girl

x+2=fart

So it’s been a little over a month now since I’ve been back from my trip. Everyday life has been good to me lately, but I still find it a lot easier to adjust to wanderlust life, than work and school life. A week after I got back to Austin I started community college, there’s a campus  two blocks down the street from me, so I’m not even going to pretend that if it wasn’t so incredibly convenient I may not have been so eager to go. So far it’s been good, but still a doozy. I soon realized that I didn’t schedule myself a day off. There isn’t a day that I’m not at work or school, or both. Staying busy and productive is what I wished for, and you know how that saying goes. If all it was was just going to class it wouldn’t seem as daunting, but it’s the amount work that has to be done outside of class that is so surprising. Homework, sigh, there is SO.MUCH.OF.IT. To someone straight out of high school it’s probably no big deal, but to someone who has been out of school for 12 years, and also hated school since the third grade, it’s a fucking lot of shit to do. Managing my time has been a challenge, I have to be  so strategic or else I may not have time to wipe my ass. I’m playing a mean game of tetris with my life these days. And why doesn’t anybody tell you that in college, even community college, nothing is explained to you?! It’s like “here ya go, figure it out. Oh and by the way, it has to be submitted online”. Wtf is this online shit?! Am I that ancient? Ahem, back in my day the only assignments we did online were English papers, now every class has assignments online. Annoying. Triple annoying when you’re computer is unreliable. As much as I sigh, and will continue to sigh with frustration, I feel really good about this experience. You probably can’t tell, but my grammar is getting better, and although I’m spent most days, I feel f’n great because I’m being stretched. When I say I hated school before, I mean I loathed it deeply. I didn’t even want to go to my own high school graduation because I thought school was the biggest waste of time. Now I realize that it’s not just specifically  what I’m learning, its me learning how to learn and focus, so I can be productive and write best selling novels that will be in Oprahs Book Club (is that still a thing?)and say badass quotes in interviews like J.K. Rowling and go on a never ending book tour.SIGH. I do feel kind of smart now because I got 100% on my math quiz last week! #firsttimeforeverything.

 

Idk? Oh Yeah

Not sure what that title means, figure it out for me will ya? It’s about time you did something, you’re so lazy! As for me, I just realized that I’ve been jogging almost 20 miles a week for a couple of months now, small victories. I never kept track of it because I don’t want to get into some weird competition with myself but I was curious so I looked up the distance on the gps on my phone and was surprised it was that much. 6 months ago if someone would’ve told me I would be out jogging I would be keeled over laughing hysterically because I don’t think of myself as a ‘fit’ person and I still don’t, I just like getting out and having the sun on me and seeing all the cute puppies. I also really love feeling productive which is definitely unfamiliar but welcomed. I started meditating last week with this app called Headspace which has been helpful to my chakras. Maybe I’ll ask that guy I accidentally went on a date with if he wants to eat nachos on Wednesday, we’ll see, I’ll keep you posted…..get it?? because this is a blog that I post on….(elbow nudge)….Ahem.So there’s that… not even 300 words yet okay….I’m sitting here antsy because I really want to continue watching House Hunters, there’s new episodes on Netflix that I’m way too excited about. Road trip in 4 weeks and 1 day! Amethyst nails by the way.

MIND THE GAP

So, its been awhile and I am beyond embarrassed, its not that I haven’t had any inspiration to write, its me, as usual, getting in my own way like i always do. I’m  constantly making excuses why not to post, like I’ll be up all night, or that i wont be able to type because i spilled water on my keyboard, but its really because i am so nervous and self conscious that i become a coward and do nothing instead which is the worst thing you could ever do. So please mind the wide gap between my last post and this one, take a long stride to the other side with me. I recently just got back from a trip and even though its cliche there’s certain emotions that only traveling can evoke, feelings that are strictly exclusive to being somewhere unfamiliar, seeing something old but new to you, the unavoidable bizarre experiences, and of course the little things you learn about yourself when you dare to step out into this great big world. Shall we?

