Adventure and Travel

PRONE TO ENGINE FAILURE

Hayley’s invitation arrived in the form of a Facebook message on a Monday afternoon. “Are you sure you don’t want to go to Nashville on Wednesday?” Hayley and Sammy, two of my closest friends, had been planning this road trip to see our friends studying in Nashville for nearly two months. I’d received these invitations weekly, but hadn’t taken them seriously. Of course I wanted to go, but carving out a week of time in the middle of the semester seemed impossible. But this time—the last time she’d be asking—I was feeling impulsive. Five hours after receiving her message, I was googling the weather in Nashville, mentally preparing what to pack. I’d said “f*ck it,” pushing aside my responsibilities; the mental reprieve was a bigger payoff than an A in the class I’d be blowing off. Hayle...

IT’S JUST A DREAM

On days like today I feel as if my feet are stuck in the mud and I can’t move. I have accomplished so much in the past few years with battling my depression and anxiety. I found a job that I like, a man that I love and in general, I’m feeling good. But I can’t move… Even though I love my job, I come to work every day, sit down at the same desk and stare at the same computer screen. I like knowing what to expect, but, on the other hand, I am bored out of my mind doing the same thing over and over again, every day. It’s a good job, great benefits and decent salary, but there is no surprise. This is my first real job outside of college, and I am so thankful it is with a great local company, but I’m not happy, even though I like what I’m doing. Make sense? Right now, I’m a corporate travel age...

CALIFORNIA WON’T BURN THE ATLANTIC OUT OF YOU

Everything was falling apart but I didn’t care because the flowers were beautiful. I’d never been to California. The sun was giving my upper-east-coast alabaster skin a heat rash. I was covered in these raised, red splotches, but then, the sparkles on the surface of the ocean seemed infinitely more important. Why here? Why a desolate stretch of sidewalk in southern California? I knew the answer when I left home, but the texture of life changed from one coast to the other. Now, I just want to chat with the friendly faces in line at a Malibu Starbucks, watch the alleyway photoshoots and flirt with cute Mexican boys on the bus. But this wasn’t supposed to be a vacation. It’s fun to jump into a life that’s not yours and look around. Sticking the landing has always been my problem. It’s the sum...

I’M AFRAID, TOO

  I don’t think I’m a brave person. I’m anxious, I over-analyze and spontaneity is usually reserved for late night Waffle House runs. I constantly kick myself for living my life in fear. My boyfriend and I were recently talking about how we feel were not “that outdoorsy” or “that adventurous” compared to some of the crazies we see on Instagram.  But when I really started to think about it, we are pretty outdoorsy and adventurous compared to a lot of people. I’m shocked when I run into somebody who’s lived in Colorado for a couple years and has never made it up to the mountains. I can’t believe it when someone says they’ve never camped or been to the top of a 14er, snowshoed or skied. But then, I have to back myself up. Fear is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing something new is freakin’ ...

PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME

As a lifelong writer and performer, I have never experienced such a powerful moment on stage or on the page as I did recently. I’d love to tell you about it – and the room where it happened. The Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765, is one of those irreplaceable New York treasures that I hope everyone has heard of. New York City’s oldest house has the kind of history one might expect: an important Revolutionary War site that, through history, housed famous (and infamous) founding fathers and dignitaries, as well as being a focal point of numerous hauntings. Lin-Manuel Miranda helped put the mansion into the spotlight recently, having written a significant portion of the Broadway sensation Hamilton under its eaves, in Aaron Burr’s old bedroom. The recent PBS Hamilton documentary featured the...

LAS FALLAS FESTIVAL – AN EPIC SPANISH PYRO EXPERIENCE

  A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Valencia, Spain in search of sun and looking for a quick respite from London’s cold weather. Although we were on the brink of spring, Valencia is only a 2 hour flight from London, and was only £50 round trip! So my husband and I headed for a weekend getaway looking for some much needed relaxation and delectable food. Eating is our favourite part of any holiday, so first thing Friday we headed over to the Mercado Central in search of some delicious tapas, Jamón ibérico, paella and, most importantly, cañas of beer! After a few cañas, fresh oysters, and many tapas later the chaotic market had a sudden mass exodus around 1:30pm. We had no idea what was going on, and decided to follow the crowd anyway. Unexpectedly my parents’ voice...

