Routine is the Enemy of Time

Three weeks ago, I quit my comfortable job, discontinued my lease, picked up my life in New York, and moved to Florida. Then, a week ago, I left for a 35-day European trip. As I’m sure you can imagine, there has been a ton of stress and anxiety over the past couple months while I’ve decided to make these big changes.

You must be asking yourself why? To be honest, I was too comfortable living a life that I didn’t particularly enjoy. Do not get me wrong, I have afforded myself the opportunities to travel, live independently, spend time with friends, and experience new things – and I am extremely grateful for these opportunities. But my day-to-day, between weekends and vacations were becoming tortuous. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I was auto-piloting through a life I didn’t want, where I sat at a desk staring at a computer Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM and stressing out constantly about things I didn’t necessarily care about. I felt trapped by the money and benefits; trapped by this feeling of needing to stay because that’s what society expects of a person my age; trapped by the idea that if I quit my job I will never make as much money as I do now.

You know what, I’d rather give it all up than look back in 20 years and have an overwhelming senses of regret. I never want to live a “I wonder what would’ve happened if I…” or “If only I had…” life.

Once I accepted the fact that if I stayed, I would most likely never feel truly alive. Once I accepted that “failure” is a part of life and that if it doesn’t work out moving south AT LEAST I TRIED…and I can always go back.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, to be honest, this is a really long introduction to this amazing video called The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon to Patagonia where a young man, Jedediah quits his job and travels from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. This is something I would love to do, but I would not do alone. However, if you listen to what Jedediah says, including the title of this blog, “routine is the enemy of time,” I think it will be easier to understand why so many people my age are quitting their comfortable jobs to travel, to go back to school, to create their own businesses, to take time off from a routine life, and/or to create art. I think this video can help some people start to understand that happiness cannot be quantified by a dollar value, but more of an inner peace with what they choose to do with their lives that make them feel truly alive. Enjoy!

My First Euro Trip (Part 2: Prague, Czech Republic)

Sitting on my flight to Athens, I can’t help but feel as if I need to close out my last European trip before I start the next one. As I mentioned in my last post, in addition to going to Warsaw over Thanksgiving, I also did a quick two-day stop in Prague. My favorite part about this trip is that I truly did this independently – from the booking everything and seeking out information, to traveling solo – and it’s a trip not only will I always remember, but one where I grew a lot as a person.

To set the scene, I decided to take a painfully early flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Václav Havel Airport Prague. You may be asking me what made me choose Prague? Well, honestly, I was looking for a cheap flight and city where I could see beautiful architecture, greenery, and eat great food – I’m relatively easy to please and Prague seemed right up my alley.

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THE HOSTEL

Upon arriving in Prague, I immediately checked into my hostel, Sir Toby’s in Praha 7. I didn’t spend much time here, but the time I spent was very pleasant. The staff were extremely helpful and gave me some “inside” advice on seeing some sites that tend to be off the beaten path.

The hostel had a bar area that was more than welcoming. Everyone spending time there were sociable, but not overbearing or overwhelming. The server was a lot of fun to talk to because she had a ton of stories about her travels and moving around Europe. I think talking to someone like that can be an eye opener that we are not meant to stay in once place our whole lives.

THE CITY

After checking into the hostel, I took the trolley to walk through New Town to see what lay on the outskirts of the famous Old Town. As you walk into the area, you notice that the architecture is gorgeous; colorful with incredible designs. The trees grow in all shapes and sizes, yet they fit into area’s uniqueness.

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When you walk up to the city circle, the Astronomical Clock draws your immediate attention. The gold clock on the immaculate structure is intimidating; to see to the top, you have to look up so high, you feel as if you’re looking at a New York City skyscraper.

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Once you get over how gorgeous the clock tower is, you start to notice the other architecture around you. You notice that every store and restaurant front is different. You notice that you are somehow in this maze.

Upon realizing there is much more than the circle, you start to follow the maze. Now, we’re not talking a corn maze, but simply size streets with back roads with more side streets and structures that are built to lead you to other parts of the city. It’s quite beautiful. You feel lost, but safe at the same time.

THE FOOD AND BOOZE

It’s pretty safe to say, I ate my fair share of food in Prague. I, of course, had to go for the schnitzel on a couple occasions because, well, when in Rome (or Prague). I also enjoyed some borscht. Like I said, when in Rome.

