Monthly Archives: May 2014

Traveling in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago

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Traveling is a passion of mine. This past month, I have been to 3 different states in mini road trips. I went to New Orleans for the Jazz Fest, I took my boyfriend to Philadelphia, PA to celebrate his birthday, and last weekend I was in Chicago, IL for a job interview.

I already have a post about NOLA( New Orleans, LA), so I will not tell again how much I love that city.

Philly was ok, I liked it.  We got there too late for the museums, (they all close at 5pm) but we did enjoy the hospitality of the people there. People were so willing to help, and they even went out of their way to make change for us for the bus fare. They directed us to place to get decent food (didn’t get the cheese steak though). We went only to walk around town, went to the barcade, and on Sunday went to visit the Liberty Bell and took a class at the Parkour gym. It was nice. I will go back to visit again and to get my cheese steak.

Chicago was nice. I loved it. I went there for a job interview. The people at the office are ok, I am willing to put up with them just to live in Chicago hahaha. The people of Chicago are relax and laid back, not as talkative as Phily, but nice enough. I flew to the interview, then my best friend and boyfriend drove from NY to Chicago and we stayed for the weekend there. We visited the millennium park and took picture next to the could gate. We went to Lincoln Park Zoo  (it was free!!) and at night we meet with a friend for Pizza at Due and fireworks at the Navy Piers. I love that city, I need to get the job so I can move there.

All these trips, we drove to our destination. It is tiring but if given the chance I would redo it in a heartbeat. However, I cannot deny that flying would have been a better option and way less tiring!!

I am happy to have travel companion, it is nice to experience a new place with friends who can make it funnier and more interesting.

I hope to start traveling abroad soon!!!

My friends please let me know about your travels =)

 

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Silver Lining

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I am going to start celebrating each day. I have struggles, fears, and decisions to do and that sometimes can bring my mood down. But I need to start seeing that each day is a present; it is. In times of doubt, instead of naming things that are not working in my life, I will count the things that are still blessings. I need to see the silver lining more often. For example yesterday, I got out of work at the usual time, and tried starting my car, and it won’t. It was making a clicking sound. At first I thought it was because my gas tank was almost on empty.  I called my boyfriend, who (lucky me) was off on that day, and asked him to pick me up. Then he called AAA to have my car towed to his mechanic. We waited two hours, and about 4 hours after I got out of work I got to eat. I had received a TGIF gift card for my birthday so we went out to eat because no one felt like cooking. At the end of the night, I was tired and irritated. My bills are piling up. I have medical and dental bills amounting to more than $1,500, I paid $500 less than 2 weeks ago to have my muffler fixed. In addition, the end of the month is coming up and I got to pay my rent and my utility bills. Gosh! And I am not even starting on family drama.

On the other hand, I still want to appreciate the fact that I have a loving, caring and understanding boyfriend. I do have a job, I do have a family, and I am suffering from some disease. Things look bad financially, but things look great otherwise. And I want to remember that first and foremost.

Anger

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At first my posts will not make sense, there won’t be any visible ties among them. Hopefully soon enough, it will be easier to follow my thoughts and understand me (if that is what you wish of course). I am not used to talk about me, even less about my feelings and opinions, so when I talk everything comes out scattered and unclear.  Like I am in real life; I am all over the place lol I jump from one thought to another, from one activity to another etc…

My last semester in college I noticed that I was angry. I do not even know how it started; it took a great deal of time to even identify that feeling.  But once, I knew, I knew. At first, I was happy to be angry. All my life, I have let people bully me, walked me over, turned me around, hurt me and so more that finally when I felt angry I knew I would not let that go that way. I knew I would finally start standing for myself. I was finally in the corner, and the only way out was to face my oppressor.  In order to do so, I needed to define myself, to know myself, then to set standards that I would live off.  Then, with my new strength and knowledge I would be able to demand others to treat my better, because I had started to treat myself better. I would have started to put myself first; I had finally started to listen to my needs.  I had started to treat myself like a human being.

