Monday, October 28, 2013

All Around the World: The Beginning

I can clearly, and somewhat distantly, remember a time when I hated the very idea of traveling. To have to leave my house, my town, or my state was a hassle I didn't want to endure. Then one day, out of nowhere, the urge to travel hit me like a cannonball, knocking all other thoughts to the side. I ate, slept, and breathed the desire to leave. Every fiber of my being wanted to walk out the door and never look back, not until I had quenched my thirst for the unknown. I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, as long as I was gone. Eventually, I was able to do just that, but even today that desire - while more of a soft calling rather than a heated pull - is still with me. Even today, I continue to listen for the call of my next adventure.

But, before I could leave, I couldn't. Which meant that before I could take a single step anywhere, I only had my daydreams to keep me company. I know that there are people all over the world who feel the same way I do, who want nothing more than to see beyond the same old roads of their everyday lives. Knowing what it felt like to have to wait, I've decided that maybe, possibly, I can help in the meantime for those that cannot travel just yet. Maybe I can give you a taste of what is yet to come, story by story.

It won't be the same as going yourself, but maybe it will help fan your travel flame a little longer until you can go on your own. But first, of course, before anyone ends up going anywhere, there's the desire to do so, and I remember that desire very clearly. I stumbled upon some of my old writing from before I went on my long awaited trip and how I felt after I had returned. These are just pieces of the beginning, of how it all started.

And there is no way I'm going to ever let it end.

All I had thought of for the last two years was leaving Arizona. There was one place in particular that I had been dreaming of lately, a place I had never been. Somewhere cold and windy, where tea was a daily tradition and the voices of the men there could make my swirling, thought filled mind cease and shift to their words. This place, my dream place, was London.

There had been many times that, while sitting alone and irritated in my office, I had mapped out my escape plan.

Cue the Mission Impossible music...

It was only ten in the morning. I would type up an email to my boss, leave work, go get my passport from my safe deposit box, and drive home and write a short but detailed note to my family explaining my unexplainable need to leave. I’d grab the few warm clothes I owned and head off to the airport. I could be on a flight that afternoon and in the place of my dreams the next day, just in time for tea. 

Don't get me wrong. I had no delusions about the type of life I would have there. No elegant townhouse right by Kensington park, no fancy designer clothes. I probably wouldn’t even be able to afford daily afternoon tea. But none of that mattered to me. I was looking forward to the simplicity of my well thought out new life. 

No car, a small apartment where my bed would convert into my sofa during the day, a job as the produce girl in a local market during the morning and nights filled school and occasional yoga jobs. And on every Tuesday, my imagined day off, I would take a trip to my favorite cafe for afternoon tea and time for writing. This was all I wanted. 

There was once a time when I restricted my traveling desire. I was content only with places that had sun, water, and beaches, and London didn't seem like that kind of a place. London was all about history and that was my least favorite thing in all of life. I didn't care who did what, when, with who, or why. I didn't watch the history channel, no, I lived in the moment! Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, all of that changed. The moments didn't matter because each and every one of them was empty, hollow, and dark.

Everything I thought I knew about myself and what I wanted in life had shifted. 

For two years this thought of leaving ran through my mind, day and night, and every moment it felt more and more right. This was what I needed to do. 

As strange and impossible as it sounds, I was bored with my life. Nothing was new anymore. Even the new things were only new and exciting for so long. I worked, went to school, came home, cleaned the house, went to bed. Every single day. I was in no way making a difference in the world. I wasn't changing anyone's life for the better, not even mine. I was stressed out, exhausted, over worked and under rested. I hated every minute of life, because every minute was my own personal hell. 

When my dream of moving became far too much too handle, I decided something had to change. In my still occasionally sane mind, I realized that it might make more sense to go on a very long vacation to the place I dreamed of rather than run away entirely. This would give me an opportunity to try out my possible future home and, at the very least, catch up on some sleep.

And that is how this trip came to be. Now that it's over, I see the difference that one single journey can make. I see the world through new eyes.I long to step foot on every inch of the earth, meet people of every culture, discover the traveler inside of me.

Other things have changed, too. 

I crave the cold. I finger through the scarfs in my closet wondering which one I would wear if it wasn't 104 degrees outside(in October, mind you.) I close my eyes and pretend I’m wandering the streets of London, the wind whisking my scarf in the air. A pleasant shiver runs down my spine.

There’s something about the heat I no longer recognize. I recall the soft kiss of the sun on my shoulder, yet now it blisters my skin. 

Now it’s just suffocating me.

Now it’s just hell.

As I've returned back to my normal life, I hear the usual complaints from others around me. Work this, government that. I find myself joining in. 

This I did not miss. The aches and pains of this life. 

It takes everything in me not to hop in my car and head back to the airport, on to a new adventure...

