5 Unique Fall Destinations

The start of Autumn always evokes a certain sense of wanderlust in me.

The brilliant colors, crisp fall air, and abundance of hot chocolate warms my spirit, making me feel as though anything is possible.

Continue reading “5 Unique Fall Destinations”

Seek Out Adventure

Two years ago, I quit my job and booked a one-way ticket to California. At 23, I had never been to the West Coast and was excited about my first solo travel adventure.

I needed a fresh breath of air and this trip provided so much more than that.

New experiences, friends, and memories to last a lifetime.

Continue reading “Seek Out Adventure”

Traveling Solo but not Alone

Well it’s been over two weeks since I embarked on my adventure to the West Coast and I’ve already seen so many cool things and met incredible people along the way. As much as I adore NYC and all of my friends back there (seriously, I miss you guyssss), I have this immense fear of getting stuck in a rut and routine…turning 80 and regretting allllll the things I didn’t do.

IMG_3416I used to dream of having some super important job with a fancy title and corner office somewhere in Manhattan; a job that would allow me to afford a penthouse overlooking Central Park and a personal driver. While all that sounds pretty sweet, it’s definitely not everything, or really anything, life should be. People are so focused on gaining material items based on what society deems as worthy and in style. It’s literally absurd when you think about it. Whenever I go to buy something now I think to myself, do I really need this? or shall I spend this money on a bus/train/plane ticket somewhere? 

At the end of your life will you really remember all the clothes/electronics/shoes you bought or the adventures you went on and the people you met? You can totally have both, but our society’s priorities are so screwed up! It’s OK to be different and not follow the norms of what others think life should be. 

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Met all these lovely folks in Seattle!

When I was in Seattle, I met two awesome guys who literally sold everything back home and took a train across the country on a whim. With no jobs or apartment lined up, they managed to secure a place and some interviews in the time I was there (which was like three days). How awesome is that!?

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”

Through this adventure I’ve met people from all over the world and have experienced so much generosity and kindness along the way from total strangers. It’s incredible. Like right now, I’m sitting in a room with four people I met in Seattle who invited me along on their Canadian adventure from Vancouver to Whistler. I DIDN’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE TWO WEEKS AGO! Thanks to Michelle, TJ, Alan and Trevor for letting me explore a bit more of the world with them!

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On our way to Whistler from Vancouver! We were super stuffed in there…I literally couldn’t move my head. Good times!

Traveling solo is a truly insane, invigorating thing and I’m loving every minute that I’m not sitting in an office wasting away.

In just two weeks time I’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge, had my first In-N-Out burger (can we please get these in NY?!), stayed in hostels for the first time and met so, so many cool people, saw the Space Needle (which is not nearly as tall as you’d think), rode a bike for the first time in YEARS in Portland (thanks for being so patient, Kayla! haha), ate a ton of Voodoo doughnuts which I subsequently worked off on the steepest hike of my life in Canada and zip-lined for the first time in Whistler!

Booking a one way ticket across the country has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s so refreshing to meet so many other travelers who have that same desire to see the world and continue learning with each new venture.

I would encourage everyone to take a leap of faith and if you’re itching to go somewhere, GO! You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.

Happy Travels!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

MY FIRST TIME

Folks, I’ve been in San Francisco for a few days now and have finally tried my very first In-N-Out burger! I ordered it ANIMAL STYLE because I heard that’s what the cool kids do and boy was it DELICIOUS. Check out the video below for more of my reaction!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Why I Quit my Job in Broadcast and Booked a One Way Ticket to California

When we’re young we’re told we can be anything we want to be and the sky is the limit. But as we try and determine our interests, collect our diplomas and “grow up,” we’re incessantly pressed to make decisions which will carve out the path to the rest of our lives. Looking back at my 17-year-old self, I thought I knew for sure who I wanted to be going into college; a broadcast news reporter, traveling the world to inform and engage others on behalf of a major network like ABC or CNN. With passion and excitement, I did everything right. Earned [somewhat] straight A’s (remember that time I got a 23/100 on a stats exam? lolz), landed a dream internship in NYC during college and secured a job at a national news network in NYC less than six months after graduating Magna Cum Laude.

And then everything fell a p a r t . . .

The hours, the commuting, the move to the city, paying rent, buying food, dealing with [rude] co-workers, being sleep-deprived and the impending feeling of doom.

I couldn’t complain though. I was living the DREAM, right? Working alongside network news anchors, living on the Upper West Side and gallivanting throughout the city that never sleeps was my daily life. It’s a wonderful feeling to have that light-bulb moment when you know you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing; but it’s crushing when that light-bulb explodes into a million pieces of insecurities, uncertainties and a sinking feeling that you’re nowhere near where you want to be. 

I realized the only thing holding me back was everyone else’s expectations of who I would be. Jackie the Journalist. Rapetti the Reporter. (And any other alliteration you can dream up.) But when you’re taking ‘sick’ days because you’re sick of your co-workers, that’s a pretty good sign things aren’t so super duper. Now that I’ve expressed my disinterest in broadcast journalism for all the fear-mongering and exaggerated reporting I’ve experienced (not to mention working in a newsroom is about as glamorous as babysitting a bunch of toddlers), everyone keeps asking me what I’d like to do next. But the truth is I have no idea. And then I have a million ideas. A pilot! A chef! An archaeologist! A wildlife photographer! How does anyone decide on just one path?

My mom, who at my age was already married and had me, believes I should have a jump-start on a career by now and be well on my way to moving out of the room I’ve spent most of my 23 years in. She thinks I’m too old to be so wishy-washy about my future. And then there’s my hil-ar-ious dad on the other end of the spectrum who recently said he believes 23 is the new 16.

While I’d like to think I’ve grown somewhat since 16, I still believe I can be anything and everything I want to be even if I don’t know what that means yet. This isn’t me complaining about having to pay bills and do so-called grown-up things (OK, it kind of is…), but I’ve never believed in following social norms. Society says I should have this and do that but, as the Brits say, that’s bollocks. I’m still learning and growing and living on my own terms. I’ve worked hard and saved some money. Sure, I could find some random job, put the money I have towards rent and move out. Instead I’ve booked a ticket, packed some coloring books (for the undying kid in me… plus it’s a great way to pass time on a plane!) and am off to California. And I could not be happier.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

P.s. If you have any West Coast food recommendations, HOLLER AT ME!