Definitive Moment

As of late, through a series of unfortunate events that maybe, just maybe, were meant to happen, I’ve been left here in this all-encompassing feeling of “what the hell am I doing with my life?”
This most likely stems from a common place that most seniors in undergrad feel when faced with the unknown of what lies ahead, beyond the four walls of an elementary biology class or the day-to-day rudimentary events that incessantly need to be checked off a grand to-do list… but it’s still terrifying.
I’ve realized that I have gotten caught up in the unimportant things in life. The robot-like motions that end up driving rather normal people absolutely crazy, has in fact, driven me absolutely crazy. I’ve focused on the successes of others, compared myself, and always, always, end up falling short. So as usual, I tend to think about this for a spare moment, toss it aside, and continue on my path of routine, checklist, complain, blame, checklist, eat, sleep (barely), repeat. As someone who advocates for ultimate happiness, doing what whats makes you YOU and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise, going after your passion, and pouring your heart into anyone or anything that makes you a better person, I’ve done the complete opposite.
Again, after a multitude of good and bad – mostly bad, moments, I sit here thinking… who am I? What do I love?
I haven’t even looked at my blog in over a year. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those students who studies abroad, makes a travel blog, and then never works on it again. This blog, in complete honesty, brought me happiness in its purist form. Something I created on my own that others actually enjoyed reading, but more importantly, *I enjoyed reading. It became an extension of myself that allowed others to see a transparency into my thoughts, feelings, and experiences that I am otherwise terrible, I’ve come to find, at doing in person.
Studying abroad was the happiest four months of my entire life. I could be my truest self, but even more so I grew in discovery. I wouldn’t consider myself a shy person or an extremely outgoing person, and I don’t consider myself to be a “sheltered” child or close-minded, but there’s something extremely rejuvenating and traumatically beautiful in discovering new places and learning new things. It’s like being a way cooler version of an infant – and through that I mean in the way infants discover and learn at all hours of the day. Travel, for me, was exactly this. Breathing in every sight, sound, smell, touch and conversation, as if it was the first time to do any of these things, but then being able to turn these into collective thoughts and parallels and intelligence that allows you to better yourself, open your mind, and throw your arms wide open to world with a clarity and fearlessness in a way I have never experienced before. Well, I’m not fearless anymore. And if I am, I sure as hell don’t feel it. Or see it. Just barely, do I remember it.
This kind of effortless discovery made me a better person. It also taught me what true love should be like – something I feel as if I had found in the past, I certainly did in the moment at least, but now, lately, I think I may have been wrong. Think, being the key word here.
The point of all this.. is that I let go of it. I let go of the things that I discovered in myself and others while abroad, and have assumed I can’t find them here at home. I’ve let others dictate my decisions and tell me what I should and should not like – and ultimately, I have no one to blame but myself.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but there was a definitive moment when my entire life switched gears and changed paths and I knew my life would change forever. It was the first time, outside of the flight to Morocco from Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport, that I had traveled on my own. And by on my own, in this sense, was that I consciously got online, researched destinations, picked a new adventure, bought a train ticket, bought a plane ticket (both with my own money), packed my backpack, and left. At 19 years old, this was huge for me. THIS was freedom, and it was fucking awesome. My three other roommates and I arrived late at Aeroporto Internazionale Galileo Galilei in Pisa, Italy, around 9 at night. (Blog post on that night, here). As frugal study abroad students, we knew not to spend our money on a good hostel or convenient taxi rides, so we walked, about a mile, in the dark, in an unknown town, without speaking the language, until we reached our hostel. We, of course, got lost. Having no phone usage, bags, and zero Italian knowledge between the four of us, was a recipe for a long trek, but we made it. After that, we got advice from our hostel to eat at an incredible pizza place right down the road. Two years later and I STILL dream of this pizza. By this time, and with a few drinks in us (did I mention legally drinking alcohol at 19 years old is also a very exhilarating and freeing experience?), its midnight. The adventurer in me wanted nothing more than to stay out and make the half a mile walk to the leaning tower of Pisa. After some convincing and shirt-tugging, I got everyone on board and we walked aimlessly throughout the narrow Italian roads in search of the first “landmark” I had ever seen in my life. Like a movie scene, it starts drizzling. Just enough to where it’s relaxing and soothing and playful, creating the perfect misty grass smell and slight squeaking noise that comes about when you touch leather boots to old cobblestone streets and brings nothing but a slight smile to your face. We rounded a corner, honestly forgetting about our search but rather immersed in great conversation and laughter, and there. was. the. tower.
To most, seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa would just be another landmark to check off a bucket-list. To me, standing in the rain, at midnight, in silence and oneness, looking up at the tower that was breathtakingly lit up by ground spotlights effortlessly dimmed by a wet fog – meant freedom.
Honestly, looking back on my blog post about that night, no one would have ever known that those emotions and life choices were going through my head. I babbled on about pizza toppings. But no amount of words can describe the feeling in that moment. I couldn’t even process them at the time, because I had never experienced happiness in that way before. And I honestly haven’t felt happiness like that since. In that moment, I made the decision to never let anyone or anything get in-between my hopes and dreams. To be a strong and independent traveler. To fight for those who follow their passion, whatever that may be, and to wake up with life and discover beauty, in whatever form it may come in, and to chase my wildest dreams.
To say the least, seeing the Leaning Tower the next morning, in daylight, with hundreds of tourists around, was less than spectacular. But I sat there and smiled in remembrance of the happiness the hours before had brought me.
The last two years have been a slow progression of me forgetting that moment, and focusing on things that don’t necessarily matter. Today, although I feel lost in my sense of self, I have replayed that moment in my head and felt the same emotions flood over me the way they did two years ago.
Today, I take back who I am… or at least trek on in the same fearlessness and wanderlust searching for it.


