Seriously?

I just wrote out an entire post and hit the backspace button to delete a picture and it’s all gone.

 

I’m really frustrated by that.

So I’m sorry. =/

I’ll post some pictures from New Years in Puerto Vallarta and then tomorrow when my frustration wears off, I’ll talk about my vacation to Mexico.

Mannn I’m so upset my post was awesome 😦

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And here’s a preview of my next blog post. That I already had written. And it was allegedly saved as a draft. Well, I don’t freaking see it in my drafts. -____- hostility haha

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the perks of traveling

-__-

Weather.

Yeah.

My flight has now been delayed. So delayed in fact, that if I were to get on said flight – I would miss my connecting flight to Mexico. Luckily, with the airline I’m flying I was able to change my flight free of charge, but it’s still so stressful.

What if I hadn’t been awake when that e-mail was sent? eughh. Last minute changes stress me out.

You guys would be impressed by the amount of stuff I fit into my suitcases. I hate checking bags so I’m just bringing carry on stuff. In one duffel bag I somehow fit two pairs of five inch heels plus four dresses plus jeggings plus a bikini plus ~12 tops give or take.

I’m just really impressed about the two pairs of five inch heels mixed in with all of my clothing. Not to mention in my other suitcase I have another pair of five inch heels. Are you getting a vibe? Shoes are my priority.

Also, miraculously, in my quart sized bag I’ve fit shampoo, conditioner, face wash, sunscreen, toothpaste, moisturizer, heat protector for when I straighten my hair, a UV protector so my hair doesn’t fade in the sun, and perfume. I think that’s it. haha. I’m the master of shoving things into bags. I’m so skilled…right?

lol not.

I’m so excited for this vacation though. I’m going to continue praying that my trip is safe and that my flights stay the same and that I get to Mexico in a timely manner so I can get to my bus to go to Puerto Vallarta. Did I mention I won’t arrive in Puerto Vallarta until 4 am?

It’s going to be cray.

I should go to bed now. :X

Aaah I’m so excited to be there I don’t know how I’m going to sleep.

I guess the plus side of my flight being changed is that I only have 1 layover but I was really hoping to go through immigration in Monterrey so I wasn’t in a rush to get to my bus in Guadalajara. Butttt we shall see. I could have left RDU late afternoon to minimize my layover in Atlanta but I’d rather just go ahead and leave here in the morning to ensure that I am actually traveling and in the air and whatnot, haha.

I’ll be back to update my blog in January! See you guys in the new year. 🙂

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as Annie would say, TOMORROW!

Well, she’d actually sing about loving you tomorrow.

What I mean is TOMORROW I go to Mexico. I sit here blogging as I stare at the mess that is my room.

My family recently moved so I’m doing this awkward thing of unpacking boxes as I pack to go to Mexico while trying to not put anything away that I have to take back to my apartment. It’s resulted in me sitting in the middle of a pile of stuff/lying on my foam roller going back and forth in the mess.

Yep.

Priorities.

I’ve allegedly booked a taxi service for tomorrow. And I realize my use of the word “allegedly” was awkward but I still haven’t gotten a confirmation e-mail and it’s been half an hour. I mean seriously, bro? If nothing arrives by 7 pm or so I’m going to call. Nothing causes anxiety quite like NOT knowing if you have anyone picking you up to take you to the airport.

I’ve asked a couple people to do it but no one is particularly keen on picking me up at 4:15 am. I mean I get that, but at the same time it’s kinda fun. You know? My roommate’s boyfriend was gung ho about it but it conflicts with his work schedule. Other than that I’m afraid my friends won’t wake up early enough. So I’m going with a taxi. Yeah, moving on.

Today’s priorities were a manicure and pedicure (check), sushi, and finishing packing. My nails are all OPI Thrill of Brazil ready for Vallarta.

Keep in mind though, I’m not just jet setting off into Puerto Vallarta. I’ll be heading there first to spend a week with my wonderful friends before coming further inland to Aguascalientes and then Queretaro.

I am so excited. Honestly. Every time I think about it my heart starts beating like crazy. 😀 aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I’ll have so much to update you guys on! I’m not bringing my computer to Mexico but when I get back in 2 weeks I’ll bring loads of stories and pictures!

