The First Time I Traveled Alone…

I have been very fortunate in the fact that my parents could afford to take me on several family vacations throughout my life. I have also been able to go on cross country trips with the high school band and college organizations. I have been to almost every state within our country. However, every time that I have traveled it has been with a large group of people (5 or more) and I have been under someone’s supervision.

This summer two of my friends and I decided we wanted to spend a week in California (one of my favorite places to go) just the three of us. I bet you’re thinking well technically you’re not alone, and I know but this was the first time I traveled with a small group where I was in charge of myself.

I have to admit I thought this was going to be so easy, we had help booking the hotel and flight and getting out there proved no problem! We tackled several small problems together such as; buying ham and bread for sandwiches during the day as we could not afford to eat out all day everyday, or deciding to utilize Uber as none of us were old enough to rent a car. We were happy go lucky; we spent the first couple of days hitting up the tourist spots such as West Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and even Universal Studios.

Universal Studios Hollywood Photo Credit to Alison Subbert, 2016
Universal Studios Hollywood
Photo Credit to Ali Subbert, 2016.

Then came day three…being 20 none of us wanted to spend the extra time sitting down to make an itinerary…once we ran out of the classic tourist spots to visit we didn’t know what to do. We would try to decide and came up with nothing, especially at night! We weren’t quite 21 and so we could not find a whole lot to do for night life. It got frustrating! We spent three hours hiking down a highway one day only to end up at the Hollywood sign hours later. This opened my eyes to all the people that had planned trips for me, how difficult it had been and how much money they must of spent.

When we finally made it to the Hollywood Sign!
When we finally made it to the Hollywood Sign!
Photo Credit to Ali Subbert, 2016.

Despite the frustration we were still enjoying ourselves, I mean we were in California! Then came our biggest mistake of all…it was the final day that we were in California. It turns out however, that we should have headed home the day before. Without the itinerary in front of us all three of us forgot that we were supposed to leave the day before we actually did! We ended up paying somewhere around an extra $500 dollars after paying for the extra night at the hotel and a new flight ticket. We also ended up carrying our luggage around California (luckily we only brought carry-ons) for the day; we went to the movies and shopping with our luggage…for 11 hours.

All in all I learned a lot, I learned that some things require planning. I gained a whole new respect for the people in charge of trips. I also learned that you’re never too old to ask for help and sometimes you don’t know everything! I learned a lot about myself too. How I handle stress, what kind of decisions I make in a split second, how I handle criticism, and more. If you’re ever looking to learn more about yourself, others, and life in general I suggest that you travel on your own or with a small group. I suggest that you make mistakes like these and grow from them! It will make you truly grateful that you are given the opportunity to do these things.

Just me learning my lesson! Copyright 2016 Ali Subbert
Just me learning my lesson!
Photo Credit to Ali Subbert, 2016.


With the Oscars occurring last night there is plenty to talk about.

Leo finally wins, the storm of awards that Mad Max: Fury Road took home, and more.

The coolest part of the whole things though was the amount of problems that were recognized and talked about.

Global warming was briefly brought to attention during Leo’s speech, as well as the better treatment of indigenous people. Throughout history the mistreatment of the indigenous has been a huge and apparent problem. I commend Leo for using that valuable time to touch on issues that he is supporting.

Lady Gaga took the stage after being introduced by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden gave an inspirational message to all those fighting the battle against sexual assault. As a 20 something girl who lives on a college campus, having the Vice President recognize the problem is reassuring and eye opening to how large the problem has become.

Lady Gaga then inspires through her music, her story, and her message. If you’re unaware Lady Gage is a victim of sexual assault herself, and you can hear he pain and experience through her music. She inspires by speaking out, and last night used her time to allow other survivors to speak out. Plus how amazing was it to see Brie Larson hug each and every survivor as they left the stage? Gaga left mostly everyone in tears and raised awareness for an increasing problem in our country.

