Monday, August 3, 2009

California here I come!

After much deliberation, careful planning, re-planning, canceling those plans and making new plans, the BF and I have decided to embark on a long, arduous journey of enlightenment and self discovery. Well, not really. In actuality we have decided to drive to California to visit my family for a few weeks (it probably will be kind of arduous, but whatever...).

Whenever I am preparing for a trip, I always make a detailed packing list tailored specifically for the adventure ahead. This trip that we are taking will have 4 main elements involved. Those elements are as follows:

-General social gatherings

These 4 activities all have very specific packing requirements. One of the reasons we decided to drive instead of fly was to allow ourselves the luxury of bringing our road bikes to California with us. These day it costs about $150 to check a bike on a plane, and that is if you are incredibly lucky with the weight and surcharges of your particular airline. This cost does not include the stress and inconvenience of having to lug an enormous bike box around in an airport. Been there, done that, not looking forward to repeating it. So the bikes will be on the roof rack on the drive to CA.

The camping aspect of the trip will primarily take place on the drive to and from CA. At 17 hours, this trip is nothing to scoff at. And if you are a weeny like me, you definitely do not want to drive 16 hours in one go. This would entail all the camping gear be easily accessible in the car. It will be much more important to be able to find my headlamp than my hairdryer when pulling up to a sketch-ball campsite at 3am in the middle of nowhere (note to self, don't forget headlamp).

The beach is fairly easy to pack for: Bikini, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, done. Let's hit the sand.

Now for the social aspect of the trip. As i will be visiting many friends I have not seen in a while, it is important that I make an excellent impression. The general idea being that I look fit and happy, and that we have a blast doing whatever. It is hard for me let loose and have fun if I feel severely under or over-dressed for the occasion. This means a variety of outfits must be packed, including, but not limited to: bonfire-wear, club-wear, restaurant-wear, party-wear, hiking-wear, chillin-wear, etc. Many of these items will be able to cross over, but forgetting any one thing could be very inconvenient.

The most important thing to remember is your wallet with valid ID, money, and a credit card. If everything above is forgotten, anything essential can be purchased. I'm going to California, not the African rain forest, jeez. Remember this simple exersize to help anyone avoid Pre-trip "Oh my god, I know i forgot something" Panic Syndrome:

Think: What am I really doing on this trip? If you forget to take your Italian leather boots spelunking, does it really matter?
Look: What do I have on me right now? If you have the clothes you are wearing, comfy shoes, some money and an ID, you can get out of almost any scrape in this fine country of ours. A cellphone makes it even easier. If you are leaving the country, add passport to that list, and you're good to go.
Relax: Take a deep breath. Hysterical panic avoided. Bon Voyage!

So now that I have a detailed checklist, have mapped out my activities and planned for every possible situation, I will probably just wait until the last mimutet and throw a bunch of stuff in a duffle bag. Awesome.

As long as I have my bikini, wallet, and sunglasses, it's going to be a good trip. :)

Till next time....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stepping into the unknown.... (Ditching a job in an unstable economy)

On Thursday the 16th of July, I gave my two weeks notice at the job I have held for the last year. I finished my last day of work yesterday, and I feel relieved, nervous, and excited. Many people have questioned my decision. How could I quit my job in such an unstable economy? Do I have another job lined up? The answer is no, I don't have anything in the works. I quit my job with very little idea of what I am going to do now. I needed a change.

Millions of people drag themselves to work day in and day out to a job that they can't stand just to pay the bills. I respect those people for keeping at it, especially if they have a family to support. But I refuse to be held by the "Golden handcuffs," as my boyfriend refers to them. The golden handcuffs are what holds you to a job you would otherwise have left long ago. It's the fear of losing the money, holding you this position. What if you can't find another job? What if you can't make enough money somewhere else? What will my friends and family think? It's easier to stay and be miserable than to take a risk. This is why so many people are unable to leave jobs they hate, no matter how depressed they may become. No matter how negatively it has impacted the rest of their life. The golden handcuffs have chained them to their desk. I have decided to find a new direction. I want take a break from the 8 to 5 and find out if I am really on a path that will lead to my happiness. I don't know how this story will play out, but I plan to see it through to the end. I am nervous about finding another job that I enjoy, nervous that the job market is not as good as it once one. Employment is no longer a guarantee for a young, educated girl like myself. But it is a chance I have decided to take.

During this time of change I plan to focus on myself. I not only want to make changes in my professional life; I am on a mission to improve my health, nutrition, and general well-being. I want to get back into taking care of myself and maintain the active lifestyle that keeps me happy and healthy. And to eat the foods I that will make me feel energized instead of exhausted. Regular exercise, healthy foods and good nutrition, and spending more time in nature. I have been neglecting these things for the past year, and it is time to take this chance to refocus. It's time to live clean!