Ayer.

Hola! Buenos Dias!

I was too tired to write last night, so here I am! I have to be at the school where I’ll teach at 9, but I slept 9 hours so I’m pretty wide awake.

Fun fact: I woke up this morning, walked into my bathroom, and came face to face with a cockroach. I just walked right back out. I’ll keep you updated how this ends.

Anyway, yesterday was an incredibly long day. We were all at the school at 8 am where we observed our cooperating teachers for three hours. During the class there was a break and some of the students took us to find coffee. We all talked in Spanish and English and it was awesome.

Afterwards, all of us ladies in the program met up again and we were taken on a three hour tour of Querétaro. We had a fancy lunch at 2 with our señoras and then immediately went to a different school where we will be taking Spanish classes. We finally had an orientation to the program and then our very first Spanish class.

It was fun and exhausting.  

Here’s a list of things I have learned so far:

  • Wearing seatbelts is not a thing here.
  • Stop sign? What stop sign?
  • Cafe olla is the bomb dot com.
  • I’m just as caffeine dependent as I had expected.
  • You should just never ever say ‘chaqueta’ in Mexico. Use ‘chamarra’ instead.

There are many more that I’ve forgotten but I’m sure I’ll have more to add everyday. 

Anyway, I’m off to get ready for another long day.

Adios!

Plane -> Querétaro

Hola hola! I’m writing this on the plane to Querétaro (1:44 pm 6/28/15). I actually have no idea when I’ll get the chance to post it, but I wanted to take this time to write out some thoughts.

I’m so excited. This entire trip didn’t feel real until I felt the plane accelerate for take off. 6 weeks. It’s a while to be gone! (Currently going through a tiny bit of turbulence. It’s not my favorite thing.) 

Side note: one thing I absolutely love about flying is that no matter what the weather seems to be, eventually you break through the cloud and see the sun. 

I like to extrapolate that to my life. You know, no matter what you’re going through, the sun is still out there. Sometimes you just have to get creative to find it.

Anyway, back to Mexico. This is the most unique experience I’ve had thus far in my life! I’ve traveled alone before – both with people waiting for me and another time to a completely random city. Yet, never have I ever gone somewhere with a communicative barrier. I can speak Spanish enough to get what I need and to casually talk with people, but I’m really really really hoping to learn how to be conversational. 

(YES, I CAN SEE THE SUN!)

Just being on this plane and listening to the conversations around me has been really fun. Some of them I understand 100%, others I guess using context clues, but there have been quite a few that I cannot understand whatsoever.

I already know this is a challenge I will face in Mexico.

Bring. It. On.

(Oh snap, they’re bringing the drinks through. Ginger ale, por favor!)

Guys, the clouds look incredible. They look like mini marshmallows! 

This is the first time I’ve left the country in a while. Last summer I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do. It’s not definite and it’s constantly growing, but it was a start. Leaving the state was on the list and since then I’ve done it four times: Colorado with Erica, to California to visit Sabrina, to Oregon by myself, Florida for Spring Break, and then South Carolina with Texas Tri. (I need to hit up the east coast and soon!)

Leaving the country was right underneath it and now I’m going to Querétaro! And then in September I am going to Italy!

Life is good!

I believe in the importance of travel and adventure. 

I also believe that ginger ale tastes best on airplanes.

I’m listening to my music right now and I’m soaking it up because once I’m in Querétaro I plan on listening to the local music. 

What an incredible life.

So many good things lie ahead.

I’m going to have a lot to do when I get to Querétaro, but for now, on this flight, life is simple. 

The sun is shining, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri is playing, and I feel so happy.

No matter what my fears and anxieties are, life is good. Plain and simple.

Now for an in Querétaro update:

My señora is absolutely wonderful. She’s so sweet and she’s going to make me gain so much weight of I’m not careful. I also don’t understand her 75% of the time, but I’m learning!

That being said, I definitely had an hour long panic attack when I got to my home stay. The lack of communication and separation got to me immediately and I was FREAAKING out. However, my señora took me on a walk around the city and I got to hear so much live music and be around so many people. I saw old people dancing in the street!  

I made it a life goal to bring my husband back here to dance in the plaza with me on a Sunday night. But we have to be pretty old. So like 103 or something. 

😉

I don’t have Internet in many places and I can’t get iMessages on my phone. If I keep my iPad in this one spot then I can get the wifi, so I doubt it will move in the next six weeks. Anyway, I’m going to get ready for bed because I have un día largo mañana!
Adios mis amigos! 

Ju

oh, how sweet it is.

I leave for Queretaro in five days. There are no words to describe how ready I am for this new adventure. Or maybe there are.

Funnily enough, as I was attempting to pack up my room, I found legal pad that I hadn’t used in probably a year or so.

On the very first page I had written this quote and just re-reading makes my heart skip a beat:

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

How beautiful is that?

Today I was talking to my gorgeous, inside and out, friend Marissa. We talked about our cravings to travel and see and experience and meet all sorts of new people and try all sorts of new things. (P.S. Again, I am so thankful to have incredible friends like this. We all deserve some.)

I told her about my steadfast believe that we, as humans, should not be afraid to do hard things. Scary things. Difficult and terrifying things.

I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

But I believe it with my entire being.

Maybe for you, something scary and hard is conquering a fear. Maybe it’s reaching out to a stranger and giving them a smile. Maybe it’s simply forcing yourself to laugh in the face of adversity.

“Laughter is the language of the soul.” -Pablo Neruda

We all have what it takes. We are all so strong inside. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to not have it figured all out. It is absolutely wonderful to be uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, no matter where you are in life, I hope you strive to leave your comfort zone every single day.

