Travel Has Made Me Thankful

Today in the United States it is Thanksgiving! During this time I try to take a moment and reflect on what I am thankful for. I am blessed to be thankful for so much!

Through my travels the experiences has taught me many things to be thankful for! Here is a list of just some of the ways travel has made me thankful:

Opened my mind. I’m thankful that travel has opened my mind to many cultures, worlds, viewpoints and other lessons.

Met great people. I’m thankful that travel has  created lifelong friends that I can’t imagine not being in my life now! Without travel I would not have known them.

People are good. I’m thankful that travel has shown me that the majority of people are good. Unfortunately I need this reminder often!

Lessons learned. I’m thankful that travel has taught me many lessons about life. This has made me a stronger person.

Made me a better person. I’m thankful that travel has greatly influenced me as a person and made me a better person. Travel has shown me that I am strong and I love a good adventure.

Grateful for my family. Travel has definifetely reminded me, each time, how grateful I am for my family and what a great family I have. Nothing like being thousands of miles away from them to remind you of all that they have done for you!

To all of those celebrating Thanksgiving today I hope you have a great time with your friends, family and loved ones.

How has travel made you more thankful?

9/11: Never Forget

Like millions of people, I remember exactly where I was when the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Laying in bed listening to the radio as the hosts described what was happening. It was early in the morning so I didn’t understand exactly what was going on. It wasn’t until turning on the TV that is made more sense.

Who knew that one day could change the world.

One of the most profound  influences that 9/11 has had is on the travel industry.

I have never traveled in a pre 9/11 environment so every time I travel I see the consequences of 9/11.

One of my first big adventures without my parents was a trip to New York City and to Ground Zero. This was a couple of years after 9/11 and Ground Zero was still empty space. The scars still visible.

I remember seeing decorative tiles that people painted in support of those suffering and affected by 9/11. I also remember going into a church that was around when George Washington was president and was open during 9/11 to offer shelter and what little peace people could get in the immediate aftermath of the day’s events. A place that has seen so much.

I was glad that I was able to go and visit Ground Zero. It put a face, a physical location, to a historic and tragic event. It made me part of history and made a connection to a story that has touch millions around the world.

It is important to pay tribute to locations like Ground Zero to make sure these events never happen again and to make sure these tragic events are never forgotten.

May we never forget 9/11 and those who have been profoundly touched by the day’s events.

So true! Once you open your eyes, and heart, you are never the same. 

I am so thankful I have friends from all over! My life is so much more rich because of it. 

President’s Day 2016

This past Monday, Feb 15, Americans got the day off in order to celebrate our presidents.

I began to wonder: who is my favorite president and which president would I celebrate by taking a trip in honor of him?

The answer would be Abraham Lincoln.

I know that answer seems so cliche. Who doesn’t like Abraham Lincoln? He showed great leadership in a very difficult time in American history. He led the way for great cultural change in the country.

Yes, I admire that but my reason for really looking up to him is more personal.

Lincoln is believed to have had depression.

He battled depression while the country was fighting itself and countless people looked for him for strength.

Depression is not a disease that just causes people to feel sad. It is a disease which makes getting out of bed extremely difficult. It is a disease that brings people into a very dark place in which many think they will never survive. It is a disease that changes your life. President Lincoln was battling this unforgiving disease and he was expected to be super human.

He was struggling personally and the country was struggling to stay together. But when people think of President Lincoln they do not think of a man who struggled. They think of a man who was strong in a time of chaos and who overcame.

I would love to visit where he was born, where he grew up and other locations that played a part in Lincoln’s life. All helped shape the man he would become.

I have been to the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC. It is a beautiful memorial and offers a great place to take a moment to reflect. I recommend visiting if you are in the  Washington DC area.

It is the personal strength of Lincoln that I admire most. When things get tough, whether it be on the road during an adventure, or more personal times, Lincoln serves as a reminder that I can be a strong person. Everyone can be a strong person.

Step Your Valentine’s Day Game Up

Valentine’s Day is today. Agh. Yes, I am one of those who hates Valentine’s Day.

But just because I hate it doesn’t mean I don’t have some good ideas for dates!

If you are in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area and want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a UNIQUE way, I have you covered

Picnic in a cemetery. Mountain View Cemetery. I have no issue admitting that I LOVE cemeteries. There is something calm about them. I love exploring and reading the tombstones; imaging what the person’s life was like.

