Nomad - no plan, no worries.

In less than a week I will be a nomad... for over a month.

A spec on this continent, eager to explore.

When I stop and think about living for 5 weeks with no plan... no itinerary.... I can become stressed and scared.

This way of living, traveling, and seeing opposes how my life has been for most of 23 years.

But, then I think more...

My greatest stress is being autonomous amidst sites and cities, waiting to be viewed by my keen eyes...

... life isn't too bad.

I am blessed.



Familia safari... hakuna matata

My European adventures became intercontinental.  My sister and I went all the way to Tanzania to meet up with our mother and go on a 5 day safari.

We didn't see any rhino births, but we did see rhinos...

...along with pretty much every other animal that you would expect to spot in this region of the world.

Like, blue balled monkeys...

Zebra butts...

Not so wild wildabeasts...

Lions and lionesses...


Leopards in trees...

Hungry, hungry hippos

Elephant herds...

Three legged baboons...

...just to name a few.

Plus, endless beauty.

Romping around the country and spotting animals was a great time, but not my favorite part of the trip.

Having friends in the country along with the nearby island paradise of Zanzibar really allowed us to truly get a taste of the beautiful culture.

We were greeted everywhere with huge smiles everywhere we went.

The long lasting theme throughout the country is "hakuna matata" ... "no worries, no problem"

I will gladly incorporate the easy going, eastern African ideals into my life.



My big, fat, Greek vacation.

Before a couple weeks ago, the closest I had come to Greece was walking down Frat row at U of A or eating Fage yogurt.  I was immersed into the culture during a 5 day visit with my sister.

We had planned to spend 4.5 of 5 days traveling by car around the Peloponnesian Peninsula.  After arriving in Athens at night and being in complete awe of the illuminated acropolis and scattered ruins, we decided to cut our Peloponnesian tour down to 4.25 days, so we could spend a few more hours in the Greek capital.

The Acropolis through Hadrian's Gate

View of Temple of Zeus and the modern Olympic stadium from atop the Acropolis

And, of course the Parthenon

We fought through the Athenian traffic in our rental car like true warriors and were off to Delphi.

The very well preserved Treasury of the Athenians
Delphi was the center of the world according to ancient Greeks.

The temple of Apollo

Pythian Stadium
Delphi was also home of the Pythean games, which rivaled the Olympics.

We crossed the Gulf of Corinth to shack up in Patras, which was a completely dead shithole (at least during off season travel).

On the road again bright and early to my favorite archeological site – Olympia.

 It is amazing to think of how much labor and resources were put into constructing this city which revolved around athletics.

Archway leading to the Olympic stadium

Lined up at the original starting line, from over 2500 years ago

Rachel and I had pretty much the entire ancient city to ourselves.

From Olympia, we migrated like sheep, south through the olive tree forests.

We kicked our feet up in Kalamata on the Messinian Bay in our luxurious hotel, which seemed like our private villa.

Amazing food and gorgeous beaches kept us both content.

The next morning we were off along curvy roads through the hills that led us to the Diros caves.

The caves were… cavey.

Then, we were Sparta bound.

There were no Spartan warriors in site... just oranges.

We stopped and toured ancient Mycenae.

These walls are more than 3500 years old!

And home of the amazing tomb of Agamemnon.

Nearby Nafplio was my favorite stop along our journey. 

There were awesome fortresses from the Venetian rule during the medieval times.

It was during the night in Nafplio when 22 delicious, living sea creatures were put to death for the sake of my sister and my appetites.

Finally, through Corinth and back to Athenian traffic we headed.

We were constantly on the move as we looped through the Peloponnese, but I never felt as though I had bitten off more than I could chew.  I really enjoyed traveling during the low season (which in Greece is REALLY low…).  Even though many shops and restaurants were closed down for the season, it was so nice not having to deal with the masses.  I am quite proud of my trip planning ability, not to mention my European driving skills.




