When we met our friends soon to be family in a McDonalds parking lot we could not have been more shocked... What are the odds that we stopped at the same place in a little ol' town in Oregon?
We caught up on all of our adventures since we last saw each other weeks prior to that moment and decided to continue our adventures together. The 5 of us spent the next 3 days together laughing, having fiestas and enjoying life on the road.
In the moment I am writing this I am sitting at my aunts house days later from all of these memories as well as wonder... Does anyone actually care about these siblings we met? Well I care.
Beanie and Kirara are twins and their older brother Max was with them. We met them in Canada, Kember and I really seemed to connected with them. They are the most real people I have ever met, something about the way they hold themselves and the way they think is what I have been looking for in people to surround myself with. I have tough time connecting with people except when they are years older than me. They actually care about things other than themselves.
We traveled through the dunes of Oregon the coast of California and the red wood forest. Our fiesta we had were held every night for dinner, with each night they got annoyingly better with each one. First one was at a camp site in Oregon, the second was on a beach in California during sunset and the last was also at sunset on cliff. Not only did the views become more beautiful but we kept improving our food.
Writing this is way harder than I expected to be honest because we had so many laughs with all these moments or inside jokes that only the 5 of us will get. I guess that is the beauty in life on the road, you share these moments with other people that understand everything about living in a car. That you instantly relate to one another. I guess I will keep most of our jokes between us but I will explain the craft supplies family.
When we first met them in Canada we learned that they go to several festivals and give names to everyone they meet. As we met up with this time we found out their names, Glitter glue, Cardboard and Tinfoil... all craft supplies Kember mentioned. That created the craft supplies family. My name was Chalk and Kember was pastel, they also names our brother who they have never met before Crayon... So Dane that is now your new name when you join us:)
We became a family growing closer together as we traveled these foreign lands.
There is so much about them I can talk about yet something is holding me back, that yes I want to use this as a place to remember my travels but when it comes to talking about people I have met, everything seems to disappear. That everyone I have come in contact with since I have started this trip have affected me and helped me grow, that is something I want to keep to myself.
Anyway more about what we did...
We spent several hours in the redwood forest which was fascinating. The largest trees I have ever seen and most likely the world! When we stood perfectly still it was so calmingly quiet we heard bugs buzzing by. That was a feeling I will never forget, to be among these plants that have been alive for hundreds of years, who have been through so much, see so much, over tower everything can still be so inviting to explore. There were dozens of hollowed our trees, we stopped at each one to awe in the beautiful giant. We often found ourselves saying "this is the biggest tree yet" or "this is the best tree to have a picnic in" and yes I mean inside of.
The Redwoods was something I was looking forward to this whole trip and it was way more than I expected. We stopped several times to hike off trail, making our own path, our own adventures. We walked deep into the forest climbing over and balancing on these huge fallen trees. It was a site to see, all of us walking in a line on these massive trees, constantly changing who was leading.
Or how we stopped to check out an almost dry riverbed. I did not take a photo but I realize now i wish I did because it is so hard to explain the beauty of all of this. We all laid in the sun on these warm rocks beneath us.
I could go on and on about these 3 kids I met and how I connected with them or hoe much they have impacted my life or how I think. Yet I will cut myself off here, there is so much more I have to write about and catch you up on.
As we left Eugene Oregon saying a sad goodbye to our family, we were off to the coast to discover more of the road. We drove an hour or two west hoping to catch the sunset on the beach. I finally picked a good spot! Usually Kember is the one to pick campsites because I tend to suck at finding good ones but boy were we pleased with this location.
We walked around the dunes and headed to the beach to watch the sunset. I am not a beach person but I must admit I love going to watch the sunset or walk around with a couple of friends. I have my best buds Olive and Boyle to thank for changing my mindset this summer on our "Weekly" dates at the beach.
