Posts Tagged With: travel

“Life Is What You Make Of It”

Although I know it’s been a while, I know I have a few things coming up that may catch your interest and be worthwhile for your reading pleasure.

As I missed my ‘oh so popular’ Nbeach_bucketew Year’s Resolutions post, aka “Bucket List-2015”, I figured, it is never too late to make one. So here is what I would like to do this year: (I know, you may laugh at a few of these but I’m totally okay with that)

I would like to…
*Go Skiing and/or Snowboarding
* Go Paddleboarding
*Go Surfing
*Go Paintballing
*Go on a snowmobile or 4 wheeler
*Volunteer with a charity
*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: )
*STILL NEED TO Learn how to shoot a gun at a shooting range
*STILL NEED TO Learn how to drive stick
*STILL NEED TO learn how to line dance

peaceAND finally… I want to do one crazy thing that someone plans for me. I don’t care what it is, just something that I have never done before. I know it is a bit scary to leave this in someone else’s hands…but I would like to do something completely out of my comfort zone and what better way than to challenge you all to put me to the test! So…who is it going to be? And what will it be? I will keep you all updated and posted.

However, with all of these things that I want to accomplish this year, I completely understand that it may or may not all work out how it is supposed to. But, that is what I have learned about this thing called life. Not everything works out how it is “supposed to”. And quite frankly, I don’t enjoy living life how we are “supposed to”.

spontaneousAs I have stated in the title and throughout this entire post, ‘Life is what we make of it’. We all go through trials and errors. We all experience problems. We all have issues. It’s evident. But what we do with each life lesson is completely up to us.
I feel like sometimes I may look at life a bit differently than most or should I say how we are raised we are ‘supposed to’ live life and I’ve come to terms to be okay with how I live my life. I refuse to settle. I am determined to live my life to the fullest. I refuse to be miserable with my life. I’m determined to find out what makes me happy, however long that may take. I’m determined to try new things. I’m determined to travel new places. And I’m determined to find a job that I enjoy.

So until then….I see no reason to be upset with the life that we are given. ‘Life is what we make of it’. Enjoy it. Embrace it. And just live a little: )

“This bright new day complete with 24 hours of choices, attitudes, and opportunities, a perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes, this unique gift, this one day cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded. Handle with care. Make the most of it.”

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“Keep Calm, I’m Back!”

Once again, it has been a while….and by a while, I mean since May 27, 2014! Time flies by when you’re having fun…or working…or just not taking time to yourself in which most of us simply do not do enough. So, once again, I’m going to try this blog…for myself and for anyone who enjoys reading  it…

In the beginning of the year (2014), I wrote and proposed some things  that I wanted to try to do/accomplish for 2014. I’m quite disappointed in myself.  Here is what I stated in that blog with explanations if I completed or not:

“So here is SOME of what I would like to try for 2014..(or New Years Resolutions as some call it) Of course, I may not be able to do all of these, but that is what other years are for…

  1. I would like to learn to drive stick-INCOMPLETE
  2. I would like to go to a shooting range and learn to shoot-INCOMPLETE
  3. I would like to learn/go snowboarding-INCOMEPLETE
  4. I would like to go zip lining-COMPLETED (indoor zip lining in Kentucky)
  5. I would like to go bungee jumping (really quite scared to do this one)-INCOMPLETE
  6. I would like to go to a concert (Yes, believe it or not, I’ve never been to one!)-COMPLETED! (Michael Buble-Melbourne Australia)
  7. I would like to go to a state that I’ve never been too (Arizona, Texas, Maine?)-INCOMPLETE (Believe it or not)
  8. I would like to learn how to crochet-INCOMPLETE
  9. I would like to take line dancing classes or attend a square dance-INCOMPLETE
  10. I would like to try Grates wings (A well known local joint in Fremont, my home town-INCOMPLETE
  11. Eat healthier- COMPLETED (Finally and working out 5 days a week!)
  12. Get more organized-COMPLETED (A start anyways)
  13. & my favorite…Laugh more & Cry Less….”-COMPLETED! “

As you can see…I didn’t get many of these done….which is a shame.  However, the year isn’t over yet. I still have time to complete these.  So, if anyone is willing and able to assist me, guide me, or join me in any of the above resolutions to complete before the New Year, LETS GO!

