Browsing Category: Philosophy

Why I’m Thankful & Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

Why I'm Thankful and Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

No matter which side of the American election you were on this November, you’ll have to agree that where America stands on the world stage is a bit uncertain right now. My country has decided to put someone in power who has no previous diplomatic or political experience. We have decided to choose a leader that wants to close America’s borders, and increase the ethnocentric mindset that already exists in this country.

This has caused alarm for a lot of American travelers and expats. I’m unsure if visa regulations will change for the worse in the next few years. I’m dreading how much anti-American sentiment I’ll get from other foreign travelers for simply being from a country who elected someone like Trump. I’ve already received backlash from other travelers in the last couple of weeks and I didn’t even vote for the guy.

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On Coming Home to the Land of Fear

On Coming Home to the Land of Fear - America Travel

I’m tired you guys. Exhausted might be a better word. I try my best to spread positivity on this blog and to focus on the good, but sometimes, sometimes, I have to be honest and talk about the negativity too.

The America I left 3 years ago, is not the same one I came back to last March. Perhaps I was blinded by my love for my country, never having spent a decent amount of time away from it previously. I know this was not a sudden change, it’s something that has been building throughout the decades, probably, to be honest, since America was born. But the America I came back to last March, the one I’ve been living in for the past year and a half is unrecognizable to me now.

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Life in Portland and choosing what you love

I’ve been so busy with catching up on posts from months past that I haven’t had the chance to talk to you guys in real time in a while, and I think it’s about time to fill you in.

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I’ve been in Portland for less than 2 weeks, and so much has happened since we moved up to the Rose City.

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I got a job at a craft beer bar (surprise, surprise!) before we had even properly moved up to Portland. We were just in the city for the day passing out resumes at different bars, but still based down in Veneta, outside of Eugene, Oregon.

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My boyfriend found a job within a few more days. Most importantly, he found employers who are willing to sponsor him and trudge through all of the yellow tape and the long process of applying for a work visa as a foreigner. I still don’t know how he swung this, but I’m going to put it down to his craft beer savvy, Kiwi charm and accent (seriously, it goes a long way over here).

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In any case I’m so incredibly excited by this turn of events. There was a moment just a few days ago when we thought for sure we were going to have to move up to Vancouver, Canada for the summer so he could work full time. He’s also a Canadian citizen, so he can work up there with no problem. But alas, his employers are awesome and patient, and willing to work with him to process the work visa as quickly as possible.

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Then, before I even had a proper shift at the craft beer bar, I quit. That’s right, I still can’t believe I gave up a perfectly good job that had good beer, but I did it swiftly and without a regretful look back.

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And let me tell you, I’ve been so much happier since I put in my early resignation. I came back to the States with a lot of goals and aspirations for what I want to do with my life, and continuing to work in hospitality is not one of them.

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I love beer, I’ve enjoyed (for the most part) my many jobs in hospitality, but I’m ready to take a chance and take on a challenge to try and make my writing a reality. If things don’t work out completely, I can always pick up another part time bar job, but for now I’m just excited and thankful that I can spend my days focusing solely on my writing and this blog.

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I’ve jumped head first into the world of freelancing. I’m writing every day, whether it be for this blog, guest posts for other websites, or applications for paid writing gigs. In the short time I’ve been in Portland, I’ve secured 3 partnerships with local companies that I’ll be working with this summer, and my head is clearer than it has been in ages.

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I have to admit, we haven’t even had a chance to properly explore Portland yet. We’ve spent a few days around the city, but with the focus on getting our lives together and our jobs figured out, we haven’t had much time to just relax and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

And I can tell that Portland has a lot to offer.

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Things are finally coming together, my boyfriend loves his job so far and I’m loving my new self-employed one. We’re moving into a share house on Friday that has its own yoga studio and greenhouse. It’s located in Alberta, the arts suburb of Portland.

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I’m ready to settle down for a little while, and I think Portland is going to be the perfect place to write and find the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the beauty of the little things.

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So, once again, thank you for reading. This blog has made me realize how much I love writing and it has given me a glimpse into what could make me happy in the future.

Cheers, to doing what you love.

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Notes on turning 25

I turn a quarter of a century old tomorrow. I’m in the Oregon countryside with my family and I’m just as happy as I was when I turned 21 in San Diego, 22 in Las Vegas, 23 in Melbourne, Australia, and 24 in Wellington, New Zealand.

