Big Hair. Thirsty Heart.

 

Welcome back, fam!

For those of you that struggle with math, this is my second official blog post. And by “official” I mean second blog post. There’s really nothing official about this. I just sit on the floor, write a bunch of random words and hope that someone other than my mom is reading it. And to be honest, there’s no guarantee my mom is even reading this. But if she is then here is a shout out for her because she’s great. Bear with me, folks. This whole post is not just about my mom. I promise. Now that I have officially bored you all to death, here’s the real deal.

This summer someone told me that they stumbled across a quote that made them think of me. The quote was this, “Here’s to the girls with big hair and thirsty hearts”. Anyone that knows me in real life knows how accurate this statement is. I have always had massive hair full of messy curls. As for the “thirsty hearts” that is in reference to endless hours I have spent planning, dreaming and talking about adventure. The word “longing” suits the feeling well. This passion to roam the earth and do whatever gets handed my way.

The burning for this world is not a recent desire. I can remember the first time I saw a map of the world. I was completely infatuated with it. When I was little, my mom and I lived with my grandma. My aunt Lea, my mom and I shared the basement. It was like our own little apartment. I adored it. My aunt was someone that went to concerts and traveled all over. She kept her tickets in her room from all the stuff she used to do and I just remember so clearly thinking she was the absolute coolest thing ever. She had this massive world map on her wall and I would sneak in there just to stare at it. That is when she started my “geography lessons”. I would sit on her bed and listen to her talk about all these places that seemed so impossibly distant. One day something just clicked. These places weren’t so impossible anymore. From then on all I could talk about was all these amazing places that my “Feka Leka” had told me about. I would sit on the internet and look at pictures of different places for hours. Let’s be honest here, I still do that. The more I looked, the more in love I fell. I became obsessed. All I wanted to do was go. I had no idea where, but I did not care. I just knew I wanted it.

The picture featured is one of many that I took in January 2016 in Redding, California. I have a few close friends that live out there and in a desperate attempt to get out of town for a few weeks I booked a last minute plane ticket. We spent a day in San Francisco, a week in Redding and then I flew down to my favorite city (Los Angeles)  for another week. One day while we were in Redding we decided to explore the city for a photo shoot. This is a huge mural that someone painted on a random brick wall downtown. There are many things I love about this memory and this photo. Firstly, this is a day that I look back on with fondness. Driving around California with the windows down and the music up, looking for obscure places to take pictures is my own little form of paradise. As for the mural itself, I adore the red, theater curtains.  The world is the main production, a work of art, my ultimate goal. I have yet to find a painting that better suits me, or means more to me.

Here’s to childhood dreams, fiery passion, deep longing, and cool aunts that take the time to sit and talk. Here’s to you, Feka Leka!

Much love always, readers. Cheers.

Elaina Paviaimg_0964-2

Start of Something New

Welcome back, fam!

Again, it has been a hot minute since the last time I posted. My absence over the last few months is for a few reasons. I could blame it on my severe lack of wifi or a crazy intense travel schedule. And while those are two totally valid and truthful reasons for my absence, the real reason is that I was just struggling. I was unsure of what to say or how to say it. It was not writers block, I had an endless amount of stories and  an abundance of words to tell them with. I’ve got hundreds of photos that I could tell you the stories behind. I have nine different countries and about five months of life that has happened. So, my absence is not due to lack of inspiration. It is due to lack of direction. Allow me to explain.

I make it fairly clear in every post that I never know what I am going to say. My writing process is incredibly simple (I’m sure you guys are shocked because clearly, my posts are just so flawless). My mind is in a constant state of processing the world around me through the filter of getting it written down. Every once in a while I get excited about an idea, rush to my lap top, put some Frank Sinatra on and just go for it. I just word vomit. I don’t let myself edit the first time I write. I just sit and get it all out. Then I read it once for major errors and one more time to make sure it actually sounds like I am speaking English.  Now, every once in a while I am lucky enough that my ideas actually turn into something that I feel like I can get away with posting. My writing is based on my life experiences. The whole point in this blog is just because I enjoy writing and photography. Not for one second do I think that I belong in the elite class of either of those things. I just wanted an outlet. I wanted to live my life, write what I wanted and just have a light hearted, free flowing page. I never expected people to even read it. I’m serious. Every time someone tells me that they read one of my posts I am so shocked and humbled. Alright so all of that sounds great. So, what’s the problem then, right? It should be easy! Wrong. There are so many problems. Let’s chat about them.

