Category Archives: Travel

Why Not Just Move?

For years and years I have contemplated the idea of traveling around the world. For the longest time, I thought that it simply wasn’t realistic. Negative thinking was hard at play, my thoughts were telling me that I would never make enough money to be able to afford it, that place is too far away, etc. My fear to be alone stood in the way for the longest portion of my life. I didn’t want to leave the house alone and now I am considering traveling solo. I have sure come a long way from where I started out when I first thought about traveling. I did a culinary project on Northwestern cuisine and by doing so, I was exposed to Washington and Oregon. I came across scenic photographs of the Oregon forests, waterfalls, coast, and mountains while researching the cuisine. This was nearly four years ago! I told myself I would take a trip there eventually, but I soon became distracted by other goals and wishes. I forgot all about my Northwest dream, until the past couple of months. I kept saying, and saying I was going to take a huge trip to the Northwest next year. So, today I decided to start researching what I would do there. Everything was popping out to me. Rose gardens, waterfalls, coffee shops, restaurants. I started typing up everything I was discovering, when suddenly I realized something! How am I going to be able to do everything I want to do just by visiting for a couple of weeks? I thought about this for a bit, and kept browsing more and more websites. I began thinking to myself, there is nearly 6 coffee shops I want to go to, how the hell would I ever fit that in? I need to just live there, but I am not there. Hmmm. The trip is going to take at least 4-5 days just for the travel to get there and to get back home. So, I thought about it some more. Why not just move there? Seriously. Then, it clicked. This is what I have to do. I won’t be satisfied until it happens. That would be my ULTIMATE adventure. Moving somewhere brand new. Starting out fresh.

I already have 1500 dollars saved up for this trip, so I’m going to start putting back everything I make for this decision. At this point, I have no idea where my life is going and this may be what I need to get my life going in the direction I want it to go. I may not live there for the rest of my life, but temporarily is possible. New goal, move there by the time I am 25. I have no choice but to do this. This is the time for me to make things happen. Time to bust my ass and get that money!

Advertisements

Hiking Therapy

20150916_130557

Upon waking up today, I randomly decided it was time for me to go exploring. I didn’t waste any time, nor did I wait around for someone to reply to my post on Facebook I made about going to Fall Creek Falls. Monday, I went to Cummin’s Falls and spent pretty much the entire day out there, but since I had today and tomorrow off, I wanted to plan a two-day trip. Instantly, Fall Creek Falls popped into my mind and I was rushing to get everything packed, hotel booked, clothes washed, gas in the car, and snacks in my basket at the grocery store. After about three hours of driving down the highway, taking a quick bathroom break, and waving left and right down the curvy roads to get the park, I arrived at Fall Creek Falls with an attitude filled with determination and craving adventure. I couldn’t check into my hotel until 4pm, so I had plenty of time to kill. After detouring down the scenic drive (peeing on the side of the road, it’s only natural :D) and finally remembering where it was I had been looking for I arrived at the overlook of the Fall Creek Falls waterfall.

20150916_13241220150916_135135

As soon as I looked down at the waterfall, excitement built up inside of me. This was the trip I have been waiting years for. I had to get down there as quickly as I possible. I asked some random guy which way the trail was to get down there, he pointed me in the right direction, and I was on my way.

As I was preceding to the trail, an old man gave me his walking stick saying that I may need it farther down. I took it from him, thanked him and headed down the path.

20150916_135857

It didn’t seem to be as challenging as I remembered, not sure if that is because I have hiked it before, or because I have been working out a lot lately. Either way, I made it down without being out of breath. Once I was down there, I wasn’t completely satisfied. It was almost like it wasn’t challenging enough. But, I was in awe of how beautiful the waterfall was and how the mist looked around the rocks. I couldn’t look away and I continued to venture closer and closer to the waterfall. It may not have been the biggest waterfall I have ever seen, but it was still just as beautiful. Nature is truly inspiring to me. 50 selfies later, I decided that it was time to hike back up. I stopped some guy and asked him to take a photo of me by the waterfall.

