alone

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!

DSC_0444 (2)

DSC_0212 (2)

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

DSC_0457 (2)

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

DSC_0401 (2)

bobbies!

DSC_0378 (2)

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

tubular

tubular

DSC_0547

Portobello Road

DSC_0651 (2)

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

DSC_0557

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!

DSC_0619

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.

DSC_0655 (2)

DSC_0662

DSC_0674

DSC_0738

CHEERS!

Friendship is something special.

DSC_0685 DSC_0725

DSC_0726

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

DSC_0787

DSC_0820

DSC_0812 DSC_1067 DSC_0964

 

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.

DSC_0863

DSC_0880

DSC_0905

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.

DSC_0937

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!!!!

DSC_0034

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

DSC_1010 DSC_0029 DSC_0037 DSC_1074 DSC_0280

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.

DSC_0108 DSC_0122 DSC_0131 DSC_0143 DSC_0146 DSC_0130

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!

DSC_0235

DSC_0372

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.

DSC_0307 (2) DSC_0308 (2) DSC_0314 (2) DSC_0498 (2) DSC_0505 (2) DSC_0541 (2) DSC_0564 (2) DSC_0417 DSC_0316 (2) DSC_0426 DSC_0442 DSC_0449 DSC_0476 DSC_0478 DSC_0493 DSC_0496 DSC_0564 DSC_0649

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!

DSC_0329 (2) DSC_0330 (2) DSC_0578 (2) DSC_0584 (2) DSC_0591 (2) DSC_0604 (2) DSC_0606 (2) DSC_0608 (2) DSC_0628 (2) DSC_0643 (2) DSC_0637 (2) DSC_0640 (2) DSC_0647 (2)

DSC_0250

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

IMG_5854 IMG_5864

IMG_5870

IMG_5867

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

DSC_0499

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!

DSC_0501

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

IMG_5922 DSC_0524

IMG_5936

IMG_5972

IMG_6016

DSC_0558 DSC_0559

IMG_5916

IMG_6017

petroglyphs

petroglyphs

IMG_5943 IMG_5949

DSC_0518

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.

DSC_0018

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!

IMG_6138

 

DSC_0646

 

DSC_0674

DSC_0680

DSC_0643 DSC_0679

 

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

 

 

 

Aliens, Caves, Graffiti and Trees ; all this wanderlust girl needs

 

Saw some awesome stalagmites, hung out with aliens and took an amazingly beautiful drive through the Lincoln National Forest. Feast those eye balls.

image

the french man who took this picture kept referring to me as ‘madamoiselle’. I love him.

Stalagmites unite!

Stalagmites party!

image

Next stop Roswell, bring on the probing!

jlk

I come in peace!

image

my attempt at that alien finger thingy

II was so giddy over how corny Roswell is! I love how they play up that alien shit.

image

Cant even land an alien guy, get it….land an alien, cause theyre up in the sky on other planets and stuff..okay nevermind moving on!

 

image

image

image

My next journey was equally as satisfying! Lincoln National Forest!

image

sprawling and beautiful

I noticed a  dilapidated gas station with graffiti….

image

and i decided to leave my mark image

Another day on the road, another night in a motel with shitty wifi.

image

#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.

DSC_0020

DSC_0026

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.

IMG_5039

Random fake Prada store in the middle of the desert

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

DSC_0039

the only faces i saw while in Marfa

IMG_5059

DSC_0087

DSC_0084

IMG_5061

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

DSC_0043

DSC_0052

DSC_0065

Such a good photo op!

Such a good photo op!

DSC_0063

DSC_0079

DSC_0064

DSC_0074

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

 

Hey There Lonely Girl

“Passion makes way through possibilities”

Where am i going with this?  Im trying to think of a great way to start this off but i have a silly slightly pretentious smirk on my face so lets just say I’m lonely and that’s not all i am but it has been a staple on my emotions for awhile now. For the past year and a half whenever i start a new journal i make a silent promise to myself that ‘this here journal will not be filled with the same sad confused stupid lonely girl emotions that took over the last one’ and you can take a wild guess how most of the pages were filled. In a way i don’t mind because i embrace how i feel. i like to think of myself as a positive but realistic person, there is always a bright side but if i stub my toe I’m going to yell ‘FUCK!’ and be annoyed, not forever but for a moment and ill embrace that fucking annoying moment as much as the happy ones. I am naturally a loner so solidarity  is crucial and imperative to my soul but still i never knew how it felt to be alone until this past year and a half. I don’t remember ever trying to make friends, I’ve always king of just had them and then when i moved away its like the world literally pushed me out there and unlike naturally learning how to walk and talk as a child adults don’t remember ever learning that so how do you make real honest friends?

There are a lot of surprising things that come up when you are alone in a new place, you are forced to learn a lot about yourself and how you deal with stressful frustrating situations when you don’t have the support system that you had back home also you get to see who will really be there for you when you really need somebody, that’s been the hardest thing for me. Expectations, why do we have them? We know better but we are still humans and we are stupid. It sucks to think you can count on someone and when the going gets tough they disappear, its a part of life for everyone but it is so GD disappointing, still its great knowing the few or less than few people who are there, they can be a surprise too.

My mom was in the Army and shes been my #1 supporter because and she gets it, she understands being away from home and the torn indecisive feelings that go along with that and shes been writing me letters (shes old school like that) which has inspired me to write letters to people and it warms my heart so much to open my mailbox and see a personal letter from a friend, to this lonely girl it means a lot.

Moving away from home is like  one of those things like having  a kid or getting married, everyone only talks about the good part of it,  they’re afraid to tell someone how hard it can/may be like they’re scared they might come across too human or something. I cant imagine not moving away, it literally rocked my world and now i know i can do anything but i’ll never sugarcoat it to anyone and tell them it was easy because its not. Its been hard and its better but its still hard, it wont always be but tis the season.

Corny quotes have played a big part in this season of my life, you know the “Never Give Up” quotes you’ve heard your whole life  well when you truly madly deeply need motivation they are the truest combinations of words. Simple and true, enough said, literally.

I know that i wont always feel this way but i do now and its a very important, probably the most important time so far in my life because i am so alone and that’s the only way to truly know yourself, by spending time with yourself and its okay.

I feel more passionate about life and the possibilities than ever before and its built my character so much that if i knew me before i may not even recognize myself because i see things through a different lens now, something that may have never occurred if i hadn’t been so alone.