relationships

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A little life update and a soon to be husband

Well holy shit, how the heck do I start this one?!? Let me just state the big things and maybe I will explain them later. Basically, in late July I met the man of my dreams. It was love at first sight, literally.  I always thought that was kind of bull shit, there is no way someone could just know they loved someone by just the first meeting. It was so far from anything I had ever personally experienced I believed…

Home, Life, and Depression

Every time I have come home from a trip I have suffered from some major post-trip depression.  I have written about reverse culture shock a few times before, but nothing has really compared to how I have felt coming home from my 6 month journey that brought me adventure, love and some incredible friendships. These past two months I have been home have been incredibly difficult.  I have been depressed past the point I thought I was capable of being…

When Life Throws You A Curveball

It's not something you expect or are ever be prepared for, in fact majority of the time they come when your plans are the exact opposite, when your resolve is so set in stone, that the thing they bring seems ridiculously impossible. Sometimes life likes to slam you in the face with a firkin curveball. They come in all different shapes and forms with one key similarity, once hit by one, the trajectory of our lives are forever changed. I…

Fighting Indecision and the Other Things We Face About Ourselves When Traveling

Something happens when you travel, especially when you backpack alone.  All those parts of ourselves, the ones we try and suppress, the good, bad and ugly sides of us come out and we must face them.  I believe this is why travel changes people, because it forces us to take a deeper look at ourselves and it backs us into a corner of decisions.  We have two choices. Grow or die.   We can choose to face down our demons,…

The 5 Stages of Leaving

Abstract Excitement: You buy your ticket and you celebrate, getting excited about an event that is so far off.  You are excited because you took initial action, you are really doing it, the reasons may vary but it is now real. You make the decision because you want to leave, want to explore this vast world.  You think in abstracts, how this decision will impact you and change forever the trajectory of your life. You have taken a step further…

Reverse Culture Shock: Returning Home

“I cannot believe we have to check our bags, it is totally not fair!” said the blonde with three-piece matching coach luggage set. “I know right, its so not fair its like they are treating us like animals, I mean first it was not upgrading us to first class, now this!” The thin brunette chimed in. “See this is why I love traveling with Brad, I always make him get us first class.” Says the blonde matter-of-factly “How is that…

A German, His Girlfriend, and the Night Train to Paris

I sit waiting on the balcony overlooking the station, drying off from the rain and trying, unsuccessfully, to connect to the wifi.  I had arrived by train to Munich from Budapest, where I am studying, earlier in the afternoon. The departure of the night train to Paris was not until 11pm so I had spent the afternoon walking the city, and exploring an old cemetery I had stumbled upon until, the midsummer’s rain chased me back to the station.  The…

The Power of the Expiration Date

Quietly we lay there, side by side, on the soft, cool cotton linen, eyes closed and hands held in silence. In the distance reality awaits, the soft, muffled hum of people shuffling from one platform of their lives to another. Work. School. Children. Coffee. Dates. Life. It seems to be pressing down on the doors and the windows reminding us ever so slightly that we must soon face it. But for this moment we are safe, confined in the small…

I Would Stay and Love You, But This is My Station

I sit silently as the bus pulls out of the station, onto the streets of Galway, winding along narrow roads, past the charming little buildings, till, all at once we are driving straight through fields, meticulously section off by low-stone walls retaining memories of Ireland's hard past; the British, the plague, unemployment and deficiencies. The cold slowly creep out of my bones, as the heater on the floor of the bus starts to kick in.  Staring out the window, my…

The Search for Understanding and the Decision to Leave

I sit staring out the window at my reflection in the side door mirror.  The traffic is stopped and 80s music is pounding through the air, making my temples throb harder.  It takes all the strength I can muster not to snap at my mom who is trying to pull me out of the depressed introverted state I am in. I can’t blame her. I am being miserable company.  What’s worse is I have no answer for her when she…