Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

One of the questions I ask people when I travel is “What do you do for Xmas?”

The answers vary DRASTICALLY depending on the person- not necessarily the culture. At first, I thought “well, in Belize they would celebrate it the same way as other Central Americans, right?” WRONG.

 

I urge you to ask this to others- or! Write a comment below about how you celebrate your holiday.

 

I’ve heard all sorts of traditions:

-Filipinos start celebrating in November and don’t stop until WAY after the New Year. (Even when there are typhoons).

-In Belize, they walk around singing carols and go to people’s house, drink, eat, and collect more people for the Caroler Choir.

-In France, it’s similar to ours- except for the food they eat- which is goose and fancy cheese and dried fruit.

-In Cape Town- they have a braai (of course) while they bask in the sunshine/warmth of Summer.

 

Growing up, my holiday was different because we celebrated both Hannnauakuah (I’m Jew-ISH- emphasis on the ISH) and Christmas. I never understood families that have “2 Christmases” with different parts of the family. It always sounded hectic. My family wouldn’t do stockings- we did Hanukah instead. (This had the added benefit of the dogs not eating the stockings!)

The traditions (growing up) are as follows:

  1. Eat a huge ham/turkey dinner on Xmas-eve. With all the trimmings and what-not.
  2. Mom preps her famous “egg bake” (think savory quiche/bread pudding but in a casserole dish). It needs to soak 12-24 hours in advanced.
  3. Xmas-eve was spent (forced) watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Christmas Story”.
    1. (My fathead brother and I never really liked these films. We always wanted to watch something else- but my mom would whine and complain about “tradition”. These days I would be happy watching Hebrew Hammer. But I digress.
  4. Xmas morning would happen and there would be 1 person making coffee, my mom would put her egg-bake into the oven to cook (it would take 1.5 hours), I was in charge of music (I always loaded the CD player with Xmas music for the first CD and then random CDs afterwards (The Star Wars soundtrack was my popular choice-Mom hated this).
  5. One person would open a gift at a time so we could “all watch their expression” and bask in the ego trip of purchasing more crap than we could ever know what to do with.

The rest of the day was spent either tinkering with the gifts, playing cards, eating cookies, and/or screaming at each other. This is what I remember, anyway.

 

These days, I have given up on Xmas. This is my 5th xmas in Seattle and I couldn’t be happier. I make a cup of coffee (sometimes with peppermint extract or nutmeg) and turn off all electronic devices and just sit… in silence. Sometimes I nap. Sometimes I knit. Mostly I just watch the rain.

It’s pretty magical.

My grandmother thinks it’s lonely. My parents think it’s lonely. Everyone thinks it’s lonely. I think it’s heaven on earth and it’s the thing I look forward to the most.

 

What are your holiday traditions? 

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“You used a money belt the whole time, right?”

Back in Ecuador on the Worst Day Ever (See Spidey Sense), I met this Canadian guy named Tony. We kept in touch and decided to meet up in Lima and travel to Cusco and hike Machu Picchu together. Before I leave Ecuador, He warns me about the bus ride down to Lima.

“Blah blah blah. You should wear a money belt! Blah blah blah. The latinos see you as a target and will steal everything from you! Blah blah blah those buses get stopped/robbed all the time. Blah blah blah you should be using a money-belt all the time! You should never take it off! Blah blah blah BE AFRAID!”

I’ll be honest- normally I ignore all these warnings- but something about the tension of his voice, his stories, the fact that I had just gotten (poorly) kidnapped in Ecuador all made me think that maybe I was just getting lucky this whole time- and maybe my luck will run out soon. So I donned my uber-sexy-beige money belt and put everything of significant value in it (my iPhone, credit card and passport), arrived at the bus station late and barely made it onto the bus in time.

That was the most exciting part of the trip.

The ride was advertised to be 48 hours. You weren’t allowed to use the coach-toilet for “solid waste. Only liquid waste”. The bus stopped a few times to drop people off/pick people up but I never knew how long the stop was- so I just stayed on the bus, sitting,  cramped, next to a guy who snored and thought my seat was also his, for 52 hours. The added hours was due to getting stuck behind herds of goats a few times.

I got a lot of reading done. Did I mention I had 52 hours? If not, I’ll say it again. I sat, cramped, on a bus, with all my valuables in my money belt pressing against my bowels, constantly reminding me that I had to poop and I probably shouldn’t have eaten the on-board meals of white-bread, mayo and government-issued cheese slice. As a bonus, though, passengers got their choice of beverage: Inka Cola (tastes like bubblegum) or brown hot water (“tea”).

