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Posts tagged “Travel

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networks. . . galore

Just had some friends from the valleys of south Wales stay with us for a couple weeks.  Had such a grand time showing them around the chihuahuan desert.  At one point it got me thinking about friend networks, how extensive they get, and how they lead us to random places that we’d never go to on our own.

For example these Welsh friends. . . we met them thru a friend in Ohio who had a friend in London who married a guy in London who was originally from Portugal, who moved them to Wales to raise a family, where we finally met the welsh friends on a trip to visit the English friends whom I’m speaking of in the first place. You see I don’t know if I’d go to Wales on my own.  I love it there, its gorgeous, but I have absolutely no idea if I’d even think to go there unless the friends mentioned moved there. In turn, the Welsh that I met would have had absolutely no desire to plant themselves in west Texas in the middle of the desert! But they did, and they had a killer awesome time. . . all because of random friend networks.

The moral of the story, in my quite humble and useless opinion is! make friends, travel to visit those friends, and then collect a treasure trove of hilarious experiences that u make with those friends 🙂

 


finding ways to forget the distance :)


“No Problem Man!”

I just had an interesting experience. I have trouble retaining information, right. Seriously, I don’t know whats wrong with me.  If you tell my your name I’ll most likely forget it.  So when I receive instructions I have to write them down and repeat them to myself multiple times in order to actually do it.  This makes functioning in a professional setting sometimes difficult.

So today I finished interpreting early so my boss sent me on a few errands.  (which btw was a miracle that I was even there!!! I had a 7:00 final and I woke up a t 642!!!!! I live on the East Side!!!!) Picking up and dropping off paperwork at different halls, no big deal right, well not for most people.  He starts firing off names of halls and directions and names and I had to stop him. . . “can you please please let me write this down.” So I was good? . . . no because Stefan Albani can’t keep things simple. Anyone who knows me well knows that. Its like when I buy pop. . . should I get the 2 for 3 or the 10 for twenty!!!! ahhh!!!!!! (thats a rant for another time).

Therefore I began my journey to the general vicinity of where I knew my destination was, which ended up being wrong.  Not because i wasn’t told where i should go, and not because I wasn’t practically drawn a map of where to go, but because I’m me and pretty much just was confused for no reason whatsoever.  SO!!!! I do what I usually do in this situation. . . Admit that I’m a dork and ask for directions.  And this leads me to my point in this rather pointless rant. . . . wherever you are and even if you aren’t as big of a moron as I am, ASK 4 DIRECTIONS!!!! U’ll thank me, trust me.  Even if you face a language barrier you have more of a chance of getting somewhere on time with the help of a local than wondering clueless on your own pride. The sooner everyone (I’m mostly pointing at my male readers, sorry guys the stereotype is usually true) embraces this, the less lost we will all be.

In addition to getting you to where you need to go, asking for directions will also present some awesome if not hilarious experiences.  For example in the heart of Paris when we had no Idea where we were going, my dad and sister asked a local for directions to somewhere I don’t remember. After a few minutes of struggle ending in eventual success my dad thanked the gentleman sincerely.  He replied with a hilarious and quite perfect “Jamaican cool runnings” accent in probably the only english he knew “No problem man!” Needless to say that story gets told a lot, why?! Cuz its hilarious! and It wouldn’t have happened if dad hadn’t put his ego aside.


roadtrip skills!

I’m back from Denver! I love roadtrips, in fact they’re one of my favorite means of travel. With the right people they can be fun and hilarious.  Mind you sitting in a tin box for hours crammed with people can be rough.  This requires certain skills that can be mastered with time.  And so in an effort to collect such knowledge for the benefit of people everywhere,  I present a list of my personal favorite roadtripping skills. Which is funny cuz technically I don’t particularly like lists but I’ve been doing alot of them lately. . . meh who’s being technical.

sleeping in awkward positions – this skill will be your best friend when its hour 12 and you’vesurvived on nothing but chips and rockstar. It helps if you’re comfortable with the people you’re with ha ha, but if you’re not! this skill is that much more important! My current preferred position is scooched down in the seat with legs up on the window. . . aka bad posture, but hey! I’m asleep! leave posture out of this!!!

stay out of prank wars trust me on this one. . . just don’t start, or trying to sleep will be the last of your concerns.

holding it -there aren’t enough rest stops in new mexico. . .

not holding it– men, the world is your urinal (I’ve found ditches to be particularly perfect for this.

sing alongs– not only do they pass time, they burn calories. . . that is if you sing in a very animated fashion like I do. . . he he.

