Living the dream (1) : dreaming, planning, boarding !

Hi everyone, how are you? I hope you had a wonderful week. Mine was pretty stressful, I’m so grateful it’s finally the weekend, to relax, and talk about one of my favorite things: TRAVELLING!Β Today, I’ve decided to share something a little different. I’m still experimenting a bit with that feature, so let me know what you think!

Two weeks ago, I told you we were going a little bit farther away…well, for me! This post is the first in the series I’ll call, “Living the Dream”, so…as you can guess, I’m going to talk to you about a dream trip. In many parts… I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself…

πŸ’­ Dreaming

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming about the USA. I guess for Americans, it’s the other way around? There’s just something about a place that’s so far away it seems out of reach, a different culture, it seems like a whole different world. But, unlike the Shadowhunters world, we can actually visit it. New York was one of my biggest dreams. The tall, endless buildings, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, the yellow cabs, everything about it just made me dreamy, and anxious to get there myself.

new york

You know what’s funny, about dreams? You think you can’t get there, sometimes. You feel insecure, not good enough, not like you’ll have the money, the guts, the people around you to support you, or all of that combined, to get there. Well, I’ll let you on a little secret, here. If you can dream it, you can do it. Okay, that’s a Walt Disney quote, but it’s true. The main question here, is, HOW?! I dreamed about the US for many, many years. I saved money for many, many years for that. I planned (well, we planned, with my wonderful best friend sister) for months. We believed that 7000 miles couldn’t separate us from one of our dreams. And we DID it. So, whatever you’re dreaming about, do not give up, you’ll get there.

new york liberty island

πŸ“ PlanningΒ 

You should know by now how much I LOVE planning travels. The rest of my life, not so much, but well, that’s another question. If I’m not reading, writing or well trying to adult, you’ll most likely find me browsing on websites, looking for new places to explore, looking for train and plane fares, looking for hotel rooms and places to stay, planning out days in places I’m not even sure I’m going to go, watching maps of cities I’m dreaming on visiting. DOES that make me CRAZY? Maybe.

Since we were going soΒ far away, my sister and I didn’t plan on staying two days. We weren’t having a 6-hour flight (actually, it was a three-hour train, 3 hours of waiting and a 6 hours flight) for TWO little days. We wanted to see EVERYTHING. Going to New York was our first dream, but we wanted to do the big cities of theΒ east-coast. WHY not, since we were here?! Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Greedy much, I know. But reason got to us (Did you know there are FOUR hours from Boston to New York? WHY ARE YOU SO BIG, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA). After days and weeks of wondering and planning out, we got it right, and here’s how our schedule ended up : New York for 7 days, Philadelphia for 1 day, and Washington D.C for 5 days.

Especially for a travel this far away, and this long, I, well, we, with my sister, HAD to plan out things. We kind of messed-up and went crazy this year, I’ll have to admit it, because we booked our plane tickets for July in May, so it’s not too long before…but not last-minute, either?

I LOVE hotels. Is that weird? I’m not sure, but anyway, looking at hotel rooms -sometimes crazy-ass things, I’ll admit it- is something I really love to do. So let me tell you: I had FUN searching where we were going to stay. Even if I had to have a calculator open to see if it fit our budget, and a map opened to see if it was in a great place. Planning is so much fun.


I’m not going to pretend I’m some kind of master who knows everything about planning a trip, and everyone plans however he prefers. Here are some tips I follow, and, if you want, so can you.

πŸ’ΈTHINK ABOUT YOUR BUDGET. I’m not lucky enough to have won the lottery for now, so budget plays such a big part in my planning-frenzy. From plane fares to accomodation, from train fares to subway tickets, even food if you feel like going that far, well, it has to be thought of. Here’s what I do: I set a FULL budget for everything. The amount obviously depends on the destination. And then, I try and find periods, accomodations, that can fit into this at best.

