Halfway Around the World: Part 2

Fun Stuff to do in Chiang Mai

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Saturday Market in Chiang Mai has food stalls, clothing and handmade goods, along with temples

 

Chiang Mai is a beautiful mix of temples, people, parks, restaurants and everything a city has to offer. It’s easy to keep yourself busy just wandering around or scheduling sightseeing from sun up to sun down. But here are some of my favorites so far:

Massages! Thai massage is incredible and at 250฿ per hour, it’s a steal. Rough day of sight-seeing? Get a 1-hour foot rub for 200฿. Chipped a nail? Swing by a salon for a 150฿ manicure. I’ve had 4 services in 7 days.

Shopping! Negotiating is your best friend at the Thai markets. You can talk the price down

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You can buy wooden dicks, if that’s your thing

 

on anything from tuk tuk rides to food to clothing. The night markets are insane. Street after street filled with yummy treats and handmade goods. Thai pants are pretty much the most amazing things every made and I’ll probably continue wearing them in Texas when I get back. They run for about 100 Baht. Comfy, flowy clothes are all you need. No one cares. No one judges. Yup, it looks like a moo moo, but when it’s 97 degrees of 89% humidity, you’re lucky I’m wearing anything.

 

Food! There is food everywhere. For about 40 Baht you can get a full meal. But it’s hard to stop at cheap when there are kebobs, gyoza, shrimp, sushi… everything you ever imagined! But, OK, truth time. I got sick as hell on the food. It’s good, some of it. I can’t do the soupy, broth things. It’s hot as hell, why am I eating hot goop? It’s hard to eat in the heat and my stomach hasn’t agreed much with anything except smoothies and iced coffee and things I recognize like Pad Thai. About a week in I became so ill I couldn’t leave my hostel.

This is where wonderful friend-making comes into play. I met two British girls that were sharing my bunk – Harriet and Emily. Wonderful 20-year-olds traveling before university (that’s going to college for us Americans). They gave me the magic tip that changed my life. Eat McDonald’s. I’m not kidding. After 2 days of barely eating and a week of eating very, very little, I had McDonald’s delivered to the hostel. I was starving, I was already living in the bathroom, mine as well try. 1 cheeseburger, a 6-piece chicken nuggets and a small fry later and I was singing rock covers at North Gate.

Apparently protein deficiency  is a very real thing. They experienced it living on a vegetable-only diet in India and passed their wisdom onto me. Blogs will tell you that you’ll get sick. Travelers diarrhea is very common and it’s practically expected, but NO ONE says go have a Big Mac and you’ll be fine.

I also learned that eating and immediately needing a bathroom is very common for travelers. I met 2 other American travelers, Danielle and Sara, who taught me the term “lightening”. Basically, you’re like out and about and all the sudden it hits you like lightening and everyone is more than open about it. You can know someone for 4 minutes, man or woman, and they’re telling you they’ve pooped 4 times that day. It’s comical, gross, but also comical.

My advice: Bring Imodium, baby wipes and travel toilet paper whenever you leave your hotel.

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Drinking buddies! 

Drinking! Believe it or not, I’m not drinking a lot. However, I’ve been moderately intoxicated twice. The first time I got caught in a downpour at the Saturday Night Market and ducked into a bar patio with live reggae music. There I met 2 American guys traveling around Southeast Asia on a photoshoot. I believe they were around 24. Anyways, we shared stories, listened to the band and eventually the shots came out.

The second time was just last Friday, June 3. My hostel has proved to be very helpful in meeting people and a few guys befriended me. 2 of them even went to the movies with me earlier that day since I was still uneasy about being sick and didn’t want to push it. All under 25, a German, a Brit, and 2 Dutchman, went to the North Gate to see live music. I said I was going to stay for an hour. After closing it down, a few rounds and them teaching me about the toasties at 7-11 (on every corner), they went looking for weed.

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A Brit, German, me, 2 Dutchman in that order
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North Gate bands rocks out

Apparently everyone in Thailand sells pot. Another thing blogs don’t tell you. Tuk Tuk drivers are more than happy, along with hotel concierge and other respectable patrons to oblige tourists with a little grass. For the record, I’m a total pansy and basically ran away because Thai jail scares the shit out of me. This probably played into the nickname they gave me, mom.

Mom also comes from my ability to herd twenty-somethings into day excursions and the fact that I’m in my, gasp!, 30s.

I’m elderly in a sea of college students and freshly graduated gap-year’ers. But more of that later. Let’s just say, I’m ok with it and my new friends don’t seem too put off by it.

