Tips to Travel:: I’m a Planner

It’s been posted there and there, but let’s make it Blog official— I’m taking my first ever international travel adventure and heading to Bali Indonesia in 2 months!

The idea sort of came up as a whim but actually getting there has required research and planning.  I thought I would share a series of posts as we get closer to take off and let the adventure begin!

Planning::

It has been brought to my attention that I maybe overanalyze and plan a little too much… and that I need to fly by the seat of my pants a little more.  So that’s something I am working on, but at the end of the day I’m still a planner and I like to have an outline for what is coming up- at work, with friends, in relationships.  I’m no different with travel.

In this case, I want to know where I’m going, how I’m getting there, where I’m staying… and then I can cut loose and see what there is to do and what I’m in the mood for.

So it begins and what comes first?  Deciding where I was going, when I was going there, and how I was getting there (and back again).  I want to have time on my hands to explore and go where the wind takes me once I reach my final destination.  But the getting there and back?  I’d like to have that part planning out to the minute.  So what if it (maybe) takes the fun out of the adventure for a second?  Getting lost, denied a visa, or scammed sounds a lot less fun in the long run then use having ducks is a row to begin with.

First was deciding when the opportune moment would be to take an extended vacation.  Finding the balance between scheduled races, work commitments, and holidays wan’t exactly a slice of cake.  Deciding where to compromise and where I could cut back was important, while giving plenty of time to save money and give notice at work.

Next was planning where exactly I was headed.  Bali, Indonesia.  OK, care to narrow that down at all?  While Bali isn’t a huge island, there are several different major cities and regions, each with something different to offer.  Beaches and night clubs? or craft markets and temples?  Hiking volcanoes or snorkeling?  Where do I want to call home base?

Then there is looking and booking flights, airport transport, and housing.  Investigating  i Visas and required vaccines.  Is my passport updates?!  (No worries, yes it is mom).  I don’t mind flying by the seat of my pants, but I’ll do that when I’m happily settled with 2 feet on the ground.  Having an established plan for transport and housing is only going to make the actual trip a lot more enjoyable.  What is a vis anyway?  And let’s talk about exchange rates, power adaptors, insurance… the list goes on.

It’s not like I woke up knowing the answers to these questions… I had to started studying, researching, and asking around before any bags were packed.

Ok, Research will be coming up shortly.  See!  There is so much to look into before actually leaving.  Each country, each airline, each living situation will have different requirements, different prices, and different modes of operation,  and it’s important to know what you are getting into before you get there.

How do you plan before you travel?  Do you plan?

Always,

C

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Can Short Hair be Sexy?

Hair.

Short hair.

Yup, you read that right.

Can short hair be sexy?

I suppose I should start off my saying- flat out- that I have cut all my hair off.

Ok, no not all of it, but I cut off a good foot of length last week and now have hair above my shoulders.  (NOTE:  not a pixie or bob cut).

I’ve had very long hair most of my life.  Every once in a while I go and cut it short for a “change” and find it long again a few years later.  I’ve found that I’m very often defined by my long hair and that others often have more of a connection to it then I do.  I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I hear “Oh it’s so pretty”, “You can braid your own hair?!”, “I can never grow my hair that long, it breaks off.  You are so lucky.”, “You can do so many beautiful up-dos with such long hair”, “I just want to play with your hair, it’s so long!”.  And the list can go on.

Do you get the idea?  Basically all people see is the cascading mane of thick hair and never all the work that goes in to keeping it that way.  The washing and rinsing and combing then drying and brushing followed by styling and pinning.  Not to mention the unpinning and brushing then braiding before bed.  Or the sweaty tangled mess (really there is no other word for it) after a summer training run.

Long hair is like a pet.  It must be cared for and trained or tamed from time to time.  It must be washed and brushed regularly, but not to much or it gets dry and frizzy.  You must set aside enough time to give it attention in the morning other wise it will be a pain the rest of the day.  It gets a lot of attention from others, especially when worn down— like a fluffy Pomeranian puppy— everyone wants to touching and play with it, to run their fingers through it and usually twist it into some bun… paying little attention to the head to which the hair is affixed, which is often put through a lot of pain as tangles are attacked by greasy fingers.  But no one want’s it for themselves.

What long hair get attention for the most (I’ve found) is being sexy, romantic, and feminine.  Yes, it looks amazing when professionally tied and twisted into a braided bun up-do with crystal accents and a formal ball gown.  Yes, all the famous princesses of fairy tales have long flowing hair that flawlessly flows behind them as they wonder through the forest or ride off into the sunset with their handsome prince charming.  And yes, it looks gorgeous gently falling over the curves of ones body and onto the pillow for a partner to stroke softly… patiently.

But that’s not all real life!

When was the last time you need to wear a ball gown out and about or paid for a professional up-do?  Have you ever had your long hair get caught in a tree or had to pull bits of leaves from it after an outdoor adventure?  And I can assure you, we are all adults here, it really kills the mood when that lovey love hair gets tangled in your lovers mouth.

“But your long hair is so beautiful!  Why would you ever cut it?”

(Say that once you’ve lived with it for a while).

Is the only things that’s beautiful the hair?  What about the person underneath?  Can you be beautiful- sexy, romantic, and feminine- with short hair?


Now over the past few days I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I have just that-  short hair.

There is a whole different process for upkeep- washing and drying and brushing and adding in product and done.  Look, a lot of the same things just a lot less time.  And then there is what you don’t have, the long cascading locks that seem to define me.  Nothing for others to play with, not enough length to get tangled in tree branches, snagged in a zipper, or caught in a compromising position.

