Personal Thoughts · Uncategorized

Shows to watch on Netflix and Hulu

I have been watching a lot shows this past quarantine. I wanted to give you some show recommendations to help you find shows to watch. The majority are from Netflix and one is from Hulu. Two are documentaries with several episodes, one is based on a true story, and the other is based on a book. Here are my show recommendations:

  1. Wild Wild Country:  is a documentary on Netflix about a guru and his followers who build a Utopian city in a small town in Oregon. It causes conflict with people who were already living in the town.
  2. The Keepers:  a documentary on Netflix about a nun’s death who taught in Baltimore. It explores her unsolved murder. Her murder still has not been solved.
  3. Waco: a true story about a stand-off that took place in Waco TX in 1993. It was between the FBI and ATF and the Branch Davidans (David Koresh’s spiritual group) This show is also on Netflix.
  4. Little Fires Everywhere: It’s based on a book. It’s on hulu it’s about two mothers who changed each others lives. One mother comes from a picture perfect family and the other is a mysterious single mom.
Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

After this Pandemic

Next weekend I was suppose to go to Chicago. It was going to be my first solo trip without a tour group or staying with a friend. I was going to be in my own airbnb in the cute neighborhood of Pilsen. I would of enjoyed some beautiful street art in Pilsen, eaten delicious deep dish pizza, visited local bars, met up with an old friend, see the Willis Tower and other tourist areas in Chicago. Obviously, the trip had to be postponed. Now next weekend, I will be at home. I have been doing that for a month and I am fortunate to be able too. However, I think its making me lethargic. That’s why I had to go for a walk outside yesterday. Also, the fact that we will not be getting back to normal for awhile is making me feel like I am wasting so much time. At least before, I could control going on a trip and seeing friends/family. Now I do not have control, I just have to wait. I have to wait till things get better and not concentrate on things I can not control.

This pandemic has made realize even more that we need to do things we love when we can. We do not know whats going to happen in the future. I did not know this pandemic would happen. Even though experts predicted it, I did not pay attention. I was not prepared and I did not always do things I wanted. Things I love doing are traveling, trying new restaurants, and exploring my city. I can not do any of those things right now. Now I wish I would of traveled more and explored more things. I wish I would have gone to Italy last summer, visited my parents more, and went to the state fair in Dallas, last year for my birthday. After this pandemic, I want to hug my friends and family, I want to travel more (in Texas, United States, and out of the country), complete all my bucket list blog posts, take more time off, to not wait to go somewhere, and just appreciate what I have. I know being at home all the time is taking a toll on mental health but I feel like this pandemic is going to make me appreciate things more when its over. I do not know when that is going to be. I’m hoping sooner rather than later. So for now, I’m going to sit on my couch, look outside my window, and  pet my cat. I will be taking this pandemic one day at a time.

 

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

Things to do at Home

I was talking to my mom this week and she was saying she should of traveled more. Her excuse before was that she would go later. So she would put off travel because she thought she would go later, when she retires. Now with this pandemic, she wishes that she traveled before it. I know right now is a difficult time for everyone. Especially, for people who have lost their jobs or are in jobs that are really essential that can come across coronavirus everyday. It’s also made me think a lot about many things I took for guaranteed just like my mom feels. For today I decided to be positive about the whole situation. Right now I am fortunate to have a job where I can work from home. Also, I am not alone I’m with my boyfriend and I have great friends that I have been video chatting with.  To continue being positive in this situation and handling things I can control,  I wanted to a create a list of things we can do at home:

Things to do at home:

Decorate your apartment: I have been doing this a lot lately. I think it’s because I moved into a new apartment a month and a half ago. Today, I think I am going to set up my new couch with my new pillows. Then, I will watch a movie and relax on my new couch.

Take a break from social media and the news: I have not done this and I need to this because I really think its getting to me. There was one night, I could not sleep and keep thinking about everything this virus has done. Tomorrow, I will not look at social media, the news, or youtube. 

Have a video chat with friends: I’m so happy that video chat exits. I have been able to use zoom to video chat with friends. I had a happy hour last Friday and a Sunday brunch this past Sunday. It’s been great to connect with friends again and it reminds me that I am not alone. Zoom is free for 45 minutes. I noticed when it logs you off after the 45 minutes, you can log back in.

