Adventures

My Tales of Thailand

It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean in a diaper floating around….IMG_8515

Okay, but seriously, it’s the coolest thing and I don’t know why more Americans are not familiar with this.

So what this is, is very simple. You take a regular life jacket and put your feet in the “suggested” arm holes, bring it up to your waist and snap it in. (Looks like a diaper) You jump in the water and can just float around…with a beer in your hand of course;)

With that being said, Thailand was absolutely amazing, gorgeous, and very educational.

Once again, you may ask, Why did you go to Thailand?

It’s simple. To be culturally challenged. And trust me I succeeded.

From the language, to the food, to the religion, to culture, and so much more, I was challenged but most importantly, I was learning and experiencing soIMG_7717mething new.

Thailand is cheap and very easy to get around and gives you plenty of options. We spent 16 days in Thailand. It all depends what you want to see and how you want to do it and to be honest, you just have to buckle down and pick a few places you want to see and go from there. My friend Lesley and I decided to just backpack it and do as much as we can.

So we started in Bangkok, went up North to Chiang Mai, down South to Phuket, then to Phuket Town, over to Koh Phi Phi Island, a boat tour of some of the other Islands, over to Au Nang, a Longboat to Raleigh Beach, then back to Bangkok.

Yes, it was a lot of traveling and go, go, go but it was worth the following:

KT’S THAILAND HIGHLIGHTS

  1. THE TEMPLES (Bangkok)-

IMG_5261We paid to take a tour of the Temples in Bangkok and many of IMG_7742you may say that this is a waste but to be honest, it might have been the best money that I spent in Bangkok. She took us to the most visited, beautiful, and educational temples, she spoke English, and was able to drive us versus us having to find them on our own, and most of all she was able to tell us the stories, the history, and the facts about their religion. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had when I knelt in front of Buddha in one of the most beautiful man made Temples I have ever seen…

  1. IMG_7844CHATUCHAK MARKET (Bangkok)

This by far was one of the most overwhelming markets I have ever seen or been too let alone mall or shops in the entire world! This market is 35 acres with 8000 stalls separated into 27 sections! The largest market in Thailand! I can’t express into words even that we were there for almost 6 hours and probably didn’t even see ¼ of it!

  1. ELEPHANT NATURE PARK (Chiang Mai)IMG_5500

This park is a beautiful and moving experience as it is a sanctuary and rescue center for elephants. I was able to feed, touch, and get to know many of the elephants on a personal level and hear each of their stories dealing anywhere from neglect, to physical abuse, to none other than their amazing stories of how they overcame their obstacles. This park also has a dog rescue center where they took in as many dogs as they could after the Tsunami hit to help find the owners, feed, and bathe them back to life…

  1. TIGER KINGDOM (Chiang Mai)
    IMG_5692Honestly, when can you really say that you got to pet, lay on, and play with a Tiger!? Sure, many say that they are drugged or not normal which is probably true to a certain degree or at times they may have too. I mean, yes, I was being a tourist with the Tigers and wanted my picture taken and all that fun stuff…but I definitely would prefer not to get eaten or hurt! But really, I pet a REAL tiger in Thailand…how awesome is that!?
  2. ZABB E LEE THAI COOKING SCHOOL (Chiang Mai)IMG_8107
    Eating Thai food is one thing and to be honest a whole different blog post but making Thai is truly a cultural experience. This cooking class was just fantastic. We first picked out what 6 courses we wanted to make out of the choices she gave us so I picked; Spring Rolls, Chicken Pad Thai, Kao Soi, Kao Soi Curry, Coconut Soup, and Mango Sticky Rice. She then took us to the local market to explain the difference between the ingredients and how to properly pick them. We got back and straight into the kitchen making everything from scratch but better yet, eating everything! No joke, best Pad Thai that I had in Thailand and best part…I made it!:)
  3. BANGALA ROAD (Phuket-not FUCK IT! Pu-Ket)
    IMG_8137Now, if you have ever been to Bourbon Street….times that by 5….Thai Style. It is truly an…experience. From lady boys (aka Transgenders), to strip clubs, to bars, and better yet to the ever famous especially on this road…”Ping Pong” shows. Yes, I saw a “Ping Pong” show, Yes, you probably have no idea what it is…but I do not necessarily want to go into detail with what all I saw in the 2 ½ hour show….however, feel free to use your imagination or better yet look it up online…but I do suggest while looking online that no one is around…all I can say is they can do stuff I’ve never even thought of or seen before in the USA! A true… “Freak Show”!
    IMG_7760
  4. BOBS BOOZE CRUISE (Koh Phi Phi Island to surrounding Islands)

    Although I don’t seem to remember this cruise due to many reasons of the unknown or maybe it was the booze, it truly was an amazing and fun experience! It’s a 6 hour cruise the Maya Beach (where The Beach was filmed), Monkey Beach (where you literally feed real, wild monkeys), Loh Samah Bay, Wang Long Nook, and Pi-Le Bay. We were able to snorkel, sit in diapers (as stated above), and most of all drink as much as we wanted…! It was an awesome way to see the true beautiful landmarks in the Indian Ocean!
  5. BAMBOO TATTOO (Koh Phi Phi)
    IMG_7846So, as I was walking, kind of hungover I guess you could say from the previous day’s Booze Cruise, we are walking along side the beach full of shops when I see a Tattoo Place…I stop and look at some of the artwork and think it is truly beautiful. Of course, they have a man that comes out and speaks English about the history and culture of the tattoo and explains how it is all done with a shaved bamboo stick and ink….and that I can go swimming and get in the Sun almost immediately after. He had me hooked after that. I decided that I had some time and why not get a Bamboo tattoo almost right on the beach in Thailand! This honestly, was one of my most moving experiences in Thailand….to see, to feel, and to have the culture with me at all times will by far be a memory that I will always now be able to remember… written in Thai on my arm is “Strong Courage & Success”…
    IMG_8518
  6. LONGBOAT RIDE (Ao Nang to West Raleigh Beach)

    As we sat in Ao Nang on the beach, it was beautiful but not as pretty as I had hope and the entire time we kept watching these beautiful longboats take people to other beaches. We decided, why not? Let’s go on this longtail boat and experience another beautiful beach. These boats are common to Asia which transport tourists using a common automotive engine powered and maneuvered by a man. It was a bit scary but fun experience but quick and easy to get to the next island!
  1. IMG_8480KOH SAN ROAD (Bangkok)

    This is pretty much how we ended our trip….ironically nicknamed “Backpacker Ghetto”.   It’s basically a street that sells handcrafts, paintings, clothes, unlicensed DVD’s, fake ID’s, and much more! During the late evening, the streets turn into bars and music is played with street vendors selling barbequed insects, exotic snacks, and the ever so famous ping pong shows!

