THE PERFECT FRIENDS-GETAWAY DESTINATIONS

First of all, if you and your old college/high school friends don’t already have an annual girls getaway in the works, what have you been doing?! If you do, with old vinas or new, be sure to tag your Instagram posts of your girls getaway vacations and hangouts with #vinatime! We want to see where y’all are getting your quality time logged with your girls, plus, we’re looking to feature our vinas in more of our content (like the featured image above!)

We meet some of the best friends of our lives in college, but more often than not our gangs gets divided after graduation. We take jobs in new cities, start families on different sides of the country, and, in general, start to forge our own individual paths. But looking back on college, it’s not the classes and the textbooks that dominate our favorite young adult memories – it’s our friends, the adventures we went on with them and the nights we hung around the dorm doing nothing but gabbing and drinking the alcohol someone’s older sibling picked up for us. If the relationships were what honest-to-goodness got us through those tough four years, how are we expecting to survive the scary and undefined post-grad world without them?

Keeping in-touch with the OGs is just as important as building new communities and friendships wherever we go. So, if you haven’t already, now’s the time to send your golden-years besties this starters list of the best girl gang getaways and plan your summer vacay.

THE EXUMAS

Even if you’re not a Bachelor fan, you’ve probably heard of this popular tourist destination. Big Major Cay, or more famously known as Pig Beach, is a small island in the Bahamas where your gang can hang and bond with the locals – the resident island pigs. The friendly pigs swim out to meet their morning visitors and spend their afternoons napping and playing in the sand.

According to the islands’ official website, a typical day on the island can look something like this:

  • Feed Bahamian rock iguanas
  • Visit Blowhole Beach
  • Stop for lunch on Staniel Cay
  • See the pigs 
  • Pet a stingray and hold a starfish
  • Snorkel in the Out Islands

The islands are a short 55-minute flight from Fort Lauderdale, and there are plenty of gorgeous and exciting resorts on the islands to take your pick from. Or, if you’re looking for a long excursion and don’t mind getting close and cuddly with the besties by sharing a cabin, many cruises take 5- to 7-day long trips to the island for reasonable prices.

Read more about the history and travel logistics.

SANTA BARBARA

The entirety of California could have been made specifically for girls-weekend retreats as far as I’m concerned. And no, I’m not biased because I’m a native. This is just facts.

Santa Barbara is a gem that’s lesser known outside the state, but is nonetheless arguably one of the most beautiful cities we can claim credit for. Besides its inherent beauty, exquisite architecture and year-round summer-dress-appropriate climate, Santa Barbara is packed with luxurious places to stay, iconic eateries and endless adventures. From renting a bike on the beach to hiking the mountains overlooking the coastline to the superb shopping on State Street, there’s plenty to fill your day/weekend/week with. If your girls are of the wine-appreciating variety, there’s no better place than California’s Central Coast. Santa Barbara is full of vineyards and wineries that can add a taste of the local life to your getaway.

In the mood for fresh fish on the pier? Santa Barbara Shellfish Company is your best bet.

If you’re into fish tacos and drinks on the beach – literally on the beach, toes in the sand – Shoreline Beach Cafe is your place.

For the artsy district of Santa Barbara, head to the Funk Zone. (Locals’ Tip: My girl gang never makes a trip to Santa Barbara without hitting the hole-in-the-wall-sized Money’s Mexican Food for the best fish tacos out there.)

WHIDBEY ISLAND

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For the outdoorsy crews, Whidbey Island, Washington is a quaint and pristine Pacific Northwestern getaway. If not everyone in the group has an up-to-date passport to make it to Canada’s Victoria & Vancouver Island, Whidbey Island is the other-worldly retreat to take. Visitors can take a 15-minute ferry ride from Mukilteo (an hour outside Seattle) to the island for less than $10 for a car and a driver, or $5 for riders without vehicles.

Fort Ebey State Park is a beautiful camping location for those who are so inclined. From hikes overlooking the ocean, to lighthouse views, parasailing, winding hiking and biking trails, and leftover underground rooms from the World War II defense fort that originally inhabited the island, there are beautiful and exciting sites across the park.

The remote island is a natural beauty and counts kayaking, whale watching, forest hikes, wine tasting, sailing, fishing, and delicious fresh sea food among its offerings. For a break from the fast-paced city life, a peaceful and rejuvenating trip to the quiet island will get you and the girls back in touch with nature and each other.


SHOREDITCH, LONDON

This artsy neighborhood is known for its street art in particular, and home to plenty of brunches, vintage shops, hip night clubs and so much food. This neighborhood is inhabited by young creatives so the city is literally designed for fun, food, and entertainment.

As for places to stay, Culture Trip has curated a quick list of beautiful and fun Airbnb options in the area that’ll have you feeling like a well-to-do local.

On my personal bucket list, Gloria, a Big Mamma restaurant group eatery. The group is famous for some of the best Italian eateries in Paris, and brought their talent to the UK for the first time in February. The locale itself is a masterpiece, but who is going to turn down classic Italian dishes made with fresh, straight-from-Italy ingredients? (Not me.)

