How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

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Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

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Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

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On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

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On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

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An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

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My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

1 of 30: Archery - Finding My Inner Elf

It was 7:30 in the morning and I was one of the first ones to arrive at the Pasadena Arching Range. A gawky teenager who looked like he probably just came from (and won) a scholastic decathlon, or a Final Fantasy video game convention came up to me and asked what made me decide to learn archery.
What made me decide to learn archery? Let’s face it. It’s because it’s freakin’ cool. Anyone who’s ever seen Lord of the Rings or Avatar would agree with me. It’s unique, it makes you look pretty hot, and Natalie Portman knows how to do it!
But of course I didn’t say that. I actually didn’t know what to say to make me sound less geeky than the kid in front of me, so I deflected the question and asked him why he was there.
He said he wanted to get better at Wii Sports Resort’s Archery game.


Honestly though, the goal was just to have fun. :)

The instructors came and divided us up into different groups, so there were about 8 students per instructor. There were a few things we needed to do before we could start training. First, they needed to check our “dominant eye.” A lot of the placement of the gear and equipment depends on your eye dominance... almost similar to left or right handedness. But being right handed doesn't necessarily make you Right Eye Dominant. It's weird.

How to Check your Dominant Eye

1. Extend both your hands forward, and place your hands together making a small triangle between your thumbs.
2. Look through the triangular hole you made with your hands with both eyes open, and focus on an object a few feet away from you (i.e. a light bulb or your friend’s nose)
3. With both eyes open, make sure that object is in the center of the hole.
4. Close your left eye. Is the object still in the center? If it is, then you are right eye dominant.
5. If not, then close your right eye. Is the object in the center this time? If it is, then you are left eye dominant.
6. You’ve tried 4 and 5 and neither worked? Maybe you need to go to your optician.

Sweet. My right eye is dominant! Once that was all settled, they fit us into our gear – which is one of my favorite aspects to this sport.

Archery Gear/Equipment
1. A bow (obviously)
2. Arrows (so you have something to shoot the target… nice feathers is a plus)
3. A belt quiver (so you have a place to pull the arrows from)
4. A finger tab (so it doesn’t hurt when you pull on the string)
5. An armguard (so that you look really cool)

We finally set off with our instructor and found a target placed on a bale of hay waiting for us. After a few safety instructions, our trainer, Anne, began teaching us the basic form you have to take for a good shot. Feet shoulder width apart, set the arrow firmly on the bow, take a deep breath and pull the string until it is neatly aligned with your face, focus on the target… and let go. Anne said that to pull on the string, you don’t pull with your arm, you pull with your back. It gives you the best form with a risen chest and an arched back. It apparently also gives you good leverage when you shoot.
She asked for four volunteers to come up and shoot, and of course my hand shot up in the air. She lined us up in a horizontal line, all about 10 feet away from the target. She said to take our time, and just shoot at will. So, I did exactly that. Took my sweet time, feet width apart, focused on the target… pulled with my back, not my arms, and breathed.
But then out of nowhere, this kid who was standing beside me took aim and shot a BULLSEYE! For the first time! No care for form or anything!

I stared at him incredulously. I couldn’t believe it. The 12 year old kid next to me with long blonde hair and braces just hit a bulls eye.
All of a sudden, the goal wasn’t to just have fun anymore. It was to beat the kid.

To those of you who don’t already know, I am very… VERY competitive.

I focused on the target, got into form, and shot.
I did NOT hit the bulls eye. But I came pretty close.

Anne allowed us to finish shooting all four of our arrows, so I did, determined to beat little Legolas. Just as I was about to shoot my fourth one, Anne yelled – “Hold it, Eartha! Hold it!”

I froze.

Anne went over to me and said, “Everyone, do you see how her back is nice and straight? You can totally see that she is pulling the string with her back! And do you see how the string is nicely aligned with her face? Look at those lines, everyone!”
She was using me as an example for good stance. I was petrified.

I was under immense pressure at that moment. I felt like I would disappoint Anne and everyone if I didn’t hit a bulls eye with my perfect arching form!
Everyone was staring at me. So I took a deep breath, aimed, and shot.

Shit. No bulls eye. Still pretty close though.

Then Legolas yelled, “Nice! So close!” then he aimed, and shot another bulls eye. Horrible form. Perfect aim. I was his exact opposite.
I wanted to scream at him and say, “Shut up, you ELF!!!” But he was so cute, and I love jocks, so I ran up and high fived him. Hehe.

I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to beat him, and told myself he had the advantage of having Elvish genes. We continued to shoot for the next half hour or so, and we all got better and better. I managed to hit a few bulls eye’s which was pretty awesome! And at the end of the lesson, they had a game for all newcomers. We were to shoot a balloon from 20 feet away. They had about 10 bales of hay right next to each other with different colored balloons in the middle of the target. Whoever gets to hit the balloons win a prize!
And out of about 40 newcomers, of course, Legolas hits one of them. He ran up to me and we high fived with a “Yyyyeeah!”
I have to admit, I was a little jealous.
I walked him up to the area where he could clam his prize. It was a dollar with a “Pasadena Roving Archer’s” stamp on it.
I wasn’t that jealous anymore.

