travel-tips

3 Tips on how to avoid being THAT tourist/guest

We all know them. They whine. They complain. You wonder why they even visited another country if everything is so bad. Here’s some tips on how not to be THAT tourist.

1) OK, YOU CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE WEATHER. There is nothing anyone can do about it; I can’t make the rain stop, I can’t make the wind stop blowing and I sure as hell can’t change winter to summer. It’s winter time. Why is snow and wind such a surprise? Just because your delicate little feet are from Florida or Mexico or some other warm place and you are essentially a person with a weak immune system and practically a germ-cold-disease-cough-bate, I can’t help you with your cold intolerance. Of course, weather is always a point of conversation but I don’t want to hear about how you are going to die for the billionth time.
2) FOOD is the best part of going somewhere else and getting French fries does not mean you are trying. But OK, even that is better than making a face with everything that’s not American food. Just don’t compare everything to American food…. it is just a waste of time. Germans know how to make better beer. Fact. Italians know how to make better pizza than Papa John’s. Fact. Just because your palette isn’t capable of differentiating, it does mean you get to complain about how bad and weird the food is.
3) WALKING IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DO ALL THE TIME- they even pursue this method of getting from a place A to place B in American cities such as New York, Boston etc.What a surprise! As Americans, we have the beautiful freedom of having a car and driving it everywhere BUT when you are in a country where they actually walk more than 10 feet because that is, another surprise, normal, then don’t complain about having to walk. I get it that the back hurts sometimes with too much walking but avoiding places just because they have to be walked to is just ridiculous.
So, don’t complain about weather, different food and walking– and everyone will love you.
And….. P.S: if you are staying at someone’s house, don’t complain about the quality of toilet paper. We all know your ass is delicate and it bleeds if you don’t use a 5-layer soft toilet paper with sheets of gold, but that’s really not something worth complaining about. Maybe you have too much of a heavy hand, have you thought of that?

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exboy

The Ex in the present and the future

If you dump someone, should you really stay their friend? What if you move on, have a wife/husband, kids? Should you still talk to your ex?

David has an ex. He doesn’t talk to her much but every once in a while they go for a beer. What is that he gets from occasional meet up, I don’t know. Perhaps they are reminiscing the old days? Perhaps it is so he can brag about how good he is doing? Perhaps he wants to know how she is doing… but I just don’t get it.

People dump each other for the fact that they can imagine being WITHOUT that person in their life. So why try to stay a part of that persons life?

I know. Some exes are just “the good person type.”  And they make great friends.They will knit a special sweater for your future wife, or will bring Uggs for your kid. Save a kitten on the way from church. They will even listen to your problems and nod like it was the most important thing they ever heard. But despite that, I just don’t get it. Why stay in contact with an ex?

What are your thoughts? Comments? Like or dislike, share your opinions with me…. :)

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The key to everything in life….

CONSISTENCY

Noun.

Consistent behavior or treatment. The key to everything in life. How so you ask?

Consistently being good. Consistently working out. Consistently working hard. Consistently caring about yourself. Consistently caring about others. Consistently making this a better planet. Consistently trying to be a better person. Consistently supporting others.

Once you stop being consistent about the good things you do, you fail. You don’t work as hard, you get bad results. You don’t workout consistently, you get fat. You get selfish. You get lazy.

No more excuses. All the stuff you are not being good at, get consistent with it. Simple as that. Maybe someone will take my advice.

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To gym or not to gym?

1:00 pm- My lunch break is over and I successfully avoided my lunch running buddies. I mean, I have horrendous back pain, what can I do?

1:15 pm- Starting to feel a little guilty about lying to my co-workers about back pain. But they always go so fast! I can’t catch up with them. It’s better I didn’t go.

3:00 pm- I feel like my legs look excessively large today. I should have gone running.

4:00 pm- Great, because I skipped my lunch run I have to stay late at the gym.

5:15 pm- I feel guilty as I drive by my gym. It’s staring judgmentally back at me. Look away, gym. There is nothing to see here!

7:00 pm- Got my grocery shopping done. My running shoes are ogling me. I feel so darn guilty. Should I go to the gym or not? I am so darn tired.

7:30 pm- David asks me why I skipped gym. I hate it when he points things out. I skipped it. So what? He mumbles something about me constantly complaining about my weight and how I should go to the gym since we paid for it.

7:32 pm- We did pay for it but I am entitled to a break, aren’t I?

7:45 PM- I drive to the damn gym. The moment I start running I actually feel better. My body is thanking me. I needed this.

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I_Really_Don't_Hate_Christmas

What to do with a Christmas hater?

I love Christmas!! But not because of the presents, or the Christmas music. For me it is all about the tree. I love to decorate the tree and then read on the couch next to it. I love to just look at the beautiful sparkle decorations and shimmering light. It is truly something special, perhaps because it reminds me of the time I still believed in Santa and I used to wait for him to bring presents. Or because I still remember how homey it felt with the tree in the living room and my Mom in the kitchen making chocolate cookies as I was cuddled up under a blanket and watched cartoons.

