Thinking Out Loud : Technology, Travel, Coaching

Hi everyone!  Today I'm going to be joining in the Thinking Out Loud linkup fun.  I'm going to be sharing some things that are going on in my life and interesting things I've been reading about- but it's kind of random.  I would love to hear your thoughts, so please share them in the comments!

Amazon Go

Has anyone heard about this?  Basically it's a grocery store with no check out lines- just scan an app to get in, pick up your stuff and go.  In some ways, this concept is really interesting to me.  I work in mobile payments, so it's encouraging to me that the future looks promising for my career, plus who likes to wait in really long lines?

On the other hand, it seems like machines are replacing people more and more, which is a terrifying thought.  This seems like the first step in eliminating service jobs which is really going to hurt the economy and unemployment rate.  What do you all think?

Side note- if any of you have a Sam's Club membership, have you tried out the Pay and Go app?  You scan items as you're shopping, then check out through the app and leave the store.  Similar to Amazon Go, but with a bit more work on your end.  It's really convenient and makes shopping a lot more enjoyable, but on the other hand I hate that it's putting people out of work.

Order Ahead Coffee

In other technology-is-taking-over-our-lives news, has anyone tried out the "order ahead" feature at coffee shops?  Most places around my work now have a feature that you can place your order in their app, then go and pick it up without waiting in line.  I pretty much solely use this when I go to a Starbucks now, so that I can make drink modifications easily.  It's also great when I'm running to a meeting and don't have time to wait in line!  

The downside that I see to this is the fact that there's no security around the cups or anything to prevent random people from grabbing a coffee for free.  At all of my local stores, the workers just leave the drinks up on a shelf for people to grab.  Luckily my drinks have never been stolen, but it's happened a few times to my coworkers.  I think there needs to be a bit more of a system in place for the worker to ask for the confirmation before you get your drink!

2017 Travel

2016 is almost over, which means it's time to start thinking of the new year!  I'm already starting to plan some trips and I'm getting really excited.  I just registered for the Cherry Blossom lottery, so hopefully a trip to Washington, DC will be on my list.  Did anyone else register?  This is my first time entering a lottery for a race, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Later in the year I'll be going to Mexico for the first time!  Compared to most international travel from Pittsburgh, this is a pretty inexpensive flight.  I'm really excited to explore and relax.  If anyone's been to Cancun or Isla Mujeres before, please give me restaurant and sight seeing suggestions. (p.s. check out the house we'll be renting:)

Pittsburgh's going to be getting a big international travel upgrade next year- WOW Air and Condor Airline are both adding routes!  Now I can travel for a lot cheaper to Europe, and might even get a direct flight.  Every time I've gone to Europe in the past, I've had at least 2 layovers (as many as 4), so this is going to be amazing!

To Coach or Not To Coach?

Speaking of travel next year, I'm also finalizing my racing schedule!  I have some really lofty (and scary) goals.  Scary enough that I'm afraid to share them with anyone!  I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to invest in a running coach or not to see if I can actually achieve those goals.  On one hand- I've always made my own training and (knock on wood) have never been injured.  I've also met all of the goals that I set for myself so far.  But, I want to run a marathon which takes a ton more work and dedication.  Can I do all of that on my own?

I would love to hear your experience if you've used a running coach!  Worth it, or not worth it?  Coaches out there- please tell my why I need one.  Sell me!:)

Do you think technology's taking over our lives?  Good or bad thing?
What are your travel plans for 2017?
Who has used a coach before? Worth it?


  1. I could talk to you about coaching with regards to +/- (obviously). I had the same reaction to the Amazon Go store--there go more jobs!

  2. Ooh, the cherry blossom race sounds awesome! I've also never used a lottery. Do you have to be fast to get in typically? And I love the Amazon Go feature! Really interesting concept - but I agree, it replaces a lot of jobs. But unfortunately, I think that's inevitable. :\

  3. I've never had a coach and I don't think I would do well with one since I kinda like to do whatever my body is feeling (although I write out a rough training schedule) I know some people swear by them though. That's great news about Pgh... it's one of things I definitely think about when moving from Philly where I've flown direct to Europe no problem, no layovers.

  4. I LOVED seeing Elsie Larson share the seashell house from her recent trip - that's so cool that you get to go there! We're traveling to London and Iceland this February through WOW Airlines, but we're flying out of BWI. Of course after we book our trip, they announce they're coming to PIT! Guess that just means I'll have to book another trip soon... haha


  5. Are we that busy that we can't get groceries anymore? Like how long does it take? I do like the order ahead coffee though! I've been to Cancun a ton of times, but usually just stay on the resort. You will love it.

  6. I'm actually going to be on Isla Mujeres next month. I'll be on a resort for a wedding so I doubt I'll have many recommendations, but I'll be sure to let you know how it is.

    I had a similar thought about the Amazon Go store - more jobs gone. But it also got me thinking about how I feel like technology is making us more isolated from each other. We have less and less need to actually interact with other people and I wonder about what kind of society that will create. And yeah, waiting in line sucks, but I wonder how future generations will learn patience and cooperation skills when we live in a world that is catered to our desire for instant gratification.

    I've worked with a coach. I really liked it, and I want to support friends who coach, but it's expensive and at this point I would rather save the money. I would have to be incredibly passionate about a goal to justify the cost now, and I can't imagine ever being that invested in a running time goal again. But if you have the money, I'd say it's worth it and to go for it. Self-coaching can only get you so far, and if you want to make breakthroughs, at some point you need to be pushed.

  7. I have absolutely loved working with a coach. It helps so much in those times of what run should I do? What if I have a commitment, how do you still fit in your run, etc.

  8. The bad thing about technology taking over our lives is that it makes it way easier for us to stay segregated, and since humans are made for connection, we're going to really struggle. Is that really the house you are renting? AMAZING! I have been to Cancun (Mayan Riviera) three times, but I stayed at all inclusive resorts. It's gorgeous on that side (Atlantic) of Mexico. You will love it. And about the running coach, I've never had one, but I've also got a lot of experience and knowledge so it would feel funny hiring a coach! I'm sure it would help, though.

  9. Ahhh, I looked up a few WOW flights just out of curiosity, they had Amsterdam in September from $149 & same for Berlin. LIKE WHAT!? I'm really starting to think about how I could use some long weekends + a few vacation days and bip over to see things. And I could make it super cheap by staying in a hostel & surely find some buddies willing to sightsee with me. I'm giddy just thinking about it.

    ALSO, THAT HOUSE!? Looks gorgeous!

  10. Wait, is that REALLY the house you're renting?! That looks SO cool - and like a giant conch shell!

    My travel plans for 2017 are mainly a trip back to the US to visit Jesse's family and to spend my Dad's 60th birthday in Disneyland with him and my Mum! We're all travelling together and I can't wait!


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