Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Above is a picture I put together after visiting the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, one of my favorite day trip spots in Northern California. I have so many great memories here. In high school I got to participate in the Guiness Book of World Records attempt to have the longest country line dance on the beach. I had summer crushes and fun times pretending I was a surfer girl (even though I've never surfed in my life). If you have never experienced a traditional oceanside boardwalk theme park, you've got to stop in for an afternoon.

Must See/Do
Go On the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster
The Giant Dipper is the best classic roller coaster ever in my opinion. With a rickety wooden structure it's a traditional coaster not to be missed. If you only ride one ride here, this is the one.

Get a Cajun CornDog from Surf City Grill
Every time I visit I grab one of the cajun corn dogs from the Surf City Grill, located near the main entrance of the boardwalk. If you enjoy corn dogs YOU MUST TRY THIS ONE. They are hand dipped, delicious goodness. I mean so good that I may have at one point taken a random day trip, driving two and a half hours just for the corn dog, only to find out that they were closed. I'm not willing to officially confirm that I wasted that much time and money for a corn dog, just know that they are damn good.

Go Watch Surfers
There are surfing spots throughout the area, the easiest place to watch near the Boardwalk is a place called Cowell's north of the wharf. Here is a guide to other surf areas in the Santa Cruz area.

Enjoy a Summer Concert on the Beach
On Friday evenings in the summer they host free concerts on the beach. For a complete list of events at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk click here.

What are some of your favorite summer or beach memories?


Be Your Own Best Friend

We all need to lean on others at times but when you need encouragement or are in a position where others can not understand your vision, you need to be able to be the friend and cheerleader that you need to make your dreams come true. Be confident and believe in yourself no matter what others think.  Sometimes it’s not easy but if you love yourself, you can be your own best friend. What does it mean to be your own best friend? You give yourself the love, support and encouragement you need to accomplish your goals because you know it can happen. If you are waiting for others to approve of your actions or encourage you to follow your dreams, it’s time to reevaluate. Here is a quick exercise to help you practice giving yourself support:

1. Write a list of your current fears or obstacles, get whatever is bothering you off of your chest. Some examples:

I don’t know what I want to do.
I’m not smart enough.
I don’t have the resources to reach my goal.

2. Take a look at your list as if it’s a list your best friend provided you and asked for your advice/support.  Next to each fear or obstacle write out a reply as if you are speaking to your best friend. Be encouraging and provide support to get them through their fears and doubts.

3. Read over your responses and trust the wise advice you have provided yourself. 

If you have other tips on how to support and encourage yourself, please share them in the comments.  


Why You Should Travel Solo

For years I used the excuse that I couldn’t find anyone to travel with, so I couldn’t go.
This forced me to make a decision, either I waited until others were on the same page as me (this could be an entire lifetime) or I took some responsibility for my dreams and made it happen.

Up until that point I was afraid to travel alone. The moment I went out on my own my life changed. I got dropped off at the train station in California to start my journey to Germany, I cannot think of a more exhilarating and empowering experience. From the beginning to the end of the trip I can honestly say I met more people and had more memorable experiences then any other trip I have been on. I found that when I was alone I was more likely to challenge myself, think outside of the box and interact with others. As a result I encountered so many wonderful new experiences and made new friendships.  

Traveling alone opens up opportunities and connects you to people and experiences that you may not have noticed if you were with a travel buddy. If not having a travel partner is holding you back, I encourage you to clear away this mindset and change your view. Once you do it, I’m betting you will never look back. I know I haven’t.

What fears do you have about traveling solo?