Tag Archives: Europe

Peace of mind… heaven knows you give me mine…

I had promised to write about this a while ago… but if you read my previous post you would know that I’ve suffered a bit of writer’s block lately.

So, right after I made my 35 before 35 list, I was able to cross something off:

2. Get a new tattoo

I had wanted to get something while I was traveling. Nothing special, but it would be a good story nonetheless. So, when I made it to London at the end of my 3 week European adventure, I sought out a tattoo parlor at which I would be branded with something random to serve as a memento of the trip. I was thinking of a Doctor Who tattoo that I had wanted (“Allons-y” for all you Whovians out there). But then the time came to get it done… and suddenly I felt the need to make it more meaningful.

Earlier that day I was aimlessly wandering around London… I found myself crossing the Waterloo Bridge and looking to my right I saw Big Ben… and I was smacked in the face with emotion. I started crying. Happy, overwhelmed tears.

I was at the tail end of my trip… a trip I had been determined to make. A trip for which I worked my ass off… and did all by myself. It’s still hard for me to fully articulate. It was a moment where I felt the very definition of strong and independent. I felt so tiny in the world and yet incredibly powerful. I learned about myself. I changed. I grew. And all at once, it hit me.

Back at my hostel, I brainstormed with a couple of people for tattoo designs. I casually mentioned this story and it seemed obvious what the tattoo design would be: a bridge. Bridges are symbolic of strength and transition… a joining of two sides. I think this was pretty representative of this trip.

So, I made a very last minute appointment with a tattoo artist recommended by one of the hostel workers. I told him I wanted a bridge on my wrist and a couple of hours later I was sitting in the parlor while Jake, my artist, sketched something up. I wanted something small and simple. And this was the sketch:

The outline...

Placement of the outline… am I really doing this?!

When he showed me the sketch I thought it was too big… was I ready for something like this? And then he mentioned color. Now, I already have a couple of small tattoos. They are fairly hidden and are black and grey. Color was not something I wanted. But I let Jake convince me. Why the hell not? Go big and all that, right?

And just like the other tattoos I have, there was a moment of absolute doubt and hesitation in the seconds before the first needle touched my skin. This is forever after all. But then he started… and there was no going back.

I just kept remembering why I was getting this… what it meant and how it will always serve as a reminder of my time spent abroad. The friends I made… the lessons I learned… the strength I gained. And when it was all over…

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The finished product…

Aside from the constant questioning regarding its geographic significance (it’s just a bridge… it’s not the Golden Gate or the Bay Bridge… or the Brooklyn Bridge), I LOVE IT. I love looking down at it and knowing what it means to me.

Even now when I doubt myself, I can look down at my wrist and I know what I’m capable of: anything

Blog song title: “Gone” by Vacationer (this was the song playing while I was on the bridge… the lyrics don’t necessarily match the mood… but when I hear the song, I still remember that feeling I had on the bridge that day)


Freedom comes when you learn to let go…

That’s right… something I’ve wanted forever is finally happening: I’m going to Europe. I’m leaving in just a couple of days for Berlin… I’ll be gone 25 days and the full itinerary has yet to be determined.

I’m not sure I even have the words to express how happy I am. Not only have I wanted this for EVER, but the timing is pretty perfect. This year has been interesting… to say the least.  Lots of dating battle wounds that need time and space to heal… and lots of life and career questions that need time and space for reflection.

I can’t promise that I will write about all my adventures (already got a little lecture from my mom about oversharing)… but I will do my best to reflect and share what I’m going through.

I feel that there are some fantastic changes abound… and I can’t wait.

Lets-Go2

Blog song title: “Power of Goodbye” by Madonna (yeah, I know what you’re thinking… but that’s a good damn line)


I get by with a little help from my friends…

OK people, the time has come. I am leaving on a jet plane… I’m finally going to travel! The plan is to go to Europe for the month of July… without a detailed itinerary. Aaaaand… I’m going to write an e-book about my experiences! Thanks to a little encouragement from my brother in law… and the support from friends and family… this little adventure just got a bit bigger…

BUT… I need your help. I mentioned previously that I would be putting the call out to you, Dear Reader, for assistance in many ways… here’s how you can help:

Advice
I’ve never travelled outside of the US. Ever. I am welcoming any advice from tips and tricks to what to pack.

Suggestions
I am also welcoming suggestions on places to go… cities I HAVE to see. I won’t guarantee that I can get to them, but it’s nice to have some thoughts. I’m not really going to plan everything out day to day. And I don’t care too much about tourist sites. I just want to soak up local color wherever I go.  Also, if you know of any great shows or bands that will be around in July… or festivals… or bars/pubs/restaurants/local beers/etc… I want to hear about it!

Contacts
Are you in Europe? Do you know someone there now? I plan on using couchsurfing.com when I can… but it would also be nice to meet up and connect and consume some beverages.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally make this happen. I mean, if you’ve been reading my blog or if you know me in person, you KNOW how huge this is for me. I’m so unbelievably grateful for any and all support… keep reading… keep sharing… keep commenting… you are all a part of my journey!

Blog song title: “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles


I know for sure that life is beautiful around the world…

When I was little, I used to love laying in the grass and staring up at the big blue sky and watching clouds float by. I would lay there and imagine what the world looked like from above… even as a kid, I knew how small I was in the world. Thankfully, I have never lost that feeling… and perhaps this is one of the feelings that has ignited my desire to travel…

Alas, I have not had the opportunity to get out and see just how big our world is. I could blame finances or job situations or relationships… but really, those are just excuses. I don’t think I was scared to go… fear hasn’t really been a factor in anything in my life (more like procrastination or laziness)… but something kept me from biting the bullet and venturing out of these United States.

If you’ve ever had a 5 minute conversation with me (or read anything I’ve written), you know how badly I want to get out and see the world. For me, it’s not about seeing the Eiffel Tower or the fountains of Rome or Big Ben or any of that shit. It’s about experiences. I want to do exactly what I’ve done here in New York… venture out, get a taste of the life, meet people, learn new things, gain new insights.

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I thrive when I’m out of my comfort zone or when I’m in a new place. Perhaps it’s because in that moment I know I have nothing to lose… so I take more chances. This is why I like getting out and about here in New York… I will strike up a conversation with just about anyone… sometimes I make friends, sometimes I hear crazy ass stories… and I love it all. This is what I want to do… all over the world.

I am very close to rolling out some major plans… and I will need YOUR help. Basically, I am planning a 3-4 week trip where I intend to go, meet, do, see, be… and write it all down. It will be an experiment of sorts… and details (if there are any) have yet to be determined. Advice, help, couches, money, supplies, support, love… I need it all. Stay tuned for more info on how you might be able to help make this travel dream a reality…

Blog song title: “Around the World” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Photo credit: me… I took a picture of a poster and I don’t have the credit for the poster… sorry!


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