I Bought a One-Way Ticket

When I say that God's timing is BEST, I sincerely mean that from the bottom of my whole entire heart. Y'all know, I was thissss close to purchasing a one-way to Chiang Mai and I'm so glad I yielded my plans to Him!

Ya girl is about to be back on the move in a mere 2 weeks and this time I will be taking my talents to... *drum roll please*

europe!

In a way only God could have orchestrated it, instead of traveling solo, for the first month of this indefinite-length adventure, I will be joined by my amazingly wonderful friend Shanice (y'all might remember her from my For Black Girls Who Ride Longboards video). I was fully prepared to go off on a solo adventure, which is ultimately what this will become, but the fact that I get to share the first month of this new journey with her is AMAZING in itself. It will be both of our first times in Europe so the excitement is very real!

We will be flying to Italy and spending 10 days traveling through Rome, Florence, and Venice and then fly from Venice to Madrid, where I will be for another month.

And you might be thinking - uh Mel, how are you going to afford to just travel indefinitely?

Very understandable question! I will continue to teach with VIPKID, on top of YouTube, blogging and all that jazz! 

So yes, new adventures await and I'm so excited to 1) have the opportunity to travel like this and 2) share my journey with you guys as I do! My YouTube channel is going to be LIT with new content weekly, so make sure you're subscribed! 

Also, I didn't mention it but I am officially 26 years old *gasp*! I usually write a blog post (check out 24's and 25's) but this year, I decided to go digital and make a video. If you're interested in 10 lessons I've learned by 26, then press play below. I also share when I'm off to next, but you're one step ahead of the game and know already ;)


Have you ever been to Europe? If so, I'd love to hear any and all recommendations you have! If not, is it on your bucket list? Why or why not?


 

stay awesome. stay inspired.

- melody -

8 Things My Instagram Hiatus Taught Me (+ Free checklist!)

8 Things My Instagram Hiatus Taught Me- Melody on the Move

We live in such an interesting day and age. For starters, a man with zero political experience is the president of the United States. Like what? And how about this new wave of 'rappers', who say nothing (both literally and figuratively) but are huge successes? Like what (x2)?! 

And then there's the social media phenomena, which has changed the game in so many ways. 'Instagramer' is now an actual profession, along with 'YouTuber' and 'blogger'. Social media is no longer 'just for fun', this thang is a business, y'all. And for me, it's IG that I love/ hate the most.

Instagram is the art of making everything look effortless and uncalculated when it's anything but.

If my month-long hiatus taught me anything it's that: 

  1. Maintaining a cohesive Instagram theme is both an art and a full-time job.

  2. The 'explore' page a time-wasting vacuum that can only be a creation of Lucifer himself, especially when it's the first thing I check in the AM. (If you hop on social media first thing in the morning too, I created the Before You Scroll Checklist just for you- keep reading!)

I used to plan my IG feed, curate pictures, pre-write captions, use scheduling tools to post at the 'best times', and overwhelm every picture with at least 20 hashtags. This was all in an effort to grow my following, which is honorable and noble, sure, but equally exhausting. 

It all started to feel like a bit much, so I deleted the Instagram app from my phone and took a much-needed hiatus

I haven't posted a darn thing for over a month and I've somehow managed to amass more new followers than I did through all of the crazy growth strategizes I implemented in April. Can we all just say it together: "like what?!" But I digress, the point of this post is to say - I'm officially back on the 'Gram! But not in the same way I once before.

So what does this mean?

This time around, simply put, I've adjusted my intentions. If my following grows, awesome. If I keep the same 2,967 followers that I have at this exact moment, that's cool too. I'll be the first to admit, at a certain point it became way more about the likes and follows than engaging with real people. But from this point forward, I'm going to keep Instagram simple. It's about sharing my life in a more immediate capacity than I can on YouTube and connecting with y'all. That's what is important. 

click here to Keep up with my new, more relaxed Instagram #vibe


Here are 6 more things that this IG hiatus taught me: 

  1. Social media is such an illusion. Issa vibe way more than issa real life. 

  2. Instagram accounts with beautiful pictures but captions void of feelings, emotions, or personality are not for me.

  3. A few of my consistent favorite accounts are @Alex_Elle, @livedeeplyrooted, and @cantstayput_.

  4. When I don't spend the first 15 to 30 minutes of my day scrolling (you know how we do), my day magically seems to unfold better.

