Tag Archives: Experiences

An Adult Child’s Perspective on Christmas

As a kid, Christmas was always a big deal. In fact, everything was a big deal. A good report card, a promotion, birthdays, we celebrated it all. This celebratory style I grew up with followed me into adulthood.

As I’ve gotten older, buying Christmas gifts has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a fun feeling of both excitement and joy, when a loved one unveils the perfectly curated gift. Yet, finding the perfect gift for my parents and grandparents always feels like mission impossible. What do you buy for the people who have everything?! Year after year, I’d struggle with Christmas gifts and try so hard to keep up with my parents, who are supreme gift givers. This year, I rethought my approach.

My parents could care less what they opened on Christmas morning. Sure, I asked them and ended up with one bigger gift that was actually something they needed. They want things that money can’t buy – all of their kids in the same place, to cook together and for us kids to spend time with our grandparents. Looking back on this holiday season, that’s exactly what I gave, time.

Each year as I stepped further into adulthood, I tried to conjure up ways to give back what my parents gave to me. At the end of 2018, I can say I’ve stopped trying. There’s no way in the world that I could repay them for all they’ve given me. And are still giving as I sit on the beach in Florida at my mom’s house while my dad and stepmom diligently wait for the call to pick up my car for me. As they say, a parent’s work is never done.

So, my fellow adult children, stop worrying about the perfect gift for your parents. Instead, show up on holidays and birthdays as much as possible, take them to dinner and put your phone down during the meal. I think about my Nana and the many Saturdays I spent with her. Those were some of the best conversations I’ve had and she thoroughly enjoyed hearing my stories and watching me live my life. I sit with my other grandparents now and see the same joy fill their faces merely because I’m spending time with them. Highlight of the holiday season? Taking Grandma to see the Donna Summers musical on Broadway and dancing alongside her to ‘Last Dance.’

Don’t overthink it, my fellow 20’s somethings, who I’m sure are navigating this much like I am. Talk to your parents, grandparents, everyone in your life so you can co-create these memories together. They will sustain you during the longer, harder stretches of your life.

Roam If You Want To

I’m gearing up for six weeks of travel with some family time sprinkled in. I won’t be in my apartment for more than a few days at a time. And I cannot wait.

When I started my job, I knew there would be some travel associated with the role. But I never dreamed it would afford me the opportunity to see so many new places. From when we were kids, my parents encouraged us to try new things and see new places. Luckily, thanks to a rigorous travel schedule, I’ve been to places I’ve never been before like Phoenix, Catalina Island and Chicago.

San Diego

Soaking up the sun in San Diego

I’m about experiences: I’d much rather buy concert tickets than a new outfit. I love to learn, to immerse myself in something different than the every day. Since I’ve graduated college, I’ve vowed to spend money on experiences, especially on new adventures. That’s why I love traveling for work: I get to tack on some personal travel like weekends in San Diego and Charleston.

It’s not just about travel. I try to make the most of living in Philadelphia, a city rich with opportunities to learn and stay curious. Thanks to friends and websites like Eventbrite, I’ve found mini conferences about female empowerment and panel discussions focused on resilience. Each had unique speakers with diverse backgrounds as well as free swag! In fact, the panel discussion on resilience was found through an Eventbrite email. You can find a conference or have your own get together by using Eventbrite’s super cool tool.

Sometimes, spending time with my mom in Florida or grabbing sushi with a girlfriend is the right experience. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose trip to be memorable. Some of the highlights of this year (so far) include nights out dancing with my best friends and singing in the car with my sister.

How you spend your money is entirely up to you. I’d advocate for saving some of your budget for experiences. The new pair of shoes will look phenomenal but memories made with people you love (you included!) will last forever.

Wanderlust

wanderlustHappy Friday friends! I hope your week is winding down and that you have fun plans for the weekend. For me, the next week is going to be all about travel. Why you ask? Because I leave for London tomorrow night! Excited is an understatement.

Tomorrow night, my college BFF Lauren and I board our plane to London. We’ll be there for a week and plan on taking a day trip to Paris (OMG!!!). I cannot wait to have an entire week off and to wandering through Europe.

When people ask what my plan is for this trip, my answer has been to planfully wander. Sure, we have an itinerary and a list of places we want to see. But I want to get lost in the city, in the culture and absorb every moment of this experience. This will not be a vacation where I will sit and relax, but I do believe I will come back fully recharged.

Wanderlust is the state of mind I will be embracing while away. But it is also an idea I want to incorporate into my life upon returning. Sometimes being wanderlust gets a back rap. People think you have no direction or no set plan for your life. On the contrary, I see being wanderlust as being passionate to learn more about other places, other cultures. Travel is the only thing you can spend money on that will make you richer.

So don’t plan on hearing from me during the next week. However, I promise there will be a full recap once I’m back in the United States. If anyone has travel tips for London or Paris, please feel free to share!

travel

Family Fridays: When Family Gets Divorced

MousepadAs we all probably know, divorce happens, for a variety of reasons. While I am a child of divorced parents, I do not think I am any worse off because of it. My parents did an amazing job raising us in a positive, loving environment. I was so little when it happened that I don’t really remember life any other way.  I am proud of my parents and think they made the right decisions. Today, I can’t necessarily say the same for entire my family.

So all families have drama. It’s unfortunately a given. There’s the uncle no one talks to, the grandmother everyone only talks to because it makes life easier and so on. It’s sad to think every family experiences what I’d like to call a family divorce; when family members don’t talk to one another. Pretty sure all of us have to go through this. For a while, I thought my family was different. Silly Alex, how could you possibly think that?

Collectively, there is a lot of drama and family divorce with my large family. I won’t bore you with the details but to say we have embraced the feuding Italian stereotype would be an understatement. I understand everyone is upset, hurt, frustrated and does not want to compromise. That’s fine I suppose. I just thought my family valued each other more. I can guaranteed you that once this post is published, I will have 20 irate comments, text messages and phone calls. So family members reading this, please do not be offended. I am not singling anyone out nor am I blaming anyone. I am simply saying the drama upsets me and I do not wish to be a part of it. But, I still love you all very much. fambam

So what are you supposed to do when everyone is fighting or better yet not speaking? I do not want to take a side. I want to maintain all of the relationships that are important to me. Hard to do when everything is muddled with drama. I’ve been told just to care less but that, as mentioned previously, is an extreme struggle for me. Any and all advice is appreciated.

Right now, I am just going to focus on the positive aspects of my life and live each day for me.

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