In general, sticking to Shoreditch High Street, Great Eastern Street and Old Street, which form a convenient triangle to easily navigate, will guarantee no loss for things to do, see and eat.

However, London is large and full of many distinct neighborhoods, so if you have the time or the hankering for a different side of London life, check out this complete list of London neighborhoods and the ins and outs of visiting each.

NASHVILLE

You will not be bored in Nashville. Whether your girls are music lovers, foodies, outdoors enthusiasts, history buffs or all of the above, you’ll leave Nashville with twenty more things you didn’t get to. There are truly endless options in Music City, USA.

Nashville is the kind of place that feels a little like a really big small town. It’s welcoming and quaint yet packed full with nightlife and entertainment options.

To start off your Nashville adventure, hit 12South. This popular, one-stop neighborhood has a morning’s worth of fun places to eat, drink and snap some Insta-worthy squad pics. Start with coffee and breakfast at Frothy Monkey. It’s a favorite and for good reason. Nearby, you can walk down to the Nashville Looks Good on You mural for some post-coffee Insta fodder. There’s a lot of street art around to see so don’t let this be your first and last, but it’s an iconic place to start. Five Daughters Bakery, in the same area, boasts the best donuts and cronuts around and offers a variety of quality-ingredient donuts including Organic and vegan options.

For live music, you can pretty much wonder around and find it anywhere. When they’re having an event, Grimey’s Records is a fun record store to peruse before walking to the back for shows. The Blue Bird Cafe and Broadway are obvious must-see classics of the town, too.

Other phenominal places to hit before you head back home:

  • Farmer’s Market – this place is an artisan haven, offering everything from fresh produce to soaps, gifts, ice cream and more.
  • Shakespeare in the Park (Cookeville, TN – 1 hr 15 mins out of Nashville) – If you’re visiting in fall, this is a fun, free, award-winning performance that plays nightly for a week and a half.
  • Belle Meade Plantation – 30 minutes out of the city is a beautiful and historic plantation for the history buffs in the group.
  • Radnor Lake (30 min drive south of Nashville) – This state park is a locals and celebrity favorite so be sure to find time for a stroll through this scenic spot.
  • Hillsboro Village – This is a great stop for fun shopping in the city.

Traveling with old friends is magical, but so is traveling with new ones! If you’re really looking for new experiences, join the Jet Setters community on Hey!VINA to find your fellow adventurers and plan your next trip today!

WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL ALONE ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME

Often, women hear many fear-based responses when they share their dreams to travel alone. “But it’s dangerous! What if you get kidnapped? Or mugged?” someone will say. Or the famous: “Always use the buddy system.” 

Although these are completely valid safety points to consider, this world is full of vast opportunity. With the right location research, practical preparation, and a good amount of self-trust, there stands a once-in-a-lifetime list of amazing reasons you should say YES to traveling alone.

YOU SEE THE WORLD THROUGH AN HONEST PERSPECTIVE

When you travel somewhere without a friend or family member by your side 24/7, you have a special chance to see the world exactly how you experience it. Especially when traveling to unfamiliar cities, countries, or continents, the newness of a distant location and culture can come alive to you in ways that are totally unique. 

Solo travel frees you of another person’s filters and expectations. You’re free to do what you want when you want. You can say no to anything that makes you uneasy without the social pressure to “be adventurous.” You’ll be challenged to observe other lifestyles without judgment. 

Woman looking out at hot air balloons.

A CHANGE OF SCENERY CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Call it Culture Shock: You most definitely might have moments of solo travel when you ask yourself, “Um, am I even on the same planet anymore?” 

Depending on where you go, be prepared to let go of all preconceived opinions you held about the right or wrong ways to live life. Your culture’s ideals about food, sanitation, table manners, treatment of animals, transportation, money, spiritual practices, and social etiquette could all fly out the window.

It’s okay, though! The drastic change in scenery isn’t meant to scare you or make you feel bad. It can actually be a life-changing opportunity to learn new ways of daily thought, relationship, and action. Many times, you’ll realize how much you truly have to be grateful for.

IT’S EMPOWERING AS FUUU-N

Traveling solo might seem scary at first, and some parts are intimidating for sure! In the end, however, it’s super empowering. AND FUN. 

You could be humbled, entertained, creeped out, amazed, exhausted, delighted, or even confused– all in the same day. But you have to remember: Damn, you’re doing this! You’re taking yourself on an incredible adventure and opening yourself up to the journey, whatever might come. Every day is a new thrill.

Woman smiling in front of the Eiffel Tower.

THE WORLD IS BEAUTIFUL

This point is obvious, but oh, it hits home. The world is freakin’ big and beautiful. There are infinite sceneries to behold. Both natural and man-made wonders to marvel at. Stories of history, both high and low, to introduce to your presence.

