Whole30 January 2019

The Whole30…Who’s Disturbed Now?

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics – Bret Contreras

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics – Bret Contreras
— Read on bretcontreras.com/how-femur-length-effects-squat-mechanics/

Traveling Links 

http://abnb.me/e/TECaMAYzqE

To be continued 

Once upon a time I went away. I went away to reinvent myself. I went away to find out who I was where no one already knew the answer. 

Growing up in a small town never allowed me the luxury of feeling like I could be myself. I wasn’t anything outrageous, I just didn’t fit in. It’s a real shame that so much of who we become is based on what other people decide we are. It’s too bad I didn’t figure a lot of it out sooner. I’m jealous of those people who do. 

I came back home to be near family, family I still rarely see. My father, and the last of my parents, passed away only a few months after I moved back to be closer to him. Why didn’t I just stay to begin with? Why did I have to miss out on all the advice he could’ve given me just to run off and discover myself?

By the time I was 25 I had lived in 5 different states and accomplished nearly nothing. I still haven’t written a book, I’m still in school. I’m still trying to figure it all out and I have a lot of regrets about a lot of wasted time.

Every morning I still wake up with the urge to run. The only difference is, now, I have people I would take with me. I will probably always be a flight risk. That’s not very settling, I know. 

Today I wish I had never moved back home and uprooted my daughter from a place where she was thriving to bring her back here. (So much for small town sentiments) I don’t really know what to do with that regret and that guilt. I keep waiting for the tides to turn so I can say it was all worth it. I keep waiting for people to drop their double standards and give a kid the break they got. Because I truly believe, there is not one person, of all the people who so pretentiously wag their fingers in her direction, who would be in the position to do so if all the cards were on the table. 

Not every blog post is full of universal truths. As a matter of fact, I hope this doesn’t ring true for anyone else. If you live in a bubble where it all works and it all makes sense, and double standards don’t rule the universe, stay there. I’m envious.

Lactose Intolerance Diet: The Best Cheeses to Eat if You’re Lactose Intolerant – Thrillist

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thrillist.com/amphtml/eat/nation/lactose-intolerance-diet-the-best-cheeses-to-eat-if-youre-lactose-intolerant

Jamaica 2017

Outlander – Voyager 


Friends in Jamaica

Scenery, Bluefields Bay Villas, the Hermitage

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Imperfect Parent- You are not alone…

Ok, so I know this is a travel and health site I have created here, but who needs to get away from reality and be exceptionally good to ourselves every now and again more than parents? I want people to understand that there is more to me than my last funny vacation blog, last song I wrote, my job, where I buy my organic veggies and where my band is playing next. So please, if you are an imperfect parent, or know one, please continue reading that my experience won’t be lost with my passing.



I Apologize 

Sometimes people just do bad things. It doesn’t have to mean they had shitty parents or a crazy home life. It doesn’t have to mean that kind of behavior was seen or condoned in the home. In fact, in hindsight and in regard to all the times I may have passed judgement on a person’s parents because of their own atrocious behavior, I owe a few apologies.

Perfect Children

I hope my struggles will help someone else, because I don’t want anyone else to have to feel so alone. Like they cannot identify with anyone in their peer group because their peers have perfect scholarship children who come home on holidays and actually show their parents they love and appreciate them. I’m not knocking that kind of child, we all want that.

You Should Put in the Effort Anyway 

What I am saying is that many many of us did put that kind of time and effort into our children and had the same hopes and dreams and the same blood and sweat sacrifices were made, but our children decided to go against it all.
Sometimes we kid ourselves or listen to others tell us, “if you just put in the time” “if you just put in the effort” “if you stay home and be constantly present” “if you go to work and set a good example” your children will follow a righteous path and all your dreams and wants for them will be realized.

Guess What!? 