Once I started setting standards for myself people started to get angry. They were not used to that. They were not used for me to say no, they were not used for me to put myself before their well-being. And like that I lost many friends, or can I really call them friends??! The most important “friend” I lost during that change was S (that is the topic for another post). It was hard seeing people leaving me because I had decided to live my life for myself and no longer for them. I was so used to wait for people to be satisfied then after to be happy from seeing their satisfaction. I was so used to not be angry, upset or made at people’s actions because I was afraid to lose them. I would always justify it by saying at least I have friends; at least they are happy with me. I denied my own well-being for so call friends.

Finally, I decided to start living my own life. It is a hard and slow process but I think I am going the right direction. I am trying to make myself happy. I know I did right by me, but was it really good to stand up for myself? Like is what I am loosing greater than what I am gaining from that drastic change of behavior. I am becoming lonelier just to make sure I am happy. I know I should be the most important person in my life, but what makes me more important more than other people ???

Although anger helped me define myself; I think it has its drawback.  Now, I am mistaking everything for an offense and get angry. Someone looks at me the wrong way, or talks to me a certain way and it is enough ground for me to get upset. Of course, I do not show it , so I do not show people a side of me that get angry. But I get agitated enough and the closest person to my heart is the one to endure my bad mood. I cannot let that continue to happen.

I need to let go of that anger. It is destroying me, it’s destroying my life, and it is hurting people I love. It helps define my character, but I need to find another mean to reach that goal.  Although I doubt that goal is worth it, I always doubt myself. I know deep down it is the right thing to do. It is a painful process but I need to put myself first.

Unhappiness!!

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I am not sure what I want to talk about yet. My friend told me she had a blog and that it was helping her coping with her depression. I told her I was interested to start one of my own, and she asked me what I will talk about. My answer was “I have so much to say” and just like that I decided it was time for me to stop keeping my feelings, my fears, and my desires for myself.

Why am I unhappy? I have so much, yet I am not content nor satisfied with the way my life is. I graduated college a little more than a year ago. I found a job two months after graduation. I am living with my love one. I am healthy. My parents are still alive and healthy as well as my siblings. I do not have any debts.  I have friends. I am loved. Yet, I am not entirely pleased. Is it because life after college is not what I expected? Is it because, I want more than what I have? Is it because I did not fully take advantage of what life offered me?

I know people with less who are way happier than me. I know people with more trouble who still are satisfied with their life. Did I set the bar to high? Do I need to expect less from life? And If I do that, is not a start of low standards for my own life? Is it not the beginning of fate instead of choice? Meaning that I will let my life go with the flow instead of directing towards my long time goals?

I had once started reading a book called “Moments of happiness or happiness project” and although I did not finish reading the book, I remember the author asked: ‘what makes you happy”. And just that one simple question, I could not answer. I could not name something that could infallibly bring a smile to my face. And how did that happen? How did I get there? I could not come up with anything. And still now I cannot. I think maybe I should start there, and work my way towards happiness.

Well, I am tired of talking; I am going to bed now.

I am not sure if anyone will ever read this post, but I needed to write it.

Have a good night =)

I want a pet!!

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I want a pet, but my landlord refuses for us to have one. At first I was thinking about a dog, I am a physically active person, but I do not guarantee that I will walk outdoor in freezing temperature.  Then, I was thinking about fishes. My boyfriend once won a fish for me at a county fair; it was a gold fish. I loved that fish. My friends warned me not to get attached because fishes in fairs usually do not have a long life span due to hard living conditions and travelling. One day, after he changed the tank water, the fish died. I was really sad. Lately, I have been looking to buy another gold fish. Hopefully by the end of this year, if I do not move again, I will get a fish. I was also thinking about turtles. I always loved turtles. When I was a kid, there was a famous pizzeria where there was a small pond with turtles in it; I used to ask my parent to give me lettuce to feed them. I also thought those turtles where the ninjas turtles because they lived in a pizza place. LOL I was thinking smaller aquatic turtles for my tank, maybe I could combine turtles and goldfish.   Ugh! though choice.  So some questions to my readers, do you have a pet? If yes, what is it? Any suggestions?? Tips??

