Béatitude: walking the TMB as a solo-traveler (TMB Part 3 of 3)

Béatitude (French) – supreme happiness; a state of blessedness

A couple of weeks ago I read a New Yorker article titled “The Glossary of Happiness” which led me to Dr. Lomas’s website indexing “‘untranslatable’ words related to well being from across the world’s languages.” I started to compile a list of my favorite foreign words from the website, and many of them aptly describe what I saw and what I felt while walking the TMB. The French word béatitude is one such word that describes my experience.

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TMB packing list (TMB Part 2 of 3)

My Millet 45L pack was my home for the 10 days on the TMB + 4 bonus days in Switzerland. When I checked in my pack at the airport, it weighed exactly 10 kg (22 lbs), including my hiking boots that were shoved into the bottom compartment of the pack. If I subtract the weight of my hiking boots and add the weight of my lunch, water, and chocolate, it probably remained around 10 kg. It felt a little heavy toward the end of the trip, but I ended up needing the cold weather clothes due to a change in the weather.

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Tour du Mont Blanc: 10 Day Itinerary (TMB Part 1 of 3)

Hey folks, I’m back from my hike on the TMB! The hike was fantastic–a little hot at the beginning but it got cooler during the second half of the trip. Overall I loved the trails in France and Italy. The section in Switzerland was completely underwhelming, so if I were to do it again I’d consider taking a bus to skip parts of the trail in Switzerland.

Some quick thoughts before the nitty gritty:

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We ain’t no sheeple–we listen to Google! (SB 2017: Iceland)

M1 spring break is one for the books! Michelle and I met up in Iceland for a week and explored the Southern and Western parts of the country. I was unable to fulfill my compulsive planning habits on account of school and therefore didn’t plan much of an itinerary before the trip. We booked hostels and a car in advance, but did everything else on the fly. It was pretty fun and way less stress-inducing than I originally thought it would be. On my next trip to Iceland, I’m definitely going to book a 4 wheel drive car though. Side note: Iceland is expensive!! Hostel beds, groceries, eating out, gas, etc. required “multilevel” money! And, Icelandic people don’t wear shoes in the house. My kind of people!

Continue reading “We ain’t no sheeple–we listen to Google! (SB 2017: Iceland)”

2016 Book List

Time for the annual book list. Reading pace slowed down quite a bit on account of a little side endeavor (school). Hopefully I’ll find my new study groove in the new year and pick up the reading pace again.

  • (F) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, 4 stars
  • (F) The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman, 4 stars
  • (F) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, 3 stars
    • Got kind of tired of the storyline and just wanted to hear the resolution
  • (NF) In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, 5 stars
    • Wildly hilarious travelogue
  • (F) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, 5 stars
  • (F) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, 5 stars
  • (F) Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams, 5 stars
  • (F) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams, 4 stars
  • (F) Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams, 4 stars
  • (F) Jurassic Park: A Novel by Michael Crichton, 5 stars
    • Y’all have you read this?? Lexie recommended the book so I picked it up. LOVED it and loved Crichton’s references to the scientific/research world
  • (F) The Lost World: A Novel (Jurassic Park Book 2) by Michael Crichton, 5 stars
  • (F) Sphere by Michael Crichton, 3 stars
    • Liked the premise of the book, but became a “meh” read later in the book
  • (F) The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton, 5 stars
    • LOVED this book. It’s a classic robbery story set with interesting characters with tons of trickery
  • (F) The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, 4 stars
    • Classic scific. It’s even easier to envision a situation like this given our capabilities in biological manipulation. Don’t even get me started on CRISPR tech…
  • (F) Timeline by Michael Crichton, 3 stars
  • (NF) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, 5 stars
    • Heartbreaking book addressing life and death. Read it first as a library book but am going to purchase a copy for my own bookshelf.
  • (F) Cat’s Paws and Catapults by Steven Vogel, 4 stars
    • Great insights on how man-made and nature-made things are similar/different
  • (F) The Martian by Andy Weir, 5 stars
    • Recommended by Lexie. Even if you’ve seen the movie, the book is out-of-this-world good
  • (NF) How We Die by Sherwin Nuland, 4 stars
  • (F) LOTR Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, 5 stars
    • Obsessed with Tolkien!!
  • (F) My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, 3 stars
    • I had pretty high expectations for this book because of all the press it received but was disappointed. An average story about two girls growing up and their love/hate relationship
  • (F) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, 4 stars
    • Loved this fantasy tale about 3 Londons, wizards, and magic. An all around fun story and an escape from med school
  • (F) A Gathering of Shadows (ADSOM Book 2) by V.E. Schwab, 4 stars
    • The fantasy continues with the second book in the trilogy! Schwab keeps you turning the pages !! But the book ends with a GIANT CLIFFHANGER and the third (and last) book doesn’t come out until February :/
  • (F) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, 4 stars
    • Sad yet beautiful tale

Mail and procrastination

My good friend Alba is going through a tough time so I decided to mail her a care package. My parents were in town last weekend, so we went shopping for the care package goodies. Dad brought the package back home to FL to mail so I didn’t have to deal with the post office during the holiday season.

I just checked on the package status and it made me inordinately happy to see its path from FL to CH. It boggles my mind how interconnected our world has become. At a higher level, I know that globalization has connected the world both in space and time. But seeing the path of the package somehow makes that more real.

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Also, I’m majorly procrastinating for next week’s exam. There’s so much to learn and I am paralyzed by the amount I need to memorize.