It’s been a while since I told you some random facts about me. You get a lot of travel and running stories here on the blog, but not so much (anymore, at least) about my outside life in general. If for no other reason than I feel like writing this random post, here you go!
1. I hate smoothies: I’m apparently the one person in the world who doesn’t like smoothies. It’s a shame, really, because it is such a healthy breakfast and such a great way to get in fruits and veggies, but I just abhor them. I don’t even really like milkshakes, so I think it is just a texture issue, but either way, you will never catch me drinking a smoothie. I’d honestly rather not eat anything.
2. At one point, I could play (well) 8 musical instruments: I started taking piano lessons when I was 3.5 years old. My dad owned a piano dealership when I was a kid, and my mom had grown up playing. I really, really hated it (sorry, mom and dad) but was quite good at it. They let me quit in middle school as long as I agreed to play in the marching band, which I agreed to. As it turns out, I had a natural talent for musical instruments and picked up a bunch of them quickly, moving around to fill in whatever spot needed to be filled that day. I ended up “first chair” at every instrument I played, but I still never enjoyed it. I quit before high school and haven’t picked up an instrument since. Today, I can’t even read music. Kind of pathetic, right?
3. I saved 120 hours of vacation time last year by working while traveling: A lot of people wonder how I can take so much time off work to travel the way that I do. The answer is – I don’t take a lot of time off work! I’m very lucky to have the type of job that allows me to work from pretty much anywhere that there is internet (or even without it for short spells). I take my laptop with me on nearly every trip I go on (except Nepal and now Africa) – anywhere that there will be internet. By working throughout ALL of my flights, in airports, and during downtime (such as when AJ is sleeping in or we’re driving somewhere), I managed to save 120 hours of PTO last year that I would normally have had to use. That’s 3 whole weeks! While some people think I’m nuts, I really like it. I have the peace of mind of knowing my projects aren’t crashing and burning while I’m gone, and I also get to travel more! What’s not to like?
4. I’m still waiting for my “biological clock” to start ticking: My whole life, I have wanted to adopt children, but I have never really felt a strong pull towards biological kids. Everyone told me that as I got older, that would change, but it hasn’t at all. Now, I’m 31 and still I feel exactly the same way…and people are still telling me the same thing. Honestly, it’s getting a little old. Maybe how I feel will change and maybe it won’t, but I’m ok with whatever (and whoever) our family ends up looking like!
5. I was only allowed to watch educational TV and play educational computer games when I was a kid: My parents were pretty strict about the amount of television and video games my brother and I were allowed to play. We were allowed to watch half an hour per day of an educational show, and the only computer games we could play were educational. You know what’s educational? The Magic School Bus. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? The Oregon Trail. Various spelling games I can’t remember the names of. The list was endless. I think it was one of the smartest things my parents did for us, and honestly, I still enjoy all those games and shows now. I apologize in advance to my future children, who will also be living by those rules. PS: While googling this, I just learned that Netflix is bringing back Carmen Sandiego in 2019! YASSSS.
6. My tastebuds completely changed when I started running: I was an extremely picky eater as a kid (sorry again, mom) and that did not get better later in life when I started struggling with my eating disorder. It did, however, change a lot when I started running. I almost never ate any vegetables, hated different types of seasonings, didn’t like anything spicy, etc. Once I started running (especially when I started running a lot), I was so hungry all the time that I just stopped being picky. Things that used to disgust me, like broccoli (which literally made me throw up as a child on multiple occasions), suddenly seemed delicious. Today, I’ll eat pretty much anything as long as it is gluten-free and won’t make my ulcer worse.
7. I am completely wine illiterate: I can’t remember if I wrote about this or not, but prior to going to New Zealand, I thought there were only two types of grapes: red and white. I thought that different types of wines just came from different seasonings you put in with the red and white grapes. I realize that makes no sense, but I just honestly had never thought about it before. Obviously, you now think I’m an idiot, but just in case one of you out there also doesn’t know – types of wines are named for the types of grapes they are grown from. There’s like a million kinds. CHARDONNAY IS A GRAPE, PEOPLE. Man, the more you know.
8. I’m terrified of the dark: You already know I’m afraid of birds, but did you know I’m afraid of the dark? Like, won’t turn off my bedroom light and walk across the room, even when AJ and my dog are in there and even when I know it is perfectly safe. I make AJ turn on his nightstand light before I turn off the overhead light. Even if I were to be in a completely empty room with the lights on and then have the lights turned off, I would lose it. Hell is just one big, dark room, in my opinion.
9. I had an entire wall full of Jonathan Taylor Thomas (JTT) posters when I was a kid. As a child growing up in the 90s, I spent an unreasonable amount of my allowance money on such fine publications as YM, TigerBeat, and Seventeen. The best part of those magazines was obviously the full page photos of all the hot celebrities of the day, my personal favorite of which was Jonathan Taylor Thomas (who played the middle child on Home Improvement, in case you lived under a rock in the 90s). I had a wall dedicated solely to posters of him, and then another wall with posters of other cute celebrities who I also liked but who did not quite deserve their own wall, such as Andrew Keegan, Devon Sawa, etc.
10. I have an extreme aversion to cash: I really, really hate using cash, carrying cash, and having cash. It makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I feel like I am going to lose it or spend it all at once on a giant Russian doll or something else I don’t need. For some reason, I am much less frugal with cash than with a credit or debit card (I know it’s supposed to work the opposite way), so I try to avoid it as much as possible. This is actually one of the few things I really don’t like about traveling – visiting countries that require me to carry cash because they don’t take my debit cards! The horror.
11. I haven’t had caffeine in over 8 years: As early readers of this blog may remember, I have a minor heart problem called a Paraxysmal Atrial Tachycardia that was likely brought on by my years battling my eating disorder. It basically means that the electrical impulses in my heart do not always fire correctly, and sometimes, my heart rates gets too high and cannot come down on its own. I used to take medication for it. I’m not allowed to have any sizeable amount of caffeine (i.e. no coffee or caffeinated soda, but some low caffeine tea is ok). Yup – I have not had a cup of coffee in about 8.5 years! People ask me how I live like this, but honestly, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. My energy levels are way more consistent now that I am not relying on caffeine to wake me up. Unfortunately, I had to wake up at 4 am every day for work back when I found out that I had to cut the caffeine, so that was pretty painful, but once I got over the hump, I was good to go!
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