So far, life is good in Chiang Mai. I love the laid back attitudes, how easy it is to make friends and the ability to walk around the city pretty effortlessly. However there are some hassles when it comes to getting out of town. Excursions can be very expensive, time consuming and oftentimes they aren’t exactly what you want. So, Saturday I talked my new friends into an economical field trip to Doi Inthanon.

But that’s for my next post.

How I decided to Take a Backpacking Trip

Like dieting, there’s no magic pill to finding your best life.

I didn’t wake up and book a ticket to Thailand. For months I was considering the possibility of taking a little “meternity leave” (omg, hello controversy!). At the end of the day, what made the dream become reality was preparation and timing.

I started thinking about and researching this journey well before certain things happened. I knew 2 things: Southeast Asia is a well documented and safer destination for budget travelers and I am a budget traveler looking for a safe destination. Unhappy in my job, I started planning to resign my current role as a contract copywriter at the end of summer. That would give me plenty of time to save and prep. But then two of my best friends announced their wedding reception would be held in mid-September [Congrats, Maq and Atara!]. I obviously can’t miss that. Time to look for a new plan.

This was just dumb luck, but the plan found me. I was given a 30-day notice that I would be out of a job April 22. The stars were starting to align. I hadn’t really started saving for this specific reason, however I had started putting money away for a downpayment on a house. I also have consistent freelance work and a great network of people to reach out to for side gigs.

At first it all seemed like a bad idea. I applied to jobs, went to networking events and submitted the appropriate paperwork to collect unemployment. I half-heartedly interviewed and sent the most basic cover letters known to man. It was embarrassing. Then I made the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

I hired a Life Coach, appropriately named Hope. It’s a bit hard to admit, it almost feels like something that shouldn’t be talked about, like mental health, but she helped clarify so many things in my life. I was feeling so lost. I woke up feeling defeated every day. It showed in my relationships, work and daily interactions. I stopped doing things I loved and didn’t feel like myself. I was on autopilot and hated it.

Hope asked me hard questions, ones I’ve avoided answering or even considering. She gave me homework that consisted of a lot of self-reflection and writing for clarification. She gave me good advice about toxic behaviors. She wasn’t judgmental or quick to tell me what’s right or wrong. She just acted as a guide, a coach. I realized I beat myself up for a lot of things that are completely out of my control.

Ever get depressed looking at Facebook? Yup, so does everyone else. it’s a part of our lives now and it has meaningful aspects. I like Facebook. But I couldn’t help seeing engagements, marriages, babies, new homes, promotions, etc, and thinking what am I doing wrong, why am I failing? These negative, comparative, counter-productive thoughts are so useless. I don’t even want a baby. I think they resemble anchors. And I haven’t seriously wanted to marry any man I’ve been with. And when it came down to it, why the hell would I buy a house? For my shoes? Hope gave me the courage that allowed me to be ok with not wanting those things right now. Accepting that it’s not right for my life… yet.

Finding my best life was going to have to start by admitting that I’ve been on a mechanical trajectory. What do I want? Who should go along for the ride? I started expelling toxic people that made me sad or didn’t lift me up. I considered alternative employment opportunities. I forgave people that hurt me but wanted to make it right again. I started feeling free and undocked myself from the thoughts that I had to settle down and climb a ladder to “fit in” or be happy.

OK, The Good Stuff.

I collected one unemployment check and then decided the trip was the best thing for me, not job hunting. I wanted to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and then look for a new job, probably in a new field, with fresh eyes and a revitalized outlook on life. I found a sublet for my apartment (saving thousands of dollars over 3 months). I paid off bills or auto paid anything that needed to be set before I left. I used my Delta Skymiles American Express miles (40,000 miles + $129 in taxes and fees) for my ticket to Chiang Mai. My miles will also cover my return ticket, but it is yet to be booked. I researched costs and asked those with more experience (Jordan Trigilio) to give me a basic rundown.

Based on an estimated $100 per week budget, things were looking good. I had enough cash to last me 12-budgeted weeks traveling, comfortably. (As an example, I’m staying at Mercy Hostel in Chiang Rai for $6/night) Next, I approached my freelance bosses and asked if they’d be cool with me taking my work on the road. They supported it and we changed our payments from physical checks to Paypal. Even more comfort!