I think that the most talked about and controversial subject discussed last night was the issue of race. I can’t imagine being Chris Rock, having to go into the Oscars with pressures to quit and back lash from so many people. However, Rock handled himself with dignity but never failed to continue being the comedian that he is. In my opinion the greatest thing Chris Rock did was ask for opportunity, how can people flourish if they are denied opportunity? Rock really worked to bring attention to the racism of Hollywood, and called for a change.

Even Cheryl Boone Issacs gave a speech about the lack of diversity and the hopeful changes that would be coming to the Oscars soon.

The first step of fixing a problem is recognizing there is one, I believe the Oscars last night used their global platform to recognize an abundance of problems and get people talking.

Congratulations to all the winners last night, you’re awards were well deserved, and here’s to solving the problems that were put out in the open last night!

Dating Life As A Woman

There is something that has been on my mind lately that I feel like sharing. I recently watched this video:

It’s funny and you can laugh at it, but it’s also a harsh truth. My freshman year of college I had a friend who went on several tinder dates, and before every one of those this was our routine. She would write down the address on a sticky note and tell me if she texted me such and such to call the police. Why is it that woman have to plan all the way to calling the cops?

Befo re coming to college I thought women over exaggerated these things as much as they could, I would think really you’re going to get murdered on a first date? However, I have learned that the reality of it is things like that happen ALL THE TIME. Granted it’s not always as extreme as murder, but there are other horrible things that occur.

Now, maybe you could say women plan for the worst but expect the best? However, if it boils down to that then shouldn’t all women also have an apocalypse shelter ready, but be thankful that we’re not fighting zombies everyday? No matter what I’ve tried to pinpoint these planning techniques to, I’ve come to realize that women don’t necessarily want to have to do this, but the society around us has made it a necessity to.

I’ve realized that advertisements, films, books, television, etc. highlight a certain way of treating women that then translates into our society. Society has portrayed women as objects that want to be dominated, and that is what they’re now treated like.

Woman Absord by Perdo Ribeiro Simoes.
Woman Absord by Perdo Ribeiro Simoes.

Women must worry about unwanted advances and actions. It almost seems as if women have been made out as something to be hunted and won, and when a woman chooses to be indifferent towards someone it does not become, “Oh, maybe I should back down”, but it becomes a greater challenge to conquer.

Also, women’s insecurities are broadcasted everywhere! The people who desire to dominate women gain access to this power easily, as all they must do is look in the media to learn how to make a woman feel small.

So what can we do?

There are people who will tell women to “become tougher” through self-defense and violence. There are others who will say just to blend in, don’t be yourself in fear of sticking out. Well these solutions are complete and utter bs. I say that women as a whole need to work together to advance society in the right direction!

Positive steps taken so far are the body appreciation movement, if society can acknowledge beauty in all body types, then no one can use body image as a power weapon.  Seeing more women in positions of power is excellent too! Did you know as of right now women are 33% more likely to earn a college degree than men? Ladies, get out there educate yourselves and show people how successful we can be! Also coming together to support victims of horrible actions shows the bond between women, and at the end of the day that we are not responsible for power hungry and vicious acts.

Women have come a long way, and we have a ways to go, but success along the way means banding together.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Jurassic Park:

“God creates dinosaur. God destroys dinosaur. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaur.”

“Dinosaur eats Man. Woman inherits the world.” 😉

Thank You Coffee…

Thank you coffee…

For always keeping me going.

For always helping me achieve that morning poop.

For getting me through all night study sessions.

For giving me a first date idea.

For stealing all my munch money.

For helping me stay awake for that three hour night class.

For making feel like I can be productive.

For making me feel like an adult.

For being a delicious beverage!


The Experience Needed to Qualify as an Older Sister

Have you always wanted to be an older sister? Well you need the proper experience and qualifications first! Here is what you need experience in;

Being a Body Guard creative commons license creative commons license

To be an older sister you need to know that it’s okay for you to pick on and tease your younger siblings, but the moment that anyone else even looks at them they wrong way your mama bear better come out. You must protect them with all you’ve got.

