Saturday Snapshot: The BEST crepe I ever had!

Nope, This crepe was not found in Paris or anywhere in France for that matter. So where did I find this succulent array of pastry, strawberry, creme, chocolate and sugary concoction?

Israel of all places!

In the ‘new’ Jerusalem shopping center with ooey gooey filling and even though it is addmittedly larger than a 1 person serving I managed to find room for every last morsel.

I visited this shop a couple times during my stay in one of the most religious & historic cities found in the world. Once this delicious dessert has been devoured you can stroll through the divided neighborhoods of Jerusalem whether you’re in the mood for new & modern or historic & dripping with culture.

Where did you discover the best crepe of your life?

Sandusky has Real Problems but that Doesn’t Mean I can’t Vent too, Right?

So here is the real story, when people find out that I am selling everything I own & leaving ‘home’ to travel the world the reaction typically is:

1)      Oh My God! You’re so lucky! I wish I could do that but (Insert a bunch of excuses here), you’re smart to do that before you (Insert a plethora of chosen commitments here).

2)      Wow, I could never do that. You’re so (Insert a number of compliments here).

The truth is that I love telling people about my ambitions to travel the world & I love the sense of pride it bestows when people react to such exciting life events.  However, it is a double sided coin, some days I get my cake & some days I get to eat it too.  Today I want to share the less glamorous side of becoming a permanent traveler. I’ve been questioning whether I should write about this but I either feel the need to be honest or the need to vent. Choose the reason that best suites you.

Woe is Me

Am I living the dream? YES.

Is it always dreamy? NO.

There are A LOT of preparations that go into something major like this. But you already know that right?

House? Sold. Somewhere to stay until my flight out? Good thing I’ve got a very generous friend that traded my couches for a couple months of rent. U.S. address while you’re not in the States? My parents will be receiving all future junk mail very shortly :) Birth Control? Check (no more details needed right? Camera? Yes, but is it the best or right one? We shall see. Computer? Well obviously since I use it to share this grand experience with you.

What about the loose ends?

Plane tickets? I have initial one-way ticket into Europe but I don’t have my arrangements in South Korea set in stone so I’m nervous to buy a plane ticket out of Europe to Korea which means I have 3 weeks to prove that I will leave Europe within 90 days of my arrival or they just might turn me right back around to the States. How anticlimactic would that be!?

Money? Yes. I have been strategically planning my eventual move out of the U.S. for over 2 years & knew that if I waited to get laid off my job that I would get a hefty severance package which would enable me to travel for a few months before I headed to South Korea to teach English & save money for more travel, my student loans and my dental bills.

My toothless grin that cost A LOT of money to get rid of!

BUT, is it enough? The mountains of what ifs are seriously overpowering my ability not to have a panic attack about ending up in a ditch on the side of the road. Every scenario in my mind that has me ending up bankrupt somehow also ends with me in a ditch somewhere. I swear I really am an optimist!

My Car? The one thing I thought that wouldn’t be a problem has turned into several panic attacks! First I accidentally switched the positive & negative cables when trying to jumpstart my car (oops! I’m such a girl when it comes to cars!) then the A/C stopped working in the middle of the Utah desert in the middle of the summer which sucked but also meant that it would be really hard to sell for a good price in the middle of July, unless said purchaser hated themselves! THEN 2 weeks ago right as I was headed out of town for a long road trip someone backed in to my car! Seriously AND NOW I am being told that my (crappy) axel is going to lead to my eminent death in the next 3 weeks before I have a chance to sell it. (Not that I’d want to sell it & leave an unknowing consumer to their eminent death)

Why even bother telling you all of this?

I want your damn sympathy, that’s why!

These are all the pre-travel stresses, that doesn’t include the planning that goes into the actual day to day traveling, the never ending work that comes with having a travel blog or the insane emotional rollercoaster that comes with this kind of massive life change. I might be 25 & maybe to some that seems adult & mature but I have friends the same age that are married with 4 kids + a husband. Now that is what I consider adult & mature!

I on the other hand, I am FREAKING OUT!!!

No, I don’t want you to say “If it’s so hard then why even bother? Just stay here.”

That is clearly not the answer to what ails me, the only thing harder than leaving, is staying.

What I DO want is for you, my readers, to know that while I share the more exciting & wonderful aspects of being a travel writer & getting to see the world, that it is still very much work. I want to share the good, the bad and more often than not the insanely challenging but completely rewarding experience of pursuing your passion & finding your own harmony!

With 3 weeks left at ‘home’ I implore, beg & demand that you actively share in this experience with me. That means commenting on posts that interest you, ask questions, share ideas, if you have something you want to read about just ask. I would even go so far as to shamelessly invite you to share this blog with friends via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, google +, e-mail, word of mouth, LinkedIn & any other form of communication. Notice the websites changed a little?

All those social media icons that make it so easy to tell your friends about this awesome travel blog you read religiously! (right?)

