September 17, 2014

We arrived to Marseille at sunset and our first peek of the city was with purple and orange clouds lighting up the impressive spread of what lay ahead.

The south of france is as charming as it can come.   Even better is that I get to practice my french while here.  I’m in love.

Today Esther and I parted ways for the solo parts of our adventures.  We meet up in Munich in 5 days for the final blowout.  I slept today like I haven’t slept in…. 10 days/3 weeks/ I don’t event know.  Sleep never felt so good.

What does it take to feel at home – a cup of coffee, fresh produce – a few mushrooms, a banana, eggs and some bread.

The last week -

Antibes – Old seaside village, provencal market, drinks on a boat with french boys, a run through the countryside that got me lost and hitching a ride back with a soon to be broken hearted man with beautiful eyes.

Nice/Monaco/Vintimiglia – Spent the night in Nice and took the train Monaco and then meandered to Vintimiglia, italy.. well, because we could.  It was Monday evening and the tiny town was asleep and we wandered around looking for a place that served dinner so we could catch our final train back to Nice for the evening.

I have 4 days here in Marseille. Then Munich, then Paris.



September 14, 2014

“Good morning!  It’s time to go to Paris!”

And in that moment I realized my own words.


I had been so busy with these last few weeks of work I really hadn’t considered the reality of going back again. So soon. And that day was today.




I met someone.  But like all things, it didn’t last.  The vicious cycle of “hating men” or loathing myself seems to never end.  I started off this week with my defenses high and disappointment seeping through my skin.  I cried myself to sleep that night and felt the anger of rejection propel me the next morning.  I kicked myself for letting someone so quickly “in” and chided myself for being so naïve to take people at face value.


Words are so easy.  Action is not.


He said he would be there.  He didn’t show.  He said he would call me.  He didn’t.  no text back.               Madness.


So here is my mourning.  So that I may move on, accept it for what it’s not. Enjoy it for what it was.

A reprieve?  A mixed tape.  An extra skip to my step for a few days.  A smile on my pillow as my eyes fell.  Someone holding my hand and sharing a laugh.  A mirror reflecting heartaches and the understanding of the journey we have both traveled.  A man, and not a boy.  It was peaceful and drama free.  Unplanned and unexpected.   I was wrought with terror the last few days as the realization of what it was starting to be.  I pushed back.  I may have pushed too hard.  But my decisions are mine, and his are his.  I choose to act the way I do. He chooses the same.  And so we are left with the results of our choices.  I of course made too many.  He, not enough?

Life is funny.


That said, I hate dating.


Texts from Frankie the same week prove that I made the right decision.  Not that I ever doubted.  I have my moments where I just want to quit and be swooped.  Isn’t that what Disney always taught us? Prince on a horse looking for his maiden waiting for him to wisk her away.

Not me, I’m not waiting for anything.  I feel I will be a rotting corpse before I see a man on horseback coming to take me home to live happily ever after.  Anyway, I’m doing that for myself, thank you very much.


31 is looking fine.

I’ve become a running fiend and get up at 6am to watch the sunrise as I pound the pavement.


My days are filled with meetings, friend dates, emails I can’t keep up with and projects that never end.  I feel alive, happy and free.  With the exception of overwhelming projects that need wrapped up and moments of rejection and loneliness, I know that these are the days of my life and I relish them.


I am paris bound, then off to the south of france and then to munich and landing in paris again.  This is my last time in Europe for the next 6 months and it seems unbearable to think of.  On that flip side I have to decide what the trajectory of the next 6 months will be.  Will I continue to pursue Paris?  Will I “settle” in a home of my own or go for a simplified gypsy quarter.  No real decision can be made as f right now.  Only time can press these things.


I made plans for a trip to the south west this fall.  A roadtrip I’ve been dreaming of for a year.  I can almost taste it.


I’m considering housing options.  I’m considering car options.  I don’t want any of it.  I want all of it.  Are we ever satiated?  Shit.

I want someone to be my anchor.  I want to be free as a bird.  I crave my independence.  I desire to belong to someone.   –   It makes the day hard to plan.