Also, Christmas was amazing! I hope you guys all enjoyed your holidays! I got Insanity whoohoo I’m going to do that when I return from Mexico! So excited to start that up.

 

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a moment of absolute chaos and insanity

It’s almost 3 am and I can’t sleep for the most ridiculous reason.

Let me attempt to make this brief.

I decided to see how far the Guadalajara airport is from the Guadalajara bus station to know what time I should buy my bus ticket from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta for.

Well, Google Maps tells me it’s over an hour away. And I just start panicking. Imagining the ridiculous fees taxi drivers are going to charge me. Searching for new flights to no avail and the ones that do come up are $900 for a ONE WAY trip that only lasts 3 hours.

I start Facebook messaging my friend Ricardo rapid fire Spanish style saying QUE VOY A HACER QUE VOY A HACER QUE VOY A HACER? (What am I going to do x 3) cos I was flipping shit.

Here is a summary of the conversation:

Ricardo: I thought you knew the airport was super duper far away!
Me: HOW WOULD I KNOW THAT?
Ricardo: I don’t know…you travel a lot!
Me: WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
Ricardo: Ask someone for a ride, people are nice here.
Me: I AM NOT GETTING INTO A CAR WITH RANDOM STRANGERS HOPING AND PRAYING THAT I WILL ARRIVE IN ONE PIECE TO MY DESTINATION.

So Ricardo starts looking for how to get to the bus station from the airport and sending me all of this information and all I can say (in Spanish, mind you) is, “DON’T SEND ME ANYTHING IN SPANISH! I AM IN NO PLACE TO READ OR UNDERSTAND SPANISH RIGHT NOW!  I AM FREAKING OUT!’

Soooo I start texting my friend Lisa who is from Guadalajara. I thought she was in the US but it turns out she is already in Guadalajara *surprise* so she CALLS me FROM Guadalajara like “OMG ARE YOU OKAY?!”  cos I was like “SUPER MEGA PROBLEMA I NEED YOUR HELP”  (I’m a bit of a drama queen sometimes, it’s my downfall o_O) and I’m just freaking out.

And her sister (who currently LIVES in Guadalajara) goes “Kaitlyn nahh no pasa nada just when you get to the airport go to the taxi booth and say ‘I want a taxi to the central camionera’  it’s not that far away and you can get your bus to Puerto Vallarta.”

Ant-iclimatic but true.

Now my blood is pumping and I don’t think I can make it to church in the morning because it’s 3 am and the chances of me being able to fall asleep right now are essentially…mmm…negative.

But yeah.

Absolute panic and sheer traveling terror brought to you by yours truly.

 

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ouchhh

some holiday time thoughts and ramblings:

1. I definitely strained my lower back at the gym two days ago when I decided it was a great idea to pick up 45 pounds with my left arm to carry across the gym. It felt fine today but then I was doing tricep dips and the pain came back. Go me. -__- Anyone have any stretches for it? I promise I won’t sue you if I end up further injuring myself. I mean after I strained my back I went and did my ab exercises and then biked 3 miles and ran a mile and a half on the treadmill, so obviously I don’t know what’s good for me, haha.

2. Last night I went salsa dancing which was awesome except the large amount of guys who asked me to go home with them. I mean I was sitting down and some guy comes up and without even introducing himself says “hey wanna bounce?”  yeah…cos I definitely want to go home with some guy who I don’t know, not to mention that he can’t even INTRODUCE himself. Very creepy. Needless to say, I just started pretending to not really speak English mentioning in a weird accent I had to go home with my friend Pilar cos I came to the club with her.

3. Christmas is in 3 days and I need to wrap presents. But my back hurting is creating a problem with that. AAAAH. I love wrapping presents. Why have I procrastinated so much?

4. Oh yeah, because my family just moved. Merry Christmas break we moved houses. I knew this was coming but it’s still hard to find motivation to unpack everything.

5. Especially because I have to pack to go to Mexico in 5 days whooo. So packing while unpacking during Christmas time is complicated. Cos I keep buying gifts so my room just keeps getting messier and messier which sucks cos it’s stressing me out.

6. I really want to finish watching season 6 of Dexter. Right now.

7. So my friend…let’s just call him JS – if he doesn’t come to Aguascalientes I’ll be so sad. I tried not to get my hopes up about him coming but they are way way way up. Yeahyeah I can’t lie about it.

