Healthy road trip snacks, and doing things that make you nervous

What snacks do you eat on your road trips? I’m going on a road trip, and as a dietitian, I think about eating healthy (about 80% of the time – the goal is a balanced diet, not a militant one!). Below is the video I made about the types of snacks I’m bringing, and a little behind the scenes info. Since this is my first YouTube video (another bucket list item accomplished!) it’s very amateur, a little rambly, and I’m a bit nervous, but the information’s good. ;)

Behind the scenes:

I’m more nervous to record this than I ever was to do a live presentation or to publish a blog post. It’s super awkward to record on the tablet (and I have some difficulty keeping it still because it’s hard to hold). At first I’m worried that the other people around will think I’m weird, but no one seems to care so that concern goes away quickly.

Once I get into it, it really isn’t that bad. I pretend that I’m talking with a friend on video chat and things start to go much more smoothly… until the end, where I just keep rambling! (It has the same “long goodbye” feel of a video chat, so at least I’m consistent!)

The thing that makes me the most nervous about posting the video is being open to new ways to be criticized. Doing this makes me realize how much I care about what other people think, and I don’t like that very much. I play with the idea of editing it, but thankfully, my video software isn’t working, so I post it unedited, which I like better in the end because it’s more real. I think it’s good to be challenged outside of my comfort zone and to learn about myself. This is something I like most about doing the things on my bucket list, and this video is no different, in fact, in that sense it is one of the most challenging I’ve done in a while.

When was the last time you did something that made you nervous?
What did you learn from it?
(And, of course, what snacks do you take on your road trips?)

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“How many days until…?” – Online countdown timers reviewed

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Part of the excitement of planning a bucket list activity is the anticipation. I always find myself counting down to various events and activities, and impatiently watching the shrinking number of days makes me look forward to it more.

Today I’m reviewing several web-based countdown timers. I looked for timers that were…

  1. free online
  2. customizeable (to varying degrees)
  3. shareable/bookmarkable (most are also embeddable on websites)

(While the reviews are for the online timers, I’ve linked to the apps if they’re available, but please know that the apps may not be free and I haven’t tried them).

My favorites:

Time and Date 
Apps also available: iOS, Android
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, no embed
Customization: moderate, for design, event name, countdown display
Visual appeal: high, for cute animated designs (that visually show you getting closer to the highly anticipated date, for example, a plane that travels until it lands when the countdown ends)
Editable after initial creation: yes
Example: Time and Date – Countdown Example

Are We There Yet?
Apps also available: none
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, iframe embed
Customization: high, for event name/text, background (image, Youtube video, or GIF), color of title/text, display after date is reached
Visual appeal: high, for full page display and animated numbers
Editable after initial creation: yes with password chosen when countdown is made
Example: 
Are We There Yet – Countdown Example

Some others:

It’s Almost
Apps also available:
 none
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, iframe embed
Customization: minimal, for event name only
Visual appeal: moderate, clean minimal design (stylized gray text on white background)
Editable after initial creation: no
Example: It’s Almost – Countdown Example

Counting Down To
Apps also available: none
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, iframe embed
Customization: minimal in free version, for event name only
Visual appeal: low, basic design (black box with white text)
Editable after initial creation: no
Example:
 Counting Down To – Countdown Example

TickCounter
Apps also available: none
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, Javascript embed
Customization: high, for event name, countdown display, and colors of background/text/numbers
Visual appeal: low, minimal design, lots of ads on web version (but embeddable widget is promised to have no ads)
Editable after initial creation: yes
Example:
TickCounter – Countdown Example

Date Countdown
Apps also available: none
Share/Embed: share with URL/social media, iframe embed
Customization: low, for event name, limited countdown display options (display in days or timer mode)
Visual appeal: low, basic design (black text on white background)
Editable after initial creation: no
Example:
Date Countdown – Countdown Example

There are many other options, but some of them wouldn’t load correctly or they’d let you change things but never kept preferences, instead changing themselves back to defaults every time. Oh well. This list should be more than enough for now, especially when you have Time and Date and Are We There Yet? as the top options!

Did I leave off a free online countdown timer that you love? Let me know!

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“I’m inspired by people who are strong where I am weak” – Interview with Brian Cicioni at I May Roam

Brian Cicioni is a travel blogger at I May Roam, who caught the travel bug after getting his driver’s license and traveling to see his favorite rock bands. His blog focuses on exploring cities via public transportation, featuring hidden cultural and food attractions. Today he shares about his love of music,  the people who inspire him, and the best advice he’s ever received.

Photo provided by and used with permission from Brian Cicioni at I May Roam

Name and Blog:
Brian Cicioni at I May Roam

Fun fact about you:
I was afraid to fly and didn’t do it on a regular basis until I was 20 years old.

Funner fact:
I’ve been to 40 countries and every United State except Alaska.

Funnest fact:
I own everything ever recorded by AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, Boogie Down Productions, Metallica, Ozzy Osboourne, Pantera, Pearl Jam, Slayer, Sleater-Kinney, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, The Clash, The Ramones, U2 and Van Halen.

What do you think has been essential to your success as a travel blogger?
I’m blogging about the most important thing in my life for the past 16 years.

What was something that surprised you about blogging?
The amount of time that goes into making a post stand out from the rest.

If you had to describe your blog in 6 words or less, what would you say?
Food, Music, Travel, Trains

Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who are strong where I am weak. As far as the type of travel (and more recently) blogging I’ve been doing, Lynn Chen, Henry Rollins and Rick Steves.

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
Forest Hills High School (The Ramones went there!)

If you aren’t doing anything related to travel, what are you doing in your free time?
Cooking, eating, exercising or sleeping.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
In an interview shortly before his death, Cliff Burton said that once you discover what you love, don’t get caught up in all the other things life has to offer. Although I can’t travel all the time, everything in my life revolves around it, so I think he would be proud.

Readers: Join me in thanking Brian for sharing his time, stories, and advice with us! If you want to learn more about him, check out his blog I May Roam, with all the links to the usual social media sites.

Want more interviews like this? Leave a comment and let me know who you would like to see featured. Be sure to sign up to stay updated on all the latest posts, or get on the Insiders list, a monthly email with a summary of blog posts, cool surprises and printables throughout the year, invites to insider-only online events, and chances to be featured in the blog.