What to Expect at Zaanse Schans

If you’ve ever visited Amsterdam, chances are you’ve heard about the windmills nearby in a little neighborhood called Zaanse Schans. Less than an hour by bus or car from central station, Zaanse Schans is a colorful little neighborhood in Zaandam just outside of Amsterdam. This photogenic town is a great day trip to take from Amsterdam if you find yourself lost in the busyness of the city and want to take a look at the countryside for a few hours.

When we first arrived to Zaanse Schans we didn’t really know what to expect. I had done minimal research and my family and I didn’t realize how touristy this neighborhood would be. I’m going to be honest and say it, but this place is the definition of a tourist trap. It’s definitely still beautiful and worth seeing if you have the extra time, but I wouldn’t put it first on my list of things to do when visiting Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

Instead of rolling up to what I imagined to be a tiny town with a few windmills, we were greeted by a museum and information center, parking lot and grand entrance to the windmills in which a photographer was waiting there to take your photo and hand you a card like they would do at a theme park like Disneyworld. It was a little over the top for us… also as you walk towards the windmills you’ll have to pass through tons of gift and souvenir shops and a wooden clog store. They really push the sales on you!

I wanted to get that out of the way, since none of the photos I had seen or people I had asked seem to mention this to me. I expected it to be more of a small town with not many people, so when I saw they had turned the neighborhood into an entire tourist trap filed with shops, museums and guides I was thrown off a little bit. I will say though, if you have small children this is something that they would definitely enjoy! Even though they push all these extra sales on you as you walk to the windmills, the place is actually free to visit. You only need to pay extra if you want to visit one of the many museums they have on site, get a tour guide, or go up inside one of the windmills. And while its very touristy, most of the windmills still actually function and it as actually really interesting to learn about some of the different things they use the windmills’ power for.

Across the river that runs through the neighborhood is another neighborhood where people actually live, and you can find a few shops, restaurants, pubs, a brewery and some cute buildings. We only had to pay one euro each to get across with the help of someone’s ferry boat, and it took all of 5 minutes at most. This side was much more quiet than the side with all the windmills. I don’t think many people make the crossing over, but if you’re looking for the more authentic side of Zaandam this is where you’ll find it. The people in town were super nice, and the brewery had a really good IPA you need to try if you head on over! We also walked up into an old church they were remodeling. The Netherlands is mostly an atheistic  country, with only a small percentage belonging to a religion. Many of the churches in Holland have been torn down, or repurposed into something else. This one we climbed up into was being repurposed to be a center for autistic kids.

The place itself is still super cute, and if you have the extra time in Amsterdam I still suggest you take a few hours out of one of your days to go visit the windmills! Its great for photos, and its a nice break from all the craziness that fills the streets of Amsterdam with all the bicycling, traffic and buildings.

So You’re Interviewing to be a Flight Attendant?

Every year hundreds of thousands of people apply for jobs in the airline industry. The idea of being able to travel the world and get paid to do so has become more and more attractive in recent years as social media channels expand and  destinations that were once unheard of are becoming more and more popular. American Airlines alone had over 500,000 people apply to be flight attendants last year, but with only 2,000 applicants actually landing the job, your odds are actually better trying to get into Harvard (statistically speaking, of course).

While it varies per airline, when I went for my interview 3 years ago there were essentially 3 parts to the application process. First you’ll fill out an online application. Most airlines don’t hire year round, and instead I’ve noticed many larger airlines will open up their applications twice a year in June and in December. So be on the lookout around then. If you do make it past the initial online application, a video interview will follow, and finally an in person interview. The whole process might take a few months as they so many applicants each year. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from them quickly.

I first applied online in July of 2016, got my video interview a few weeks later, and ultimately the in person interview in September. I then got the job offer “officially” about a month later, even though as I left the interview that day I was fairly positive I had gotten the job (you’ll know, trust me).

