Boston Part One

Boston Part One

Welcome to a recap of my first part of my trip to Boston! This is due to the fact that apparently Boston wasn’t ready for my arrival this time around.

The first day of my trip consisted of an unprecedented, nearly-three-mile trek in jeans and 80% humidity. Then, my second day was dedicated to exploring downtown Boston, but cut short around 2:00 p.m. by an extreme downpour that eventually canceled my flight for Thursday morning. All and all, I left Boston with not nearly as many photos and sadly without my souvenir shot glass for my collection., but this is all the more reason that I will need to visit again very soon!

Where I stayed: Somerville, MA.
My friend Brad courteously hosted me for my two-day stay on the border of Somerville and Cambridge. Somerville is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Boston (without traffic), or 20-minute subway ride from Harvard Square Station to Government Center.

ANE_0279 (2)If you are looking to stay outside of the city, are visiting Harvard, or just want a cheaper alternative to the inner-city prices, I recommend this neighborhood. The subway system is extremely efficient and inexpensive and Boston is up-to-date offering uberpool and LyftLine.

Continue reading “Boston Part One”

The Big Easy

The Big Easy

This week, I went to New Orleans for the first time!

My dad and I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and started our day at The Gumbo Shop because who goes to New Orleans and doesn’t get gumbo? Anyway, I feel I should express here that I thought that besides Bourbon Street, there wasn’t much to do in New Orleans aside from some plantation tours and eating and drinking. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had a full couple of days.
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We took a walk around The French Quarter to see the sights like Jackson Square, Decatur Street, and Steamboat Natchez. If you are not familiar with Steamboat Natchez, it is New Orleans’ only steamboat that takes you on a two hour cruise along the Mississippi River.

Continue reading “The Big Easy”

4th of July Fail

4th of July Fail

I spent my 4th of July in LA for the second time and it was as big of a fail as the last. But at least the rest of the week wasn’t.

I happened to have an even longer ‘weekend’ this week so naturally I flew to a place that I would actually need that much more time: my second home. My friend Cynthia picked me up on the morning of the 4th and we spent most of the day at my friend Alex’s house. Initially, we planned to go down the street to the Queen Mary to watch fireworks, but those plans changed last minute when most of the group decided on Redondo Beach.IMG_5248IMG_5200After a 30-minute drive and an endless search for parking, we walked another 10 minutes only to find out that the firework show was about 20 minutes and the finale was all of 10 seconds…meaning we missed it while we were walking… When I saw fireworks there in 2015, I don’t remember the duration because we were so far away we could barely tell the show was even going on (a.k.a. The First Fail). But when I asked people if that was really it, everyone seemed confused why I would think it was longer. I was pretty over it and ultimately decided that I wouldn’t try 4th of July in The City of Traffic again. The true highlight was the cute pictures we got at Alex’s house earlier that day! Continue reading “4th of July Fail”

Casually in Cabo

Casually in Cabo

So, I went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for two days. And it was…quite the [great] journey.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Ilse found out that she would have days off that fell on my days off. Considering it was her birthday week, we decided to travel together to somewhere warm where we could have fun and relax at the same time. Enter: Cabo San Lucas!
IMG_5156Getting to Cabo was sort of a hot mess. Originally, I sent out on a 7:30 a.m. flight out of Dallas to connect in Houston on the way to Cabo, while Ilse would fly nonstop on American. As luck would have it, the first flight out of Dallas to Houston got canceled which rolled paying customers onto the next flight. I fly standby which, for those who don’t know, means I do not have a confirmed seat. I kept getting rolled over so I assumed I wasn’t going to make it out of Dallas and ended up canceling. I decided to Uber home from Southwest headquarters and made it out to the employee shuttle, but somehow ended up getting on the wrong shuttle.
ANE_0014Considering I had to be taken back to the airport anyway, the passengers on the shuttle convinced me to give my trip one more try and to ask a gate agent to help me out. Once I arrived back at the airport, a lovely lady named Summer helped me out by re-routing me to L.A. I made it onto the flight with a minute to spare and one seat left. Once I got to L.A., I had four hours until my completely open flight to Cabo where I spent most of my wait time chatting with a couple of people at one of the restaurant bars. As we prepared to board, two of the ladies I was chatting with asked me about my plans and offered to drive me to my hotel considering they were already getting a rental car for their week-long stay in Cabo as well. Yay! Or so I thought. Continue reading “Casually in Cabo”

The Travel Bug

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not, in any way, to boast about or show off my travel experiences over the past couple of years. I know that traveling is not feasible for everyone for various reasons, but I want to share how it can be possible even on a budget.

Is it just me or does it seem like in the last year or so, traveling has become sort of a trend? With all the different discount websites/apps and opportunities through college and internships, it makes sense. But why? Why, all of a sudden, is everyone rushing to travel the world? Well, for me, taking that plunge to travel to a different country was life-changing. I know, it’s cliché to say your study abroad experience was ‘the experience of your life,’ but it truly was for me. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you already know this.

Before I studied abroad, some of my friends claimed that, besides the financial component, they did not have the desire to travel, that they feared missing out on a semester on campus. At that point in my college career, which was midway through junior year, I definitely understood; classes were not beating me down, I made some amazing (and life-long) friends, and I finally had someone to drive me around and explore L.A. (thanks, Cynthia!). But I had been dreaming of studying abroad since I went on a spring break art trip to France and Spain in 2009 and my senior trip to Italy in 2012. By 2015, I felt it was my last chance to see what was out there without any obligations in life.