Kember and I walked around for a while, talking, laughing, taking photos, just overall enjoying this moment we had together. As we struggled to climb the hill back up to our car, I turned around for one last glimpse of a good day.
Thankfully I did because as we got back in the car to drive two minutes to our campsite, we discovered the car battery was dead... We spotted some guys walking to their car and quickly ran over to them to help us out. Our battery is under the passenger seat and for some reason I love turning the seat around unscrewing the cover and pretending to know what I am doing... Connected the negative first then positive charge to our battery and hoped she would turn on within a few minutes. First turn of the key Vandy was running again!! We thanked these lovely men for their help of their fancy rental car and got some good advice from them, "Never be the last to leave."
We kept in mind Vandy may not start in the morning so we made sure to camp next to another group of people just incase. We checked the volts that night and the following morning and thankfully she started with no problem. So that was that. I guess I do know what I am doing?! Well I still call my dad whenever we have a problem but maybe one day I wont need his help anymore, but until that day comes... Dad pick up the phone.
Kember and I enjoyed our night that was full of several more laughs. I wish I could explain what we were laughing about but this was also a week ago plus it may be kinda gross. Anyway!! Changing the subject to the next morning, we hit the road later than expected because I was being lazy and did not want to get out of bed just yet. I am glad I did that because when we got back on the road Kember decided to stop for coffee in the next town we would hit.
We parked in front to a thrift store that was across the street from Mcdonalds and out came running our friends from Canada! Twin girls Beanie and Kaierra and their older brother Max. We have not been in contact with them since we left Canada weeks before and we all just happened to stop at the same place to go to a thrift store and get an any size coffee for a Dolla! What are the odds?! This world really got a bit smaller that day. We spent the next few days caravanning with them through Oregon and into California. I will explain all our adventures in the next blog.
The best part of traveling and living on the road is you never know who you will meet, where you will fall asleep that night or what you will see. That is what I love about this trip, I am able to do and go wherever I please. I thank my parents for that one, teaching us to have our own opinions and personalities, that if we see something we want work hard to get it. I guess that is what I am doing right now, that in this moment of my life a degree is not what I wanted to work towards but adventure and real life experiences. To let the road take control for a bit.
I hope one day you get to understand what that feeling is like, trust me it is worth it.
I am currently at my aunts house in Eugene Oregon, it is my first time ever being to Oregon in general but Kember has been years ago. Although it is the first time we have ever been out to visit our family.
So far the visit has been great, we met their two dogs Asto and Ruby, Jasper the cat and of course the albino bunny.
A quick update on the van, we brought her to No Name garage the second day we got here. There were VW buses everywhere, Vandy seemed to have made lots of friends. We felt bad taking her away from all of them this morning. She got a lot of work done although thankfully thy did it in a day. It was much needed work, I won't make you suffer through more of me talking about car parts etc. just know she is set for a while. Always enjoy calling our parents to let them know what she needs done and the price tag attached to that. Then again we are their two daughters and they would do anything for us... right?
It has been good to spend time with family again, I can call my mom, dad and brother with one push of a button. That in that brief phone call it doesn't feel like I am thousands of miles away. Reality sets in as I end the call each time. It is nice to have familiar faces, people we trust and love to help us out.
They have been showing us around Eugene which has been fun, we climbed a mountain and got some 360 degree views of Oregon. That night we decided to do an escape room. It is quite hard to explain what that it is, you basically pay money to be locked in a room and figure out clues to escape. This one was a haunted temple themed, Scooby Doo and the gang sadly did not make it out. I guess we are the new Mystery Incorporated. Pretty sure that is their team name... not sure if they still got by that?
Today was another great day, went for lunch at this great restaurant and headed to a pinball bar. Lucky for us it was a Friday and most games were free! So played my first game of pinball... disliked it because it was challenging... then kinda fell in love with it. I understand the reason people have tournaments now. I am looking for folks to make a team with. Please help me out with team name suggestions as well.