Things were taking shape. I’ll admit getting to Thailand has been more expensive than I imagined. Buying travel goods for this type of trip, vaccines, extended Visa…upfront costs have been rough. [I’ll provide that info in a video to come this weekend once I can lay out an expense list.] But it’s all worth it.

So now you know WHY and HOW I’m taking this trip. Next step is actually packing and leaving. I can’t wait to experience all the world has to offer. Yes, I’m nervous and anxious and scared. But I’m starting to understand that’s actually my happy place. Taking on adventure and risk is my comfort zone. The unknown is my version of settling down. One day I’ll buy a house and throw a few people I love in it. But I’m ok being on my own right now and taking this journey solo.

Follow along with me as I make my way from Norther Thailand to Bali, Indonesia. I leave May 24! (Instgram: jennyfitz21 Twitter: JennyFitzCopy)

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Happy 1-Year Anniversary, Austin

Howdy, y'all!
Howdy, y’all!

I’ve imagined this moment for over 360 days. The day I get to reflect back on a year of being the “newbie” in every social situation, at every work function, in every aspect of my life. It’s amazing what can change in a year. The day I get to answer the questions this blog begged to ask: Could I find a life more liberated? Was it possible to sever the city? Did I make the right choice in leaving behind the people and places I knew?

Hell yes I could. Hell yes it was. Hell yes I did.

Sure, I miss the shit out of my friends and family. I feel lonely some days and wish I could grab a drink with anyone, literally anyone that has known me for more than a few months. For the first 6 months I felt like every day was an introduction. “I’m Jenny, I’m a Jersey girl, moved here from NYC in March, I’m a copywriter, I love dogs.” It was a similar version of this spiel every. single. day. Until it wasn’t.

Joseph and I on New Years Eve
Joseph and I on New Years Eve

After a while I was watching The Walking Dead on Sunday nights with my friend Joseph, attending yoga with girlfriends and finding the best pizza joints with Jordan. I was invited to happy hours and introduced as “my friend” rather than “my co-worker.” Even getting a friend request on Facebook made me feel like I was finally forming an Austin family. And I met Geoff.

Geoff's Tinder Picture
Right Swipe

God bless, Tinder. Early on, I decided Tinder would be a good option to date as well as form some semblance of a social life since I didn’t know anyone. I made my friendship intentions clear and met up with guys to play tennis, drink craft beer, eat at trendy food trucks and explore Austin without feeling like an outsider—I mean, everyone feels like an outsider when dating, right? Until I met Geoff.

31-year-old Geoff is pure Texan. Military vet, gun collector, hunter, deer heads on the wall kinda guy. He asked me if I knew my Texas history on our first date. He also wore running sneakers with light-wash jeans. I wasn’t in the NYC dating scene anymore. I know what you’re thinking (I thought it, too), but what got me were his grey-blue eyes and pool-deep dimples. Every time he smiled I forgot about his terrible fashion sense.

After three weeks of dating he took me to his mom’s ranch to meet his family and some wild animals that apparently only exist on random Texas ranches – Oryx. Look them up. Zebra looking things that eat corn meal and hump like bunnies. Anyways, Geoff didn’t just teach me about ranching. I’ll skip the cheesy stuff, but he taught me a lot about communication and listening and… well, cheesy stuff. After some ups and downs, we seemed to find our rhythm and I’m happier in the relationship I’m in than I’ve ever been before. We’ve been together for 8 months (I don’t count November, November was bad).

Geoff and I on Valentine's Day at Lake Travis
  Geoff and I on Valentine’s Day at Lake Travis
Something about a man in a uniform.
There’s something about a man in a uniform.

What else?

My career has taken a major step. I wasn’t looking for a new gig. I was happily copywriting at Bulldog, loved my co-workers, was finally starting to feel stable, and I didn’t even need Google Maps to get to work anymore. That’s when I met Raechel and she had an opportunity available to manage a copy team at another company. I wasn’t sure about the job, but I interviewed and was offered a position in late September.

Tiff's Treats delivered to my office today from Raechel.
Tiff’s Treats delivered to my office today from Raechel.

Not only did I end up with a great job as an Associate Copy Director, but I also made a new friend that loved to drink wine, go out to dinner and bullshit about boys and dating just as much as I did. Dreams do come true!

I loved my new role and just as I started settling in and feeling less “introduction-y” I was given the chance to manage another department’s copy team. Currently, I manage 9 incredibly talented copywriters and a supportive, motivational creative director manages me. I work alongside people who care about their work and it inspires me to work harder, learn more and WANT to go to work in the morning.

Not enough?

