Melissa’s 100 is now DriftyLand!

Hello there, fellow wanderers!

I’ve talked about changing Melissa’s 100 for a long time now, and I’ve finally done it!

I’ve shared a lot of personal experiences with my readers, but I’ve decided to take a step back and start sharing more about the people I get to meet. I’ve encountered some incredibly creative, unique and innovative people over the past few years. I’ve seen some spectacular places and experienced unique cultures.  I’m eager to share their stories.

So here it is –!

Learning to fish with frenchmen probably takes time and effort.

Celebrating the Frenchmen who fish in Reykjavik.

Why Driftyland?

My new direction celebrates the drifty, creative people and places of the world. This is for those who wander away from the everyday, the mundane, the typical in pursuit of their own dreams. This is to celebrate those who choose to rise above mediocrity, regardless of the challenges that follow. The people who are out finding themselves in this crazy world, the ones living alternative, yet blissful lives. The places that no one’s heard of, but can’t wait to be found.

I can’t wait to share those stories.

I’m excited to close the chapter that was Melissa’s 100, and take off to Driftyland. Thanks to everyone who has followed my journey so far (and thanks to Mike to doing some technical work to make the new name happen).

Stay tuned and enjoy the ride!





My PodShare Review & An Interview With Elvina Beck

It’s a Saturday in Hollywood. And it’s sweltering out.

Roxanna has just dropped me off at what I think is PodShare – a modern, hostel snuggled into a seemingly untouched alley off Hollywood Blvd. Instead, I find a condominium building. I quickly realize my mistake and head a half a block up.

The hostel, which seems more like a very large and spacious apartment, is quiet. The Pods are cluttered with shoes, extra articles of clothing, and various toiletries, likely cast aside as guests rushed to get out to explore Hollywood.

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An Afternoon in Venice Beach (& Why Trips Need Breaks)

On my last Sunday afternoon in L.A., Rox and I decided to hit up Venice Beach.

It was a few hours before I needed to be at the airport, and due to a really late night out, we both slept until noon. Neither one of us was in the mood for anything too adventurous, so Rox suggested we go have lunch in Venice Beach.

Since it was one the places I hadn’t been before, I eagerly agreed.

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We’d All Like To Flee To Portland, Randall

Just two days ago, I appeared at the end of a residential road in Portland. Feeling a bit like Dorothy in Oz, I thought, well, Mike, we’re not in Raleigh anymore. Then of course, remembered that Mike wasn’t there and also – talking to myself. Weird even in Oz.

Then, like a mirage (but not really, because she knew that I was on her street), my friend and former co-worker Sarah appeared as well. My long-standing promise to visit her in Portland was finally fulfilled.

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These Are The Dreams I Dreamt: A Visit to Griffith Park

Before there was Melissa’s 100, there was California Lights.

When I was 16, my parents planned a trip to California, at my persistence. I was an artistically tortured teenager – everything felt more important, and the feelings of that importance flowed out on paper and in photographs. My blog was called California Lights – mostly just poetic ramblings and pictures.

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Let’s Pretend I Found The Lotus Sushi & Hookah Lounge On Purpose

I don’t know a lot about the Hollywood area. What I know, I don’t particularly like.

I was reminded of this again today after encountering a man in Starbucks (near the Chinese Theater and a lot of the touristy stuff), who felt the need to verbally harass an asian man for buying a printer. I paid $16 for a ride back to Studio City just to get away from that man.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Anyhoo, after my interview at Podshare (with owner/founder Elvina Beck, stayed tuned for that), I chatted with the friendly Australians staying there, settled into my “pod’, then met up with my friend Ashlie, who I went to film school with.

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The Ace Hotel & Up Marilyn’s Skirt: Palm Springs

Before last week, my knowledge of Palm Springs, CA was limited to one really bad episode of 90210.

Now, I’m head over heels for this dry, sunny paradise. An hour and a half from L.A., Palm Springs is for Californians what Wilmington is for North Carolinians (if you can follow that).

A week ago, I called my buddy A.J. – he lives in L.A. – with ideas of what to do in and around the area. My gracious host suggested  visiting Palm Springs. I agreed – the only thing I really wanted to do in California was get tacos, and once that was done, I was down for anything.

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Airplane Strangers & Flying Jitters

I made it to L.A.


I’m stationed at a Starbucks getting some work done, and I wrote this post quickly. I wanted to share it before jumping into info about my trip. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m doing this – traveling all the time – and I got an answer yesterday, during my trip out here.

When I got back from Europe, everyone asked me what my favorite part was. I know the obvious answer was “ICELAND!” with a skip or jump in there, perhaps some heel clicking. I think my actual answer was surprising – Paris.

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I was in Iceland... see?!

My 2014 Manifesto

Happy 2014, 100-dians! I hope that so far, 2014 is great for you. The end of 2013 brought in a lot of happy surprises for a lot of people I care about, and I wanted to take a moment to recognize it. I had friends get married, get engaged, go back to school, buy property and have babies (looking at you, B-Moy), and I’m very happy for them. It’s great to see such good things happen for people I love.

2013 brought a lot of change into my life. I’m entering 2014 feeling completely renewed, and I have a lot of hope for whatever surprises the year has in store. It’s kind of funny, because when I look back at 2013, I wonder if it’s possible to have another year like it.

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Steps To Change Your Life in 2014

So…I’m not a big fan of holidays.

I hate overstuffing myself on Thanksgiving. Christmas comes and goes. Birthdays are fun, and of course, document age. But despite my indifference for holidays, I’ve realized as of late that I always look forward to New Years.

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