Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why It Pays to Stay Open

I think that many of us come from cultures where being naturally open to people and situations isn't something we learn, practice, or even ever really, truly apply. We are brought up to be polite to people, but not necessarily open ourselves up to them. Why is that? What is so bad and scary about being open to people?

These are some of the things that I question and examine as I become a more open person. I wonder what and where I would be if I hadn't closed myself off for some period of years, simply because I thought that the real me wasn't good enough, wasn't similar enough to what the media and society expected, wanted and projected, and was trying so hard to fit in, that I didn't end up belonging anywhere. I wonder if what and where I am would be any different, if I'd been more trusting of others from the start. But not anymore do I need to wonder these things!

Now, I've come to a point where I love myself, I am proud of the fact that I'm not a manufactured clone, and even prouder that I am an insanely wacky and semi-societal outcast. I love the freaks in the world, and have long since thrown out the thought and word "weird." And one of the things that has helped me accomplish this sense of self declaration and love is without a doubt, t r a v e l.

When you're traveling, especially alone, it will not do you any good to be closed off to anything. If you're closed off to the people around you, you're going to feel so uncomfortable and alone, you won't have a good time. And if you're not open to the experiences and moments that come your way, you're not affecting anyone else other than yourself, and will actually miss out on life.

A perfectly good example of why staying open is such a beautiful thing can be seen in my current situation...

I couchsurfed for the first time when I studied abroad in 2009/10, and instantly wished I'd been doing it the whole time I was abroad. I met cool people, was taken to more local places, and saw things I wouldn't have been able to discover otherwise. And since I prefer to travel as a local than a tourist, it really was the perfect way for me. So when I returned abroad, I knew it would be the main way I'd find a place to stay during my travels. Since I moved into my new flat, we've had at least 15 different surfers, from at least 10 counties, and four continents. And on the weekend that I went crazy and took in four different people at once, I became really addicted to it. (Read about it here:)

I had already booked my flight to spend Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Greece, which, I'll admit, was part of the reason I accepted the Greek to surf our place, even though I'd already said yes to two others. We all passed the time so well together, and I was glad we'd meet up again in some months. And then it happened to work out even better, than the Aussie we had, was going to be in Egypt just before I came to Greece, and decided to come too, meaning that three people, who before had been strangers, all came together again under one roof, in a different country.

If I hadn't been open to couchsurfing and instead just followed my "that seems creepy, weird, and kind of scary" thoughts, I would have never discovered this amazing world of staying in the homes of strangers, and I'd never have ended up where I am right now! I'd be in a hostel, with a bunch of other visitors, having a blast, but also missing this deeper level of life that can happen when you travel. And I would never have found myself in an international group of friends. All of the life I live now, the things I see, the dreams I turn into reality, it's all possible because I've stayed open.

Give it a try, you really never know what will happen!

Blessings, Love & Light to all, especially my fellow wanderers! 

*Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any "negative" situation that you may find yourself in. Always follow your instincts, and if something doesn't seem right, bail. Go with God.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ANNY Studios in Santorini

Once upon a time, a girl from California decided to accept four different couchsurfers all at one time. There was a Greek, an Aussie, an Italian, and a shining soul from Cyprus. Some months later, the Californian would be going to Greece. The trip had already been arranged, but now, she had a friend to visit! How divine! About the time she was getting ready for her trip, the Aussie said, "Hey, when are you going to be in Greece? I'll be in Egypt just before that, and was looking at a map, and realized how close it is to Greece..." And so it happened, that when the Californian arrived in Piraeus, Greece, she met again the Aussie, and the Greek.

Now, the Aussie and the Allie from Cali wanted to explore the islands, afterall, the Greek Islands are some of the best-known in the world. So they decided upon Santorini, and went over to to try and find a suitable host. The Greek said, "I know that guy, he's a friend of mine! Let me call him and see if you can stay with him." And so it came to be, that the Awesome Adventuring Aussie and Allie from Cali, ended up coming to Santorini, to stay at Anny Studios in Perissa.

Ok, that's enough of the fairytale talk. Let's get serious...