As a human I am not very good with emotions or being vulnerable. Especially on a public platform. I get that those two sentences my seem like they are out of place or they don’t belong but in reality they are two of the most crucial sentences in this entire post. Those two small sentences expose where my issues with this entire page come from. My life the last few months has been a hectic, amazing roller coaster of just total, complete, pure insanity. Sure there have been some hard times but overall they have been a complete dream come true. Things happened that I dreamed about my entire life. Before I became a Christian I  just wanted to see the world. It was all I cared about. I spent my life planning my dreams. When they finally started coming true, I thought that I would have the most epic posts ever. I could not have been more wrong. In fact, I have never had a harder time  trying to write. It took me a long time to figure out why. I never wanted this to be a big emotional blog. I just wanted to write stuff that was real and raw. I wanted something that I enjoyed writing and that was enjoyable to read as well. But you see, when I went to write about my adventures it was hard because it was so much more than that. It was so much more than something that I dreamed up, worked for and did. Everything I started to write felt so generic and fake. Even though I had experienced all of these things, writing about them felt like I was writing about someone else’s life. The reason for that is so obvious. I was leaving out a massive piece of who I am just because I didn’t want to write anything that was religious or heavy. Which is absolutely ridiculous! You guys. The reality is I did live out so many of my dreams. I have seen so much and done so much I have met incredible people and seen things that I only had pinned on my Pinterest board. Places that I never actually thought I would get to see. None of that has anything to do with me though. God has been so kind. So faithful! Insanely loving. Unconditionally graceful. Jesus is the reason I got to live out my dreams. He is the reason I even had the dreams that I did have. And the dreams that I do still have! I have been so consumed with wondering why I was unhappy with every single thing I have written over the last few months. Well this is why. I left out the reason for everything. I wouldn’t allow myself to really apply who I am into the thing that I love. Well I say no more. I tried to remove the reality and view my experiences through a filter of what I thought people would care to read about. I had no clue I was doing this. I thought I just lost the ability to write or something. I was totally clueless as to what was going on subconsciously.

I do not say all of this because I am turning this into a big religious blog now.  I write this post because this is the official revamping of my blog. I’m going back to posting every single Friday. The theme is the same. It’s still a blog about my life. My mediocre  photography. The stuff I see and the people I meet. Even about the ideas that I get. But this time, I will not refrain from posting things about my God. I adore him. And when you adore someone, you talk about them, right? When we adore humans we post about them all the time. Look at your timeline. It is full of the things that people love. Their significant others, their latest DIY project, their healthy lunch they made, even their pets. Why are we so eager to post those things but no one wants to post the truth about Jesus? And I mean the real truth not just the times that you are thankful. Let’s talk about the times that are hard also. It doesn’t need to be big and profound. Jesus is part of our every day lives. Let’s talk about him like he is.

I could rant for hours about this. But it is currently 2:00 in the morning in Sydney. So, I won’t. I guess what I am trying to say is just be real. Let’s do this life together! And welcome to the first official post as my new and improved Adventures With Laines. I am so excited to talk about the adventures that the Lord sent me on!

Now about the picture….It has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just love this shot. This was taken on the beach in Greece last summer! I adored that trip and that day was just glorious. At the time there was no better way to spend my days then drinking Greek beer while tanning by the ocean and hanging with Jesus!

Well it’s official! You made it to the end of this. Whatta feat! That was a lot. Congratulations! Go eat some chocolate or something. You deserve it, you survivor.

So, here’s to travel. Here’s to adventure, new beginnings and Jesus. Here’s to dreaming big and talking about those dreams. And here’s to you lot for surviving this impossibly long post.

Until next time.

Cheers X

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Paul’s Fairy Garden

Greetings from Germany, readers!

