On Friends

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The past few weeks I’ve spent can be summarized in short: food, fun, canals, markets, bars, swings, drinks, art, smiles, giggles, laughs of all sorts, rooftops and undergrounds, castles, crepes, and candy, green, Guinness, fog, and most importantly, friends.

I’ve found myself strolling the East Side Gallery in Berlin with Natalie and Sabrina, sipping Prosecco overlooking Prague with Yao, and running around the St. Patricks Day Parade in Dublin with all my best friends from school and back home. It makes the biggest difference as to what kind of people you let into your life. These are the people that lift you up and genuinely make you a better you. My friends are people that I look up to every day in life and are some of the biggest influences in my life.

Sabrina is one of the funniest people I’ve met but is also one of the most hard working and genuine people I know. Natalie is a little ball of sunshine that shines on even the cloudiest of days. Aury is a cute Persian Meerkat that knows me like the back of her hand and is always there for the good times and the bad. I admire how much knowledge Yao contains and how her witty jokes never get old. Josh can make you laugh at literally any point of the day and is one of the most well-versed and beautiful poets out there. Nasty Nate, contrary to your name, you’re the absolute sweetest and kindest human being there is – a true gentleman which nowadays is so rare to come across. To my dear Eliza, we’ve quite literally traveled the globe together so whether we’re cheers’ing Pilsners in Ecuador or Guinness in Dublin, I’m so happy you’re by my side. And Iris, oh Iris, she is somehow one of the silliest people in the world yet so driven and talented at following her dreams.

So here’s to you friends, thank you for these past few weeks and years of my life. You guys make me whole and truly make the world a better place! I can’t wait to see where life takes us next ❤

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Bliss in the Swiss

If you haven’t seen my thousands of pictures by now, I spent this past weekend soaking in the sun (and rain) in Interlaken, Switzerland. It was my first real trip, despite a quick overnight stay in Vienna last weekend to visit an old friend. Vienna was beautiful – we walked around a butterfly exhibit and strolled through Schönbrunn Palace, saw St. Stephen’s Cathedral, grabbed a few drinks, and then I was off!

Another few days passed in Prague, where my friends and I successfully continued our tradition of not going to the same place twice. Sammy and I discovered an amazing pasta place right across from our house where we got gnocchi and risotto. Then, back to packing for another weekend of fun!

Although the bus ride was a tragic 11 hours, it was well worth it. The first day in Interlaken was cloudy and overcast, so we took refuge in Funky Chocolate Club where we made our own Swiss chocolate! We then meandered the streets, stumbling upon a few cute shops before the rain rolled in and we were forced inside. We ended our night with fondue, which in my opinion tasted and smelled like feet.

The next day was absolutely stunning. Crystal clear skies reflected turquoise blue on the lake, and it was perfect temperature for our 11am paragliding session! Shannon, Padget and I were able to go together. Even the view from the car window was beautiful, but absolutely nothing compared to what was coming. The instructors didn’t really instruct, rather they just suited us up, buckled us in, and told us to start running. Before I knew it, my feet were dangling and we were hundreds of feet up suspended between trees, lakes, and snow-topped mountains. I spent the entire 30 minutes taking it all in, breathless. There is no real way to describe that feeling – invigorating, alive, insane… it could go on forever. We pretty much talked about it the entire rest of the day over bottles of wine at the edge of Lake Brienz. To top it off, we came back for sunset with the rest of our crew, listened to music, skipped rocks, and fed some happy Swiss cows handfuls of salt.  Recipe for the perfect day: achieved.

Finally, Sunday rolled around and it felt good to go home. Prague really is a home now, being able to return and relax after a long weekend. This is exactly what I needed and exactly what I wanted. I cannot wait for the adventures to come.  Next stop: Berlin!

Check out the Gallery for more pictures!

 

Prague ; the beginning

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It’s been roughly a week here in Prague. To sum it up would be to merge every emotion you think can be humanly possible, pull them apart, break them, deprive them of sleep, throw them around through classes and pubs, and finally, 10 days later, give them just one small moment to finally start to settle.

Prague has been everything I could imagine and more. Strolling the streets always ends in a cute cafe on the side of the road while stumbling past art installations and historic sites on the way. A night on the town means meeting new people, singing to 80’s throwbacks, and hopping from pub to club. Choosing to travel to a place all on my own where the language, weather, and culture would be so different was a hard decision to make but I have never felt more confident in my choice.


I was the first of my apartment to arrive, but one by one my roommates appeared and day by day they became some of my closest friends. They all know other people in our building, so it was easy to make a few new friends. After a couple days of following the guides of where to go and what to eat, we decided we were going to stop looking at them and get to know the city on our own. Some of the best meals I’ve had so far were from random pubs on the side of the road for no more than $4. My favorite was this delicious meal on the left from Kozovna Lidika – fresh fish in a creamy sauce with a potato pastry and to compliment it, a liter of Prague’s famous half light half dark “řezané pivo.” Other favorites included a light breakfast from Cafe Savoy and $3 eggs benedict from Cafe Corte di Anglelo. Money truly does go a long way here!


When people describe Prague as a fairytale, they aren’t lying. The snow-adorned rooftops and pastel buildings perfectly line the river’s rims, and if you continue your gaze you can see the beautiful Prague Castle nestled atop a hill. I’ve had some time here to wander around and see landmarks such as Old Town Square and spray paint the John Lennon wall, but what I’m really looking forward to is later this week when we get to visit castles such as this one and Krivoklát Castle in another area of the Czech Republic.


I’ll try and post more as the days start getting less hectic, but as for now Našhledanou and head to my Gallery to see more photos!

It’s 5:29

haze

It’s 5:29
fog has sunken into the valley and
the sun is low
purple haze collects
where the city streets
meet the ocean breeze
and for a minute
the world is still
But then
I realize

It’s 5:30
and although the moment has passed
and the sky becomes grey
the world is still beautiful
And I fall in love
all over again.

Beyond the Bridge

I’ve been back at Berkeley for about a month and a half now, and beyond recruitment, classes starting up, and catching up with friends old and new, I haven’t had a moment to just breathe. Last Friday, 3 of my best friends and I set apart our whole afternoon to escape the Berkeley bubble and explore a bit. We set out in Natalie’s bug with the initial plans of roaming the city, and somehow found ourselves dipping through art museums and venturing way beyond the bridge.


We started off at the Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum where Nat picked up some coffee and we aimlessly wandered through hallways and rooms of frozen history. There were some really, really interesting pieces – but here’s just a few of my favorites.


While searching for food, we took a wrong turn and all of a sudden we were crossing the bridge. We decided to let Natalie guide us through her home of Marin county, showing us parts of Sausalito, Mill Valley, and my personal favorite, Tiburon.


We curbed our hunger by stopping at Sol Food, a Puerto Rican diner. Natalie talks about it all the time – and it was even better than she built it up to be! Mango iced tea, rice and beans, and a bistec sandwich.


 We proceeded to Tiburon to catch the sunset. The clouds were building that day, so we knew it was gonna be a good one.


good people, good day