Tag Archives: travel

Honeymoon Dreamin’

Standard

As you must have realized by now, Zach and I have a pretty hardcore love affair with travel going on. I started traveling internationally at age 16, when I went to Australia and New Zealand through a student exchange program. That experience was all it took to get me hooked on exploring and wandering the globe.  After that, I went on volunteer trips to the Bahamas and Kenya. If you remember all the way back to our “falling-in-love” story, you’ll remember that I left Zach in Ohio when I went to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. After I got back and things got more serious between us, Zach caught my wanderlust disease hardcore. For the last few years, we’ve basically worked to travel, working overtime and saving all we could and then taking off on epic road trips and adventures. We’ve done multiple road trips through North America, and our seven-month Latin American Odyssey was the biggest adventure yet.

Our wall map with pins where we’ve been!

Needless to say, one of the wedding traditions we’re most excited about is the HONEYMOON!!!  There are just a few small obstacles to overcome first…

  1. We have no money.
  2. Zach has a real job now.
  3. We can’t decide where to go!

Yep, the sad fact of the matter is that just paying for our broke-ass wedding is going to clean out most of our excess funds. Will it be totally worth it? I’m sure! Do I sometimes think we should just go to the courthouse and then book it to Thailand for a month? Hell yes!

There’s also this whole “growing up and getting a real job” issue.  It’s something we’ve somehow managed to avoid…until now! Actually, I still don’t have a “real job” but rather a seasonal internship AND four shifts a week at a bar/restaurant. Zach however, stumbled his way into an awesome job as a line cook in a 4-star restaurant, complete with salary and benefits and everything! It’s a great new phase for him in a lot of ways, but unfortunately ample vacation days are not part of the deal. In the past, we always just up and left our jobs to travel and found new ones wherever we ended up when we got back. Not something we want to do anymore!

Suffice it to say, we will not be able to go on a big honeymoon anytime soon after the wedding, probably not anytime this year.

While it is kind of sad, we’re going to make up for it in a couple ways.

#1. Vegas Friendy-moon!

Vegas baby!

A lot of our Ohio and east coast friends have never been out west at all. Because they’re a fun-loving bunch, a lot of them are planning to tack on some Las Vegas adventures to their trip when they come out and see us get married. Although Zach and I aren’t really “Vegas types”, we decided to join, realizing we’d never, ever again get a chance to party on “The Strip” with so many of our best friends.  Plus, I’m hoping the hotel will throw some perks our way if I tell them it’s our “honeymoon.”

#2. Real honeymoon in the future.

Despite our more settled, awesome life in San Diego, we can’t go very long without traveling abroad. We’re hoping to go somewhere, anywhere, for at least a few weeks as soon as we can swing it financially and job-wise.  The problem is, we have no idea where to go! Top contenders…

 Spain & Morocco

Gorgeous Spanish beaches…plus we could pop across the straits of Gibraltar to Africa!

Italy

I mean, PIZZA!!!

I mean, PIZZA!!!

Russia

Possibly the most hipster honeymoon destination ever…but Zach REALLY wants to go there for some reason.

Turkey

We’ve heard amazing things about Turkey…

Thailand or Indonesia

Southeast Asia would be a dream, but flights are so expensive!!!

Do you think planning two crazy nights in Vegas on the tail end of our wedding is a terrible idea?  And where should we go for the big trip?

 

Advertisements

#WEverb12: GROW

Standard

15. quote [GROW]: What inspirational quote would you associate with this past year for you?

I already quoted a few things from Zen and the Art of Motorcylce Maintenance a few entries back.  I wanted to find something different for this post, so I thought back to some other meaningful books I read this year.  One was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  That book has a lot of wisdom but I couldn’t think of any specific quote, so I googled it.  I ended up finding this, which is actually from another book of his.  It resonates pretty well for my year.

“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?”

What does this quote inspire in you?

#WEverb12: HOPE

Standard
Bartending 80s night at Loki!

Bartending 80s night at Loki!

5. fellowship [HOPE]: What community has engaged you most this year and what did it you get out of your participation?

In the first part of the year, it was the backpacker community in Latin America.  The staff crew at Loki Hostel in Cuzco and all of our ridiculous shenanigans.  Oh, what good times we had there!  We recently reconnected with Ben, our best friend from the hostel, and it was so great to see him!!!  While we certainly partied too much and were so sick of it by the end, we now look back at our experiences there super fondly.  The hilarious moments in the staff dorm and all the characters we bonded with will forever be in my memory.

