Saturday, March 23, 2013

Was 'planning' in my job description?

'What is the plan for today?'

I think that is my new least-favorite-question-of-the-week. My friend Jess is here for a week. I'm not sure I warned him much as I loved traveling for the past few months, my focus has shifted drastically. The mountains have sunk in from all this snow this week, yet we just went up one day to board (yes, I frustrate myself being the slowest driver in the snow, even with my week-old all-weather tires). Last week my focus was on de-cluttering my apartment in prep for my houseguest and for my upcoming MOVE. This week my focus is on THE FARM. This is why I traveled, cramming in as much as I could before settling back down on a career that will consume me much more than any 9-5...but one that I'm feeling will be much more fulfilling.

So yes, this blog will most likely return to its farming theme...its roots, if you will. Just like the name of our farm: True Roots Farm. It was time-consuming to make a consensus for our team of 4, but I think we're all pretty proud of the name, and think it's solid enough to last for awhile! You can bookmark the website now, although it will still be a month before it's officially launched with our brand:

The farm is located in the heart of Wheat Ridge, the first neighborhood west of Denver. I'm refusing to call it a suburb because I will be moving there in 2 short weeks...and I refuse to believe that I'll be living anywhere besides a city or the country. It will be hard to say goodbye to my apartment of 2.5 years: the longest place I've lived since high school! The apartment has been perfect with its close proximity to everything: the city, city park, cheesman park, my church, the library, whole foods, the post office, my friends! Perhaps I won't miss the close proximity to the fire station and sirens...until my house catches on fire, or my car gets buried under a pile of snow again.

My travels have prepped me well for this transition though, as they taught me how to live with less, how to live with others (again), and how an apartment is just a place...home can be anywhere. Which makes me strangely thankful that my apartment still smells like that dang smelly Irish Spring boy makes it easier to leave if it's still cursed with that stench!

And I'm excited to move in with friends again! It's just a few blocks walk from the farm, and a decent 6 mile ride to my current neighborhood if I'm craving some summertime in the city. Did I mention our big backyard with a huge grill? We will have lots of bbqs this summer.

And that is my generic plan, if I were to make one. Design logos today, farm tomorrow, bbq this summer. Done. Enough planning already.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How was your trip? What was your favorite place?

Impossible to answer these questions. Perhaps that's why it has taken me two weeks to write...that, combined with jetlag (boo) and family ski trips (yeah!).

Since my last blog in Koh Phangan, Em headed home after a few days and Jess took her spot from then on. He rented a scooter, so needless to say the quiet lazy beach days were over...and I (first very much opposed, til my legs finally exhausted themselves on the 20% graded hills) hopped on the back of the scooter and we explored the island the rest of the days. I nearly got seasick on a jet ski, hiked my way up a narrow dry waterfall in flip-flops...and enjoyed a fantastic last day on the beach, breathed in the last of the warm summer night on the long scooter ride to the bungalow...silently saying goodbye to the journey.

I left Tuesday morning, nearly 48 hours before my arrival home. A .5 hour scooter ride, 2.5 hour ferry, 2 hour minibus, 5 hour wait in the airport (a very small airport, mind you), 1 hour flight to Bangkok, 1 hour airport transfer bus, 1 hour wait in the ticket line, .5 hour wait through security, 1 hour delay, 4 hour flight to Shang-hai, 2 hour security check then 6 hour layover to return back to the same airplane, 12 hour flight to LA, 1 hour layover, and 2 hour flight to HOME. Let's just say layovers on the way home are the worst, because at that point, the only thing on my mind was my cozy bed, and everything that wasn't my bed was getting in the way. My cranky self got hungry for specific food when the options were only processed convenience stores. Then when I was hangry again, I nearly drooled at a Burger King burger, then concluded I didn't have enough baht for the $8 burger (not including drink and fries). The indoor smoking rooms in Shang-hai airport must not have been properly sealed and my all-too-fancy doctor mask was not helping me much either. It took me a few of creepy stalkings to figure out how to dispense cold water from the fountains. Perhaps when I forget about my cranky attitude will I consider China for the bucket list. AND I'll stop. Wait, the food on the plane was a little sketch too...neon green desert, packaged radishes...and they've run out of wine after I received one round with an inch of wine...on a 12-hour flight? Ok now I'll really stop...

AMERICA! Alas! Crankiness is cured. My backpack and I wiz through customs. WELCOME HOME. Those words from customs get me every time! I walk to my terminal. There is a Starbucks directly after the security check. And everyone speaks English. And everyone is talking on their cell phones, probably about what happened on reality TV last night. I board my final plane of the trip, and my pilot greets me at the door. Everything is rainbows and butterflies at this point. I thought for a minute about questioning the smelly big dog that was on the plane a seat ahead and diagonal from me, but whatever, I was almost home!

And then there was my snowy little town. I ran out of the airport to say hello, guys behind me yelling remarks about my flip-flops. 40 degrees! Whatever! My heart's overflowing with warm fuzzies at this point! I hop on the bus...and at my stop, I practically skip home, 15kg is weightless now! I keep telling myself to expect the worst from my renters when I get home, so I can continue being pleasantly surprised. Nearly two weeks later now and I still can't get the silly boy smell out of my apartment. Men, take note. Irish spring does not equal manly mountain smell. Irish spring = YUCK. I may be used to hippie odor by now, but seriously. Yuck. Thankfully yesterday I spotted the culprit...a forlorn bar of soap behind a claw foot of my tub. Perhaps it was intentional to bring a sort of Irish freshness to the room...or to intentionally claw away at my senses. I have never scrubbed my apartment with so much cleaner and vinegar and cleaner and baking soda. Ironic, coming from lands of overflowing toilets where I was content in my flip-flops.

Jetlag was pretty bad the first couple days. I could stay up late (10/11pm), only to wake 4 hours later...WIDE awake! My older sister came to town the 2nd day...questioning why I was sleeping on the couch til noon then. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride like that! I was so excited to see my family again, even if it didn't show once I started dragging after every 3 hours. Conditions were great for skiing/boarding...a powder day followed with bluebird spring days. And delicious food (thanks Karen!) that my mouth was dreaming about in Asia.

Back to reality, family and friends will ask me exactly what I'd ask my traveling was my trip and what was my favorite place? Hopefully this blog has spelled out enough of my stories. I'm sure there are more that will surface with conversations. And perhaps you can decipher (even better than I) what my favorite place was. I can choose a favorite place in each country...each place was unique and beautiful in their own way. Like people. My favorite people are those who are in their element. Just being who they truly are. As much as I want these countries to be as well-off as America...I hope they don't lose their charm.