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Bucket List: Greece

So I enjoyed both an authentic Greek salad and olives while in Greece. However, I ran out of time to get my Gyro! I know, I know – how could I be so careless? I guess it just means we will have to go back again…

One of the best parts of our stay in Athens was our AirBnB. We had a huge covered patio with direct access to our own rooftop 360 degree view. From our patio we were able to see the Acropolis (and for whatever reason my camera makes it look further away than when you are actually standing on the patio looking at it.)

There we’re so many cats!

Travel Plans

What can I say… When I dream, I dream BIG.

 

 

skyscanner.com has been amazing for flight comparison
ticabus.com for Guatemala – Panama
Turbus.cl for Peru – Argentina
CIFA for a bus from Ecuador to Peru … although I read a horror story on here about that particular over night bus
vr.com.vn for train from beijing to Vietnam

Transportation to Each Major Country (cost calculated for 1 person) USD$4,881

Visas USD$150

Food USD$2,025

Hotel/Hostel/Camping USD$3,700

 

I am currently calculating costs for (and would love resources to);

Inner country transportation USD$

Activities USD$

Souvenirs USD$

Postal/Package Mailing USD$

Emergencies USD$

Other USD$

 

Haiti

(most likely flight to US then to Guatemala as it is cheaper )

Guatemala for 2 weeks…

Travelings from Guatemala over road (Via Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica) to Panama  (flight) to

Colombia … travel to Brazil over road…

Brazil for 2 weeks…

travel down Amazon river (1 week) to Argentina (stay for 1 week)… flight out of Buenes Aires…

(most likely to United States then to Australia as it is cheaper by about half!) flight to

Australia (stay 1 week); (flight) to

Indonesia over road (Via Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China); (ferry to)

Laos for 2 weeks..

Japan; (flight) to

(most likely flying Japan – Malaysia – India because it is cheaper by about half)

India staying 2 weeks; (flight) to

Jordan over road (via Israel) to ( in May) Egypt -> (Flight) to

(Staying 3 months traveling Europe … then flight back to United States)

Greece … (http://www.balkanology.com/overview/ar¬†ticle_croatia_to_greece.html)

Using Rail system to go to – >

Croatia

 

Italy

 

France

 

Spain

 

Portugal -> (flight to)

 

Ireland

 

United Kingdom – > (flight to)

 

Netherlands

 

Germany

 

Poland

 

Slovakia

 

Back to US via flight from Denmark

Behind the Scenes: Sullivan Studios

Credit to SullivanStudiosPhotography.com

Credit to SullivanStudiosPhotography.com

¬†I had first came across Sullivan Studios work whilst out on my daily Facebook newsfeed scroll. A mutual model friend between the two of us was showing off his great aim, exquisite angling, and brilliant Photoshop work in one of her pictures. I thought to myself, “Man, I would love to work with this guy.”

Usually I leave it at that. A thought. But then I decided, no – I really want to work with this photographer. I love his work. So I sent Sullivan Studios a message – and was greeted with a gracious reply. It was set then. Not the date, but the fact that we were going to work together. I was ecstatic.

The rest took a couple of months of planning and arranging the perfect date to make the drive to Dothan. Before I knew it though, it was an early morning and my mother and I got up, gathered my outfits and make up, and hit the road. It was the first time my mother was going to see me in action. We had a two hour drive ahead of us, but it was going to be worth it.

¬†I love modeling; it’s dress-up for adults!

Credit to SullivanStudiosPhotography.com

Credit to SullivanStudiosPhotography.com

When we arrived we got straight to work. We tried to get as much as we could out of the short time we were there. Working with Sullivan Studios was as awesome as I wanted it to be. We did studio work, and improvised. The building he uses for his studio is fantastic. The fog machine and extensive wardrobe was a plus! The product he returned in no time, and I loved it. I look forward to working with him again in the future. I would definitely recommend him to others. Check out how you can set up your very own appointment with the Sullivan Studios here!

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You can check out his work on Facebook  and his Website.

The Pursuit of Happiness.

Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

As I am sitting here, drinking my coffee, I find myself reminiscing. Just thinking about life. My life. Looking back five years ago, three years ago, even last year – where I am, what I am doing today – this is not where I had imagined myself at. If you told me a year ago that this is where I would be, living at home with my mother, and that I would be happy about it – I would have laughed at you. I would have gone as far as to call you crazy. “My mom lives in Ohio. I am never going back to Ohio. Have you lost your mind?”

I know what happiness feels like. It feels like wanting to be awake. It feels free, lifted of any burden. It is the feeling of contentment AND the motivation to change.

A short five years ago… I was at a strange time in my life. I was selfish and self-seeking. A huge part of me still is selfish and self-seeking. If you asked me five years ago what was important to me, I would have answered very different from what I would tell you today. My priorities included money and myself. Not family and friends, certainly not God. As far as I was concerned then, there was no God.

However, I was hungry for something more. An adventure, and an adventure I would most unquestionably get.

It was around December 2008 that I had decided I needed to move to Florida. I had no family or friends in Florida (yet), but doggone it, that’s where I needed to be. Lucky for me, a photographer I had worked with in Toledo, Ohio knew a friend in Destin, Florida who needed a roommate. It was a ways off from my original plan of Miami, but Florida is Florida is Florida – and that’s where I was going to be!

