All posts tagged: usa

| WHAT’S BRAVE TO YOU? |

We sat  in a bar during ‘las navidades’ sipping on glasses of red wine and nibbling on a selection of pintxos as we talked about being away from our families over the holidays to the meaning of the word brave. Julie is one of the few American woman I’ve met here in San Sebastian and we are kindred souls, despite the 35 year age difference. She’s adventurous and, as some would say, brave. To us, this is a silly word, but we hear it often. She recently dropped her life in the United States to move to San Sebastian and better her Spanish. Even though she doesn’t plan on staying here as long as I do, I did the same exact thing just a few months ago. Many friends back home and many new friends here have told us the same thing: you’re brave for packing your bags and taking off. We’re always humbled when people compliment us on our decision to move, travel, and leave our own country, however, we would never consider ourselves brave. Adventurous, yes. Free-spirited, maybe. But brave? We don’t feel …

| grateful: last week of sept |

Starting in mid-August I started a project called 21 Days of Gratitude. I wrote down three things a day for which I am grateful. Since the project came to an end I haven’t been writing down my gratitude daily – however, I’d like to make it a weekly routine. I’d like to consciously take time out of my day to think about what makes me happy, what I’m grateful for, and share it with you all. I know those 21 Days helped me to take each day and find what’s beautiful around me – even if I’m feeling down. The simple fact I can read and write should remind me of how lucky I truly am. So for the last week of September I have the following to be grateful: Weddings – seeing the happiness first & love between two people. Makes me believe in the tradition despite all the divorces and people abusing the right to be married. Smiling or saying hello to a stranger. When people say thank you when you’ve helped them.   So, what are …

| 12 THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN 57 DAYS |

After a day of fighting the flu at a 5 star hotel and 2 days laying on the beach and regaining my summer glow, I’ve sat down, ordered a café con leche and jotted down what I’ve learned these past 57 days in Europe. 1. You can survive (while looking good) for 3 months on one backpack of clothes. I don’t know if it sounds like a lot or a little, depending on who you are, but when I’ve come across both kinds of shock either on how much I have or how little. To me, I change between the thoughts on a regular basis. When I packed my things in Kennebunk preparing for my travels I thought of the most useful things I could bring with me – the things that could be worn over and over again, could be worn casually or dressed up, and could be tossed away if it came down to it. I also needed to be prepared for winter conditions and island weather leaving me a little unsure of what …

| SOUL SEARCHING, CATCHING WAVES, SOAKING UP THE SUMMER SUN |

I got an email the other day from hostelworld.com — the subject line read: “It’s been six months since your last trip.” I couldn’t believe it. Six months has already passed since I last booked my hostel in the Canary Islands? I stared at the email thinking about those three months of traveling before clicking the box to delete it. Man, does time fly. It’s now the very last day of July 2012. I just rolled in from the beach, searching for the slightest sign of ride-able waves. Trickles. The surf shop had students floating on the passing baby swells, but it was nothing I wanted to bring my board out into. I parked the truck, grabbed my towel and headed for the water. I needed a good dose of salt water. My mind had been swirling all day with thoughts of visas, moving in October, friends I’ll get to see again and friends I’m leaving in the States. I’ve come to realize a good dose of salt water will really help cure anything. I’ve …

| TEARS OF TERMINAL TWO |

I sat in the Dublin airport with my face in my hands. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks and as I thought about where I was heading — home. It’s funny. A year ago I had sat in the same terminal waiting for a flight to Boston with the same hot tears running from my eyes. But this time, it was different. A year ago I was ready to leave to Europe, I wanted to go back to Maine — to see my family, friends and the beautiful coast. A little over a week ago, I was sad to be done my travels, I was sad to be going back home. Before I left for my trip I wasn’t sure how many months would be too long or too short. I took a guess and made sure I’d use my 90 day tourist visa to the max and go from there whether I find work to make extra money or if I had properly made a budget, still had money of my own saved to …

| A TIME ALONE; A REFLECTION |

“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde This quote struck me today. It’s exactly what I sought to do during my travels at the beginning of the year, and that’s exactly what I got. I have always been an independent person, making time for my friends, family, and past boyfriends while still managing to find time for myself. However, I felt that I had never really spent time alone – away from the people I cared about – and I wanted to experience that. I found I could take care of myself at my lowest points and I could push my boundaries and put myself out there to meet new people. Some of whom have become great friends. – – – – These are just passing thoughts on the time I spent roaming around Europe. I can’t believe it’s already been nine months since I began that journey. I’m that much stronger, self-sufficient, and happier …

| HAPPINESS, FOUND |

Twenty-one days ago my friend and I watched a video talking about happiness. The speaker said it’s not about looking forward to happiness, it’s about creating it in the here and now. We can’t attribute happiness with achievement and success, because once we attain those objectives we’ll only set new ones – continuously pushing away our “ideal” happiness. Unfortunately, this is how most people operate. I only hope that everyone I encounter I’m able to help them realize that its how they choose to celebrate each moment that will bring them happiness and it’s not something we have to push away until we achieve something in particular. After watching this video the speaker left us with the challenge of finding happiness by taking the following steps in our day to day life: 1) Exercise 2) Do Random Acts of Kindness 3) 21 Days of Gratitude – Write down 3 things a day that you’re grateful for … 4) Journaling 5) Meditation So – along with my regular exercise, journaling, small amounts of meditation (whether its …

| through the waves, i have learned |

The sun sets on my time in Maine while the waves start to grow for the seasoned surfers of the North East Coastal towns. It’s been an amazing summer in Maine but as the season is changing, so is my craving for new adventure – which is why I’m moving back to Spain, to the coastal city of San Sebastian. I called the small coastal village of Kennebunk my home for the past 19 years. But after leaving the country to pursue my four-year-degree in Halifax, NS I found myself living abroad in Madrid, Spain; it was the first time I’d been living in a large city (3.2 million to be exact) – and the closest beach was a four-hour car drive away. It wasn’t until then that I’d realized my need for the coast; the smell of salt air, the view of the vast ocean fading off into the horizon, the steady cry of the seagulls patrolling their countries coast lines, and the bright reds, yellows, and oranges exploding over the deep blue waters …