Tag Archives: Travel

Absinthe and squat toilets

I have been very bad about not posting lately.  I am going to try and get back into blogging the crazy that is my life and I figured the best story to get back in the mix of it is this one.

So I tried Absinthe for the first time in China.   It typical Jen fashion it was hilarious.

No I didn’t hallucinate or at least from what I remember I didn’t.

Oh my.  I typically have a strict do not over drink rule when I am in a foreign country.  I like to keep my guard up and I like to make sure that just in case I get into trouble I have a clear head.

So why did I not follow this rule?  Cause this shit creeps up on you and the next thing you are hunting for a squat toilet at midnight walking back to your hotel.  More on that later.

We found this little quaint bar in a very trendy Hutong neighborhood.  The original plan was to get dessert hang out and call it an early night.    All I really remember, from this place is they showed the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show on repeat and they served absinthe.

and oh! they call marshmallows cotton candy.

I browsed the menu and I looked at Zach (he was with me in China) and said “Dude they have absinthe here”  While absinthe is no longer illegal in the US, you don’t really see it in bars in Dallas.  He had never tried it and I had never tried it, so hey why not try it… right??? Right. 

We ordered a round and the girl brought it to us with sugar cubes and lit it on fire.    We blew out the fire, smashed up the sugar and took the shot.

and it went down easy…. too easy.

In hindsight, this is why my ass had to use a squat toilet. (again more on this later) 

I received my dessert and after about 15 minutes I looked at Zach and said “I don’t really feel anything do you?”  He didn’t.

I thought it was odd, because I have ZERO tolerance and often have a pretty decent buzz after one glass of wine.  So I was a little shocked I didn’t feel anything.

So hey we are vacationing, let’s order another round.

and another…

and another…

and another…

You see where I am going with this?

Around midnight, I am sure in what was a very sexy slur… told Zach I was ready to go back to the hotel cause I was really tired from walking all over Beijing that day (really I was just drunk) so he paid the tab and we started our mile walk back to the hotel.

We were laughing and talking about just how amazing Beijing was and that Absinthe sneaks up on your ass…

When suddenly I had to pee… bad.

See here is the thing, this is not my proudest moment… but I refused to use the public restrooms in China… ahem the squat toilets.

I know.  I know.  Shame on me but I was terrified of them and while it is not my proudest travel moment I avoided them and would hold it all day.

Well I could not hold it and I got over that fear at midnight in a random hutong in Beijing China.

Sad thing is, I didn’t even see the Green Fairy.

 

Zach (& Jennifer’s) Zany Movie (& other media) Memoribilia!

Hey Fellow Cubicle Escapee’s:

If you like our giveaway’s (which we will still be doing occasionally) for those that like and want movie memoribilia but don’t trust people that you don’t know and want better prices then look into Jen and I’s EBay pages as we will occasionally sell some cool movie and other media memorabilia and will get it to you wrapped up tight, fast, safe, and sound.

Jen’s EBay handle is volunteer_travel_girl27

My EBay handle is mrmovie1201AM

I, (Zach) Currently have two items for sale:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/132204633816?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

&

http://www.ebay.com/itm/132204629283?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Thanks and keep going to the movies!

Zach A.

What I would like to accomplish this year

Last year was interesting I found that while I got to do a lot of things I wanted to do it came at great cost on my relationships.   I also didn’t really write about traveling or adventuring… I pretty much only wrote about books.  Now while I love reading I much rather write about my journey.  Fortunately I have a lot of material I will be able to write about and I am excited to share it over the next few weeks.

This year my goals are pretty simple.  Take trips that matter, read 250 books, meet a few celebs and embrace minimalism.

I only have a couple of trips in the works right now.  I am currently planning a trip to Cuba and maybe India (for a wedding!).  Once I find a job and get my life back to balance then I might consider something else.   Right now I am really going to focus on me, rebuilding relationships in my life and focus on minimalism.

Last year I realized that a lot of the stuff in my life was just that… stuff and it was often stuff that kept me from doing things I really wanted to do.  In fact, most of it doesn’t really have any value to my life and I think it is time that I only have things in my life that add value.   I got so lost in having things that I really lost what was important in life.  It is not something I am proud of but this past year I did a lot of damage on personal relationships that I think it is time I really focus on what matters.

I am hoping to get my closet to 40 hangers.  That has been a struggle I swear the minute I get it down to 50 hangers I find another 20 items or so and BAM I am trying to unload more.   I am also trying to shred unnecessary mail and just declutter my life.  It is one hell of a challenge let me tell you.

When it comes to meeting celebrities I am cutting back on autographs.  I kinda got into a weird habit of getting autographs of people I didn’t know much about.  So I am going to start focusing on photos vs autographs.  I will continue getting autographs from people I do CARE about especially when it comes to shows I love… like the Walking Dead.

I am going to try and explore Dallas a bit more, there is still so much I have not seen in this city and I feel I really should try and focus on that.

So as you can see my year isn’t really exciting right now as I am trying to embrace balance and repair some damage I caused.  That being said I will post about travel and books as much as possible I just don’t have any crazy plans this year.

