2015: Welcome to ENGLAND! Week 1 – London and the Coast

Standard

Monday, November 30, 2015

  Wow, it has been a while since I have written a blog.  It’s been pretty non stop since the traveling started.  November 11th I boarded a plane in NY to Gatwick airport in London, England.  Pretty scary really, given that I only had a one way, one time passport that was taken from me at the UK Border.  A lot of people think that this trip should be easy for me, but the truth of the matter is, when I left England I was 16.  The only time that I have flown international, and come back to England has been when my mother arranged and paid for it.  My dad, or partner at the time, brought me to the airport, and family was waiting on the other side for my arrival.  I had never counted on myself, solely, to navigate my way using public transportation.  I’d never had to trust myself to make sure that I was okay, and would arrive where I needed to arrive, and needless to say, I was pretty nervous.  All of this is really outside of my comfort zone.

Luckily for me, I do have family in this country, and my first initial destination was to my Aunt’s house.  In some ways, there was comfort in knowing that, and in others there was a different kind of fear.  The last time I had seen my aunt was when I was 15.  We’d had very limited contact even when we were in touch, and next to none for the last 20 years.  My cousins are grown adults, and I knew almost nothing about my Uncle Paul.  Being invited to stay with them in Christchurch was financially supportive of my traveling frugal blog, but emotionally, it was a risk that I really didn’t talk much about.

Hattan Hostel has been pretty successful so far, and I’m extremely grateful for all of Jackie’s hard work on site.  The bookings in Mississippi have slowed down, I assume because it is winter time, but I did expect some traffic for snowbird season.  The weather there is in the 70s.. maybe people aren’t sick of the cold yet.  The price point is as low as it could possibly be, so at this point its time to turn it over to my higher power, and know that there is a reason for it to be vacant.

So far England has been amazing.  Better than I anticipated.  Spending a day in London was something I have done with my dad as a small child, but I don’t remember anything about it.  This trip was with my cousin, and her first time sight seeing the city also.  We woke up around 5am to catch a bus into Bournemouth from Christchurch.  From Bournemouth we took a coach for 2 hours into the City of London, and began our rainy but fun day seeing the sights.  I’ll write a specific guide to seeing London on a Dime once I have finished writing this overall update.

Altogether I stayed in the south of England for a week.  I got to spend quality time with family, see London, spend a day at Durdle Door .. a BEAUTIFUL landscape of cliffs at the Southern end of England, and become acclimated to the British way of life.

The total out of pocket from NYC to the end of my first week in England, flight cost included is:

Flight – $286
Snacks for traveling – $7.25
England socket converter to charge my electronics – $10
Bus from London to Bournemouth – $22
Wok and Roll lunch – $6
Train fare from Bournemouth to Christchurch – $5
Breakfast before London – $4
Lodging with family was free
Food for the most part was free – we brought lunch and dinner with us to London and to Durdle Door
Return trip to London via coach – $35
Sight seeing hop on hop off bus tour of London – $45 (something I usually wouldn’t pay for, but given the rain, it was well worth the free bus rides to each attraction, and the free River Thames cruise that allowed me to get some amazing photos while having shelter to duck under.. not to mention the dry comedy of the boat guide)
Teatime – $4
Shopping for a scarf and hat – $12
Postcards and stamps – $20

Week 1 – $456 ($170 without the flight)

Advertisements

We, The People, have a dream…

Standard

We, the people, have a dream…

When did we become a country at war with itself?  Why do we have two parties?  Aren’t the things that are vital to The People of the United States of America one in the same?  We are a family.. a foster family where anyone is welcome.  That’s what this great nation was born from.  Our ancestors fled their own countries searching for a better life.  The American Dream.. but where was that dream born?  Where did they hear that in America things would be better?  The land of opportunity.

We Are All Equal

That is a generalized statement.  It depends on what measurement we are using.  The only level that we are actually equal is that we were born on this planet.  I am not even my own blood sisters’ equal.  Sure, we have the same parents, we are the same race, we grew up in the same house, we even have the same eye color/colour but we are not equal.  We are very different.  We live in different countries. We have different accents, different beliefs, different values.  We live different lives, and we are different people.  We all have a difference in our opinions.  Why do we get defensive about that? Why do we insist on projecting our opinion on others?  Why are we so afraid to be different, when that is all we can be?  It’s okay!!!  We are all beautiful people, created for a purpose.

