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It was my birthday, I had just met a guy’s family I had been dating the month before; and he dumped me two days later. Even though they sent a letter saying how nice I was and how much they appreciated all the help I gave them while I had been there. It still really did a number on me. So you know what, I decided I was going to get out of my own head, and wanted to spend my Birthday in Disneyland in California. Disneyland on your birthday is amazing by the way, they give you these enormous pins that have your name and Happy Birthday on it; then every cast member (worker) there has to say “Happy Birthday Janiel” — makes you feel so special…..even if they are paid to do it. I told my two roommates/best friends/sisters from other misters, that we were going to Disneyland. Emily is the spontaneous & carefree one (the blonde), and Cari is the one that entertains us the whole time (the burnette); and I’m the one that is also spontaneous, but is the planner and pusher. IMG_0706                   IMG_0703 It was 8pm in Las Vegas, and by 10pm we hit the road. We stopped at the oddest café on the road, an 80’s café that was apparently featured on the Food Network channel. We got breakfast because we were all starving and beginning to get, what I call, sleep drunk. We got to California at 2 am, we all forgot our pajamas, stayed at a friends house there overnight til we could check into our hotel. Ended up pretending to be princesses out of the different movies, piled into a King sized bed & attempted to sleep. The next day we were all so excited to go to Disneyland we arrived at 8am & spent the day frolicking at the Happiest Place on earth, and made me the happiest Birthday Girl on Earth. IMG_0721 So what’s the point of this story? Other than telling you how AMAZING Disneyland is & how it cures broken hearts. Its the spontaneous adventure that lead to some deep and lasting bonding on the beaches in California in November. IMG_0747 None of us could afford to go to Disneyland for 3 days, and we wanted to spend some relaxing time at the beach. It was November and it the waters were frigid, we went swimming anyway. IMG_0679 I’m sure we looked crazy, even the Seagulls were looking at us like we were. IMG_0676 The beach was virtually empty, except for the Seagulls, which Cari was trying to figure out how to adopt and feed all of them. Emily and I were frozen solid but smiling like fools, we all felt free….like the worries that plagued us at home were gone. I think that is what traveling does to you in general, but when you do it spontaneously I think it helps you heal. Why? Well because you don’t worry about the next step, or the next week for those few days/weeks & can just enjoy being in the moment & you end up subconsciously practicing mindfulness. IMG_0689 So what is mindfulness you ask? It is being in the present moment, and not having the distractions of daily life. If pushing aside the feelings of intense hurt, worry, anxiety, anger, and noticing what and who is around you. The crisp air, the goosebumps on my skin, the sounds of seagulls, the smell of the salty ocean & the beautiful serenity of being alone on the beach in a quiet environment with nothing but the sound of the waves to wash away the worries inside my head. IMG_0696IMG_0698 Whey I am mindful, even if it is subconsciously, I notice that I see the photographic stories around me much more clearly. I appreciate that there is life out there beyond what the live wires, anxiety, or what I like to call my ‘crazy monkeys’ inside my head are trying to come in like a wrecking ball and destroy my serenity. So I encourage all of you to take 2 hours or even 20 minutes, walk outside, no matter what the weather is, and notice the smells, the colors, the sounds, and how you are feeling. I promise it will not only relax you, but may bring a small measure of peace back into your life. Happy travels my friends, and never stop believing things in your life can change. IMG_0692]]>