I won’t bore you with any details of the bus ride. Let’s just say it was long… and boring… The entertainment was endless, though: Movies played (with the audio blaring from the over-head speakers) from 8am until 10pm. If no movies were available then music would be pumped through that reminded me of a party bus. Some of the locals would dance in the isles or have arguments with their spouses.

I wish I could say that I was scared shitless, but that would be the opposite of what I was. I was full of shit and scared- because of a warning and anxiety that was given to me by someone who was unlucky many times throughout his travels. The worst part of the trip was not being able to poop which made me really uncomfortable.

Finally we get to Lima. Surprise, surprise, nothing bad happened on or to the bus. And this was the last time I used my money belt. I actually started using it as a bottle-cap holder but Chilean TSA wanted to search it because they thought this was suspicious.

MORAL: Don’t listen to other people’s fears. Listen to your gut.

Health tip: I found this out later- but if you drink lemongrass tea 1-2 days before your long journey, it acts as an anti-diarrhea agent or a non-cramping alternative to long-travel-time woes.

Wanna LISTEN instead?

I decided to go back to Cape Town for a boy. This is something I haven’t done since… uh…. Highschool? I guess you could say that the week-long romance (and communication afterwards during my overland trip) was good enough I wanted to see where this would go. So when I arrived in Vic-Falls I booked my flight with frequent fliers using united.com’s (star alliance) website. I checked several options- and finally decided on the most complicated (and least expensive) option of going from:

Kilimanjaro – Addis Ababa – Nairobi – Johannesburg – Cape Town. 4 flights, 2 carriers, 1 alliance, 56 hours of airport time. Total cost to me: 52$. If nothing else, I would get a lot of reading/work done.

I got a ride to the airport from a great friend (Praise Nygene– who I also booked my Kili trip with) along with another American girl who was flying to Rwanda. She checked in and left with no problems.

I get to the counter, after standing in line for 55 min, to find out that my ticket has been “flagged” and I needed “to go to the office”.

I felt like a school kid who was in trouble…

I went to the office and was told that I would be rerouted straight to Nairobi. Great!

6 hours later, I get my new itinerary (I hope it works out!!!) and I’m sitting down at dinner in a really posh lodge that the airline put me up in “for my inconvenience”.

I need to explain something:

I have been camping for the past 52 days. I have been in every climate in all of the southern African horn: desert, rain forest, high altitude, volcanos, snow, sleet, rain. Having people snore next to/below you. Sharing tents with people who talk/moan in their sleep. Having to get up at crazy hours for heaps of reasons (taking care of drunk people, domestic abuse, hippos eating outside your tent, climbing a dormant volcano….)

This was the first night, in 52 days, that I got to:

1) Sleep in my OWN ROOM
2) with clean sheets!
3) NAKED! (if I wanted)
4) while drinking the free bottled-water!
5) jumping on the bed
6) with a mosquito net!
7) WITH MY OWN BATHROOM! ATTACHED! TO THE ROOM! I didn’t have to get dressed/shoed to pee in the middle of the night!

Oh… glorious!

I also got free dinner (and dessert! and breakfast!) which was a huge spread and I stuffed myself silly.

Tangent: there have been several times when re-booking was a great idea… Like the time when I was re-routed to Denver and missed my flight. That night I decided “either I’m going to get a hotel or watch the opening of Batman. Luckily, I got a hotel room- as the closest theater to the airport was in Aurora.

Moving on.

I got into Nairobi. It’s kinda like a shitty little airport- Strike that. Not kinda. It is a shitty little airport. The hallways are way too small and loud people with roller bags stand in the middle of the 2-butt isle screaming on their cell phones.

I search for a lounge. There is none.
I search for comfortable chairs. There are none.
There is nothing that isn’t metal or tile in this entire airport. (Believe me- I had 13 hours to kill… I searched!)

This all surprised me because it’s supposed to be “the airport hub of Africa”- and yet… It’s so unfriendly towards passengers. I mean, when you have a options to fly through certain cities, why would you ever choose to fly through Nairobi? I couldn’t find a single one.

I eventually settled for an over-priced cafe that has ugly orange plastic-coated booths and electric plugs and I plopped myself down for the long-haul.