staying awake– this is mostly geared to the driver. . . mmhmm. . . you know the guy operating the vehicle that is actually a loaded weapon!!! this can be accomplished in many ways. . . such as coffee, energy drinks, talking, listening to music, mixing coffee with energy drinks, foot tapping, counting mile markers, practicing your spanish. . . now if you aren’t the driver your choices expand greatly because the danger of killing everybody in the vehicle go down by at least eighty percent. This opens up things like watching movies, reading, playing rockband, thumbwars, blogging, texting, or cooking on your George Foreman grill that is plugged into the powerstrip which is in turn plugged into the cigarette lighter.

spotting randomness– look kids! DEER! ! ! as a kid I could never see what dad was pointing out.  Partly because I was too short and partly because I was too . . . short. So if you’re not short, this shouldn’t be as big of a problem. If you’re of normal stature and are still having trouble I suggest practicing with friends or getting a little brother.

all things tech– from programming the gps to consulting almighty google for the closest Starbucks, techies are highly suggested for every car group.

city driving skills– you can’t stay on the highway forever, yes that includes parallel parking

stretching– this goes right along with #1

reading– I put this as a skill cuz I cannot do it without getting carsick, and I envy those that can

beware of rattlesnakes– I can’t stress this one enough!!!

Help me make this list longer, what roadtrip skills have you gathered?


Day 1


stuff

So recently, in preparation of my inevitable move north, I’ve been going through alot of my things and getting rid of the unwanted and/or useless crapola that I’ve somehow accumulated in my year of living here . . . its ridiculous. . . seriously . . . However! Doing so brought to mind a painting I saw at an art show early in the summer and forgot to post.  Oh how this statement rings true. 


go somewhere!

I was browsing bloglovin and found this photo from a flickr user which made such a powerful statement that I wholeheartedly agree with! TRAVEL!  One of my biggest pet-peeves about our society fear of travel.  I’m not sure if its a fear of language, culture, or just the unknown. . . but now that I think about it one of the most common excuses I hear for staying in one’s hometown for years at a time is “the expense.” However! there are ways around this! In fact I have found that I can live on the road on the same buck (if not less) that I would spend sitting at home!  For example, when I travel, I only eat out mayb once a day, why eat out three times a day when u can walk down the street in Paris, grab bread and cheese in the morning and be on ur way till dinner! There’s no need to spend ten euros 3 times a day! Ok so guys, help me out, what have you found helpful expense-wise when u travel?


chalktheblock diaries

Unfortunately I was not able to go to chalktheblock due to my trip to Denver. . . BUT! This doesn’t mean that I didn’t get to enjoy it! U see, I had a mole. . . . a spy if you will. Whatever you want to call it I had someone get documentation! I was really awed by some of the things there, check it out!

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minimalism

A little under a year ago my brother, sister and I moved from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to El Paso Texas. . . I’m not gonna lie it was a crazy feeling reducing all of our belongings to what would fit into the back of two tiny scions and hiking it across the most of the country. . . however as I look back, it twas freeing! You see, I hate stuff. . . clutter. . . junk. . . garbage that just keeps us immobile and holds us down. Since our move I’ve made a huge effort to not accumulate “stuff” and as a result I feel alot more free. What sparked this random rant? A Post over here where a good friend has inspired me to not give up in my dream to one day live in a tree 🙂


In case I had any doubts that I’m on a plane to El Paso


Why’s it so cold?!

By Dario


see-thru


The World Spins Madly On


Outside the mattress factory


Back East

I’m in the middle of a trip back home in Pittsburgh, so over the next few weeks you should see some of the gems I found while roving about the city of bridges : )

this one’s in Edgewood right outside of a great Salsa spot


Trees are always happy, even when they’re not


Niagara Falls


Getting comfortable outside of your comfort zone

“comfort zones” are a dangerous thing in my opinion. Not unlike a disease they seem to take over you life, what you do, and how you view things. My advice, travel : ) its a wondrous thing! You run into crazy situations that make you realize how awesome life is!
For example! the pictures below were taken in a crazy house of some irish family who through insanely collaborative musical efforts made their newfound american friends feel right at home (which also involved playing home on the range!) At points during the night I seriously got choked up, these people were so beautiful and so happy, However I wouldn’t have been there if I spent my money on $90 concert tickets every week eh. . . I find that especially here in America travel is given a “rich people only stigma.” What most don’t realize though is how travelling smart, frequent flyer miles, and going off the beaten path make it fit into almost any budget!
How do you guys travel? Any tips or hints?


Lost but happy

This was on the roof of the Forum Des Halles in Paris, near Rue de Rivoli I believe. I loved the art up there, but then again it is Paris eh, I swear everything’s art.

and I liked this one cuz its my name ha ha