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Showing posts from July, 2014

Summer in Florida

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Teaching abroad means lots of summer travel opportunities. I've used past summers to go on adventures (like volunteering in Guatemala or traveling in Israel), but when I started thinking about this summer, I realized I just wanted to kick back in Florida with my friends and family. After a one week stint in Japan, I arrived in Southwest Florida, ready to relax for a month.

Cuddle puddle with some friends from home
My grandma, mom, and me
Being home this last month has been surprisingly fun! I've been catching up with old friends, spending time with my family, and eating all my favorite meals from home. Summer time means lots of parties and fun nights out.

Me with my two brothers
Fancy night out in Naples with some girlfriends
I even got to play tourist in my own state when a couple of friends from Hong Kong were passing through. I convinced them to stay in South Florida for an extra day of their road trip and visit Everglades City for an airboat tour of the mangroves. Our guide wa…

Eating My Way Across America

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This summer, I am working my way up from Florida to Chicago with some stops in between. I am making some great memories with loved ones, but there have also been some awesome food moments along the way that I wanted to share with my blog audience.

Southern feast at Luptons in Tampa, Florida Collard greens, okra, and fried chicken
Garlic blue crab clusters at Pinchers, Cape Coral Literally my favorite food on Earth
Key lime pie, a typical Florida desert Veranda in downtown Fort Myers
Shrimp and grits at Crave Diner, Fort Myers Typical southern breakfast food
Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, Ohio That's spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and oyster crackers
Pretty much all of these meals are TERRIBLE for you, smothered in butter, beer, lard, or cheese, and I have been constantly reminded of why 35% of adults in the US are obese. I have been running two miles every other day to try to counterbalance all the shit I have been putting into my body this summer. No regrets! Every bite has been delicious…

Quirky Kyoto

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I LOVED Kyoto. Kyoto is known for being a historically significant city filled with world heritage sites and temples, but that wasn’t really what I loved about it. I just felt at home there almost immediately; something about the city’s vibes was on my same wavelength. As I spent days wandering the random neighborhoods and districts, I kept thinking ‘I could totally live here.'
Here is a list of some of my favourite characteristics of Kyoto- Quaint- You can turn down so many random street corners in Kyoto and end up on an adorable block with gardens and small homes or colorful bicycles or school children playing games in the street. Basically, the city has major points in the cute category. Spent a whole afternoon in this adorable coffee shop- Cafe Bibliotec Hello Tranquil- Things in Kyoto were quiet and calm. That’s not to say it lacked fun events or shopping or even traffic, but it lacked the hectic, frantic energy in most big cities despite having 1.5 million residents. Kyoto had …

A Week in Japan

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In my first year living in Hong Kong, I have been lucky enough to visit Thailand, The Philippines, and now Japan as well.

Unfortunately my mom and I were both really sick for the Osaka/Tokyo portion of our trip so we didn’t really get to explore as much as we wanted. My iPad was loaded up with seasons of Orphan Black, Defiance, and Battlestar Galactica so my being bed-ridden was actually quite entertaining (yes, I’m on a sci-fi kick). By the time we got to Kyoto we were a bit more mobile and exploration-able.

Some general observations from my trip to Japan that might be helpful for other travellers-

The Japan Rail Pass is super convenient for travellers. You have to book it online before entering the country, and then you just pick up the pass at any rail station. It included unlimited train, subway, and bus rides for one week. Travel by train in Japan is clean, quick, and readily accessible. We walked into train stations with no reservations and were always able to catch a train to …