It's a season of change for me. Or more like a season of really difficult life-altering-decisions-that-I-can't-seem-to-make. Anyone else? Holy moly, it's exhausting. Whenever I'm going through this kind of period (like every other week), I chill out by listening to a podcast.
"Moving to Los Angeles has completely changed my skill set and the way I approach hair. Most people would think "a hair stylist can't make money long-term" or "a hair stylist can't be THAT successful" but, I am doing both."
"I truly think the motorcycle world was easier to breach and gain support in. Tech is tough because the things that push out women are so subtle and build over time."
My life is very not together. I am currently on a leave of absence from my job because I’d rather be broke than asking, “Chicken or pasta?” for the 256th time on a 15-hour plane ride. I have a liberal arts degree in something I have no desire to pursue as a career. I justify spending at least two days a week sipping $4.00 drip coffee from a hip coffee shop because... money buys caffeine happiness. I have sent out multiple cover letters over the past few months and have received a depressing number of replies back. Oh, and I’m 110% single.
I didn’t expect all the people. Or all the scooters. I spent my first hour in Bali staring wide eyed at the fact that there were more scooters than cars on the island. My van driver/hostel worker/surf instructor whisked me past malls, furniture shops, rice fields, and half constructed hotels while the scent of incense lingered in the air. He blasted surfy indie music while we headed towards my destination, Canggu. Away from the hustle and bustle of touristy Seminyak and Kuta, Canggu is a village 30 minutes south of the Denpasar Airport.
Doing things by yourself is scary. Like really scary. And yet, for some crazy reason, in the past six months, I traveled to Bali alone. I got tattoos alone. I went on romantic hikes along the California coast alone. I drank a lot of cold brew in coffee shops alone. I don't regret any of my solo outings but, did I always want to do them alone? No. Heck no. I would be lying if I said that I always had fun hanging out by myself. I usually have a 15 minute “YOU ARE DOING THIS. YOU ARE REALLY DOING THIS. STOP FREAKING OUT” pep talk before every adventure I go on.
Over the past few years, I’ve moved ten times. Ten times. Earlier in the year, I relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco and started the settling in process all over again. Moving is overwhelming and stressful but also, really really exciting.
I hate the Eiffel Tower. Okay, I don’t actually dislike the landmark. It’s beautiful. It’s iconic. It really does take your breath away. The environment around the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Notre Dame, and all the other well-known Paris landmarks is a different story. The throngs of tennis shoe wearing visitors. The flags of tour groups waving in the wind. The salesman pushing mini Eiffel Towers into your face while yelling, “FIVE EURO MADEMOISELLE. FIVE EURO FOR UN TOUR EIFFEL”. I mean, while I do love being called Mademoiselle, all the other elements of Paris’s tourist environment are overwhelming... and eye-roll inducing.eye-roll inducing.
It's 9am, I'm jet lagged, and at a Tokyo metro station surrounded by a million people running in every direction. The voice over the loudspeaker is squawking in high pitched Japanese. The ticket machines won't accept my credit card. A middle-aged Japanese woman is giving my uncombed ratty hair and torn jeans the look. A couple of years ago, this would have been my worst nightmare but not anymore.
Iceland is covered in two things. Sheep and tourists. While I love squealing at cute little white creatures, I do not enjoy yelling, "WOW! LOOK AT THIS PEACEFUL WATERFALL" next to hundreds of my closest tourist friends.
I have a confession. I hate hotels. Well, let me rephrase that. I hate staying at hotels when traveling alone. While I love sleeping in silky sheets and having endless channels of cable TV to watch, I find hotels cold and boring. Instead, whenever I travel by myself, I stay at hostels.