Starbucks

Only one more week of these asinine posts before I’m off across the Atlantic!

For the past few weeks I’ve spent hours upon end at Starbucks because they’re so many of them and since I’m homeless until the trip I go there for internet access. (I’ve been staying with a rotating selection of friends and family, not all of whom have web access.) It’s great for this, and if you ever spend more than 10 minutes at Starbucks ordering your Rasberrymochajavachipfrappuchino, you’ll notice that people will just come there and work…sometimes all day.

I’m one of those people.

Doing this has it’s perks, though. You’ll get to know the people who work there and sometimes you get free stuff. Did you know that if you’re at Starbucks when they close, they give out all the left-over pastries and cookies for free? I found this out last night, hanging out at the Starbucks on Moreland in Little 5 Points.

It’s the little things that’ll miss when I’m gone.

Wait, they have Starbucks in Britain. What am I thinking I’m not going to miss anything about America! lol

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Cafe of Life

So since my Typhoid shot @ Emory last week my back has been hurting horribly. Rather than backpacking in Europe with back that feels like someone’s stabbing me in the shoulder with a javelin, I decided to go see a chiropractor. This place, Cafe of Life, came highly recommended by my friend Paige so I gave it a shot.

The receptionist here was very friendly and pleasant. There was virtually no wait for regular customers but because I was new I did have to hang-out for about 20 minutes before anyone could see me. When I was seen, there was short interview about my ailments, then a quick, painless, “tune-up” by Bart Precourt and I was on my way feeling great. That area in my back is still sore but I have a feeling it’s only a side-effect of the Typhoid Vaccine because my body feels really good otherwise.

Before you go on any extended travel I think it’s a good idea to make sure you’re in tip-top shape before you’re miles away. The Emory Travel Clinic provided a wealth of information briefly discussed here. But if it’s your back that needs some work, I highly reccomend the guys at Cafe of Life.

The Cafe of Life
1014 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30309-3702

What Do I do with My Hair?

With little more than a week left before I leave the country, I still have one major loose end. Wtf do I do with my hair!?

Just to catch you guys up, I’ve had dreads twice in my life. From the time I was 20 to 22, then again from 22 to 24. Both times I cut them off, not because I was unhappy, but because I’m not afraid to experiment with my appearance. Plus, believe it or not your hair style attracts very different people. I meet very different people depending on what I look like and I know certain people who are my good friends now, I probably would never have met if I didn’t have locks. Here’s what I looked like back in October 2005 before I cut them off.

   

And here’s me now…

   

I figure 3 months in Europe is a good time to start growing my hair back, because I do want to “lock-up” again. But here’s my dilemma: do I start now by getting twists and letting them lock while I’m there or do I just let my hair grow and then start dreading when I come back?

Decisions, decisions!

The Paths We Take

When you’re 25 with a decent amount of money in the bank, do you:

A) Save for the future and hope that one day you can live your dream

or

B) Spend it all, living your dream today because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

That was the argument I faced before I decided to use my savings to go on this trip around the world.

For me there wasn’t a whole helluva lot to lose. Although my job lead to great experiences (like working one on one with people like Andre 3000, Lil Jon and David Banner), I had already reached the ceiling. I wasn’t going to get promoted, raises were few and far between and management was horrible about taking my advice on issues that I felt were integral to the survival of the company. “So,” I decided, “It’s either another few years of this or I can actually enjoy myself. After all I’ve worked hard for it.”

It was that simple. An opportunity presented itself and I leapt for it. What better way than to leap into the unknown than with good friends who will support you and whose company you enjoy? Plus, this is my dream! Small as it may seem to some, going to Europe is something I’ve wanted since I can remember — if only because it was a foreign place, completely alien to what I’ve come to know growing here in America. But beyond that, there’s also the music. I’ve always had an affinity for music that’s originated from Europe. Bjork, Portishead, Massive Attack, Olive, Bush, Lamb, Sneaker Pimps, Fatboy Slim and others provided the soundtrack to my adolescence. How could I turn down the opportunity to go to the very places they were from, grew up in, and made known throughout the globe?

There’s also my political beliefs. Although, I love and support my native country (I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it) I disagree with a number of things that our country has done over the past few years. How has this current US Administration succeeded in making the world hate us more than it already did before? How can we have a President that less than half the country voted for? Even our economy is highly unstable and looks to be only getting worse. Is this really happening? How could things have gotten this bad so fast?

It’s time for a break. I’m going to trust myself into the cultures of other people and learn what it’s like to be foreigner first hand. So far, so good, I have little less than a week left in the US of A. I’m so anxious I can hardly stand it!

Putting Your Life In a Box

Everytime I move I learn a little bit more about myself. For the past few weeks I’ve lived on couches, out of boxes, changed clothes in my storage unit, slept in my car … all because I decided one day I was too complacent in a life that I don’t want. So I’ve decided to drop everything and go to Europe for three months.

I’m not sure what I want ultimately, but I know sitting behind a computer screen selling stuff to people who are living their dreams (musicians, filmmakers, producers, TV stars) isn’t one of them no matter how much money I make at it. My lust for life is in the adventure of attempting to get from point A to Z. The past two years I’ve spent stuck at D. This trip for me is an opportunity to embrace the unknown, the uncertain, the unexplored … Everything I own in the world is in a storage unit in Atlanta, GA and I feel so much better without it all.

Right now is probably the worst it’s been for Americans to travel in months. First there was the North Korea Missle Incident, and now the Hezbollah/Israel thing looks like it’s getting out of control and tensions are rising everywhere. For some reason, though, that calms me. Whatever happens, it’s important for us Americans to get our heads out of our asses and see the world from the world’s perspective. I’m not worried about “the worst” happening – “the worst” for me is doing nothing at all.

Modified from original publication at hollaBackPack.com

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