Your Next Vacation Will Probably Suck

You should probably expect for your vacation to be at least a little trash and here’s why…

I recently traveled to the Dominican Republic and, while it was a great time, I ran into some bumps.

Most were minor, of course: a smeared black stain on a skirt that I wanted to wear to dinner, my hair not drying in a decent amount of time, leaving me with frizzy, dandelion hair, and the like. Nothing too major.

And then I got on a boat.

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I haven’t been on a boat since high school. As a person that has an irrational fear (and vivid nightmares) of open water, I usually steer clear of going out into the middle of the ocean. But there were promises of a secluded island and endless food; all I had to do was take a short boat ride to get to the destination. It’s going to be nothing. Right?

You Already Know It Wasn’t “Nothing”

OK, so the boat ride to the island was pleasant. The steady rhythm of the waves actually seemed peaceful as our boat bobbed against the open water. I rather enjoyed it. And then, a few yards away from the shore, we stopped. Unsure of the situation, I looked around to see what everyone else was doing. Nobody else seemed confused so, you know, it probably was just me. It’s always just me.

I knew there were plans of snorkeling, however, I assumed that the snorkeling would take place closer to the shore; where my feet could touch the ground. I’ve been snorkeling before in Hawaii and my feet were so close to the ocean floor that my knees were scratched up by the end of it. However, our tour guides began to frantically hand out flippers. It became apparent what was happening; I was about to die.

Without letting my traveling partner know of my fear, I threw on my oversized flippers and goggles. My breathing passage immediately became obstructed. I sucked in the little air that I could. “This’ll be easy,” I calmed down my friend while my heart pounded unpleasantly, “Just relax.” Meanwhile, my legs were about to buckle as I glanced out at the open water. A small girl no older than seven and with no sense of fear jumped out into the water in front of me. I followed behind her, silently cussing a small child out for making it look so easy.

One of the guides held out his arm, “Grab it.” He instructed. I knew his scrawny arm would not hold this body but I grabbed it anyways and plunged into the water. Instantly, I was engulfed by nothing but water. My life vest shot up over my head. The goggles filled up to the point where I could see nothing. NOPE! I had NOT planned on dying that afternoon!

I grabbed the boat and, in my panic, forced myself to swing underneath it and push my head underwater a second time. My once panicked friend effortlessly splashed into the water after me as I frantically pulled myself back onto the boat. Mmm.

Long story short, after pulling my flippers off, I stood on the boat and silently watched as everybody else splashed around in the water. I knew I was going back in. I had never done this before and who knew if I would ever do it again? Except, this time I made sure to get back in on my terms. I kept the dumb flippers off and, instead of diving into the water face-first like I did last time, I used to stairs to slowly walk myself into the water.

Once in, I still panicked at the fact that I couldn’t feel anything underneath my feet but took deep breaths and splashed around a little, attempting to get used to the unfamiliarity of being in the open ocean. One of the guides swam over to me and pointed to my goggles. “5 seconds, ok?” he said. I got it. I put the goggles on and then waited for him to count to five. I then submurged my head into the water and felt immediate satisfaction as the fluorescent colored fish swam in between our bodies.

Despite my fear, going back in was so worth it.

Soon after, we all filed onto the boat and completed the journey to the island. We relaxed in the warm water, ate fried fish, and baked in the Caribbean sun. At 2:00PM, it was time to depart. Our group once again boarded the boat to return to the van that would take us back to our resort. Ominous clouds formed in the sky just behind us, and then, it began to rain. And the boat began to rock.

And I got sea sick.

So yeah, a few aspects of my trip were sucky. However, that daywas probably my favorite of the entire trip.

Let’s face it…

Expecting the perfect vacation is completely unrealistic.

Things are going to happen. If you’ve had a perfect vacation where literally everything went right, please let me know in the comments below. Because I definitely have not. But instead of letting these little mishapsdefine my vacation, I put them in the “Learning Experiences” category and let them go; only recreating the scene to laugh about it later.IMG_2553 2

Expecting a perfect vacation will ruin your entire trip. Just because you’re out of town doesn’t mean life stops happening around you. Something – even if it’s just minor – is going to go wrong. Life is never a linear experience; it’s eitheron an upward or downward slope and constantly shifting. And that is just fine. If you learn from the mishap, and learn to let it go, it’ll make the rest of the vacation that much better.

