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Tag: travel

Moments in Cuba Part Two.

Day Five:  “What do you think is the one barrier to your happiness?” I thought about his question as I took a sip of my chilled Bucanero, suddenly wondering if I had any (barriers). The live band was playing ‘Bailando’ for the third time a few feet away since we had squeezed onto this rooftop, unofficially the national Cuban song. Tin Tin was crowded with tourists trying to watch the fiery sunset sweep above us. I was sharing a wooden bench with a stoic German family but no one minded. Before I could muster up a thoughtful reply, Dan whom had been…

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Moments in Cuba Part One.

If I were to tell you everything that happened while I was in Cuba, you may never allow me to travel alone again. After rattling over suspension bridges on motorbikes in Bali and sleeping through overnight bus rides in Bolivia, I’d consider myself open-minded and well traveled. Yet, nothing prepared me for what I experienced in Cuba. I left understanding less of it than I did when I first arrived (which to be fair, wasn’t a whole lot). Without fully comprehending the language, having no internet and navigating the chaos of this country by myself, I was constantly surprised at…

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Part One: Two girls and a desert

We staggered into the Rio hotel, Las Vegas late Friday night, looking alarmingly out of place in our hiking books and massive backpacks. That’s one of the best things about having a best friend-you can both look stupid together but it doesn’t matter because you’re not the only one. The Rio is off the major strip, and although it was a short Uber ride away and shuttles loyally chugged through the night, we decided to save our energy for Saturday night instead. We checked into our room, changed, and hit the casino lounge bars til 4am, gingerly accepting drinks from…

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Chicago.

Chicago has brilliant weather. Everyone who lives there begs to differ, but when I spent a weekend there for fun it was thoroughly 80’s and sunny the whole time so it’s all I’ll ever know! Oh, this place. I’ve been wanting to visit Chicago for so long without a tangible reason-just a feeling that I should experience it there and that I would like it. Did you know that the Chicago Tribune coined the word ‘skyscraper’? And that Pabst Blue Ribbon is from there? And that it’s home to the world’s first Ferris Wheel? AND BROWNIES?! I love being a…

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Go to Austin for the tacos.

I could move to Austin. Tomorrow. Easy. If I were to move to Austin, I would get a few more tattoos, bleach my hair again, go vegan and start a succulent boutique store. I’ve spent almost the entirety of my free time in Austin thinking about this, and I could totally pull it off. It took me awhile to understand this ultra quirky, trendy city, mostly because I was there to work during SXSW, but I seized every opportunity to explore. The thing is, all the cool kids live in Austin. And they’ve all mostly moved there from somewhere else.…

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Prague: Snowy but mulled wine and pretty bridge

I was not convinced that Prague was the place to visit in the middle of an abnormally chilly winter. In September when I bought the tickets, I did not choose it for the pretty holiday lights, cozy fireplaces or snow covered castles-I agreed to it because I was meant to have someone to keep me warm. But as my flights approached, I unflinchingly pulled up my big girl panties, packed my suitcase and took off alone. My Airbnb listing was in Mala Strana, right at the foot of the despairing beautiful and famous King Charles bridge. The flat was luxurious…

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I already love you, 2016

In 2015, I just continued learning how to be an adult.   I switched many desks at work, I paid my student loans, I moved into another studio downtown, I read books, I made friends with strangers, I danced on bars, I volunteered, I traveled often and traveled far, I adopted a cat, I developed a taste for tequila and port,  I dragon boat raced, kick boxed and started rock climbing, I bought a lot of booze, I paid my bills on time, I created memories with my best friends, I survived hangovers that should have killed me, I survived…

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If I leave Portland, you’ll find me in Seville

It took me about ten minutes after getting off the train to consider quitting my job and selling all my things to move here. For the first time since my eurotrip started, I was able to relax once I arrived in Seville. Oh, what a difference one train ride through Spain made! Seville is a gorgeous, warm city in the south of Spain, about an hour and a half drive away from the ocean. After a joyful reunion with my travel and childhood buddy Jenny, I was immediately embraced by our Airbnb host Oscar. I love being greeted by kisses…

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Lisbon: another reason to learn Portuguese

I stubbed my toes a lot in Lisbon, probably more than I have anywhere else in the world. I couldn’t stop staring up at the buildings in Old Town (Alfama) and with their steep, bumpy stoned streets it’s impossible to not trip a few times. This beautiful Airbnb tucked into the narrow, twisty alleyways of the oldest district of Lisbon was my home base, and it was perfect for exploring local cafes, restaurants and Fado houses. The streets in this neighborhood are SO hopelessly confusing, but it was okay cause I found gelato shops, beautiful churches and even a walking…

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If you’re happy, then why not stay?

I left Taiwan because it was time for me to explore the next chapter of my life. I thought I was going to get a ‘real’ job, get married, and settle down just like everyone else, to embrace the security and luxuries of American mainstream #lifegoals. After four years of living abroad, I was 25 and excited to come back to the States to become a proper adult. Two years later, I have everything I had ever wanted (except for the getting married part, and that’s probably a good thing.) I am content with where I am at, but I can’t…

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