August 1, 2018
December 5, 2017
Eight reasons to travel to Brugge this fall. Best of Bruges 2017. Why you can’t miss this Venice of Belgium. You can’t visit Belgium without a stop in Brugge. Don’t be Brugge-y. And all the other catchy travel article titles about Brugge… By the time I reached Belgium this October, my twelfth country to visit in the year, I was spent. I had really lost a sense of purpose in my travel after being overwhelmed with tourist activities in Prague and having a deeply enriching cultural immersion in Peru over the summer. I made a promise to myself that ...
November 26, 2017
It’s been 3 months since I’ve returned from my summer in Peru and I’m just now able to process the experience. Not that it was so heavy or deep or that I drank too much coca tea but it was a lot. Friends and family continue to ask me why I went, what I did and what I learned from the experience – all complicated questions. I wrote a full post on why I quit my job for this long-term stay abroad but the long story short is that I wanted to improve my Spanish and get living experience ...
November 16, 2017
Remember when we used to pass notes in grade school? We sketched our best friend’s name or I love so and so or acronyms for every new and made up phrase (lylas, ttyl, bffe) all over sheets of blue-lined notebook paper, folded it into some indistinct shape and passed it from desk to desk hoping not to get caught by Mr. Smith. We’d communicate in style, glitter pens on paper in bubbled or graffiti letters, saying just as much with the fonts we created than with the words themselves. It’s a lost art. A friend of mine who teaches middle ...
November 7, 2017
Prague wasn’t my idea. It was Veronica who first suggested the Eastern European city when we agreed on a trip to Amsterdam after I raved about my first visit in the fall of 2016. We had a bunch of recommendations from friends, family, and our Airbnb host, but the ultimate plans lay in the hands of the infamous Google Doc. Y’all are familiar with it. It’s that printed out document that includes the itinerary planned down to the minute. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you’re probably not the Type A planner to build one out or even ...
September 22, 2017
I almost didn’t make it to Cartagena. Missed my flight from Peru to Colombia and spent an extra night in Cusco wondering if the trip was really meant to be. If the universe was conspiring against me. If the expectation of a good time in Colombia was destined to be unmet and the reality of my situation was a better bet. But it always works itself out. It was an awkward ride from the airport in an Uber. Uber is illegal in Colombia but the app still functions, so it works? If asked by a cop what I was doing ...
September 12, 2017
When in Bogotá I made the mistake of staying in La Candelaria. Don’t get me wrong, the location is perfect for touring as it sits in the cultural center containing all of the main attractions and museums. I was torn between whether or not to stay there initially and read a number of articles to help me make my decision, including this one comparing the difference in nightlife between the city center and northern neighborhoods. My mistake was actually rooted in a poor order of priorities: did I want to stay close to the center of the action, backpackers, and museums ...
June 3, 2017
I’ll be completely honest, I was afraid to travel to Morocco. Call it irrational, call it ignorance, call it “American media syndrome”, etc. I didn’t know how an Islamic country (even in Africa) would receive me – an African-American, Christian, Female. I had a very uncomfortable experience on a crowded train in Istanbul and was haggled and hassled way more than anyone would want on that 8-hour layover and automatically associated Islamic culture with that experience. I was absolutely blown away by how incorrect my assumptions were – the people were hospitable, good-spirited and friendly, welcoming us with open arms, ...
March 6, 2017
We stepped off of the plane and were happy to see the sun out (guns out?) after a few dreary, overcast days in Barcelona for a work conference. We made our way to the Airbnb by way of Uber, which was an extremely cheap option for getting around. The place was wild! Shout out to Pedro and Thiago for their quirky sense of style. The Casa da Padaria was the perfect Alice in Wonderland/Little Shop of Horror/Victorian play-place that we were searching hoping (?) for. Nothing prepared us for that or for the amount of time it would take to search for ...
February 5, 2017