Wow it has been a hot minute since I last posted in February. Since my last post I have moved away from the place I’ve called “home” for 21 years, visited eight different countries, lived in one of those eight countries, met loads of people representing many different nations, had lots of laughs and even a few tears. I could write innumerable blog posts about my time in Europe, and don’t worry…I will. But first, I’m going to try to tackle a massive concept that just got dropped in my lap. I will warn you all….I have no idea what I am about to say. I have no answers. This is just me, trying to process this insane thing called “life”. So, hold on tight, fam. Welcome to my ramblings of a thought process.

Although today is a freaking hot day in Germany I decided to sit outside and read. As I sit in my friend’s fairy tale garden and study Earnest Hemingway’s life I came across a quote of his. Hemingway once said “they have remained in the museum of my mind”. For some reason, ever since I read that I cannot shake it. Do me a favor and picture an art museum right now; any art museum from anywhere in the world. Now put yourself standing at the front door deciding which way to go. You choose which way you want to go based on the time period that you want to look at. Each art museum has it’s work divided by the time period it was made in and you make your way through the history of the world as told by art.

The museum I decided to go with is the Louvre in Paris. If any of you have been there, you know how ridiculously massive it is. It’s truly insane how huge this place is. The first thing you do is walk in, go down the escalator and all the sudden you find yourself standing in this circle that is the middle of the museum and all around you are different entrances to different exhibits. It is completely overwhelming and huge. But so exciting as well! You are standing in Paris in the middle of a museum that is known around the world, literally surrounded by pieces of art work that have been famous for hundreds of years before you even existed. The short years of your life suddenly pale in comparison to your surroundings.

Hemingway’s quote got me thinking. He calls his mind a museum. So then I started thinking about the parallels between minds and museums. This leads to the series of questions that begin with this. If you had a museum, how would you lay it out? What would you put on display? What would you name it? What pieces would you keep hidden in the basement? Would you change the exhibits out seasonally?  Or put on events? What types of art would have the largest sections? What time periods would be left out? What shape would you build? Would it be brick and stone or glass? If you were doing a virtual tour of your museum, what would it look like? Now, let’s take it a step further and change the question. Picture that your mind is this museum. What changed? Did anything even change? Is the layout the same? When people first meet you, they are standing at the entrance. What rooms do they walk in first? Or are they allowed to choose wherever they want to go? What gets put on display? Can they see through the glass from the outside? What do they have to do in order to see? What gets hidden so deeply that they need keys to access the art work?

Each “art display” is your life. Each painting is an experience you’ve had, sculptures are people you’ve met, things you’ve touched, pictures you’ve taken. The plaques at the bottom of the work are the things you have to say. It’s your stories, your quotes, your thoughts. It does not all need to be either black and white or full of color. Change it up. Let each “room” be different. This bog has no point other than to just attempt an explication of the spiral that one tiny phrase sent my mind into. Maybe I am reading too much into something that does not actually matter; something that was never intended to be looked at twice. But, ohh well. I don’t care. I just did it. So, I’ll leave you all with this..sit down and think. Think about your mind being a museum. Figure out what it looks like and what you want it to look like. Does it need to be updated? If it does then do it. Figure it out. Go for it. Due to my overdue writing, I could type for hours. But I won’t make you suffer through reading too much of what I have to say.

P.S. I just realized I don’t have an good pictures of the Louvre so I decided o go with one I took at the Eiffel Tower. Close enough, hey?

So, here’s to Hemingway and here’s to Paul for letting me crash at his place and read in his fairy garden, here’s to Paris and here’s to you all!

Until next time. And as always, thanks for reading!

Cheers, friends. Much love always

Elaina Pavia

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The Indefinite Continued Progress of Existence

Welcome back, bloggers!

If you follow “Adventures With Laines” you have probably noticed that my posts have been absent for quite some time now. The reason being is not for lack of words, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Over these last few months I came down with a serious case of word vomit. I wrote frequently and had endless ideas for the next blog post. However, I was never quite satisfied with what I was writing. Nothing seemed to justify imagery I had playing on an endless reel in my mind. It often felt like I had some big, profound thing to say, but I could not quite get the words out. So, I just scrapped my ideas instead of pushing through them and trying to dig up the roots of what was happening. Before you continue reading this, I feel that I should put a disclaimer on it. This is not a funny story, or really even a travel story. I also have no idea what I am going to say in this post. With that said, I apologize in advance for any unforeseen turns this may take! Hold on tight. This one will be a surprise to us all!