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2nd birthday in Santa Cruz, California

Funny enough, this house in the country is actually where I first started this blog. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be, my immediate future is staring at me from around the corner. That future that determines so much of how my life will go.

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

25 sounded so old to my teenage and younger self. To my 24 year old self I still feel young, I’m at the cusp of many an exciting endeavor, I’m also in the dark of what the next year will entail.

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Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

I decided to not go straight into an intellectually stimulating (or probably more accurate, a mind numbingly) entry level job from my college graduation.

Paris, France
Paris, France

I’ve always been a worrier, someone who doubted and second guessed things. Then I took a chance and did something I always wanted to do: I moved abroad. I did it without an idea of what job I would find to keep me afloat, with which friends I would find a new perspective, with what inspiration I would find throughout the course of my two years away from home.

Cape Palliser, New Zealand.
Cape Palliser, New Zealand

And in the end, it worked out just as it was meant to. As I’ve traveled up the coast of California and Oregon for the past two months, I’ve found how much I still appreciate and love my friends I knew from college, from past travels, and the new friends I’ve met through them.

Berkeley, California, USA
Berkeley, California, USA

How it feels like no time has passed at all. This initial veer off the idealized path has created a domino effect in my life. My passions come back to me, knock the breath out of me, I’m in love with so many things. But that’s always how I wanted to spend my life.

New York City, New York
New York City, New York

To me, it shows how genuinely happy I am going into this milestone birthday, how content and even excited I am with how my life is going even though I may not know exactly what I’m doing with it, or even what I’m doing tomorrow or the next day.

Maui, Hawaii, USA
Maui, Hawaii, USA

All I know is that music and writing have popped up time and time again through the years, and I don’t believe in coincidence.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

I want to finish a master’s degree, I want to record an album and play at open mics or on the street just for the fun of it. I want to start a stellar record collection and become even broader with my music tastes. I want to write a book, to write full time for this blog. I want to become fluent in Spanish and travel to South America, go to Argentina and learn how to properly tango.

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Sydney, Australia

I want to take a cross country road trip with my boyfriend in our beat up van through the States and Canada. I want to settle down in Portland for awhile. I want to teach English in Japan, and live in London just to write for a summer. I want to go to concerts constantly, and festivals as much as my bank account allows.

Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam

I want to continually learn, to grow and find out how many ways I can enjoy life in the process.

Krakow, Poland
Krakow, Poland

In my (almost) 25 years I’ve earned my open water scuba certification, took culinary classes in Italy, traveled to 20 countries, completely started over in 4 different cities, received my bachelor’s degree in psychology, skydived over the middle of New Zealand, traveled on my own, volunteered at music festivals in Australia, fell in love with guitar, and lived.

San Diego, California, USA
San Diego, California, USA

I’ve dealt with loss, sadness, loneliness and self doubt. I’ve gone through the spectrum of emotions and come out on the other side with a sunnier disposition and an attitude that I can face anything I put my mind to.

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

I don’t see why I can’t do the rest of it as well, because all of those plans I mentioned before, I truly hope to one day do.

Austin, Texas, USA
Austin, Texas, USA

I’m finally figuring myself out: my confidence, what I love and what I don’t, what I want and what I’m willing to do to make sure my ambitions become reality.

Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

25 is a year to not only get things done, but to enjoy it and embrace any fears or reluctances I may have. I can only imagine it’ll just get better as I get into my late 20s. So, here’s to a quarter of a century of living, and a quarter of a century to figure out where I really want to go is where I am in the present.

Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

As Ben Howard once wrote, “Climb out. Out enough to see the curl of the world.” I’ve taken that to heart ever since.

Carlsbad, California, USA
Carlsbad, California, USA

This is the beginning.

I’m sitting in a new cafe in a town I used to call home. Everything is the same yet different.

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Transitioning back to the States, and more specifically California, has been more overwhelming than I thought it would be. Little things I never used to think of now rattle me, and make me realize a lot about my own culture.

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me and brian

Showing someone who has never been immersed in West Coast culture my old life, that’s only an added challenge.

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me and monica

Regardless of the unsteady ground I sometimes find myself on back home, I love it here. If you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted a lot lately it’s because I’ve been wrapping my mind around this place I used to know.

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And I think I’m finally there.