Since I met David, however, every year I get more frustrated and end up in tears fighting with him. He hates Christmas. I mean, he REALLY hates Christmas. He hates the Christmas season so much that he is willing to ruin it for me. I don’t know what happened to him that he is so staunchly against it but he will go out of his way to make Christmas lame for everyone.

First we argue whether or not we should have the tree, then whether we should buy new ornaments for it or not. Then he won’t help me set up the tree (which is half the fun) and then he hates on the lights. When the time comes to go Christmas shopping to buy stuff for everyone, he makes the shopping miserable. Or if I go by myself, he complains about spending money on “stupid gifts.”

It’s hard, it really is hard to deal with it every year because it makes me want to not do it anymore. The arguing is just not worth it. I get it that Christmas should be about spending time with the family, but who ever died because a tree was set up and some gifts were bought?

Do you have somebody in your family that kills the mood each year? Please comment, I can’t be the only one with a Christmas hater in my house?

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Sometimes, it’s all about luck

My entire life I was taught if you work hard, you will get far. And guess what? I did. I worked hard, got good grades in school. Went to college, didn’t drink much or cause trouble. I worked during my college years and did internships…. the whole nine yards.

And then it was time to apply for a job. I got a good offer resulting from my internship. I came home, celebrated. The fruits of my hard work paid off!

But then luck came to take a dump on my celebrations.

A colleague X, who had a history degree and a measly work experience, got a job through connections- not only did the X get a job without any effort, X got a better pay to… and X flaunted the pay right in my face.

I was wide awake for hours.. I kept thinking, why and how is it fair that X does better than me? What happened to the work hard and you will get far?

Well, years later, X kept getting higher raises. Abnormal raises. I don’t know how. And no, there is no… “and then X did something and X got fired.” No, X is still climbing the corporate ladder. Successfully. Making ever more money. Hiring friends.

And I just don’t get it. But I hope, one day, I will understand.. that sometimes in life…. you got to have luck. I can work hard all I want but if I am at the wrong place at a wrong time… there’s nothing I can do.

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Five different Titanic love stories

I’ve probably seen Titanic too many times. So have you. Don’t deny it. We’ve all sobbed, cursing the guy who didn’t spot the iceberg on time and blamed the vain, fame-seeking captain. We’ve all cried our eyes out when Rose was letting go of Jack, and felt a sense of strength and hope when she blew on that high-pitched whistle to alert people she was still alive.

I watch Titanic every so often; the story, as cheesy as it is, still appeals to me. It is the good kind of romance, the good kind of passion and the good kind of how something changes your life forever. However, I noticed that as I age, so does the way I view the love story changes.

AGE

15-ish- As any teen, I above all believed in love. The obsession they felt for each other, how they secretly met up and stole kisses and enamored glances, how they lied about Rose’s slip. It was more than romantic, it was what life was all about. Finding that one person… He was there to save her, and he ultimately saved her in the end. Love conquers all, and heartbroken Rose will forever be devoted to him, despite him laying at the bottom of the ocean. Oh, and I got a little embarrassed by the sex scene.

19ish- Starting college in my real life, I wondered how did Rose know he was the one. I had yet to meet someone so special that I would run away with and leave everything behind. The question became how can I meet the one? Is Jake the one because he is the one or because he is the only one that turns her world inside out and based on that she thinks he is the one?

24ish-  What will they do when the passion fades away? Is Rose really equipped to survive in Jack’s world? I, for one, would not leave her world just so I could wear those beautiful dresses. OK, OK, just kidding. I get it that she’s crazy in love, but having had a guy or two at that point I learned passion is not the same as love.

28ish- Marrying a rich guy who seems to want to make her happy doesn’t sound so bad. He is not even that horrendously bad-looking. He could provide for her if only she accepted him. Aren’t arranged marriages known to be very successful? People learn how to love one another and Rose should probably learn how to love the rich guy. Instead, she is messing around with the “artist” who can kind of provide for himself but could never provide for her…. And omg, is there really a future with someone who is an artist? Can’t he get a real job?

32ish- I miss the simple view of their love that I had when I was 15. Even if it was just passion and reckless thinking, for them at the time it felt like it was real. More real than imaginable. When was the last time I met somebody so special I wanted to run away with them? When was the last time I looked at something with pink, and not realistic glasses?

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pill

No, thanks- you can keep the pill that will make me live longer

As I was reading the daily gossip news on Yahoo (yes, some people still use Yahoo), I came across an article about a pill which could prolong our lives to 120 years. Now, it sounds nice in theory, but do you really want to live to be 120?

Getting old sucks! Why don’t they find a way to prolong our youth (wink, wink) because that is when the good stuff is happening. Your skin is elastic, you don’t have back pain, you don’t have to take naps in the afternoon, you are excited about change, you actually want to do things…. What good will it do me if I am 120 years old suffering from Osteoporosis/Dementia/Parkinson’s and I’m in pain?