Time is one of the strangest that humans deal with. It is constant, it is controlling, it is gift giver, yet at the same time, it is a thief. Time is conflicting; it is a blessing and a curse. Time is everything, without it, life would hardly function. We would be a lost species. A group that aimlessly wanders around. Never fully aware of what to do. Imagine a world where the concept of “when?” would be nearly obsolete. Time always has been and always will be.

As the day approaches for me to leave the city that I have called “home” for 21 years, time seems to be more valuable than ever. I am painfully aware of the fact that time is running out. It is this dark, looming presence that I am unable to manipulate. More often that not, I find myself wanting to freeze the time and hold onto certain moments forever. Time is incredibly ironic. It seems that the moments we wish would stay forever, go by the quickest. We look at our loved ones and all we want is to get the years back. In so many cases, the years seem like seconds. Those are the moments that I hate time. Time is cruel. Why will you not just let me hang on to my brother’s childhood? To the days with my first love? Or to the shopping trips with my mom? What about the Saturday morning cartoons that I watched while I ate donuts with my dad? I often have these incredibly sobering moments where I realize those days are behind me. That is when I get pissed off at the selfish nature of time. This thing that we cannot even see controls every aspect of our lives. Keeping our good times for itself. Suddenly, we are left to watch our memories on a black and white screen in our minds as we drift off to sleep each night.

Imagine yourself standing in a black and white room. The walls are full of gorgeous, canvas pictures. Each frame is like a window into your past. Those canvases are full of your loved ones, things you have seen and done. Those walls are your life on display. You are so wrapped up in looking at the past that it takes an indefinite amount of time before you realize that there is a massive golden hourglass sitting right in the center of the room. The uncanny beauty of the hourglass leaves you breathless. In this moment you have two choices. You can stay in the room, near to all the pictures, staring at the hourglass, getting more and more overwhelmed with emotion and resentment at each grain of sand that passes thorough; or, you can walk away. You can embrace each grain for what it is. A gorgeous gift.

There is a reason that we turn clocks into antique pocket watches, famous monuments, and work them into modern technology. It is because time is a looming presence. While it is a selfish thief, it is also a giver of the gift that is untouchable. Time gives itself to us. To embrace it and live our lives. Time allows us to do the things that we are passionate about with the people that we adore.

This picture was taken in Quito, Ecuador. Quito has cathedrals on every corner. There is one that is exceptionally gorgeous and massive. Intrigued by its gargantuan beauty, we decided to tour it. While we were making our way to the top, I stumbled on something that grabbed my attention. It was the inside of the clock tower. It was all barred off. We had no access to it. But as soon as I saw it, I had this feeling that there was something deeper that could be taken from the angle that I had. While I could not quite put my finger on why exactly I was so drawn to it, I knew I had to get a picture of what I was seeing. Here it is. A picture that shows a literal thing. It shows us that time is untouchable but unique and beautiful as well. It sits at the highest point. Overlooking everyone and everything. And with that, I will officially end my rant about clocks.

So, here’s to the first blog post in a while, to you guys for hanging on until the end, and to the beautiful, uncertain, unpredictability of time.

Cheers, readers. Much love.img_6373

Fernweh & Leonardo DiCaprio

Here is another fun fact about me for you all to add to your list. I have the tendency to fall in love with fictional characters and celebrities. I’m obsessed with Hollywood. I have endless amounts of celebrity crushes but there are a few that I love so much, they don’t even make it onto the list. One of those people is Leonardo DiCaprio. I could write a book on all of the reasons that I love him. Seriously, when he won his Oscar I felt like a proud mom. Or wife…or something else that makes me sound super creepy. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s so good at everything.  I will never be convinced that he is from this planet. I love everything he does, but the day he said this, I loved him even more. He said, “When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I used to think, “How can I die without seeing every inch of this world?”‘. It has stuck with me ever since the day I read it.

