Airline Miles Credit Cards

Building Your Ultimate Sports Bucket List

Creating a “bucket list” has gone from a fad to a tradition. Millions of people are putting pen to paper and naming the things they want to do before they die. The resulting experiences have been life-changing events that people truly treasure until they kick the proverbial bucket.

Over time, some people have assembled themes in their bucket lists. Instead of a diverse grouping like a trip to Ireland, eating steak at Peter Luger’s, and learning to play guitar, they assemble a compilation of related experiences that play into some personal characteristic or hobby.

It might be the popular Bourbon Trail in Kentucky, where participants visit several different distilleries in the heart of the Bluegrass. It could be a series of beaches, bouncing from Gulf Coast white sand to Kehena Beach’s black sand in Hawaii.

Or it could be sports. For sports fans of every stripe, there are countless ways they can put together a bucket list that will provide amazing experiences and memories. Piecing those together into something personal and meaningful is a fantastic way to live. Here are a few ideas:

Stadium Tours

We don’t mean a thorough tour of a single event. We mean “Bob and Jerry’s North American NFL Tour 2017”. You bounce like a rock star from one football venue to another, catching a game on the sport’s iconic old landmarks like Soldier Field while dropping by the gleaming new destinations like AT&T Field. Tie in a nearby lodging site and you can roll Lawrence Welk timeshare California in with the StubHub Center or a beautiful Rocky Mountain vista with Mile High Stadium for a game-plus-stay event.

It’s fairly easy to pull it off with football playing most games on Sundays. You roll in Saturday, see the sights, spend the night, and hit the game the next day with time afterward for the flight home.

Scheduling is easier with the NBA, which has 41 home games for each team. And if baseball is more your liking, it’s even easier, because the boys of summer have 81 home games every season. Very bucket-friendly.

Participating In Sports

Watching sports is fun, but playing them is even better. Many sports have now found ways to let the fans get a taste of real competition on the actual field of play. The NASCAR Richard Petty Experience will let you suit up and strap in to take a hot lap on an actual Cup track–about as fast as you’re willing to drive.

There are also countless camps hosted by other sports. Some are for kids, some for kids and parents–and others for adults only. These activities give you a chance to re-live your high school glory days and get a glimpse of where you might have gone without that bad hamstring.

Of course, you can be a true competitor in the actual sport. It may not be easy to schedule, but anyone can play on the courses of the PGA Tour. After all those times watching Tiger and Nicklaus struggle with a course’s most challenging holes, you can put your theories to the test.

Catching “The Last…” and “The First…”

While millions of people attend sporting events each year, there are only a few events that qualify as landmark dates. Maybe it’s Vin Scully’s final call for the Dodgers, or the last home game for Peyton Manning. Sometimes it’s a little speculative, of course; Manning didn’t confirm his retirement until the Broncos’ Super Bowl victory.

But others are known well in advance. You could catch the last game at a stadium before it’s replaced, or, as an easier ticket, your favorite team’s last visit there. There could be a name change, a coach change, or even a rules change that creates a final opportunity to see a sport done in a certain way, by certain people, or in a certain place for the last time.

What’s great about this bucket item is that you can build it as you go. When word comes out of one of these big changes, you can pencil in a final game and witness history. Pretty exciting stuff to do before you become history yourself!

The tradition of bucket lists has done so much to help people look at their lives as a time to live, experience, and celebrate, and to give them something tangible and memorable to reflect on in their golden years. For the sports fans, there are lots of ways to leave your final mark on the games you love.

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Travel Blogger Interview – Betsy Wuebker


Authors of PassingThru, Betsy and Pete left their comfort zone and pursued their dream of becoming location independents. Learn how they achieved their travel goals by following them across social media channels: Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter



  1. First of all, tell us a quick background about you as a couple…

We’re a boomer couple, empty nesters with no grand kids (yet!). We’ve been location independent since 2011, and now are completely nomadic. After we were married in 2006, we quickly realized that we were not going to have the kind of traditional retirement our parents had enjoyed and that many of our peers look forward to. There were no pensions and very little savings. We took some unexpected hits in real estate with the recession, etc. So we decided we’d better play offense as well as defense. Since we’d be still working in our later years, online business seemed to be a good fit. And, as we really loved to travel, we decided to try to combine these interests into a group of diverse income streams, figuring this would make us less financially vulnerable if something didn’t pan out.