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Château de Versailles

I know some people have been bitten by this travel bug recently, especially with apps like Instagram where people can consistently show off their amazing travel shots. But some people, even with the financial means, see it as something that will be a luxury to them later in life after they have worked a few years. Here is my suggestion to all of you: if you can, TRAVEL NOW. I say ‘now’ because if it is something that has crossed your mind that you have consciously decided to put off for a few years, your experience will be totally different than what you are imagining at this stage in your life.

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Pont des Arts bridge

Like my friends, my family had to suffer through my endless talks about London and other countries I visited. My parents are completely content at this stage in life in not having seen the world, but even my brother never thought much about traveling since having his senior trip in 2010 to Costa Rica. He explored the idea of studying abroad in Japan during college, but ultimately didn’t. Like most people, it was mainly a financial thing, but after I persuaded [re: forced] him to go to London with me last summer before I started my internship abroad, he said it was the best trip of his life. Still, this trip would not have been as great as it was had we not planned as much as we could.

Here are five ways you can make traveling an option sooner than you think: Continue reading “The Travel Bug”

How to Press Reset

How to Press Reset

Kind of a long one, but there has been something on my mind lately.

Aside from my birthday celebration, I have been stuck in a rut of sorts. I thought once I got a job, the rut I was in before would subside (for obvious reasons). There were a brief couple of weeks where everything was exciting because, well, I was starting a new job and my work schedule was ever-changing. The gear-shifting within the team was different and kept me on my toes. Once I switched into my official schedule, however, that is when I noticed my everyday life started shifting tremendously as well.
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When I was still in training at work, I worked a typical eight-hour day/five-day work week with weekends off, starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m. The week of my birthday celebration, I switched into my new schedule which meant officially moving into a 10-hour day/four-day work week. My shift is now 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday through Monday. At first, I was very excited about the switch because how can you not love the idea of a three-day weekend? But I knew there would be some major disadvantages I would have to adjust to with having mid-week off. Initially, I thought my biggest hurdle would be that my social activities would be few and far between. What I didn’t expect, however, was how it would affect my daily life.
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For most people, getting off at 10:00 p.m. isn’t so bad. Technically, if I wanted to go out on weekends, I could just leave straight from work and still be able to sleep in the next morning. As an introvert and an early bird, getting off at 10:00 p.m., and not getting home until 10:30 p.m., means only one thing to me: time to go to bed. Naturally, my body wakes me up around 7:00 a.m., but I have been pushing myself to sleep until 8:00 a.m. to get the maximum amount of energy needed for my shifts. Yes, my job only requires me to sit and stare at a screen and/or take phone calls for 10 hours, but that is still 10 hours of mental and physical attention. When I get home, I am less likely to spend time on my bedtime routine and even more less likely to motivate myself to get up and work out in the mornings like I had gotten used to when I was not working.
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Almost immediately, I started to notice weight gain and breakouts on my face. Since I am sitting for so many hours, my usual [and unfortunate] snacking habit only amplifies because I have a scheduled, 30-minute lunch break everyday. I tried to combat and, frankly, justify this habit by working out on my off days, but eventually it just started to feel like I was staying at the same weight because I hadn’t changed anything about my routine at work. I also stopped focusing on my skincare rituals because I just wanted to get to bed as quick as possible. When you’re borderline falling asleep, who has the energy to stay up an extra 15 minutes just for a face mask?
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That feeling of laziness further translated into me really falling into the casual dress code at work and overall just looking and feeling like a slob. I did not like what I was seeing in the mirror and I was losing my self-confidence. I know it seems like these “daily life problems” are extremely vain, but personally I like the feeling of taking care of myself. At first, I too did register this as vanity and trying to ‘keep up appearances’, but then I realized, the things I used to do everyday when I was unemployed were things I enjoyed. I enjoyed working out four times a week. I enjoyed my morning and nightly skincare routines. I enjoyed being in my own skin! I have always believed in the saying, “When you look good, you feel good.” All of these little things that seem vain from an outside perspective truly affect my self-confidence and ultimately takes an effect in the way I operate.
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I decided to bite the bullet. I needed to press reset. This meant waking up a little earlier on a couple of work days to get a quick workout in. This meant staying up a little later to prep my skin to repair overnight. This meant choosing healthier snacks and eating full meals. Overall, it meant that in order for me to feel like me again, I had to make some small sacrifices that I knew would ultimately make me happier. Now, I am definitely fortunate that my only problems right now outside of student loans are trying to work on looking and feeling better about myself, but we all have our own personal struggles. Self-confidence has always been an issue for me and I know it will never really go away. The issue is, I am always looking from the outside in instead of the inside out and telling myself, “Things could be worse.”
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I realized, however, that I should not let others/other things dictate what should and should not be important in my life. What is important to me is working on that so that I can ultimately be a better person for myself, for my job, for the people in my life. So yes, liking what I see in the mirror reflects in other areas for me personally. Naturally, we sacrifice parts of ourselves for different things whether that be a job, a relationship, or a personal goal. The lesson here is that we have to always remind of ourselves of what brings happiness into our lives. It is about making sure that every now and then when we get lost in it all, we remind ourselves of those things that bring us a sense of confidence; things hat help us restart, refresh, and renew.

xx, AE
photo cred: Ilse Campos

A Time to Celebrate

A Time to Celebrate

Welcome back!

While I would have loved to make a post sooner than now, this weekend actually ended up working out to share some awesome stuff with y’all. I suggest reading to the end! Some of you may know this, but my birthday was this past Tuesday. 🙂 I didn’t actually do anything the day of, but I had a little celebration last Saturday in the city with my closest local friends.
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It was the quintessential G.N.O. spent dancing all night long and viewing a drag show at Station 4. Though there were a few faces missing, I could not have asked for a better night! Continue reading “A Time to Celebrate”