When I was little we had a big computer desk in the basement. I remember looking up at the black, leather swivel chair and thinking that I would never be big enough to fit in one of those. Through the big, brown eyes of a little girl, it was about as close to a mountain as I was ever going to get. Somehow, as all little kids do, I managed to figure out how to  climb up in that huge chair. I remember getting on Google images and staring at pictures from places all over the world. I looked at ruins, mountains, volcanoes and anything else you could imagine. I very rarely knew where these places were  but I did not care. I just wanted to see. I remember thinking just what Leonardo DiCaprio said. I wanted to know everything about these places.  I felt like I couldn’t survive if I did not know where they were, what the food was like and what the people were like. I wanted to not only know the thing, but I wanted to know the thing behind the thing. I wanted to go.

Many hours of my childhood were spent searching for places all over the world. They all felt so far away. I had this longing to go there but I never thought that I actually would. It was the feeling of missing this place that I have never even been. The  German word “fernweh” describes the feeling best. It translates to “a crave for travel. homesick for places you’ve never been”. Fernweh is the exact feeling I felt when I was younger and it is the exact feeling I have now.

I looked at too many places online to remember them all but there is one place that I will never forget. I was no more than 5 or 6 and it is burned into my memory forever. It was this huge volcano that had been solidified and was now a lake. I had no idea where this place was located but I knew that I wanted to go there. I remember printing off the picture of this place and running up the stairs, flinging the door open and telling my mom that we simply HAD to go there. I held onto that picture for a long time but as the years went by it got lost. All I had as proof of this place was my memory. It was this place that was enchanting and mysterious. After all these years I had no idea where it was. But I still had this weird desire to go.

This summer, I went to Nicaragua. It was a flight like any other. I sat like I always do. I had my headphones in, looking at the countries pass below me. I was completely lost in my thoughts. All of the sudden the flight attendant came over the speakers saying we were starting to make our descent into Managua. As she was speaking we broke out of the cloud that we had been in. And that was when I saw it. My lake that I had dreamed of since I was a kid. I cannot find the correct words to describe the feeling that followed. I sat up quickly and just stared. I was confused at first then elated. Yes, there are millions of lakes in this world, but for some reason I just knew that this was my lake. Thoughts started flooding my brain. It was the feeling of finally doing something that was a life long dream. I never thought I would see this place again since it’s location was a mystery to me. But, there it was. Right below me.

This sounds like a motivational poster, so don’t hate me. I actually kinda hate myself for saying it but here it is anyway. Parents, encourage your kid’s passions. I’m sure my mom thought this obsession with the world was something that I would grow out of. But, I didn’t. It started off with Google images and my aunt telling me stories and I am now 21 and moving to Europe. Kids, don’t give up on something that you’ve always wanted. You never know when you’re going to fly right over it.

So, here’s to many things. Here’s to you all for coming back to this page week after week. Here’s to Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicaragua, and unexpectedly fulfilling a childhood dream.

Until next time.

Cheers, friends.

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The Colorado Story

If you really want to get to know the human behind this screen, there are a few things that classify as crucial knowledge. The first 5 were listed in A Blog About My First Time. But, here is the extended edition. First up is my completely illogical stubbornness. Don’t ask me why but for some reason when I get an idea, it just has to be done. I will absolutely not take “no” for an answer.  Secondly, if there is anything that I’m good at, it’s doing the complete opposite of what I have been told to do. Now, these two things don’t apply to every area of my life. However, they definitely played a role in the following stories.

Allow me to further explain my last paragraph so you guys don’t think you’re reading the blog of a total imbecile. My hard head mostly comes into play with things like dancing in public, jumping off of random things and climbing others. So, basically, it’s all stuff that I think is hilarious and my friends claim isn’t funny. I say “claim” because I am not entirely convinced that they don’t find me funny. While the jury is still out on if they are laughing at or with me, we all know they are definitely laughing because I’ve got sick jokes and even sicker hops. Now that we have established the fact that I am the only human that thinks I’m funny, let’s get on with this dang post.

Last July I went to Colorado with my aunt and my grandparents. This post may make it seem like it was horrible, but it is honestly one of my favorite trips that I’ve ever been on!  Despite being amazing, the list of epic fails that took place on that trip is just stupid. I know what you’re thinking, “Elaina is the stupid one”. Well, stop.  I have no evidence that I was not the cause of this adventure gone wrong, but whatever.

