Birthday in The Bay

I spent my birthday in my all-time favorite U.S. city: San Francisco!

It was a quick turnaround, but well worth the trip. I arrived late Wednesday night (or technically Thursday morning) and spent most of Thursday relaxing by myself until my best friend, Cynthia, arrived just in time for a late dinner and drinks. Then Friday was all about hitting the ground running!

◊ Palace of the Fine Arts
My mother told me about this random place near Golden Gate Park from her co-worker called The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre was originally built for the Panama-Pacific Exhibition in 1915, but now serves as a venue for large events. I don’t know how I never knew about this gorgeous place, but I am glad we made our way over. After our photoshoot, we spent a couple of hours just sitting and enjoying the beautiful 70-degree weather. It could not have been a better way to start the day!
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24: The Year of Letting Go

Yesterday, I turned 24! While that may not generally be a significant age/milestone, it has turned out to be for me and here is why.

Oftentimes, I find myself worrying about my youth. To others, 24 is not old and I by no means see it as old either, but I am constantly asking myself, “Where did the time go?” I graduated from high school six years ago and when I reflect on college just three years ago, I immediately think of all the time I spent studying, napping, and doing laundry. But what about the fun times? I would never downplay the priceless memories of living with seven other girls, joining my dance team, going abroad, and meeting people who will be my friends for the rest of my life; however, when all of those moments were taking place, I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t totally present. I was always one foot in, one foot out, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or prematurely mourning a good time because I didn’t want it to end. Of course we all want to hold on to great moments and if we could, we’d live them over and over, but I’m just talking about not allowing myself to be free and leave my worries behind.
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I feel like I lost a lot of my time during my late teens and early 20’s to fear, inhibition, and stress. If I had to explain why, you would be reading my autobiography, but I hate that I allowed that to happen. What I want from turning 24–and moving forward in the rest of my life–is to truly start letting go. I think I have actually written previously on this blog about “letting go,” but I am ready for the weight that I put on myself to be lifted off my shoulders. I spend so much time in my head and focus greatly on self-preservation and trying to build a better character. While there are great things about that, I am also hurting myself by not being physically present in everyday life. I need to just live my life in the way that makes me happiest. That includes reminding myself that nothing (and no one) is perfect and that I should not benchmark any part of my life against another person. It is time to stop punishing myself for not being someone else, and to start accepting myself for who I am.
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For me, the year of 24 is more than just being more outgoing and saying “yes” to things more often–it is about quieting that negative, doubting voice. It is about breaking down my own barriers and throwing away the hypothetical guide to life. What I expect, no, set for this year and beyond is more laughter, more openness to experience and others, and finally living with eyes and heart wide open. 24 is The Year of Letting Go.

xx, AE

Back Across the Pond

‘Twas a cold and blustery week, but one I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Last week, I had the absolute privilege (and I do mean privilege) of going back to my third home, the place that started this whole thing: London! I went with my friend, Ilse, who is no stranger to my blog posts. We arrived last Monday and unfortunately had to head back home on Friday, but we made the most of it.

I would like to apologize in advance for the photos that I have (or lack thereof) as they are mostly coming from Snapchat/Instagram. Something we did not anticipate was how windy it happened to be last week, especially after London received a full seven days of sunshine and 80-degree-weather the week prior. Just my luck, right? Between the wind and the random sprinkles, my camera had to spend a lot time tucked away. Nonetheless, we still pushed through and this is what we got up to!

◊ Westminster: Zone 1 (Circle, District, and Jubilee lines)
On Monday night, after an unsuccessful shopping trip on Oxford Street, we jumped over to Covent Garden to explore and get Nando’s (of course)! We continued in the Westminster borough on Tuesday still fully jet lagged, but on a mission. For those who do not know, Big Ben is currently under construction and will be for the next four years. 😦 You can still experience the magic from House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey though! We then took a 15-minute walk over to Buckingham Palace where a woman mistakenly took us for British women (yay!) and strolled through Green Park before heading over to Soho.
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Why I Have Been on a Fly-atus

Why I Have Been on a Fly-atus

Hello, everyone!

As if my blog in the last year hasn’t already been flooded with apology posts discussing why I’m not posting, I’m here to give you another one. I know, they are really annoying, but I feel compelled to write something nonetheless.

It is pretty simple why I have been on a ‘fly-atus’ (I’m making up words now, thanks to my ANTM-binge): I have just been preoccupied with other aspects of my life at the moment. I have also been saving for bigger, better trips in the near future so part of that obviously means not doing much. I have missed traveling and I hate how inconsistent it has been in terms of updating this website and my social media, but taking March off was completely necessary.

April is hopefully going to get the ball rolling for the rest of spring. As stated in my first post this year, I have some stuff planned for my blog that will hopefully happen sooner than later. If you have noticed, I added a page to my navigation bar called, “Contact.” Whether you are new or a frequent visitor, I opened this tab to answer any questions anyone may have about specific cities I have posted about or just travel in general. Please don’t be afraid to reach out!! 🙂

In the mean time, please enjoy the foolishness that took place when I went to L.A. last month. Talk to y’all soon!!

xx, AE