Brighton and Brinley

Is 27 Too Old To Change Careers?

life happeningsGrace SorianoComment

I've got some blog posts that are long overdue, but January/February has unexpectedly been all about focusing on my life offline (everyone needs to do that every now and then, right?). 

So, my big news today is I've switched careers (kinda)! Is 27 too old to do that? 

 

 

For those who know me or just follow my blog, you know that I've worked in the events industry for almost five years now. Overall, I loved working in events. I saw the events industry as one that was systematic, yet creative - a good medium between order and art. I was excited to keep learning more about the industry, but I wasn't all too happy at my current company. So, I decided to start job searching again. I was definitely in the position of "I don't NEED to find a new job, but it would be nice."

Have you ever been searching for a job, come across something outside of your typical career path, and think, "Wow, that would be an interesting job!" Well, back in November I saw a job opening in customer service with an educational travel operator (a mix of study abroad programs and professional programs). The position was basically helping travelers prepare for their upcoming trips. The company also seemed to have a great work-life balance: generous vacation time, casual dress code, 7.25 hour days, professional development, etc. So even though the position wasn't in events, I figured it wouldn't hurt to apply. After all, travel has always been a huge part of my life and it seemed like I would enjoying working in the travel industry.

I applied. Fast forward to today and I'm just finishing up my first full week in the office! I'm beyond grateful that I applied and even see a lot of the skills I used as an event planner being used in my new position (organization, communication, etc.). Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about the job and the industry, but I'm looking forward to this new chapter of my life!

So to answer my question, I guess 27 isn't too old to change careers. I realize, there are some leaps of faith you should take no matter how old you are - you never know where it'll take you! Have you ever made an unexpected career change? Let me know in the comments.

So that's my latest update. As I work more in the travel industry, I imagine this blog might turn into more of a travel-centered blog, but who knows. Stay tuned!

Life Lately

Grace SorianoComment
Yehliu, Taiwan

Yehliu, Taiwan

Hello peeps! So I know it's been a while since my last post. I spent a little over 2 weeks in Asia last month which is my main reason for being MIA. Combine that with getting over jetlag (it was hard!) and preparing for the Holiday season, I haven't had much time to write anything. But now that work is slowing down and I'm about to have a week and a half off, I'm back in action...!

So, in the meantime, here's what's been happening in my life:

Watching Westworld. Like every other Game of Thrones junkie, I needed a show to get me through the long wait for GoT Season 7. I'll be honest, I was NOT intrigued by Westworld after seeing the commercials, but a ton of people told me to watch it so I did. Overall, I enjoyed it - the acting was AMAZING and there were definitely some twists and turns that I didn't expect. Still, I'm a bit skeptical. Why? Because I actually worked in an amusement park for 3 years and I feel like West World would have SO MANY more rules and security measures than it did. LOL. Yeah yeah, I get it - it's just a TV show in a fantasy world, it doesn't have to make sense. 

Reading Just finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware which is basically like the Girl on the Train... but on a boat instead. Seriously - there was a lot of similarities... both have a girl who witnesses a murder, both girls seems to be unreliable narrators (one an alcoholic, the other taking anti-depressants with alcohol), both occur on some sort of transportation... Hah! In all sincerity, I did enjoy The Woman in Cabin 10 - it was suspenseful and filled with surprise. I definitely want to check out Ruth Ware's other novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Enjoying the holiday season. I mean, who doesn't love the holiday season? Since we essentially skipped out on Thanksgiving this year, we dove head first into the Christmas season as soon as we landed in America and got over our jet lag. We picked up our first ever live Christmas tree, wrapped up a ton of presents, and been enjoying the ton of holiday parties being hosted. 

Excited About heading home to New Jersey and seeing all my hometown friends! I've been traveling like CRAZY the past year and I have barely been able to spend time with my friends back in my hometown. Luckily, I get a nice week and a half vacation from work so I'll be spending 5 days in Jersey and 4 days in Massachusetts. So excited!

Missing the OBAMAS (and Joe). Obama's term isn't even over yet and I am SO SAD that they will be leaving the White House. Seriously, can they just start a reality TV show so we can follow their life after the White House? No? Are you sure? Fine, I'll just print out every one of these photos and hang them around my apartment.

Wearing my lovely lady friend, Allie, just started selling LuLaRoe. I have fallen in love with their leggings! They are some of the softest lounging pants ever and have crazy patterns that make me smile. I swear, I don't wear the crazy ones outside of the house. If you want to check out what she has then join her Facebook group here.

Thinking About Aleppo and the Syrian refugees. The atrocities that have been coming out of Aleppo are absolutely heartbreaking. Last January, I hosted a Birthday Fundraiser to raise money for Syrian refugees through Save the Children. Since the situation in Syria has not gotten any better, I plan on doing the same this year so look out for my post on that. For those who want to help immediately, check out this list of how to help by Time Magazine.

