Everyday is an Adventure

One of the things I appreciate about traveling is the immediacy in which decisions and consequences play out. Also, the fact that these happen among strangers who don’t have any responsibility towards each other. There are rare moments that you meet someone who is on the same page as you and you feel like you’ve lived a lifetime together. Sometimes, you find a soul mate and it doesn’t matter if you never see them again, the experiences that you share together are unforgettable. I’ve found myself in wonderful and unexpected company. I met Priya, a fun girl I sat next to on the plane ride to San Diego Friday night & we got to talking about life, travel and dreams and decided to take off  to Tijuana in the morning!!

While waiting for morning to come, Yung, Lori (who flew in from San Jose to hang for the weekend) & I wandered all around the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego dancing our little hearts out. We went to the rooftop pool to soak up some rays as the sun rose. We stopped in Chocolat – Crepe & Gelato on the way to the bus pick up to Tijuana and had the best breakfast croissant that melted in our mouths.

After an hour bus ride, Priya & I were south of the border. We spent the next several hours bargaining with locals in the marketplace for unique artwork , Tasting 9 different  Tequila flavors, striking a pose in fun hats, trying to figure out why someone ever thought it was ok to paint a donkey with stripes and call him a zonkey just for tourists to take a picture and ate several authenic dishes.Mexico was the perfect place to spend the day, but we had to head back to meet up with the rest of the gang. We made our way over to Coronando Island on the ferry.  Such a relaxing ride over, watching all of the sail boats, kayakers and seals basking in the sun on the buoys.  We made it to the beach right before the sun set, so beautiful, and would normally be the perfect way to end the day, but for those of you that know me, you know I have a sweet tooth 🙂

We found our way over to Bottega Italiana for some Gelato…and that my friends was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Eventually things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments & know everything happens for a reason

It’s official! I’ve unveiled my grand adventure to my boss (best boss in the world by the way) and as hoped for, he is supportive of my travels. Still uncertain of how it will all play out with the company…I’ve requested a leave of absence that fell under the “personal leave” clause in the employee handbook. Still awaiting approval, but if approved I will travel for 3 months and then return back to the daily grind. If not approved, I am jumping blind-folded, head first, waving good-bye to the corporate world and setting off to explore the globe for a 6-12 month adventure.

I’ve started sending out requests on CouchSurfing and WWOOF  (two phenomenal online networks that help travelers connect with local hosts) CouchSurfing members are willing to give travelers a place to sleep for a night or two. WWOOF connects travelers with organic farmers who want to trade room and board for an extra hand. I’ve recieved responses for hosts in Australia and Guatemala so far, fingers crossed to connect with more happy, like-minded, welcoming hosts along the way, but if not I’ll have my trusty tent.

I sent in an application today to The Timmissartok Foundation in hopes of receiving a small grant. I’ve written The Ellen DeGeneres show mainly because I love her and want to share my story, but any support would be GREATLY appreciated!  I’ll continue to search for other forms of support/funding until the big start date. Either way, my plan is to travel on a $free – $10 budget a day.  The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free! Here are a few tips in case you are thinking of budget traveling on your own:

* Many people are willing to open their homes to travelers. Just chip in with a few chores, and they’ll usually give you a free meal, it’s a win-win!

*If you have a skill, such as cooking, art/crafts, massage, musical ability or basic carpentry, etc. you can barter for free food and accommodation as you travel.

* Traveling the world for free requires a blend of advance planning and the willingness to seize opportunities and go with the flow.

* Take your time. Time is not money…. Time is free! You have all the time in the world. Instead of buying a plane ticket, catch a ride out West, work on  boat/ship, or just hop on your bike and ride as far as your happy little legs will take you. The slower you travel, the less money you will spend.

Best boss in the World – You’ve taught me so much.  Thank you for all of your support. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and am so thankful to call you my friend.

We do not remember the days. We remember the moments – Recap of 2011

Unforgettable moments from 2011:
* Blink Blink * – Don’t cry because it’s over, simle because it happened
* What’s Poppin’ !?! – Defeat of the girl from the worng side of the tracks *
Favorite Sayings used by the gals & I:
* Don’t judge me *
* Be Present *
* Trifecta & Passionistas *
Favorite moments from 2011:
* Tracy E. Wilson & I – backup singers for Marty Brown @ Jackelope Jack’s for her B–day
* Fat Tuesday celebration at Boudreux’s – sobriety on Bikes
* Art gatherings at Amelie’s… A French Bakery to Create art for arts sake for the Papergirl- Charlotte watch video here (http://vimeo.com/28017678)
* The beginning of Traveling Gypsy Art – Gallery Crawls & All Arts Market outings
* Mud volleyball at the Murphy’s Dirty 30 Mud Volleyball Tournament 2011 for Habitat for Humanity http://www.habitatmudvolleyball.org/2011/about/
* The BIG 25! Quarter of a Century month long B-Day celebration
* Truly embracing my inner yogi at Noda Yoga
* Summer Concerts – 311, Sublime, Born Under Punches
* Participating in  A collaborative mosaic of 100 contributing local Charlotte artists to benefit the American Cancer Society www.projectartaid.org
* Straight Ballin’ & Balls in yo face – The two Kickball teams I was on
* Brad Pressley teaching me how to properly rave
* Girls Night Out at the NC Music Factory & Comedy Zone to see Anjelah Johnson‘s Bon Qui Qui
* Layover in Atlanta with Sainabou Njie on my way to the Scrapbooking convention in Syracuse, NY
* Halloween adventures at Gravedigger’s Ball – Riding a Centaur
* Freestyle hiking in Linville Gorge, NC – Getting attacked by a flaming marshmallow 🙁
* Paint parties & 1/2 priced pizza at Dolce Vita
* Slightly entoxicated snoring during Adam Whiting‘s restorative class
* “Man Napkins” – if you write it they will come
* Light up owl – Jenny Herman & Allison Ford
* Celebrating the beginning of 2012 in the Big Apple with my Girls – 18 hours in Time Square to watch the ball drop.

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