August 18, 2014

If I had a penny for every time someone told me how amazing my life is or how lucky I was..   well, I could buy another plane ticket.


NYC for the last 5 days.  Traversing and reliving memories.  Creating new ones. As always.  Seeing my people here, cramming it all in.  I’m always feeling guilty that I don’t have enough time for everyone.  Planning leaves little room for spontaneity…  and I do love my freedom.

Amazing thing was – I arrived and slipped in as if I had been here a million times.  Familiar. Easy.  Not overwhelming anymore.  This is what gypsy life looks like.

When I’m here I always feel free, like everything is possible.  I can become what I desire. Anything goes.

Family session in Central Park. Engagement session in Brooklyn.  The jitney to the hamptons and persecco and terriyaki burgers with serene views and bamboo lined property.   This crazy life that people live.  Ways of life for different people.  Their little (or big) worlds that are so different from each other.  We have all chosen our paths.  Most don’t realize that they do.

Where does mine take me?  Where do I want it to take me?  Time to upgrade to the next level.  But I’m missing a few links to make it possible.  Time to dig in and figure things out. I need to sit still, lock myself in and focus.

Montauk to cross another of the list. Horoscopes on the train home.  Gin and tonics and Milk bar with dear frenchies and sleeping in this morning.

31 this week.  30 was amazing.  30 was..   9 countries visited. More love experienced.  Healing and letting go of things that aren’t mine anymore. I feel confident in my skin.  I love my life.




August 17, 2014

The you I’ve always known..

have never known,

used to know,

hope to know.


You..  make my heart hurt.

Lover, friend, foe.

Stranger, no longer strange.


July 24, 2014


My horoscope said that my project that I am laboring on will come to fruition.  Here’s hope.


Last day in Tunis.

Amel’s mom gave us another tour through the medina.  We picked up purchases from last week and made a few more.  I saw where she went to high school.  She maneuvered through the labyrinth as if it was the back of her hand.

I adore her mom.  Here is a woman who made a stand for who she wanted to be and took nothing less. Against a culture that has lived this way for… ever.  Against a religion and those that live in it and breathe it every day.  She chose to be free.  Demanded it.   As Amel said – a Pioneer.  I see it as more so.  I’m in awe. Elle n’est normal pas.  Hearing of their life in Tunisia.  Her grandmother’s life.  Her mom’s life, and now her own.  I have great admiration for both of them.  I am moved by her life.

I sit here and wonder if she had any regrets.  And I find that with only what I could have gained with the last 4 days of being around her that regrets are not a part of her life.


J’ne regret pas rien.

J’ne regret pas rien.


She agreed to marry Amel’s dad.. and her words to him were…

“As long as I remain free.”


“As long as I remain free.”  And in those words I find my shared sentiment to marriage.


How funny is it that my emotional meltdown comes this time as I prepare to return to the US and not when I left it?  Perhaps things have flip flopped.  I will hit the ground running.


As he was waiving the gypsy peddler away he stopped suddenly and asked – “Sarah, has anyone in Paris yet bought you a Rose??”  I shook my head and my eyes widened as he chose the only blue one from the bunch.

July 20, 2014


The pilot announced we were landing soon and I awoke from my unexpected nap.  As I descended the plane and we walked onto Tunisia soil I said audibly to myself and Amel “ I wonder if I was supposed to have a Visa to come here..”

I think we were both a bit nervous as I walked up to the customs counter and handed over my passport.  Without even glancing up the agent grabbed it, flipped through and gave it a stamp. Relief.


Two years ago I was standing in the downstairs neighbors kitchen reading the odds and ends stuck on her refrigerator. She was a journalist for a paper and I had come down to share in a impromptu potluck with random friends. There was a “how to write a good short story in ten steps” clipping and still to this day I think of #4 – “Make your character go through hell so the reader understands what they are made of”.

I can only give one instance in my life this title of “hell”.  Everything else that falls close can only be titled as maybe “purgatory”.  This odd space of “in between”.


Elation – Italy, Sicily, Tunisia.  New countries, memories and experiences.  I really am addicted to this life and travel.  I just want more time in each space.  It is never enough.


