On my last few excursions, I’ve managed to just travel with my small backpack. It’s so much more convenient than traveling than with checked bags or even a bigger carry on.
On a trip to San Francisco, my girlfriend I was staying with asked if it would be fine to carry my things with me since we were going straight to dinner. Carrying my shit would suck and therefore decided on packing everything into a backpack.
I brought my leather backpack with me. It’s spacious, yet so comfortable, and it looks great if you’re exploring the city! You won’t look like an absolute tourist with your luggage, which means less chances of being bothered.
In a little over a year, I can say I’ve ran two half marathons with my dearest friend, Julie. And although I live in Southern California, I have yet to run one here. So far it’s been San Francisco and Chicago. To be honest, I don’t even plan on doing one here, well San Diego might be an exception.
I found that running the streets of a city I’m vacationing in is the best way to experience it as a local. When I ran my first half marathon, I thought Wow, I’ve been to this city so many times but never have I had the experience like this before.
We got to weave through landmarks, neighborhoods, parks. Seeing the city in a different light just gave me joy that destination races are just perfection.
I’ve always thought that the lifestyle I’ve lived has always been a rather chill one. I hang out at local breweries with my dad, I make small talk with random strangers, I like exploring coffee shops on my own, and am constantly taking random classes on my own. A few months before, I was taking French lessons at the OC Lingual Institute, after work. Before class, I would stop by the French bistro, Moulin, in Newport Beach. There I would practice my French with the workers, enjoy French cuisine for dinner, and a glass of red wine all while I was doing some last minute studying or getting ahead of lessons. At the time I was dating a Frenchie and I remember he looked me in the eye and asked, “you just know how to enjoy life, don’t you?”
Fast forward to when I was in Europe and I felt that they took it up a notch. On Sundays, the French take a rest day and all the shops are closed (worst day to fly in btw). The Spanish start and end their days late. Both cultures enjoy glasses of wine during the middle of the day, no big deal. In Malaga, I went exploring in the morning and at lunch, I had vegan tapas accompanied by a large glass of sangria at The Green Iguana. I chatted up my bartender/cook while I ate and learned how he prepared my food. During ciesta, I walked back to my hostel and took a nap. I would then wake up at 8 PM to get ready for dinner at 9:30 PM. My experience in Europe is nothing like the life I live in America, where everything is fast paced. People hardly to get to know one another, don’t even greet the barista making their coffee (in France and Spain, you better greet “bonjour” or “hola” for service), they rush while driving (guilty), eat fast food for convenience sake, swipe right for a quick fling, support the fast fashion industry – just to do it all over again the next day.
So take a minute or an hour out your busy day to do something you enjoy – whether that includes doing some sun salutations, enjoy a long walk around the neighborhood,
Netflix & Chill, faire du lèche-vitrines (literlly to go “window licking”), learn to knit or sew, whatever your heart desires!
Ten days ago, I had a YOLO moment to book a flight somewhere, anywhere. I searched Google for different destinations and price ranges – until I came across Paris for $420. LIT! After a push from a friend, I booked the flight and tomorrow, I fly to the City of Lights! It’s gonna be lit, literally.
This really has been a spur of the moment and I’m not sure how I feel about planning a week before an international trip. In all honesty, I have the flights and accomodations booked (just finished last night). I want to just show up and figure out what to do once I’m there. However, if you do have any recommendations, feel free to let me know!