Hello and welcome! This is me with my friend, Kevin. Right behind us is a bountiful garden plot at a local community garden in Houston, Texas. I met Kevin about 2 years when I was working at a coffee shop ( he’s a phenomenal coffee roaster, by the way 🙂 Every time we talk I learn something new – his spirit is so gentle and kind. I put so much love and energy into this garden and knew I had to pass it along to someone who would love it even more than me. When I had my “Bali Blowout”, Kevin took home some awesome books and gardening supplies for his new plot! It’s so cool to pay it forward and literally leave the seeds I have sown for a friend to care for.
Planting the Seeds
Last month I celebrated my 6 months of being alcohol free and I owe a huge thank you to the earth for providing me this garden for healing and introspection. My hands touched every seed and every pile of dirt. I am so happy that I remembered what it feels like to be at peace and that I exercised my natural instincts to be a better ME. If you know anyone who is battling addiction please be supportive and nurturing; I know this can be difficult but you could be saving someone’s life. Help them, or yourself, by seeking professional help and creating an open dialogue as to pave the way for a healthier life. Addiction is real and it has many faces. Know that there is someone out there to help you or your friend…The links below are a good place to start if you need help right away:
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About two weeks ago I made a new friend while I was was working on my blog at a local coffee shop. Boston is a library science major who is studying to become a librarian and continue working with youth within the community. It was great talking to someone who was also in recovery and who could relate to some of my emotional challenges. Meeting Boston was right on time and encouraged me to keep sharing my story with the world – you never know what positive effect your truth could have on a stranger. Boston is a veteran, writer, and advocate for equality. Check out Boston’s blog and Instagram!
My departure for INDIA is only 31 DAYS AWAY!
I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this…it’s so surreal… As of late, I’m feeling very confident and prepared for this new journey. You can read more about my experience preparing for my trip in my previous blog posts:
With just 31 days left, I am almost physically relieved of my possessions; for the most part, I’ve gotten rid of everything in my home and only have the bare necessities to live until I leave. Going to a place like India, specifically New Delhi, can be overwhelming and stressful without proper preparation. Of course, I don’t think you can ever completely prepare yourself for immersion into a new culture, new place, new language. However, you can at least provide yourself with some peace of mind by making a list and getting everything you think you’ll need. Reading travel vlogs and watching Youtube videos has helped tremendously! Sometimes you need the perspective of another traveler as part of this preparation. I recently found Marco Pino’s blog and got some great tips from him regarding traveling throughout India and beyond. I appreciate his perspective because he teaches yoga and meditation around the globe and has lived and worked in some of the places I want to visit. Also, I want to expand my own yogic and meditative practice so it helps to see someone like Marco doing what I want to eventually do. It’s important for me to continue networking and building a community of loving individuals like you!
Travel Packing Essentials
I thought it would be cool to share what I’m loving and using for my travels abroad. Since I will be traveling minimally, I have been mindful of weight/size of items and have been very selective about what I’m bringing with me. I’ll be traveling with one backpack for my carry-on and another bag as checked luggage. All of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase any of these items, you will be supporting my journey at no extra cost to you.
- For starters, a great backpack is essential no matter where you’re headed. I have an Osprey backpack similar to this one and it’s super comfortable and lightweight, weighing just under 2 lbs. Plus, Osprey has great customer service and stands behind their product.
More travel bags:
Versatile Canvas Sling Bag / Urban Travel Backpack | Wear Over Shoulder or Crossbody for Men & Women, by NeatPack
Eagle Creek Travel Gear 2-In-1 Sling Backpack, Mantis Green, One Size
Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack
2. I hunted for a toiletries bag that was lightweight, spacious, and durable. This one folds down pretty flat and it’s nylon construction is mold and water resistant.
More toiletry bags:
Zero Grid Travel Dopp Bag – Toiletry Kit for Men, Shadow
Silicone toiletry bag travel kit, leak resistant dopp bag for travel shaving kit
TumecosTravel Toiletry Dopp Kit Travel Shaving Accessories Electronics Organizer Bag
3. A travel tote is great for shopping and can double as a laundry bag or personal item while you’re on the plane. I like this bag because its compact, easy to clean, and comes in loads of colors.