 

As you can see, we did some amazing things in the 16 days we were there which technically ended up being 13 due to travel there and back. If I could go back which I plan on, I will definitely spend more time there. There is truly so much to see and do and experience!

LASTLY…I would like to end by sharing my RANDOM FUN FACTS:

IMG4202_44b41*DRIVING is INSANE- Scooters are everywhere, there are no speed limits, no true lanes,
and no turn signals….and did I mention the scooters are everywhere carrying as many people, as many things, and oh ya…EVERYWHERE!

*TRASHCANS- Good luck finding one! Honestly, they are no where to be found…its beyond strange but it is even stranger because there isn’t a ton of trash on the roads or anywhere as a matter of fact for trash cans being almost non existent…
IMG_8485
*TOILET PAPER- I went to Thailand thinking that I was going to go to
the bathroom in these little holes in the ground and not have any toilet paper but honestly, we only experienced that ONLY  once…(See the picture next to this…yes, I got my squat in that day!) however there were quite a few times bathrooms did not have toilet paper. So, make sure you ALWAYS have tissues with you…AND never put the toilet paper down the toilet…their septic system is a disaster and you can be fined for that…seriously!

*BIDET’S- Ya, I know strange. No fancy restrooms or toilet paper but don’t worry you can wash your butt with their bidet’s that were in almost every restroom! No dirty butts in Thailand!

*SEWAGE-So their butts may not stink but their cities sure stink. ESPECIALLY Bangkok. Take one of the worst smelling cities in the states that you have ever been too…and times that by at least 5…It’s awful…(Needless to say, Bangkok you were fun but I don’t think I will be back visiting you…the other cities were tolerable and more beautiful)

*NAPKINS- Or should I say more like the cheapest toilet paper you can buy in the USA! They are extremely so paper thin that when you used them to clean up yourself or maybe blow your nose, you got even messier than when you started.

*BILLBOARDS-Absolutely huge! Takes years to build…yes that’s how big!

*THE COUNTRY THAT NEVER SLEEPS- Seriously, they say Vegas is the city that never sleeps but honestly, Thailand is the COUNTRY that never sleeps. There is always something going on…street food, street markets, and people always up working! We got lost coming home one night and didn’t get in until like 2 am and we were on a side street where they were just setting up for a night food market where the locals come in and buy their goods for the next day for their street food and restaurants….it was an amazing site to see that truly shocked me as it made me realize how much Thai people work and how much they truly live life to the fullest…

To END up this extremely long blog that I tried my hardest to cut down for you and try to make fairly interesting….I want to share one last thing…

IMG_8175As I sat on the Beach one day…eating my fresh pineapple…trying not to burn in their extremely hot sun…I thought to myself how lucky I was to be able to go, experience, and be in Thailand. However, I did that on my own. My parents or elders didn’t pay for me, my parents or elders didn’t tell me to go, I wanted to go. I worked hard, I researched, and I made it happen. And to me, that’s a huge accomplishment. And thank you Lesley for being my amazing travel buddy and taking the time to plan out much of what we did! (I can’t wait for the next time!)

Traveling is great. Traveling is fun. And once you go, you get the bug to go more and more. But trust me when I say it’s not easy to leave your house, your friends, your family, and your loved ones. But it’s important to see, experience and just go… I know it takes time and money to do these things but if you set your mind to it, be smart, and save, you can go wherever your little heart desires….

Thailand you made me think, see, experience, learn, and live again….until next time…or the next adventure…..IMG_7769

PS- A Thai Food Blog coming next….Trust me….this one will get interesting…..

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”- Buddha

 

 

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Why Thailand?

So I booked a trip to Thailand…

Thailand1Go ahead and ask…”What? Why Thailand?” (Don’t worry that’s almost everyone’s reaction.)

Here has been my general response…
“Why not!?”, “I found a cheap flight so I decided to just go!”, “A lot of backpackers that I know have been and have raved about it”, “I heard it’s pretty cheap once you get there”.

However there is much more as to why I decided to go to Thailand… Here are my reasons: (In no specific order)

 

  1. Their Culture- Have you ever heard or known about the Thai Culture? Probably not..and neither did I until recently. They like to live in the present. Not the past. Not the Future. But in the NOW. How many times in the United States culture are we encouraged or more so expected to think about our future? A LOT. I can’t wait to just 100 percent live in the moment!
  2. Their Weather- It’s amazing to me the variations in weather and how little we know about weather not just in our own country but in others. I’ve been asked a lot about what their weather is like while I am there. Well, the good news is, it will not be their “rainy” season while I am there. Today in Bangkok it was 73 degrees with a high of 92. Needless to say, while we are there it will be anywhere from 75-95 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be hot but I love the sun and for that it will be absolutely worth it!
  3. Their Food- It’s evident that Thai food is not the most common food in the United States but it has slowly been making a bigger appearance. Many of us are becoming familiar with it and I have learned to quite enjoy it. I really learned and experienced Thai food while I was in Australia. However, they say that it is much different over there than it is here. And let’s be honest, I love food, and I love trying new things and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about their street food. (Which they HIGHLY recommend you eat versus a restaurant because you can really see how it is prepared.) I am really excited experience “real Thai Food”.
  4. Their Islands/Scenery- Have you ever seen a picture of Thailand? Sure most of the time it’s cropped or photoshopped but I can guarantee it is absolutely stunning photoshopped or not! With all the pictures I have seen, I can’t wait to see them in real life. I love beaches, I love islands, and most of all I love seeing new parts of the world that bring a new light and vision on life…
  5. The People- Almost all the articles I have read have stated, the people are extremely nice. It is honestly known as “Land of Smiles”. Obviously, like any country, there will be tourist scams and crimes but it is stated that the people of Thailand are friendly, open and kind. (You hear that Dad!?… Yes, my dad is very very worried in which he has a right to be…but as with any travel, I did my research and have planned accordingly”
  6. It’s affordable- When I said, I found a cheap flight, I mean it. Just look up a round trip for a certain time of the year, and I guarantee you will be absolutely surprised! Better yet, the best part is the dollar goes a long way in Thailand. Plenty of hotels and guesthouses for under $20.00! The street food for example is equivalent to a $1.00 or less for an entire meal! Beat that McDonalds!
  7. Lastly…To CHALLENGE myself- It’s evident that I like to travel. (If’ you did not know, I really love to travel) But to be completely honest, I love to challenge myself. I love to try something new. I love to go somewhere new. Many of you think this is so easy for me, to just pack my things and go. But it is really not. Not one bit. Every time I leave, I leave my family, my friends, my house, my dog, my lifestyle. It’s hard. And saying goodbye never gets easier.