Is everything going to be photo-worthy and aesthetically pleasant? NO. But the best part is the noticeable beauty that moves you is the most meaningful kind of beautiful.

YOU LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN

Can’t find a trolly or Tuk-tuk? Don’t know how to ask what’s on your plate without sounding offensive? Haven’t tried to barter at a street market yet? You’re gonna have to learn!

One of the coolest parts about the solo travel experience is that you’ll be thrown into new situations where you’ll need to practice common sense, intuition, active learning, and people skills–usually all at the same time. And you will learn A LOT. 

IT HELPS YOU STAY OPEN-MINDED

There’s quite possibly nothing as eye-opening as travel. Even if the trip is to a new state several hours away, the act of moving out of your personal bubble and into new territory can open your mind to something new. 

On the flip side, if we tend to remain in the same place where we feel comfortable and familiar for too long, over time our perspectives can grow rather small. Movement and travel make us feel alive, am I right? If you need a shift in mindset about the world, traveling will definitely open your mind for you!

Woman standing in the middle of a city street.

YOU GET TO MEET FASCINATING PEOPLE

Traveling’s not all about eating new foods, seeing sights and museums, and taking Insta-worthy photos the whole time. Travel lets you meet some interesting people and potentially even friends!

Because you’re going by yourself, it’s probably a good idea to at least dip your toes into the social scene, nightlife, or some kind of entertainment event (all while checking in with your safety radar and gut feelings, of course). 

YOU MAKE UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES

At the end of your trip, you’ll be surprised at how many stories you go home with. I like to bring a journal or take notes on my phone of the most influential experiences I’ve had each day (photos optional but highly recommended!)

Whether your adventures last a few days or over a month, the memories you make will last a lifetime. 

What places call to you, future solo traveler? Do you have any fun travel experiences already? Join Hey! VINA and start connecting with other vinas in the Jetsetters community! And don’t forget–if you become a VINA VIP, you get the ability to teleport to anywhere in the world, so if you have a solo trip planned, you can scope out the VINA scene beforehand and make some plans!✈️💖

TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: GAP YEARS

It often feels like there’s a huge pressure for just-graduated high school seniors to rush right off to college to immediately continue the next phase of their educational life. However, after twelve years of education, the desire to drop tons of money just for four more years of school might sound truly dreadful.

However, more recently, gap years — a year off between high school and starting college — have become increasingly more prevalent and may even be healthier in the long run for students about to begin four years of higher education.

Here are a few reasons to consider taking a gap year.

IT CAN GIVE YOU A BREAK

Twelve years of school (in a row) is a lot! High school especially can be draining both physically and mentally, and there’s no shame in recognizing that maybe college isn’t the right place for you right now. A year off can give you time to rest, recuperate, and prepare for the next phase of your lfie.

IT CAN GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO EARN SOME MONEY

This might be a shocker, but college is expensive. Sometimes it just isn’t economically feasible to jump right into something that might cost you many thousands of dollars. Scholarships and financial aid are great, but if taking a year off to work and earn some money is the best way to ensure you’ll have a healthier and happier college environment, that might be the way to go.

IT CAN GIVE YOU OPPORTUNITIES TO TRAVEL

This, of course, depends on money and funds — you definitely shouldn’t take a gap year just to go into debt. However, some schools actually offer gap years where you get the opportunity to defer your acceptance and travel in the school’s name. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a prestigious Global Gap Year fellowship that allows the student to travel anywhere they want with a stipend given to them by the school.

IT CAN GIVE YOU SOME BREATHING ROOM

It can be tricky to learn who you are, what you love, and what you want to do for the rest of your life when you’re surrounded by four walls and mandated rules by an education system. Taking a gap year means that, at least on some level, you have a chance to focus on you. Maybe you learn that college in general just isn’t for you. That’s okay. Maybe you learn that all that free time makes you antsy, and you can’t wait to get back into the classroom. That’s also fine! It might be beneficial to take a year and figure out what it is you want before you jump right back into a rigorous academic setting.

With Hey! VINA, you can find vinas all over the globe, traveling on a gap year or not!

25 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU TURN 25

As I reflect back on my youth, I cannot help but think of all the different experiences I’ve had: The good, the bad and the ugly.  The good is a picture book of memories, comfortably accompanied by silent smiles and fuzzy feelings of friends, family and familiarities. The bad is a series of self-help books, ready to be of assistance when I am in desperate need of inner peace and guidance. The ugly is a box of regret that’s been chained and locked, prayed over to be forever forgotten.

As I reflect, I wonder what advice I would give the 24-year-old me. Which exciting adventures would I inspire her to pursue with vigor and vibrancy? Which people would I encourage her to meet? Which giant leaps would I motivate her to jump? No matter what, I would tell her to just be herself. In the end, yourself is all you know how to be, and that’s the best you out there.

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So in light of the good, the bad, and the ugly af, the following is your complete list of 25 things to do before you turn the big two-five:

 

1. Don’t compromise on your education. In the words of the late great Nelson Mandela, “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add a literate tongue and pen, you have something very special.” If 25 is peeking at you and you won’t graduate before then, register for a short course. Something you can build on in the years to come.