Given that the hot topic in America is the presidential election.. I am going to demonstrate how to practice unconditional love by painting a very different picture of Donald Trump.  Nooo .. I’m not literally going to paint him, there are enough caricatures of him knocking about.

Now for those who don’t know me, I am not a fan of the thoughtless, gum flapping, ignorant bigot that Donald Trump is.  I find his views despicable.  My heart actually hurts for him.  To be so detached from love must be an awfully sad life.  There isn’t enough money in the world that can make up for being that heartless.  To have that much hate in your heart that you’d close the door on your neighbor.  To be that afraid of an entire religion, that you’d want to eradicate the perceived threat.  That kind of fear is unspeakable to live with.  I know that Donald Trump was born into this world for a reason.  His role, I am sure, is playing a very huge role in a greater good right now.  I have all the faith in my higher power that that statement is true.  I don’t know what that greater good might be, and I know that it may not feel like the greater good to everyone it effects, but I trust that it is.  I know that I wouldn’t want to have been born into his shoes.  You couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.  The anger, resentment, and hate that spews from his mouth speaks volumes to the hurt and fear in his heart.  He doesn’t know true love, and wouldn’t know it if he had it, because everything about his life revolves around money.  Having it, not having it, pretending to have it… He’s probably never known how gratitude feels, how peace feels.. how it feels to be content.  To question the motives of his nearest and dearest, never fully trusting that they weren’t just out to gain from the relationship.  No.. you couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.

Now why would my higher power allow such a twisted soul to rise up in power?  Change.  This presidential election will be one that creates change.  There is no doubt about that.  Change for the greater good.  Now I don’t know about your higher power, whether that is God, Allah or the support of your loving friend that is sitting beside you.. but my higher power isn’t just an American higher power.  My higher power is the Universe, and the loving energy that flows between all living things.. all of Gods’ creation.  Sometimes there are sacrifices that are made for the greater good; Casualties of war.  Maybe the Universe is doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves.  We’ve waited for president after president for the “right president” to come along and steer us back to that dream that our ancestors were promised.. that we were promised as the tales of our forefathers were retold.

Our government was formed to protect us.  Laws were written to protect us from the things that we fled.  We may be the United States of America, but we still live in Little Italys, Spanish Harlems and Chinatowns.  We are parented by two parties that are always fighting, and ultimately always come out as children of divorce, having to pick one side or the other when there’s things about both sides that we love.

We, the people, matter.  We, the people, send our children off to war, to fight for this great nation.  We, the people, work 7 days a week just to make ends meet, leaving our babies to be abused by strangers in daycares.  We, the people, don’t want to fight about Trump or Clinton.. we want to be able to meet our basic needs, spend time with our family and friends, and enjoy our time here on this beautiful planet.  Why does that have to be so complicated?

I have to say, thinking about the President as our nations parent figure, and then recalling the vulgar comments that Trump has made about his daughter.. I’d feel slightly molested if Trump were to win.

Well, that was my thought for the morning while watching World War I in color on Netflix and cleaning.  I should probably get back to cleaning…

Please be sure to follow my blog by  adding your email to the list, or following my page on facebook.. Taken by Storme.  Ciao!

🇺🇸Good Morning America… It’s time to wake up! 