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Without a doubt I’m a different person than when I left, but my core personality is still ingrained in California culture, and it’s surfacing again. That spontaneous, beach-loving, carefree person with a touch of oddity, that’s me and California brings out the best parts of it.

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I can’t wait to share with you a piece of home. I don’t really know how to start, just that this is the beginning.

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me and sis

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I still have quite a few posts to catch up on from New Zealand and Hawaii, and they’ll make an appearance here in due time.

I’m heading to Coachella for the weekend, and after that it’s going to be one crazy ride, slowly making my way up the coast of California – including the likes of roughing it in Joshua Tree, the glamor of Hollywood, the chill vibes of Santa Barbara, and all the way through to the family I’ve been missing for so long in the Bay Area with many and more stops along the way.

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This is the beginning of taking my blog to the next level. This is the beginning of a more personal style to my writing. This is the beginning of trying new things on here, such as vlogging about the countless breweries I’ll be stopping in at, or simply making a video montage of the beautiful places I’ll be visiting.

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This is the beginning, and I hope you’ll come along and join in on the journey.

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Cheers to a new life Stateside, and to all those wonderful people I met abroad these past two years. I couldn’t be more grateful to where my life has led me today.

On saying goodbye

On Saying Goodbye - The Atlas Heart

It was my last full day abroad when I woke up to a Facebook message sent by my sister, letting me know that my grandma had passed away that morning.

Dealing with death on the road is never easy, I can only be thankful that it happened so close to me coming home, allowing me to attend the memorial service in a few weeks.

For as long as I can remember, my grandma has lived in Nevada. Taking our yearly trip through the Sierra Nevada’s to get to Grandma Jo’s was my first taste of travel.

It was a trip I looked forward to every year, Nevada seemed so different from California, and the McDonald’s in Carson City had a legit play area for kids my age.

If we were good, we’d even stop at Chuck E. Cheese’s on the way. The perfect way to start a road trip is jumping in a colorful ball pit and running down slides, after all.

Jokes aside, what I really loved about those trips was the journey. The fact that we’d leave before sunrise, finding our way in the dark to the highway. My siblings and I would cover ourselves in beanie babies and blankets in the back seats and blast Backstreet Boys with the windows rolled down.

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It was an annual ritual I looked forward to because it meant I would be able to see my Grandma Jo and Grandpa Al for the only time that year. Our short time together growing up is what also made it so special.

Those trips made me realize that the journey is only half the fun, the people waiting for you on the other end; however, that means everything.

My grandma waiting for us with fresh lemonade, a new card game to play, or simply a good conversation out on the porch in the summertime, that is what I remember most about those trips.

When I left home to travel, I had the chance to say goodbye to my grandma who had finally made the move to Santa Cruz, CA a few years after the passing of my Grandpa Al.

My mom was sad and worried about my upcoming travels, but my grandma told her to look at it from a different perspective. How proud my mom should be of me, to have raised such a brave, fearless, and spontaneous young woman.

That conversation with my grandma stuck with me throughout my travels, and when I doubted myself the most these past two years abroad, those encouraging words made me sleep easy.

I had no idea that would be the last time I would see her. Her health severely deteriorated these past two years I’ve been overseas, and I was never able to say another goodbye.

I may be coming home with a slightly heavier heart, but I’m also proud of the woman I called my Grandma Jo.

She lived a full life, she raised a daughter that became my mom, she inspired and influenced others – I don’t know what else you could wish for in life.

I have a lot of fond memories with my grandma that I won’t relay here. This post is simply more a way of me coming to terms with everything, and to honor her in my own way.

More than ever it has made me want to feel alive in everything I do, to be aware and sincere…simply, to love more.

The classic quote by Buddha comes to mind: “the trouble is, you think you have time”. 

I want to go jump in the ocean, learn how to surf even though I’m terrible at it, go jump off a cliff and paraglide over the place I went to school in San Diego. I want to try everything once, and not regret a thing.

I want to come home to those people on the other side of it all, and to realize how the journey was worth it. How full of a life I’ve lived in the process of doing what makes me happy.

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This one is for you grandma, cheers to a life well spent, and to an impact both profound and graceful.

Rest in Peace and….