 

I am going to Thailand!!! It is pretty god damn far away! I can not speak their language. I Thailand2do not know very much about their style of living. Most of all, it is basically all completely new to me and all I will have with me is one little back pack! Talk about a challenge….

However, I travel to stay on my toes. I travel to be happier. I ravel to build self-confidence. I travel to experience new things. I travel to make memories. I travel to meet new people. Most of all, I travel to break my routine.

How many times, do we say, we need a vacation. Or we need to get away…. Most of us say it a lot and if not, we think it, or we want it, and we know when we need it.

And right now, in my life, I need it. I found this article on Huff Post- “11 Reasons Why Travel Makes You a Happier Person” and I find it very interesting and put my spin on it for this upcoming trip…

*Find More Self-Confidence by Dealing with Unexpected Situations.- As I stated above, my dad and many of my friends and family are very worried about me over in Thailand. However, I know that my friend (Yes, I have a friend going with me so I am not going completely solo) and I have done a lot of research, talked to people whom have previous been and live there, and most of all are very very smart women. I do, however, take into consideration that we may have to deal with unexpected situations but to me, that is part of life. That to me, is a way to learn. Good, bad, ugly situations will always make me a stronger person if I learn for myself how to get through them.

*Be Happier-When I travel, I’m happy or I at least find my happiness again. When you go to an island or to paradise where the locals are happy and smiling, and friendly, it’s truly a contagious feeling. And for that reason, I learn to cherish the small things again and just be happier.

*Appreciate my Friends and Family More- Truthfully, I have already learned this. Traveling to Australia 4 times now, I really have learned to appreciate my home. I really can say I am comfortable with where I live, with my parents, my friends and most of all myself. Yet, every single time I travel, I learn to appreciate it and them more and more…

*You Make New Friends- This is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I love to meet new people. I love to strike up a conversation, learn about someone, and where they are from and connect in a way that I probably will never see them again but will be able to keep up with via social media and who knows, maybe someday see each other again! There are so many people in this world and I cherish every single person I get to meet because everyone has a story and everyone is unique!

*Detox From Social Media- This by far, is pretty much my top favorite. Ask my friends, when I go on vacation, I like to put away my phone. I like to enjoy my trip and take in as much as I can. Sure it’s nice to get wifi in a country and talk to my friends and family but its nice to get away from Facebook, Instagram, and the drama that coincides with that. Of course, I post here and there, but I refuse to be on my phone the entire time. It’s important when on vacation to really be on vacation…

*Getting Some You Time- If you don’t know me, I work a lot. I work hard and have a pretty crazy, hectic lifestyle. I do not take much time for myself. If I’m not working, I’m usually trying to help one of my friends or help my parents or something along those lines. I don’t like to spend money on myself. And I don’t like to take much time for myself because in my head, I should be doing something else. So, when I go on vacation, I really do make sure, I take some much needed “ME” time. I splurge a little on myself but I know I have worked hard and earned every bit of it.

*Education, Education, Education- I can’t stress this enough…I have become a much more well rounded person because of my travels. I have honestly learned more traveling than I have with some of my college classes. I’ve learned about myself, about others, about life, and been put into situations where I have been forced to figure out on my own. It’s amazing how much you can learn by traveling!

*Get a Vitamin D Boost- Need I say anymore, I need Sun to be happy. Hence why I have to get out and take a vacation. Sunshine and warmth generally puts us in a much better mood! I can 100 percent agree, at least for me! And trust me, I know Thailand will provide the Vitamin D that I need!

*You’re More Interesting- Once again, if you do not know me or you do, I live a pretty interesting life. But I like to keep it interesting, I like to be spontaneous, adventurous, and most of all courageous! I like to have stories, to have memories, and keep things interesting. So, if that means booking a trip to Thailand, then why not!? Let’s do it.

*New Experiences Give Us Moments To Remember- I have so many moments that I have experienced that I am able to remember but I want to keep having this unbelievable moments that I will forever remember. Whether it be a sunset in Hawaii, , standing alone on a beach in Australia or playing like a little kid on the 7 Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, I will always want to create a moment to remember wherever I am at….

*The Effects of Traveling, Aren’t Just Short-Term- Sure, Traveling makes me happy when I am there but I always feel like I come back with a happier and better outlook on life. I see things not always in a new/different way but more so, I see things from another point of view. I’m able to view and understand things better. I’m able to have more confidence in myself. And that will stay with me for a very long time….

thailand3I know this post was extremely long but I wanted to clarify; Why Thailand, Why travel, and What happens to me when I do travel.

And I will end with this… I will forever be grateful for being able to travel.   However, when you think that you can’t travel, you can. Anyone can. You have to want it. You have to earn it. And you have to just make it happen. Just do it, once. By yourself or with a friend and you will get the bug or the urge and see all of these things to realize and understand, it truly does make you happier and a better person all around!

So, see you soon Thailand. Will update you when I can…. 😉 (Don’t worry, we have a ton of amazing, cool, and adventurous things planned that I will tell you after I get to experience. And Dad, don’t worry, I will be safe!)

 

“Travel Makes You Realize That No Matter How Much You Know, There’s Always More To Learn”

 

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“NEW YEAR, SAME ME”

I’ve had to think long and hard how I’m going to start this blog again….

