Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 Things I Hate About Airlines

1. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
2. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
3. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
4. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
5. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
6. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
7. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
8. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
9. Why only 1 bag of peanuts?
10. Why not pistachios?

Seriously, those snacks are barely Barbie-size, and judging by my pant size I am definitely not Barbie-size. Other than that, I love flying.  For someone having a deadly fear of heights, my favorite part is taking off and watching everything below you turn into nothing more than a little dot.. though I also wish that plowing through the clouds was a little more dramatic like it is in cartoons. 

Anyhooooooo, I leave in 10 days! whoa whoa whoaaa. My bag is(literally) already packed- a lot easier process than I thought, but I'll include those details later cause I have yet to weigh it and make sure I can carry it on vs. checking it in...So the payment for Way Out West cleared- that took about a week, the customer service from Swed Ticketmaster was pretty good with timely responses.  So I continued onto buying my flight from Nice, France to Göteborg, Sweden.  I plan on being near Nice in the beginning of August, and in comparison to flying out of Toulon there was about a $200 difference at the least. 

The best flight I could afford financially and timewise (some had some seriously long layovers which made those cheapest at $224- 17 hours? nah, rather not.)was from KLM Airlines off edreams.net totaling at $333.86 with a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam.  I got to be amped for about 12 hours, cause then I got an e-mail that said there's an error with my reservation. [Insert disgusted sad frustrated sigh]...UUUGGGGHHHH. Anyhow, now I get to wait for another e-mail to see if they fixed it or scammed me or decided I'm too lame to go. Did I mention that I'm a hypochondriac? :|

oh julia stiles, heath broke my heart too. it'll be ok.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Forgotten Fields

Had a little venture yesterday out to Borrgeo Springs with my good friend and talented photographer Nicole Lewis (you can see her work at Dancing Shutter).  We had serious intentions, but after a good hour in the desert heat, we pretty much dropped it, as well as a handful of our photography-teachings; lost lens caps, misdialed shutter speeds and mixed-up ISOs haha.  We frolicked among the famous sculptures that lay all over.  Anyhow, I think before anyone starts to complain about where they live- they should try as much as possible to see what else their city, county, state, whatever! has to offer.  Damn, it feels great to get outta the house.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Way Over There

I've found myself (strangely) debating whether or not I could afford to go to this... How ridiculous right? There is no way I could not. For the past month and a half I've waited up until midnight over and over again to make the phone call; tic.net doesn't accept US credit card, so they have you call in.  Midnight here, is 9am over there. Anyhow, Once I get to the bank tomorrow and follow such-said payment instructions from the helpful Denise on the other side of the tele, on the other side of the world, it'll all hopefully be done & legit. WOO. Could I go on about how fucking stoked I am to see THE KNIFE (in their own motherland? whaa! I did a project on Karen's solo proj Fever Ray back in ... 2010 after seeing her at Coachella earlier that spring- that you can check here: Feverish, with the help of good friends who are also huge fans of her music, her lyrics and all-around art, if you will. It would be so rad to see her again live in The Knife), NEIL YOUNG, ALABAMA SHAKES, BEACH HOUSE, ALICIA KEYS (girl's got sooouuulll) LOCAL NATIVES, TAME IMPALA (love for Jay forever and always. this will be the 4th time I get to see them), UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, HAIM (LA-natives, such a talented group of gals- saw them when they opened for Edward Sharpe at UCLA and they. Killed. it! stoked to see them movin on around the world and movin on fast), or BAT FOR LASHES? Nah, don't get me started... I'll let ya know once I'm actually there. 

ah, how adorable are they? :)

total for this: 2040 swedish kronas aka $316.61 USD + $40 (wire fee)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013


So, a couple people have been asking how I'm affording this trip... like I said earlier I opened a "Holiday checking Account" with my bank back in 2012; almost a year and a half ago. I could only deposit, and withdraw/transfer it over to my checking come Black Friday- the universal day of spending-chaos. Anyhow, that account really helped.  I was working part time at a vintage retail store July-Jan 2013 ($10/hr), and coaching volleyball part time Jan 2012-July($10/hr) at the time; and depositing roughly $200-300 a month into it, keeping about $150 to myself.  I am fortunate enough to not have to pay rent living with the parentals, but do still pay for any other luxuries I may have the need for (such as going out, portfolio website, facial products, art supplies, film, etc).  By December 2012 I had saved about $1100 - not too bad starting from June 2012, but I definitely could have done better. 