Initial Online Application

The initial application will look something like this, when American opens the application process anyone can access this document. Sometimes they will open the website for a specific language speaker qualification though, so make sure you are applying for the correct position. If you do have a language qualification make sure to address this early on as it will set you apart from other candidates. As you fill out your initial application, I recommend looking back onto the initial job application description and review what exactly the job requirements are and what your airline may be looking for in an ideal candidate.

American Airlines Flight Attendant Job Description

• All candidates must be willing to be based from any of our base locations including Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas/Ft Worth, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh/Durham, NC; San Francisco, CA; St Louis, MO; Washington, DC.

• We are looking for people who want to be a part of the largest airline in the world. American Airlines is in the business of serving the travel needs of our customers. A warm welcome, gracious service and a safe and comfortable feeling, makes our customers’ journey something they will always remember.

• Our flight attendants are proud of this rich tradition – pride that you can share when you embark on a career representing American Airlines as an onboard crew member. Our Flight attendants are the face of American Airlines and are service professionals of the highest caliber, with a desire, drive, and passion to provide outstanding service. If you are a highly customer-focused individual who strives for the best and takes pride in getting the job done, we would like to hear from you.


• Set a high standard for consistent in-flight service that includes serving meal/beverages and selling onboard products.

• Handle a wide variety of situations while in continuous contact with the public.

• Work independently or as part of a team without supervision.

• Ensure the safety and comfort of our customers.

• Provide leadership by responding to a variety of emergency and non-emergency situations.

• Work in climates and locations across the globe and work variable shifts.


• Position requires some physical exertion such as pulling, pushing, reaching, bending, walking and light lifting.

• Long periods of standing and speaking.

• Airports ramp operations are noisy and can be hazardous without due caution.

• Extensive travel, must be able to spend consecutive nights away from home and endure all climates.

• Alternative work schedules including evenings and weekends

• Ability to push or pull movable carts weighing in excess of 250 pounds

• Ability to lift objects up to 35 pounds such as galley stowage bins and carry-on baggage


• Must be able to read, write and speak English fluently

• Competent in handling difficult situations, problem-solving and complaint resolution

• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; friendly reception of all customers

• Must present a professional image, may not have visible tattoos, facial, multiple or upper ear piercing, or extreme hair color or style while in Flight Attendant Uniform

• Work in climates and locations across the globe and work variable shifts

• Able to attend up to 6 weeks of unpaid training in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and move immediately to the city to which you are assigned as a base.

Now that you’ve reviewed what they are looking for in an ideal candidate you can better answer the interview questions, with answers that describe you honestly but that also focus on what they will be looking for.

Video Interview

Quite possibly the most awkward interview I’ve ever done, in this interview you’ll get a serious of questions in which you’ll have a certain amount of time to read the question and a certain amount of time to reply to the questions via video recording. Make sure you dress business professional for this. Here is a good article explaining what you should wear here.

Make sure you record either in a clean office setting, or with a blank wall behind you. The last thing you want is the company to think you are a messy person, as image is extremely important to anyone working in the airline industry. Make sure to smile a lot, and speak loudly and clearly.

Some questions that might be asked of you:

•Why do you want to be a flight attendant?

The last thing you want to do is say “I want to travel”. Everyone wants to travel. Duh. They wouldn’t even apply for this job if not. What they want to hear is that you love meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and want a more exciting work life that goes above and beyond that of a 9-5 desk job.

•Why should we hire you as a flight attendant?

Review what they’re looking for in a candidate and pick the strongest three characteristics you have. Obviously you need to be a people person for this job, and you need to be able to handle complicated and stressful situations. Use your past experiences as examples of why you think you’d be good for this job.

•How do you feel about relocating to a different city?

More than likely you won’t get your first base choice, so they need to know you’re willing to move. If you’re not willing to move don’t even apply for this job because it’s going to be very very difficult. While you’re able to transfer between bases once you are hired, there’s no guarantees on how long a transfer will take. So be open to moving ANYWHERE when you first get the job, or at least open to commuting to your base from wherever you live.

