Posts Written By Sheryll

I’m traveling with my boyfriend?! *GASP*

Whenever I tell people about my plans to go to Thailand, usually the first question is, “What does Johnny (my boyfriend) think?!”. I tell them he’s coming with me, and they usually act surprised and say something like “Well, good for you…”.

I’m always left confused by this reaction, but then I think that maybe I have been leaving people with mixed signals. I raved about Eat, Pray, Love where a woman travels alone. Stephanie, Jenny and The Lost Girls have been women I’ve looked up to from the start, and they all are traveling alone. I think most people expected that I was going to go by myself considering all the people I look up to have gone by themselves. Johnny and I decided to go on this trip together, from the very beginning. I know some people can’t stand to be around their significant others for an extended period of time, but Johnny and I have been dating going on 5 (!!!!!) years now, and we’ve lived with each other 2 of those years. We get along really well and some of my most important and awesome travel memories involve him. We’ve been road dogs from Miami to London, Napa Valley to San Diego. It only seemed natural to keep our travel traditions going.

One of the purposes of taking this trip with Johnny is to not only learn and explore for ourselves, but to grow as a couple. While LA is a huge ass city with a lot to do, if you are on a tight budget, you might be out of luck. Our rent and food bills alone pretty much eat away at our budget. Even just talking about the trip and making our budgets has brought us closer together. Taking this trip together is going to give us the opportunity to be able to break out of this LA bubble and LIVE.

Johnny and I have always gotten along, but I would be lying if I didn’t say there are some tips I try to abide by when we are traveling together:

1. Always try to stay awake during long road trips (I admit I’m a huge failure at this, but I’m giving it a try this next trip) The conversation is usually exciting and you can learn so much about your significant other!
2. If you get tired of each other, take a break. Walk away. Go to a different room. Take a run, walk, bike ride. All by yourself. You’ll feel better, trust me.
3. Learn to compromise. He wants to surf. You want to take a guided tour. Maybe one half of the day can be spent surfing, the second half doing a tour. Just don’t make the trip all about what YOU want to do, or vice versa.
4. Keep in mind that just because you are traveling together, that you don’t have to do everything together. Take time to explore your surroundings by yourself!

Do you have any rules you live by when you travel with your significant other? Let me know in the comments!

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Travel Photography to Inspire Some Wanderlust

One of the first things I look at when I need a quick jolt of inspiration is to look at travel photography. My theme of this week is beaches. I’m guessing it’s this cold weather (as cold as it can get in LA), that has me longing for a cocktail, clear waters and white sand. ENJOY!

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Thank Goodess for My Quarterlife Crisis

Otherwise I would’ve never made the decision to go to Thailand for 2/3 months starting in August.

Why Thailand? Well, there’s a few things I’ve taken into consideration:
1. It’s cheap.
2. Beaches
3. The food?! Helloooo!
4. Johnny’s going to be able to take Muay Thai boxing classes (!!!!)
5. I haven’t been to Asia
6. Because I want to

I’ve felt this huge void in my life for the past year now. This huge empty space that is longing to create, to experience, to explore and feel alive. Somehow, in this past year of getting a great job in my “dream career”, I’ve managed to become a zombie. Get out of bed. Shower. Makeup. Breakfast. Drive. Sit. 8 hours later. Home. Dinner. Sleep. What the hell kind of life is that? Definitely not the life I imagined myself having. According to most people, I’ve reached the point in my life I should be making important career choices, settling down with Johnny and picking out houses, and planning on children.

Nope.

Instead I’m going to Thailand. (and maybe Bali! eeeeeee!)

The other day I finally saw Eat, Pray, Love. I balled my eyes out. Cried and cried until I felt like I couldn’t anymore. I know I’m probably one of the few people who loved the movie, but to me, I needed to see someone break free and live. I’ve read about it in numerous books and blogs7, but something about seeing the visuals in a movie really spoke to me. It was right then and there I decided I was going to go to Thailand. Something about this decision just feels so right, so perfect for me. There’s no other time than now, right? I don’t have children, I don’t have a mortgage or a car. I just need a few months to learn, explore, grow, LIVE. And it’s not like I will be gone forever.

