Wednesday, March 30, 2016

what it adds up to

At 27, I've been to twenty-seven countries, though I'd never say so out loud. Such statements are silly. Because, here's the thing: the world is most definitely not my oyster—and neither my experiences nor anyone else's can be quantified. What matters in travel, I think, is that one is curious and daring and open enough to explore the world in the first place. Forget the checklist. In my case, doing so has granted me the privilege to know the warmth and generosity of an Ecuadorian, a Chilean, and multiple French families; to be humbled by the beauty of the Amazon, Stroker geyser, Atacama Desert, as well as the genius of Roman, Mayan, and Moorish architecture; and, perhaps most importantly, to fully appreciate how few "right" ways there are to live and love, to satiate and enjoy...

danielle abroad has spoken ;)
I'm blogging from Los Angeles (home), after spending the past two weeks in New York. I worked from our offices in Williamsburg, at the Piers, an Upper East Side private school, a museum downtown. It felt surprisingly normal, almost as if I were living in the city again. And yet, that time in my life feels so far away. I think that's why I'm feeling especially reflective and grateful. I remember so much from that period (when almost everything familiar was stifling) and so much has taken place since, mostly elsewhere.
Time and time again, I've heard women praise their 30s. That magical combination of becoming financially stable and satisfied with careers, relationships, et cetera has propelled many to an exceptionally important point: being completely secure with who one is and what one wants/needs. And though I'm not quite there yet, I'm starting to understand how this phenomena can be true. I'm managing to become at ease with my whereabouts—reveling in a routine, trusting my evolution, accepting that I'll always seek more... whether that's a Northern Lights sighting, an evening at the Bolshoi Theatre, or a South African road trip. All in good time, my friends.

P.S. This is my 1210th post. For greater perspective, here is my 1st one (when I was a mere babe [8 years ago]). Oy.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


A couple weekends ago, I found myself dancing to Britney Spears in a Silver Lake dive bar with a friend and her neighbor. In my carefree state, I commented (compassionately) on the insecurities of the noticeably younger crowd—I felt my age, in a good way.
Please excuse my flowery language when I tell you my soul has ripened in the past few months and weeks; and as such, claiming to feel "wiser" is probably more accurate. I didn't make a list of what I learned last year because the lessons were hardly quantifiable. My circumstances and choices forced me to confront fears, flaws, and deep-seeded truths I'd spent years ignoring or trying to suppress. I've become stronger, more solid, self-aware. I've discovered that no matter how tempting it may be to celebrate "making it to the other side", it's much more valuable to recognize the ongoing mindful process, to appreciate, and to continue.
I chopped off my hair two weeks ago. It was a sudden decision. Sarah had just finished given me the trim I'd asked for when she mentioned a bob "Only $70 for a whole new chance at life?" I'd jokingly responded when the time came to pay. I might still be getting used to it (haven't had my hair this short since 6th grade!) but it feels right. How important it is to feel better physically, too.
There's most certainly travel on the horizon (New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Vancouver, hopefully Paris, maybe Rome), but to be honest, for now, all truly is well in Los Angeles.