But, my favorite “discovery” was mulled wine. For those of you who do not know what this it (I had never tried or really heard of it), mulled wine is warm wine with cinnamon, anise, and orange peel. You can sweeten it like coffee or tea with sugar, if you like – I prefer it with one brown sugar packet. This discover lead to quite the hangover, but it was worth it.

There are also a ton of great home brews in Prague, which end up being around $1.34 per pint. Please don’t ask me which ones I tried, I tried as many as I could to ensure I experienced “all” that Prague had to offer.

THE CHARLES BRIDGE

My favorite part of the trip, hands down, was waking up extremely (unnecessarily?) early and walking across the Charles Bridge. As you walk across, there are statues of biblical figures and tales; including all the saints and Jesus Christ. I easily took over one hundred pictures on this bridge, because not only is the architecture amazing, but it overlooks the Vltava River and the towns that exist up and down the river. These towns have houses and buildings in pastel colors that are extremely vibrant, even on the gloomiest of days. This is where I fell in love with Prague.

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Finally, when you get to the Praha 1 side of the bridge, there are picturesque locks with notes carved or painted on them attached to the fence. I couldn’t help but walk along and read as many of the locks as my attention span could hold – for the record, I lasted way longer reading through the locks than I thought I would because they were all so interesting and uniquely beautiful.

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THE ST. VITUS CATHEDRAL

I took 30 minutes to venture into the St. Vitus Cathedral, and it was worth every penny. According to the pamphlet, St. Vitus Cathedral is the most important and largest temple in Prague because coronation of the King and Queen occur there. The Cathedral is also the burial location of several patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen, and archbishops.

Let me start out by saying that I am not religious, in fact, I don’t believe in religion, but this Gothic cathedral could make you believe. There were so many amazing paintings, statues, and carvings that felt so real. You could feel the presence of every story being told in each art instillation, almost as if each structure were alive.

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THE CEMETERIES

One of the recommendations that the hostel host suggested for a quiet long stroll was the Vysehrad Cemetery in Praha 2. It was a very cool and gloomy day, but once again, that didn’t take away from the beauty you find in Prague. The cemetery was more of a garden with headstones and shrines to certain families. All I could think of while there was that this must be a part of The Secret Garden’s movie set. I also thought how cool it would be to be buried in such an impressive place.

The nice thing about the cemetery is that it was surrounded by more gardens inside a park, so I took a nice hike along the Vltava River.

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THE AMERICANS IN PRAGUE

On my last night, I met an American at The Fat Cat bar in Praha 1. We decided to keep hanging out and we went on a bar crawl (pretty sure it was the first bar crawl I had attended since college), where there were a ton other Americans, as well as Australians. I never expected to meet anyone in Prague, and even less likely would I think that it would be an American. After doing some research, I found that a lot of college students study abroad in Prague for its rich history and the inexpensive cost it takes to live there, compared to the United States. I would recommend anyone looking for an “off the beaten path” country in which to study abroad, I would highly recommend Prague.

Additionally, almost everyone I met/approached/spoke to in Prague spoke English. There was one woman who was walking her dog at the ass crack of dawn, who I approached asking for directions to the trolley. She was the ONLY person who didn’t speak English. Let me be clear about something – I did not expect anyone to speak English; I thought I would have to use Google Translate to communicate the entire time. But, it was so comforting to know that there were people who could understand me if I needed help.

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THE DEPARTURE

I can honestly say, I’ve never taken a flight as hungover as I was when I left Prague to head back to Warsaw. I was completely in love with the city. I couldn’t wait to go back. The image of the Vltava River from the Charles Bridge while staring at the amazing architecture will never leave my memory.

For me, one of the best parts about my second European Adventure, which I just embarked on, is that I will be going back to Prague. I love the idea that I will already have a little piece of this city with me. I love that, for the first time, I will not be completely lost in Europe.

Until the middle of the month, when I can see you again, here’s to you, Prague, thank you for the amazing memories.

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The Summer of 2013

As I wrote that title, I started singing “The Summer of ‘69” by Brian Adams. It’s safe to say, it will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day.