2 years ago my friend Patrice came to visit me in Austin for the weekend, when she came in my room she looked around and noticed my passport sitting on my bookshelf and said ” Your passport has dust on it”. I will never forget those words, i never want anyone to ever say that to me again so when my friend Regina invited me to London i knew this was my chance to give my passport a good polishing.

The only other place Ive been to in Europe is Amsterdam and that was only for a couple days so i knew this would be a totally different experience because Id have a lot more time and i actually know someone in London which is  so wild to me still. Something i didn’t expect was that traveling international as a passenger is so annoying, in previous years i had the luxury of being a crew member but it does feel nice to not be on stand by.

I was fascinated by London immediately because i love a big city and London is not just a big city, its a metropolis, a major hub for all types of people, people who drive on the other side of the car and street!

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Took me a few days to get used to looking left when crossing the street.

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Touristy time! Don’t you love it?! sigh, it wasn’t really a question.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

i get calls from all over the world

i get calls from all over the world

West End girl

West End girl

London Eye

London Eye

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bobbies!

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the clock tower of all clock towers, besides the one from Back to the Future of course

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tubular

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Portobello Road

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Tower Bridge which i always thought was London Bridge, either way they’re both standing upright

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i may or may not have walked across this street mimicking a popular photo some musicians took a few decades ago later realizing that i in fact walked in the opposite direction that the musicians walked in in their photo which would be totally embarrassing if i did it, so yeah London's cool!

i may or may not have walked across this street mimicking a popular photo some musicians took a few decades ago later realizing that i in fact walked in the opposite direction that the musicians walked in in their photo which would be totally embarrassing if i actually did it, so yeah…….. London’s cool!

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Sight seeing is nice but the real reason i was there was to celebrate my friend and her new bride. I couldn’t believe that i was in London in the first place, but going to a wedding reception on a boat on the River Thames? Wild.

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CHEERS!

Friendship is something special.

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DSC_0528                                                                                                                                                After spending almost a week in London having a great time and meeting so many awesome people i ventured off to Paris by myself. Although traveling alone is nothing new i felt surprisingly apprehensive, i was having such a good time in London i didn’t want to leave. As soon as the train stopped and i went outside it really hit me that i was in a foreign country, everything looks and feels different. I took a cab to my hotel which was in Montmare, unloaded and ventured out to roam. DSC_0769

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Paris isn’t too big, especially compared to London so i mostly walked everywhere i went, besides i was way too nervous to try to take the subway. I bought a map which was kind of helpful but the streets are so windy that it was really hard to follow, it also didn’t help that almost every time i took out my map it had to be obnoxiously upside down so I’d have to flip it around. I’ve never felt so American than i did when i was in France.

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I know its really cliche but I’ve been waiting to see the Eiffel Tower forever you guys and its been waiting to see me too. This structure is one of the few things that in my opinion has lived up to my expectations which are naturally pretty high when visiting a site that’s known to be iconic. This intricate piece of architecture definitely pleased this fastidious female.

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My second day in Paris was spent doing one of my absolute favorite things, roaming around looking at shit and taking pictures of it, preferably street art!

SPACE INVADER!!!!

SPACE INVADER!!!!

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Gregos Art! I didn’t even know he was based in Paris and then i come across this! A pleasant surprise.

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Something i didn’t expect to see was the Love Lock Bridge! I just read a few months earlier that they were taking the locks off because they were weighing the bridge down too much and although  a decent amount have been taken off its still very saturated with lovers locks, awwwwww.