BE ENCOURAGED

Writing has been a struggle for me this past week, but I find it funny how the words you need find their way to you. On March 28th it’ll be 365 days since I packed my Florida apartment and hopped on a plane to New York City. I felt so intentional about my reasons for moving, but no amount of good intention can hold things together that just aren’t meant to be. Sometimes we see it as misfortune, but usually it’s our saving grace. Intentionality is great, but why not put it towards what sets our soul on fire? Probably the hardest lesson that I still struggle with. New York City shook my world. The hustle is infectious and overwhelming, but it shows you that it’s okay to jump into your life with both feet. There’s nothing to be scared of. Being here is what finally pushed me to follow my inne...

IN THE MOJAVE DESERT WITH 1,800 MOTOBABES

Our journey began as three through Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. Two Harley’s and a VW wagon. A trailer hooked up, rattling upon each encounter of every hole, bump and animal carcass in the road. I drove alone in the car for some time, admiring as much as I could, not having driven a noisy metal box with wheels before. The car was packed with an excess of most camping accessories—four sleeping bags, two tents, food to last two weeks, gin to last one. Knives for regular day-to-day needs and a black machete to tame the environment and communicate to the dangers ahead. Do not fuck with us. Idaho, with its hills and indefinitely distant snow-crusted mountain tops, was mainly light brown and dry. The sky embraced the ground below it with a soft classic gradient of nearly all mono...

OFF THE PAVED PATH: FINDING WONDER IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

It’s a 16 hour, 33 minute drive from Bloomington, Indiana to the mountain town of Frisco, Colorado. Frisco sits on the Dillon Reservoir, along with the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne, each of which are about 20 minutes from Breckenridge. My husband, father, 10 year old nephew, and I left at about 9:00 PM and drove straight through the night and the next day to reach our destination, stopping only for bathroom breaks and cheap gas station food. Our maroon Jeep Wrangler, with bulbous tires and a removable top, would be more of an essential character on this journey than I realized as we passed the flat, dusty Kansas landscape on I-70. It was July, and as we progressed through the plains that stretch down the center of the United States, the air sweltered to 100 degrees. When we final...

WHY I CHOSE TO BE HOMELESS

Last summer, my boyfriend and I quit our well-paying jobs, chose not to renew the lease on our apartment, packed our lives into a 10×10 storage unit and took off across the country with nothing but a Subaru, our dog and a 2 person tent. For years, I had scrolled jealously through the feeds of wanderers on Instagram. I had longingly devoured articles with titles like, “Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel the World.” I saw all these people, these perfect internet people, living the dream, living my dream. I saw that it was possible. For them. “I could never do that.” I would scoff to myself. There were a million reasons why I couldn’t. I was a broke college student, a broke young adult, I had a life, a job, family and a dog counting on me, my boyfriend,...

THE ONE WITH THE NIGHT IN THE AIRPORT

I hop out of my Coach USA bus at O’hare’s bus terminal [and refuse the urge to alter the lyrics to “Party in the USA”]. I throw my teal backpack over my right shoulder – get thrown off a little by its heft – and march to Terminal 3. “I’m so glad I read the O’Hare reviews on www.sleepinginairports.com,” I think to myself. There’s a rumor that they put out cots for travelers at Terminal K, which HEY, is where my flight to Ft. Lauderdale (and then ultimately to Lima, Peru) is leaving from early the next morning. …Of course, one needs a ticket to get through TSA and to actually get to Terminal K. Knowing it can’t end well, I try my luck at the Spirit Airlines counter, where of course the ticket agent tells me it̵...

THE GIFT CHARLESTON GAVE ME

It was my first solo trip as an adult and I loved it. I am the type of person that once an idea sprouts up in my head, it stays there until I decide to do something about it. Once the idea of driving to Charleston came about, it wasn’t long before I had the money saved up. This little escapade was going to happen one way or another. Charleston opened up my eyes to the possibilities of someday being a travel writer. Since I was a child, traveling around the world was one of my life goals. I just didn’t know what steps to take to make this dream come true.  After reading countless travel blogs, books, and how-to articles, I came to the realization that it was time stop reading and just go.  Stop stalling – because of those little nagging fears of traveling solo – and just go. Charleston was ...

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