▲ 28 April, 2018
A love of travel
▲ 07 August, 2014
I'm not sure if this is an Eat, Pray, Love journey though travel, especially for this year but it has been forming into something like it. It started off in Thailand because there was a need for me (within myself) to visit my old host family (more on my teaching adventures in 2015, here
), and "return" to the place where my love of travel and autonomy fully started.
This journey was so necessary. I had been working constantly for the past 2 years with no break in sight. I was hustling multiple jobs and drained. I didn't realize how drained I was until I got off my flight and landed in Bangkok. It was a bit like everything that I had been giving was starting to come back to me. I made the decision to travel and fly when so much of my life felt like it was out of control-- and at that point, the main thing that I did have control over was getting on that flight and jetting out. So I did. I traveled to Thailand, and then I went to Sri Lanka, and then I visited Malaysia for good measure.
Who knew the best place for a tropical jungle selfie would be in the middle of Bangkok??
(Jim Thompson House).
|You're always such a different person from a month ago,|
a week ago, and surely a year ago. (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
|Galle, Sri Lanka|
|(Also Galle, Sri Lanka)|
In Galle, Sri Lanka there's a restaurant called, "A tuk tuk away!"
I found myself most centered and connected in Sri Lanka. It's tropical weather, and spice-filled food took me home to Tema, Ghana. The fresh King Coconut, the breezy palm trees, the weather, and every little thing took me back to "home."
|A spontaneous trip to the north of Thailand for a pleasant New Years! (Chiang Mai, Thailand)|
|Hi baby elephant! :) (Sri Lanka)|
I delve deeper this trip, and decided to keep living in spite of the rapid changes that I felt during this time. I got the inspiration and vision to develop new ideas for myself and towards my larger and grander goals. I found the ability to ground myself wherever my physical location was. I got the chance to breathe and walk slower. To take a bicycle and bike around the paths that soon became familiar to me. I got a chance to eat! Oh my goodness, I ate so much. Dumplings, curry and rice, sticky rice, fried chicken on a stick, sweet desserts, lamprais, ginger chicken, everything under the sun; you name it. I got to read and just lay on a hammock. I saw my old students and cried quicker than sand. I cried because my heart got to see familiar voices and faces of my host family and host parents. I cried because they didn't think I would return, even though I kept my promise. I cried because I felt God in so many different dimensions during that time. My love of travel and wanderlust has been with me since the creation of this blog almost a decade ago.
I read my old posts from this blog and I get some chills because some of the things that I wrote about came into fruition and I realize that I had this "wanderlust" for as long as I can imagine. I was starting to wonder if there was something that was wrong with me or something that I needed to resolve personally but I'm glad to know that I always had a vision for other "lands" and sights.
Labels: galle, galle sri lanka, girls who love travel, solo travel, sri lanka, thailand, travel
Hello Brooklyn, how you doing?
▲ 10 May, 2014
I planned a mini vacation in Brooklyn for the past weekend. I stayed with some family. It was freeing and comfortable to take a break from my continuous summer work. When I arrived in BK, it no longer contained a sense of alienation and foreign land. I felt at peace. I wouldn't say that I felt as comfortable as I do when I'm in DC but it was close. I had the greatest time visiting friends and of course catching up with family.
While I was there, I felt myself thinking about "adulthood" and what it means to really be do things by yourself in the world. I understand that when you are in college, there is a certain level of adulthood. However, I refer to that experience as "supervisory adulthood" because even in that experience, there is a sort of "bubble" setting. It's a setting that plays a proxy of the real world but doesn't quite make the mark. The real world is very different and very big compared that of a sheltered setting. I would like to think that I am ready for what that entails but I think that in life there is a certain level of unexpectedness that you can't study, prepare or train towards. And I think that it is in those moments
that you have to grab life by the horns and hang tight. Hopefully, I'll learn how to enjoy the ride.
Gran Electrica Restaurant (Dumbo, Brooklyn)
But alas, my mini vacation was nice but it felt so great to be home. I let out a sigh of comfort once I hit the Gallery (Chinatown).
