First Days in Shanghai

Hi friends!

Well, it is now day four in Shanghai and what a few days it has been! I landed after the easiest flight ever where I had a whole row to myself from LAX to Shanghai Pudong Airport. My driver picked me up and deposited me at my hotel where I settled in. The next morning I immediately started exploring the city, using the metro system which is very intuitive, easy and reliable (so far). It really puts American transportation to shame!

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Latest Book: The Newcomers by Helen Thorpe

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The latest book that I have finished reading (there are always several that are ongoing) is Helen Thorpe’s latest book The Newcomers which my mother gave to me. I started reading it in the gym, between classes and finally finished it the other day! Helen Thorpe is an incredible journalist that wrote the book Just Like Us which I read in high school about four Latina girls and their journey in school. There is a personal connection I have to Thorpe’s first and most recent book as they are set in Denver Public Schools and I attended Denver East High School. I had a vastly different experience in high school and this book opened my eyes to the hidden challenges refugee students are having as they transition to life and school in America.

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Shanghai Bound

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I have exciting news that this coming August I will be moving to Shanghai, China to kick off my next chapter! I graduated this past May with a degree in Anthropology and certificate in TESOL and am headed to Shanghai to teach English, experience living in the country I was born and travel around one of the most beautiful parts of the world. This has been my plan for several years now and I was fortunate that this past year, my university started a certificate program for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).]

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City of Cenotes

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There were so many memorable parts of the trip (as you can tell), but I can truly say that visiting and swimming in the cenotes blew my mind. It is such a unique part of this area of Mexico and there are over 9000! The water is crystal clear, chilly and something that I would go back to explore more of. A lot of them have become commercialized and require a guide which I think is important so that people don’t damage the formations. We went to three cenotes: Carwash, Sak-Atun and Aktun-Chen. All three were different and something that made for a great afternoon activity!

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The Ruins of Riviera Maya

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If you go the Yucatan/Riviera Maya area of Mexico, I hope you take advantage of visiting all the archaeological sites and ruins that are spread out everywhere and truly awe-inspiring in their history and size. Of course Chichen Itza is world famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but there are several others that I think are worthy of visiting and one that rivals it and was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

 

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Road Trip: Yucatan Peninsula

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Happy New Year to you all! I sit here in my apartment staring out at the snow coming down and can’t help but wish I was back in warm and sunny Mexico! During winter break, I took a week-long trip around the Yucatan Peninsula, spending most of my time in Tulum and Playa del Carmen. I rented a car and drove around and truly had a wonderful time with my sidekick ;). Back in September, I booked flights and accommodations, did a little research and pretty much winged it day-to-day. I thought I would break up the trip into three sections/three posts and give you an inside look on my experience in this incredible part of the world. This first part mostly is about food…my favorite thing.

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Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and the Great Solar Eclipse!

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In the last few days, the weather has been cooler and I can feel the fall breeze coming in. Fall is my favorite time of the year and while it means that it is one of the busiest times of the year for me, it is also one of the most beautiful. Before I transition completely into fall mode, I wanted to look back on an amazing trip this summer to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone that I took with my mom and one of my best friends, Meggi. My mom has always wanted to go to Yellowstone and started talking about this trip years ago, as due to the popularity of the park, reservations need to be made way in advance if you want to stay at the old lodge. We happened to book our trip a week before the eclipse by chance and quickly changed it when we realized the date of the eclipse and that we would be in 99% totality in our location! And let me tell you, it did not disapoint one bit; in fact it far exceeded all expectations I had. I would hear people say that the eclipse was nothing special and that it was okay. Well let me tell you…seeing it in totality was absolutely magical!

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Sheryl Said What Monday

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It is no secret that my mom is hilarious; I think so, my friends think so and apparently you all do too. A few years ago, my mother refused to text and would only talk on the phone or in person. She refused to pay for texting and I didn’t even get a phone until high school (great choice in hindsight). However, in the last few years, she has upped her texting and technology game and I would say has the tendency of the millennial with her Iphone. I fact, she has a newer version of Iphone than I do. One of my favorite things that my mother texts me about is the family cat, Whisky, who is so cute and doesn’t like me unless I feed her. She is a small tuxedo cat and since I no longer get to see her, I like getting the occasional photo….and my mom’s captions to the photos.

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Book Review: Start With Why

 

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“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

Hello long-lost friends! It is often too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, the routine we all can find ourselves settling into. I have neglected this blog much to my dismay! I wish I could blame it on a crazy schedule (true), need to use every spare moment to catch up on sleep (true) or a million other reasons, but excuses don’t really do much of good for anyone. It has been a crazy month since coming home from Bolivia almost a month ago and I still like I have barely had a moment to breathe and process it all. With a new job, another summer class and weekend excursions with friends, I have been one busy bee. I just got back from a weekend road trip back from Texas where I flew down to help a friend drive her car back to Boulder. We spent 48 hours straight together in a car in mostly the middle of nowhere and still are friends!

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Sonia M

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Sonia is pure sunshine. There is no other way to put it as she radiates joy that pours out of her gentle nature, kindness and adorable dimples. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and is emotionally intelligent beyond belief. Her empathy and commitment to learn from everyone she meets is so admirable and I know she is one of those people here on earth that quite possibly is an angel.

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