A Travellerspoint blog

Please Release Me

Can Five Dozen Pairs of Shoes Keep Me Here?

What's got whom? I've set my little friends out in my living room, where the sofa used to be. They're organized by function, heel height, and color. How many pairs of red shoes does a girl need? Well, this girl has the red 3" fun sandal for summer - comfortable, yet sexy; the red 4" silk sandal for "First Americans", good for sitting at the banquet table and a few spins on the dance floor; the red Steve Madden 4" shiny patent leather shoe with a peekaboo toe, perfect with jeans or a summer dress and prefers to be seen and not walked in; the more sophisticated/toned down red shoe/sandal for a bit of a serious occasion but still says "I refuse to wear a really serious shoe", then the red salsa dancing shoes, the red silk flat sandals, and the red leather 5" heel zip up boots that my friend from New York calls a FMB. And yes, they have that effect.

My sister asked if I actually wear all my shoes, and the answer is yes. Except for the show shoes (jazz, tap, character) and ballet slippers I pretty much wear them all. Can I live with fewer shoes? Yes. Do I want to? No. Not really. Do you see how this could go round and round?



What does this have to do with traveling? Everything. Picking up and moving, changing your life, is an ordeal. It takes a lot of something, cojones, chutzpah, guts…and I must have some of that because I’m doing it. A few years ago the thought of reinventing myself in a new place just exhausted me. Now, since I was already exhausted I figured move beyond it, like Harry Potter running through a wall to get to that special train.

There is something out there for me. Something incredible. I have to leave where I currently am to get to that place. I feel it tugging at me. It has been for a while now. As it tugs at me to move forward, my footwear holds me down. Now I'm no Carrie Bradshaw, no Manolo Blahniks in my closet, but then it's all relevant, isn't it? This is the weekend I decide who stays and who goes. I'm starting with the shoes as they are the hardest to part with. Three weeks from today I will be in Madrid.

Posted by gottaleap 11:14 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Rise Above It

Hiking in L.A.

A new city always invites exploration. I can walk for hours. At home I have mostly driven. L.A. is a car city. There is public transportation, and I've made an effort to use the Metro, but I haven't quite embraced the system here, and I've lived in Los Angeles off and on for ages. I suppose at home I'm on a schedule so I really don't take time to check out my surroundings.

Now that I'm leaving L.A. I realize that there is so much that I haven't seen. I have not done the tourist thing, because, well, I've never been a tourist here. Sure, I've seen a few of the sights, mostly when friends come to town, but now I see it with new eyes, departing eyes...I've always enjoyed L.A. Yeah, there's heavy traffic and smog and blah, blah, blah, but it also has nice hikes and views, gorgeous weather, beautiful neighborhoods, beaches, blue skies, yes, real blue skies, the kind you see in the movies.

Here are a few pics from some of my local hikes. I live two miles from the "red carpet". I see the Hollywood sign from the front steps of my apartment. It is true that you see celebrities, and industry people at the most unexpected times and places, and the filming of TV and movies is just an everyday thing. You get used to it, and personally I like to respect people's space, so I don't make a big deal about it (maybe that makes them feel unrecognized, but I prefer that to being an annoyance).
I love the view from here at sunrise and sunset. There is something peaceful about it.
This sign cracks me up. I never noticed it in the daytime, but one late afternoon as I hurried to make it down before dark it jumped out at me.

I'm going to miss Griffith Park and all the other beautiful hiking spots in this city.

Posted by gottaleap 11:11 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Black Friday

Letting Go

Thanksgiving Day was a repeat of the last several: delicious food at Mom and Dad's with their friends, the good china and mom setting the dinner at 2pm, right in the middle of the football game. She doesn't believe in sports, least of all the Dallas Cowboys, Dad's family team...so he and I snuck a few glimpses of the game in the bedroom, they were way ahead of the Seahawks 34 - 3, and then we decided it wasn't worth the arguement.

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday of November) in the US, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season. People line up to be the first in the store when doors open at 4am. I've only gone shopping on that day once, and it was at 10am. There was nothing left and it was still crazy. This year the ads on TV were insane and I kept thinking, "I'm getting rid of stuff, I don't need anymore stuff". I just left a wonderful job that I loved and was good at, where they loved me and I felt that I made a difference. Last Monday was my last day. With the holiday I still don't really feel the impact of having left it...but coming home with packing boxes, looking at my things with new eyes, it's starting to sink in slowly.

As I made trip after trip up the stairs to my apartment, piling on the boxes in the little living room I repeated my mantra, "sleep, purge, let go, sleep, purge, let go." I have a lot of stuff. I like stuff. I like MY stuff. I'm attached to it. IT makes me happy. Or does it? I look at my antique bedroom set, my handmade, hand painted coffee set from Spain, my 1950's wine goblets with the silver rims, my turkey dish. Eleven years ago some really cool person saw it on my wish list at Crate & Barrel and gave it to me as a wedding gift. I've never used it, and it lasted longer than my marriage. What am I going to do with a turkey dish as I travel the world? Here in the states I spend every Thanksgiving with my folks, and they're vegetarian, sooo.....okay, I have to find a home for the turkey platter.

I don't really own anything expensive or very valuable, and most of it was a gift or I got at a bargain, but I really love my stuff. So now I need to find homes for all of it. I'm taking a long trip. I don't know exactly where I'm going or what day I'm leaving, but it's in motion now. I'm going. I think the journey's begun already, and who needs stuff when they're seeing the world full of a whole lot more stuff?

I've started this blog, the first of my life, to keep track of this journey that begins on Black Friday. Why not? "Black", I suppose because it is the busiest shopping day of the year, and probably because merchants come out of the red. This Black Friday, for me will symbolize the beginning of letting go and going from red to black, a depletion of so many things I want in my life: sun, rest, relaxation, adventure, travel, exercise, health and ME. By letting go, I'm inviting all of this to enter my life.

Posted by gottaleap 09:53 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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