Final post before Peru!!!

Happy Thursday to you all. In a matter of 12 or so hours I will be on my plane to Peru. I wanted to make one last post prior to leaving just to be like ‘hey, I’m leaving’ and so on and so forth.

For those of you who are new or simply don’t pay attention to my blog posts… I will be in Lima, Peru for the next 4 weeks volunteering in an orphanage(s). Basically, in regards to posting, I am hoping to post 10 posts at the most over the next 4 weeks (but expect a ton of Peru related posts when I get back home). I am not going to say that I will have any consistency in my posting whatsoever (and I really don’t care) and I just really wanted to get that out there.

Yes, I will have down time, however, I may want to nap or explore and do other things besides blogging. I’m not gone, I’m not dead, I’m just out here, enjoying life.

I am super excited for this experience and the next 4 weeks of my life. Until I get to Peru (or my plane) I must logoff because I have to shove this computer into my backpack, along with so many other things. So, hasta pronto mis personas favoritas y hasta pronto Lima

Alicia

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Peru prep

Hi everyone, I leave for Peru in around a month and to say I’m nervous is an understatement. Obviously, I am excited but nervous nonetheless.

I have met a girl on Facebook who is from New York who will be in Peru at the same time as I and we end up on the same connecting flight in Panama City, Florida, so it will be nice to have a familiar face and it has also been calming knowing someone else is just as nervous/excited as I am. We have requested to room together (her request as I really don’t care who I room with) but it might not happen. If it does great, and if not, just the chance to meet more people.

I went to the doctor last week and he gave me 6 (?) prescriptions for typhoid, altitude sickness, and a ton of other things I may or may not need. I am literally going to have an entire pharmacy in my suitcase. But I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially in a new and foreign place such as Peru.

All I have to do medically is receive my yellow fever and flu shots, which I will be doing this week. As for the trip itself I just have to pay my actual program fee and then I am officially ready to go to Peru. Yes, I have to pack (and unpack and repack), buy some shoes, gifts for the kids at the orphanages, and a few last minute tasks but this is so crazy to me. I am going to Peru, something that a few months ago was just a mere thought in the back of my head is actually coming together. It’s crazy what $1500 and a good puppy-dog face can do.

I never thought I would be going to Peru at all, let alone a month, and I have to keep telling myself that yes, I am in fact going to Peru. I can’t wait to update you all about my adventure as the day I depart nears, and throughout my entire trip. ¡No puedo esperar a Peru!

hablaré pronto

Alicia

Top 5 Travel Destinations

Hi, everyone. I haven’t been in the writing mood lately but I saw Tasha make a post listing her top 5 travel destinations so since I, and everyone else in the world, wants to travel, why not make a list of my top 5 as well.


The Galapagos Islands

http://forums.chargers.com/showthread.php?t=104631&page=83

When I was 12 or so, I read the book “Top 8” and it was one of the first books ever that I enjoyed and got to pick out myself, as opposed to school telling me what I had to, and it starts with this girl who goes to the Galapagos islands with her family and one guy she meets ends up being her boyfriend. I think I liked it because what girl doesn’t want to meet the love of her life on a boat in some tropical part of the world? A big part of the book ends up being the Galapagos tortoises and I am a huge reptile girl, so I have wanted to go there ever since.


Spain

https://www.wallsauce.com/wall-murals/photo-wallpaper/countries/spain/

I was going to put just one city but I really couldn’t decide so I put the whole country. Since beginning to learn Spanish in 5th grade, I learned all about Spanish culture, Spanish food, Spanish music, dress, etc. I have been in love with Spain as a whole for the past 9 years and I can’t wait until I get to study abroad there (pending that I get in of course)


Helsinki, Finland

http://www.placestoseeinyourlifetime.com/helsinki-a-great-choice-to-visit-this-christmas-finland-14578/

When I was 8 years old or so, I remember watching an episode of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” on Disney channel and on said episode, there were nuns from Helsinki Finland but they ‘called it’ Hecksinki. Because nuns don’t say hell, get it? Anyway, I have been laughing at this joke for the past 10 years and since then I had to do a report on Finland’s Christmas so I learned a bit about the country and its culture.  So, upon visiting Helsinki, I will kill two birds with one stone by visiting ‘Hecksinki” my first ever favorite meme, and seeing a beautiful city.


