Per usual I am watching the cursor come and go, wondering which keys I should be hitting. I’ve been thinking about it all day but if I knew what I was going to write that would kind of take the fun out of it, for me at least. For the past 7 or months I’ve been writing in my journal ballpoints of good things that happened to me that particular day. It used to be just 4 or maybe 5 things but I’ve been encouraged to write 10 things I’m thankful for everyday. Sometimes it could just be that I found a quarter or even a penny on the ground (pennies are still money people!) or sometimes it’s a really sweet surprising gesture from a friend or customer at work. Today for example I’m thankful for the Teena Marie station on Pandora. Yesterday one of my coworkers bought me a cookie, my friend Amy came to visit me at work, and I got to christen a car with the name Dametria, because every car should have a name. I am also very thankful my friend Claudia let me borrow her gps for my trip! I keep seeing cardinals which is very symbolic and getting a lot more sleep, also the Headspace app works, maybe its all in my head *elbow nudge* get it?! Because it’s for meditation so its in your head and…yeah. Where am I going with this…. oh yes I now practice the very fine art of acknowledging even the smallest things throughout the day that make me smile and chuckle because I feel like now that I do that I’ll have even more things to smile and chuckle about. Except for the guy who stopped his car when I was walking in my neighborhood earlier today asking if I needed a ride, no thanks! Midnight blue nails.
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.
This post is trying for me, not because I’m lazy with severe chronic procrastination like usual but because it’s about someone who me and my Austin family held very close to our hearts. Jordan worked with us at Homeslice Pizza for about a year and as soon as he started we thought he resembled Christian Bale in the movie Psycho, cue the serial killer jokes. I think that everyone kind of had some sort of crush on Jordan because not only was he handsome he was really goofy and inviting. He would flirt with anyone who was near, bump and grind and body roll and tell you how beautiful you are countless number of times during a shift. He was always queuing songs on Spotify like ‘How Will I Know’ by Whitney, ‘Too Close’ from Next, ‘Losing You’ by Solange, even ‘Shoop’ from the “Waiting to Exhale” Soundtrack. His “eel” that he brought on the camping trip game we played at Thanksgiving last year…….. It was like ‘who is this boy from North Carolina and why is he so unusual? but we fucking love it’. It was always a treat to be near him because he was always in a good mood, never an ounce of negativity which is rare. Anytime you worked with him and got cut near the same time Jordan would invite you over his house which was around the corner to hang out on the porch or to an impromptu performance by him and his roommate. Not only was Jordan good-looking and funny, he was a really talented musician, i personally think he was too modest about his talent and i really believed in him. Last Tuesday after i was waiting for the pumpkin i had just painted to dry i looked at my phone and noticed that my friend Lauren had called and texted me an hour before, i looked at the text first and it was a link to a funeral homes website in NC. As soon as it loaded i started shaking, it was a picture of him and that sweet little generic paragraph they write in every obituary. It was so unbelievable to me and still is. I literally kept saying out loud ” i don’t believe it, i don’t believe it” over and over again in my room where i thought I’d be going to bed shortly after pumpkin painting. I called a few of my other coworkers and friends that Jordan was close to and we met at one of the bars he used to go to. It was really fucking sad, that’s what i have to say about it in laymans. To lose someone who was so special and kind feels so wrong and i don’t like or accept negativity these days but that’s how i feel. The only solace i have is that Jordan was already perfect, we all still have so much to learn. He always looked on the bright side and wasn’t afraid to follow his dreams. It used to annoy me whenever i heard people talking about someone who passed on say ‘ oh he was the nicest guy, always had a smile on his face’ but in this case ITS FUCKING TRUE!! Its too true actually and that’s the only way i can breathe easy about him not being with us physically anymore, he was already an angel. Its really hard to believe (here’s the part where i cry, damn you Amy for suggesting i write about this and also thank you) that he’ll never call me Nefertitties again or tell me that i look beautiful today, he’ll never swoon at me doing my shoulder dance and we’ll never sit on the swing on his front porch again talking about our bruised hearts and dreams for the future, it really sucks. I don’t fancy myself a lucky person but i hit the jackpot in meeting you, we are so fortunate at Homeslice to have you as a part of our family. This has made us all realize how much we really love each other and to reach out to each other as much as possible and obnoxiously express our love even more to anyone we care about. Jordan you’ve touched us all whether inappropriate or not is irrelevant and all the memories i have with you will make me smile until i die, you’ll be in my heart forever friend, i love you.