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Why I need to Travel…

I never thought I would need to write a post like this, but as I get older I am learning fewer and fewer people get me. I suppose this is my way to try and gain some understanding, but I know the people that might read this and I am sure they are rolling their eyes and calling me a “dreamer” who won’t amount to much. (Yes, this was recently implied by a person who I thought was a friend)  I no longer speak to this person. 

That being said, I have one friend that gets the need to travel.  She like me loves the idea of an adventure no matter how big or small.  Hell we are planning a road trip to Kansas, because we have never been there overnight and figured we gotta go sometime, now is as good as any.

I know there are those that will argue with me, stating my need to travel is a want not a need.  I respectfully disagree, because when I travel it makes me feel something that I can’t really place but it makes me feel whole.  It is like each time I visit a new a place a piece of me feels more complete. Sure that could be crazy talk, it doesn’t make it feel any less true.

Everyone has basic needs food, water, love, shelter…  then there are secondary needs.  My secondary need is the need to travel/explore.   I have friends that need to shop, they need to read, they need to write… we all have a need to do something to escape.

Travel is my escape

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 This quote says it best, I don’t think there really is anything I am escaping from (except my stupid cubicle) but more that I fear I will have regrets when I am 80, because I didn’t jump on opportunities as they were presented. 

I am tired of regrets. 

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As I get older this becomes more true.  I don’t regret the awesome vacations I took with my parents, I don’t regret going to college, I don’t regret zip lining in Honduras… I do regret not going to Germany in 11th grade, I do regret not going to Africa for a summer in college, I do regret not telling my high school crush I liked him. 🙂

The things I have done make me smile and make for great conversations, but the things I haven’t done make me wonder, hmmm what if? I am sure some of you get me.

I learn more when I explore.

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I love learning, I am someone that really does believe a day is wasted if I do not learn something.  I can read any book on a subject but there is something to be said about experiencing it.

Asking for more bread in Spanish at the homeless shelter so I could feed the hungry vs practicing on my drive home from work.

Reading about making coffee vs actually working on a Guatemalan farm and seeing the process first hand.

Reading about the Central American jungle vs zip lining through the jungle and seeing the jungle rush by you

Sure you can study life, but you really don’t learn about life until  you live it. 

I love to disappear

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I feel recharged when I am off the grid.  20 years ago we didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have the internet (at this level) we didn’t have the technology we have today.  Don’t get me wrong these additions to life are fantastic and I use mine daily, but every once in awhile it is pure magic to just not be on the grid.

When I was in Guatemala,  I felt instantly less stressed the minute I stepped off the plane. For 7 days no one knew what I was doing and where I was.  While my mother and JMM would argue they were more stressed because I was somewhere in Guatemala 1000s of miles away. I felt revived.  I didn’t have cell service and only had wifi for a couple of hours at night.

I do admit I sent messages via my iPad to my mother and JMM every night but it was for their peace of mind vs something I needed to do. I was at peace.

I always had the best sleep.  I didn’t wake up until my alarm went off every morning. It was magic.  Personally I think this was because I was disconnected and living in the moment.

I love stories, and traveling is my way to tell stories.

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I remember being speechless in Jamaica at the bus being rocked, and thinking oh lord this is not going to end well.  Now I tell the story like I survived the end of times.

I remember being stunned into silence from being slammed into the lap of a 70 year old Guatemalan man holding a baby goat on the chicken bus, I now tell this story to get people to laugh. The goat baaa’d at me. Seriously.

I remember being stunned at the poverty of those here in Dallas from volunteering at the homeless shelter, I now tell people about my experience to educate those and make people grateful for what they have.

I remember being scared and panicked when I was about to zip line for my first time and now I tell stories about zip lining like I am some zip lining professional. Shoot I have a goal to zip line in every country I visit.

I remember the time I was scared into silence at midnight in Cancun walking alone trying to find my hotel when I took the chance on a local on a moped to get me to my hotel.  I tell this story to remind those that not everyone is out “to get Americans”

I love stories and adventures help me become a better story teller.

I think my biggest fear is just to exist.

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I can’t just exist, I love experiencing life with people. I love the moments I share with those that I love and yes there have been times that I have been alone and the moment was perfect too.  The important part is that I live in the moment vs just existing in the moment.

When I am traveling I feel like I am living in the moment, I am having to trust people that I do not know into telling me what is good, what to eat, what to see, directions, whatever.  I have to trust my instinct and gut to get me through a situation. I have to be in the moment.

When I travel I feel pure happiness, I am proud of myself for taking the chance and crossing borders into the “unknown” I am proud to see something different than my every day desk. I am proud to learn something new about a place I was not familiar with prior to my arrival. I love the jolt of electricity that goes through my veins the moment I realize I am in love with a country typically within 5 minutes of arriving (so far this has happened in Belize and Guatemala). The jolt never stopped in Guatemala. 

So yes everyone I need to travel because it makes me feel like I am living. I love life and I love how traveling makes me feel.  I am grateful to come from a family that loves traveling “almost” as much as I do and for JMM for getting that I need to travel and experience without passing judgement.

Do you need to travel? What do you need?

Until next time,
XOXO