We have to leave it because there is no growth there.

Do hard, glorious, terrifying things. Make those decisions. Grow. Strengthen.

Please.

Adventure. In whatever way is best for you.

Maybe it’s travel, like for me. Maybe it’s not.

Just get out there. Find your changing horizons. You do not have to be stuck looking at the same scene every single day. You really don’t.

Just make the leap. Trust your instincts. Remember that you are destined for greatness.

Please please PLEASE embrace your mess.

It’s beautiful and it’s who you are. And it’s okay. I promise.

Oh, how sweet it is, this life.

Love,

Juliana

P.S. Another beautiful quote for your Tuesday.

great

Escape.

(Please listen to Cherry Wine x Hozier as you read. Maybe that’ll help you fully capture my mood.)

Craving escape.

Mexico. South Africa. The streets of Paris. A mountaintop in the Appalachian Mountains.

I’m not picky.

I just feel a little stressed. And hungry.

Hungry for more. For deep talk, for deep relationships with people, for honesty, for adventure.

I’m starving.

Come talk with me.

  

My soulmate & people.

Today Erica tweeted about something hilarious. I smiled and laughed at the memory and then decided it was a story worthy of the blog. (And there will be random photos from our trip thrown in).

{The real, Juliana heart-spiel is at the bottom.}

Almost exactly a year ago, I dragged my little sister (Erica) on a road trip to Colorado Springs. It was my first time venturing off on my own, with no parents, and no family waiting for us on the other end. We took my car and we broke the trip there into two segments: we drove to Lubbock, stayed the night, and then drove all the way to Colorado.

Along the way I have memories of Erica’s severe road rage (seriously, she’s scary), miles and miles of windmills (which I oddly hated), making spinach hummus wraps in the middle of no where New Mexico, drinking a terrible excuse for iced coffee, and cringing at old Youtube videos of me singing that Erica decided to remind me of.

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One of the first orders of business when we arrived in Colorado Springs was to find me some awesome local coffee shop. I mean, come on, this is me we’re talking about.

We eventually decided on a place called Kangaroo Coffee that was about a mile or two from our hotel. On the way there, I constantly told Erica that I had a weird craving for an iced dirty chai latte, which is not something I would normally choose for myself (black iced coffee or go home), but it sounded excellent.

We pulled up to this tiny building that had either a walk up window or wrap around drive thru. Erica waited in the car and I walked up to the window to come face to face with the most handsome barista I have ever seen in my life. I’m talking Joseph Gordon-Levitt with blonde hair and a scrappy Colorado outdoorsy vibe. Holy moley.

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Before I could even open my mouth, this guy looked me straight in the eyes and said “You look like you could use an iced chai with a few shots!”

YES. YES. YES.

Mind reader or special connection? You decide. 😉

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We then proceeded to talk about why I was visiting Colorado and what I should do with my time there.

When he handed me my drink, he also gave me a 10 visit stamp card and stamped 8 of the boxes while claiming that it was “Triple Stamp Tuesday” and said he hoped to see me again soon.

“What a friendly dude!” I thought to myself.

As I told Erica the story once I was back in the car, she immediately decided that Barista Man and myself were OBVIOUSLY soulmates. And I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with this at first sight?

colorado5

I kid, I kid.

We actually ended up going back the next day and I talked to him again while I was there, but that was it.

Erica was extremely disappointed that I didn’t sporadically act on this clearly Disney worthy-once in a lifetime-long lost soulmate connection.

All because he happened to guess my drink.

colorado3colorado4

It’s funny how clearly the memory of that dude has stayed in my brain. That road trip as whole was pretty awesome, except for when Erica almost made us run out of gas in the middle of no where. 110% her fault. Don’t ever let her try to convince you otherwise.

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We meet people throughout our lives and they leave an oddly lasting impact. I honestly believe that everyone we meet and encounter and interact with walks into our lives for a reason. Sometimes we meet people that challenge us and make us grow as people (they are my favorite). Sometimes we meet people that just make us happy. Sometimes we meet people who, in the end, are not meant to stay. And all of those things are okay. Because each person we meet has a profound effect on us in one way or another. Kangaroo Coffee guy was incredibly kind to me and made me feel very welcome in CO. Or maybe he was my soulmate. We will never know. But what I do know is that we should take the time to cherish who we have in our lives. Maybe we can take a moment to reflect on our friends and our family and think about all they have done for us by simply being who they are. I know that in my life I have met people that have made me think deeply and work to be a better person. I also know that I have encountered people that have given me the opportunity to open my heart and share it.

I don’t like shallow. When I meet people, I immediately want to get real and deep with them. Cut the “what’s your major” crap. And the “any exciting summer plans?” garbage. I want to know what makes you tick. Tell me: what wakes you up in the morning? what makes you smile when no one else is around? Let’s talk about life and goals and dreams and who we are as people and who we can be.

Let’s be constructive to each other. Let’s help each other build and grow and become.

I hope, so deeply that you have someone in your life that you can just be honest and real with. Someone that will listen to you at your lowest points and love you anyway. Someone that will cry tears of joy with you when you feel like your cup runneth over. Someone that enjoys you as you. Someone that asks you hard questions and makes you really think. Someone that doesn’t care what you’re wearing or how you look, but only what you’re feeling and thinking.

I want that for you.

So so badly. And I hope you meet your own Kangaroo Coffee man. A random, attractive barista that makes you think deeply a year later on a Saturday night.

See? Everyone has meaning in our lives.

EVERYONE.

Life is good.

Love,

Ju