Tag Archives: Travel

I’ve been up for 26 hours!

I’m going to attempt to post a video of St Jean Pied De Porte.  It’s easier keeping a video blog rather than type everything on my iPhone.  


Ugh, it’s taking forever to upload.  I’m so freaking tired.  And it’s chilly in my room. 

I want to go outside and collect my clothes from the line but there’s a bunch of pilgrims congregating near my humongous underwear.  I can’t let on that they’re mine.  I’ll be walking side by side with these people for the next 35 days.

But I want to sleep!  If I fall asleep now, I’ll forget my clothes are out there.  Or something worse will happen.  I don’t know what that something worse is.

I’m hiking 15 miles tomorrow all uphill.  Shits gonna suck.  

Screw it, I’m getting my clothes.  I hate being social but once I’m down there I’m inclined to introduce myself.  If I don’t they’ll only refer to me as “that girl with the humongous  underwear”.

“Did you see that girl with the humungous underwear today?”

“For a brief second before I strode past her, why?”

“She’s weird.”

“Yeah, that’s the rumor.  What’s her deal anyway?”

“Word on the street is that she see’s things in her poop.”

You know how sometimes after using the toilet, there’s what is known as a “streaker”?  It’s a streak that even a good hardy flush can’t erase.

My streak today was of a pilgrim walking.  She had the stick and a hat and everything.  I almost took a picture of it to post on Facebook but my better judgment said “fuck no, you crazy? Girl you fuckin’ stoopid crazy.”

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Filed under camino de santiago, humor, Travel, video's

Fort Worth

I’m as efficient as a Japanese business man at the airport.  I try to be as streamlined as possible, slipping in and out of crowds like a wise grasshopper.  I purposely wore sandals for easy slip on/off at security.  I checked in at home and printed out my tickets, made sure not to have to check my bag.  I avoided every line imaginable at the airport today and the place was PACKED.  Dumb asses….

I hate crowds.  I’m not a fan of them.  Once a crowd turns into a mob, no one has individual faces anymore.  It’s all just a bunch of arms and legs moving in a cluster fuck.  They’d step over a dead person in the street without realizing.

I’m at the Fort Worth airport in Texas and I hope it’s not huge.  I can’t really tell from where I’m at how big this place is.  I have no idea where my gate is, let alone my gate number.  I’m just sitting here at the first place I saw that serves breakfast.

I kept nodding off on the plane.  I didn’t sleep last night.  My flight was too early in the morning so I couldn’t sleep.

I just ordered a bloody mary.  What the hell Mel?  I only have $300 to spend this week.  I’m not even there in Alaska yet and I’m pretty sure this breakfast will cost me at least $25 – $30.  For breakfast!!  I have no self control.  No dignity.

And I keep eying places to hide so I can vape my ecig.  Usually on the floor in front of a deserted gate I find a pole to hide behind.

OMG this bloody mary is friggin awesome!

Shit I’m tired.  It’s 11:38am in texas.  Back home it’s 12:38pm, in Anchorage it’s 8:39 in the morning.  My plane will be landing in Anchorage at 7PM Alaskan time after a 7 hour flight tonight.  How long will that mean I’m awake for?

I’ve been up since 10:30am yesterday, it’s been 26 hours I think I been awake for.  If I get to bed at 10pm tonight (Alaska time), it’ll mean I’ll be awake for 32 hours?  No no wait, hold on…..damn math.  Right now at home it’s 12:38pm so if I go to bed at 2am tonight (Connecticut time), that’s 14 hours from now, add that to the 26 I’ve already been awake for and that equals out to be 40.  I don’t know, I could be wrong.  I’ll figure out the math when I’m not so shitty.

I’m about to pay my bill and find my gate.  Hopefully I can start writing again once I get there.  My plane doesn’t take off until 315pm and it’s only 11:46am.

$34.97 was my total bill for breakfast.

And yeah, this place is huge.  The shuttle taken a good 3-4 minutes to get to my gate.

