Tag Archives: adventure

When COVID-19 Destroyed the World

Ireland

Up until a few days ago, nothing seemed real. I was in rural western Ireland on assignment for a magazine. Fresh air, fields of sheep, mountains, and the all the Irish Breakfast tea I could ever dream of.

We would see the news from time to time. Westchester County in New York was in a red zone. The death toll rising daily. Italy was beginning to collapse. But, then I’d look out at the lake, the fresh smell of spring, the birds in the trees. It was so easy to feel unaffected.

Then, the news came that Trump was closing off entry from Europe except for the UK. Ireland is not part of the UK for anyone wondering. Suddenly everything became real. Talk of having to rush to the airport and escape Ireland circled the table of reporters… But luckily, Trump soon came out and rephrased, saying, “The UK and Ireland.”  The consensus around the country was that Trump didn’t realize that Ireland wasn’t part of the UK. We all had a laugh, and life went back to being delusional and removed the outside world.

county mayo

That lasted for a few days… Until more news came, that the UK and Ireland were now included in the ban. Reality came flooding in. It was time to leave Ireland. The entire world was shutting down. The feeling of being protected, of being immune, of being separate, suddenly vanished.

The next morning we were on a flight back to New York City, only to find that the city was now in lockdown. Gyms, restaurants, cafes, bars, and stores, were are all closed. A few restaurants are still open for delivery and take out only. Now, a full lockdown is set to begin tomorrow. It will now be illegal for offices to ask employees to come into work. Places will be fined if customers are found inside. And there is a general sense of Armageddon in the air.

However, as I write this, the sun is shining out my window. The cherry blossoms in Williamsburg are beginning to bloom, and birds are chirping in the sky.

It’s strange. They say the coronavirus could end up killing close to 100,000 people…and yet, Mother Nature wouldn’t even know. Life goes on, whether we’re a part of it or not.

~ The Dark Horse

I’m Off to Ireland

ireland

So, despite the fact that I’ve been sick off my ass, and despite the fact that there is a global pandemic destroying the tourism industry, I have, somehow, been sent on assignment to Ireland.

I’m sitting at JFK waiting for my plane, and holy shitballs, I have never seen this airport so empty before. One of the world’s biggest international hubs looks like an old mall that’s past its prime.

I have to admit… I’m really looking forward to this trip. As the world crumbles from the virus (which in all honesty, is just like a really bad flu.  Miserable and awful? Yes. Deadly? …Not so much.)  But anywhoo, while the rest of you go into Walking Dead mode, I’ll be in the Irish countryside, nestled away from civilization.

irish country

What will I learn on this trip? Hopefully nothing. I’m looking forward to relaxing. I’m looking forward to escaping New York City, escaping the coronavirus, and escaping the world in general. It is my prerogative to sip Irish breakfast tea in the mornings, eat whateverthefuck Irish people cook, and suffer through an endless parade of Ed Sheeran songs (I really hope he’s not popular in Ireland.)

I’m tasked with writing a feature story about my trip, and I haven’t a plan in my head. Which I love. I will take whatever comes. I will absorb Ireland through the eyes of someone who has never been before, and who hasn’t done an ounce of research ahead of time. Ireland, I’m ready for you to surprise me, rejuvenate me, excite me, and relax me.

Let’s roll.

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

The First Snow of the Year

snow

So, finally, on January 18th, New York City is seeing its first snow. Once again, the streets are covered in white, and it finally feels like Christmas! (be it almost an entire month late) But still, the snow is here. It’s time to find that sweater, gather in a coffee shop, and put on some Fiona Apple. Right now, I have 2 out of the 3.

I’m plotting. Dreaming. Mischiefing. A big travel event is coming up next weekend that I have to go to for work. You go to meet and mingle. To set up trips and potential articles. my goal is to fill my year with as many trips as possible.

My goal is to have at least 1 trip every single month. And yet, something in me also wants to run away. I have always wanted to run. I want to go somewhere new, unexpected, and exciting. I want to do something. I want to make something happen. 

charlie brown snow

Snowy days like these always make me want to travel. To run. I want to hop on a flight to Botswana and go volunteer at a nature sanctuary. I want to fly to Australia and help with the fires. I want to go instal solar panels in the 3rd world. I want to do something!!!!!!!

The problems we have in America are so fucking stupid. Republicans are stirring up fear, anger, and hatred against poor people, women, LGBTQ people, Jewish people, black people, muslims, Mexicans, and literally, anyone who isn’t them.

And because our country is so focused fighting for dumb things that should be obvious to everyone, we can’t work on the bigger issues. The bigger problems. The real problems. I’m bored of this country. I’m bored of the bullshit of America. I’m bored of how easily Americans were bought and sold. Of how easy it was to completely divide America and destroy it from the inside.

airplane

And so, I want to run. I want to go somewhere else. Somewhere new. Somewhere where adventure is still possible. Where making friends is still possible. Where learning something new is still possible. Where growing as a person is still possible.

And I understand that I probably sound spoiled, and that’s also the problem with America. We have this problem where, if someone can see the situation from the outside…from a different perspective…they’re labeled privileged or spoiled or uneducated. When in reality, maybe they’re not. Just because someone calls you out on bullshit doesn’t mean that they’re the problem. Maybe…. just maybe… you’re full of bullshit.

And so, I want to run. Go somewhere new. Away from Trumpism. Away from #Woke. Away from America.

I want to run.

 

~ The Dark Horse

(No, not proofread)

 

 

 

Is It Wrong To Be In Love With A Piece Of Paper?

b and red

So, in general, I’m not one of those writers who enjoys talking about how much they “just love the feel of a pen in their hand” or “the sound it makes when it hits the paper.” I think that shit is so annoying and is such a cheap way to try and describe the joy of writing.