Being a Nurse

635892879514246812-344513506_d1f38e3582b4f3526a5c894245d3a178Being an older sister you encourage your younger siblings to try a lot of things. For instance doing a cool jump off the swing, and when they fall you must fix them up so they don’t tell mom on you. You learn how to fix every booboo they come across, most of the time 😉

Being a Teacher

As an older sister you must teach your younger siblings all the things they can’t learn from your parents. You must teach them how to fake sick, how to talk to boys/girls, and much more. It is your responsibility to make sure they know everything that they need to know.

Being a Therapist

As an older sister you must listen to the problems of  your younger siblings and provide five star worthy advice. You are there to lend a listening ear to them and help them through whatever life has thrown at them.

Being a Chef

As an older sister your mom always expects you to cook for your siblings when she’s not around. You have become a master at cooking ramen and mac and cheese. You are also expected to have dinner started, so be prepared for that one.

Being a Chauffeur

As an older sister you will receive your license long before your siblings do, and as cool as you feel you don’t realize that you will be driving around your younger siblings until you pull your hair out.


With all the rolls older sisters play they really are the coolest people around 😉


State Park Adventures

About three years ago my family of five (including myself) decided that we wanted to attempt to visit every state park in Minnesota. When they first told me the idea I thought state parks? Really? This is going to be interesting. What I found out however, is that the state parks was one of the best ideas my family ever had. Sometimes we would drive to them, others we would stop by if we were in the area, and others we would see during vacations that we went on.

Subbert Family
Subbert Family

We have not yet seen all of them, we have been to about 30 with about 40 left to go. It is a tradition in my family, and I know we will not stop until we reach them all. This adventure has provided my family with so many bonding opportunities, sure we have all had our days when we are not in the mood to go hike for miles and miles, but it has given us a fun goal to work together to achieve. I can’t tell you how many laughs and memories we have made at state parks, and how many are still to come!

The state parks have definitely been what we’ve made them. At Gooseberry Falls we climbed on rocks next to the river and lake, hiked, and packed a picnic that got ambushed by seagulls. At Jay Cooke we climbed on the rocks and got right out by the lake leading to the waterfall. It is cool to be able to go adventuring with my family.

My favorite park by far has been Cascade River State Park. My family was getting along great. We all took pictures on this huge stump and we got right next to the waterfall which was inside a hill/cave. It looked like a scene straight out of Lord of the Rings. If you ever are looking for a place to go and adventure in nature I would highly suggest this park!

Cascade River State Park
Cascade River State Park

If you are ever looking for a fun and unique to bond with your family this would be it! No matter how much patience it took sometimes and no how sore your body got from hiking it was always worth it to me!!

Being Friends With Your Co-Workers

I have been fortunate enough to work at a few places where I am friends with my co-workers. What does that mean exactly? Being friends with your co-workers? It sounds a little lame, but when you think about it these are the people that you spend 40 hours a week with, why wouldn’t you be friends with them?

When I go to work at Subway it feels more like play. Sure we have to do our duties, and that isn’t the most fun ever, but it doesn’t even feel like work when you have people to talk to and laugh with. Being friends with your co-workers allows you to go to work and have fun! You know that you have to get stuff done when you’re there, but why not choose to do it and have a good time? As long as you’re getting your work done I see no harm in having a little fun.

Once you get the energy of having fun while working it rubs off on the people you are working for too. People start to notice that your business has a friendly and enticing vibe. If you’re in customer service, this energy translates easy to the customers who leave happier. If you work in sales, people are more likely to buy from someone that leaves them with a good feeling. Customers are more likely to leave a good review and come back to a place that has good and friendly staff. Also networking with in your own work place may get you noticed quicker by higher ups, which could lead to things like raises and promotions.