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I felt extremely lonely in Paris, maybe its because i was having such a good time in London, maybe its because is such a romantic place and  i was alone, or maybe i just wasn’t feeling it. I got a really cold vibe  when i was there and I’m not talking about the weather. Paris  reminded me of a stunningly beautiful person that doesn’t have to be nice, it wouldn’t matter if they were or not or how smart they are or how talented because their looks are so striking its the only thing anyone is ever going to talk about. I absolutely loved the scenery, its right out of a fairy tale but as physically appeasing as it was i couldn’t wait to get back to London. Desperately trying to get out of France was never something i thought would be a problem in my life but it turned out to be when the Eurostar canceled all trains to London the day i was leaving  because of a strike. The train station was crazy to say the least, they told us to get a hotel and come back tomorrow and the only information they  gave us a piece of paper with a french phone number on it to call which was useless to me since my phone didn’t work in Paris at all. I was flabbergasted and beyond frustrated. I had no idea what to do, i didn’t want to spend money on a hotel another night and they said the train station was closing at 11:00, i didn’t think train stations closed at all. I bonded with this nice African couple and we ended up getting rooms in the same hotel across the street from the station, 2 of the last rooms in the city, no other hotels had any vacancies because of this nonsense. After we settled in our rooms we went back over to the station to try to get some answers, i didn’t want to go to sleep that night not having an assigned seat back to London the next day. I tried to be a nice normal person which i learned gets you nowhere, i now know that to get what you deserve and whats fair you pretty much have to be a gangster, at Gare Du Nord station in Paris at least, I’m sure it applies to everyday life as well (note to self). When the man i was with who was a lawyer by the way started talking to the manager about their terms and conditions all of a sudden they had tickets right then and there for the next day. Wow Eurostar, very shocking, now what about all the families with children and the elderly people who are SOL because of your incompetence. They were selling brand new tickets at the counter but wouldn’t exchange ours until the next day for some odd reason, so we were stranded in a foreign country, unable to use our phones and were told there wasn’t a public one in the building. Thank all the gods for the people i met, they really took care of me. I’ll never forget them and how much they helped me, a stranger, out. The travel industry can be very unpredictable and unforgiving  and traveling abroad can be a doozy, alone or not. Next time i need to make sure i have more flexibility in my schedule and a lot more euros just in case i ever get stuck in purgatory, i mean Paris again. I overheard someone say they couldn’t exchange their ticket until 3 days later!

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Au Revoir Paris! Cheers London!

Back in London i couldn’t wait to  drink some tea, take a walk, and enjoy my last couple of days in this awesome city. Where i was fortunate enough to stay was near Hackney Wick, but i also roamed around Shoreditch, Camden Town, and Nottinghill.

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So here’s where I’m supposed to sum my experience up and talk about what I’ve learned about myself right? Well i don’t know if its for a lifetime or a season but i have learned that even though i am naturally a loner i really want to start sharing more experiences with other people. I had fun in London riding the London Eye and seeing Westminster Abbey but my favorite memories were hanging out with the awesome people i was so fortunate to meet, i truly enjoyed just being with everyone. I wanted to do so much more initially but after being there a few days i realized that i don’t need to run around and drive myself crazy trying to do and see so much, i can have a great time drinking tea, eating biscuits and having a laugh with someone.

Cheers London!

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K.I.T.

