Saturday, May 14

Getting Inside My Head

Greetings from across the pond! I am officially in my new place of residence—South Africa! The past few days of travel have been physically taxing, and I am currently suffering from a lapse in time difference. No matter, I’ll be good as new by tomorrow—or today? Yes, today.

I flew out yesterday (Thursday) at 2:00 PM Florida time, and arrived today at 5:00 PM Joburg time (11 AM Florida time). With 24 hrs total travel time under my belt, I am surprisingly fresh and not dragging (as I write this post at 3 AM). I attribute this to the fact that I had ample leg room on my long-haul flight. To put it simply, it was a dream and by far the best experience I’ve had on that flight. As the day went on, I wondered what I should do for my first post in my new homeland.

Sometimes I’m sitting thinking random thoughts to myself and then step back and say, “Wow, how did I get from point A to point B?” Well today, I will tell the story of my travels by going giving you a little glimpse of what goes on inside my head…

Freakin’ heck. How much does this carry-on weigh? It’s got to be at least 30 lbs. How am I going to carry it, plus my purse, plus my wedding dress. Dear God, help me.

Must. Have. Coffee. Thanks mom. 

 That security line isn’t getting any shorter. I suppose I shouldn’t put off the inevitable. No tears. Bye Mama, bye Mons, see you in 2 weeks!

If I find out that my mom snuck some of those wedding candles into my carry-on, I’m going to kill someone.

Finally, at the terminal. I’m really surprised how fast that process went. Now, to wait. What to do, what to do… OK, don’t stare at anyone. Why are these chairs facing each other? This is so creepy. It’s like forced meeting. “Oh, hello. These chairs make it impossible for me to not look at you. What seat are you in?” Thank heaven, I have nail polish in my bag. Time for a mini manicure.

I think the guy next to me is suffocating from the fumes. Sorry sir, duty calls. Must look pretty. This is nonnegotiable.

Done. I guess I should sit back and look at the ceiling… That girl across from me keeps giving me the stink eye every time I make eye contact.

Time to board. Unfriendly French lady next to me: check. Excuse not to talk to anyone on the flight: check. Snacks: check. 
Veggies and hummus
Think Thin White Chocolate Chip bar. 20 g of protein, no sugar, and gluten free. Is this possible?
I couldn't decide what this tasted like... I'm not sure how I feel about it.
Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter. It was pretty much healthy Nutella.
 What do you mean you don’t have a coat closet? Dear wedding dress, I’m sorry for what I’m about to put you through…

That wasn’t so bad. Now for the long trip. Just make it on the next plane. Prepare yourself. This is going to suck, there’s no way around it.

Now boarding. Coat closet! Great success. What? I get a seat with lots of leg room? Don’t mind if I do.

Hello 45 C. I like you. Although I just got these Think Thin bars for review, I will be kind enough to share one with your hungry, unprepared self.

Speaking of hunger, when’s dinner coming??

Ahh, yes, I did order a gluten-free meal. Thank you kind flight attendant… Ummm, this roll clearly says “100% Wheat.” Last time I checked, wheat has gluten. Thanks South African Airways for almost killing me. I no longer trust your gluten-free skills.

Would it be bad to put my feet up against the wall like a 5-year-old? Who cares.

I am loving No Strings Attached. I hope my laughing aloud is not disturbing my friend—or making him question my sanity…

8 hours down, 1 hour to refuel, 8 more hours to fly. Peace out, 45 C. It was nice to meet you. Enjoy Dakar. I should make an itinerary for my next 8 hours. Ok, OCD person, what’s gotten into you? That is completely unnecessary.

Hello new friend. Nice South African lady friend. Pleasure to meet you. I hope you don’t talk too much.

Breakfast time. What? This bagel says, “Wheat and Barley Whole Grain.” This is crazy. You know what else is crazy: taking pictures of food in the airplane. No friend, I am not a nut job, just a food blogger.
Death bagel, omelet, mushy potatoes, unsafe yogurt, and delicious fruit (my only consolation).
Good evening/afternoon/ morning, Exhaustion. I would indeed be much obliged to succumb to your charms for the next 4 hours.

I am loving this book, Eat, Pray, Love. You know what else I am loving? The freedom to read for fun.

2 hours to go: What to do, what to do… Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals? Yes, please.

1 ½ hours to go: Oh, there’s lunch. I’m not expecting much… Awesome, another wheat roll and the same thing I had for dinner, except covered in sauce. Pass. Good thing I took a chance and packed a ridiculous amount of cut up veggies and fruit. Score.
Chicken, rice, 3 broccoli florets, WHEAT ROLL, and measly salad.
 1 hour to go: Primp time. I would like to take this time to clarify that I am not a world-class super-primper, but times like these necessitate looking DAMN good. I wonder if I could plug in my straightener in the bathroom… Every time I take off my neck pillow, the static cling makes me look like I just stuck my dinner fork into a light socket. Nope, straightener doesn’t fit. Brush teeth, wash face, freshen up, brush hair, hope for the best.

Fantastic landing. Bravo captain man. I hope passport control and customs doesn’t take too long. Please let us out of this plane. We do NOT need a health inspection.

Don’t run, you’ll raise suspicions. You will see him momentarily.

There they are! Ok, running is fine…

After all of this nonsense, I finally was able to see my husband-to-be for the first time in 9 months.
As my mother said, "The love birds are back together."
It feels like no time has passed since I saw him last. When I arrived back at the house, my favorite meal was on the stove. 
Lamb knuckles, brown rice, peas, carrots, potatoes, and salad OTS.
 They love me here (because I’m awesome, of course). I am so happy to be back to this awesome place and to be living in a new home. I can’t wait to share my future adventures with you!


  1. I loved this blog Ashley, it was so funny! I love you and miss you and am sooo happy for you! Enjoy your new home! Aunt Jaime

  2. We miss you already.It's your job to keep us entertained with you posts. Pretty funny stuff. Your uncle "C"

  3. I like it! Glad to see you've gotten past the bagel and roll and finally having fun in South Africa!haha.... -Morgan Alonso

  4. Yay! So glad you made it there safe and sound: ) havebeen praying for you all week. Can't wait to her all about the wedding.

  5. @Aunt Jaime Thanks! I am so glad I have it for everyone to keep up with what I'm doing. I'm already having so much fun and missing you guys so much!! Love you.

  6. @Morgan Yeah! I'm so glad I didn't trust the airline or else I would have been wishing I would die.

  7. @Pamela Thanks! We are making final arrangements now. It's getting so excited! I'll keep you posted (pun intended...).