September 25, 2015

An Endless Midsummer's Night

Look at me, blogging on the road. Now, had I been able to do this while I was on my grand European Tour I might not be posting about it fifteen months later. But then again, the "road" I'm on only involves a measly three cities and five days, rather than six weeks and eight countries; more importantly I have my laptop on hand, some spare time, and fifteen months ago I was too busy making the most extraordinary memories of a lifetime to be worrying about blogging. Better yet, as I've said before, getting to relive those fantastical moments is the best part of writing. So here, for your enjoyment and my reminiscent mind, is country number six: Sweden. 

We arrived at a dinky airport on the periphery of Stockholm on the 21st of June, the Summer Solstice, and date of the Swedish Midsummer celebration.

Anyone who knows my best friends and I well will not find it surprising that at my adamant demand we flew nearly a thousand miles to partake in a foreign holiday, mostly because you get to make flower crowns. Anyone who doesn't know us may call us a little crazy, which we are, so that's fair. 

August 29, 2015

Family is closer than you think

It rained today, not much, but enough to soak the earth and release the sweet, fresh petrichor (thank you Doctor Who for teaching me there is actually a word meaning the pleasant smell after a first rain). Unfortunately, especially for us parched Californians, the rain did not last. That scent, however, seems to have permeated the air and stripped away that last hint of summer. 

Summer has always been my favorite season. An adoration of the schorching season, for most, is spurred out of the freedom it brings, ie. school's out for summer. For me, it has always been a little more. I love the potential of summer, a few months to just detach from reality and soak up all that extra energy from the sun.

Despite the long hours of each day here we are, somehow, already at the end of August. The past few months were spent as they were meant to be, in true unencumbered spirits and venturesome delight. All beginning with a week spent in Idaho with maternal family Jewel and I had never met, but were undeniably related to. 

Most of us have had that moment at some obscure family gathering where you meet someone you haven't seen since you were about two feet tall (a fact they notoriously point out) and after the gushing, you are left with a vacant familiarity.

August 25, 2015

8 tips for falling in love with Paris

The only thing that has been more dragged out than my Euro-trip as a whole, is the four days spent in Paris. To say "I took too many pictures", is an understatement. To say "I can't let go of reminiscing about the splendor that is the City of Light", is just a fact. 

Can anyone really blame me for my infatuation with Paris? Anyone, other than those preposterous people who think Paris is smelly, rude, and overrated? I think not.

So here, despite my nostalgic attachment, is my final post on Paris: our last day and a few tips on how to not be one of the aforementioned, absurd Paris-haters. 

Tip #1: Eat crepes. Specifically, crepes loaded with chocolate and/or Nutella, because no one can sh*t-talk a country that is responsible for this kind of scrumptious treat.   

August 21, 2015

Tragedy on the Pont des Arts

Sometimes we make plans, and they just don't go the way we, well, planned

A little over a year ago, my two best friends and I sat in a chinese restaurant in Paris (because we felt a need to eat it in every foreign country, escargot be damned), talking about our return trip to the city in 40 years. 

The idea of re-living our backpacking trip forty years from now arose when we were in Barcelona and learned that La Sagrada Familia is believed to be completed somewhere in between 2020 and 2040 (2028 to be exact, but the Spanish don't seem to be overly optimistic that it will ever be really completed). In any case, given this excessive range of years and the assumption that we're going to get a little caught up in families, careers, and the craziness that is life over the next four decades, we decided at about 60 we would be ready to recreate the trip and see how Europe evolves in that time.

August 17, 2015

Artful Bliss

When I decided to major in European Humanities, I was constantly asked "Ok, but what is humanities?" In some ways it is hard to define such a broad topic. When you refer to studying history it is still broad, but people understand that you are learning about the past. The humanities often encompasses a study of antiquity, but goes a step further. I chose my major because I wanted to study culture, and that is the focus of a humanities major. Literature, architecture, religion, art, and all forms of human creativity are studied, both past and present. I like the way that the Stanford Humanities Department explains it:

"The humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience...Knowledge of these records of the human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries."

Since graduation and the onset of my post grad crisis, I have sometimes stopped and questioned if I chose the right major: "Maybe I should have majored in something more judicious like Communications or Business". However, despite these moments of self doubt, I am still sure that I chose the correctly in following my passion. Nothing makes me light up like the opportunity to see a great work of art, some great feat of humanity, and that's the kind of zeal I want to build both my future career and life around. 

My trip to Europe was, of course, the ultimate way to feed my love of art, Paris especially. 

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