Kristin Newman Quotes
“And I would tell him, so full of twentysomething wisdom, that life is almost never about choosing between one thing you really want and another thing you don't want at all. If you're lucky, and healthy, and live in a country where you have enough to eat and no fear that you're going to get shot when you walk out your door, life is an endless series of choosing between two things you want almost equally. And you have to evaluate and determine which awesome thing you want infinitesimally more, and then give up that other awesome thing you want almost exactly as much. You have to trade awesome for awesome. Everyone I knew, no matter what they chose, was at least a little in mourning for that other thing.”
“When you travel, you're forced to have new thoughts. "Is this alley safe?" "Is this the right bus?" "Was this meat ever a house pet?" It doesn't even matter what the new thoughts are, it feels so good to just have some variety. And it's a reboot for your brain. I can feel the neurons making new connections again with new problems to solve, clawing their way back to their nimbler, younger days.”
“I love that I am but one of millions of single girls hitting the road by themselves these days. A hateful little ex-boyfriend once said that a houseful of cats used to be the sign of a terminally single woman, but not it's a house full of souvenirs acquired on foreign adventures. He said it derogatorily: Look at all of this tragic overcompensating in the form of tribal masks and rain sticks. But I say that plane tickets replacing cats might be the best evidence of women's progress as a gender. I'm damn proud of us. Also, since I have both a cat and a lot of foreign souvenirs, I broke up with that dude and went on a really great trip.”
“I probably should say that this is what makes you a good traveler in my opinion, but deep down I really think this is just universal, incontrovertible truth. There is the right way to travel, and the wrong way. And if there is one philanthropic deed that can come from this book, maybe it will be that I teach a few more people how to do it right. So, in short, my list of what makes a good traveler, which I recommend you use when interviewing your next potential trip partner: 1. You are open. You say yes to whatever comes your way, whether it’s shots of a putrid-smelling yak-butter tea or an offer for an Albanian toe-licking. (How else are you going to get the volcano dust off?) You say yes because it is the only way to really experience another place, and let it change you. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great trip. 2. You venture to the places where the tourists aren’t, in addition to hitting the “must-sees.” If you are exclusively visiting places where busloads of Chinese are following a woman with a flag and a bullhorn, you’re not doing it. 3. You are easygoing about sleeping/eating/comfort issues. You don’t change rooms three times, you’ll take an overnight bus if you must, you can go without meat in India and without vegan soy gluten-free tempeh butter in Bolivia, and you can shut the hell up about it. 4. You are aware of your travel companions, and of not being contrary to their desires/needs/schedules more often than necessary. If you find that you want to do things differently than your companions, you happily tell them to go on without you in a way that does not sound like you’re saying, “This is a test.” 5. You can figure it out. How to read a map, how to order when you can’t read the menu, how to find a bathroom, or a train, or a castle. 6. You know what the trip is going to cost, and can afford it. If you can’t afford the trip, you don’t go. Conversely, if your travel companions can’t afford what you can afford, you are willing to slum it in the name of camaraderie. P.S.: Attractive single people almost exclusively stay at dumps. If you’re looking for them, don’t go posh. 7. You are aware of cultural differences, and go out of your way to blend. You don’t wear booty shorts to the Western Wall on Shabbat. You do hike your bathing suit up your booty on the beach in Brazil. Basically, just be aware to show the culturally correct amount of booty. 8. You behave yourself when dealing with local hotel clerks/train operators/tour guides etc. Whether it’s for selfish gain, helping the reputation of Americans traveling abroad, or simply the spreading of good vibes, you will make nice even when faced with cultural frustrations and repeated smug “not possible”s. This was an especially important trait for an American traveling during the George W. years, when the world collectively thought we were all either mentally disabled or bent on world destruction. (One anecdote from that dark time: in Greece, I came back to my table at a café to find that Emma had let a nearby [handsome] Greek stranger pick my camera up off our table. He had then stuck it down the front of his pants for a photo. After he snapped it, he handed the camera back to me and said, “Show that to George Bush.” Which was obviously extra funny because of the word bush.) 9. This last rule is the most important to me: you are able to go with the flow in a spontaneous, non-uptight way if you stumble into something amazing that will bump some plan off the day’s schedule. So you missed the freakin’ waterfall—you got invited to a Bahamian family’s post-Christening barbecue where you danced with three generations of locals in a backyard under flower-strewn balconies. You won. Shut the hell up about the waterfall. Sally”
“My guidebook told me that the national anthem for Ukraine translated roughly to “We have not yet died!” That was the most victorious and optimistic version they could come up with. When Russians meet, their “Nice to meet you” literally translates to “How many years, how many winters?” Why couldn’t it at least be summers? It’s all very dramatic and dark in Russia.”
“And then there I was, literally tenderized like pounded meat by my year of work, failure, and physical and emotional battering. My New Zealand beach realization that I was ready for all of the things I had feared I was too broken to ever want felt both good because it meant that I was normal, but also terrifying. I was normal. Years later, Lena Dunham’s character on Girls would have a similar moment when she broke down and wept to a nice, handsome doctor with a beautiful house, “Please don’t tell anyone this, but I want to be happy … I want all the things everyone wants.” I was embarrassed to be a thirty-five-year-old woman who was looking for true love, and a family. It was so freaking typical. But I was also deeply relieved that I’d finally gotten there.”