  1. Why Passing Thru?

We envisioned PassingThru in 2008 as an online hub around which the other businesses and income streams would revolve. The blog chronicles our travels, thoughts and experiences with online work, location independence and the type of mindset you need to develop to be successful with this type of lifestyle. It also links into our other efforts – our online stores, the books we’ve written, our business resource recommendations, and our consulting services. PassingThru, like many other lifestyle blogs, is a window into who we are and what we do.

  1. What is your travel style?

Our travel style has evolved. When we were dating and first married, we camped a lot. Gradually, we decided we liked a few more creature comforts, so got rid of the camping equipment and changed to hotel stays. We collected a lot of hotel points that have served us well throughout our travels. We road-tripped around North America using Pete‘s vacation time before he quit his day job, testing our ability to work on our businesses from the road. Then we took a fateful trip to Hawaii and decided we wanted to move out of the chilly midwest to paradise. So we sold everything on the mainland and did just that. For a year, we just exhaled on the island of Kaua’i and didn’t travel anywhere. Then we made an epic journey to Europe and traveled over land to Russia for the Winter Olympics. While we had a blast, we realized that a faster pace just wasn’t us anymore. It’s no fun packing up and schlepping to a new location every few days. When we returned home to Kaua’i we decided we’d travel the world for two years, which would allow us to stay longer in each location.

  1. What places have you visited so far?

By the end of 2014, together we’ll have visited 36 states, 5 Canadian provinces, 3 continents and 16 countries so far. Our goal is 7 continents, 50 states together (anything we did separately before we were married doesn’t count!).

  1. Have you experienced challenges being location independent entrepreneurs?

So far we’ve liked just about everywhere we’ve been, and would have liked to stay longer than planned! We’re hoping that slowing the pace will give us the time we want to get to know places in more depth. It’s amazing how conditioned we all are to compress our travels just as if we have a limited amount of vacation time. Breaking out of that mindset has been liberating, but still we tend to lapse.

  1. How do you fund your travels?

We have both business and investment income sources. We’ve reduced expenses significantly since we became “deliberately homeless,” as you might imagine. People mistakenly think you have to be rich to live this way. Actually, we’re spending less traveling as we do because we’re not maintaining a traditional lifestyle with all the expenses associated with that. Additionally, we’re house sitting when we can, caring for pets and property while homeowners have a getaway themselves. This eliminates accommodation expenses. Once those are gone, it’s really amazing how little you can get by on.

  1. Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?

Yes, we do! Our favorite airline miles card has been the U.S. Airways Mastercard, which will soon roll into the American Airlines program as part of the merger. We’re looking forward to that because we think the program will be more flexible in terms of international flight planning.

  1. What are the things that you cannot travel without?

Our technology! We each have a MacBook (Betsy an Air and Peter a Pro), iPad and iPhones. We carry along a Time Machine for daily backups, and a network modem. We also have various accessories – surface chargers, bluetooth mouse, converters, etc. It all comes along in “The Office” a wheeled compartmented business case, which gets carried aboard.

  1. What are the places that are still in your bucket list?

Is “everywhere” an acceptable answer? 😉 Okay, to name a few: Trans-Siberian Railroad; Africa: Namibia, South Africa, Rwanda; a Southeast Asia run to include Thailand. Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam; a Scandinavia/Baltic circle tour – Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway. We’re also planning on returning to Europe starting with a visit to Spain next year and would like to walk the Camino de Santiago.

  1. Do you have any major travel regrets?

Only those long past. We’re trying our best to live regret-free these days. You tend to think you have all the time in the world when you’re younger, so you pass up opportunities. Fortunately, we’ve been able to put some of those regrets to rest. We’re very aware that, at our age, we’ve got a finite amount of time. More recently, we were invited by a couple we’d met on the street in Prague to join them for an early lunch. We declined because we’d just eaten. We should have said yes. We’ll never pass up an opportunity to get to know local people again.

