Round Trip Roundup: DECEMBER

Oh, December. I do look forward to you, but I also appreciate when you draw to a close. This month was chock full of holiday sweater parties, semester-end assignments and family time. This semester was by far the most difficult for a variety of reasons, but these past couple weeks of respite have been exactly what I needed. It is amazing what time off and reflection can do. I’m still a bit shook that 2020 is tomorrow, but before we move on to the next decade (!), let’s take a look at my top 5 for this month:

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1. My Christmas haul

In May 2020, I’m headed to southern France for a tour with my mom and sisters, which means that Christmas gifts revolved around this exciting trip. My parents gifted me Beats Solo3 wireless headphones, which I’m excited to use on future long flights. I also got an electronic adaptor, Rifle Paper Co. calendar and globe necklace from Starfish Project. I’m really pumped about my Anker portable charger because I’ve always had to borrow my mom’s. Seriously, you guys, this is so worth the investment. My phone battery drains so quickly while I travel, and having one of these portable chargers on hand is a life saver.

2. Quick trip to Dallas

Doing long-distance friendship can be tough, but it also means you get to visit cool places. This month I took a mini trip to Dallas to visit Riley where we visited the ice sculptures at Gaylord Texan and ate one of the best meals of our lives at Sixty Vines. Snow slammed Missouri hours before my flight was supposed to take off, which meant leaving the following day. I’m bummed my trip got cut short, but seeing an old friend and exploring Dallas are always a good time.

Aaaandddd I squeezed everything into a carry-on and made a video of how you can do the same.

3. Celebrating *5* years of blogging

On December 1, I celebrated five whole years of Round Trip. Over the past five years, I’ve published two books and an online travel budgeting course and have chatted with so many people about their travel plans. I love discussing my travel experiences and my readers’ travel plans, so please reach out to tell me where you’re headed or if you want any personalized tips. Drop me a line

The magazine staff, my roommates and I celebrated with gluten-free Funfetti cupcakes because how else would you celebrate your blog’s 5th birthday? Also, the struggle is real when it comes to cooking for one.

4. Educated by Tara Westover

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had time to read for fun, but once break hit, I told myself I’d spend my ample down time enriching my mind with something other than Instagram and Facebook. My mom had been recommending Tara Westover’s Educated, a nonfiction book about a woman who grew up in Idaho and has a religious family who believes that education institutions are part of the Illuminati. This captivating story brings the reader on Tara’s journey to leave Idaho and finally reach the learning she’s been longing for. And I devoured this book in a matter of days. I cannot recommend it enough as it’s an engaging, thought-provoking read.

5. Growing up

It is high-key beyond me that I’ll be graduating in one short semester, and it’s starting to sink in. A bit of panic but much anticipation and excitement. I’ve been working on saving money (because that’s an adult thing to do, right?), and this month I signed up for an Acorns account. I don’t have much money to invest right now, but what I’m looking forward to is its Round-Ups feature, which rounds up to the next dollar and invests it. You have control over what kind of portfolio in which you invest, and I like that it’s just a small bit at a time. Sign up today to get a bonus $5 in your account.

I know that 2020 will have more change than I’ve experienced in my entire life, but I am so excited for many new adventures, including a family trip to the French Riviera this upcoming summer. What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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