Plan Future trips: My mom and sister have been wanting to go to Greece. I am hoping summer 2022 or March 2022. I will start saving for that. I know that is awhile but it gives me time to plan and save money. I told my mom we should plan something when she told me she wanted to travel. I’m hoping by mid-late 2022 there is a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 and it will be safe to travel again.

 

Personal Thoughts · Uncategorized

Staying at home for Awhile

I have been home since March 15th for social distancing to flatten the curve for coronavirus. I went out once for groceries but other than that I have been home because I am able to work from home. Last week I was working in my pj’s and I notice that it made it harder for me to concentrate on work. Now I wake up and get dressed like I am going into the office. This has really help me concentrate on work and feel like I am in the office. The days all seem the same now, its difficult to know what day it is. Work does help because some days I have meetings and it helps identify the day of the week. Social distancing and quartieen for a long period of time is something I have never experienced. It is good to take a break from getting dressed, being in traffic, and driving to work. I can catch up on shows that I have been wanting to watch (Game of Thrones), clean and decorate my apartment. I even have a video chat for Friday and Sunday with friends. Friday is happy hour so I need to get my drink of choice and Sunday is brunch.

When I first heard about coronavirus I got scared because I had this feeling in my stomach that it was going to be bad. My mom called me and was worried about me because I had gotten back from Malaysia and Thailand about 3 weeks before it came out the news. I got sick after my trip but I usually get sick after international trips because my sleeping schedule is all off. Back in December coronavirus was not in the news. I know it was happening in China at the time but I did not know about it. I do not think anyone did. I did not get a cough or anything and Malaysia did not have any known cases at the time it was out in the news. I think there was in Thailand but not in Phuket. I think my mom got me paranoid. I had been back from my trip for almost a month. Also, when I got back I just stayed at home with a really bad cold. I had to be on antibiotics afterwards because I could not stop sneezing because I had gotten a sinus infection. That is when my mom called me was during my antibiotic treatment. It was weird because I did get a feeling that coronavirus was going to be bad but then I forgot about it. I lived my life like it was not going on in the rest of the world. I did not prepare with can foods or frozen foods or any disinfectants. I went out with friends and traveled to other Texas cities. Then, I got another call from my mom at the end of February to prepare and get can food in case I had to be quarantine for 14 days. My brother had told her to prepare and that is when I remember about it again. Now, it’s really bad in the United States the WHO says we will be the next epicenter. We are actually number three in the United States with coronavirus cases and that is actually not a true number because we do not have enough tests. Our number can be double what is currently recorded. Also, we prepared later than Italy did. We just barely got put on lock down two weeks ago. So for right now I have a lot frozen foods, I have not been going out, and I have been talking to my friends. I am very fortunate that I can work from home and that I have good friends.

I heard a podcast called Factually with Adam Conover. Adam asked a doctor what he thinks the next 2 months looks like. He said that he feels positive because he really believes people will flatten the curve and that more tests will be available. He thinks some cities in the United States will be able to open bars and restaurants back up. Cities that do not have a lot of cases of coronavirus. He says we will not be able to have big events until a vaccine or really effective treatment is out. It can take about 18 months to create a vaccine. Basically, 2020 will be a very interesting and difficult year but we will get through is. I do not know what the means for people that have trips schedule later in summer or fall. I rescheduled my Chicago trip to October and Italy is for September. I might have to cancel both depending on how my city is and how the other places are. I am positive about everything. I know China and South Korea are doing a lot better. I really do have hope that it will get better in the United States too. I like to thank all health care professionals, grocery story staff, truck drivers, and everyone else who has been helping during this pandemic. We will get through this, we just need to do our part so health care workers are not overwhelmed.