20150916_143728

I continued hiking back, anticipating where I was going to go next. Thoughts of inspiration were racing through my mind the entire time. I wandered onto the trail that lead to the nature center. I chose to take the longer of the two paths in order to get there. I figured it would be more of a challenge. There were several overlooks on my way to the nature center. I knew in my mind I couldn’t wait to get to the cascades though. I have had that place stuck in my mind for years now, because last time I was here I couldn’t go down that way. The overlook to Cane Creek Falls was absolutely stunning. I probably stood there for a good ten minutes or so. I didn’t want to leave this view.

20150916_153340

Once I was back on track, it didn’t take long before I reached the nature center. It was pretty basic in there. Ya know, souvenirs, information about the park, history of the park on the walls, and an middle-aged woman who was clearly ready to leave, because I walked in at closing time. I didn’t spend much time in there. I grabbed a couple of books and a park map and was on my way out the door. Ahh, the cascades. I pretty much ran down the trail, only to come upon a swinging bridge. OH. It wasn’t that bad. At least, I was able to get an inspirational picture from it and it was a bit terrifying to cross, but isn’t that what life is about? Being able to get over things that seem scary at the time?

20150916_155101

The journey to get to the cascades was definitely worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat! I literally stayed there the longest of all the scenes I traveled to today. I felt so at peace and at one with nature. I wanted to get into the water and swim, but it was too cold unfortunately. I was kinda bummed out about that, but didn’t let it get me down. I was just thankful to be able to finally be there. My dreams are finally becoming reality and nothing feels better than that.

20150916_161417

20150916_16033720150916_162023

It was quite amusing when this man and his young son came around the corner only to discover me in a swimsuit, posing for my camera that was propped up against the rocks. He kinda just pulled his son’s arm and turned around. I felt a little awkward, but shook it off. I did put my clothes back on soon after that though. Ah, I felt content in that moment. More content than I had felt in a very long time. I wanted to come back to this place for so long. I think to prove to myself that I could do it alone and also to redeem the last time I was here when I was 18 with an ex-bf. He didn’t want to go to the cascades, so I didn’t go. I felt like I had cheated myself from an experience ever since then. It feels amazing to be able to say I made it and I did something I enjoyed for me.

I observed many squirrels, some deer, and a lot of grand-daddy long-legged spiders. I think that is the name of them. Nature is such a beautifully crafted mystery that happens all by chance. I feel honored to be able to walk in the paths carved out by it’s creator. I feel spirituality at one with everything in the world by being in this place. I finished the night off by going back to the hotel room, taking a shower, eating a buffet that surely had the world’s worst fish and chicken, yet the soup was good. It’s all about finding the good things in everything you do in life. Plus, enjoying a craft brewed beer doesn’t hurt any either. Ugh, artificially flavored cherry cobbler wasn’t the best choice either.

20150916_182115

I went to the small gift shop at the hotel, didn’t find anything that interested me so I decided to head over to the general store. Once I arrived, it seemed a bit too dark, and I discovered online that it had closed at 6. I questioned myself for not looking it up before, but what happened next was the highlight of this whole trip I think.

I drove past the lake and decided to stop really quick and look up at the stars. It had completely slipped my mind that I could actually see them. It was pitch black outside, like as soon as I turned off my phone’s flashlight, it felt like everything melted together. The sky, the earth and me. Darkness. When, I looked up. I literally couldn’t breath for a moment. The sight of all those stars in the sky was mesmerizing. I stand in the darkness in total awe. I don’t think I had ever witnessed so many stars in my life. It made me realize how small I truly am. How small we all are in this world. Which made my gratitude grow even greater.

I feel transformed. Overwhelmed by how I am changing. Changing into someone new. The fact that I drove 2-3 hours away, all alone is a huge accomplishment for me. I wouldn’t even go to the grocery store by myself a year ago. I have started to grow into my own individuality and to feel alone is astonishingly comfortable. There isn’t any words to express how free I feel. I feel like I have finally found peace within myself. The exact thing I set out to do almost two years ago. I wish I could live in this moment forever, but I can’t so I am going to continue to embrace all of these “new” feelings as I lay down. Not afraid. Not really feeling lonely.

