Honesty Time

Keeping it real since 2013


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Solo Travel

Cambodia Travel Guide: Grand Tour of Asia : Condé Nast Traveler

Hi everyone.  So I’m looking for some advice… I’ve been thinking about planning a trip to South East Asia for a few years now.  It looks like it might finally work out this summer since I’ll be out of school and still have a little bit of money saved.  It’s basically the last time I know that I’ll have the time to take such a long trip.

I’m really excited but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get anyone else to come with me.  I’m not so concerned about the safety (within reason) because it’s a well traveled area and I trust myself to be responsible.  My biggest hesitation is not having someone to share the experience with.  There are definitely pros and cons to doing it either way like being able to see whatever you want whenever you want, but all of the traveling I’ve done so far has been with a companion and I love being able to reminisce years later, and be reminded of details that I’ve forgotten.

What do you think?  Have any of you ever traveled alone?  I think I want to go badly enough that I will do it by myself but we’ll see!

photo from conde naste traveler


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How to Spend 12 Hours in Sausalito

Ok, technically 11.5 hours. Give or take. Whatever.

I recently had to travel to Sausalito, CA for an interview.

To cut ahead and just get it out of the way, I won’t know if I actually got the job for another two weeks or so. So let’s just get that out in the open. 

The problem with this traveling proposition was that I had to be there on Friday, preferably. But I had a dress rehearsal Thursday night, and two shows on Saturday for Wizard of Oz that I couldn’t miss.

Cut to me following a ridiculous flight schedule and spending a day in the office doing unexpected work/test/interview exercises for hours and then getting home all in the same day.

Pictures with captions can help explain this better than I can on my own, so I took lots of pictures (when I wasn’t working, of course) to illustrate my day. Here we go!

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Red Eye? I’ll give you red eye. Here I am at 2:30am Friday morning. No, you didn’t misread that time. Oh look, “Chopped” is on TV. That’s how early it is. The infomercials aren’t even on yet.

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I took a town car to the airport because no one wanted to take me. Because I left at 3:45am. I don’t blame them. Here’s the fancy panel in the backseat. In the dark. Because it was early. Too early for the sun.

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My driver remarked that I packed very light. Well, all I took were a pair of suit pants (I wore yoga pants on the plane), my resume, my iPod, phone, charger, wallet, concealer, eye drops, hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, and a bunch of Larabars. Because when you aren’t even staying for a full day, what else do you need?

Covert selfies.

Covert selfies.

Here I am at the gate. It is still very early (about 5am at this point) and I am beat.

What else would I listen to to appease my mood at this hour? Obviously nothing but Ciara Renée’s screlt and the #1 romantic song of all time, both from Big Fish.

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Here I am about 35 minutes later, pondering my fate. Aka who will sit next to me. Plot twist, no one sat in the middle. Glorious!

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We have landed. It is now about 9:30am West Coast time (about 12:30pm NY time, if we want to compare). My hair has deflated. I am not amused in this picture. I was also crazy nervous realizing I was about to go on the biggest interview type thing of my life ever.

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10am/1pm. In my pickup car with another interview recruit and the person from the office who drove us. My first and pretty much only glimpse of San Francisco.

Here are a bunch of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge from the car because #Tourist

We got to the office at 11am/2pm. What followed were a bunch of exercises and talks and a lot of shaking hands and saying hello to people I’ve been emailing since summer, but never actually met. Also, they got us the most excellent selection of Thai food for lunch. Yessssss. No pictures because I did not dare take my phone out at the office.

Fast forward to 2:30pm/5:30pm. We were done with all of the work set out for us, but our ride back to the airport was again someone from the office who wasn’t leaving until 6pm, so what to do? Explore. The following pictures are actually where the office is located.

If my office were here, I’d never get anything done. This also explains why a lot of people in the office were hard to keep track of, because they were going out for walks. Actually, part of my interview happened on a walk. We talked about Australia and clown school and being gluten free the entire time. “Interview”?????????????? IMG_1561

Spot It. This is a camp joke. No one will get this. But I saw it in a store in the town while exploring, and laughed forever.

