Personal, Writing

A Personal Post

I have always aimed to be a truthful writer. For the most part, I’m a pretty open book in general. So lately I have been forced to face some hard, true facts about myself and where I am in life currently. As much as I enjoy this blog being focused on travel and my adventures, (un)fortunately that isn’t all my life is. So below is probably one of the most personal posts I have ever written. I have opened up my heart to you, including my fears and including the heartache.

Mainly, I have finally opened up my heart to myself again- it was about time.

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My mother has always said that I am too trusting for my own good.

-Hell yes, I’ll do that spontaneous thing with you even though I don’t know you well (or at all).

-I would love to visit you, even though we only met briefly that one time.

-Why, yes, let me tell you my life story because I trust you already.

I still proudly claim to be as (smartly) trusting of others because I want to believe in the good of the world so incredibly badly. So then why is it that suddenly I assume the worst out of others before I see the good?

It is an overly-used, still truthful, thing to say that you “have trust issues now” because of that one thing, or that thing, or all those things accumulated over years of learning, being disappointed, and then relearning. It only takes one moment for doubt to take hold of your nerves secretly, like a hidden bomb waiting to ignite. Then suddenly, it happens. In your car, at your home, or even among a crowd- anytime, anyplace. It hits you with the force of a bullet train that you could not have seen coming.

For me, it happened after watching the newest Spider-man (seriously, another one?!) by myself as I came home to an empty apartment. I never believed in baggage until I was left alone to carry it. Why, suddenly, was every single bad experience streaming into my head? Why now? I had just been fine an hour ago. But like I said, that bullet train charges ahead on its own time out of nowhere.

So what do you do?

You face it head on, of course.

I had a vision in my head for over a year. It was a magnificent, attainable vision of how I pictured my life to be one day. Then it became only a dream. Then it disappeared with the speed of that train that just hit me.

Breakups aren’t easy- we all know that. And as I became consumed with work travels, a constant flood of questions from co-workers, and the process of moving on, that secret time bomb was still awaiting me- I just didn’t know it.

So it was in the process of moving on that I was forced to face my most recent truth: that I am still hurt and because of that I am wholly afraid of someone else hurting me. So my biggest fear right now is this: I am afraid of you disappearing on me. I am afraid of feeling dispensable again. I am afraid of someone coming into my life, filling my world with beauty, and then disappearing without any word or trace. People use the term “ghosting” nowadays. I call it disappearing.

So I have admitted my biggest fear and insecurity to the world. Because as I’ve said, at the root of it, I am a trusting person. I want to see the good in the world again, in you, in me. On top of that, I am a full-pledged romantic. I want to go in a hot air balloon with the love of my life. I want to see the northern lights under those globe hotels in Finland. Travel and romance are a package deal for me.

None of that is possible until I conquer today’s struggle. Trusting again. Until I do, that ugly doubt that hides behind my heart will always control me. Because suddenly, this world is not as vivid as it used to be when my heart was whole and my trust was intact. I am afraid of you hurting me more than my heart can take.

I write this, partly selfishly, as a way to finally get these emotions I have been hiding out. Though as easily as I could have posted this privately, for you dear reader, not to see, another reason is because I have come to a realization I wanted to address. That realization is that we need to be kind to one another. I’m speaking to myself especially. Heartache has made me unkind- bitter towards the world’s beauty and your own. I have not seen you for the kind person I know that you are but as someone that I am afraid you can be. So as we meet that person that seems to have their life in order, or see another “perfect” Instagram profile, remember, there is a lot more that we are not witnessing. We don’t see if there is doubt in their chest or fear in their heart. So I wanted to share that with you because it’s the truth and it is real. Finally, the last partial reasoning behind writing this is because I know others may be struggling, too, and I want them to know that it is okay to speak (or write) about it, whenever they are ready.

As I face another work trip ahead of me and as I work on having a (kind of) normal life, I wanted to admit to myself my biggest current weakness because once you admit it to yourself, no one can use it against you. Once you admit it to yourself, you can only choose to grow from it, or let it consume you. So I am choosing growth. I know the process of growing trust back is not an easy one. It starts within myself. I will have to relearn how to trust the person I am and want to be, trust that the universe knows what it is doing, and finally trust that these moments that cause heartache are only moments that lead to growth, too.

The one thing I can say, however, is that through these self-igniting moments is when you truly discover what you will accept and what you won’t. I know now what I want and what I refuse to accept out of others and life. There is an enlightening power in finally discovering that.

So what happens now?

Truthfully, I’m not sure.

I will work on relearning how to live courageously and wholeheartedly again. And then, I guess we’ll see.

Until next time.

-Mary Anna

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Travel

Taormina, Italy

Hello, all!

