Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can seem scary, especially since you’re out of your comfort zone. You can either be traveling out of the country or a different city.  However, when you want to travel and can’t find anyone to join you, traveling alone is a great option. If I let traveling alone get in the way, I would of missed traveling to a lot wonderful places. Such as Ireland and Germany. When you think about traveling out of the country, there is different options you can take. You can travel alone with a travel group, you can meet a friend that lives in the country, or you can backpack.

Travel Group

Traveling with a tour group helps a lot because they set up everything for you. They can set up your plane ticket, hotels/hostels, a tour guide, and sometimes even meals.  I feel like this is a perfect if its your first time traveling abroad or for a high school or college student. When you travel with a travel group, you will meet a lot people in your group. Some are also traveling alone. I never felt alone when I traveled with a travel group. Also, your tour guide can recommend great places for you and how to stay safe. What I noticed in travel groups is some people actually backpacked or meet a friend after the group ended.

Meeting a Friend

I never met a friend in a different country. I have traveled to places in the United States and have met a friend. This option is probably the easiest because you get the chance to meet with a local. They will recommend place to go and what places to avoid (tourist traps). There will be times when you’re alone but the majority of time you’re not. When I went to New York city, I had to take a train by myself to meet my friend. She told me what train to take and where to meet her. Even this still confused me but I was able to get help from strangers. Also, I kept in contact with my friend as much as I could.

Backpacking

This is good if you want to travel on your own schedule. You can set up what places you want to go and where you want to stay. I had a close friend that traveled through different countries in Europe and stayed in hostels and hotels. It was her first time traveling abroad and she had a good experienced. She met a lot people in the hostels and even met up close friends. If you want to do this, there is plenty information online and in travel books about how to set up your travels. Also, I like to look at youtube videos of people that have travel vlogs.

No option is better than the other, this is more of your preference. This article is to help you not be afraid to travel alone. Either way all these options can help you travel and met other people.

Denver

Denver is definitely an outdoor city. They have skiing, kayaking, rafting, biking and hiking trails, mountain climbing, and so much more.  Denver is beautiful, the whole state of Colorado is gorgeous. I loved seeing the mountains in the distance as well as the Denver skyline. Of course, there is more to Denver than the scenery and outdoor activities. They have many museums, breweries, and professional sports teams.  I had the opportunity to see Denver while visiting my friend Heather. She let me stay with her for a couple of days and not only  showed me around Denver but outside of the city too. It was an amazing experience.

Day 1

I got there around 2:00 PM. The first thing we did, was eat a late lunch at City O’ City. It’s a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free restaurant and it damn delicious. We ordered the seitan buffalo wings and BBQ wings for an appetizers. For an entree we shared a BBQ bowl with seitan, vegan mac&cheese, kale, and coleslaw. Along with bloody Mary’s. After lunch we walked to the People’s Fair located in the Civic Center Park. The fair had free entrance and had booths sealing jeweler and clothing. We didn’t stay long but I had a nice time seeing the booths and the park. The park has a good view of the capital and fountain in the middle.

After the fair we went back to Heather’s place and got ready to enjoy Denver night life. First place we went to was a brewery called the Great Divide. We both ordered a Strawberry Rhubarb sat outside and enjoyed the nice summer weather. The weather was nice in cool at night. The beer was delicious and I liked their yeti theme. The brewery closed early and we headed to Finn’s Manor Bar. The bar had a diverse array of food trucks, cocktails, and craft beer. The bar gave me an Austin feel with the open patio and food trucks. They had many areas we could order drinks. We ordered cocktails and a frozen rose’. We bar hopped for bit but another bar the stood out was Matchbox bar. The bar also had a huge patio with wall murals and bar games. After all the bar hopping we got late night pizza and walked home.