Have you ever had any hilarious vacation mishaps? Let me know…

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BBC #4 (Week Three)

No loss or gain this week. Still a disappointment.

Week Three Wrap-Up:

I didn’t really make any changes, which is detrimental to my success.

I continue to eat too much and exercise at a limit that’s well under my full potential.

An episode of My 600lb Life that I watched made me tear up from empathy. The subject of that episode discussed how his addiction with food proved to be harder to break than his addiction to hard drugs. I half-agree – given that I’ve never done hard drugs – but I’ve always had an emotional connection with sweets. Sweets have always been my downfall because I associate sweets with self-care.

I’ll mosey into the bakery section at a grocery store and gaze at the assortment of multi-colored, sugary death traps and tell myself, “I deserve to have a treat”. And then I’ll do that every day, masking my true emotional issues with the false sensation of “self-care”. And then I gain 25 pounds.

What I Did Right

It’s really important to focus on the good things we do, no matter how small. Positivity attracts more positivity. I did force myself to workout three times last week and I made myself cook dinner twice.

What I Did Wrong

Indulged on all the sugar and bread my little heart desired. I ate mindlessly and I created excuses on why I didn’t have to go to the gym between Thursday-Sunday. I exceeded my calorie goals on most days.

Goals:

1. Follow the meal plan that my nutritionist gave me:

2. Allow myself ONE (1) sweet treat

3. Workout five (5) times this week. No excuses.

4. Practice mindful eating and self confidence. I’m going to achieve my goals by any means.

Current weight: 237 (no loss or gain)

My ultimate goal is to be at 227 by Christmas. It’s a stretch but I know I can do it.

A Random Girl’s Trip to: Amsterdam, Netherlands

I traveled to Amsterdam in March of 2017 and here’s how it went.

This past March, I traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands solely because I’m a mess of a person


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Someone in Amsterdam was offering free live sex shows. We didn’t partake.

Why We Chose Amsterdam

Like I said, my friend and I are currently ridiculous people. You hear stories about Amsterdam in the states; of how everything is legal and people are letting it all hang loose and having sex in the streets. I had to see it!

Ok, maybe not the actual sex in the streets. That actually sounds deeply unsettling.

My friend and I were already planning to go to South Africa in March and we weren’t due in Cape Town until a Wednesday. This trip would be both of our first ventures into international territory, so instead of waiting until Tuesday to fly into Cape Town, we decided to take a weekend trip to somewhere in Europe. We figured it would break up our flying time so that we wouldn’t completely lose our minds and would also allow us to see some more shxt we’d never seen. Me, being a heathen, suggested Amsterdam because of the potential debauchery we could get ourselves into. She agreed; Amsterdam it was.

We booked our flights through Kayak (at a very reasonable rate) and used the Multi-City option. We flew with Turkish Airlines (which wasn’t great for first time international travelers that had no idea what we were doing) and flew to a total of four cities and three different countries in a week’s span.

Turkish Airlines was a decent option, don’t get me wrong. We even ventured away from the airport in Istanbul after receiving a free hotel stay from the airlines. Our layover was over I believe eight or nine hours long and we made sure to take advantage of the airline’s hospitality. However, I just never felt comfortable in the city. It could’ve been my travel anxiety creating uneasiness that wasn’t warranted or it could’ve been more. It also could’ve been the fact that I was irritated with connecting in Istanbul every single time. Even now I’m not entirely sure.

The travel agency we used for the South Africa portion of the trip booked our hotel for us, but for Amsterdam we searched Google and ended up staying at the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam – Sloterdijk Station. The hotel offered free continental breakfast and the staff were always attentive to our questions. The rooms were perfect. The local transit system had a stop right next door to our hotel so we used that to get to most things but if a location was too far (or we were in a hurry), we used Uber.

What I Loved About Amsterdam

The free spirit atmosphere of Amsterdam blew my mind.

Although I got verbally attacked by two of the weirdest shop owners I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (I’ll detail those events in a later post), I loved the openness that Amsterdam presented.

