Monthly Recap | September 2018

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Hello, October! How I love you so…

via GIPHY

I know everyone says fall is their favorite season and October is their favorite month but I swear, I was driving that bandwagon before it was ever possible to jump on it, okay? But, before we get a little too excited and a little too full of pumpkin spice – let’s go back in time and check out what happened last month.

My Month in Travel

Ohhhh, September was just fine for travel. The perfect combination of home life, staycations, and actual travel. I spent the last day of August and the first two days of September at a local Airbnb to celebrate my birthday. This place is located about an hour away from Nashville and is inspired from none other than Tolkien’s Hobbiton. Yea, that’s right – you too can stay in a hobbit house without having to travel all the way to New Zealand.

Spoiler alert — I’m staying at a different one (also in Tennessee – we’re on the ball here!) in December.

Want to stay here too?
Check out the Wee Nook on Airbnb here.
New to Airbnb?
Sign up using this link to get $40 in travel credit!

Two weekends later, I went somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for a while – Rock Island State Park. It’s two hours away from me and while I’m attempting to visit all 56 Tennessee State Parks, Rock Island has been a bit higher on my list than others.

I stayed at the Horseshoe Bend Marina & Campground which sits just on the outskirts of the park. A lovely couple just took over the place and has been making huge improvements. One of which has been adding six glamping tents! They are so adorable and cozy and I’ll leave a few photos with you for now until I do a full write up on this spot!

READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap | August 2018

Want to stay here too?
Check out the Horseshoe glamping tents here.

I also got to go to Austin, Texas for the first time! I’ve been wanting to go here for a long time and I can’t believe it has taken me this long. This city easily wiggled its way into my heart and climbed to one of my favorite cities ever. I have so much content coming up about my trip there that I can’t wait to share with you! I attended the inaugural TravelCon event – a travel blogging conference put on by Nomadic Matt and then I stayed five more days and explored!


Personal Life in August

Honestly, all I’ve been doing in September is working and traveling. I attended my first Pride event (whaaat? how has it taken me so long?!) I actually worked the Nashville Animal Advocacy booth at the event so I don’t guess I really attended but you get the point.


Most Popular Post

It won’t be hard to say what was my most popular post because I’m horrible and only posted one blog post in September. I need like fifty versions of myself to get everything done, honestly. That being said, let me introduce you to my most popular (and only) post last month: 9 Ways OKC Surprised me + Why You Should Visit Too!

why oklahoma city surprised me


Other Posts Published in September


Best Thing I Ate

Ohhhh man, I was in Austin, Texas – one of the best vegan cities in the country for eight days! So, it’s very hard to choose a favorite but I’ll go with the place I ate at twice because I couldn’t imagine only eating there once.  I had a bacon cheeseburger and macaroni and cheese from Arlo’s – an all-vegan food truck in Austin. That burger was the best-tasting vegan burger I’ve had yet, I believe.


Most Loved Instagram Post

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Sometimes you just need to step away from it all and re-evaluate…everything. My 32nd birthday was Tuesday and last weekend I went to a hobbit-inspired Airbnb about an hour away and spent my birthday weekend with no tv, no wi-fi, and no cell service. That doesn’t happen often and I have to say, it was quite nice. ◃ ◃ Birthdays tend to be pretty hard for me. I put such high expectations on myself and I feel like I haven’t accomplished everything I should have by now and so my evaluation turns into a pity party often. I’m really trying to turn that around though and practice manifestation and positive thinking. I’m literally re-training my brain but it’s worth it! ◃ ◃ What is something that you’re trying to do to better yourself? ◃ ◃ #asoutherngypsy #manifestation #positivethinking #manifesting #manifest #birthdaygirl #hobbithouse #hobbithole #tennessee #tnvacation #visittennessee #pitbulls #pitbullsofinstagram

A post shared by Ⓥ ASHLEY ✈️ A SOUTHERN GYPSY (@asoutherngypsy) on


What I Read, Watched + Listened to This Month

Books I Read

I had the reading taste of a fifteen-year-old girl this month. What it really comes down to is I’m trying to make my way through my HUUUUGE to-read pile so I can start decreasing my bookshelf size. The minimalist in me is cringing but the book lover in me is like yayyyyy.

  • Intertwined & Unraveled by Gena Showalter
  • Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  • Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap // June 2018

Moves + Shows I Watched

Whew, clearly I watch a lot of stuff! I promise the Netflixing is done while I’m working usually. I swear. I also kicked Moviepass to the curb since they have a horrible business model and we signed for the AMC A-List which allows three movies a week for $20/month.

  • Ozark: Season Two
  • The Babadook – creepy ass horror film.
  • Sierra Burgess is a Loser – another super cute Netflix original.
  • Nappily Ever After – girl power Netflix original!
  • The Nun – yea, I jumped in this a few times which is pretty rare for me.
  • A Simple Favor – saw this twice in a couple days – once with my friend Jenn (Coleman Concierge) on our last day in Austin and once more when I got home with my boyfriend because it was that good!
  • The House with a Clock in its Walls – very cute but semi-cheesy at times. Worth a watch but glad I didn’t pay $12 to see it
  • Peppermint – had horrible reviews but I thought it was pretty good!