2. See your city and meet the people you share it with. You would be surprised as to how many hidden gems you have right under your nose.

3. Make friends everywhere. You never know when you might need to dial that number for someone to help you out. And similarly, they will need you one day too.

4. Invest time in physical activity. Something you can get excited about for the rest of your life. Like running, yoga, or fitness training. Play an indoor sport and join a team. Being part of something bigger than yourself is good for the spirit.

5. Read one life-changing book a year. It will teach you great life-hacks but also give you a winnable goal.

6. Live on your own. This is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives. It will teach you discipline, independence, and confidence as you realize you really can depend on yourself.

7. Invest in yourself. Open a 30-day investment/savings account and commit to paying a portion of your salary over every single month. Don’t stop this after you turn 25.

8. Travel—to foreign countries, states, even cities. See as much of this world as you possibly can.

9. Make lasting friendships in those foreign countries. Maybe even throw it back and strike up a pen pal relationship!

10. Actively and consciously make an attempt to find your passion. Try different things to figure out what you are good at. If you love your work, you’ll work for fun and earn a living while doing it.

11. Believe in yourself and take that chance. Remember, the people who did it before you were just as scared.

12. Learn a foreign language or two, or three. The world is far too big and complex for you to only know how to speak your native tongue.

13. Build your confidence. You need it just as much as you need air.

14. Learn to play one instrument, at the very least. This will enhance your life more than you know, plus it’s a neat party trick to keep up your sleeve.

15. Adopt an animal in need. Not only will you be taking a stand against the trading of animals for domestication, you will also give at least one broken heart a chance at a better life.

16. Book a photo shoot for yourself. Print them out and hang them on the wall to remind yourself that you are enough and worth taking care of.

17. Grow an herb garden. Eating your own produce is extremely satisfying, and healthy af.

18. Enter competitions that challenge your physical and mental abilities. For a start, join a local trivia night.

19. Do a holistic body scan. Prevention is 100% better than cure.

20. Write a will. The topic is eerie and nobody wants to do this, but the sooner you get it out of the way, the less eerie it becomes. It’s just a piece of paper—don’t let it freak you out. It will surprisingly give you peace of mind.

21. Research various methods to become debt free/financially independent. If you can be debt free and financially independent at 25, the world is your oyster. I mean, the world is totally your oyster either way, but imagine an oyster where you don’t owe money. That’s the dream.

22. Watch all the movies listed on Business Insider’s Top 50 Best Movies of All Time.

23. Tell your loved ones you love them. Consistently. Spend enough time with all the people you care about. It sounds like such a cliché, but life really is too short. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

24. Take a VINAcation with your vinas. Those are memories that last a lifetime.

25. Last, but certainly not least: live your best life!! Whatever that means to you, do the thing that makes you happy. Stop worrying, stressing, or even thinking about what everyone else defines as bliss—and find your own!

Number 26: download the Hey! VINA app and start swiping to meet the vinas that will help you cross off everything from your list!

WHY IT’S HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS IN A NEW COUNTRY

I moved to Denmark with my fiancė and I’m happy we did. We met in Greenland working at Thule AB; I was a bartender and he was working on the Danish civilian side. We moved to Germany afterward, where I continued working as a bartender for the military and him doing the same work in Greenland. Making friends in Germany was easy because I made friends with my coworkers who were American, like me.

I grew up as a military brat and the one and only mission that the U.S. Military asks of the children is to make friends. There are a lot of “tips and tricks” they teach children to make friends, and schools at some of the bases offer a buddy system that assigns you a friend from the moment you land at a new base. It was important for us to have friends when we first start at a new station because we, as the children, were the focus of the home. Being able to have friends helped keep that normality of life. So growing up with all that, I was pretty confident when it came to making new friends because,

  1. I have friends, so A+ on history and experience
  2. I was taught how to make friends in a new environment
  3. Being a bartender, it’s almost natural to make friends
  4. I have been told I have a great personality (truth)
  5. I’m hilarious

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With those reasons, it was in the least of my worries to make friends when we moved to Denmark. Fast forward: boy was I wrong. Having my partner gone overseas to work for long periods of time, I eventually got lonely. I didn’t have anybody to talk to and I started to want to go out and explore this new country. And it made me realize that I, in fact, didn’t know how to make new friends without help! When I was a kid, I had another person assigned to me as a friend and I was constantly submerged into a group of people. At work, making friends with your coworkers just happens without you even realizing it, especially when working at a place like a club. Now with nothing at my disposal as a stepping stone, I found it incredibly difficult to make new friends.

