Thursday, October 23, 2014

The ABCs of Traveling

Last week, my blogger friend, Jordan, posted a blog entry entitled "The ABCs of Travel."  Jordan and I met up back at the beginning of June when she traveled to London.

Anyways, I absolutely loved the idea of the post,  and I loved reading her responses. I also read the posts that Kaelene and Casey did.  Reading about their various experiences from traveling the world was such a great escape this week. 

As I'm trying to get back into blogging post my three month hiatus, I'm doing my own "ABCs of Travel!"

A.  Age you went on your first international trip: I went to Niagara Falls and Canada when I was four years old. I don't remember a lot of it, but a few memories still stick out. 

B. Best foreign beer you've had and where: Strawberry beer in Brussels. I went to Brussels on a class trip when I studied abroad in 2010. One of the best trips I've ever taken to this day! 

C.  Cuisine (favorite): Italian! Yummy! My trips to Italy left me with tighter jeans due to the gelato, the pasta, the wine, the cannolis...you get the picture. 

D. Destinations- favorite, least favorite, and why? 

Can I answer London for my favorite destination? Does that count? I know I lived there for over two years of my life (in total), but there were still things that I discovered each day. Such a cosmopolitan city that brought new adventures around every corner, buildings that showcased the past, and things you can't see anywhere else in the world. 


Least favorite? Athens. I was entirely disappointed with the majority of the attractions. Perhaps, if I had gotten to explore more outside the city, I would've enjoyed Greece more. Add it back onto the list of countries to travel to!

E. Event you've experienced abroad that made you saw "wow": When I went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in Wales or the first time I stepped into the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. 

F.  Favorite mode of transportation: I actually don't know about my favorite mode of transportation. What I do know that I love is train stations and airports. I love sitting down with a cup of coffee, my headphones on, and watching the world get from one destination to another. 

G.  Greatest feeling while traveling: The feeling of being unknown in a large city. It must be attributed to the fact that I grew up in a small town, but I love wandering down the street and blending in. The feeling of being unknown couple with endless possibilities is something that I love. 

H. Hottest place you've ever traveled to: In May, I went to the Hoover Dam following my interview for my now-current job. I was unprepared for the heat, and then proceeded to drink tons of water bottles. 


I. Incredible service you've experienced and where? When I stayed at the one Hilton in Las Vegas for my interview in May, I had the best experience I've ever had. From the moment I checked in, they gave me tons of advice on the climate of the town, did directions and booked my taxi ahead of time, asked me how I was feeling before and after the interview, treated me to a few extra treats, and just truly cared. 

J. Journey that took the longest: When I flew back and forth to Las Vegas from London in May, the flights were almost 11 hours each way. That was the longest I've ever been on a plane. But, if we're going for the longest never-ending journey that left me in tears and making expensive phone calls back to the USA, it was in 2010 when I studied abroad. I was on my fall break with SU friends on an overnight train ride from Roma to Vienna. 

K. Keepsake from your travels: I have bought an investment piece from each country/trip I've taken. I've got clothes from decorations to prints. Each day, I get a reminder of my adventures. I also collect postcards. 

L. Let-down sight, where and why? Dracula's Castle in Romania. It was such a let-down, both inside and outside. There was little information about the history of the castle and its' residents. Just felt disappointed  with the whole thing. 


M. Moment where you fell in love with traveling: I think I've always loved traveling and planning. My parents will recall that I loved planning trips even when I was a little girl (e.g. Lake Placid and Disney World). I'm not sure I can pinpoint one moment. There are moments when I remember why I love traveling, but no one specific moment that I fell in love. 

N. Nicest hotel you've stayed in: Either the Hilton in Berlin or Stockholm. The Hilton in Stockholm provided me with a balcony and a view over the Old City.


O. Obsession-what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling?  Besides the different spellings of my name that Starbucks can do? I love taking photos of residences. I think part of it comes from my fascination with how people live.


P. Passport stamps: how many and from where? I had to go count! I have 63 from two different passports. While I don't have a lot of stamps from traveling from one country to another in Europe, you do get quite a lot traveling from the UK to another country in the UK. The other ones are usually entrance stamps into the UK or the USA. 

Q. Quirkiest attraction you've visited and where? In 2010, I visited the National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin. 

R. Really Frightening: where's one place you've visited where you felt unsafe or uneasy? I don't have one. There are places in all cities that I'm sure would make me feel unsafe...even in Las Vegas. 

S. Splurge- something you have no problem spending money on while traveling: Food. I love to try the local delicacies! From mussels to polenta to gelato to meatballs...I'm good to go. 



T. Touristy thing you've done: I actually am not a fan of this question. I think that everything is a tourist thing...even when you don't think you are doing something touristy. You're exploring. Do it ay your pace and how you want to do it!

U. Unforgettable travel memory: The trip that I took with my Dad in 2013 all over Europe. Actually, any trip I've taken with my parents is up there...even day trips. 


V.  Visas- how many and for where? I have three. Two for the UK, and one for Turkey. 

W. Wine-best glass while traveling: Probably any glass in Italy. 

X. eXcellent view and from where? I got to see some incredible views as I drove across the USA back in July. I'd also have to say the top of Tower Bridge in London.



Y.  Years spent traveling: I'm going to go ahead and say 24 years. 

Z. Zealous sports fans and where? I watched several World Cup games with my close guy friends from LSE. As my regular readers know,  I'm more of a college basketball fan. So, that was a real experience especially when I didn't know what was going on. 




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2 Years Ago...


It's hard to believe that two years ago, I moved to England to start my graduate school adventures.  

Time flew by over these past two years. As my regular readers know, I had quite a lot of adventures and moments to last a lifetime. Some were school and career related with others being captured and lived at parties, coffee dates, or in other countries. 

It's been almost three months since I moved back to the USA officially, and I still feel as if part of me is missing. London was home for so long. The MPA program and the friends I made in the program were the substance of my life for two years.  It's been a cultural adjustment these past few months as I get used to life in Las Vegas, the working world, and driving everywhere.  But, life is about change. And, I'm embracing my new life to the fullest.

Today, though, I'll be reminiscing more than normal by rereading some of favorite blog entries from the past two years. 

After all, this blog served as a way to capture those moments I had. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Absence

Hello World!

If you haven't noticed, I took a month off from blogging.

Following my move across the USA, unpacking, and starting a new job, some things fell off to the wayside. The blog was one of the things. But, post this holiday weekend, I'll be up and going again!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Last Day of the Road Trip

Arizona
On July 14th, I woke up in St. George, Utah, to drive the last two hours to Las Vegas. As I mentioned in another post, I'll have to go back to St. George to visit the sights.  

My drive took me through Utah and into Arizona before arriving in Nevada.

For those who went to Syracuse, there is a certain feeling that you get when you turn the corner on I81 North and see the Dome. It's a feeling that doesn't change, no matter how many times you've done that drive. When I turned the corner out of a canyon and saw the Strip for the first time, it felt like I had arrived home. 

From a small town to Syracuse University to summers in Boston and DC to London for a combined two and a half years, I've finally arrived in my new home. It's been almost three weeks since I strolled into town, and I am so excited to now make Las Vegas my home! 

My Apartment