 

 

Personal Thoughts · Travel

Portable WIFI for Traveling Abroad (TEP Review)

TEP wireless provides internet for international travelers anywhere they go. TEP calls it pocket WiFi and it’s secure unlimited internet and you rent it for $6.95 a day. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about staying connected abroad.  Usually when I travel internationally, I depend on finding WiFi at my hotel or coffee shop. My past two international trips I did not do that. It was such hassle not having access to my phone at all times. So for my Spain and Malaysia/Thailand trips I  got the TEP, portal WiFi and unlimited internet. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I did not want to spend the money on the TEP before but it was so worth it. I was able to stay connected with people back home with Facebook messenger and whatsup, yelp restaurants, use apple maps to find my way around, and request an uber. It was amazing to have my phone abroad at all times.

For Spain, I only had to use my WiFi for one country. It was about $66.81, I got a coupon for 15% off for my first time use. If it’s your first using TEP, email them for a promo code. I carried the TEP in my purse. The majority of time it worked. There were times it did not. For instance, I was buying wine at a grocery store and it did not work there. I think because the grocery store was underground. Also, if you’re going to be out all day. I would bring a probable battery charger to charge your TEP. I had to do this anytime I knew I was about going to be out all day because the TEP would run out of battery. Other then that, TEP was great.

Malaysia in Thailand I had to choose the Asia country option.  It was about $122.50 for 7 days. It was more expensive than Spain because I was going to more than one country. However, I wanted to have my TEP  work at all times. So, I was willing to pay the extra when I was in Thailand for 2 days. My TEP was similar like it was in Spain, it worked the majority of the times. It do not work very well when I was on my boat tour in Thailand but everywhere else it did. I can’t imagine traveling internationally without TEP now.

The TEP will not work on making regular phone calls or text messages on your phone. I was able to use other apps to make phone calls like Facebook messenger, facetime my parents, and TEP has an app too for phone calls. Also, anyone that had an iPhone I could imessage them. The TEP provides unlimited WiFi, a TEP voice calling app, and an emergency service. The way it works is your order the TEP for the country or countries you’re going too and the dates. Then they ship it to your home and when you’re traveling connect with the TEP to your phone. After your trip you can ship it back to TEP. I completely recommend it and they have fast customer service if you ever have a problem with your TEP. I know its extra money for your trip but if you don’t have an international plan or do know want to get a SIM card, I would get the TEP.

 

Personal Thoughts · Uncategorized

What I Learned in Three Years of Blogging

Feb 8th was the day of my blogging anniversary. I still can not believe it has been three years, time really does fly by. I started my blog because I was having a career meltdown. Well not a meltdown but I did not what I wanted to do with my life. My friend Carl calmed me down and asked what I like to do. Thanks to Carl, my “career meltdown”, and my love of writing my blog was created. In my blog I talk about traveling, things I do around Austin, and my personal thoughts. My blog has taught me a lot and it helps me have something of my own. Something that makes me who I am. Here are three things I have learned in three years of my blog:

Be Active:

Be active with your blog by posting often, interacting with other bloggers, and if you have social media post it on your blog. The more active you are, the more interaction you will get and the more people you will meet. It really helps to be active and making your blog a part of your life. Believe me it so worth it.

Prepare Your Future Blog Posts:

What has been helping me is drafting my posts in advance. I write in a post note and place them in notebook about ideas I want write about. Then I draft my posts on word press. It has been helping me post once a week. Before I left to Malaysia, I wrote down three blog posts I wanted to write about. From there I posted in my drafts and updated my blog to make it public. There have been times where I am constant with my posts and times I have not. This is helping me be consistent and I want to keep it up. Whenever I do not post its in the back of my mind and I want to stop that.

The Blogging Community is Amazing:

I feel like other bloggers really care about other people’s blogs. They want to support you, give you tips, and get to know you. I have met really great people and I have read many amazing blogs. I feel like communicating with others helps you be more engaged in your blog. I’m so happy for the other bloggers I have met and I am happy that I have continued my blog for three years.