The waitress startles me when I’m informed that they are closing. Good! 2 hours left in this gawd-forsaken place. I pay, get up and go towards the shitty tiled terminal to wait -in my sleeping bag, on the tile floor- for my flight to begin boarding.

I get on the plane. It’s empty. I would have gotten a row to myself except a Kenyan decided to sit in the middle seat and hovered over me while I fill out my Ebola health form.

I tell him I’m switching seats and get up and move behind him- only to be woken up by the flight attendants who wanted to give me breakfast. At 3am…..

“It’s ok,” I breathe. “I’ll be there soon.”

By this point, my cheerfulness was waning from the long hours of doing nothing. I was exhausted, circling around angry/pissed off- but I needed to look refreshed and flirty for the customs guy at Jo’berg.

You see, South Africa has this weird law about Visas. They give you a 90-day visa with an option to extend (but that takes weeks). Normally, (free) visas are “refreshed” every time you cross a boarder, but SA has had problems with “boarder-hoppers”- so they changed the law, but didn’t really post it anywhere. When I emailed the embassy and explained my whole situation, their (oh-so-not-helpful) reply was simply: “it varies from custom official to custom official. Good luck!”

….. heh.

So, basically, I had to show off my persuasion skills (which is really difficult since I’ve been traveling for 54 hours, in shitty airports, all my clothes are dirty, I don’t own any mascara, AND my next flight leaves in 20minutes). I approached the customs window and gave a huge smile. I told the guy that my future relationship depended on him. He asked me to explain and so I told him the whole story… How I met a boy, we want to continue our relationship, I left on an overland tour, I just summited Kilimanjaro, and now “I’m coming back to see him… Please! If you believe in love, you will give me a new visa.”

He told me “Sorry. You need to go back to your home country. To America.”

“But I don’t get stamps from America. How will you know if I’ve been back there or not?”

“Well, you just told me you came from Nairobi from an overland tour.”

“So, you’re penalizing me for telling you the truth?”

(back and forth for about 10 minutes… My flight is boarding now…. Finally…..)

“… I can see how that is frustrating. Ok. This once. In the name of love, I will give you your visa. But if you plan on staying, please allow 1 month to extend your visa!”

Breathless, I ran (until I was really/for realz breathless) to my gate and was the last one on board.

I arrived in Cape Town, bought airtime, called my boy, squee’d a little, rode the bus back home– where the boy and I had a week and a half of romance-followed by a week of frustration from jobs and lack of money and other things, followed by an epic breakup on Halloween.

………Oh well. It was an educational experience, at least.

———

Are you an editor? I’m trying to put together a book of short-stories. (basically, more of these blog posts.) They’re funny! They’re moving! They’re 90% true. If you’re interested in being an editor (cutting out the crap, challenging me on stuff that doesn’t make sense, etc) and have time/interest, let me know!

Marcus

Posted: November 16, 2014 in ADVENTURE STORIES!, Hope, TRAVEL
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As I said before, I work in a backpackers in Cape Town. One morning I got a weird call from a woman named Shamise. She said “I’m looking for Marcus. Do you have a guest by that name?”

I told her that I couldn’t reveal that information, but if she wanted to leave a telephone number and message I would pass it on *IF* he was staying here.

She left her name, number and a message of “I have your wallet and shoes.” She explained that she was the girl that he was with last night.

Alright. No worries. This stuff happens all the time in hostels. A crazy night of fun followed by a quick get-away while the girl is in the bathroom or whatever. “screw and run” as we call them. I was a little tickled that this girl was honorable enough to try to get his ID/shoes back to him.

*NOTE: I always think people are doing the honorable/right thing. This is my default. I’ve been told that this is what separates me from my fellow South African counterparts. They think everyone is dodgy/out to scam them and we think everyone is good by nature. They blame it on being closer to Nigeria. #whatever #movingon

—-
Fast-forward. My shift ends and a girl gets buzzed in. Janette (my co-worker) takes over and talks to the girl.

Apparently, this was Shamise! She says that she has his ID and he’s missing and she’s worried about him. Janette asks for the ID. The girl didn’t want to give it up, but eventually did. She still has his shoes, though.

She leaves.

Enter stage left: Marcus!
He looks AWFUL.

Apparently, the night before, he went out to the club, had a kickin’ time, and then walked home. While walking home (around 2am) 2 guys walked along-side him, pushed him, and demanded that he gives them money, wallet, keys, phone, etc.
Marcus gave them everything.

