Don’t Hate, APPRECIATE!!!

Just having one of those days where I’m feeling oddly inclined to appreciate a vida!

No, life is not perfect. But it is so worth living! We all have those tough days where the world really does seem to be crashing in on us in the worst way possible, for ex: you’re angry, your loved ones seem to not love you, you feel alone, you feel/ look bad, you’re in pain, financial woes are kicking in, and the eternal ETC.
Sometimes it may seem nearly unfeasible to overcome an impossibly horrible day, but trust that it will pass. And look for things to be thankful about because you will find them, and you will feel better.

005 Searching for things to be grateful for

Maybe you are cancer-free. Maybe you have all of your limbs. Maybe you are not living in poverty. Maybe you are much more intelligent than the average human being. Maybe you have so many people who positively care about you.
Think about what there is to be grateful in your life, then appreciate. If that still doesn’t turn your bad day (if you’re having one) around, please absorb the positive energy of this photo.

smile-dog Smile, stretch out your facial muscles for the love of Earth!!!

Random Things That I’ve Obtained Appreciation of Today:

1- Hallelujah that middle and high school are over for me! Those years were by no means horrible, it’s just that I’m friggin’ done with arguably the most awkward and embarrassing times of our lives.

me dancing Me from 4 years ago, trying to turn up.

Also, I realized that growing up has been very positive in relation to the way that I value the people who are close to me in my life. I’ve realized that I really did not have a great capacity to love others when I was much younger, because I didn’t know of sentimentality. As we grow older, we do realize how important other people are to our lives, and we learn how to show appreciation for our loved ones better.

FSCN3712 Looking back at some old yearbook messages and often just “pffing” to myself.

If you have any, compare your elementary and middle school yearbook messages with your high school yearbook messages. You may arrive at a common finding; being that a majority of your messages from when you were much younger are meaningless and static, and the messages from your later years being more detailed and sentimental. Here’s to growing up!

2- VARIETY!
One of the many huge perks of growing up in a 1st world country is that I have access to a ridiculously grand variety of products. Okay, this may sound a bit wackadoodle, but I was recently overcome with such an appreciation for the access to the variety of things that I have as I was walking down the beer isle at a supermarket. As I hit this isle, I remember just thinking to myself “this is incredible!!! A little unnecessary, but still incredible!” Beer, for me, has now turned into a symbol for the variety, and even opportunity that I have in this life of mine. Beer is actually totally symbolic folks.

DSCN3829  The isle that blew my mind

3- Traveling!
Traveling, exploring, doing new things, blah, blah, yas, yas, we all know that this is something to be grateful for! I recently went to Canada and just appreciated my time there today. I also love people. So. Much.

DSCN3728[1]fbdDSCN3739DSCN3747RSCN3752FSCN3753FSCN3754 Times of just letting life dish out happiness

4- Living in a wonderful city!
Seattle is a dream and the good certainly does outweigh the bad here. Seattle, I appreciate you.

DSCN3951FSCN3773 FSCN3876DSCN3870 DSCN3830FSCN3877 Even when you rain, you’re still gorgeous Seattle. ❤

There’s Always a Flip Side
Alright so I have been purchasing scratch tickets for a good while now, always with the hope that I will win some o’ dat big green, but unfortunately I haven’t won even 1 penny yet from playing. Maybe this is a sign that I should stop, but anyways lemme tell yalls a happy anecdote from a few days ago.
So during my usual time of week, I waited for a man who looked exactly like Mr. Wu- hat and everything, to finish playing his scratch ticket. When he turned around he immediately said to me: “300! 300!” I was like whattt, $300?!, you lucky man! But then I checked his screen and it turns out to be that he only won $3.00. I then sadly said to him “Oh no, it’s only $3.00!” He then said: “Don’t lie to me! It’s 300!!!” I then was like whattt. But he then said “It’s 300! 300 pennies!!! Hahahahahaha!!!” And playfully hit me on the shoulder. I then burst out laughing, and watched him as he went to claim his winnings worth 300 pennies. What a positive way to think of his outcome. R-E-S-P-E-C-T to you scratch ticket man, you winner!!!

