Monthly Archives: January 2014

Things I would pack if I could afford it…

Ok folks, now don’t kill me for this. I know this blog is primarily about budget friendly Eco travel, but this is going to be about a packing wish list that according to my bank account, is not, ahem, viable at this point in time. So, for the second time in a week, I’m going to post about something that isn’t strictly related to my blog tag line. Sorry if I upset anyone with the randomness, but actually I’m not sorry because just thinking of all the beautiful things about to be in this post is making me giddy.

Maybe I should preface this with saying that, for the most part, I am not a materialistic kind of girl. I’d rather spend my hard earned money on plane tickets than shoes, street food than mani-pedis, jungle tours than haircuts (haven’t had a proper one since April), and once in a lifetime experiences than clothes. Now if you are the exact opposite, Hey! Good for you! I want you to be true to you!  The point is, even as unmaterialistic as I am, I still want to feel good about the way I present myself, inside and out.

Here are a few things that are mostly inappropriate for my nomadic lifestyle, but that I would absolutely pack if I could afford to buy them.

  1.  A pair of ridiculously chic black or nude or gold Louboutins. I can’t help myself, I am gaga for the red underside of those heels! If I had those, I’d wear them with everything from denim cutoffs to leggings to sarong/scarf dresses. Of course, I’d also need to acquire the ability to walk in them… image
  2. A bomb ass leather jacket…oh wait! I already have that and yes, I did take it with me 🙂 I don’t care that it’s impractical, I love it even though it takes up a fifth of my backpack.
  3. An infinity dress. This one would actually make sense because it’s so versatile, if only I could find an affordable one in a backpack friendly material, like cotton or jersey knit. Also it would have to be a fun color like coral or turquoise… image
  4. A crazy jumpsuit. Unfortunately, they look hoooorrrrrrrrible on me, but rest assured. If I could pull one off, I would totally have one in my backpack…image
  5. An actual purse…now this would be doable if I would prioritize it higher, but I just don’t. When it’s a choice between real purse and making do with fewer shoes or underwear or what have you OR just using my small backpack as a purse and using the extra space for other things, the “other things” always wins out. Most of the time this hasn’t been an issue, but there have been a few times when I really wished I had something a bit more sophisticated and a bit less backpacking hobo chic.
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Highlights from London

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Australian Open… And gluten…

So tonight I went to the Australian Tennis Open with my good friend Joe and it was incredible. Seriously, a once in a life time opportunity. I got to see the Bryan brothers (USA) kick some butt and watch a singles player from Spain make a huge come back. The only damper on the entire evening was that I ate gluten. I didn’t mean to! I swear! I was just so hungry and after wandering around the food court for 30 minutes with no sign of gluten free food, I caved, only to find a smorgasbord of gluten free food approximately 10 minutes after I devoured my gluten-full fish and chips. Crap. Now I’m dreading the morning, knowing full well the body aches, headaches, stomach aches, and general life aches I have to look forward to for the next four days. My fingers are already swelling and I just keep trying to hold onto the sweet taste of victory I experienced when the Bryan brothers won that final set. Sigh, oh well. At least I get to meet two of my travel blog heroes tomorrow – Australian natives Caz and Craig. Until next time, keep calm and travel on.

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A rant

Hey there readers, how ya doing out there? I hope everyone’s well and on their way to their own eco-adventure.

Having said that, I should warn you that I’m not here to talk about travel today. No, today I’m going to talk about something that hits a little…okay, a lot, closer to home. Some of you may know that I’m from the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia. The same West Virginia that has been in the news for the past week due to a tragic — and completely preventable — chemical spill that left over 300,000 people without potable tap water. Yes, you read that right. 300,000. That’s over 15% of WV’s entire population. Not only could citizens not drink the water, they could not even take a shower or do laundry with it. That is how toxic this chemical is. At least 4 people have been hospitalized and thousands more are dealing with less severe reactions such as burning eyes, widespread rashes, intense gastrointestinal pain and symptoms, and nausea.

7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol did this much damage.  I guess West Virginians should count themselves lucky since each tank holds 48,000 gallons. Did I mention this chemical is completely unregulated??? Not because the chemical has undergone stringent testing and been deemed safe for humans and the environment. No, it is unregulated because it happened to already be in use in 1976 when Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act and so was grandfathered in even though the only study done on its potential harmful effect involved a case study where 50% of the test subjects (rats) died!!

Needless to say, I’m beyond livid, beyond outraged. I’m homicidal. My friends drink that water. My cousin and her baby daughter use that water. I am not only angry at Freedom Industries for not having any procedure in place in the event of a spill, I am also angry at the Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA for not having ANY regulations on this chemical in place and every single greedy, shortsighted politician who decided to line their pockets with big coal money and endanger the very people they swore to protect, not to mention the coal companies (did I mention this chemical is used by coal mining companies to wash coal before it is sold?) who decided that the lives of a couple (million) dirty old hillbilly incestual rednecks aren’t worth a damn compared to the billions they can make off stripping our mountains bare, polluting our streams, and causing irreparable damage to our environment.  Because that’s how we’re painted. Poor. Uneducated. Unworthy. Rednecks. Clearly we are too stupid to realize we are being taken advantage of. Right?

Wrong. We are a proud community that comforts each other in times of sorrow, knows that happiness is not based on how many things you own, values family, honor, and tradition, and protects our own in times of trouble. This is me protecting my own, my fellow West Virginians, my fellow human beings.

This situation is not okay.
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Changin, changin…

Hey y’all, as you might’ve noticed, I have done a bit of updating on the site! Mostly cosmetic and organizational changes but I also made it a little easier to connect with me on twitter! Now, just add #greeneyedgypsy to a tweet 🙂 I’d love to hear your feedback!

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4 am epiphany

Tonight, or, well, actually this morning, I had an epiphany. Okay, two. The first is that I’m living in a house of insomniacs. I came to that particularly astute conclusion after realizing that out of the six or so people living in my share house (still not sure I’ve met everyone after a month of living here), at least four were awake as of 3:44 this morning. 

The second, and far more pertinent epiphany was that I am uncomfortable writing nonfiction. I’ve been puzzling over my reluctance to add to this blog in written form for some time now. Why do I feel like I’m pulling teeth (my own) every time I sit down to write a post? Why do I, nine times out of ten, give up before I even get half a sentence down? Why does my written narration of my journey thus far feel so stilted and unnatural? It isn’t because I’m bored with the material. On the contrary! I love the path my life is headed down. It isn’t for lack of vocabulary.  There have been times (not in this blog, obviously) when my writing has been commended as extremely articulate. Ornate even, in its imagery. why then do I have such a tough time writing about something for which I clearly have a passion?

fear. It’s fear. Fear that I’m going to sound dumb as I wax poetical about the time I walked barefoot through the streets of Lisbon at 2 in the morning. Or how Granada seemed even more magical when a fine mist spread over the city like a blanket and made everything sparkle. Or how climbing to the top of a ruined, forgotten castle in the foothills of Abruzzi was one of the most spiritually rewarding hikes I’ve ever been on.

So here’s my New Year’s resolution. Face my fear and write what I feel even if I sound melodramatic and silly.  Because what I feel makes it real. At the end of the day, it’s what makes my adventures worth living. 

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