Then they demanded his shoes and shoved him into a car, “like in one of those movies”.

In the car, was an older woman, this Shamise character, and the 2 guys got in. They explained that they had to drop the woman off somewhere and they will “totally give you (marcus) a ride back to your place”.

So they drop the woman off. Everyone gets out of the car, but they lock Marcus in the car with the child-proof locks (or something…. This is where the story gets strange).

Marcus, shirtless, shoe-less, no wallet or phone, signals to someone that he has been kidnapped and they break the window and he climbs out and runs home. (about 10K… at 3am.)

*Side note: I find it hilarious that 2 guys would kidnap/rob someone while HAVING YOUR MOTHER IN THE CAR! I mean, what an awkward conversation that would be, eh? “Hey mum. We’re going to rob this guy, then we’ll drop you off, ok?” I wish I got more details on this.

—-
So now we are back in the present. That girl, Shamise, is still looking for him. Marcus is still staying here. He filed a police report, but that’s kinda useless in Cape Town as everything is pretty corrupt and since there was no murder/real violence, even less action will be taken.

Marcus is scared to walk around- since Shamise and the boys know what he looks like and know where he lives. Also, Marcus knows what they look like and could identify them if/when the police do anything.

Marcus, bless his heart, is a local South African who just re-moved here from Pretoria. He’s lived in Cape Town before, but wasn’t expecting this kind of welcome when he came back. What does he do when he’s telling me this story? He laughs.

“Because that’s all you can do right now. You can worry all night, but what does that get you? Ulcers. If you laugh, you live longer- and get less wrinkles.”

Spot on, Marcus… Spot on.

iMiss

Posted: November 2, 2014 in Hope, TRAVEL
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Every 90 days or so I get homesick. Today marks the 90th day I’ve been away from home- so I wasn’t really THAT surprised when I woke up in a pissy mood and wanted to just crawl up in a ball and cry all day while looking at pictures of my cat. It doesn’t help that the laundry lady lost my TWO (2!!!) hankies. Who loses hankies?! Especially hand-made ones! 😦

I only have 98 items now. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling. I love experiencing all flavors of new things! But I miss certain things that make home “home”. Which is hilarious, because I consider the entire country of USofA to be “home”… Not just a city or state.

 

With that said, here are my steps to curbing homesickness:

1) Write a list of things that you miss.

2) Go out that week and find those things.

 

That’s it.

 

So- with that said, this is my list. It’s huge.

  1. Golden Grahams (Thanks Amy…..)
  2. Swing dancing (Jive)
  3. Fast internet. (anything faster than a 1mb connection is considered fast)
  4. Sonic limeades (with the crushed pebble ice!)
  5. Nachos
  6. Chuy’s Chuychunga (with a real margarita)
  7. Driving towards Rainier, in the spitting rain, with my windows slightly rolled down, listening to shitty music.
  8. My Cat, La Puta. ❤ ❤ ❤
  9. Texting
  10. Durian Bubble Tea
  11. Dirty Chai’s (done properly…. not tasting like milk and not made with powder).
  12. Blue Moon beer, Dominos pizza, and America’s Next Top Hooker on a Friday night.
  13. PUMPKIN…. EVERYTHING…. (It’s flippin’ October and I haven’t had a pumpkin anything yet! Can you believe it?!)
  14. Hearing the wind blow through the leaves, hearing them crackle and fall off a tree. (also, jumping in piles of leaves with my fathead brother).
  15. Downloading and listening to podcasts all day.
  16. My aerial silk/dance classes
  17. Hanging out with my friends and laughing so hard my sides hurt. ❤

 

When I first started traveling, I would make lists like this every week (I called them my ‘iMiss lists’). At first they were filled with random petty things like: Hot showers, texting, claritin, English speakers, brussels sprouts, gelato, electric, etc.

 

My list is getting more specific. It’s funny how your perception/priorities change.

 

What do you miss when you travel?

I love you, man!

Posted: October 26, 2014 in ADVENTURE STORIES!, Hope, TRAVEL
Tags:

I’m recently met a German girl named Chris who overheard me praising our cook:

“I loooooove collard-greens, Peter! Thank you!”

She called me out:

“You’re one of those typical Americans who loves everything, aren’t you?”

I was taken aback.

“Hell no!” I exclaimed and recounted my life in relation to that dreaded 4-letter word.