I Finally made it to New Orleans

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I finally made it to New Orleans (or N’awlins as pronounced by the locals). YAY!!! I have been dreaming about that city for years now. I could never tell what was attracting me to this city, and still nowadays after visiting it I cannot pin point the reason of this attraction. This city is eclectic and random.

Coming from NY, where people are cold, angry with an attitude, it was a positive change to see people relaxed and welcoming, passers-by stopping to say hello and have small conversations with us, opened doors welcoming people into the stores and restaurants. Everything was charming in that city.

The food was exquisite. I tried everything that I could in the short trip my friends and I planned. I had jambalaya, alligator, oysters, shrimps and grits and so on. The only dishes I did not have a chance to taste were raw oysters and crawfish. I am saving that for my next trip.  Surprisingly, the waiters at the restaurant over there were very confused by my asking to have a cup of tea with cream. It must be a northern habit. A waiter even insisted that it was too hot outside for me to have hot tea and that I should probably have a coke if I was craving caffeine so much.

The people were friendly and chatty. The first question they most inevitably asked was “where are you guys from?” Difficult question to answer because we were from the Caribbean but living in NY and MD. So we just answered “not from here (with laughs)”. Then, when they heard that we live in NY, they go on about how exciting their trip to the Big Apple was.  The people of NOLA are nice. It changes from the standoffish and i-mind-my-own-business attitude the New Yorkers have.

Since it was a small-cation (small vacation), we were only able to go do three main things. We went to the French quarter, we went on a swamp tour, and we made it to the Jazz Fest (the main reason of this trip). The French quarter is attractive. It is a different city in daylight than at night.  During the day, it is fuzzing with waiters trying to lure people into their restaurants, music, dance and parades. At night, it is a different scenery, it is ghost tours, bars, half-naked people in door steps etc… so different from NY. We even went to a voodoo shop. It did not look authentic at all, I only got a mug for my boyfriend. He wanted a gris-gris but I would not trust that anything there had any true powers.  The swamp tour was funny. The gentleman who conducted it was agreeable, he even told us place to get local food after the tour. The Jazz festival was incredible. It was everything the reviews told me: lively, hot, and lots of food!

The trip was on a budget, therefore, the idea of making it a road trip. At first we looked up the prices of airplane’s ticket and considered many alternatives like landing in a near city then driving to NOLA from there, but the more affordable alternative was driving from NY. YES, I said driving from NY to LA. The day we had planned to leave was a raining day, so we had to postpone the time for departure.  I was the one who rented the car, so woke up at 1 am, left my house at 3 and drove to my friend’s house in Brooklyn. A 2hrs drive took me 4hrs because the main roads were flooded, but that did not keep us from doing the trip.  My other friend was living in MD, so we drove there. We left MD-Baltimore around 2pm and we arrived at NOLA at 8am the next da . Long trip, many stops, many songs, many gps re-calculations, lots of laughs. The coming back trip was tiring and exhausting. We left on Saturday night 2 am when people were still partying on the streets and I got home at 5 am on Monday. Very long trip, next time I will find a seasonal job and buy an airplane ticket. I am not sure being on budget is worth being that tired. It took me 4 days to recover from that trip.

I went with one of my closest friend G and another high school friend. What I like most about the trip was that it was drama free. It is hard to travel with people and not have anyone pick a fight. We were all easy going people, we had a few places we wanted to visit and we all wanted for each and every one to enjoy their small vacation. I loved that small-cation. Of course Nawlins is not for everyone, but if you want to discover another cuisine, experience another reality than the one you live in, or just want to go see swamps, NOLA might be the place for you.

Now my question to you is, do you have a place in your heart like NOLA? If yes tell me about it

Or what place do you suggest me to go visit next. I have gone along the east coast quite a bit (MA, NY, PA, NJ, CT, FL, NC, SC, LA) so where do you suggest me to go next

“The world is a…

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”
Saint Augustine

I love traveling. I sometimes just open travel books to go to another place, another culture. I love that idea of leaving behind the ordinary of my life to embrace a new way of life.

On the other hand, I am afraid of traveling. I am afraid of not knowing where to go, of offending people , of not liking the new place, or to find hostile, closed-minded and/or racist people.

I tried not to let my fears control my life