Better Late Than Never

I have said time and time again that creating this blog started out as a simple way to be connected with friends and family when I was abroad, but it quickly turned into so much more for me. It has become an outlet for me and a place where I can really be expressive. I embarked on a creative journey this year which leads me to the point of this post. I made a decision with the new year that I wanted to bring this blog back to life, so I have been cataloging my travels throughout the year in the form of vlogs (read: video logs); tonight, I launched my YouTube channel!

I figured that since people have enjoyed my photos on my blog, what could be better than actually taking everyone with me on my trips? Admittedly, the first few vlogs are a bit ‘cringy’ as I am getting used to speaking to a camera in public, and I struggled in some places due to weather conditions, but I have to say that the whole process has been a lot of fun for me so far! People have a lot of ideas and feelings about YouTube, but I am excited to share these videos with you and, I guess, the rest of the world.

As of right now, the vlogs will be uploaded every other Thursday, and they will be posted in chronological order with my first trip of the year to L.A. What I plan to showcase through this channel is not only the travel footage, but other discussions about experiences while traveling, tips for more seamless travel, and featured guests to provide a more well-rounded view rather than just hearing everything from me. My brother, Cameron, will also graciously be producing all of the music for my vlogs.

I will continue updating this blog exactly as I do now because this is the drawing board for me. It is the place where I fully tapped into my writing and what made me realize that it could be part of a larger career. Long story short, no matter what ideas come to fruition, this blog will not go away, but I am so happy to be finally sharing this with everyone just in time for the new year. I cannot wait to start creating more videos and improving on this new skill set.

I would really appreciate any feedback that people have–the only way for me to improve the content that I provide for you all is to know exactly what brings you to my blog (and now my YouTube Channel) and what keeps you here. I hope that these videos will bring you as much joy as I had filming them. For the people who knew about this or were actually a part of this, thank you so much for your support! I would not have felt comfortable continuing this if it hadn’t been for the encouragement I received in the last year.

Again, new videos will be up every other Thursday, but there are already two uploaded for you all to check out. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! ❤

xx, AE

Break in Barcelona

Break in Barcelona

Since my last post, I have been in a desperate need of a break from my mind. I have had this trip to Barcelona planned for almost three months so when the day arrived, I could not wait. Needless to say, it ended up being the best travel experience of my life so far. I was in the heart of the city for five full days with some of my friends and it was equally crazy-packed and relaxing at the same time–the best kind of vacation.

Day One: Hitting the Ground Running
◊ Exploring La Rambla
I arrived in Barcelona after a combined 11 hours of flying and hit the ground running. We mostly walked around and explored the area where our Airbnb was located. By the way, our Airbnb was absolutely fantastic. We were in the El Poble-Sec area near the Para∙lel metro station. It was so centrally-located. We were just killing time before our friend Ksenia arrived later that evening.
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After Ksenia arrived and we caught up on life, we headed out to a late Spanish dinner and a flamenco show at Casa Lola! I did not have as much to do with planning this trip as I normally like to do, but I knew I had to at least see a flamenco show. It was a Thursday night so it was not crowded at all. We got front row seating, ordered sangria, and watched the magic happen.

 

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Spanish dish of potatoes, spicy tomato-based sauce, and garlic aioli 🙂

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We actually stumbled upon Casa Lola when we were exploring earlier in the day. Normally, they require reservations (likely for the weekend), but when we called, they said it was fine without one. We received a flyer for €5 off for two options of either dinner and a show or drink and a show. We chose drink and a show and opted to get our own dinner (which ended up being at Casa Lola anyway because we left the apartment a little late), but it was a wonderful experience!!
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Let’s Get Personal

I have been apprehensive to write this post. It is never easy opening up about personal struggles especially in a world where people my age have so much. I can already feel and hear the “What do you have to complain about? Millennials always want something for nothing,” sneers, but this is not complaining–this is a validation of my own feelings and experiences. I knew that I had been wanting to write something more personal while I have been on a second fly-atus, and funnily enough, it took listening to a track off of Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener, called “get well soon” to push me to write it. So today, I want to open up about where I have been mentally in the last three or so months.

I tried to articulate my feelings about my life in a post last year, but I have since deleted that post because I felt that I focused too much on trying to make it translatable to my readers rather than just being honest. However, I feel exactly the same now as I did then: stuck, disappointed, and unmotivated. I find myself in this mood more often in the summer months which really is a contrast to the common feelings toward summer: happiness, freedom, fun, etc. For me, it is a time when I am reminded of my physical insecurities which makes me feel uncomfortable in my clothes; which prevents me from wanting to socialize; which makes me stay indoors by myself; which further leads me down a spiral of being stuck with my negative thoughts about my choices with my life.

In a reflection about turning 24, I discuss how I am learning to accept that my youth is not over. People my age, including myself, freak out about getting closer to 30 because we have idealized that 30 is the age when everything should be in place. When you realize that 18 and 30 are the same distance away from 24, you are reminded of how much time has passed and how quickly you have been catapulted into a life of responsibility and routine. So when I am currently spending my three-day weekends sitting at a friend’s house in a different state (which is not as common as people think) or sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, I am torn between enjoying relaxing, and feeling guilty for not being out and living life to the fullest as a young 20-something. These feelings of confusion over what I “should be” doing are not new. Continue reading “Let’s Get Personal”

A Day Worth Flying For

A Day Worth Flying For

Recently, I have really been getting into day trips.

One of the downsides of having travel privileges and having a different weekly schedule than the rest of the business world is that I can never really travel with my close friends or people I know I travel well with. So instead of waiting all year to do a couple of big trips, I have started investing time into day trips. This past weekend’s day trip was going back to Chicago!
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If you read about my first visit to Chicago, you will know that it was jam-packed from the time I landed to the time I left. This time, my mom joined me to see her sister and niece (my aunt and cousin), so my cousin decided to do a similar approach since my mom hasn’t been back to Chicago in almost 10 years.

◊ Skydeck Ledge
I am actually glad I did the Skydeck Ledge last year because Saturdays are [as expected] a lot more crowded than Sundays. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and the lines were already crazy. I got some amazing pictures of the city as the day was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, but I did not opt to go back out on the ledge.
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