appearance

11:26 AM

Sitting here, with my dogs in my lap, all snuggled up because we're cold, im thinking. i'm thinking about my appearance. how i wish i didnt have to wear makeup to feel beautiful. this is something i've always struggled with. i dont want to wear makeup. or at least the amount that i do anyhow.. i want to see beauty in my bare face. i dont want to feel insecure walking out of the house or when my mother or brother look at me. i want to feel beautiful. i honestly really hate having to wear makeup. i see photos of a lot of women who are so beautiful and dont even wear the slightest bit of foundation or eyeshadow. i want to be like them. i want to feel comfortable. my friends and family and even random people tell me how pretty i am, of course, when i have a full face of makeup on. but sometimes even then, i just simply cannot see it. i dont understand. sometimes i feel so horrible, most times actually. its a struggle for me to see beauty. even with makeup. maybe i'm just distorting everything people see? maybe i am beautiful? but when i look in the mirror, i cannot see what everyone else is seeing. im not being hard on myself, im not lying to myself, i really, physically cant see the beauty. i wonder if i will ever stop wearing makeup. i wonder if ill ever feel comfortable and confident in my own skin without having to hide all of my imperfections.

the future

3:09 AM

I wonder how my life will be in a year from now, four years from now, ten years from now. Will I be reading my son The Giving Tree before I put him to bed or brushing my daughters wet hair while listening to Ólafur Arnalds' "Living Room Songs"? Will I be reading a book on a train from Germany to Switzerland? Will I be sipping tea on top of a roof at 6am with whom I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with? Will I be teaching Romanian children how to say "how are you?" in English? Will I be painting my home that burnt orange or soft yellow or olive green color that I love so much? I don't know what the future has in store for me. I can only hope it will be good. I hope it will be filled with happiness. Happiness starts with yourself, not another person. Depending on someone for happiness is the worst possible thing you can put yourself through. My mother always taught me to depend on nobody. Support myself and be independent. That, I have learned. It's easier for me to be happy now. & I find happiness in the smallest things. Like walking in neighborhoods with willow trees or driving through foresty/canyon areas. The smell of books, tea, independent films, seeing others going about their day–happily. Sometimes I'd like to jump ahead in time and skip the now. I've been so impatiently lately. Which is extremely unlike me. But patience is good. A year from now, four years from now, ten years from now, I will think back to this night where I'm up wondering what my life will be like and it might not be any of my thoughts. My life could be completely different. I do hope I'd be traveling though; for traveling is my rapture. But who really knows? Time, patience, and hard work is all I need.

Dreams

1:24 AM

It is 1:06am on wednesday, october 5th, 2016. I've turned out my lights around 12am and have not fallen into sleep yet. My mind is too busy thinking about everything i want to do in my life. my goals, my dreams. my pup is laying at the corner of my bed, snoring away softly. i like silence, most nights, but her breathing is keeping me at ease tonight.
I lay here thinking about where my life will take me. when will it take me. how will it take me. i have so many ideas and passions and i just dont know what it is i want to do. i mean, i do know. but theres so much more now that i want to accomplish and become successful in but maybe this is just a dream? maybe its not going to happen? maybe i need to start having some faith in myself and make it happen. after all, i am probably one of the most ambitious people i know.

i want to open up an apothecary shop filled with teas and herbal medicine and everything that comes with homeopathy and naturopathy. i want it to be as popular as a 7-eleven. i want people to know that there are healthier alternatives to becoming healthy.
i want to build a small community of tiny houses and rent them out like apartments.
i want to build a real life hogwarts but into a hotel. I wonder if J.K. Rowling would even approve? I dont know. but oh man that would be a dream come true. i want to replicate hogwarts exterior and interior and make it a hotel for all muggles to enjoy.
i want to own a halloween themed theme park. Spooky rides, creepy mazes, frightening attractions. how amazing would that be? to have an amusement park dedicated to halloween.

i think to myself, maybe this will never happen, maybe im dreaming too big. maybe my dreams arent realistic. but how can they be realistic if i think so negatively? i want to push to make these happen. im scared. im excited. im nervous. im doubtful. im hopeful. it's not impossible to accomplish my dreams. it's not impossible to be successful in everything i want to do. i just need to work at it and give my god damn hardest and never give up. i have so many dreams. i want to make these dreams become a reality.