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A look to resolutions in 2015

New Year’s resolutions are one of those things. Most years, as the end of December approaches, I start thinking more about a few goals I’d like to check off the list for the new year, but I don’t tend to sit down and really think about what I want to accomplish with a whole year.

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I mean, it’s a bit inspiring and daunting at the same time, do you realize how much time a year entails? It’s 12 months, 365 days, 8,765 hours, 525,949 minutes, and about 7,363,289 breaths. Phew! That’s a lot of time, and a lot of ways you could spend it.

Some years I completely forget all together, and realize by February that I didn’t make any. More often than not, I make resolutions of sorts on my birthday in May rather than on December 31st.

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I guess my birthday feels more like a milestone and marker of time to me.

This last December I decided I wanted to do the whole resolutions thing properly. New Year’s resolutions tend to get a bad name, they’re cheesy, don’t last, are painfully generic, you name it.

For my resolutions, instead of focusing on the micromanagement of my year, I’d much rather focus on the macro side of certain goals.

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There are a lot of reasons why I chose to take on resolutions this year. On my mind the most is the fact that I’m heading home for the first time in 2 years since I moved abroad.

I’ve grown in ways I don’t even know yet from the past years, and I’m ready to keep that growth moving even when I get back to the States.

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Also, I’m a huge “list person”, so really this is my forte, but that’s another topic altogether.

I was hoping to write this post at the start of January, but as I was constantly on the road for 3 weeks, I never had the chance. I already wrote a list of goals I’d like to accomplish back in December, but now is my chance to really expand on that list and share it with you here. Better late than never, right?

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The following are the major aspects I’d like to see myself attempt this year, some specific, some broad, some that will be tough for me, but really, what is there to lose? Here’s to a great 2015, and another full year of breaking out of my comfort zone.

1. Actively seek out things that scare me

Although I try my best to face my fears, I’ve always had a lot of them. From a young age I dealt with a form of GAD, or general anxiety disorder, and it is something I’ve struggled with a lot in the past.

If you can believe it, I’m also happy to have had that level of anxiety in my life, because it has turned me into a more adventurous person in the long-run.

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The intense anxieties I had as a teenager were a big reason why I decided to move across the world at 22, why I do things like jump out of planes in New Zealand, and complete my open water scuba certification in Cambodia when I’m terrified of certain aspects of the ocean.

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This year I want to keep that mindset, and expand it even further. Keep doing things that are adventurous, I’m looking at you bungy and paraglide, but also have a more direct focus on the things I have tried my best to avoid in my life because they make me very, very uncomfortable.

Roller coasters (here we come, California amusement parks), the unpredictability of the ocean (learning how to surf and stand up paddle board), and social judgment (performing on the street and at open mics with my guitar). These 3 things especially, I have always avoided like the plague, and I think it’s about time I tackle them.

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This year I plan to find a comfort in all three.

2. Be genuinely social with strangers

Being more on the introverted side of the social scale, I’ve always enjoyed doing my own thing or keeping to myself, especially when I’m surrounded by strangers that I don’t have a reason to talk to. That probably comes off as a bit antisocial, but it’s why I love traveling solo so much.

I’m not saying I want to try and change my natural tendencies, I’m an introvert for a reason and I quite like being one to an extent, but I want to challenge myself more when it comes to strangers.

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Whether that be hanging out in a hostel common room and being the one to talk to everyone, meeting friends of friends, or just having a conversation with a customer at work, I want to be proactive in getting to know people past the bare minimum.

I want to be the first to introduce myself in a group, I want to find that genuine interest in getting to know a stranger, and not just make small talk for the sake of avoiding an awkward silence, and then turn back to my book, or my iPod, or whatever form of introverted activity I prefer.

I think it has become more out of habit and comfort than anything, so it’s a goal I’ll have to stay conscious of and actively pursue.

3. Deepen my yoga practice to headstand status

I did well with keeping up my yoga practice in Australia, usually volunteering at studios or doing free weeks here or there, but since I’ve moved to Wellington, I’ve only been to a yoga studio twice.

Part of it is due to working full time and the other part is trying to save like a mad man for my upcoming travels, but I miss my practice and the balanced mindset that tends to come with it.

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This year, not only do I want to practice yoga regularly, but I also want to take it further and actually become a champ at inverted poses which I have always struggled at.