Ubud, Bali

http://nandinibali.com/

Indonesia is a remarkable region but if I had to pick one city there, it would be Ubud. The sheer amount of things to do in Ubud, from musuems, to monkey parks, this has my name written all over it. Also, it is so picturesque I would love to stay in a place where I have to pinch myself every morning.


Reykjavik, Iceland

http://landlopers.com/2015/03/30/luxury-blue-lagoon

I follow my share of travel blogs, who doesn’t? And by far, the most beautiful sight I have seen is the blue lagoon in Iceland. My favorite color is blue and as a life long blue lover, I physically can’t die before being able to marvel at this.


What’s on your travel bucket list?

Peru plans?

Hi everyone. I haven’t been in the biggest writing mood, mainly because I am trying to keep up with my New Year’s resolutions, one of those being ‘get and maintain a solid sleep schedule.” 99% of the time my best posts are written between the hours of 1 and 3 in the morning, and that just isn’t cutting it for my body right now.

So, it is only about 9:30 right now at night and I still have plenty of time before my newly created bedtime.

One of my other resolutions (although I’m not sure if I put it on my list and quite frankly I don’t feel like checking) was to volunteer, more specifically volunteer abroad.

Since something I want to do with my life is teach English abroad, I think it is a smart choice to test out what working abroad is like. Yes, traveling is fun but If I don’t like living out of a suitcase or two for a month, what will it be like for an entire semester?

Basically, I have applied to volunteer at an orphanage in Lima, Peru, starting April 1st 2017 and spanning for 4 weeks. This is something I really want to do, not only to see if I enjoy going abroad, but to be able to give my time to children in need is something so rewarding beyond words.


Phase 1: Get accepted into the program is complete.

Phase 2: Have enough money to fund this trip is almost complete

And finally Phase 3 (yes I know there are so many other things I need to do like get shots, buy proper shoes, etc. but the phases at hand are not those quite yet): convince my parents is a merely 50% complete. I have convinced my mother; she is excited for me and even a bit jealous (going to Macchu Pichu is the top item on her bucket list) however my dad, is a little more reserved and harder to talk to about this type of thing. I brought it up once and he completely grazed over the entire idea, which is, in the least, frustrating.


So, I have an entire google doc of my trip itinerary and budget planned out, and my dad would rather watch Pitch Perfect 2 than discuss the trip of a lifetime with his eldest daughter. So, while I continue to plot how we ever will discuss this trip, Ill be here, saving all of my money and comparing all the brands of hiking shoes there are.

Alicia

Quick College Update post

Hi everyone. So, a couple posts ago, I mentioned that I had absolutely zero clue where i wanted to transfer to next fall. Well this is still the case, but I have a little bit more figured out.

For starters, college. I have been looking into schools for about a month, picking ones with a variety of majors, extracurriculars and good financial aid packages. I had written a list of maybe 15 colleges down that had all of these. Upon further investigation, hearing from other students, etc, I have narrowed my list down to 7, and here’s why.

  1. DePaul University- Lincoln Park, Il: DePaul is a great school that is close to almost everything in Chicago. With a wide variety of extracurriculars. Sports, and majors, it’s basically perfect. The only con is that because of the proximity to my house, my parents are urging me to live at home while I attend. I get saving $15000 and potential loans in ideal, but at what cost?
  2. Ohio University- Athens, Ohio: This is newer on the list so I don’t have an insane amount of reasons why it’s there. The school is great, they have everything I need and more, plus  I Wouldn’t have to live at home…
  3. Xavier University- Cincinnati Ohio: Xavier is still high on my list because it was my second option for schooling the first time around. It’s a beautiful quaint campus with an impressive track record on all things academic. My only issue is it doesn’t have a huge variety of majors so if I want to switch (again) I may be out of luck.
  4. The University of Findlay- Findlay, Ohio: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  5. Otterbein University- Westerville, Ohio: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  6. Winona State University- Winona Minnesota: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.
  7. Clarke University- Dubuque Iowa: These last 4 are on the list because they have everything I need, some even more. I really want to attend one of the top 3, but if somehow that can’t happen, one of these four will be just as great.