Day 2

This was outdoor activity day. We drove an hour and half to the Incline near Colorado Springs. The whole drive was beautiful. Colorado landscape is full green/white mountains as well as red rocks. The drive was not boring at all. We even stopped to take pictures by the Air Force area. We got to the inline in good time and noticed it’s beauty. The incline had a $10 dollar parking charge, which is to keep the incline beautiful. However, it was way out of our hiking range. As soon as we got there it had these stairs to hike to the top of the mountain. We tried to see how far we could get but we didn’t make it far. These led us to Garden of the Gods. This was a free park with beautiful red rocks. Heather and I walked around and took in the scenery. Pictures were a must as well. We stay for about 30 mins. grabbed a bite to eat while we hydrated. FYI the whole time we hydrated, we had plenty of water in the car. When we got back to Denver we ate at a restaurant called the Jerusalem Place. I ordered the vegetarian plate. This place has good prices, great good, and stays open late. I was really tired when we go back to Heather’s, I only had a couple of sips of wine and fell asleep.

Day 3

We had a chance to have a picnic at Bear Creek Lake Park. I got the crunchy roll sushi at trader Joe’s and Heather got a spring roll.  The lake was perfect it had sand and a nice view of the Lakewood mountains. The weather was really windy that day, so we didn’t get into the lake. Instead, we put down towels on the sand had a picnic, talked, and people watched. I was surprise there was some people swimming in the lake because it was a cold day. however, the wind did get really crazy and it started raining, everyone left including us. I had been wanting to see the Red Rock Amphitheater and we drove by since we were near. The rain had stopped for a bit and I had chance to take pictures of the beautiful, phenomenal venue. A bucket list thing, is to see a concert there. It’s on my list for sure.

For the night, we decided to grab dinner at sliceworks and have a beer at Denver Beer Company. The beer we both got was called the Princess Yum Yum. It was a raspberry beer. It was tasty, it wasn’t to strong and was an easy beer to drink. The brewery was nice it had a front patio where people can bring there dogs. We sat inside but the doors were open to the outside. It was weather I could get use to.  To end the night we saw Wonder Women. It’s a movie I recommend, by the way.

IMG_1760

Day 4

Day 4 was when I had my flight back to Austin. This day was just catching up with Heather and driving by the Denver skyline and Broncos Stadium.

My trip was a really good experience. I really liked Denver, its probably one of my favorite cities so far. Colorado is just beautiful, I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The weather is also nice in the summer, we drove with the windows down and Heather’s apartment also had the windows down. Something you don’t really do in Texas. Also, just being able to hang out with Heather and having a girls time made it a memorable experience. Trips are always more fun with friends.

Boston Memories

It’s been awhile since I went to Boston, March of 2011. I was still a college student that had spring breaks. I knew that year I wanted to do something for spring break because it was going to be my last one. I asked my high-school friend, Andrea if I could visit her in Boston. She had lived there awhile and I knew she could show me a local view of the city. Yes, I also did touristy things. In Boston I had some first experiences, enjoyed touristy things, and got to catch up with old friends in Boston.

First Experiences

Boston was the first place I rose a subway, they call it the T. Texas doesn’t have them and it was interesting for me to experience. I liked that we didn’t have to worry about parking. For dinner one night, we had to take two different subways and a bus to get to a restaurant. That what something I wasn’t use to because in Texas we just use cars to get somewhere. I even kept my subway ticket as a  souvenir. I do hope that Texas can get better public transportation similar to Boston.

Boston was the First East Coast city, I visited. I fell in love with the buildings because they were older and had more character. There was a more of story to Boston, then any of the other cities I had visited before. Boston opened more travel opportunities for me. After that I was not scared to travel alone.

Tourist things

  • Harvard

Andrea was able to take me to Harvard. I noticed a lot tourists like myself at the university. I can’t imagine how the students and employees feel. It’s probably something they are use to. I thought Harvard was beautiful with so much history. I loved the buildings and outside scenery.

  • Little Italy

When my friend Andrea was at work, I was able met with another old friend, Andrew. He was able to show me his favorite restaurant and bakery in Little Italy. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the names of these wonderful places. What I do recommend is visiting Little Italy in Boston. I had an amazing experience and delicious food. What I also remember was sitting by a window at the restaurant eating chicken parmigiana and catching up with an old friend. After, our meal we got tiramisu.

  • Boston Commons

We took the tiramisu and ourselves to the Boston Commons. It’s a central public park in downtown Boston. We found a bench, sat down, talked and enjoyed the tiramisu. I was able to enjoy a nice view of Downtown Boston. After this experience, I appreciated parks more. After, the park we bar hopped downtown.