Remember your very  first friend? Rose was mine, i met her when i was 4 years old in preschool. I didn’t see or think much of her after that but  10 years later we would end up going to the same high school only to maybe mumble a few words to each other, if that. That should’ve been an indication to something that i have recently learned, that keeping in touch is hard. Sure we were kids, little kids but still, even now as somewhat of an adult i am realizing just how difficult it is, not only having a genuine connection with someone but continuing to reach out and you know actually be friends. I never knew how hard it was to make new friends until i was an adult and moved away from my home town (here we go with the woe-is-me new girl to the city story, so annoying). I had lots of friends in high school and stayed close with most of them after, when you live near each other keeping in touch isn’t so hard. It wasn’t until i was in an unfamiliar place with new people did i realize how many people don’t keep in touch that you thought would and how hard and frustrating it is to try and make friends with adults. Its so easy when you’re young, a few common interests and you’re besties, as an adult not only are you jaded, you’re fucking busy! Where was i going with this? Oh yeah talk to your friends! Reach out to people! It indicates that you genuinely care, like you actually have a heart or something, its nice. One of my favorite ways of communication is  writing letters. My mom used to be in the army and when i was growing up she would always write letters to her army friends, that’s how they communicated with their families when they were away and that’s how they all kept in touch after they were out of the military. When i moved away from home my mom would always write me letters and i didn’t respond at first because i still talked to her on the phone almost everyday and i thought the idea of having a ‘pen pal’ was kind of corny, didn’t we do that in 3rd grade? BUT i asked a long time friend from my hometown who had moved to Seattle to exchange addresses and i finally realized how much i really enjoy writing (shocking) letters! Its honestly therapeutic, you get to say whatever you want with no interruptions and you get to buy pretty stationary! (I am my mothers daughter.) I was thinking about my Seattlelite friend and it blew my mind when i realized that i hadn’t seen her face in over 2 years, it didn’t seem like that much time had passed because we actually reach out to each other. I even went to visit her a few weeks ago and got to actually see where Ive been mailing all these letters to!  Distance is a motherfucker, but it doesn’t have to be. If writing long letters isn’t your thing you could mail them a funny postcard, text them that inside joke you guys used to die laughing at many moons ago, or call them! Letting someone know you are on their mind and that you genuinely care about how they are doing means so much. I know that everyone is busy but i firmly believe that you’re never too busy for something that’s important to you, remember that the next time you sign someones yearbook.

Heart on the Highway

Its been a few days, i drove a few hundred miles, and Ive somewhat been able to clean the dirt off my feet. The last few nights of my trip i didn’t post because well i had to sleep in my car one night and the other 2 nights i was too exhausted to even ask for the wifi password. The night that i had to sleep in my car i was completely terrified. I thought that if i was going to have to sleep in my car I’d pull into a gas station parking lot or something and curl up in a ball and wait for daylight but on these desert mountain roads you’re lucky to see any sign of civilization. When i realized there wasn’t anything  around me i simply pulled over and listened to my heart beat out of my chest (i also peed in my tupperware because i was too afraid to get out of the car). All i wanted was daylight but it was so far from it, the way it looked and felt you would’ve thought  it was 3:00 am but it was only 10:30pm! I was in and out of sleep throughout the night  because my mind wouldn’t relax also the zoom of Mack trucks slightly pushing my car was king of disturbing. A knock on my window at 7:27 am by a police officer woke me up, he had seen my car the night before and was wondering if i was okay, he was nice and looked more like a park ranger because he had a beige uniform on and one of those big safari hats. Even though my slumber was interrupted seeing daylight totally raised my morale and i was off to Four Corners National Monument!

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

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The night that i had to sleep in my car was the first time i ever tried to use Siri, i asked her to find me a hotel and she replied “Sorry i cannot help you” because my phone had absolutely no service  so the next day when trying to make it from Four Corners to my next destination i had to rely on a good ol’ fashion map! Yes ladies and gentleman, the map i brought along with me just to give me a visual was my saving grace and made me even more proud of myself! Once again proving that technology can literally only take us so far.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

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Of course the day after sleeping in my car 6 French photographers decide to ask  if i could model for them right here in this spot, it was like paparazzi! I told them i wanted to take them with me everywhere i go…… they couldn’t understand me!

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I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!

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petroglyphs

petroglyphs

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I have this tapestry on my wall of Monument Valley so to see it in person is beyond breathtaking, there are no words….but a girl can try.

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My last stop was in my now home state of Texas, although it was still very far from where i live (because this state is freaking HUGE) i still had to make the trip. 2 years ago when i was working as a flight attendant i would watch random shows because i was always in different places and the channels were different and i came across a show called Fast and Loud about an auto body shop in Dallas that restores old cars. Hot rods are cool and all but the owner of the shop is pretty hot so i watched a whole marathon. In one episode the hot owner went to a place in Amarillo, TX called Cadillac Ranch where there’s 11 different Cadillacs sticking out of the ground covered in graffiti, i thought that was so cool and never forgot about it and told myself that if i ever went on a road trip id have to visit! And so…..