Tomorrow is a fresh new journey. I am going to do some more hiking and exploring. I can’t imagine what I will find out about myself next. This is what it feels like to be living your dreams and it feels unlike anything I have ever felt before.

20150916_160621

Like the bright blue sky above me, be open and free. Be limitless without any boundaries. Accept everything that flies into your sky, because it is all apart of you. Welcome all emotions and feelings into your life; the good, the bad, the unwanted, and the anticipated. It is all happening for a reason. Live a life of gratitude.

Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from doing what you want to do in this life. The truth is some people aren’t going to understand. Do it anyway. Sometimes, the best things in life are experienced in solitude. Dare to be different and don’t hesitate to go down the road less traveled. Be fearless and watch your dreams come true.

Panama City

I have been wanting to write this blog for quite some time, but life kinda got in the way. I worked a lot of hours this past week, and it felt like I didn’t have time to do anything other than sleep. This past weekend I spent with Brandon, so I wasn’t able to write. So, FINALLY I can write about my trip to Panama City. I went to the beach August 28th through September 1st. It was completely unexpected. I went with Brandon’s sister, Amber and her boyfriend Trey and his parents. It was an 8 hour drive to and from the beach. Brandon and I basically just cuddled, laughed, and made fun of each other on the road trips. It still seems like a dream looking back at how much fun I had while I was there. I am so thankful that we were able to go, pretty much for free. His sister and her boyfriend paid for almost everything. We offered to pay but she wouldn’t let us. So, it truly felt nice just to sit back and enjoy everything.

Two of the days, Brandon and I decided it would be a good idea to eat a “weed” cookie and drink some mixed drinks. It took like 40 minutes before the cookie kicked in. When it did finally hit me, the world seemed more vivid, the colors were brighter and the sounds were more crisp to hear. The feeling was dreamlike. I didn’t have a worry in the world. All I could do was enjoy the moment in the present and observe everything around me. Honestly, it is still so hard to believe how silly we acted together. It felt like we have known each other our entire lives. One of the highlights of our “high” times is when we were in the pool at the condo, just holding hands and spinning together. We even started to turn our heads in circles while looking up in the sky. It was the most fun I have had in a long time, and that feeling isn’t explainable. I bet we looked like complete idiots laughing our asses off while spinning around, but we didn’t care. It felt like it was me and him in a completely different world. Another thing, we did was get into the ocean (high and buzzed) very stupid choice to be honest, because we went too far out and the waves were really rough that day. Ahhh, the memories of jumping up into the waves and feeling them crash against me… Hell yeah, I’d do it again. I choked on so much salt water, but it was worth it. 

One day, we decided to go to Gold’s Gym. We walked a whole mile in the blazing hot sun, just to discover that the gym no longer existed. The building was for lease, so we were a bit disappointed about that. It is funny looking back at that.

I felt like me and him really connected on that trip. I felt like we got so much closer and even more intimate. We were able to have sex a little despite his “problem”, it was nice just to be close to him. It was so awkward trying to have sex on the bottom of a bunk bed though. Anyways, I can still remember waking up, going into the kitchen and looking out the windows… It was so beautiful. I could see the ocean and the shore. It felt like I was dreaming once again. We would make breakfast each morning, go out onto the balcony, and that feeling alone made the whole trip worth it. 

Something about the beach really soothes my soul. It makes me feel like I am truly alive and living. Brandon was the first guy I have ever been able to go to the beach with. There were so many memories made that will never be forgotten. I can’t believe I finally found a guy who understands me and has so many things in common with me. It is hard to fathom that just 8 months ago, I was depressed with a broken heart. I still feel like my heart is broken, but I also feel like it is coming back together. This trip was definitely the highlight of my year and no matter what happens between me and Brandon, I’ll always cherish those memories.

 

1 Week Away

Hello I am finally back! I went to Michigan for 1 week and didn’t bring my laptop with me. I have so many thoughts and things I need to write about it is crazy. I guess to start off I will write about my trip.

