ineffable wanderlust: | an inexpressible, irresistible desire to travel

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Foot prints are washed away by the tide in the same way our lives will eventually be washed away by the sands of time, but who’s to say just because the footprints will be washed away that it wasn’t worth the trip to the beach.

I’m going to title this blog post “My Before” because the adventure of life I’m on now is vastly different from the chore of living I did up until a year ago. My life before I made the decision to make it an adventure was miserable. I want to tell the story of my life before, so I can use the rest of this blog to tell the story of my happily ever after.

I was depressed for as long as I can remember. I know that may seem odd and when I tell people this they often ask, “Well, what about when you were a young kid?”, and I have to reply with, “Yes, even then”. I was always polite and quiet. I smiled and laughed when I was supposed to, but I never really felt happy. After years of this I started to feel like all of my smiles were fake.

I was thirteen years old when I first attempted suicide, and I was fourteen when I started cutting. My junior year of high school was very stressful. I was taking calculus, college biology, and college english, and I was in jazz choir, madrigal choir, science bowl, and secretary of the honors club. In other words I didn’t seem like the type to cut or attempt suicide, but I did have a lot to stress about. It was a lot to handle, and because of my perfectionist mentality I beat myself up when I, understandably, couldn’t keep up with all of it.

I was cracking under all the pressure I had put myself under, and I attempted suicide again when I was fifteen. After that it was all a blur. I was taken out of public school and entered a home school where I only met up with a teacher once a week. I didn’t hang out with friends or go out to talk to people. I only ever left the house to go to therapy or school, and I felt like I was my family’s dark secret. To this day there are old friends of mine and even members of my own family who have no idea what happened to me. I simply disappeared. I felt like it was all a punishment rather than people trying to help me.  I was over medicated and barely able to think, but I was still vaguely aware that I was depressed. It went on like that for three years.

When I was eighteen, I started to wake up out of the fog. At that point I hadn’t attempted suicide or cut in years, but I was still depressed. The side effects of my medication were seriously affecting my health. I gained over fifty pounds on the medication which was bad enough, but the very last straw was when one of the medications reacted so poorly with my body that I started to lose my eyesight. After that my family and I decided that it would be best if I went off of my medication. We knew the risks of detoxing off of them all at once, but the way we saw it the risk of me losing my sight was far greater. Detoxing off of them was one of the most difficult things I have done to date, but I got through it. For a few days I was sick, miserable, and couldn’t get out of bed, but after that I started to feel better.

I had worked with therapists who had been teaching me how to cope with my depression for over three years, and I finally started to utilize those coping skills. Those skills helped me recover fairly quickly after going off of medication. I started going outdoors again and talking to people. To someone who has never isolated themselves because of depression that may not sound like a big deal, but to me it meant everything. For 3 years I had hid myself from the rest of the world in shame and fear, but I was finally comfortable enough to do simple tasks like go to the grocery store.

A few months later I moved out of my mother’s house and into a house with some roommates. Moving out had its own challenges which were difficult to cope with. Yet, I didn’t have the urge to give up like I used to. I started making friends with some of my roommates, and they urged me to join a dating website they were already a part of. A few weeks later I met the love of my life, Logan, who has taken me on the most thrilling adventures I could ever imagine.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I decided to embrace life: maybe it was when I decided to quit cutting, maybe it was after I detoxed from the medication, maybe it was after I moved out, maybe it was after I met Logan. However, when I made the decision doesn’t matter; what does matter is, no matter how long it took me, I did make the decision that even if life is difficult if I look at it like a journey, an adventure it can be enjoyable. Without that mentality I could have been dead by now or worse wishing I was dead.

I don’t mean to say that the answers to all of my problems were to simply get over them or that my decision to actually live life cured my depression. I don’t even mean to say that deciding to live means I don’t have some days where I want to die. What I am saying is that it sure as hell made those days easier to get through, and it made me realize that those days are worth living through.

– Wandergirl

San Diego Dreams |

I don’t have to tell any of you guys that sometimes, things just don’t like to work out the way you want them to. It could be anything, from how your morning starts, to how you want to wrangle your to-do list, to how a party turns out, etc. Sometimes I get frustrated when things don’t go how I want them to, since it ends up affecting everything that may come after it. But like the Garth Brooks song says, some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

This little maxim came to hit me in the face again when I went to San Diego. Before this trip, I couldn’t tell you the last time I had been to San Diego. There are pictures of me, my mother and my aunt at the San Diego Zoo, but I was barely old enough to walk then. On some of my trips out to Los Angeles I would see the turn-offs that would take me to San Diego, and I often considered just taking one of those turn-offs to see where it would take me.

I decided to actually go to San Diego at the end of last year, when I started making a list of haunted monuments that I wanted to see. The story I read about the Whaley House immediately caught my interest (that experience will be in another post) and I figured since it was close to home, it would make for a prime weekend trip. Not only that, I needed a little beach time. I had this grand vision of spending the day at the beach with my dogs, me getting a tan on my beach blanket and my dogs enjoying the shoreline, digging in the sand and the sunset.