I have asked my dad to let me visit Xavier and University of Ohio soon so that I Can gauge if I want/still want to attend either. I have visited DePaul, however I have not taken an official tour. I want to do and get a bit more information to make a truly educated decision.

Alicia

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Hi friends, this week was mental illness awareness week. Basically, having mental illnesses suck but we need to understand that 1 in 4 people struggle with them and that typically, these people can function in society just like people without.

I always struggled with my mental illnesses since I was in middle school. Now, I am finally coming to terms with them and myself. It’s very unfortunate that I had to struggle with mental illnesses alone for such a long time. I do not want any of you, or anyone ever to have to go through something like this alone.

Recently, I started following the instagram @wearyourlabel which is basically a clothing store that tells you it’s okay to not be okay. This instagram sells shirts with slogans such as “self care isn’t selfish,” “you are enough,” and “anxious but courageous.” I really like all of them and in order to prevent impulse buying each of them, I am holding off until I can narrow down until there is only one I am absolutely in love with.

After I started following wear your label, another instagram account @buddyproject. Intrigued as to what the ‘buddy project’ was all about, I followed them back and took a look at their website. Basically the buddy project is a project started by Gabby Frost. Gabby’s mission was to pair people as buddies while raising awareness for mental illnesses.

I really think that the buddy project is a great organization and kudos to Gabby for thinking about it. It’s very easy to sign up for a buddy. All you have to do is share you name, twitter handle, email, and share what a few interests are and bam! You’re signed up. I’m not sure how long it will take to get my buddy, but when I do find out, I’ll be sure to let you all know. I also recommend everyone suffering from mental illnesses or those wanting to be more aware of mental health in general, to take a look at either wear your label or buddy project.

Have a great weekend and Always Remember to be Aware of Mental Illnesses. I didn’t write 2 essays and three speeches about them in college for nothing

Alicia

Fall Mixtape

When I had one of my previous blogs, my friend and I decided to choose a summer song that was sort of our anthem for the summer. We used it in each of our youtube videos as background music and whenever it played on the radio, we were ecstatic. So, i have decided to make a fall playlist and why I chose each song. Also, this list is just such a jumble of random songs of many genres, they’re just songs I have been jamming to lately and want to share.

1: Closer- Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

Okay, so this is a jam and anyone who tells me otherwise is lying or needs their ears checked. This is a song that I dance around my house in my underwear to. Also, whenever this song comes on when I’m driving I turn the radio up super high and jam (mom if you’re reading this, I am still being safe even if I am using one of my arms to fist bump). I have listened to this song at least 100 times since they performed it on the MTV video awards in August. I also like it because I want a tattoo on my shoulder and they sing about one (lol).

2: My Body- Young the Giant

This is another jam of mine. I have sort of been a fan of this band for a couple of years but I recently started getting more into them and discovered this song, as well as many other amazing ones. This is another one of those jamming in your underwear songs.

3: Sit Still, Look Pretty- Daya

I’m all for independent women songs, especially in this era (all eras really) when it is instilled in women that they have to be at a man’s every beckon call. This is such a great song, mood uplifter, and empowering song to women everywhere. However, almost every song by Daya and Alessia Cara seem to have that effect. I’m also a fan because every time I have been in a car or it has come up on Spotify or whatever, every man always asks what HBIC means. It’s sort of funny because the notion a woman can be in charge leaves men and their masculinity in shambles.