When fellow flight attendant and friend Mary-Kate told me I was going to need water shoes to get into the water I thought she was kidding. Alas, I quickly became thankful that I purchased a pair of awesome see-through booties (check them out at the bottom of this post!) when I witnessed how extremely rocky the beach is in Taormina. If you are planning on visiting soon, heads up! Still, I am content with every beach I get to touch down on. There was a moment when I was floating on my back led by the rhythm of the waves as I watched birds fly high above me. It was serene and everything I needed it to be. Below are tons of photos of this quick layover destination! I’m excited to continue exploring Italy’s coasts. This day was remarkable, from the perfectly sunny weather to snagging beach recliners right in front of the water, I wouldn’t change a thing about it! Continue reading

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Personal, Travel

Relearning How to Live: Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

A calm, artistic haven that put me on a new, old path.

I wrote on Instagram that this wasn’t just another trip away from work for me. I could have written this right after arriving home from Tulum, but for me, it was necessary to reflect on the entirety of the adventure instead of just choosing select moments to highlight.

Before booking this trip with my dear roommate Analeise, my relationship fell apart. It was a very, very frustrating, confusing time (as many breakups are). How can you go from planning a life with someone one second to suddenly being forced to reinvent yourself as a single person? That was the overall problem I discovered about myself in Tulum.

I spent roughly a year and a half of working for my relationship. Commuting back and forth to Tampa, fighting to communicate through different, always changing, time zones, and learning how to be flexible with not only my flying schedule but his military one. It was worth it. Until it wasn’t anymore (it still was for me though). My point of all this is, there was my problem. I claimed to know who I was while bending myself over backwards being a partner for someone that needed much more than I could provide that I believe I lost myself in the process. I wasn’t enjoying the process of travel like I used to. I craved stability because I was in love with someone stable. Don’t get me wrong, I do know I love being a partner to someone. I like being the supportive, loving girlfriend and best friend. Do I love it more than I do a wandering life? Do I have to choose one or the other? (I’m writing something on these questions specifically right now.) Tulum introduced (and reintroduced) me to the path that will help me discover the answers I was and am searching for.

Months of constant, honestly sickening worry, anxiety, and fear washed away as I said, “¡Si, vamos!” to a tan man holding a sign for a snorkel excursion after lunch on the beach after biking to the Mayan ruins after sleeping in a bungalow with a big net and no air conditioning (hello, glamping!). The moment I jumped in I was greeted by the most beautiful sea turtle I could have ever imagined (and my first to see free out in the ocean)! The universe listened to my prayer! It was showing me what I needed to see- what I needed to hear. This is where you are supposed to be. In the water, snorkel suctioned onto my face, I witnessed sting rays circling below me. I laughed wildly with our guide that would push me, pull me, grunt and squeal as he pointed to another magnificent creature and to another and another.

That was my reintroduction into this path I am currently living. Whatever the universe brings, be it a new destination, a new love, a new passion, Tulum brought me the joy of embracing it.

“¡Si, vamos!” DCIM100GOPROG0351371.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So now the highlights: Continue reading

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Writing

Writings I’ve Never Posted 

Howdy all!

Another view from up above. Despite my neighbors bare feet in my peripheral, I feel more connected to the Heavens today. Maybe it’s an omen of something beautiful that is about to occur. Maybe it’s because I have spent a lot of time thinking about the Universe and trying to truly understand it. Maybe it is due to major life changes that have occurred, with and without my decision. All I know is that today is the first day in a long time that I am particularly hopeful. I just wanted to share that with you.

As well as I am finally confident enough to share with you some writings I’ve had in my notes for a very long time. Obviously being in the sky makes me feel a certain way.

How does it make you feel? Let me know!

-Mary A.

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I watch a transparent, hazy sheet of thin clouds slowly cover itself over the sleeping town below. They can’t see us, as we are momentarily masked by the darkness of night and solitude. Suddenly our divider is lifted just enough, the evening sky hazy but able to form a contact. I wonder if anyone is looking up, laying perfectly still in silence, on a trampoline in the front yard as I did growing up, watching the stars shift and the sky change as the universe and its people collide. I see the entire town, lit up brilliantly, lights shimmering here and there, from the window of a 747. They can see us again, if only they look up at our blinking wings of souls and living, breathing beings. We are simultaneously moving, always connected, with the sky and its people below.

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Where the stars guide me

I am minuscule and important as I look out to the stars from 30,000 ft in the air. If I focus I can almost see the enormity of the galaxy. I can picture every ball of gas burning brightly as they make this one whole, brilliant moment. The light lit towns below me are partially covered in a thin veil of clouds. I can almost feel the mist on my skin. And in the areas where it is a deep darkness and I question how below this metal tube in the sky it really is, I can sense the solitude and fulfillment of being covered by the mass of question and of life.

