Worry dolls

I don’t believe anyone will be reading this. Maybe that’s why I feel it will be easier to let my worries and anxieties flow freely. 

Worry dolls are a Guatemalan legend. They’re small dolls who you whisper your worries to at night. You place them under your pillow while you sleep and they take away your worries. 

It seems like a contradiction that my mom snuck them into my bag before I left. I’ve just found them while unpacking in my new apartment in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been in Australia for over a month. I’ve been traveling longer. It seems surreal still. It still feels like vacation. I don’t want it to feel that way though. But it’s a contradiction none the less that my mom would give them to me when she is causing so much anxiety for me. I can’t blame her that she is my sole anxiety. She isn’t. But it hurts me so much that she is supposed to be my rock and she isn’t. She’s being the opposite. I am so close to breaking and I just want to talk to her, to vent my frustration and anger. Instead she makes me feel worse and we just constantly fight. 

I wish writing this would have given me some kind of satisfaction. I’ve vented but I don’t feel any cathartic relief. Maybe the worry dolls will bring relief in the morning.

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My Traveling Paradox

So a few weeks ago, I was having this problem with my shyness. There’s a cute boy in my one psychology class. I’ve stared at him, probably obviously, since day one. So yes, I’m a creep. At the beginning of the semester, I was in this complicated thing with my ex. I guess we’re still pretty complicated. Anyway, it took some time for me to decide to talk to new guys. For about half a dozen different classes, I would try to get up my nerve to say hi to him.. and fail. I just couldn’t imagine what to talk to him about or what goes after the ‘hey, what’s up?’ ‘nothing, you’ ‘nothing’ conversation. Now listen, I have anxiety – Generalized Anxiety Disorder to be precise. I’ve had countless panic attacks and need medication to calm me down some times. After the one class, I was shaking, heart pounding, and feeling like I needed one of my pills. I realized I was crazy. I was on the way to having a panic attack over worrying about how to say “hi” to a boy. A BOY.

I had told some friends about this and every one of them (at different times and places) all related it back to travel and my courage to travel solo. They can’t understand how I’m so nonchalant about traveling the world by myself. How I could backpack Europe by myself or with (what started out as) a stranger (and turned into a wonderful lifetime friend.) How I can plan to spend a year in Australia by myself with no worries. How I don’t feel strange to go have lunch by myself. How I’ve lived alone in my apartment for 2 years. How I’m planning to move to San Diego for the summer – by myself. And then in a hostel in France, I can laugh and have fun with people I met minutes ago.

Nice, France

So here is my conundrum, why is it that I can easily go up to a stranger in a foreign country to make friends.. but I can’t say ‘hi’ to a boy here in the states? I don’t have any worries or doubts or fears of traveling alone somewhere where I don’t speak the language. I don’t mind, no, I LOVE being free on a topless or nude beach. I even like flirting with guys there. So this is my traveling paradox: when I am in another country or new place, I am free and confident to be myself. I absolutely love saying exactly what’s on my mind and talking to whoever I want to. I used to think it was similar to that whole YOLO phrase going around but it’s more than that. It’s more than just ‘hey, I’m leaving to go to another country tomorrow and I’ll never see you again so I don’t care if you don’t like what I say.’ I wish I could describe it better. It also has to do with seeing all these amazing new things every day and since you’re alone, you have to be blab to someone about it! And then there’s also because I’m in hostels where it’s such an amazing welcoming feeling. Everyone is there with similar purpose: to see something new or visit a lovely place or just live life. It’s a whole way of life – hosteling. With all of us having a similar outlook on life, we’re freer to open up and talk and make friends.

What I need to learn is how to get that back: my confidence. Not for this specific boy or anything. I want to be the person I loved while traveling. I was happier and carefree. I smiled and smelled the roses a lot more often. Maybe that’s why I love traveling – because of who I am when I travel. Either way, I’m hoping to turn back into the girl who could start a conversation with anyone at the bar – even the cutest guy. I don’t like this girl who hyperventilates over thinking about say ‘hi’ to some guy.