4: That’s My Girl- Fifth Harmony

Another lady jam. Fifth Harmony has been quite the group of role models for young women everywhere who need to show anyone that they are independent and amazing and don’t need validation from anyone. This is their most recent single released off of their album and even though I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan (harmonizer I think they call themselves), kudos to them for empowering women everywhere.

5: Make You Miss Me- Sam Hunt

Don’t judge me for liking Country music. My dad has literally lived on a farm and I was raised on it (the music not the farm). Also, I don’t care if you don’t appreciate my music taste. It’s a nice slow song that has a lot of meaning for him and is nice for car rides alone, aka me all the time because I have no friends (jk my drive to and from work but not jk about the no friends part)

6: Cancer- Twenty One Pilots

If any of you are/were My Chemical Romance fans, you may be familiar with the song Cancer. Twenty One Pilots recently covered it, and if I ever need a good cry or a moment to remember how fragile life is, I give it a listen. My grandma died of cancer in the fall and a playlist without a song dedicated to her, wouldn’t be complete.

7: 1997- Saint Motel

I love this song. I absolutely adore it. I am actually seeing them in concert in like 2 weeks and am PUMPED. Anyway, it’s an amazing song and I was also born in 1997 so bonus. It’s a bit of a slower song, not super slow, not super fast, but awesome nonetheless.

8: This Town- Niall Horan

Alrighty, I was (still am) always a HUGE One Direction fan, so last week Niall Horan shook my entire existence by releasing this song. I haven’t listened to it enough to memorize every word yet, but I am working on it. I miss the band, but I am super happy for each of the band members (except Zayn, RIP Zayn) that they are happy and living their lives during their break (?) or whatever they’re doing. No one really knows what is going on with that band anymore.

9: From the Ground Up- Dan and Shay

Another country song. Woot. This is such a cute song about family and love and other gross stuff. I have never aspired to have a family of my own but if I were to, I would want it to resemble the family that Dan and Shay sing about in the song.

10: Cool Girl: Tove Lo

I had planned on putting 13 songs on here but, as you can tell from my last 3 descriptions as to why they are featured on this playlist, they were lacking. It is almost 1 in the morning and I have to be up at 715. Hahahahahahahaha kill me. Anyway, this is a Cool Song (get it because the title is Cool Girl). Ok, enough exhaustion filled jokes. I really like this song and it is a jam and I go hard to it every time it comes on the radio, which of course, since all radio stations play the same 7 songs for weeks on end, has been a lot.

 

Well, if this gets good feedback, I might make one for each season. Please Note that Winter’s will mainly consist of Christmas Carols with #1 being Mariah Carey’s iconic ‘All I Want for Christmas is You”

Until next time,

Alicia

 

 

Addicted… to Social Media

Hello all. Today, I was browsing the snapchat discovery page and saw a girl gave up social media for a month and discussed her overall experience, pros, cons, etc. I have seen many people (not really.. Only about 5) give up social media and then write about their overall experience. What struck me in the article I read today, was that she discussed reasons why she went back on social media… No one, other than this one obviously, has discussed why they returned to social media, only the pros of giving it up. All of these people, including myself, did discuss why social media is controlling, frustrating,etc, but I realize I never mentioned, in depth, the reasons I didn’t bid adieu to social media forever. So, I figured I would give a few pros to social media, and revisit a few of the cons as well.

Pro #1: Keeping up to date on what your friends/family are doing.

I follow over 500 people on instagram, about 300 on twitter, have over 1000 facebook friends, and probably 150 or so snapchat amigos as well. Social media gives me the opportunity to keep track of what they’re doing with their lives. Obviously, I hear big events from people I am close with via text, phone call, or face to face encounter. However, random things, like cool concerts, adventures, and other random things that I may think are cool are not always brought up. While not everything I see or read on social media about people is life changing, I do like seeing when people I am close with, or even simple acquaintances are having a blast in their lives.

