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    ... where shit gets real and you are magically motivated to explore this world and more importantly-- what life has to offer. Here you can follow my random adventures and learn that you too can Forrest Gump your way through life with no particular destination besides happiness and fulfillment.

    Shut your mouth, open your mind, and live the life you've always wanted.

I’ve decided that… I’m not a huge fan of folks not using “I” when expressing a feeling towards others.

For instance…

“Love it!” vs. “I love it!”

“So excited for you..”  vs. “I’m so excited for you!”

“So sorry” vs. “I’m so sorry.”

Maybe I’m overly sensitive, maybe I’m a grammar Nazi, or maybe I’m actually onto something… I dunno.

I’m not sure why this strikes a nerve. It just does. I think growing up in the south, folks tend to say things that they “should” say… and not things they actually mean b/c it’s the socially acceptable thing to do. Same thing via facebook/internet… etc.

It’s almost like the “bless your heart” that southerners drop… It’s typically almost sung. I mean– it’s basically the nicest and sweetest way of saying… “aaaawe… you just can’t help that you’re a f-ing idiot…”

Let’s dig deeper…

When we say something and convey an emotion– we typically say “I” because we are expressing ourselves . I’m convinced when people don’t say “I”— they subconsciously don’t actually take ownership for what they’re saying and it isn’t actually how they feel. I don’t think a lot of people realize they do it. But– I see it as one of those indicators– like the way the someone will typically touch their nose when they lie… Maybe I’m looking into it. Maybe I’m just searching for things to be jaded… but if it’s NOT the case… why be lazy?

I think Malcom Gladwell should do a study on it… a follow up to Blink… just saying.

wait, wait… I’M just saying….

 

 

So– I’ve come to the realization that I’m terrible at blogging. I don’t stay on topic. Nothing I say actually makes sense b/c I use this as a forum to let my brain vomit out loud… but I am great at responding to my friends… So.. I’m just going to post things I’ve replied to my friends b/c… I find it strange to just write things to a pretend audience that doesn’t actually exist. But– I do want to look back at things I’ve written b/c I find it will be a good reminder for me in the future… especially when I have kids. B/c I find that my wisdom has actually decreased with age which also means I’ll be fresh out of insightful things to say when that time comes.

So… quick run through. This post is in regards to a dear friend of mind who just had an ACL injury and this is after connecting her to one of my friends who is a PT and just gave us amazing information about her experience of injuring her ACL TWICE and opted to not have surgery the 2nd time and had pretty amazing results and was able to run a marathon and do an iron man and several triathlons after. Yes–she’s kind of a badass. I’ll ask her permission to repost her reply… b/c it’s so incredibly fascinating….

But– My friend decided that she would get surgery… and this is my response to that.

———

Yeah girl- do whatever you feel is necessary! I was talking to Alek and I was telling him that there is such a huge part of me that wants to be like… “noo don’t do it!” Only b/c my recovery was soo terrible and extensive… but everyone’s experience is different and the fact that you are already planning on doing a lot more PT sessions… it sounds like a pretty good plan. But— he brought up a very good point— that basically— If I didn’t have surgery… and I had any sort of issue.. I would blame it on the fact that I didn’t get surgery… and there is no way of knowing what the path would be unless you take it. So… it’s probably a good thing that you are having to wait a little bit before getting surgery b/c then you can see what it’s like before and make your assessment accordingly. 

I will say— I’ve had several random freak accidents and every injury I have become more and more cautious. B/c for a minute there.. I would just throw myself off of things b/c I felt invincible. And then body parts started to hit the fan… and its been a rude awakening to come to that realization that bones and ligaments don’t bounce like they used to… they break. I actually think that’s why I’ve gotten injured… as a universal warning that’s like… CALM THE F-DOWN OR YOU WILL ACCIDENTALLY WIPE YOURSELF FROM THE GENE POOL. 

So… even though you want to be as crazy and aggressive skiing… your frontal lobe will never let you be as crazy b/c we are programmed to learn from our mistakes. Thank you Darwin. We evolved because of our ability to learn. When I broke my neck snowboarding— Ever since then— Each snowboard trip— I cry when I take my first drop b/c physical trauma causes emotional trauma… and that’s forced me to be much more cautious.So… just a psychological thing to keep in mind… b/c you don’t realize that your emotional state is effected from injuries. It’s traumatic. Realizing that you’re not invincible… is heart breaking… and having to be reliant on others during the recovery time is soul crushing— especially for independent and stubborn ass women as ourselves.

