Archive for January, 2014

Travel: Selfies (part 8)

Welp, this will be the last installment of selfies from my grand Asia adventure. I’ve already admitted to being restless this week and I regret not holding on to that feeling of freedom and zen I had when I came back, but maybe with a little bit of inner focus I can get back there. Enjoy and let’s cross our fingers for an even bigger adventure in the coming months!

Day 41 – when conducting your own walking tour around Ho Chi Minh City, it is customary to stop and act like reindeer outside of the shops in the fancy part of town.

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Day 42 – hello world, this is mags reporting in from Hoi An, Vietnam

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Day 43 – I think when people fall in love with cities, they really just fall in love with who they are in that city. At least, that’s how I feel about Hoi An. I know it’s not my widest/brightest smile, but I’m just in a happy haze/daze.

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Day 44 – Last night I randomly had dinner with a man from Hong Kong who lives in Paris and sells books. Then I met some Germans and drank snake wine and whisky until 4 AM. I love the adventures you find when you travel by yourself.

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Day 45 – motorbike adventure to My Son and Marble Mountain.

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Day 46 – Merry Christmas from Vietnam

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Day 47 – it’s been a while since I showed you my tiger face. This is my tiger face.

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Day 48 – oh ya know, just your standard lion dog guardian.

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Day 49 – well, this was awkward at the Ethnology Museum in Hanoi

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Day 50 – In Vietnam, motorbike is the only way to travel.

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Day 51 – back to life, back to reality. Hanoi > Bangkok > Seoul > DC. See ya on the flip side.

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Day 52 – that’s me back in DC after nearly 2 months of being away on the most amazing adventure. Last selfie of 2013 and to complete my journey. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m ready for 2014 and to figure out the other pieces of my life puzzle.

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And if you wondered what I did with all those selfies, well – I made myself a little Flipagram because travel really is about discovering your selfie! You can watch it over here (because I’m too impatient to try and figure out how to embed it here!).

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Life: Be brave…

I think it’s trickled into my posts lately that I’ve been feeling restless and a bit frustrated. Definitely not angry, just annoyed that I’ve been back from Asia a month and sometimes it feels as though I never left. Time has a way of slowing down when you seek normality and sometimes it feels as though my mind is just as cluttered as before. I hate that feeling.

I’ve tried to take several approaches to calm my restless spirit:

  • Acceptance: lives don’t always change overnight
  • Adventure: cross off items on my DC bucket list
  • Socializing: meet people, old and new – say YES to everything
  • Risk: try new things, like dating, even if I wasn’t 100% sure I should (see above, saying YES to everything)

…and while all of these fall in line with my 2014 goals, I still don’t feel like ME. It’s probably harder to grasp on to these ideas when they haven’t all been fruitful (like the dating); the sad part being that I wasn’t putting myself first for the past few weeks. Not truly anyways.

I allowed myself to drift and didn’t focus on what is probably the largest and most important goal of 2014 – define and improve my career. How can I expect the rest to fall into place when I’m not even sure if I should be staying in DC? So there you have it, a kick in the arse, to stop drifting and to define my professional life.

But it’s scary. That blank slate feeling returns and it’s just as nerve-wracking before I left for Asia. So I need to be brave.

I MUST be brave about a lot of things, especially in 2014, particularly finding my way out of my own cage and not allowing myself to be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love.

2014 is about me – I just have to let it be.

Throwback Thursday: Say what?

I’m in a restless mood today. In fact, I’ve been restless for nearly a week now so I can’t commit to just one song today. I started with the Cranberries, then went to Eiffel 65, and somehow circled back to Aqua – but none were speaking to me. So here’s a little compilation of misheard lyrics from some great 90’s songs.

Roll on the weekend!

 

 

Weekend review: Museums galore!

Bam! Not even the end of January and I’ve already knocked out my entire DC Bucket List for 2014. Ok, so it wasn’t massive but I’ve been tipping away at that list for nearly 5 years. About time, right? And I even added a bonus museum to the list – just for fun.

On Friday, I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Chinatown. If you just walk up, the ticket price can be a little expensive, but I booked the tickets online and since I’m a local the tickets were only $15. I tried to find additional coupons, but none exist for online purchases. You know me, always looking for a good deal 🙂

I have to admit, the figures were very life-like and the eyes were probably the creepiest part of the figures. Here I am, discussing important Civil War strategies with Ulysses S. Grant. The wax museum offers period clothing to help make the photos more realistic, but I think my fishnet tights really turned this “staged photo” into an authentic portrait.