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The drive was nice. I was told by friends of friends before I left it had taken them nearly seven hours to get there when they had gone because of construction, but I made it just outside the five hours that I had estimated. My hotel (Motel 6, since the fur babies were with me) was located just a couple miles away from the Mexican border, and it was the nicest one I’ve ever been in. It would have been nice to have princess parking in front of my room, but the hardwood floors and the soft mattresses made up for the extra steps I had to make as I unloaded the car.

My first stop was the beach. I drove all the way to Ocean Beach, which was about thirty minutes away from the hotel with traffic. There were plenty of beaches that allowed dogs (Ocean Beach was the closest of the ones I looked into) and it was easy to find. What was more surprising, it was easy to park. I’m not sure if I was supposed to pay for the parking, but no one said anything so…I did not. But by the time I got out of the car and got the dogs out of the car, I realized I forgot one very important thing – my beach bag. I wasn’t about to drive all the way back to the hotel and all the way back, so I decided we were going to make due. We walked along the shore and watched the surfers making their way in and out of the water. After a little mishap right along the shore (in which I greatly misjudged how far the water would come in, thus soaking my wee fur babies up to their necks), we settled in a spot on the sand and watched the waves roll in. The serenity of the ocean waves and the crisp air brought to a sense of peace that I search for endlessly when I practice yoga, and so rarely can obtain. It may not have been the exact beach day that I envisioned when I left home, but it gave me just what I was looking for – a disconnect from the outside world and a sense of wonder that is rarely replicated. What more could I ask for?

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November 5, 2014 | Delightful Wanderlust

My fall break was spent exploring the many destinations of Krabi, Thailand.  There were some high points, as well as some low points to the vacation.  But, the lows were mostly because I was sick and my tendency to fall and hurt myself.  Overall, I saw some incredibly beautiful places during my break and had a pretty great time.  I will also have another post about Koh Lanta coming soon.

We flew into Krabi town and spent our first night there at a hostel called Packup.  It was a super nice place with really comfortable beds, a great atmosphere, and 2 bars (one on the roof!).  I would definitely recommend it, we even came back and spent our last night staying at Packup before flying out the next morning.

Railay

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For our first full day in Krabi we took a long tail boat to Railay.  It is an incredibly beautiful place, I am definitely going to be coming back here.

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Aside from being an overall beautiful place, Railay has a lot to offer.  There is an incredible beach as well as a good mixture of a rustic and modern atmosphere.  There are also a variety of accommodations available, from affordable bungalows to nice resorts.  It also seemed to have a great nightlife.

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Island Hopping 

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After spend the night in Railay, we went on an island hopping tour for around 6USD.  I was feeling pretty sick during the tour, so I didn’t enjoy it as much, but I would have had a lot of fun if I wasn’t sick.

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Ao Nang

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I only spent a night in Ao Nang, but that was enough for me.  I liked the fact that it was a little more modern, mostly so I could take a hot shower and shop, but there were a lot of downfalls because of it.  There were restaurants everywhere, and they all had people out on the streets trying to get people to eat at their restaurant.  It was just a very touristy place.  It was also weird because most of the people working there were not Thai, so they didn’t understand my attempts to talk to them in Thai, which was just weird.  The beach was very nice and everything was located within walking distance to it.

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I would consider going back to Ao Nang, but I wouldn’t go too far out of my way to get there.

July 26, 2014 | Delightful Wanderlust

In late June of 2013, I was given an amazing gift and opportunity.  Through a program called Birthright, I spent an amazing 10 days in Israel for free… Well mostly free, I had to pay for a plane ticket to JFK and had to purchase one meal a day and souvenirs.  The program is for Jews between the ages of 18-26 with at least one Jewish birth parent.  It was basically a group of 40 of us traveling all over israel in a tour bus, spending our nights in a hotel or a kibbutz.  The program I went with was a group of people from Colorado.  The trip had a few spots left open, which is how I got in, along with a few other Californians.  I met so many interesting people, and it really opened my eyes to everything.  The downside was that being from California, I can’t take part in the parties and reunions the group has every few months, because they are all in Colorado, which is sad because I really miss all of them.

This was my first time leaving the country (not including Mexico and Honduras) and I was going all alone.  The most incredible part was that I was emailed 2 days before departure that I would be going on the trip!  Even though I had applied months before, I hadn’t heard that I was confirmed for a trip.  In the early summer, I had gotten a few emails about last minute spots for a whole bunch of different trips.  I had never considered responding, but then I had a very life changing dream.  When I received another email about last minute spot available on a trip leaving 3 days later.  I decided to respond to the email saying I was available, even though I was sure that it wouldn’t actually happen.  Later that day, I checked my email at work, and was shocked to see that I got a reply saying that I just needed to get a flight to JFK!

The next two days were crazy getting things packed and ready, and before I knew it I was hugging my mom good bye in Reno, departing on my first flight all by my self to New York.  