Well, no. That would imply that life was fair and deserving people always rise to the top. I should know this. I know a ton of people who are so wealthy, they never have to wonder where their next Louis Vuitton bag is coming from, have been spoiled their whole lives and turned out shitty. I know people who don’t have a pot to piss in and treat everyone they meet like gold and always have, but still struggle. Life is not fair. Deserving people don’t always or even often get what they deserve. Why should I think that would not apply to child rearing? The desire to leave a legacy through the good works our children carry on after we die, does not guarantee their realization.

My Decisions Probably didn’t Matter that Much. I gave myself too much credit. 

You can pick apart my life, my decisions to move around and experience the world, to not stay with people who mistreated me, to sing in a band, to not join a church, to live without credit cards, to sometimes put myself first, to not buy my kids a million gifts all the time, to refuse to let them sleep over at people’s homes, to spend too much money on organic food that could have been spent on things they could play with and I could trip over … all the good and the bad decisions… none of them should result in this phase of my life where I wonder each night and day if I will see my child alive again. And if you’re going through this, then I just want to tell you that there are other decent parents out there who raised their children void of any major traumas or abuse, who are also hurting right now. I don’t know what to tell you to do about it. But I want you to understand and find peace in the fact that you are not alone.

______________________________


Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Really Traveling”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.clearlyiamdisturbed.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: clearlyiamdisturbed@gmail.com
View Karen’s LinkedIn Profile

Seven Days in the BVI (on a budget) by Karen Bradberry

Recently the bf and I visited the British Virgin Islands for seven fun-filled but relaxing days. As someone who always feels unnecessarily anxious when I have an itinerary, I decided to travel without one. I suggest you do the same, as it worked out beautifully!

Of course, I did some research about the islands, the climate and the people, for safety’s sake and to eliminate unnecessary baggage. The best tip I got was “pack light”. No problem there, I hate lugging around bags and I figured since I was going “budget friendly”, I wouldn’t need anything fancy to wear. 

We flew into St. Thomas, destination Tortola. Tortola is one of the larger islands and so my thinking was “if traveling by ferry or water taxi turns out to be something we cannot afford once we are out there, there will probably be enough to do on the island within driving distance.” Another great tip I got was “rent a car,” a four wheel drive to be exact. So, that is what I did. 

I had a couple thousand dollars saved up because I was worried about getting over there and running out of money, but I still played it safe and spent as little as possible. After all, it was Christmas time and I didn’t want to be broke when I got back either. 

Man cannot live on “salt air” alone

The first thing I want you to know is that food is very expensive over there and I am not just talking about eating out. I am talking grocery store food was super expensive. For instance, a small can of condensed Campbell’s soup ran about $3.00. Orange juice was about $8.00. A loaf of bread was $6.00. Normal everyday staples were outrageous! I spoke to many locals about the cost of food on the island because I was convinced there must be some secret to shopping more affordably. I mean, this is a tourist industry with most locals working for minimum wage of about $6 an hour.  They told me they had to take the ferry over to St. Thomas for any real shopping, at $35 one way! Overall, the locals agreed that the price of food on the island was not affordable and made life quite a bit more difficult than was necessary. This would explain why most locals with even the smallest bit of land had vegetable gardens.

*So here is my “I’m gonna do this next time” tip for you, check a bag with some non-perishables for your flight over. I’m talking ramen noodles, bread, mayo and dried fruit, the kind of things that customs won’t care about. This way, you’ll pay normal, reasonable prices for your food, a $25 checked bag fee and have an empty bag to take back souvenirs or just throw it out if you don’t love it. You will still come out on top monetarily since a case of canned soda in the BVI will run you about $18.

Where the streets have no names 

The second tip I have for you is to rent a car. After having rented a car on Tortola, I am not sure I will ever visit another foreign land and not rent a car. At $50 a day, we saw every part of the island we cared (or dared) to visit, and paid $0.00 in taxi fees. Yes, it took some getting used to; driving on the left, crazy roundabouts and a few close calls, but totally exhilarating and absolutely cost effective. Having our own means of transportation meant we could go to almost any beach, any day, for free. Technically, I could have spent each day at a different beach with a packed lunch and been back at the rental in time for dinner. We used a total of 3/4 tank of gas in seven days, driving every day. So, just do it and thank me later. 