Unfortunately I didn’t win any moola from the scratch ticket that I played after Mr. Wu’s look-alike, but it’s okay because I already turned that post-selfie frown upside down!

DSCN3894ITVM_b   I will one day claim some of your moola, scratch ticket machines!!!

Well, I hope some of you folks feel a bit better after reading this post, and have a fabulous day, life, and existence you beautiful Homo Sapiens!!!

Beijos,
-Jessica

Fun fact: In the late 1600s, London was plagued by an attacker who would spank his victims with a rod and shout “Spanko!” before running away.

Need Some Inspiration to Travel? Top 10 Travel Videos

The appeal of travel is clearly present in the majority of us Homo Sapiens, but sometimes our everyday lives somehow finds ways to cock-block our travel aspirations to be realized. So this is why this post of mine will be dedicated to reinvigorate your plans to make plans to go out there and travel! I have compiled a list of videos/ channels that I personally find incredibly entertaining, inspirational, and that are sure to get you fired up to your next travel destination. Watch and enjoy these pieces of happiness~

1- Peter Bragiel in Caye Caulker, Belize (inTransit: Episode 14)
In this video host Peter Bragiel stops in Caye Caulker, Belize on his route that started from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., heading to the Panama Canal. Peter made his way to the Panama Canal solely through public transportation, which in part gave his documented experiences such an authentic feel to the videos.

Peter has also created many more original travel videos on his YouTube channel, including another long journey well-documented; a trip across Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railway starting in Vladivostok, Russia, and ending in Moscow, Russia.

2- Not only is the below’s video of YouTuber Louis Cole inspiration to travel, but to me and hopefully you it is inspirational to be a better being, and to explore all walks of life. Enjoy Louis’s vlog in Kenya!

3- Nadine Sykora definitely is one of my favorite travel YouTubers, and I almost guarantee that her endless positivity and high-energy personality will keep you watching her videos until you’ve gone through all of them! This is her video of her travel to Koh Tao, Thailand, and it will most likely get you into that adventurous mood.

4- Here in this trip to Costa Rica, the utterly stunning Mimi Ikonn shows us a bit of this tropical paradise. Well documented and beautifully filmed, this trip will make you want to get out and explore our beautiful Mother Earth.

5- How to save and get the MOOLA that we need to travel! Yes it’s not exactly a travel video, but it makes it into my “Top 10 Travel Videos” because it is of great value when planning to travel. My girl Nadine breaks it down on how to save and gain some green for your adventurous aspirations.

6- Now for the gorgeous Sonia, who documented a lovely video of my FAVORITE CITY ON EARTH: RIO DE JANEIRO, RJ, Brazil! If you have read some of my posts from my year of living in Brazil, you would know of my love for Rio de Janeiro. It’s a fantastic, lively, beautiful, and welcoming city that was captured adorably in her lovely video. Sonia’s YouTube channel also has many more travel videos and helpful travel tips, so go on and check her out!

7- And for a little comedy, here comes Conan O’Brien’s (CONAN) hilarious travel to Cuba, and the time of him trying to learn to dance Cuban Rumba. I definitely LMAO’D, and am truly yearning to visit Cuba to have an experience much like Conan’s. A true must-see.

8- “ShamelessMaya” is a YouTuber whose videos I really do enjoy watching, and her video on what to do in New York will get you feelin’ like you need to walk a bit in the shoes of this New Yorker.

9- If y’alls are feeling up to experience un peu d’aventure, the lovely Kristen Sarah will take you with her on her video of her trip to the ever so elegant Marseille, France.

10- Alright, I have saved the best for last: another Peter Bragiel inTransit video! This is my favorite travel video I have seen so far in this oh-so-long life of mine. It should serve as a reminder as to how traveling really does not have to have anything to do with glitz and glamour, and how sometimes your most remarkable travel experiences can be the simplest of ones. Peter’s experience of visiting nomadic families in the countryside of Mongolia is beautiful in its simplicity, and to go on a trip similar to his is now marked on my bucket list.