Anny Studios started out as a hostel, but then was converted into studio apartments. This means a few things:
  1. In the rooms, there's a sink, a stove, a mini fridge, and dishes. You can cook your own food, in spite of the place seeming like a hotel/hostel.
  2. I have yet to see a room without a little balcony, so I'm going to go ahead and say they all have one.
  3. Because it started out as a hostel, it has a very hostel-feel. There's a common area with games, books, computers (free to use), and a television where they play DVDs. So even though you have a little studio apartment, you also enjoy the common living that a hostel provides.
  4. There is a pool and a bar, and their long coffees will crack you out. 
Our little terrace and view
The pool

The part of the island where Anny Studios is located is in Perissa. This is one of the most common parts of the island to party. It's got 5km of black beach, and across the entire thing are hotels, restaurants, bars, and apartments to rent. We happened to be here in mid-April, so there haven't been so many people, and there hasn't been any partying over here. It's still not the season, so it's really, really calm and quite. Which has, in a way, been nice. :)
 The Black Beach

But in this area, there are loads of good restaurants, the beach is literally a minute away, a delicious bakery is about three minutes away, and the staff here is so nice and helpful. They arranged every trip we took, and every detail. They're incredibly knowledgeable about the island, where to go, what to do, see, and experience, and have made our trip so easy. They are really cool, and make you feel so relaxed and at home. All this, in combination with a beautiful place, has contributed to a really great stay in Santorini! Thanks guys for everything! It wouldn't have been the same without you! 

Endless Blessings, Love & Light to all those who contributed to our stay here, and all of you out there now! 

To read more about Santorini in general, click here!
To read more about Greece in general, click here!
To read about Athens, click here!
To read about Piraeus, click here!

Location/Contact for Anny Studios:
Perissa, Santorini
Tel.: +30 22860 31627 / 82669
Fax: +30 22860 31626
Call with Skype:

But Where's The Blue??

When we think of Greece, I think more often than not the image that comes to mind is one of white homes and buildings with beautiful blue dome roofs, and a gorgeous coastline. We have this one picture in our heads, and when we arrive to Greece, expect to see just that. The most-used and publicized image of Greece happens to be taken here in Santorini, so of course when we arrived we expected to be overwhelmed by the sight of blue and white. But I am here to bust the myth, and blow the lid right off that one! 

The most common picture of Greece/Santorini (Source: Google)

Fact: Greece and Santorini are not actually synonymous for white buildings with blue dome tops. 

There is a bit of that, but these buildings that we so often think of in association with Greece are actually the Orthodox churches. The churches have these dome tops, and yes, many of them are blue. I asked our host why they are usually blue, and he said that it's to represent the sky. So when they look up, they see the blue, and think of the sky (sky -- God -- heaven -- you see where this takes us). I love this explanation and reasoning, and it completely made up for the fact I felt somewhat deceived coming here.

But I will admit, because this is the image we have stuck in our minds, my friend and I actually spent sufficient time searching, in a way, for the area with these smooth, beautiful buildings with the amazing blue dome roofs. And we were so perplexed when we just couldn't find them. It then dawned on us that this isn't actually what is common, and through seeing this image, we had just decided that that was Greece, that's how it all was. Interesting how our minds do things like that to us, and our brains decide to create a place based off a picture. (I should probably point out that we were also completely confused. We were searching in Fira for this image we always see of Santorini, when in fact, it's taken in Oia. Whoops.:)

In spite of everything, Santorini has been a beautiful experience. We've seen so much of the island, and though I know there's much more to see and do (especially in the high season when it's overflowing with people and parties), I am leaving quite satisfied with the trip. It's been a really cool experience to learn that we really can't judge a book by the cover!

Oia, where the classic Santorini image is taken. Look there, and you can see the blue domes that have become so closely associated with the island.
*To read about Santorini, tips, tricks, and things to do, click here!
*To read about ANNY Studios where we stayed in Santorini, click here!
*To read about Piraeus, click here!
*To read about Athens, click here!

ADD Adventures to: {{ SANTORINI, Greece }}

Before I came to Greece, I did try a little to get some input as to where I should go during my trip. I posted on Facebook asking for tips, reached out to locals on the Couchsurfing website, asked my Greek friend, and asked a couple other Greeks I met in the months leading up to the trip. Of the advice that I was given, there were two recurring things:
  1. Don't spend too long in Athens. It's full of history, but other than that, it's not really a place to pass too much time.
  2. Go to Santorini and Mykonos.
I had it in my mind that I'd be spending my week island hopping, sleeping in the sand, and exploring Greek gastronomy. I knew I'd visit Athens for a couple days, and wanted to try and hit one or two islands during the week. So when everyone, including locals, kept telling me that Santorini was their favourite, I decided to stop playing hardball, and just accept that the best-known island was also, apparently, the best. So I decided to go to Santorini.

