Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spring Break 2017: Ride a camel, See the Pyramids of Giza!


I have officially set foot on my FOURTH continent now: Africa! Still unknown to my family, I planned a solo trip to Egypt for 5 days. I had been wanting to go since I was little for the Pyramids, and then again when my freshman year math teacher went to see family there. Since I wanted to go to Morocco last time while I was in Spain and didn't get to, I looked into Cairo on flights.google.com where I plan all my trips, and I saw that it was $271. I mentioned it to my aunt, she was nervous of course, but also thought it'd be cool. She thought it would be dangerous, but I told her there was no travel warning or anything. She obviously did not want me to go alone, but of course as I did not know anyone who was going to be abroad in Italy, I didn't think I would find anyone to go with - therefore I started looking into female solo travel in Egypt on pinterest. I found a few people's post and got pretty excited but still unsure if I wanted to travel alone since of course last time didn't go particularly well... By the time I found out that I knew someone going to Italy this semester, it was someone I barely knew, but I mentioned Egypt spring break and she said she was interested. I didn't wanna push the subject, and later she started mentioning other places she wanted to go so I dropped it and asked the few people I knew in Florence what their plans for break were so I could mention it and see if they wanted to join me. If they didn't, i was going to start looking into other places. The prices since I checked originally in the summer had fluctuated and been around $330 consistently. I got one girl who said she might wanna come and she would let me know, so I was excited, but she never let me know so i figured it was a no. I thought about asking but when I saw the price drop to $255 - the cheapest I had seen it EVER, i bought it for myself anyway without needing anyone to go with. From that point on, I was excited to start planning. I booked myself on 2 tours (both which i thought would be with groups so i could maybe meet people, but both ended up being private - so just me and the tour guide plus a driver). I also booked a super cheap hostel that included breakfast so i didn't have to worry about food in the mornings. I bought a data sim card from Transatel - just in case there was no street wifi like there was in London - i would need it for maps and stuff. 
video
When I finally arrived, I was nervous to be a solo female traveler, but by the next day when i started my tour, i was perfectly fine. That day was a tour of the west- A.K.A Giza (Cairo literally means "east"). I went to Dashur and Sakara and saw the Bent Pyramid, the Black Pyramid, and went inside the Red Pyramid. It was so crazy because it was the middle of nowhere, there were NO. OTHER. TOURISTS. I am not exaggerating when I say I was the only tourist in all of these places. Then I saw the other pyramids and tombs where there were finally 3 other tourists that I saw with tourguides. After lunch with a view of the last remaining old wonders of the world, the Great Pyramids of Giza, I finally got to go there- and again, very little tourist which surprised me. I thought it would be Mona-Lisa-at-the-Louvre packed, and it wasn't, at all. I got some pictures and then it was time to ride the camel! I was so excited, but also kinda nervous again. So the camel is sitting with its legs folded under it, then you mount it. You have to hold on to the saddle thing, on the front there's this short pole-like thing you have to grab onto for dear life as this very tall animal gets up. So the camel gets up by unbending its hind legs, pushing you forward so you feel like you're going to tumble forward. Then it unbends its front legs, making you feel the same way, but backwards this time, but the camel is basically on its knees at this point, so it repeats these motions once more and you feel super tall and off balance. As it starts walking it's okay, but when it goes downhill sort of steeply it feels kinda scary because balance is off. But for the 30 minute ride around the area of the pyramids, it was so worth it. That was honestly my favorite part of the trip.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain!!

The sad, waterless version I saw in 2015
I did it you guys! Almost 2 years after my first time, I returned to Rome and threw a coin - with my right hand over my left shoulder - into la fontana di Trevi. Twice. On 2 separate occasions, once at night, and again the next day. I watched The Lizzie McGuire Movie the night before I went to Rome just to get me re-excited and I was so happy when I got to the fountain 24 hours later and it had the water in it, no restoration going on, and no signs of construction anywhere. It was perfect; it was the prettiest sight I've ever seen and I spent so much time just marveling at it. After analyzing it in AP history, I remembered some facts from 4 years ago and spent time looking at all the detail and recalling the history. It was a gorgeous piece of art that looked amazing at night all lit up, but better (in my opinion) during the day with a blue sky behind it and the sun shining down.

The only thing I have to say is: Mission Accomplished.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Visit the Parthenon

Image result for "greek mythology"When I first learned about Greek mythology I was about 8. I checked out a book from the library (it was 2005, I didn't google to learn things yet) and immediately was so interested in learning all the stories. 3 years later sitting in 4th period World History, the topic of ancient Greece came up. Again with the gods, we googled (finally) the specific stories assigned to each of us. I was so interested by Hermes at the time because in astrology he is the ruler of the Gemini sign and the more i learned about him, the cooler he became to me. So by the time we got to reading the Odyssey in freshmen honors english, i was more than excited to do the Greek god unit yet again. We were assigned a god/goddess/titan/hero to personify. I was ecstatic to receive Athena as the goddess I was to research, dress up as, and share stories about. She was my favorite goddess and I learned so much, like how and why Athens chose her as their patron goddess instead of Poseidon. From that point on I wanted to visit Athens and go see the temple constructed in her honor.
Luckily while studying her in Florence I was lucky enough to plan a trip last minute with 2 friends to spend the weekend 5 minutes from the entrance of the Acropolis where the Parthenon was. Sadly it was being restored on the side where the top point with all the statues of her life used to be.I still got good pictures though :)
                         

