It’s been about a week since I got back from Dallas, but that’s about how long it takes me to get my head back on straight after traveling. I’ll never know how people who constantly travel back and forth for work do it without getting totally burnt out. I am definitely not like that!

My trip to Dallas kicked off what will be a very busy next few months of traveling almost every other weekend, though. As an introvert and a highly sensitive person (I know a lot of you are HSPs, too!), I’ve never been someone who likes to do a lot of traveling. It always seemed like too much work. Packing everything up, figuring out plans, missing out on time to be “more productive” in the traditional sense… the thought alone left me exhausted and feeling like it wasn’t worth it.

Recently, though, I’ve had a change of heart. I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of moments. I constantly remind myself how important every moment in life is, and that it’s crucial to take advantage of every opportunity we have to try new experiences and focus on the people we love. It’s important to make the most out of every day we are given on this earth.

I’ve also realized a few things about being an entrepreneur who works from home. It’s easy to go a little stir crazy, and it’s easy to accidentally isolate yourself.

Because of that, I recently promised myself I would start booking trips to places I want to go and people I want to see while I have the chance. What am I waiting for? I’m lucky enough to be in charge of my own schedule and to be able to work from anywhere, so I want to make the most of that. I have to make the effort to make plans that excite me. When everyone you’re close to is busy and highly motivated (sometimes too much for their own good), other people aren’t going to make plans for you the way they used to when you were younger.

That being said, one of the first things I wanted to do was visit Dallas to see my cohost of Straight Up Paleo, Kara. Kara isn’t just my cohost, though – she is one of my best friends. She probably knows more about me than I know about myself. The fact that we had never met in person before was truly bizarre, but what else is new in my life?

A lot of you were saying how excited you were to see where I would be eating in Dallas, but I didn’t have the heart to tell you that we wouldn’t be heading off to exciting restaurants. I’m still on my Candida / food intolerance protocol, so eating out isn’t really an option. That was totally fine by me, though. At this point in my life, I would much rather cook in, and we cooked all of our meals at Kara’s house. When you’re two foodies who love recipe testing, eating at home ends up being more delicious and much more cost effective than constant restaurant excursions. I would rather cook than spend too much money on something we could’ve made better ourselves.

Every single meal we ate was incredible, but I had two favorites. The first was the green curry bowls topped with pork belly. MOUTHWATERING. Kara made the curry from scratch, and it was amazing – not spicy at all…just the way I like it. Her boyfriend, Corey, cooked the pork belly to perfection, and I’m literally drooling just thinking about it again. He even let me take home some of the leftover cooking fat! I was so happy.

My other favorite meal was the paleo shepherd’s pie that Kara’s dad and step-mom made us! I’ve never had shepherd’s pie before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was truly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. They totally adjusted it to fit my dietary needs, which was incredibly kind and much appreciated. I could not get over how good it was – I need to recreate it for myself! When it came to the food, I felt like a queen and was so grateful for all of the delicious meals.

We spent most of our time cooking, going on walks, and just talking. We also made a few Target trips, because I’m obsessed with Targets. Targets in L.A. are pretty horrible – I don’t even consider them to be real Targets. Dallas has a ton of Super Targets, though, which were heaven. They have organic produce! Impressive.

We also went on a beautiful walk around White Rock Lake, which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area. We were planning on walking around the entire lake, which I believe would be about 12 miles, but we ended up only walking for about an hour. I could not believe how incredible the view was, and the estates surrounding the lake were unreal. Old money, classic, beautiful, and huge. The size of their front lawns was about the same size as all of Santa Monica. Exaggerating, but you get my point. There is nothing like that out here! The houses are practically out of a movie.

My other favorite activity – we went to Corey’s family farm and helped with planting vegetables and feeding some of the animals! The farm was absolutely gorgeous, and the house was a dream. Secretly wanted to move in. They throw events on the property as well, which makes sense considering the beautiful landscaping and completely picturesque environment. When I imagine a farm, I always think of a rundown barn. This was the total opposite. I like fancy farms!

“Working” on the farm really made me think about where my food comes from. When you realize how much work goes into growing food, it makes you appreciate it a lot more. Our food is so accessible to us – we just go to the store and buy it without doing any real work. Seeing all of the labor that goes into growing food made me think twice about all of the food I buy!

We also learned more about how incredibly cheap it is to grow your own food. I could tell Kara was very inspired to start her own garden, and I won’t be surprised if next time I visit she’s growing asparagus in her backyard! Corey’s aunt told us that it cost her 69 cents to grow the basil we picked, which was probably about $40 worth if you bought it from the store. It was amazing to see the asparagus, okra, squash, basil, peas, dill, and other vegetables and herbs coming straight from the earth. Can you tell I’m a veggie lover?

