Browsing Category wanderlust

Argentina, Here I Come!

After a few weeks of deliberation, I have officially decided.

I’M GOING TO ARGENTINA!!!!

I knew I would come back to this decision. Argentina was always my first choice. After I wrote the post Argentina vs Thailand, the response to go to Argentina was overwhelming. I cross checked some money and budgeting problems, e-mailed a few people, looked at apartments, and finally made the decision.

As of right now, I’m planning on living in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 3 to 4 months, starting in August/September. I decided to stay in one central location as opposed to moving around South America for various reasons. I want the experience of living like a local for a few months. I want to take my time and explore the country. I want to RELAX. At this point in my life, the last thing I need is a bunch of moving around and stress. My anxiety attacks have been getting more frequent and stronger, so I really just need to chill out for a few months.

I do plan on going to Brazil for a few weeks. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Brazil, plus it’s a great gym motivator. I can’t be on the beaches of Rio De Janeiro looking a hot mess right? Right.

Guys, seriously. I’m so excited. I know this is the best decision for me. I’ve always been a sulty, sexy, South American goddess at heart. And can we talk about how I’ll be able to drink Malbec wine ALL THE TIME?! Be still my heart.

So, this is where I ask for help from all of my lovely, gorgeous readers. What should I do while I’m there? What is a typical daily budget? Where should I live? Any apartment rental information? Beaches? Nightlife? Wine? Food? Tango classes? STEAK?! Give me all of your Argentinian wisdom.

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Dream Destinations

I’ve started to make a list of places I’ve wanted to visit in the world for quite some time now. Some of the places have emotional ties, some of them I’ve just always dreamed about. Since the starting of this blog, I’ve slowly been compiling a “Life List”, or a list of all the things I want to do and places I want to go. These 5 locations made it to the top of the list.

1. Madeira, Portugal – Oh Madeira, the little island off the coast of Portugal…While I was studying abroad in London, I almost went to Madeira. No one wanted to come with me, and I should have just gone by myself, but at the time I didn’t think it was a good idea. Looking back on it, I should’ve just gone alone. My boyfriend is Portuguese and his family is from Madeira, so I’ve always longed to see the place his grandparents grew up.  It’s also amazingly beautiful and I’ve longed to go to a place where I can hear people speak Portuguese all day. It’s the most beautiful language!

2. Maldives – If Johnny and I ever get married, we’re going to the Maldives for the honeymoon. Well… even if we don’t get married, I’m still going. End. Of. Story. I’ve always been fascinated by these tiny islands, the little bungalows on the water, and the bright sunny skies. I know it’s ridiculously expensive, but it’s one of the places I have to go to one in my life. Whenever I feel sad or down, I just look at pictures of the Maldives and I instantly feel better. A picture of the Maldives is the desktop wallpaper of my work computer too :). It’s absolute paradise.

3. Côte d’Ivoire, Africa – When I was in 3rd grade, our class had pen pals with a class in Côte d’Ivoire. Ever since then, it has been on my list of places I have to go to. I remember being so excited when we would get our new letters. The students would send pictures, and they were all just so beautiful. I was obsessed with the French influence of the country and how the students actually spoke French. It was one of the reasons why I decided to take French in high school. I know that it’s not safe to go to Côte d’Ivoire now due to political unrest, but I hope one day I’ll be able to visit the place I’ve dreamed about since 3rd grade.

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina – Johnny and I almost decided to go to Argentina over Thailand. There were a lot of reasons we wanted to go to Argentina. We want to learn Spanish. We both want to learn how to tango. I want to go because people call it the Paris of South America…and so far Paris is my favorite city I’ve been to. There’s good food, booming night life, gorgeous architecture. I think after I get back from Thailand and get ready to plan my RTW trip, Buenos Aires will be the first place I go.

5. Stockholm, Sweden – Fashion is something I’m really passionate about. Most of the amazing street fashion seems to come out of Stockholm, and it’s originally what sparked my interest in going. Just Googling “Stockholm Street Fashion” brings up dozens of sites. The people always look so laid back and so put together, I just want to jump in all of their closets and steal their clothes. It’s also the headquarters for H&M (SCORE!) Not only to the people and their fashion sense interest me, I’ve read about the many parks, the beautiful architecture, and the cleanliness of the city. Seems like a place I could just have a coffee and people watch all day long.

This list is constantly growing and changing. But these places all hold a place in my heart for different reasons. What are some places you’ve always dreamed of going?

pictures – creative commons, flickr

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Your One Wild and Precious Life

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. Her poem, The Summer Day, has always offered me inspiration and comfort on days when I need to be reminded of all that this wonderful life has to offer. What do you plan on doing with your one wild and precious life?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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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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Work? Office? Pssshhhhhh!

I’m ready to let go of this office life and get moving in my life. I’m ready to be happy and get my life together and LIVE.

I’ve been stuck in this office for TOO long, 8, sometimes 9, hours a day, attending pointless meetings, and refreshing Perez Hilton more times than I can count. It’s time that I make this happen for myself.

I’ve been suffering from depression for the past few months now. It’s that weird after college transition. Some people might even call it a “Quarterlife crisis”. I call it the “now what”? I’ve gone to high school, graduated, went to college, graduated. Got a really good job in the field I THOUGHT I wanted to be in. Now I realize that this isn’t the life for me. I’m 24, and I deserve to do what I want to do and not be trapped. Now what?

I thought I wanted to be a talent agent, hobnobbing with the stars and walking red carpets, having actors thank ME at the Oscars. Slowly but surely I realized this is the LAST possible thing I want to do. Actors are terrible people (sorry actors who read this), agents are bitchy, and it requires being stuck in an office under florescent lights and no windows for over 8 hours a day. No. Ma’am.

I researched and poured over blogs for hours on end. I found a group of people who like to call themselves “Location Independent”. This group of people have their own business and are able to generate income without being tied down to a desk at an office job. Chris Guillebeau, Jenny, Stephanie, Nina Yau, Sean Ogle, the list goes on and on and on. Besides all of these people being bad ass, they all share the same sentiment that I do. It’s time to do what I want to do.

So what is it that I do want to do? Well, I know that I’m not down with the whole deferred living thing. You know, work for 30 years, retire, and THEN go do the things you want to do. What the hell kind of deal is that? How about I do the things I want to do NOW, while I’m young and awesome?

That’s basically what this blog is about. My journey to minimize my life and save money, restore my happiness and travel the world. It’s gonna be an epic awesome adventure, and I hope you will come along with me!

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