Dada is Swahili for sister.

My dada and I used to butt heads like most siblings.  If someone tried to get us to spend two weeks together, we would have ended up on opposite sides of the world, with one or both of us in critical condition.

We recently decided to come together from opposite sides of the world to spend two weeks together... whaaaa?

Even though we entered this predicament willingly, I was a bit unsure as to whether either of us would survive to return to our respective sides of the world.

She suffered a few mosquito bites and a sun burn and I endured some vomiting and diarrhea, but we survived.  In doing so, a bond was formed that I am quite happy to share with her.

Yes a dada will always be a dada, but now my dada is my friend.

Travel stories to come.



a public ponder of life's uncertainties

I am opening up my windows to the universe and letting the fuzziness within my head diffuse a bit.

A brief summary of my evolution of existence...

  1. Chaos and rebelliousness.
  2. Structure and nerdyness.
  3. Not so much structure and nerdyness.
  4. Lack of direction and freedom.
  5. ...?
Realizing my lack of direction in the universe was initially liberating.  I know what I want to do and where I want to be (maybe not physically...), but I don't know how I will get there nor how long it will take.

I am starting to feel like I should be making steps towards my goals, but I am not sure that is what my heart wants at the moment.  Plus, every step I take will ultimately lead me towards my goals, right?

I know that I am young, but I am not that young.  

I am at a point where I need to make a decision about what I want to do and where I want to be during my next year of life.  There are two main options which I am considering...

 - Option A:  Find a stellar job in Europe that would allow me to learn a new language (French, German, or practice Spanish) and gain more international experience.

 - Option B:  Return to the states, study/take MCAT, apply to grad schools, work in the states.

Option A would not only be more beneficial for me and my future, but it would also be more fun and rewarding.  However, it does require getting that "stellar job in the health field," which isn't the easiest thing for a barely bilingual 23 year old American with a bachelor's degree.

Option B would require a lot of work, in addition to returning to a place where I don't necessarily see myself fitting at the time being.  Although it would be the smartest choice if I wanted to 'stay on track.'

HMMM... Just doing some public pondering.  

The universe will unfold in my favor.



Quality not Quantity

Of course there are many factors and biases that are involved with measuring quality of life, but many argue that the Swiss top the list.  Even though my view during 10 days in Switzerland may have been skewed by the holiday festivities, I will confirm that quality is indeed the correct word to describe life in this beautiful country.

My Swiss visit 8 years ago with the family was great, but with age comes experience, with experience, keener senses, and with keen senses, more accurate judgement of quality.

I am lucky to have distant relatives through marriage who's hospitality and company I could enjoy.  I stayed with Palina, whos parents also live in Geneva.  Christmas and New Years were spent in Geneva with a little bit of traveling throughout the country in between.

Snowy roof tops of Geneva.
Angry seas and icy trees.
Frozen in time.
Off to Gruyeres - the land of delicious cheese and a fresh cold breeze.
Beautiful hills.
Petit Alpitas
Pretty castle, and pretty skies.
A short stay in the capital city, Bern.
A visit to Zurich.
Cold feets on the narrow streets.
Zurich had the best "Christmas" lights.
New years eve, Swiss style.
Hoppin' around in the old town a bit.
Even the seagulls seemed a little hungover on the first day of the year.
Pâté, Gruyères, viande séchée, delicious bread... a true Swiss meal.
QUACK - maybe my favorite picture I took.

It was while people-watching on trains around the country when I came to a deep realization.  Although I have always enjoyed my experiences abroad, it wasn't until then that I realized that I could actually live a sincerely happy life outside of my 'home country' of the US... (if I learned some French or Swiss-German, of course).  Europeans seem to have the idea to enjoy life, stemming from the 4 weeks/yr minimum time off from work (many countries require 6 or even 8 weeks).  But, there was something sweet in the Swiss air that made life seem a little more enjoyable...  I hope to find out more for myself.