Travel: Minneapolis Solo Trip Series – DAY 1

My day started at five o’clock this morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

After making sure I was presentable for the world, got my kitty ready for my long absence, and had my sweetheart stop by my place for a quick farewell — I was off!

The drive felt kind of long

After about three hours in the car, I started to feel it. I had been listening to George Orwell’s Animal Farm via audio book, read by a man with a British accent. At hour three I started doing impressions of his voice, replying back to him, and eventually acting as his hype man during some dramatic scenes in the story. Things got a little weird.

Luckily, once I crossed over the border into Minnesota, I started to get my own hype back. At this point, I was excited and tired and excited and ready for the drive to be over with.

(Tried to take a photo of the Welcome to Minnesota sign, but I was driving and that’s dangerous, so imagine there’s a pretty picture of the sign here.) 

First Stop: Mall of America

For my first stop, I decided to be touristy and hit the big one: The Mall of America

I knew it was big, but I didn’t know how big. I can’t tell you how many times I got turned around in this place. Between four flours and an amusement park inside, it definitely lives up to its name.

After over five hours in the car and already over 5,000 steps under my belt, I was craving nourishment. So, for lunch, I stopped for an Impossible Burger at Burger Burger and it was delicious! I have recently made the choice to significantly decrease the amount of meat that I consume and the Impossible Burger is an infamous vegetarian option I’ve been wanting to try. After more than half the burger downed, I had to remind myself that it actually wasn’t made of meat. It was that good! Defying the odds.

Of course, I wound up buying a couple of things, shoes and a fleece. When in Rome, right? But, overall I was able to hold my composure and restrain myself from buying a few too many more things. Shopaholic suppressed.


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Then onto my little Airbnb

I’m not sure if I can share details about the Airbnb that I’m staying in (for the respect of my hostess), so I’ll be vague. It’s adorable, clean, and my hostess is kind and thoughtful. It is the perfect little getaway for my first solo trip. ❤

Onto more exploring: Midtown Global Market

After visiting New York and also just living in Milwaukee, I have become pretty spoiled when it comes to being exposed to a melting pot of culture. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is the Midtown Global Market.

Within this indoor market are dozens of stores for goods and groceries and food vendors abound! Since I am from a beer state, I had to give the craft brewery in here a whirl: Eastlake. Being the sour fan that I am, the brew of choice was the Kirby Pucker; a passion fruit, guava sour that will do just that — make you pucker!

As I sipped on my craft beer in a strange new land, I continued to read the odd fiction find that has been keeping me intrigued: Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun by Lois Winston. It’s a quirky mystery novel that keeps you wondering. I haven’t been able to put it down.

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My falafel fix

Basically, if you know me, you know I love falafels. I once accidentally ordered 24 of them at one time, because I doubled the selection in the cart due to my sincere determination.

Since I was surrounded by foods ranging from Italian to Mexican to Middle Eastern to East Asian to American, the natural choice was to order ten falafels and a Greek salad to-go. ❤


Back to nature

After spending some time walking around Midtown and being exposed to the quite interesting characters that were on the strip, I decided to go back to the gorgeous park that I had driven through on the way in from the Mall of America.

Lake Nokimis park took my breath away on my drive in. It was the first moment that I realized that I was here to do something beautiful for myself and take my trip for what it is — to relax and enjoy a new place.

Lake Nokimis offers beaches, walking paths, biking paths, and numerous places to sit, read, reflect, and meditate. I took some time to listen to my new favorite podcast (Pursuit with Purpose hosted by Melyssa Griffin) and just relax with myself.

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What taking a solo trip actually feels like

My mom asked me why I decided to take a solo trip. My response was that I wanted to find out if I was interesting enough to hang out with on my own.

It’s interesting how we spend so much time trying to bond with others, but never take the time to bond with ourselves. By the end of my trip, I’ll have formed a new connection with myself.

I gotta say, so far so good! I’m not as lame as I think I am. 😛

Your comfort zone is suffocating you

I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone to find methods of transportation, seeking new places to explore, and keeping an eye out for new experiences. And, I am loving it!

I have always had an adventurous spirit, but have never truly embraced being alone. For many years, I’ve always made sure that I was never alone. It wasn’t until I lived in my own apartment that I was able to discover essential parts of myself.

Being alone forces you to recognize things within yourself that you wouldn’t notice if you were being distracted by someone else’s company.

Day 1 is complete

My first day in Minneapolis has been wonderful. I was able to take my first leap into adventure girl status and I am not looking back!

Day 2’s update is going to come with a few surprises and I am looking forward to bringing you along with me for another adventure!

Have you ever been to Minneapolis? Tell me about your favorite places in the area and I will try to make it there!

Travel_ Minneapolis - Solo Trip Series Day 1



Travel: Minneapolis Solo Trip Series

Hello RLI Tribe!

I have exciting news…

I am on a solo trip and I have just checked into my room in Minneapolis. 🙂

Solo trip?

It’s exactly how it sounds! I am here in Minneapolis for the first time in my life and I am out here exploring all on my own! ALL ALONE. Out of my comfort zone? Absolutely! Exciting? Yes!