  1. What is your greatest learning in travelling?

People are people. We are most assuredly not our governments. We all want similar things in life: health, happiness, safety and freedom. Most people are good-hearted. When you project loving kindness you receive it back.


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Travel Blogger Interview – Catherine McHugh


Catherine Mchugh is the author of Ever Changing Scenery where she inspires people to make every day an adventure. Get a glimpse of how her adventures unfold thru Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; and learn how you can turn every single day into small and big adventures as well. 


  1. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself….

Hello! I’m Catherine, a recent graduate who is currently living a fairly normal life in York, England. I’m working away in my first ‘real’ job while making plans to escape the nine to five and travel full time. I love making an every day an adventure, whether I’m at home or abroad.

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?

A few months before I started Ever Changing Scenery, I became obsessed with reading other people’s travel blogs online. I could spend hours soaking up all the information I could find on how to travel long-term, the best places to go and the top things to see and do. Once I committed to the idea of travelling full-time and making my own life more adventurous, I knew I wanted to share it with the people who had inspired me, and to hopefully one day inspire someone else.

  1. How do you make your everyday an adventure?

When most people think of adventure, they think of travelling the world, swimming with sharks or jumping out of an airplane. The definition of an adventure is actually ‘an unusual and exciting experience’, and anyone can make this a part of their every day. I love taking a walk in an area I haven’t explored before, trying an unusual dish at a local restaurant or going on a weekend away to a city I haven’t visited before. For me this is what adventure is all about, just doing something different and getting out of your comfort zone.

  1. When was your first trip ever? Where did you go and how was the experience

The first place I went abroad was to Albufeira in Portugal, but as I was just three years old I don’t remember a lot of details! As luck would have it, I will actually be returning to the same city later this year, so I’ll be able to tell you a lot more about the destination very soon!

  1. What places have you visited so far, what is your favourite among them?

To date I have visited a total of thirteen countries, and India has by far been my favourite. I spent a month in Mumbai, and it was actually the first time I left Europe. I think it is this that made it so special; everything was so completely different to anything I had experienced before. There are no words to describe the sights, smells and sounds that India has to offer, but it truly is a magical place.

  1. How do you fund your travels?

At the moment we’re saving as much as possible to get us going, and once we’re on the road we plan to keep our costs to a minimum and last as long as possible with the money we start with. Ultimately I’d love to be able to carve out a ‘location independent career’ and get paid for travel writing, but I know it will take time to secure a steady income this way and I’m prepared for the fact that I will have to get a more hands-on job wherever we are when the cash runs out. Whether it’s teaching English in Asia, working on a farm in Australia or doing some bar work in America, I’m fairly certain it will be more exciting than an office job here in England!

  1. Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?

No, unfortunately not. A few years back I did have a credit card, but I got into a bad habit of spending too much and not paying the bills off. The debt quickly added up and after spending so long paying it off I’ve been a little scared to risk taking out another credit card. It might mean I could end up with free flights, but I just don’t trust myself and know I’d be more likely to end up with lots of debt!

  1. What places are still in your bucket list?

Everywhere, or at least that’s what it feels like. Top of the list is South East Asia. I’d love to experience everything Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have to offer, and they’re some of the countries we plan on visiting first on our long-term travels. Japan and South Korea are very high on the list too, but the higher cost of living in these countries has pushed them a bit further down. Mexico and South America are places I’d also love to visit, as is pretty much everywhere else in the world!

  1. Do you have any major travel regrets?

Only not having started travelling sooner. Until I discovered this world of travel blogs I didn’t even realise long-term travel was an option, other than the typical gap year. I just wish I hadn’t spend so long wondering what to do with my life and had spent more time saving money and getting ready to go!

  1. What is your advice to young travellers who are still about to begin realising their travel dream?

Just go for it! What’s the worst that can happen?


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Travel Blogger Interview – Natalie Sayin


Natalie Sayin is the author of Turkish Travel Blog. And with her passion in history, she shows us the beauty of Turkey through her lens and writing. Follow her travels thru Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and visit Turkey without having to leave your home.