Standard

Here I am, back in the good ole U S of A.. It’s 6:45a and I’m wide awake. I’ve been awake for a couple of hours now, adjusting to the time difference I’m sure. I’m laying on my friends couch, the same couch I’ve slept on dozens of times while visiting her in New Orleans. The daylight begins to appear behind the blinds, and I walk to the curtains to take a look at the outside. Drawing them back a little, I realize there’s houses, with yards.. She lives in an apartment complex, and until this moment id never looked out of the window. The curtains always stay closed, and I’ve only known what’s within the walls of her home. Within her apartment complex. A HUGE possum awkwardly makes its’ way along the fence, and I’m kinda shocked by its size. A woman in the yard to the left is sat out in her yard, reading the Sunday newspaper.. Unaffected by the creature that’s just passed her by. To the right there’s a street legal, off road capable vehicle (pictured).. Painted in camouflage, and an American flag hanging, resting over the property. These subtle differences in the way of life here had been lost on me for so long. I thought about the boy that might aim his BB gun at that possum some day.. Or his older brother that might shoot to kill. I thought about how huge the vehicle is, compared to the tiny Fiats and Citroens of Europe. I thought about how many tiny cars are over there, some with their difference in fuel, to cut down the high costs of transportation… And how pricey small cars are in America… Usually purchased because their “cute” and a novelty. I thought about the distance from my friends house in Metairie, Louisiana, and mine in Pass Christian Mississippi.. A good hour and half away. For people in England, and Europe in general.. A trip to visit a friend who lives that far away is planned a week in advance.. It’s budgeted.. and it’s a treat.. Because even in the smallest, economical car… It comes with a price tag. At $8 a gallon, how can it not?
As I looked out the window, I was flooded by the number of things, I never knew I took for granted living here in the United States. Ways of life that had become my normal. I thought about the fact that right now, the United Kingdom is being battered by its 8th named storm of the season.. Lives and landscapes forever changed by natures’ fury, and yet I’m sure most of my friends here in the US have no idea. If it doesn’t impact what we know as life, we don’t hear about it, and go about our days as if nothing else exists outside of our walls. I think about Hurricane Katrina.. And how catastrophic and devastating it was for us… How we couldn’t believe that we were left stranded in our streets for so long.. Why it took our protectors so long to protect and help us.. And how many times since Katrina, I’ve heard it used to make a point.. That if it had been a tsunami in Japan, or or an earthquake in Nepal, for example, we’d have help there the same day.. How we help third world countries but don’t take care of our own homeless veterans. I have to wonder just how many third world countries, tsunami and earthquake victims.. Refugees of war that it is we, as a nation, have helped? I doubt it’s many at all. I’m sure that by the time every “charitable organization” takes their cut to maintain themselves.. There’s little left to provide relief.. It’s just another industry. It helps us feel better about ourselves to throw a couple dollars in a bucket.
The truth is, we don’t know what we don’t know, and the good ole USA does an impeccable job of filling our minds with mindless drama and entertainment, that we don’t have time to step outside of our own world. It’s a doggy dog world, and we are cattle, raised in a farm that demands the disease of more. More clothes, more things, bigger houses, newer cars, more land, more money… Bigger… Better… The good life… Because we are America.. The biggest and the best.. We are proud to be Americans.. Offspring of our forefathers.. All immigrants that fled our bloodlines roots to find this bigger better land of the free. “There are no cats in America, and the streets are paved with cheese”… That’s the line in An American Tail that sold me.. As a child, sitting in England.. AMERICA…. I remember feeling euphoric at the thought of the land where dreams come true, anything is possible, and everyone is rich.. The God of all countries.. It’s what I moved here looking for, like so many others.. An escape from the struggle that life is for so many people… Yet no matter how much we acquire, we stay busy on our hamster wheels trying to get more.. It keeps us quite self absorbed, and leaves us little time to think about the rest of the world. When the rest of the world invades our individual lives .. It’s usually thru fear.. Media gives us breaking news of a terrorist attack.. Or a natural disaster .. Our humanity feels bad for the victims.. We wish it weren’t that way “out there” but our animal instinct is too busy trying to make sure we “survive” that we “can’t” do anything about it.
I think about the word “survive” and how it’s had so many different lives within my life. I’ve survived childhood.. School yards of bullies.. A parentless home where we learned quickly to fend for ourselves. I’ve survived decades of mental illness where I’ve wanted to take my own life and on several occasions, I’ve attempted. I’ve survived heartbreak, and moments where emotions weighed so heavily in grief, sadness and anguish that I couldn’t see how I would go on. I’ve survived homelessness and dereliction.. Living in the back of an old station wagon in a junk yard, with no clue where my next dollar came from.. But when $10 dos come my way, I used it to buy diapers and orange juice for my son, because I didn’t need anything that bad. In that memory I can feel the humanity alive and well in my soul, and it’s a feeling I want more of. I’ve survived cancer.. An illness that’s taken the lives of my mother, grandmothers and grandfathers before me.. An illness I never thought I could beat. I’ve survived loving paycheck to paycheck, no matter how much money I earned.. It never felt enough… The struggle really was real… Because I hadn’t yet figured out that I didn’t need all the materialistic things I’d buy to justify all the hours that I worked. I’ve survived 9/11, hurricane Katrina, a broken down car thousands of miles from home, camping alone in the woods where there are bears, road tripping around America, backpacking alone around Europe, drug addiction, stereotypes, my own negative thinking … Life…. I’ve survived life… And until it’s my time to go, I will always survive life! If you’re reading this, then so have you… And so will you … It’s okay to let go of the fear that we won’t survive..