I literally feel pregnant right now.  My stomach is full of beef tenderloin breakfast burrito, toast, home fries, apple juice and bloody mary.  Perfect combo for a 7 hour plane journey I’d say.

I have this really weird habit of rubbing my stomach whenever I feel really full, gassy, or I’m drinking alcohol.  I’m just sitting here at my gate vaping my ecig in secret and rubbing my gigantic stomach like a freak.

I’m wearing a t-shirt I bought at Stop & Shop.  It’s a t-shirt that gives patronage to my hometown.  I don’t think I should be mentioning my hometown anymore on accounts of some guy searching for “massagebymelanie @ email”.  He landed on My blog with that search, but what are the chances it’s actually a client who know’s me?  Out of all the freaking people in the world?

Shit, I should DEFINITELY not mention Massage by Melanie, and even just the word “massage” should be off-limits from now on.

And I’m wearing super comfortable pants that feel like pajama’s.

This is quite nice having my blog here.

Okay, I’m going to publish this shit post and listen to my new audiobook, I’m starting to zone with my mouth agape.

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Here’s a transfixed ramble before I leave for Thailand tonight!

I woke up last night at 3 A.M feeling like I had to throw up.

“Why do I have to throw up?  I haven’t drank anything.”

Then a mini thunder storm erupted in my bowels.

“What did I eat?”

I wanted to get up, but couldn’t.  Every muscle felt weak.  All I could do was lay in bed and decide on whether I wanted to puke or to shit.  Then I realized I’d have to do both sooner or later and I wondered which one will happen first.  Which one I had the least control over.  And that was shit.

I shit like I never shit before.  Then I brushed my teeth because it was 3 A.M and I had morning mouth already – I threw up while I was brushing my teeth.

And so I brushed again.

But man I was sick.  Dizzy, out of breath, brain malfunctioning, black spots.

I couldn’t stand for more than a minute without needing to sit down.

Why?  From half a malaria pill that’s why!  I went online and read the side-effects and one of them were seizures – seizures!  I knew in my heart of hearts that what I was feeling (brain malfunctioning, light-headedness, black spots), are all symptoms leading up to a seizure.  I just knew, you know?  So yeah, no more malaria pills for this girl.  I’ll take my chances with the bugs.

The exhaustion I felt yesterday was impenetrable.  I couldn’t watch tv without feeling sick – I couldn’t listen to my audiobook.  Have you ever felt that sick?

It’s now the next day.  I missed my window to go to the Thai embassy in NY so I’m hoping they’ll still let me on the plane to Thailand.

My stomach is gurgling.  I have a client coming in an hour and a half.

It’s a few days later.  One day away from Thailand and omg…..

OMG!

I underwent a series of events yesterday all leading up to a new understanding about life.  It was incredible.  It all started with my new employee when she spelled the word “does” wrong.

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I cringed at the sight of it.

“There’s a reason why I didn’t hire her in the first place.”

The way my brain operates is, I try to see all sides of a situation before my judgements blind me from seeing truth.  I won’t go into too much detail, but I was once again brought to the conclusion that whatever you believe about a person, you will find.  You’ll keep finding truth to your judgements until that person’s own belief about themselves rises to meet your challenge.

If you dumb yourself down, holding back judgement, in a way, that person you’re holding judgment from will never evolve.  Placating people is a means to enable them.  And when you enable a person – nobody has any power.  It’s a stalemate and an egoic feeding frenzy that circulates back and forth into a spiral.  Placating is not diplomatic, it’s conforming – conceding.  Nobody wins.

I usually close my eyes and say to myself, “all will be well.”  I try not to judge and instead, close my eyes.  If I didn’t close my eyes, nobody will ever like me.  Trust me, they wouldn’t.

“You meant to say “does”, right?”

But what it comes down to is this; (when you’re not enabling stupid behavior and you’re being forthright in your assessments) if their power of belief about themselves overcasts your initial assessment of them, they become worthy of respect.  And since we all judge people from our own perspectives and values, what we believe about someone may be completely opposite of what someone else see’s in them.