Now, I also wouldn’t say this year was a complete waste.  I was able to get a “decent” amount of travel and experiences in ktblog2that were not on my list:

*Key West, FL- Was able to bar hope, and make it to the Southern Most Point in the United States
*Grand Cayman- Snorkeled in the ocean and swam with stingrays *Jamaica- Climbed Dunn’s River Falls (Waterfall)
*Sydney, Australia- journeyed there by myself this time with no family members
*Melbourne, Australia- Went to my first concert, tried Indian food, went to local bars & the city
*Honolulu, Hawaii- Saw Sea Turtles, marine base, North Shore, ate Hawaiian shrimp & swordfish, hiked diamond head and other local spots, stayed in a hostel
*Maui- Completed the single lane road to Hana, saw numerous waterfalls, saw the only black sand beach
*San Diego, CA- Saw the treacherous forest fires that were burning all over the city
*Chicago, IL- Went to the Zoo
* Louisville, KY- Went  indoor zip lining in the caves
*Put In Bay, OH- Went Kayaking for my first time
*Bahamas- TBD (Cruise Dec 13)
*St. Thomas- TBD (Cruise Dec 13)
*San Juan- TBD (Cruise Dec 13)
*Grand Turk- TBD (Cruise Dec 13)

It’s evident that I love to travel. It’s obvious that I love the beach. And it’s abnormal how I live my life. But, if there is anything that I have come to conclusion with, it’s that, I enjoy the life I live.

It hasn’t been easy coming to this conclusion but it fits with my lifestyle. I work many seasonal jobs that have allowed me the availability to take trips.  It has been sometimes (and by sometimes…I mean almost all the time) hard to understand. A lot of my friends (Now mid-twenties) have full time jobs, houses, kids, and what I like to call stability.  It took me a while to understand that my plan of getting out of college, getting a full time job, moving out of Ohio, getting married, having kids, ect ect ect was a plan…..and in life, our plans don’t always go the way we want them too. My plan now, is to just live my life because truth is, I am stable, I am working, I am making it on my own….just in my own kind of way….and to be honest, that is okay to do.

My life: It’s hectic. It’s uncertain. It’s scary. And….it’s very different from most. But, it’s my life. I live, I learn, and I take nothing for granted. I travel to learn. I travel to explore. I travel to meet people. I live my life because I can and most of all…I am able too!

I hope to keep you all updated on my future endeavors, words of wisdom, beliefs on current, past, and future issues with this blog. Please let me know if you would like to hear, see, or have me write about anything specific. Now, who’s ready to help complete my “New Year’s Resolutions” before the end of the year?

“I’ll look back on this and smile because it was Life and I decided to live it”
life

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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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It Was My Choice….

Your Right.  It was.

We all have choices in life.  We all make right ones all the time  But we all have made the wrong ones before.  But sometimes, it takes us a long time to realize whether they were right or wrong.  But, it’s a choice we are forced to make sometimes.  And sometimes, you take a huge chance.  But, it’s a chance that I took and right now, I can’t go back and change. Because sometimes, the choice you made, you have to stick with in order to find out the results.

So, I’m not going back on this decision right now.  I’m staying strong.  Because, it’s the only option I have.  And I have always been told to never go back on your words.  And there is a reason why I made that choice.  Deep down, there is some kind of reason.  Sadly, I’m not even quite sure what that reason is, which may be the reason why I’m having such a hard time with why I made the choice I did.  However, I know that something inside of me, wasn’t ready and made that choice for a reason.

I’ve decided, I’m not going to search for that reason anymore.  It’s been too hard to find and understand.  Instead, I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m going to travel.  I’m going to help people.  And more importantly, I’m going to find me.  I want and need to find out, what I really want to do with my life.  What better way to do it then travel the world.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to go about doing this.  But, I have so many friends that I have met throughout the years that can help me along my way.

