Personal

From Go-Go to No-Go

23631954_10209781017193232_898772676819301510_oBefore I tripped and broke my wrist I was constant go-go-go. After Peru I went back to work for a couple weeks and the day I landed back in Houston I hurried to take off on another flight to St. Louis to attend a wedding and begin a Northeast road-trip. My apartment was an expensive storage unit, I hadn’t been home to South Texas since Easter, and I never really took any sort of breather from traveling. Now, that lifestyle may sound exciting and for some, desiring. I constantly hear from others how lucky I am to live a life where I get to travel for and outside of my job.. Trust me, I know and I thank goodness everyday because travel is a main priority in my life. But I didn’t realize how it suddenly was the only priority in my life until I tripped on a- would you believe it- surprise suitcase.

Breaking my wrist hurt- obviously. However, the physical pain was manageable; it was the emotional struggle to adjust that was actually the most painful for me. You see, my life and my lifestyle is fueled by my want- my need– to travel, to keep moving, to explore further. I used to beg my parents to buy me maps, atlases, and National Geographic magazines every chance I could because in my mind, I was already somewhere else. I was already there (wherever there was). So for the past two and a half years of being a flight attendant I have been there many, many, many more times than I was here, in my own home, with my family, with my pets: Home. I know this is a part of growing up; you move away, you get busy, you take a break for the holidays, but I didn’t even spend time in my own apartment in Houston. I was just always gone.

Well, then I fell and instinctively tried to stop myself by placing out my arm. Here’s my most helpful tip to a fall- don’t do that. A couple of loud pops, a trip to the Urgent Care, and a cast later. I have officially been land stuck for six weeks. It doesn’t sound like much, but it has changed everything for me. I’ll briefly admit what the hardest parts have been: not being able to do my own hair, not being able to drive, not having public transportation/Ubers available in South Texas, having to ask for help with everything, and yes, not being able to travel like I used to. Now, instead of continuing to write about how this break was difficult, I’m going to write about how it is the best thing that could have happened. Because we all get it at this point: girl loves to travel, girl can’t travel, girl struggles to adjust, girl gets sad. But what I now focus on is so much sweeter and so much more positive.

I get to go to Church with my parents every Saturday at 4 o’clock where the Priest plays his country music and lets his dogs walk around during mass. I get to see Brianda for our traditional date of coffee/Wingstop and Target and we get to have serious conversations in person instead of just through text. I got the chance to celebrate my father’s birthday. I got to spend time in my own apartment where I finally put up the shelves that were sitting on my floor for weeks. I got to finally have a life in Houston for more than a day. And because I am a cat mom, I get the chance to actually be a cat mom again. Just today, which inspired me to take this post in this direction, I got to enjoy a delicious barbecue with my family in the chilly afternoon air as we talked about past family vacations and planned our next one. I got to witness a hummingbird hover nearby so close to me. I got to see my mom decorate the Christmas tree. There are so many truly beautiful moments that I have been fortunate to be apart of that I wouldn’t have been able to if it wasn’t for my broken wrist.

So yes, I could be grumpy about being hurt- I mean, rightfully so- it does hurt- but I can also be thankful that I now get to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, that I have a family that loves me, and that I have the resources to depend on during this time. I have to understand that the Universe intervened for some reason. Maybe something bad was going to happen to me, maybe the constant go-go-go was going to make me sick, maybe this is just the world saying that I needed to take a step back and reevaluate what’s truly important to me. Travel will be there for me when I recover, work will still be there for me, but what I blindly needed, was to be here. Here. 

From Go-Go to No-Go. As I continue to recover (I can finally type with both hands although painfully), I can almost be thankful for that surprise suitcase for giving me what I needed most in the world: the no-go for awhile.

But seriously, did the Universe have to intervene so painfully?!

See you soon, world.

-Mary Anna

Casty, aka Stumpy, aka Captain Hook- you will not be missed.

Free hands!

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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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