The first catastrophe involves my graceful self and a waterfall. While we were hiking we walked over this little bridge that took you across a waterfall. Now, call me crazy but I have no clue what the proper terms are to describe a waterfall. So, I’m just going to pick some words and hope it works. Anyway, said waterfall had a multiple different drops. So, it would drop then turn into a river, then drop again. Sort of like stairs! Well, miss stubborn adventurer over here decided that she simply must get a trendy picture in the waterfall. (Do you see where this is going yet?) I handed my phone to my aunt, told her of my great plan and proceeded to climb through the water and slippery rocks to get to the perfect spot. As you can imagine, this did not at all go as well as I planned. I totally wiped out. Soaking wet, all cut up and laughing hysterically, I just sat in the water and accepted defeat as the other hikers walked past laughing and looking very confused. The worst part of this story is not that I fell in a freezing cold waterfall; it is that to this day, I still do not have a good picture of that waterfall. However, I do have a picture of me falling over. That will not be featured. That is stored with the many pictures of me ruining beautiful backgrounds. Believe me when I say there are many of those.

The next story is one that I have never been able to really find the right words to describe it with. In Colorado Springs there is this ridiculous hike called the Manitou Incline. It’s only one mile but you gain over 1,000 vertical feet. Because of how intense this thing is, they recommend that tourists not do it unless they are very physically fit. While I may not be overly physically fit, I am great at doing stuff I’m told not to do. So, on July 4th my aunt and I got all decked out in America attire and hiked this thing. It was awful. It poured down rain the entire time. Once we finally got to the top, we were so relieved. The next part was easy, right? All we had to do was follow the path back down the mountain then go home and nap. If we were normal humans, this would be true. But, we’re talking about my life here so of course that is not at all what happened. We get to the entrance of the path and it looks like there are a few different options. So, with no one else around, we just chose what we thought looked like the right path. It wasn’t not even close. But by the time we realized it, we were already too far gone and we could not turn back. This mountain was so steep that we literally were scooting down it on our butts and holding onto the tree stumps because if we didn’t we would fall over. A bit later we meet up with this family. It was a mom, dad and two little kids. They were walking with a big Asian family. After deciding to team up with them, my aunt and I somehow got put in charge of leading this huge group of people down this freaking mountain. Listen, when I tell you that we are not the people to be doing this…I mean it. I’ve seen Man vs Wild like one time. I don’t know how to keep myself alive. Let alone all these other humans that are now looking to me to lead them to their freedom. So, my aunt took charge and led the group and I stayed in the back, helping them climb around and keeping tabs on where everyone was so we didn’t lost them. At some point the Asian family decided to break off and go a different way. Now, I want to clarify that this was not me being bad at my job. This a a decision that they made despite me using my expertise to tell them to stay with the group. I honestly still have no idea what happened to them. I wonder how long it took them to get out. Maybe they are still there. Maybe they set up a little colony and are living out their days as bush people. Anyway, now it is me, my aunt and this family of four. Who, by the way, were all crying. All of them. The mom, dad, son and daughter. My aunt and I were the only ones with our lives together. Finally after a few hours of just aimlessly walking (what we assume is down) the side of this mountain, we find the trail. I never thought I would be that excited to see a dirt path in my life. Once we get down to the bottom, there are police, park rangers and search and rescue waiting to speak to us. So, after the most ridiculous day, we were covered in rain, sweat, mud and everything else nature has to offer. But it did not stop there. We still had to give statements to Colorado officials about why we got lost on the mountain, who we got down and every person that we helped.

There’s honestly no good way to conclude these stories other than by saying that this stuff happens to me all the time. You would think I would have learned by now but somehow I always get myself into these situations. There is my Colorado adventure for you all. I am still not sure how I am alive.

So, here’s to the lost Asian family, doing stupid things in the name of adventure and the search and rescue team that was waiting for us at the bottom.

Cheers, friends. Much love always.

