All posts filed under: Adventures & Journeys

On The Run: An Oregon-California Road Trip

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike, and all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggles that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck A friend and I spontaneously decided to visit Portland, Oregon, over Thanksgiving break because neither of us had ever been, so why not? We bought last minute tickets to fly up on Friday, and decided to drive back down that Sunday. Just like any trip, no matter how well planned, there are always things you cannot control. Although beautiful, Portland turned out to be freezing, and pretty wet: we got rain, snow, and hail. I assume all three were necessary, just for good measure. However, despite not being dressed appropriately for the cold (which goes to show that we’ve become California brats in a few short months, since we saw the 30ºF/-1ºC  forecast, looked at our winter coats, laughed, and thought “Who needs them, right?” WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Thank God for Black Friday and 50% off at …

Your Trip, My Journey

I needed to write this before you answered me. You are sleeping right now, which gives me the perfect opportunity to finally breathe some life onto this page. We embark on a journey from the moment we are born and until the day we die. We do not choose to be thrust into this world. Some may consider this quite unfair. I, on the other hand, am glad I was not given the choice to be born, because that is one less thing off my shoulders. I may have not decided to come into the world had I known beforehand how much cruelty and destruction humans are capable of. But one thing is certain: I would have also missed out on the beautiful and miraculous possibilities of love. Therefore, since I am here anyway, I am happy with my decision to do my best to make an impact, whether it be small or large. Either one is fine by me, and both are completely out of my hands. Truly, it is better this way. Throughout …

It’s Your Turn to Fly

You’re going abroad for a year to volunteer at an orphanage in Sri Lanka and at a middle school in Bali (OK, for real though, you’ll probably be surfing half the time), so to say that I’ll be living vicariously through you is a huge understatement. We’ve already discussed how proud I am of you for having won this scholarship and for having had the courage to chase an adventure of such magnitude. What you will live, the experience you will gain, the consequences of this monstrous decision are as of yet unknown… But you had the guts to follow through with this dream anyway, and that’s what impresses me the most. I’m sure you have specific responsibilities and things to do/blog about during the next few months as per UNC’s request, but, in addition to all of those formalities, allow me to create an unofficial –yet still extremely important—list of things your big sister wants you to do, because she said so. Ready? Pay. Attention. I want you to play, and explore, and laugh until you …

New Beginnings

A friend and I recently moved in together in a new city. We know each other very well; our shared history is loaded with plenty of smiles and tears to go around. We have a strong personal connection and bond, and we know quite a bit about each other’s past lives, but the catch is: no one else here does. No one here knows a single thing about either of us. And that’s an incredibly beautiful thing. Let’s face it: moving is stressful. It either makes me gain several pounds or forces me to shed them. More often than not, it absolutely murders my bank account to a third degree, because no amount of budgeting and pre-planning prepares you for unexpected, cross-country, and very permanent trips. Quite frankly, the whole idea of re-starting my life once again, especially after two years of a nomadic lifestyle, terrifies me. However, it’s also thrilling, and whenenver I feel both of these extremes at once, I know that the decision I’m making will be worth it in the end. …

Age Is Just A Number

Twenty-seven. I have no idea what to do with this number, I’m just glad I made it this far! It sounds silly, but even though life expectancies continue to rise in some parts of the world, there are many others where it’s uncommon to develop fully and lead a happy, healthy life. At this point, I’m very grateful for each birthday I get. But enough with the drama for now. In my humble opinion, December 29 is an awesome birth date because it coincides with the end-of-year renewal that I love. My new age always comes hand in hand with the opportunity to reflect on what the last 12 months have brought and what the next dozen might hold. It’s also a time of unwinding and much needed family bonding. However, the inevitable life questions also arise, along with the ever so daunting resolutions list. 2013 was the first time that I was actually able to hold myself accountable for at least half of my goals, which is quite the accomplishment for me. I’m hoping …

Life, And All Its Intricacies

After taking the month of July off from blogging, it hasn’t been easy to make a comeback. Life occasionally gets sassy with me and, although I am one to sass right back, it does sometimes get a bit overwhelming. This isn’t necessarily bad, just enough to shake me out of my stupor and force me to grow in ways I hadn’t really prepared for. I went on a two week vacation at the beginning of last month that took me through Barcelona, Lisbon, and London. I won’t write specifically about my travels –although if you must know, the trip was incredible. However, there are two experiences that I must mention, because they are intricately tied to a third I lived after returning to NYC. First Experience – Location: park bench somewhere in Barcelona. I sat down to pray three Rosaries, as I do the first Saturday of every month in honor of Our Lady of Fátima. A man sat next to me and introduced himself as Alí. He began a polite conversation, during which I …

Leaving

Boo, this one’s for you. Leaving does not mean “the end.” Leaving does not mean forgetting. Leaving does not mean putting aside everything you have lived together. Leaving does not mean the story is over. Life goes on, my dear, and it is up to you to decide how you will live it. Take a moment or two to feel whatever pain and sadness overwhelms you, yet rest assured that this too shall pass. You don’t have to decide your future right now. In fact, the future does not exist. It is a blank slate that you create with every second that tic-tocs its way past the clock, with each breath you inhale and exhale. Don’t lose hope. Don’t fall into society’s trap of thinking you will always be alone if you don’t conform to a specific mold. Don’t let your mind be burdened by the lies of those who have hurt you. More importantly, don’t lose yourself amidst the noise of human existence. You are so incredibly precious. You are so incredibly loved. All …