This time, I’m determined.  I need to find out more about me.  What I truly like, what I truly want, what I truly have, what I truly want to do, and more than anything, who I really am?  Because, no one deserves a woman who has no idea what they want in life.  So until I find that out, I’m going to do me and more than anything, I’m going to find me.

Making a decision is no easy task. But having a choice and turning it down creates a wheel of emotions.  Although, once a choice is made, we must live with it.  And this time, I’m not running away from a choice, a problem, or life because this time, I’m searching.  I may walk, jog, or run to find a place to find me not to lose me or lose others.

This may only begin to be the journey of a lifetime, but I can guarantee that it will happen.  And truth is, I am where I am today because of the choices I have made so far.  And although, we make mistakes in many choices that we make, there are lessons to be learned from each of our mistakes.  But more importantly, some choices knock us down, and it very well may have with me, but I have made the choice to get back up and keep moving….(Stay tuned for where I decide to start my Winter travels….)

“Every Person, All The Events In Your Life, Are There Because You Have Drawn Them There. What You Choose To Do With Them, Is Up To You”

 

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Sometimes….it’s okay to go MIA

I went MIA (Missing. In. Action.) for a few days. And I don’t regret a thing.

I can’t express how important it is to take some time to yourself.  But, more than anything, take some time away. Away from ‘friends’.  Away from your cell phone.  Away from internet.  Away from work.  And even away from people.  Find a place that you can escape reality.  So, that is exactly what I did.

Yes, I just got back from Australia.  However, I worked.  A lot.  I needed a break. I did some research and found the perfect place and the perfect person to go with. Someone who wouldn’t annoy me.  Someone who knows how to keep a secret.  Someone I knew I would have fun with.  Someone who I didn’t have to say a word to and it totally be okay.  And someone who also needed to go MIA.

Unfortunately, I didn’t want to drive far.  (Seeing that gas is up to $3.87 now, no comment!) And I didn’t want to spend too much money….so I found an beautiful place way up in the woods of Southern Ohio.  It was so far up in the woods and in the middle of no where that I was unable to have cable, internet service, cell phone service, or even hear a thing! It was exactly what I wanted and needed.

My tour guide that came with me took me hiking through the hills, valleys, cliffs, caves, and waterfalls throughout miles and miles of beautiful nature.  I saw some amazing spots that I really never would have thought would even be in Ohio.  I hiked up and down hills. I went through dark mysterious caves. I felt the cold water of beautiful waterfalls.  And really saw nature at its finest.

And I will be completely honest, I’m not really a camping person.  However, this was nothing like camping.  I stayed in a beautiful cabin in the woods.  I hiked around gorgeous scenery.  I went through numerous places with animal habitats that I really didn’t want to invade because it finally wasn’t a place where humans overpopulated.  In reality, we were stepping into their territory.  It was so nice to finally be in a place where humans were the ‘minority’.

So, as you can see, this was exactly what I needed. I needed to be away.  I needed to regroup myself from Australia.  I needed to have some fun but most of all enjoy life’s ‘finer’ things.  Sometimes we get so caught up within reality, we forget about the simple things.  The simple things that can truly relax us.  The simple things that can make us happy.  And the simple things that can bring back life.

“Take Time Out For Yourself, Do Something Simple”

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An Interesting List of my finds from Down Under

Many of you may not have had the time, energy, or even motivation to read my last post.  It was pretty lengthy but I did spend almost an entire month in Australia.  I also spent about 28 hours flying back so I had a lot of time to think.  I made a list of the top 50 interesting, intriguing, and should I say different things about Australia compared to the United States.  Here is what I did, think, and found throughout my time in Australia.  (And this is in no specific order)

Kaitlin’s 50 Interesting Finds:
AKA (Means in United States/American terms)

(Food)