 So, with that, what can I do to improve this blog? What interests you about the journey of becoming an expat?

 

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The Best Bloody Mary You’ve NEVER Had!

Whether or not you like this traditional morning concoction you can not deny the brilliance of The Haywood Cafe in Keystone, Colorado for adding BACON to the mix.

When my eyes first spotted BACON BLOODY MARY on the drink menu I first thought “Could this be?” and then I wondered how those flavors would taste together.

With my interest peaked I ordered one and anxiously patiently awaited its arrival.

The Haywood Cafe is notorious for having the best bloody marys in town since they make their own mixes and this ingenious drink is no different. Made with their famous mixture and infused with bacon. At first sip you can only taste a hint of this glorious meat but once you take a bite of the two large strips included with your drink the flavor lingers throughout the rest of the slightly spicy but oh so brilliant drink.

What do you think? Could you have passed up this bold beverage?

Kiva- June

My very first Kiva giveaway!

My very first Kiva giveaway!

I recently started my own lending team, Heathers Harmony, if you’re interested in becoming a Kiva lender we would consider it an honor to have as a member on our team!

Over the next 3 months one of my team members will win a $25 Kiva gift card to make their next loan!

Already a team member? If you’ve already joined my team Heathers Harmony then you’re already entered to win.

Already made a Kiva loan? Then all you have to do is join the Heathers Harmony team & you’ll be entered to win.

Haven’t made a loan before? If you haven’t yet made your first Kiva loan, you can make your first Kiva loan for free! For a limited time Kiva is giving first time lenders a free loan by following this link. If you take Kiva up on this offer & join my team Heathers Harmony you could make your first 2 Kiva loans FOR FREE!!

June’s Kiva Loan

A country with more than its share of corruption & war, this month we’re headed to The Democratic Republic of the Congo where the average annual income is $119 and a life expectancy rate of less than 52 years!

It’s impossible for me to imagine a life with such a low annual income much less running a business.

“Ndamuso is a dynamic woman. She is 28 years of age, married to a government employee, and has four children, three of whom are at school. She has been a member of the Utii credit group for three years, and this is her 12th loan cycle with a loan of $1,000.

Ndamuso plans to buy ten boxes of batteries and ten cases of cigarettes with the loan she has requested, so that she can expand her business. She hopes that the loans from Hekima and its partners will continue, and asks God to bless her more.”

Not sure what Kiva is all about?

As an individual its difficult to know how you can help elevate poverty, create opportunities, support education and strengthen weak economies. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know Kiva is my favorite non-profit organization, providing a world-wide network of micro-finance institutions that lets individuals donate as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

Each month I donate $25 to an individual or group and as re-payments are made I re-lend those payments to new individuals or groups, in a sense, recycling opportunity.

To learn more about Kiva and Heathers Harmony’s involvement please check out my previous posts here.

 Excited about creating opportunity & getting to start your involvement for FREE?

Please share this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or any of the icons below & share this great news!

Car

Intuitive Travel: It’s NOT all about You

We’ve all been there. The moment you realize that some cosmic interference has affected you.

We all hope it isn’t something terrible like getting in a car accident pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot just as we’re heading out on a 2 week road trip picking up some last minute items (Deodorant & a cheap pair of shoes).

But that’s the genius of intuition; it’s NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

It’s not about your wants, your agenda or your schedule. It’s about what the universe has in store, something you could have never planned. Yes, even a car accident at a seemingly inconvenient time.

In the midst of a panic reaction we cease to remember that everything is how it should be. Really.

How is your car going to be fixed in time? What if it’s totaled and you’re S.O.L ? Is now really the best time to test out hitchhiking?

So we stress.

Playing out all the possible scenarios, wondering, hoping, philosophizing and worrying until the universe shows your next move.

A super sexy, classy and way better mode of transportation that you driving the days prior.

Damn! The universe sure had you fooled!

5 synonyms for Intuition are: Inkling, sense, feeling, notion and impression.

I have an inkling that several fellow travelers sense when they are out in the world a feeling or notion to follow their intuition which leads them to something different than they were looking for; these events leave an impression on how we interact with the universe. (See what I did there?)

This is how I travel. I have guidelines, ideas of things I’d like to do, places I’d like to see & people I’d like to meet but for the most part I anticipate the signs of something I could have never planned for.

Much like I could have never planned to drive a sexy beast of a car (Chrysler 200) across 2 states, multiple national parks, from big cities to remote back roads over mountains and through the blazing desert all in the name of intuition.

Give in a little & see what the universe has in store. It’s never what you expect, seldom what you thought you wanted and almost always what you needed!

First it was educational intuition & next up its intuitive travel.

What has intuition done for you?

On a completely hypocritical side note: I booked excursions for my 19 hour layover in Iceland tonight & have I got some exciting updates for our (you & I) journey to the country with the  northernmost national capital in the world.