night at sunset, I was standing near a guy with a camera. He started talking to me, and I said I thought the sunset was a good one. He said he’d seen better. _____ I didn’t know how to respond. I’ve watched so many sunsets from this exact spot. I even plan my day around it. I don’t have a favorite sunset though. Yes, some sunsets are more colorful than others, but they’re all different, and I think that’s part of what makes this place so magical. (And I think think last night’s was pretty darn good) _____ This photo was taken at low tide at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend checking it out. #destateparks
We’re back from Florida and had basically no issues from the hurricane. When we left for Florida on Thursday afternoon, I was super nervous, but the predictions were still so uncertain that I didn’t want to completely cancel everything. We just continued with our plans as normal until told otherwise. The weather was beautiful and sunny all weekend, and the worst we had it was waiting in lines for gas because everyone was stockpiling. We also bought a few boxes of Mac and cheese in case we got stranded somewhere. We didn’t, so we took the boxes home with us and just ate them for lunch. _____ While I’m thankful the hurricane didn’t really affect us, I’m hoping the storm has a minimal effect on the country in the next few days. _____ In other news, Naples Beach is beautiful.
Gator Hook trail, Big Cypress National Preserve _____ Hiking through this swamp yesterday ranks up there with my best hiking experiences of all time. Swamps and wetlands are some of my favorite ecosystems ever. These freshwater swamps in Big Cypress are essential to the health of the Everglades, and support marine estuaries along Florida’s south coast. On this trail, you literally walk through cypress stands in knee-deep water. Even though the trail was closed after 1 mile due to a nesting alligator, being surrounded by trees and swamp for as far as you could see was just incredible. _____ Note: this is a marked, designated trail. Swamp walks are encouraged by the park, and this trail is recommended for self-guided swamp hikes.