I write about a small child throwing up

You know those memories that have just stuck, for whatever reason, occasionally popping into your head at random moments. Of course, you know, you’re a human being and you don’t have retrograde amnesia. Let me tell a story that has stuck with me for some time.  It’s the 5th grade, and 5th grade Henry is doing his thing. That basically includes going home after school, playing Xbox, and telling everyone else that I have a crush on this girl but not actually telling her. Classic. Anyways, I’m on this field trip where our class stays overnight on Catalina island, sort of like an educational camping trip. They had us dissecting squids, snorkeling and identifying marine animals, and most important of all, I got to see my friend puke his guts out. Its the end of the first night, everyone is just relaxing around the camp fire and all of a sudden my friend Andy starts violently vomiting. It was nothing spectacular, not like one of those 3 a.m. projectile vomits where your whole body rejects every tequila shot that you forcefully threw down. No it was just a run of the mill, walk away trying to get to the bathroom but not making it and showing your entire class what you ate for dinner. Naturally, Andy was super embarrassed and he went and cleaned himself up after explaining that he’s been feeling anxious and uncomfortable all day. When I asked why, he said he simply missed being home.  

A few months ago, before I started a trip that would take me around the world in 8 months, I never even considered the thought of getting homesick. I’ve been traveling all my life, with my family, with friends, alone, and its never been an issue. However here I am, 6 months in, sitting in a hotel room and missing the sunny beaches and open roads of the great state of California. This cocktail of emotions includes a shot of anxiety, shot of loneliness, an ounce of melancholy liquor, all mixed together and garnished with a slice of self-wallowing. While that might seem like a bit dramatic, homesickness is something that can cause a seemingly awesome vacation turn into sitting in bed all day and watching Rick and Morty for the 15th time.

So what can you do about it?

The best thing is to talk to someone. Homesickness tends to be associated with the feeling of missing someone; parents, friends, dogs, cats, goldfish, etc. Best thing to do about that is to talk to someone about it or give a call home, simple as that.

Then get your ass out of the house/hotel/hostel/tent/cardboard box and engage with the world around you. Keeping yourself busy and engaged with your new surroundings, this will bring rewards, like new friends that you can miss when your back home. Every year, millions of people get away from the place they call home, whether for a brief time, such as going on vacation, or permanently like moving into a college dorm or moving out of the state because of a promotion. Whatever the reason, do not let the feelings that come with being homesick stop you from seeing the world.  

 

Yellow is an ugly color

Taxis are one of those things that you can find in every country. They can be tricky sometimes, especially with language barriers so its important to know what you’re getting into before getting in the car.

Step 1. Don’t get ripped off

Here’s a few examples of me getting ripped off so you can learn from my mistakes.

In Ghana, drivers will tell you the price of the fare before you get in the car. Sadly, when we arrived he turns around and doubles the fare that we agreed upon then wouldn’t let us out of the car till we payed. In Portugal, I was told a flat rate of 80 euros to the airport only to find out it cost 15 on Uber. Damn you George and your tailored suit. In Greece, after a night of drinking that would end at a club named Banana where I found shirtless men taking pictures next to a bathroom mirror, I paid triple the price because the meter was never on.

So what can you do about it.

Step 2. Research

Taxis are different all around the world. In Japan, drivers have a certain prestige to them, wearing suits and white gloves, treating passengers with the upmost respect. In Western Europe, you will often find yourself in a shiny Mercedes. In Hong Kong the taxis are boxy Toyotas, so boxy that electric cars would make fun of it for not being aerodynamic. At the end of the day, just like with most things, do basic research. A simple google search will tell you all you need to know about what to expect when taking a taxi in a new country such as normal fare prices and common scams that occur. That’s not to say that these drivers who are scamming tourists are evil, they’re just making an extra buck on someone else’s ignorance. Its like buying something without checking the price on Amazon first. Its just common sense.

Step 3. Talk to the driver

Now that your in the car, you could put on headphones and listen to Justin Timberlake bringing “SexyBack” on repeat or you could learn something from a local source. What am I saying? Of course we all are going to choose JT over a conversation with a stranger but I urge you all not to. Taxi drivers have a wealth of information that one can take advantage of. Learning simple phrases in the local language, local and non-touristy areas to visit and explore, and local customs can all be done within a short car ride.

As a kid, I used to want to be a taxi driver. Driving around, listening to the radio, and meeting new people seemed like the perfect job. Then I watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Now I want to be a space pirate. I digress, most taxi drivers are honest people trying to earn a fare wage. Treat them with respect and have a conversation with them, you will learn something new. Except for George, screw you and your receding hairline.