These pictures are why it is called “The Bay Area.” Lots of pictures, some selfies. It’s all good. It was actually beautiful. The day was perfect. There was a slight breeze, it was sunny and in the mid 60s.

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There was a Christmas store with the funniest Merman ornaments in the display window. Anyone want a hunky cowboy merman ornament for their tree this year? May or may not have bought some for everyone…

(I didn’t. I regret this)

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At about 4pm/7pm, we decided that there was no better way to finish enjoying the Bay Area than by going to a hipster coffee shop. I ordered mint tea, made with fresh loose tea leaves and a heaping handful of fresh mint.IMG_1620

At about 5pm/8pm, we made it back to the office. I’ve mentioned before that we, as a company, take mancala very seriously. The giant board was even present at the office.

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By 6:30pm/9:30pm, I was back at the airport and at my gate. Don’t I look thrilled to be at the gate 3 hours before my flight?

My flight took off at about 9:25pm/12:25am. I have no further “travel” pictures. I was stuck in the middle seat. I was tired. I didn’t sleep. My plane arrived back in New York at 5:15am.

Yes, I do love Snapchat. What of it?

Yes, I do love Snapchat. What of it?

Here’s my bed at 6:40am when I got home.

Here’s how I got through a 2 show day at the theatre on whatever day it was (Saturday?).

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And here was me with my baby kitty at about 12am, 45.5 hours later, finally ready to go to sleep.

That’s how you do Sausalito in 11.5 hours.

For the record, I would not have traded this trip for anything. It was rough and I was so tired that I’m still convinced it was all a dream, but I had the chance to see a new place and put myself out there for my company. And if I do get the job, there will truly be no doubt in my commitment level for the company.

So if someone ever asks you to do a ridiculous trip like this for the sake of work, just do it. If I can do it, anyone can. It may work out in your favor.


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Bucket List

I am just going to jump right into this.  I took the time to think about this prompt and just when I think I am done adding to my list, something else comes up.  So, before I think of a million more ideas as I type, I am just going to start listing.

  1. Get a real job: Yes, I am 25 and still don’t have benefits and a 401K.  Yes, I am starting to panic… Real job where are you!?!
  2. Move out/Own a house: I put this together because it is pretty much the same thing. I realize when I move out it will be in an affordable apartment, but a girl can dream
  3. Be debt free: College is expensive and I will be in debt probably for the rest of my life.
  4. Get married… Eventually: I am sure most, if not all, girls have dreamed of a wedding dress that they would call their own one day
  5. Own an Australian Shepherd

    Look how cute!!!

  6. Own a studio/gallery
  7. Illustrate a children’s book
  8. Be more inspired/creative 
  9. Buy a car
  10. Meet Tom Brady and Julian Edelman

    Edelman and Brady

  11. See a game played in Gillette Stadium (preferably when Brady is still QB)
  12. Meet Henrik Lundqvist 
  13. Sit center ice right behind the Rangers bench
  14. Travel A LOT
  15. Visit as many States as I possibly can
  16. Speak fluent Italian 
  17. Get a tattoo
  18. Parasail 
  19. Have a huge 50 gallon fish tank
  20. All of these please

    Own an envious shoe collection:  Just because shoes… That is why

  21. Be able to see my ABS: I work out pretty hard when I go to the gym.  I take classes and whatnot, but I feel like I need to go more often and eat better for this to happen… I am going to try.
  22. Dedicate myself to eating clean
  23. Backstage passes to a concert
  24. Walking food, preferably dessert, tour of NY
  25. Make my own beer

 

 

 

 


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Adventures In WWOOF-ing

wwoofing

So as you may have noticed, here at Honesty Time we all have super important jobs with huge responsibilities, and definitely DO NOT spend hours a day g-chatting with each other, I won’t mention any specific names. (If our bosses are reading this, I swear, we do our work too.)