I cook more healthy meals. I enjoy year-round outdoor activities like a recent hike on Valentine’s Day, trail runs and I joined a women’s competitive tennis league. Just general warmer temps keep me active and happy. I’ve lost 9 pounds and 3.8% body fat (that I know of) since 2014. My friends ask me to go kayaking instead of all you can drink brunch. My friends also ask me to go to all you can drink brunch, but having options is nice. I earn more money and pay fewer taxes. I am appreciated at work instead of beaten down and insulted. My boyfriend supports me, his ambitions are infectious and he makes me want to be a better, stronger person.

Kayaking with mom & Ryan
Kayaking with mom & Ryan on Town Lake for my 30th

I used to wonder if I would ever go back and now I curse myself for not leaving sooner. I outstayed my welcome and drove myself crazy trying to make something work that didn’t. Someone once said to me, some people can’t hack NYC and I took it insanely personally. It felt like a low blow and I wondered if that was the case. Had NYC chewed me up and spit me out?

Maybe. But screw NYC, and fuck anyone who’s so quick to judge. By that thinking, anytime anyone moved it was because they were forced out. I needed room to grow and that is what I got. I’ve learned more about myself in the last year than years combined “hacking it” in a city full of opportunities that either didn’t present themselves or I didn’t take. Either way, did I make the right choice in leaving behind the people and places I knew? I didn’t leave them behind.

The people that mattered a year ago, still matter. I work to keep friendships strong long distance.

A visit to NYC  during Christmas
Visit to NYC for Christmas: Atara, Ryan, Maq, Mara

I can’t take a bus to Maryland to see my sister anymore, but when I do see her, it’s all the more exciting and she’s a FaceTime, gchat and text away. Same with the rest of the world, go technology! St. Elmo’s Fire may never have a group trip again, but I took those memories with me.

Can't wait to share Andrea & Colm's wedding in Nov
Can’t wait to share Andrea & Colm’s wedding in Nov

And I am happy that my friends are settling into coupledom, getting married to people that love them, and it’s only a plane ride away to celebrate that.

And a plus for them is a vacation home in Austin whenever anyone wants to escape the northeast.

I have taken my experience from NYC into every aspect of my Austin life. I didn’t leave anythingmebehind except the negativity that used to plague me. That’s what I’ve learned over all else. It takes work, risk and trusting your gut to be happy, you can move mountains when you’re happy. I am so happy sometimes it doesn’t seem real. If this bubble bursts, I’m just glad that I have on record that once upon a time, I not only believed in the idea that “not all those who wander are lost”, but actually got to live it.

Shakes on a Plane

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It has been an interesting journey since I left New York January 31. I’ve said goodbye to friends and lovers, sold off sentimental and material possessions, donated countless bags of clothes/purses/shoes and moved home to New Jersey. While the process has been both cleansing and rewarding, it hasn’t been without nerves.

I always feel nervousness and anxiety in my belly, and today, 38,000 feet in the air, I sort of want to throw up. As I look at Virgin America’s seat back map I can’t help but feel excited and anxious at the same time. My mom drove me to the airport (third time in 1 week, she’s a good mom), and when I said goodbye, mentally I knew I wasn’t coming back for a while and got a tad teary, but it wasn’t real yet. I don’t feel like I’m actually making the move.

Maybe it’s because there are other nervous factors working against me at the moment. For one thing, I’m not flying to Austin quite yet. I’m on my way to Los Angeles. Early February, I booked a one-way flight to see an old college friend of mine, let’s call him Thespian. We had a brief PG-13 romantic affair when I was about 20, and then he moved to L.A. to pursue acting. We’ve kept in contact throughout the years, loosely planning trips across the U.S., but with relationships, finances, etc., it just never worked out. Until now.

Unemployment helps open doors (doesn’t that seem backward?). And I’m not sure this door should be open. It just happened. While I was figuring out possible “next steps” my older brother offered me the opportunity to go to San Diego to live with him, his wife and my niece, look for work, chill out. So, naturally when I told Thespian he was like, cool, swing by and I’ll show you the sights before you head south. Before I knew it, plane ticket booked, TripAdvisor loaded.

