Suck It Up

This weeks blog post is brought to you by two tired cousins! This is our honesty post. Our ugly post. Our reality check post.

The luster from our Jamaica trip has officially worn away. With last week’s blog post it really hits home that our trip is over. All good things must come to an end right? Speaking of things coming to an end, Hilary learned just last week that it is “much easier to break up with a new boyfriend if he lives in another country!” 😉

When travels are over there seems to be a lull in all the fun and excitement. And that is OKAY! However, we are coming to you from a very transparent point of view…. We are hella tired. We are tired because we WORK ALL THE DAMN TIME in order to make our finances work for our next adventure! It may seem very lavish that we are traveling several times throughout the year to exotic destinations, but we promise it does not come without a price.

Admittedly though, if we can do it so can you! Hilary works over 180 hours bi-weekly! Rachel is a teacher AND a waitress. There are days where Hilary works from 7 in the morning well on over into the morning hours. The same goes for Rachel, from the time the school bell rings until well after the dinner bell she is working non stop. We do this because we want – NEED – to travel. At the end of the day if it is important to you, you will make a way, if it’s not important to you, then you will make an excuse.

We’ve found this notion doesn’t just apply to traveling. It also applies to saving money, or losing weight, or dating someone. If you want to, you will. End of discussion.

If you want to lose weight, you will work out.

If you want to save money, you won’t buy the new dress.

If they want to talk to you, they will.

All of the statements… all of the truths. Traveling has helped us develop our philosophies in all areas of our lives.

This idea that “You will do what is important to you” is what keeps us both running on fumes a lot of the time. After working a long four hour case with no bathroom break or so much as a drink of water, Hilary knows that it is just a few short weeks until she can bask in the Aruban sunshine.

When Rachel has answered the same question for the 34th time that day, she knows that her toes will soon be in the desert sand of the tiny island. We use traveling as our motivation. As our inspiration. As our fuel to push forward into life.

Here is one thing we know about life so far. Life sucks. Work sucks. Bills suck. Getting called in at 2:00 a.m. and finding out it is your shift that has to close down the restaurant REALLY FREAKING SUCKS. Laundry sucks. Taking out the trash sucks. Having cracked heels sucks. Having a wild chin hair sucks. Getting your tag renewed sucks. There are lots of things in our life that SUCKS! We bear them, we endure them, we mundanely walk to the end of the road and throw the trash into the can. All because laying on the beach does not suck.

Feeling the sun tingle on your skin doesn’t suck. Waking up whenever you want on vacation with no alarm clock doesn’t suck. Feeling your taste buds wonder around the new food in your mouth doesn’t suck. Fitting into last year’s bathing suit doesn’t suck. Seeing the sunset behind the palm trees doesn’t suck. Making new friends doesn’t suck. Falling asleep in a hammock doesn’t suck.(Speaking of which, if you are looking for a nice new hammock you can get yourself one here by using our link!) Laughing with your best friend at 2:00 a.m. doesn’t suck, and knowing you will always have someone to help pick you up when you are down….doesn’t suck.

You can’t have one suck without the other, okay…..  We embrace the sucky parts in our life. In a sense we enjoying the sucky parts (like working) because we understand that the equation to happiness is more traveling. So the more we work, the more we can travel. The more sucky parts = the more not sucky parts!  We aren’t in Jamaica right now floating down the river on an intertube. We are at work saving lives and teaching humans on little sleep, and you know what… it is hard and a little bit sucky. However, the healthy patient and the bright student make it a little more bearable. We are both lucky enough to have jobs that make a difference in people’s lives. We are lifechangers, and that doesn’t suck. Also… it pays… WILL WORK FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES!!!!!!!!

We are working for financial freedom and also to find ourselves in this big vast world. We are testing our limits and plowing through boundaries we always thought we would have. We surprise ourselves every day with what we accomplish. But we warn you… it is not pretty.

There are tears because when we are tired we are both overly emotional, and frustration from constantly feeling worn out between our trips, and delirious laughing because we often wonder why we are even doing this to ourselves. Yet, we know deep down that it will all be worth it. The sunsets, the sunrises, the feel of the new air, the taste of the food… It will all be worth it. Getting to share all these moments with all of you makes it worth it. Getting to experience all of the new things life has to offer us is challenging, but so very rewarding!