For example…How in the HELL am I going to catch your attention? Have YOU want to read about things that I write about….hmmm….

Well…here it is. It’s a NEW YEAR….AND SAME ME!

kt blog2

I’m all for it being a new year for everyone. I’m all for a time in our lives to start fresh, to make changes, and to better yourselves, but this whole, “NEW YEAR, NEW ME” is just not okay with ME…

I’ve come pretty far in my life. Meaning, I’ve been through breakups, deaths, financial struggles, family issues, job changes, and a lot of other things that I’m sure many of you have been through. It’s hard at times. And we all deal with in variety of ways… but truth is…for those of you reading this we all are still here. We all are still living life or like many just going through the motions…And trust me, many times PATIENCE is key….

This past year, I did something that sometimes takes many people years and years to do and for some unfortunately never do.

I accepted my life. Most of all I accepted me.

I know I’m not perfect. I know I know my life is not normal. I know I do not have a full time “real” job. I know I do not have “normal” parents. I know I am not married. I know I do not have kids. I know I could go on and on about how “different” I am….

But really what is normal? And why do we have to be “normal”? (BORING!)

We grow up in a society that suggests that we have to go to school, graduate, get a degree, get a job, get married, get a house, and have kids. (Basically)

But where in there does it state to have fun, to live life, to accept life, to be independent, and most of all to grow on our own for us….and to be “YOU”…

So instead of “NEKT Hawaii BlogW YEAR, NEW ME”, I’m doing a “NEW YEAR, SAME ME”.

I enjoy my life. I cherish my life. And I can’t wait to explore more of my life!
With that being said here is what I want to do this year: You could call this New Years Resolutions, I like to call it…
KAITLINS FUN LIST:

1. GO TO THAILAND- (Already booked, I leave in Febuary!)

  1. GO FISHING- (I haven’t been in years!)

  2. GO TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS- (I’ve been once but really want to go now that I’m older and enjoy it now and may even go this week!)

  3. LEARN TO DRIVE STICK (Yes, I know I’ve never driven a stick shift but I promise you, I will learn even if I’m terrible at it)

  4. COOK A NEW MEAL FROM COMPLETE SCRATCH (I think its fun to cook and learn to cook something new)

  5. GO TO A STRIP CLUB- (I know this seems crazy that I have never been but I have to at least do it once!)

  6. GO TO VEGAS (Yes, I know I travel a lot of places and I’ve never been to Vegas!)

  7. HOLD A TIGER OR RIDE AN ELEPHANT IN THAILAND (Yes, I better do this in FEBUARY or else I’m going back!)

  8. GO WATER SKIING OR TUBING (I work on an island on Summer and have never done either of these, I think it’s truly time)

  9. LASTLY…I always try to challenge myself with one of my FUN idea’s to do…. I’ve been skydiving, I’ve been snorkeling, I’ve shot a gun and all things that I was pretty scared to do but honestly I’m pretty scared to go SCUBA DIVING….with that being said, it’s making its way to my “FUN LIST” FOR THIS YEAR!

 

I’m sure there is plenty more I want to do and most of all WILL do and that is what this blog is for! To keep you posted on my crazy, fun, and most of all spontaneous adventures because truth is life is too short as many say to me. “Do it while you can”. And by can, I mean , just make the time to have a little fun…we all need it to have some sanity!

Cheers to a new year and please feel free to comment with future posts, thoughts, adventures, and idea’s to have some fun for this new year! It’s my goal to make this blog as real, as fun, and inspiring as I can this year!

“The greatest act of courage is to be & own all that you are. Without apology. Without excuses & without any masks to cover the truth of who you truly are. “

 

PS- THIS WAS 2015’S LIST…

*Go Skiing and/or Snowboarding-CHECK

* Go Paddleboarding

*Go Surfing

*Go Paintballing

*Go on a snowmobile or 4 wheeler

*Volunteer with a charity-CHECK

*Go Bungee Jumping

*Attend a country concert in the Summer

*Go to the Kentucky Derby

*Grow my OWN garden

*Go fishing

*Learn a new language

*Visit a new state

*Backpack Europe

*Get a nice camera and make it a nice hobby- Just purchased one today: )-CHECK

*STILL NEED TO Learn how to shoot a gun at a shooting range-CHECK

*STILL NEED TO Learn how to drive stick

*STILL NEED TO learn how to line dance

 

CLEARLY…I DID NOT GET TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING ON THAT LIST BUT IN DUE TIME…….I’VE GOT A NEW LIST TO COMPLETE!

 

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Life Is A Journey…Explore Yourself