I am both minuscule and important in this world. I feel it all so strongly as the night sky moves with me. As the North Star guided the explorers, I am directed past lively cities, sleepy towns, and everything in between. I am just a small girl but up here, I am everything the stars and galaxies want me to be.

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I was watching the scarlet sun burn its way over the horizon, turning the distant sky layers of peach and gold over the ivory shimmering water. I couldn’t help but think to myself that in this world, if ever it came to dust, if all mankind had stolen life from another and the earth was barren of civilization as we knew it, the dust would settle and the horizon would still burn strongly and brilliantly, fiercely making its way towards a new day and a new dawn. We just wouldn’t be around to see it, but we know, it would still be beautiful.

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Travel

Year 23

Howdy, all!

Another year of my life has come and gone and I am officially 24 years and one day old. As difficult as these past couple of months have been, the overall year has been an amazing one. My second year of being an international flight attendant, I checked off several bucket list items, and I am closer to realizing what I want to do in my life. 24 will be the year of personal growth, career maturity, and creative direction. I am committed to putting my health first, to continue writing, and to remember why I started traveling in the first place. So below is my list of some year 23 highlights. As monumental as these moments are, there were many more that were not photographed: reunited family hugs, cozy days with Luca, and uplifting afternoons with dear friends to name a few (plus an awesome cat cafe in Tokyo). And as with every year of life that I am fortunate enough to have, I remember my sweet Grandma, who I was lucky to share a birthday with. She would have been 84 years and one day old and I won’t ever stop missing her.img_5109

Cheers to another year of breathing in life and soaking in sunshine. To growth. To living courageously and wholeheartedly always. Continue reading

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Writing

Thinking About Home

I have been facing a deep struggle lately. I spend my life in a metal tube in the sky. Often I cannot differentiate my days as they begin to blur together after the third hotel room. All Hilton, DoubleTrees, Marriotts look the exact same. I text the ones I love, but it isn’t at all the same as a physical touch. I miss coming home to a house that feels like an actual home. 

So I’ve been thinking about that word a lot lately. What it means to me to have a home. Well, I’m going to share it with you and hopefully afterward, I can begin to visualize it again into my future.

I have many roots in many grounds around the world. I am spread out amongst beaches, scattered along wide, open Texas roads, emotionally stamped onto a special person. Home is a Texas sunset, brilliant and vivid. It is the distinct salty air of South Padre Island across from the Tiki, my favorite childhood vacationing condominium. It is listening to country music at Saturday mass with my family while Father Roy speaks about his “dear ol’ boat”. It is having home made chocolate cake in the kitchen because mom knows how much I love it. It is being sticky and sweaty because humidity hugs me like an old friend. Home is deep conversations with Rey and Brianda that help me feel better about life. It is my home town that I fought so hard to leave and miss every day that I’m away.

It is in every destination that I allow myself to feel something in. It is in the Green Grotto in Capri that I swam in freezing water through. It is in Paris, with rosy cheeks and sore ankles because I wore the wrong shoes once again. It is in hostels where my friends and I felt alive (and poor). It is in Ireland along the windy cliffs that introduced me to international travel. In Seattle because I wanted to fit in with its hip-photo-loving vibe for so long. It is in every cup of café américain sans sucré that I ordered in Caen. In so many other beautiful, memorable destinations that I have gotten to go to, with this flight attendant life and outside of it. But how can I even explain what home feels so strongly like to me right now, as I write this on another airplane?

It is warmth. It is a constant, so satisfying warmth that is created through the perfect long awaited moment. It is everything I feel the moment distance is over. It is never ending laughter because in reality, we’re both idiots. It is being on that airplane with you. It is every embrace, every goodnight kiss, every “I love you, too.”

Home isn’t just one place for me. It may not be for you either. My boards are built along vast valleys, underneath star-filled skies, amongst the waves, and on top of mountains. They are secured by unknowing kind strangers, by those that know and love me, and by my past selves. I will live in these homes for the rest of my life. Right now, I am looking forward to going home. 

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Travel

Capri, Italy 

 


Finally an Italy layover! After almost two years of being an international flight attendant, I finally got to experience a Naples layover. I only have a couple of “work” bucket list items to check off and visiting the island of Capri was definitely number one!

Josh, Sarah Bob, and I woke up early to catch the hour long ferry to Capri. There we had one mission, to get a private boat and tour around the island. This proved easy enough and in no time we were boarded up and introduced to our guide, Marco, the 22-year-old from Sorrento. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing as we set off on our tour. It felt like I was living in a movie- how could this be my life? Continue reading

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