The thing I value most is intelligence.  Lack of intelligence is the only thing that annoys me about people.  Feeling annoyed is a subtle branch of anger and hatred.  It’s placing blame to avoid having to deal with our own issues. If we accept people for who they are, this annoyance towards them disappears (it taken me 11 years to realize this).  However, when their behavior affects you in a way where you can’t accept it, remaining passive with your eyes closed will not benefit anyone.

It is more compassionate and giving to express your anger rather than holding onto it.  Expressing anger to someone who upset you is the more compassionate choice.

Since I judge people based on their intelligence, I have absolute power over anyone who annoys me for the sole reason that I don’t care what they think about me.

“Prove to me that you’re not an idiot.  I don’t need to prove anything to you because if an idiot thinks I’m an idiot, it cancels itself out.”

Why do I feel the need to close my eyes during all this?  Because it’s the easy thing to do.  But the right thing to do is most often the hardest.

Expressing our values in a show of annoyance, blame, and judgement – exposes our truest selves.  And the most pig-headed people have no awareness of their truest selves – even while exposing themselves to the wolves.

To find out what you value most, look to see what makes you angry and annoyed – it’s there where you’ll find it.

A dangerous value to have is believing that you’re always right.  By having this value, anytime someone opposes you, you will get defensive and angry.  You can end up running from the truth, and running from yourself.  All mental illness stems from avoiding truth.

Believing that you are always right is a trait of a superficial survivalist who will suffer a mental melt down if their perspective is challenged.  Why?  Because if the world they constructed is wrong, nothing will ever make sense again.  Their foundation is gone.  The void of emptiness (the bad kind), swallows them whole.  Admitting when you’re wrong without experiencing emotions of anger, annoyance, or embarrassment, is the trait of a truly strong person.  A person with faith, not fear.

I also value humility.  I know this for sure because I loathe narcissists – well, we are all narcissists but there’s a scale on how bad we can be.  The more validation you need, the higher you are on the scale.  The stronger our sociopathic traits (we are all sociopaths too), the further up you go.

Ayahuasca told me that we are all worthy of equal respect, but here in the physical realm where the ego is inescapable and spiritual evolution is our only goal – the spirit laws don’t apply here.  Only in death do they apply.

It’s all part of the game.

Growth and belief.  You grow and your perception widens – you’re able to understand more.  Expressing our value’s to others is a way for us to evolve.  You contribute nothing while placating and keeping your eyes shut.

This idea taken me to my own life.  My own growth process.

Up until, oh I don’t know…..YESTERDAY, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn’t know what made me truly happy.  Since I was a kid, I wanted and fantasized about every career under the sun.  Then I found my business which brought me direction and goals – but are my present goals really what my heart wants?

Rational brain – “You’re only happy when others are happy.”

Yeah but it’s not lasting.  It’s transient.  Who am I in-between those laughs?  Who am I when a friend carries with them a heavy heart?

Rational brain – “Everything is transient and meaningless.  Leave the in-between part for growth and possibilities.  Never cement yourself.

In the grand scope of things yes, life is transient and meaningless.  I agree that’s it’s improbable and unwise to be happy all of the time.  But It’s about having a foundation – one that is built upon seeing and experiencing my own potential….

A few hours later…..

DAmn I’m drunk.

I trained my new therapist, went to my brothers holiday party and then to a friends house and now I’m here at home drunk wanting to sleep.

I was onto something fierce before.  A good ol’ fashioned head squashing.  But now it’s 2 A.M and I want to watch Japanese anime like the freak-show that I am.  I’m eating left over steak.  Hunter X Hunter is the Japanese anime if you’re wondering.  I’m HOOKED.  I’m being completely honest here when I say this show is amazing.  Why the hell do I like this shit so much?  It’s not normal!  I don’t just like it, I LOVE it!