Podcasts I Listened To

  • Lore! I swear once I finally catch up on this, I’ll listen to something new but it’s just so good.

Music I Listened to

Didn’t get too many songs added to my playlist this month but here’s what I listened to over and over again! Thank you to Eminem for that surprise album.


Exciting News this Month…

It’s only THREE MONTHS until my small group India trip! I can’t believe it. I feel like I’ve been planning it for so long that I’m freaking out now that it’s so close. I need to start planning more. With that being said…

  • I’ve got THREE more spots available on my vegan + sustainable trip. For more information on the trip itself, the itinerary, costs and more – check it out here.
  • I’m going to be spending some extra time in India traveling solo and would love some tips on things to see and do!
READ THIS POST  Monthly Recap // April 2018

The travel community that I’m a co-host of had some big things happen this past month! We previously awarded a twitter chat participant with a trip for two to Oklahoma City. We were able to meet up with her in Austin (she lives there) and give her the prize!

Interested in being part of our travel community? Join here!

I’m launching my second website and it is going to be all about strange and unusual travel! This has been a long time coming but I’m finally, finally getting the website worked on and hope to have it nice and pretty very soon! If you’d like to go ahead and start following along, check out Oddities & Curiosities Travel on Instagram and Facebook.

I booked my ticket for the second annual TravelCon in Boston next June!

Whew – okay, I think that’s it!


Coming Up in October 2018

I have lots of fun events planned at and near home again this month – hockey season, a visit to a sustainable + vegan community, hiking and more!

I’m also headed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the end of the month with a couple other bloggers! Excited to explore this city in more depth – it’s been almost ten years!

WHAT DID YOU DO IN SEPTEMBER? WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THIS MONTH?!

 

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

9 Comments

  1. Eileen Cotter

    October 4, 2018 at 10:44 AM

    Your doggo is so cute! Wish I knew about the hobbit hole you visited – i did go all the way to New Zealand for Hobbiton, haha! Looks like an awesome month of adventure.

  2. Andi

    October 4, 2018 at 7:19 PM

    Wow, you did an awful lot! Was going to ask if you liked TravelCon, but given that you bought a ticket for 2019, I’m guessing the answer is yes! Really curious how your group gave away a trip – did everyone pitch in? I like the format of this post, I have done a monthly recap for about 5 years now, but I might have to steal a few things out of yours!

  3. Juliann Jones

    October 5, 2018 at 5:44 PM

    I love the places you stayed in! They’re so quirky and homey. Balancing home and travel is always good. My September included road trips close by. Like with you, there is so much to see nearby. I need to remember that!

  4. Janiel Green

    October 5, 2018 at 10:47 PM

    Rock Island State park looks like so much fun! I haven’t really heard of this place, so I’m definitely going to pin this one for later. I need to go back to Tennesse and explore properly, the last time I was there was just for work. The hobbit house looks so cute on the outside, but the inside wasn’t as fancy as I was expecting it to be — darn it.

  5. Cat Lin

    October 6, 2018 at 11:07 PM

    August and September have kept you busy! I have been hearing good stuff about Austin’s food scene, now hearing from you again, we really need to take a foodie trip there. Plus I have a friend there so that’s one more reason to visit!

  6. Sarah

    October 7, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    I absolutely love monthly recap posts and was so happy to read this one! Sometimes I feel like a bad travel blogger because I actually enjoy reading lifestyle content a bit more?! Anyway, I’m really jealous of your stay at that Tolkein inspired Airbnb. I actually saw the photo of it on your FB page and google mapped the driving distance for me to go there too… lol! It’s not too far from Michigan, riiiight?! Sounds like you had a great month. I can relate to the birthday angst as I have one coming up at the end of October. But I’m going to try to foster positive thinking and manifestation just like you!!!

  7. Ann

    October 8, 2018 at 7:36 AM

    Ashley, I think you can cut yourself some slack over only posting once in September, from the look of your month in review you were hella busy! I really like this month in review as an exercise — it makes you reflect back over everything you did, and I think it’s easy to forget stuff when we’ve been in a super busy period. And — I’m so glad you loved Austin!

  8. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    October 8, 2018 at 8:11 PM

    Hearing the stories of you and Jenn eating vegan in Austin made me hungry. I was paleo cave manning it back in Orlando. I was getting bored of rice cauliflower every night but not bored enough to actually cook. Sounds like you guys had a great trip.

  9. Kimberly Erin Davies

    October 10, 2018 at 12:28 PM

    What a great month of travel. Firstly, I am so jealous of your visit to hobbiton! thats a life goal ahaha…even if it is in Tennessee, that seems like a more reasonable distance then NZ. Also love the glampng tent! So cute…ps. Id never see the nun your so tough

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