2015!

So where do I start? Happy New Year! – There, that’s how I start. 2014 I must say, was a wonderful year. It has its very high ups and very low downs. The Ups: I went to LA (part of my NY’s resolution), Bahamas, Guatemala, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and I basically traveled by cruise, plane, train, you name it. It was awesome! 2014 was the year I traveled the most. The downs? Health problems that almost put a damper on my travels and heart break but I’m good now and ready to roll for 2015!

Do you remember when I had a list of my 2014 New Year’s resolution? So this is how I fared:

My plan for 2014

  • Travel to Europe and California or anywhere out of the US – DID!
  • Finish several books – DID! I actually read 9 books!!
  • Take more pictures – I’m not sure if I did this but I have noticed my pictures are getting a lot lot better and I’m getting more technical about my photography so let’s just say DID!
  • Take more care of my finances – Although the travel expenses took a deep chunk out of this, managing my finances did help me sail the turbulent water of debt so DID!
  • I really want to blog more often – I’m going to give myself a DID! since I’m still writing on this blog and I managed to write more than just 1 post the entire year. I still haven’t finished posting about my trip to Scandinavia but I’m working on it.

Looks to me like a successful year!

So this is my resolution for 2015

  • Be in descent shape (as in be back to my regular weight and have some definition – that includes going to the gym! as cliche as this sound)
  • Once again to finish more than just one book
  • Travel outside and/or inside the US (Next weekend I will be going to LA and I have already plans for ICELAND! – More info coming soon on this)
  • Finish redecorating my apt – I tend to get lazy and not finish things so I made this into a resolution
  • Do a road/camping trip – I have always wanted to do this but never found anyone to sign up to the idea so this year is either to find someone or to go solo with my dog! <– She is a trooper so I might just take her with me.

What do you think?

Scandinavia – Update

I have abandoned this poor blog once again but I apologize. I have been going thorough many things lately including heartbreak and a “condition” that affects my whole body and state of mind at the same time. I wish I could say, “let’s not dwell in this sorrow” but I am. Hopefully everything will fall in place once again.

I haven’t done much lately but I finally have a schedule for my trip. The only thing I’m missing is to book my stay when I get to Berger, Norway and my plain ticket from Copenhagen to Helsinki to catch my flight back home. Everything is almost set. Except that I’m also missing the things I will be visiting in each city. The only thing I have for sure is Norway in Nutshell, which is a combination of method of transportations from Oslo to Berger.

I used Airbnb to book most of the places where I’m staying except for Copenhagen. This is my second time using Airbnb so hopefully it will all go well.

So this is what I have:

  • Arriving in Helsinki
  • Overnight cruise to Stockholm, Sweden
  • Train to Oslo, Norway
  • Norway in a Nutshell – Berger, Norway
  • Flight to Copenhagen
  • Flight back to Helsinki – Back to Miami

I wish I had more time to explore Norway in depth. There were so many places I want to go that I could not fit in. 4 days in Norway’s definitely not enough. I guess my next trip will be Norway and Iceland.

What do you recommend?

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LA Here I Come!

I haven’t blog since Bahamas but get ready for my long post about LA. I am finally going to LA tomorrow after 2 years (This is the longest time since 2006). I’m traveling with Virgin America on my way there and on my way back, Jet Blue. I don’t remember ever flying Jet Blue but I may have when I went to Boston in 2004. My time in LA is going to be different. I am taking my BF as a present for his birthday. He hasn’t travel and I love showing him around (I took him to NY for his first time also for his birthday) I have talked so much about LA I’m pretty sure his expectation are way high. Hopefully, LA meets them and we can go again. I will stop mumbling now and get back once I have enough pictures. Wish me a good flight!

How It All Started

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How It All Started

2008 was the year that changed my life. It was the year I discovered my passion for traveling. I had traveled before that to many places, China, Japan, Colombia, Mexico, Canada, and many more countries but never did I feel so alive like in 2008. Maybe because I was doing it on my own and with my own money and went where I wanted. There was a sort of freedom that nothing else can give you. In 2008, I went for the first time to Los Angeles, Korea and Italy, my second time to Japan, and maybe third time to Hong Kong (I will have a post about these trips). I spent 2 months in Los Angeles plotting my way to move there. I didn’t want to stay in boring Miami and it certainly gave me that thirst for somewhere new and different. Somehow I decided to go to Shanghai to study Mandarin after college graduation (Dec 2008).

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I did a four month course in Jiaotong University (as I like to call it, Transportation University) and it was one of the best time of my life. THE BEST. I met so many amazing people and got to go back to Korea for a second time and Hong Kong for a couple more time. I even went to Zhangjiajie  in Hunan (Where Steven Spielberg got inspiration for Avatar) and it was amazing. Maybe the 24 hours-three bed bunker-toilet aka a whole on the floor train ride wasn’t so awesome but who cares? It was fun because the entire train car was filled with students. We play cards, drinking games, took pictures, met some locals, and I got see China ( another post coming about this). When I came back from Shanghai, Miami felt like the most boring place in the world. Bear in mind I didn’t actually live in Miami, more like the suburbia which is worse. If you asked me how it felt moving back to Miami, I would say kinda like doing heroin and then quitting (obviously I haven’t tried heroin or any illegal drugs but you get the point).  2009 was the year I traveled the most.