As I look at the monster truck sitting outside, and how much petrol it’s probably drank.. Just to ride around in a muddy field, joy riding.. I think about how far that same petrol could go back in Europe.. As I think about how huge even a one bedroom apartment is .. How open the floor plans are.. And how much electricity we just run.. All the time… I think about how cramped the small island of the United Kingdom is. How the number of people living there is becoming too many for amount of land they have to build on. As I think about the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have been taken in by the different countries of Europe, who are already in financial crisis’ themselves.. I think about the financial crisis we are taught that we are in, here in America. How our lifestyles keep us trapped inside the prison of paycheck to paycheck. The prison of money. The institution of wealth, and all the laws that have surrounded the right to earn money to survive.

 

There was once a time when money didn’t exist. If you wanted to eat, you planted some seeds and grew some food. If you wanted a home, you drew from the land.. Mud and trees,… Or mined stone and built shelter .. Shelter from the elements of life of earth.. I wonder if we were meant to take shelter so far .. Creating the luxurious forms of shelter we all take for granted now.. Even in the most basic apartments.. We have electricity, climate control, instant entertainment on the tv.. Which wasn’t even sufficient, so we introduced “on demand” and Netflix. If we wanted to go somewhere, we walked.. Sometimes for days.. Creating new shelters along the way.. We weren’t tied to our homes, and our bills and mortgages… We didn’t have social security numbers that said whether we could work or not … That dictated who was allowed to thrive.. We traded skill set for skill set.. And worked as communities to provide all of the basics. Each skill was needed and as valuable as the next. There weren’t rich doctors and lawyers.. Doctors became rich because fear of dying is so huge. Lawyers became rich because laws became so many, and money became so valuable.. The more money one has, the more skills they can but, and lazier they can be. We buy our way back to the freedom from the grindstone.. Freedom to once again enjoy our earth.. Freedom to travel.. The richest of us but their own boats, build their own oasis’ in their backyards.. Of their bigger better houses.. They fly first class or on private planes to remote islands .. And in those places they have arrived .. They’ve achieved the goal… But I promise you … They still want more. That feel good achievement.
What would happen if currency became acts of kindness, goodwill to others, selflessness… If money were abolished… If love for one another replaced money… If we all did unto others as we want done for ourselves.. I think we Wouldn’t be as fearful.. As stressed.. As angry… As lonely..
Traveling has opened my eyes.. Not only to what I find out there.. But to what I couldn’t see here at home. We took a wrong turn somewhere along our timeline.. A turn that led us right back to everything our forefathers were freeing us from.
“WE, THE PEOPLE…” I wanted to learn about the actual people that wrote our Declaration of Independence. What were we declaring independence from? This is what I found…



 So basically, the colonists enjoyed their freedom they’d found in being neglected by the British.. When the British came back to rule the colonists.. The colonists fought to keep the freedoms they’d found.. Freedom from being ruled by a country where money dictated the power.. And taxes were used to keep the money and power in limited hands. This is why the most memorable part of the Declaration of Independence is
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Wow! I have to wonder what our forefathers are up there thinking, watching all that America has become. Have we realized their vision for this great nation? Or have we allowed the same greed and thirst for power that governed Britain in the 18th century become our way of life here in the colonies. “All men are equal” yet the likes of Donald Trump is a front runner for Presidency.

While traveling thru Europe, I heard the same repeated message in several countries in regards to America. It’s the country they are most afraid of.. Not Iraq.. Not Syria.. America.. Because in America we have guns. The look on their faces when I tell them I have a gun back home… It’s unimaginable to them. They tell me stories of how we kill ourselves thru school shootings, and mass murder.. How they’re afraid to be a foreigner in our land because all it takes is a second and you could be dead. I can completely understand their concerns. We have the right to bear arms, and we fight daily to keep that right. The reason our fore fathers gave us that right was so that we could fight for ourselves to keep our freedom, should we ever have to. It wasn’t to hunt. It wasn’t to protect ourselves from enemy states.. That’s what the military was for .. It was so that, in the event our government needed to be replaced, we would have the ability to fight for that. Times have changed.
Americans are beautiful people. America, for me, is home. It still is the land of opportunity, where anyone can make their wildest dreams come true. The civilians of this great nation are as good as any other country I’ve visited. They’re completely unaware that our military is out in the world, terrorizing smaller countries.. Being the present day pirates, stealing oil, raping towns and villages, bombing lands and killing people by the millions.. Forcing families to flee and seek refuge, all in the name of “more”. They’re unaware that while they complain about $3 per gallon of petrol, Our allies.. Our nations friends, like France and England, are paying $6-$8 per gallon, but continue to be “friends” so that it doesn’t increase any further.. Sending their military in to drop a couple of bombs in order to share allegiance. The great people of America don’t know that they’re constantly being groomed by the media.. To only know what the government wants them to know.. To create conflict of interests about things like gun control, and foreign affairs.. So that when our government is exposed, we won’t be able to carry out the wishes of our very own Declaration of Independence.
We don’t know that we are no longer free… We don’t know that we are wasteful of precious resources.. That we are noticeably fatter than any other country.. That there’s more to life than Facebook, binge watching Netflix on 60″ TVs, and driving that 2016 convertible off the lot. While people are living in tents year round as their homes, we cringe at the thought of tent camping for fun, and rent a log cabin or an RV instead. We don’t know how good we have it, because the only thing we are repeatedly shown, is the glamorous lives of those who have it better .. The carrot that keeps us going to work for that paycheck to paycheck life so that the rich get richer.