Well that's all I've got for now. Be on the look out for new blogs on my travels through Asia!

5 Things I Realized After I Gave Up Meat for 31 Days

life happeningsGrace SorianoComment

We. Did. It! It is officially November and my boyfriend and I haven't eaten meat or fish in 31 days! You can read my previous post here about why we decided to give up meat for a short time and here about how we were doing half-way through.

I thought about recapping the rest of the month and what I ate, but honestly - there are a million vegetarian blogs out there that can do that better than I can. So instead, I want to tell you truthfully - as a meat lover - 5 things I realized after giving up meat for 31 days. And to preface this, please don't think anything I say has any scientific value to it - it is simply the surface of my feelings after completing a personal challenge.

1. Vegetarians (Vegans too) really do get a bad rep - Okay peeps - I get annoyed at all the people who post non-stop about their eating habits on Facebook too, but does it really affect you? Click the "Unfollow" button and move on with your life! I mentioned this briefly in my last post, but we got SO many confused faces and laughs when we told people we were vegetarian. We also got a lot of peer pressure comments like "C'mon, just eat meat - we know you want to." Usually it meant no harm, but I it got pretty old by the end of the month.

Lol... just let me eat my vegetables!

Lol... just let me eat my vegetables!

2. My body does feel different - I decided not to weigh myself before and after because I didn't want to be bogged down in the numbers game. I think it might be something I do in the future, but not the first time around. Instead, I wanted to focus on how my body felt and yes, I do feel different!

First, the bad - I had CRAZY stomach pains and bloating. I was so confused - aren't vegetables supposed to make you feel better? Apparently, having tummy problems is actually a real thing when you first transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet. This is basically because your digestive system isn't used to the shift of nutrients your body is now ingesting. You learn something new every day!

Secondly, the good - eating vegetarian really did make me feel better on a daily basis. I always felt full - but not disgustingly full (you know the feeling I'm talking about). Also, (and sorry this might be TOO MUCH information) my digestive system was much more regular and pleasant. Okay, that's all I'm going to say about that.

3. Vegetarian isn't just leafy greens - Looking back at everything I ate this month, I actually don't think I had one salad. I could have probably used more salads - but they aren't my favorite. So if you're someone like me who doesn't like eating raw greens, there are still a lot of options for you! There are great hearty vegetarian meals out there like vegetarian chili, a vegetarian curry like Malai Kofta (my favorite), or even pasta with veggies (yay carbs!). 

Not the prettiest, but this chili was so filling and perfect for the cold weather.  

Not the prettiest, but this chili was so filling and perfect for the cold weather.

 

When I was too lazy to make lunch or dinner, I whipped up a quick meal with asian noddles, green onions, and leftover brocolli

When I was too lazy to make lunch or dinner, I whipped up a quick meal with asian noddles, green onions, and leftover brocolli

4. Make your own Veggie Burgers - it's so easy! On our last week of eating vegetarian, I was making a shopping list for the night's dinner. I planned to make black bean burgers because (let's be honest) I was lazy and didn't feel very creative. Out of curiosity, I wondered how easy it would be to make them from scratch. Answer: super easy! Another plus was that I already had 90% of the ingredients in my pantry. I only had to buy black beans which ended up costing me about $1.50 which made 6 patties as opposed to the $5 it cost to buy a pack of 4 ready-made. Score!

I used the Pioneer Women's black bean burger recipe and they turned out GREAT. The only changes I made was I added garlic because I love garlic and sweet potatoes because I had some leftover in the fridge. After realizing how easy that was, I definitely want to experiment with making other veggie type burgers.

Pre-Cooked Black Bean Burgers  

Pre-Cooked Black Bean Burgers

 

So much better than the thin frozen veggie burgers!

So much better than the thin frozen veggie burgers!

5. I didn't crave meat as much as I thought I would - Sure, I craved meat when my coworkers ordered the all-you-can-eat steak and crab buffet, but overall I didn't really think about it that much on a daily basis. I simply stocked my pantry and fridge with yummy fruits/vegetables and even some frozen vegetarian meals for those lazy days. 

We ended up going to Chick-fil-A on November 1st as our first vegetarian meal. We LOVE Chick-fil-A... but honestly, after my meal I wasn't more satisfied than any other meals I had during my meatless month. Who would have thought that giving it up was that easy!

Our first non-vegetarian meal... Chick-Fil-A! Please don't judge haha

Our first non-vegetarian meal... Chick-Fil-A! Please don't judge haha

So what's my final consensus? I don't think I would ever go completely vegetarian/vegan - but I will for sure continue to reduce my meat intake on a daily basis. I also think this opened a door in our household to have non-meat dinners every now and then (my boyfriend surprisingly loved eating black bean burgers) as well as ordering vegetarian meals while out.

So there you have it. Now I'm preparing for about 2 weeks in Asia where we'll be eating a TON of new food. So excited! Until next time (probably December)...