My brother had a holiday party at his spa tonight.  He had a party last year if you care to scroll back to read about it.  Here’s a pick of me and my folks:

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I love these people more than words can explain.  I cradle their heads in my hands and kiss their cheeks every night wishing them a good-night before I head downstairs to my domicile.  I break out in cold sweats whenever my mother walks on icy terrain.  I cry silent tears when my father can’t write his own name with his shaking hand.

OMG I love my parents.  So much so that it hurts, you know?  It’s this side of me that’s both my weakness and my strength.  The side that I hide from everybody, but eventually I’m sure it leaks out and once it does, it’s viewed only as weakness.  Insurmountable love.  A sentimentality that stagnates and circles around like a little eddie.  Never to venture off into the blue unknown.  That’s what love is.  It’s the familiar, the net.  It’s what enables you.

Both weakness and strength…

Oh man, yesterdays epiphany was awesome but it’s gone now.  If I weren’t so busy earlier I could’ve captured the remnants of it.  But I leave tomorrow for Thailand so there’s no time.  I must post this unfinished thought.

Shit….

So much left unsaid.

I went to visit my best friend in Minnesota for Thanksgiving last week.  Here’s a video to capture the moments.  Held safe here in my memory bank blog for all the world to see.

I’m so tired.  I’m leaving tomorrow at 2 A.M.  My computer screen is so bright.  I gotta get some zzzz….

It’s now the next day.  I’m beyond tired.  I was so hungover this morning and slept for about 4 hours before having to go to work to give a massage and hand out Christmas cards to my employee’s.  They each got $50 and the 3 girls working today all gave me big hugs and wished me well on my trip.

This trip feels destined.  Like I was never not meant to go.

I need to nap big time, finish packing, take a shower before I leave and that’s it.  Then it’ll mostly be video blogs for the next 36 days.

And so my hero’s journey continue’s….

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Filed under All about me, journal, philosophy, random thoughts, Self help, Travel, video's

How to buy cheap plane tickets online

Short story:

The best way for me personally is to use Google flights.

Long story:

I hate buying plane tickets. I spent hours pouring over choices and comparing tickets on Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, what-have-you. None of them come close to the power of Google Flights. You simply type in where and when, to and fro – and BAM a calendar pops up with the lowest price available. It’s a calendar that shows you what days are cheapest to fly on. All right there on one page without having to re-type new dates in and search again and again from website to website.

It compares prices for you. Click on the day you want to fly on with a price you can afford and it shows you where you can buy that ticket for that price which is usually Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity….etc. But the odd thing is, when searching through one of these websites (priceline..etc) for a flight, they skip over and don’t list all your options. You can ONLY find these flights on Google Flights.

I tried buying a plane ticket to Thailand and every site that I went to, they had me flying to Chicago, than Tokyo, than Thailand. Or Texas, than Tokyo, than Thailand – all really long layovers with 35+ travel time. Tickets ranging from $1600 – $2000. And in Tokyo, some flights wanted me to go to Tokyo and board a plane at an entirely different airport during a 30 minute layover! WTF, right?

I searched on Google flights and what do I find? China Air! China Air was everywhere! And they don’t take me to Chicago or Taxes – hell, they don’t even take me to Tokyo. I have one stop in Canada and then it’s a straight shot to Thailand. Travel time? 27 hours. Price of ticket? $1100.

So anyways……

It’s done. My parents know I’m leaving, I have almost everything I need for the trip. My first four days are already planned out which includes seeing the Jade Buddha and the Grand Palace.

My business is in the red zone, meaning, running low on funds.  I’m only going to Thailand because I have perfect faith that this month I’ll sell enough memberships to cover all my monthly bills and then some.  Perfect faith.  Yes.

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Ayahuasca in Ecuador

(For anyone wanting to read about the effects of ayahuasca, you should read my first experience with it here.)

ecuador

This post is long overdue.  I didn’t keep a journal while I was there which makes it hard for me to write about it especially now being that it was over two months ago.  I did however film a few videos that I’m not too keen on sharing (a big reason for procrastinating this post).

I remember the first day of my trip very clearly.  Getting off the plane and arriving in Ecuador.  I arrived late and had to stay in Cuenca all by myself the first night.

