I am on a grand adventure

capitol dome 1

Texas State Capitol Dome

I often find myself feeling “dead in the water” lately – like a boat meant for exploration, stuck without fuel nor wind to propel my journey.

I learned that I did not win a spot at the Enviropreneur Institute; my work schedule is rather prohibitive of social networking; my funds are insufficient; I appear to be unusually dependent on an as yet unidentified stranger who may partner with or invest in me and my plan; and I don’t know what to do next in the process of further developing this hostel dream of mine.

A good friend recently reminded me, however, that I am living the life I set out for: I am relatively fancy-free; I just picked up and moved to a brand new city; I’ve taken a job to put me on track towards a future in tourism hospitality; and on the larger scale, I really am doing what I enjoy. At first, I scoffed at her, since this doesn’t feel immediately as fun as my past adventures, but the message later sunk in: I truly am on a grand adventure!

When I discovered I had a three day weekend, I decided to live my dream, and travel. I am surrounded by new sights to explore, and although my budget is meager, I can still find inspiration for awe. I finally went and visited the Capitol. It was massive and gorgeous and imbued with history. Another day, Cinnamon and I drove out deep into Hill Country, and visited the Pedernales Falls State Park. We had a great time roving the rocks and shrubs. Then we stopped in Marble Falls, and I stuffed myself on a delicious burger by the river, to the point of severe discomfort. For the drive back, we took RM 1431 and it was spectacular. I love the Hill Country! I’m so glad I get to explore this lovely rock I live on :)

I’m still looking forward to a trip to the Gulf. I was thinking of doing that this weekend, but I can’t quite afford an overnight stay, and a coworker pointed out that it really is a bit far for a day-trip, so it will have to wait, but I’ll probably visit South Padre Island when I do go. Also on my list, but much more within reach: a little kayaking jaunt on the river right here. In fact, a friend and I were going to do that the other day, but I got called in to work, much to my dismay. I am definitely going to do that soon, though. Further on, I hope to visit Louisiana, and even other parts of the south. We’ll see though; if I’m lucky, I’ll be too busy enjoying my hostel! Either way, I just hope I can find that sweet spot, of earning a decent living, budgeting within my means, and having the means to support Travel, either personally or via my hostelers :)

I am working on accepting a broader time frame for actualization of the hostel, but I am also working on finding a better balance in the meantime, where I can enjoy the journey.

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Posted by on 04/20/2014 in Action


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It’s Spring!!


I just learned that it’s Spring – today! It totally snuck up on me, and brought an instant and acute sense of joy and hope and excitement and faith. Suddenly, so much seems possible :) Somehow, Spring just carries with it an inherent potential for new beginnings that seems to have the abiblity to penetrate all aspects of life. And there are so many avenues for potential – and real – change in mine.

My living situation is about to change: all my housemates are moving out. My mind went at once to turning the home into a hostel, but the landlord believes it wouldn’t fly with the neighborhood association. And that’s ok – it’s really not the ideal scenario, anyway. But this means that I will have new housemates. I will also get to have a real room, with a door. I think I’m going to take the master, with its own bathroom. It will be notably tighter on my budget, but I can make it work, and I think it will be well worthwhile :) I am very curious to see what this change brings. It’s exciting, too, in that I get to personally screen and select my new roomies. This could amount to greatness…

My application for the Enviropreneur Institute is officially complete, and next month, I will learn whether I am accepted. That could be prodigiously fantastic. The opportunities that would unfold from that experience are positively staggering.

I have applications submitted at my two favorite hotels in town. Perhaps a position will open up at one of them, and I can continue my study of hospitality in more hospitable conditions. (The HI is actually hiring a hostel manager, but I really don’t meet the qualifications, and the truth is, I don’t want to run a large hostel / summer-camp – any more than I want to work at a snooty hotel. Plus, I think it’s a live-in situation, and I doubt my dog would be allowed. I do struggle, though, with passing up that invaluable learning opportunity… I should probably apply anyway.)

I created new business cards to promote my dog skills with nail trimming and training services. I don’t know if I have the capacity to put forth the necessary efforts to really get the word out, but it could be an extra source of revenue here and there. I have placed a few at a couple strategic locations in my neighborhood.