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So, for a couple of weeks we have been planning and scheduling and I was super duper excited, regardless of the outcome, until I met this guy John at the airport. And yes, I seriously always meet people at the airport and I have a theory about it. Strangers don’t care what you think about them, they just like someone to talk to before they fly off never to be seen again. So, there’s John, on his third bloody Mary, second Jack and coke, and he says, I’m fucking my boss’s daughter and she’s married.*

Not one to judge, I just said, sounds like she’s the one that can’t say anything and you’re in the clear. He laughed and agreed and asked me where I was jetting. I told him my little situation and now I want to throw up. Not because there’s anything wrong with Thespian, I’m still excited to see my old friend. But more so that telling this complete stranger that I left my home, will eventually move to Austin, had no apartment, no start date, no where to live for a while and I was staying with a man I hadn’t seen in over 10 years…hearing the words leave my mouth—did that ever happen to you? You just hear it leave your mouth? I just had to laugh and I heard my sister’s words in my head, only you, Bean.

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I’m 535 miles away from LAX. I’m looking out the window at the mountains somewhere over Utah. My palms are sweating and while I’m not regretting ANY of the decisions I’ve made, I’m just realizing this journey didn’t end with an offer. It’s really only taking off.

 

*I don’t condone this, I’m glad it’s not my life.

In the Home Stretch

Hello! Quick post because I’m utterly exhausted. Yesterday was a lot of work. Moved stuff, started to paint as far as I could reach, packed and gave away free stuff. If you’re trying to unload items you don’t want, try Freecycle
People will come to you, pick up stuff, leave and hopefully not hurt you. So far, so good!
Today, N came over with bagels and coffee. I think more as a peace offering than a way to kick start a fun day of painting. He was supposed to help Tuesday but “something came up” and yada yada. I’m pretty sure home improvement projects have been tearing otherwise happy “couples” apart since the dawn of time. I told Mara today was a success because no one was murdered in the process of turning walls back into that disgusting off-white apartments are always colored.
And, thank you N for all the help. I couldn’t have done it without your 6’3″ stature (no ladder).
Austin has postponed a decision again on next moves so I remain in limbo. Limbo isn’t that bad. I hear limbo is cooking a fabulous welcome home dinner Friday night.
And on that note, gotta sell my goods to some fine folks who should be here shortly and then off to dinner with a few buds. Life is good.

Day 16 – Celebrating Saturday

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Westport 2012: The induction of Celebrate Saturday

You know that song Closing Time by Semisonic? I think it was the tear-jerker they played during the season finale of Seinfeld. [Aging myself.] Well, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The lyrics are so poignant at this time in my life, especially today. Tonight is my going away party. Mara took the lead in planning it and finding the location. A private room at a bar called, Swift. (If it sucks, this is all on you, M.) So, in the song, when they sing “I hope you have found a friend,” I have. I have found many dear friends in this great city. And tonight, when they come out of the woodwork and we talk about days gone by, old jobs, bad bosses, good memories, catty fights of the past and our upcoming plans, I will know Semisonic is right, every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

While I have 6 days left before I am considered illegally squatting, that time will be spent continuing to purge, painting walls back to white, crossing t’s and dotting i’s–not holding onto the past. I’m looking forward to the future. I’m not chasing a dream, I’m living one. And every day I am grateful for the people who have given me the courage to not know what’s next. Having a supportive network made up of friends and family is the difference between success and failure. And I attribute every gain in my life to them.

It’s 2, I should probably do something with the day other than wallow in nostalgia. With friends coming in from my hometown, maybe washing some dishes and vacuuming is in order. I sold my couch today, so that’s something. Oh, and I also exchanged my purchase from yesterday for a smaller size, thank you very much! However, I guess I forgot people have eyes because I left the house looking like something out of The Walking Dead. I’m just excited for tonight and I want it here already! I want to celebrate Saturday. And for the record, I know who I want to take me home.

Day 10 – Lazy Sunday

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The Broncos and Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. I’m not really that interested, but I feel like I should know who is playing in Super Bowl 48, it is in my backyard after all. (Side note: did anyone else think it was weird when Sherman freaked out during Erin Andrew’s interview at the end of the game? See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vyvvWDyuYM) I can imagine how Airbnb must be blowing up with Jersian’s and NY’ers alike renting out spare rooms and even couches. I’ve used the site many times to rent out my apartment while away, and it’s pure genius. Creates an income for strapped people like myself, and gives out-of-towners a more affordable way to enjoy this great city.

Speaking of this great city, meeting random people at any hour of any day is one of the reasons I will miss this place. Last night was a success, and I had a great time over-carbing with my girlfriends, Andrea and Dona. After a couple of bottles of delicious Spanish wine, I believe it’s called Amor (a red similar to pinot noir); we headed out on the town.