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The presidential wax feature ran all the way up to the Obama’s (but no Bo!) and you could even sit in a replica of the Oval Office. You had to pay for those pictures, but I did jump in this photo opp with everyone’s favorite first family – the Kennedy’s. Like my fur fox* jacket? Jackie totally approved.

*Note: faux fur fox jackets, also provided by the museum.

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Madame Tussaud’s also had an entire celebrity section where the look-a-likes were a bit hit or miss, in my opinion. All in all, it was a laughable experience. Not the best museum in all of DC, but when you’re whittling down your bucket list, you gotta try them all!

On Saturday, I knocked out that last remaining bucket list item and visited the American History Museum with my Mom. She came up for an extended visit as I was originally meant to have my knee surgery this weekend; however, plans changed last minute due to the surgeon’s schedule, so we had an impromptu mother/daughter weekend instead.

I had recently read that the museum had a First Lady exhibition and it’s latest acquisition was Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown by Jason Wu (the red one!). For some reason, I didn’t really think to snap any photos in any of the exhibits, but I did snap this selfie in front of the Star Spangled Banner bit right as you walk in (which by the way, they have the original flag! A-mazing.).

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All in all, a really fun (albeit slightly nerdy) weekend!

Travel: Selfies (part 7)

Special edition of my travel selfies coming at you with 10 featured below. It’s a funny old thing being back here in DC – there are days I miss being out there and on my own and other days I love the normality that the city gives me. For now, I think I’ll just live happily in the in between.

Day 31 – last night out in Bangkok with the crew and this crazy gal, Janie.

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Day 32 – Andrea arrived in Bangkok! Off to Cambodia the next day.

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Day 33 – Finally left Thailand after a month and made it to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Sorry for the weird smile, children were asking me for milk.

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Day 34 – exploring Angkor Wat

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Day 35 – what happens at the silk farm, stays at the silk farm. unless of course, you buy something…which you should, to support Angkor Artisans & Cambodian culture.

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Day 36 – crazy day warrants crazy hair and Dammit Doll. Left Siem Reap at 9 AM. Made it to Phnom Penh 12 hours later (it’s only meant to be a 6 hour journey).

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Day 37 – everyday at dawn and dusk, people gather around the city and do aerobics for all the world to see; shakin’ their groove thang to Katy Perry. Phnom Penh is currently in the lead with zero fucks to give.

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Day 38 – went to the killing fields and S-21. It took me a few hours to digest everything I read and saw, but I’m really sharing this photo so more people can learn about Cambodia’s recent horrific history. Just as shocking as the genocide is that it never made it into a single US history lesson. So why should you care? Here’s why: “Keeping the memory of the atrocities committed on Cambodia soil alive is the key to build a new strong and just state…and preventing a new Pol Pot from emerging in the lands of Angkor or anywhere on Earth.” So go on, educate yourself, and be good to one another.

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Day 39 – 20 million bikes and it feels like we’re playing a twisted game of Frogger every time we cross the street. Must be Vietnam.

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Day 40 – right before Andrea and I crawled 100 meters through the Cu Chi Tunnels.

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Weekend review: Botanical Gardens

It only took me 4 years, but I finally crossed the Botanical Gardens off my DC bucket list this past weekend! Want to know what I have say about that? 2 thumbs up!

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It’s a fairly simplistic adventure, but one that I was really excited about. I think I must have twirled, touched, and ooh’d/ahh’d all over the place for a solid 30 minutes. If you like plants, especially those housed in a giant glass building, then this is definitely the place for you. I mean, just look at that glass jungle…

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Or that turtle topiary…

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I did, of course, enjoy all the other plants (which for the most part, they do encourage you to touch).

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And kudos to whoever thought it was a good idea to use every inch of space, especially for your crawling plants..

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But what’s a botanical garden without an orchid feature. Easily (and probably overly cliche), my favorite.

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All together now…oooooh!

Travel: Selfies (part 6)

You know the drill, enjoy the ride.

Day 26 – Got caught up in the curse of Railay. It wasn’t pleasant, I was 1 of 25 that was violently ill. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!

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Day 27 – 36 hours later and I finally felt a bit better, but the curse of Railay is not to be taken lightly. Just a bit more hammock relaxation on Koh Phi Phi to get a bit more strength.

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Day 28 – Koh Phi Phi boat party!

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Day 29 – Sweaty Betty does the viewpoint hike over Koh Phi Phi

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Day 30 – Ferry, bus, and a night train back to Bangkok. Long old travel day…

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That last photo still makes me yawn every time I see it!

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