Dienstag, 20. Januar 2015

Any traveller will relate to this blogpost

Travel Stories by Ratchel Miller

"I have fallen in love with the ocean many times over. I think of the ocean in Croatia and the crystal clear blue waters, the time spent swimming with two good friends on our first adventure together. The salt drying on our skin and hair, like a layer of armor, shielding us from the bad in the world and making us invincible as we explored a strange and foreign land"

It makes me want to go back to living out of a backpack so badly.

Mittwoch, 14. Januar 2015

Reykjavik, Iceland

11.01.2015 - 14.01.2015
Officially my very last stop before going back to Germany on the morning of the 14th. WEEEEIRD!

Reykjavik wasn't anything like I expected it to be. Sure, it was cold, though not as cold as NYC. But I thought it would be a little bigger. I guess I should have known, due to Iceland's total population (of the whole country!) being only a bit over 320,000. That's less than the population of any major city in Germany. 
And Reykjavik, the capitol, inhabits about one third of Iceland's people. Yeah, it's tiny!

I think the city itself does have its charm with all the cute little cafes and Scandinavian design shops, but it is just so extremely expensive that it wasn't too enjoyable for me here. Another aspect I just wasn't lucky with, was my Couchsurfing host, who was blasting 90's techno music 24/7 whilst playing WoW and constantly smoking in the living room, where I was sleeping. Not only that, but the whole apartment was just a dirty mess, and the only cute thing about it was his cat. If it wasn't for my laziness and me only being there at night anyway, I would have definitely moved to a hostel.

Aaaanyway, I spent my days either chilling at the Blue Lagoon or sitting at cafes composing blog posts, since I was done sightseeing after two hours.

Here are some of my few shots of Iceland.

Reykjavik city.

The kitty.

Blue Lagoon. A great spot to relax, but all in all a bit overpriced, just like everything in Iceland. The entry alone was about 35€, and I spent an extra 15€ for the rental of a robe, plus 20€ for food/drinks, and about 25€ for the transport to the Lagoon and back.

Once this blog post is posted, I will already be back home in Germany. Crazyyyyy.


07.01.2015 - 10.01.2015

New York City. Center of the universe.
I haven't been in this city in 9 years, thus I could not remember too much of it and felt like I definitely needed to freshen up my memories.
During my short stay here in NYC, Helen, a friend of my cousin's, let me stay with her in Fort Lee, which is New Jersey (not NY!), but still close enough to the city due to its proximity to the George Washington Bridge.

I guess the city awoke my intrinsic love for culture, since I couldn't help but stop by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art (FAVORITE!). Sadly, I do not have good quality pictures of the latter, due to it being a spontaneous visit, but I hope my iPhone selfies will do. Also, I feel like a lot of these pictures are pretty much self-explanatory. So don't mind my lack of headlines.

Central Park

It was freezing. -7 degrees Celsius. Seriously. It ended up being colder in NYC than in Iceland. 

The Met.

Times Square

9/11 Memorial

Empire State Building

Ice Rink at the Rockefeller Center.

Rene Magritte's The Empire Of Lights at the Museum of Modern Art

Frida Kahlo

My first selfie with a painting. Aw yeah. Not just any painting.

Dienstag, 13. Januar 2015

Christmas in Tempe

After two and a half (almost three) long years, I finally saw my second family again. For those of you who don't know, I've been staying with the Mulligans in Tempe, Arizona during my year abroad as an exchange student in 2011-2012. For Christmas 2014, they generously invited Helge and I over to join them in their Xmas celebrations.
It was so good seeing their faces again! If you're reading this: Thank you so much for having us over, for the Christmas presents, and for Toni's amazing meals!

(I stole this picture off of Collin's facebook.)

Getting sentimental driving by MdN high school.

Gammage Theater in downtown Tempe

Mill Ave!!

Soooo good seeing all your beautiful faces again! I miss you!!!

Las Vegas, Sedona, Grand Canyon

06.12.2014 - 06.01.2015

So this was it. I had officially taken a step back into 'normal' life. No more living out of a backpack, no more flip flops in bathrooms (aw yeah), no more unpacking and repacking every couple days. For now - I still had NYC and Iceland to conquer.
Don't get me wrong; I loved finally seeing my aunt, cousin, uncle, BUT it just felt weird to not have to worry about or organize anything anymore. Seeing it from a different angle, it was definitely luxury to be staying with my aunt, in my own bed, being able to use my aunt's car everyday. I can't express how thankful I am to have such a great family, who takes care of me and makes me feel welcome no matter what.

I did not take many pictures on my DSLR at all, thus I included a lot of iPhone pictures in this post. Don't mind the quality of some of the pictures that, by the way, I posted in no particular order.

If I were to post all of my pictures I shot in Vegas, I'd mostly post pictures of food. Good food. That I had plenty of in Vegas. So here, have a couple pictures of food (and drinks).

A trip to Vegas (or anywhere in the SW of USA) would be incomplete without IN-N-OUT. It's honestly the food that I've been looking forward to the most during my whole trip.

Caesar's Palace

HIGHLIGHT. Having Helge back with me, since he visited me in Vegas for 10 days. This picture was taken at The Range in Vegas, where Vince took us shooting.

Maroon 5 concert at Mandalay Bay

NYE at Vince's and Kasia's place in Vegas.

Mandalay Bay

Auntie's favorite boy



The Grand Canyon

Hoover Dam

My favorite toddler. Little Quinnie, the cutest quarter Korean baby.

2014, 2012, 2009