Tag Archives: travel

On Change, Anxiety, and New Zipcodes

I’ve been fed up with this blog for a while. White girl problem as it may be, hear me out. Or don’t.  I mean, there’s plenty of internet to scour that is less lion-y than this little domain.

ANYWAY.
I’ve been tired of this blog being the same, feeling like I’m a never-ending ramble of the same topics. I get all sorts of blog-envy over other websites I gawk at daily–ones filled with pretty well-lit pictures and layouts, crafts and recipes, ‘outfit of the day’ posts and all those cute things that the blogging community tends to be drawn to. Meanwhile I’m over here slapping sarcasm around, making musical references, mentioning Ryan Gosling too much, and relying on inspiration that waxes and wanes based on my caffeine level for the day.

Will I ever be the next Martha Stewart mixed with Paula Deen mixed with Annie Lebowitz of the internet? Probably not, but that’s not to say that I don’t want to incorporate different things and styles and some sort of photography around these parts. And I hope you’ll be with me, internet, at least somewhat, as I try to document important things and continue to ramble like I’m known to do.

So, there’s that. Yes, I want to change things around my little website, but this thread of ‘new-ness’ goes a little deeper than that as well.

As much as I can be stubborn with change, I tend to welcome the kind I like. I am enchanted and constantly wanting new colors, new textures, new sounds and new faces in my life. Sure, I am comfortable with the things I love and cherish them dearly, but I have an itch to explore and to discover and to consume all sorts of brand new material.

I wasn’t always this way, though.

See this little girl?

Even though it takes a brave and confident individual to wear matching ruffled socks, she was actually a very scared kid and afraid of new things. She feared new school years, she feared things she didn’t know, and she even feared a lot of the rides at DisneyWorld. She was well-acquainted with crippling irrational feelings of being scared for no good reason. It took her a while to get adjusted to new things, but she found that if she could hold tightly onto the hand of Mom and Dad and Brother and Grandparents and various friends, it was not so bad. Tears were not uncommon, panic attacks and anxiety came in waves, but she was still surrounded by a group of people that wanted her to succeed and wanted her to find out all sorts of great things about this great earth, and so slowly embrace change, she did. And you see, once she did, each progressive time became easier.

That little girl was me (spoiler alert!).

Nowadays, the tenacity and cheerfulness and energy with which I tend to greet new days and new situations and new people has been well-earned and well-fought through years of anxiety for, and even though the uncertainty of change still creeps in from time to time, I’ve learned how to embrace it a lot easier.

And so, as my Mama puts it, the little girl she’d never thought would ever leave home now wants to pack it all up in a suitcase and go see the world.

So, in the season of embracing change I decided it was time to change to color of my hair…and my address.

I’m moving to Nashville.

Do I know what exactly I’m doing yet there? No. Do I know the city like the back of my hand? I’m getting there. Do I have a place to live? Surprisingly, yes! And it has indoor plumbing!

I love music, I love Nashville, and if there was ever a time to do something crazy like move to Music City and chase a crazy dream, now is that time. I’ve got little to no obligations, no pets, no husband and kids, nothing holding me here, and a family that’s been so encouraging about the whole thing. So much so, in fact, that my parents told me that if I don’t do it now, don’t take this chance while I’m young, I’ll always wonder, always regret it. I’m not saying my anxiety won’t come back like it tends to, but there’s excitement in this decision, too.

So here’s to change, here’s to wearing hair turbans, and trying not to feel dumb taking self portraits for your blog in your backyard. Here’s to trying to cram 8 pairs of boots into one suitcase and realizing you have a problem. Here’s to long highways, supportive parents, reuniting with old friends, lots of live music, being young, and making new progress and new mistakes in a new zipcode.

And if you ever find yourself in Nashville, internet, I’ll buy you some iced coffee and vinyl and we can try to figure out a life plan together. Lion’s honor.

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A Life Update Of Sorts

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve worn out the soles of my shoes in Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, Nashville, Austin and all the skies and highways in between. I’m surviving on miracles, delayed flights, text messages, and strong coffee here.

Lately, my life has looked like a lot like this, according to instagram:

(I also recommend expanding your browser window to view them!)

In classic Lion-Haired Girl style, I’ve tried to write this post for about a month and I’ve come up with nothing or put it off til the next day, and now, here I am at the last minute, typing when my to-do list is 70 miles long.

I always feel strange writing all about myself here. I mean, I know that sounds totally contradictory in the fact that this is, by nature, a ‘personal’ blog, but sometimes the stuff closest to me is the hardest to speak about, and also, not what I think would be entertaining. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am so flattered and thankful and say God bless all of yall for reading my words, but it’s so hard for me to think of this as a “day-to-day-in-my-crazy-journey” lifestyle blog, because frankly, my life isn’t always so insaaane, you know? I like to write about all sorts of things and topics and thoughts, and usually they are not what is happening to me in the daily.

I mean, I never want to get to the point where I’m writing consistent entries that say, “Today I ate a bagel and it was really good.” (Even if the bagel was really good!)

Does this post have a point?

I’m going to Arizona on Friday. Why did I wait til the 5th paragraph to mention this? I love a good introduction. But seriously, when I say that I’m going there, I mean that I’m moving there…for two months. Do I know what I’m doing while there? Yes, and I’m slowly wrapping my head around it. Do I know much else? Not really.

I’ve been saying with confidence that I have wanted adventure and travel for years now, and very desperately since graduating almost 5 months ago and feeling trapped. I’ve had this feeling from the tip of my pedicured toes to the top of my big hair that I just want to GO and SEE and EXPLORE places beyond my usual radius, and now, in a small way, it’s happening!