The night before I went to Michigan I went out with my buddy Chris again. He drove all the way to my house from Fort Campbell. It was at least an hour away. We went to the movies to see Non-Stop. It was a really good movie. But I forgot all about getting on an airplane the next morning. So it wasn’t the smartest of ideas to go watch a movie where everything that could go wrong on a plane does. Then, we went Downtown Nashville again. First, we went to this restaurant called Margaritaville. I only ate some of the appetizer because I didn’t have much of an appetite. I ordered a mixed drink and we actually had a good conversation. It felt nice. Next, we went back to the club called Throwdown and ordered 2 bud light beers. It was funny because he said, Wanna Dance? So we went to dance and just stood there for awhile. Basically, we didn’t drink enough yet. I have to be drunk to dance haha. We went back to the bar and he ordered two Vegas Bombs. They tasted alright. We danced there for about an hour. I kept trying to get him to show me some dance moves but he wouldn’t. I was “that white girl in the club” making up silly moves. I didn’t care. I just wanted to do something more than shake my ass all over him. Anyways, it was a fun night. I don’t feel like going into all the details, I will probably write more about it later on.

The airplane ride was absolutely incredible. I was nervous but really excited, I had a window seat so I was able to see everything. It was so beautiful, words really can’t explain it. Once we got high enough in the clouds, all I could think about it is how heavenly and amazing the view was. I wish I would have been able to get some pictures. I would recommend everyone to fly at least once in their life. It really is worth it.

Image

After last week, I will never say I hate Nashville again. I stayed in a small town, technically a village, called Roscommon in Michigan. It was really cold there, down in the 20’s in the day and some nights were even in the negatives. Almost ever time we left the house, I wore two pair of pants, two pair of socks, multiple shirts, gloves, a hat, a coat and boots. It was too much cold for me. I was excited at first because I have never seen so much snow in my life or the amount of icicles everywhere. It was interesting to be in a completely different climate but I am happy to be home, back in the 50 degree weather. Nashville’s weather is never the same. One day it is cold, the next day you could go swimming but at least it isn’t always cold. There was one fast food place, Mcdonald’s which made me sick as hell the only time I ate there last week. I abandoned my healthy diet for that entire week and my body is regretting it. A gas station including the liquor store in there which blew my mind because that is unheard of here. They had one grocery store and everything was overly priced of course. It didn’t help that my bestfriend’s boyfriend’s truck was broken down so we could only go places in walking distance. There wasn’t a lot of things to do but we made the best of it even if it wasn’t with the smartest choices.

Image

Last Friday night, I went to a blacklight party. At first, not that many people were there but then the house was packed by the end of the night. It was fun, I danced with my bestfriend Amanda some. I also gave here little brother a birthday dance because I thought it would be a nice thing to do. It felt really awkward because he was 18, I didn’t know him, and he’s my bestfriend’s brother, that makes it weird. But maybe it made his night, who knows? I played beer pong, but never drank any beer. I suck really bad at that game, good thing there wasn’t any beer in there. I was looking for a hot guy to dance with, maybe make-out with for the night but I couldn’t find one guy at the party that was attractive. Whatever. All week, we got drunk and smoked. Weed is something I said I would never do again in my past blog but in all honestly I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as it doesn’t dominate your life or screw things up. Of course, I am going to limit it now that I am back home and may even do away with it altogether. I really do not know yet. Put it this way, I won’t be spending any money on it.

I had two anxiety attacks while I was away. The first night I couldn’t sleep, I was really hungry and I felt so alone. I didn’t want to wake my friend but I finally did. I also didn’t want to go in the kitchen because I was in a stranger’s home. I think I got dehydrated because I drank like 4 glasses of water. Lack of sleep plus change and drinking is never a good combination. I finally got myself calmed down and I was able to fall asleep at like 7 am. I don’t even understand why it happens to me. It never lasts long. Maybe 10 minutes of me not being able to breath right and feeling zoned out of this world. The next one happened, one night when her and her boyfriend got to arguing. We were riding in his car because it was finally fixed. Me and her were super drunk on Parrot Bay and was having a super fun night talking, taking ugly pictures together, and dancing. He let her drive, and I was sitting in his lap when the argument happened. I don’t know, we drank too much because I was sitting on her lap too at first. Anyways, I started crying after I had to break them up. It was too much for me to handle. Drinking in driving is never a good option but out there, nobody is around and her bf was good to drive but just bad choice in general. When we got back to their place, I was still uneasy and nervous. It probably lasted for about 30 minutes that night.