IMG_2690As my almost 2 month journey comes to an end, I feel a mixture of emotions…I can’t help but think to myself…about LIFE.
Life can be anything we want it to. We have the ability to make what we want out of it. If we want to do something-we do it. If we don’t want to do something-we just don’t.
However, so many times throughout my life, I’ve been so indecisive. I never know what to do…I want too but then I don’t. I think about the consequences, my future, and of course, what we all think and worry about…money.
Lately thought, I’ve tried to stop thinking about the consequences especially the money part. So many of us worry too much about money, for instance, if we can or can’t do something because of the cost…
But, think about it, life can be ANYTHING we want it to. If we want to travel and explore the world, we can make it happen! We work hard for a reason…but we also can ALWAYS find some kind of work wherever we are at. (Even though it may not be what we want at the time or the most enjoyable, it pays for us to enjoy life for the time being) So in retrospect, don’t worry about money, it can always be made…
I’ve also learned that while traveling, it is not about staying in the nicest places or doing the most expensive things, its more about meeting new people, finding free/cheap/interesting things to do, and exploring while having fun…
I guess the biggest step to life is finding the courage to live and be happy. We all know that’s no easy task. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and bumps in the middle of the road that can test our courage. (Believe me, I’ve had my fair share and a lot of it my own fault…) But, none of that means to stop…it means, learn a few lessons and keep moving forward. There is so much life to live, see, and do!
So, if I told you these 2 months were easy, I would be completely lying to myself and to you…
I have been completely tested on this journey in ways that only some or even just myself would understand..but I wouldn’t take back any of this for the world.
From Ohio to Chicago to LA to Sydney to Melbourne to Sydney to Honolulu to Maui to Honolulu to LA IMG_2615to San Diego to Denver to Detroit To Fremont to Chicago to Fremont to Louisville and finally back to FREMONT (home sweet home), it was one amazing journey to say the least… I’ve seen and experienced so many things. Most of all, and more than anything, I lived my life.
I’m sure many of you ask yourself; “How can she just do this?”. It’s actually quite simple. Listen to the advice from your elders, realize when they state: “Do it while you can” & “Do it while you’re young”, they ABSOLUTELY mean it. Many times, there are others that state they regret not traveling more…
The more I thought about these statements, the more I realized that there is so much life to see, to live, and so many more people to meet…
IMG_2585Since then, I have taken all the chances that I can get to travel…but this past trip was for me.
I wanted to test myself. I wanted to do something on my own. More than anything, I needed to find me and what I really want in life.
I did, however, manage to realize that we shouldn’t focus so much on what we want in life but more so what we need. What we want and need is completely different. And, truth is, what we need in life is very, very small.
Many of us have this idea that is brought on by society itself as well as others that we need more that we really should. (And of course, it has to be name brand, heaven forbid!) Kind of crazy to think how absolutely little you need to live a good, happy life.
For instance, I tested this theory by doing something totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in hotels for the most part of my life while traveling. But, when traveling alone and to just see the world, there is really no need for that especially while on a budget. I decided to stay in a hostel.
So many, including myself, like to think of that word meaning; dirty, sketchy, shady, ect, ect, ect. Absolutely, completely wrong.
After being in Australia, now 3 times, and having the luxury to work with backpackers, I have heard that hostels are the way to go when traveling alone. However, like anything, you should definitely do your research…to be better safe than sorry.
I decided to stay at a family owned hostel in Waikiki for 2 nights as I was unsure if I would really like it or not. To my surprise, it was quite enjoyable. I had 5 roommates from all over the world, some only in for a few days. They ranged from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Australia, and New Jersey. The best part was, we all shared one common goal, to explore Hawaii and make the best out of our trip.
It by far, was one of my greatest accomplishments to do on my own. Believe me, it was so scary at first. I didn’t know who to talk to, where to sit, proper protocol, or event if I would be able to sleep. But, I did it! I opened up to people, made new friends, learned to survive, and even ended up staying all 5 nights in the hostel!
Which brings me to another scary point but completely worth it in the end, is traveling alone. It’s hard,IMG_2523 and not easy but can definitely be done. It really does teach you so much about yourself…
Although, I wasn’t alone ALL of my trips. I have so many to thank for being by my side…(and if I forgot you, don’t worry, I really didn’t, I just didn’t give you this special shout out) Thank you Jeff, Saul, Lotte, MJ, Jay & Jane, all the staff at Hollywood horrors, Brennan, Chad & Claire, and Kinzie. All of you put up with living and working with me at some point or another and helping me throughout my journey in many ways that I will forever be thankful for…
But when it came time to being alone, it was quite tough. I feel it was only tough because that is what my head was telling me. We really can do anything we want. They just never told us somethings, it isn’t as easy as it looks. You just kind of have to figure that part out on your own…
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that traveling alone can be quite overwhelming especially at first and it can definitely get a bit lonely at times. Also, as a young woman, traveling alone, I had to be very good at reading people and very aware of my surroundings at all times.
IMG_2399I know it was scary, lonely, intimidating, and hard at times, I wouldn’t take back the moments that I was able to have and experience. It forced me to learn directions (Yes, Jeff, believe it or not, I learned how to get around cities by bus, train, and even walking!), to talk to new people, to reconnect with friends I have from all over the world, to eat new food, to try new things, and to do things that I would normally never do because I was completely able to be out of my comfort zone..
I can’t begin to explain the whirlwind of emotions that I went through on my journeys but what I can tell you is that it is worth every second… I have and always will support traveling. It is a part of me now that I take with me wherever I go.
Now that I am on my last flight writing this last piece to my journey, I can begin to explain what all is going through my head…
To wonder “What if?” And, “Whats next?”is one of the scariest things to think about… but I know I have some great opportunities out there for me. I have some great places in mind to move and I now know I really can make it on my own.
I do truly hope that I will not have to do this alone forever.. I would love nothing more than to share these journeys, experiences, and memories with someone.IMG_2507
So many of my friends are in a relationship, married, or have kids at this stage in their lives. I couldn’t be more happy and proud of them! I’m just not one to push this subject on anyone, but it sometimes can make you think and wonder why not me?
I can’t force anything to happen with that part of my life. I know it will happen when I least expect it. I couldn’t be more thankful for those people that show up in your life though during your travels that remind you of the good qualities that you do have…they provide a sense of hope for your future…and that I won’t be alone forever…
Whatever I decided to do after this journey is totally up to me. I have the ability to do whatever I want because it is my life and I need to just live. It is not about the right or the wrong decision, it is about doing what is going to make me happy…
I finally feel I am completely ready for the next chapter of my life…Let the next journey begin…

“Find The Courage To Just Be Happy”

 

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To Date A Girl That Travels…Or Not?

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago, I was awaken from a text from a good friend of mine. His text said:
“This is the first thing that popped up on my newsfeed this morning”:
https://medium.com/better-humans/802c49b9141c

(And yes, that is all it said….)

I know this may be a lot more work, but I’m asking you to please, take a few minutes to read the above link…(Takes about 3 minutes)

Now that we are on the same page…here is what I thought about this.

I am a woman that has been brought up traveling. My  parents were fortunate enough to take me along many of their trips. I was able to see a lot of the world and experience new adventures along the way. However, I didn’t stop just there…I now am traveling on my own. I’m booking my own trips to see parts of the world. And I’m taking every chance I get to see and explore new countries.

This girl had some great opinions…but opinions that I simply just do not agree with.

1. “She’s the one with messy, unkept hair”- I disagree. I, like many, like to keep my hair well groomed. However, when need be, I do know how to not wash my hair and just throw it up o put it in braid. Mainly, I know how to keep it maintained enough to still pull off a cute look. This to me, is considered a turn on for a man. A woman that does not take 2 hours to get ready, a woman that can just throw up their hair, be ready to go, and still look stunning!