That is really all I have to say, not sure what else I have to talk about. I realize I do not talk a lot about what we have been up to. I guess I write about psychopaths or random crap like that. I am looking for new books to read so if anyone wants to help me out with that.
I have so much on my mind right now, I am worrying about my friends for I guess no reason. It is just weird to be around someone all the time and know you will be their for them whenever needed. Then next thing you know you are miles away and that almost becomes impossible. I will probably write more about my thoughts on that. As of now I will enjoy my dinner and hanging out with my family. As should you.
I almost forgot!! Happy No Shave November! My favorite month for that reason and of course my birthday is coming up. So remember you cannot shave or else?
I bet that is a question someone has never asked you before. If they have you might need to see someone about that?
While Kember and I were on a hike in Oregon a few days ago I asked her if she had ever though she was a psychopath. She quickly turned very confused and simply laughed saying no.
As I write this, I feel like it is thin ice I am walking on. To clarify I have never questioned myself or anyone for having this mental illness. The google definition is "a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior." My look on it is someone who cannot feel emotions especially no empathy. I for one think I feel too many emotions. I have sympathy pains for god sakes. So no I am not a psychopath. But get this, 1 out of 25 people are considered a psychopath. Now I don't believe that they are full blown physical agressor but they will have psychopathic tendencies.
So Kemeber and I had a whole conversation on psychopaths as we hiked down the mountain. I don't really remember what sparked this thought in my head while hiking but I started to read an article about it while we were in Seattle although I cannot find it to finish it. It is something that just interested me. I wonder if people with mental illnesses like this understand what they are doing. That they cannot feel an emotion but they take from people around them and experiences to learn what an emotion looks like. They are very good manipulators. Where this mental illness begins to be a problem is those people who discover what they are doing and their capabilities to control people. That they can put on a mask for each emotion they learned and make someone feel pity. That they are never in the wrong initially.
It is very hard to explain my thoughts on this because it may all just sound crazy. What I tried to tell Kember was if the "normal" human mind on emotions worked was: 50% was what emotions someone felt, the way they were born. Then 50% was learned from people around them, growing up seeing how mom and dad or peers show their emotions. Then from those statistics there are endless possibilities of how people feel and act. So a psychopath has 0% emotions felt, only 100% learned. To me I feel for that, I can only imagine how trapped that my feel for someone. Growing up living a life not understanding why they do not feel something only learning from others on how to look when you "feel" an emotion.
I am so fascinated with psychology and how different brains works. That not everyone with a mental illness like this is a dangerous person. To me I think they are someone who is trapped and confused.
These are my theories and not factual. I am not writing as if I know anything about this. One article under your belt does not allow you to talk as if you know everything in the world about that topic. This is just something I spent time reading about and my thoughts on it. To me it was very interesting to learn about but there is so much information on this that I do not know.
Sorry to maybe ruin your day by telling you 1 in 25 people are a psychopath. Don't go around analyzing everyone you know and the people around you. Go back to drinking your coffee and reading the morning newspaper, not that anyone really does that. It is only in movies right?
I have just come to an understanding of why people take photos and the meaning to them. That when you are sitting in bed alone and have nothing to do... you go through photos to look back into the moments full of love, friends, adventures, sports and endless more all captured in one click of a button.
I spent some time scrolling through my camera roll on my laptop. I have 2,747 memories collected sitting on my laptop that no one has access to but me. I got bored of scrolling one by one, because a teenager in my generation has the attention span of a fly. So I did what any one would do who wanted to say they scrolled through all their photos. (I don't even think I made it half way through). I held the right arrow button down making a super fast slideshow for myself of moments I loved so much I needed to be able to see it a second time. I get that now although I don't think it will change my mind set enough to pull out my phone and take a photo of everything I see.
I do not need to see everything I have seen in this world twice. Although sometimes yes, it is nice to see a collection of pictures laughing with friends, my dogs when they were puppies, sibling moments, when the whole family is together or even just being a reckless teenager. I smiled at everything I looked back on, that in these moments the photos were taken I was enjoying myself, surrounded my people I love.