While I loved inanimate/non human objects and verbs (working out, my car, steak-cooked blue, my cat) I very rarely tell another human being that I loved them.

I told her the story of my current boss/business partner, Misti, who spent MONTHS showing her appreciation of me and  breathing life into my mentally crippled post-travel brain. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours of phone calls and emails of asking me questions, sharing web links and YouTube videos, asking for my opinions on things. It took even longer for me to realize that she genuinely cared about me. I wasn’t just a grunt doing work for her.

Confession: It took me even MORE time to admit to myself that she actually cared about my happiness and success.

(I’m slow sometimes.)

I’ve had good bosses in the past- but no one who has taken this type of time to dig past all the bitter-jadedness and hate that walking-into-a-Walmart-after-traveling will do to you.

She opened me up. She has taught me more (by sharing her own thoughts, books, ted talks, introductions, etc) about myself and how to perceive the world in a shiny and positive new way. She engaged me, empowered me to do what *I LOVE* doing- and we found out how to work (well) together.

Now- she had been telling me that she loved me since we started working together, but I never took the leap. She would constantly call me out on it and say something like “you’re not afraid of jumping off a bridge with a rubber band attached to you, but you’re afraid of talking about your feelings?”

Yes.

“You’re not afraid of traveling to weird foreign countries by yourself, getting (poorly) kidnapped, admitting failed business ideas…. But you can’t talk about your emotions?”

Correct.

Then I realized how silly that was.

So- After 8 months of working together, I told her the 3 silly words that terrified me more than Ebola-ridden snakes painted to look like clowns:

“I love you”.

Instantly my chest froze. How vulnerable! How naked! How raw! I loved a person for taking an interest in me. But she was my business partner! She had all the power! She could cripple me at any minute!

I spent the rest of the day doing the normal thing: hiding under my covers with my cat (who has never said she loves me!) and watched The Departed. (The most anti-love story I could think of…)

I flashed back to the present where Chris was listening in disbelief. “You love your boss?!?”

I was ready for her to say something like “crazy Yankee”- but she didn’t.

Instead she said, “I love it.”

“Huh?”

“My family loves me, sure, but we never say it. I know it- by their actions, but we never say it. This is common in Germany. But when I lived in America as an au pair, I stayed with a family who took me in and instantly loved me. They told me everyday that they loved me. It was an exceptional feeling! It was freeing! And made me instantly close to them. I love them, too- and I tell them that. They are my second family.

“That whole experience made me understand how to express my feelings and it’s impact on others.”

Spoiler: Misti didn’t abuse the “new power” I gave her that I was so worried about. Nothing bad happened- only good. More trust, more responsibility, more understanding, more smiles, more feedback that makes me a gooder person, and (my favorite part): more laughter!

So what am I so afraid of?

I should take the leap more often.

Epiphany

Posted: October 19, 2014 in Hope, TRAVEL
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When I first started traveling, I set out seeking for something. Hoping that some country, some person, some place would give me this epiphany and the whole world would make sense.

Of course, CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order) LN planned everything down to the day and wanted to control everything. Because when you have that much control and something goes wrong- you can “wing it” a lot easier, right?

(Kinda.)

I quickly learned that this is not the way to get stories, experiences or the coveted epiphany.

So I deviated a lot. I started “winging it” as much as my comfort zone would allow. I searched for a long time and in all sorts of places- constantly being reminded that “stuff like that happens when you least expect it!”. I tried to stay busy. I occupied myself with stints of wwoofing work, “voluntourism” (aka: slavery), long hikes, dancing, CrossFit, drinking and adventure days.

I even went to an ashram in India to learn how to meditate- thinking that this would give me some clarity. It gave me a clear definition of how much I loathe mosquitos, baboons and how sitting cross-legged makes my legs hurt something fierce, but, sadly, not much else.

(OK…ok…I lie. I learned a lot about asana, my body, my emotions, listening to myself, and all sorts of ways to meditate- but no epiphany came.)

When I was in the Philippines, I discovered that I loved disaster relief work. I learned more about my skills, abilities, putting everything that I had learned (exercise/CrossFit skills, communication, politics, persuasion, the power of laughter, the importance of good morale, patience, patience and more patience) to good use. But, again, I was keeping my physical self busy- while I was clear on “my stand” (a phrase from the book “The Way Of the Seal” by Mark Divine) I didn’t have this “epiphany” that I was searching for.