My first trip to do ayahuasca, I was sweating bullets.  I had to down a few beers before getting on the plane and even on the plane, I couldn’t escape the anxiety.  I didn’t have a panic attack thank god – but the anxiety was very severe.  That flight I taken to Columbia was the last time I felt deep inescapable fear without it crossing over in to a panic attack.

This time around was the complete opposite.  My parents knew where I was going, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone ratting on me (yes someone actually threatened me with that!), and I did ayahuasca before, I knew the shamans, knew the people – I was relieved to go and escape life for a while.  This was at a time when I massaged 8 hours a day, six days a week.  I was too worn out to be scared of anything at that point.

My arrival to Ecuador played out like a fairytale.  I taken a taxi to my hostel and enjoyed a quiet nights sleep before waking up early the next day having to take another taxi back to the airport.

“We’re going to the airport too.  We can drive you.”

Said a seemingly nice couple enjoying their continental breakfast.

“That would be wonderful!”  I proclaimed goofily.

This is what idiots do abroad – accept invitations by complete strangers.  And yes, I AM an idiot abroad.  They seemed nice enough though.

Before I go any further, here’s a video of when I first arrived in my hostel.  I don’t recommend that you actually watch these video’s, but since I didn’t keep a journal, they’re pretty much all that I have of my trip.

I found my box of soup and it didn’t bursted like I thought it would.  I was so tired that I stopped filming and started eating my soup and crackers while watching The Simpsons in spanish.

So anyways, there I was getting a free ride back to the airport.

“Where you headed?”  Asked one of my new companions.

“I need to find a shuttle bus to take me to [I forgot the name of the town I was going to].”

“I’m from there!  What will you be doing?”

“A spiritual retreat.”

“I’m actually going to Peru today for that exact same thing!  I’ll make sure you find your shuttle before we leave you.”

When we arrived at the airport, my companion started speaking in spanish to an airport guy – not a whole lot of people spoke English there so I was very thankful.

An airport guy pointed the way to the shuttle busses.

In the email I received prior to the trip, it stated that the shuttle busses are to the right of the airport as soon as you come out of it – but as it turned out, it was a right,  a left, then a walk down a few blocks – not good instructions for an idiot abroad.

The airport worker seen my confusion and offered to walk me there himself.  He spoke little English but found the words to tell me that he won’t leave me until I get safely on the correct shuttle.

I hugged both of my new companions good-bye and thanked them profusely before being handed over to the airport guy.

“You shouldn’t walk alone.”  He said in broken English.

“Is it dangerous?”

“During the day a little, but at night yes.  Very dangerous.  And what you have on…..”

It was so hot that I opted on wearing a tank top.  A youngish girl with a backpack wearing a tank top – walking alone in one of the most poorest area’s of Ecuador is not a good combo.

He kept his promise and got me on the correct shuttle.  Thank goodness he was there because nobody spoke a word of English.

I slept for most of the way there.  I passed so many little restaurants.  They were more like outdoor kitchens.  Everyone ate outside on cheap plastic Coca Cola patio sets.  Everything looked poor and rundown as opposed to Columbia where there was no litter and the houses looked newer.

I fell asleep watching the ramshackle houses go by and woke up a few hours later to my ears being blocked up from the effects of high altitude.  We were in the mountains and I had to put on my sweatshirt, then a half hour later, I put on my jacket.

After a long five hours, I arrived to my destination with time to spare.  It was the [forgot the name] airport.

I was hungry so I grabbed myself a mini pizza from the airport cafeteria and waited for my new spiritual seeking friends to arrive.

We all met up and everyone was lovely.  There were Canadians and people from Jersey.  One woman from Jersey had a stash of cocoa leaves that she swears heals just about everything.  One of the Canadian boys was suffering from altitude sickness and been miraculously cured by the cocoa leaves.  We were up 9,000 ft.

We piled into another shuttle to take us to Gaia Sagrada – way up in the Andes mountains (the longest continental mountain range in the world!).  We needed a special driver because only two taxi’s in all of Ecuador know how to get there.