I had an amazing summer; so amazing that I didn’t have time to create one blog post. Here are a few highlights from the summer of 2013 (June to September):

    • I spent a great deal of time in upstate, New York, specifically Saratoga County. I took a lot of time off to just enjoy the pool, the fresh air and everything that comes with the country. I loved every second of it. I spent a bunch of time with some old friends, and overall enjoyed country living. It was extremely difficult to not take more time, but I need the PTO days for the holiday season.
    • When I was in the city, I enjoyed the local park, some local bars and beer gardens, the east side of Manhattan, and enjoyed my last summer in the apartment I live in now. A little bittersweet, but I would not have it any other way.
    • I went out to Smithtown, Long Island for a quiet weekend to see my two close friends from college. We went to a brewery, laid on the beach and sucked up some rays, and caught up with each other’s lives. As you know, I live in Astoria, the one girl lives in, you guessed it, Smithtown, and the other lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, so it can be difficult for us to get together. It made me realize that we need to meet up more often, and hopefully we’ll do so.
    • June and July called for a lot of travel for work. I spent a lot of time in Chicago and West Virginia. I also did some time in Binghamton,NY,  and my last travel week was in sunny Florida. The great thing about traveling for work is all your expenses are paid for, which made the travel worth it. I also got to spend a bunch of time with coworkers I have great relationships with, which made work fun.
    • I GOT A NEW JOB! As much as I loved the people I worked with at my last company, and I loved the travel, the change was needed. I moved from the healthcare industry to the financial sector. It was quite a step up. I don’t have the opportunity to travel anymore, but I do get a beautiful view of Lexington Avenue from my desk. This reminds me that I should change the About Me section of this blog.
    • I saw Zac Brown Band at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for my birthday. They were amazing even in the rain. The tailgating was a lot of fun, and the outdoor arena was perfect for the instrumentals. They are one of my favorite bands, one of the best bands to see live, and I can’t wait till next summer to see them again.
    • Oh yea, I turned 25 and I didn’t die or have a nervous breakdown. #winning
    • And to end a great summer, I went to Nashville for the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival where Zac Brown Band performed, and Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz, and Kenny Rogers made appearances. I wish I could say I tried the festival food and saw other performances (Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band and Willie Nelson were all there) , but we were too busy enjoying all that Nashville had to offer. We also ate at some of the best southern restaurants you could possibly imagine. It’s still stands true that I am meant to live in the south.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I am just now getting settled into the fact that summer is over – maybe it’s the fact that it’s snowing and the middle of November. I hope everyone gets to have a summer like the one I had this year, it really makes you appreciate all the hard work you put in all year long. Cheers!

 

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Friday Favorites: November 8th, 2013

Happy November! I have decided to start a “Friday Favorites” thread where I list my favorite things from the past week, whether it is a song, fashion statement, recipe, movie, book, photo, etc. I am always finding gems that I want to share with the world, and this is where it begins.

1

BUZZFEED

For those of you who know me, I grew up obsessed with Disney Princesses. All I wanted was to swim in the ocean with Ariel, dance around the library with Belle, or cause trouble in a city with Jasmine. With that being said, I came across this Buzzfeed where artist Beatrice Loren take the eleven Disney princesses and modernize them in retro glam. I loved every second of it, and you should too.

2

MUSIC: Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Terah, you listen to country music’. I am aware, thank you. My roommate LOVES Lana, and I could never understand why. Last Monday, I was in the weirdest mood, and decided to listen to ‘Summertime Sadness,’ when the rest of the album started to play. Let me just say, I may now be obsessed with her music. I even setup an alert on Ticketmaster to find out when she performs in NYC. Her album Born to Die is amazing. I can admit, the lyrics are weird, but I embrace her weirdness, and her sense of not giving an F*. If you’re going to take a listen, which I think you should, listen to “Lolita” and “Off to the Races”.

3

RECIPE: Red Curry Coconut Soup

My other roommate and I are on this weird health kick. I don’t really want to talk about it, but what I will say is we’ve found some awesome recipes, including this bad boy. The red curry coconut noodle soup is delicious and super filling. I always have a weird feeling about eating tofu, but I’ve come to accept it. However, the next time we make the soup (aka she makes the soup, and I eat it) we’re going to make it with chicken rather than tofu since we do eat white meat. I’ll try to remember to let you know how that goes.

4

FUR

Based off previous posts, it should not be a surprise that I love fur, and fur hats are no exception. I recently bought an Aqua black rabbit fur aviator hat (see image below, and don’t judge the selfie with the Ray Bans, I was heading out and in a rush), and all I want to do is wear it everywhere. Here are some awesome pieces I came across while shopping in Bloomingdales that I had to control myself to NOT buy.

