It’s all happening

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

We had a plan.

After sharing my unfounded but very real passion for Istanbul with my now roommate, we made a pact to make the trip at the end of our lease together – a last hurrah for us in a way, and if things kept on the path they seemed to be, perhaps even a last hurrah for my ‘single’ self.

Partly in hopes of rationing the voice in my head that said things like too far, too expensive, too different, I tried to be responsible. I plotted vacation days on my calendar. I spent hours researching the best credit card for miles (Chase Sapphire Preferred, by the way) then actually got it this time. I steered clear of city research to avoid getting too excited too soon or worse, let down.

Istanbul Streets

Then out of the blue, I got a text: “I can go to Istanbul!!! Let’s GO”

The five (or ten) that followed were filled with dates, exclamation points, summer sale prices and more than our fair share of smiley face variations. One quick trip to Starbucks later we had researched plane tickets and the roommate was literally bouncing off the chair to hit “purchase” when that voice came back again with “reasons”…what if it uses all of my vacation days, what if it costs too much without all my bonus miles, what if it disrupts my dietary needs/issues?

I’m a pretty impulsive traveler by nature, so all this hesitation was so unlike me. For example, my first ticket to New York was purchased on a whim immediately upon opening a travel deal email and without a second thought toward where we’d sleep…and it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life!

Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

One week later, though, it was clear: the only thing holding me back from Istanbul was me. With the green light from my work and bank, there really was no reason NOT to hit purchase…so we did.

That’s right – I’ll be spending an entire week in ISTANBUL in just 5 weeks! We also timed it perfectly to squeeze out a weekend in New York beforehand.

Pamukkale Turkey

Seriously.

If you’ve been following Finding Tiffany’s for awhile, my wanderlust is no secret. It’s also no secret that I’ve been obsessing over both Istanbul and New York, specifically, for quite some time now. I’m literally going on my ideal trip, accomplishing my latest major life-travel goal.

I’m not exactly sure when I allowed the aforementioned fear to creep in, but I realize now why it did. It’s kinda a scary thing when you accomplish what you thought was a huge goal much sooner than you expected. Yeah there’s always the fear of being disappointed after all the hype, but really it’s more the wide-open realization…Now what?

In the words of my coworker: “Now you need a bigger goal.”

Istanbul Bridge Europe to Asia, East and West

Different versions of living

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So I was going to write today on how I’ve been such a terrible blogger this last week and completely unmotivated. I simply couldn’t think of anything to write about. And about how having a clean car and a freshly organized closet makes me feel more put together and like an adult. But then I read Sarah’s post.

We write a lot about careers here at Finding Tiffanys so it’s no secret that Sarah and I are very career focused people. I found her article from Forbes “Why we need to take 20-somethings seriously” to be so comforting, albeit very intimidating [and encouraged my continued focus on the age old question, what’s the next step in my career?]. But again, comforting. Here’s why. When I graduated college I had no yearning to explore the world. I wanted to start my career. Although I made a big misstep post college, I was still looking to get on track. The prospect of starting out on a career in advertising was so exciting to me, and it still is. However free spirited friends caused me to have this feeling that something was wrong with me. And that I would wake up one day when I’m 35 (this is the age I assume I’ll have it together by) and regret not living.

But I’ve since learned that this whimsical “living” doesn’t have to have an exact definition.  My version of living might not be the same as yours. There’s nothing wrong with geting a high from working hard in front of a computer 9-5. And that you can’t plan your life or make rules of “I’ll never do…” Life simply doesn’t happen that way. Did I imagine that I would have to live at home working at Starbucks for a few months to restart my career track? Hell to the no. But now I look back at that time as a great experience. One where I met some amazing people, made good friends, got to know my parents again and started drinking my coffee black (one hipster point for me, yeah!).  The stories I hear of people at the ripe of age of 30 who quit their job and started traveling the world instead, sound amazing. And sometimes I think that I wish I had that kind of yearning to explore. But I don’t. At least not right now.

Basically what I am trying to get at is that this article reminded me that no life plan is right for everyone nor will your plan remain static. So when I also read articles like  “How I Became a 21-Year-Old Business Executive,” my instant reaction is to deem myself lazy and undeserving of the position I so dearly want. But then I remind myself to pause and think about it. This girl graduated college early, but hey, I loved college. I mean really loved it. Even now I wouldn’t have given that up to graduate early and to load up on the business courses. I wouldn’t trade that experience, the friendships, or meeting Sam Bradford for anything.

With all that said, I am currently undergoing a panic of “what am I doing next and where am I doing it,” as I enjoy doing every so often. Because by “currently” we’re talking about everyday since I walked across that graduation stage. So I am reminding myself to take a deep breathe. Nothing needs to be laid out or planned. As a person who changed their major like Lindsay Lohan changes rehab clinics, I can say that I’ve made dozens upon dozens of plans for my life. And have stuck to none of them. Yet, here I am. Living in a great apartment, with a boyfriend I love, a dog who has the face to get away with anything and a career that I look forward to building (oh, and did I mention the clean car and organized closet?). All you can do is work your ass off, impress your coworkers and keep striving for better. To me, this is livingAt least until I change my mind that is. 😉

D.C. life

Newseum in DC - first amendment DC brunch - ardeo + bardeo DCnewseum - good photography quote Newseum - Berlin Wall artNewseum freedomGoing into my long weekend, I have to say I was a little skeptical about D.C. After living nearby in Virginia for several, albeit younger, years and a couple visits later, I still wasn’t sold on the magic of our capitol city. As far as U.S. cities go, New York, Seattle, Austin and Boston inspired an instant infatuation that has only grown stronger since my last visits. Los Angeles won me over with one of the best weeks of my life, and let’s face it, I’ve always been a self-proclaimed California girl at heart (with the birth certificate location to match, thank you very much)!

While I still don’t feel like I really “know” D.C. after this weekend’s trip, I can now say that I do see why people like it and have deemed it worth further exploration. Despite the too close for comfort winter storm warning, my trip enjoyed fantastically sunny weather with just the right amount of morning chill. On top of the weather, I also had some pretty good food, including a completely perfect brunch at Ardeo + Bardeo (great food, menu, atmosphere, service all with bottomless mimosas at decent prices) and a special night thanks to my cousin at Matchbox. Seeing his culinary success firsthand and hearing our waiter tell me, “We always take care of family,” filled me with Italian pride. And as this is probably the strongest familial, food-related pride there is, that’s really saying something.

Now it’s back to real life, and I’m taking this as the perfect opportunity to get back on track with a lot of real life things.

Between the traveling, health costs and a growing combination of laziness/never enough time, my budget has really gone out the window this year. I literally cannot afford to keep carrying on this way, so I’ll be taking stock this week, re-prioritizing expenditures and brainstorming some hopefully cheaper ways to continue exploring Dallas.

I’m forcing myself to write this next one as I’m really not feeling the motivation, but I know I’ll thank myself later…It’s er…well, time to start working out again. There, I said it, and if I’m being honest, I’m even feel a little relieved. I will be adding a couple yoga classes to my week, at least one (although I could probably stand more) runs, and looking for ways to be more active in general. Have you been seeing all the buzz lately about how bad sitting all day is for us? I’m feeling a little more motivated already…