But all in all, I had TONS of fun! Archery is very relaxing. Almost meditational, actually. It’s a calming sport, and it’s definitely something I would recommend for everyone to try!
I came into this wanting to channel my inner elf, but came out of it making friends with one! I’m going to miss Legolas… :(

To those of you in LA, Pasadena Roving Archers hold free beginners classes every Saturday morning at 9am (but you have to be there before 8), and it’s just 5 dollars per class thereafter.
See you guys there! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The 30 by 30 Project

Let me just say before anything else is said, that this is not a bucket list-type of project. For this 30 by 30 endeavor, I will not attempt to kiss a stranger on top of the Empire State Building, get a tattoo, have a one night stand, climb Mt Everest, or dance naked under the full moon. (Although… I have done one of those things. I’ll make you guess which one it is.) Don’t be misled by the title is all I’m saying. I just wanted to make that clear. Read on and you’ll know what I mean… :)

I started this little endeavor mostly due to boredom

I’ve been living in LA for five years. I get up, go to work, hang out, spot a couple celebrities now and then, and I go home. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I have reached a plateau. I have nothing to do, and I am bored stiff.

Then I realized, being as single as the day is long, living in one of the most exciting cities in the world with no responsibilities, no mortgage or any real commitments, I had no right to be!

What have I got to complain about? The world is my oyster! I can do whatever I want, whenever I want! So what the hell was I waiting for? Why was I wasting time moping around, when I could be out there, living my life the way I should be? I need to find out what my passion is and follow my bliss!

But what the hell IS my bliss?

I have no clue.


So I came up with a plan. A mission! To try as many activities, sports, leisurely pursuits, hobbies, occupations or pastime’s, learn as many new skills as I could, until I figure out what it is I’m really passionate about. Find my niche! I'll try anything! It could be random things I’ve always wanted to try… or stuff I’ve already done that I really liked but never got to continue… or just something really cool or interesting that I come across!

I figured, that should the mission fail, if I DON’T figure anything out... then at least I’d have kept myself occupied, and would be able to say that I tried, and did the best that I could!

Besides... I'm trying out for The Amazing Race next year. This is definitely gonna give me an advantage!!! Right? :)

The fact is – the inspiration to get off my ass came to me just a few months ago… Someone asked me how old I was, and I said, “28!” and then I paused, realized my mistake, and said, “No, sorry… I’m 29.”

I’m 29…

And it hit me. This is going to be my last year in my 20’s and I’d be turning 30 soon.

But honestly, even if it does feel like a big milestone, I never really dreaded turning thirty. To me, it's just another year I get to be a little wiser. What really bothered me was the fact that I didn’t feel like I’ve figured out much about what I want to do with my life yet. As a kid, I used to always imagine the grown up 30 year old me, having a cool fun job that involved music or theater or travel, being super rich and famous and having the time of my life! I certainly didn't imagine I'd end up being a training manager for a company that restores hair for balding men. Not to complain about work though - it's a proper grown up job, and I work for a great company that's been really good to me. I'm just saying this wasn't what I had in mind... This isn't what I dreamed of doing... and what's sad is that until now, I'm still not 100% sure of what I really want to do.

I feel like I’ve lost my excitement… My childish enthusiasm for life… I used to be passionate about everything… And on that day a few months ago, upon realizing how close I was to a big milestone in my life, I didn’t feel like I was excited about anything. :(

So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I snapped myself out of my stupor, grabbed my trusty laptop, fired up my search engine, and started searching for "things to do in LA."

Well, actually, I was a little short on cash at that time, so what I really typed was "free things to do in LA!"

It led me to a couple of interesting websites, one of which led me to my first ever activity - that I happened to participate in the following Saturday. And it was AWESOME! After that, I just couldn't stop. I had to keep going! It was - and still is - really addicting! And sooo much FUN!

So that, my friends, is the story of how this whole venture began. One of the things on my list that I finally got to do was enroll in a writing class! And I thought, what better way to use my newly tapped writing skills than to – well, write?? So tadaa! A blog is born!

This blog is going to chronicle my journey… as I attempt to conquer anything and everything that seems cool enough to try… Like archery! Anti Gravity Yoga! Piloxing! Volunteering! Writing! Dodgeball-ing! Learning Languages! Or even… (gulp) … Veganism. I will do as much as I could, as much as my body would let me... The goal is 30 things --- before I turn 30... which is in approximately 6 months.

I may end up loving ‘em.
I may end up hating ‘em.
But the point I’m trying to make is...
At least I’m doing ‘em!
(Maybe I should add "writing poetry" to my list!)

I will take suggestions, proposals or propositions! If it sounds like something interesting, and it won’t cost me an arm and a leg and a lock of my hair, then why not?
They say we should live our lives to the fullest, right?