I did!

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well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

It feels incredibly satisfying to know that i did this, even though i knew i could it just reassures me that i can do anything. Initially i didn’t want to take this journey alone, i asked someone to go because “who goes on a road trip by themselves?” i wondered, but when i realized i was going to it was in the afternoon a few weeks before the trip, i had my face mask on and was about to rinse it off and as i leaned over the sink i thought to myself “am i really going to cry about this?”. I was upset and nervous and terrified but it was what my heart was telling me to do. If someone asked me what it was that i thought about everyday it was getting in my car and driving to the desert, so why not do what i want? I reminded myself that i named this blog “Roam if she wants to” not them or her or him, its me, I’m the only one who is responsible for doing what i want  to do and making myself happy. If i had taken this trip with anyone else its almost a guarantee that i wouldn’t of been able to see all the places i wanted to and have such a unique experience. As much as i wanted to share this experience doing my own this is something i do well. So cheers to solidarity and being alone with yourself and being independent, there’s no telling what you might find and see. I, personally  cant believe i only saw 4 dead armadillos on the side of the road. #heartonthehighway

 

 

 

She’s so high

Serene. Peaceful. Relaxed. That is exactly how i feel right now, i haven’t truly relaxed in a long time, life on the road is fun but  its so hard on your body. The heel on my right foot, my lower back and also my neck were hurting so badly that i had no choice but to book a spa day at the Santa Fe Nirvana Spa, i mean what else is a girl to do?!IMG_5652

This morning i packed my things and headed out of Albuquerque to the Sandia Peak Tramway. Although i am a little afraid of heights i still wanted to check out the amazing view from the top, its like a cable car that goes up the side of the Cibola National Forest.

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There’s plenty of observation decks at the top and many trails for all those hot bearded wilderness guys that like to hike and stuff.

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i love this, let everything be

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Walking along the side of a mountain ahhh!!

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‘She who sees from up high smiles and surely sings’

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looks like 2 elephants

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After getting high on the tram i made my way to Santa Fe, a much anticipated destination on my trip. As soon as i arrived at the bed and breakfast i unloaded my bags and headed over to the spa across the street.

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The Hacienda Nicholas

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my massage table

my massage table

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rose petal bath

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Why don’t i do this more often?!

The spa was obviously luxuriating and amazing but i absolutely  loved the woman who treated me! She was so genuine and soothing and we had such a good conversation about how important it is to be free and happy, talking with her was definitely a highlight of the trip, she even packaged the rose petals for me to take home!

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After being so zen and one with the universe i headed out to roam around cause i  want to!

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imageA friend told me not long ago that she was in Santa Fe and it reminded her of me and that i should retire there, as i was walking through this beautiful town i couldn’t help but to think how right she was. Santa Fe is so peaceful and lovely, quaint and quiet. It ‘s a timeless haven for people that need to be surrounded by beauty and inspired even if its just by watching the clouds move. I dont want to leave but alas….#heartonthehighway

 

Albuquirky

Believe it or not i put more miles on my feet than my car today, i decided to spend the whole day in Albuquerque, partly because i got a bad first impression of it last night but mostly because me and Myra (my car) needed a rest! I took advantage of the free hot breakfast at the hotel and took a walk around, there really isn’t much to see downtown so i ventured off to the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens. I love botanical gardens, if i ever visit a city that has botanical gardens i have to visit because fresh flowers immediately raise my morale.

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The gardens are beautiful and sprawling, there is a butterfly conservatory,  Japanese gardens, and an apple orchard.

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A frog actually sitting on a lily pad!!! when does that ever happen?!! often i guess!

A frog sitting on a lily pad!!! #thatactuallyhappens

Old school farming

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Japanese Gardens

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fish being coy

fish being coy

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After the Botanical Gardens i walked over to quaint Old Town Albuquerque and loved it so.

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This area is exactly how i expected and wanted Albuquerque to look, the beige southwestern old look is so simple and takes you to another time, simpler times, sigh.