Basically, my arrival magically slipped into place.  When I needed help – no, not even – before I needed help, there were people there to guide me.  My appreciation was at an all-time high.

But after that first day, I don’t remember much.  I have a horrible memory, that’s why I write.

Here is another video for you guys….

The thing I didn’t like about this particular ayahuasca ceremony is that first off, it was cold, and secondly – people weren’t allow to talk or walk around.  To be able to talk and walk around clears my head from the fog you feel in the beginning of your ayahuasca experience.  Without being able to walk around, I remained in that fog for the entire night.

Here’s another video: [Warning:  This video is very long and uneventful.  Try to go easy on me.  I was exhausted and stretched to my limit.]

 

Nearly everyone was pissing me off that day.  It was supposed to be about love!

And here’s the last video that I made while in Ecuador:

Those last few nights in Ecuador consisted of dancing with the locals, mud baths, getting shit-faced, reuniting with some of our retreat pals, getting yelled at a few times by cute Ecuadorian cops, getting locked out of our hostel at 3 AM…. I think that about covers it.

There’s a lot more that happened on the trip other than what the video’s provide, but it’s too far gone to capture it.

Now I’m laying in bed tired as hell as usual.

My Mother went on a comfort food cooking spree that lasted for about 2 weeks.  Lasagna, hamburgs, loaves of meat concoctions – not a shred of veggies anywhere.  Then getting bombarded with clients at work redeeming their expiring vouchers – going out a few times, my insomnia still won’t let up….

I was supposed to go hiking today but had to call it off.  I need to get back to a regular sleep routine, exercise, and start eating healthy.  I feel like shit.  It’s 6:30 PM and I want to sleep.  I don’t know how people with kids (let alone a husband/boyfriend) do it.  I don’t know how people have regular jobs!  At least with my job there’s light up ahead – a reprieve from work.

Starting today I can go back to enjoying the comforts of having people work for me.  By next month I’ll have more members signed up to my membership program along with plans to expand.  As the months move along, I’ll be working less and less.  I’m working towards earning my freedom.  Our innate human right.

I’ve decided to go to Thailand in December with Brianna, the girl who held my hand during the ayahuasca ceremony and told me that she loves me.  We get along swimmingly and this opportunity may not happen again if I delay it.

This is not my favorite compilation.  I didn’t film a whole lot while I was over there and had nothing but scraps to work with.  I picked this song because it matched the mood and shamans from all over the world believe that fire cleanses everything.

I had an experience during my last ayahuasca ceremony having to do with fire, but I’m still not in the correct frame of mind to write about it.  I’ve been waiting for it to come, but apparently it’s not happening anytime soon.

Too many buckets, too much stress, too much insomnia….the fall is passing by as quickly as the summer months.

It’s 10 PM.  I’m going to try my hand at sleep.

 

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Pampering myself in Pamplona

I haven’t been writing or anything lately. All I’ve been doing is listening to audiobooks for hours on end. All day and all night, audiobooks. They are fantastic!

I took the train to Pamplona yesterday. It feels so good being here. There’s only about 190,000 people living here compared to Barcelona’s 1.6 million or Madrid’s 3.3 million.

I’m exhausted.

Last night I ventured out of my hotel to pick up some snacks at a grocery store. It was around 10pm, so many of the shops were closed. I was lucky to find a tiny convenient store open. I picked up pasta and sauce for dinner. I have my own kitchen in my room!

It’s still a small room even with having its own kitchen. My feet were literally hanging off the bed last night.

I ate so much freaking pasta while listening to a Sherlock Holmes audiobook. It felt like heaven to me, honestly, heaven.

And now it’s 1pm the next day and I’m still in my hotel room. I’m simply exhausted. I want to nap. I’m boiling water so I can make myself ramen noodles.

There’s only one thing I need to do while here in pamplona and that’s to go see that big stupendous bullfight.