1. Krumpet-Very similar to an American English Muffin with butter and honey.  And very delicious I must add
2. Lamb- It is very popular in Australia.  I ate it in our Chinese food as well as during a fancy dinner.  Not too bad!
3. Duck- Also very popular.  I also ate Duck in our Chinese food.  Sad part was they brought out the entire duck and cut it up in front of us. Poor thing;/
4. I worked at a festival.  Of course they had corn dogs. And I was craving one.  So I broke down and bought one.  It tasted alright minus the corn dog was pink inside!  It definitely ‘weirded’ me out a bit.
5. On the flip side, I also ate a completely brown hot dog.  Not like our hot dogs.  It had like a sausage color.  Except it was just very bland with skin on it.  (The skin peeled off and seriously looked like a condom.  haha. Needless to say, I didn’t eat it after peeling off the skin! )
6. Bacon in Australia is called Rasher Bacon.  It surprisingly has quite a bit of fat on it and has a huge round piece on the end. The round piece almost taste like ham.
7. Pork Belly- It is a very popular German food.  I also tried this.  It wasn’t really my favorite because it had a lot of fat on it.  I’m not a big fan of fat;)
8. Toastie- is two pieces of bread toasted with cheese in the middle AKA a grilled cheese in the United States
9. Breakfast Roll- AKA an American Breakfast Sandwhich, definitely not a roll with eggs in it like I originally thought
10. Jam- AKA Jelly as we call it (We asked for Jelly at a cafe and the server had absolutely no idea what we were talking about)
11. Tomato Sauce- AKA Ketchup (Once again, we asked for Ketchup for our french fries and they looked at us with absolutely a blank stare!_
12. Speaking of ‘Tomato Sauce’, they do not use much of it. Australians use mostly BBQ sauce on everything including steaks, french fries, sandwiches, breakfast
13. Sushi is very big in Australia.  I did finally break down and try Sushi again except it was vegetarian. I got the avocado and mushroom roll. Needless to say, I’m still not a huge fan.
14. Apricots and Pears are very big in dishes.  Pears are in most salads and Apricots are a popular dried fruit in dishes.
15. Australian Pies- These are pies that are filled with meat.  Similar to a United States chicken pot pie but much better.  I had one that was filled with beef and mushrooms with a brown gravy.  Very good.
16. However, as much food as we tried and bought, sadly it really did have absolutely no flavor! We had to use a ton of salt and pepper just to give it a pinch of flavor.
17. Lastly, there is no ‘real’ Australian food or restaurant.  Most of the restaurants are Chinese, Japanese, German, ect.  Australian food is just a wide variety or big melting pot.

(Slang/Sayings)
18. ‘How you going?’= I was asked this all the time. AKA How are you doing?
19. ‘Cheers’= AKA Thanks
20. ‘No Worries’= This phrase is completely totally overused in Australia.  Except, sadly, I think I brought the phrase back with me to the United States.  I use it all the time.  AKA No Problem, Got it, and Okay.
21. ‘Ring’= AKA Phone Call, Cell Phone
22. Car Park= AKA Parking Garage
23. Car= They call every moving vehicle a car AKA Car, SUV, Truck, Semi, Trailer
24. Torch= AKA A Flashlight. I was asked if I had a torch.  I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I must have gave him the dirtiest look. Finally he said, a flashlight and I understood!
25. Brekky= We were in a taxi and went past McDonalds where its said ‘Brekky starts at 6:30 AM.  Yes, Brekky! AKA Breakfast
26. Mate= Not what we normally think about when we say mate;) AKA Friend
27. Toilet= Instead of asking where the bathroom or restroom is, they simply just ask where the toilet is! AKA restroom, bathroom
28 Rubbish Bins= AKA Trash Cans, Garbage
29. OMG I just shit myself= Yes, sadly, I heard this a lot too.  I mean I was working at a haunted house just doesn’t sound right to me AKA Omg, I’m going to pee my pants
30. F-pass= I was asked when selling picture if we had F-pass, I had no idea what that even meant.  AKA Credit Card