So when my friend vists me around a year ago and takes me to a cemetery to explore, I think nothing of it. There was a documentary on Netflix years ago that actually explores people’s fasination with cemeteries and why they like to visit them. So I am not alone.

My friend takes me to Mountain View Cemetery and it is big and gorgeous! We went on a beautiful day and the views take your breath away. I even saw people enjoying a picnic.

Best part? Twice a month they give tours of the place! This is on my bucket list.

I think being outside and connecting with nature in a way is what draws me to a cemetery as a date idea.

I’m pretty sure none of your friends are going to a cemetery for Valentine’s Day. And if they are: keep being friends with them.

Silent Movies. Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. A classic date idea is going to a movie. But who has time to do the cliche thing? But silent movies are not cliche and add a unique twist to the evening.

I actually find out about silent movies in the Bay Area from a guy I was dating. It was the best thing to come out of the relationship, believe me.

I LOVE GOING TO SILENT MOVIES! I am not a movie person. I am a book person and if plans are left up to me to decide a movie will not be on the list. But silent movies are totally different.

For one thing they are shorter! Why does a modern movie have to be close to 3 hours?

I also love the fact that they are silent. You just hear the piano playing. I love the break from the “noise” and fast pace of modern movies. I also love looking at the fashion of the time.

Also, silent movies are only $7 to see! You also can get some snack and drinks for a $1 donation. Win-win.

And don’t just go to Niles Canyon to see the silent movies. The whole little town is cute and it looks like it is stuck in time from the silent film era. The area actually is rich in silent movie history!

Interactive Meal. Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot. I’m no where near a foodie but ever since going to Little Sheep for hot pot I have become obsessed with this place! Going to dinner is a standard date night but what I enjoy about hot pot is that it is interactive. You are preparing the meal yourself. This makes a fun date idea because in some way it is a unique way to interactive with one another.

Museums. Rosicrucian Egyptian MuseumComputer History Museum and San Jose Museum of Art. I have always believed that museum make GREAT date ideas. It offers you endless things to talk about. And you get to learn. YAY!

I love the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum because history, duh. I have always been fascinated with Ancient Egypt. The museum also has beautiful gardens to walk around.

If you are in Silicon Valley you need to know the history of the area and that obviously means technology! The Computer History Museum is your one stop place to learn all about computing history. It might sound like a bore, but it is not!

One thing I love about art is a couple can look at the same piece of art but get two totally different perspectives. The San Jose Museum of Art will keep you imagination going. It is also located right in downtown San Jose so exploring other aspects of the city is easy.

Take a walk. I feel like many don’t enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a walk. I am thankful I am not one of these people. I LOVE walking. As far back as I can remember my family has always gone on walks and it has become one of my favorite things to do.

I believe it would make a great date ideas! Grab some coffee and explore a new town each time! I enjoy walking in Campbell, Los Gatos and Mountain View. So many great little areas around Silicon Valley to explore. One of the reasons I love living in the area. ENDLESS DAY TRIPS.

There are so many options of cute date ideas in Silicon Valley. You can never get bored. Like Silicon Valley is a unique, diverse place, make sure your date ideas are the same!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

CA Winter

This was my backyard today. It is February and it’s nice and sunny. It really feels like summer, so I was so happy! 

I was able to sit outside and enjoy the sun’s rays. 

I love living in Silicon Valley. I enjoy the breaks from the cold. 

I believe there is no bad time/season to visit.

Good Times 2015

I have failed.

That was my first thought as I reflected on 2015 and my travels. A new year begins and like many I started to reflect on the previous year and think about what I had accomplished. What were my travel worthy memories of 2015?

My first thought was nothing. It seemed to me that I didn’t accomplish much in the travel department. I didn’t go out of state and I didn’t explore a lot in my backyard.

But soon memories started to flood me and I was surprised to find that I had done a lot more than I gave myself credit for.

First of all, I had traveled out of the state! I went to Chicago again. I was able to travel with a new friend and explore a different side of the city I hadn’t before. The treasures of Chicago shone more brightly for me.

I was able to reconnect with an old friend and meet a new city: Portland, Oregon. Exploring another city on the west coast was truly enjoyable.

And I did explore new discoveries of my home town and surrounding area. By dating a new guy I was open to new interests that I had never known anything about. He is into food and beer. I’m totally not. He has been to a lot of different pockets of Silicon Valley  that I have not. It has been fun exploring the Bay Area with him and trying new things.

I am so happy to have been blessed to have all these amazing experiences.

I am looking forward to 2016 and the new adventures it holds.