Crow’s Nest Guest Cottage 

We rented a studio guest house on the West End of Tortola. It was the cheapest thing I could find and it had a hot tub, beautiful views of Soper’s Hole and was oh so quiet. It also had a kitchenette which we took full advantage of each morning and evening.

Adventure Awaits 

So, what did we do besides lounge in the hot tub, cook steak and shrimp kabobs on the grill and watch movies on our Amazon Fire Stick every night? Here is a list of my favorite cheapo adventures and things I would enjoy doing again if I return. 

P.S. They don’t really tow on Tortola, so you can park right next to any little beach access with “no worries”.



1
. Smuggler’s Cove(Free) Snorkle, lounge on the beach, swim, collect rocks and coral. It’s a small secluded beach on Tortola’s West End. Taxis don’t like to drive there because the roads are so rough. Your rental car will get you there with no problem, once you find it. There is even a little bar there called Nigel’s Snack Shack if you need a drink or two…. or four. The first day we went there were four other people there. We went there each day though, before dinner on our way back from wherever we had been, just to look at it one more time. 

Above: Smuggler’s Cove

2. Cane Garden Bay(Free) Snorkle, Swim, Lounge, rent a paddle board or kayak for around $20 including a lesson. Have lunch at Myett’s. If you do, I recommend their catch of the day, conch fritters and Blue Chair drink. They also make a great Pain Killer, a local favorite. 


Above: Cane Garden Bay from Myett’s  

3. Brewer’Bay- (Free) I didn’t take any pictures here because I was too busy snorkeling, which is exactly what I recommend you do here as well. The beach didn’t look as picturesque as some of the others so I reluctanlty got in. Once I stuck my mask under water, that was all she wrote. We swam around for hours looking at the beautiful reefs. Ask a local how to get down to this beach and you will not be disappointed. The road to it is paved and there is a parking area, if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s a little restaurant and bar here as well. 

4. Road Town(Free) Ok, so I’m not really into hustle and bustle or shopping, but since we planned to go to another island the next day, we thought we would venture over to Road Town, get our bearings and figure out where the ferry dock was. (This is also where the real grocery store is, so unless you’re eating out every meal, you must make your way there eventually.) At this point we had been driving the island for three days and decided we could deal with the traffic. We parked at the ferry dock and stopped into Pusser’s where we had a fantastic quesadilla and an even better Pain Killer…A Disney cruise was docked and there were a lot of people around shopping at the typical port looking shops. We ventured over to Sunny Caribbee’s Spice Co., bought some teas and spices and browsed local artists’ creations. I also bought some magnets for the kids from one of the port shops. Not a bad haul for the day considering my aversion to shopping. We got the ferry schedule and got the heck out of there. But… not before making several heart-thumping trips around the roundabout pictured below… 

5. The Baths, Virgin Gorda- ($3.00) Swim, snorkle, walk through the caves, hike along the paths, swim in the pool, people watch. We took Speedy’s Ferry from Road Town to Virgin Gorda for $50 round trip.We rented a car through the ferry service for $50. We drove down to the baths in the rental car and spent several hours there snorkeling, hiking and had a drink at the bar.



The locals at the rental car pick up recommended Hog Heaven for lunch. Since we rented a car, we had no taxi fees,  and we weren’t forced to stay and eat at the high priced restaurant at the Baths. The food was cooked on a smoker (except for the honey-dipped fried chicken I had, which was also delicious) and was easily the best food/drinks we consumed, that we hadn’t prepared ourselves, since arrival in the BVIs. It was only about $15 per meal there, so it was worth not packing lunch. 

Below: View from Hog Heaven on Virgin Gorda 


Still, there was one more destination I wanted to visit on Virgin Gorda. A five minute drive landed us at the old Copper Mine. No one else was there, and I got several lovely photos. Oh, did I mention this was free? No one mans it, so it was an easy self tour. 


