Hi! I’m Christy. I currently live in Queretaro, Mexico after recently moving from Shanghai, China. When I’m not exploring local neighborhoods or revising my travel plans, I work as a freelance writer and run a small branding and communications business where I have the privilege to work with some of the most incredible small businesses and help them tell their story and communicate their passion. I juggle a crazy schedule and have yet to master the art of balance but it’s a constant pursuit. I love finishing off a day with good friends and a glass of bubbles.
How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
I’m a true introvert. And while I thrive in life thanks to the relationships I have, I’ve also learned to have grace with myself and build in intentional ‘alone time’ so that I can put in energy with others. Starting my day with prayer and time in God’s Word is always the decision point on how the rest of my day will go. Regular exercise (so hard for me to schedule in my always changing, unpredictable schedule) is huge and while I’m such as fan of good food and wine, making sure I put wholesome things in my body also has an impressive impact of my mental wellbeing as well as my physical health.
In your house, how do the mundane parts of life get done?
I’ve learned that when I’m working from home, I get buried in my office with little to pull me out and so I’ll get lazy and order in delivery if I’m not careful to plan my meals out better. With this in mind, I now draft up a rough meal plan for the week, factoring in a couple meals out with friends or clients and then order my groceries to be delivered first thing on Monday morning (so I have no excuses about not making it to the grocery store). I hate letting food go to the waste, so once it’s in my apartment, I’m usually good about making sure it gets used.
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you? And why?
Tradition and routine are not very prevalent in my life, but one tradition I’m trying to foster is to pick up a postcard every place we visit and note down a great memory from the place/trip. I’m hoping to curate these into a collection–maybe someday an entire shoebox full–of reminders and stories. While I’m the first one to pull out my camera and snap a thousand pictures when I get somewhere, I think there’s something more reflective about capturing a memory in words. It would be so cool if future generations stumbled across a box of hand-scribbled postcard notes and it inspired them to go explore and to not just take pictures, but to make memories, tell stories and live adventurously.
Your PICK SIX: What 6 products can you absolutely note live without?
As my life revolves around domestic travel and a lot of international travel (to see family and friends around the world, for work and for pleasure), I thought it would be fun to share six items that I’ve found to simplify something that can all too often become stressful and complicated. With that said…
Here are my ‘pick six’:
1. A stash bag (call it what you will, just fill it with the products you LOVE and you’ll have that extra perk of opening it up when you travel!). I keep this ready to toss into my carry-on wherever I’m going. I have an extra cute little bag that always contains eye drops, lip balm, a mini bottle of lotion, mints, floss, tissues and Colgate Wisps. (oh my gosh, Colgage Wisps!) I used to have a mini bottle of dry shampoo too–but can’t get replacements. Regardless of what your must have items are, I can’t tell you what a lifesaver this bag can be. Pack it, toss it in and be happy.
2. Trip Case App. There are a lot of great travel apps out there, but this one still wins in my book. All I have to do is forward all of my reservation emails for hotels, flights, rental cars, etc. to their email address and they automatically build out my full itinerary for me and there it is in my phone, all ready to go. Everything in one. A traveler’s dream.
3. Snacks. Ok, let’s be honest. You never know when you’re going to get stuck, when a nice stewardess hands you a tray of unidentifiable mush or when you just can’t stomach the idea of another bowl of ramen. So regardless of the sort of transportation or destination that awaits, I always grab an apple, a couple packets of Justin’s almond butter (my absolute favorite is Maple Almond Butter) and a couple Starbucks VIA packets. They can get me through about anything. Find your favorites and keep ’em handy.
4. “That” pair of shoes. You know, that pair that goes with practically everything, that’s über comfortable and that lasts through the delays, the extra mile walk to the hotel you’re stuck at because you forgot to make reservations, the freak storm that weatherman never saw coming, etc. I’m a pretty efficient packer when it comes to clothes but a classic overpacker where footwear is concerned. Nonetheless, I always grab “that” pair, knowing they’ll carry me through anything. And in case you’re wondering, currently, “that” pair are Clark’s Grayson Ericas for me.
5. For the sake of simplicity, I use all Apple products right now. And for that reason, the Apple World Traveler Adaptor kit has taken up permanent residence in my suitcase. I never have to look up what sort of outlets a place has before traveling there, I just know I’ll be covered. One less thing to think about where technology is concerned, is one less thing to fret over.
6. A sense of humor and compassion. Seriously, whether you’re road-tripping to the beach two hours away or making a 27 hour haul across the Atlantic, you can pick up a toothbrush at the local drugstore or buy new flip flops on the way, but you can’t find a single corner market stocking an extra dose of humor or a bottle of compassion. So bring it with you. It will ensure your trip is AMAZING, regardless of where your luggage ultimately ends up or how many flat tires you get in one ten-mile stretch. And that’s a promise. Happy Travels!
Anything else you think our readers would love to know? Any additional tips or systems that help you keep it all together?
Two more tips for traveling:
If you’re traveling somewhere new, consider scrapping the guidebook and find a novel or memoir set in the area. They’re far more fun to read through and often provide more insight than your Lonely Planet anyway.
I never go wrong packing light. Not once (truly) have a I wished I had brought more with me, but all too often, I wish I had left more at home. You can always pick up an umbrella, cute necklace or sundress along the way if you need to spice up your wardrobe a bit and those items are sometimes the best souvenirs anyway….and they often come with a great story.
Follow along with Christy:
The Simplicity Series features busy gals, in different stages of life, making what matters happen and tips and tricks they’ve found to be helpful. Simplicity is about building margin into your life and spending time on and with that which fuels your heart. While we love to share products and services that help us day to day, but simplicity is about HEART and intentionally choosing the thing that matters most (your TREASURE) more than anything money can buy. We wear many hats and we know you do too, so we’d love to hear your thoughts as well! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34
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