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It’s Spring!!

spring_lamb

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

hedge_maze

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 hostelmanagement.com, 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┬ásame 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! :)

explore

Explore

 
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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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Texan Relocation – Update 9

lotus blossom

My Christmas Gift to Self.

Well, there’s not much to update as of yet, but I wanted to touch base nonetheless. Plus, I wanted to share this beautiful piece of art I picked up for myself – isn’t it lovely? It’s about 10″x8″, a print on a metallic medium of a painting on what appears to be wood. I’m just so fond of it :) I found it at the second of two indoor “bazaars” I checked out, which are put on annually during the holiday season. Those were a lot of fun. The first, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, was centrally located, held in a large events center, had live music playing, and you could peruse the local artisan merchant stands while enjoying a tasty adult beverage! Despite my best intentions, I was not able to walk away empty handed ;) The second I attended was the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, which was a bit further out of town, in a smaller venue, with unmanned artisan displays. Both had amazing items for sale. It was like visiting art galleries, with a wide variety of artistic mediums presented, most of which had relatively more utility than standard display art :)

On a side-note, there was one item in particular, that has very much captured my profound interest. This local glass artist has created what he calls “pocket galaxies” and omygoodness, let me just say, “Wow.” They are 3-inch glass spheres, with the most amazing celestial representations inside. I’ve never wanted something so frivolous so much! They run about $400-800, depending on the complexity and the number of moons – which are opals! I told him that owning one of these has now taken the number two position, behind a ride on one of the Orient Express trains, on the now 2-item list of things I want to do when I strike it rich. Wow.

Aside from that, I’m still tucked into my make-shift room, getting into a groove at the boutique hotel, biding my time in wait for the green light on my hostel, and thoroughly enjoying becoming an Austinite. I opened up a couple accounts with the credit union from which I’m seeking financial support for the business venture. I did it, half to ingratiate myself with them, and half because I’ve long been interested in joining a credit union – I’m happy I finally have :) After completing the stated preferred minimum employment, I have re-applied for the loan with them. I received an email to clarify a couple points, but no final word yet. I’m sure the holidays are delaying the process. That’s ok – I’m feeling very confident that this dream of mine is going to come together one way or another :)

I found an intriguing New Year’s Eve celebration option: a free party at an awesome hotel, the Hotel San Jose. I’ve heard good things about that spot, I love the look of it, and I’m stoked I get to go check it out – and for free, too; it happens to be the only free event I’ve seen so far. If it turns out to be lame, my fallback choice will be the ever-welcoming Firehouse Hostel & Lounge. It’s become one of my main go-to bars; I’m just so comfortable there – go figure – and I’m becoming increasingly familiar with the owners, so it’s always nice to see friendly faces :)

That’s about it for now – stay tuned! The final stages of Relocation lie just ahead…

 
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Posted by on 12/30/2013 in Action

 

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