Con #1: Political Posts

These are the reasons I still don’t have the facebook app downloaded on my phone. POLITICAL POSTS. Yes, I post my own, almost everyone I know posts something political every once in awhile. A girl has blocked me for my liberal posts and when I see people who are so intolerant and unaware of the state of our country it makes me want to vomit. I totally understand that people have their own opinions, no matter how much sometimes they make me cringe, but being as ass to someone for their views isn’t something I’m too keen on. And when people have the audacity to bring their Donald Trump bullshit onto MY POST I draw the line right there and will drag them into the dark depths of republican hell… Hillary Clinton-ville.

Pro #2: Memes/filters/fun

You are lying to me if you say that putting on funny alien faces and having fireworks pop out of your face on snapchat isn’t funny. Despite the terrible Harambe incident, the memes are chuckle worthy. Whenever I go on social media I am bombarded with memes, stupid filters, and videos of funny people doing funny things. I could spend hours on vine looking at people talking about their croc tattoos, random dancing videos, and cats doing actions that hysterically correlate to songs. If I had to thank social media for one thing, it’s making me laugh until I am crying and my stomach hurts on a daily basis.

Con #2: Take up time when could do something productive

My favorite thing to do is going on twitter and seeing people tweeting about how much homework they have, or how many tests they have to study for. WHY ARE YOU TWEETING IT WHEN YOU COULD BE STUDYING? Maybe I should practice what I preach. Whenever I am trying to get out of doing work, I immediately grab my phone and press the twitter app. All of a sudden it is an hour later, and I have scrolled past countless tweets, videos, and photos and have yet to write that 5-page essay. Hmmmmm. It is nice to check a few times a day, but when there are more pressing issues, such as homework that can’t complete itself, social media can be quite the menace.

Pro #3: Being independent of your phone

My phone was always sort of a safety blanket for me. Any ‘awkward’ moment I found myself immersed in, I would immediately pick my phone up, like today when my avocados dropped out of my cart and I didn’t notice and had to wait for a lady to go “Miss, you dropped these!” from 50 feet away. I immediately thanked her and pulled my phone out, mindlessly scrolling through in order to forget the situation that had just occurred.

Whether I would be walking to class, waiting for our professor, standing in line at the grocery store, any moment of silence I would pull my phone out. I still do that, less frequently, though. I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100% independent from my phone and comfortable enough to not pull out my phone in any awkward moment of my life, but I am starting to be more independent from it, and I don’t need it attached at my hip every second of the day anymore, which is a start.

Con #3: Rude people

I know this is a bit more popular when you have quite an instagram following, but cyber bullying is a real thing, even if there are quite a few people who seem to think it isn’t a pressing topic. I have personal experience on this and I know many other people do as well. Rude people are everywhere and it’s a shame that people hide behind computer screens to show hatred. I know you can go on private and block people blah blah blah, but if people really want to talk shit, as unfortunate as this is,  they will find a way.

 

Ther you all have it. A social media review from both sides. Hope you all enjoyed this post and the fact that I’m getting back in the swing of things and posting more frequently.

Until next time

Alicia

October 1st

Happy Halloween! well not really, but it is October 1st, so it basically is the same thing. If Christmas gets the entire month of December and half the month of November (Also i have already seen Christmas decorations and it was only September so Christmas sort of gets the last third of the year), So, Happy Halloween!

That literally isn’t even what this post is about. October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, it was also VeganMania in Chicago, but I had to babysit for the entire duration of the event so I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I also missed a goat walk, so that was probably the worst part.

Anyway, I have decided to go back on my journey through veganism over the past year and see what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed.

I remember vividly, my first night of college, my roommate and I went to Chipotle. I ordered chicken on my burrito bowl and my roommate looked disgusted at me and said “Chicken? You know they kill them right?” And I sat there, unfazed, as I continued to spew my order to the guy behind the counter. And here I am, a year later, yelling at the man in the chicken commercial who brags that their chickens are organic and cage free.