4. Go to 3 music festivals

Festivals are another activity that have taken a back seat since I moved to Wellington, they’re expensive over here in New Zealand, and they’re not as common to find as they are back home. Well, I’m bringing the festival life back into focus, and I can’t wait to hit hopefully more than a few during the year.

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I already have tickets for a music festival in Wellington called Homegrown before I take off for North America, and tickets for this upcoming Coachella when I get back to California.

Other festivals I’ve always wanted to go to are Sasquatch, Outside Lands, South By Southwest, and assuming we get tickets, my boyfriend and I are already planning on an epic Burning Man experience this year.

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In general, I want this year to be full of concerts and live gigs as much a possible, simply for the sole reason that live music makes me a weird kind of happy.

5. Thoroughly explore my own country/state for the first time

This resolution was originally to see 3 new countries this year, but I thought about it a bit more, and I realized I don’t necessarily want to fill that resolution this year.

I’m reaching the halfway point in my 20s, and going home for the first time in a long time. I actually want to take the time to explore my own backyard finally.

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Although I have many spots I love up and down the California coastline, I’ve realized as I start to look at my road trip up the coast, there are many and more things I have never been to or seen, especially north of San Francisco.

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I’ll be trying out living in a new state as well when I get home, and I want to spend a decent chunk of time exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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I’m hoping this year will be the year for a cross-country road trip across the States, and a year where I’ll finally get to properly explore the deep South.

This year is a year to find my solid ground again, reassess where I’m headed, and appreciate the beauty of the US that I’ve forgotten since being abroad.

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6. Start paying off my student loans

Okay, maybe not the most exciting of resolutions, but a necessary and responsible one. I’ve been deferring my loans since I moved abroad, mainly because it costs a lot of money in international transfer fees to have any money left in my American bank account to pay them off.

I’ve been watching my interest steadily rise over the last 2 years, and I’m ready to tackle a chunk of those loans once I start working again, and possibly start thinking about the cost of grad school.

7. Take the time for the homemade aspects of life

Something I’ve always valued and that I’ve been getting better at off and on over the years. I’ve always been into making homemade things: cookies, crafty room decor, handwritten thank you notes, and such…but I go through phases of being into those individual things one at a time.

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I want to focus on taking the time to write a letter to a friend abroad, to get back into baking, to make as many things in my life myself, that’s the goal. I also want to have the thought behind them to be for other people that I appreciate in my life.

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My boyfriend and I are already talking about starting our own vegetable garden when we get a place together in Portland. That’s a good start, right?

8. Read 30 books

Since I’ve left university and I actually have time for personal reading, I’ve devoured books with a passion, so this shouldn’t be too hard of a goal to complete. However, I’ve never kept track of how many books I’ve read in a year before, so I’m interested to see how many I get through, and to keep improving it every year.

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9. Slowing down & quality over quantity

I’m one of those people that is alway go, go, go. I do a lot of things with my free time: guitar, ukulele, writing, reading, traveling, cooking, friends & relationships. I feel the need to fit all these things in every week, and to be honest, it’s exhausting.

I’ve always had a lot of passions and a lot of activities in my life, I played 3 sports in high school and was in every honors class I could get into, and I made sure to always have a wide variety of friends and groups. It’s just who I am, I like to be doing a lot of things, and accomplish a lot with my days.

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Even when I’m on vacation, I find it hard to just do nothing for a day. I rarely feel bored with my free time. It’s good to an extent, but it tends to be a stressful way to live as well.

I need to focus on slowing down this year, and take my time on doing things the way I really want to do them, and not just to check it off the list.

The hardest for me will be to find a balance between everything, but at least I’m eager to try.

That’s the gist of it, my goals for 2015, let’s see how we go.

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Did you make any goals for yourself this year? What are your thoughts on resolutions?

Walkabout: Paraparaumu Edition

It’s about that time again where I get real with you guys: my readers, my family, my friends, and tell you what’s up in the life down under.

This weekend I decided to take a train ride up north to Paraparaumu, a little town on the Kapiti coast. New Zealand has proven to be a test on my perseverance, much more so than any other time I’ve been abroad, and I think it’s about time I come clean.

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I love it here in some ways, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that certain things haven’t gone to plan since moving to Wellington. And I hate sounding like that ungrateful traveler, but it’s the truth of how I feel these days, the rut I can’t seem to get myself out of.