Lately it seems that we’ve been feeling a bit wanderlust-y and have been talking frequently about the cheapest way to see another part of the world.   The question that we’ve been asking ourselves is, how do we get someone else to pay our expenses so we can just go on adventures?  Win the lottery?  Find wealthy husbands?  Turn Honesty Time into a for-profit travel blog?  How?  Enter WWOOF-ing.

For any of you who are unfamiliar, WWOOF is an acronym for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  Basically the way it works is, there are participating countries that each have their own website that will link people with farmers who are practicing organic and sustainable farming methods, and you can go and learn and work on the farm for a pre-determined amount of time.  You do have to pay for your own travel expenses to the site, but once you’re there, it’s basically free room and board for a 4-6 hours of work a day.

I fully realize that we talk a big game here at Honesty Time about all of the adventures that we’d like to have and all of the challenges that we’re doing, or I do at least.  This one I would really like to explore.  My top choices would be Costa Rica, South Africa, or Thailand.  Would you ever try something like this?  Where would you want to go?  I think it would be a great way to travel,  learn something new, and also give back to the community that you are traveling in; but I also fully understand sometimes when you just want your vacation to be relaxing.  Ideally I would like to take a week either during winter break or next summer to do something like this.  So, I’ll keep you posted if it looks like this could actually come together!


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Road Trip Playlist

Definitely a picture of us on our trip. Definitely.

Definitely a picture of us on our trip. Definitely.

Going along with this unofficial theme of talking about different aspects of our Memorial Day trips (remember when we used to have official theme weeks?), I’m going to talk about the road trip part of our weekend in Vermont. More specifically, the music. Rachel was in charge of the driving, Kaely was in charge of the navigating, Allyssa was in charge of the snacks, and I was in charge of the music. I created a playlist full of songs that mean something to some or all of us, plus songs that are just fun to sing along with. So next time you are going to be in a car for 4+ hours with your best bros, you should definitely include these songs on your Road Trip Playlist. Or, if you’re like us, your Broad Trip Playlist (we’re bros on the road who are really broads and also we’re kind of…thick). Anyone who questions why even one of these songs was included clearly does not understand us.

  1. Aaron’s Party by Aaron Carter
  2. Addicted by Simple Plan
  3. Air Force Ones by Nelly
  4. All My Life by KC and JoJo
  5. All or Nothing by O-Town
  6. Always Be My Baby by David Cook
  7. The Anthem by Good Charlotte
  8. Ants Marching by the Dave Matthews Band
  9. Bad Touch by The Bloodhound Gang
  10. Blue by Eiffel 65
  11. Bombs Up in My Face by Darren Hayes
  12. The Call by the Backstreet Boys
  13. Candy by Mandy Moore
  14. Chocolate by the 1975
  15. Come Clean by Hilary Duff
  16. Down by Jay Sean (featuring Lil Wayne)
  17. Drive Myself Crazy by *NSYNC
  18. Everybody by the Backstreet Boys
  19. Everything is Sound (La La La) by Jason Mraz
  20. Fuck You by Cee Lo Green
  21. Falling for the First Time by the Barenaked Ladies
  22. Father of Mine by Everclear
  23. Fearless by Taylor Swift
  24. Geek in the Pink by Jason Mraz
  25. Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Pharrell
  26. Grillz by Nelly (featuring Paul Wall, Ali & Gipp)
  27. If You’re Into It by the Flight of the Conchords
  28. Ignition by R. Kelly
  29. I’ll Be There for You by The Remembrandts
  30. I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan
  31. It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy
  32. I’ve Just Seen a Face by Jim Sturgess
  33. Jane Fonda by Mickey Avalon
  34. Jersey Girl by Hyphen-One
  35. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. by Noah and the Whale
  36. Lightening Bolt by Jake Bugg
  37. Liquid Dreams by O-Town
  38. Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong by the Spin Doctors
  39. Love Today by Mika
  40. Luck by the American Authors
  41. Lucky by Britney Spears
  42. Miss New Booty by Bubba Sparx
  43. Naturally by Selena Gomez and the Scene
  44. New Classic by Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley
  45. On the Way Down by Ryan Cabrerra
  46. One Week by the Barenaked Ladies
  47. Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid
  48. Piano Man by Billy Joel
  49. Riding Solo by Jason Derulo
  50. Rump Shaker by Wreckx-N-Effect
  51. Say You’ll Be There by the Spice Girls
  52. See You Again by Miley Cyrus
  53. Shape of My Heart by the Backstreet Boys
  54. She Way Out by the 1975
  55. Show Me Your Genitals by Jon Lajoie
  56. Space Jam by the Quad City DJ’s
  57. Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls
  58. Stop by the Spice Girls
  59. Summer Girls by LFO
  60. Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood
  61. Tearin’ Up My Heart by *NSYNC
  62. Timber by Pitbull (featuring Ke$ha)
  63. To the Moon and Back by Savage Garden
  64. Wake Up by Hilary Duff
  65. Wannabe by the Spice Girls
  66. What Would You Do? by City High
  67. What’s Luv? by Fat Joe (featuring Ja Rule and Ashanti)
  68. Who the Fuck is Alice? by Smokie
  69. You and I Both by Jason Mraz
  70. 2 Become 1 by the Spice Girls