  1. First of all, tell us a quick background of who you are...

I am 38 years old, live on the Aegean coast of Turkey and have made it my aim in life to explore as much of the country as I can, with specific aims to learning about the culture and history.

  1. What is it about Turkey that has you obsessed about?

I am really not sure. When I first came to Turkey in 2001, it just felt like home and that vibe has stayed with me ever since. A tarot card reader did tell me once, that I had a past life in Turkey but I prefer to believe that it is because I just feel comfortable and it is my destiny to live here.

  1. What is your inspiration to start your blog?

It was meant to be an online diary so I could track my travels but over time, it grew with readers who also had a passionate interest in the country. Then I discovered that many readers were also researching Turkey because they planned to visit for the first time, and they wanted advice on where to go and what to do.

  1. Of all the places you have visited, what is the most memorable one?

This is hard to answer because I have been to a lot of places which are all fantastic. I really liked the Northeast of Turkey because the area is so green and delving into the traditions and culture of the Laz and Hemsin communities was great fun.

This year, I also did a four night gulet boat trip from Fethiye to Olympos on the Mediterranean coast and that was just surreal. We slept on deck, explored ancient ruins, spotted loggerheads turtles, and docked into scenic coastal villages. I would like to do some more sailing of the Aegean and Med coasts.

  1. Have you ever experienced any challenges in traveling solo?

No, because it is easier to travel solo. I don’t have to take into account the needs and wants of other people. I can go where I want and do anything that interests me. The worst aspect is that unless I take selfies, I am not in many of my holiday photos!

  1. How do you fund your travel?

I am a freelance travel writer so all my trips are good for work as well as leisure. Rather than write generic articles, I can be specific and detailed with information which makes it easier to sell anything I write.

  1. Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?

I don’t fly that much while traveling. Most trips consist of moving onto the next town or district so I use road transport more, than domestic flights. This is something I should look into though because I have heard the concept of air miles is a great way to save money.

  1. What places are still in your bucket list?

There is too many to mention but I would like to visit Gallipoli, which was the site of the Anzac landings in 1915. Now, it is a memorial to the fallen soldiers. Close by is the UNESCO site of Troy. I would also like to visit Bursa and Safranbolu because they are prominent in Ottoman history. The Eastern district of Van is also appealing. It has a large lake and many ruins of Armenian churches.

  1. Do you have any major travel regrets?

No, I have always gained something from every trip or place I have visited. I keep an open mind when traveling and this often provides more memorable experiences, than disappointment.

  1. What has been your greatest learning in travelling Turkey?

That it is impossible to stereotype Turkish culture. From the east to the west, regional traditions are strong and for example, someone who has grown up in Western Istanbul will not think or act the same as someone who grew up in Mardin, which is in the east. The diversity is amazing. I have also learnt a lot about the history of Turkey and it is mind-baffling at times.

  1. What advice can you give to young travelers out there?

Keep an open mind and your experiences will be much more memorable, no matter where in the world you go. Don’t plan to the last detail and be prepared just to go with the flow.


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Travel Perks of Owning a Credit Card


Credit cards are usually stereotyped as a bad thing. From overspending to late fees and consequent bury in debt, many have nightmares when it comes to handling their credit cards. Yes, this is true. In fact, they can be your convenient enemies.

Credit cards, however, have advantages. So long as you pay your bill timely, you will appreciate that they’re free short term loan. They enable you to track your spending easier than cash. More than that, if you are a traveler, you are entitled to enjoy impressive travel perks.

Whether you already have your credit card or planning to get one, learn more how you can take advantage of the special deals that credit card companies provide.

 Airline Miles

Airline miles are rewards that you can get from your credit cards. The more you spend, the more points you earn. Accordingly, the more points you make, the more airline miles you have the chance to redeem for flight tickets, booking discounts, seat upgrades, hotel and vacation packages, and other travel-related expenses.

Automatic Car Rental Insurance

You don’t need to waste money on insurance whenever you rent a car on your travels. Your credit card company provides secondary coverage against theft and collision. So, decline the rental car company’s waiver insurance for loss, damages and collision; charge your car rental to your card and enjoy this particular advantage.