(Festival/Work)
31.Sydney Royal Easter Show is the longest festival in Australia.  It runs 14 days
32. The show is also the biggest.  It has usually about 1 million people in attendance
33. Show bags are the big hit during festivals.  I had absolutely no idea what these were.  Basically they are bags that are sponsored by candy, tv shows, movies ect that produce a bag basically full of junk like candy, little games, toys ect.  However, this is a huge thing that people want, need, and purchase.
32.Australians do not celebrate Halloween
32. They have absolutely no idea what a haunted house is
33. For example here is a list of the top questions were asked on a daily basis: (And yes, I’m talking at least 50 times a day and they were being completely serious when they asked us this!)
a. Is it scary!? (It’s a haunted house, does it look scary!)
b. How scary is it!? (Well, what do you think, they get payed to scare you! Duh!)
c. On a scale 1-10, how scary is it!? (a 13, once again, duh! This is my job too!)
d. Is this a ride!? (No, its a walk through!)
e. What do you do!? (Well, lets see, you walk through, people jump out, and probably scare you. It is based on scary movies!)
f. Have you been through? (Duh, I work here. Who do you think goes through and finds your shit that is dropped in there!)
g. Were you scared? (I’m from the United States and grew up with haunted houses. So, no, not really)
h. Can they touch us? (Definitely not)
i. What if they touch you? ( Once again, they can’t touch you.)
j. Are they going to kill us!? (Yes,drop dead serious, I was asked this on a daily basis and they were being total serious)

(The People)
34. Parents leave their kids unattended or with someone that they do not know quite often. (For example, parents would want to go in the haunted house but would have a baby with a stroller, they would ask if I, the photo girl, would watch the baby while they go in!)
35. People would leave bags and purses anywhere with no problem.  Instead of taking it in with them, they would just put it outside somewhere.  This would be totally unsafe for us in the United States!
36. Most kids at the festival had a bracelet with a phone number on it or a phone number written on their arm with permanent marker. This was in case the child got lost. And a lot of them did. I had a girl come up to me when I was walking to the bathroom and said, “we’re lost” and held out her arm.  So, I called the number only to find out her parents were on a ride without them.
37. Kids cuss at a really young age. Even in front of their parents.
38. Girls dress like sluts well to Americans.  But in all honesty is very acceptable there and almost the norm.
39.  Very little Goths, overweight people, and once again black people.

(A touch of the United States)
40. There are Subways, KFC, McDonalds, Footlocker, Target, Kmart,
41. They listen to American Music
42. They watch American Movies

(Weather/Money/ect)
43. The sun is very hot there.
44. When it rains, it really rains.  It rained the last two days of the festival all day long with lots of downpours!
45. They use Celsius when measuring the temperature
46. They use the metric system
47. Gas is about $8.00 a gallon
48. An Average house in Australia is about$ 700,000 and thats just average. Real average.
49. You must have money when you go to Australia.  Our U.S. dollar really does not go far at all
50. Everything is double in Australia.  For example minimum wage here is almost $8.00, there it is $16.00!
51. (Only because I hate even numbers) If you ever get the chance to go to Australia, it really is a great place to start your travels due to the fact that it is very easy for us American to understand and adjust to for the most part! And it’s beautiful, usually great weather, and an amazing experience!

“Notice & Appreciate Your Surroundings”

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I’m Really All The Way Across The World…

I sit here at 7:ooam on Friday morning and look down at my computer clock that has not changed from home and realize its only 4:00pm on Thursday night back home, I know it is quite official, I am really half way around the world.

You would think that going to Australia, you really wouldn’t have to do much research.  I mean, they speak english right?  Wrong.  There are a lot of things here that you really should research and know before coming here.  It’s so facsinating to me how little yet big of a cultural change there is.

For example, we had to go grocery shopping. One would think, it would be quite similar to America but need I tell you it was very different and quite the adventure. The adventure began when we were dropped off at a ‘Westfield Mall’.  We all looked at each other and knew that this  mall only had clothes in it.  However, it was 6 stories full of everything imaginable.  From clothes, to grocery stores, to restaurants, to electronics, to target, to kmart, to a movie theatre, it really did have it all.  Oh yea, and liquor stores! I had a blast picking up very weird/exotic things.  And no, not that kind of exotic yet they did have that there too! However, they have such things as dragonfruit, pigeon pate, and  kanga banga’s just to name a few.  Yet, they have some American name brand like Kraft, Lipton, Panteen, Old El Paso, Ritz, Campbells, Doritos, and even Heinz! Although, I will admit, it may be the name brand we are used too, but it sure doesn’t taste the same.

