Journey/ Journal

When I Feel Lost and Unmotivated

Here are some words of wisdom I turn to when I feel unmotivated.

Time and its limited supply:

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level. In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want. Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back. Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

-Jason Nazar,

Five top regrets of those who are dying:

How I Became Fluent in Spanish in Six Months

Within six months of living in Albacete, Spain, I began to speak Spanish fluently. I did not take Spanish classes during that period. The people I met right after my move to Spain were blown away by my level of Spanish after three months, during which I experienced a sort of language explosion (parents should be familiar with this phenomenon). I should admit, however, that I did not start exactly from zero.

My Jamaica Trip: Day 5

Day 5 June 11th 2013 Ocho Rios Montego Bay Miami New York

I jumped out of bed spontaneously. How did I not hear the alarm that should’ve went off twice? How did I wake myself up? We only had had two hours of sleep after returning to the hotel drunk, but managed to get ready within 10 minutes to catch the cab to go to Montego Bay Airport.

There were only a handful of cars that we saw on the road before getting to Montego Bay. The sun was slowly creeping up, and Onyxcia was fast asleep in the back of the cab. The serenity was a perfect backdrop to the conversation I had with Jason, our cab driver.

My Jamaica Trip: Day 4

Day 4 June 11th 2013- Runaway Bay Discovery Bay Margaritaville It was our last full day in Jamaica. Tiffany and I wanted to head back to Kingston since we missed the Bob Marley museum and the main parts of the Devon House. However, we found out that the taxi would cost us $100 a person. How about we go to Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s hometown, instead? The cab ride there was expensive as well (view my post about how taxis in Jamaica work), so we decided to explore Runaway Bay.

My Jamaica Trip: Day 3

Day 3 June 9th 2013- Runaway Bay Ocho Rios Dunn’s River The shuttle picked us me and Tiffany up to go to Mystic Mountain Ocho Rios. The Sky Explorer that took us to the top of the mountain provided a beautiful view over the lush green scenery and the Caribbean.

Sky Explorer at Ocho Rios
The Sky Explorer at Ocho Rios

My Jamaica Trip: Day 2

Day 2 June 8th 2013 Runaway Bay ??? Spanish Town Kingston

In what has to be one of the most extremely rare moments of my life, I woke up before 7 am on my own. I don’t think I’ve done that since I was a little girl excited to open up my Christmas presents.

After eating a big breakfast at the buffet and agreeing to venture down to Kingston for the day, we headed to the pool. I went for a swim, got a cocktail from the pool bar, took some pictures with a snake wrapped around my shoulders (there was a guy walking around with it) and then took a nap under the sun. Tiff joined a group of people playing volleyball. Once a while, I’d hear a familiar voice yell “good job guys!” “nooooooo!” “awwww man!!” She was having a good time.

My Jamaica Trip: Day 1

Day 1 June 7th 2013 New York Miami Montego Bay Runaway Bay On the plane, I pointed out to my friend, Tiffany, that there was a guy wearing a Boston University t-shirt walking towards us. Turns out, his seat was the empty one right next to mine. “Did you go to BU?” “Yeah.. Did you?” We both studied economics, but didn’t have a single mutual friend. We chatted for awhile about our roommates, professors, jobs, and places we used to hang out in Boston and then both dozed off. Funny how we probably would have never spoken to each other had he not worn that shirt.

Photographs of Istanbul

The Galata Tower
The Galata Tower over the Bosphorous River. You can hop over to Asia from Europe by crossing this river.

“If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Istanbul is one of those places that will instantly wake up your five senses. Random strangers and invitations, strong Turkish coffee, colorful carpets, soft silk scarves, salted yogurt drinks (Ayran), pistachio-flavored Turkish delight, the voices of the muezzins that call the Muslims to prayer, and the sweet smell of Hookah from the outdoor bars are still vivid in my memory.

The Secrets of the Aya Sofya

The Aya Sofya

Some people and tourist guides refer the Aya Sofya (also spelled Ayasofya) as the Hagia Sofia, which is the Greek name. On a side note, many Greeks still call Istanbul Constantinople, just to piss the Turks off. Ok, some of the items on this list aren’t really secrets.

Inside the Ayasofya

Do you see Jesus and Mary right between the Arabic calligraphy that says Allah and Mohammed? The Aya Sofya is the only building that served both Christianity and Islam. The building was constructed as a church under Emperor Justinian in year 537 (Astonished by the Aya Sofya’s beauty, Justinian claimed that he outdid Solomon upon seeing it for the first time). The Islams converted it into a mosque in year 1453 as soon as they conquered Istanbul. Ataturk finally converted it to a museum in 1924.

An Excerpt From My Novel – My Hope Tarnished

An excerpt from a novel I’ve been working on (although I haven’t written anything at all recently):

My hope, tarnished like an abandoned bicycle chained to a tree for years;
As the bicycle, my aspirations chained to the harsh physical realities;

New Jersey’s Contribution to Rock

New Jersey has produced a fair amount of seminal rock — the Four Seasons, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, the Misfits and the Gaslight Anthem — in part because the guitar strap fits so snugly around the chip on the shoulder that goes with being from there.

David Carr, New York Times

Why Lagos is an Underrated Travel Destination

Portugal itself is quite underrated as a travel destination. It’s similar to Spain, although it feels more subdued. Things move even more slowly. Everything is cheaper, and there are notably less tourists. The food is more flavorful, and its portions are more generous. If you’re in Europe, and want to see spectacular beaches, one next to the other, that aren’t saturated with tourists, I highly recommend Lagos, Portugal. If you’re up for a nice two hour walk along the cliffs on the coast, you can start from Praia da Batata, and pass beautiful beaches such as Praia Dona Ana, Praia Pinhão, Praia do Camilo, until you reach Ponta da Piedade, where there is a lighthouse. Photo_Batata Beach Praia da Batata has to be the most beautiful beach I’ve seen that’s right in the city center.