Good Morning America… It’s time to wake up!

RENT A CAR FOR 6 days.. $27!!! Don’t DO IT!

Standard

Today is day three and I am back at the airport returning my rental car. You know, for a frugal traveler… Renting a car shouldn’t even be an option.. But I totally got sold on the follow up email when I booked my flight to Barcelona.

RENT A CAR FOR 6 days.. $27!!!

And it worked.. I clicked .. And even though I knew better from my experience in Ireland,.. I thought about how much of Ireland I was able to see as a result of having that cute little blue car.. And I justified the extra money I knew would surely come at the desk in insurance and fees… And it did!

img_0910

Because I don’t possess that evil little piece of plastic known as a credit card, I had to pay a daily insurance rate .. Fortunately, the guys wife was from Alabama, and when I told him I was writing a frugal travel blog, he gave it to me for the lowest price possible. Unfortunately for Firefly, my advice is.. If you’re coming to Barcelona… DON’T get a car!! Here’s why .. Y’all read about my experience losing the car.. So that’s reason number one. Secondly, there isn’t anywhere to park. I’ve spent more gas, driving around looking for parking, than I have actually getting wherever it is I was trying to go. Third.. Gas is expensive here, as it is in all of Europe .. $6 a gallon at least!!! Parking costs 4 cents per minute.. And walking up and down the hills of Barcelona to get to and from your car, once you’ve found parking.. Honestly.. It’s easier to take public transport. When you get to the airport.. Get a T10 card for 10€ at the airports train station. This will give you ten trips which are all good for an hour and 15 minutes if you need to transfer. Three stops and you are in the city center! If you pay per ride it’s 2.10€ per trip.. So this card is a little money saver in itself. Also.. If there’s more than one of you, you can enter the card.. Let it feed thru and leave it there for your friend behind you. It isn’t one per person.. So if you’re going for a weekend.. This works out great! (By the way, this isn’t cheating, I read it in the tourist transit website)

  The bonus of going back to the airport was the people I met on the train to the city center. While walking across the bridge to the train station, there was an elderly French lady who was struggling to walk, pull her luggage, and hold her robe up off the floor so she wouldn’t trip. I offered to pull her baggage for her, doing my good deed for the day. When we got to the station, her son was waiting for her impatiently.. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself about what a jackass he was! They only spoke French, so I helped them understand that they had to take the train to the city and then get a train from there to Paris. Hopefully they made it. On the platform, a guy heard me speaking English with the conductor and pulled me aside for help figuring out what thy needed to do. They were Turkish Muslims, and very friendly! 🙂

I shared my research about the T10 card.. And given that a single ride from the airport to the city was 4.80€ each, the T10 was already saving money!