2. “She is hard to please”-I disagree. I seem to think I am very easy to please. Since, I have lived with little to nothing at times, not had cell reception in many places, and have learned that you must walk, train, bike, or cab it in order to get where you are going, I like to think I’m a pretty flexible person due to traveling. She stated in her post “The usual dinner-movie date will suck the life out of her”. How completely wrong this is. A woman that travels, absolutely loves dinner and a movie. When thinking of traveling, that usually isn’t the first thing on our agenda. We many times, miss out on movies and are unable to see on the big screen! PLUS at this day and age, a man taking any woman out on any date, is always a plus! These days, it hard to find or do! Especially with a travelers busy schedule! Therefore, we as travelers are quite easy to please. We make do with what we have, and appreciate the little things in life versus the ones who do the same thing over and over again.

3. “She will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale-I agree. For once, I think I may agree with this statement. Why not watch the airline sales!? There are great deals that come through and sometimes are too good to pass up. If willing and able, why not go? I’m a firm believer in finding great deals, and if it’s meant to be, then go for it! I would much rather spend my money on a flight then going out to the bar for one night!

4. “Chances are she can’t hold a steady job”-I disagree. Most of us that enjoy traveling, do hold steady jobs. Although it may not be your 9-5 business job, we do have many steady jobs. Some may even be seasonal. The biggest part is keeping a steady job in order so we can travel. We prefer to keep in touch and make connections.  Most of all, most that travel are hard workers. We make money, we save money, and we spend money wisely in order to travel. But in order to make money, we must work hard. Therefore, most of us work long hours, or multiple jobs…Remember, we work hard for our travels;)

5. “She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers completely.”-I disagree. Since when are you ever ‘wasting’ a college degree. I seem to remember taking many classes that didn’t even pertain to my college degree. Therefore, I believe college gave us further education in general.  And how many people do completely switch careers? Quite a few, or so I hear…AND what is so wrong in switching a career? If you do not like what you do, then why not switch it up? We are allowed. Further more, the way I look at it, I am not ‘wasting’ my college degree. I am just furthering my education by exploring the world first before I utilize my college degree? When is the right or wrong time to go to college? When is the right or wrong time to use your degree? And when is the right or wrong time to know exactly what you want to do in life? Only you will know….Don’t judge others based upon your experiences….

6. “Don’t date a girl that travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty.”- I agree to disagree. This blog writer is right in some aspects, as most of us that travel, do live by the seat of our pants. If an opportunity arises to travel, we find a way to go. And most of us, are uncertain as to what exactly our future holds….however, aren’t others that do not travel uncertain of many things? Life throws us blocks in the road quite often? Although many of us are uncertain that travel, many of us have set goals that you may be unaware about. I know I will want to travel forever but that doesn’t mean, I don’t want to get a steady job, a husband, have a family, or even have a place to call home. I look at choosing uncertainty as…choosing opportunities.

7. “She tends to speak her mind.”-I agree. A woman that travels, is forced to learn how to speak her mind. However, unlike many that speak their mind frequently or at the wrong time and place, we have learned the right from wrong. Many travelers deal with a variety of cultures and experiences that allow us to see and learn the right techniques in order to speak our mind. We know how to respect one another. We understand there is a certain degree to speaking our minds but at least we have the ‘balls’ to do it.

8.”She will never need you”- I completely disagree. I will admit, many women that travel, are very independent but we still need others. Although, we can do many things on our own,there are plenty that we can not. I will need you…I enjoy company of others, I enjoy meeting new people but I also love needing someone…My life is not meant for me to enjoy alone…

9. And then she closes with this…”So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.”- I couldn’t DISAGREE more with this woman...If you fall in love with a girl who travels….keep her. Love doesn’t just come and go… Go with her. Explore the world together. Do something different. And don’t let her go….hold her as close as possible. A girl that travels, wants to feel loved. Men come in and out of her life but never stay…always letting her go…I guarantee if the right man came along….a girl that travels would limit her travel to keep up with the man as well….it may just take time and some communication…..More than anything, if you ‘unintentionally’ fall is love with a girl who travels, don’t punish her. Respect her, love her, and find a way to make things work…..DSCF4334

In closing…obviously I travel. I love to explore the world. I love the beach. And I love new experiences. And if there is one thing that I have learned throughout talking to so many different people…the one thing people regret in life…is not traveling more. So many say, “I wish I would have traveled more, or could have…”

So, their advice:

“Do it While You Can, and Do it While Your Young…”

PS- I’m heading back to Australia;)

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I Went To Australia….AGAIN!:)

travel2It seems as though….it has been forever since I’ve updated or wrote a post…

Well it has….

Truth is, I’ve been working, traveling, and across the world in Australia.  But, I think it’s important that I be honest… I’ve wanted to write in my blog.  I wanted to share my opinions. And I wanted to post.  But, I simply couldn’t.  I seemed to hit a hard spot in life.  I thought things were shaping up.  I thought I was getting my life together.  It all seemed like things were on the right track. I got my job back, I received another job, I had a boyfriend that seemed to have his ‘stuff’ together, I got a new apartment, I was looking into going back to school, and I was using my past experiences as motivation because I thought I was moving forward.  Truth is, I wasn’t.  I was stuck.  I wasn’t happy. I thought staying busy, dating someone with his ‘shit’ together, and forgetting about all the hurt I went through would make me happy again.  I was wrong. I fell deeper and deeper….until opportunity arose again…..Sydney Opera House, Australia

The chance to go back to Australia….Although, I debated, and debated about going back to Australia, I decided, it’s what was best for me.  It’s what I needed to do.  I knew from previous experience, the amount of time, energy, and work it takes in Australia to make sure that the business is running.  Many of you that know me that are reading this may know what I do over there where as others may not. So I will explain as everyone asks, so what is it that you do over there?