But is it still beautiful?  I’m a woman but am I still feminine?

Why should I be asking these questions just because I cut my hair!?   Why is this something that has been circulating through my thoughts for days?  Because, did I mention, that’s how I’m defined?  That’s what seems to be the first thing people see and the last thing they forget?  To society the hair is the defining aspect to being a beautiful woman.  That long flowing hair may be beautiful to behold but an occasional menace to the owner.

So, can short hair be sexy?

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Well, you all decide.  And I appreciate you reading through this semi-rant, semi- POV post.

 

Always,

C

Blogging is hard!

Hi readers!

Doesn’t that title say it all?

I know, I’ve been MIA for most of the summer.  Not on purpose.  Not because I have nothing to write.  Not because I don’t want to entertain you all with fun stories and ideas!  But because I’ve come to realize the writing and upkeep of a blog is hard stuff.

The actual writing part comes easy- I write like I think and I write about me, so there is no shortage of daily happenings, thoughts, events, etc.  And taking pictures to share?  Well that’s like all I do!  (no really though, I take a TON of photos but very few see the bright lights of social media).  But when it comes down to actually sitting down to a computer with enough internet connection to load Google, getting into the blog hot site, formatting, editing, proof reading, sharing, tagging, and publishing I get b(l)ogged down!

I don’t know how professional bloggers, or even amateur bloggers do it!  It really can be like a second job and take on mind of it’s own. Not to mention the constant thought in the back of the publishers head, “What would people like to read about?  Would they be interested in this?  or would it offend someone?”

I don’t know how often I’m on the train or walking home and have a great idea for a post formulating in my head.  Only to find that by the time I get home, unwind, and go anywhere near a computer the thought has either left or I’m far to tired to focus on composing a well written piece.


Well, this has got to change!  I didn’t go out and buy a new computer, craft interviews, take fun pictures, create a whole separate Instagram account, and get you all excited about reading this blog to not write anything for it!!

But what are the tricks of the trade?  The magic words to make it all happen?  The mystical blog spell?

Here’s a hint— there isn’t any of that stuff!   No tricks or magic, or mystical happenings.  What there is a lot of is hard work, patience, and care.


So, Fall is here and I’m taking a new plan of attack to really give you all some fun posts to read and a safe place for me to write!  There is a lot coming down the pike the next few months— Navy-Airforce Half, Fall Fashion, NYC Marathon, and international travel and adventure— to name a few!

If that’s doesn’t sound like some fun topics, I don’t know what does!

So promise you will stick around a little longer, keep reading, and see what’s coming?

Great!  Cause I can’t wait to keep writing for you!

Always,

C

What’s in a Name?

A Marathon by any other word would be as daunting?!


It’s time again for one of those obligatory part entertaining, part reality, and part sarcastic posts on running… specifically, running pertaining to marathon training.  Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m participating in the New York City Marathon on November 6th.

OMG WAIT WHAT?!  Ah, that’s like 50 something days away… and getting closer every day… and recently like I have hardly run more then 3 or 4 miles at at time… and it’s been SO HOT and I don’t know what I was thinking when I got myself into this… and just NO!

Well, not NO but oh goodness help.


Ok, done panicking for now, cause the fact of the matter is that I will be participating in this iconic race and while I may not have the best time ever I am going to complete it.  I am going to cross that finish line on my own two feet no matter how long it takes.

I love the various reactions I get when I mention I’m training for the marathon because it ranges from “you are crazy” to “me too!  How is it going” to “Good for you but I’d never to that”.   Other then that it’s running (or walking, dragging, crawling) yourself 26.2 miles all at one time, what is it about a marathon that makes it sound so daunting?

Perhaps it’s the physical demand.  Maybe it’s the time commitment to training and the gym.  No, I got it— it’s the financial side- signing up for all those races and paying for countless pairs of shoes and clothes for ALL types of weather.  No, that’s not it either?  Well then I suppose it’s a combo of all of the above and then some.

Personally it’s the name… the word marathon, that just sounds so big and intimidating (and long).  Unlike a 5K or 10K, the distance is not part of the title.  You don’t really know how long it is just from throwing the word around.  You either know the distance or you don’t and you don’t worry to ask because it sounds intense and long anyway.  Then of course half marathon still doesn’t have and distance notated in it, but it’s clearly shorter… so more doable and less intimidating… sort of.

There isn’t much else to call a marathon.  But what gets me is when people call a half marathon a “Mini Marathon”.  That I don’t like.  I find this title to be demeaning and belittling, like “aww, how cute you ran your mini marathon of 13 miles”.  Well there is nothing mini about it and there is still plenty of training and planning and spending involved.

And something else that is truly intimidating is the “ultrathons”…  no way I’m heading out for 50 miles!

oops, off on a tangent… coming back from that now.

It all comes down to the name.  No matter where we run it or who we say it.  A marathon is a marathon is a marathon.  It’s 26.2 consecutive miles that loom on the calendar for months  and take so many more hours and miles to train for that there is always a moment of “What am I doing!”  The nice thing to know, is that you are not along.  Maybe during your training you are, but when it’s show time on race day you are surrounded by tons of other runners and spectators.  You are surrounded by a community and that energy come up and sweeps you along just when you wonder if you can go another mile.

So, I guess whatever we were to call it, anything that means 26.2 miles run at one time will be daunting… but runners will continue to pound out the miles again and again.

Who is in training for NYC 2016?  What other races are you all working on?

Always,

C