Yesterday we spent the day walking through the medina.  Once the shopping started it couldn’t be stopped.  I think for sure I will have to buy a new suitcase just to get home. Haha.. Oh well, I did need another small one anyway.  Amel’s parents are delightful.  More than actually.  As I shop I purchase things for my someday home.  I will have it at some point, no?  I ask myself if I should leave it in Paris? Or take it “home” to Ca.  Or will I just have to transport it back to Paris If I ever am able to get a visa there.

We are with Amel’s mom who has spent her whole life in Tunis.  She walks through the city and knows someone every corner we turn.  She tells us stories of her childhood and gets the best prices for us.


I sat and watched the fireworks over the Eiffel tower for Bastille day with FrAlex and friends.  Our view was mostly obstructed because of the trees.  We passed around a bottle of champagne each taking a swig from the mouth.  I had my camera of course.  The photographer in me knew I should have staked out that “perfect spot” days ago for that “epic photo” to say “I was here and look at what a great photographer I am capturing this moment in time”..  but the human in me just wanted a moment with friends as “Sarah” and laughter and the experience of that memory shared.  And so I did just that.


It was my last day in Rome.  I had finally found a place to rent a vespa and and ride around the city.  I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I gripped the hand bars with terror.  The insanity that is the traffic somehow just makes sense. Within the chaos of cars, buses, motos and pedestraians there is a flow.  Amazing.  I walked home after my 3 hour drive around Roma and happened upon a boutique selling handmade leather goods.  I fell in love with a small bag.  It was more than I really wanted to spend though after looking at it for 10 mins I left and decided to think it through before making a hasty purchase.  I walked the Trestevere and after stopping for some Melon and Buffolla I made the 30 min walk back because I had decided it would in fact be a good purchase.   The lady was moved that I came back for it and gave it to me 10 euros off.  We parted ways with smiles.


I landed in Paris and messaged Eloi to let him know if he needed to leave he could just hid the key for me.  He said he would be home that evening and was waiting to welcome me with wine.  I changed my outfit at the airport and took a taxi.  He had made dinner as well and we chatted for a bit finishing the bottle.  He proposed we go out to play ping pong and before we knew it the time had passed and we were stumbling home at 4am after a crazy night drinks and dancing nearby.  As I passed out in my bed I sent him a text thanking him for the fun evening.  My heart was so happy.


I had purchased tickets online for the night tour of the Vatican. After ordering the most expensive beers ever at a café near the entrance, Jerroid and I made our way around feeling like we had broken in.  I loved this feeling of having the entire place to ourselves.  The guards were bored and unexpectedly one gave me his number. HA! It felt like a movie more aptly titled “a night at the Vatican”.

July 2, 2014

Paris  part —  I’ve lost count



I found my note of my premier voyage a Paris from 2012. What a life time ago.  A side by side comparison then/now makes me smile.


I’m dressed in tennis, pont pants, a comfy tee hoodie black leather blazer combo.  I think I am the example of chic comfort.


My luggage has shrunken in size.  Finally a carry on.  I’m beyond amazed at my ability to pack what I have.  Gear, formal wear, beach wear, workout clothes as well as dressing as a classy dame.  This is what being an adult looks like. Oh and 5 pairs of shoes.  Not to mention gifts for dear faces I will be seeing again. Success.


Roller coaster of a week.

Visa information that leaves me wondering what I’m going to do for the fall.  I need to create a income plan for all the weddings I’ve turned down in order to be in Paris.   I’m tired of playing Russian roulette with my finances.  Sigh.


Arrived in a delayed plane and took the RER B to Gare de Nord to line 5.  It is an easy transition now and one that doesn’t take much thought.


I climbed the 6 flights of stairs with luggage and then ate and showered.  Amel and I ran errands and then caught the end of the France/Nigeria game at the rush.  It was a riveting game and so fun to watch a game like this in Europe.  Every café, resturaunt and pub had the game on. People were piled in watching.  I loved it.