Elvis Travels- Part 1

Reflecting on travel can be a magical opportunity to revisit to the places that inspired joy, discomfort, challenge and awe. In my case reflecting on my travels has felt like a chore. I have had the great fortune of being able to visit almost 40 countries in my 23 years, however my last excursion abroad was the first time I visited 16 in a row, and I am weary of giving a shallow review of the 4 great months I sailed around the world. In the coming weeks I have prepared to share with you a journal-like exposé of what such travel does to a man, his friends, his emotions and his stomach. Stay tuned!

Working To Live

Imagine a world without money, without this green paper which controls your life. What would YOU be doing instead? Instead of working that 9-5 job, instead of being a waitress, instead of struggling every day to make ends meet and instead of working with people you hate every day of your life! What would you rather do with this one life you were handed to!? Certainly not work. So, if this is the case, why are people settling for accountant jobs, cubical offices, and workless hours, all in order to make money to allow them to live? This is why finding a job you love to do, and you live for, is what makes life worthwhile. Revolving your life on this meaningless money system will only waste your time you have here on Earth. Remove yourself from these social bonds and feel each day as a blessing and gift that must be cherished. Travel with that last paycheck you have in your bank, love the people you meet along the way, and immerse yourself in your surroundings rather than feel the need to buy more of it. Living has turned into a whole different thing today. People don't live they work to live. Be the difference, even if it means returning to basic elements and human needs.

Pros and Cons of Holi Festival in India

India, what a split between violence and beauty. Just like a rose with thorns on it, India was one of the most beautiful, unique cultures I have ever witnessed but it had flaws. There was beauty in the ways Hindi gods and goddesses were symbolized in art, music and words. The streets were showered in colors and music. Hundreds of people were out shopping at the markets in colorful saris, silk and linen. Cows, camels and decorated elephants scattered the streets. Taking all this in was like no other. It would of been perfect if it weren’t for the strange division between gender and violence and danger towards women. The streets usually were only crowded with men. Women were never seen alone. The men would be grouped in packs, like dogs, scouting the streets for trouble. The women would stay in the home and never go out, especially at night. The men during Holi were also very aggressive. They would use patting colors on strangers faces as an opportunity to touch women aggressively and inappropriately. I was once found in a situation were 10 men surrounded me and slapped colors on my face, hair, ears, mouth, and eyes. They ran after me while I tried to get away from the strange interaction. One man than grabbed me and lifted me up in the air while chanting. The physical barrier between strangers was not there. My personal space was not respected at all and I was man handled during a holiday that was suppose to be celebrating positive good spirits, happiness, joy and kindness. It was surprising that such a beautiful moment was ruined by the men. The culture and beautiful peaceful concepts in India is also ruined by the aggressive men in the streets. India would of been perfect if it were not for the mens behaviors.

Top 7 Tokyo Themed Restaurants

(ASIA)- Tokyo, Japan: 

Restaurants personal experience:

Welcome to Japan! Tokyo has the most unique restaurants and cafes then any place in the world. When visiting, I went to an Alice and Wonderland cafe. It has completely authentic decorations to the movie and the book; card knights, heart shaped trees and hedges, mirrored walls, Alice dressed waitresses, crazy checkered floors, floating tea cups and mad hatters hats, everything imaginable. Not to mention the neon colored deserts and all kinds of funky creative foods awaiting. 

1. Alice and Wonderland Themed Cafe

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Check out all the funky themed restaurants and bars around Tokyo ranging from catch your own fish-dinner river restaurant to Robot bars!

Here are some more crazy themed restaurants to visit while in TOKYO, JAPAN:

 

2. Catch Your Own Fish Dinner River Themed Restaurant

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Catch Your Own Supper! ZAUO brings a whole new meaning to fresh seafood since the diner must catch their own fish to cook for their fish dinner. 

3. HedgeHog Themed Cafe

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Cuddle with these cuties while enjoying some brunch!

4. Kawaii Monster Themed Cafe

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Kawaii (Japan fashion and accessory shop) turns into Kawaii Monster Café, a candy-colored venue straight out of singer and fashion model Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's wildest dreams!

5. Robot Themed Restaurant

This restaurant is basically a glorified dance and drink club with shiny robots in the mix.

6. Vampire Cafe

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CREEPY! Vampires, draculas, coffins, severed body parts, dark red curtains, bloody floors and ... no garlic, definitely a place that will give you a scare!

 

7. Alcatraz Jail Themed Restaurant

 

Feel like you are locked up in the real life Alcatraz jail cell!

 

City Rating:

JAPAN= rating 8.5/10 (Go during summer time, winter is COLD)