  5. Not scrollin' mindlessly takes discipline. My flesh very much so wants to scroll through the 'Gram at times. And when it does, especially first thing in the morning, I whip out my Before You Scroll Checklist (get yours below!).

  6. I am so much more productive when I'm not totally connected, and growth can still occur too.

Nothing ensures the success of your day like the start of it, so if you struggle with getting on social media as soon as you wake up too, grab the free 'Before You Scroll' checklist! This checklist is home to 8 positive and productive activities that you can do before you start scrollin'. To get your freebie today, just fill out the form below! 

Get your Before You Scroll Checklist!

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How do you feel social media? What's platform you love and/or hate? Have you ever felt the need to take a hiatus?


Stay awesome. Stay Inspired.

 

- Melody -

 

 

Hometown Appreciation

Hometown Appreciation - Melody on the Move

This all started because I wanted to buy a new camera. I've had an itch to upgrade my current DSLR and at the time, the move to Chiang Mai was still on the table, so I thought "no better time than now". But as we all know, I've pressed pause on that move and with that pause came a realization. Before I drop over a grand on some new Canon machinery, I should probably learn everything there is to learn about the camera I have now.

Insert The Hometown Appreciation Project.

My hometown, that I'll refer to as Central Florida Small Town, USA, is going to be my muse as I teach myself how to operate the manual settings on my camera. I've always had a complicated relationship with this place for a variety of reasons but through searching for beauty to capture, I hope to walk away with a whole new appreciation for this place and the people that live here. So that's the plan. And below are the first batch of photos I've taken. I'm still learning the manual settings and I'm also teaching myself how to use Lightroom to edit them - so bear with me!

I hope you enjoy getting a feel for the place I will always call my hometown. 


(you can click the pictures to see them full size!)

The Central Florida Zoo // Sanford, FL


The Greek Corner // Orlando, FL


La Meca Coffee Shop // Lake Mary, FL


Riding through the streets of Lake Mary, fl


I'm really excited to watch my photography + editing skills improve as this Hometown Appreciation project continues! Which picture is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!


Stay awesome. Stay inspired.

- Melody - 

Put Some "Respek" On My Name: My Educated Hustle Interview!

Educated Hustle Interview - Melody on the Move

I'm forever discovering new things about myself. For example: working out really makes me happy (although getting to the gym continues to be a struggle) and I'm way more productive when I plan out my day versus trying to keep up as it unfolds. One major new re-discovery is that I am 5 million percent here for people pursuing their passions, whatever they may be.

Seeing others set aside time for the things that light them up inspires the shiznit out of me, especially when these passion projects are creative ventures. 

So with that being said, when my mentor and friend, Paul, asked me to be on his podcast, Educated Hustle, I was so excited! Not only because I'd get a chance to share my story of living, teaching, and starting my YouTube channel in Korea, but because Educated Hustle is Paul and his best friend, Emilio's, passion project. They created the podcast a little over a year ago with the goal of showcasing individuals who "decided to take a leap of faith into living their hustle".

To even be considered as a guest was flattering! But it was my first podcast interview and I still found myself pretty nervous! As soon as we starting talking though, the nerves melted away - so, a huge thank you to Paul and Emilio for making it so easy and fun! 

If you haven't gotten a chance to listen to the interview yet, be sure to check it out! To find out why they titled my episode "Melody Tells Us Why You Should Put Respek On Her Name" you've got to listen until the end. The reason is pretty hilarious!

Again, a big thanks to Educated Hustle for having me! 


What's something you've learned about yourself recently?


Stay awesome. Stay inspired.

- Melody -