Having said that, here is a notebook brand out there called Black n’ Red. And let me tell you, it has the most orgasmic paper I have ever felt in my life. The paper is so smooth, almost too smooth, as if I’m writing on an ice skating rink. At any second, if I cross my T’s a little too strong, my my pen could go flying off the page, careening across the room.

And I know… I just bashed people who talk like this. But you don’t understand! The feel of this paper! It’s unnatural. It’s the kind of smooth that can only come from a deal with the devil. Surely there must be evil forces behind something so glorious. Imagine touching something so pristine, so exhilarating.

When I touch the paper, I want to take all my clothes off.

o face

Do I love this paper a little too much? Well…you haven’t felt it yet. Judge me only after you’ve experienced the pure carnal bliss of your finger against a piece of notebook paper.

 

Oh god, oh yes! oooooohhhhhh!!!!!!

writing

Oh my… That was the best journaling experience I’ve ever had.

I think I need a tea now.

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Everything Falls Apart

cape town

So, for anyone just catching up with this blog, I’m now a travel writer, and I love it.

The holidays were great, and making them even better was that I was riding on a cloud knowing that at the start of the new year, my next assignment was to take me to South Africa. Safari, cage diving, snorkeling, biking through vineyards, hiking….all of it. It was going to be the trip of a lifetime. I have never been to Africa before and I was so excited to visit “the cradle of life.” I mean, after all, it’s where the entire human race has its origin. I think it’s an important place for everyone to visit.

But then, America (along with Israel and other countries) placed a travel advisory on the country due to high levels of violent crime. And then, everything went to shit in Iran, and now Americans are being advised to be cautious when traveling anywhere. And so South Africa was like… you know what, we’re just going to put everything on hold for right now.

So I lost that opportunity.

And the backup trip for me was to Puerto Rico, which, not as exciting as South Africa, but it’s a gorgeous island in the Caribbean, and I could be escaping winter… so, YES PLEASE!

puerto rico

But then, the earthquake happened and aftershocks are continuing still… So Puerto Rico was like… you know what, we’re just goin to put everything on hold for right now.

And granted, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. It just means that until I get the next trip lined up, I’l be writing articles from the office. Which, trust me, I fully understand that my life could be so much worse. But still, when you get excited for something and you start getting all prepared, and then it all suddenly collapses… it sucks.

And it’s weird because, you know how there’s just a different feeling when you’re getting excited for something? Like, when you’re living in anticipation, knowing that something big is about to happen, you’re just kind of living on cloud 9 the entire time… That was me this month. I was just like, anything can happen and I’ll get over it, because South Africa is in my future. 

bored

And then, you come back down to reality.

So what to do? What do we do when things fall apart? When plans fall through? When we got our hopes up for something that didn’t end up happening?

Well, here’s what I’m doing to make myself feel better. Maybe this could be helpful for you too.

~ Treat yourself: I bought myself a slice of tiramisu, because why not? 

~ Don’t give up: I immediately had a meeting with my editor to scope out new trips to replace South Africa. One setback doesn’t mean the end of the world… it’s simply a setback.

~ Spend a night being mad and dramatic: The day I found out that South Africa was cancelled, I spent the night eating Thai takeout watching a horror movie, and then did some seriously immature journaling about how much I hate the world… and you know what, it made me feel better, so fuck off.

dramatic

So there ya go, hopefully that gives you some ideas of what to do the next time your plans fall through. And who knows, maybe this was for the best?  Who know where my next trip might take me?

~ The Dark Horse

(#SoNotProofread)

 

 

 

 

 

The Joys of Flying Spirit

spirit

Spirit, America’s trashiest airline, has done it again, proving that it is truly one of the worst airlines in the history of the human race, rivaled only by Air Koryo, or Terydactal Airlines from The Flintstones.

So, here we go: First off… they charge for bags, and not just checked bags, but carry ons too. If you’re going to any destination for longer than a day or two, expect to add $55 to any ticket you book.

inflight meal

Secondly, you can’t pick your seat, and the good seats are always saved for those who purchase seat selections or those who have the Spirit credit card… Which, let me just say. WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU EVER BUY THE SPIRIT CREDIT CARD? Do you like feeling embarrassed every time you whip out your wallet? A credit card with Spirit is like a diploma from Trump University…it’s worthless. So, unless you want the middle seat, expect to pay and extra $20 for any ticket you purchase.

Then comes the fact that they serve no snacks or drinks on the plane, not even water. So, if you fly Spirit, expect to add another $20 for the overpriced water and granola bars in the airport terminal.

Also, they have no in-flight entertainment, nor do they have free wifi. So, unless you’re planning on staring at your palms for 3 hours, expect to pay another $10 per ticket on magazines, or to download a movie from iTunes or something.

flying Spirit Airlines

And if you do decide to watch a movie on your laptop…there are NO setback tray tables, so you’ll have nowhere to put your laptop, and the seat is going to be so close to you that you’ll never be able to fit a laptop on your lap anyways.

And this brings us to their delays.  Since Spirit is trash and doesn’t care about you, the passenger, at all, expect to be delayed. Prepare to sit in the airport for hours as unhelpful minimum wage desk agents do absolutely nothing. You’ll need to spend another $30 on food and drinks as you aimlessly wait for your plane to arrive.

flying Spirit

So, if your Spirit flight was $100 cheaper than another airline, like Delta… after adding up all the costs, your travel expenses are no actually more expensive, and that’s figuring that you’re not checking a bag. If you do check a bag, add another $60 to the prices listed above.

 

Was this proofread? Obviously not!

~ The Dark Horse