My quarterlife crisis has taught me many things. First, happiness just IS. You don’t need anything or anyone to make you happy. That magazine that tells you that you need that new eye cream to feel better about yourself? Bullshit. That commercial that says if you drive this certain type of car to be happy? Shenanigans. You are perfect just the way you are, with or without the new Gucci bag or the Lexus. It’s also taught me to treat my body with respect. There is no need to be skinny, but I know what I do put in my body is just as important as my mental health. It’s taught me to not keep secrets, to let friends know how I feel, to not feel guilty or ashamed. But most importantly, my quarterlife crisis has taught me to feel alive again.

Now let’s start trip planning!

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What am I doing?

My wanderlust has reached an all-time high. I did something somewhat irrational, but completely made sense to me at the time.

Searching through eslcafe.com, I found a posting for a teaching job in Thailand through Footprints Recruiting. NO CERTIFICATION NEEDED, COLLEGE DEGREE ONLY, the post read. I stared at the link for some time before I decided to just do it. I really didn’t except anything to come out of it, but a few days later I got a call from their office to schedule a phone interview. I was excited, panicked, nervous. I wasn’t expecting to get a call AT ALL. It was something I had done spur of the moment, with barely any consideration of what could actually happen.

A few days later,  I had the interview. It went pretty smoothly. Questions like, “What’s a difficult situation you had to encounter while oversees?”, “What is an example of a teaching situation you have been in?”, etc. Pretty easy and straight forward stuff. Finally, it was my turn to ask questions. “When would I need to leave?”

The response was something I was not expecting to hear: “As soon as possible.” My heart starting pounding in my chest. Why was I reacting this way? Wasn’t this what I wanted to do? To get away and start my brand and business and travel the world?

The rest of the interview went smoothly. But I just could not get the weird feeling out of my head that I had somehow made a bad decision. What would I do if I miraculously did get the job? I still had a lease, my dog, my family and Johnny. I don’t have much money saved…*sigh*.

Good thing for my mental health, I did not get the job. But I still cannot shake this feeling that I need to get out and go away. Just maybe not at this very second of my life. But soon, my dears, very soon.

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Medication Free is the Way to Be.

My therapist recommended that I see a psychiatrist to possibly start medication for my severe depression/anxiety. I’ve always been anti-medication, but I thought I’d go ahead and see him and see what he had to say.

The doctor was super nice and made me feel really comfortable. While I was there something took over me and I starting sobbing uncontrollably. It was all a bit overwhelming at first. I felt like I had a sort of out of body experience, I could feel my subconscious thinking, “Has it really gotten this bad? Are you really here?”

Depression is a weird thing. I’m sure most people who know and talk to me on a daily basis would never even guess. But when I go home, the clouds get darker and the tears start flowing. It’s just this overwhelming feeling of sadness and low self worth. I’ve had numerous breakdowns and the anxiety attacks are becoming more and more frequent.

After many many questions, the doctor recommended Wellbutrin. Low side effects and no weight gain (plus?). He explained it wouldn’t fix the problems causing the depression and anxiety of course, but it would make me feel well enough to actually be a ‘normal’ human being. He also told me that if I wasn’t comfortable taking the medication, then I wouldn’t have to. I took the prescription and put it in my purse.

And I’ve been staring at it ever since. It’s been over a week. I’ve read the reviews, the side effects and all the articles about the medication over and over again. I’ve decided to not take it.

Why? Well, first things first, I know nothing is wrong with anti-depressants, lots of people take them. But something just doesn’t sit right with me about it. I just honestly don’t feel comfortable taking them. I feel like this is something I can do holistically and naturally. So how in the world am I suppose to beat this demon? How am I supposed to get motivated enough to work out and to work on the blog and find time for friends?

Well first things first, I know I need to take the time and actually reflect on my life. All day, I am constantly being bombarded with calls, emails, blogs, etc. etc. etc. It’s so hard to focus. When I get home, I do the same things I did at work. It’s increasingly overwhelming and I know if I took some time to myself everyday to just breathe and focus on what really matters, I’d be better off and much happier.

Something that really helped me was Eckhart Tolle and Dr. Srikumar Rao. If you haven’t seen Dr. Rao’s TED talk about happiness, please watch it here. This video really touched me when I first watched it; I even teared up a little bit. It’s extremely powerful and one of the main reasons I decided to not take medication. He touches on how to be truly happy and how we need to get rid of using the ‘If-Then Model’, ex: If I had a better job, I’d be happy, If I had that nice car, I’d be happy, If I had a body like Kim Kardashian, I’d be happy, etc. In reality, we don’t need any of these things. We have everything we need to be happy within ourselves.

I already feel happier.

“The only danger in life is hopelessness, never give up” – Unknown

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