Woody Harrelson & Delayed Flights

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A Woody Harrelson look alike, flocks of older business men who look like they just walked off the set of Mad Men, and tons of women with their boobs spilling out of their tops hoping to catch the attention of one of the Mad Men extras.

This is the airport,
this is a bar at the airport.
This is a bar at the airport when all of the flights are delayed because of crazy thunderstorms.

I think it’s funny how we can use our fingerprints to unlock our iPhones but still can’t fly through the air during a thunderstorm. I’m not complaining though, I’d rather be safe.

What I really mean by that is that I saw Denzel Washington try to land a plane half wasted in Flight and it didn’t work out too well.

Dinah Washington’s buttery voice is crooning Stormy Weather in my ear right now. Ironic eh? I’m trying to drown out the people who are having way too much fun at the bar in the airport with the Woody Harrelson lookalike and flock of Mad Men extras. It’s funny watching girls flirt. How they twirl their hair and make eyes. Do I do that? Don’t answer that.

I keep refreshing my flight status. Hoping by some miracle that it’ll tell me that my flight is leaving now so that I can escape this loud chaos and go home. Until then, I’ll continue to watch Woody Harrelson try to get this gal’s number…

How To Forget Your Troubles in Singapore

1. Eat a lot of crappy food, then don’t eat at all. Cry. Workout til you want to throw up. Punch the wall if you must, scream if you must. Watch Pretty Woman and wish Richard Gere would climb a fire escape to rescue you. Then watch Terminator 2, drool over Linda Hamiliton’s muscles and remember you don’t need a man to to rescue you or to kick butt. Try and swallow the tears before you walk into the office, because being dumped is not a reason to be late. Stare at the ceiling as you try to fall asleep for the seventeenth time. Wake up, repeat.

2. Wipe your tears, and use your leftover flight credits you had booked for a trip to visit him and book it for Singapore to visit one of your best friends instead.

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3. Make a promise to yourself that once you board that plane you won’t come back the same person you are right now.

4. Arrive in Singapore and give your friend the biggest hug, because in that hug is everything you’ve been carrying alone for the past 4 months. Your shoulders already seem a little lighter now. Hold on tight to your bags as she waves down a taxi, hop in and begin to take it all in. The buildings are tall and otherworldly, from the future maybe. It’s almost 1AM but you’re not tired anymore. The reality of being somewhere brand new electrifies your body and stimulates your senses.

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5. Drop your bags in your hotel room and dive into the sea of white sheets. Wrap yourself in them as you lay back and stare out the window. It took you almost 28 hours to get here. You’re in the future, major Marty McFly style. Before you go out make a list for yourself.

1. Live in the moment
2. Laugh a LOT
3. DON’T check your email
4. Eat whatever you want
5. Leave your worries here

You can’t leave until you’ve checked everything off this list.

6. While your friend is at work take this opportunity to explore like mad. You won’t have cell phone service, so memorize the street names, left and right turns, bus stops and go. Walk without headphones and take in the sounds around you. The different languages and motorcycles wooshing by. The old Chinese man playing Jesus Loves Me on his harmonica. Oh, and words of advice, wait for the little guy on the crosswalk to turn green before you try and gun it across the street like the locals do you don’t wanna risk being toppled by a double decker bus.

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Look to the right and left, up and down. Don’t miss a thing. Ask a stranger for directions and he’ll tell you he doesn’t speak english. Ask another stranger for directions and he’ll ask why the heck you’re walking that far and to “just take a taxi!” and you’ll simply reply that it’s because you want to. He’ll laugh to himself as he points you in the right direction.

7. Keep getting lost until you finally stumble upon one of the wonders you’ve been drooling over in all of the travel magazines and blogs. It’s real this time for you, up close and personal. You stand amongst the others–some tourists, some locals, and admire it, crane your neck to take in the vastness of it all. It’s even more overwhelming in person, more than you imagined it to be. Take lots of pictures, your trip doesn’t exist without pictures (or does it?).

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8. Go out to eat and try literally EVERYTHING. Nothing’s off limits. Peppered bullfrog, veal tongue, chili crab, smooth yummy bread rolls, yes I said smooth, because they were. Taste it and sigh with satisfaction, because it’s so dang good. Memorize the spiciness of the veggies and sweetness of the traditional chendol, and pray to God that you’ll be able to recreate something even remotely similar when you get back home.

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9. Meet the perfect stranger who just happens to know everybody in this town. Let him whisk you and your friends away to unlock a different part of the city. It’s crawling with unexpected excitement. The music, the food, the people. You’ll meet so many amazing characters, I swear tonight will feel like a movie, especially after late night karaoke ;)

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10. Eat more food.

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11.  Tour the Financial District at night and watch it become a place of wonder as 30 or so cyclists whisk by you with their bright headlights, momentarily transforming themselves into temporary floating stars.

12. Get stuck in immigration coming back from Malaysia and fear for your life for 90 minutes (don’t ask).

13. Make new memories to replace the bad ones…

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14. Spend your last night at your friend’s place scrolling through the hundreds of photos and videos you’ve taken. You both giggle in the dark, with bright screens illuminating your faces. Your bodies are sore from the several days of constant exploring but you can barely fall asleep. You’re not ready to leave yet but you close your eyes and try to sleep anyways.

15. You catch your last taxi ride in Singapore to the airport. Other than the traditional Chinese music playing in the cab, it’s eerily quiet on the streets tonight, or maybe it’s just your feelings reflected onto the city. As your plane takes off, smile to yourself when you think of all the good times you had that week. Watching cyclists turn the city into a sea of fireflies, the smell of the street vendors and durian because of the laughs they brought you, the colorful view of Malaysia, watching BigBang music videos at 2 in the morning, forgetting that you needed to pay for toilet paper (HA). You’re grinning from ear to ear so much so that your neighbor asks what you’re thinking of. You simply smile and say that you had the best time of your life.