Concierge Staff Assistance

To simplify your life, your credit card company provides a 24-hour concierge staff to assist your personal travel needs. This includes event ticket purchases, dinner reservations, business arrangements and coordination, and more.

Price and Purchase Protection

When you purchase an item using your card, you have the privilege to get a refund from an item that you see advertised for less in prints within 60 days. This excludes online purchases and certain indicated items. Also, you are protected against theft, accidental breakage and fire within 90 days from the purchase date.

Lost Luggage Coverage

There are credit card companies that cover your lost luggage costs whenever you charge your entire carrier fare to your card. This credit card benefit covers damaged, stolen or permanently lost baggage. Thus, you travel secured and insured.

Trip Interruption or Cancellation Coverage

Perhaps you get sick before your scheduled holiday trip or you get yourself into an emergency. If the trip you booked using your credit card is interrupted or cancelled, you receive a certain amount to, at least, reimburse any cancellation fee.

Automatic Extended Warranty

When you buy an item using your credit card, you automatically have extended warranty of up to one year from the date of purchase.
If you are not yet getting freebies from your credit card, know that you should be. Always remember that your credit card success lies in proper management. So, squeeze out everything that your credit card is worth and enjoy your travel.

Amazing Reads of the Week!

Getting the Heart of Fijian Island Culture on a Village Visit The World on My Necklace

Cheap Travel: Granada, Spain, For Less Than $25 A Day Jessie on a Journey

A Weekend In Cambridge: Day OneEverchanging Scenery

Photos of Venice, ItalyD Travels ‘Round

20 Ideas For Your Winter Bucket List Bucket List Journey

Go Local: A Weekend in Washington, D.C. Let’s Roam Wild

The Changi Airport Ritual Glamourous Traveller

Travel Tips For India That You Won’t find in Guidebooks! Backpack Me

Ludwigsburg: Fairytale Palace and GardensPassing Thru

Absolute-must-do Things to Do in CroatiaChasing the Donkey

The Southeast Asia HighlightsThat Backpacker

This Place Surprised us the Most on our Trip to Canadian RockiesTraveling Canucks

Caribbean Crisis: How Eating Lionfish Can Help Save The Planet Epicure Culture

Which Country Do You Want to Read About? You Pick, I’ll Go Be My Travel Muse

Rome Under WrapsBesudesu Abroad




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Travel Blogger Interview – Annette White


In search of experiences noteworthy in her bucket list, Annette White takes us into her adventures around the globe. Follow her on Twitter, visit her on Facebook and connect with her on Google+. Meanwhile, let us know more about Annette and how her travel passion came to be. 


 1.     First, tell us a little bit of yourself…

I’m Annette, the owner of a Michelin recommended restaurant in Northern California, freelance travel writer and creator of the award winning blog Bucket List Journey. As an obsessed new experience collector, my writing centers around exploring the world in search of once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

2.     What gave you the inspiration to start your blog?
Initially, I was simply looking for a place to record my ever-growing bucket list and its progress. The pieces of scrap paper and random internet files were getting out of control, so I decided to condense my dozens of notes into a blog.


As time went on, the blog changed from being just a practical list-keeping spot to being a place for readers to get inspiration for their own bucket lists. My endless curiosity motivates me to travel the world in search of the best bucket list worthy experiences to share, and it is my hope that these stories will inspire readers to dream and do.


3.     How does being a restaurateur influence you as a traveler?
I can’t imagine traveling anywhere where food is not a huge factor, for me travel and food go hand in hand. When planning for a trip, I spend just as much time researching traditional dishes, cooking techniques and restaurants in the area as I do researching major attractions. It’s a running joke amongst my friends that more than 50% of my travel photos are food related.


Even though my restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine, you’d be surprised by how much I learn from other parts of the world. With a little ingenuity you can turn a Greek moussaka into a version of an Italian eggplant lasagna.


Plus, you will always catch me looking at the bottom of a restaurants dishware to see who the manufacturer is, snapping photos of unique ways guest checks are being presented and collecting paper menus. My passion for food and restaurants is a close second to my passion for new experiences.