Now- I don’t mean to sound fluffy, spiritual or “out there” like the dirty hippy/backpacker I am… But this “epiphany”, the thing I was looking for, was more than just a “hey! I like doing this AND I’m pretty good at it” type of moment. I wanted this crystal ball moment I read about where everything becomes super clear.

It didn’t matter how many books on vision and visualization I read. It didn’t matter how much I wanted it and sought after it. It didn’t matter how many questions I asked people (I’ve been dubbed “question-girl” more times in my life than I care to count). It didn’t matter how much I meditated, either. It seemed that I wasn’t getting much closer to this “epiphany”; this thing I couldn’t explain or even guess at what it was. It was the stereotypical crap of “I’ll know it when it happens”. The answer I always hated from producers and bosses who critiqued my work.

On August 31st, we went to Splitzkoppe, Namibia. Famous for it’s ancient volcanic rock formations that, in reality, are just really fun to climb. Which we did. A team-building exercise with my group of climbing up/over these Uluru-sized boulders. We got all the way to the top of a massive peak to gape at a gorgeous sunset (note: all African sunsets are spectacular!). We ate dinner around the campfire, had stimulating conversations and laughed a lot- then we set up our sleeping bags in a semi-enclosed cave/canyon and I slept peacefully under the stars. The first night I was warm and at peace.

I woke up at 4:30- an hour before everyone else would be stirring. I couldn’t really get back to bed, so I flopped on my back and stared at the black-indigo sky get darker right before the sun started making an appearance. I sat up, sat cross-legged with my hands on my knees, palms up, thumbs touching my first fingers, and began to focus on my breathing.

All of a sudden, images came flashing into my head. A calm like I’ve never experienced flooded over my whole body. I relaxed and kept on breathing.

Now, when I was at the ashram, my “good meditation” days would go something like Scrooge’s Christmas dreams where he was with the Ghost of Christmas present. I would sit with an old friend and we would talk about stuff over a pot of fresh brewed sun-tea. They would show me something and tell me how LN, “the real LN” would think/feel/react about this. I would get comfort in these experiences, but they were usually about superficial things. Boys, my cat, flight itineraries, dinner, that sort of thing. Things I had very little control over.

This time, in the desert, was different. There was no one guiding me. It was like I was floating in the marauders’ pool from Harry potter- except it was the future.

It didn’t give me any clues as to where I was. Just WHO I was. This sounds silly. Of course I know who I am- I’m LN the Great! Curly-haired traveler from Troy/Baltimore/Seattle/Houston/wherever who plays the bassoon, enjoys to eat durian, burnt toast and bubble tea and likes puns and feeling productive. What I lacked was the whole “your reaction to ____ defines you” thing.

But this particular morning I got some clarity- and then some. It grounded me in a place where I didn’t realize I was floating/flailing. It gave me clarity on my spirituality, emotional connection to the earth and the universe and- most importantly, I saw events happen. Events that would touch me and (the best part!) how I was going to react to them. Like Neo in the Matrix- I could see the punches of life happen and I knew I was just going to dodge or block them- (emotionally/mentally speaking, of course.)

I couldn’t tell you what these obstacles are. But I felt a shift- a vision of “this is Old LN dealing with this. And this is LN2.0. See how it’s gooder?”

(Yes. The crystal ball people say “gooder”. You should, too!)

I did see vividly the friends I would lose. The ones I would gain. The personalities/energies I would interact with. The energies/cultures I would struggle to find common ground with- and the ones I would instantly meld into.

I feel like I figured out a new definition of acceptance, peace, understanding…. Love, even?

(Blah blah blah.)

I know, I know. It sounds fruity to me, too. And I don’t even live in California, believe in God, or practice veganism! I wasn’t even on any sort of drug! What kind of sorcery is this?!

I don’t know how long I was in this “trance” for. I know it was more than 30 minutes because the sun rose at 5:45, and that’s when the birds decided that my hair looked enough like medusa/worms that they wanted to try to eat me-literally- and I “woke up”.

I can’t say that my life has changed drastically from this. I’m still a freelancer-traveler/backpacker. I still don’t know a lot of things. I’m still scared of snakes, clowns and Ebola.

Except, now, I just feel that it doesn’t matter what you throw at me- I won’t freak out.

It’s gonna be ok.

Hakuna Matata!

If anything, my CDO (OCD in alphabetical order) is more curbed and I have a story that is really difficult to explain.