πŸš• GOING TO MORE THAN ONE PLACE? PLAN THE DAY.Β If, like my sister and I, you don’t like to stay in one place, here’s something I would advice: PLAN out the day. Days. Weeks. Maybe it’s ’cause we like planning, but it’s so great to know how many days you have in one place, and what you want to see. Without giving up on getting lost and finding wonderful things in the city, well, you can know where you’re going, and what you don’t have to miss.

πŸ“– GET A GUIDE AND/OR A MAP. Β You might be scared of getting lost, or, on the contrary, you’d rather ask people. But trust me, if you’re a planner, you’ll love your guide and your map, to see where you’re going, what’s not to miss. And, hm, getting lost a bit in the city, okay, but it’s really not okay when there’s no one and you can’t find your way back, am I right?

✈️ Boarding.


Who said planning isn’t as fun as actually GOING? The moment when you’re counting down the days, anticipating, and the actual moment when you’re on the train drinking free tea because you’re going on a flight later, and completely FREAKING OUT?! That’s the moment I love. It’s the anticipation, but right before everything is actually happening. Just like when you finally got the book you want, and seconds before reading the first line.

Early wake-up, I can’t remember when exactly. First train. Second train. Yes, I live in a small city, BUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL. Waiting. Freaking out. Buying some food. Freaking out some more. Crossing security. Waiting, again. Seeing the hour of boarding on the screen. Green light, boarding has started. People. A bus to get onto the plane. Last seats at the back, just the two of us. We left at like 8 in the morning. We arrived, it was 3 inΒ the morning. The next morning, obviously. So, this was a pretty long day.

boarding in plane

But I’ll forever remember when the dream came true. After the exhaustion, so tired we could barely keep our eyes open, trying to survive ’til we could get into a bed, and finally sleep. We were in the cab, from the airport, going into the city. Crossing the bridge, and finally, it was there. When you see something in the movies, you can’t think reality is just that good, or just that breathtaking. Well, there it was. Outside the windows, all light-up from inside, sparkling into the night, the buildings of New York City. The Empire State Building, all of the other buildings, right here, the exact picture perfect you see in the movies. It was here, and it was real. The dream came true, and, in that moment, I’ve never felt more happy.

by night


πŸ”WHAT’S IN MY BAG?Β Obviously, whenever you’re going somewhere, you need to have everything you need in your bag. When I travel, I TRIPLE-CHECK everything, because well…it’s even more bothering when something’s missing. So here’s my essentials check-list for any travel.

βœ”οΈ Your plane tickets / train tickets / boarding passes / whatever confirms that you’re travelling here
βœ”οΈ Your passport / papers / credit card / money / everything that says you’re not a penguin, so you’ll obviously need all those things
βœ”οΈ FOOD! Water! (after security check, if you’re in an airport!) because who knows, you’re hungry and thirsty.
βœ”οΈ Obviously, all the other essentials you might need, such as medication, your phone AND an USB charger, antibacterial hand gel.
βœ”οΈ Am I missing something? Oh, yeah. A BOOK. Obviously. But just one in your carry-on. I’m not controlling whatever lives in your suitcase. Mine is filled with at least 4 books all the time. No regrets.

😱 And hm, another essential: DO NOT FREAK OUT. Be calm, and try and get your bearings ’til you arrive, or you’ll risk lookingΒ like a crazy person and, just wait ’til you arrive. THEN, you can freak out, because THIS IS HAPPENING.

Β Where do you dream on going? How do you plan out your trips? And in life, are you a planner, too? !Β πŸ’¬

Did you already went to the USA? Or do you live there? What do you think about those cities! ✈️

Are you excited to see more of this “Living the dream” feature?Β Β Let’s chat in comments!Β πŸ’¬

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

53 thoughts on “Living the dream (1) : dreaming, planning, boarding !