•They may as you to give them an example of a bad customer service experience you may have had in the past, and what you or the other person did to overcome it…

Honestly I remember there being a lot of situational questions in the interviews. They want to know how your past job experience will help you in the airline industry. Try to think of an example that they can relate to how you would handle an angry passenger experience, or a stressful situation in general. This job is more than serving diet cokes and pretzels. They want to know you can handle any kind of situation that may arise.

In-Person Interview

The in person interview will be held in Dallas, TX for American. If possible, they’ll fly you there and back in the same day. So grab some coffee in the morning. Be friendly to your flight crew and when they’re done with their service maybe go introduce yourself and see if they have any tips for you! It can’t hurt to get some more info from other people who are already in the industry.

Something to note about this interview is that a majority of it is a group interview. You start the day with about 30-40 candidates and finish with only about 10. This can vary, but from my experience (and those I’ve talked to about it) that seemed to be the ratio. The hiring team is going to be watching your every move! So here are some tips for you to keep in mind throughout the day:

•Smile a lot

•Be friendly

•Don’t be on your phone

•Dress appropriately

•Show that you can be a leader

•Don’t be too bossy

•Speak loudly and clearly

•Don’t speak too fast (you’ll seem nervous)

•Don’t speak too slow (that’s boring)


When I say they will be watching your every move, they’re also going to be judging you based off your appearance. By that, I mean mostly how you dress, how well-groomed you look, and how you present yourself with confidence.


Some More Tips on What to wear:

•Business Casual

•Hair up in a bun or ponytail if it is long

•Natural makeup

•Neutral or red lipstick

•Watch (not Apple Watch)

•No piercings other than one hole in each ear for earrings

•Cover all tattoos

•Panty hose under dress/skirt if you wear one

•Heels/Nice Flats


Many of the same interview questions will get brought up in your group interview, but more so later into the day as the groups get smaller. The beginning of the day will be all about how they perceive you interacting in a group setting. From what I remember we had groups of about 5 sit at different tables and you’ll do a few icebreakers, stand up in front of the other interviewees and introduce yourself, and also have some group activities to do in which they will be watching how you work as a team player in different settings. Remember to always be yourself, but bring your A game! All of the people who have made it this far into the interview process would make good flight attendants, so at this point it’s just about how well you stand out compared to everyone else.


Hopefully this gives you a little bit more of an idea of what to expect in your flight attendant interview. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope to see you in the friendly skies soon!


A First Timer’s Guide to Nashville

If you’re a fan of country music, chances are you’ve thought about visiting Nashville (and if you haven’t, well you should!). Heck, even if you aren’t into country music I can almost guarantee you will still find something to love about Nashville when you go. It’s one of my favorite cities, not only because of the amazing music there, but also for the food, shopping, bars and of course the people!

Where to stay:


Opryland hotel

Perfect if you have small kids, or if you’re just wanting to enjoy the hotel amenities. Even if you don’t stay the night, visiting during Christmas time is a fun activity as they have pretty lights decorating the entire hotel, and the Gaylord ice show going on. If you plan on spending most your time on broadway and downtown I don’t recommend staying here because it’s about 30 minutes away.


On Broadway Courtyard Marriott

This is where my friends and I have stayed twice now. It’s a great location within walking distance of broadway, and the rooms are very nice. If you don’t want to be right in the middle of all the chaos of broadway but still close by this is perfect

$ Air b&b

If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, air b&b is the way to go, or finding something just a short Uber away from broadway. Pretty much every weekend Nashville has bachelor and bachelorette parties happening, so rooms are going to be pricier, but it looks like air b&b has a lot better deals than hotels if you want to budget.

Areas to visit:


This is the busiest street in Nashville, and where you’ll find all the tourists. Being a tourist myself, I still have a blast going to the bars on broadway. There’s always good music, almost every bar has bbq food and a restaurant section that’s not so loud as the bar, and the ambiance is always fun. Only downside is drinks are going to be on the pricier side here as opposed to the less touristy spots.