After grocery shopping and liquor shopping in a mall, we realized, we had to take a taxi back.  Here’s the funny story.  You literally take your cart and liquor out of the grocery store, through the mall, passing all the clothing stores, down 5 levels to the ground floor where you then take your cart down two streets to catch a cab.  With my dad strolling a completely full and almost overflowing cart through the streets (which didn’t roll very well so my mom was on one side helping), and me carrying 6 bottles of alcohol, you can only imagine how entertaining and ridiculous this was to us. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end for us.  We had to load about 50 bags of groceries into a taxi then have him drop us off and figure out a way to get all of our groceries up 5 levels with one key.  So someone had to sit and watch the groceries while two of us ran up.  Of course, I had the bright idea of bringing down a large suitcase that was empty and loading that up.  Needless to say, we got the job done and have great stories to tell about our grocery adventures.

Lastly, yesterday, we all were on pins and needles since I, yes I, blew the adapter the very first day we got here, and all of our computers, phones, and electronics were on their last leg.  So we were able to get one necessary email off before my parents computer took a dump.  Luckily, my dad’s friend saved us last night with a huge generater (that he uses for the haunted house), and a phone for my parents.  So, we are back up to date with reality.  Although, it was really nice not really having any connection, laying out, reading my book, and drinking wine all day.  (Not to rub anything in….:-)

And finally, here are some more things that I have learned about Australia: AKA Kaitlin’s Top 10 Oberservations!
1. Everyone here is very health conscience about their weight and health.  In the grocery stores, the healthier foods and nutrious ones, are much cheaper than the regular ones.  Even at Mcdonalds, hamburgers are more expensive than salads!  Sadly, the US, should really consider this.
2. Going along with #1., I have seriously only seen one “overweight” person.  And she seemed to be in the pool doing laps.  It amazes me that I went to a huge mall and seriously did not see one “overweight” person.  Everyone is very muscular and fit.  It really is a great concept.
3. Smoking is very well marketed that it is very bad.  I believe since this country is very healthy, they really want their citizens to grasp the concept that smoking is extremely unhealthy.  On all of their boxes, they have a picture of what smoking can do to you.  Some of them really are quite distrubing.  And in the liquor store, they had a huge poster with a number about quitting smoking.
5. In Australia, we have realized, basically everything is double in money.  Our taxi driver told us that Australia is the second most expensive country.  However, Australia’s minimum wage is $15.61 or $589.30 a week. So, when going out to a restaurant, an average plate is $20.00, going to a movie is $23.00, Mcdonalds value menu is $2.00, and drinks, coffee, and soda is $4.00.  Technically, if you divide that by two, that makes sense.  Our minimum wage is half of that, and our food and drinks are half of that cost.
6. Yet, in Australia, while being at the mall, their clothes and shoes are very very cheap.  It really surprised me.  Most shirts were about $10.00 and shoes about $30.o0.  Although, this may be because of how close they are to China and Japan. Just a guess though.
7. Some slang words we have learned are: A puff=a gay man/woman, Dunnie=bathroom, A barbie=A BBQ, BYO-Bring your own liquor/beer to the party/rastaurant.
8. I am by far the least racist person that you will ever meet, however, sadly, I have seriously only seen one African American in this country.  (We are headed to the city and will keep you updated)
9. The stove and microwaves are completely different.  Their power is extremely blasting and hot. (Little did I realize this when I put my tea on 2 minutes and it came out exploaded).  The stove even has a defrost on it!
10. Lastly, tipping is only expected to be 10%! (No wonder foreigners do not tip well and know what they are doing when in the United States! Sadly though, we didn’t know this either and have been leaving way over what you are supposed too)

So, my advice, do your research before going to another country. It really does make a huge difference. 

“Everyone should learn new cultures…” 

Ps….We are going into the city of Sydney today where I hope to have a lot of stories to share for next time:)

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