Remember that show on MTV years ago?! So good! Well dudes and dudettes its been a couple weeks now that Ive been back in Austin since my road trip, before i left i did a little research about roadtripping but not so much because i knew that i would learn more than i could ever be prepared for and i prefer it that way anyway. Here’s a few things I’ll remember for my next journey on the open road.
1. Take Advantage of Places
Realize that you may never come to this place again so take as many pictures and do whatever you have the urge to do, i lost count for how many times i pulled over or drove back to something i thought was cool because i will probably never see it again. Take your headphones out of your ears when walking around a new place and truly be there, hear and feel the place you’re at. Albuquerque was the biggest city i went to and although it is far from a bustling metropolis i was happy to be around so much civilization. I got my car looked at, went to the post office, and gave my car a much needed break by walking a lot and using public transportation.
2. Don’t Hesitate to Get Gas
Most of my trip was driving on beautiful back roads which i love BUT they can be very very long. At one point i had only half a tank of gas and could only see mountains and desert even in the far distance, i started to freak out a little but after 30 mins i found a major highway and got off on an exit to get gas. I cant imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere especially for something so minor and being alone and it getting dark outside, i always did like the damsel in distress scenario but who would hear me sigh?
3. Small Towns
I went through so many amazingly quaint small towns/villages that were so full of character. Mora, NM and especially Madrid, NM which isn’t far from Santa Fe is so cute and adorable i had to get out and take a few pictures, it was one of the few times on my trip that i wish i had a partner in crime to share the experience with. Tinkertown was another stop i loved! Perfect places to stretch your legs and roam!
4. Always Take the Scenic Route
I chuckled every time i saw a sign for a scenic route because for this east coast girl every route out west is a scenic route, i would gasp on my way to the grocery store if i lived out here. Alas there are some designated routes and look out spots specifically for you and your main squeeze to pull over and make googly eyes at each other.
5. Don’t Sleep Anywhere You’re Not Comfortable At
I slept in a lot of different places on my trip and most of them were fine, my favorite was of course the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe but i loved the White Sands Motel in Alamangordo as well. The night i slept in my car near Four Corners National Monument wasn’t the best but it was far more comfortable than the place i almost stayed in Albuquerque, it was called the Downtown Inn and i could tell by the looks of things it wasn’t the fanciest but neither am i and i had driven almost 6 hrs straight and just wanted to pee and take a shower but i couldn’t because there was a dead roach next to the toilet…..and in the main room. I live in the south, i see enormous National Geographic sized roaches far more than what i would like to so i know what a freshly killed roach looks like, these things had definitely been laying there dead for some time and i decided that i didn’t want to stay there and more importantly that i didn’t have to. I got in an argument with the lady at the front desk because she refused to give a refund even though i had only been in the room for 30 mins, long enough to haul my stuff in ( a girl on the road has a lot of stuff) but its not about the money, i told her the place is gross and went to a nice regular hotel that was pest free. Feeling comfortable where you lay your head is far more important than traveling on a discount rate.
6. Eat Hearty
Okay I’m not going to lie most of the time i did have Popeyes and Chic-fil-a on deck because its quick and easy (and mouthwatering) but whenever i reached whatever destination i was heading that day i treated myself to a real meal, my favorite by far was this wonderful blueberry waffle and granola at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe!