Iceland

11:49 AM

It's fascinating how different another country is from the country I live in. The way people move, the language, the food, the activities, the jokes, the personalities, the trends, the transportation, the art, the housing, everything. In Iceland, the population is roughly 300,000. This year will have about 1.5 million tourists. Iceland won't be so tiny anymore. There will be loads of people.
I kept hearing "niceland" and "everyone is so nice in Iceland", which I found to be quite wrong. Not everyone is so nice. I found that mainly the people working (buss drivers, retail, restaurant, etc) they all had an attitude and were a little rude... or a lot rude. Which I found a bit disappointing. But, overall, it was fine, I guess.
I did not get to watch the midnight sun. That was one thing I was really looking forward to doing but I just never had the chance to actually watch it. One reason being it was cloudy most of the time. And the days it wasn't cloudy, I was exhausted so i slept early. Anyway, the sights were amazing.
I went to quite a few waterfalls and hiked a ton to get to captivating places. It was raining most of the time which was a little annoying but the views were well worth it.
I've met a girl from France through Couch Surfing, her name is Honorine. I met her about a month or 3 weeks before leaving to Iceland. Her and I planned to travel together. So we were together for most of my trip (her accent started rubbing off on me and I noticed the pronunciations of some of the words id say, sounded like a French accent!) It was fun and she is great. We rented a car and went south, west, and east. We had 4 days of roadtrips and it was pretty cool. I'm not much of a long drive person (if im driving) but during those days, I was 100% all for it! And I'm so glad I did it. {Down below are photos I have taken of my trip and some writings following them.}
During my time away from home, I didn't check social media, I didn't check anyone's snapchat, I posted on there but didn't check anyone's postings. And let me tell you, it felt great. I didn't text people from home, it was just me, honorine, a friend in Iceland, my parents, and that's pretty much it. I advise everyone do this when they take a trip somewhere far away. It's refreshing and less stressing.


Árbærjasafn

Oh, did I love this open air museum! I was alone this day, honorine had not arrived yet. I took a bus to get close to here then got a little lost along the way. I found myself walking down a small neighborhood and saw a woman from afar unloading boxes from her car with her daughter in a pretty soft glittery pink dress standing beside her. I walked towards her and when I got close enough, I asked her for directions. As she was pointing the correct ways for me to head, she paused and realized it was too far for me to walk so she offered to take me. It was such a kind thing of her to do considering she does not know me. She asked me a few questions about myself and my trip on the way to Árbær. She was a sweet woman & when she dropped me off, she told me to have a great trip.
I entered the small house shaped building where you pay for your ticket. The employees were dressed in early 1900s atire. This museum was fascinating. There were houses that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s and you can walk through them and learn about them and see how houses in those days in Iceland looked. It was so cool. Some of the houses had music flowing through them. Seeing how different the furniture was and hearing the music from those days was just amazing. The type of wood, the bedding, the portraits, the books, the staircases, the architecture, I was in awe the entire time going through those houses. People used to live in those. They were real houses. I can't get over it. It was so so cool.


Blue Lagoon in Grindavík


This place... was relaxing and just a dream. A geothermal lagoon with silica. (I hate silica!!!!) but it was wonderful. The warm water was so calming. Honorine and I spent probably an hour in it. It's pretty big so there's lots of areas to go to. We had gotten smoothies to enjoy as well as a silica mask that came complementary with the admission. It was unreal to see the water and actually be in it. It's a touristy activity but it's definitely worth going to.


