• unexpected self care

    Over the weekend, I sat down in a cozy common room with some friends and watched Eat Pray Love. I didn’t get the chance to finish the movie, but I left that little common room with the most frustrating, wonderful inspiration to travel, to embark on a journey that would help me “find myself” or meet someone who shows me the entire world within themself. I am aware that I spent a whole year doing exactly that, but I feel as if I’ve regressed back into my pre-gap year self with the added stressors of school and reality. I feel as if I didn’t fully figure out my entire self (but then…

  • unexpected tips: IPSY for the glam traveler

    Alright, I’ve gotta admit it. As much as I talk about being a traveler who prides herself in carrying her life in a carry-on rucksack, I do love to put makeup on and dress up for evenings out. Balancing that inner girly-girl with the more prominent dirty hippie is certainly a challenge, especially when that girly-girl wants to carry an entire bag dedicated to makeup. Recently I was sent an ipsy glam bag, and that’s solved my problems! ipsy is a beauty subscription service that sends you a small pouch full of beauty-related samples every month for just $10 a month! It’s not too expensive, so your travel funds won’t be used up! The…

  • unexpected serendipity

    Hmm, 12 days at home? Where could I fly to instead? Nepal? Ooh, Everest Base Camp trek… Sounds good. Leaves in 6 days? Doable. Book. One year ago, I would never have done anything so completely on a whim. I’ve spent the last twelve months in Vietnam, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Nepal, Australia, Thailand, and Cambodia, not to mention other destinations, and honestly? I hadn’t planned going to half of them. This past year, I’ve let serendipity completely be my guide, and now, after playing around with the art of planned unplanning, I challenge all of you to give it a try. Good things happen when you occasionally throw your plans to the wind.…

  • unexpected repatriation

    Repatriating to the US has definitely highlighted my love for the world. I landed in Boston on the evening of the 29th and immediately went to my old fencing club to say hi to my old coach. As soon as I got to hug him, I was teary- going back to the familiar made me remember how much I had loved my life in Boston. Sometimes an absence from the things you love only makes you love them more. That definitely includes food. I’ve been eating loads of whatever I couldn’t get in Singapore- Cheez-its are the main culprit. The freshman 15 may soon turn into the freshman 50, so time…

  • unexpected ends

    Everything is only just beginning for me, but simultaneously, everything is ending. I’m flying back to Boston, back to the USA. The first two years I spent in Singapore, this flight to Boston was all I was looking forward to. I just wanted a flight back home. Now that the day I’ve been waiting for is here, I want nothing more than to miss my flight. I’m not ready to go back to the US. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home country, but during the past three years abroad, I’ve changed into a totally different person, one that isn’t fully ready to go back to her US lifestyle.…

  • unexpected birthday: one

    Hey guys! I lied in my last post. There are no photos in this post but I PROMISE THEY’LL COME SOON. I’ve just landed in Copenhagen, Denmark! What a day. It’s been hectic. Leaving London, I felt super off. I found myself not too excited to travel, a little unsure of what I was doing and why I was so enthralled with sightseeing. I felt like that the entire plane ride, just utterly lost and bored. Luckily, the second I stepped off the plane, I was more than ready to get exploring! A whole new city! C o p e n h a g e n. It was in that…

  • unexpected tips: how to prepare for long haul flights (trip prep pt 3) + update

    Hello Hello! Today’s post is going to be a little bit everywhere, as I’ve got the third part of my planning series here as well as a big update, as the next few weeks are quite busy! Here’s what’s in store- As you’re reading this, I’ll be in the air, flying to reunite with Sophia, one of my closest friends. I haven’t seen her in fourteen months (14!!!), and London is our little reunion/getaway before school starts. If everything went as planned, I’ll have woken up bright and early this morning, at around 3:45am and flown through KL to London Heathrow. I haven’t been to London in 7 years, so it’s…

  • unexpected home (…i think)

    7 days. Only 7 more days to spend eating laksa and chicken rice, only 7 days to walk along the Singapore river, only 6 nights to sleep in my own bed. Leaving Singapore is a super bittersweet feeling; It’s great to finally be going back “home” to the States, but it’s also incredibly sad leaving the Singapore I’ve grown to love. I am positive I’ll be returning at some point in my life, but the Singapore I know will be gone. I’ve always referred to Massachusetts as my home, despite only spending two years there. Recently however, I’ve been struggling to figure out what I consider home. Is it a place? Where my parents are? Where I sleep? In…

  • unexpected overview: gap year

    I decided to call an end to my gap year, as I’m starting university soooon and technically, my gap year should have ended about 4 weeks ago (around when I left last year). It’s been the most incredible year, and I’ve learned an insane amount during the past 12 months. I couldn’t be happier with how I chose to spend this year, and I feel incredibly blessed & lucky to have been able to have such crazy little adventures. Overview: Gap Year The Numbers Total Kilometers Traveled: 109,066 km In the air (by plane): 94550 km In the sea (by boat): 3988 km On the tracks (by train): 7666 km On the…

  • unexpected rant: why traveling sucks

    Why Traveling Kinda Sucks There’s nothing like returning home from a trip. You return to the comfort of your bed, the laughter of family and friends, the same old routine you used to have. Frankly, coming home from traveling is returning back to your old life. As you’ve traveled around, you have changed into a different person. You learn that your life back at home is easy and wonderful. Living abroad, in a collection of hostels, hotels, and homestays, has made you appreciate your “real” life, the life with hot showers and actual beds, walls that actually conceal noise. You don’t need to filter your water before drinking it. You…