My friend and I took the ferry at 7:30 from Piraeus (just 15 minutes from Athens by metro) on Monday morning, and after about 7.5 hours, we arrived in Santorini. The ferry stopped at Piros and Ios on the way, and was a very pleasant ride. We bought the cheap economy seats for 37.50, and got there early enough to get a small, round table, with four chairs. The way this works, is that it's like a cruise ship. Not quite so big, but still large enough to be in the same family. The top level has cabins (the most expensive "seats"), so you can actually have a room, bed, and etc. Then on the other levels there are first class airplane seats set up as though there is an incredibly long bus lining the side of the ferry. These are a bit more expensive, but give you a comfortable seat and plenty of space. Then there are the cheap seats, which leave you in the common areas of the ferry. The outside decks, the bar/restaurant tables and chairs, and the tables, benches, chairs, and areas that are in the halls and passageways. After the first stop in Piros, most of the people got off the ship, and a couple locals told us that we could switch to the A-seats (the first class airplane seats), and wouldn't be bothered by someone coming around to check tickets. So after spending the first few hours in makeshift beds, we were able to take some plush seats, and escape the noise of the common area. (There were A LOT of children and pets on the ferry).

After arriving in Thira (Santorini is actually composed of five islands, one of them being an active volcano), we were picked up at the port by a big van, and brought to the hotel/hostel where we have been staying. Here we met our host, checked in, and left our stuff. After a little down time, we decided to take a walk to the black beach that's just down the walkway from our hotel, and then spent some time walking around the neighborhood. We have been staying in Anny Studios in Perissa, and it has been a really great experience! You can read about Anny Studios and the Perissa area here!

On Tuesday, we decided to rent a quad and explore the island. This suggestion had been given to us by the people at Anny Studios, as well as by our friend in Piraeus. And when we were told it was only 15 euros for the whole day, we knew we'd do it. The people at Moto Mania came and picked us up from Anny's, and took us to the rental place. They have an endless assortment of scooters, bikes, and quads, and set us up on a new quad, with enough power for two people to make it up the mountains, for just 25 euros for the day! They were incredibly nice, and gave us loads of information about where we should go, and what we should do. So we set off on our big adventure!

We took the quad to the Red Beach. I'm not sure if it's because our feet were cold, but the little, rocky beach was incredibly painful to walk on. Be sure to have solid sandals if you go there, especially because it's a little hike down. Easy, but you don't just walk down a clear-cut path. Some minimal rock climbing is involved.

Then we went to the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself isn't that impressive, but the view from the edge of the island sure is. We spend a solid time climbing around, roaming, and enjoying the view.

After leaving the lighthouse, we decided to follow the roads, and make our way to Fira, one of the most visited parts of the island. It proved to be a really beautiful place, with more life than Perrissa Beach where we were staying, but was the typical: edge of an island that has been turned into a place for tourists. It was all restaurants, shops, hotels, more shops, more buying, more selling, consumerism at its finest. It's definitely a place to go when you're in Santorini (and I've heard there's still nightlife there during the off-season) to take a walk, look at the view, and enjoy some traditional tall, iced, Greek espresso! And to see the donkeys taking people up and down the thousand-or-so steps that lead down to the water's edge and port of Fira!

After getting our fill of Fira, we decided to hit the road again, and make our way to Oia to watch one of the most famous sunsets in all the world. And it did prove to be quite beautiful. Anytime you can watch the sun set into the sea, that's a good moment in life. Especially when it coincides with you bearing your soul to God and tell Him, "Ok, look, I'm desperate here. I really need to know where I'm going to go next year. What do I want to do? Where should I go?" Just to catch a random, out-of-nowhere whiff of something that reminds you of a place (Sevilla for me), leaving you with total peace, tranquility, acceptance, and an answer to your plea. (Sevilla!) We didn't see much of Fira, since we weren't up in the village where people usually watch the sunset, but looking up at it from below, it's a beautiful place.