Hjálparfoss

This was the first waterfall we went to see. The two made a beautiful rainbow, which I tried to capture in a photo but didn't work out. All I have is my memory. And that is absolutely fine with me. There were TONS of bugs though. Which I was not fine with. It was annoying but the view was worth it.


Icelandic Wonders Museum in Stokkseyri

I'm sad I came to Iceland during a time where nightfall isnt happening. Therefor, I did not have the possibility to watch the northern lights. Here, here I was at another museum. It was about elves. Pretty dang cool in my opinion. I've always loved anything that has to do with fantasy and myths and urban legends. And here, in Iceland, many of the older generation believe in elves and trolls. It is called the Land of Elves. It's fascinating to think about.
There was a second part to the museum called Draugasetrið which was around the back in a completely different building. This one was about ghosts. These museums give you a headset and you walk to each number and listen to the story. But, in the ghost one, oh man oh man, it was terrifying!! I did not think it was going to be what it was. They had people pop out and scare you! It was so unexpected I was literally shaking in fear, ha! Everything was so eerie and dark and there was a room where you're supposed to go in it by yourself and then the other person after but honorine and I were too chicken so we went in together...... THANK GOODNESS we went in together! That thing was so dang scary! It was a super fun walk through but so unexpected and creepy.


On our way to skógar


Skógar Museum


Skógar

Skógafoss.. Oh skógafoss. My absolute most favorite waterfall I've seen. It was huge. With the black sand and volcano rocks, it was perfect. I imagined a giant troll (but trolls are small?) dressed in the clothes they're dressed in in the books and postcards here in Iceland, drinking water from the fall like a small water fountain. How cool would that be?
We hiked up and walked maybe a little over half a mile to see a few more waterfalls—apparently there was 22! And we only saw about 4. Beautiful green fields of grass and moss. Moss everywhere. Sheep "baa"ing and eating grass. People way ahead searching for the other waterfalls. I've never hiked so much and so high and by the end of it, my legs were noodles. But it was worth it. Like every view I've seen, is.


Black sand beach, Vík

Crazy beautiful and unreal!! Need I say more?


Fjaðrárgljúfur


Okay this was high on my list of things I wanted to see. We drove about 3/4 hours east to get here.

Seljavallalaug Pool

This is a naturally heated pool; unfortunately, I didn't bring my bathing suit so I didn't get to enjoy it. But honorine did! It was a beautiful location and icelands oldest pool! This was literally in the mountain area. Nothing else around, just a stream, moss, rocks, and mountains. Beautiful. Fascinating. Amazing.

Seljalandsfoss
On our way back to the Airbnb we stopped by this waterfall. You can walk behind it but we didn't, we were cold and tired & we would've gotten super wet from it so we decided not to!

Downtown Reykjavik 3am
Let's just say this was a very very long night, haha! Fun memories.

Brúarfoss

Trying to find this waterfall was so very difficult and confusing. But after frustration and irritation, almost an hour of driving around, and walking down the wrong paths, we finally found it and oh my goodness it was such a beauty.


 
Being a solo female traveler (only for about 3 days since honorine joined me for most of my trip) it wasn't scary at all. I got around, did things independently, I wasn't scared. I wasn't nervous. I guess it all just depends where you are traveling. But Iceland, it is safe. For the most part. You will come across many solo backpackers and women traveling. You aren't alone. And there are meet ups you can go to with only travelers so if you're feeling uneasy or alone, you can definitely meet some new people there and possibly travel with them! This was such an adventurous experience. I can't wait to travel again.

LAX to KEF

12:20 AM

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Almost an hour & a half into this 8 hour flight to Keflavík, Iceland. My first time on board with an international airline. The airplane is purple. More like fuchsia, I suppose. The women flight attendants are so pretty. At first, I thought they were American. But then, I heard two of them speaking to each other in Icelandic. Fascinating—I think to myself. Here, on this airline, since it is an Icelandic airline, the legal drinking age is 20. I was a little excited about that. I did think for a second if I wanted to buy a drink for myself; I did not. I did buy a 7up though. All the words on the can were in Icelandic. Amazing. There is a slight difference in taste. It seems as if it is stale or old. But not bad enough to not drink. It was 300 isk. My first Icelandic purchase was 7up on this plane.
Holy cow, how are these Icelandic women so darn pretty!?

