Reflections from the Road | Vol. 11

After a few months working hard to replenish my bank account and catch up with family and friends at home, I’ve finally hit the road again! Here’s a glimpse inside the wide world of Angie Away in September and October 2012.

Packing for Hawaii & Morocco – a very difficult task

Highs

Blue Hawaii. Since Oct. 5, I’ve been exploring Hawaii’s Garden Isle via Cessna, catamaran and bicycle with my brother, Alex. Our uncle lives here on Kauai, so we’re spending plenty of family time and hosting pool parties & dinners at our condo. We spent a fabulous few days exploring with the adorable Alex in Wanderland, who popped over from Maui, and two more dear friends from home arrived on Tuesday.

So far, it’s been excellent brother-sister bonding time – all that paddle boarding, hiking and beach hopping and we’re not sick of each other yet. I’m still just so grateful that my top male travel partner is still alive! And so grateful that I have such strong relationships with both of my siblings… which brings me to:

Rae’s Birthday Extravaganza. I’ve lived away from my family for so long, for both long term travel and just general life, that I have missed quite a few milestones. Last year’s travels had me penniless at a pivotal moment: my baby sister’s 18th birthday. Since I couldn’t splash out for anything really special then, I decided to do something memorable for her 19th birthday. Since she’s just started college, I had to get creative, so I took her on a RTW trip in our own town. We zip-lined over alligators in St. Augustine, took hilarious photos, ate exotic cuisine and got massages at a local spa. You don’t have to get on a plane to see the world, as it turns out.

#AKAway Intrepid Contest. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about my partnership with Kirsten Alana of Aviators & A Camera and Intrepid Travel! After our respective readers voted that we should head to Morocco next, we teamed up to give away two spots on an upcoming trip to fans of our sites. See What’s Next for details and thank you so much to everyone who entered!

Tattling on my brother – ever the risk-taker

Lows

NYC Destruction. I confess I’ve hardly been able to tear myself away from coverage of Hurricane Sandy. Seeing the ruin of so many places I’ve lived and worked and played for years has brought me to tears several times over the past few days. As far as I know, my friends are all safe, but many have significant property damage and some won’t have electricity for weeks. Some folks at my old church lost everything. It’s going to be a long recovery ahead, but if I learned anything during my time in NYC, it’s that New Yorkers are the most resilient people in the world, and they’ll bounce back better and stronger than ever.

Tsunamis & Centipedes. Even paradise has its downsides, and Alex & I have experienced a couple of Kauai’s less attractive situations over the past couple of weeks. First, a scary poisonous centipede invaded our condo (hilarity ensued) and then we had a close call with a tsunami generated by the 7.7 quake in British Columbia on Oct. 27. Fortunately it was a false alarm and there were no injuries or damages, but still it was scary for a few hours as the sirens blared, and not at all what we had planned for a Saturday night.

Remodeling Sucks.The perfect storm of my parents’ rental properties becoming vacant and needing significant updates spilled over into September. If I never paint another wall, door, cabinet or ceiling, it’ll be too soon. Now all the work is done and we have newly remodeled homes for rent in Jacksonville… whoopity doo.

Injuries. You know, it had been a while since my latest attempt at self-sabotage… so I decided to go ahead and do myself in with two hardcore falls in just four days. First, I was ice skating, which normally I’m pretty stinking great at if I do say so myself, and I got startled and launched into the air, landing flat on my chest on the ice. I was lucky not to bust my face open.

A few days later, I was still hurting from the frontal fall. Rae & I were watching a Dance Moms marathon (please don’t judge me) and she decided we should attempt pirouettes to see if we could stack up to Abby Lee Miller’s dancers. When we didn’t spin fast enough, Rae suggested we put socks on to help us speed up… so, yeah, I’m dumb, and I agreed instead of being the mature, wise adult in that situation. I slipped and landed so hard, so brutally hard, just to the right of my tailbone. I heard a terrible crack and literally thought I might be paralyzed. I couldn’t get up for several terrifying minutes but eventually Rae helped me to the couch where I had to lie face down for days. I had to keep ice in my pants for a whole week (hey, no jokes) and all these weeks later, it still isn’t fully healed.