7. Don’t Rely on Technology
I just got a new phone less than 2 weeks before i peeled out and the GPS on it is far better than the one i had before, i cant imagine using that old phone to get to all the places i went but one thing i didn’t imagine either was not being able to use this great awesome new phone. For a long time i had no service at all and had to use an actual map, its a big piece of paper with a bunch of squiggly lines on it and some words. If it wasn’t for said map i wouldn’t of made it to Monument Valley or Taos. *Mentally patting myself on the back* I have a brain and i use it sometimes woo hoo!
8. Learn Something About Yourself
One of the main purposes for taking a long journey is reflection. Spending so much time away from everything and everyone familiar allows you to think about so much more than the grocery list. There is no way to come back from a road trip and not realize something you either had no idea of or weren’t sure of before, for me i realized that i really love Austin. I actually just got all warm and fuzzy inside writing this because i do! Its obvious i mean i decided to move here away from everything i know. I often doubt my decisions so to know that i love where i live, at least for now, is an awesome feeling and makes me feel even more confident in myself as if i didn’t already driving across states and such. I’m in a Lone Star State of mind.
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!
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.
I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!
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.
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…..
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
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
A 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
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.
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.
I also went past this charming house with an adorable front yard!
Meanwhile back on the road….
The roads are long, lonely, and terrifying but the scenery cannot be matched.
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.
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
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.
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.
On the way out of town i drove through another equally creepy small town even smaller than Marfa. Ladies and gentleman, Valentine, TX!
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
In the year or so that I’ve lived in Austin Ive had so much fun and done so many things that i never have before because there is SO much fun to be had here but i keep hearing about all these cool places outside of Austin that are not only fun but also really beautiful. A few weeks ago me and my friend Lauren aka Lo went on a little road trip to the Hill Country to see what really is deep in the heart of Texas.
Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower and just like everything else about this state Texans are very proud of them and on our little trip i saw them for the very first time!
Driving, gossiping, and exploring can sure make a girl hungry so where else do we decide to dine but the Grand Central Cafe otherwise known as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre house! Yes ladies and gentleman, you too can wine and dine in the very same house that Leatherface and his family once called home, how cozy is that?!
The neighborhood behind the Massacre House (i don’t care about the real name of the restuarant is it’ll always be the Massacre House anytime i refer to it) was so serene and beautiful that we had to take a walk on what i’m pretty sure is private property
Me and Lauren stumbled upon even more natural beauty at Longhorn Cavern State Park, not to sound so much like the 80’s valley girl that i totally am but it was really cool you guys!
On our way back to Austin i could not help but pull over multiple time because there is so much beauty and character when you’re driving not on an interstate but on a road and in this case a Farm to Market or Ranch Road.
I hope Texans don’t take this the wrong way but i almost forgot i was in Texas, this truly is a big beautiful state full of so many things that surprise me all the time, BUT don’t let the southern hospitality fool you, they are always quick to remind you…..
Cliche? yes. Proverbial? duh. Relatable? always. Am i diving in or just getting my feet wet? Im not naturally an impulsive person so making rash decisions doesn’t only not sit well with me it also backfires, because well, i know better and the universe knows better and the universe knows i know better. Ive always heard the phrase “fish out of water” feeling out of place, lost, not knowing what to do, something i have always related to but what about a fish in the water? Just because you can drive doesn’t mean you’re never going to get lost, and just because a fish can swim doesn’t mean it cant sink. Even in your seemingly natural habitat you still may not have any sense of direction. Its a doozy and not a lot of humans like to talk about it because they all want to seem like they have their proverbial shit together but in reality they’re all full of proverbial shit. Tis the season, tis the season to get lost, and say “Wow i cant believe i said that, went there, ate that, did that (or him)” and just simply have an experience. I used to think that in order to do what i wanted to do i had to have all my proverbial ducks in line, i thought i needed a certain dollar amount of money, or i had to wait until this specific date but now i know that i can do anything. The most important thing i need with me when im fulfilling my daydreams is simply the will to do it.
Having boobs doesn’t hurt either.