More compact travel bags:
EcoJeannie 4 Pack Large Super Strong Ripstop Nylon Foldable Reusable Shopping Bag
Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag Luggage
Daygos Lightweight Foldable Waterproof Shoulder Bag
4. Keeping your valuables safe is top priority. I recommend using a travel belt like this one to keep your passport, cash, and bank cards safe. RFID technology blocks scanners that can be used to steal your sensitive information. The belt is low profile and fits comfortably under your clothing.
More RFID blocking wallets/belts:
BAGSMART Travel RFID Blocking Wallet Passport Holder Cover Credit Card Organizer
RFID Passport Holder & Neck Wallet / Neck Stash
Zero Grid Passport Wallet – Travel Document Holder w/ RFID Blocking
5. Packing cubes help you to keep your belongings tidy and organized. In the case that you have to remove everything from your bag, your belongings will stay neat and organized in your cubes. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from small to xlarge – a set like this one is plenty for my packing needs.
More packing cubes:
Packing Cubes Travel Set 7Pc 2 Large Cube Organizer Laundry Shoe & Toiletry Bag
Bago Packing Cubes For Travel Bags – Luggage Organizer 10pcs Set in 12 Colors
Packing Cubes 3 Set(M)/ 5 or 9 Set(XL/L/M/S/Shoe Bag)Luggage Travel Organizers
6. TSA approved locks are great for any zippered luggage to keep your bag closed. For any checked bag, your lock has to be TSA approved so the lock can be opened by airport baggage handlers.
More TSA locks:
Master Lock Padlock, Set Your Own Combination TSA Accepted Cable Luggage Lock
TSA Approved Cable Luggage Locks, Easy Read Dials with Alloy Body
Utopia TSA Travel Lock ( 2 Pack) – Digit Combination – Lightweight Zinc Alloy – Set Your Own Combination
In a future journal entry I will add other travel essentials with links and info. These 6 items are a good start if you’re gearing up for a short or long-term trip and they’re all items you can utilize when you’re not traveling. Do your research and purchase what makes sense for you and your travels. I have one more haul to do before my departure next month and I’ll be all set! Once I start regularly recording videos, I can give you more details on packing, getting visas, etc. The plan is to create a Patreon account to streamline my content and the ability to monetize it. Do you have a Patreon account? Any tips/tricks you’d like to share? To date, I have not been as consistent as I need to be with journaling and posting on social media. I’m still learning as I go and thank you for rolling with me. I feel that once I get across the water it will be easier for me to work on my journal because I will have more time to dedicate to my projects. When I’m off from work, I’m still running around tying up loose ends. Fortunately, most of the big tasks are out of the way, including getting my visa for India and finding a new owner for my car.
I’ve been raising funds to help offset travel expenses and cover costs for future projects. So far, friends and family have helped me reach about 10% of my $10k goal. With their help, I’ve paid for all airfare and accommodations through July plus the cost of visas and a passport. If you would like to contribute or share the link click here:
Through Marco’s blog, I found the Himalayan Yoga Tradition teacher training program. When I get to India I will be traveling to Rishikesh and will visit this institute to learn more about their teacher training. The cost for the 200hr yoga certification starts at $1400 (USD) and is recognized by Yoga Alliance and CYA International. Once I have raised enough money through my GoFundMe and other outlets I will travel back to India to complete a yoga certification. Your contribution will help me reach this goal and continue on my path to teaching yoga and meditation.
You can shop my store for incense, custom apparel, and other home additions. I would still like to add other items to the store like musical instruments and literature. Is there anything you are particularly interested in? Let me know below…
I am also accepting requests for advertisement on my website and other outlets to help support fellow artists and businesses while creating income for myself while I am traveling abroad. If you or a friend are interested, head over to the communicate page to send me an email.
Until next time…
Thank you for being here and spreading positivity and love – Take care of YOU.