I never realized that the friendship culture could be different in different cultural settings and I didn’t know how to understand it. I do have one Danish friend that I met back in Greenland who I see once every three months. She lives near Copenhagen and I live in Jutland. I value my friendship with her because for one, she is a great friend and also because she gives me all these new insights on “how to’s” in social environments. However, when I looked up  “how to make friends in Denmark,” guess what came up first? That Denmark is the world’s worst country in which to make friends! I felt 100% discouraged. The search result blabbed on into my face and said that by the time Danes are in their 30’s, they are hustling in their jobs, have their families, and kind of have their friend group. Danes are not looking for short-term friendships, they’re committed to long-term relationships with deep friendship value. Great, I am too, but where do I start? How do I meet people?

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One day, I thought that there had to be something in the app store. There has to be. And there it was, our favorite, the Hey! VINA app. I downloaded it immediately and I was so grateful that it was active in Europe! I was surprised that there were so many people who were in the exact same situation as me. People moving to a foreign country, far away from the comforts of home, to be with a partner, and with the problem of the constant shadow of loneliness. Not loneliness because of the absence of a partner, but loneliness because you miss doing certain things and the familiarity of a good friendship.

It’s still hard trying to make friends; I don’t have friends in my town. Yet. I don’t know when or if it’s ever going to happen. I still have my days where I’m completely discouraged, but do I still go outside and try and talk to some people? Yes! And I know from experience that, of course, it’s going to take time. Time to get to know my new country, time to learn the language, and time to get to know the friendship culture here in Denmark. And I am proud to announce that I am sooo willing to go for it!

Did you know that when you upgrade your VINA profile and become a VINA VIP, you can teleport to anywhere in the world and start meeting friends before you travel somewhere?! Or, when you arrive, you can join local communities like New in Town or Jetsetters and meet your girl gang that way🌟

FUN VINA PLANS TO CHECK OUT THIS WEEK AND WEEKEND!

Hey, vinas! Since our PLANS feature launched, you never have a reason to say “I have nothing to do today!” again.

Need more convincing? Check out this list of open events happening in our top VINA cities! All you have to do is RSVP in the app and show up. Just click the link below to pull up all the details. Cheers to more vinas!

NYC PLANS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

🍷Let’s head to the FREE wine tasting with Jenny at Union Square at 2pm — SIGN UP HERE

🍽🍸 Let’s do dinner and drinks with Paula at Fig & Olive at 7pm — RSVP HERE

💃 Let’s go out dancing with Mila at The Park at 10pm — JOIN IN HERE

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

🍶🎨 Let’s try our hand at pottery with Mir at La Mano Pottery at 1pm — SIGN UP HERE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19

☕️ Let’s grab coffee with Pamela at Pennylane Coffee at 4pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

🥂🦋 Let’s grab drinks with Tasia at the Monarch Rooftop Bar at 5:30pm — RSVP HERE

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

🍻 Let’s hit up happy hour with Cara at the Third Floor Cafe at 6:15pm — JOIN IN HERE

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21

🍗🥧 Let’s celebrate Thanksgiving-eve with Tiffany at FREQ at 11pm — RSVP HERE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22

✌️🏙 Let’s do something with Jenny in Manhatten at 1pm — RSVP HERE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

👯‍♀️ Let’s go out dancing with Natilee at Playroom NYC at 10:45pm — JOIN IN HERE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

🎉 Let’s go to this Afro Code Day party with Ashley at Hudson Terrace at 4:30pm — SIGN UP HERE

🎟 Let’s check out The Heavy Hitters concert with Tiffany at Hulu Theater/Madison Square Garden at 8pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

SURRY HILLS, AUSTRALIA PLANS

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

✌️Let’s do Sunday dinner with the VINA CEO Olivia June at Winery at 6pm — RSVP HERE

SAN FRANCISCO PLANS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

☕️ Let’s grab coffee with Grace at Stanza Coffee at 10am — RSVP HERE

🍝 Let’s do dinner with Shang at Chili House SF at 6pm — JOIN IN HERE

🍹 Let’s grab drinks with Lesley in San Francisco at 9pm — SIGN UP HERE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

🛁🎉 Let’s do a spa, dinner, club night with Nakisha at The Marker San Francisco at 3pm — RSVP HERE

CHICAGO PLANS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

✨ Let’s check out the lights festival with Emily at Magnificent Mile at 3pm — JOIN IN HERE

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21

🎸 Let’s go to the Amine Concert with Carly in Chicago at 7:30pm — RSVP HERE

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

🎤 Let’s go to the 6lack concert with Dree at The Riviera Theater at 9pm — SIGN UP HERE

WASHINGTON, DC PLANS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

☕️🍰 Let’s have high tea with Meredith at The Mandarin Oriental at 3pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

💃 Let’s go out dancing with Jess at WILD DAYS at 10pm — JOIN IN HERE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

👯‍♂️ Let’s go out dancing with Nenneh at Bliss Nightclub at 11:45pm — RSVP HERE

LOS ANGELES PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

✌️ Let’s go to SuperDuperKyle Con with Jhai at Hollywood Palladium at 7pm — SIGN UP HERE

🎟👩🏻‍🎤 Let’s go to a concert with Kaliyah at Hollywood Palladium at 8pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19