It’s not crazy difficult to become friends with your co-workers either. Granted there are some people you just won’t click with, and others that don’t want those types of relationships at work, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you find common interests with your co-workers you can find things to go do together. I personally think this is beneficial to both your and the customers experience with the company. I mean if you had the option to actually enjoy your job more wouldn’t you take it?

Top 9 Iron Man Quotes

Who doesn’t love the ever so humble Mr.Stark? Robert Downey Jr. portrays Iron Man flawless and keeps us laughing the whole way. Anyone that knows me well knows about my Iron Man obsession, and so here are my top nine quotes.

Chris Doornbos
Chris Doornbos
  1. “Sometimes you gotta run before you walk.”
  2. “Yeah. I can fly.”
  3. “Give me a scotch. I’m starving.”
  4. “Doth mother know you wearth her drapes.”
  5. “Um a genius-playboy-billionaire-philanthropist.”
  6. Captain America, “Is everything a joke to you?”

Iron Man, “Funny things are.”

7. “You know what keeps going through my mind? Where’s my sandwich?”

8. Loki, “I have an army.”

Iron Man, “We have a hulk.”

9. “Truth is…I am Iron Man.”

My Small Town Experience

I grew up in Fairmont, Minnesota a small town 10 miles away from the Iowa border with a population of 10,000 people.  Now this may seem like a large number, but really you could bike across the town in 15 minutes. Growing up in a small town provided me with many pros and cons.



A beautiful part about growing up in a small town is the fact that I could go outside and play whenever I wanted. I could walk to a friend’s house at anytime of the day and for the most part not worry about my surroundings. My siblings and I could go play at a park just the three of us. I could go for a run at night without too much worry. A good side of being in a small town is that you really never had to worry about bad things happening, once in awhile they do, but rarely.

Knowing Your Classmates

Growing up in a small town I knew all 130 of the people in my grade. Granted there were probably one or two that I didn’t, but for the most part I did. Why is this a pro? You get to know different types of people and you don’t have to worry about going to a class and being alone during a group project, or not knowing anyone when you walk down the hall. It also is a cool feeling when you walk across the graduation stage to know that everyone knows of you.


Another great part about growing up where I did is the fact that I always had family around me. Most of my Dad’s family lives in the same small town so it is nice to have people who love you all around. Plus they can help with renovating, giving rides, holidays, etc.


If someone from your small town is doing great things, you pretty much have the whole town backing you. When someone becomes successful that grew up around our small town it’s a big deal and nearly everyone is a proud supporter. You also get the opportunity to support local business and companies when you live in a small town. People you know start up their own business you get the opportunity to be their customer which is really a cool thing.

Everybody Knows Everybody

There is an element of fun when you go to the grocery store and see people you know. This happens not only at the grocery store, but nearly every where you go. No matter where we would go out to eat people would stop my parents and talk to them for a good twenty minutes. Also when you come back to your old town you run into friends you haven’t seen in forever without ever planning it!


Everybody Knows Everybody

When you live in a small town and everybody knows one another, they also know one another’s business. In a small town things barely anything stays private. If something happens that you aren’t so proud of you better get used to hearing people whisper as you walk by. You better get used to people having preconceived notions about you without really knowing you. You also better get used to hearing gossip that you may or may not want to know, and let me tell you it travels fast.

Lack of Diversity

In my high school graduating class we had one Asian American, one African American, and four Latino Americans, in a class of 130 people. In a majority of small towns that is how it is whether it be Caucasians, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, etc. People in small towns don’t receive access  to a lot of diversity and sadly there are times that this may result in ignorance. How can you know something if you’ve never been exposed to it? Living in a larger city for two years now I have learned things about different cultures, religions, ethnicities, food, etc. that I didn’t even know about in my eighteen years of living in a small town.