  1. I think posts like these totally fit the feature πŸ˜€ I get your desire for New York, but I’ve always been more of a West Coast girl myself. Seattle and Portland is more like my home turf hahaha But as always great writing and the recommendations are super handy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw I’m glad you like it, thank you so much Kat! I’m always stressed whenever I put up a post like this, and wonder if people will like it, so thank you ❀
      Ahah I understand, once again, the USA are SO big, there are so many cities and places to go to! I'd love to go to those cities too! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We will all get there in the end. Do you know the song Take Your Guess by Tom Rosenthal? The song itself may not be for everyone, but I find the lyrics crazy comforting, like everything’s gonna be fine πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I dream of going to the US one day too- and loads of other places- the list is endless!! I like to plan some things- but I’ll admit to being somewhat disorganised- and sometimes I plan things on holidays and when they don’t work out I end up going on lots of random adventures! Which is awesome!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad we share the same dream, and I hope you’ll go there too πŸ™‚ Oh yes, I get that, it’s awesome! I’m a big planner, but random adventures and finds are so, so great! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much for commenting!! ❀


    1. Awww thank you Becca, this means a lot to me, thank you!! ❀ ❀ Ahah that's quite funny, yes, well, I hope you'll visit France someday! And yes, oh, I really hope you'll get to New York someday, and to college, that must be SO cool. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love what you said about dreaming and getting there! It’s so true! Did I mention I love these travel posts you make? XD I haven’t been to the US and, truth be told, I never really dreamed of going *hides* I’m more interested to see Europe, New Zealand, JAPAN, Cambodia, and the Maldives. Haha I might be in the minority :p
    Planning is ALWAYS essential when traveling, no matter how far or near you’re going. We always make an itinerary and a budget for each place we’re going to visit, then try to stick to it. Since we always do short trips with plenty of sights to see, I think it just became the norm to me and my friends when we travel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so, so much, it makes me the happiest that you like it! ❀ Oh no, don't hide, everyone's dreaming of going to different places! I would LOVE to visit New Zealand, too, but it's so far away, why!
      And yay, I'm happy you're another crazy planner like me, ahah. I couldn't do it without it. Some people can just leave, and decide things when they get there, but I can't. I prefer having everything planned out, it's so much better ❀
      Thank you so, so much, Joan! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good on you! I love it when dreams come true & you are so right, planning for holidays is the best fun πŸ‘ I loved ny but the distance makes me reticent to return. Happy travels πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so, so much, this means a lot ❀ I'm far from living the dream, ahah, but trying my best to grasp a little bit of it every chance I get. I hope you can do that, too! Save money, plan, get excited about it even if it's not right now, and it will happen! πŸ˜€ I can't wait for you to discover London ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aggh I’m so envious! I want to see New York bc of Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother. LOL. USA is like 18 hours from my country! The plane fare is much more expensive than going to France. Haha!

    But I’m happy for you, Marie! You are seriously a brilliant planner! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, that’s so far away, and yeah I guess it has to be very expensive, too 😦 That’s annoying, I keep wishing we could teleport, it would save us a lot of trouble…and money ahah. I really hope you’ll go to New York someday, Trisha! πŸ˜€ And thank you so, so much, you’re way too sweet ❀


  6. I’ve never gone anywhere by myself/with non family members. The only thing I’ve done is fly India-New Zealand and back, but I was picked up/dropped off by family members both ways. And I had my sister with me, otherwise I swear I would have lost my passport. Our plane was delayed and we stopped in singapore, but this wasn’t too exciting since it was night and all we got to do was stay in a hotel. I’ve never bee to the US, but this is a super helpful post, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Travelling alone isn’t much fun! I regularly do it, well an around 5-hour journey from where I’m currently studying to my home, and it’s no fun, at all. Being with your sister must have been so cool! I love travelling with my sister, we always have the greatest time. And hotels, I love those ahah. But delayed flights aren’t much fun. I really hope you’ll get to travel more, soon! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much Shar, I’m happy you liked it! Do you ever want to go to the US? If not, what’s your dream destination? πŸ˜€


      1. I have quite a few friends from the US, and I would be interested to go there. It’s very far away, though. Some of my dream destinations are Mongolia and South/Latin America (but with someone so I don’t get mugged!), but there’s no place like home of course πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d love to see more of this feature – super awesome, and there are some great tips here!
    Sometimes… I even like the planning more than the actual trip! xD I once went over to Nepal to hike, and I had more fun planning out the hiking trip than I did actually hiking… xD

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.