[vah-gah-moon-da]

article & verb

1. vagabond, wanderer

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

In Which I Battle Body Hair

The area known as the Mediterranean Crescent has long been renown for its sunny climate, healthy cuisine, and fabulous beaches. But as any female born or descended from Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Israel and the other countries that rim the iconic sea, there is a price to be paid for olive skin and lush hair. For the dark hair that gives us enviable eyelashes is often not restricted to our eyelids alone. Rather, it grows, unbidden and unrestrained, on arms, legs, upper lips, brows... It's a hard lyfe. But someone has to do it.

Once puberty hit, I realized that I was different from my white friends whose families came from inherently hairless places like Ireland and Scandinavia. Whatever, your eyebrows will fall out by the time you're 40. By the time I turned 12, I was frequenting beauty salons for a monthly wax, feeling ugly, hairy, manly. Now, as a 21 year old, I am fighting to let go of my insecurities and take pride in my rich, albeit hairy, heritage. No, I will not be growing a full beard to challenge societal and ethnic norms. But I am going to stop complaining about my body hair and do something about it.

Today begins my quest to find a workable beauty regimen, one that will rid me of excess hair and enable me to feel confident in my body. Because though Mediterranean women are hairy, they are also determined.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The essence, the very DNA of a wanderer is the fact that they have no home, that the road itself is the only place where they feel even faintly that they belong. When I started this blog, I saw myself as one such individual, mostly because I felt out of place in my suburban high school. Yet now that I live so far from home, and now that so many of my friends live in so many different places, I again identify with the wandering spirit. The axiom "home is where the heart is" indeed rings true, for my heart is with the people I love, and the people I love are spread pretty evenly around the world. 
Living away from home and in fact acutely aware of the veracity in Faulkner's words, "You can never go home again", I renew my commitment to blogging about my experience as a wanderer. Not necessarily because someone is going to read it (though I welcome any and all readers), but because it is my story, my struggle, and I want to document this period of my life. It is truly a gift from God that I intend to make the most of (or "aprovechar" a Spanish word that does not translate but more appropriately encapsulates the sentiment). 

Friday, July 29, 2011

In less than a month I will be living in New York City. IN LESS THAN A MONTH I WILL BE LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY. Just in case you didn't catch it the first time. My summer reading is done, my payment and immunization forms are in order, and I have registered for my classes. I can't believe that I am on the cusp of joining the largest human experiment that is New York. The sheer size of the city is daunting, not to mention the incredibly diverse people that inhabit one tiny island. Oh, and did I mention that I am also starting college? After having taken a year off from school?

Obviously, there is a lot of shopping to be done, as well as packing, planning, and deep cleansing breathes. Yet I feel that my preparation for New York cannot just center on the external; I must embrace the fact that in a few short weeks I will be plunged into a new and completely different environment than I have ever experienced. Yes, I am well traveled. But I have lived in the same state for 12 years, and practically all my life in the Deep South.


Though I am a tad (okay, maybe very) apprehensive about the change, I know what I love and what I am passionate about, and I have complete faith and confidence that by trying my best and applying myself, I will succeed. Yes, there will be challenges, and knowing myself, I will freak out. But the important thing is to forge ahead. Allow me to close with a rough translation of a corny Spanish song by Diego Torres, "Es mejor perderse que nunca embarcar".

Monday, June 27, 2011

The best summer ever?

This blog post (after a ridiculously long hiatus) marks the middle of what I have decided will be the best summer of my life up to now. Of course, I hope that each summer will surpass the previous one in terms of excellence.
My summer truly began with the end of my missionary year, an event that I had eagerly anticipated. While I in no way regret my decision to take a year off between high school and college, I was ready to go home. The delights of the city beckoned me, and I was eager to move onto the next phase of my life, that of college student, and dare I say it, intrepid world traveler. Preparing for college in two months, endless city adventures, and an ambitious summer reading list promise to keep me occupied for a good while.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game"

Fear is a big deal to me. I know what it's like to be paralyzed by it ( a cold, throbbing feeling emanating from the pit of my stomach through to my extremities)  and  how it feels to be defeated by it. I have never considered myself a coward, but I am a far cry from being the strong, courageous woman I want to be.

When I was younger, the Lord of the Rings movies hit theatres, inspiring a new generation to delve into the classic books by J.R.R Tolkien. I remember being captivated by the character of Eowyn, the niece of a king who valiantly fought for the freedom of Middle Earth, as well as killing the infamous witch king who could be killed by no man. I wanted to be like her, a passionate and beautiful princess who did not allow evil to paralyze her. It was not that she was fearless; what really made her appealing was the fact that she overcame her fear with courage and sacrifice.

My New Year's Resolution this year is to work on being courageous. Every morning and night, I pray that I may no longer be afraid. In new situations, I work hard to push myself, rather than allowing my fear to take control. Of course, fear still plagues me. But as Mia's father in the Princess Diaries says "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the realization that something is more important than that fear."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

As most of you know, I recently suffered a tragedy in that my classic camel peacoat was recently stolen while I was stumbling around Jacksonville International airport in the early hours of the morning. This beloved coat had been a gift from my fashion-conscious  father nearly 4 years ago, and needless to say I was devastated by this loss. However, there is hope in the most bleak situations. I recently encountered an inspiring picture on one of my favorite blogs, The Sartorialist, that made my heart palpitate with longing; the most chic, luxurious coat, a navy blue stunner with the most flattering cut. Perhaps the loss of my coat is the chance for a new fashion beginning, an opportunity to reshape my winter wardrobe.




A coat similar to this one will hopefully be mine...once I win the lottery :).

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas and such...

I am not an advocate of plastic surgery, but check out the blog's facelift! With the help of my tech-savvy (and incredibly patient) sister, I replaced the boring and bland black background with an image depicting a busy train station (the url is, in fact, tales from the traincase). I also added a touch of femininity with an exciting coral pink header! I love makeovers!
On another note, I am happy to report that for the first time in 138 years, Atlanta has had a white Christmas. However, it is now December 26, and I am heartily annoyed with the white stuff, namely because it is cold and wet. Snow also has the distasteful tendency to freeze, and therefore cause a hazard to those who lack Olympian coordination.
Nevertheless, the Christmas season is a time to celebrate, not complain. As a special gift to you, my dear and few readers, I will highlight an assortment of intriguing Christmas customs from around the world...enjoy!

Nothing says Merry Christmas like charging at friends and family on horseback with ceremonial lances: at least that is the case in Ethiopia. Rather than wake up to the stereotypical bulging stockings and trimmed trees, Ethiopian children are most likely roused by the sound of angry men and whinnying horses.