Top 15 Craziest Shit I’ve Done While Traveling

It’s time to get REALLLLL. (I’m sorry, Mom.)

The second you jet off to go live a life abroad, everyone thinks you’re living a boujee, glamorous, insta-worthy life of no struggle and all adventure. And I’ll be honest- I sure make it seem that way on my social media. Since the beginning of my adventures, I’ve had so many people reach out to me asking me how I do it because they want to pursue this life themselves. I started thinking about it and just thought it would be completely unfair of me to not be real with them and warn them exactly what they’re signing up for.

Before you read this list, let me warn you: this is not “cute” crazy. Like, this isn’t “oh my gosh I went skydiving in New Zealand with a complete stranger strapped to me” crazy. This is messy, reallllll, crazy shit that I have done to either keep traveling, survive while traveling, or just because traveling got the best of me. Okay great, let’s go!

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  1. Just embraced the fact that I have had TWO airplanes fall out of the sky because I traveled on the sketchiest airlines just because they were the cheapest. Y’all. I’m not kidding. This wasn’t a bit of turbulence. This was my ass waking up from a deep(ish) sleep, to it not being on the seat anymore and me seeing the numbers on the “altitude” part of the screen in front of me just dropping. Is my life really worth saving money by purchasing an $89 flight? Yeah, probs.
  2. Went the Eastern route instead of the Western route while flying to Australia from New York. Yeah, a 16 hour flight, 2 hour layover in China, and right back on to a 10 hour flight. But again, saving that cash monaaaay honaaay.
  3. Survived on a diet of oatmeal, chocolate, and $5 wine for 5 weeks. I literally spent every cent I had on the visa, the internship program, and my last minute flights (thank you British Consulate of New York), so London was a toughie but we did THAT.
  4. Considered taking an airbnb that was literally tents in someone’s shed. I wish I was kidding. Thank GOD I had a loyal ass friend who forbid me from doing it, but those airbnb prices for Hogmanay in Scotland were that scary.
  5. Speaking of Scotland, brought my own bagels, peanut butter, and jelly to eat for every meal. Made a few exceptions because I definitely wanted to try a boozy milkshake and some haggis, but again. She. Did. THAT.
  6. Took a job as a door-to-door salesperson selling solar panels. What’s good Australia? Plus side: found out I’m good with sales and made good money. Also got all my steps in (and then some) for a while. Down side: v-dangerous and ended up dealing with the police because of it. Let’s not do that again.
  7. Ate Oreos for breakfast every day for a week. Honestly, this one wasn’t even that bad. And I was in Bali so who can really even complain.
  8. Walked 1.5 hours in the heat because I didn’t have cell service to call a ride. Bali did me dirty here. The only way to get around really is by GoJek which is an app on your phone that has drivers pick you up on their scooter (think uber but for scooters instead of cars) (not sponsored. I wish). I was completely alone, in the middle of nowhere, and no idea how to get home, other than knowing it was a 30 minute SCOOTER ride there. Luckily, I made it on to the main road JUST before dark and got some cell service to call a ride. Which leads me to…
  9. Accepted a ride from a complete stranger with three other people on a scooter. This guy seriously had a whole ass family on there. But desperate times…
  10. Bought shots for group of strangers I had just met, and then had to survive on $0.65 for two weeks. Okay, but doesn’t everyone do this at some point?
  11. Asked boys on tinder to listen to my work presentation so I could practice it. When you travel solo and time differences are not in your favor, you’ve got to use your resources.
  12. Speaking of boys, went on a first-date binge for 2 weeks so that I could at least have one free meal a day. Not terribly proud of this one, but hey, I’m being honest.
  13. Lived out of the storage room at the cafe I work at. This was as I was low key moving out of the house I was in without anyone noticing because I hadn’t told them yet, and when my hostel was available. Shoutout to my boss for being the MVP.
  14. Went grocery shopping at ALDI for a week’s worth of groceries with 2 euro. AND SUCCEEDED. I’m putting this one on my CV as a special skill.
  15.  I continue to travel. I had a moment today where I realized how damn proud I am of all that I’ve done, how much I’ve hustled and struggled and all I’ve given up to keep going, and yet succeeded in chasing my dreams, and just how determined I am to not give up. Don’t get me wrong- there have been several crossroads where I had to decide if it was too much or if I should keep going. And this is the craziest of them all because no matter how hard it gets, I refuse to quit.

So yeah, this life is definitely amazing, inspirational, incredible, shake your heart, soul, and core fantastic. I have gained so much and have had so many wins on this journey. But its definitely not for the weak of heart. At the end of the day, just like everything in life, it all comes down to how much do you want it, and how willing are you to prove it?

Stay kind x

NYE in Dublin as a Solo Traveller

Hello there 2019!

This New Years Eve is definitely one for the books. I have never been the confident type who would be able to go out by herself to a bar- let alone on NYE. But when my friend called me and invited me out to another club, I had to put my foot down.

All of 2018 was a year of doing what I want and being a smidgen selfish. It was about figuring out who I was when no one was looking, and making decisions that would only affect me and my own happiness. It was only fitting to end it by doing that one last time. So I took to the streets of this strange little city I’ve been in for less than a month and went with my gut.

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I found myself in the oldest pub in Ireland. I knew right away I had found my place when there was no queue at 10 PM to get in, no front door charge, and I could hear the traditional Irish band from outside. I walked in, ordered my tequila, and started to look around. There were so many people from every single age group crowded around and enjoying the last few moments of the year with this band. So, classic me, I decided to find my way to the very front of the room, next to the stage where there was a lovely couple sitting in a corner. This being Dublin (a.k.a “the city of a thousand welcomes”), they were more than happy to let me sit with them.