Labels: brooklyn, eats, food, staycation, tangent, travel, williamsburg
Still on my "adventuring" tip, I went downtown to visit my good friend. At this point, I think it is safe to call D.C. my city. I've always found it so easy to hop on the metro and select a destination. I find a sort of familiar comfort of the sights and views but equally have the experience of new sounds and feelings. To quickly digress, I am equally glad that I don't live in the center of the city. One, because of the exorbitant expenses (food, oh goodness!). Two, I think that that once you live in such a fascinating and (sometimes) overwhelming place, you tend to dismiss everything as "average" or "ok." When in reality, there is such beauty everywhere. We surely stopped to enjoy the eats and beauty. We caught from all things related to academics, career focuses and the all-popular topic of love interests. Through our conversation, we both came to the affirmation that we aren't ones to settle. I've always known this about myself and my relationship pursuits. However, I am at the point in my life that I am comfortable with my pertinent relationship status. While it's important to never settle, I have come to understand that I also have to be at my absolute best prior to committing myself to another person. And I am having such a great time in carving out my life to be best person not only for a future partner but inevitably for myself. And that's what matters the most. Hope you enjoy these flicks as much as we did.
Shake Shack (Shroom burger)
Labels: burgers, college friends, food, fries, milkshake, shake shack, travel
▲ 20 April, 2014
We stopped to eat at Zorba's Cafe (GREAT food btw). This Greek and meditterean place was absolutely delicious. I had such Greek fever that I actually went home to watching a classic favorite of mine, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
I had such a great day with my friend and new blogger, Ambra
. It's so funny how friendships start out. I met this bubbling soul last summer, while beginning my first semester as an undergraduate student. It wasn't until this semester, that our relationship has begun to bloom as we discover our common identities and interests. This past saturday, we decided to embark on the PassportDC's embassy tour. We had the goal of visiting each other's residential embassies, with Ambra's being Albania and mine being Ghana. We were able to visit a few other embassies along the way before reaching each others. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach Ghana's for its' distance was too far and with rumbling stomachs, we had to make a decision. Overall, it was a great day to take a break and destress from the chaos of courses. We got some really great pictures out of them, hope you enjoy.
Labels: art, college friends, dance, embajada de colombia, embassies, food, food porn, greek food, travel, travels, vegan food
To Live: It's important to constantly add to your definition of "living."
▲ 15 April, 2014
As continued, on the "what is living" series, we are joined by college blogger Sade and her endless adventures. haha.. just kidding. I am not Dr. Phil, and this is not a therapy and counseling show. All jokes aside, I went on a long-awaited hiking trip to Shenandoah National Park
. My legs and underarm are definitely still in pain. We went on a 2 day trip, which included camping. I went with a close friend of mine because we both wanted to try something different and experience "the Great Outdoors." Our actual hike started at 2:45AM... Yes, you read that right. 2:45AM. We wanted to leave early in order to catch the sunrise at the peak of the mountain. Originally, when I signed up for the trip, I suspected some level of difficulty (I mean we are
in the outdoors). But during the 3 hour hike uphill, I was doubting myself to why I would put myself through this slow and fast-pacing pain. As we went into our 2nd hour of hiking, group morale was fairly high but I was already reflecting on the beautiful hike down and getting some breakfast. Unfortunately, the group had other plans. I pushed myself through it until we reached the very top of a mountain. Isn't that insane? We literally reached the top of the mountain. It was a rewarding and enlightening experience. Biggest lesson learned: it's completely okay to push yourself. Challenge is good. This "what is living series" will continue through different events but in a less consistent form that they usually have been. And for those wondering what food I ate, we all pitched in and put sides to make one big burrito line, it was glorious. Tip: Try burritos with chickpeas, won't regret it. Until then, I'm outtie.
Labels: college roadtrip, life, living, maryland adventure program, mountain, nature, shenandoah national park, to live, travel, valley
To Live: Concrete Playhouse 4.15.14.