💃🌟 Let’s go to Dancing With The Stars with Sarah at The Grove at 12pm — JOIN IN HERE

TORONTO PLANS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

🍔🍷 Let’s hit the food and wine expo with Keila at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 6pm — RSVP HERE

🎳🥳 Let’s go bowling for Eva’s birthday with Eva in Toronto at 8:15pm — RSVP HERE

SÃO PAULO PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

🍻 Let’s grab drinks with Caroline in São Paulo at 9pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22

💅 Let’s get a manicure with Caroline in São Paulo at 7pm — JOIN IN HERE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23

🛍 Let’s go shopping with Caroline in São Paulo at 6pm — SIGN UP HERE

SINGAPORE PLANS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

✌️ Let’s do something with Syafiqah at Bugis Junction at 9am — CHECK IT OUT HERE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22

🍳🍊Let’s do brunch with Phua at Bread Yard at 12:45pm — RSVP HERE

☕️ Let’s meet for coffee with Xia Xiaomi in Singapore at 2pm — JOIN IN HERE

MONTREAL PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

☕️🥛 Let’s get coffee with Lily at Milton B – Cafeteria Urbaine at 3pm — SIGN UP HERE

🤗 Let’s do something with Lily at Societe V at 6pm — CHECK IT OUT HERE

CALGARY PLANS 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 

🍱 Let’s get dinner with Sarah at Sushi BBQ Inn at 6pm — JOIN IN HERE

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA PLANS 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

📚 Let’s start a book club with Laura at 10am — JOIN IN HERE

✌️Let’s do something with Michelle at 2pm — RSPV HERE

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

📚 Let’s go to Slut Walk and march together with Eliza at 12pm at Father’s Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant — JOIN IN HERE

DALLAS PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

✌️ Let’s do something with Sierra at 9pm — JOIN IN HERE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22

🦃Let’s have a Thanksgiving meal with Rue at Second Floor Regionally Inspired Kitchen at 12pm — RSPV HERE

OAKLAND, CA PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

🎵 Let’s do Trap Karaoke with Nakisha at the New Parish at 9pm — JOIN IN HERE

AUSTIN, TX PLANS 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21

🎵 Let’s go to Heavy Metal Show Partner with Kimberlee at Come and Take It Live at 5pm — JOIN IN HERE

CHARLOTTE, NC PLANS 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17

🎬 Let’s go to the movies with Marla at AMC Carolina Pavilion 22 at 7pm — JOIN IN HERE

INDIANAPOLIS, IN PLANS 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

🥂 Let’s grab drinks with Crystal at 9pm — JOIN IN HERE

DENMARK PLANS 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22

👯‍♀️ Let’s go to Women’s Circle with Denisa at Olof Palmes Alle at 7pm — JOIN IN HERE

FINLAND PLANS 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Let’s go to Sunrise Avenue’s Gig with Noora at Club Teatria Oulu at 11pm — JOIN IN HERE

If your city isn’t mentioned here, go to the PLANS feature on Hey! VINA and start looking! Make sure your radius to find new vinas is set to at least 50 miles away from you—that way, you’ll see open plans in that same radius. And you can always create your own open plan as well! 

INSIDE THIS SUPER FUN VINA DATE IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Hi, vinas! Lora Levison here, Hey! VINA‘s Community Manager. As community manager, I get to connect with all the amazing vina ambassadors around the world who are spreading the VINA love by hosting and attending VINA plans.

Which brings me to one rockstar vina ambassador, Yvette Nankafu Zihhalirwa from Cape Town, South Africa. She recently hosted an amazing vina get-together and shared her advice on how to make a public plan a success. 

According to Yvette, it’s important that your plan accommodates everyone. “You want everyone to have a good time and feel comfortable at the end of the day,” she says. “It was super easy for everyone to find each because the venue was very easy to find and so well known.”

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Here’s our vina, Yvette!

At the end of the night, Yvette reflected on what a successful vina date it was. “My personal highlight was how easily we all connected after a few minutes in a room—it felt as if we have known each other our whole life!”

Vinas, use Yvette as your inspo. Get on Hey! VINA and create an open plan right now, or check out open plans in your area in the discover plans feature—your girl gang is waiting for you! 

 

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO THIS AUTUMN

Vinas! It’s time to tackle that fall bucket list before the winter chills catch us all off guard. If you don’t have one yet – don’t fret. We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 seasonal activities that you can enjoy alone or plan with your vines! 🍂

VISIT AN ART GALLERY

On a cold and windy day, an art gallery is the perfect hideout from the harsh weather. It’s a great indoor activity if you wanna switch things up a little. Check out the newest exhibit at your local gallery and gain a new perspective on with world with your vinas!