While I mentioned in one of my most recent posts that I had been a bad vegan, I have been. This journey has been long, grueling, however rewarding. I have no shame that for my first 18 years of my life, I lived on mac and cheese, grilled cheese, chocolate milk and bacon! Then my roommate has me watch forks over knives, cowspiracy, and other random videos about animal abuse.

Then, I went full vegan. Something not many people do all at once. Most people I know go vegetarian first for a few years, and then if they’re feeling outrageous, they go vegan. I however, cut animal products cold turkey. It has been a struggle, a rewarding one but a struggle nonetheless. I really feel that I should have transitioned slower, and maybe I wouldn’t have ‘cheated.’ I didn’t, and am learning how difficult this is.

I understand that this isn’t cheating, technically, because I am the one who is doing this. I am in this by myself for myself and for the animals.

I have been trying my best to remember why it is that I started the transition to veganism. I am doing it for the animals. I am doing so that 100 less animals are killed every year, and that despite all of the animals killed and tortured, it won’t be because of me.

Today, a year later, here I am, struggling but doing very well at it. I wouldn’t consider myself full vegan because I have slipped up a few times, but I am trying. Today, I am 30 pounds lighter, happier, crying whenever I see farm animals that were saved, and yelling at every chicken commercial I see. I really needed to write this post, for myself, to show how far I’ve come, and to shoe how far I need to go. I am doing well, but still have a long way to go.

So, happy world vegetarian day. Go vegetarian. Then vegan!

Alicia

hey fam i’ve been gone for a month and here’s why

Hi friends, sorry for changing my URL once again… haha I suck and am very indecisive. But I like this one and it might (hopefully) stay fro more than a month. Anyway, I decided to blog, mainly because I’ve been in the writing mood lately, yet I haven’t had much to say. Despite this, I wanted to get some words down on paper, or word doc. I had only posted once in August, if you can even call that pitiful post a legitimate post. So I decided to talk about my life a little and what I’m doing with my life, or what I’m not doing with it.

For starters, I’m not going to school. And let me tell you, playing the role of college dropout (not really but that’s what my dad called me) who drives her sister to school in fleece penguin pajama pants and then naps until noon is not all it’s made out to be.

As much as I thought I would love not going to school, not learning, being freed of homework and deadlines, I miss it. I miss school. I miss San Diego more than anything. All of my friends back there are having the times of their lives and I’m here, alone. I mean I do have friends who also stayed home but it’s still not the same. All of my friends and even my sister tell me they’re jealous of a life without homework, but I’d long to do something of the nature. I sleep a lot, I drive my sister to school, and I babysit. That’s it. I play with my dog too sometimes, when she’s not sleeping. Really that’s it.

I’ve been a bad vegan. I ate milk chocolate and a few other things. Not only morally do I regret doing that, but physically as well. My stomach is throwing me the bird for putting those toxins in my body and I feel like I’m dying.

Babysitting has been the highlight of the time I’ve been gone, so let’s discuss that. I started nannying for a family 6 days a week about 15 minutes from my house. They’re a cute Indian family and the whole family is very sweet. The girls are kind, far too hyper, but kind nonetheless. They call me “Miss Alicia” which is the sweetest and most polite thing I’ve ever heard. Aadya is 8 and Dhiti is 6. Aadya loves reading and you have to tell her to put a book down so she can do other things, such as eat and shower. Dhiti can’t stand reading and would rather play restaurant than anything else. They are always eager for me to try their Indian sweets too, which are always delicious, I am ecstatic I found them because they are such a genuine family. They also pay well which is a plus any day.
That’s really it though, I haven’t been doing much. I hope to be blogging more but at the rate I’m at, and the sheer writer’s block I have right now, I won’t be making any promises.
I feel like my blog has become a clutter of random writings, sadness, and life updates and I hope to sort of make a theme for my blog (i guess all of those fit into the lifestyle category… a chaotic lifestyle I suppose) but we’ll see.

So, until I find something to write about or I get my life together
Alicia