So anyway… with that said— everyone will make their own decisions and whether you take one path or the next— you’ll find a way to make it work so that get back to doing what you love. 

Also— side note— studies show that stubborn kids grow up to be more successful than “normal” kids. So… cheers to being stubborn ass women. 

Wow. I’m pretty sure I’ve averaged 1 post per year for the past 3 years? At this rate, by 2020, I’ll have a whopping 6 posts!

Well.. despite my lack of posts… I’m gone quite a bit. 6 months. Literally 186 days out of the year in 2015. I’m not exactly sure how that happened… but alas. It was enjoyable. Maybe one day, I’ll have the time to look through all of my photos from these trips, seeming as though I haven’t gone through my last trip’s photos, let alone the ones from the last 4 years. Not from India, Nepal, Iceland, New York, Utah, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, Louisiana, California, Pennsylvania, DC, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands…. and now we can add Scotland and Italy to that mix of photos from places I’ve visited and will never get to see. Oh well. It’ll be a mind trip when it does happen!

But– currently, I’m in Italy. We’ve been here for almost a week and we have about a week before heading back to the states. Typically– established/western European countries aren’t on the top of my list- for a few reason actually. 1– they’re really expensive. When you travel the length of time that I do, it’s important to squeeze that booger out of Lincon’s nose… and frankly, it pisses me off to THINK you’re spending 1 dollar and you come back realizing that you actually spent $1.20. Or for countries like Scotland… $1.65. I loved iceland– but I could do without spending $26 dollars on a shitty lamb burger.

Sometimes I wish I were capable of being anorexic for financial and vanity reasons. It would be like two birds with one stone! Except–  I have so little will-power when it comes to food– it’s shameful. I had a golden retriever named Heidi back in the day. She was my spirit animal. Not the smartest but the sweetest being to ever walk this earth. She was a little on the plump side– basically cylindrical in shape. She had a figure almost equivalent to that of a a miniature cow equipped with arthritic peg legs that only seemed to crease at her knees on special occasions, birthdays, and some federal holidays. Quirks and rotundness – it just meant there was more to love.

Long story longer… She would eat anything you put in front of her face. << our similarities — frightening.  I came  home to her eager eyes, and supposed famished distended belly. As usual– I fed her a big ass bowl of kibble– not knowing my sister fed her only minutes before.

Well… she scarfed down that second bowl of kibble as if it were her last supper. All of those dry, densely packed, low frequency crunch, geometrically shaped kernels– questionable in sustenance and with flavor equivalent to that of cardboard. A fine delicacy in her eyes.

Then my ears perked up. “Is someone plunging a toilet behind me?” Oh… noooo. I know what that noise it. That distinct churning sound– the byproduct of an undulating digestive system on the verge of eruption. “Awe my poor dog has an eating disorder…”-

Vomit, vomit, everywhere, but not a bite to eat! Not the case. What did she do? What any self-respecting lady would… She enjoyed that delicacy for a second time and scarfed down that poorly masticated mess in a similar fashion reminiscent of a constrictor unhinging it’s jaw to engulf it’s face around a lifeless woodland creature.

As I stood their in utter shock and dismay- I couldn’t decide if I was in shock b/c of what just transpired before my eyes or because I understood her thought process and gave her a mental hi-five. Waste not want not, girlfriend!

The far reach connection here that I’m a thrifty traveler and would never dare waste money on food and especially not to just to throw it out. If I’m going to buy that calorie, I’m going to feel the full force of it and hold on to it for time and time to come. Damn it. Around my midsection.