8. I want a manicure and a pedicure so bad butttt I don’t think it’s very economical for me to pay for that when I’m leaving the country next week and will definitely want to be able to spend money.

9. Everyone still thinks I’m crazy for going back to Mexico. meh

10. Merry Christmas! 🙂 and happy holidays.

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the end of the world can’t stop me.

I have a lot a lot a lot of exciting news but I’d like to take a moment to just say that my heart goes out to all of those who were affected by this tragedy in Connecticut. I’ve been praying a lot for them. It’s hard for me to say more because I cannot honestly wrap my mind around it. It’s so baffling that it feels fake. Like some kind of sick joke. So please remember the beautiful children and employees who were killed in this tragic shooting and please keep their families in your thoughts/prayers/hearts since a light has just gone off in their lives. 

I feel weird going to talk on about happy things after bringing that up. But I couldn’t just NOT bring up what happened at Sandy Hook either. If anything, I’m trying to slow down and be super grateful for everything.

And something I’ve realized is how amazing travel is. Not everyone has the opportunity to do it. But I promise you traveling is worth it, if you have time and no major obligations keeping you from traveling – do it. 

Traveling for me has established crazy connections all across the globe. I can stay in several countries for free with natives who I am close to.

That’s crazy. 

My Chinese friend who has lived in France for the past four years is currently in Colombia visiting a guy she started dating in Mexico. What? It’s incredible.

In March I’m going to Finland to stay with some friends who I met in Mexico. In the fall my friend from France may be coming to study abroad at my university.

And in 10 days I’ll be back in Mexico.

I am so excited and overjoyed that words really can’t express it. I was feeling kind of down in the midst of exams (they ended for me last Thursday) but ultimately…Mexico is my second home and most of my close friends are there. I have lots of close friends in the United States, but my friends in Mexico are a different kind of friends.

They put up with my accent in Spanish – because even though I speak Spanish fluently I still trip over words and my gringa accent comes through when I’m speaking rapid fire Spanish to keep up with them. They let me stay in their homes for days on end and provided me with meals and transportation. Obviously if we went out or in taxi all costs were split, but whatever food was in their house – was mine to eat too and whoever had cars drove me around.

My plan right now is to go to Puerto Vallarta for about 6 days before going to Aguascalientes. In Aguascalientes my novio falso might visit. He told me this last night and I am sooooooooooooo happy. I mean, it’s not even confirmed so I really shouldn’t get my hopes up. But if I see him I will die from happiness because trying to get to see him has been the most complicated part of this trip thus far so the fact that he’s trying to come down to see me is so exciting.

And yeah.

I’m just really happy.

Even if the world ends on Friday, you best believe I’m still going to Mexico on the 27th.

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the number 21.

I meant to post this before midnight because that would have meant only 21 days until I am in Mexico again. But alas, it’s now the 7th so there’s only 20 days!

I also turned 21 last week.

Sooo yeah.

No more X’s on my hands at any place that checks ID. Being 21 feels weird because I mostly feel like I just turned 12. I get that now I can buy alcohol and book a cruise and I think that’s it…but I still feel like a little kid. Just a little kid who can buy a bottle of wine as I browse Royal Caribbean looking for a cruise I want to book.

My birthday celebration was great though. The night of my birthday (at midnight) my friends and I went out and I had my birthday tiara and everything. One of my absolute best friends came up from Charlotte and it made my night so incredible. Kyle and I have been friends since we were 15 and 14 and I love him to death.

On the actual day of my birthday we went out to a Mexican restaurant so I could order a margarita. 🙂 It was fun and low key and just perfect.

And my 21st birthday present to myself is, of course, a trip to Mexico! I can’t wait!! It doesn’t feel real at all, especially with how rapidly it’s approaching. Exams start next week which is making it hard for me to just really slow down and appreciate the holidays. But I’m going to DC tomorrow and that will be a nice break. Everyone keeps saying I’m crazy for going to DC right before exams start and I understand but my exams are all based on the reading – so as long as I can complete the reading then I am good to go. Also, Portuguese is my first exam and I’m not worried about it at all.

Well, I feel like my writing is kind of boring right now but I’m finally feeling sleepy. I saw a cockroach which kicked me into high energy mode but now my sleepiness is catching up.

