21 07, 2017
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My Thirty Minutes as Lizzie McGuire

Traveling is often a weird negotiation between expectation and reality—expectations can easily lead to disappointment, especially if they're shaped by movies. This is particularly true of Rome, whose monuments have served as backdrops for a number of iconic films. There's La Dolce Vita, which has had generations hoping to pull an Anita Ekberg and frolic in the Trevi Fountain (not allowed). People climb the Spanish Steps hoping to inherit an ounce of Audrey Hepburn's style [...]

15 06, 2017
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Getting Lost in London

Who would win: a directionally-challenged girl with no data plan, a fraught history with maps, and a shaky understanding of the concept of “north,” or the entire city of London?  For those keeping score at home, the answer is London. To be fair, London’s mean streets and I do not have a relationship of pure antagonism: I’ve been saved quite a few times by handy little street maps (ah, the existential reassurance of a “you [...]

13 06, 2017
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I Couldn’t Put My Contacts in Until I Couldn’t Speak the Language

Like riding a bicycle, or learning a language, putting in contacts is something you can learn at a young age and—once you learn it—you’ll never forget. It’s the kind of thing that can be maddeningly frustrating to master, but then seems laughably easy once it becomes habit. When I got contacts for the first time in May, when I was finally sick of waving at people I thought I knew only to find a stranger [...]

30 05, 2017
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A Journey to the Crotch of Lake Como

I took a train from Milan to Como, and then a ferry across Lake Como to the small town of Bellagio. Located on what some people have called “The Crotch of Lake Como,” (because the lake is roughly shaped like a pair of pants) Bellagio was famed for being a lakeside idyll, a famous destination for visitors looking to get away from it all. I had some trouble getting to Bellagio in the first place, [...]

15 07, 2016
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The Steel Elephant

Hi there, welcome to my blog! This first post recounts the day I arrived in Spain last August, where I would be living for the next five months…   August 8, 2015: So, here we are. We have arrived in Spain. And yes I do mean we, not just I, because I have traveled here with my entire family. Although college students decide to study abroad for a variety of reasons, I [...]

1 07, 2016
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Cryin’, Sneezing’, and Snottin’

York is an old, old town, full of history and ancient buildings. I’m also pretty confident that York is home to a lot of old, old dust, which for me translates into watery eyes and sneezing that just won’t quit. There’s nothing quite like having snot dripping down your face when you’re trying to buy a ticket to a museum, or having eyes so red and watery people look at you like you’ve [...]

10 06, 2016
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A Delightful, Relaxing, Totally Conflict-Free Moroccan Bus Ride

Just kidding. 10:30am – Unclear if I'm on the right bus. Everyone else seems to have tickets with seat numbers on them, while mine has what I think is the Arabic symbol for "bad handwriting scribble." 10:57 – It seems I am not on the right bus. We are going in the opposite direction of the place I'm trying to get to. Or at least, that's what Google Maps says. But when has [...]

10 06, 2016
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Nowhere to Go But Up(Hill)

When I first arrive in Lyon, I am young and full of hope. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the floodwaters are lapping but gently against the banks of the Rhone and the Saône. “This city is so peaceful,” I say without a hint of dramatic irony. “Black magic has no place here.” Across the Saône, shadows drift across the spires and turrets of a stony basilica. Beyond, [...]

8 01, 2016
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Grecian Giants: Mount Pelion

If you can stand to look away from the gorgeous port and bright blue water in Volos, look up. You’ll see that Volos is built on the slopes of Mount Pelion. One of the most beautiful and popular mountains in Greece, Mount Pelion might have quite the reputation, but it sure deserves it. According to mythology, it was named after Peleus, father of Achilles— who really should have bought his son better [...]

2 12, 2015
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Answering Possible Questions about Morocco’s Trains

If you’re looking for information about other types of transportation, see my other post. http://www.letsgo.com/2015/09/15/public-transportation-rabat/ How do I find schedules/can I buy tickets online? You can do both of these things at the ONCF website, oncf.ma. It’s in French, but self-explanatory for an English speaker. First or second class? Traveling through the tourist offseason, second class is fine, as it doesn’t matter whether or not there’s air conditioning, and it’s generally 2/3 of the first [...]

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