Life, Travel

Healing a Broken Heart through Travel

A broken heart is never welcome. Sleepless nights, moments spent remembering the past, wishing things will work out and the two of you will get back together. Sound familiar?

How do you manage a broken heart? I found my refuge and healing in travel.

Travel is a distraction.

Instead of wallowing in painful memories and obsessive thoughts about what might have been, pack your bags. Travel requires a certain degree of planning, and planning is a fantastic distraction.

Find a new destination on your bucket list, and research hotels or Airbnb (receive $40 off your first booking here) or even start planning every single details from your trip if you really need to. Being occupied is a great way to start moving on and what better way then to plan a fun trip abroad.

Travel creates distance.

Distance is a great healer, as well as time. Traveling is a great way to separate yourself from the past and learn to let go of those memories.

Traveling provides you both physical distance and emotional distance. It gives you distance from the person you don’t want to see, as well as providing you the opportunity to step outside your usual context.

Travel challenges you.

Putting yourself in a new environment challenges your brain to think about other things. When you travel alone, you only have yourself to depend on. In the process, you will discover skills which you did not previously know you had.

You meet new people.

Meeting new people is probably one of the best side effects of traveling. I have made so many new friends while I have been on the road.

As an introvert, I always find it difficult to talk with strangers, but when I’m visiting new places, I am pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to start conversations with people.

When you are on the road, you meet so many fantastic people. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is a great way to distract yourself – you’ll be too busy creating new unforgettable memories to spend time dwelling on the past.

Travel forces you to be present.

Travel teaches you, first and foremost, to be in the present moment. Relax. Let go.

You discover yourself again.

This is a big one, y’all! Travel offers so much when it comes to personal development.

When you are so used to being with someone, and you are suddenly left all alone, you need time to reconnect with yourself. Being independent is the most freeing thing in the world.

Travel pushes you out of your comfort zones from time-to-time, and you’ll surprise yourself with how well you cope with those situations, you’ll feel a stronger and more confident person.


Heartbreaks are endings that can lead to new beginnings if you let them. Be brave and allow yourself to experience new things, experience new culture and meet new people through travel.

Southern Experiences

8 Tips for First Time Visitors to the Southern US

The South is a region of the country that is considered off the beaten path as most travelers visiting the United States head to New York, Las Vegas or Los Angeles. However, I think this region of the country should be at the top of your list. The Southern US is a very distinctive region, and it is defined by its cuisine, landscape, accent, literature, music and, under-girding all of the above, history. Below are a few things you need to know before you travel to the southern states.

Leave the Diet at Home

When you travel to the South, come hungry. Southern Cooking is a cuisine category all on its own – it brings comfort like nothing else on earth. Southern cooking is also as diverse as the subregions that make up this region of the United States. Our tables are deeply laden with food, which goes back to our hospitable nature, and despite the rumors that we only eat butter and fried food, our meals have an abundance of vegetables. Our staple dishes include barbecue, fried chicken, grits, okra, corn, squash, mac-n-cheese, and desserts.

Go for a Drive

The best way to get around the South is by car. We do have Greyhound and Amtrak services, but car is best with the windows down and music playing. Take the back roads, many of our roads existed before the highway system and offers a prettier drive. Plus you get a more authentic feel of the south as you drive through some small towns.

Soak up the History

Southerners hold onto our history. We recognize the importance of our history and sharing it with the next generations. Make it a point to visit some of the historical sites and buildings.

Check Out a Variety of Landscapes

The Southern landscape is beautiful and diverse, and it cannot just be summed up with one image. You have to experience the South’s cities, like Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Charleston, the beaches of the Gulf and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the plains of Alabama and Georgia, the bayous of Missississippi and Lousiana, and the mountains of northern Arkansas, Tenessee and North Carolina.

Jam to the Music

Your first instinct may be to think of the south as the place for country music. While we have a lot of musicians in that genre, the South is also home to Kings of Leon, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more.

There’s a festival for everything.

We love our celebrations and have one for just about everything. Pecans. Hot Air Balloons. Brunch. Bacon and Mac-N-Cheese. Cherry Blossoms. Azealas. Art. Music. The list is endless, and you better believe everyone will be there.

Southerners are relentlessly friendly.

It is said that Southerners are the friendliest people in the country. Of course you are going to have people everywhere who are grumps, but overall Southerners are cheerful, talkative and helpful. We have mastered the art of hospitality. Additionally, Southerners pride themselves on their manners. So say “please” and “thank you” when traveling here and throw in a “ma’am” or a “sir” for good measure.

Southern Drawl

The South does have a distinctive accent that is unique to the region. But, did you know the accents change from state to state and even city to city? The main thing to remember when you visit The South is to slow down. We are laid back, and so are our accents thus the tempo of speech in the South isn’t nearly as fast as elsewhere in the US. Additionally, we also have some funny terms but the main one to know is “Y’all”.


What else do you want to know about The South?

Southern Experiences

Redcliffe Plantation

Only a few miles away from the Georgia state line sits one of the top ten sites to visit in South Carolina, Redcliffe Plantation.

Completed in 1859, Redcliffe Plantation served as the home of James Henry Hammond, who went on to serve the state of South Carolina in the House of Representatives and Senate as well as Goveneror, and his family. The Hammond family lived in the house until 1973 when the property was donated to the state and added to the National Register.

The house is situated on the highest point of the area, and at the time it was built had views of the Savannah River, which is about five miles away.

