Make the Most of Where You Are

One thing I didn’t do in college was study abroad. Was that the best decision? Maybe, maybe not, but it was the best decision for me at the time. I put so much focus into bettering myself and my career that I probably wouldn’t have been able to let myself enjoy it too much anyway (I need to learn to relax, I know). Honestly, I don’t think I would’ve thrived club-hopping around Europe either, so it was for the best.

With the experiences I did have, I learned how to make the most of where I’m at. And let’s be real, New York and Chicago are pretty damn cool. No matter if you’re hanging in a big city or small college town, here’s my top tips for making the most of where you’re at.

 

Scout out spots: The coolest spots are those that remain under the radar which, of course, makes them harder to find. From working in media, I’ve learned that editors, bloggers and publicists are often invited to new bars/restaurants and pop-ups before the public. So, to be in-the-know, follow those who are even more in-the-know. Also, frequent society sites such as Guest of a Guest and TimeOut for localized round-ups, openings and ratings on happenings in your city.

Adam and I took a quick trip across the Hudson to Governor's Island to explore and have dinner at newly opened Island Oyster. 

Make your own fun: So cliché, I know, but it’s true. I swear some of my favorite nights have been impulse picnics in Central Park or nights where we’ve stayed in with friends for a potluck dinner and drinking games. Sometimes you can give it a rest on hitting the Instagrammable spots for just plain ol’ fun and quality time.

Weekend getaway: With my boyfriend Adam living outside of D.C., I’ve been able to explore a part of the country that I probably wouldn’t have visited much otherwise. Seriously, simply search google and you’ll come across so many hidden gems not far outside of major cities. Get a group together and you’ll be able to afford an Airbnb for a much needed change of scenery every now and then.

 

STOP PLANNING AND WANDER: This is my biggest piece of advice! When we first moved to New York, we would pick a starting destination of a spot we wanted to see then wander for hours and hours popping into shops, cafes, parks, you name it. Some of my favorite spots to go to now are places that I came across by accident. Life doesn’t always have to be so planned— a major lesson I’m trying to learn.