Four years ago today I was still in Ohio, my car had broken down and drained all the money I had saved to move to Florida – it looked hopeless (as it should be very obvious to you now, nothing stops me from getting what I want – not even money or the lack thereof). I just didn’t believe I was going to make it out of Ohio alive. Then it dawned on me, the love of money controls everything. This love for money controls your thoughts and actions. It caused fear and uncertainty. Doubt. If there is one thing life has taught me, it is that I have no time for doubt.

A second thing life has taught me? That I have no time for bull sh*t.

So the next month I hopped in my car, let my boss know I was taking a week vacation to Florida (which required me to put everything I owned and could possibly fit into my car…) and I made the drive. The photographer’s friend still needed a roommate, and I conveniently needed a place to stay. Just for a week, right? While I was here on my week vacation, it occurred to me that I would also need a job, wouldn’t I? Seeing how unemployment was at an all time high, I was shocked to be hired at the first place I applied.

At this moment, I realized – I should probably let my boyfriend and work know that I am not coming back.

Three years ago from today, I was very far from where I started this post and equally far from where I am going to end it.  I was unhappy and married. Not necessarily unhappily married, just married and unhappy Рand the two may or may not go hand in hand.

That’s probably an exact thought I had three years ago from today.

I was getting  ready to go to my morning serving job and then preparing my other uniform for my night serving job. Work. That is what my year consisted of. Work and sleep. It was then that I found out how happy you could be while you were dreaming, and how angry you could be when someone woke you up.

Shortly after, I had an epiphany – ¬†you didn’t have to be asleep to dream.

2011

Two years ago I was training to run my first 5k. I hate running. I hate exercising in general. I ran most of the 5k, and walked the last bit. Let me assure you, this was an accomplishment. Not necessarily one I was proud of. Yet, an accomplishment still the same.

However, it was just like the year before, filled with the never ending excitement of sleep. At this moment it was impossible not to have imagined a rejected future, but also I imagined a life of many countries, of vast and enduring adventure, of walking, riding, and driving in foreign places.

July2012

Just one year ago from today – more recent, yet still just as unreachable as any other event in the past; I was getting ready to go into Carrabba’s for work. I was sure to work as many hours in the night as I could, and sleep the rest of the day away. I would find myself sleeping until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I was most certainly depressed. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, television, or other addictive behaviors to tune out the reality of life; I sleep.

I sleep, because in my dreams I am able to make up a reality much more suited to my overactive imagination and vain ambition.

It was this summer that I planned out what was to be the most epic road trip of all time. My plans were a facade (a word with which I know the meaning, but butcher the pronunciation of every time). Planning was the dreaming ¬†I could do while I was awake, at least until I could escape to the solace of my bed. It was everything I talked about, wrote about, and thought about. “The Trip.” It was going to take me away from whatever nightmare I felt I was living through, and it was going to be memorable.

The trip was most certainly memorable, but I learned the nightmare wasn’t one you could escape simply by waking up.

Then there is today. July 20, 2013. Had you told me last year that a year from now I would be living with my mother, and I would be happy, you would have been right. However, Ohio would no longer be her home anymore either.  The place I am at now is happier than I could have imagined for myself in the buried chaos of the last five years.

What I find even more crazy is that a year from now a stranger will pull this blog up, read this post, and then think to themselves what an odd person wrote this blog – and then that stranger may realize that they were indeed the author of this blog, just a very different version of themselves.

It seems that every day that passes nothing appears to change; yet looking back, nothing is the same.

me

Trying to recollect the steps down memory lane,

wondering if my futile attempts are in vain.

One would think,

without ink. 

The past would remain,

to drive one insane.

Was it this way or that?

Changing by the tip of a hat.

Within a moment of time,

one would look at a line.

Forever lost,

within a rhyme.

How much does a 90 day road trip cost?

23,000 miles, 4,259 photos, 110 days, $9,500, 269 videos totaling 2 hours of footage, and a lifetime of memories.

What if I told you this trip cost us less than $.050 a mile?

This trip only cost us $0.41 a mile! No, that last one is a statement not a question. That’s for serious! Granted the trip was 23,000 miles long! It was definitely worth every penny! The trip actually ended up lasting 110 days. Our plans, though originally set almost hour by hour, changed to not knowing where we were going day by day. We didn’t skimp on things we really wanted to do like going to the aquarium in Atlanta or eating BBQ in Memphis. However, we did sacrifice on, in some instances, living conditions (though not safety) and when food was not a local specialty must-have we’d eat non-parishables we brought along from home.

We had a few road trip songs; I would say there are about 3 that really touched our hearts. Home by Phillip Phillips, Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner.

Fast forward to today…

Now we are just trying to find our place. Figure out what God wants for us in this new season. We are working on some books. Hashing out some business ideas. We’ve applied for ¬†an 11 month mission trip with the worldrace.org. We’ve applied for and gotten jobs. Entered back into the “real world” as some would call it. Though we will always remember when we blew a mattress up in our car to see if it would fit, spray painted cars, hiked through a national forest and came face to face with a gator, rode a ferry by the statue of liberty, put chains on our tires to cross the great divide, stayed with strangers and made new friends, rode a Gondola at Veil, watched whales migrate south, camped in our car, had an allergic reaction to poison oak, hiked 6 miles round trip into the second largest canyon, had coffee at the original Starbucks, visited the Baseball Hall of fame, chilled in a hot spring, climbed a fence to get a better picture of a leopard, tried to eat breakfast in Mexico, snuck into a golf club to shower, left my wallet in Vegas, traveled the USA in 110 days…

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