New York City 2014
New York, North America, Oregon, Roundups, Washington

Month in Review: August 2014

As my last full month in the States before I head south to Nicaragua, it’s no surprise that August was a little bit f*ck!ng nuts.

I had (and still have) an enormous amount of things on my to-do list and at times it felt completely overwhelming and paralyzing, but I’ve managed to get through the month with most of my hair and small remnants of fingernails.

I’ve been all over the place emotionally, ready for this new chapter in my life but more uncertain than ever about where it will all lead.

As I count down these last days stateside (12 to be exact!) I’m reminded just how quickly everything can change and grateful that I’ve learned to embrace the impermanent, as it seems to be the cornerstone of my life at the moment (oh, the irony).

Here’s a look at some of the moments that make up the beautiful mess that is my life as a nomadic late-twenty-something.

In August of 2014…

  • I kicked off the month with a visit to Portland to see my good friend Daicia and explore a city I’d heard so much about but never experienced, despite living a short drive away most of my life.  We brunched, we explored, we danced, we drank homemade absinthe, we found a liquor store that sells Pisco and made Peruvian cocktails, we picnicked and listened to the Portland symphony, and we stopped and smelled the roses, literally. The weather was beyond perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. I also realized I didn’t totally click with Portland, and remembered that that’s okay.

Exploring Portland, Oregon

  • We adopted two new furry friends following the loss of our 15-year-old cat, Barney.  We found Ollie and Moe at the local Humane Society and brought them home a few days later.  Ollie is a mere 4 months old, and Moe is a big and beefy 2-year-old that begs to be held like a sack of potatoes.  They are both incredibly loving and playful.  The biggest adventure so far has been introducing them to my mom’s 7-year-old dog, Quincy.  They haven’t always gotten along and many battle wounds have been earned, but things are calmer these days.

Dogs have owners, cats have servants.

  • We’ve hosted lots of family members this month, including two younger cousins I hadn’t seen for SEVEN years.  At our last meeting, they were only 6 and 8 years old!  It was fun to reunite with aunts and uncles and get to know my cousins as young adults.  Family time is a precious commodity when you’re out of the country most of the year, and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Family time in Leavenworth, Washington

  • The weather was so hot this month (weeks-on-end of 110°F, or 43°C) that spending some quality time on the Columbia River on my brother’s boat was necessary.  Then I decided to attempt waterskiing for the first time on our bitchin’ 90s skis…with hilarious results.  I actually did get up and hang on for awhile, but when I did finally eat it, I ended up with massive bruises at the top of both thighs which served as proof that I’d fought with the skis and lost.  It was a lot of fun though and I’d definitely give it another go in the future!

Attempting to waterski.  Wenatchee, Washington

  • I spent a Saturday in Seattle to celebrate another of my high school friends’ bachelorette parties.  I missed out on the morning volleyball sesh (devastated!) but made it in time for lunch at the Little Water Cantina in Eastlake and a dinner cruise on Puget Sound with Argosy Cruises.  The sound was stunning at sunset and our bachelorette Emily received shoutouts all night from the live entertainer and free tequila from the cruise director.  Our night continued at a country-themed bar called the Little Red Hen in Green Lake where older gentlemen and dashing cowboys took turns twirling and promenading us around the crowded dance floor.  Now it’s time to celebrate the wedding…they tie the knot today!

Celebrating a bachelorette party with Argosy Cruises in Seattle, Washington

  • I became an official rep for Pura Vida Bracelets!  If you haven’t heard of this company, I wrote a post about it that you can read here.  An easy way to support me and my travels is to use my rep code LDAVIS10 at checkout if you ever buy something from their online store.  I earn a small commission and you save 10% on beautiful bracelets (or any of their other gorgeous accessories) that are hand-made in Costa Rica.  You’ll also be supporting a great cause, because Pura Vida gives back by donating to charities all over the world.

Pura Vida Bracelets.  Use the code LDAVIS10 for 10% off all purchases!

  • I revisited my long lost love, New York City.  I spent a week frolicking through the streets of Long Island City and lower Manhattan (I actually never made it north of 49th street–not even to visit Central Park!) and over-indulging on the delicious cuisine (didn’t I just say not to do EXACTLY that?)–French, Japanese, Mexican, Italian–you name it, I ate it.  I had my first hostelling experience in New York (read the review here!) and spent the rest of my nights with another Berkeley friend and sorority sister, Felicia, at her cozy Chelsea apartment.  I saw LOADS of old friends, including some from Thailand, old co-workers, and old roommates.  I got to see an amazing temporary art exhibit at an old police precinct that is due to be torn down at the end of the month.  The inside was painted from top to bottom by NYC’s best street artists.  I also experienced a confusing mix of emotions on this trip; after having spent the last three years longing to reunite with the city that never sleeps ever since spending one amazing sleepless year there, I discovered that my feelings just weren’t quite the same.  I still have an unhealthy amount of love for it, but I no longer feel that strong magnetic pull, and I don’t have the desire to be there right now.  I could probably live there again in the future if I ever decide to make a home base in the US, but the experience would be different in every way.

New York City 2014

  • I added one final piece to my assemblage of electronics which will hopefully add an exciting new element to the blog…get ready for an onslaught of underwater footage and epic selfies…girl’s got a GoPro!!  Still learning the ins and outs and need to have my hand at video editing, but hopefully it will all come together and I’ll be able to give you guys an even more intimate look at my adventures.
  • I finally got with the program and created a Facebook page for my blog!  Now you can stay up-to-date on the latest posts and other goings-on by following The Mochilera Diaries on the good ol’ book.  Just 124 “likes” so far, help me get to 200!
  • Lastly, in the odd event that you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now and didn’t notice, I switched the blog to self-hosting and redesigned completely!  I’m happy to finally have a much more professional look and a design that is here to stay for awhile!  It was an interesting process but I got through it with only minor headaches.  If you’re not a blogger, the fact that I’m self-hosted now (instead of hosted by WordPress.com) just means that I’ll be able to add more useful features to the blog that I couldn’t add before.  If you’re a WordPress-only subscriber and you stopped receiving my posts by email, you’ll just have to re-subscribe by typing your email address in the sidebar.

Even more exciting things to come in September, I can’t wait!  How did your month shape up?

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