In the second part of the year, it was most definitely our beloved Couchsurfing community!  Words cannot express how much I love meeting like-minded, adventurous, fun people everywhere we go!  The San Diego Couchsurfing community has really embraced us and we are so lucky to have such good friends after being here only a short time!

#WEverb12: GROW

Standard
575193_10100183386593780_1963172396_n

Ruinas Tazumal, El Salvador

4. experiment [GROW]: What did you do in 2012 that you had never done before? Will you do it again?

So many things!  What did I do that I HAD done in the past?  Not much!

I traveled through 10 different countries, met countless new people, sailed on a sailboat, hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, got engaged, lived in Toledo (yuck, not doing that again), moved to California, and bought a surfboard!  I also started my own business and it is continuing to GROW.  Not too bad, if you ask me.  I’d love to go back to Latin America again but there are so many other countries in the world that I have to see first!

The Whole Cheesy Story, Part 4

Standard

First read Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Finally, the end of the “how we met” saga!

When we last left off in my long, drawn out love story, Zach and I had finally said the big “L word”, and the next day I got on a plane to start my two years of Peace Corps service.  I went off to Tanzania to learn Swahili, live in a village, and do my best to contribute something, and he stayed in Ohio, working on his degree.  We left our relationship undefined and I had no idea what would happen.  I honestly expected him to forget about me and find a new girl who wasn’t an ocean away.  But he didn’t.  And the trouble was, I couldn’t forget about him either.  I did my best to adopt a “whatever happens, happens” attitude to the situation and focus on the present.  But I couldn’t stop dreaming about the future, imagining us ending up together.  Every time I got an email or a letter or a super-expensive phone call from Zach I would smile all day.  I had never wanted to be in a long-distance relationship while in the Peace Corps, as I imagined missing someone would make it even harder than it already was to be so far from home.  Well, even though our relationship was unofficial, missing him was still incredibly hard.

My Tanzanian life

So, when my bestie got engaged and told me I had to come back to be MOH in her wedding, I was unbelievably psyched!  Not only would I get to be in her wedding and eat American food I’d been missing, I’d get to see Zach!  So I booked a round trip flight home.  I’d been away for nine months and despite the ups and downs of Peace Corps life, I had every intention of sticking it out and returning for 17 more months.  In the weeks leading up to my return, I couldn’t concentrate on anything besides counting the days and wondering if Zach and I would still have the same chemistry.

Boy did we.  The sparks flew so intensely during that whirlwind two weeks.   The morning after the wedding, I suddenly found myself sitting in a Tim Hortons, hours before my return flight, sobbing that I didn’t want to go back.  Thus began the most difficult decision I have ever had to make.  I was an emotional wreck, and Zach was amazing.  He never once asked me to stay.  He told me that all he wanted was for me to be happy.  After a few gut-wrenching hours, crying conversations with my family and best friend (yes, I called her the day after her wedding, I’m horrible), and general stress over the prospect of ruining my whole life plan, I realized that I just couldn’t leave again.

I swallowed my pride and I quit the Peace Corps for a guy.  Honestly, there were other reasons why I wasn’t super happy in Tanzania, but Zach was definitely the biggest one.  If I hadn’t met him, or if I had never come home for the wedding, I’m sure I would have stuck it out for the whole two years.  Like I said, this was the hardest decision I ever made.  Life was all of a sudden full of uncertainty, and I was plagued with guilt and feelings of failure for quitting.  To this day, I still feel badly for leaving.  I never, ever envisioned myself becoming the kind of person who would give up her life plan for a romance.  But, Zach was the first guy I was ever with who I was willing to do that for, and maybe that’s how I knew it was right.  Looking back, I don’t regret any of my Peace Corps service, and I don’t regret my decision to quit either.

Anyway, all of a sudden I had the man of my dreams, no job, no plan, and a scarily insecure feeling about the future.  “What should we do now?” I asked Zach.  “Let’s drive to California.” he said.  So we did.  And the rest is (recent) history.

Pacific Beach, San Diego, a week after I quit the Peace Corps

Did anyone else make an impulsive/irresponsible-seeming/risky/life-changing decision for love?  How did it work out?

I think I need an intervention…

Standard

Guys, I am officially OBSESSED with Pinterest.  And I only joined it about a month ago, because I gave into the idea that it is the new be-all and end-all of wedding inspiration.  It didn’t take long for the obsession to develop, once I realized how many absolutely splendiferous-sounding recipes I could find EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  I am obsessed with food, trying new recipes, and looking at food porn.  So now I find myself, here in El Salvador, when I should be out exploring and hiking, sitting on my laptop PINNING!  I do think it’s a brilliant organizational tool.  But I had over 100 “Recipes to Try” before I realized that a board with over 100 pins was not very organized!  So now, on a Friday night in El Salvador, I am going through re-pinning all my recipe pins to new, sub-categorized boards.  I AM PINNING MY PINS, AHHHH!!!!!  WHEN DOES IT STOP????  Of course I realize that I will never actually try half these recipes, but I can’t pass up adding something that just looks so delicious!!!!