5

MAKEUP: MAC Stroke of Midnight Lip Bag: Violet

I rarely wear makeup to work; I don’t feel sitting at a desk for eight to nine hours straight requires me to put the effort into looking nice. But sometimes I’ll sass up my look with a little lipstick. I needed a dark lipstick because the one I bought last year mysteriously disappeared. I went to Bloomingdales (it’s across the street from my office on Lexington and 59th) and found this amazing kit. It comes with a lip pencil, lipstick, and a gloss, not to mention an adorable bag which is the perfect size. I love it!

6

KENAN THOMPSON AS STEVE HARVEY

This episode aired 10/26/2013, but I cannot get over how hilarious Kenan Thompson’s Steve Harvey impression is. Enjoy!

 

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Honey Badger Don’t Care

A good number of my friends and coworkers call me Honey Badger and a lot of people ask me why. As this point, I am shocked. I just assume that everyone has seen the Honey Badger YouTube Video.

For those of you who have not, please watch before continuing:

The reasons I am called Honey Badger are:

  1. Honey Badger is the most fearless animal in the Animal Kingdom
  2. Honey Badger takes what it wants
  3. Honey Badger doesn’t care; it doesn’t give a shit

I feel so much better knowing I cleared that up.

 

 

Like this post? Check out What Makes You Think Elmo Won’t Cut You? or Life Expectations Based on Disney Movies.

New Hampshire or Bust

One of the great things about the company I work for is that we have an office in New Hampshire. This means I can get out of the city for a few days and not have to take paid time off.

The office is in Bedford which is right outside of Manchester in an adorable suburban area; a fantastic change in comparison to the 8th Avenue, New York office between Port Authority, Penn. Station and Time Square, or as I call it “The Three Gates of Hell”. It’s quiet, people are nice and the air is fresh. It reminds me a little of home, just less rural.

So what is the point of this post? New Hampshire is awesome. I can admit, there isn’t much to do but I love it. I think I would take a vacation up here if I could afford a real vacation (my vacations currently consist of crashing at my friend’s parent’s house or considering visiting my parents a vacation) if I didn’t have the luxury of coming up here for work. It’s about an hour and a half out of Boston, close to Vermont and it’s extremely relaxing. During the summer, there’s a gorgeous breeze that breaks up the heat and the spring is absolutely gorgeous. There is no public transportation – just the way I like it – which cuts down on the polluted air. It’s fresh up here.

I highly recommend spending some time in New Hampshire. I’m leaving tomorrow around 10am and the only thing that lets me accept my fate is knowing that Friday to Monday I’m on vacation.

 

Like this post? Check out Kennedy Space CenterRAWRRR!!! Museum of Natural HistoryCentral Park, I Love You or South Street Seaport.

Highlight Of My Week

Most days, work is pretty uneventful. I come in around 8:30am, attend meetings, create documentation,  jam out to my iTunes (mainly my “Glee Perfection” mix), have fantastic conversations with my boss and a few coworkers, create more documentation and head home around 5:30pm. My highlight most days is a YouTube video I send out to some of my coworkers as the “Clip of the Day” or something that doesn’’t happen in the office; despite the fact that most of my week life is spent at work. So, when the highlight of my day, more/less my WEEK does happen at work, it is something that most of the time you had to be there to appreciate it. This however is not the case.

Let me set the stage. It’s a quiet day in the office. The weather outside is gorgeous (not that it matters since I’m stuck sitting at a desk with poor lighting all day) and everyone is in an okay mood. The office is also very quiet because just about everyone is out in the field this week. However, the few of us that are in the office are wishing we had worked from home.

The general area I work in is laid out like this (The office is a lot bigger than this, but for the story’s sake, let’s just stick to this layout):

As you can see, based on the proximity,  I can basically hear just about every conversation anyone has near me.

Coworker #3 is on a call. With who? Not sure. What I do know is that Coworker #3 is speaking loud and clear.

Silence.

Coworker #3: ““Oh, well i like anal. Actually, i prefer it.””

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

My Boss, Coworker #1, Coworker #2 and myself burst into uncontrollable laughter. It’s absolutely contagious. Loud and obnoxious.

After about a minute of gut busting laughter:

Coworker #3: (mutes their phone) “”I can’t believe i just said that. I say the worst things on calls.””

We spent the rest of the day laughing hysterically. Actually, we are still talking about the situation. It’’s safe to say that when Coworker #3 is on a call we are all silent in hopes that they will say something else that would make our day.

Note: Basically, the baby in this video was me for a good hour after the incident:

***Thank you so much to Coworker #3 for allowing me post this blog!

 

Like this blog? Check out WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING!!!!!! or I Almost Scratched My Eyes Out…