I guess you can learn a lot about the photos someone has on their phones, what they like to do, who they are friends with, who their family is and honestly so much more. I am never one to ask someone to take a photo. Every photo of me in it, I can almost guarantee it was not taken on my phone, but someone I was with sent it to me after the fact.
Looking at all these photos made me think if you have ever looked at a photo of yourself or looked in the mirror and did not recognize yourself. Maybe it only happens for a split second in time but for me it has happened several times. It is a weird sensation, that yes it is you, yet for a moment in time your brain was like, "nope, who is this person?"
The only way I can wrap my head around that and come up with some sort of explanation is we change our looks constantly. Yes as we grow we look older etc. but I also mean with style and who we surround ourselves with. That when you are around a set group of people you begin to fit into that style or group. Then maybe with time you find yourself with new people so you change again, so on and so forth as you grow and meet new people.
When I was looking at these photos, this may sound stupid, but the only time I truly recognized myself, the me I am now is when 1. I was with my current friends, 2. with family, (heres the stupid one) 3. wearing a backward hat.
That as time passed I lost certain friends and started wearing a hat everyday. That is the person I see myself as right now. I know myself by the friends I am with, the clothes I wear and the things I am doing. That 5 years ago the person I looked at in the mirror may look the exact same but in comparison side by side are drastically different. At least the way I look at it.
So if photos never existed we would not be able to truly compare ourselves. That you would just know who you were right there and then. You could not look back at what you looked like before. To me that is so interesting. That we would have to live more in the moment. Maybe that is the reason I don't take photos because all they will do for me in the end is cause me to compare the person I am as I look into the photo and the person I was when it was taken. I don't like doing that with anything in my life, especially not myself. The only thing I care about is who I am right now and who I want to be tomorrow.
Each day we wake up and have a new face starring back at us in the mirror, yet almost every time we quickly realize, that is the new us. The moments in time where we question ourselves are the ones that stick with me the most.
I understand how my title for this one could be very deceiving. 1. because I simply did not vote today, I am not 18... Yeah so I only have one point of why it would be "fake news"
Okay that's it enjoy watching the polls come in.
Apparently I was kidding so here is what we ate and some other random crap I talk about for the next 5 minutes...
That is currently what we are doing (watching the polls). We made mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts for dinner. I know truly a great meal... We didn't have much to cook with okay, at least we aren't eating ramen noodles like every college student out there. If you are still unsatisfied, we had teriyaki tofoo last night which honestly is the best way to eat tofoo. Because lets all be real here, who likes white rubber that tastes like nothing? Not that any of you care about what I eat, to finish off our lack of a meal tonight we had pumpkin spice ice cream sandwiches. It was my first time ever having something pumpkin spice. I can happy say I will not jump on that trend. Yes I enjoyed the ice cream I just shoved in my face, although a classic is always better. No need to fix something that is not broken! How do you eat your ice cream sandwiches? Do you just eat it like a normal person or do you take off one cookie and eat that separate from the other cookie and the ice cream?
I apologize if that is confusing. My lovely mother for some reason feels the need to eat them that way. We all learned from a young age she is crazy. I truly believe you can learn a lot about someone by the way they eat. For instance who eats their burritos from the middle? Just a question.
I have no clue where this is going but my father called me today and we talked for a solid 15 minutes. This surprised me because he tends to avoid me. I said I would call him back because I needed to go but he simply said no I don't want to talk to you. Love you too dad! Thanks. The reason I mentioned him calling me to begin with is I mentioned I have not felt like writing in a while and he said to post a small update. So I guess I will start doing more if I can. Although here I am proving my point I said earlier to him I cannot do that! I sit down to write a small little update and continue to be writing for another 30 minutes about stupid stuff that no one could care about. So jokes on you if you follow my writing! It is all weird.