Images via Pinterest

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Mantra: Study Thyself

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Beyond all else, study thyself

Sometimes All the time, I think too much. Recently, when I was doing this over-thinking bit, it occurred to me that I've set aside some old pieces of myself that I really enjoyed and have replaced them with pieces I don't necessarily care for. I've gotten myself comfortable in new habits when I really miss my old ones, like ordering in instead of putting on good music while cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I don't do that much these days. I miss that. I miss that version of me that fought for the hard even when easy was, well...easy.

In this so very busy, ever changing world, I've changed with it. And while change in itself is not a bad thing, it is something to pay attention to. What you decide to let change you (because truly, nothing makes you change unless you let it) and why- that's something to notice. Sometimes it means shifting right when you were going left, only later to realize that right was where you wanted to be all along. So for me, right now, it means this: I've gotten myself wrapped up in everything that means nothing to me, to who I am, and it's time to change that.

In a sleepy state one night I jotted these thoughts down. Luckily, most of them still make sense today. Tragically, I admit I am addicted to gossip magazines, but that's one of those things I'm changing...

  • Setbacks will happen- that's okay.
  • Gossip magazines are a waste of money and brain cells.
  • Too much TV is a horrible, horrible thing. Horrible!
  • Don't run away from your feelings.
  • Quit trying to make everyone else comfortable. Embrace your inner Robin*
  • It will be hard at times. It will be worth it.
  • It's okay to love yourself just the way you are. In fact, it's the best thing to do.
  • You will never be the same as you are today, good or bad. Deal with it.
  • Don't forget to be thankful for absolutely everything.
  • Water is a cure-all.
  • So is sleep.
  • Wondering what could be because of "this" or "that" is a waste of time. Either make it happen or shut up.
  • Happiness or sadness increase or decrease depending on which one you give the most attention.
  • THIS is temporary.
  • Ignore everyone else if it feels wrong, sounds stupid, or makes you uncomfortable. What's meant for you will feel good right from the start.
  • Trying is great, but doing is better.
  • It will only suck for a little while.

*The character Robin from How I Met Your Mother, who (most of the time) is her own wild, bold, Canadian self. She also sometimes yells a lot at a chick named Patrice, which is where this "quit trying to make everyone comfortable" piece comes into play.

Whew. That was a long explanation.

Image via Pinterest

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Mantra: Do Not Settle

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Do not settle for meager dreams
Melia Metikos Society 6
If I could tell a younger version of myself anything, that would be it. 

To travel until your feet are sore and your back aches with the weight of the stories you’ve collected from around the world. 

To take risks, because at that age you truly have nothing to lose. 

To leap at every opportunity, every chance, every possibility of an adventure. 

To believe in every possibility of every future ever imagined. 

That is what I wish I had known back then. That is what I strive for now, but it will never be quite the same as it could have been. 

Do not settle for meager dreams.

Monday, October 7, 2013

In the World of Wellness: RawJuvenate

Wellness is a term widely used that has multiple meanings around health and positive life style changes leading to well-being. Here we will use the term "wellness" as a means of defining a life free from disease as well as a way to explore alternative medicines, what they offer, and what this could mean for you.

Every month I'll do a post on a health and wellness related topic. This will give you a chance to explore other options, become informed, and make the best overall decision for your own well-being.

In the World of Wellness: RawJuvenate Organic Detox System


Groupon has been a good friend to me ever since it's inception. It does nice things for me, like show me awesome deals on half off (or more) everything from trampoline jumping to this new discovery, RawGreen Organics.

Whether or not you can snag a sweet deal like I did, I highly recommend checking out this company and their detox systems. For the last few weeks I've been on the RawJuvenate Complete Organic Detox System and I have loved every minute of it. How many people can say that about a cleanse that lasts 4 weeks? Not many, I assure you.

Here's the scoop: You replace one meal a day with a mix of the Organic Super Greens and the Vegan Protein and you take their supplements. That's it. Done. Finito.

It's gluten free, vegan friendly, and certified organic. Best of actually tastes good. WHAT!? I know, your mind has been blown. Here's my secret...

I tried the mix with plain water. Bad idea. Then I tried it in a smoothie but I could still taste the powder and it was not enjoyable. Finally, I tried mixing it with one can of my favorite C20 Coconut Water and...da da da daaaaa! DELICIOUS.

For realz.

I'm at the point where I crave this stuff and get excited for the next day to come just so I can have it again. That never happens for me with powder mixes. Not never, not ever.

The best part about this company is that they have a variety of items for health and wellness that also come with a variety of price tags. So while the 4 week system may be out of your budget, they have a cheaper 2 week system that will still do your body good.

Of course, the big question is does it work. From my perspective, yes. I tried taking it at a variety of times during the day and I recommend trying using it to replace either breakfast or lunch because it does help boost the energy. I also felt like my endurance levels were better, especially since I've been pretty lazy lately. I just felt kind of good overall.

Go get your green clean on, ladies and gentleman! You won't be disappointed.

Image via RawGreen Organics