Decisions, Decisions… Help!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I graduate May 18th! Only 7 weeks away and I will be officially done and finally have my BA in Psychology. About only 5 weeks and I’ll actually be done with finals and all my classes. As exciting as this is, IT’S VERY SCARY. May 31st is the move out date for my current apartment. Although I have decided to definitely go to Bonnaroo and volunteer – even paid my deposit for my spot on c’roo. I have not decided what lays ahead of me the two weeks after I’m kicked out of my apartment and before I go to Bonnaroo. I also haven’t decided where I’m headed after Bonnaroo is all over. I was planning to go straight to CA, but I was just invited to my cousin’s wedding at the end of June in NY. Now I have the dilemma of wasting time back home in order to go to the wedding or not attend the wedding and leave from Bonnaroo straight to CA.

So what am I go doing in California? Well, work for accommodation! Through workaway.info, I’ve secured my spot to work and live in San Diego, CA at a hostel for the summer. Workaway.info is a website that connects travellers/volunteers with hosts. Essentially, you look through all the different hosts in the country or region that you are visiting and email them to ask if you can come stay with them. In exchange for you living with this family or business, you work or “volunteer” for a predetermined amount of time. For instance, at the hostel in San Diego, I will work about 24 hours a week. In exchange, I will stay there and get breakfast and dinner every day. There are other work for accommodation programs, but I’ve gravitated towards this one. I’ve emailed other hosts through workaway, and now am waiting to find out some other options I may have.

My dilemma, you see, is my mom and her undecided future. I currently live about 15-20 minutes away from her and my sisters. We’re very close. Her department was recently outsourced and she unluckily is out of a job. She has been applying like crazy to move down to Florida. There is one job in particular that has contacted her and she seems to be a pretty good candidate for – but in South Carolina. As excited as I am for her, it puts a damper on figuring out my plans! I was hoping to move back in with my mom when I left my apartment in order to wait until Bonnaroo, then go to CA. Or if I did decide to go to the wedding, I’d go back to my mom’s after Bonnaroo as well so I could go to the wedding and then go to CA. If she’s not even going to be here, then my plans have to change. Then she also asked if I would consider moving to South Carolina with her for the summer to help get adjusted there with my sisters. That brings a whole other level of possibilities. I think I’m just overwhelmed with all the possibilities of where to live and with whom and how to save money or work to save money and this and that. It’s a big spoon to swallow. So I ask this: WHAT DO I DO?! If there are any good suggestions out there to help me figure out what to do once I graduate, I’d appreciate it.

Hello, bon jour, and beinvenidos!

So, here I am sitting in the basement of my university’s library starting my very first real blog (no, I don’t count xanga, tumblr, or even that one I made for my COM 101 class.) I am worried, nervous, and full of anxiety over this silly blog. Probably, it’s because I really want to make it what I would want to follow.

This blog is going to be about travel, the world, fashion, food, articles I find, of course pictures, my bucket list of places I want to go, and hopefully not too often, but about me, too. It’s going to be everything I can think of that has to do with traveling, wandering, exploring, hiking, swimming, flying, wondering, questioning, and anything and everything in between. I thought I’d start my first post with an introduction to this blog and to me, Alex. Under ‘About Me’ will have a little something for you to be able to figure me out. 

Here’s a little more in regards to my traveling expertise (or lack of!): When I was younger, it was just me and my mom. She took me everywhere. She’s an avid traveler as well. When I was in the womb, I had already been to Puerto Rico! Since then I have visited a lot of US states and have been abroad a few different times as well. 

Some of the places I’ve been so far are California (probably 7-8 times by now and all over CA), Arizona, Nevada twice (saw the Grand Canyon on a boat and in a glass-floor helicopter), road trip up and down the east coast (PA to FL and back countless times), Chicago, IL, Vermont, Florida (well over a dozen times), New York state and city, lived in NJ and PA, beaches all along NJ, NY, DE, MD, SC, FL, Bahamas (Nassau [a few times] and Grand Bahama Island), Dominican Republic, England (twice), Wales, and Ireland. 

This summer I will be going to California again, on a cruise to Canada, and will spend a month in Greece. I am absolutely thrilled to be going to Greece for study abroad this summer. There will be plenty posts about that later though!

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This blog is for inspiration. It’s to show the world and what you’re missing out on by being stuck in your little town. But it’s also about finding beauty all around you (even in that little town of yours.) It’s to find a home in the wind and let it take you wherever it may. So look at the sky, the ground, ahead and behind you, and decide where to go to next!