If you’re interested in my first blog post, you can find it here: Work mornings

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

What to do When you Have a Long Layover

When our trip to Kuala Lumpur came to an end. We flew back to Doha Qatar where we had an 8 hour layover. We originally were going to explore Doha and stay at a hotel. However, we did not qualify for visas. We decided it would be easier to stay at the airport. When we first got there, we immediately ask staff if there was anywhere we could sleep. They told us there was a quiet room where you could sleep. The quiet room was packed. I feel like we got really lucky when we found two sleeping chairs next to each other. We laid there on sleep chair and tried to sleep. When we were not sleeping, I watched my downloaded movies because the airport wifi did not work. While Lydnsey read her mystery novel. The majority of the time I could not sleep and we really could not explore the airport together because we would lose our seats. We did take turns taking care of the seats, so the other could go to the restroom or get something to eat. I was able to explore the airport a bit and got some snacks. My sleeping seat was almost taken away from me. Lydnsey told me she was falling asleep and a guy was taking my backup off the chair next to her. She woke up because she felt someone there and told him someone was seating there. I’m glad we had each other because if we were alone, we would of lost our seats, anytime we had to go to the restroom. Here are some of tips on what to do on a long layover at an airport:

Find a good quiet place to rest:

When we got to the Doha Qatar airport, we asked an airport staff member where we could sleep. She did tell us of rooms we could pay for but we were looking for something free. She told us about a quiet room that was free where we could sleep. The quiet room was full because it was late at night. However, it was a good room to rest because they had sleeping chairs. When we get to the airport and have you have long late night layover, ask  a staff member for a good place to rest.

Have sleeping gear:

I was freezing in the quite room and I got jealous of the people who had blankets. If you know you will have a long layover, I would bring a blanket, a sleep masks, fuzzy socks, and ear plugs to make it more comfortable. I had a sleeping mask and comfortable socks and it made getting comfortable a lot easier.

Have other entertainment:

If you can not sleep have other entertainment with you. Bring books, downloaded movies on your phone, or a podcast to listen to. Sometimes airports have wifi, so you might not have to download anything. I download things just in case they do not have wifi. My downloaded movies saved me on this layover.

It was disappointing that we did not get to explore Doha Qatar but at least we were able to relax. It is something we needed after our Malaysia and Thailand trip. Especially, with such a huge time difference. Long layovers are easier with a friend. They can help take care of your stuff when you go to the restroom and you have someone to talk too. If you’re going alone to a trip and have a long layover. I would look up the airport before you go. That will help get you extra prepared.

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

Why Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is Underrated

Back in April my friend Lydnsey invited me to go to Vietnam. I was excited because I have never been there and I heard amazing things. However, the plane ticket was more expensive and we wanted to try to do a more inexpensive trip. She found that Malaysia was a good price, it was $1,000 dollars and it was inexpensive to visit. I was not ever sure where exactly Malaysia was. I had never even heard of the city Kuala Lumpur. I bought my plane ticket and started researching. I even looked up my friends on Facebook to see who had been there to message them. According to my Facebook only eight people had checked in to Malaysia. When usually it’s a lot more on my Facebook. Even going to the airport for my trip, airport staff were really curios why Malaysia? People were stunned I was going for vacation. I had never gotten that reaction before. I was in Kuala Lumpur for a couple days and had an amazing time. I feel like tourists should visit it more. I know from the United States its a long flight but it was so worth it.

Kuala Lumpur is inexpensive, it has many sights, and it’s very diverse (Chinese, Indian, and Malaysians). Here were some of my favorite things:

Batu Caves: It’s a Hindu temple about 30 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur. They have 272 steps. Also, if your a women make sure you’re wearing pants, a maxi skirt, or a maxi dress to enter the temple. I wore shorts and has to pay 5 Malaysian Ringgits ($1.23 dollars) to wear a long skirt They do give 2 Malaysian Ringgit back ($0.49 cents) when you return the skirt. There is also these cute monkeys walking around but be careful because they take your food and drinks. I would advise to not take food and drinks with you to go to the Batu caves.

Eat Street: This place has so many restaurants. My friend and I ended up choosing a Chinese restaurant. We got noodles with chicken. My meal was $4.00 dollars with a coke. Then after we got mango and sticky rice for dessert for $2.00 dollars. Eat Street was a four minute walk from our hotel. I really recommend MOV hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Menara Kuala Lumpur: Our first taxi driver recommended this to us to see a view of the city.  It’s a communications tower and it’s the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world. It was an amazing view, we got a lot pictures. we did not get seat in the box because we had an hour wait. We decided to eat at an Indian restaurant downstairs. I had a samosa and two tiger beers.