Stay tuned for posts on DC and Mexico. 🙂

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Speaking two languages.

I’m often asked “What is it like to speak two languages?” 

I think people ask me this a lot because I did not always speak two. I’m not one of those people who spoke two from birth or even as a toddler. 

The reason I’ve chosen to write about this is because I do blog so much about traveling here (going to Mexico on 27 December! So soon!! Then I’ll be able to update you guys with some adventures). Speaking another language is often a big part of travel, especially if you do travel for more than just luxury (but I do love me some luxury travel – I’ll be on a Royal Caribbean cruise in June – the Allure of the Seas. sigh.) 

Anyways, back to what I was talking about. I’m going to break this into bullet points of questions I often get asked and what I usually respond with or what I should respond with.

(By the way the two languages I speak are Spanish and English – I’ve taken French, Portuguese, and Russian classes. I’ll resume French in the fall.)

1. When you speak Spanish do you think/translate in English?
Not anymore. When I was learning Spanish I always had to listen to what someone said, then translate it into English, then think of what I wanted to say in English then translate it into Spanish before the words came out. Now I just hear things in Spanish and understand them. I don’t know how to explain it. But when people speak to me in Spanish, unless it’s a very specific word I’ve never heard, I just understand. There is no thinking involved. It’s become second nature.

2. How long did it take you to learn Spanish? 
This is hard for me to answer because I’ve taken Spanish since I was 11. Mind you, when you begin language classes in middle school it’s VERY basic. Colors, greetings, numbers, simple present tense. My classes were not fully in Spanish until Spanish 3 (my sophomore year of high school). We began to read in Spanish in Spanish 4 (junior year) but I had a hard time understanding things. I have always had AMAZING Spanish teachers. Except for my 7th grade year but it’s cos the guy didn’t speak English so he couldn’t explain anything and all we did was make piñatas. Literally.

3. But umm…so how long did it take you to learn Spanish? That didn’t answer my question.
I know, I know. I’m sorry. I could really actually SPEAK Spanish fluidly after going to Guadalajara for a week during my senior year of high school. In AP Spanish (that same year) my teacher always made us speak only in Spanish. Of course she made us in previous years, but this was the first time I became confident in my ability to do so. So I could speak Spanish around age 17/18. However, if I had been immersed sooner, I would have learned more quickly. You have to keep in mind that in school you go to Spanish class 2 or 3 days a week and that’s all of the exposure you have. Or you have it every day for a semester and then nothing for the entire next semester. Practicing continuously and sin miedo (without fear) is what helps more than anything.

4. Why don’t you have a heavy American accent when you speak Spanish?
My accent is still definitely American. It’s marked and obvious. However, I know that it is not AS strong as most Americans. It has taken me so much practice and I have so much further to go.

5. How did you get rid of it then?
Honestly, a lot of my friends in Mexico made fun of the way I said words. Not to be mean, they just thought it was hilarious. But it irked me to no end. So I would practice saying words as I walked home from school. Under my breath, but still out loud. I felt like an idiot, mumbling under my breath on the side of the highway – but it helps. For example, I can roll my r’s but I don’t often do it because it’s not natural. So I would just walk along saying words with the double r in them or a word with an r followed by a consonant because that’s what I struggled with. I would just go “Arrrrrgentina” “Arrrrgentina” over and over again. I also had to practice shortening my vowels. In English we pronounce our vowels in a very elongated way. In Spanish there are very short. It’s not hoooolaaa. It’s oh-lah. Very cortada. Very short and to the point. I still work on words I have trouble with, especially when I drive because no one can hear me, haha. 

6. What are your tips for learning a foreign language?
Learning a foreign language is like losing weight. For it to happen, you have to COMMIT. If you truly want to learn a foreign language you will not be satisfied knowing how to order more beer. I watch TV in Spanish, I listen to music in Spanish, I read in Spanish, I work in Spanish speaking countries, do exchange in Spanish speaking countries. Something tricky is finding people who speak a foreign language in the US and who want to speak to you. With Spanish I can definitely say it’s hard to see someone Hispanic and NOT want to speak Spanish to them. But you can’t assume that A) they even speak the language or B) that they will want to speak it to you. Often, Spanish speakers speak very good English. But for example, in my work there are LOTS of women who speak Spanish better than English. Upon meeting them, I would throw in a bit of Spanish to test the waters just like “hay chicken?” (is there chicken?)  and “con permiso!” (or – in it’s diminutive form – permicito which means excuse me). Eventually they caught on to me speaking Spanish and those who didn’t mind always spoke to me in Spanish but I still threw in English occasionally because I knew they wanted to practice as well. 