We just finished up with the Lares Trek! Andean animals all over the place! Sheep, Llamas, Alpacas, Oh my!! It was an Alpaca-lypse!!! We saw Llama sex happen. Then Llama brawl. Mo drama fo yo llama! There was a beckoning feeling that we were being watched.. then we took our gaze slightly up and saw a white and brown Llama staring intensely at us… and as we approached… we then realized that it wasn’t a white and brown llama, but it was a white llama mounting atop a brown llama… and engaging in heart felt, passionate, llama love. A video can be seen here… llama porn.
The trek was beautifuly, challenging.. I really learned to push myself past my limits. I’m not going to lie. I think I may have come down with strep throat along the way, I was carrying a stupid amount of camera equipment– 70-200 lens, my 16-35 lens… and my 5D markIII… all of which amount to the weight of a baby… which wouldn’t be so bad if the air wasn’t so thin b/c of the altitude. It was definitely worth it– but I have come to terms with the fact that I’m a huge wuss. HA! It was hard as shit. But it was probably one of the most awe-inspiring views I’ve ever experienced. Machu Picchu is a straight up mind-fuck. It’s so incredible. I think I cried 3 times on the way up. So cool to see something so old… so vast… and so beautiful. You feel so tiny and insignificant among such greatness!!Here is what my eyes have seen these past few days!

 

 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR YOUR TRIP TO MACHU PICCHU

I’m sitting in a quaint hostel called Ecopackersperu.com. Kind of freezing my ass off b/c I’m too stubborn and lazy to get my jacket. So I sit here and suffer. The weather here is surprisingly chilly… but beautiful none the less. It’s about 60-65 all day every day. If you find yourself in the shade… you’ll need a puffy jacket. In the sun… you’ll need sunscreen and to strip down to a tank. The forecast promised rain every day– and we’ve barely gotten a sprinkle or two… so we’re hoping for this similar weather when we do our Lares Trek.

Lares Trek— Of course– we knew were supposed to book our trip for the Incan Trail ahead of time– so… Lisa and I planned in January with a company to book our tour. We begrudgingly Wired money to this company and after we sent payment… and several weeks later… crickets. Nothing.

Finally– after a few nasty-grams… we get a response back… telling us that we didn’t send the money in time and he would refund us. Apparently it takes several weeks for banks to transfer money to Peru. Long story short…  we were out of $500.

SIDETONE:: revisited. 2 months after the trip: Now sitting at Frenchie— a cute little French Bistro in Cartagena Colombia. Divine!

The moral of this story::

1– If you plan to trek in Peru… and don’t mind if it’s the Lares, Salkantay, or multi-sport… BOOK IN CUZCO! It’s significantly cheaper. Like hundreds or dollars cheaper. If you book in Cuzco, you can find different companies that charge typically around $300+/- $50 depending on which company you go with. Online– it would go for around $600-$800… and up without flights, etc.

2– Don’t WIRE money to folks. There is no traceback! Opt for credit card instead. You can file a fraud report if you use Amex and they’ll refund your money. Wiring is basically like bending you over and giving you a pineapple up the rear.

3–Pack in layers consisting of a fleece and a packable rain jacket. Weather is very unpredictable and fleece will keep you warm even if it gets a little wet.

4– If you want to book Huayna Picchu– book and pay for that ahead of time. It’s a scary trek up… but I heard it was worth it. However, If you want to go to Sun Gate and the Incan Gate– don’t let your tour company charge you extra. Access to those locations are included with the purchase of your entrance ticket. Our company tacked on an additional $20/pp and there was nobody checking.

5– Hire a guide– in your respective language. Learning about the people, how MP was discovered, and different uses of the architecture elements makes the experience even that much better.

6– Bring Snacks and water so you can spend more time within the park. (but please be responsible and clean up after yourselves!) Once you leave the park and hike back down the stairs… motivation to go back in is typically low when your other option is a food coma. Plus, the restaurants and snack stands outside the gates are very expensive.

7– SunScreen and Bug Spray. You will get burnt to a crisp and eaten alive. Maybe not in that same order…

8– Don’t be an ass hole and take rocks or urinate in the park. SO incredibly disrespectful. If you go into some areas… it will wreak of urine b/c bastards feel entitled to pee where they want. NOT OK.

9– if it rains… be OK with it! it’s just water! The Incans were incredibly smart and built a comprehensive drainage/sewer system. They were well before their time and you can admire how that system works when it rains. Obviously…it’s nicer when it doesn’t rain… but hey– make lemonade!

10– Overall– be positive, don’t complain, and come to terms with being uncomfortable. Your attitude will effect all of your travel experiences and having a good one will make everything So much more enjoyable. AND… Enjoy one of the most magical/Mystical places in the world!

I do have an ass ton of photos… but b/c I run a photography business… I’ll have to post those later as clients come first! Either way– hope this is helpful!