My kind of Las Vegas
It hits me when I land in the Dallas Airport and make my way to my connecting flight via sky rail that this is the first time I’ve left Mexico in 6 months. I feel small and vulnerable in this much bigger version of the world. I’ve been so submerged in the simplicity of my little jungle-life that I have forgotten anything outside of it exists.
I’m on my way to Las Vegas. For two reasons: 1. a wedding and 2. a visa run. My Mexican visa expires every 6 months and I have to leave the country to renew it. I am astonished how quickly this time has passed.
I have very low expectations of Las Vegas. I have a feeling this place is akin to that weird uncle with greasy hair and missing teeth who always smels like alcohol and cigarettes and cheap cologne and laughs too loud at awkward moments and you never know when he might try to touch you inappropriately…
It’s evening by the time I arrive and check in on the strip. I get lost in the hotel-casino 3 times, all the bright lights turn me around and make me feeling like I’m in some upside-down wonderland. All my friends are flying from Europe. We correspond by text. “Woah, this place is overwhelming!” / “Let’s just go to sleep.” /  “See you for coffee tomorrow morning.”
I wake up at 6 am. The time difference is confusing. I open Facebook. Everyone else is awake, too. We decide to meet downstairs at the juice bar. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. I haven’t seen these women in so long. Some not since I left London 6 months ago, others not since Goa, India 5 years ago.
We catch up on as much as we can as quickly as we can and then get ready to go meet the bride in her suite. We flutter around her as she has her makeup done and go down to meet the limo to take us to the chapel. Elvis waits for us as we file in line. Our beautiful bride makes a stunning entrance and 10 minutes later, with a moment of fluster that the rings have gone missing, the wedding is done. Watch the video here.

The limousines pick us up and take us to the Neon Boneyard. It’s a wonderland of forgotten neon signs that once twinkled down the original Las Vegas strip. I fall in love as I start to realise that Vegas is not so much that scary, old uncle — but rather more like the misunderstood eccentric cousin — the one who arrives at family gatherings covered in splatters of paint, who is married to an accountant but has a line of lovers on the side. She has her wild side, but it’s all in the name of creativity, innovation and liberated self-expression. I am a little bit like her, too.
We end up at a rooftop speakeasy: The Commonwealth, privately booked for the wedding party, with the most beguiling view I could imagine.
I close my eyes for a moment to take a picture-memory. I never want to forget the way this night smells with sweet dusty desert air, the twinkling lights hanging across the  rooftop bar overlooking Las Vegas Downtown — all its neon signs lighting up the night — the laughter and warmth encasing my heart made of friends from around the world who have come together to share in making a moment to remember centred around love and the bearded bartender called Ceasar who manages to be both charming and sullen at precisely the same time. I figure it’s a hipster thing.

The next day I gather our group. I want to see the ‘real’ Las Vegas before we all part ways again. After coffee, we pile in a couple of Ubers and head to Vegenation for lunch. My friend Kelly is their marketing manager and invites us to come to a vintage market she runs every Sunday called Market In The Alley. I am in heaven. I find a vintage pair of animal print trousers made by of my favourite brands Free People for $30 and buy two hand-made gold-plated rings from a sweet girl with cacti on her display table. Two bands are playing and I immediately have a tiny crush on the sitar player with long dreads. Typical.
Living in Mexico, I suddenly realise, leaves much to be desired in the way of men that are my type… You know, the ones that could just about be homeless — a little bit vulnerable and dishevelled looking — while also being entrepreneurial and eccentric, with their own successful businesses. Preferably with lots of hair. Unshaven faces and man-buns and eclectic vintage clothes. Yes… those men don’t exist down here in my little jungle paradise. I will have to continue to import my men as I have done so far.
My kind of Las Vegas
We explore the streets of downtown until the sun begins to set (watch my Day 2 video here) and then hug goodbye. All of us are full and content and exhausted. The magic and intensity of these few days together have made us weary and we are all ready to slip away into our dreams.
My heart hurts with love for my newly acquired little kitten Danger Zone as I pack my bags. Sleep comes quickly and before I know it I’m on my way to the airport to make my way back home. The journey is smooth and easy as I slip back into my jungle-life on the central west coast of Mexico. I am left with a sense of wonder and excitement. Travel always inspires my creativity more than anything else — already I start forming ideas for my next conceptions — as I prepare myself for another month here until my next journey.

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