Spoken word, then caught another game Germany vs Algeria at the rush again.  Before I know it its 2am and my alarm will be going off in 5 hours to catch my flight to Sicily.  Another 6 hours of the gypsy shuffle and I’m finally in Italy for the first time.  My first impression of the island reminds me of a combo of mexico and spain.  Everyone is friendly and I quickly shed my two layers from Paris to embrace the delicious sunshine and warmer weather.

My apartment has an incredible view. The blue blue ocean and brown rocky hillside. Small towns nestled against the base of volcano that erupted just two weeks ago.  Smoke still flows from the tip of its mouth.  I was photographing Manalo Blahnick’s as the sunset and chatted wedding details with bBetsy.  It’s good to be here.  A communal dinner on the terrace and cards against humanity until midnight.  A good day indeed.

June 21, 2014

One week until the next adventure begins.


I’m house sitting at the top of the hill.  I awoke to the sound of goats baa-ing out my window.  My view is rooftops and golden grass and oak trees.  one of my favorite landscapes.  This is home.

Tonight watching the sunset over the valley, the wind blew softly and I sat, content.

Conversations with Rob this week.  Unexpectedly heeling.  I feel lighter.  I feel free from that weight I had been carrying.  Bitterness, anger -  Feels so nice to set those down.

Maybe now I can really move on.


I feel almost ready to hop this plane.  No freak outs yet.  I still have 7 days to go though.. so we shall see. haha…


I started making a list of things that I’ve experienced that have given me inexplicable joy.

I look forward to adding to it.  I’ll keep it remind me when I have my sinking moments.



Words collected recently –

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. – Robert Stevenson

She may be going to hell, but atleast she’s not standing still. – EE cummings

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

“Dreams happen with the continual, consistent, commitment to show up to our days.”

“The edge.. there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”- Hunter Thompson

When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”  Nelson Mandala



June 17, 2014

Some downtime.

This week has nothing (much) on the calendar.  A wedding this weekend, a wedding next weekend.   An inbox full of emails and a to do list a mile long.

I donned my bright blue maxi and grabbed coffee with a lone wolf (an older gent that’s trying SO HARD to get into my pants)..  for kicks and giggles I suppose.

I saw Rob. Again.  Thank glory to be I was dressed WELL and felt HAWT.  He even remarked how vibrant I was. I said it was a good hair day, he said it was a good everything day.

I needed to hear that. From him.

Good. Hard. Heartwrenching. and somehow healing.  Completely familiar. A complete stranger.

I guess that is how things are sometimes.



My french lessons are coming along.  My body is responding to is beatings. 10 miles on the bike yesterday on top of an hour of weight training.  two more days of that this week plus yoga this weekend.

2 weeks until EU.  I miss it so much.



I’m struggling so much lately with feeling “stupid”, “uneducated”, “lower middle class”.

How do these things define me or participate in my life.  I can only read so much, have time for self development  and life within my means.  I always feel this way after being at my parents for a while.  Or being around people who are overly educated. *ugh*  I just don’t know what the answer is.


6 weeks until I submit my visa application.

*say a prayer for me*




June 16, 2014

In order for things to change or to create progress I have to become obsessed. It has to become your life. It is the only way in which to see results. Which is why my life has recently revolved around – French lessons, fitness training, executing my to do list.

I went on a date with a boy that left me swooning so hard that I never wanted to see him again. We watched the France vs Honduras game at an Irish pub in soma. Everything about him was attractive. Half Scottish /aka duel citizenship. Lived in 7 countries, works as a counselor for recovering sex workers. I could go on. But I won’t. Because I don’t want to remember him. I don’t want to remember how I felt when I left. Like I was il educated, unrefined and like a child in comparison.

I am not perfect, but I have a lot to offer. But I’m not done working in me yet.

But I love dating solely for the purpose of my world expanding in a new way. Discovering a new world of – Joe Purdy, World Cup games, new bars and acquainting myself with the city, and again putting myself out there. Je ne regrette pas rien.

I found my layer of bleu has immortalized itself on me and won’t let go. I am determined! Does it not know who it is messing with?

Je suis Sarah Dawson. Je vous mon plasir.