4.     Have you experienced some challenges to becoming both a restaurateur and traveler?
Of course there has been challenges to becoming each one of these things individually, but owning a restaurant and being able to travel at the same time has been a continuous work in progress.


I spent over four years systemizing my restaurant to run without me and my husband. Things like an online payroll system, time clock and security cameras that could be accessed from anywhere in the world with internet were helpful in the process.


In the beginning our goal was to leave for an hour just to have dinner, this very slowly grew into an entire day and is now at ten days if both of us are gone and three weeks for just me. I also spend lot of time after returning from a trip analyzing what problems arose while I was away and coming up with solutions to the issues so they will not occur the next time I am gone. It has taken a lot of effort, but I am now seeing the benefits.


5.     I noticed you mentioned that there was a time in your life when fear makes your decision, how did you overcome it?
 When it comes to anxiety and fear, there really is no guarantee, so I not so much have overcome as much as I have learned to manage it. After much research, I realized that my fear was created by my negative thoughts regarding a situation. I have worked hard over the years to understand, challenge and change my thoughts. I now know that I have the tools to keep it under control, I just have to put them to use. Some days are harder than others, but at this point even the bad days are pretty good in relation to ten years ago.


At the same time, I realize that it is unrealistic to thing that all fear will completely disappear or can be controlled. So, I also made a promise to myself that I would not allow fear to make my decisions for me. If I am presented with an opportunity and want to say “no”, I ask myself if that negative response is driven by fear. If it is, I make myself turn that “no” into a “yes”. This promise has led to some of my most memorable experiences.


6.     What has been your bucket list experiences and what was your favorite among them?
I have had some AMAZING bucket list experiences: swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, bathing elephants at a rescue in Thailand, taking a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon, watching wrestler’s practice at a sumo stable in Japan, nibbling on chicken feet at the cheapest Michelin restaurant in the world, etc…


I am thrilled any time I have an incredible new experience, but amongst my favorites was going on a four day African safari in Tanzania and swimming with thousands of jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake in Palau.


7.     How do you fund your travel?

There are two things that help support my travels. The first is my blog, Bucket List Journey. I make a teeny weenie amount of money by selling advertisements and earning commissions through affiliate programs. But, what has been most helpful in regards to blogging is that many tourism boards and other companies will sponsor my travels in hopes that I will find their activities bucket list worthy enough for me to write about. These “media trips” have been an important part to me being able to accomplish many of the goals on my list.
Secondly, my husband and I own a successful Italian restaurant in Northern California that gives me a degree of financial freedom. With that said, we have worked diligently for the past several years in order to set it up to fit around my traveling lifestyle.
Let me also say that I believe that some of the reason I can afford traveling is because it is what I choose to be able to afford, it is what I am truly passionate about. I would forgo designer clothes, fancy coffee or a manicure any day of the week if it were in exchange for a memorable experience.

8.     Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?
I am a member of almost all the airline mileage programs, but my main airline credit card is the United MileagePlus Explorer. By belonging to their program and actively using their credit card my points accumulate more rapidly. I charge everything on it, even if its only a dollar.


What’s most important about using reward cards is understanding all the benefits to your card and knowing how to accumulate the most points possible.


9.     What experiences are still on your bucket list?
Even though I have checked off hundreds of items from my bucket list, there are still hundreds more. With so many incredible experiences in the world, it’s hard to limit myself! What’s coming up in the near future is visiting the Christmas Markets in Germany, seeing a Water Puppet show in Vietnam and eating scorpions in Singapore.


10.  Do you have any major travel regrets?
The only regret I have is that I did not start traveling earlier in life. But, I am certainly making up for lost time, last year alone I was in 5 continents, 13 countries and countless cities.


11.  What is your advice to young travelers who are still controlled by their fear against making their travel dream come true?
Besides challenging your fearful thoughts and living in the present moment, the best advice I can give is to take your goal and break it down into a bunch of tiny little goals. Some times when you are looking at the big picture of a dream it can seem completely impossible. But, by concentrating on taking baby steps you can celebrate each little victory and feel like you are making progress.

It doesn’t matter how slowly you are moving towards your dream, it just matters that you are taking steps towards it every day.

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