2 hours down. I am now listening to Ólafur Arnalds' Living Room Songs album & reading Our Endless Numbered Days. I am starting chapter 5. The chapter where the real story begins. I find comfort in piano music while reading. It's so soothing to me & I feel it is the best thing you can feed your soul when reading.

It is now almost the 5th hour on this flight. Watching the sky turn from blue to pink to purple, to a mix of all three & then to a darker blue is quite beautiful. The way the earth works is just breathtaking. During these past 5 hours, I've been surviving hunger only with original Chex mix & chocolate chip granola bars. I am starving. Craving some vegan food!

During the 2nd hour to now, I've taken naps, read, listened to music, (as of right now I am listening to crystal castles). I am so ready to get off this plane. 2 hours & 40 minutes left to go!
It's 9:30pm PST (says my phone) & the sky is changing color again. It went from the deep blue to a light pinkish orange. It's so incredible flying through different time zones. I'm in awe.

About 2 hours left until I land in Keflavík. It's so odd knowing how early in the morning it is wherever we are flying through & it's completely daylight outside when it should be dawn.

Here I am.

8:56 PM

Last autumn I was going through a very confusing point in my life. I wasn't sure of anything, all I knew was that I wanted to move by the new year. Everything seemed a bit off. I was confused about everything. I left my longest job for a seasonal job, got into a relationship I clearly wasn't ready for, lost a few friends, gained a few friends, I was losing myself. The strange thing is, I knew nothing was right, I knew everything just felt completely wrong & things I was doing just weren't okay. But I didn't know how to stop. Everything felt so hard & I had dreams I had no motivation to pursue except wanting* to move. I decided to start planning & save. That never ended up happening. My plans quickly changed when the new year came. I got a new job, got out of that relationship, discovered my passions & dreams, motivation & ambition started kicking in. My mentality changed. Everything changed. Now, here I am, knowing what it is I want to do with my life, where I want to go, things I'd like to accomplish. Focusing on myself. Focusing on my dreams. I am going to make it all happen. It's already starting––it's already going to happen. I will be taking my first trip out of the country then a few months later I will be living in a different country, volunteering. I will be focusing on myself & bettering myself for myself. I believe that is the greatest gift you can give to yourself; bettering yourself. Coming to terms with many things & growing from it. Pushing yourself to get to where you believe you need to be. Here I am. Here I will be.
In thirteen days i will be taking my first solo trip. i will be hopping on a plane and flying to a different country. i will be in iceland. how crazy it is to think i will be so far away from home, in a entirely different place. in an entirely different country. and all by myself. my sleeping arrangements have changed which is forcing this trip to be solo. i guess it will give me the full "traveling" experience. im no longer frightened. i am ecstatic. beyond belief. in thirteen days i will meet the cold icelandic air and breathe the wonders of the beautiful island. i have many things planned and places id like to go and see. oh i do hope id get to do everything id like. This will be such an amazing experience for me. i just know it. taking this time for myself, away from all the stress, away from all the negativity, away from all the drama.. this will be good for me. a breath of fresh air, literally. while i am away, i plan to talk have no conversation with anyone here. i want to leave everything completely and come back with stories to tell. i will feed my instagram and share my views with snapchat. i will write. i will write. i will write. which is my absolute favorite thing to do when i travel. i will laugh with new people, share a drink or two with new people, smile with new people, maybe even cry with new people. i will do all i can to keep myself happy during this trip. i have read icelanders are the nicest people you will come across; so, i do hope that is bona fide. i hope being away and disconnecting myself from everyone here will let my true self unravel and feel free. free to be who ever id like. free to be whoever i am.
I am so unbelievably overjoyed i have overcome my confusing time last year. it wasnt the best and i was hurting someone who loved me. i was trying to figure out where i was going to live, what i wanted to do, where i wanted to be. i didnt know anything. i was so distraught because i couldnt fathom why everything felt wrong. i tried so hard to make things work or go the way i thought they should but i just couldnt bring myself to do so. i was just in a strange place. i just was so confused about life and all that was going on with myself. i really was set on moving. i planned to move to the PNW. by myself and my dog. just us two. to get away. to start my life. but as the months passed, i realized i wasnt ready. i wasnt ready because i so desperately wanted to travel. travel. travel has been on my mind for years. i started traveling frequently to colorado. that was fantastic. i loved everything about it. but i wanted to do more. i wanted to get out of the states and see how other countries are. the culture, the people, the food, the activities, the nature, the way people move, the things people do, how people talk. i needed more. so now, here i am. 13 days away from traveling to a whole different country. i am ready to start following and accomplishing my dreams.

