Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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A Heartbreaking Blog Post of Staggering Genius

(This title is an homage to Dave Eggers.)

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(Life goal achieved: Lionesque hair). 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. There are a lot of reasons why. There’s so much “content” coming at us from all directions that it makes writing a blog post less appealing. It’s maddening. I can’t even hear myself THINK in here. Do you feel that? Maybe it’s just me.

I am working full-time at a company I adore and moonlighting as a travel writer. I’ve been BUSY. Last month, I went to Switzerland for three days. I’ve never flown that far for such a short amount of time. It was insane in that I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening way, like a first kiss.

I also just bought a house. Woot. Seattle tried to push me away with its high rents and influx of yuppie-hipsters “yipsters”, but I am officially here to stay.

At almost 35, bumping up on 10 years in this city, I feel old enough to dole out the advice from the comforts of my rocking chair. (Ps. I don’t believe in old.)

The advice I would give my not-that-much younger self:

1. Sometimes, from certain hills, on certain nights the city will look like a pile of gold sequins and promises put there just for you. Savor this. After awhile, it dulls.

2. Call your grandmas more often.

3. When you go to that grand poetry conference don’t assume the guy in the cowboy hat and bolo tie won’t be a good poet. His first poem reveals he’s a Vietnam Vet and every word is as deep and powerful as the ocean. Exercise humility.

4. Be generous. It will come back to you.

5. Allow yourself to tell the deserving to f—off. You let people get away with too much.

6. Repeat: Not everything is about me.

7. When cancer threatens your nearest and dearest, forgive those who turn cold on you because it makes them uncomfortable. It makes you uncomfortable too.

8. Forgive yourself.

9. Being an artist has nothing to do with black glasses and cocktails and blue hair and city lofts and Instagram accounts. It has everything to do with the work. So do it. Submit it. Wait for the inevitable rejection. And shut up.

10. A thigh gap is unattainable and wouldn’t look good on you anyway.

11. Pizza cures everything.

12. When someone invites you to a “party” and says, “You don’t even have to buy anything,” just say no. Save your money and your time for people who want to be friends, not for you to buy something from a catalog.

13. Don’t worry so much whether the college you went to isn’t or is prestigious. After a few years, it matters so little it’s laughable.

14. When you reunite with your childhood friend and she tells you she’ll call you, take her number too. Just one year later, she’ll be gone and you will never have  another conversation.

15. Your real friends will be happy when you win. Being a real friend is not just consoling someone when they lose, it’s being happy when they win. Especially when they win something you want.

16. Don’t waste too much time obsessing over the corporate ladder. Work hard, do a good job, go home.

17. Don’t turn your back on the most important lesson, the most important gift—what it’s like to struggle. Carry it with you. Remember it when you feel like you have endless money and endless opportunity and when you feel like you’ve won a life lottery. Recognize the humanity in others, no matter who they are. Err on the side of kind. Always.

18. When you get the chance to move to Quebec, do it. It will be hard and cold and awful at times, but those are just growing pains.

19. Stop obsessing over beauty. Pretty isn’t an achievement, it is luck. Pretty is made up to sell you make up. Don’t let magazines and shallow people dictate how you feel about yourself. You are beautiful because you are human.

20. Travel. See the world so you can understand your place in it.

21. Hold tight to your sense of humor.

22. Getting married and buying a house and having a family aren’t cliché trappings of the American dream. It’s real life. Silence those who judge your life choices and don’t judge others for theirs.

23. Being ___by age ____ becomes irrelevant after 30. Thank God.

24. You won’t realize how young you were until you grow older. This goes for then and now.

25. Stretch.

26. Go to that wedding. Go to that funeral. When it’s important and when it’s something that will only happen once, spend the money, take the time and go.IMG_0309

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Maybe Your Bliss is Following You

I believe in following dreams. It’s what will keep you moving, getting up day after day. I believe in traveling the globe, in adventure, in opening your mind to new experiences.

And…

I believe know there’s no glamour in financially struggling.

Following is an honest look at “following your bliss” into dark corners. A recent experience led me to believe that sometimes, your dreams have to be put aside for awhile, at least until the ship rights itself, ’til the storm is over.

You’ve seen the Pinterest boards of the blue car on the wide open road with a nice Kerouac quote: “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” These Pinterest boards all have us wanting to sell our stuff and take to the open road.

  • You’ll serve rude people pie and work on your writing. Looked good in that movie, right?
  • You’ll tootle around the country in a jeep for a year
  • You’ll publish a novel about your life on the road. Because no one’s done that yet.
  • You’ll become a famous blogger. There aren’t many travel bloggers right?

All of these things sound great.

Read no further if you’re currently sitting on a stack of dollar bills. Or if your name is Richard Branson. If you are either of those two people, please by all means, follow your bliss.

For the rest of us, consider this:

Land first. Then leave.

Maybe your bliss is just where you are.

Continue reading


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12 Things I’ve Learned from ‘Things I’ve Learned’ Lists

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That’s an old pic of younger me. Things I’ve Learned: Be a fearless badass.

It was last Saturday, noonish. I sat in my Juicy Couture sweats from waay back and did the same thing I always do. Checked the same travel blogs, the same Twitter. And what to my eyes should appear?

Lists! Fascinating lists filled with profound revelations and advice. I got lost in a Things I’ve Learned labyrinth starting with Dave Berry ‘s 25 Things List I Learned in 50 Years and ending with this Things I Learned from Closing a Bookstore.

Inspired, I penned my own.

The Ultimate ‘Things I Learned’ List

1. You’re never too young to create a Things I Learned List. The world’s youngest blogger, a 6-month old wrote Things I’ve Learned One Month Out of the Womb. He had a lot of advice about naps and teething rings.

2. Bloggers who should be creating Things I Learned lists aren’t.

25 Things I Learned After Fighting a Grizzly Bear
25 Things I Learned When I Discovered Popcorn
25 Things I Learned Working for Abraham Lincoln

3. The paragraph is endangered. Continue reading


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Is this what a nervous breakdown looks like?

A tree photo

Things money can’t buy

I just kind-of quit my job. Well, I ended a contract assignment at a major company. 

Still…

The people were perfectly nice, the hours were decent and they paid me a sic salary for a writer. They even had a cafe with a healthy take on the McMuffin: spinach, egg whites, whole-wheat english muffin. A McMuffin that is actually good for you. Freakin’ beautiful.

Pretty perfect right? You probably want to punch me in the nose. I almost want to punch myself in the nose. But the truth is, the job fit like a bad shoe. It felt ok when I tried it on. And then blisters started popping up everywhere. One day, it became unbearable. Continue reading