So there you have it, my list of the top 10 travel videos out there! I hope that some inspiration to explore this wonderful planet has made it your way.

Also from here on out, all of my future posts will have a random/ trivial fact put at the end! Here’s this post’s trivial fact:
The first president of Zimbabwe was President Banana. A law was passed forbidding citizens to make fun of his name.

So, What’s Next?

Alright guys, so here’s what’s going to be happening for me this fall: I’m moving to Southeast Asia for 1 year to do volunteer work and teach English abroad! Before I embarked on my year abroad to Brazil, I was intent on returning straight to University, but obviously things have changed.

Cambodian school children walk across a flooded road in a rainy day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)City Palace Bangkok

Metro Manila, Philippines - April 01, 2012: Morning traffic on the street in Manila. Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines with an estimated population of 16,300,000Angkor-Wat_2399296b   The destinations of my upcoming journey

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do intend on finishing my degree, but that’ll just have to wait until next year.

But… why?

Pfff, why not! In my opinion, the pros of this journey to S.E. Asia definitely weigh out the cons. Vamos lá!

1. I will be doing volunteer work to better the lives of the less fortunate; nothing on earth is more rewarding than helping people who need and deserve it.

2. Opening my mind to the conditions of others extremely less fortunate than I am will be a great learning experience, and helps with having appreciation for what is commonly taken for granted.

3. I will truly learn how to fend for myself, as I really will only have myself to rely on.

4. A strong desire within me yearns to become closer to a part of my heritage, which I expect to happen when I go to Cambodia.

5. I will learn. A lot.

6. A majority of scholarship options that I currently have for college will still be valid after I spend this year abroad, so bam.

My decision to take this year has shocked many people around me, but the reactions I’ve gotten have mainly been positive. A few instances have even occurred where some of the more conservative people in my life have shown support for me. For example, my mother. She was utterly horrified when I broke the news to her that I wouldn’t be attending college this fall because I will instead be going to spend a year teaching and doing volunteer work in Southeast Asia. But after I explained to her my motives, assured her that I haven’t turned into a clueless hippie (which she did think I had turned into), and that I do strongly intend to pursue a higher education did she accept my plans this fall. Now, my mother even says that she is proud of me for embarking on this new journey. Here’s to supporting those you love!

Also, I just booked my ticket to Phnom Penh, Cambodia!

Jessica Chann Booking Flight Ticket!   BAM! Shizzles are getting realzzles!

The Return

Well, it has currently been about 1 month since I have returned back from Brazil, and I gotta say that reverse culture-shock is some nasty business. I don’t know why, but adjusting back to my life in the States has been a lot harder than it was adjusting to life in Brazil. I think it’s because my year abroad in Brazil was my gateway to experiencing my greatest and wildest fantasies in life, so it definitely was not a burden duh, which in turn definitely was not an equivalent to my rational and everyday life in the States. For example, I was mysteriously granted the guts to do absolutely crazy things in Brazil that led me to intense happiness, which were things that I would have never had the will-power to do in the States. Not quite sure how to explain what I’m trying to explain, so I’ll just hope that jafeel.

So I’m an Adult. Ew.

Another part that made returning back to my hometown a bit harder was that I legally have the need to be an “adult” now. Not really liking having to deal with all this insurance, payment, and doing things alone business. Luckily I’ve never really been that dependent on my parents, so it wasn’t that hard to adjust to this lonely business. So yah, just tryin’ not to get consumed by work and boring everyday business so I make it a point to spend good time with friends and family, and also started a free zumba class! If you’re ever in the greater-Seattle area hit me up if you want to come to a free zumba sesh! Also I gotta wash all my laundry at Laundromats because, pff, like I got moola for domestic laundry devices!

FSCN3551 Tired, but still happy on laundry day

RSCN3455 Just me, frolicking around Seattle.

Next post will be on my plans for the fall, those of which initially almost gave my poor mother a myocardial infarction!
Tchauuu