See You Later…

Standard

1/8/2016
See You Later..
Today was a rough one in many ways. It’s never easy to leave loved ones, and even harder when you know it could be years before you see them again. I felt the tears fill the backs of my eye balls this morning while Louis repeatedly hugged me and tugged on my arm, trapping it so that I couldn’t go anywhere. “You’re leaving today aren’t you” he’d said, as we almost made it to his school. Cali and I looked at each other with that moment of “busted” even tho we knew he knew. He handled it like a champ tho. I watched him circle the playground, chasing his mate, and then landing back in my arms for another hug. We practically stood in the same spot that I’d waited for him to come out of school, the first day I arrived. Bittersweet. “It’s not goodbye is it mate? It’s see you later” I told him, with full intentions of making sure I make good on that promise.
I remember the last time I left England. January 2nd 2006. My mum walked me to the door of her bungalow, holding back the same tears that were challenging mine. She hugged me and told me the same thing .. “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later” but we both knew that we’d never see each other again in this lifetime. She passed away a couple of months later.
Returning to England was a bit of a challenge for me. I’ve shared many pictures, and many awesome days, out and about around the land I once called home. I haven’t really shared all that has gone on for me personally while being there. All the memories as I passed different town names… Bolton, Warrington, Wigan, Preston.. How strange it felt to walk in some of the same footsteps and see the same faces of 20 years ago when I moved away. I haven’t shared about the anger that I’ve had to suppress, unsuccessfully that then turned to high blood pressure, dizziness, and constant anxiety. The name of my blog is panicked gypsy.. And I often talk about how I’m able to roam the world with my frugal gypsy feet, but I haven’t talked about the panicked side. How I can feel the pulse in my neck feel tight all the time.. How my chest hurts, and I find myself constantly having to stop and deep breathe using square breathing techniques just to stay grounded. It’s been quite exhausting to be honest. I’ve barely left my sisters house while in town because of fear. There was nothing rational to be afraid of, yet as soon as I walked out the door, I felt dizzy and fearful once again. The last few days I knew I had to break thru that before flying to Malta. I ventured out to Manchester, and tho I still had the dizzy spells, standing on the platform, debating if I could really do this.. I got on anyway.. The blood rushed thru me.. My breathing out of whack, and my thoughts wound down to basic commands.. “Just focus on stepping up to the train. You just have to make it to the seat, and then you’ll be okay. The adrenaline is 15 minutes and the train is an hour.. You’ve got this. ” Then, of course, a man sat down beside me and the panic restarted all over again. I made it there tho. Walked from the train to Old Trafford, took some pictures and then it kicked in again.. Dizziness.. “Have I eaten? I’m not going to pass out. If I pass out, someone will see me and call for help in the worst case scenario… I will be okay… ” but panicked anyway, and focused on just following those signs to the red cafe.. A cafe was bound to have a bathroom, and once in the bathroom I could be safe and calm myself down. It worked well enough, and I found a pressed penny machine.. Silver lining!
I won’t bore you with a play by play, but I had 6 or 7 panic attacks that day in Manchester. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time, and when I needed safe, I went and saw a really crap movie lol but I made it! I made it out, and back to the house.
Each day has been like that now since mid December. I’ve emailed my therapists, and I have my meds on standby, tho i still haven’t taken them. In a lot of ways, I’ve regressed when it comes to my mental health. My empathic ways are blaring.. Picking up everyone and their mothers’ tension and stress. I felt it choking me. I’m hoping some sun and sandy rocks in Malta will help reset me back to a balanced self. Ive also booked all of my appointments for the week that I am back in Mississippi. I know I’m somewhat stressing about that, even tho I am sure that I am perfectly okay.
Today marks the start of the next leg of my adventures.. Bouncing from one place to another where I really don’t know anyone or much of anything, and just figuring it out as I go. Freedom.. That’s what it’s about after-all. I have this fear that I’ll just be eternally lost in some foreign land, and nobody would know the difference, but let’s be honest.. If I disappeared from Facebook for longer than a couple of days, I dare say there would be a search team deployed! Lol

I miss my family already… that’s such a strange feeling for me to feel.  I know that sounds horrible.. but we just aren’t that family.. we aren’t close.. geographically, emotionally, not in any way.. at least we weren’t.

Time to nap .. Landing in T-2 hours
Xoxo

It’s so green!!!

Standard

I have loved every minute of driving around the luscious green lands of Ireland.  I am actually surprised, because I really thought that the movies found the most beautiful places to film, and that’s what the rest of the world saw when they saw Ireland, but in actual fact, all of Ireland is indeed beautiful.  DSC_0879

Changing currencies when traveling 

Standard

You know you travel a lot when you have three different currencies in your wallet and none of them are dollars lol
Over here, in Europe, they only take chip and pin bank cards .. Luckily I have a chip in my brand new Chase bank card, but if I hadn’t gotten that in NY .. I’d have been screwed a few times.. Withdrawing cash and swiping a card is cheaper than converting at a travel agent or in the airports.. Just an FYI 
The top green is Norwegian Krone – approx 11K = $1

Underneath that is Euros $1.12 = €1
On the left is a £5 and a £10 note from England with British coins .. £1 = $1.50 and they don’t take pounds in Ireland!  

 IMG_6938