Note to self: don’t be such an idiot.

Sister fun time in St. Augustine, Florida

Lessons

Don’t pirouette on the slippery kitchen floor. No explanation required.

Home can be tricky. I love my family and I’d venture to say we’re closer than just about any other family I know. But four months living with mom and dad has been understandably trying at times. I’ve learned that if I want to stay friends with them, it might just be best if I get my own place. Or travel indefinitely. Hmmmm.

Home can be dangerous. There’ve been a few incidents in my hometown that have shocked me back to reality. I think The World may actually be a bit safer…

Meeting Kauai’s Mayor

What’s Next

We can make our plans but God determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

Morocco. On Nov. 15, I’ll fly from Kauai to Los Angeles to NYC to Madrid to Casablanca where I’ll begin my Intrepid Travel Morocco Experience. To say I’m excited is an understatement! I get to travel with Kirsten again, meet our awesome contest winners AND explore a new country. After 6 months in the USA, I’m overdue for a new adventure abroad.

Holiday Gift Guide. The first annual Angie Away gift guide is coming soon and I’ll be giving away a fabulous travel prize. Stay tuned!

Passports with Purpose. I’m putting my own efforts to raise money for Adopt-a-Slum on hold for a moment to participate in Passports with Purpose, the official travel blogger fundraiser. This year, all funds are going to support Water.org in their effort to build wells in Haiti. If you’ve never participated before, seriously, get excited. You can win some phenomenal prizes (just wait ’til you see what I’m giving away!) and help people in need all at the same time. Coming Nov. 28!

Grown up decisions. I’m about 90% sure I’m going to sign a lease for an apartment in Jacksonville. I’m ready to have a home base for a while and cut travel down to about 60%. I still reserve the right to change my mind on this though, so don’t hold me to it. I just think I’m ready for a little stability and maybe a couple of sedentary friends and a church home and a steady diet and exercise regime…

New travel tales! Coming soon… lots of Europe coverage, even more Hawaii goodness and all the details from fabulous Morocco!

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Do you get hurt as much as I do? Do you like to travel with your siblings? Would you live at home with your parents again? 

Leave me a note in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

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  • November 01, 2012

    I don’t have siblings – I always wondered what it would be like to travel with one. You are lucky to have a brother you love.

  • November 01, 2012

    …and sister (oops!).

  • November 01, 2012
    Evan&Karl

    Yo what up gurl! its yo men, Evan and Karl 🙂 how are you doing? we just wanted to holla and say whats up! hope everything is going well with you! one day we are going to travel with you 🙂

  • November 02, 2012

    I’m excited to follow along with your Morocco trip (sad I didn’t win!). That’ll be amazing. Sounds like you’re ready to put down some roots and settling close to home sounds like a good option. The world has much to offer us, but only home has the ones we love most. I suppose I might live with my mom again (though this time a husband would be in tow!) if need be, but at this point, I’d just settle for living in the same country!

  • November 02, 2012

    Travel safe and take lots of pics! I loved Morocco. 🙂

  • November 02, 2012

    So happy to have made it into the highlights 🙂 Loved getting to know 2/3rds of the Orth siblings!

    Very excited for the holiday gift guide!

    • November 02, 2012

      Still SUPER jealous about the meeting of my favorite blogging girls in one of my favorite destinations.

  • November 02, 2012

    Does Rae Rae’s 20th birthday include a reprise of the 2010 WWoHP trip with the Luna gals???

  • November 02, 2012

    I’m sorry about your tailbone, ouch! Have a safe trip and an amazing time in Morocco… that was my vote for your trip by the way!

  • November 12, 2012
    Samuel

    I read about how you were thinking of leasing an apartment. Glad to hear your still planning on traveling though, your stories are always so interesting.

  • November 15, 2012

    Great update – heres to the next 22 months ! 🙂

    Duncan

  • November 18, 2012

    I don’t have any siblings but I have a sister-in-law. We tried traveling with her once – to Hawaii ironically – and it was disastrous! We won’t be doing that again. So good thing my hubby is such an excellent travel partner.

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