Okay I will stop myself here and enjoy hanging out this wolf of a dog my sisters friend has!
So as you may know I wear vans pretty much everyday of my life...
I brought two pairs of shoes on this thrip, a pair of nike "running" sneakers and the third pair of vans I ever bought. I own four for anyone wondering. They are great shoes, honestly great for everything: Style (because I am big into that), sitting in school all day, walking, running if you really want to, Hiking!, keep your feet warm and dry okay I could go on and on. Just love them.
I happen to wear them more than the normal Fairfield kid or any kid I guess. I say this only because the girl I sat next to for graduation asked if I have a sponsorship.
Oh how I wish I did!!! And before you ask... No I did not wear vans while I crossed the stage getting my diploma, but I won't lie, I thought about it. So what I think I will do is email Vans and ask them for a sponsorship. I mean the worst they can say is no. Yeah them saying that will crush my little heart but I will just have to continue to buy shoes with money like the rest of the world.
I mean how awesome would that be though! If I could get shoes for free. I mean I would probably have to try a little harder. (I took a break from writing this and went through all my photos to find pictures I could use to send to vans). I mean my vans have traveled the world with me, all across the states and all across Norway. I could even say they have traveled the oceans. I mean that counts right? They were on a plane with me so they traveled the ocean? I think they will agree to that.
I will let you guys know what happens after I tell Vans that they should sponsor an ordinary kid who lives in a get this... a VAN! Just put that one together:)
If anyone has any connection to Vans please help a girl out. I sure would love it.
Here are some photos of me wearing them:) just a small collection
I need to start taking more photos of my feet...
Disclaimer* No Vans were harmed in the process of making this.
Where do I even begin, there is so much I have seen and done while I was in Canada. I will keep it simple and just stick to the most interesting points.
I met some great people no doubt. They let us crash at their house for like 5 days which is pretty crazy. Although Kember and I tried to be the best house guests by making them dinner and baked a few pumpkin pies. I guess I am working backwards because we made those pies the last night we were there as a thank you gift for everything.
I will try to explain the whole situation of who we met and where we stayed. It is basically just a house that twenty year olds turned into community living. There were about 9-11 people living in this house then add Kember and I on the couch so that was pretty crazy. They talk as if their lives are a sitcom which honestly I can see where they are coming from.
Where they lived was on an island, the downtown was small and there really wasn't much to do. They went to the same thrift store, coffee shop and vegan restaurant. That was kinda it, all there was to do and all they wanted to do.
I was going to explain the people I have met and how I connected with them although that is something I kinda wanna keep to myself. That this visit could be my first and only one, so I kinda want to keep that as something special. Everyone was very nice and it was funny to see how different everyone was from each other. They all felt so real, that they had their own passions and beliefs but they respected each others ideas. I guess that is what happens when you leave a bubble you have lived in your whole life. People constantly judge in Fairfield but thankfully there are so many people out there who are genuine and care about others and their thoughts. I have always been one to care and want to know what people think, to just understand what goes on in my friends heads. I guess you could say it was nice to have a moment in time where people had that same mindset as me.
Now onto what we saw and did in Canada. It was almost halloween when we got there so everyone was very excited about that. Me being a party pooper I sat out the two parties. I don't know just not for me I guess. I did not want to dress up and like I have said before, I don't like parties. I know I would have had fun, that it would have been an experience I may never have the opportunity of having again. Although it is not something I see myself regretting for not doing. Parties just do not have to be in the equation in my life. Maybe that is lame and boring that teenagers are supposed to be going out and parting and making stupid decisions. Just not this one I guess...
Anyway everyone was all dressed up and excited for those.