Being old is not fun. Visiting my Grandma, who is in her eighties and lives in a home, is a painful experience. I love seeing her, but knowing who she used to be and how she is now and how tiring life is for her… It’s terrible.

I guess what I am trying to say is I won’t take the pill if it ever becomes available. I don’t care if they slow down the process of aging- it is still not worth it to me. I will be happy with the amount of time I was given on this planet and will try to make the best of it. Without chemistry. With nature.

What about you? Would you take the pill?

P.S: Thanks for taking the time to read this blog! Much appreciated! <3

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LangeTwins-4717

Thanksgiving aka the best holiday

Once Thanksgiving came, Mom opened up more and we secretly played French music when Dad wasn’t home. We danced to Edith Piaf’s songs filled with struggle and bitter love; or at least that’s what the internet said they were. I helped her with our Thanksgiving ritual; browsing through old recipe books to find the perfect Turkey stuffing recipe.- Jenna Gunner

Controversy aside, Thanksgiving for me is THE day for family. THE day to stop for a second and realizing where everyone in your life is. THE day to realize what you have and what you lost. THE day to realize the changes are happening around you. THE day to be grateful.

No other country in the world has Thanksgiving. Sure, they know the “commercialized” movie version of it where we all spend hours in the kitchen, begging the turkey to turn out right and we all end up laying around with unbuttoned pants on the couch. I mean, it happens. But there’s nothing better than giving thanks for all that you have. Because every time I hear myself say all my thanks out loud, I realize how lucky I am; how much I have- and all the stuff I want to have are exactly that, wants. The needs are covered- and I should be more than grateful!

Thanks for reading my blog! Leave a comment, tell me how you feel about Thanksgiving!

P.S1: You can get my book for FREE on Amazon only on Thanksgiving!

P.S2: Gobble, gobble! ;)

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Carnival Ecstasy

The secret lives of the cruise ship staff

You’re not supposed to talk to the staff on a cruise ship and they are not allowed to talk to you. But you see, I’m no Lady Mary material. Despite my status of the guest, I talk to the staff. I feel for the staff. And above all, I like to chat with the staff. Some are terrified when I approach them. They don’t want to be seen talking to the guest about anything else but guest-related topics. But I come back. Maybe when the store is not so busy, or when the buffet is fully stocked. I may be terrible with languages, but I know some basics. I know enough to communicate.

After the initial reluctance, they tell me things. I ask them about how life on a cruise ship really is. Are they happy with the work they chose? Do they ever think of giving up?

“They work us like slaves,” Józsa tells me. She’s a thirty-something Hungarian working as a server. She’s smoking a cigarette like it’s her last. We’re standing at a “staff only” hidden smoking corner. I am not supposed to be there. I am getting ugly stares from the Asian crew. I don’t know Chinese or Tagalog or Siamese to calm them down. They don’t know English and they don’t like my presence.

“Don’t worry about them,” Józsa notices my stare. “They’re good guys. You see Emmanuel?” She points to a short Filipino whose luscious hair is tied in a bun. “He’s dating Jana, a girl from Poland. They met on one of the cruise lines and now they are trying to work on the same ship at least, you know.” “Where is she now?” I ask. “I think she has a year contract for the Western Caribbean that will expire soon. He’s been doing everything he can to get her here. They’re really cute together.” “Oh, do you know her?” I ask. “No,” she responds. “But I’ve seen pictures. Anyway, where was I? Yes, they treat us like slaves. Our rooms are tiny and we have to share shower areas. There’s no privacy at all. We work 12 hours a day minimum. It’s shit.” I watch her frowned face. She looks so unhappy. “Will you return to Hungary?” I ask her. “Maybe you have a better chance there.” She almost giggles. “It’s same shit there. I am just paid less. Here I can at least save some money.”

Next day, sometime after my fourth slice of pizza, I notice a tall, handsome man with a chiseled jaw of Orlando Bloom. He is “Luka from Croatia” his tag tells me. I find out he’s always wanted to work on a ship; he even went to a special maritime school in Dalmatia. “I love this job!” he tells me. “Isn’t it hard work? Don’t they work you hard?” I ask. “It is, and they do,” he says and grins. “But I love it! I’ll tell you a secret, Leah, are you paying attention? The secret to this job is that you must love the sea! If you don’t love the sea, you won’t be happy. I get to see places I have never been, I don’t have to pay for my room and I make more than I would in Croatia. I love it!”

And so I meet the photographers, the waiters, the cleaners etc. I find out the jobs no one wants are taken by Asians; if you speak English at least somewhat decently you get to work at a cruise shop. The captain is (of course) a guy from Western Europe or something like that. It’s a hierarchy of positions based on your country of origin. Less third-world you are, better your chances of making good money. There are people who can’t wait for their contract to be over, and then there are those that want to stay. And those that stay, hope to save enough money to go back to their home country and maybe buy a little tiny place they can call home.

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