‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer

2 years ago, I wrote this post on the biggest lesson I’ve learned about being a grown-up. In the post, I talked about how being on the road is what helps me feels centered when I’m losing control and the chaos of my life takes over my calm. When Laura sent us the prompt about what kind of traveler I turn into, that post was the first thing that popped in my head. Then I started to really think about the question. See, I’m kind of the odd man out in my family. I dream too big, I care too much and I just can’t quite fit in. I’m also the memory keeper. From Turkey to DC to Seattle, I’ve kept all of the pictures for my family. I don’t mean just of my lifetime. I have my dad’s high school diploma, my mom’s pictures from when she was a teenager and black & white pictures of relatives I can’t name because they passed away years before my parents even met.

When I unpacked my suitcase from my east coast trip last week, I noticed that one of the zippered compartments of my suitcase was a little bulky. I couldn’t remember packing anything in there but I unzipped it to find a stack of letters from when I was 9, before we moved to the US. My best childhood friend and I sent each other letters when my family and I moved to a different city in Turkey. The wave of nostalgia that hit me was too great to handle, but it got me thinking about what life looks like for me on the road.

I’ve been doing a lot more traveling in the last few years. I do take a lot of pictures but I also experience the moment. Whether it’s my first time going to a new place or it’s somewhere I’ve been countless times, every experience is a new opportunity for me to notice different nuances of that particular location. Even if nothing in the landscape has changed, there is always something different.

Because I’m different.

Every time.

So I explore. I observe. I take it all in. I take pictures when I can but I also try to experience the moment, not through the lens of my camera but my own two eyes. I smile at strangers. I take deep breaths. I take out my headphones and listen to the moment instead of my music.

I turn into a tourist. Even in a city where I spent a majority of my life, if I’m in the mood, I become a tourist.

*Playing tourist in front of the White House*

I wander.

The thing is, I’m a hopeless romantic and by extension, I’m a hopeless wanderer.

And I travel to remember – who I was, who I am, and who I am going to become as I continue on my journey.

I don’t call myself an aspiring digital nomad for shits and giggles. I want to wander into as many corners of the world as possible in my lifetime – observing, experiencing, and when appropriate, being a tourist.

***

Inspired by this prompt from LauraSome people travel to relax; some travel to remember. Some reinvent themselves into entirely new people when they travel. What kind of traveler do you turn into and what does life look like for you on the road?

All the Things

Because I can’t think of a better title for this post. Considering how much has happened since the last time I posted (Uh, when WAS that exactly?) and so much continues to happen NON-STOP, ALL THE THINGS.

Places I’ve visited:

– Chicago for a wedding (Andrew’s cousin, who was adorable. Oh, and I happened to spend an entire weekend with all of Andrew’s family. What? We survived. It was amazeballs.)

– LA/San Diego for BlogHer. It was my first time in California and I loved it! Flew into LA to see Jenn, and we had the most epic road trip to San Diego, followed by a fun weekend at BlogHer, full of meeting new friends and lots of swag. I also got to see.meet Trista, a woman I’ve adored for nearly 7 years now, and it was awesome.

– Philly to see JOURNEY IN CONCERT with Katie and Kate. ‘Nuf said.

Things, and life, and stuff

Things have been pretty amazing this summer. A COMPLETE turn-around from last summer. (Seriously amazing) It was kind of crazy beginning a full-time freelance career during the SUMMER OF TRAVEL but I’ve made it work. Everything has calmed down to the point where I’m caught up with work and I’m no longer at my computer 12-13 hours a day. But I’m still checking email,  etc, right as I wake up.

Oh, we have a new bundle of joy.

Yup, I’m officially a cat lady now. Internets, meet Layla, the crazy kitty that’s made my life even better. Once I decided that I would be at home all day for work, I needed a furbaby. I fell in love with her at first sight. She is just too precious for words.

Wedding planning is still going on. I may have had a tiny panic attack earlier tonight when Andrew & I started talking about making the guest list since we’ll be sending out Save the Dates in a couple of months. My maid of honor and my amazing bridesmaids are keeping me sane during the planning. We do have a date, and a couple of locations in mind. The theme is set, the dress has been found and we’re halfway there. I foresee a panic attack every 3 months between now & then though.

There is a lot happening with the projects I’m working on, and hopefully, now that work is stable, I will have more time to write over at PQ Productions (Expect a post or two this week).

I’ve added more pictures to Etsy, and made one of my favorite prints available as a canvas. Check it out!

I’m on StumbleUpon now so if you’re on there, follow me! I share more stuff on there than Twitter lately.

I’m also part of this incredible project called Uno Kudo with super creative and talented people so you should like the FB page because it’s going to be a big deal, I promise.

And I leave you with this.

How have YOU been?

California Bound

For a couple of years, I was CONVINCED that I should move to the west coast. It had a lot to do with where I was in my life at the moment and I felt that California was one of the places I could live in.

A couple of my friends said that they could totally see me as a California girl. (Still not sure if that was a good thing or not).

Well, I’m set on living in DC but I do get to FINALLY visit CA for the first time. Tomorrow morning, I get on a plane to head to LA to see Jenn & a couple other girlfriends that I’ve known for YEARS who I finally get to meet. Thursday morning, Jenn and I will be driving to San Diego for BlogHer.

So not only am I going to CA for the first time but I’m going to my first, huge, blogging conference.

I’m excited, and hella nervous at the same time. I’m feeling overwhelmed to the point I’m not sure what to pack for the 5 days I’ll be gone. For those of you who are new, I’m strangely shy.

So going to a conference full of awesome bloggers and people I’ve been dying to meet for a while?

Color me shy.

If you’re going to BlogHer, I hope I get to see your face!