I need to buy my ticket. It’s only 6 euros and a 15 minute walk from here. I saw the bullring last night during my adventure in finding an open grocery store. It was all dark and quiet. In a few short days, that’ll change.

This is the first time since arriving in Spain where I don’t have to hunt down a restaurant for breakfast / lunch, or get kicked out of a domicile, or woken up by people talking loudly in the morning (uh em..the British..uh em). Asians were the quietest and most respectful while surprisingly the British were the most brazen. They beat out the Irish, Australian, Mexican…etc. And it wasn’t the British men, but British women! They talk non-stop in one big lung full of endlessly loud expressions.

So yeah, this is the first time EVER where I can stay put. That is of course if my ramen holds out. I have pasta left over but I can’t even look at it. I ate way too much of it last night. It made my tummy wonky this morning.

I wish I had my laptop. If I had my laptop I no doubt wouldn’t leave my hotel room, possibly going so far as to miss el encierro all together.

It’s just that so much happens, so much in even the most smallest gaps of time that no matter what happens, who you’re with or what you’re doing, there is always a story to be told. That is, if your perspective is accurate enough and you know what you’re looking at.

If you can’t tell a fascinating story, than something is wrong. The thing that’s wrong for me is that I don’t have my laptop or my lofty bed or coffee shop to write.

I’m missing all the small stories along the way.

Like when that 100 year old Spanish woman kidnapped me and paraded me around town never letting her vice grip soften around my wrist. Or that Senegal man who kidnapped my company for a few hours on the beach wanting me to jump in the ocean with him. Or my experience with the Picasso museum, my emotional upheaval while watching a flamenco dance.

I can’t fit it all. I can’t write about everything.

I’m so glad to be out of the big cities. I’m so glad to be out of the hostels. All I can hear is the hum of the fridge and chirping of birds.

This location is perfect.

I’m in heaven. This moment is heaven.

I’ll see if I can scrounge up some video’s to post.

I put this clip together using two days worth of footage. The last part shot on the metro, I wanted to record how the cars swerve side to side when looking down the open isle. For this reason, along with many others, I love the subway.

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Banging Barcelona

I’m not actually banging Barcelona, I just thought that title was catchy.

It’s 10:30pm and I’m sitting in my hostel cloaked in my Bad Ass P Jamma Jams (pajamas). I feel like I should be out clubbing or something.

I’m sitting alone in my six person dorm room. I feel like such a loser. Everyone is out having fun except me.

While I sit here, I make myself productive by gently caressing the whiskers sprouting above the upper corners of my lip. Does everyone do that? I’m assessing whether or not they are long enough to pluck, and if so, am I productive enough to actually get up and pluck them?

Video blogs are so weird. That’s not actually me talking, is it? I like to think myself cooler than that.

Why do I come off sounding so freaking innocent?!! God do I sound like that in real life? No, no it can’t be. I’m cool, I’m hip. I’m that connecticut gangsta chic rocking out in her bad ass P Jamma Jams.

A woman a few weeks ago told me that I focus intently on whomever I’m conversing with.

“It’s like you make that person feel like they are your one and only world.”

And than she went on to tell me that I’m an old soul, pure and innocent. Untainted.

I swear on my grandparents graves (all four plus the Greats!) that I’m not making any of this up.

We met along the Camino a few times, had a few beers, a few laughs. I gave her husband such good advice that he announced to everyone, “I’ve been on the Camino for a while now, but the lesson this girl just taught me surpasses anything I learned so far.”

His wife nodded her head in agreement because she feels I am an old wise soul and anything I say should be heeded.

And after having that conversation, I proceeded to drink a gallon of beer, smoke weed and puke in a sink.

I just plucked my whiskers. Ahh, shit feels good.

It is now 11pm and I’m sitting alone in my dorm plucking the hairs on my face.

This makes it a full day. Yes, one for the books!

Barcelona is big. Much bigger than Madrid. This is according to me, so don’t put much stock. But it really does feel on par with New York style big.