Bring Me That Horizon

Fairfarren is one of my favorite words of all time. And since I’m a nerd, I have favorite words. It means “May you travel under fair skies.”  Not only is it fun to say in any accent (seriously give it a try), but the meaning is super neat. Travel is one of the most incredible, educational and hilarious things that someone can do. But, at the same time, it can be impossibly difficult. There’s forgetting to pack something, missing flights, getting lost and pretty much anything else possible. Or if you’re like me and you fall a lot, the potential for injury is always very high. There is a side to travel that can be really emotionally exhausting. What I have found to be the hardest thing is leaving. Rather that’s leaving people back home or meeting people in new cities, it’s incredibly difficult to say “goodbye”. There is a side of me that wants nothing more than to get out of O’fallon, but every once in a while there is a wave of heart-wrenching guilt that comes over me. It feels a lot like betrayal. It is easy to think that traveling is abandoning family and friends. There are many times that I believe myself to be selfish for the fact that travel is what I thrive on.

Here’s some random people that I have met that I will never forget. 1. My doorman in New York. His name was Steve. All I know about him is that he is from Queens and he commuted to and from Manhattan every day. 2. A random girl that I met in Nicaragua. I do not remember her name or anything else about her. But, I do know that her jokes were hilarious. I can think of at least one person in every city that I have been in that I will never forget meeting even though I may never see them again. The thought that one day I could be walking down the street in Nicaragua, Australia, New York, or any other place that I have been, and bump into these people again is completely enchanting.

Come April I am starting a new chapter. Knowing that I am leaving has such a weird effect on everything, but especially relationships that have already been walked away from. It feels as though they need another closing. Or maybe just a re-do of the friendship in general. The point is, leaving is hard. Now, before you all get all “thanks, captain obvious” on me, think of the source of this statement. Guilt, sorrow and pain over moving is coming from someone who has dreamed of this world since before I can even remember. Someone born with a gypsy heart.And great dance moves. But, the thought of leaving people is completely and utterly heart wrenching. Along with incredibly enchanting and exciting. The goal of this life is not to abandon. It is to do life together. To tell jokes (even if your friends don’t laugh…like mine don’t) and take those people with you. So, figure out what it looks like to take them with you. Now, do it. Get out and see the world. But, don’t forget.  When you’re there, be there be invested. And when you’re gone, don’t abandon. You’ve gotta have someone there to laugh you when you do stupid stuff. I have a of those people. If you’re one of them, you’re welcome. Apparently laughing ads years onto your life. So, since I’ll probably die doing something stupid, remember me when you’re wrinkly and grey. Chances are, I helped you get there  by jumping off the stuff that no one else would.

These photos remind me why I love what I love. No matter how “painful” travel can be, it is one of the most rewarding things that a human can do. The first one I took while in Sydney. While we were doing a coastal walk, we climbed over the the fence to the edge of the cliff and as I saw the plane taking off, I could not resist the picture. Now that I think about it, the coastal walk is a wild story that simply must be told in a later blog. The second is the sunset in northern California. I was with friends (Shout out to Sam and Haley) and we decided to take a road trip to the beach and the redwoods. Keep in mind, this is January in northern California. It was not exactly beach weather. But, I was determined to get this photo. So, in my jeans, boots and jacket I walked over to the edge of the water and started shooting. Little did I know a massive wave was about to roll in. Needless to say, I got completely drenched (thankfully my camera survived)  and had to sit, freezing, holding my stuff out the window with the hopes that it wold dry in time for us to stop and eat. I also want to mention that my friends saw said wave coming for me and did not warn me because they thought it was funny. We made a pit stop in Trinidad, California and even though I was still wet and very frozen, we got out to go into this little cafe. I am convinced I will never have a better cup of hot chocolate for the rest of my life. That first drink touched my soul like Justin Timberlake’s…well..everything. As for the mountains, we stopped on the side of the road, walked across traffic and did a little off road photo shoot. I could go on for hours telling stories behind these pictures, but I will stop here and spare you the torture of my bad ideas and pointless stories.

As Captain Jack Sparrow would say “Now, bring me that horizon.”

So, here’s to saying the same word in different accents, and to Captain Jack and the Mad-hatter for saying two of my favorite things of all time. Cheers friends. Fairfarren.