Staying Grounded


Remember that one time I said I was going to blog every day? Let’s just all have a good healthy laugh over that one, shall we? That being said, I have been traveling like a maniac lately.


I live in airports.
I sleep in terminals.
I work in coffee shops.

There are so many rewarding aspects to a career as a travel writer, but it has its serious down falls. Like now, for instance, I’m high over Mexico City, flying home from the last of two press trips. This is my eighth flight in eleven days- and I still have one more to go. I’m at Hour 3 of 8 hours total of flying today. I woke up at 4:45am; I won’t get home until midnight. Because this isn’t my first rodeo, I know when I walk in my front door tonight I’ll be exhausted, hungry and overwhelmed from an entire day of trying to get back.

For all of the frustrations and foibles of traveling, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world. The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve been blessed to have, the ways my eyes have been opened to different people and cultures – I know the opportunity I am given to see the world is more than most people will get in a lifetime, yet still I find reasons to complain. Long lines, missed connections, hours spent waiting on the tarmac, hours spent waiting to board, hours spent waiting. Yet it seems every time I throw myself into an exasperated tizzy, I am quickly confronted by something or someone who teaches me better. For all the posh accommodations and luxury settings, these trips often are the times I am most humbled and most reminded of all the things I am so lucky to have at home – a supportive, loving family / admirable, true friends / the world’s most neurotic (but handsome!) dog / and a city that inspires me, grows me, and welcomes me back every time.

Like It Or Not
Blogging everyday is like Thanksgiving dinner. I love all the sides – the mash potatoes, the stuffing, the chacuterie plate we all snack on leading up to big meal. But the turkey? Meh. I could do without the turkey. It’s the same with blogging – I love all the steps I take leading up to the actual blogging itself. I get my laptop and head to my favorite coffee shop, order a coffee, set my stuff out stragetically on the table, take in the atmosphere … but when it’s time to blog? Meh. What is there to write about?
What’s annoying is on the way to the coffee shop I have a million ibrilliant ideas that are relevant and clever. What’s even more annoying is that I call myself a writer, but when the time comes to write – I got nothing.
On that note, blogging is also an exercise in self-confidence. I would post much more often if I didn’t finish some piece of writing, re-read it, and immediately delete it, telling myself, “No one wants to hear this. This is boring. Try again later.”
So whether I like it or not, I am force blogging. I’m going to write myself a schedule, I am going to write every day, and I’m not going to second guess myself.
Doing it.
For real.
Ready. Set. Go.

I’m not afraid of heights, but lately it feels like I’ve been standing on the edge of a cliff, one foot dangling precariously over nothingness, transferring my weight from what is rooted in the ground to what is completely unknown. Like the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. All I can do is pray that in the end, if I have faith in the construction, I will come down on something solid.


The tears finally came, filling my eyes, brimming over, running down my cheeks. I pushed back up against my bedroom wall and slid down until I had crumpled into a heap, my head between my knees, arms lying limp at my sides.

When I was little, I would lay in bed holding my sheet up, filling it with air, and then letting it fall around me, like a dusting of snow. This is the closest way I can describe how the grief found me. It fell down around me, all at once, encompassing. I cried for the sudden change in the present; I cried for the smoldering remains of the past. I cried because I was equally as excited as I was terrified. I cried because life is not fair and because it is strangely wonderful. I cried because I felt everything at once.


“I’m not normal.”

I’ve said this one thousand times. Usually on first dates, because hey, might as well get it out there from the beginning. I’m not here to waste anyone’s time.

When it comes to relationships I have no clue what normal is. My first real relationship (if you want to call it that) started in college and ended in divorce, and in between those two bookends, it was filled with intense highs, devastating lows, drama, lies, and the kind of manipulation that would put Queen Cersei to shame. It took me three years to heal; I emerged even more naive than I was in the beginning.

Sadly, the more relationships I have gone on to have, the more screwed up I have become. Or, at least, I think I’m being screwed up. Again, I don’t know what normal is. I know I’m not supposed to be sad. I know it’s not supposed to be a battle every day. Other than that, all is fair in love and war… right?

Post aforementioned soap-operatic divorce, pre-healing, I threw myself into a relationship that I would look back on in the years to come and regret how unable I was to appreciate what a healthy relationship looks like. Hindsight is 20/20. Hindsite is also a bitch.

Three years later…

 There have been exactly two relationships I would classify as legit. The first destroyed me. On shaky baby deer legs, I opened up to someone else and subsequently got punched in the throat. Duly noted. The second I went into timidly, but after a couple months of dating, felt I could believe what we had was becoming something real. Enter: An impromptu temper tantrum in front of a crowd of people in which I was accused of being “a disrespectful, disloyal, blatant liar” for something I was completely innocent of. I couldn’t talk him out of it; I couldn’t talk myself into getting back into the dating pool for another six months.

I am Samantha’s Total Confusion.

Maybe not knowing what is normal is the new normal. And if not knowing what is normal is normal, than I am normal as hell.


photo (1)