The beach was mobbed. Mobbed! I’m never going back. So many skateboarders, rollerbladers, bicyclists, kids on trikes, kids kicking around balls, throwing Frisbees..etc, etc. A girl can get rammed on all sides, including up if you count bird shit. The title is banging Barcelona, while in fact, Barcelona is banging me around.

I will pass, thanks. I seen the beach before and it gave me sun poisoning on my face. My face!

What is everyone’s fascination with the beach anyway? Isn’t it supposed to be calming? My own fascination ceases to exist once the mob of oily sunbathers enters into my sunlight. My sunglasses get streaked in tanning lotion just by looking at them. Just by looking! Not that I look…

Chill people, it’s just water.

Anyway…

Here’s a video.

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A Hero’s Journey

This really is an incredible journey I’m experiencing. It feels like the Camino was so long ago, but when did it end? 9 days ago? 9 days equates to a lifetime in travel years. It’s a distant but strong memory.

Last night I went clubbing in Madrid and today I scoped out a Salvador Dali exhibit. The exhibit happened at a museum called Reina Sofia. It’s much like New York’s MOMA in that you have no idea what any of the art means. It’s possible to see a bowl full of chewed up slimy gummy bears on display.

(I just thought of the gummy bear display, it’s not an actual exhibit.)

I brought my new Australian friend with me.

I had no clue what I was looking at half the time and started feeling drugged and confused. Everything was bugging me out in a creepy nightmarish sort of way. Especially when we entered into a dark room where creepy music played and a painting laid on the floor with a few random rectangles painted on it. A bench sat against the wall.

Me – “Maybe if we sat and looked at the painting, it will start to make sense.”

So we sat.

Me – “Okay now you stand on the bench and I’ll lay on the floor.”

We burst out in hysterics. Nothing in the room made sense.

We entered into a room where a blonde woman stood violently shaking a large tin container of nails. It was so loud and she kept shaking and shaking.

Then she put down the tin container and started climbing up a very short rope. It’s mesmerizing in that you want to understand the point of it and so it pulls you in. Your curiosity battles against logic and reason.

Usually when you don’t see the point in something, you drop it and move on. But when you keep asking yourself “why?” over and over again, trying to understand, it hooks you in a cycle. But there is no point to it. The only point that I can think of is that people are watching and as long as they’re watching, the performer will continue to preform.

There is no end to it and where there is no definitive end, there is no definitive purpose. But hey, it sure makes you think though. Everyone’s perspective’s are different. The more diverse the perspectives, the less truth there is behind anything. Which makes life so interesting and involving!

To be able to snap out of the trance and say to yourself and to others, “Hold the phone now, wait a tick… What the hell is this?” And then let it go.

Life can be a pointless trance until you awaken yourself from it.

Anyway, the woman’s name is Simone Forti and you can find her on YouTube.

I’m exhausted. It’s midnight and my two roomies are awake with the light on. One on a laptop, the other on her phone. I have to be up by 6:30am tomorrow so I can make it to my plane to Barcelona on time.

Tomorrow will be a long exhausting day.

Okay, I should try to sleep. My arms are getting numb from holding my phone like this.

I am seriously not capturing my trip properly. I’m barely able to keep track of 10% of it.

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Hangin’ Tough in Madrid

I don’t feel good. I didn’t get back to my hostel until 4am and then I stayed up listening to the last chapter of the picture of Dorian Gray. It’s seriously a great book! I’m so sad it’s over.

I downloaded an app that has over 1,400 free audiobooks and omg I’m in love with it. I don’t mind that I had to delete all my music as long as I can listen to audiobooks.

I’m laying in bed in my hostel. It’s nearly noon. My bunk mate is also here eating cookies under me. She’s a sweet Korean girl. Koreans LOVE to travel! Honestly they are everywhere and they’re always smiling.

I need to shower. There are only two places I must see today and that’s a Salvador Dali exhibit and the royal palace. Both are exquisite and right up my alley.

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Day 36

Walking 40 kilometers from Alzua to Santiago. Actually I think it’s more like 45 kilometers.

That’s far!

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