solo travel

[Photo Journal] A must visit place of history: the Lion Rock Fortress of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

The cultural triangle is one of the must tour areas of Sri Lanka. Within that, the Lion Rock Fortress in Sigiriya is the must see place of all must see places.

A large rock jutting out in the landscape, there was an old palace at the top where the king lived in ages past. It makes you think about what kinds of secrets must lay hidden in the rock. This is the “Eighth wonder of the world.”

The Lion Rock from the front

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Pre-tryout nerves and how travel has made me feel (almost) invincible!

This weekend marks the start of the tryout season for club teams in my sport of ultimate. Commonly known as ultimate Frisbee (but for trademark reasons officially “ultimate”), this is a pretty intense sport that has dreams of someday being a part of the Olympics.

Featuring full field 7 on 7 gameplay, this is the sport I’ve played for nearly 16 years now. Time and experience doesn’t mean I’m spared from nerves and butterflies, but if I can travel the world solo, then I can do this!

At the top of Lion Rock Fortress in Sigiriya Sri Lanka

Me at the top of Lion Rock Fortress in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

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When you are ready for a trip to end

I got back onto United States soil 2 days ago, and I’m happy to be back despite all of the craziness of Trump. I was ready to be home again, and I was ready to be with family again. Really, I was ready for my trip to end, and I don’t feel bad about that.

It wasn’t that my trip was going badly. On the contrary, my trip was going as well as I could have hoped! I wasn’t running out of money, and I wasn’t getting tired of seeing new places. Wonder was still at least somewhat abundant, although I was starting to feel a little lackluster about some aspects of travel.

Me at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Me at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

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3 days in Copenhagen: walking tours

Copenhagen is a popular touristy harbour city, with quite a price tag on it despite some cheap flights from other parts of Europe. After my short trip to Warsaw, I couldn’t wait to plan my next 3 day trip and I picked this Nordic city to spend another few days struggling with my thesis. This is a Copenhagen short trip!

On this trip in May, I went on 2 walking tours and spent the rest of my time working in the hostel or in cafes. These walking tours were run by Copenhagen free walking tours, which works on a donation basis. Continue Reading

3 days in Warsaw: My first shot at a self imposed writing retreat

I haven’t traveled as much this year as I was hoping to, unless you count the short trip home to New York to meet my niece. One of my biggest regrets after finishing this PhD would be not traveling more around Europe while I had the chance. To remedy this, I’ve been planning short, 2 night trips. Last month, I went to Warsaw, Poland, with my laptop and some writing targets!

About Warsaw

The Nazis destroyed about 80% of Warsaw in World War II. There are only a few areas that were left relatively untouched (~30% destroyed), some of which I saw on a walking tour of Praga:

Growth through travel

The past few years have really flown by. I feel like I’ve changed as a person, and as a writer too. Why travel blog? So I can follow what I’ve seen and how I’ve changed over the years!
my 100thblog post v2 credit to wyman H

How I’ve changed as a person

What I love about travel is that you challenge yourself. You can challenge your beliefs of what the world is like, what other people are like, and who you are. I’ve grown the most through traveling, and much of this has been because I’ve gotten to know myself better. Instead of floating through life living on a routine, travel has broken it up by giving me new experiences, exposing me to new cultures, and making new friends. It’s also forced me to think about what is important to me.

I’ve learned that I love being around different languages, and that I can be braver than I thought I could be.
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Sunset over the ocean

Young white male asks me for money. Thoughts on #whiteprivilege from a tropical island

I feel like I almost got scammed. I was waiting to get on the ferry off of the island in Thailand to make my way back to Bangkok to catch a flight.

While sitting on a bench, a young white male comes up to me and starts talking to me. At first I don’t understand what he saying, partly because he has an accent and partly maybe because he was speaking quickly. He repeated himself, “Could you give me 100 baht for the ferry…”

My gut immediately refused him. I said I’m sorry but I don’t have any change. Sure, 100 Thai baht is little more than 3 US dollars, but I didn’t feel compelled to give this young white guy my money. Why should I when this person, just by luck of birth, has all the advantages in the world. Why should I, a young, poor, female, minority (in my country) student, give him, a young, seemingly healthy, white, man, my money?
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Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. The Terrace, a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

2013 in signs and sayings, plus life lessons for 2014

On my travels to various parts of Asia, I often stop and take photos of interesting signs or pieces of English that I find interesting. Here’s a list of life lessons that we can glean from signs I’ve come across in 2013.

We all need money…

"Press for money" sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

“Press for money” sticker on a crosswalk button in Singapore.

…but it isn’t worth going to jail.

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