▲ 30 December, 2013
Champ's Family Bakery, Brooklyn, New York 11211
Champ's Family Bakery, Brooklyn, New York 11211
This past weekend, I went on a day-trip to New York with a few of my fellow herbivore friends (vegan/vegetarian). We're all part of an on-campus group and decided to head up to NY (a place known for awesome veg options) to try out some great food. SO yes, I can officially say that I have traveled for my food. A bit insane. Glutton? no. Shameless? hell yeah. Honestly, I thought of this trip as just a cheap option to hop on and visit a cool city. I really left a bit different. As a vegetarian for 5 years and still going, I could never see myself as a vegan. Originally, I decided to become a vegetarian because of the overwhelming products and chemicals used in farming and meat processing. It was nauseating to imagine myself putting in these harmful chemicals into my body. Nevertheless, when the question of veganism came up, I wondered why people would torture themselves to a rabbit myself with few luxuries like peanut butter. How ironic, right? I'm sure people would say the same about vegetarians. Anyways, as I write this blog post, I find myself leaning towards a vegan lifestyle. I'm testing out the waters a few days a week to see how it goes. If it something that I do once or twice a week (vegan mondays, etc), that will be just fine by me. Going to this trip opened my eyes not only in terms of dietary meals, but a lot more than I can rattle off in one post. I am learning more and more, how easy it is to cease the experiences and make the most out of them.
Until next time,
Labels: champs, do you boo, food, shameless, shameless maya, to live, travel, vegan food
Promise that You Will Sing about Me.
▲ 10 December, 2013
I whipped up a meal for myself. I made linguine with a peppery
tomato base and avocado (vegetarian for the win). When you're stuck in a dorm for 3 and 1/2 months living on meal plans from the dining hall, you tend to get excited when you're able to make an adequate meal. I'm excited to see more meals like this in the new year #letsseehowthatgoes.
But it seems like the New Year is always an excuse to post old selfies and make declarations to change in the next 24 hours. The only "declaration" that I will make and will continue to follow is to learn from yesterday's lessons. I think that even more, my faith in God continues to play a bigger role than ever.
Chinatown,DC for a friend's birthday
An anti-intervention Syria protest in October
Route 1 at night (my college town)
Me at the Holocaust Museum Elevator
At a good friend's graduation party
Regardless, this year has been full of ups and downs. To have the ability to look back with a smirk, I thank God. It has been such an insightful year.
“Tomorrow, is the First Blank Page of a 365 Page Book. Write a Good One.” - Brad Paisley
And I plan to.
Labels: college, travel
The Bean Curd of my Desire
▲ 08 September, 2013
And the weekend is complete! I went to Chinatown, DC (hence the title) and went to dinner to celebrate a friends belated birthday. It was nice to break away from the pace of classes and the "norm." We ate at Nando's, this Portuguese spot in DC. I had a perfectly seasoned veggie burger and rice. My friends all had Nando's grilled chicken, of course. It was a great time of laughter and friends. With classes ending this week and finals next week, I'm feeling in the reflective state. Overall, this school year and my God has been good to me. Actually, I would say that the last couple of years have been good to me. I definitely wouldn't say that it has been filled with endless joy and excitement. But I've realized that in order to appreciate the "ups" in life, you have to know the "downs." And I am grateful for those "downs" and low points. If my next series of posts is at the beginning of January, don't be surprised because I am sure to begin my hibernation after exams.
"Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress." - Epictetus
Labels: chinatown, DC, food, nandos, travel
I write to you as a survivor of first week of classes! It wasn't all that morbid. My classes are all straight forward- which is great because it leaves little room for confusion afterwards. I am making friends here and there. Still trying to get a balance of both academics (come first) and social life. Anyways, I headed to DC with my brother for a short trip. Another convenience of my university- close proximity to DC. We headed to the National Gallery of Art (see the first series of pictures). We barely scraped the surface when we visited. It is a pretty detailed and thorough museum. There is also an outside garden portion. I think touring the museum will wait for another day. Later we walked down to a local shop - Shake and Shack. They had great food! They even had a mushroom burger for people like me. While my brother and I sat down to enjoy our food, an interesting thing happened. As I dove into my 'shroom burger, my brother says "do you hear that??". As I stopped and turned my head, I hear this loud stomping- almost like an army is stomping through the streets. We turn and there is a massive anti-syria protest marching through the streets. What are the odds right? I'll finish this story in a secondary blog post.
Labels: 2nd street, anti syria, art, blog, burgers, DC, eats, etc, food, mushroom burger, personal, shroom, travel, veggie