Banana Hammock Escapades

…Your reality is what you make it.

—>> Holiday Delights

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Hello, everyone!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  Well, this week has been pretty relaxing and just plain fun.  I have been enjoying the holiday with all of my family in the Lone Star state, in the great city of Austin.  This holiday season has been a bit different from most of my past winter holidays because I am not in Mississippi for it.  I have always visited my family during the spring and summer, so this has been awesome.  I am not used to seeing Texas decked out with Christmas lights for the holidays or being cold in Texas, for that matter!  I am currently enjoying being unemployed – hoping it won’t be too long until I land my first teaching job though.  So, these last few weeks have been the calmest I have seen in quite some time.  So, that being said – I have been making the most of it – I have spent a lot of time exploring Austin.  I love that it is so easy to be healthy here!  I have no problems locating great spots to indulge myself in wonderfully healthy treats.  I spent the entire day yesterday just riding the bus all over town and walking up and down the streets downtown.  I just recently bought myself my first professional camera and laptop bag, it is the Libby bag from Kelly Moore.  It was designed for women, so it looks very stylish and is perfect for everyday use.  This bag is awesome, not only is it able to carry my 17-inch MacBook Pro; but it can also carry both of my cameras, my multiple lenses, and all of my other miscellaneous camera equipment that I have accumulated.  Plus there is room for my everyday items that I need on a day-to-day basis.  This bag is going to make the perfect travel companion for my upcoming adventure, which is set to start in less than one week.  Sara, my kitty, Briley and I are set to fly out on Tuesday afternoon.  We will be landing in Costa Rica just in time to celebrate the new year.  I haven’t decided on my New Year’s resolution yet, perhaps I may be cliché and start my long-intended plan to start working out.  Have you all decided what it is that you are going to different in the new year, if anything?

Sunset view of South Congress street from Capitol hill.

Sunset view of South Congress street from Capitol hill.

Taking time to take a stroll along Guadeloupe street and have a lunch date with my wonderful boyfriend, Daniel.

Street vendor on Guadeloupe.

Street vendor on Guadeloupe.

Wedded bliss at Capitol hill.

Wedded bliss at Capitol hill.

Vintage parking sign.

Vintage parking sign.

Welcome to Austin!

Welcome to Austin!

The Lone Star state's Capitol building.

The Lone Star state’s Capitol building.

The Wikileaks van spotted in my storage facility!

The Wikileaks van spotted in my storage facility!

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——» Moving Hoopla

Today marks a great day to start officially blogging on my new blog.  Welcome, readers!  I am delighted that you have chosen to make yourself acquainted with my little corner of the blogosphere, I hope you will stick around.  I have been trying to work diligently on creating and banging out ideas for what it is that I really want to blog about but working as much as possible, while also managing and completing everything that goes along with such a huge move is quite difficult – as most would guess – and I am still currently banging out those ideas.    I would have to say that my life has been pretty chaotic these last few months, which have been leading up to my first international move.  Last weekend I made the move, I moved all my belongings to Austin, Texas!  Just my buddy, Sean, my kitty-cat, Briley, and myself and the long, chaotic drive.  I say chaotic because chaos seems to follow me – it’s been this way since my grand entrance into this world (my mother loves telling stories of my clumsiness as a young child and anyone who knows me can attest to my clumsiness/bad luck.)

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It was a cramped ride all the way to Austin in the Uhaul.

I should bring you up to speed with what lead up to this last statement, because if you’re like most I have told this story to – you too think I may be a bit off my rocker or be very excited for me and the adventure that is about to unfold.  Those two reactions seem to be the most common reactions whenever I tell people what I am preparing to do.  You see, I live in a rather small town on the coast of Mississippi, Ocean Springs.  It’s a particularly quaint and quirky town, there is no shortage of wonderfully eccentric people.  Many people in the United States have heard of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I live in the area that has been devastated by both of these events.  Katrina wasn’t what made me really want to leave Mississippi, it was the BP oil spill that happened nearly three years ago that really was the final reason that I needed to make this difficult decision.  While most in the area seem to be uninterested in what the short and long-term effects of the oil and the use of dispersants in our water really mean for us and the people that we know, I am on the other end of that spectrum, I completely disagreed with the Government’s use of Corexic to fix the disaster.  That is a whole other discussion – perhaps for a later date?  I graduated from college a year-and-a-half-ago with my bachelor’s degree in journalism and since then I have had little luck in locating a remotely decent position within my intended field.  South Mississippi is a rather difficult area to pursue a fulfilling career in environmental journalism.  The April following my graduation, I decided to make the leap I had been talking about for quite some time and sold my car.  I now commute by bicycle and carpooling with friends.  So, let me make my way back to topic, this decision to commute by bike also helped in deciding what it was that I wanted out of my life and what I am willing to do to achieve that.  Also, lack of any real job opportunities made it that much easier to make the needed leap for such a grand move.  It also helps that my boyfriend is always down for a little adventure as well – so here we are – at the turning point I have been working towards for over a year-and-a-half.  I am going to be joined in my new life adventure with my boyfriend, Daniel, our two dogs, Brady and Leila, and our cat, Briley; along with our friend, Sara.  Now, we moving ourselves, our lives, and our animals to Latin America in search of new beginnings.  I hope you will decide to follow along as I embark on this new journey in the great game we call life.

♥ Alexandra Cathlin