Tokyo – Kyoto

I know it’s a little early to say this, but Kyoto is my favorite city in Japan. 

We woke up early and took the Shinkansen, a super fast, super organized rail system that can take you all over the country. 

In my two days in Japan I have developed a new mantra: if it has a long line it’s gotta be good. We used this formula to grab a bento box before we boarded the train. 

After we arrived at Kyoto station, we wandered the streets in search of our hostel and I became enamoured with the little bakeries and boutiques that lined the streets and alleyways. 

Kyoto has a beautiful balance of old and new. You’ll see businessmen and geisha, skyscrapers and temples. It’s easy to picture myself starting a new life here.

New York – Tokyo

I’m always in a state of denial whenever I get off the plane in a new place. Especially one with a significant time change.

In my mind the 14 hour flight went by quickly and seemed easy enough. When it was time to disembark my body begged to differ. 

We found our way to the hostel, but it was far too early to go to bed, so we decided to walk around the neighborhood, Sumida, who’s main feature is the second tallest structure in the world, the Tokyo Skytree. 

Next to the skytree is a massive mall called Solamachi which has restaurants, shops, an aquarium and much more. Here we had our first meal- conveyorbelt sushi. 

Afterward, we walked around the shops until our legs started to give up, and headed back to the hostel and went to sleep.

I woke up at 3:00am and stared at the ceiling, still in denial of my whereabouts. One should not be so fortunate I thought. The girl who thought the furthest she’d go was Arizona was now on the other side of the world – again.

The next day we went to the neighborhood of Taito and visited the Senso-Ji temple and Ueno park.

At Senso-Ji I got my fortune. I inserted ¥100 into a slot and shook a metal can full of sticks. While shaking I had to think about a wish. I then took out a stick which had a number on it. The number had a corresponding drawer which contained a piece of paper which told me my fortune. 

I don’t usually believe in stuff like this, and I did it simply because I thought it was a cute gesture and would make for a nice souvenir, but for some reason in that moment, reading that fortune, I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be.

As we roamed the streets of Akihabara, my consciousness was finally winning the fight against jet-lag and I was able to comprehend my surroundings.

So this is Japan.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thought I would take a look back on my trips to China. Here are some of my favorite photos:

China_17The Forbidden City on a smoggy day.

China_6Street food vendor in Shanghai.

China_4A photoshoot.

SummerPalace_4Fun activities at the Summer Palace.

Night_1The National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Night_2A futuristic food cart in Beijing.

Quito – Bogota

It was my last day in Quito, my last night in Bogota, and tomorrow I was going home. 

We started the day by going to Old Town Quito. This beautiful part of the city is full of plazas, churches, and history. 


We then went to an artisanal crafts store by our hostel for some souvenirs and drinks before our trip to Bogota. I got my hands on a Canelazo, a hot beverage of aguardiente, sugar, and cinnamon water. 

We then made our way back to Colombia on the infamous Viva Colombia. The take off was terrifying as we tried to clear the mountains. I never used to be afraid of flying until I had to take budget airlines.

We arrived at our home base, then headed out for some dancing at a place called Andres Carne de Res.

The whole experience was overwhelming. Loud music made it impossible to hear someone at your ear, the decor looked like the attic of an 80s post apocalyptic science fiction film, and the menu was an actual magazine with an index which was greatly needed. 

It was actually the perfect end to my journey. I was 10% scared, 30% confused, but 60% enjoying myself.

In the end everything went a lot more smoothly than I had anticipated. I did far more than I thought I would and had so much fun. I can’t wait to come back to South America. 

Mitad del Mundo

We decided to sleep in and take it easy for the day. We went to a wonderful place named the Kallari Cafe. It was a cafe and chocolate shop that benefited Kichwa women who harvested the beans. 

After that we made our way to the center of the world. We took three different public buses to get there, and at times we thought we were lost, but we made it. 

It’s a geeky tourist trap, and it’s not even the accurate center I know, but it was kinda fun. 

Although the line wasn’t dotted like I thought…


A bad thing to happen abroad is to get sick. Unfortunately for me I had the whole shebang, stuffy nose, sore throat and all I wanted to do was sleep. Of course this was the same day I needed to climb an active volcano.

We stayed the night in a town called Latacunga, full of historic buildings and planes landing on top of your head thanks to the international airport nearby. 

We organized a trip to Cotopaxi through our hotel with a guy named Vini. He told us first we would drive in his pick up truck to his mother’s house to drop off our luggage, then we will go to Cotopaxi. 

Sketchy I know, but at this point the only thing valuable I had in my pack was an Ecuadorian poncho for my mother. 

We dropped off our bags at Vini’s childhood home, waved to his mom, then headed up Cotopaxi. 

The drive up is difficult for a new car, and sure enough, Vini’s old pick up truck broke down before we got to the trailhead. We waited at the museum at the base of the volcano, and drank coffee and tea while he called up his friend with a new truck. 

That’s when we met our new guide, Tomas. He was a sweet older man who didn’t speak a lick of English but was the best tour guide I could ask for.

He went slow with us as we ascended the steepest trail I have ever been on. There would be heavy wind one second, threatening to blow you into a canyon, and the next second it was still. It was probably the most difficult trail I’ve done, especially since I couldn’t breathe, but we made it. 

After that we headed back down and rode mountain bikes back to the base. By the end of the day I couldn’t keep my eyes open. We went back to Quito, ate dinner, then had the best sleep I’ve ever had.