The Gulch

This is a cute up and coming area about a 5 minute drive from Broadway filled with breweries, shops, street art and cute apartments and houses. 12 south is the street you want to be on, which is where most the shopping is, along with some famous murals (see Instagram worthy spots below)

Frothy Monkey for an amazing cup of coffee!


Where to eat:

Hattie B’s

Best Nashville hot chicken I’ve ever had. I got boneless and it was perfect! Side of fries and mac n’ cheese (super healthy, as always haha). I have yet to try Prince’s but have heard amazing things about that place too!

Biscuit Love

A carb lovers dream. I ordered the breakfast platter that came with eggs, bacon, grits, potatoes and a biscuit. It’s one of those order at the counter then take a number and sit place (actually most the places near broadway seem to be like this). So the service was fast and the food was amazing! We did go on a weekday so it wasn’t as crowded but I hear it gets busy so go early!


Five Daughters

The famous bakery known for its hundred layer donuts. I’m happy to report they did not disappoint. I got a cranberry pistachio donut and it sounds odd but it was delicious.


Peg leg porker

One of my favorite bbq spots! It’s not on broadway, or in the gulch it’s actually kind of on a random back street. But the food is to die for! Get the brisket and Mac n cheese!

Pinewood Social

The perfect brunch spot! This is the cute restaurant in Nashville you always see with the bowling alley inside. The food is amazing and the ambiance is perfect for anyone!


Urban Grub

This place is seriously so cute! They’re able to accommodate large groups, have indoor and outdoor seating and have the best appetizers! Think oysters, charcuterie boards, etc. Everything here is so tasty and it’s always a fun environment!


Sight seeing:

Pedestrian bridge

A great spot to take some group photos, and get a good view of the skyline. Rent a bird scooter and scoot your way across the whole bridge or take a nice long walk.


Grand ole opry

A country music fans dream. If you don’t know, the Grand Ole Opry is a weekly country music stage concert in Nashville, Tennessee founded on November 28, 1925, by George D. Hay as a one-hour radio “barn dance” on WSM. Currently owned and operated by Opry Entertainment, it is the longest running radio broadcast in US history. Tourists are able to get tours of the studio, and also buy tickets to see a live show! Sometimes they have surprise guests who are pretty big. Every night they have a few artists from the past, a few up and coming, and a few current popular artists. It’s a huge honor to play live at the Opry, and even more so to be inducted into the family as a member. I highly highly recommend going to see a show and getting the tour! You never know who you might see.


Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

A great thing to do on a rainy day is visit one of the several museums in Nashville. One of my personal favorites is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum which has plenty of country music artifacts new and old, featuring both temporary and permanent exhibits.


Where to drink:

⁃ Whiskey row

⁃ Jason Aldean

⁃ Acme

⁃ George Jones

⁃ Honky Tonk

⁃ Florida Georgia

⁃ Frothy monkey

⁃ Jackalope

My favorite spots for the music and a fun crowd are Whiskey row, Jason Aldean and Honky Tonk. If you’re there with. Big group the dueling piano bar on broadway is a blast too (especially if it’s a bachelorette party or something like that). Acme has amazing food and George Jones rooftop bar has a great view across the river plus a more chill vibe with great live music. If you’re looking for some good coffee, frothy monkey is always a favorite and if you’re looking for some good breweries check out the gulch area. Jackalope is my favorite!

Pedal Tavern

One of my favorite parts of my friend’s bachelorette party in Nashville was the pedal tavern we all rented! If you don’t know what it is, look it up. They’re popping up all over the place, but have been in Nashville for a while. Basically if you have a big group this is a perfect way to bar hop and see the city. A pedal tavern  basically a trolley that you all pedal to keep moving, and you’re going to have a “driver” with you as well. Basically they’re going to be your tour guide, bartender, DJ, and steer for you while everyone else onboard keeps the thing moving. I think it was around $60 a person when we did it, and you do have to bring your own booze, but you also get really good drink specials at all the bars you stop at. Not to mention IT’S SO FUN! Highly recommend doing this regardless, but if you have a bachelor or bachelorette group its a must!