Pavillion Mall-  Is located in the Bukit Bintang district. It has three major components a retail mall, an office block, and two residential towers. The mall is amazing, it has lots of shopping and amazing restaurants. It was never ending, you can be there all day and still not see everything.

Tean Hou Temple: This Chinese temple is dedicated to the queen of heaven. It’s a beautiful temple and it’s free to visit. They even have a restaurant, if you want to relax and eat.

Butterfly park: This park was so cute, there is butterflies flying around everywhere. One even landed on my friends shoe. They  even an indoor option where you can see different insects from all over the world. The park was about $4.92 dollars. Make sure you bring cash because they do not accept card. If you go to the butterfly park the bird park and national mosque are not far. You can walk to those areas or take a grab (uber there).

Petronas Towers: Of course you have to visit the tallest twin towers in the world. They use to be the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004. I did not do a tour inside because it was sold out. However, there is a park called KLCC park in front of the building that I did not get to see. I saw pictures and it looks amazing. You can even get good pictures of the towers.

There is so much to do in Kuala Lumpur that it was hard to narrow it down on this list. We were recommended by taxi and grab drivers to visit a tea farm. However, it was four hours away from where we were. I wish I could of spend more time there but I am just happy to of been there at all. I know you might not hear a lot about Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia at least. I did not before I went but it is a place I really recommend to visit. The locals are friendly, its very diverse, it inexpensive to visit, and again there is so much to do!!! I hope to go back and see more nature in Malaysia. One grab driver told me there is a lot scenic nature areas to visit.

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

My Boyfriend does not Travel with Me

My boyfriend and I have been together five years. During those years we have not traveled much in the United States or internationally.  He went to Seattle for my 30th birthday and Portland for my summer 2019 trip. All my other trips for the past five years, I have gone alone or with friends. I like to travel so if my boyfriend does not want to go, it’s not going to stop me.  I feel like if I do not travel now when will I? My friends and family do ask why he does not travel with me? It does make me think is he suppose to be going with me? Does it mean it’s a bad relationship? My boyfriend is different than me when it comes to travel. He rather save for other things than travel and I want to save for travel. I know traveling is expensive, so I completely understand. That’s why I try to save for awhile before a big international trip and use travel points when I have them.

Relationships can be difficult because you are both different people. However, you do want to have things in common with your significant other and be apart of each others lives. That means even doing activities that they like that you do not. I do like other things besides traveling. Like exploring my city, Austin and having a lazy day. The fact that I get spend those days with my boyfriend is amazing and I really cherish them. We even do some traveling in cities and towns near Austin. He does want to go to Japan and New York. So I am hoping I can plan those trips soon. I’m trying to see if I can get cheap flight deals.

You might not see me and boyfriend on an international trip any time soon. Unless I find really good flight/hotel deals. However, I do love the times I do spend with him even if it’s not traveling. You will see us visiting Fredericksburg TX a cute wine/German town, trying new restaurants in Austin, having potlucks at our friend’s place, and just spending time together. The fact that we have the time to spend together means the world to me and who knows Japan can have cheap flight deals really soon.

Personal Thoughts · Travel

Top Ten Things I’m grateful for Part 2

I have not been feeling the greatest lately, so I wanted to do a part 2 of Top Ten Things I’m grateful for. My part 1 can be found here. Writing things I am grateful helps me feel more positive and energized. I promised myself back in March of 2018, that every evening I was post top things I am grateful for. However, I have not been doing that. I need to start it back up. This post is to help me start it back up. This one will be shared but the rest will be on my own.

  1. My Spain trip in October
  2. My Malaysia and Thailand trip in December
  3. My Dallas trip this past weekend, to see friends and family8C0DAE09-3A76-4159-B4E6-6AD8179BB051
  4. That Fall is coming up
  5. That I have supported friends
  6. That I can sleep in on the weekends
  7. That emporium pies exists 

  8. That I will be a mentor for a student at UT Austin.
  9. My birchbox supscription
  10. I get to spend time with my friends cats this week.

I notice that when I first start my top 10 things, I have hard time thinking of them. Then I can not stop and realize how many great things I have in my life. It really is very helpful, when you are not feeling your best.