This weekend I decided I am going to fulfill the much-needed yearning for introspection and time dedicated just to myself. Gotta’ do it while I’m young, unmarried, and childless, right?!

So, what are my plans this weekend?


All together now: SELF-CARE

I am going to dedicate my time to things that I love and make my heart whole. Including (but not limited to: reading, writing, walking, exploring, eating, shopping, sight-seeing, and being relaxxy A.F. 

As I embark on my journey, I am going to share my adventure with you and will be creating a series of posts based on my excursions!

Keep a look out for my Minneapolis Mini Series all throughout this weekend. ❤

Post Series


travel minneapolis solo trip series



When having it all isn’t good enough

“How are you?”

“Fine. How are you?”

The last time you heard that from someone, did you believe them?

The last time you said that to someone, did you believe yourself?

The Lie

I can take on more. I don’t need more sleep. My health is fine. My diet is fine. My relationships are fine. My finances are fine. My future is fine. Everything in my life is fine.

We value honesty so much in others, but we never seem to honor it within ourselves.

When did fine become our measure of happiness?

When did fine become good enough? Continue reading

Networking: Faking it doesn’t cut it

Today, I had a networking breakthrough.

No, I didn’t come up with it on my own.

What is it?

Genuine Authenticity

At this point you may be giving me the slanty eye or rolling your eyes or about to stop reading all together, but, I tell you, it is the secret. Over the past eight months (woah, it’s already August…) I have been focusing (oh hey, word of 2018: FOCUS) on developing relationships with people.

I have been focusing on investing my time in relationships that will not only better me, but also move me forward.

That’s networking.

Continue reading

I’ve been avoiding you (and by you, I mean me)

Yes, that’s right. I have been coasting around you trying to make sure that you don’t notice that I haven’t been around. I’m talking to you over there who has been vying for my attention, hoping that I just finally come around and give you the time of day.

I know that you need me to give you my attention, to nurture our relationship, but I’ve just been so over you. I’ve been too tired. Too overworked. I’ve been going a million miles an hour and just don’t feel like actually giving you the time of day. Yes, I’m talking to you.

And, by you…I mean me.  Continue reading

How you lost $1000 without even realizing it

Money and I haven’t always been on the same page. Like most 20-somethings, I have had to do a lot of research, reading, and listening to learn about my relationship with money. Like most 20-somethings, I have started with a practically blank slate when it comes to budgeting, saving, investing, and planning for retirement. Non-loaded mutual fund, dividends, Roth IRA… uhm, excuse me?

I can’t tell you how many times I have put myself in a bad money moment. Recently, I decided to take an amazing, unforgettable trip to Las Vegas and put it on the card. Granted, I immediately paid the statement balance from the trip (interest free), but that is absolutely not how I should have handled that situation.

Continue reading

This is how I went from Total Slob to Clutter-Free Queen

If you were to ask my mom what my room was like when I was younger, she would laugh and describe a pathless floor covered in clothes and crafty things abound.

I can’t tell you how many times I was threatened with a garbage bag: “Faith Holly (note the middle name usage), if you don’t clean your room right now, I’m going in there with a garbage bag and you’ll never see that stuff again.”

Now, you would think that would be an effective threat to a kid with a love for the mounds of stuff that I constantly drowned myself in, but here I sit knowing that I never took it to heart. Continue reading

These are all of the Epic Books I am Reading Right Now…ish

Episode 1: You Can Have it All

For most of my life, I was under the impression that I could only read one book at a time.

It was a constant internal battle of commitment. I love books so much!

Every time I found a new book that tickled my fancy, I just had to read it. So, in this dire situation, I had no idea how to control my textual addiction…I also had no idea that my commitment to commitment was actually resulting in complete and utter non-commitment. I’m pretty sure I went through a five-year streak where I averaged one book a year (and one of those years included a three-part trilogy…)

After years of struggling with one book to the next, this huge book nerd is here to tell you one of the most important things that I have learned along my paged journey: Continue reading

The Truth About What Happens When You Become a Minimalist

It’s funny to me how this happened. I remember hanging out at a bar, talking to my new friend Phil and learning about minimalism for the very first time. He talked about how much it changed his life, how little he owned now, and this new-found freedom he felt.

Well, here I am about six months later… I caught the bug.

Diagnosis: Minimalist in Training

I have significantly decreased my belongings to about 25% of what I used to own (yes, literally). And. you know what? I have to say, minimalism has made my life a lot less enjoyable in a lot of ways.

It was a few weeks ago that I stumbled on Erin’s post on A Welder’s Wife that talked about some of the same feelings that I have had and am currently processing: 10 Ways Minimalism Ruined My Life Forever. Here are some of my own takeaways… Continue reading

How Minimalism has made Me More Grateful

As you know, for the past few months I have been going H.A.M. simplifying my life. From downsizing my closet, to stripping down my kitchen, to limiting myself to one everyday purse (yes, that’s a thing) — I have been embodying the minimalist movement in my life.

I had no idea the impact that this journey would have on my psyche and how I interpret the world.

How minimalism has affected my attitude towards my home

Since I have significantly decreased my possessions, I have a new-found appreciation for the environment I have cultivated for myself. As I look around my apartment, I see the things that I have kept for myself that fit my cozy minimalist criteria: Continue reading