We ended up getting the quad back to Moto Mania just a couple minutes before the closed, and both agreed, it was one of the best things we could have done on the trip. Really, I can't recommend this more. It is such an easy way to fly around the island. You have access to everything, since it fits on all the roads, and it's easier to park a quad than a car in any of the busier areas. Plus, if you have to, or want to, do a little off-roading, you know you can. ;)

The next day, also as suggested, we did a little boat cruise/tour. We opted for the 17 euro, six-hour trip, and were taken from the Port of Fira to the volcanic island of Santorini. It's still active, and a guide takes you on a moderate-but-short (30-45 mins) hike to the different craters of the canoe, giving you information along the way. It was really remarkable to be standing on an active volcano, hiking it, and seeing the black volcanic rock all around, and smoke rising from a crate that lays 2000km below sea level! And even cooler when she told us that if we put our hand in one of the holes, we could feel the heat, and we did! Also, the, the views from that thing were incredible.

After the hike on the volcano, they take you to the hot springs, which you can see in the photo above. It's the slim spot of water, between where we're looking from in the photo, and the small island just next to it. Now, I'll be honest, they sold us an idea on this one. The hot springs will not be hot for another month or so, so when I was the first one to jump off the boat, into the sea, and swim the 30 meters to the hot springs, just to discover there was barely a temperature difference, I was like, "Ok, well. I definitely won't be needing the whole half hour you're giving us to swim here." And I couldn't find any of the healing mud to at least give myself a cleanse either, but I did see a couple girls digging some up and rubbing it on their arms. I can imagine that when it's a little later in the year, the experience would be divine. It was still an experience, but not the "first time swimming in a hot springs, let alone in Greece," experience I'd expected. But, oh well. ;)

The last real stop on the trip is to the other inhabited island of Santorini. There is one small village on it, and they told us it's what all of Santorini was like before tourism became a thing. You have to walk up over 300 steps to get to it, and she warned us beforehand that it would feel like 600, considering the slope. She didn't lie, but it was definitely worth it to catch a glimpse of a village with a vibe like that. We spent most of the stop eating an accidental lunch, but did make the climb just before we were expected back at the boat. (We'd brought food as to not spend money, but saw skewers, and thought to get one and a beer to have before the climb. It ended up being a full plate lunch. nearly everything else in Greece.)

 {{ our boat }}
 {{ my friend's octopus }}
{{ view from the way up }}

The final part of the trip was to loop us by Oia so people could get off, and we caught a beautiful glimpse of the village from the sea. It was emitted a special energy from afar, and I was sad we hadn't spend more time there. But so happy to be able to see and feel it :)

Other than being oober tourists and doing all the recommended things, we spent a lot of time eating and just relaxing. My friend and I discovered that we're eating soulmates, and therefore had no problem ordering enough food for a group of eight, just for the two of us. Really, the food in Greece is incredible. So much produce, and so much fish. And so many other delicious things. I'm so happy I didn't become a vegetarian, because missing out on eating lamb in Greece is not something that you'll ever find on my Life List. :-/

Santorini proved to be a really great place to go. I definitely think I went with this "it's going to be the best place ever" thinking, based on what others had told me, and it was really special, but we also wanted to party a bit, and that didn't happen. Which of course is fine, but would have also contributed to us getting a real Santorinian experience, and it a higher rating in my travel books. But if you go to Greece and are going to check out islands, I'd say Santorini is one to hit. It has a lot to offer, and it's a really beautiful place, with good food and good people. What else does a person need? Not much I say!

Thanks, Santorini, for welcoming us the way you did. Keeping us safe, and incorporating us into your terrain for a bit of time!

Blessings, Love & Light to all! :)

To read more about Greece in general, click here!
To read about Athens, click here!
To read about Piraeus, click here!
To read about ANNY Studios in Santorini, click here!
To read 6 Tips & Tricks for Travelling Greece, click here!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