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Kokopelli!!!

Kokopelli!!!

After gathering souvenirs i dined at the Rt. 66 Diner, corny and cliche called and i just had to answer.

Don't get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes look amazing!

Don’t get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes looked amazing!

I walked a good 2 miles or so up to Nob Hill,  a cool area with lots of funky stores, restaurants aaaaand street art! Albuquerque you really want me to like you don’t you!

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

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True and simple

 

Spray Fresh

Spray Fresh

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Hey looky there!

Hey looky there!

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accuracy

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I realized a few things about Albuquerque today, first  there are grasshoppers everywhere, second that a girl simply cannot walk 2 feet without getting creeped on (GROSS!), and also the radio stations are the best!! Honestly ABQ, i know its random but i cliterally could not find a bad song on any station and for that reason Albuquerque i guess you’re not so bad after all. #heartonthehighway

Butt sweat

Yes that is what my day consists most of. It is now day 4 of my life on the road and this was a long one, I got up fairly early again and although the wifi at the White Sands Motel sucked it truly is such a cute, comfortable place and the lady at the front desk was so nice i highly recommend staying there. I ate a standard continental breakfast and loaded up the car to head to White Sands National Monument. I was really anticipating this part of the trip because i have never seen dunes before, let alone white ones in the middle of the desert and mountains. They were magical, so bright i could barely see.

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I enjoy long walks on the dunes

I enjoy long walks on the dunes

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I was debating to go to El Malpais National Monument, its a little over 5 hrs from Alamongordo, NM where the  white sands are. I knew that it was such a far stretch but hey I’m on a road trip,  the first few hours crept by but the scenery was amazing. I went through the Valley of Fire and i quickly realized how this area got its name. The rocks are black and look just like charcoal.

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I also went past this charming house with an adorable front yard!

Yarn bomb!

Yarn bomb!

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theres something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

there’s something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

dont mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

don’t mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

Meanwhile back on the road….

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Such a beautiful sky!

The roads are long, lonely, and terrifying but the scenery cannot be matched.

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I never made it to El Malpais National Monument, the visitors center was closed. It was about 2 hours out of the way but it wasn’t time wasted at all. I got well acquainted with miles of natural beauty that i used to only dream about.

Downtown Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque

So im spending the night in Albuquerque, i have been anticipating this town but honestly so far its been a disappointment, but i have say its not you Albuquerque its me. Ive been in my car for a lot longer than id like to come to terms with today and i thought i peed myself my butt was sweating so much, hey maybe i did. #heartonthehighway

Marfa Madness

So yesterday i started out on my southwestern road trip, i told  myself that i would post everyday but i was so incredibly delirious last night after driving over 7 hrs from Austin, TX to Marfa, TX that i could barely brush my teeth. The ride although long was beautiful. One of the first places i stopped to stretch my legs was in Alpine, TX right next to Big Bend National Park.

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I truly believe that every place in the world has character but i got the strangest unsatisfying feeling pretty much as soon as i drove into Marfa. I love small towns almost as much as bustling metropolis’. Texas is full of them, from Johnson City to Fredericksburg, but Marfa …..have you seen “The Hills Have Eyes”? honestly? There are countless boarded up houses and business’, stray dogs and cats, NOWHERE TO EAT and no people! What in the marfa fuck is going on? I read that a lot of places are only open on the weekend which is weird to me. It does have character though, just an eerie, strange, ghost town like energy about it that isnt very inviting.

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Random fake Prada store in the middle of the desert

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

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the only faces i saw while in Marfa

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On the way out of town i drove through another equally creepy small town even smaller than Marfa. Ladies and gentleman, Valentine, TX!

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Such a good photo op!

Such a good photo op!

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Sandstorm!

Sandstorm!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

So yeah im missing Austin right now but its okay. I took a beautiful drive through the Guadalupe Mountains and im spending the night in Carlsbad, NM. The 4th motel i went to had a vacancy so i took a shower and here i am. The road is life. #Heartonthehighway