Keeping It In The Family

Let’s catch you all up to date: we have been on a hiking adventure with our dads, New Orleans with our mommas, and now this weekend we spent it with our siblings! We are keeping it in the family! Our family is our biggest supporters and we love having them along on our adventures. They have raised us, shaped us, provided for us, and gave us just enough dysfunction to make us funny.

To start the weekend off Riley, Rachel’s sister, hitched a ride with Rachel to Hilary’s house! This is where the weekend began. We had big plans of a night out on the town which very quickly turned into a girls night in! Riley was full steam ahead seeing it was her Spring Break week from college, but we working girls were running on fumes at this point. So after some much needed catching up we found ourselves nestled quietly in the comfort of Hilary’s king sized bed! The three girls love their sleep!

The next morning Riley was off to bigger and better things since she had to return to school, but we couldn’t leave Heath, Hilary’s brother, out of the sibling weekend. We packed up our things and headed to Hartselle, Alabama. We had a big day of hiking ahead of us.

Hilary had planned a day and night tour of the Dismals Canyons in Franklin County, Alabama. We stopped first to pick up the sibling cargo. Heath and his wife Jessie were going to spend the day with us and they so kindly let us stay the night with them! We began our day of hiking by eating lunch. Everyone knows you need to be all fueled up for your adventures. Also, we like to eat and don’t need an excuse to find good food! Heath and Jessie suggested we go to Cardinal’s! It is a cute retro styled drive in with the best burgers in town! We all ordered and then shared all of our food… family style of course! There were chicken fingers and burgers and onion rings and milkshakes galore. After a little bit of gluttony we headed on our way to the canyons.

We arrived around 3:30 pm and committed to the day time self guided tour. Hilary had called the week before and reserved our spot for the night time tour. The combo day/night tour is $18. A special note: the day time tour can be purchased on site the day of your hike, however; the night time tours book up quick! We will tell you why shortly!

The day time hike was amazing. Moss covered boulders made for a breathtaking site! It was almost as if there was a little leprechaun waiting to jump out from behind the little rainbow. Also, rest assured there was no pot of gold at the end because we looked long and hard!

There were so many waterfalls and trickling springs and run offs everywhere! It was cool down underneath all of them. We shimmied and crawled around on them like kids on a playground. There was fun little bridges to cross and stepping stones that tested our balance… and our bravery.

Also, you should know Hilary is not afraid to jump on the swinging bridge while you’re trying to cross it!

We spent almost three hours exploring the canyons before we decided to hike back out for a break before the night tour. We ate dinner there at the Dismals Canyon lodge and spent the better part of an hour just hanging out and taking in the views.

Now it was time for the night tour! The night tour is special here because it gives you the opportunity to see a tiny little creature that are only native to this one spot in THE ENTIRE WORLD! There are similar species located in New Zealand and Australia but you will only get your chance to see these GLOW WORMS right here in North Alabama! Known as Dismalites, these tiny little fly larva are famous because they have a very unique feature. THEY GLOW IN THE DARK! This is why you will have to book the night tour in advance!

You will need to pack a flashlight along for this hike in the dark! Once you enter the cave the tour guide will teach you how to train your eyes to adjust to the dark and then you’ll begin to see the cave walls light up! It was fun to get to experience something so rare and located right in our very own backyard. Check out the website http://www.dismalscanyon.com for more information, and note the best times of the year to visit is May/June and September/ October.

We had a great time catching up with our siblings this weekend, but the weekend went by so fast! Typically we would be saying that with a frown, but not this week!

The countdown is on to JAMAICA!!!!! This week is what we call “Hell Week”. It will be spent packing, list making, reservation booking, and WAITING! The week before a big trip is always a little bit stressful. We want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible and that we have everything we need! Becky and Hilary will be flying out of Nashville on Saturday, and Rachel and Susie will be catching up with them on Sunday when they leave from Atlanta.

We cannot wait to have our toes in the sand! But with the countdown approaching, here is our to do list!

1.Pack the carry ons

2. Book transportation from the airport to the condo

3. Secure the passports and all travel information

4. Inform the bank and credit cards of out of the country travel

5. Set up international calling – NO ROAMING CHARGES

6. Don’t lose our minds