I loved the idea that certain vices (prostitution, weed, etc.) that are illegal in my home country were for regulated but unlocked public consumption in Amsterdam. We chose not to have a plan each day (with the exception of my friend almost beating me up if we didn’t stand in line for the Anne Frank Museum) and wandered the chilly streets of Amsterdam. IMG_1108

We visited the plethora of miniature museums that lined the rustic sidewalks: such as the Museum of Prostitution, the Museum of Sex, the aforementioned Anne Frank museum (get there EARLY) and, randomly, the Van Gogh Museum.

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There were penises everywhere. I can’t even share most of my photos from Amsterdam because there’s probably a penis lurking somewhere in the background that I didn’t notice. You visit a toilet in a restaurant (that you paid one pound for). You take in your surroundings then sit down to handle your business. As things are happening, you happen to glance up and gasp in shock at the highly stylized photograph of a giant penis staring right back at you. Mocking you. You’re in the women’s bathroom. This is what Amsterdam is like.

Coffee shops also pretty much rule the area. Coffee shops=Marijuana. You can buy marijuana in a shop and indulge it inside that very shop. There’s a long story short for you.

To Wrap This Up…

Amsterdam was my kind of city. I felt comfortable strolling through the streets as a woman with my equally woman sorority sister/friend, darting in and out of stores at random. I experienced my first Primark, which was a highlight of it’s own. I ate as many chocolate covered waffles as physically possible and didn’t bloat. All in all, the city treated us very well and I plan on going back if the Universe allows me to.

Law of Attraction: Using Your Mind to Get Whatever You Want

We’re (briefly) diving into the law of attraction, y’all.

Purpose

To provide a rather brief understanding of the law of attraction and how to manifest whatever you want into your actual ass life.

Now, WTF Is It?

You may have never heard of the “law of attraction”. Or you may have spent late nights engrossing yourself in The Secret and watching YouTube videos where wide-eyed, audibly emphatic people describe how the law of attraction has “completely changed their lives”.

For those who want a more in depth understanding, you can visit this site or read The Secret by Rose Byrne. However, the law of attraction is basically a concept that states that your thoughts become real life and physically manifest into your actual being.

A completely fictional example…

Janet hates her job. She wastes her day away filing papers and destroying the alignment in her spine with slouching at her desk for over eight hours a day. Every weekday morning – after her alarm shocks her out of a restless sleep – she drags herself out of bed, contemplates calling in sick because of another bout with “diarrhea” (because literally nobody asks questions about diarrhea), and visualizes her perfect job.

You see, Janet has always wanted to be a model. She pictures herself poised on stage, heels to the ceiling, posing for photos in front of flashing lights of a world renowned photographer. She writes out her dreams daily. In her mind, she’s already a famous model: she can feel the air in the room of the shoot, the excitement powering through her body like electric shock, the vibrating whirr of the camera allowing her to create the real-ness of it all. There’s no doubt in her mind that she won’t be a model. Hell, Janet already feels like a model.

One morning, while dragging her tired body into her favorite coffee shop, Janet is stopped by a random man. He’s been looking for someone that has her look and wants her to model for his magazine; which is rapidly growing in popularity. Janet is now officially a model and her thoughts/visualization allowed her to achieve this dream.

Sounds like bullshxt, right?

That it may. And I get it. If all it took was for me to picture myself as a rich ass housewife to a retired professional basketball player, why am I not sprawled out on a yacht in the Carribean right now?! From my understanding, the law of attraction is more so about being specific with your visualizations, putting in the work to make them happen, and actually believing that they’ll physically manifest into your life without doubt. It’s not enough to see yourself as the future Al Sharpton (massive head and all), you have to visualize yourself in his life and actually fully believe that it’ll happen. I know…

Do I Really Believe This Shxt?

I do, but with limits. In The Secret, the author claims that the law of attraction is so powerful that if you visualize your child dying or someone holding a gun to your head then you brought that onto yourself. I refuse to accept that analogy; nobody brings events that detrimental onto themselves. But there have been times that the law of attraction has worked for me and I’ll explain those in a later post because this has gone on fah too long, dahling!

Disclaimer: This is a very brief and very generalized view of the law of attraction. I may delve more into the subject later, I may not. I’m still learning it myself. I started out by reading The Secret, which is truly a bit clunky and extreme, but a decent starting point.

