Tag Archives: Travel

18 months and counting….

So I have reached month 18 and finally my luck has turned around a bit.   I have started a new job that allows me to work remotely from literally anywhere I can get an internet connection.

I am so excited about this opportunity that I am going to share every single detail in the coming weeks.   That being said I am finally back on track with my goals.

So first up this month my goal is to pretty much get caught up on some things.  Fortunately I didn’t dip too much into savings because I have been very careful but I do want to start saving again.

Now that I have a job that I can literally work anywhere in the world I can technically pick up and leave at anytime, but as I have said in previous posts I have obligations that must be taken care of first.  Once those are done I may move my leave day up a bit.   For right now I am sticking with this.   The good news is I don’t have to quit my job or worry about where my money is coming from when I get on the road.  (I still want to save though 🙂 )

I realized this month that you can’t always seek forgiveness from people who you have hurt and while that is hard it is something you have to accept, if that person blames you for everything you have to let them.    Cut all ties and move on, and try to learn from your experience.

I have also learned what true happiness feels like and I am so grateful for that.  Sometimes you have to cut everything off in your life and start over to rebuild a better you.   I am working on a better me, which is why I have pursued job options I knew would make me happy.  One of my biggest regrets in my life is jumping into a claims job when I didn’t want to do that because I was told I wouldn’t be good at my chosen job.  I should have taken time and pursued my passions. I also was told constantly I wouldn’t like traveling to certain places even though I knew in the deepest parts of my soul I would.   I believed them.  Ha! no wonder I was so unhappy,  I betrayed myself.  I was so unhappy, now I am not.  It was a hard lesson to learn but I have learned it and I finally accepted I can’t change my past and my mistakes but I can move forward with a new fire and pursue my dreams.  🙂

So what is the point of saying all of this?  Pursue your passion and stop listening to the negativity.   I can’t tell you how many times I gave up on something because I was told by people “I loved”  I would not be good at that, or I couldn’t do that, or I wouldn’t like that.   It made me one vindictive bitch who was very negative in every aspect of her life.   I hated her.   I can’t change who I was but I know I can be the person I was  before I let everything get in my way.   It is the biggest breath of fresh air I have had in years.

SO let go of the negativity and be you.   🙂

So yeah end soap box.

This past month was pretty boring so I don’t have much to share but I am hoping NEXT month I can start my savings posts back up and get back on track.

Cheers Everyone!

Everything I read and watched to prep for my trip to Chengdu

So I leave for Chengdu today and I wanted to share with you everything I watched and read to prep for my upcoming trip.   So maybe I can encourage you to go to China.

First up, the Food Ranger… omg sweet sweet Trever,   I am in love with his YouTube channel.   He lives in Chengdu, loves to eat and travel.   I am only going to share one of his videos with you because I feel he is a must watch on YouTube so you need to head over there asap.   This man might actually be responsible if I end up in Malaysia in the very near future… JS.

Huang’s World.  I am not sure if you guys are into vice but I love this dude.   He is a must watch and I love how he digs deeper into culture especially considering that this is in fact his culture.  #LoveHim

When it come to travel bloggers I have a few that I always search to see if they have been to a certain place I am traveling to. At first my favorite bloggers didn’t have much on Chengdu, then Lee Abbamonte spent Christmas in Chengdu and as always wrote a pretty comprehensive article on visiting.  He visited everything I am planning on visiting so it was nice to see an article on this.

Christmas in Chengdu, China

While Katie no longer blogs (SUPER SADFACE I adored her perspective on travel plus we are close to the same age) She wrote a comprehensive article on volunteering with the pandas.  I chose to do the paid quick photo opp route due to my limited time in Chengdu but I absolutely feel this is a way to cut costs and give back.

How to Volunteer with Pandas in China

Anthony Bourdain.  You can watch the episode on Netflix and it is hilarious and 100% responsible as to why I am going on this trip.   I am not a foodie but I am excited to try one bowl of spicy noodles and a hot pot (although I had hot pot in Beijing).

You can read the trip report article on CNN here

Click the link below to read the book I read on Kindle Unlimited to give me an idea of what I can do in Chengdu.  It was a very informative book that gave me a lot of insight into the trip.

So there you go the main sources I used in my Chengdu research.  I hope this encourages you to book a flight to Chengdu (or China in general in the future) aside from the smog it really is an amazing adventure.

The Forbidden city isn’t that big… just kidding.

Confession:   Sometimes I am an absolute idiot when I travel.  I mean I don’t mean to be but it happens.

I will often travel to a destination with an idea on how I think it is going to be but in reality I was wrong.   That is why I love to travel it changes your perception on everything.

For example, the Forbidden City.   My perception was what I had seen in the movies, or the occasional blog.

In other words, I thought it was just one maybe two buildings, pretty much this scene from Mulan

Don’t judge me I learned a lot of valuable lessons from Disney.

Anyway I digress.   I just thought we would walk in see this building and that would be that.

In fact, after we walked in I looked over at the person with me.

“The Forbidden City isn’t really that big, is it?”

The look he gave me was crazy.  It was mixed with shock, confusion and Jen you are f’ing crazy.  I guess he knew  the truth.

I mean the buildings were not that tall so I was kinda right.

So you will walk a lot and it is large like very large. Pretty sure it took us 4 hours just to walk through it. IF you were like me and walked all over Beijing the day before the Forbidden City it is very daunting.  In fact, I was beyond exhausted every night in China from all the walking.   (TAKE the subway, trust me)

It was a great attraction and obviously if you go to Beijing it is a must do.  I really enjoyed it, especially I have seen it in so many books, blogs and movies.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Forbidden City.

Have you been?

 

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.