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Hello, all! 

As you can probably see from the title above, I have already thought of some autumn-related puns. As the leaves start to change color and the weather is rapidly cooling, I'm looking forward to going apple-picking soon. I like the fall season in New England. I like when the weather is mild, and I love the fall flavors of apple and pumpkin. I find that fall can be a very peaceful season for sitting outside and having a day at the park. That mild weather combined with the crisp fall air makes for a very comfortable and refreshing atmosphere, and combined with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate or hot apple cider makes for a very nice afternoon in my opinion.

When I started this blog, I talked about how I wanted to connect with nature by visiting National Parks. I wanted to go back to that idea this week. One of my favorite parts about being surrounded by nature, particularly in the fall and spring, which are milder seasons, is focusing on the seascape and the landscape around me. I think having grown up by the water has made me biased toward the coastline, but I do also like looking at landscapes like the mountains and plains. During my trip to Israel, I saw a desert landscape for the first time, and those are pretty views too, and certainly very different from the somewhat rocky shores I grew up around. 

Just as traveling can require a lot of planning, so can school. Planning things out has been extremely helpful for me in my organization and management of assignments, due dates, and meetings. For example, at the start of each semester and each new month, I plan out the coming weeks by looking at my syllabi, appointments calendar, and work schedule. Not all travel, of course, requires this degree of planning. When I travel domestically (which happens fairly often), I plan ahead, but not to the extent of how I plan when I travel abroad. If this is my first time traveling to a city, then I also take some time to research where to eat and stay, and local tourist attractions. I think there needs to be a certain degree of flexibility there too.

Just as saving money requires flexibility (especially for those last minute unforseen expenses), so does travel. Some of my best moments in travel have been a result of original plans not working out and choosing to do something else instead — for example, during my trip to Israel, one of the markets I wanted to go to happened to be closed that day, so I switched plans and spent the evening at the beach in Haifa, where I saw the sun setting over the water. And now when I look back, I still have wonderful memories from that day, even though the shopping  didn't happen. And just as an update: This week I added another $50 to my savings — so I've saved about $100 so far.  

This week I am leaf-in time to relax. I added some time to my calendar this weekend to visit some stores I like and just chill out. It's important to me to be able to take that time and just clear my head after a long week. Plus, it's giving me something to look forward to, which is nice. I hope you all have something wonderful to look forward to as well, and I hope everyone has a good week! 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Commonwealth Honors College or University of Massachusetts Amherst.

 

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