After we handled the vegetables, we went over to see the cows, chickens, and pigs. I never realized how big cows’ eyeballs are before. Is that weird? I have to be honest – standing that close to a cow really scared me! They are big animals… I liked the babies the best! HA!

Also, this was my first time touching a pig. If you didn’t know, their hair literally feels like hard, wiry bristles. So strange. It was really nice to see all of the animals on the farm, though, because you get to see animals living happy lives. Contrary to popular belief, not all animals in America are subjected to poor treatment and cooped up in bad conditions. You could tell these animals were happy, and they had a very nice setup! I’m really appreciative to have seen such responsible farming in real life.

Although we didn’t eat out anywhere, we did stop at Kara’s favorite coffee shop, Local Press + Brew. The aesthetic was very Los Angeles and Instagrammable – all white and black, modern, and minimalistic. Part of it was an old motor bike shop converted into a coffee shop – extremely cool.  Their menu was very impressive, and I was dying for a matcha latte with their house-made coconut milk. Kara got an unbelievably fudgey Paleo brownie, and everyone who tried it agreed that it was the best brownie they’d ever had. Straight. Fudge.

We also met up with Michelle from Unbound Wellness, and the three of us basically just chatted about life and business for a few hours while we “worked.” Those are the moments I live for. It’s crazy to think that it was the first time I had met both of these girls, yet I felt like we had been friends for years.

I also really appreciated being around such genuine, supportive women. Not everyone is like that. A lot of women are catty and jealous, but here we were, exchanging ideas, telling each other about our business plans, supporting one another and lifting each other up. There was a time in my life when I thought I would never find other women who weren’t out to sabotage me (so dramatic, but I think we’ve all had that experience at some point), but now I feel so blessed to have found so many women who proved me wrong.

Anyways, that was what happened in downtown Dallas. I was hoping I would run into one of the Real Housewives, but I knew that was a very, very, VERY long shot. Oh well.

Even though we didn’t go there this time, if you travel to Dallas, check out HG Supply Co and Harvest for delicious, healthy eats. Kara highly recommends them, and I was dying over the menus. The burgers at HG Supply Co look especially delicious, so I definitely want to go there next time I visit. Harvest is like a Paleo, build-your-own bowl restaurant, and they apparently cook in coconut oil. I wish we had that in California! Kara also recommends Company Cafe, Origins Kitchen + Bar, Kozy Kitchen, Brew + Press, and the Blind Butcher!

It’s funny because I used to only want to travel because of the restaurants. I thought there was no point spending money on a trip unless I could make my trip revolve around the restaurants I wanted to eat at. I still feel that way about some destinations (like New York), but I don’t feel that way anymore about most places. Like I said, now I honestly much prefer going somewhere where I can cook myself. Don’t get me wrong – I love going to a great restaurant. But it’s definitely not my sole purpose for traveling anymore. Nowadays, it’s about the person I’m going to see.

There were a few things I noticed about Dallas. One was that it is much slower than California. I kind of felt like everything was in slow motion. I’m used to lots of things going on, and everyone doing twenty things at once. Physically and mentally. It’s not like that in Dallas, though. Kara and I were laughing because I told her that I had never had such a calm weekend before, and she was saying she had never had more activity in a weekend before! Part of that was because we were hanging out in the suburbs. If I compare those suburbs to the suburbs where I grew up in California, though, Dallas was still much calmer. The slower pace was good for me. It was very eye-opening because I realized all of the pressure I put on myself to do so many things every day, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It made me wonder what my personality would be like if I lived somewhere other than Los Angeles. If I lived in another state, would I still have such a go-go-go personality? It’s funny how your environment can shape you so much.

The other thing I noticed was that people in Dallas are extremely friendly. They hug you, open doors for you, and say hi to you. As much as I love my home state, people in California are not that nice. Sorry, but true. I loved the southern hospitality!

The trip went by way too quickly, and I was sad to go. Kara and I kept trying to figure out what we even did the whole time, because it seemed almost like nothing, but at the same time like everything. Thankfully, we did record a podcast! This was our first one in person together, which was very fun! I’m hoping there will be more to come. Having a weekend to relax and spend quality time with one of my best friends, nerding out on nutrition, taking walks, exploring Target, and staying up way too late talking about who-knows-what was exactly what I needed. It’s always bittersweet to leave trips like that.

I’m lucky to have Kara in my life, and she feels like family to me. How crazy is it that I just randomly flew to Dallas and was welcomed in like I was a member of her family? I felt right at home, and I truly appreciate it.

It’s going to be a busy fall and winter with travel, but I’m very excited about it. San Francisco and Seattle are next on my list – wish me luck!

Have you ever been to Dallas? Where did you go?!

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