“When you travel you’re forced to have new thoughts. “Is this alley safe?” “Is this the right bus?” “Was this meat ever a house pet?” It doesn’t even matter what the new thoughts are, it feels so good to just have some variety. And it’s a reboot for your brain. I can feel the neurons making new connections again with new problems to solve, clawing their way back to their nimbler, younger days.”
“I would eventually realize that I didn't want to be with Ferris any more than he wanted to be with me--we were way too much alike. Remember that in the movie, Ferris doesn't date a female Ferris. He dates Solane--the one on the ground looking up at him adoringly as he goes by on the float, wondering, How does he do it? I wasn't that girl. I wanted to be up on the float.”
“I remembered the lesson my mom taught me at age seven in a swimming pool in Hawaii. I was a shy little girl and an only child, so on vacations I was usually playing alone, too afraid to go up to the happy groups of kids and introduce myself. Finally, on one vacation, my mom asked me which I'd rather have: a vacation with no friends, or one scary moment... After that, one scary moment became something I was always willing to have in exchange for the possible payoff. I became a girl who knew how to take a deep breath, suck it up, and walk into any room by herself.”
“She told me that since they date exclusively [in Judaism] with the intent to marry, the conversation is very direct right from the start. You’re not sitting quietly next to each other at a movie wondering if you can get over his awful shirt. You’re interviewing. And from your first date, you’re focusing, apparently, on only three questions: Do we want the same things out of life? Do we bring out the best in each other? Do we find each other attractive? That’s it. In that order.”
“The experience also illuminated another fact: regardless of how you travel, as you get deeper into your thirties you might be the only person your age out on the road at all, whether it's in the hostels with the twentysomethings, or on the fancy cruises with the sixtysomethings. In your fourth decade, your compatriots are mostly at home, working, raising humans, getting husbands through rehab, living for someone besides themselves.
“They hadn’t had my experience of Argentina. It hadn’t saved them during their times of crisis the way it had saved me. But they hadn’t expected it to; only I had. I realized they didn’t look at travel the way I looked at it, like medicine, like my chance to right all of the wrongs that might exist in my life. They just had a few interesting days in South America, and went home not too disappointed, but not too changed, either.”
- Born: The United States.
- Description: This is a "25 Things About Me" exercise I did for Facebook about five years ago that Facebook recently regave me. I provide it to you now:
1.) I am doing this exercise solely to procrastinate. Other activities done for this purpose today: plucking eyebrows, walking to Pinkberry rather than driving, making a To Do List when I really only have like 3 things to do, which doesn't require a list to remember.
2.) I've spent most of my life careening between having the highest self-esteem in the world, and the lowest.
3.) I have been more peaceful for the last two months than ever before in my life.
4.) When I decided to become a comedy writer, my uncle said, "Huh. I never thought of you as funny."
5.) This week I had a fantasy about Barack and Michelle doing it. In the fantasy, I was not there. That's how attractive they are.
6.) I have never had braces or glasses. I would be a very expensive racehorse to breed with.
7.) I have injured my right foot the last two New Year's in a row. Which makes me less attractive as breeding stock.
8.) I moved by myself to Argentina to study spanish and tango. The happiest moment of my life was alone on top of a mountain there.
9.) My mom says my problem is I've received too much love, so I don't appreciate it enough when it presents itself to me.
10.) I was an only child until I was 18, and now I am one of seven.
11.) Getting on a plane fixes anything for me.
12.) I love traveling alone because of all of the people you meet, with girlfriends because of all of the men you meet, and with boyfriends so you always have someone to shag when you find yourself in a romantic, secluded spot that makes you hate your girlfriends and yourself when you find yourself there in the other situations.
13.) I can fake a perfect accent in any language, even if I only know 2 words, well enough to make locals start speaking a million miles an hour to me in that language.
14.) My personality is literally wearing out my vocal chords.
15.) I grew up going to musical theater camp. The first time I went to third base (over the boxers) was with a guy wearing eyeliner.
16.) I crush easily, and love rarely.
17.) I decided to go paragliding with the flu, and threw up mid-air on myself and my paragliding instructor, Swiss Dave.
18.) Until I was 18, I thought politics and hiking were super boring. Now I like both.
19.) I have a Chinese cat who lived in my apartment before I did. He let me stay, so I brought him to my house. I think he is someone who was madly in love with me in a past life reincarnated as a fucking loud animal.
20.) I have no phobias, and kind of think they are ridiculous and fake. Just get over it!
21.) I always felt the same way about allergies. Then I found out that I am apparently highly allergic to all of California (which is not helping out my worn-out vocal chords.) I do not know what to do with this information and my theory.
22.) I am super social and need to be around people. But I am an only child, so I only like to be around people until I need to immediately be alone.
23.) I can make bitchy girls who are tense about their men like me.
24.) I was a ski bum in Colorado for a year, which was where I waited enough tables and tuned enough skis to learn that location and love are not all that matter in life. That's when I started to work.
25.) I still have things to achieve, but I have no major regrets. If I died tomorrow, I'd feel like I did it right.