Guatemala otra vez

Aidan and I (somewhat) spontaneously planned a quick trip to Guatemala. We both took off a little time from work after the holidays and Aidan got an online winter class and we headed to Guatemala City. I hadn’t been there in nearly six years and Aidan had never been at all. It felt completely amazing to be back. Guatemala is a country that is endlessly beautiful, tiring, sad, inspiring, and lovely all once.

This is going to be a short post honestly because I’m still thinking about what exactly I want to do with this blog at this point but anyways heres a quick run down! We stayed in Antigua just outside Guatemala city over the new year, which is a¬†nice, small, and beautiful town. The new year was really fun and we counted down in a crowded street full of people. After Antigua we went to Xela, the second city, where I used to live. I was so glad to be back and while some things have changed it’s relatively the same. I saw some old friends and we explored a lot, ate good food, and one morning went out to Chico Mendes (check it out, very cool reforestation project). We went to the lake, Atitlan, for a few days. We stayed in San Pedro which is kind of overflowing with expat hippies but we had fun and it is gorgeous. We returned to Antigua for a little bit at the end and I got to see an old friend/trip leader from my first summer in Guatemala who has a super cute new baby now ūüôā I love Guatemala and would recommend traveling there highly.

In not long I am starting my final semester of school here in New York. I don’t know for sure what I am doing after school but maybe it will be something I can blog about on here, we will see! Besos.

Israel and Jordan

Wow I got home several weeks ago now, but have been too busy to put anything on here because the morning after I flew back from Tel Aviv I jumped right into my first day of my last fall semester of school. The month I spent in Israel and Jordan was educational, beautiful, and hot.

I started the trip on a Taglit with a program organizer called Israel Experts. I would highly recommend this company to anyone thinking about Taglit because they are just a bit different than the average and super open minded. I made some amazing friends even though it was just ten days. We also had an amazing guide and group of young Israelis with us. We packed a ton into just a week and a half so it would be hard to describe it all but some highlights for me were hiking up mount Masada at sunrise, kayaking in the Jordan River, going to the borders of Gaza and Syria, the lectures we were able to hear, and the Bahai Gardens in Haifa which are gorgeous. I was surprised by just how much I loved the trip and how sad I was when it ended and I had to say goodbye to everyone.

After the trip ended I i was lucky enough to stay for a bit¬†with some¬†family who live in a city right by Tel Aviv called Givatayim. We went to the beach a bunch in Tel Aviv which has to be one of the best beaches on the mediterranean.¬†We went¬†to a Bar Mitzvah of my cousin’s¬†cousin, and just generally went out and about in the city of Tel Aviv.

When I left my cousins I went on my own to Jordan. It took me nearly the whole day to travel from Tel Aviv to Amman. I crossed at the North border crossing near Beit She’an. The border was really quiet. I met two foreigners who shared a cab with me on the Jordan side to get to the closest city, Irbid, and take a bus to the capital, Amman. Amman was really enormous and quite an interesting city. Jordanian women are very modest, by my standards at least. I tried my best to dress appropriately but I still felt I stood out a lot which gets uncomfy after a while. I stayed in Jordan over a week and I really loved it but being a foreign woman alone there was frustrating. Jordan has a lot of incredible ruins and beautiful desert. Petra was of course a highlight and I spent most of a whole day exploring it which was incredible.

I left Jordan through Aqaba in the South. On the Israel side I was excited to comfortably wear a swim suit again and swim in the sea at the beach in Eilat. I travelled back to Jerusalem because I felt there was more to see there that I missed during Taglit. Jordan is one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities in the world I think. I spent a few days there, ate good food, wandered, and visited the dome of the rock, the old city, etc. After Jerusalem I was running out of time. I headed back to Tel Aviv for a little more time with family, the beach, and eventually my flight back to New York just in time for school.

This semester is crazy because I have a full course load, my jobs, work in a lab at school, and also I am running cross country. It’s a bit overwhelming but hopefully it goes quickly. No specific travel planned for me next at the moment but we shall see… mucho amor ‚̧ Oh and if you have any specific questions about travelling in Israel, Taglit, or Jordan message me. Here are¬†a few photos: Dome of the Rock Jerusalem, Treasury in Petra Jordan, Dead Sea Israel, and with my cousins in Tel Aviv.