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In the matter of a few months, I severely injured my achilles hill and was a part of the unlucky 1% that didn’t get covered by the local ACC insurance for my medical bills. The injury put me out of work for a bit, and I was in pain for a good two months. Even now, after a long day at work I can feel the ache coming back into my foot.

For someone who loves being outdoors and finding the best hidden hiking trails, you can imagine what state of mind this injury put me in.

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I recently bought a car for my upcoming South Island travels, as some of you already know. Well, after a grand total of two weeks of ownership, a drunk driver (or was also texting) totaled my parked car a couple of weeks ago while I was working an 11 hour shift at work.

I’m still looking for answers and some sort of reimbursement from this driver who was charged with a DUI by the police, but that car is no longer feasible for the trip I’m leaving on in 17 days, and I spent the majority of my savings on it.

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Work has gone from something I was really excited about in terms of management, to a place I dread putting in 40+ hours a week at now. There’s so much stress involved in my current position, and especially with the Holidays coming up, we’ve been flat out for the month of December so far. I’ve lost my inspiration for the music side of my life, mostly because I come home so exhausted these days.

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On top of that, I have a confession to make to you, I don’t enjoy living in Wellington all that much. I write about the city all of the time, and talk about all of the awesome things there are to do around here, and there are some aspects I really love about the city, but to be completely honest, it’s not a place I’d want to live in again.

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It may have to do with the place I work, where we have a lot of haughty business types, but the pretentiousness of Wellington is overwhelming sometimes. Combine that with the ridiculously bad weather, and I find myself depressed more often than not from nothing more than living in the city.

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The craft beer and awesome hiking trails around the city are really what keep me sane while living here.

It’s too bad I haven’t been able to travel more around New Zealand, because I’ve heard the rest of the country is a lot different from Wellington, but I’ve been trying to save as much as possible for travels in the summer.

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With all of that out in the open, I still want to portray Wellington in a good light on this blog because it is a beautiful city, and some people absolutely love it here, but I guess it’s important to admit that it’s not for everyone either.

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Perhaps it’s a mix of staying here for too long – after getting used to up and moving every few months – and maybe it’s a touch of bad luck and the wrong perspective.

I left the city on Saturday, happy to get away from it all, getting lost in the music coming out of my iPod, and zoning out into nothingness. It was about an hour train ride, and suddenly I was in a new place to explore. A town that had “elderly” signs, clean streets, a cute little beach, a great New Zealand craft brewery, and everything I needed that day.

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It’s true, I’m ready to move on from Wellington, but I know I need to stay in this job for the necessary funds before I jump in a car and travel more of the country or hop on that plane in March and head back home.

And it’s important to note that I’m still incredibly grateful that my life has lead me here. For the friends I’ve made, the relationships I’ve created, and the new culture I’ve grown fond of, I don’t regret moving here for a moment.

As I was eating my lunch on the beach by myself in Paraparaumu, I took everything in around me and all the pain I had been feeling lately. I didn’t like who I had become, an unhappy person in some important aspects of my life.

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Everything didn’t just melt away into contentment, I still had a stressful job to go back to, and a wrecked car in front of my house…but, there was something else that came to me while I was sitting there as well – a sense of calmness.

Things aren’t always going to be perfect, but I still have a lot to look forward to and to be thankful for.

I have the ability to Skype my family whenever I need some love from home, I have my own space in my house to find inspiration, I have trips and flights in the near future, I have friends that make me laugh, and I have a boyfriend who makes me very happy, and most importantly, comfortable with just being me.

That’s the conclusion my walkabout lead me to.

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As I was finishing off the day checking out Tuatara brewery, I ran into some locals from my bar. We ended up chatting for a good while, and they thought it was so cool what I was doing with my life, and awesome how I’ve traveled all this way on my own. They bought me a couple of beers, and even gave me a ride to the train station. Again, a change of perspective goes a long way.

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A little bit of kindness on Saturday, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer couple to chat with.

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It simply acted as a reminder to not take things in my life so seriously, to not let stress overcome me, and to take one thing at a time, because everything happens for a reason. Cliche, but true.

I took a breath and stepped onto the train for the ride home. And this time I noticed the colors a little more outside my window, the scenery which is always astounding in New Zealand, and most importantly, the expressions of my other train mates – and the type of day they were probably having as well.

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Sometimes I just need a little reminding.

Sometimes all you need is to love more.