Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Once upon a time, there was a girl of merely eighteen, who lived in a great world of abundance. She spent her days spilling her dreams into a leather-bound journal and her nights contently living inside her head. She looked outside her window every morning at the endless rows of wheat, sipping her coffee, wondering silently to herself where those fields ended and where life began.
She left on a Friday, her journal still in hand, her dreams still in head, temporarily trading her world of abundance for a few feet of suitcase and a couple of strange beds. She took a few planes, rising above the veins of her town, watching them mingle and intertwine. The fields of wheat became rows of humbling skyscrapers. The flat, mundane land turned lush and green right before her eyes. On the final plane toward her dream world, she watched the sunrise against the Atlantic ocean while traveling 25,000 feet above it. She wasn’t just in the veins of a city anymore, she was in the heart of the world. She suddenly realized, this is where life began.
For the next month, she simply wandered.
Every morning she woke up as if it was for the first time. She looked outside her window at the nearly extraterrestrial world the lay before her, sipping her coffee, wondering silently to herself why she ever counted life in years rather than miles. For the first time, she felt understood. Her lightness was appreciated and her darkness embraced by cities who always left her with more questions than answers.
Surrounded by languages she knew she would never be able to imitate, she met other travelers in English pubs, all of them intriguing, all of them gone before she had the chance to say goodbye.
Still clutching her train ticket ever-so-nostalgically, she journaled in the famous coffee shops of Amsterdam, watching smoke delicately dance all around, tugging at strangers’ lips then disappearing into nothingness, as elusive and unpredictable as her own heart. She tried to tread quietly, knowing this world would soon forget her, but even so, her laughter still mixed with friendly giants and naked bikers in magical parks. Red lights still bounced off her own eyes and reflected into another, eerily familiar set. She soon realized that she didn’t know how to feel about leaving the city that had effortlessly and unexpectedly captured her heart, so she simply felt- her salty tears catching on the slight curve of her smile before dropping, permanently etched into the water that absentmindedly flows through the Dutch canals.
In Paris, she observed the city shrinking right along with her ego as a lift casually scaled her up to the top of the Eiffel. Distanced from both earth and reality, her red dress was utterly consumed by the glittering tower. She watched her journey come to an end in The City of Lights, concluding it all with one final act of permanence.
She hoarded memories, selfishly keeping them all for herself, safe in her mind, sharing them only with those present and of course her nearly full journal, knowing the world she was now flying back to would never fully understand or even truly care.
But she cared. And that was enough.
Friday, July 4th, 2014
Hi I love traveling alone and I want to do this forever.
I think I will.
When I arrived in London, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and alone. I flew in not only on a friday the 13th, but on a full moon as well. My flight from Wichita to Chicago went relatively smooth- only twenty minutes late. My second flight from Chicago to New York was nearly six hours late because of some biblical storm in NYC. When we finally arrived at JFK airport, we circled until we were out of fuel because everything was so backed up. When we touched down, we waited thirty minutes on our landed plane to park at the terminal. Then we were legitimately locked in our gate’s hallway for ten minutes. The power on my third flight from NYC to London went out and that might have been the scariest bit of my trip. My luggage was lost for two days and I was in my own daze.
EVERYTHING WENT UP FROM THERE
I’ve never felt more in sync with my brain. It’s fun to test my limits. I’ve met the most interesting people, I’ve navigated cities all by my lonesome, and I’ve learned more about myself in the past few weeks than I have in my entire existence. I don’t really have many pictures of London which is odd because I was there for actually ever. Pictures and even words have been so secondary lately. There is no way I can do any sort of justice to this planet, so I kind of just decided to live it.
I met up with one of my friend’s from back home friends. Who lives in Georgia and happened to be in London at the same time as me. We did touristy things and ate weird foods and I like her. I made so many lovely friends in London, but it was nice to get away from the speedy city of London for a few hours and make my way to Bath, which I’m still lusting over. That’s a city I would live in. I specifically love all of the parks. Everyone just straight up chills wherever- reading, drinking, talking, being. It’s nice to see that kind of relaxation. (update: Bath didn’t compare to Amsterdam)
I visited the Roman Baths- which were being emptied and cleaned (lol what?!) Aside from the fact that the Romans were architectural geniuses and the baths still function properly twenty centuries in the future, the part that intrigued me the most was that they thought the hot springs were the gods and the goddesses, so of course they bathed to heal and socialize, but they also wrote lists of wrong doers, saying things like “Kurt stole two silver coins from me. He deserves to be without a mind and a tongue” and they threw these comments in the hot spring in order to get the gods attention. Some were just lists of names. A hit list for the gods? Like high school only in the first century. They actually had a preserved skeleton of a Roman who lived in Bath, which intrigued me because hello, anatomy and bones and all things odd.
I miss my family. I’ve never been away from them for this long. I miss my kitten. She isn’t a kitten anymore. I miss my bed. I miss being able to be naked whenever I want. I miss peanut butter. I miss constants. But I’ll miss this. I’ve never felt more present. Everything from “home” has melted away. Every problem, every boy seems irrelevant. I don’t know how to small talk anymore. I don’t know what I’ll tell people about this trip. This journey has forced me to face myself and to reevaluate absolutely everything from what I’ll do for the rest of my summer to what I’ll do for the rest of my life.