Something that was really cool was Kember and I spent a day in downtown just us 2, we walked around and decided to head to a park that was on the coast. We walked around for a bit and found a path down to a small beach. We then discovered it continued around the whole parks coast. Not sure if that makes sense... Sorry:) We stumbled upon a beach that was all smooth pebbles, that every rock was round not one ridged edge. Pretty fascinating right!! I assume you care very much about smooth rocks... No the really interesting part was there were trees everywhere along this beach. Hundred of branches and whole trunks that have drifted from the ocean onto this beach. It was a sight to see no doubt. It still confuses me on how and why that was. I wish I had a photo but for some reason just didn't take one.
I don't want this to get too long so I will talk about this hike we took. It was magical, the trees were huge and everything was covered in moss. It felt so calming in this forest. That all of these trees where hundreds of years old. I cannot even imagine all that they have experienced. Yes I know a tree is a tree it grows and that's about it but that is a long life time. So we did that hike around and checked out this river that the salmon swim upstream to lay their eggs. That was a sight to see, something I have never experience. Salmon in a very shallow river causing them to be half out of the water fighting the stream.
So yeah that was a lot of what I did in Canada: hikes, restaurants, beaches, salmon swimming, lots of laughs, chilling a lot of the time and cooking or baking. It was a good time, had a lot of fun. I have traveled a lot of miles since I have started this trip. I have learned a lot about what is around me as well as myself. I would say much more than I would have if I was in school.
Did not reread this so hope my editors still work for me:)
I realize I have not posted in a long time, to be honest I just haven't had inspiration to write. In a moment of time as I walk the streets or pick up a book, I will have a moment of thinking "I should write about this." Although each and every time that thought will disappear the second I am able to pull out my laptop. It is kinda as if I missed my chance.
I think about that a lot in life, that what if things are limited to a set time period. Mainly for me it's with relationships with people. Everything in my head has an expiration date. It also happens randomly with total strangers, that if I don't go and help them or start a conversation, I would have ever missed my chance. I realize this is not a good way to look at life, trust me I get that, it is something I struggle with.
I think a lot about psychology and a lot of things that a kid my age shouldn't I guess you could say. My sister calls me wise beyond my years which I smile at each time she says that, although there are times where she says that I think I know everything. I don't know when I ever expressed that feeling towards her but I have said it before, I don't know a lot. I see a lot of things I don't know, shouldn't know, or have never even come close to experiencing in my life. How could anyone in this world know everything or even think they know everything. There is so much knowledge to learn.
I guess I am just so fascinated by psychology and how the brain works, how people think and what past moment sin their lives cause them to act and feel a certain way. I like finding a challenge for myself. As I believe everyone does. If there is no uphill climb, whats the point? I will write more about this in a later time, I had a great conversation with a girl in Canada.
I have no clue where I am going with this... I could write about how great Canada was and how we are back in Seattle. But I just couldn't do that. That maybe I missed my opportunity to share those moments in my life. Maybe it's too late.
I am kinda kidding about that also not at all, that if I have time and wifi I will try to start writing about all that I saw and did while in Canada, all the people I have met or all the horrible drivers we witnessed. There are honestly hundreds of words I can write about it.
That is a challenge for me, that if I don't put a thought into words or onto paper it will sit in my head. I lived my whole life not writing for myself until about junior year. I let the millions of thoughts running through my head sit and collect dust. Some thoughts were simple, everyday moments that could come and go while others caused me so much stress and were constantly in the back of my head weighing on me. I take that seriously now, that everyone has a reservoir, we keep things hidden or push them as far down as possible until it's too late. With time and no release everything will come overflowing out. I am trying to get to a place where I don't overflow, that I have to write to clear my head to clear my reservoir.
I am not sure how I got onto that topic, maybe because I was talking to a friend about writing and how helpful it can be. Anyway I hope I did not miss my chance to talk about all the adventures I have had in Canada!!
Hope all is well, I apologize for not posting in a while. I know all of you are truly invested in this and are most likely checking it everyday... Wouldn't expect anything less:)
Have a great day!
Greta Ann Vanderblue.