I continue to make new social connections, and some of them are bound to turn into lasting friendships. This aspect is a large part of my ongoing lesson in patience. It takes a considerable amount of time to form real bonds with people – especially if one is as selective of their company as I am. It is a lonely trade-off, though…

The warmth is on its return, and will soon become an intense heat that just might challenge my residence. Nevertheless, the increased temperatures are sure to inspire further exploration of this fine state, so I shall soon be experiencing new and wondrous lands, like star filled desert skies, and the warm shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Change is good. Some people fear it, but in most circumstances, I welcome it. And right now, I could really use some. I feel a little stuck, and I’m doing my best to invite positive new twists – as well as to remain open what IS, because often times that’s pretty important, too.

Right now, I am going to get back to what I was working on before I took a brief moment to check my phone, and found the post of a blog I subscribe to, informing me of the magic of this day, to which I was compelled to respond with a post of my own. Incidentally, what I was doing was a perfectly “Spring” activity: I’m going through all of my clothes, and weeding out the articles of which I am less than overly fond. I do not wish to make room in my life for things that do not especially please or benefit me. Ironically, it’s not so much “out with the old”, as a number of the clothes I’m displeased with are newer purchases. At least I got some good “shopping therapy” out of them ;)

Cheers! To Spring – to new beginnings, to change, and to growth! :D

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Posted by on 03/20/2014 in Musings, Plans


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6 months a Texan

tx independence

I arrived in Austin 6 months ago, today. What a trip! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. And March 2nd is Texas Independence Day, so I got myself this nifty key chain to commemorate my own Texan independence :) It feels pretty good to live someplace with so much pride in its locality. It’s contagious. I may not be 100% on board with everything that is Texas, but I am proud to be a Texan. Who knows – maybe it’s just Austin that instills such delight.

I found another appealing boutique hotel I’ll be applying to: Heywood Hotel. I drove past it the other day, and just had to stop in. They have only 7 rooms, and I really dig the vibe! Then, if the hotel plan burns out, I might look into employment at Home Depot, because – as my dad keenly noted – another skill-set I’ll be needing at my hostel will be those I could learn there. We’ll see what unfolds…

I’m keeping the faith, and reminding myself that my hostel is seeing to itself while I stay out of its way until the time comes for our convergence. Meanwhile – still grateful to be here.

On another note, I got to meet the famous “Bevo” – a local celebrity longhorn. A group that was staying with us arranged to have him visit the hotel. He’s massive! Good times :)

Bevo 2

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Posted by on 03/04/2014 in Plans


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A meandering venture adventure


So…. The bank (credit union) did get back to me about my business loan request. They said it wasn’t exactly a “denial”, but that they were not confident in my cost predictions, and wanted more information. Truth be told, I’ve been losing confidence, as well. The houses in my price range have been moving farther and farther out of town on what seems to be a weekly basis. Thus, I have posted a listing in the forum on, seeking a partner or investor. I am also re-considering the rental option. I’ve decided to just let go of my sense of urgency, put out into the Universe my request, and see what comes back. The intensity of this dream of mine remains unwaverable – it is still all I can see myself doing happily – and yet, I am finding a sense of contentment to just let it unfold naturally. I do what I do; I network here and there, I become increasingly familiar with this new town of mine, and I find I have an effortless faith that something will come together.

When I realized that I didn’t need to be at this job I’m not so fond of – since the sole purpose was to appease the lending institution which is now notably less relevant – I decided I should come up with an alternative means of income ASAP. It occurred to me, however, that I might as well stick with the hospitality industry, since that is where I’m headed, and where I’m already at. Then I realized that I believe I would be much happier at the Hotel San Jose, where it seems the nature of the overall culture would be more congruent with my own, so I submitted a resume and application. (That’s the same place I checked out for New Year’s Eve; compared to my present occupation: Hotel Ella – if you know me, you’ll recognize the discrepancy.) They said they are not presently hiring, but I’ll check back periodically, and keep my fingers crossed in the meantime. (And I’m now also crossing my fingers in the additional hope that none of my current employers sees this… I’m not too concerned.)