DSCN1180I go to Australia to help run a Haunted House.  My dad has owned and operated a haunted house for 24 years now. He was hired out to train their actors, build and manage in Australia.  I went last year willing and able to do anything just so I could get to another country and experience the work life.  I must have impressed them a bit to where they wanted me back. I came back this year to partake a bigger role and assist them with management.  Believe me, working a haunted house at the biggest festival in Australia with over almost 1 million visitors is no easy task.  We worked 14-16 hours a day for 3 weeks straight in the 80-100 degree Fahrenheit heat. And if we were lucky, we would get 2 30 minute breaks.    We built, ran, and tore down a haunted house.  It was my job to make sure things ran smoothly.  You can only imagine it was my job to be wonder woman.  But to me, this is all great learning lessons but more than anything, amazing life experiences.

And as much as I hesitated to go, I’m SO glad I went.  I thought I had my life coming together before I left.  But, I didn’t.  I wasn’t happy, I was lost, I had no sense of direction…

When I went to Australia, I had no connection with the United States. We had no internet connection and little time to experience Australia. Of course it was tough not being able to talk to my family or friends but in a way it was kind of nice in a way because sometimes we depend on friends and family too much and need to do things on our own. Be a bit independent.  We didn’t get to enjoy Australia as we just worked, ate and slept. But, what I did experience, wasDSCN1217 me.  Was who I am. Who I want to be. Where I want to be….

I met an amazing friend and now boyfriend in Australia.  I’m sure your thinking, I’m pretty crazy.  Let’s get this straight, he’s not an Aussie.  He’s an American from Chicago, Illinois.  He came on the trip to work as well and met us in Sydney, Australia.  He too is in the haunt business and has been since a little kid.  (How ironic right?) However, he is my age, and shared the same outlook on life.  We connected from the first time we met.  He’s outgoing, a hard worker, and a bit spontaneous, and a handy man;)  Although, I was a bit mean when I first spoke to him…(If you ever meet him, you will have to ask him about our ‘first’ encounter) TravelBut, what I will say, is that this man was my rock.  He kept me sane, motivated, and most of all alive through all the work in Australia.  When you work 16 hours a day for 3 1/2 weeks straight, we all go through our share of emotions.  We both shared our mad, sad, frustrated, happy, goofy, and every emotional state possible with each other.  But, we were always there for one another…we helped each other out.  Although we worked at a haunted house, we were able to keep each other from really going crazy! And that right there is AMAZING! For a man to keep any woman from going crazy is definitely a keeper….

And since I’m being honest, I want to admit, I always swore I had a type for men….but let’s be real, it clearly wasn’t working.  They were everything I wanted but didn’t need.  They didn’t treat me right, make me happy, or help me as a person see what I need to do.  However, I don’t know if we should strive so much on a specific ‘type’ that we date. We need to focus more on the connection, the person, and how they treat us.  I swore I would never date another ‘haunter’/’actor’ or even participate in this business……but look at me now.  I was searching so much for what I wanted, I lost track in what I really needed.

So, here it is….since going to Australia, I have realized, life is way to short to work all the time, not experience life, and most of all not take chances.  In life, we need to be happy. And for once, I came home, and realized I’m ready to do whatever it is to be happy. Take chances. Take risks. And be a bit spontaneous.  Travel, explore the world as much as possible. Meet new people, share new experiences, and most of all LIVE LIFE.  We think too much about what we want and forget too much about what we need… I’m ready to finally be…just…me:)

“Ones Destination Is Never A Place, But A New Way Of Seeing Things….”

 

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Almost A Month Without A Blog…W.T.F!

I can’t believe I’ve almost gone a whole entire month without writing! Shame on me….

Truth is, when I don’t write, I feel a bit more stressed.  I really need to make sure I continue writing on a daily or at least weekly basis.  Writing allows me personal time to myself where I am able to finally voice my opinion.  And, I might be ‘kinda’ good at it;)

So this past month completely flew by.  I’ve experienced so much within the last month.  As I said on my previous blog post, I attended my first ‘official’ wedding.  I went on a ‘real’ date with a complete stranger that I introduced myself too.  And of course, the big one, stepped up into a Management role for my parents Haunted House.  That alone kept me completely busy for the month of October….

As always, my life keeps me fairly busy. Let’s look at it this way…..

January-living in Cleveland, OH.  Working at Buffalo Wild Wings and Longhorn Steakhouse
Feburary-living in Fremont, OH.  Working with my parents to prepare for The Haunted Hydro season
March-April-living in Sydney, Australia.  Working with Hollywood Horrors.
May-September-Living in Put-In-Bay, OH.  Working at Splash, The Pirate Ship, Dizzy Lizard, and The World’s Smallest Margarita Bar
October-November-Living in Fremont, OH.  Working as Park Manager for The Haunted Hydro.

After writing that out and looking at that….I’m shocked.  I’ve moved 5 times already JUST this year and probably going to move one more time before the year is over.  And that is just this year……No wonder my mail man can’t get my mail to the right place!;/

However, along this journey this year, I have met so many wonderful people. And because of that, my journey isn’t ending just yet…I’m just not quite ready to be finished with my travels and experiences.  I have much more to endure….

So, to my readers, new and old, I will be making a decision this week as to what is next. As of now, I am planning on going back to my seasonal job in Put In Bay, Ohio for one more Summer. So that means, in the mean time, I now much find a ‘Winter’ job.  I’m looking into a few places around the area so a big move isn’t necessary.  I also may have an opportunity with ‘Hollywood Horrors’ again but this time in New Zealand.  But, I will tell you, I did pass my ‘big girl’ resume on to a few places for a full-time job that had asked to see my resume.  Until then, my life continues to move forward and hopefully will have good news as to what’s next soon….

And…by the way, I’m accepting blog topics to talk about as I sometimes get writers block for my upcoming blogs since I now finally have time to write.  I love being able to voice my opinion on subjects that I’m able to but all idea’s are welcome!
 

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We Took The Heat!

I currently live in Ohio.  Yes, we really do have all four Seasons with the weather.  However, as most of us know, it’s been a weird year.  Very mild Winter.  And currently seems to be an extremely hot and brutal Summer.  The past two days have been quite awful.  The temperature has been feeling like almost 110 degrees!  But, I think I failed to mention that Ohio has that awesome humidity too!  So not only is it hot…..its hot and muggy!

These past two days, it was seriously almost too hot to even be outside.  Too hot to walk.  And seriously way to hot to be talking.   Most of all, way too hot to working.  And working is what I did both days.  Did I mention, I work outside at a pool bar?? Yep, that was me.  And of course my fellow co workers.  We were outside serving drinks to people in a pool all day long.  Talk about miserable???