Instagrammable spots:

⁃ I believe in Nashville mural

⁃ What Lifts You Wings

⁃ Biscuit love Nashville sign

⁃ Pedestrian bridge city skyline

⁃ Acme or George Jones rooftop

⁃ Honky Tonk balcony (2nd or 3rd floor)


One last thing before you go! 

If you’re on the market for some new cowboy boots this is the place to buy them! They have so many deals and sales constantly, and you can find anything from a $20 pair to $500+ really nice ones! It’s fun to just look around the shops on broadway and around Nashville regardless, so go check it out!


I hope this gave you some ideas on what to see in Nashville next time you visit! Or if it’s your first time a little guide of what to expect!




A Guide to Portugal’s Best Kept Secret: The Algarve Coast (Lagos)

The algarve coast is hands down Portugal’s best kept secret. I never would have imagined the Gatorade blue water, grottos, and mountains that surround southern Portugal to be so beautiful (in fact, I didn’t even know they existed until a few months ago!).

Just about a 3 hour drive from Lisbon, Lagos is a must stop spot in Portugal if you’re going to be there more than a few days. Or if you’re crazy like me, you can manage to see Lisbon, Cascais and Lagos all in 4 days total. Yes it’s exhausting but my recent trip is proof that it’s doable.

Algarve is the southernmost part of Portugal home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe if I do say so myself. Really, a lot of it reminded me of my trip to Greece. The grottos, rock formations and ice blue water was more than anything I could’ve asked for when visiting Portugal. There is so much to see on the Algarve coast, but this post will focus on Lagos, which is the town I recommend basing yourself in when visiting this area.

Sights to See

  • Ponta de Piedade
  • Praia dos Estudantes
  • Marina de Lagos

Ponta de Piedade

This overlook is what drew me to visit Lagos in the first place:

Once you drive up to the top you will see what I mean, it seems no matter where you look you are getting a beautiful view of the ocean, and rock formations surrounding the cliffs. You’re also able to take some steps to get to the bottom, where some locals have set up grotto boat tours to take you through the rocks and into caves.

The tide differential is huge here (10+ ft) so at low tide you will be able to walk around the very same area the boat tours were taking people through just a few hours earlier.


Praia dos Estudantes

This sandy beach is hidden between cliffs, and has manmade tunnels connecting it to it’s neighboring beach, Praia da Batata beach. Make sure you pay attention to the tides though, as it gets harder to pass through when the water is high. There’s also an arch connecting two of the rock formations, which makes for a great photo op!


Marina de Lagos

The marina, built in 1994 is a hotspot for tourists and locals, filled with plenty of restaurants and cafes overlooking the boats, as well as the meeting spot for many of the excursions and boat tours you can take out of Lagos. Stop by and take some pictures, or grab something to eat or drink before you head out on a tour!


What to Eat & Where

  • Casinha Do Petisco “De Luis Rosa” (Known for having the best Cataplana)
  • Restaurante Ala do Castelo (This is where we got the amazing shrimp)
  • Goji Cafe (Lots of vegetarian and vegan options)

The beautiful street we took to get to Goji Cafe

The cutest little cafe! I got an açaí bowl and matcha latte, Colton got a pesto chicken sandwich and a coffee that came with a scoop of ice-cream on top! SO GOOD.


  • Cataplana (A special seafood stew served with rice filled with mussels, clams, octopus and so much more)
  • Pasteis de Nata (Vanilla cream puff pastry)
  • Shrimp Mozambique (The most flavorful, spicy, sweet & garlic shrimp you’ve ever had)

What to Do

  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Grotto Boat Rides
  • Paddle boarding

All of these are excursions you can easily book through your hotel, or by visiting the local marina and going to one of the tourist desks in between the restaurants. The only one we opted for was fishing since we were short on time, and all we did was a short trip. The water was rough and it wasn’t the right time of year for a lot of the fish we were interested in catching, but we went anyways just for fun to see if we got a good one. We ended up catching only little ones but it was still fun!