196965_774277874025_1947714_n

Harvard

201291_774265748325_2703502_o

Boston Commons

Spending a couple days in Boston was a great experience for me. I was able to catch up with old friends and get local views of the city. I really do hope to visit Boston again, maybe a 4th of July trip.

Future Trips

I’m always looking for my next trip. Whether it’s a Texas trip, an out of state trip, or a an international trip. Planning these trips gets me get motivated through my work weeks and makes me happy. Here is my list of trips that I have planned. Some have already been set up and others I’m still working on.

  • Denver Colorado: I will be going to Denver in the beginning of June. This trip is set, I bought my plane ticket and asked the days off from work. I will be visiting a good friend of mine and she wants to show me beautiful nature places. I can’t wait to see the green and the beauty and spend time with a close friend.
  • Seattle Washington: I’m planning to visit Seattle in October. It’s for my birthday. I have only driven by Seattle and this time I want to experience the city. I want to see more of the green and mountains, have brunch on the space needle with a view, and walk around Pikes Place. I also want to see the first Starbucks Coffee. I am aware the weather might not be that great but this helps me get the true experience.  The plane ticket and stay haven’t been set up yet. I planing on buying the plane ticket the beginning of next month. For the say, I might stay at Airbnb with some close friends.
  • The Greek Islands: is for Summer 2018. This trip has also not been set up yet, I’m planning on going with a tour group and two close friends. Greece has been a dream place for me, since The Sisterhood and the Traveling Pants movie. I want to experience a sunset on Santorini and go wine tasting on the high cliffs. Wine with a view, what more could I ask for? I really want this trip to become a reality, I want to experience the culture and see those beautiful views. I am hoping to sign up with the tour group this month.

 

New Orleans Favorites

I have been to New Orleans four times. The first time was in March of 2004. I was able to see the St. Patrick’s parade and visit a bit of the shops. The second time I went was during Halloween 2014 for a friend’s bachelorette party. I felt like I experienced more of New Orleans my second time. The third time, I went to Jazz fest with my boyfriend. My final time was this past January. It was freezing but I still had a blast. New Orleans is fun and a cultured city. I love the food, the art, and the traditions. Since, I have been to New Orleans a couple of times, I wanted to talk about my favorite things about the city.

My favorites of New Orleans:

15895826_10103086633433905_4357981620044947196_o

Coffee

Spitefire Coffee opened in 2013 as the first specialty coffee shops in New Orleans. I had their vanilla latte and it was delicious. I definitely went back this past January.

Restaurants:

Brunch

Ruby Red Slipper is great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. The food is delicious and they have a variety of breakfast cocktails.

Lunch

Port of Call has great burgers. Instead of offering fries for a side they offer a baked potato. Believe me, the baked potato is delicious. You wont even miss the fries.

Dinner

K-Paul’s is known for blackened red fish. The chef Paul Prudhomme introduced blackened food and turducken. He popularized Cajun cuisine. Obviously, this place is a must try.

Dessert

Cafe du Monde is a must try for beignets, coffee, or hot chocolate. It is a touristy place and will mostly likely be packed but it’s open 24 hours. I usually go after midnight, when there is fewer people.

 

15874927_10103085283359465_3831192412088801607_o

Cafe Du Monde. Beignets  & Hot Chocolate

Park

Jackson Square is a must see. It is a historic park in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The park has a Jackson statue at the center and the Saint Louis Cathedral is located there. Jackson Square is beautiful and I try to stop by every-time I am in New Orleans.

Night Life

Bar

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is the oldest bar in the United States. It’s also the oldest building in New Orleans.  They have been serving beer and frozen drinks since the 1700’s. It was build during the 1720’s.  This bar is located on Bourbon and Philip street.

Both Bourbon street and Frenchmen are good for bar hopping. Bourbon street is more popular and has a lot more to offer. However, Frenchmen is calmer and offers a different side to New Orleans. I went to Frenchmen for the first time this past January and I fell in love. I was able to see some art, hear some jazz music, and of course visit bars.

15895436_10103086337781395_7802926967709326551_o

Me on Frenchmen