Travel

The Post-Apocalyptic Saigon Hospital

Becky, braving the infection

Ok, so “post-apopalyptic” might be a bit of an over exaggeration, but not by a whole lot! While rock-climbing in Ha Long (I’ll write about that soon, I swear!) Becky managed to get a small scratch no larger than a piece of long-grain rice. Of course, it’s not that simple in developing countries, where the word “sanitary” has yet to enter the vocabulary. Within two days, it became a swollen, purple mass of scary. And by”scary” I mean that people would glance at it, make a startled noise and say “Oh my god! What happened to your leg?!” We were starting to frighten passerby’s. I supposed this is the time to visit a doctor. Of course, in Vietnam, you don’t go to doctors, you just go to the hospital.  Continue reading

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Travel

Blue Lakes and Fireflies

Lake Aokiko is nestled just south of Hakuba and is by far one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. What makes this lake so amazing is the rich, teal color of the water. It’s a snow-melt fed lake that is one of the purist lakes in all of Japan. Nothing with a motor is allowed out on this lake, preserving it’s crystal clear state. The locals also believe that the water is so cold it will stop your heart. Although, in the summer time, it’s the perfect temperature for swimming, so don’t let that deter you.  Continue reading

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Travel

Matsushima- Still Afloat

If you’re staying in Sendai, a quick day trip could be to Matsushima. It’s definitely worth the small change and 30 minutes it takes to get there. Matsushima (meaning “pine island”) is coveted as one of the top 3 scenic views in Japan. Kris and I were slightly concerned as we knew that this area had been affected by the tsunami. To our great relief, it was still (mostly) in tact.  Continue reading

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Travel

3 Mistakes and 3 Successes in Sendai

If you’re planning to visit Sendai, this might be worth a look. First off, it should be known that my method of travel is anything but relaxing. I like getting up early, and moving a lot. Mind you, there is nothing more I enjoy than sitting in a coffee shop and people watching in a new town. That said, I try to avoid “stagnating.”  I usually just start going, and see where the day takes me. I like my days to be organic with small goals in mind.

Granted, a word of advice: don’t move too quickly or you’ll miss getting a feel for the city and it’s culture. As much as I like packing my days with activity, I still try to take the time to wander through neighborhoods and back alleys to see what I can find. It’s fine to try and hit all the “big stuff” but also remember to take a moment to chill out and blend into the city life. That’s where the real magic of traveling hides.
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Travel

Sendai: Down But Not Out

3D map of Sendai City

On (mostly) a whim, I decided to spend more money than I probably should’ve to grab a shinkansen up to Sendai this weekend with Kris, Joey and her siblings. Thanks to a lucky turn of events, I didn’t have school on Friday. So, bright and early, I was off.

Once Kris and I arrived in Sendai, we essentially grabbed some maps of the area and began walking. This is my favorite style of travel. I call it “that-way-looks-good” style. Our feet carried us all over Sendai, most notably down the two famous tree-lined roads, to the castle ruins, and the mausoleum. Continue reading

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