Athletes and Friendships

I have recently become friends with two amazing girls. It was an unexpected friendship given the fact that they are from the other side of the country. Katy and Clara are both international athletes that came to NAU to swim. I became friends with them because of my best friend, Abbie, who I have known since I was 4 also swims for the NAU swim team. Katy is from Scotland and Clara is from New Zealand. I am so blessed that these two amazing girls came into my life because I have made friendships with them that will last a lifetime. I love hanging out with them and getting to know them better as people. I would have never met them if they weren’t so brave to travel across the country to further their swimming careers. It is so inspiring to me that they would drop everything to do the thing that they love most, swim and compete at a higher level.

I learned through talking to them about how they got here and how they made this decision. Katy said she went through an agency who sent emails to different schools in the US and then she visited those schools. Clara on the other hand, had her mom help her send emails to coaches in the US and then they went from there. They both said that there is a massive difference between the United States and their country. Katy said that the US is a lot more team based than individual based. She said that in Scotland everyone is only swimming for themselves. Katy likes that at NAU she feels part of team. Clara said that universities in New Zealand didn’t even have actual sport teams. They only had club sports. This really surprised me because I have always associated the “next level” of sports as NCAA sports and for other countries to not even have organized NCAA or NAIA sports blew my mind.  They said it was hard to leave their families, but it is worth it so far. They both love swimming for the team and Flagstaff itself. I am so grateful that they made this decision because now I can call them my friends. We took them back to California with us and now hopefully we will be able to go to Scotland and New Zealand someday.

katy and clara 1.jpg    Katy, Me, Abbie, ClaraIMG_0823.JPG   Katy and Me

College is a time for making new friends, finding yourself, new challenges, and trying new things. College is a great place to make new friends but this also involves everyone. My friendships with Katy and Clara were so unexpected and I am so glad that I didn’t push them away and I let them become part of my life. Friendships can come from numerous different places such as athletic teams, through friends of friends, college, and now social media. I recommend that you give every friendship a chance because you don’t know what can come from it. I personally am so glad because I have two new friends that I will love and keep in touch with my whole life. I can’t wait for more adventures and memories that I will make with them.  I learn new things about them and where they come from everyday and they learn things about us everyday. I am so blessed to have these amazing girls in my life. Don’t be surprised when you find new friends in unexpected places because thats what life is.

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Stagecoach

Before going to Stagecoach this year I was so beyond excited. I had been waiting for years, so when my grandma told me she had bought tickets for Alex and I to go, I was ecstatic. Throughout the whole time we were there, I was living in a dream. Not only were we in the heat of Palm Springs, but we got to spend all morning by the pool, and all afternoon and night listening to dozens of country artists. Directly after it all finished, I was still on such a high… I had just been to Stagecoach! However, it then set in that I wouldn’t be going for at least a full year. Now, instead of being bummed that this fun festival has passed, I am just super excited to return next year. I now believe that I am going to try and go every year possible because it was one of the most fun weekends of my life.

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Glow Stick Adventures

The other night, my friends and I went down to Huntington Harbour with about 5 packs of glow sticks and a camera. Not only did we have a great time, but the pictures turned out amazing. We sat on the beach and as soon as the sun set, we broke out the glow sticks and started the fun. We discovered that the vibrant lights of the glow sticks and any slight movement would put a really cool blur to the picture. With that, we would have one person constantly taking pictures as we danced and jumped around with each other. The results were so fun! If you are looking for a fun night at the beach with a good group of friends, I highly recommend you give this a try!

Huntington Harbor

Huntington Harbor is the perfect place for a day on the water. There are so many things you can do. You can paddle board, kayak, or go on a Duffy. The water is so peaceful. While you are on the water you can see all the beautiful houses. It is a great place to get out of the house and just enjoy the outdoors and the sun.  There are so many places you can stop and enjoy little beaches. You can also see the beautiful California sunsets. There are also many bridges that you can jump off if you are careful.  It is a great place to go with family and friends. I hope you get to go and experience it sometime.

Carlsbad Lagoon

Carlsbad Lagoon has many fun activities including jet-skiing and paddle boarding. Jet skiing is one of my all time favorite summertime activities. It is an activity that keeps you constantly happy and fulfilled from the thrill and excitement of it. This is an activity that can be enjoyed with both family and friends. Even though it can be pricey, it makes for a very fun day that will leave many memories. Carlsbad lagoon provides an open body of still water that allows for many people to go out and have a good time.

Newport Bay

Newport Beach Bay in southern California is a great place to hang out with friends and family. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. My favorite is paddle boarding. It is so easy and so fun. Many people can do it even if your on the older side. The water is so nice and you can go around all the amazing houses. Sometimes you will even see seals and some fish. It is so fun seeing all of the boats pass by you. There is one place called Pirates Cove where you can go night paddle boarding.  Trust me it’s a great thing to do on a warm summer day. I hope you and your family and friends can try it out some time!

Catalina

The few times that I’ve been to Catalina have been unforgettable. There are so many activities to do to fill a adventure seeker’s cravings. For starters, the snorkeling is incredible. There are so many different types of fish creating a rainbow view below the surface. Many times you will even be able to see sharks! There are also some incredible hikes to experience. One morning, I got up with some friends and did a sunrise hike on one of the highest points in Catalina. It is worth every minute earlier that you woke up to see the sun rising over the beautiful ocean. Its the most perfect destination for either a quick day trip or an overnight escape.

Travel

Ah the joys of travel! So many places to go and explore. The opportunities are endless! For an adventure craver like me, travel makes my heart skip a beat. I love to go out of my normal day to day life and get to experience new cultures and ways of living. My favorite thing to be able to do is embrace a new country and their normal everyday life. For example, when I went to Spain, we experienced the exciting night life. Unlike here in America, people don’t even start to go out until around eight o’clock. It is very fun to see the different ways people do things around the world and to be able to live out that culture, even if it is just for a weekend. Not only does it broaden your knowledge and understanding for the world, but it also gives you once in a lifetime experiences.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Hiking

Hiking brings me so much joy! It’s a great way to get exercise while still having fun. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family. There are so many beautiful hikes you can do in California! There are great hiking spots all over. My favorites are Crystal Cove and the Hollywood sign.  Both have beautiful views! The Hollywood sign is so fun not just because of the hike but also because of what you can do the rest of the day in Hollywood. Crystal Cove is also awesome because of the amazing views of the beautiful beaches of Newport Beach! There are great places to eat and a beautiful beach to hangout for the day! Hiking is so enjoyable and I hope you guys can experience these beautiful trails someday!

 

 

Lani Kai Beach

Lani Kai is a beach in Oahu, Hawaii. It is a beautiful beach to visit. There aren’t any waves so it’s so peaceful and fun! When I went I saw many people paddle boarding and kayaking in the clear blue water. You can paddle board to the two rocks in the middle of the ocean and you can actually go explore!  It is great place to take your family and friends while on vacation! Bring lots of sunscreen because you won’t want to leave. Trust me Lani Kai is one of the most beautiful sites you will ever see!