Pictured above (under the weird Shamu-looking airplane) is a lil list of what I have spent some bones on already, while some prices were good (seeing that I am going during the On-Season). This is not the full order of where I'm going just yet- It's only what I've been able to solidify so far* I checked multiple sites such as ryanair.com, easyjet, spiritair etc...after much comparison I booked these. Being the paranoid person that I am - I wanted to make sure that I'd have some destinations ready.  That I'd have a plane to catch going somewhere.  Anywhere.

I purchased my London ticket (One Way) in December - $532.70 USD 
- statravel.com / Air New Zealand

Stockholm (One Way) in Feb - $125.84 USD 
- statravel.com / British Airways

Brussels ticket (One Way) in Feb - $124.06 USD 
- flysas.com.en / Scandinavian Airlines

Toulon Train ticket from Paris (One Way) in May - 80 ~ $105 USD
- voyages-sncf.com

Barcelona ticket from Madrid (Roundtrip) in May - $139.76 USD 
- vueling.com / Vueling
* service fees here hiked it up a good $30

All that so far = $1027.36

You're probably wondering, wait, what about your return flight home? Well, that was up for debate for a while- back in December 2012 I didn't know if I would have a job or anything by the time I graduated, but this trip was something I had to do.  Let me say that again.  This trip IS something I have to do and I could only wait so much longer and this summer was the summer to do it.  In January 2013 I landed a suh-weeet internship at Reef and have been there part time since. However, at this point any money I was making went straight to the savings- even though I plan on living off bread and cheese (not complaining), that shit ain't cheap either.  Then in early May, I received graduation letters in the mail from much of my family, and to them I have to thank for helping me purchase a ticket home to LAX from Brussels (why Brussels? it's one of my best friend's birthday :D) Purchased in May through statravel.com it cost me $598.24 USD

In total for TRANSPORTATION so far: $1625.60 USD


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

one month countdown

As of today, I leave in 31 days! Don't get me started on the maps, the math, the mayhem.  But, I'll give you a glimpse.  It took me a year and a half of planning, opening a secure holiday-account (where I could only deposit money, not withdraw- yeah, I learned I had very little self control back then), 7 maps of drafting, re-routing, removing, re-adding to get to this 80% finalized trail you see now.  It's definitely a challenge working so far ahead of time, accommodating to the maybes, and the not-sure schedules of friends abroad.  Then again, that gives some lee-way for the unknown, and the moments I sure as hell won't be getting back the second it ends... but I don't have all the time or money to waste in the world; hence where some handy books come in by Fodors and Rick Steves.  I believe it pays to have some background knowledge of where you're going, the most cost efficient things, the out-of-my-league things, what's worth your time and what's not.

So, far Rick Steve's guide to Germany (2013) has been a good read so far. I'd recommend it- he has actually traveled to the places he talks about, and paints a very clear more realistic picture when it comes to

  • how much time is worth in a certain place
  • multiple budget situations
  • a full on guided path on what to see and how etc
I hope you find some of this info and everything else somewhat useful if not humoring... I want this "blog" to be more relatable and down to earth under the circumstances that I am just a normal being like you.


Monday, June 3, 2013

before the beginning

I've only dreamt of going to Europe since I was 6. Yep, just like every other little girl at one point I ran around with a crown of flowers on my head, warpaint on my face, bubble wand in-hand probably (or spatula, who knows) pretending I was a real life princess-fashion-designer-dolphin-trainer-artist-extraordinaire.  Or better yet, I was a TV host traveling the world pointing out every pointless thing around me (see photo) and going off on how amazing it is (but really, everything's pretty amazing when you think about it right? I mean, sand is really a shit-ton of tiny little rocks)... I guess you can say I dreamt fairly big, and went through a lot of occupation-ideas.

Since then, I have just recently graduated from CSU Long Beach with a BA in Studio Art, and... haven't really accomplished any of those 6 year old dreams.  Instead, I have spent most of my savings in my earlier years of college on trips up and down California, to Hawaii, and Canada, Australia, and Peru.

It's not that I didn't care for Europe anymore, but that it held such a deeper hold on a part of my heart that wanted to save it for something 'big'.  And, well finally graduating from college was The Big Deal for me- the time has come, clean slate and what-have-you.  Most of all, while all my other trips never went past more than 30 days, I most definitely wanted my first time to Europe to last much longer than that.  

I won't be lugging around my laptop with me, but due to somewhat-popular demand, I have created this blog and will be doing my best to keep whoever is interested updated on my ups and downs. But, not to worry, I won't be dishing out every detail- I'll save some of the best surprises for when YOU find yourself out there one day.