Where to Stay

The Vila Graciosa- Tranquility Oasis Bed & Breakfast is where Colton and I stayed for our trip. We came across it on booking.com,  did a drive by to check it out, and ended up booking it right there on the spot. The location is PERFECT, it was within 10 minutes of everything we wanted to do, and the price was very reasonable. The rooms were clean and the pool area was super cute. They also had massages you could book in advance to get by the pool, and a buffet breakfast you could pay a little extra for every day.

I loved how colorful their buildings were!

This was one of the hotels I found with the beautiful views, and a modern, sleek look to the rooms. The prices were high when we looked at this hotel, but you can find these rooms for well under $100 a night if you book in advance.

Another hotel I looked at booking, but they were sold out on our dates. It has a super cute rooftop pool and cafe overlooking the beach, and was priced really well. This one also had great reviews.

Keep in mind Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to travel to, so even the more expensive hotels here are a lot less than some other not so nice hotels and resorts in other cities in Europe may cost you. My “$$$” price scale is based off average rates, and in comparison to other hotels in Portugal.

We absolutely loved our time in Portugal, and hope some of these photos have inspired you to visit this beautiful country!




4 Ways to Pack Smarter for your Next Trip

Last year I was able to visit Hong Kong (and Thailand) and it seriously the most amazing trip. But trying to figure out how to pack for a trip to Asia for a week using only a carryon was a little stressful. So here are a few of the tips I used when packing for my trip abroad to Asia so I wouldn’t overpack:

1. Plan your days:

My number one tip to getting ready for a trip is to have a general itinerary of what you’re going to do each day so you can pack just one outfit for each day you’ll be there. I’ll repeat this, DECIDE ON JUST ONE OUTFIT PER DAY. In order to do this you’ll need to know more or less what you’ll be doing. Will you be walking a lot? Wear comfy shoes. Will you be going somewhere cold? Bring a jacket you can layer with plenty of outfits. Is it going to possibly rain? Don’t forget a light rain jacket. Checking the weather is very important before you start packing. Don’t assume it’s warm where you’re going just because it’s summertime where you are from!

2. Buy packing cubes:

These little organizers have seriously saved my life. I like to have one for each pair of shoes, one for my undergarments, socks and swimsuits, one for activewear, and one for my regular clothes and dressier outfits. Not only do packing cubes keep things organized but they also help keep things less wrinkled and clean. Put some drier sheets in there and it’ll smell amazing!  I bought mine from eBags but you can find them at plenty of department stores now.

3. Only bring the necessities:

If you think it’s impossible to travel with only a carry on, then you’re packing too much! Try to bring clothes that you can mix and match to create different outfits out of. Black leggings (or shorts if you’re a guy) are my go to item that I ALWAYS have in my bag. I wear them on hikes, or I can dress it up with a cute top to wear around a city. When it comes to toiletries, only bring carry on size items. You don’t need a huge shampoo bottle and a full sized lotion. Just bring what you need!! Nowadays there are a ton of options that are available to you that not only are travel sized but liquid alternatives as well! Lush has an amazing shampoo bar and conditioner bar that will last you well over 60 washes. It looks like a bar of soap and will fit perfectly in your carry on without breaking any liquid rules at the airport.

4. Invest in good luggage:

There’s nothing worse than having your luggage break mid trip. If you’re going to Asia specifically I highly suggest investing in a good backpack because chances are you’re going to want to stop at a few places, and you’ll be taking public transportation such as a bus, train or ferry to get to where you need to go. Having a rollaboard is convenient for carrying around on a good smooth road, but when I went to Asia I found that having a back to carry everything in made the travel so much easier than rolling a suitcase around.

So those are my top 4 tips for traveling light and traveling far! I hope these suggestions help you pack for your trip to Asia, or wherever you may be going soon!!