Jerusalem

After spending the night alone at JFK, I finally met up with my group and we departed for Tel Aviv, Israel.  We arrived at 3:00 am local time, and we spend the next 10 days exploring the entire country.

During my time, I made many friends, had my first legal drink ( a mojito, of course), floated in the dead sea, and learned about the country and culture.

To be honest, I definitely did not soak in as much information as I would have liked.  This was a major regret I ended up having, along with being too conservative with my money.  I should have definitely bought some shirts with hebrew written on them or spent a little more money buying dead sea products.

We did so many other incredible things, including: rafting down the Jordan River, riding camels in the desert, wine tasting, bike riding, and visiting so many towns!

Camels in the Desert

One of my favorite days was when we went camel riding in the desert then spent the night in the Bedouin tents.  It was catered more toward tourists, but the camels did not seem to be mistreated and it was preferable to have access to running water and toilets.  The night at the Bedouin was so peaceful and amazing.  It was definitely one of the most amazing places I have stayed.

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Western Wall

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The western wall in Jerusalem was another amazing experience.  Aside from two different sides of the wall for women and men.  It made the feminist in me a little upset, but if I want to be a world traveler I will have to get used to this kind of segregation.  I am not a religious person, I am also very skeptical of spirituality.  At the same time, I am very open and curious of other people’s beliefs.  However, when my hand made contact with the wall, I felt something go through me.  Maybe it was just because the way the spiritual people treated this wall, or maybe there was actually something about that effected me.  Either way, it was something else entirely.

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Haifa Gardens

We were only able to spend a few hours in Haifa, but it was amazing and beautiful I really want to spend some more time there in the future!

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This was (unfortunately) my best picture of the dead sea.  I’m not gonna lie, my skin has never felt as amazing as it did the day after I went to the dead sea, but I did not expect floating in it to be so incredibly different from any other time I went swimming.  First of all, you can only go in for like 15 minutes at a time, otherwise you will get very dehydrated from the all the salt.  The extreme sodium content does allow you to float in it (in fact, it is almost impossible to do anything but float).  But it also makes it painful on your body, kinda like when you have a cut an swim in the ocean, but times 20.  It is 100% worth it though. There is also mud baths to do, which make you look very funny, but feel amazing.  My friend and I had a routine of floating to mud bathing to floating.  It was an amazing experience to float in the dead sea, and I definitely am going to go back someday.

Israel was my first real opportunity to travel across the world to somewhere I have never been.  Because of the people I met and things I experienced, my life took a few turns and I was lead to many opportunities I would never have had.  One of the most incredible was giving me the courage to audition for the Chico State theater department, just for fun.  That lead to me spending a year in a glee type class, where we would sing and dance and preform for schools and senior centers in the area.  It was an awesome thing for me, and something that I would never have done if I hadn’t gone to Israel.  The most important thing Israel did to me was give me the travel bug.  I want to go everywhere, explore everything I can and learn about different cultures and lifestyles.  I want to open my mind to new things, and most importantly, I don’t want to be limited to living and being any one location.

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Dubai Day 2 | Wanderlust Girl

So this is my second and last day in Dubai. Indeed, there is no real purpose of my trip here it is just a long connection between two flights. However, I did enjoy my (short) time here and today was the best day ever (maybe few of you will not understand my over-reaction!) but first of all just a little resume of my day:

My night was terrible because of the jetlag! I fell asleep at 3/4 am (so around midnight in Paris) and I had a tough for waking me up this morning! I packed my stuff and checked out! If you want to have a really good place to stay in Dubai I recommend you this hotel (I know that usually is a litlle bit expensive but as I did you can find bargain in some website! 😉 ). Its staff are really good and really helpful with whatever you need.

After leaving my suitcase at the conciergerie’s hotel, I went to the crazy Dubai Mall and tried to find Chiara Ferragni shoes. ( you remember Chiara? My favourite Italian fashion blogger that I’ve talked to you in an earlier post…). The mall was crazy and I felt like it’s biggest mall I’ve ever visited (I can’t tell you how many mall I’ve seen in my life..) anyway. One more time, you have to visit this place if you are going or planning to go to Dubai and you will not be disappointed (tax free can you imagine 😀 ). I spent two hours inside, took a lunch and decided to continue my little visit of the day.

I went outside because last time that I’ve come here I did not see the Burj Khalifa tower and its fountain. Do you know that since 2008 it is the highest building?

Anyway, Dubaï was such a good journey. I’ve met so many people in two days, people from Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Emirates, London, India, etc. Sometimes you have to go alone out of your comfort zone, trust me you will like it.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot to tell you the reason why this second was one of the best day ever: after finding Chiara Ferragni’s shoes, I posted a picture on my Instagram account and tagged herself on it. And how surprised I was, when I found out that she did like my photo! I know, I know, it’s sound maybe stupid for a lot of you but I really like her and I think she received a lot of tagg each day so it was an honour for me.

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