The three of us ended up meeting a group of guys, old friends from Staten Island and joining them at Horseshoe Bar. I think this is the same bar they filmed a lot of scenes from Rescue Me starring Denis Leary. Anyways, in this group was an incredible man that I endearingly saved in my phone as “Italian John.”

John told me a story I won’t soon forget. A couple of years ago, he was in a swimming accident that rendered him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. As a good-looking, athletic 20-something, one may think he’d become depressed, feel robbed of a life he didn’t get to live, but he’s nothing like that. He’s optimistic, funny, engaging and full of spirit. It’s people like him, and stories like his that make me believe anything is possible with the right attitude and open mind.

After last night, I did some thinking, here are my Top 5 reasons I will miss and not miss NYC:

Miss List

  1. Opportunity to meet a different person, every day at any time
  2. Getting literally anything you want delivered, day or night
  3. Living alone, I’ll probably have to take a break from that for a while
  4. The amazing friendships I’ve developed
  5. Changing NYC seasons, in between cold-as-hell and hot-as-shit is perfection

 Not-miss List

  1. Commuting, there’s nothing like being stuffed into a subway train everyday
  2. Caught in the pouring rain, freezing cold, sweltering heat, hail, winds, etc
  3. The prices of EVERYTHING
  4. Lines everywhere. From bars to bathrooms to getting through revolving doors
  5. Carrying tons of stuff, groceries, laundry, gym bag, laptop bag, NO CAR

 

 

 

Day 8 – Mind. Blown.

I could see myself here.
I could see myself here.

There is so much going through my mind right now. I’m blown away by the response of my first week into blogging. It’s not just the stats and numbers; it’s the calls, texts and emails I have received from people I haven’t heard from in ages. People who are sharing their stories with me, giving me advice, offering to pass my blog to their friends and family…amazing!

And the comments. I LOVE the comments. It sounds silly, but for every new one I feel like a little piggy bank, just collecting more and more knowledge. FEED ME. And before I continue, my West Virginia University Communication’s Professor @johngcole has been an unimaginable help. If you are reading this because of him, thanks for joining.

OK, can we talk about being a single lady for a minute? It’s not a big deal anymore. 24 or 44, no one really cares whether you sleep alone. If you’ve been following, you know I’ve had a string of relationships (and really that’s just the tip of the iceberg). They haven’t worked; hence I will check the ‘single’ box on my tax return this year. I don’t care. I love being single. Being attached really freaks me out.

Being attached means something I’m not ready for. I’m young, my tits and ass are still in the right places and my desire to have children is a thought so far in the future that I bet they will have flying cars by the time I’m popping one out. Or growing one in a box. I always imagined that I wouldn’t have to do it the old-fashioned way. Childbirth is terrifying.

But I’m off track. The reason I bring it up is because I feel like I can still be selective when it comes to the dating scene. I’m not desperate and I’m so wrapped up in my big transition that dating new dudes is pretty far from my mind. Last night I am out with Mark and Brit (see pic below) and this guy comes over to me and chats me up. That’s well and good, until I politely decline his invitation to dinner. “Are you a lesbian?” WHAT?! Yes, I’m a fucking lesbian and that’s the ONLY reasonable explanation as to why I don’t want to spend an evening with your mouth breathing, eye-raping, cheap whiskey-smelling self. You’ve got me. Mind. Blown.

Brit's on the left
Brit’s on the left

In more important news: Today I put a $110 check in the mail, along with a new passport picture and my old passport for renewal. It came to my attention that it expires May 2014, and that just isn’t gonna work for me. Once my new passport arrives I can apply for the Work/Holiday Visa in Australia. I’m going for it. Because of your advice, some research and the fact is, yes, this may be my LAST chance to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

Freedom Pass
Freedom Pass

Last night I also had a second interview via Skype for an agency in Austin. They’ve requested references. This is a good sign. I’m just not sure I’m ready yet. I should be jumping for joy, and I am excited, but I’m also seeing things from another angle now. 14 days left in NYC. Do I go after the full-time job with security and benefits or do I follow the “embarrassment of riches” in choices I have? Richard Branson said, Screw it, Let’s do it! But he owns an island.

One more thing. I’m having dinner with N tonight. He’s introducing me to a buddy of his that owns a couple bars in San Diego, in case I go out there. Weird fact about Irish people in America. They all know each other and they all own bars [insert stereotype here]. I’m actually nervous. When I think about leaving him I get anxious. N is N and I’m not sure a country or an ocean can change that.