How to Have Fun During Break Without the $5000 Trip to Europe

I woke up this morning and found myself in an unusually elevated state of boredom. Naturally, after scrolling endlessly through Instagram, I found myself deep in the profile of The Girl Who Is Abroad—and I’m sure you all have that follower too. The boomerangs of the Eiffel Tower at night, walking through beautiful cities, much more fashionable European clothing and food. I took a look at the few dollars I had in my wallet and felt a wave of jealousy. How could being here, in a fabulous, beautiful city, still make me feel envious? It was clear I wasn’t going to eat a crepe in France or buy a long coat in London anytime soon, so what was there to do? Spending my spare change on a trip to Epcot didn’t seem exciting, even though that's the closest to Europe that Florida can offer. So, after taking charge, I designed a day that would take our envious brains out of The Girl Who Is Abroad’s Instagram and back into Orlando. Call, text, DM, or Facebook chat your friends and tell them about the day that you have in store for them. They won’t be able to resist. 

This day trip won’t require you to put down your phone because this day is yours to embrace. I will ask you to pick something up on your way out though, and that is a disposable camera. Walk on down to your local CVS Pharmacy and pick a Kodak Flash up. Yes, the camera that your mom would bring to your 3rd-grade ballet recitals that made that beautiful clicking sound. Everything you do today can be printed tomorrow in vibrant reds and pinks. These prints will be more satisfying than any good picture you post on Instagram. 

Kodak Flash in hand, let’s head to the Lukas Nursery. Something similar all abroad trips have to offer is beautiful nature, which we can find right here in our home. This might sound crazy—what can be so interesting about flowers? Yet there is nothing as peaceful as the environment nature will give you. Hippies have always been right (when it comes to flare jeans or hugging a tree). Don't be hesitant to dive deep into the flowers, butterflies and the animals. There’s no better feeling then exploring nature with your friends, especially the beautiful setup Lukas Nursery offers. Let your inner peace out!!

After you’ve swallowed the sunshine, it’s time to return to your hectic lives at the Mall at Millenia. You’ll feel like you're exploring the fascinating architecture of Tokyo while strolling down the marble halls. You can find yourself in discounted hip clothes or laughing at the price tags in Gucci. The idea is to put yourself into Orlando, embrace the locals and embrace a beautiful building. Before you leave, go pick out some jewelry! Each friend should leave with a necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings. It may sound stupid, but who doesn’t remember their 6th-grade necklace that said “best friends forever” on it?  Who says those days have to go away? Once you’ve left with your fashionable accessories, it’s time to cross on over to Downtown Orlando.

Here you are at Church Street Station... let the photo shoot begin! The heart of downtown Orlando will have you feeling like you're walking into history (And smiling too). You’ll find yourselves doing exactly what you had hoped the day to be: exploring. I can’t tell you more though, it’s all up to you.

Once your exploration of Church Street ends, CityWalk in Universal, especially at night, will make you feel like you’re wandering an exciting city in Europe. A very, very small city, yet still fun. Here’s the challenge: head to each restaurant that your friends enjoy. Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp, anything! Every person buys one appetizer to go from each restaurant that they want. Once you’ve collected your array of appetizers, hit the picnic tables. You’ll find yourselves people watching, enjoying the lights and falling in love with the food in front of you. There’s no better way to end the day than to fall asleep with a full, happy stomach.

So, ladies, don’t scold your lack of plane tickets and foreign friends. Print out the photos, and fall in love with Orlando all over again. With any bit of imagination, determination, and friends, where is it that we can’t go?

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