Browsing Category wanderlust

Being Selfish Doesn’t Always Mean You’re an Asshole

Selfish. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

That word has a strong and negative connotation, no? During my therapy session this week, I talked to my therapist about my upcoming trip and how I feel bad about leaving everything behind: My pregnant sister, my dog, my friends, my family. I’ve been getting hit with the worst guilty pangs lately, bringing in some pretty terrible, depressing feelings. She told me, “Sheryll. You need to learn how to be selfish, and you need to realize it’s OKAY to be selfish sometimes. This trip is for YOU, for you to explore, create and grow. You’re doing what’s best for you at this moment. Sometimes it’s best to not worry about what everyone else thinks.”  And she’s totally right. My therapist is fucking awesome.

Being selfish doesn’t always mean you’re an asshole. Sure, there are people who just do dumb shit and couldn’t give two fucks about it, but in reality, we ALL need to be a little bit selfish with ourselves. We spend time working for someone else, taking care of someone else, giving advice to someone else, not working out, not going to see the doctor for regular checkups, and not nearly enough time focusing on ourselves. Sometimes we have to stop and spend some time taking care of ourselves, despite what other people think.

I have a new part time job as a hostess at an adorable American Diner/Bistro type of restaurant. I work during the lunch rush, which means I seat tons of hungry business people scarfing down cheeseburgers while simultaneously planning meetings on both their Blackberries and iPhones. It seems so sad to me, seeing all of these people who can’t become detached from their work for a mere 30 minutes to enjoy their food. I can only imagine these are the same types of people who punch away at their phones during dinner with their families, at the gym, while driving. Where does the time for oneself come in?

We only have one beautiful, precious, incredible, glorious life. We only have one body. We are the only ones that can take care of ourselves. Taking a 45 minute bath doesn’t make you an asshole. Neither does eating a box of chocolates, reading a book by yourself in the park, or turning off your cellphone to get some quiet time for yourself.

Let’s be a little selfish today. Plan that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Get a manicure and pedicure. Don’t answer that call from your mom. Eat that damn pizza you’ve been craving. Make an appointment to see the dentist. Drink that last glass of wine. Go dancing in those fabulous high heels until 3am. Light candles. Wear your best perfume for no reason at all. Take the time to write in a journal. Lounge around in your apartment in your finest underwear. Go for a walk and actually smell the flowers. Turn off the TV. Buy that gorgeous necklace you’ve been eying in the store window. Love with all of your soul. Don’t apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.

As for me, I plan on being selfish in the most magnificent way possible. This trip is my selfish moment. I’m going to eat whatever the hell I want, buy whatever the hell I want (within reason, of course!), drink as much as I want, explore the world how the hell I want. I’ve spent my life pleasing my parents, getting the best grades, working since I turned 16, paying for college, moving across the country, working, working, working. It’s finally time to take some time out for me. It’s the most amazing gift I can give to myself, and I plan on completely relishing in it every single day. Unabashed. Unashamed. Wild and free. It’s the most delicious way to live life.

I encourage you to be a little bit selfish today. I promise you won’t be an asshole.

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How Theatre in London Changed my Life

I’ll admit it. I’m a huge theatre nerd. It is what I have a degree in, anyways. I was that child: making up my own plays, writing scripts, and doing shows for my friends and family. As a matter of fact, the study abroad program I went to in London was a theatre focused program. As a result, we frequently got to see incredible, mind blowing shows: all included in the cost of the program. Magical moments indeed, my friends.

Now I’ve seen theatre in Los Angeles, and I’ve seen theatre in New York, but never in my life have I seen such an astonishing, mind blowing, awe inducing collection of theatre than in London. I even got a chance to see Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear. He’s my hero for life.

Little known fact about me: Before I went to London, I was actually a candidate for a B.F.A in Acting degree. At Florida State, this meant me, along with about 10 other people in my major, were basically attending a conservatory. I lived, breathed, and slept acting. We took voice classes, acting classes, movement classes, scene study classes. When I went to London, I realized that I didn’t want to be an actress. Yeah, I know. . . how in the world is that even possible?

Seeing so much amazing theatre made me realize that I didn’t want to star in the shows, I wanted to be behind the scenes. I wanted to be the creative collaborator behind the genius shows I saw. So I switched my major over to a B.A. in Theatre and haven’t looked back.

Things have changed, and acting/the theatre/movie business isn’t quite what it used to be for me, but I’ll always appreciate incredible theatre when I see it. So when we booked that ticket to London, the second thing (1st being pubs and shopping) I thought about was booking which shows I wanted to see.

Sadly, the Sam Mendes directed Richard III starring Kevin Spacey is closing long before I get there (I would’ve paid top dollar to see that show), but I have my eyes on seeing a few others. My number one show I have to see is War Horse. I’ve already seen it, but it impacted my life in such a way that I’d see it 435639467 times and never care. If you’re going to London and want to see AMAZING theatre, please go see War Horse. Steven Spielberg has already made it into a movie, that’s how fucking epic it is. And bring tissue, you’ll cry your eyes out at least 4 times.