Summer in New York City

It is summer here in New York City but it really hardly feels like it because I am doing summer class and working. It is unbearably hot though so theres that ūüôā My summer class is called the chemistry of cooking. I am learning a lot about food structures. I can’t say it’s thrilling but we did make pretty good pancakes the other day with homemade jam. I’ve been working at the hardware store and babysitting lots. At least all the parks have the sprinklers on now which is refreshing. In the little free time I have I’ve been running a lot. I ran my first 5k race in forever the other day and it was super fun. I cannot wait for my summer class to end next week so I can enjoy the weather a bit more and maybe even head to the beach! Anyways the real reason I am posting is to let you know I do have some travel plans coming up for the end of the summer!! I am going to Israel where I have not been since I was about 14, I believe, and I am super excited. Additionally I plan to go to Jordan. Hopefully I will have time to write a bit about it on here so stay posted ‚̧ This pic is from last night on my roof. Super hermosa no?IMG_4910

Island Road Trip

I am back in the city for just a bit more school after a nice week in Puerto Rico road tripping around the West of of the island. Aidan and I flew into San Juan where we picked up a rental car and stayed in Condado/Santurce for a bit. We met some people at our hostel and a guy working there introduced us to some young people living in an apartment across the street so we hung over there and chatted with them all night which was cool. When we left the city first we drove straight through the middle of the island to Ponce. There is not a whole lot inland beside big gorgeous mountains. The drive is also surprisingly quick. Next we drove through Cabo Rojo which was a bit more rural and interesting of a drive. We stopped to see the salt flat and some other nice views. Then we got lunch in the city of Mayag√ľez. We continued on to Rincon where we stayed in an inn. Rincon is quite a cute town with a surfer vibe. We had a pool, the beach, cute coffee shops, a brewery/restaurant. We eventually continued up the coast to the city of Isabela where we had a great and cheap air b&b with an adorable puppy included. We borrowed our hosts snorkel gear and checked out some tiny fish at a beach in a town nearby called Aguadilla. We also ate some yummy fish.. When we left Isabel it was back to San Juan along the North coast. We stayed this time in Viejo San Juan where there is great food and also the oldest bar in San Juan. On our last day we drove out of the city to a town called Pi√Īones to go to a gorgeous and very empty beach. The trip was a success and it was definitely rough to come back to some nice cold rain. Stay posted summer in the city is just around the bend. Besos. The picture is Jobos beach in Isabela just before a downpour!IMG_4715

Back to NYCityy

Well this is sort of a boring picture but it was what I had handy so here ya go! This is my living room currently. The exciting news is we have moved into our¬†first apartment. It is adorable and I love it. I’m back to work and doing an online winter class before spring semester starts in a few weeks. I am thrilled to be back in this awesome city and I will try and blog once in a while about it. Much love from Hamilton Heights/West Harlem/Sugar Hill (not sure where exactly I live haha), Manhattan, NYC ‚̧IMG_4419

Ended in Nicaragua

Study abroad has come to an end for me, but what a fantastic semester. I am writing this from my bedroom in Maine with the contents of my half unpacked backpack all around me. It feels good to be home of course but I miss Costa Rica already. For starters it is very cold and I was not ready for that! The end of the program was good. Finals week wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. On the last day we had a good bye lunch which was nice and then Aidan, Lyle, and I went out one last time in San Jos√©. I woke up early in the morning to catch my bus. My host mom got up with me which was really nice and also Luciana was awake so I got to give her one last cuddle. My host mom gave me some Costa Rican coffee which I can’t wait to drink. It was also sad to say bye to Aidan but Ill see him again pretty soon.

I took the bus all the way to Managua. It was pretty slow at the border this¬†time. I saw all the Cubans camped out at the impromptu encampment at the border which was pretty crazy¬†(if you haven’t heard about¬†the Cuban Immigrant crisis at the Costa Rica Nicaragua border its worth a google, interesting situation). I picked up my mom that night at the Managua airport. It was really nice to see her. We spent an awesome week together packing in a lot. Nicaragua is an interesting and beautiful country. I’ll give you a brief run down.

We left Managua after one night. The city was nice but we wanted to get to the island Ometepe which is a double volcano island in the big lake. It was absolutely gorgeous. We took a ferry boat out and we stayed in a hotel on the beach. We did a horseback ride which was a lot of fun and a good way to see some of the island. From there we went to Masaya and went to the Masaya volcano again among other things. Both of us climbed the whole way up which felt good. From there we also visited Léon and Granada. Léon was our favorite city. Rough around the edges but gorgeous and interesting. We saw a dance show there, and climbed on the roof of a cathedral.

Traveling with my mom is fun because we both like to scope out good food and especially veg food. We meet a lot of locals and have good conversations with people. And plus my mom will even stay in hostels. anyways we had a good time and my mom actually did some blogging in much more depth about Nicaragua so if you know her def check her facebook for that.

Going back to the US was a little sad as it usually is but seeing my dad and brother was really nice and I am excited this time because Aidan and I and some other friends just signed a lease on our first apartment in NYC. Im coming back very soon New York, so watch out! Although I probably wont be traveling too much for a little bit ill blog about anything interesting.

Lastly if I could give one piece of advice to anyone reading this from my school it would be, GO FOR IT, please do study abroad. Or just travel, but also do study abroad. I think study abroad is important for almost everyone while in college and I found it really manageable and I think you will too. It may change your life, you never know. I had a beautiful time in Costa Rica for a few months and met some awesome people. I would do it again in a heart beat. I also am very excited to get back to my school soon.

Pura Vida.