HIT A PUMPKIN PATCH

It wouldn’t be an autumn to do list if this one wasn’t on it! It’s a universal truth that going to pumpkin patch is so much more fun than just buying a pumpkin at your local grocery store. There’s more of a variety and you get to create some wholesome memories! You can use your hand picked pumpkin to make pie or whip out that artist in you to carve whatever your heart desires! 🎃

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WATCH THE SUNSET

Sunsets are ALWAYS better in the fall. The oranges are more saturated and the yellows are more vibrant. Watching the sun go down is a MUST during this season. It’s so alluring, you may just shed a tear from all its beauty! Make sure to catch it before those dark winter days are thrust upon us!

GO THRIFTING

This is a fun activity for you and your vinas! The best part about thrifting is the gems you find along the way. This can mean secondhand clothes, accessories, or home decor to spice things up this autumn. You never know what you might find, and even if nothing catches your eye, thrifting is always a great way to gain inspiration!

TRY A NEW FALL RECIPE

Instead of picking up a pumpkin-spice-something-or-other at Starbucks, try making one yourself! Pinterest has hundreds of fall recipes to choose from. You can bake a pie, make a pot of soup or keep things simple and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate! The options are endless!

GO HIKING

Going for a hike in the fall is perfect. It’s not hot enough for you to feel like you’re going to faint, but it’s not so cold that you run back inside the second you set foot on the soil. Get out there in the crisp autumn air for a refreshing and rewarding experience!

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HOST A MOVIE NIGHT

Throw on your jammies and get cozy on the couch! Classics that will put you in the autumn mood are films like “October Sky,” “The Night Before Christmas,” or my personal favorite rom-com: “You’ve Got Mail.” When Joe asks “Don’t you just love New York in the fall?” Ugh, yes! Yes we do, Joe!

WATCH “OVER THE GARDEN WALL”

This one needs its own spot on the list. Over the Garden Wall exudes all the elements of autumn. This Cartoon Network mini series is a dark fantasy adventure of two brothers traveling through a spooky forest to find their way home. From encountering a town of pumpkin people to rummaging through autumn leaves, fall is just the right time to watch this adorable, hilarious show. 

HIT THE ROAD

Flying is overrated. Grab your vinas and go on an impromptu road trip! It’s an opportunity to bond, and get some more of that fresh autumn air! Be spontaneous, soak up the changing leaves and dirt roads along the way!

GO TO A CAT CAFE

Cats and coffee…do you need more convincing?

In need of a fall friend to check off your bucket list with? Download the Hey! VINA app now to meet some girls who just wanna have fall fun!

 

HOW EUROPE MADE ME APPRECIATE AMERICA

OK guys, so I’ve been to Europe several times, but the last time was 5 years ago making me a 16 year old brat that wouldn’t let anyone take her picture in front of a 300 year old palace. That was the last time…until last month. Now that I’m a slightly less bratty 21 year old gal, I obviously took advantage of all the Instagram opportunities, but more than that, I tested myself to find out which parts of the European culture were truly as shocking as I remembered, and which parts were actually just the result of a teenager not having wifi or a snack in 2 hours.

Coffee is truly as tiny as I remember it being, lets start there. If you go anywhere besides Starbucks or McDonalds, like a typical restaurant, they bring you a teacup of coffee smaller than an espresso shot that looks like it came with my easy bake oven. What’s up with coffee across the Atlantic y’all? I think I ordered one decent cup of coffee during my two weeks in Vienna this year, but it was half milk so I don’t think that counts.

What struck me more than the coffee though, was the people. In general? Rude. The kind of rude where they see you coming and press the “close door” button instead of holding the elevator. I mean it metaphorically, but I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if it were to actually happen. No one held the door for me in the course of the 15 days of my trip, and if they couldn’t understand what I was saying, I was as good as invisible. Now again, let me stress that I’m not speaking for the entire continent of Europe, but the personal experience and encounters I had in Austria in comparison with the general experiences I’ve had in the United States my entire life.

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Now, the most uncomfortable thing for me was going from spending half of my life in a smoke free zone, to being thrust into a society that considers a cigarette dessert. That’s right, A CIGARETTE. Not some trendy millennial marijuana smoke, but good old- fashioned nicotine. For those of you who haven’t been outside the protection of the non smoking zone (a.k.a America) in the last decade and a half, consider this your warning. Apparently Europe hasn’t gotten the memo: smoking kills. And you can do it just about anywhere. It was kind of chic for a second like a 1970’s film, but it got old real quick when my closet started to scream “chimney sweep” instead of chic. Seriously though, it is kind of surreal to be sitting at a restaurant in 2018 and see the table next to you light up. Or to relive the laughable “Non Smoking Section” which is actually just 6 booths on the other side of the room.

The atmosphere itself started to feel kind of cold and lonely after awhile. Partly because all my social interactions were limited to a handful of English speakers, but also because I was away from my daily ins and outs, and I was yet again reminded of the harshness of the world. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like everyone was mean and nasty, but it was definitely not a hippie, west coast music festival promoting world peace and neighborly love.