It’s Hard to Leave

When you grow up in a small town, it’s like you’re attached there. Granted I am attached there because that is where my parents live, and so I will constantly be there to see them, but it really is hard to leave. I have dreams of living in a big city, whether that be for life or just a little while, I do. I want to go to New York or California, somewhere different. What surprises me is the reaction I get whenever I talk about this. I have gotten several different reactions, but there is always a common theme. It seems that majority of people think I’m crazy for wanting to leave this area. People think it’s odd that I would want to go more than two hours away. Granted people are excited to see me try everyone seems to think I will be back before I have even left.

What Should We Do?

Boredom is a common tread among us small town people. There is very little entertainment offered. You could go see a movie at the movie theatre, you can go out to eat, if there is a show at our Opera House you could see it, sometimes the schools or hotels host events, but really that’s it. When you get together with friends the common question of what is there to do always comes up. That is one reason I love the city so much is because there is always something going on, never a dull moment. However, I can see why some people enjoy the quiet of the small town as well.

Overall my experiences with my small town have neither made my hate it nor love it. I keep going back because the people I love and my memories are there. That has been my experience with a small town thus far, what is yours like?

Live Life Like Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow is notoriously loved. People can’t get enough of his wittiness and his inexplicably amazing escapes. I want to tell you how and why you should be living life like Captain Jack Sparrow.


Go Ahead, Fake It.


Was Captain Jack always at the top of his game? No! Of course not, but did he ever think otherwise? No! Captain Jack has a skill in faking it that should be coveted by all. Captain Jack always seems confident even when he’s running into a situation without the slightest of plans. If something isn’t going his way, he pretends it is! He is constantly insulted, being called, “The worst pirate I’ve ever seen” but he believes in himself, and even if he doesn’t he seems to pretend he does. That is how he always leaves people saying, “That’s the best pirate I’ve ever seen.”

Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes.


As mentioned above, Captain Jack is constantly running into things and forced to improvise. When improvising mistakes are a given. Captain Jack has been captured numerous times, he’s almost been hanged, and he constantly ends up in the hands of the people who seem to want him dead, but he’s not afraid to do things that get him in these positions. There is a great saying that follows his life mantra, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk more” are you actually living if you never risk anything? Take a tip from Captain Jack and don’t be so afraid of failure that you don’t do the things you want/need to do!

Flaunt What You Got.


If you know you got something good show it off! Captain Jack is never afraid to flaunt an item of importance when he’s got it, whether that be Will Turner or a jar of dirt. Do the same! For example, if you’ve got excellent qualifications for a job show them off! Don’t be afraid to let people know what you got! If you just got a new pair of jeans and you feel good, show it! It’s not always a bad thing to have the spotlight on you!

Always be honest.


Now Captain Jack is a notoriously dishonest man, but he’s honest about being dishonest. Therefore he is honestly dishonest, but in all seriousness Captain Jack teaches us that honestly doesn’t make us weak or niave, in fact he shows us we can use it to our advantage! The more honest you are the more things tend to go in your favor, and the more respect you gain. We also see Captain Jack reap the consequences when he is dishonest, which encourages us to tell the truth even further.

Find Good Friends and Stick With Them.


Gibbs takes the Black Pearl without Captain Jack, but eventually comes back to get him. Captain Jack splashes water all over a sleeping Gibbs then offers to buy him a drink. These guys show how real friendships work. They stick together through all the things that come their way and when they need each other they find each other. We should all strive to find friends that would do anything for us. Plus who doesn’t love that mantra, “Take what you can, give nothing back”. 😉

Find What Is Important to You, and Stand By It.


Captain Jack has an infamous love for rum, and he shows us his dedication to it. Now whether you choose rum or something else follow his example and stand by it. Be consistent with your love for it and let people know it’s important to you!

Know Who You Are.


Captain Jack never questions who he is. He knows that he has done bad things, and that he has done good things. He knows who he is and he isn’t afraid to show it off. Learn who you are and be that!