ADD Adventures to: Greece

Status update: I’m at the Madrid airport, waiting to board my flight. First I will fly to Frankfurt, then after a couple hours laying-over, I will board my final flight, and make my way to Athens, Greece!
I am so excited for this trip, for so many reasons, but really there are two main ones. The first one being that I’ve never been to Greece, and it’s been on my list forever! When I was studying abroad, I couldn’t afford to come, so I spent nine months in Europe, without ever making it further east than the east coast of Spain (and Finland, but I’m referring mostly to the Mediterranean area). Well, not this time! Now I’ve got two jobs, and I can afford to go further! Woo!
I think that Greece is probably on everyone’s Travel Hit List. It’s a country that we associate with beautiful beaches, white and blue, and a good time. It’s loaded with history, we know and adore the Greek gods, and… islands. Lots, and lots of islands. Really, the end.
Another main reason I am so excited about this trip, is that it is a one-week break from teaching! I have gotten to the point with teaching (working two jobs of teaching) that we call “burned out.” I’ve been working a lot, and teaching is really draining when the students couldn’t care less about much other than the latest trends, One Direction, and Demi Lovato. (Except for some of my 5th graders, who care more about Skrillex..which I find great, but also a bit strange. Has dubstep really become so big, that 10-year olds are jamming out to it??) So this vacation is much needed, to say the least.
I’m hoping that in this time, I will get some clarity on what I’m supposed to do this coming year – stay in Sevilla and teach, go where the program puts me if it’s not Sevilla, go to Germany and volunteer/work/learn German, go travel – and also find some new “ganas”, meaning many things, but here, “motivation and desire”, to crank out the last two months of work like the best teacher to hit the town!
So far in the last 28 hours, I’ve slept about 4-5. I woke up yesterday morning (Thursday) at 6:45 to get ready for work, and was out the door by 7:45. I planned on taking a nap between jobs, but that rarely happens, and I spent my time cooking and eating instead. J Then last night at 12:15am, I took the bus from Sevilla to Madrid. It was the most uncomfortable 6 hours I’ve had on a bus in a very long time. I was restless, couldn’t get comfortable, wasn’t by the window, and was in the very front row. I think in all, I might have caught two or three broken hours of sleep, and 3.5 hours of “my eyes are closed and I’m on the brink, but just can’t pass into it.” I couldn’t have been happier to get off.
One of my best friends, who happens to be from Madrid, is a total gem, and came and picked me up from the bus station and took me to his place. We hung out for a little, he told me some stories, and then we took a 1-hour nap. I’m not sure if it’s because that was the most solid hour of sleep I’d had in over 24 hours, but my gosh, I woke from it feeling like a superstar! The energy that filled me was incredible!
We hit the fruit shop, and then it was to the airport. I got here 2 ½ hours before my departure time (Really, really rare for me. I’m usually more the “nah, half hour before is fine” type of person..), but my gosh was it good, because it took nearly an hour and a half to check in, check my backpack, and get through security. The obvious first stop (after the bathroom) was a coffee, and now here I sit, writing this. Not as tired as one might expect, and full to the brim with ganas to get there! I’ve brought my tablet with me (first time it’s making a trip with me, woo!), and am hoping to throw down some posts while I’m traveling. I’m going without a plan, really, so it’ll be a real ADD Adventure for you! ;)
Update: I made it safe and sound to Greece! I had one flight to Frankfurt, and then another over to Athens. I didn't arrive at my final destination (my friend's place in Piraeus) until nearly 12:45am, for a grand total of about 25 hours of travel from the time I left my place in Sevilla on Thursday night. Equal to when I go home to California. But man, to wake up here in Greece, take a trip to the flea market, stock up on good, local, and inexpensive produce, then sit by the sea and eat a massive, delicious sausage on a stick with friends... amazing, so beyond worth it.
I think that a friend and I are going to head to Santorini on Monday, and then from there, we'll see what happens and where we/I go! We'll be back in Athens/Piraeus for the weekend, and go with our friend to celebrate Easter with him and his family! And he mentioned something about scooter rentals on Santorini and one-day cruises to see volcanoes and hot springs, soooo this seems to be shaping up to a real, real vacation! Going & Flowing!
Happy travels little darlings!
Blessings, Love & Light to all! <3

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Amazing Daze

It's only 12:30 here, and already I've had the best day ever! I know it has a lot to do with the fact that I am really riding a major high right now, feeling pretty centered around God and goodness, and have almost fully slipped back into my last-year's ways of thinking and Being -- all is well, all is as it should be, accept everything, love everything, be positive, and don't let the negativity intrude, or be something you give energy to. All of this, in combination with the picture-taking nostalgia that hit me this week at the high school (because regardless of where I end up next year, Sevilla or a new city, I won't be in the high school), has sent me spiraling into this huge blaze of love, good energy, and positive thinking [and manifestation]. And I know for sure it is all of this that has contributed to me only having lived half of this day, but it being an amazing day for my energy field!

