Documenting the life and times of a dreamer on her gap year. 

Carry-On Essentials

Carry-On Essentials

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Of course I love actually being in a new place, getting to see people and things I don’t usually get to see, but the actual act of travel is, weirdly enough, pretty relaxing to me. I look forward to plane rides as a time to relax and get some work done for ME while disconnecting from everything else!

I tend to leave my laptop in the overhead compartment unless I’m right up against a deadline. This weekend, I’ll be heading to Washington, D.C., and my MacBook will be staying tucked away during the flight! Here are my five travel essentials that will be down in the seat with me.

#1: Backpack

I used to travel with my school backpack a lot, especially if I was working on homework, but to be honest, the size overwhelmed me and it often became too heavy to carry for long, and too full to stuff under the seat in front of me. I’ve recently been using this backpack from Naia Vibes, which I bought at StyleCon Dallas!


For me, backpacks are the best travel bags (as opposed to totes or large purses) because my hands are totally free. This backpack in particular is great because it’s on the smaller side, but definitely roomy, and I like the long straps. Plus, it’s a great neutral black with a hint of the ever-popular rose gold and a great message!


#2: Travel Pillow

No matter how many fun activities I have planned for the flight -- books, movies, etc.! -- I inevitably end up wanting to take a snooze against the window. I used to only use the regular neck pillows, but lately I’ve been loving this Vera Bradley travel pillow because it actually is a travel blanket, too!


Plus, that loop on the back slides over the top of my rolling suitcase to make it easier to carry.

#3: Baseball Cap


I’m totally a hat girl on normal days, but add travel hair into the mix and you’ve got yourself a perfect opportunity for a baseball cap! Sometimes I’ll wear a more sporty hat if I’m visiting a place that’s home to a sports team I like (I’ll wear my Panthers cap when I go to Florida, or a Cubs hat when I’m heading to Chicago), but this trip I decided to leave my Washington Capitals hats at home and go with this plain green hat from Aritzia. It goes with my travel outfit, which is just a bonus!

#4: Reading Material

Travel is a great time to knock out some solid reading, because you won’t be getting interrupted by texts or alerts that would ordinarily take your focus away from a book! I always recommend leaving your hardcover books behind, because they can definitely get heavy. This trip, I’m taking No More Dreaded Mondays by Dan Miller as my first book!


I’m also bringing my Bible on the plane with me. If you’re scared of flying or turbulence, reading something comforting really helps. I can handle most bumpy rides, but every so often, my Bible does come in handy! Plus, I get some uninterrupted time to study it. If you’re studying anything else, a plane ride is a really great time for that. Use that quiet downtime to get some work done!


#5: Listening Material

Whether you like audiobooks, podcasts, or music, there’s plenty of time to just put your headphones in and zone out on the plane. I’m currently listening to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, and I have ten hours remaining, so hopefully I can whittle that down a little over the course of the plane ride!


Downloading podcasts is also a great option, and so is making a travel playlist and jamming out in your seat. I recently discovered this app called Beatfulness, which plays binaural beats for different situations. There’s a lot of science behind binaural beats, but it basically boils down to helping you hear a third “invisible” tone that helps relax or invigorate you, depending on the sounds! It’s great for meditation, which is an activity that definitely helps me pass the time on long plane rides.


And now, I’ve got a flight to catch! :)

Until next time ~

XOXO, Maria

My First Vision Board!

My First Vision Board!

September 2017 Favorites

September 2017 Favorites