I bet some of you didn’t read all of that because you are mad that I didn’t link to videos of each song, even though there are 70 of them. I bet some of you are wondering why there are so many Spice Girls songs on here. I bet even more of you are wondering why I only included one Ke$ha song, and it’s the one where she sings with Pitbull. I’m sure you all have a lot of questions that I won’t answer. And you may even think this playlist is crap and you can do better. Feel free to share what would be on your road trip playlist. But I can promise you it won’t be better than mine.


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A Lori in Paris

This week’s episode of This American Life is called “Americans in Paris.” It inspired me to write about my own adventure in Paris, about four and a half years ago. I’ve written about it briefly before, but now I want to talk about it in more detail. Sorry, this post might be kind of long. Sometimes I ramble.

I spent the first semester of my junior year of college studying abroad in London. It was by far the most exciting, terrifying, and nerve-wracking experience of my life. Before this, I’d gone on two other international trips, but those were part of a group. My semester in London was more insulated than many semester abroad programs since I was living and going to school with 23 other students from my college, but I was still more on my own than I had ever been before.

By the time I went to Paris, I was already a pro at traveling. I had gotten over my fear of traveling through London alone after about a week of being there. I had gone to Scotland, Spain, and Ireland earlier in the semester. And then it was nearing the end of my semester, and it was time to go to Paris. Because where else would three 20-year-old American girls want to spend Thanksgiving?

To be fair, we actually spent Thanksgiving Day in London at our Australian professor’s flat. But the very next day, Kaely, Liz, and I woke up at the crack of dawn to hop on the Chunnel. And the adventure began.

We got to Paris a couple hours later. We immediately went to exchange some money at the train station, then attempted to find our hostel. Word of advice for anyone thinking about going to Paris: get a map and learn how to say “Can you give me directions to ____” in French. Because that city is confusing. With the help of a stranger, we were directed toward the right place. We got to the hostel and learned that we couldn’t check in for another few hours, but they would allow us to lock up our bags until then. Which we did, and then we were off. We spotted the top of the Eiffel Tower, and with zero plans for our trip, decided that was the perfect place to start. I already told the story of how we got lost, but here’s a refresher: we didn’t pay attention to where we were going. At all. We just kept making random turns down random streets with the goal of getting to the Eiffel Tower. Which we did. It was getting back to the hostel at the end of the night that was the problem (you see, our hostel wasn’t a big pointy thing that towered over other buildings).