I usually have a class at 8:45 on Thursday mornings, but was told yesterday that I didn't have to go in. So this morning when I woke up, I was already on the good side of the bed. Tired from staying up maybe-a-little-too-late chatting about life and watching segments of First Earth with our couchsurfer of the week, but happy, because I had an amazing morning devotional, and squeezed in some yoga and an ab workout, all before breakfast. I went to work to teach the 9:15 English class, and had a great time, in a group that usually drive me up the wall. The teacher even told me that she "saw me with a lot of energy today".

I was so stoked and surprised to learn that I didn't have to go to the 10:15 class I usually help in, and left the school with a massive smile on my face, in spite of having to bike in the rain. I decided to come to my favorite spot in Sevilla to grade exams, and when I got off the metro and was waiting for the lift, I was highly blessed with a chance encounter.

My bike basket is, here in Sevilla, likely in all of Spain, one of a kind. There is no other like it, and it is highly unlikely you will ever see anyone who is not an utterly proud and unashamed guiri (foreigner) with one like this. Best if I just show you what I mean...

As I was saying, I was waiting for the lift, and another woman happened to be waiting with her bike as well. She took out her earphones, and then asked me, in a perfect American accent, if I happened to be American. She said that there way no way a Spaniard would have a bike basket with flowers on it, so she knew I had to be from the States. We ended up talking on our ride up and out, and then walked a bit together as well. She told me she's from Eugene, Oregon, which is "about as close to granola as it gets," in her words, and that she's here to study and learn Spanish. She was finishing up her degree back home and had four credits left, so she "decided to cash in her savings and move to Sevilla for six months!" I loved her instantly. Now she and her husband are considering moving here, and we're going to get together for tapas to chat. Chance encounters, chance meetings and conversations, all sparked by a bike basket that is a transportable floral shop! Incredible!

I rode the high from this encounter all the way to Red House, and was just a little bummed when I got here and realized they were closed (not open yet), but decided to pop in a shop across the street to pick up a gift for a beloved friend back home. I got the gift and a new earring, and then realized I was hungry, so I stood outside eating a banana, shoved enthusiastically into some Trader Joe's crunchy, unsalted almond butter that I brought back with me. Just after I had finished, and was spooning almond butter out of the container with my makeshift finger-spoon, the tattoo artist who did my tattoos a couple weeks ago walked by to come and open up the shop (it's next to Red House). She stopped, and we started chatting, and she asked if I'd come in so she could take a picture of the triangle. I agreed, and after indulging in a little more almond butter, put it away, and went in.

Maria (her name) took a picture, and we got to talking. She told me that just the week before I'd come in, another girl from California had gone in, who was fully tatt'd up, even on her forehead, to get the ohm symbol tattooed on her neck. Maria told her what the price would be, and the girl told her that she practices work with crystals, and asked if she'd like to do an exchange. So Maria obtained a big triangle (the stone's names has left me) as payment! She has an interest in them as well, and had a "whoa, full circle" moment when I went in just the next week to have one tattooed on my body! Amazing how life is a circle and comes around to us in time!
The triangle is the Greek symbol for Delta, which means change. I've written a triangle for the word change for as long as I can remember, b/c my mom told me once that they write it in her work that way. (Kinda lazy person = open to any shortcuts) So..."Be The Change" [you wish to see in the world]!
And then, of course, I walked out of the tattoo shop, and Red House's door was open. So, here I sit, in my favorite place to pass the hours, relishing in all the alignment of this magical so-far-just-a-half-day! I am so excited to see what else happens, but also so content to just sit and Be here right now. I'm pumping out a really special energy these days, and please know, I'm sending it all to you! I want it to hit you and kiss your skin softly, penetrating your soul, and leaving you feel lighter, brighter, and fully blessed!

Remember: The world is full of amazing people and moments, and there is a blessing to be found in EVERY situation. We just get so caught up in ourselves sometimes, it's hard to always notice them. Let's practice that... Being grateful, no matter what is going on. It's the practice I've lost the most over the months, and the one I'm working the most to regain and live. It makes a world of difference, and makes our world different.