Image

I could write so much about this trip but I am going to seem it up into one blog. I enjoyed my time with Amanda and seeing her beautiful daughter. I didn’t like that fact that her and her boyfriend argued the entire time. I also went to a Casino for the first time in my life. That was interesting but I was broke so I didn’t have any money to waste. Fun times and I will always remember this trip. One week of not giving a fuck about anything and just living it up. Probably made some bad decisions but no regrets. We have pictures, videos, and inside jokes to remember this time. You can’t always worry about stuff, sometimes you just have to go with it, right? Now, it is time to find a job, start eating healthy again, and sign up for a gym membership. Let’s see where my life takes me!

Dreaming of Wanderlust

Augustine

“Two years he walks the Earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause “the West is the best.” And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual revolution. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the great white north. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.”- Chris Mccandless, Into the Wild

Into the Wild is one my favorite stories of all time. It as inspired my thinking about traveling and seeing the world so much. Because of his story, it has encouraged me to see what’s out there and to have the time of my life. My heart is always going to go out to him because he did what his heart desired, although he made a tragic mistake in the end. It truly breaks my heart that he didn’t survive his adventure in Alaska, I wish so bad that he could have lived. It is crazy, how much I wish he could have made it! Seriously, one of the most touching books I have ever read and the movie really does speak to my soul. Highly recommend watching and reading that book, you guys. I will be quoting many more things from it within my blog.

“Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

― Jon KrakauerInto the Wild

I feel this pull, this urge, this desire constantly pulling at me each and everyday. When I sleep at night, my dreams are filled with being on the road, traveling to new places, meeting new people, basically living a better life. It is actually getting ridiculous, yet I look forward to sleep for this reason. I dream of being on the move, wandering around without a destination.
Wanderlust is defined as:
-a strong desire to travel.
-strong longing for or impulse toward wandering
-very strong or irresistible impulse to travel
In reality, my desire is to the travel the world and leave society behind me along with all the man-made things I don’t really need. I mean of course, I would bring along a telephone, camera, laptop, journal and especially money and a car but that is ONLY because these things are necessary to document my journey and help me survive. I would love to be able to not need money but it is inevitable. I guess in a way man-made things would benefit me but I don’t need an excess of clothes, jewelry, shoes, or other random things. If I could have a life on the road, it would be my dream come true. If I could travel from continent to continent and never be in the same place too long it would be wonderful. It could be heaven on Earth to take  adventures to places I never even knew existed, to visit islands surrounded by the beautiful ocean, to live in a new paradise everyday for the rest of my life.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” -Christopher McCandless

When I think about taking this imaginary journey, it warms my heart, and lights my soul on fire. It really gets me going and wanting to see what is out there. I need to be out in nature, I need to walk in the forests, climb mountains, swim in the oceans, hike trails to see waterfalls. I desire to be a nomad of this land but I understand that is it only but a dream. I need money first for supplies, food, gas, gear, etc. I would have to build strength, endurance, and speed in order to conquer the world’s unseen mysteries. I would have to gain knowledge of the land, animals, and plants. I would have to learn about geography, climate, and the weather of everywhere I planned to go. I would need a companion, a partner, a friend, hopefully even a lover to accompany me in this dream of mine. “Happiness is only real when shared.” -Christopher McCandless
“And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head. “-Mccandlees
I am so passionate about this idea of traveling that I think the only thing that would make sense would be to go for it in the smartest way possible. I have decided I am going to get a job once I am able, save all my money and then take a trip somewhere and give in to this desire. It has been like 5 years, I have had this topic just weighing on my mind but things have been holding me back. For instance, I met someone, fell in love and planned a life with them instead. In reality, this is my purpose, this is the ONLY thing that is going to satisfy me and this is my key to true happiness.