Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hi! Because of popular demand (just kidding only a few people asked) I added a way to subscribe to these posts via email!
Check out the bottom Right side of this page and put in your e-mail address! You're all fantastic.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hi there! So It seems everyone is interested in the small amount of time I have left before I leave.
In order to appease the questions and hopefully give you all a picture of the last couple weeks I have here, and maybe some insight in to my mental state, below is my perspective of the next 17 days:

Today: Dad put my mattress in the back of his vehicle. Not sure where I'm sleeping tonight, but it will likely involve a couch or a futon.

Monday: I NEED to FaceTime with Leah (yes I remember and i hope you're still planning on making it happen). The rest of my clothes and belongings need to be put in my car, then I am driving to Bluffton to pack for the week I will be in Philadelphia.

Tuesday: I will likely be throwing last minute packing items in to a bag because lets be real, there are not enough hours in a day. Then the parental units and I will be jumping in the car for 6-7 hours of podcasts and books and sleep.

Wednesday: we finish our 10 1/2 hour drive to Philly and when we get there I don't know what happens. I guess we'll hang out? food and family will likely be involved.

Thursday: we join the famous O'Donnell Thanksgiving. I have been promised a lot of food, and family, and borderline unhealthy competition. Rock band will also likely be involved. Who knows, I can only speculate at this point.

Friday: The women are pampered and then we practice not looking like fools walking down an isle and then we eat.

Saturday: I'm not going to get in to the whole schedule of this day because honestly I don't know what all is happening, but the moral of the story is I gain a wonderful new sister, and then we eat more.

Sunday: no clue, we're still in Philly

Monday: I believe we leave for Bluffton, more hours of driving and reading and sleeping, mostly sleeping.

Tuesday: Still more driving, we get home and I start packing for Japan like a crazy person.

Wednesday: I wake and probably do more packing and then leave for Indy for a Dr's appt.

Thursday: Nothing, Nothing? certainly this cannot be real, a whole day? Don't be fooled, it won't last long. especially after I post this. And if it does then I will sit in a coffee shop and research and send emails or maybe do some Christmas shopping

Friday: My last shift at Sun King. Many mixed emotions

Saturday: Probably go home to see my beloved second family, or hang out with loved ones

Sunday: Sun King's holiday party, so more food and good times and finally saying goodbye to the job I never knew I'd love. Then driving back to Bluffton

Monday: Saying goodbye to my dad that morning before he leaves for Chicago, waiting for my mom to get off work, and completing my packing. freaking out

Tuesday: Flight to Dallas at 6:27am then Fly to Tokyo 10:35am. Land in Tokyo 3:20pm

Any down time you spy in that list is filled with panic attacks, quality friend time, sleeping, staring at a computer screen, and hoping  someone across the planet will email me back.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I keep writing lengthy posts and deleting them because I don't like what i have to say. 

So.. this is awkward. I'm definitely going to have to get better at this when I leave. 

This weekend I am moving for what I believe is the 5th time this year. Only this time I don't have a destination, I'm just bumming with friends because I need to send my bed home. My duffel bag and my backpack will be my trusted companions for the next 20ish days. 

I am struggling to pack for the first part of my trip, I only want to bring carry-ons to Japan, because it's only a month and I think it's silly to bring a bunch of clothes. So if anyone has packing advice different from "bring a bigger bag" I would be very grateful. (fun side-note: every time i type grateful i think of grapefruit) 

don't judge me, I have a lot on my mind. 

I get a "Carry-on"and a "personal item" 

What are some things you regret NOT having on a trip?
What are some things you regret bringing?

Email me, comment here, send a pigeon, pony express etc. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Over this past year I have noticed a pattern of thought about my choice to travel. Many people are supportive and kind, but they assign me a mythological reason for why I have chosen this path.  Because I am too prideful to let everyone else dictate popular thought about my decisions I am clearing out the mythological creatures inhabiting my metaphorical life.

Myth #1: The Sphinx
Lauren wants to travel to find herself

No. No I am not. I assure you, I am right here. I know who I am, I like who I am, I am proud of who I am. I hold no conception of some part of me being in Japan or New Zealand or anywhere other than where I am right now. I don't expect to have a grand epiphany or eureka moment while I am traveling. I am a lot of things, but lost is not one of them.

Myth #2: The Pegasus
Lauren wants to escape

Nope. I am not trapped, I have the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever I want at my own volition. Nothing is keeping me here, and it is this realization which has propelled me to leave. I don't have to escape anything because nothing is holding me down. I'm not running from my emotions or from responsibilities. I'm not flying away to some kind of freedom of the soul. I am just going to a place I want to go, to have new experiences, and learn about culture, and meet people who look at life through a different lens than my own.

Myth #3 The Phoenix
Lauren is doing this because it's the easy way out

NO. Let me just ask, what about this looks easy? If I'm making this look easy then please, let me correct my mistake and be real with you. This is probably the hardest decision I've ever made. Not the decision to travel, or buy a ticket, or pack a bag. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have to decide not to back out. I have to convince myself again and again to send another email, answer another question, and not fall apart when I have to run in circles to please everyone who cares about me.

Myth #4 The Griffin
Lauren is being reckless

Well this is just nonsense. If you saw the yellow pads full of resources, planning, budgets, back-up plans, lists, and cost analysis you would be a fool to think I'm being reckless. If you knew about my safeguards, and extensive research in to safety for female solo travel you would feel silly for thinking I'm just riding a smooth wave to my departure date.

Myth #5 The Unicorn
Lauren is running away from responsibilities

On the contrary, I've just handed myself an extensive list of responsibility I would have never had to worry about before. I'm responsible to make sure my family and friends know I'm alive. I'm responsible to make sure I stay alive. I'm responsible for my living, my finances, my transportation, my health, my education, my belongings. I'm still responsible for what I decide to do with the rest of my life. Just like everyone else is responsible for what they decide to do for the rest of their lives.

Trust me friends, it's not that deep! I'm going to meet people, help people, be stretched spiritually and physically. I am going to learn and to change the way I look at my narrow world. I want to take you along, and the only way you can fully enjoy my experience is to get rid of the mythological creatures everyone seems to think I'm housing.

This list of mythological creatures brought to you by wikipedia and Harry Potter.