In another attempt to open doors, I have applied for what appears to be an amazing opportunity, called the “Enviropreneur Institute“. It’s a 2 week workshop in July, put on by PERC (Property and Environment Research Center), held in Bozeman, MT. Those selected will receive a $1500 stipend for transportation and food, supplemental to that provided at the site where lodging is covered, as well. I think this would just be so friggin cool! And what a great way to gain potential traction for my own “enviropreneurial” project?! My fingers are crossing for so many things these days, it’s increasingly difficult to tpye ;)

Well, that’s the current state of my meandering venture adventure. I eagerly await a glimpse at what lies around the next bend, while fondly gazing at my eco-hostel vision board :)

Vision Board

my vision board

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Posted by on 02/10/2014 in Plans


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Making adventure where I can

I just came across a note-to-self to “start an annual new-destination tradition” – Great Idea! I am definitely the type of traveler who would prefer to see a little bit of a lot of locations, rather than a lot of just a few spots. A large part of the joy of travel for me is the thrill of witnessing something brand new. So, I asked myself how to go about starting such a custom, then considered when the last time I visited a new destination was, and came up with my day-trip to San Antonio on 1/14/14. Henceforth, that shall be my go-someplace-I’ve-never-been date :D Every January, I will make sure I go somewhere I’ve never experienced, whether I take a trip to a far-off land, or even if it’s just a new restaurant, park, or road.

Fun! :)



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Posted by on 02/06/2014 in Plans


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Texan Relocation – Update 10 (the last)

Official Texan

Official Texan

Well folks, it’s about that time…

While my great adventure persists with each breath, my “Texan Relocation” is officially complete – I’m a Texan, now! :D I got my car registered the other day, and I just received my new Texas driver’s license.

Cinnamon and I continue to explore new and wondrous parts of this gorgeous land they call “Hill Country”. We took a quick detour recently just to cross the famous 360 bridge, and today, we day-tripped to lovely San Antonio. We stopped at a dog park, drove around a bit, traversed most of the River Walk, and found a soft-spot for Southtown.

The hostel plan is doing its part to aid in my lesson in patience and delayed gratification, but its development is imminent. One reason I went to San Antonio was to consider it as a more affordable alternative, but it shall remain a potential back-up plan for now. Austin’s unique charm is keeping me here, and its rising housing costs are simply going to force me to become more creative. I will carry on with progress reports as this venture unfolds further.

Speaking of the time things take, I am learning more and more the value of allowing full maturation – for anything, be it fruit, a friendship, or an opportunity. For some reason, this is a challenging thing for me to embrace, but I am also allowing that process its own time :) Another thing I’m anxiously awaiting is the chance to take more mini trips to farther reaches of Texas; I would especially like to meet the Gulf of Mexico.

This has been a wild ride, and I expect my plans to keep the pleasant surprises coming. What an exciting journey I’ve undertaken! My gratitude goes out to those of you who have followed along; it can be a scary thing to embark on a journey alone, but having the support of loved-ones is a priceless reinforcement, indeed.

Austin 360 Bridge

Austin 360 Bridge

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Posted by on 01/14/2014 in Action


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Adventures in Wonderland

wcp - pines wcp - path wcp - cactus wcp - cliff trail 1 walnut creek tx - 80F Dec2 wcp - gorge wcp - white stones water over the bridge

Welcome to Austin’s Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park – or as I like to call it, Wonderland. These pictures do little to capture its magnificence. The park covers a whopping 293 acres of woods, clearings, creeks, and trails, approximately half of which is off-leash for dogs. Cin and I go exploring here about weekly. We still haven’t covered the whole park, but we’ve finally found a good route that works well. It can get a little tricky with so many trails, and there are a lot of social trails, most of which dead-end, plus some of the official trials look like social trails, and others run into less-than functional water crossings. But we’ve got it down now.

The first time we visited this park, I was in total awe. We went wandering all over the place, and I was sure I had found Wonderland. It has such a variety of landscapes, and even in the winter, with so many of the trees bare, it is incredibly beautiful. It is a little out of town, but still well within the bustle of the city, and it’s amazing to get lost in such a huge wilderness when you’re still in a city. It reminds me of a park in Seattle that a friend had nicknamed “City Hike”.

Just another reason I feel fortunate to be where I am :)

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Posted by on 01/03/2014 in Action


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