But really though you HAVE to commit. If you had told me when I was 11 years old that I would one day be laughing my butt off with friends who speak no English, I’d say no way. No way could I learn Spanish well enough to understand jokes. No way would I learn slang. No way could I be fluent in it.

7. What made you choose Spanish/French/Portuguese/Russian?
I chose Spanish because in high school I had to take two years of a foreign language. I knew this going into middle school and my mom said Spanish would be good. So I just took it. Once I’d finished my requirements in high school I just kept taking it cos I liked it. I even took AP even though no one made an A allegedly (lol I made an A). It’s now my second major. There was never any great desire to learn Spanish as a child but I’m so grateful that I speak it. I know it’s not exactly “twice as many” but for the ease of speech I’ll say this – with two languages I can speak to twice as many people. I can read twice as many books in their original language. I can understand twice as many songs. I can travel to twice as many countries without needing a language guide or some form of a translator. I can make twice as many friends. It’s been incredible.

For Russian I just took it cos I think it sounds cool. French I took it to learn a 3rd language – I only stopped cos I went to Mexico but I’ll start taking it again. Portuguese is required for my major (Hispanic Linguistics). It’s cool but I’m not learning it very well – so I’m definitely going back to French.

And yes! I apologize for that being so long but I’m very passionate about the importance of speaking two languages and it’s just been such a blessing for me.

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Floss is not of God.

I hate floss. 

It used to be my best friend. Saving me from gingivitis and cavities. Now I can only see it as evil.

You’re probably wondering why.

Well, friends…as it so happens, a small plastic box of floss fell into my toilet AS the water was flushing down into the abyss of the pipes. I thought the floss had made it through, but it got caught somewhere in the toilet. I plunged and plunged and plunged but to no avail. Flushing the toilet made the water rise steadily to the top and then would slowly drain out, but I knew if this happened to a guest of mine they’d freak out and flush multiple times thus resulting in my bathroom being flooded.

Conveniently my parents came up today to fix a chair and hang out with me at delicious Mama Dips. They tried one of those snake things and it didn’t do anything to this box of floss. They even took the toilet off and tried to get it from that direction but to no avail. D: 

So we replaced the toilet. Freaking $98 box of floss. 

I know that had nothing to do with travel. But I wanted to put that out there to the world cos I know some people successfully got plastic unstuck from a toilet but mine ended up costing us a whole new toilet. At least my parents installed it themselves so we didn’t have to pay someone to do it for us. Right?

Also, since it’s November I do wanna do this things I’m grateful for list!

Ahem.

I’ll do the past 4 days to make up for lost time.

1 November – I’m thankful that my boo thang Kyle came up for Halloween and that we can have fun doing anything, including just watching scary movies and eating Mexican food rather than going out.

2 November – I’m thankful that there was no line at JiffyLube so I got in and out of there super fast and my car is good on oil for another 7500 miles.

3 November – I’m thankful for running into my friend James who I haven’t seen in 3 years, plus that resulting in me discovering the band Mipso who is REALLY AWESOME. 

4 November – I’m thankful for my parents who do so much for me. From fixing my furniture to my toilet to just being awesome and loving me. 😀 They give me so many opportunities.

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I was thinking about waiting a little while before I posted because not too much is going on.

But then I realized I have so much to look forward to. Despite the fact that I’m an entire BOOK behind on my reading for Anth, I am still so happy.

Halloween is next week followed soon after by Thanksgiving break then my birthday then Christmas break then Christmas itself (also known as my dad’s birthday! whoop) and THEN MEXICO.

I literally cannot think of anything else. Mexico has occupied my brain. So I’m going to share some photos with you guys that I may or may not have previously!

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me surfing in Puerto Escondido!!

ImageWith the Mexican flag in Mexico City!!

ImageAt a carne asada with my friends. 🙂

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62 days

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