16. You remember now that the world is bigger than one relationship. That maybe you’ll be okay. And that my friends, means everything.

London Withdrawals

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*I’m missing London, so I’m sharing a few old posts! 

Welp, it happened. I fell in love with the foggy town. I knew I’d fall in love. I told myself I’d be Cameron Diaz in the Holiday, refusing to fall for Jude Law. But how could she resist that crooked smile clad in those crisp blue oxford shirts and perfect tweed coats? And how could I resist that architecture and history? Or the cobblestone streets,  fashionable commuters and cozy pubs?

You know you’ve fallen hard when the things that used to bug you about a person don’t bug you anymore. I usually don’t care for the rain unless I’m cozy, tucked away somewhere by the fire, but in London I welcomed it with open arms. I wrapped my scarf tightly around my neck and pushed against the winds like a champ.

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There was something freeing about that Underground transit. The freedom to go anywhere on the map I held in my hand by just hopping on a tube. This wasn’t anything new, NYC and Chicago have their subways, but in London everyone seemed to be so much more excited to get to where they were going, even if it was to work. The little conversations I’d overhear were so witty and lively, many times I wanted to include myself but quickly realized how ridiculous I’d look so I resorted to eavesdropping instead.

My appetite for wanderlust isn’t even close to being satisfied, I just crave more and more each time my plane touches down. Travel will always be addicting. The meeting of new people and getting lost on accident before getting lost on purpose will never get old.

London I miss you. I’ll come back to you soon. We can have a long distance relationship can’t we?

CAN YOU HELP US? WE’RE LOST…

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*I wrote this in the at the end of last 2013  but never shared. Flashback friday blog post anyone?

Today is our second day in Croydon, England a part of Surrey. Yesterday we were too pooped to do anything. Jet lag got the best of our frail bodies. Pfft. But today at noon we said no to our warm comfy hotel beds and ventured outside. The winds had been howling all morning, and the rain was fierce. We thought for sure we’d be drenched by the time we got to London. The rain held off though! I think the rain gods had mercy on our tourists souls.

First we needed to find “the bus stop”. Little did we know that there is a bus stop on EVERY single corner in Croydon. So we picked one. Queenhill Road to be exact. I won’t go into too much detail, only that we missed the right bus twice, for fear of it being the wrong one. How silly is that? Once we were on the shiny red double decker we got off too early for the train station. We were laughing so much that when we hopped off a woman stopped us to say how refreshing it was to meet “happy people” we told her we were happy and lost. She helped us find the station. “Oh goodness your miles and miles away from the station loves! It’s thatway!”

Once at the East Croydon station, the ticket machine decided to try and eat our money. So we had to go stand in line and actually purchase them from a human, a man who inspected Regina’s license too hard and too long. Catching the train to London Bridge was the easiest part. Watching the sun start to settle down for the evening while racing over the tracks was relaxing and invigorating all at the same time.

The London Bridge station was pure chaos. Madness in the form of people scurrying around, running to catch the next line. They looked like those ants from those ant farms kids used to be so enchanted with in the 90s (I wasn’t, I thought they were dumb). So much for blending in. Our pace was slow and careful, taking care not to screw up. We did screw up though, like 7 times. So much so that I threw in the towel and welcomed getting lost. When we’d finally reached Green Park via the Victoria Line, we’d gotten the hang of things. Walking up those stairs from underground and seeing all those beautiful buildings was so, so right. I was sad that the sun had already set, we’d spent so much of our travel time getting lost! But seeing London for the first time at night held some sort of special meaning for me. All the movies I’d seen that had cast London as the lead character came rushing back to my memory. The imaginary car chases and romantic affairs. This was real though, finally real. The night was mysterious and dignified. Couples occupied benches underneath the stars as Big Ben watched them. The festive pubs were bursting at the seams, and the slumberous children that were too tired to walk were getting piggy back rides from their parents. 

I’d like to say that we didn’t get lost coming back. But we did. Twice. The bus driver was kind enough to escort us back to Queenhill Road himself. Day 2 of being in England, and I’m already in love. That’s the thing about getting lost though, it forces you to have a real adventure. It kicks us in the rear and makes us talk to kind strangers and gives us a little confidence.

When’s the last time you got lost?

Why Did It Take Me Til The End of This Year?

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On the morning of December 31st, my eyes popped open at 8am sharp and I immediately decided that I would drive to Indiana five hours away to spend NYE with some old friends. Now let me start by saying that I am an organized spontaneous person. Yes I like to do random things, but I need at least a day, maybe a week to plan. I know you’re giving me the death stare right now, maybe even glaring at your screen because you know that’s not the definition of spontaneity. But that’s me, organized chaos.

I like knowing what’s going to happen before it happens, always have. Uncertainty freaks me out a bit. I’m adventurous, but not spontaneous. For some reason though, that morning I had all of this adrenaline and didn’t know what to do with it. So, I rented a car, packed my bags and started driving.

Ok, so  I know you’re thinking that’s not a huge deal. But I learned something that day. For one of the first times in my life I thought about something and a few hours later made it become a reality. Too many times I consider something and leave it as just that, a consideration. I got to Indy and had one of best New Year Eve’s of my short life! We danced and sang and made random friends, it was like a scene straight outta Girlfriends (I still need Joan’s hair though). And it felt great to know that I had made that happen for myself. I was like “wait girl, you mean you had the power to be this spontaneous your whole life?!”

On the ride back to Nashville, I realized that it’s up to me to make things like this happen. If I want something I gotta go get it. That goes for relationships, my career and just life in general. I can’t simply sit and wait for opportunities to fall in my lap anymore. Nah, just do it.