The wop wops (NZ take 2)

Two days after taking step 1, we left for Whistler to ski. After a week in Whistler, the fam went back to the east coast as I continued to head west to NZ. When I visited NZ two years ago, I traveled around using buses and realized that it was quite inconvenient. This time I decided to rent a car.

  1. Renting a car = waaaaay easier than buses
  2. Renting a car = sooooooo much more freedom to stop at random places
  3. NZ is the perfect size to road trip
  4. Only down side = less environmentally friendly ūüė¶

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B√©atitude: walking the TMB as a solo-traveler (TMB Part 3 of 3)

Béatitude (French) Рsupreme 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 b√©atitude¬†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