Cultivate a Life of Travel

Live seasoned live a life of travel designTraveling extensively really comes down to a few factors: time, money, and willingness.  If you’re willing, you are capable of creating the time and funds to take a trip.  If I, the least motivated money maker on the planet, can scrape together enough cash to travel to 15+ countries, you can too.  I absolutely despise money and trading my precious time for work (some people read this as being lazy, but I assure you I’m not), but travel motivates me to make paper.  Traveling is a drug and I am in the throws of addiction.  Life feels dull if I’m not exploring. Here’s how I motivate myself to maintain a life revolving around travel.

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How to : Cultivate a Creative Life

If you like this post, you may want to read Sarah’s post on how to Cultivate a Life of Travel, but be warned that you’ll have the sudden urge to buy a plane ticket or two!

We’re coming up on a year of living in our house, and I’m still organizing things. Unfortunately (for me) one of the last places to get some special treatment has been my office, but I just recently spent a couple of days unpacking the final boxes and during the process I thought about the things I do around the house to encourage creativity (mine, the boys’, and visitors).

Sarah and I grew up in a house that encouraged creativity in all aspects of life, and I’m working to do the same now, whether it’s trying a new recipe, playing musical instruments, working in the garden, knitting or sewing. So even if you aren’t “crafty”, I hope you’ll find some useful advice in this post.

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How To: Find Flattering Natural Light for Portraits

Sarah is a professional photographer, from time to time she shares general photography tips and specialized tutorials to teach you to take better images.

Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s girlfriend looks extremely different depending on the lighting? If you haven’t, click the link and get caught up! If you’re a photographer, amateur or professional, you know that lighting is everything in photography, especially when it comes to photographing people and objects.

For the purpose of this post, let’s define flattering natural light as soft, even lighting without hard shadows. Let’s also aim for photos that reflect the true color of the subjects being photographed. We’ll also pretend that these photos are going to be self portraits because everyone is taking selfies these days and really the best way to master a technique is to practice, practice, practice.  You can be sure that you’ll always have yourself and your cell in most situations, so practice looking for flattering light every day that way when you need to find it, you’ll know where to look.

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How To: Survive an International Flight

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Some folks really dread flying.  Usually it’s because of the jet lag and awful airplane food and while those things do stink you can still survive a fourteen hour flight with a smile.  I know because I’ve experienced three extremely long flights to Asia all coming in at different levels on the comfort scale.  If you’re prepping for a holiday overseas, here are a few tips that should make your time in the air a bit more enjoyable. Although, even I couldn’t prepare for the time I woke up with a baby sleeping on my tray table. Even so, here’s how to best survive an international flight and walk away with a smile.

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How To: Buy an International Flight

Buying an international flight can seem overwhelming.  I still sweat a little when I finally confirm a flight plan even when I’m satisfied with the price.  There’s something about hitting that buy button that makes everything seem so immediate and real.  It can be daunting to check different airports, dates and prices, but with a little bit of background knowledge, buying an international flight can be a satisfying experience instead of a nerve wracking one. Below are a bunch of tips that I always run through before purchasing an international flight.

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Utilize Price Alerts + Travel During Cheap Weeks

While it’s definitely helpful to have flexible travel dates, letting skyscanner choose the right time to fly is an even better deal.  If you are planning a trip, even if it’s two years from now, sign up for price alerts.  Skyscanner will send you an email letting you know when super low fares are spotted on the horizon making it a little easier for you to decide when to fly.  I like using price alerts for destinations I know I’ll be visiting often like Katie in Colorado or for places I really want to visit, but can’t justify at the moment like Jamaica. Price alerts are nice because you don’t have to waste time plugging in a bunch of dates or scouring google flights late at night (I used to be guilty of that) looking for a good time to fly, you can simply read the subject line of your email and make a more informed decision.

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How to: Photograph Young Siblings

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Family portraits are hard.  There’s a good chance everyone involved has varying levels of interest in taking a great portrait.  I’m usually the one in the bunch groaning, so I’m here to tell you how to make future family shots a little less painful, specifically portraits of young siblings.

It all comes down to making it quick, easy and safe for the little ones.  You’re not going to walk away with fifty amazing portraits, but if you get one great shot, the squawks and squeals are all worth it.  In previous posts, we gave you a primer on photography, newborn portraits and kid candids.  I advise skimming those posts to get a better understanding of light and photography before setting up your mini models.

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5 Tips For Taking Better Kid Candids

Taking great kid candids is an important skill to have.  Give any parent a stellar photo of their son or daughter and you’ll be invited over for dinner often.  Throw all those kid candids in a photo album and BOOM you have the best mother’s day present ever, one that will never be duplicated or lost.  If you need more dinner dates or a great father’s day present (it’s already June!) than read on my friends, read on and charge those camera batteries because today’s post includes 5 Tips For Taking Better Kid Candids.

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How To: Save for Travel

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Hey travel bugs!  I’m extremely amped to write this post full of tips about saving money for travel because I’m in the midst of a big savings year right meow!  I have a huge trip planned for the end of 2015 and if I want to make it a reality I need to keep it at the forefront of my consciousness.  For me, a big part of successful savings starts with being mindful of it.  If I’m always thinking about the trip and being frugal, I’m much more likely to skip the little extras: the cup of coffee, the random tank top, the $4 bar of delicious dark chocolate, you get the picture.  This post applies to any big ticket item you want to save for not just a trip.  Maybe you want to splurge and get a fancy new DSLR (and by you I mean me), or pay off a huge chunk of student loans, or put aside money for your snazzy wedding, whatever you’re planning, you can save for it and these tips can help you!

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Step One: Estimate Your Travel Costs

First things first.  How much do you actually need to save? I get questions like this all the time: ‘how much should I save for a cross country road trip’ or ‘how much do you think I need for two weeks in Brazil’ and at first these questions seem unanswerable, but in truth, they’re pretty easy requests and they can be worked out with a pen, paper and a tiny bit of research. The short of it: what I need for a cross country road trip is probably not what you need for a cross country road trip. Why? Because we all have different lifestyles and ways of traveling.  That’s why it’s important for YOU to estimate your own travel costs and don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

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