The thing about wanting something so very bad is, you should kinda be prepared to know what to do if you actually do, in fact, get it.

Of course, for me, when anything major like this happens, it means anxiety and doubt and self-denial and panic mode and not remembering how to pack a suitcase, so there’s that. But honestly, that’s always worth the risk, and I’ve been known to get anxiety simply when the Apple rainbow spinning ball appears on my computer screen, so maybe I am a little over-anxious in the first place.

But I think it’s going to be a good two months. No, I know it’s going to be good. I’ll be teaching kids at a camp how to make iPhone and iPad games in a whole different timezone and even though it’s not like I’m going to live in a tent in the African Sahara or in a hand-built hammock in a New Zealand forest, the smallest little sense of adventure that accompanies me to this summer job away from my usual routine is so welcome.

So, anyone have any tips for packing your life away? Does a big Texas flag double as a bed comforter? Should I take any precautions for living in the desert?

And most importantly, will my hair be as big as its usual namesake when across state lines?

Road Trip Fever (again)

The funny thing about being back-and-forth between two places is that it starts to feel normal. You live your life pretty fully for 3 to 4 days and then you just expect to get in your car and get back on the road. It’s not that you don’t establish roots or enjoy your time, you just expect that it will be temporary, which is the strangest phenomenon.

I wrote a post about my obsession with 1970s bohemia and my lifegoal of a huge road trip last year and it’s funny how much it comes back into play these days. Writing that post made me discover several other road trip blogs (primarily this one and this one and oh goodness, THIS one cause she lived in a WINNEBAGO) which only made me more eager to pack everything into a bag and buy a Volkswagen Bus and set sail across the nation!

Of course, this all comes to a screeching halt now that I am graduated. It’s still a dream to set off into the wild blue yonder, yes, but now my life is about finding a job and finding somewhere permanent, or rebelling against that temporary tendency. This thought of home doesn’t scare me at all, I mean, I’ve been a homebody for 21 years now, only had 3 addresses that I can remember and only really kicked off my boots in 2 states (the greatest 2 of all, though), but it’s just balancing this dream with reality that gets me irked a little.

I mean, one of the greatest revelations is that YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAY, right?

You see, I’ve got glimpses of traveling. Amateur snapshots I take at stoplights, half-built traffic singalongs, highway sunsets and the past month or so that I’ve spent back and forth between the two places my heart loves most in Texas, and these glimpses satisfy for now. At this moment I am content to soak up the small miles I do cover. I am happy to only be on the road in 5-hour intervals.

But what about something bigger? What about a whole nation or even a whole world to explore?

I joke that one of these days I am just going to up-and-leave and become a flight attendant, but more and more it seems so appealing. The more I drive and the more I stay in places for shorter periods of time, the more I wonder if the road (or sky!) is a far-fetched dream or a logical next step.

So for now, I’m not sure of everything that I am learning being so touch-and-go every week, but I am learning to love cruise control. I’m learning that most gas stations give you a discount on coffee if you bring your own travel mug. I’m learning that free wifi is a great thing, but also a curse because it makes you want to stop. And oh yeah, at least I am learning how to (most efficiently) pack a suitcase.

“Aunt Kelsey, we’re gonna need bigger luggage.”

Time To Ramble On?

I have been searching on eBay and Craigslist for a Volkswagen Bus for years now.

You see, I have a dream of packing up my life into a Volkswagen bus or an airstream trailer and taking to the open road. I’d still call and write and send picture messages, but the freedom of the open road is so tempting. Plus, I love small towns, breakfast foods, people who can play the heck out of instruments and historical landmarks, and I have a feeling that there are so many of these things out there that I haven’t seen yet!

Miranda Lambert’s ‘Airstream Song’ always hits truth with me. “Sometimes I wish I lived in an airstream, homemade curtains, lived just like a gypsy- break a heart, roll outta town, cause gypsies never get tied down.” Maybe it’s the escape of traveling that I love so much; kicking up dust and never looking in the rear view mirror. Maybe it’s because the music closest to my heart and my style from decor to clothing always points to the fact that I always wanted to be a carefree child of the 60s and 70s, rolling down the highway with my little hippie caravan family along for the ride. Blame my gypsy soul. Blame it on my wild heart, even. Whatever it is, it remains at the back of my mind and gets stronger every time I take a road trip or when I watch the Discovery Channel or even when I hear an especially good Led Zeppelin song and want to start ramblin’ on.


For a time I always thought it would just be me on this trek, but more and more I think I’m gonna need someone in the passenger seat. I don’t often get crushes (we’ve been over this before) so it wouldn’t have to be romantic. Just someone to switch off driving shifts with, take pictures of scenic moments, sing along to classic rock (the official soundtrack of the open road!) and share waffles when I order too many of them. That’s not so much to ask, right?

I mean, sure, if it was all cute and crush-y, I’d be all sorts of lovey-dovey. Is it too hippie of me to want to spend my first years of marriage (if in fact I do get roped into gettin’ hitched) on the road? How perfect would that be? Just exploring the countryside and wearing out the radio with great music for miles and miles, and of course, make the goal of getting at least one kiss in every single state, because well, IT’S CUTE. And the pictures would be cute and true love travels miles and documents these miles and you know, while I’m daydreaming I might as well daydream sickeningly-cute goals, right?!! Thousands of miles, hundreds of diners, one bus, two of us and at least 48 kisses. Not too shabby.

Oh- what’s that? Is that you calling, real world? What’s that you’re asking? What will I do for money on the road? You mean no one wants to pay me to blog and stargaze and picnic and come up with puns and amateur-ly play my guitar and ukulele yet? Really?

Guess I’ll have to hold out a few years.

(Airstream Picture Link, Volkswagen Picture Link)