A Permanent Case of Wanderlust


This blog is exceptionally scatter brained and doesn’t have the usual fluidity and story line of a normal post!

I’ve used this post to get out some thoughts and show some pretty bad ass pictures.

… It probably makes no sense.

It’s July.

I suck. And I mean really truly suck.

Can I even call myself a blogger? It’s been 4, almost 5 months since my last post. The one before that took me a month to write alone. I left everyone hanging on a limb. . .

The time away has given me some time to think. Think about my writing and whether or not it’s something I can truly say I do. I would like to think that I write wrote for pleasure. But not just my own pleasure. Quite possibly, I was writing to fulfill some sort of void that I had always wanted to fill. A uniqueness of sorts. I wrote to stand out. For confidence, maybe? I still haven’t figured that out completely. . .

Now that I have long been back in America, (for the same amount of time I had been abroad), travel – and the pure happiness that tags along side it, seems like a distant dream I once had long ago. I can’t help but reminisce daily and wish my study abroad semester was a rather permanent situation.

There are certain feelings that seem to automatically attach to an individual like myself who has an extreme case of wanderlust (before, during, and after adventures that is). They never seem to go away and traveling to your next destination, whenever that may be, always seems to be on the mind.

Feeling fulfilled isn’t a feeling that comes around much after living the dream.

Ultimately, this blog post is about the end of my trip.

To finish what I started.

I never finished my posts from my dad and I’s trip abroad for more reasons than I think I truly understand myself. The main one being that Venice, Florence and Rome were some of my favorite parts of my travels. A part of my travels that I wanted, and still want, to keep to myself. A little piece of oblivion that only I know about. But not only this, many of the memories from that week of travel are now sad and filled with sad remembrance and heartache. A week that was pure bliss but now exhausts my brain and my emotions.

*insert sad song here* 

I’ll spare you the details.

I do want to share the trip with everyone who has been reading my blog since the beginning. The 200+ random people who have commented and taken interest in my cozy corner of the never-ending web. But in order to keep it the way I want – in order to keep my little piece of oblivion – I’ve decided to only share the pictures. A handful from each city.

With out further a do (6 months later)…

Venice, Italy

Europe Trip-872

Europe Trip-898

Europe Trip-904

Europe Trip-952

Europe Trip-982

Europe Trip-986




Florence, Italy






Europe Trip-1106

Rome, Italy


Europe Trip-1283

Europe Trip-1291





Europe Trip-1398

Europe Trip-1444

Europe Trip-1610

Europe Trip-1633



To good memories, lifelong friends, italian beer, family, and the itch for travel that doesn’t let me sleep at night.