Zach just makes fun of me for it.  “What are you doing, babe?”  “Oh, I’m pinning shit.”  This is a normal conversation between us nowadays.  What was hilarious was a couple weeks ago in Panamá, when we saw a lady cutting out random magazine pictures of clothes and stuff and fixing them to an actual, real-life corkboard.  Zach said, “Look, she’s pinning shit!!!!”

So maybe it’s a universal obsession for women in all walks of life nowadays.  It’s an obsession I should probably get over but I’m not quite sure I want to.  Is anyone else as addicted as I am?  If so, add me on Pinterest!

Our Wedding Goals

Standard

Sitting on a park bench in Lima, Perú, drinking some beers while waiting for a night bus to leave, we decided to brainstorm and write out the goals we have for our wedding.  We hope these will help us remember what’s important despite how easy it is to get swept away in the little details and nonsense.  This way, if we’re struggling with a decision down the line we can come back to the goals and use them to help us make the right decision.  That’s the idea, at least.  Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Pay for our wedding ourselves and not go over $2500.

2. Agree on decisions together so that our wedding truly reflects our personalities.

3. Make our wedding more like a fun reunion than a showy formal event.

4. Be selective about our creative projects so that we don’t get obsessed with or overwhelmed by the details.

5. Make our wedding reflect our values: vegetarian, eco-friendly, etc.

6. Have a meaningful and sincere ceremony.

7. Handle any conflicts with courtesy and maturity while still standing up for ourselves on what really matters.

8. Have quality time with everyone at our wedding and involve our guests as much as possible.

What do you think?  Can we accomplish all of these?  Did anyone else sit down and write goals for their wedding before really beginning the planning?

The Big Question with Only One Answer

Standard

Well, for me at least.  If you haven’t guessed it yet by the title, I’ll just let it out now.

Zach and I are ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!   Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!  Happy dance!!!!!!

Think I’m thrilled enough?  I’m pretty freakin’ happy.

I kind of knew/hoped that the question was coming sometime during our South American adventure.  Of course we talked about wanting to get married many times before he proposed, because really, if you don’t already know the answer, you have no business asking.  That’s what we thought.  But although we could have just diplomatically decided to be engaged after so many discussions, we both wanted a proposal.  We wanted the fun and the surprise of it.  And so for many months we (I, mostly, I think) suffered through the awkwardness and slight tension of the “pre-engaged state.”  (This was totally me.)  I had this like, insane itch to talk about a wedding, plan a wedding, I just was so freakin’ happy at the thought that I HAD FOUND my person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with!!!  But without an official ring on the finger, society makes us women feel like we are desperate and obsessed if we start thinking at all about the wedding before we have the ring.  I call a bit of BS on that.  But I kept trying to pretend I wasn’t reading wedding blogs obsessively and I tried to keep my daydreams in my head.  “We agreed that this is Zach’s thing that he gets to do and he gets to do it on his terms…so chill,” I kept telling myself.  I think I did alright…I’d give myself about a C+ in the chilling department.

Well, finally, all my patience finally paid off.  March 13, 2012, in the gorgeous Cañon del Colca, Peru….

Yes, we probably should have found a flatter rock to set the camera on for this reenactment shot.

Happy New Year from Peru!

Standard

Hey friends!  Happy 2012!  We celebrated in a grand fashion in Huacachina, Perú, by taking a dune buggy/sandboarding tour, camping at a place with a pool, and getting ripped off by outrageous holiday prices everywhere!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Seriously though, the journey is going great despite it’s many challenges.  Reflecting on 2011, Zach and I both decided it was the best year of our lives.  And it’s only going to get better!

I updated my Thirty by 30 today and was happy to cross four things off the list!  That’s pretty good for one year, I’d say!  So here’s a goofy picture of me out on the dunes on NYE.  Yes, I have dreadlocks now; call me crazy if you must.

Photo Favorite: Llama in Royal Dress

Standard

Popping over from La Aventura Project because I just HAVE to share this picture with you.  We found this llama in the parking lot outside Las Lajas Cathedral near the Colombia/Ecuador border.  I have no idea what his purpose was, other than to have his picture taken.  HUH-larious!