Friday, was miserable but tolerable.  I was able to keep up.  Hydrate.  And stay motivated and in the zone.  But Saturday came, and I started out strong but felt my body fading out on me.  My body wasn’t allowing me to do what my mind wanted.  I felt like I was in slow motion.  Then I got to the pass out phase.  Although, I really didn’t want anyone to know.  So, I grabbed a bottle of water and went to the bathroom.  I rinsed my face and downed the water.  I came back was able to get back into things a little bit but then managed to get this awful headache.  It literally took over half of my entire head.  It was pounding so hard that I could barely open my eye.  At this point, I know I was moving slower than I should.  I wanted so bad to be moving fast and helping the others but my body just refused.  I felt bad but I knew if I did, I would be out from heat exhaustion.

Luckily we got everyone out of the pool pretty fast and early.  We all were exhausted.  And it was definitely a long couple of days.  (Thank goodness I have today off)  And, after speaking with my Dad, who can usually work in anything for any number of hours, he’s one tough mine. (obviously where I get it:) However, yesterday, he told me, he couldn’t even work outside all day long.  That told me, how extremely bad it was.  And the fact that I lasted two 10 hour days in the Sun and heat yesterday, is amazing.

I don’t want to give myself all the credit.  Everyone that worked outside yesterday in Ohio, deserves a big thank you.  The people who served you, hosted you, and made your life livable yesterday definitely took the heat!

“Eh, What’s A Little Heat!”

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A Man’s Chivalry….

I know that I wrote my Facebook status about this but for those of you that didn’t get a chance to read what happened, here it is:

“FYI…I just carried a big air conditioner on and off the miller ferry, to my car, out of my car, up my stairs, and installed it in my room without any ‘man’ help. Need I mention, however, that I did ask for a man’s assistance on the miller to help me up the hill. He laughed and refused. This world’s gentleman chivalry is getting slimmer and slimmer. But damn I’m a tough woman:)”

Let me reiterate that I am a 5’2 girl (on a good day) and about 120 pounds (on a good day).  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty strong and tough.  However, carrying this huge air conditioner with not one person offering to help was a joke.  What was an even bigger joke, was the fact that this man was talking to me, and even at one point, I believe, hitting on me.  So, I asked him to help me carrying this up this really big hill when we get off the ferry-boat.  I even offered to pay.  When we got to the island, he laughed and said, “Have fun carrying that air conditioner”.  And his friend said, ‘Your seriously not going to help her?”.  Worst part, they both got in their car without helping me.

Yes, pretty messed up if you ask me.

However, with that being said, it leads me to thinking…..Where has men’s chivalry gone? I’m not saying all men are like this.  But there was once a day where men always held the door open for a woman and always helped a woman in need.  Don’t get me wrong, I know times have changed.  I know woman are more independent.  I know woman can hold men’s jobs now.  And I know more woman are in control over many men.  But, this definitely does not mean that a man’s chivalry has to end or as most say, is dead.

For the men reading this, let me tell you a little secret.  Woman still love to have doors open for them.  Woman still love a chair being pulled out. And mostly, woman still love to have a man’s helping hand.  And at this point, I know your thinking, ya right.  No, it’s true.  But it doesn’t have to be done ALL THE TIME.  Just sometimes.  Just at some unexpected  moments.  Just something to show us, you do have some manly chivalry in you and that it is still alive.

What I will say on behalf of my ‘air conditioner’ experience is that, I now see, how small American Men’s Chivalry is these days.  On the boat alone, there probably had to be at least 75 men.  Granted some of them may have been too old, not seen me, or had health problems at that time but for the rest of them, not one offered a helping hand.  Although, I will say, it was a huge accomplishment to do this all by myself.

But, it also made me realize, another reason why women are so independent these days.  Because, we simply have to be.  So, here’s the truth.  Men, if you don’t want woman being so independent and tough and more important to be the ‘ladies’ that you so want and desire, please show some chivalry again!

“Chivalry May Not Be Dead, But Needs Some Work These Days”

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On The Move Again…

It’s hard for me to find the words to something that I’ve done a million times now.  Maybe not a  million but definitely been quite a bit.  But, it’s that time again.

Moving.

I wish I could say, that it gets easier each time but in all reality it doesn’t.  I mean the packing part gets easier.  But that is because, I really don’t take the time to even unpack anymore.  However, everything else, really just gets harder.

Anytime you move, you lose touch of people, places, and things. It’s just how it goes. It was hard for me to face at first. Very hard.  But, it’s just part of life.  You live and you learn.  You find out quick who your true friends are.  Distances can be tough with any relationship whether it be family, friends, or boyfriends/girlfriends.

Although, it may be tough at times.  It is possible to keep them alive.  It takes a lot of effort for both people.  And believe me, no one is perfect.  We all do not make the effort we are supposed too or should.  But, as many times as I have moved recently, I’m proud to admit, that I have kept many relationships with people and thank the people that are still in my life.  I’m sure it hasn’t been easy with the many places I move, the different jobs I take, and the distances I go.

But, I want to be honest.  Moving away from my friends, family, and loved ones has gotten very tough.  And I feel many of them are sick and tired of me moving.  But, you must bear with me a little longer.  I’m to the point in my life, where I really want to have a place of my own.  A secure job.  And most of all a place to call home.

I hope that time is soon but I will make no promises.  Never in my life did I expect to be doing this.  But, I’ve met so many wonderful friends, lived so many different places, and worked at a variety of jobs that I have a much better grasp on life itself.  To my friends, family, and loved ones, think of my ‘moving life’ as an adventure.  Keep in touch, take a trip, and enjoy the ride.  But, please know, my door is always open wherever I move.

So now, I’m moving back to the island in Ohio, Put-In-Bay today for the Summer.  I will be working at ‘Splash’, and the other bars that the owner owns, all Summer long.   And I hope, that as many people as I have met along my ‘moving adventures’, take a trip to this awesome, fun, amazing, and great time Summer hot spot!  Most of all, provide company, companionships, and reminders that I still have amazing friends and family support in all that I do!

“It’s Not Good Bye, It’s See Ya’ll Soon!”

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