We sat, chatted about travel and life, and listened to this amazing band. Ten minutes before midnight, I hurried my way to the bar and ordered Prosecco for the table. At this point, the bartenders and I had struck up a conversation (of course), and I had to rush back to my table just before the countdown began. We sat, counted down, and cheered to ring in the new year.

As I was standing on the stage next to a mic, screaming the lyrics to “Hey Jude” with the other Americans that were called to the stage, I realized something. I always say that human connection is my key to happiness. If I am connecting with others, I’m pursuing my truth. Enjoying that connection with people you know is incredible, but to take it one step further, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and make a connection with complete strangers. Beginning 2019 that way gave me a small taste of what this year might bring if I’m willing to trust my gut and do what I do best: get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

2019, ready for a ride?

Stay kind and Happy New Year x

 

 

A love letter to 2018

I have never been so sad to say goodbye to a year. Usually around this time, I’m ecstatic to move on to a new chapter and close the book on the last 12 months of my life. But 2018, you hold a special place in my heart.

I wanted to compile a list of lessons I’ve learned and that I want to bring with me into this new year to serve as a reminder to myself and anyone else who might need it. Here we go!

 

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Let go of past hurt and forgive. It’s not easy, but it will bring you more love than you ever thought you deserved. Remember you also have moments your are not proud of. Show compassion. Be humble.

Keep the faith. Faith in yourself, faith in your truth, faith that there will be brighter days.

You are so strong, but even strong people have weak moments. So don’t be stubborn and call on that support system. They’ve got you.

You lose nothing in putting it all out there. You lose an opportunity if you don’t. Career opportunities, feelings for someone else, bold moves (sometimes to a different country). Go all in and put it all out there. You will never regret it.

Success comes in waves. So does struggle. Be grateful for it all. Not every day will be your best, and not every day will be your worst. Continue to ride it out and take it all as it comes.

Travel. It’s good for the soul. Australia taught me family doesn’t have to be blood and if there’s family, there is home. Indonesia taught me to reflect and heal.  Now Ireland. Keep them coming.

Try to make a connection with anyone who crosses your path. Have some big talk. You never know what they could end up meaning to you.

You can manifest many things in your life, but it doesn’t always mean its right for you. Trust that the universe will show you a better way.

Know when to call it quits. Friendships, relationships, jobs, experiences. This does not mean you failed. Know when something is no longer serving you. Move on.

Time alone is time to grow. Self-reflect. Introspect. Grow.

Every encounter is precious. You may not have seen someone in weeks, months, or maybe years. Do not pass up an opportunity to reconnect. When you do, always share with them what that encounter has meant to you.

“I love you.” These are not dirty words. Give your loved ones everything you have- including the knowledge that you love them. Every family member, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, even someone you’ve known for a day. If you feel it, say it. Out loud. Scream it from the rooftops. Remind them, over and over and over again so that there is never a doubt.

You are valuable and have so much to give. That’s that on that.

Stay kind. 

My arms are wide open for you 2019.

Happy New Year x

 

 

Spilling the Tea: Rejection.

Man. I don’t know about you, but the word alone brings up so much heartache for me.

Here’s the thing: I always joke about how I am such a passionate human being. The problem is that my Gemini self has multiple loves on a wide spectrum of things. My mother put it perfectly when she said that I am “unfaithful” to my passions.

I pride myself in loving fearlessly and putting my heart and soul into every connection, friendship, relationship, career choice, life endeavor, etc. Whatever it is, if I’ve fallen in love with the idea of it, I will jump and not think twice to put my heart and soul on the line. This has brought so much love and success into my life that I am eternally grateful for, and I contribute this courage and blind faith to my being able to live the life that I do now.

The problem with loving like this is that you expose yourself to a lot of heartbreak. There will be those who take advantage of you, those who will use you, and worst of all: those who reject you. I say rejection is the worst outcome because when you’re handing someone everything you have, rejection is like someone saying “that’s not enough”, which, to the person hearing it, translates to: “you’re not enough.”

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I very recently experienced this kind of rejection. My immediate instinct was to begin to tear down an empire that I had worked so hard this past year to build from the ground up: my self confidence. I began falling down a familiar spiral of “this is all my fault”, and with each self deprecating thought it was as if I was pulling brick after brick out of the strong walls and foundation I had taken the time to carefully place over the past 12 months.

As I sat on my bed, eight Domino’s cookies into my pity party, a person very near and dear to me reminded me of my own words: “Everything happens for a reason”. I’ll admit, this was the last thing I wanted to hear while I was crying about being a failure, but it allowed me to start thinking about perspective and how I could change my thoughts about this situation.

I began thinking about how grateful I am for all the things I have in my life. I have my health, a roof over my head, and living a life that most people dream of (minus a few bits here and there but you get the idea). I have an incredible support system of friends and family that sprung to action the minute they knew something was wrong. I am surrounded by loving people every day who believe in me, even if they don’t know me, or even when I don’t believe in myself. 

This was the most important and powerful realization I came to. When I had this thought, it was then that it hit me: I have an incredible message and a story to tell. My message is so loud and clear that it resonates with human beings I’ve met for 5 minutes, and moves those that have known me for years. My truth is to inspire others to discover and follow their truth. Rejection is not a strong enough force to stop me. It just means I have to find another way to keep following that truth.

So what did this experience teach me? It reminded me of my value, and that I need to stop giving discounts.

If any of this resonates with you, I want you to remember one thing: you are so valuable. If someone doesn’t see that, don’t you dare settle. Don’t even waste your time trying to prove something to them. Walk away, head held high, and keep your eyes locked on that horizon because you are worthy of something better.

I’ll leave you with one last thought:

“The comeback is always bigger than the setback.” – My inspiration.

(check her out!)

Stay kind x