Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Throwback: Melbourne, Australia

While I was living in Sydney, my friends and I decided to take a trip to Melbourne to see more of the country. An hour plane ride later, we arrived in Melbourne, home of the Great Ocean Road. We had three days and two nights to quickly experience this thriving city, which is most certainly not enough time.

So first up: seeing a football game (it’s not American football, remember):

Note: we had special tickets so we had to dress up – I think I was in nice jeans, a nice top and cute jacket (it was coldish there). The reason I mention that is because it is in Melbourne where I stumbled on my first, and only, goth party. Google it. All the boys were in khakis and nice shirts, and, while we should have been tipped off by all the Led Zeppelin t-shirts we saw in line, we innocently went into the first bar we saw after the game. Well, if there weren’t great drink specials and we weren’t in the friendliest country in the world, we probably would have left. But it was interesting. I stood out, if you can believe that.

Next up, Great Ocean Road. We rented a van, literally a van, and off we went:

It was so incredibly beautiful. If I didn’t pass out on the way back, I’m sure it was just as great at night. Melbourne had a lot of energy, like Sydney, but a smaller feel.

Melbourne and Sydney have a big rivalry, and, not being Australian, I guess I can’t say which one is better. Melbourne was great to visit, and I would definitely go back again, but if someone gave me one plane ticket, Sydney would be the final destination.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Throwback: Chiang Mai and Chiang Dao, Thailand

There is so much traveling that this blog did not capture. So I’m going to try to have a Friday throwback every Friday, but honestly I could also forget after this week, so soak this one in.

This Friday brings us to Chiang Mai, Thailand – one of my favorite cities in the whole wide world. I spent about 10 or so day in Thailand on vacation from my 5 month vacation in Australia. My friend Lauren and I innocently decided to wing it in Thailand, not knowing a lick of the language or how the country even functioned. It was awesome. We decided, after a night in Chiang Mai, to trek the mountains of Chiang Dao. That’s right, I said trek. A three day, two-night trek. Trek.

It started off innocently enough; we were so excited (and naive):

But after going up and down mountains and through caves all day:

We got tired and more tired. We eventually stopped to eat, and our guide chopped down bamboo to make us utensils and cooking materials, which also included my stick to fight of spiders. Hello crafty (him not me):

We didn’t have a set course, which is why things like this happened:

As tired as I was, on the last day I got to ride on top of an elephant’s head! Not that it was a particular life goal of mine, but when given the opportunity, you can’t pass something like that up. And it’s Thailand, come on, there are limited rules here:

All in all, one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life (thus far). And I may or may not have told my parents I went “with a group”, which technically if you count the guide and locals I met, that is considered a group, in the most common sense of the word.

In sum, Thailand is awesome. I can’t wait to go back!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do You Have Trouble Sleeping on the Plane?

I am very lanky, very. I’m 5’8”-5’9” made up of pretty much only limbs, and I fly a lot – long, long flights. That’s right, fun fact about me: I like to travel. Anyway, sleeping on a plane is difficult for everyone: you’re cramped, tired, confused if you want to try the fish on a plane – the sides sound fantastic – or should you just go with the chicken? I don’t know?! Internal panic.

Here’s a little advice from me to you: get comfortable, get that blanket out, kick off your shoes, pop on a movie, adjust the pillow, lean back and…take a sleeping pill. Really. There is no way you’re getting any sleep on that 10-14 hour flight (where are you going?) – there’s a baby crying in the back, some little kids complaining next to you, you’re in that middle seat because you scored a great deal and someone is snoring behind you. You only have one choice: knock yourself out and pray that the flight attendant wakes you up for ice cream hour (seriously, Qantas has that).

Now I prefer something strong, but really any over-the-counter sleep inducing pill will do. But remember, you don’t find the sleeping pill, the sleeping pill finds you. Skip the wine pour though (seriously, Qantas has that too) – you’re not Lindsay Lohan, calm down. Fun fact about Lindsay: she and I have the exact same birthday (day and year), and that leads to another fun fact about me: I do not believe in astrology and the birthday book.

Alright then, did that help? Thought it might. Enjoy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm SO Excited!

My Top Reasons why I can’t WAIT to move to Buenos Aires

  1. Winter is coming

Alright, well that about sums it up. Need I say more? Winter’s coming, everyone take shelter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She's Explorin Again

After all it was a great big world

With lots of places to run to

I lasted six months, but really, aren’t you all getting tired of me talking about moving? How about I just go? Ok then. So where is this mystery place I’m dashing off to? And I am dashing; I leave in four weeks for a year. I have so much to do, but thankfully I can check off writing this post. Did I write this back in September prematurely? Obviously – I’ve been planning a massive move since I got back from Rwanda.

Alright, the big reveal (ha, I’ve told like 100 people already – oh, sad you’re not part of the 100? Well, maybe you should call me more.) – I’m moving to……

Buenos Aires, Argentina! I am now a Princeton in Latin America fellow (ohh fancy!), and I will be setting up and teaching SAT prep classes for students – more to come on that.

I don’t even know how I’d possibly get homesick since everyone and my mother wants to come visit me. My family gets first dibs on dates though, which I will promptly post so all you people who kind of know me, but don’t really know me, but really want to come to BA will know when to book.

I’m obviously more than excited, especially as I sit here with a cold. I wonder if I’ll see Mark Sanford. And don’t worry about my Spanish skills, I watched like seven episodes of Diego (Go Diego, Go!) while I was babysitting this weekend, so I’m good.

So if you want to see me before I flee, this is the plan:

Now – October 25th: DC

October 25th – October 29th: NYC (Training and such)

October 29th – November 1st: DC

November 2nd – November 8th: Buffalo

November 8th – when I’m 25 (ick): Buenos Aires, Argentina


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rwanda Partners: You Made My Day!

Well now that I’ve gotten my virtual head bit off for my last post, I’m going to take it down a notch and write a VERY overdue post. BTW – the last one was a joke, apparently not a funny one – except to the Brits, I bet you liked that one. This post is WAY overdue, so here goes.

About a month or so ago, a simple click of the mouse won me a taste of Rwanda! What’s that you say? YES, all I did was RT (that’s retweet for you non-social media people, and that’s twitter for you people who live in a bubble) @RwandaPartners and I became their Tuesday winner!

About a week later a fantastic package came to my apartment, and what was inside you ask? Well…

Rwandan baskets! I am so excited - they are sitting on my dresser as you read this and as I type this. Anyway, Rwanda Partners is a great organization that wants to advance Rwandans by ethnic reconciliation, education and job creation. In the holiday spirit early? Donate here!

So that’s it – I also found that Bourbon Coffee is now in DC. So I can surround myself in Rwanda-ness for a while now. And I will obviously have a post coming up on that soon. Stay tuned.