I have all of these stories that I don’t even feel like sharing with anyone. I know. The people I was with know. That’s enough.
Even this general post feels odd. I couldn’t begin to describe any specifics to anyone but my journal if I tried.
I know I’m posting this from Paris on Independence Day, and that’s weird. I’ve never not seen fireworks on the fourth of July, but honestly I’ve never felt more independent. I wanted my life to change and it has. I wanted to feel and I have. I’m not even two decades into this world and I’ve done done things that dying humans wish they would have had the courage to do at 18 or 20 or even 90, and I’m at peace.
Topknots and Travels
Friday, June 13th, 2014
Friday the 13th. I’m living on a total of two hours of sleep. Surviving on coffee. I’m leaving for Europe TODAY. As I type this, I’m sitting in an airport terminal. I’ve decided to wait to write this post until it feels real enough. First stop- London. I’ll be exploring Europe on my own for around a month! Whenever I tell that to people, they freak out. Even my parents have seen the movie Taken one too many times. I feel so many things in this moment- anxiety, bliss, euphoria; I can’t stop smiling. How did this happen? How am I able to live this amazing life? This is too much. I decided to travel this summer a long time ago. (Literally years.) I’m about to transition into a huge part of my life. I’m moving out in August. To my favorite city in Kansas. I’m at a point where I’m making huge, life-changing decisions, and I just feel the need to do some soul searching- go on a life-changing trip to match. I’m ready to learn how to put myself out there and overcome these anxieties I have been living with for so long. I need to learn the right way to live in the present. I need to experience. I’m so READY to take control of my life and really LIVE it. I can’t begin to explain how wanderlusty I am. I’m such a travel cliché. Why would anybody want to live an average life? I am curious by nature, and I can’t wait to explore this beautiful planet I’ve been placed on by some miracle of the universe. This is finally an opportunity for me to retain new energy and inspiration and my own being. I chose to go alone so I can get the most out of this journey. I want to journal in coffee shops, see the sights through my own eyes, and do what I want, when I want. People don’t want to be alone, naturally. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to face themselves. But that’s the only way to realize who you truly are…… by being alone. My desires are experiences rather than objects, which is an odd thing coming from a fashion blogger who goes by the domain name of “Vanity-Laced.” I don’t want to travel, I need to. I only feel like myself when I’m living out of a suitcase, planning, and improvising. None of this has felt real yet. I don’t think it’s really going to kick in until I’m walking the streets of London, honestly. One of my friends also happens to be independently traveling Europe right NOW as well?!?! I’ve stressed so much about this trip and he’s actually helped me sort out my mentality about this trip in ways I wish I could put into words. (I don’t think he even realizes it lol.) it’s just comforting to know that somebody out there from my tiny Kansas town has the same mindset as I do and is making the same mistakes right now. I will try and keep you all updated as much as possibly. I’m looking forward to sharing these moments with you all. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m tired of trying to imagine. I will land and my mind is going to explode. I don’t care what happens on this trip, which is something most people can’t grasp. I WILL get lost. I will make American tourist mistakes. But I will learn, I will watch my own ego dissolve, and I will evolve. This shirt has every single one of my intentions on it. I couldn’t summarize this situation any better. Remember, you can be a light absolutely ANYWHERE. Treat everyday as if you were on a life-altering journey, because in this moment, you ARE.
Sunday, May 11th, 2014
I recently booked my plane tickets for solo-traveling Europe for a month and I’m absolutely petrified with fear and excitement and terror and have you seen the movie Taken? But I walked into our local coffee shop alone yesterday and tried to journal a bit and drink my soy latte but I couldn’t because people kept asking me why I was there alone and that one little instance just justified my whole entire trip. Anonymity is rare where I live. Sometimes shit gets old in your tiny midwest town and and you have to leave now otherwise you may never have the nerve to again. I would make a post featuring my mum for mother’s day, but unfortunately, she hates photos and the interweb- so instead, I will show off one of my favorite dresses to date! This is the ‘Traveling Cupcake Truck’ dress from ModCloth! How appropriate is the name of this cute little frock? That’s the goal of this trip- to look like a cupcake traveler rather than a muffin tourist. Fit and flare dresses are my go-to silhouette; it’s such a classic cut, and flattering on nearly every shape. (Not to mention ‘fit and flare’ is code for twirly) The removable strap on this dress in particular adds a bit of versatility as well as a vintage 50s edge. I wore this outfit out of town this week and received so many compliments! Nobody can hate a pink polka dotted twirly dress, I suppose. I would hate to take away from the essence of this lovely dress by over-accessorizing, so I simply paired it with my fav white pointed heels and a matching clutch. There are literally so many places I could see myself wearing this dress- brunch with my best friend, a dinner date, disney world. Youthful sophistication at its finest.
Heels: Nasty Gal Shoe Cult