If You’re Bad at Remembering History, Read This.

Advice + Inspiration, Travel + Adventure, Uncategorized

You can teach me about the same war twenty times and a day later I will have already forgotten about it.

Does this sound like you?

Yesterday I was at the airport waiting to board when a woman across from me asked: “so where are you traveling to?” Quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I had an early flight that morning and this was my connecting one. Regardless, I told her and we began to chat about our travels. She was around her mid 40s – early 50s. Her shortish golden hair reminded me of my grandmother’s.

After around ten minutes, the plane began to board. Turns out, I was sitting behind her. We talked about how she met her husband on a beach in Spain years ago. She described how they are still madly in love even after having three kids. Although that is nowhere near where my life is at right now, I felt as though we were very similar.

When we got off of the plane, we were going through airport security and she began to tell me about some Dutch history. Before she went any further, I had to tell her: “I’m going to be honest I love history. I think it’s fascinating.. but I never remember it. I’ve seen several castles and battle grounds in Ireland and I couldn’t tell you one fact about them.” She laughed at me. I felt a bit embarrassed. Then she said this:

“I’m bad at remembering history too!”

“Really, so how do you know all of these facts?”

“I read children’s books”

“Do they actually help?”

” Yes, because it’s more important to understand the big picture before trying to remember the small details. I read a children’s book called the history of France before I went there. My friend and I brought the book with us and matched the illustrated pictures to the things we saw while we were there.”

“Where have you been my whole life! Haha”

“Also there’s a lot of movies that can help with that too.”

Our conversation went further, but I had never thought of doing this. Children’s books have to explain things in simple terms. Only once you get something in simple terms can you dive deeper and learn more.

This advice has really and truly changed my life. Time to go buy some children’s books.

Have you tried this before?



Interview with A World-Traveler from Sri Lanka

Interviews, Uncategorized

This is an interview with my roommate, Umanga, who came here to Minnesota from Sri Lanka. In the past year that we have lived together, we’ve gotten very close. Her wisdom has inspired me to look at life in new ways and I’m so happy she agreed to let me interview her about her travel and life experiences. Enjoy!

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On Sri Lanka..

Describe Sri Lanka in 5 words

“Exotic, sunny, beautiful, crowded, smiling people”

Are there any proverbs or sayings in Sri Lanka that you live by?

“Yes, the first is: barking dogs don’t bite and the second is: a pot filled full doesn’t spill water”

What do you want people to know about Sri Lanka who’ve never been there?

“How beautiful it is and how people are friendly. There are some ancient ruins from BC which are interesting to see- temples and statues too. Most of the food is spicy but we have avocados, pineapple, rambutan, papaya, mango, and there’s this green colored fruit- I think it’s grapefruit? But the main food is rice! There are lots of combinations of foods because Sri Lanka was colonized by the Portuguese, British, and Dutch so we have some of their food blended into our culture.”

On Travel..

What countries have you traveled to?

“I’ve traveled to Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Italy, and the U.S.”

Across the different places you’ve been to what has been common across cultures and what has been different?

“People are different everywhere! People in Thailand have their own culture so they’re much different than the other countries that I’ve been to, but I would say European culture and U.S. culture is pretty similar.

What country has been your favorite so far, why?

“I liked European countries because of the history, but I liked Thailand because of the food. My favorite meal there was this chicken salad I had. They also had this delicious raw papaya salad. Thailand has so much natural beauty- they have mountains and beaches.”

 What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned from travel that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise?

“I’ve learned to survive by myself in difficult situations or unexpected situations like traveling with plans and not taking into account the weather, spending the money to get somewhere, and not being able to do what I wanted to do because of it.”

What advice would you give someone who aspires to travel alone but is scared?

“You should take risks! Go new places, take chances, I also love this saying that was mentioned in eat pray love it goes like this:

‘there was a begger who goes to see god everyday and asks a statue “dear god, please please give me some money”, one day the exasperated statue came to life and told him “dear man go and buy a lottery ticket first and I will give you money”

So it’s like winning a lottery ticket every time you travel and you have to try for it and only then will you achieve it’

that’s what was implied in the movie.”

Why You Should Take a Weekend Vacation

Food + Travel, travel, Travel + Adventure, Uncategorized

It’s winter. What do you do? Go somewhere! You plan weeks in advance what you are going to do on your week-long vacation. Planning is fun, but it can feel like a chore. What if you could vacation without having to do as much planning and preparation?

Last year, one of my best friends moved to California. Even though I was in school, I decided to look at flights to visit her. She and I are so close- mainly because we can be a little impulsive. So, the first time I brought up that I wanted to visit her, we face-timed and- just like that- I booked a flight to see her two weeks after, but just for the weekend because.. I had school lol.

Mind you, this was my first ever “weekend vacation”. We didn’t plan too much beyond eating good food and going to the beach. It ended up being one of the best weekends of my life.

And since this trip, I’ve taken four other “weekend vacations”.

You might think “um why” well.. I will tell you!

First, it’s cheaper.

I eat a few good meals, do a little bit of shopping, order a few Lyfts, and I don’t break my (entire) bank.

Second, I don’t need to do much planning.

It’s fun to be spontaneous and in two/three days there’s plenty to do, so I’m guaranteed to be entertained throughout the entire trip.

Third, short trips allow me to go on more trips.

There is so much to learn from people, new places, and new experiences- and knowing my trip is short pushes me to do more in the time that I’m there. The less time and money I spend in one place-the more I have for the next place.