2008

Tokio, Seoul, Hong Kong, Rome, Milan, Los Angeles

2009

Seoul, Hong Kong, China (Shanghai, and all the cities I went through to make it to Zhangjiajie) Los Angels

2010

Moved to Los Angeles

2011

Busy year, only went to Miami during vacations

2012

Moved back to Miami, Venezuela, Paris, Barcelona, Helsinki

2013

New York, Soul

2014

Plans: Guatemala, Los Angeles, Ireland (Most likely London and Paris too)

I have been to Asia more often than any other continent. I think this time, I will concentrate in other parts of the world. If you want me to elaborate in any of these places, let me know!

 

Picture: Hong Kong view with a ghost! JK 2008 Point and Shoot. Please don’t judge my pictures they are very very old.

Getting Ready For Trip No. I

If you haven´t read my previous two post, let me inform you, I´m going to Guatemala and Los Angeles! So of course I started thinking of things I want to take. My first and most important thing is my camera. Which one should I take? The T3i? is too heavy to carry around. The Canon S90? I don’t get the results that I want…

Then, I started researching to see if there was an option between these two and behold FUJI X100S!! (I know, I have been hiding under a rock). After researching obsessively and this only fueled my infatuation with this camera, I can safely say I F#$*# want it.

Do you have the X100S? What do you thing about it? I would REALLY appreciate your opinion. I want to have enough arguments to justify a $1300 purchase. SILVER or BLACK?

These are some reviews I found about FUJI X100S.

link, link, link, link, link, link,

I will be posting a follow up.

Ticket Booked! Guatemala Edition

Guatemala flight booked! man o man you guys are going to have a feast I repeat, a FEAST with all the pictures I will take! Guatemala is one of those places that are heaven on earth but plagued with fear and insecurities. I’m very excited but scared at the same time. I did some research before I committed to it and let me tell you, it is gorgeous. Two volcano and a lake view? I would tell you where I will be visiting but I’m going with a friend and she will take me around. The only names I managed to remember are Antigua, Panajachel, I know Atitlan is a lake but I will be around that area. I was sold when my friend said beautiful nature and horseback riding. I lied, I was actually sold before I did the research.

Have you been to Guatemala? How did you like it? If you have any post on it post a link so I can check it out.

Ticket Booked! – Los Angeles

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I finally got my ticket to LA!! I am extremely excited to go back, as I like to call, home. I wil get to see all my friends I left behind, eat until I lose consciousness, enjoy the excellent weather, hate on bad traffic, so many things I want to do! I know, I always go over and over about how much I miss LA, and I tend to go so on and on. I know, you are bored by now but be bored no more! I finally going and will be posting delicious pictures of LA  so you won’t feel left out. I speak the truth!

I´m excited to go to LA but what makes me more excited is that I will be going with my BF. He will finally see what I have been yapping about for 2 years. If you don´t know LA, you will get to see too! I´m planning to take pictures like I’m a big tourist and my life depended on it so don´t worry, you will get to see too.

Can’t wait! If you are wondering, my trip will be in May.

P.S. Don’t judge my picture. It was taken a long time ago with a point and shoot. Have mercy on me.

A Year of Travels

Every year I have in mind the places I want to go and which one I could actually go. This year however, I’m doing things differently.

Last weekend, I was invited to Guatemala and I said yes. You would say: Out of all the places on my “To Go List”, Guatemala? Clearly, that one wasn’t there. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Guatemala is a beautiful place (from what I have googled so far) but I have on my top places, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Japan, among others. Guatemala wasn’t even on my top 50. But hey why not? So far, all the pictures I have seen, Guatemala looks AMAZING. Aside from my fear of getting robbed, I am very excited to go.

What got me to say yes?

• Horseback riding
• Amazing view of a lake with two volcano
• Free stay
• Free food
• Amazing forest
• The opportunity to take amazing pictures
• The opportunity to go with a local

Now, I’m debating what camera to take. I have a Canon T3i and Canon S90. There are huge CONS and PROS on these two: Higher chance of getting robbed but higher quality pictures or lower chance of getting robbed but lower quality pictures. What would you choose? Take the chance? Rather go safe? What was your experience? I want to go as low key as possible.

New Year’s Resolution – UPDATE

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I have already finished reading A Hologram for The King…. I have to say, what a disappointment. The narrative wasn’t too bad but the story was just a drag. I know the writer’s intention wasn’t the main plot. The plot was just a way to carry you around but not the intended destination. Did I explain myself right? Anyways, I started reading The Book Thief and I’m almost done with that one. I like it but this is not the kind of book I would lose sleep for.

I have to say; this is the most I have accomplished on my New Year’s resolution in a long time. Finishing more than one book? Checked (Ok, I’m really close to). Traveling? Checked. Well, I haven’t traveled anywhere yet, but plans are going accordingly. Blog more often? Double checked. Not too bad huh? Good start for 2014.

I’m kind of dragging my ACL surgery. I’m afraid once I do it, I will feel like a goose getting its wing clipped like that movie Fly Away Home.  Dramatic much?

If you didn’t know, I need an ACL surgery because my ligament is completely destroyed (I’m assuming is both since both hurts but only got to examine one, you know insurance only pays on knee at a time) and is going to take one week in bed, four weeks with clutches, and approximately six months of therapy. Now, do I still sound dramatic? Hopefully, I will have enough things to keep me busy.

As a book hoarder, I got a new book: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. This one has to wait since I still have to go through: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. You know how thick is Doctor Sleep? VERY.  That one is going to take me a while.

I’m going to stop here before I become a drag…

How’s your New Year’s Resolution going?

 

Note: All pictures are taken by me unless stated otherwise. This was taken a while ago when I went to Yosemite with a point and shoot.