We returned to the Baths because we still had about an hour to return the rental car and get on the ferry. Everyone was gone and it was perfectly legal to then go down and walk around unsupervised. Given the chance, I would probably repeat this trip exactly the same way, and at least twice in the week. We spent about $6 in gas on the island. Taxis run about $30 per person per trip, so, we definitely came out on top by renting a car. 

6. Sage Mountain- Hiking, banana smoothies and the best stories from Jim. Ok, so although you can’t tell from our photos, it rained a lot while we were down there. Mostly it rained at night and you really couldn’t tell in the morning. But when we got up to Sage Mountain to do the hike, Jim, recommended not wearing our “only shoes,” but our “only shoes” were all we had since I “packed light.” So instead of a muddy hike and regretful ruining of shoes, I asked Jim for a banana smoothie and a story. Specifically, I asked him for his story because he had a strong English accent and definitely a worldly look about him. He also seemed like such a happy person, I immediately wanted to know all of his secrets. We spent an hour or so listening and enjoying the stories of a traveling ex-Navy chef who came very close to working on the Queen’s yacht. So, while I can’t recommend the hike on Sage Mountain, (because I didn’t do it) I can recommend asking Jim at the restaurant and other local transplants to tell you their stories of how they came to live in the BVI. This is absolutely free. 

7. Norman Island (Treasure Island)-($20 Round Trip) That’s all you really need to spend to get over to this little island for the day. Eat breakfast first and pack a lunch if you’re not planning to spend $50 per person for lunch and a drink. The dive shop was open first and the people in there were very nice. We snorkeled for free all day and laid in the sun on the beautiful beach at Pirate’s Bight. If you don’t have a boat and don’t pay for a scuba trip, you really don’t get to see the caves or anything fancy like the part of the island where you might find treasure,  but it is a cheap way to get a boat ride and see a new beach. Snorkeling was excellent here. You won’t be disappointed unless you planned to see the caves…. (sad face). 

If this isn’t enough to keep you busy, but not too busy, all week, feel free to repeat recommendations 1-7. No one will hold it against you.

_____________________________

Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Really Traveling”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.clearlyiamdisturbed.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: clearlyiamdisturbed@gmail.com


View Karen’s LinkedIn Profile

Tortola BVI for Christmas Part 1… Getting Acclimated                 Written by: Karen Bradberry

View from Where we Stayed (Soper’s Hole, West End) Crow’s Nest Cottage

Guilt Trip
I had things as perfectly planned out as I could considering I was going somewhere I had never been before. My childcare arrangements fell through two weeks before departure and no family would commit to help me out with my 9 year old. But I didn’t panic. It did make me feel a bit unloved and under appreciated, but, hey, that’s my gig.

Luckily a friend agreed to help me out and take her for the week, so I could have my once in a lifetime (I hope this isn’t true) vacation without kids. Because no one I am kin to volunteered to help me out, I gave myself a bonus guilt trip which I wasn’t planning on, deducing that they all thought this was a majorly selfish thing for me to do,leaving at Christmas, and they were punishing my selfishness by refusing to even take her to their family gathering for a day.  I’m still not quite over that one but, hey, another life lesson in who you can count on when push comes to shove. It worked out fantastically and I want to say a big “thank you” to Kristyna Lathem for spoiling my daughter while I was spoiling myself.

On to the awesomeness that this trip was… Tortola was very interesting and relaxing in a unique way. I had worried about my “never traveled anywhere before” boyfriend handling the culture differences and ins and outs of traveling in general. He did so great. It was like going on a vacation with all of the best parts of him. He was relaxed when I was tense, reassuring when I was doubtful and brave when I was frightened. I had read somewhere that traveling out of the country as a couple was a good way to gauge compatibility… I would say we passed that test, having never argued or even disagreed that I can recall.