Take a listen.

Yesterday

6:52 PM


Yesterday, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, was the last day I was going to be able to walk through the turnstiles into Disneyland whenever I pleased.
Yesterday, was such a saddening day. For my heart and soul.
Yesterday, was the last time I'd get to spend my minutes––at a place I felt at home. A place that was actually like home.
It was about 7pm when I decided I needed to go to Disneyland. One last time. I had worked all day so I didnt have much time. Alone I went, parked in Downtown Disney. It was 7:21pm when I realized I've wanted to take photos of the flowers the cast members (or gardeners?) have planted for the spring time. The sun was making its way down so I knew I had to hurry. I needed to get those photos before it got dark. I walked fast. I went through the Grand Hotel to get to California Adventures instead of going through the front. I had no time to take anything in (as for it being the last time I'd freely be able to step foot in California Adventures again). As I was getting closer to the view of the mickey ferris wheel, I noticed it was sectioned off by ropes for world of color. I was starting to feel panic. I wanted needed to get those photos. The sky was a beautiful blue and orange. I walked up to the cast member and explained to him what I wanted to do after him informing me I wasnt able to go down to the area I was wishing for because I did not have a fast pass. After explaining what I wanted to do, he was so kind enough to let me through. He took me down to the flowers, the beautiful pink carolina roses (1). "Here! This is perfect. I dont need to go further", I said. We stopped and I leaned in to capture photos of the pink roses with the ferris wheel in the back, with the sun setting. I took maybe fifteen photos. Oh so beautiful. So so very beautiful. I turned back to him and thanked him from the bottom of my heart. After that, I needed to get to Disneyland. There were flowers there I've seen that I desperately needed to take photos of. As I was walking towards the exit of DCA, near the Wine Country Trattoria I spotted yellow carolina roses (2) and I just had to stop and snap some quick photos. Those too where quite beautiful. I quickly made my way out of California Adventure's, walked through the middle to get to the entrance of Disneyland. Thats's when it hit me. That was going to be the last time I get to walk into Disneyland whenever I wished. I made my way towards matterhorn where I remembered seeing foxgloves (3), the sun was already almost gone and my heart was starting to sink. Walked around and took photos of flowers throughout the park. As it became nightfall, I just walked. Walked through every little part of Disneyland. Listening to teenagers laugh and children cry and parents talking. They all didnt know I was there. They all didnt know what I was doing. But I knew. // I was walking down mainstreet to get to a shop to buy one last thing from Disneyland. After making my purchase, I started walking towards the exit. Walking underneath that bridge and the emotions started to kick in. My eyes were filling up with tears as I was coming closer to the turnstiles to exit. I tried holding back my tears from falling and somehow I was able to manage that. Some might think i'm dramatic, but no one understands my love for Disney and Disneyland. Owning a pass for three years has been such a wonderful privilege. I'm hoping someday to own one once more.
"To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." -Walt Disney


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