Be sure to look for the magnolia lane that served as the carriage entrance to the home to the left of the main steps.

When you pull up in the parking lot, you are facing the back of the home and its outbuildings. The property includes the stables built around 1903, as well as two slave quarters that are still standing. This piece of property did not serve as a “working” plantation, but 100 of the 400 acres were for agricultural experimentation including vineyards, orchards, and crops like indigo and sugar cane.

Shirt | Sweater (similar) | Jeans | Booties

The property has seen a lot over the years since it was built, and the stories that are still being revealed to this day are rich and important to remember. I highly recommend taking the tour to get more behind the scenes information as well as a tour of the home.


Do you enjoy visiting historical places?


30 Before 30: 6 Month Check In

Six months ago I shared my 30 Before 30 list of things to accomplish before my thirtieth birthday. As today is my half-birthday, I thought I would share where I am so far with my list today.

  1. Take an international trip – IN PROGRESS
    • I have at least one international trips in the works! 🙂
  2. Visit at least one new state – DONE
  3. Read 30 books in a year (Taking recommendations!) – IN PROGRESS
    • To date, I’ve read 20 books. What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?
  4. Try a new sport – IN PROGRESS
    • I decided to take up hiking as my “sport”. I joined a women’s hiking group for the state of Georgia to help get out more. Unfortunately, schedule and weather has prevented me from making most, but I definitely have more penciled in as spring approaches.
  5. Take a girls’ trip – ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?
  6. Move to a new place – DONE
    • I purchased my first home in October 2017.
  7. Change jobs – IN PROGRESS
    • I decided to change directions with my career, and I’m in the progress of building my own business.
  8. Grow my blog (Thanks for following along!) – IN PROGRESS
  9. Get to know my family history
  10. Challenge my culinary skills – DONE
    • I took a six-week cooking class with Publix’s Apron Cooking School.
  11. Do something that scares me – IN PROGRESS
  12. Work out more and on a consistent basis – IN PROGRESS
    • Thanks to Spotebi I have been able to work out on my schedule and even when I’m on the road!
  13. Take a challenging hike
  14. Relearn to play the piano – IN PROGRESS
    • For Christmas, my parents gifted me a new keyboard. I’m teaching myself how to play again.
  15. Get back to graduate school size and weight – IN PROGRESS
  16. Learn a new skill – IN PROGRESS
    • I started to learn crochet a couple of years ago, but never really got far with it. I decided to pick it up as a fun activity while I’m unwinding at night and watching TV. I’m no expert, but hoping to share a completed piece soon.
  17. Visit a new SEC stadium – DONE
    • I had the opportunity to actually knock out two SEC stadiums (Vanderbilt and Texas A&M) this fall.
  18. Be more spontaneous – IN PROGRESS
    • I kicked off Year 29 with spontaneity by traveling with Pack Up + Go to Denver.
    • I also decided my theme for 2018 is to “say yes to adventures” so I’ve got some excitement planned as the warmer months approach.
  19. Climb another state peak
  20. Learn a new language
  21. Improve my wine knowledge
  22. Get a pet
  23. Participate in a race
  24. Attend another short-term mission trip
  25. Travel somewhere alone – DONE
    • A three-day weekend in Charleston was just what I needed to reset for the 2018 calendar year.
  26. Put more money away into savings – IN PROGRESS
  27. Take on a monthly photography challenge
  28. Expand my food palate
  29. Spend a full day at the spa – DONE
  30. Learn how to show myself grace – IN PROGRESS
    • I’m a work in progress.


Any suggestions or recommendations to help me finish my 30 before 30?


2018 Reader Survey Results

A big thank you to all who participated in my reader survey a few weeks ago. I loved hearing from you all and appreciated your feedback to help me make my little space as great as it can be. My primary reason for doing a survey was to get a pulse on y’all, my audience, and to make sure that my strategy for this year is aligned with my readers.

And now on to the results…

Question 1

It looks like my little corner of the internet has made some new friends lately! I am so happy you are reading!

Question 2

It makes me very happy that half of y’all read this space everytime I publish. I know life is busy, so I really welcome y’all stopping by whenever you can.

Question 3

I was actually surprised by the results of this question. Facebook always seems like a struggle for me, so I’m glad to see it is paying off. Also, Instagram is one of my focuses this year, so it makes me happy that some of y’all are already finding content on that platform.

Question 4

This question was just for my pure curiosity and to make sure I’m investing my time in the proper channels. My goal with this space is to connect with you and build a community, so I want to make sure I’m reaching you where you are spending time.

Question 5

I had a guess that my Southern Travel posts would be at the top of the list, but I’m very surprised by how high Personal Stories ranked. I have been staying away from those, so I’ll work to add those back into the mix since y’all like them.

Question 6

Any post topics you would like to see more of on Southern Exhilaration?
This was an open-ended question. Some of the responses I received were interesting day trips, southern travel posts, and US travel posts. This is exciting since I’m already planning to do more day trips and southern posts this year. So stay tuned because more travel is coming your way in 2018! Additionally, I asked on Instagram Stories about the interest in a home tour posts, and I received a 100% positive response. So, as I finalize rooms I’ll be sharing my decorating tips and tricks!

Question 7

Anything you would like to see less of on Southern Exhilaration?
I was nervous about asking this question, but all of you said you like what I’ve been doing! So thanks! 🙂

Any destinations, in particular, you would like to see on the blog?