At first he said he was worried about driving on the left. So I drove for about 45 seconds, pulled into the wrong driveway, which was very steep and altogether ridiculous. I got out, walked up the driveway and said “meet me at the top”. And that was how he became a super- confident and competent driver in Tortola. He drove us everywhere and trust me, it was no short feat. The roads over there are rough, largely unpaved and mostly singletrack full of switchbacks. He said he loved driving over there. It was his favorite part.



First, Making it to the Island…

I apologize for getting ahead of myself. I realize there are people who actually want to know details about the travel part because, I looked for the same types of articles and blog posts before I left. So I will try to be as explicit as possible in that area.

We took a flight on a little commuter jet from Kingsport TN, where there were zero wait times at 6:10 AM. This put us in Atlanta around 7AM. Since it had been some time since I traveled through Atlanta, I left us a little layover time to get to the gates.

Customs entering the BVI 

** I should mention to those of you who are worried about customs and wait times where catching ferries and connecting flights are concerned, when you go to Tortola through St. Thomas, you don’t have customs until you reach Tortola on the ferry.  So don’t worry about a wait in St. Thomas for that until your return trip. They give you a customs carbon form to complete at the ferry dock and you can complete it on the ride over… eh hem…unless you ride on top and it gets wet… Then you have to start over. Remember, dates on that form go: dd/mm/yyyy… apparently this is very important. 😬

Connecting Flight from Atlanta to St. Thomas

We then took a larger plane where we rode Delta Comfort Class and had free drinks 🍹 and two more square inches of space.. and a movie 🎥 ….these are good things. We arrived about 1:30PM. We lost an hour. When we got off it was pretty warm so I went into the restroom to change clothes. Came out and had to:

1. Take a taxi to the West End Ferry Dock. (It is important that you know where on the island you are staying. I had a rental car already waiting for me at West End. DeDe’s Car Rentals did that happily. If you take the wrong ferry, it’s a 30 minute cab ride to Road Town or West End. Whichever place you were supposed to be for your stay. It’s not the end of the world but it’s an extra expense)

This taxi from the airport to Charlotte Amalie Ferry Dock cost $6 each and $2 for bags 💼

** It is also very important to get to St. Thomas before the last ferry ⛴ of the day. Checking those schedules is easy and can be done online while booking your flight. But remember you do not have to account for customs times so “no worries” as they say on the island.

A quick ride in the Taxi got us to the Charlotte Amalie dock in just a few minutes.

2. Take the ferry to Tortola (West End for us) this somehow cost $90 but I was too excited to figure out why. Also if your bag has wheels, they make you check it on the ferry. I didn’t care because I was sick of lugging that thing around anyway.

A caveat here to describe my experience on the ferry. 

We took the Native Son Ferry which I am quite certain is one of the most preferred ferries here. However, we chose to ride on top on what seemed like calm waters… On this ride I learned all about how when you are at these little ports and docks the water is usually calm no matter WTH is going on at sea… so we rode on top and the seats were just plain hard metal (with some sharp corners) and it was all la-tee-da until we hit the open waters and started getting splashed and beaten around. I tried to move up to the front and fell down and got some lovely 😊 bruises and a hard lesson. And no one… (I was certain at the time), is going to come save you if you go flying off the damn thing….See before and after ferry ride photos below. 


My tip for you, ask how the waters are before you get on top, if the locals say it’s rough, go ahead and stay inside and complete your form. There will be plenty of time to see the islands and beautiful views later. As a bonus you won’t have bruises, sopping wet forms and a continuing irrational fear of ferry rides for the rest of your life. 😳

3. Wobble off the ferry and take your form through customs. They will usher you in the right direction. Passports at the ready, it took us about 10 minutes to get through customs and boom we were thrust out into the dirt parking area where our rental car was awaiting us. There was a half tank of gas and the key was, get this, under the mat. 😂

(Part two through ?? of this blog will include tips we learned and more photos and videos of our adventures in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Norman Island and St.Thomas. I’ll include a link here when I get it written.)

Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Really Traveling“, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.clearlyiamdisturbed.com.  She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: clearlyiamdisturbed@gmail.com

View Karen’s LinkedIn Profile

Vacation WITHOUT the Kids? Yes, I believe I will!

I am a guilt-ridden single mom. I’m not complaining about being single or being a mom. I just want you to know that usually, wherever I go with the kids, it’s just me and the kids. Like, I don’t have any helpers really, no other money being throw into the kitty aside from my own and unfortunately, no one there to say, “Don’t talk to your Mother that way!”  It is what it is. It is life. It is work and it is usually not easy. I feel guilty when I can’t give them what married couples can give their children, like IDK…. attention… But, I still want them to experience life in such a way that one day, when they are old enough to understand, they can look back and say, “I had a great childhood that was full of adventure!”

So, I finally decided to take a vacation without the kids. Why? Well, each year I plan what is meant to be a wondrous, stress-free time at the beach with me and my two daughters, and each year by the end of the first day, I wish I had left them at home. When I say wish, I mean, the curse the sky and kick myself kind of wishing, that only comes after the guilt of wishing them away has passed.

Neither of them are spoiled brats. They haven’t always gotten what they wanted and we have lived more for experience than possessions their entire lives. So, of course, I always assumed they should be with me on vacations. Life is an adventure right!!?? I had step- children as well, who are grown now and it occurred to me recently, that since I was 20 years old, I have always vacationed with children. So, pretty much my entire adult life has been spent not really relaxing, even at designated relaxation destinations.

For the past two years in a row, I have taken my own children camping at the beach and to my dismay, they have been eager to go but reluctant to allow me any peace once we arrive. Two years in a row I have endured (through them), sun sickness due to refusal to put on sunscreen frequently because, “it feels gross”, complaints of bug bites when camping because, “bug spray stinks”,  multiple showers per day (where I must assist due to age and possible campground creepers), no towels for me because I apparently didn’t bring enough for my teenager to have ten of her own to throw down in the sand and then still need one for a shower. This year in particular, my oldest daughter turned 18 while we were on vacation and informed me that babysitting her younger sister wasn’t her job and it was my problem. (I just wanted to go to the fruit stand alone without fear that she’d be kidnapped from the campground.)

Then there was the fact that my 18 year old wanted someone to take her home, a seven hour drive. And when I said, “NO!” She began to use social media to have someone driving that direction come and pick her up! Like a stranger…. So, if it wasn’t the younger child needing constant supervision and help with the simplest tasks, it was my older daughter being incomprehensibly obnoxious. Yeah, it ruined my vacation. No, I did not have a good time and NO, I do not feel like spending my money or my vacation time that way again.

Am I saying I won’t take my nine year old on another vacation because she needed supervision, regular feedings, somehow was always covered in sand which made applying sunscreen scratchy and felt gross which then led to screaming through the campground “It’s hurting me!” “Don’t touch me there!” (….sigh….pause for the thought of what other campers might have thought was going on….another pause because no one ever came to her assistance and the realization that this is the world we live in) No, I am saying that my big vacations this year and next, will include a house sitter, a babysitter, a dog sitter and me sitting on a beach with no children around AT ALL!

Have you ever gone back and asked your kids if they remember this or that from a vacation  say from age eleven and younger? Have you ever been sorely disappointed to realize that they don’t even remember the vacation at all? You ever think maybe you should have left them somewhere safe and taken this ghost vacation yourself? I am sure traveling with some kids, and if you have the  money and if you are a super-patient awesome parent feels like a vacation to a lot of people. But I feel like maybe it is asking too much for them to go EVERY year.

Selfish me…I feel like a vacation should be a vacation. I should return feeling rejuvenated and not like I still need a vacation. I am spending Christmas in Tortola. My youngest will go to her God Parents’ house, because they’d “LOVE to have her!!”… and my oldest…hopefully will have a job to go to.

I am spending spring break in Jamaica, also sans the kids. And I don’t plan on feeling one bit guilty about it.

Cheers!

Karen B. @clearlyiamdisturbed.com