Enjoy.

Remaining Body Positive AFTER Traveling

That body always looks good!

Look. I goes in on vacation.

I eat all the foods I want. I’m not a drinker but I’ll even allow myself a sip of something cute for the occasion. I squeeze my body into a two piece and flaunt on the beach like nobody’s watching because… well…

They’re not.

Nobody knows me in another country. Nobody’s stopping to say “hey, that girl doesn’t have a traditionally beautiful body she sucks.” And if they do, they’re weird. An important rule to remember: everybody’s body is acceptable on vacation.

I like to pack away my insecurities while traveling. While I tug on my clothes at home and constantly shove my already large shirt over my stomach, my tummy is almost fully exposed on vacation. I don’t care if people judge me; they’ll probably never see this face again.

I have a hard time recreating that nonchalance at Home. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and I automatically assume that people are disgusted by the FUPA protruding through my jeans when they see it. But this isn’t high school anymore. I saunter through the downtown streets of where I live. Faces of sepia, caramel, mocha, white, and otherwise shuffle past me as I maneuver my way through the sea of nondescript faces. None of those people know who I am. And even it they do judge me; they won’t remember me in a few minutes.

So, what is the purpose of not maintaining that vacation confidence at home? What – or who – am I really getting down on myself for? Is it my own personal insecurities? Is it theirs?

Why can I be completely OK with my body when I’m surrounded by unfamiliarity but totally insecure when I’m home?

Just something to think about..

BBC #3 (Week Two)

I failed again this week but I’m not as upset about it.

I gained weight this week so, technically, I failed

However, I allowed myself to relax while in the Dominican Republic. The all-inclusive, all you can eat culture of the resort we stayed on gave me the power and permission to let myself go. I ate EVERYTHING. And guess how much weight I gained:

One pound. Uno. Dassit!

When I tell you I ate everything, I mean everything, honey!

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets? I stacked my plates.

Even though I’m finicky about hygiene, I’d fill my napkins with pastries from the display case expertly situated adjacent to the open bar.

Nothing mattered. Especially not my weight.

There probably is something to the notion that weight loss begins in the mind and translates to the body.

Plot Twist!

I just went back and checked BBC#2. I weighed 239 and now I weigh 238. Huh? I actually lost weight! If only y’all knew how much I ate in the DR, this is wild.

Anyways…

Week Three Goals:

  1. Maintain consistent exercise schedule (five days/week).
  2. Practice visualization and manifestation in regards to weight loss (Posts coming soon).
  3. Lose 1.5 lbs.

It Ain’t Easy Being Me

I know what you’re thinking: who the hell are you? Don’t worry, it’s not what you think.

I’m a YouTube tutorial junkie.

I literally have to force myself to stop watching YouTube tutorials after work so I can shower. As soon as I finish agonizing through the disrespectfully thick traffic home, I immediately huff upstairs to my room, throw my backpack on the floor, flop down, and pull up a tutorial of some sort. Be it travel tips, natural hair care, cute styles, fashion, and the like: I’m always looking for someone to tell me how to function through life.

I’m not here to bash anyone who does tutorials. They’re usually meant to be helpful; not the end all and be all. Plus, I offer my own suggestions on this very blog. But I can say that over the last six years, I’ve implemented about 700,000 hair regimens, suffered through vegetarianism (no shade), starved myself with intermittent fasting, packed every travel bag military style, and embarked on a minimalism lifestyle because YouTube “told me to”. At this point, I am EXHAUSTED. My frayed, frizzy ends are proof! When does it become OK to stop following tutorials and start figuring out what works for me? I’ve spent so much time copying these regimens to achieve the results of others, that I’ve completely failed myself.

This journey, these results, are mine and mine only. The natural hair gurus and weight loss experts can provide suggestions (some really awesome) but figuring out what best works for your own body and spirit is of most importance to your overall success.

You know that girl with the bomb ass twist out who only used water and oxygen to get that voluminous style that frames her head like a glowing, luminescent halo? That water and oxygen miracle may not be in your forecast and there’s nothing wrong with that. Spend some time silencing the experts and listening to you.

*Sorry for the “I” issue. Apple done effed up…