David and Perseus in Florence

Please excuse me while I nerd out for a sec

Statue of David and Perseus in Florence

This is one of my favorite pictures from Europe for so many reasons. I love history. I love art. I really love mythology. So I was swept up into a wave of nerdy joy when I realized (more…)


Secret Chickens

I always pause while driving up the street from my parents’ yellow, end-of-the-cul-de-sac house. My headlights fill the gap left by the sunken sun and illuminate my half of the mountain. Looking beyond this stretch of high beams, you can see the few hundred luminous spots that dot the valley below.

There are exactly three stoplights in Alpine. The rest of the dots are signatures of a few shops, one grocery store and thousands of homes housing families of well-off manual labor fathers with their stay home wives. Alpine is small but half the houses are big and spare garages are full of speedboats, RVs and dirt bikes. Not everyone has a stash of toys for weekends at the desert or river, though. There is one part of the main street where the apartment kids live in cubicles and just a stretch of freeway away is the Viejas Indian reservation. Its high rate of diabetes and suicide is tucked behind the brightness of the outlet mall and casino but locals know where to find it.  (more…)

Travel in your 20s

Because these are your selfish years

The years where the mixture of low commitments and high expectations create favorable conditions for world-traipsing self discovery. Seeing yourself in a different context is one of the best ways to figure out exactly who you want to be.

So travel.

Even if it is a bus trip to the nearest state or a day trip to the mountains. Micro-travel gives you a cheap way to get away and gain some perspective.

If you’re ready to make some big travel plans…

Check out this  video from Buzz feed about the 10 Trips you NEED to Take in your 20s

Berlin: Silently screaming history

My time in Berlin began with a nighttime walk along the longest remaining chunk of the Berlin wall. We went and enjoyed the murals as we talked and joked with each other, but the reality of the sight would occasionally creep into my consciousness. Today it’s a long stretch of outdoor art. Less than 30 years ago it was a prison wall that sprung up and drastically changed the lives of a generation.

As we walked, lightening began to illuminate the dark clouds and fat drops of rain dampened our clothes. Nature has its way of creating the appropriate soundtrack.

Section of the Berlin Wall
I could’ve spent the entire next day just walking the Wall and taking in the art. It’s varied and beautiful and serves as the perfect canvas to memorialize the struggle of the city. Having been ravaged by war, split in half and only recently unified takes a major toll on a region and its people. The rubble was taken out and the buildings came up but there are subtle reminders everywhere of the terrors from just a few decades ago.

Travel blogging is pretty hard, friends

If you have looked at my LinkedIn profile lately (hey there potential employers! Glad you found your way here),  you will see that my current profession is listed as travel blogger. If you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted any pithy commentary lately, you might think I’m a big fat liar.

The thing is, travel blogging is actually really hard. In fact, I’m writtng this post on my phone while on a bus headed for Berlin.

My travel style is a too fast skim of continent

It involves making daily decisions about how this poor college girl is going to get from point A to point B with the least money possible. Days are spent wandering narrow streets and galleries, nights are for making friends with locals and bus rides are for catching up on the rest I forfeit to maximise my limited time.


My Thoughts on Madrid

As I prepare to leave the city I’ve called home for the last month, I find myelf reflecting on my Madrid life.

This was my first time living in such a large city and i was surprised how much I liked it.

I’m at a great point in my life where I can move my life anywhere. After graduation in December, I can pick any city I want to go start my career. The question is if  Madrid makes the cut. (more…)

Spain Recap

How sad is it to be a blogger without internet?

I can’t believe I have been in the country for nine days already. On one hand, the part of me that feels the clock ticking on my stay here thinks that I’ve only just arrived. On the other hand, the part of me that knows how to navigate the Metro with ease and where to go to find Wi-Fi feels like I’ve been in Madrid for much longer.

I think that I’m going to have to do a recap of the last week and a half in series since it has taken me so long to actually sit down and write (which is good though because it means that I have been too busy living). Let’s start from the beginning. (more…)

Ode to Objects I’ll Miss

I feel like I have been saying goodbye to everyone for ages.

There was saying goodbye to all of my customers and coworkers, a goodbye dinner with some friends, a whole lot of coffee/smoothies/sitting with friends that I won’t see for months, bonding time  with my mom masked as shopping expeditions,  probably too many late breakfasts at Denny’s with my partner in crime, a phone call with my grandma, a big family dinner last night with my biological family as well as my unofficial cousins, and tomorrow is the big airport goodbye.

Aside from the people that I will miss there are some things that I will miss terribly as well. (more…)

Passing through the dark

Study abroad and travel fears

I was terrified of everything as a child. Jumping from the monkey bars would surely end in broken bones; the McDonald’s play gym was most definitely going to collapse while I anxiously scampered through its tunnels; and the boogie man, big bad wolf and several poltergeists all lived in my closet.

Don't look under the Bed

Photo attributed to Hannah

I like to think my fears have become more rational as an adult, but now that I’m throwing myself into a completely foreign environment, I’ve been trying to sort out which concerns are legitimate and which are akin to the monsters in my childhood closet.

Here are the five fears that are currently on my mind. (more…)