Blessings, Love & Light to all you sweet souls, on this incredibly beautiful day!
(The sun is coming out!!!!!:)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Itch

I have to admit it... I´ve been a little wanderlust slut. I let my guard down, found myself in a situation I didn´t expect I would, and now, I have to face the consequences.

I have to live with the burning, irrepressible, and powerful instincts that come along with what I´ve got. I have to go to work, feeling this fire inside of me, knowing I can´t put it out, not today anyways. And I have to wonder, "How long will it last, and will it ever go away?"

Sure, it´s something you can hide, try to cover up and keep from people, but in the end, your energy field is all messed up, and that they pick up on. Because let´s face it, you can try and keep others from finding out, but it´s inside of your body, your mind, your spirit, and you know, so eventually, others figure it out too. And the knowing, feeling and suppressing, all that takes a toll on you. It drives you absolutely crazy. It makes you feel like ripping out all your hair, while you run around the halls screaming. It makes you want to walk out the door, and just keep on going. Where to? Doesn´t matter. All you know is, you´ve gotta go, because the cures not within these confines. It makes you antsy, anxious, and a little too energetic. You focus less, and day dream more. You spend too much time on the internet doing research, just trying to find out what to do to ease its intensity, even if only for a weekend. Rational thinking is no longer a part of your life. All you can put your passion into is finding out what to do to ignite the fire, while simultaneously putting it out. Because once you´ve got it, there´s no turning back until it´s cured. It´s....


The Itch is what happens when the travel bug bites you. Usually, it bites pretty hard, and the result is something that probably will never go away: wanderlust. This wanderlust can take you out of your country, and lead your right into another one, where you find yourself living and working for an undetermined amount of time. Five months turn into a year, which somehow becomes a year and a half, and then before you know it, you´re contemplating one more. But after a while, the wanderlust transforms, and simply being abroad is no longer enough. It is at this time, that it morphs into something else. Something more powerful, more annoying, and more thought-consuming: The Itch.

Now, The Itch means different things to different people, but I think all our symptoms are generally the same. The symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Inability to focus on the tasks that make you a responsible person
  • Strong desire to run [away]
  • Frequent blank stares out windows/off into the distance
  • Staring at Google Maps of the continent you inhabit and the world to
    • a. see which countries are nearest to you/the cheapest to get to
    • b. plan your next weekend/holiday/future trip around the world
    • c. just see what´s there
  • Intense jealousy for everyone you meet who is "just traveling", or even just on a weekend trip

Having The Itch means that if you´re in the same place, doing the same thing, for more than x number of months (I think I´ve figured mine out to be about nine), you´re thinking about what you can do and where you can go next. You´re thinking about the next adventure, unseen place, foreign language, and major change. It means that while you might be in a place you love and don´t want to leave, you also really can´t imagine staying for a whole nother year. It puts you in this highly complex situation, where you don´t quite have enough money to just go and begin your I´m-going-without-a-return-date-in-mind trip, but you also really don´t want to work another year to get there.

What to do, what to do?

My solution: don´t think about it too much, and don´t brood. You´ll lose all the current moments you´ve been blessed with, and then not only will you be dreaming about the future, you´ll be wondering what happened in the past. Especially if you´re in a program like I am, where you could be told you´re going to another city, therefore providing you a new adventure and change of scene, it´s not worth thinking about it. Because while your life is in your hands and you can call the shots, this is a factor, and it plays a role, an important one *cough cough* papers that allow you to stay *cough cough*. So just embrace the last months you have in your job as an auxiliary and teacher, and create your own adventures right where you are! Oh, and, keep on trusting God, because you know He´s got your back, and has it all planned out for you anyways! ;-)

I hope that if you´re out there in a position like me, you´ve also just released the chains of control on your life, and decided to keep on flowing with it. Because there are endless places and opportunities out there, and we can drive ourselves mad if we get too crazy about making a change happen RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. So just breath, and know, you´ve already escaped the life you felt closing in on you in that cubicle back home. It´s all good baby, you´re in the world now! You don´t have to go back! 

Keep living and loving, growing and flowing! It´s the only way to go!

Blessings, Love & Light to you all! 
I adore your sweet souls, and am happy to share the earth with you! :-*