Monday, August 15, 2016

Receive admittance to a Masters program overseas

Image result for prospects.ac.uk
Simply because I am me, and I need to think of my future schooling while i have only completed my first year of school, I did just that at like 2am one day. I started off looking into internships abroad, particularly in Scotland because Edinburgh looks absolutely GORGEOUS (and Ruthie Camden did a semester there in high school on 7th Heaven xD). From looking into psychology research positions there, i decided to look into schools over there. I ended up on https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses looking into cognitive psychology and neuroscience. I stumbled into the most amazing thing I could have possibly found while on this website: Educational Neuroscience as a major. I read into it, it was perfect. It's EXATLY what I want to do with neuroscience, I just never had the right terms. Everyone thinks I want to be some neurosugeon or other medically related career in the future when they hear my major is neuroscience, but no. I always end up explaining that I want to do research and implemen it back into education to change the shitty system we have. I even wrote a thesis paper on a related subject and solidified my stance. So when I found the term, the OFFICIAL major, I was ecstatic. Not only was it technically faster to get my degree in the UK, but it was in a field not widely known here in the US. Looking into it I saw the words "emerging scientific field" and maybe 3 schools that are researching it in the US, one being Columbia that has a 6% admit rate which is not a realistic possibility. Besides, I've always thought about moving to the UK anyway, so I might as well study there for a year and see if i really wanna stick out the sucky weather and distance from home. So my goal now is to go to Birkbeck University, if not, Uiversity College London (which has most classes on Birkbeck's campus) and I know, I said i had an interest in Scotland, but these are the places with te perfect major so what can i do? But I would want to  apply also to the University of Edinburgh for Cognitive Neuropsychology, which is basically my undergrad right now anyay. Well, we'll see how this goes in a couple of years when my time at Syracuse is up... wish me luck!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Teach English Abroad

When I thought oh life in the best way possible back in 10th grade for my Honors English obituary, I thought of a pretty basic timeline. I mentioned my past accurately (and have updated it as years have gone by) but when it came to my future, i wrote about school, study abroad, getting a job, getting married, and having kids. Kids right after my masters, and by then i'd have traveled through Asia and moved to the UK to study.
How I Left Home with $4000 and Traveled for 4 Years - Curiosity Travels:

But what if that was no longer the plan? I read on pinterest about a woman who went a different and non-traditional route, so what if i taught english in South Korea for a year, and saved up to do some travelling too? or what if i taught in central/south america and took some trips exploring there during my year? What if my masters came later? Either way, my point is that it doesnt have to be such a solid plan, and there are other options such as teaching abroad, teaching a semester at sea even. Outside the box thinking is the way to go.
I want to explore in the best way possible, and that would be perfect immersion with travel opportunities. By taking the courses not only could i teach abroad, but i could teach while here at home to those who have emmigrated. It is very practical and beneficial thing to do which I am definitely making a goal.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Return to Nicaragua


  


  
When I was in second grade, my spring break trip with my family was to Nicaragua for my first time. While there it was mainly visiting family or old neighbors and friends of my great-grandma who had not been there in many many years. There was not really any touristy things that we did except go to one of the beaches so I want to go back and really see where my family comes from.


Looking up some touristy things, I found hese gorgeous Carribbean islands called the Corn Islands with beautiful beaches to go snorkeling. There's a rainforest with exotic animals, hiking in the north, horseback riding, kayaking, and volcanoes to explore.

Image result for nicaragua    Image result for nicaragua rainforest

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dye my hair an unnatural color



My favorite!  I love the blending of the darker and lighter plums with medium brown: black hair with purple highlights: Alright so recently I was looking over the things on the bucket list to find my next tasks to take on. I came across the hair one and thought to myself, "Hey I could totally do this one, why haven't I done it yet?" I only recently (and by "recently" i mean August 2015) began dying my hair at all before I left to Madrid. Even then, its been highlights and a subtle lighter brown to go with it. When I got home I was thinking I should go back to my natural dark brown and get rid of the highlights. I've gotten so used to my hair being like this, yet I kind of miss the way it was. I had this pinterest board of hair things i liked and there was a couple pins that were a deep red or had some peekaboo colored highlights, even a couple dark to purple ombres. So I went on pinterest to look for something realistically with my hair. I wanted to include my favorite color (purple) so I thought the ombre would be nice, just to have my dark hair back partially, but I thought that it wouldn't be a complete cross off the list if it wasn't a bit more different. Then I found some options that are naturally darker at the top then go into a red-ish color and have purple and even some pink-ish/orange-ish highlights. That's about as unnatural as I'm willing to go, so I think that'll be my next hair change when I get home this summer.


             

Friday, April 8, 2016

Become a Mad Science Scientist for a bit


Image result for mad science
I've basically had this goal since I was seven. Back in 2nd grade there was this thing that started at school for the gifted (GATE) kids. We had no idea why we were called out of class and asked to go to room 4, but we all went. It turned out to be that Mad Science was this new program that we were all allowed to participate in, in exchange for most of our recess time. It became a weekly occurrence, at a certain time on Fridays, all the GATE kids would leave their classrooms and meet in room 4 to have Mad Science for an hour. There would be a new mad scientist every week with a wacky science related name such as "Supernova Shaina," or "Rocketscience Rob" or something more basic like "Mr. Atom." Every week we did a new experiment and got a take-home gift that was part of the experiment. We would all go back to class and have people swarm us to see what we got, it was great. I did it 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. Since then, I've wanted to be the one with a wacky name that conducts the cool experiment with the kids and gets to teach them about science and give them a little take home gift. So finally, last night I looked up the job requirements on madscience.org aaaaand, well, basically I can't do it just yet. I need a license and a car (neither of which I have) and so that makes it impossible for now, but maybe in a couple years I could do it over a summer break.