Have you traveled to London and had the opportunity to see amazing theatre? I’d love to know your show recommendations!

 photo via flickr user benoit_d

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Wanderlust Indeed! A Look at the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Since Johnny and I bought our one way tickets to London, we have been researching like mad. We’ve been figuring out what countries we want to visit on our European leg of our trip, what excursions we want to splurge on, how much weight I’m going to gain in Italy when I eat pasta every day… you know, normal things. And then I happened upon the most magical, amazing, glorious, glamorous thing I’ve ever laid my eyes upon.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Words can’t even describe the feeling I felt when I first found out that such a glitzy, glamorous, luxury train exists. There are no jeans, tennis shoes or t-shirts allowed ladies and gents. There is only elegant attire allowed. According to the train’s official website: “Dressing for the occasion is all part of the experience. Our guide is that you can never be overdressed aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.” I might faint.

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express began as a luxury carrier for nobility and celebrities during the early 1900s. In the 70s, the train started to downgrade its routes, and slowly, but surely fizzled out. James Sherwood, a railroad enthusiast, purchased two of the cars at an auction in Monte Carlo, and then decided to restore, and invest 16 million dollars into the remaining cars. In 1982, the first London to Venice train ride took off, and has been going strong ever since.

The train carriages are also rich in history (Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express was inspired by the train), and the ride is one of the most romantic in the world. Can you imagine getting proposed to on a train like this? I cry.

Of course, such luxuries come at a pretty penny. A one way ticket for one person from London to Venice is $3,210. But I’d probably sell half of my soul to be able to ride on a train like this one day. Or maybe a leg… then I wouldn’t be able to wear any cute shoes. Okay, maybe a kidney. You can live with only one of them, right? 😉

I’m dreaming of the beautiful, romantic memories I’d have on a train ride like this. Imagine sipping champagne as you pass by the Swiss Alps, dining on meals specially prepared by French chefs, sipping handcrafted cocktails while listening to a man in a tux play a baby grand piano… Swoon. I’m already planning what type of cocktail gowns I’d buy and what type of vintage luggage I’d bring aboard. A girl’s gotta dream big right?

{Photos via  Venice Simplon-Orient-Express}

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Keeping It In Perspective

I apologize about the lack of posts the past week, I’ve just been in a weird mood. With all the craziness that’s been happening this month, I feel like I’m lost. I don’t feel grounded. And it’s been freaking me out.

I’ve quit my job. I’ve moved into a new apartment with new roommates. I’ve gone to Vegas. I’ve stopped eating meat (again). But for some reason I’ve felt like I’m floating. I feel like I haven’t really settled into everything that’s happened. I’m in a transitional phase in my life and things are just…awkward. It’s like I’m going through Phase 3 of my Quarterlife Discovery. I went through the “I hate my life and my job :(! phase”, the “oh yay! I’m so happy I quit that job and regained my happiness! phase”, and now I’m at the “oh shit, what the hell do I do next?! phase”. Have you ever felt that way?

I had a breakdown about it a few days ago. Sobbing in Johnny’s arms, I tried to explain the best I could how I felt. I’m almost 25, I don’t really have a ‘career’, why am I doing any of this, my friends are making 409740985347 (rough estimate) dollars more than I am, so on and so on. What he said shook me like to the core.

“Baby, you just gotta put it in perspective. You’re going through all of this so you CAN pursue your passions and travel. No one said it would be easy.”

And he’s completely right. Sigh.

I quit my job because I was miserable and wanted to pursue my dreams of traveling full time. We decided to move into an apartment with 2 other people instead of our own place to save money to travel. I’ve gone back to a vegetarian diet because it’s what made me feel the most energized and healthy (not to mention my nails were super long and fabulous). I’m doing all of the things I should be doing in order to pursue my dreams. So what’s the problem?

Like anyone else, I have flaws, and one of them is always thinking about the negative. I’ve always been a worrier since I was a child. I have a tendency to over think things to the point where I freak myself out. I’ve forgotten about the real reason I’ve been going through all these major transitions. It’s to fulfill my passions, to travel full time, to quench this intense wanderlust I have. That’s why I’ve quit my job, that’s why I have roommates, that’s why I spend countless hours a day on travel blogs and websites. I just have to keep reminding myself that going through this weird transition in my life is a good thing. I’m not a loser just because I’m not going the ‘traditional’ life route. If anything, that makes me more awesome, right? Right.

Sometimes, you really just have to take a step back and put everything into perspective. And I guess having a really awesome boyfriend who listens to me cry a lot helps too ;).

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World Music Wednesday

In an effort to learn more about other cultures and somewhat satisfy my intense wanderlust, I’ve started listening to music from all over the world. There is more music to listen to in the world than Rihanna and Lady Gaga? Imagine that!

This week, I’ve decided to showcase the beautiful Brazilian singer Céu. Céu is a sultry mix of samba, hip hop, and soul; her music instantly transports me to a 1970s Brazil or Miami. I bought her first album in college on a whim after seeing it at a local Starbucks, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Her voice is so soothing, and Portuguese is probably one of the most beautiful languages ever, so she’s basically a huge win!

Céu says herself, “I have a passion for Black culture, from Jazz divas to Afro beat. Everything comes from Africa. With Samba, I have a very strong connection to the old school that we call “Samba de raiz” (Root Samba)”. Reuters

If you like Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill or Jill Scott, then Céu is just the woman for you.

I listen to Céu whenever I need to really focus, or when I’m cleaning the house. It’s the perfect type of music to play at a chill pool party, or a wine tasting with your friends. Impress your friends with your knowledge of your extensive music collection by adding a few new songs by international artists!

Do you listen to music from other countries? What are some of your favorites? Share in the comments :).  I’m trying to add to my iTunes library!

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