So in conclusion, I guess my experience wasn’t all that different. I wondered if age and wisdom (lol– five years of both) would somehow change my perspective on all of the things that shocked me about European society, but instead I learned that the truth is always going to be true, no amount of age or wisdom will change that. What did change, was my tolerance, and my ability to find more beauty than ugliness. So I guess I can technically attribute that to maturity (age, wisdom, etc.). I chugged my 1 ounce coffees, held the door for all the people that didn’t hold it for me, embraced a little nicotine in my clean air, and truly stopped to smell the roses. Truly, guys. There were so many incredible florists out on the streets.

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I found myself sticking my head out the Uber window and gazing at the city lights around me, pretending I was in Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” music video. I ate everything, I drank everything, I got the bartender laughing when we couldn’t understand each other, I even had a cold for 3 days but still rocked a hotel room photo shoot and smashed some darn good pizza.

All in all, there is no perfect world. I think I love mine so much because it’s home and it feels like Christmas pajamas on Christmas eve. Warm and fuzzy, familiar, like nothing bad could ever happen; like I know the ending to every story that’s told in that place, and that this is exactly where I want to be. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel extremely fortunate to be able to experience life outside of my own, it just means that every time I set foot outside of my American soil I will be reminded not to take my freedom, my customs, my culture, my upbringing, or my life for granted. God bless America! And God bless the world!

Do you also have that Europe trip forever on your bucket list? Download the Hey! VINA app now and join the Jetsetter community to start planning it with some amazing vinas!

FUN VINA PLANS TO CHECK OUT THIS WEEK AND WEEKEND!

Hey, vinas! Since our PLANS feature launched, you never have a reason to say “I have nothing to do today!” again.

Need more convincing? Check out this list of open events happening in our top VINA cities! All you have to do is RSVP in the app and show up. Just click the link below to pull up all the details. Cheers to more vinas!

NEW YORK CITY PLANS

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30

🎃Let’s do Blood Manor in NYC at 6:30pm with Mir — RSVP HERE

🎵Let’s go to Tori Kelly’s concert with A’Yanna at The Riverside Church at 7pm — JOIN IN HERE

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31

💅Let’s go to the spa with Lala at Premier57 at 3pm — JOIN IN HERE

🚶‍♀️Let’s go for a walk with Julianna at 1296 Madison Ave. at 4:45pm — JOIN IN HERE

👻Let’s quiet in Halloween parade with Hajar at 114 Varick St. at 5:30pm — JOIN IN HERE

🎥Let’s see a movie with Kiara at SVA Theater at 7:30pm—RSPV HERE

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

🎫Let’s go to the MoMa with Sophia at 6pm — SIGN UP HERE 

✌️Let’s go to the Whitney Museum with Kiara at Whitney Museum of American Art at 7pm — COME JOIN HERE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3

💃Let’s go to Afro Code NYC Day Party with Ashley at The Delancey at 3pm — RSVP HERE

LOS ANGELES PLANS

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30

☕️Let’s K Town Meet for Tea with Julie at Hwa Sun Ji Tea & Coffee at 6:30pm — RSVP HERE

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31

🌮Let’s celebrate Halloween with Booritos with Taylor at Chipotle at 7pm — SIGN UP HERE

👯‍♀️Let’s do something in LA with Lesley at 9pm — SIGN UP HERE

🍾Let’s grab drinks at High Rooftop Lounge with SomethingToWhineAbout at 5pm — SIGN UP HERE

🎃Let’s go to Yg Halloween Night/Concert at Globe Theatre Los Angeles Sabine with Breanna at 9pm — SIGN UP HERE

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1

🎼Let’s rufus du sol at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall with Julie at 9pm — SIGN UP HERE

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4

✌️Let’s attend Afrolicious at Los Angeles Convention Center with Xandrea at 12pm — SIGN UP HERE

CHICAGO, IL PLANS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

🎵Let’s see Hobo Johnson at The LM with Jaci at House of Blues Chicago at 6pm — RSVP HERE

📱Let’s Northside Group Chat with Marlene at 7:45 pm — RSVP HERE

📱Let’s Logan Square Group Chat with Marlene at 9:30 pm — RSVP HERE

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3

🥞Let’s brunch with Vicki at The Hampton Social at 12pm — RSVP HERE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA PLANS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

💃Let’s go out dancing with Xenia at 1015 Folsom at 8:30pm — RSVP HERE

☕️Let’s meet for coffee at Covo with Crystal at 1 pm — JOIN HERE

😂Let’s go to Singles Comedy Night at 1123 Folsom St. with GinuwineEul at 9pm — JOIN HERE

ATLANTA, GA PLANS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2

🍷Let’s grab drinks with Teimryna at Wet Willie’s at 7pm — RSVP HERE

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4

👯‍♀️Let’s Sunday Funday with Shani at Sips n Strokes Toco Hills at 3pm — RSVP HERE

If your city isn’t mentioned here, go to the PLANS feature on Hey! VINA and start looking! Make sure your radius to find new vinas is set to at least 50 miles away from you—that way, you’ll see open plans in that same radius. And you can always create your own open plan as well!