Once we got to the Eiffel Tower, we saw the line for the elevator and decided that we were young and athletic enough to take the stairs. So we walked to the top of the Eiffel Tower and it was one of the coolest views I have ever seen. I’m really glad I got that experience and didn’t take the elevator just because it was faster. One thing I learned while traveling: even though everything about where I’m from is about going faster, faster, faster…nothing about traveling is like that. It’s about experiencing new places and cultures, not about fighting against a clock. Traveling shouldn’t be stressful, it should be enjoyable.

Anyway, after the Eiffel Tower, we got tickets for one of those “hop on/hop off” bus tours that got us around the entire city for two days. We wandered around Notre Dame. I bought gloves and a scarf because it was freezing. We saw a lot of cool buildings, we saw the Arc de Triomphe, we wandered through a really cool little street fair thing. It was an excellent day of adventure.

Then it was night time, so we decided to stop in a little café and pick up a baguette and cheese for dinner as we attempted to get back to the hostel. And we failed, miserably. We had no idea where we were, and it was dark. None of us panicked though, because what’s the point of that? We stopped under a street light to check our map, and two different Parisians stopped to ask if we needed help. In English. I guess it was a good bet that we didn’t speak French. With their help, we eventually made it back to our hostel, checked in, picked up our bags, and discovered that our room was basically in an attic of a really old building. We were sitting in our beds talking when we heard male voices coming up the stairs. I guessed they were Australian, but they were actually from New Zealand (I was pretty proud of how good I was getting at guessing accents, though). And then 5 guys in their 20s burst into our room, and we met our roommates for the night. And what a night it was.

Our Kiwi friends insisted we go out with them. They were so fun and interesting and silly and drunk. It was a blast. They also brought along another guy from our hostel, a kid named Robin who spoke perfect French and perfect English. He helped us not get helplessly lost again. We took the Paris metro and went to a bar and saw a band play and just had a fun night out in the city. Then my friends, Robin, and I left the Kiwis and went back to the hostel. I just remember it being so cold in the hostel and we didn’t have blankets and the girl at the front desk just gave us a bunch of top sheets and a space heater. I slept in my jacket and Uggs. It was a really nice establishment. When the Kiwis got back, they woke us up and we hung out in the room with them for a while.

The next day, the Kiwis left and the three of us were on our own again. This time we were smarter and paid attention to where we were. We took the bus to the Louvre. I’m not really an art museum person, but it seemed like something we had to do. Liz managed to get us in for free because there was some deal where European students didn’t have to pay. And technically we were studying in Europe, so…it was legit. We saw some cool art, including the Mona Lisa. But it was so crowded in there and we were exhausted. The most memorable part of our experience in the museum was when we were paying for our food at the restaurant, the cashier greeted both Liz and I in English, and then got to Kaely and started talking in Spanish. Everyone thinks she’s Spanish.

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That night, we visited the Moulin Rouge, then checked out the Eiffel Tower at night (beautiful). We were exhausted and had an early train to catch, so we went back to the hostel. That night, our roommates were just a couple of boring Americans, so we only chatted with them briefly. Then we froze to death another night, woke up early, and were on our way back to London.

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For only being there for two days, I feel like we covered a lot of our bases – we saw all the major sites, we got lost, we made friends, we ate cheese (I honestly don’t remember eating anything but cheese and bread in Paris). We did it all.

 

The episode of This American Life focused on what it is about Paris that Americans are so fascinated with. It got me thinking about my own expectations of France before I got there, and how I feel about it now. I was only there for two days, but it was enough for me to feel a fondness for Paris, even all these years later.

French culture was never something I was particularly interested in. Up until I actually went there, my impressions of Paris were from television and other people. I was told that Parisians hate Americans. I was told they were snobby and that the city was dirty. I have no idea what other people’s experiences there were, but from my own, I can tell you that I did not witness any of this. Was Paris “dirty”? Not any dirtier than London or New York or any other city. Were the people rude and condescending? Well, there were numerous occasions when the three of us got lost and, sometimes without even having to be asked, kind strangers volunteered to help us. So, I would say that my experience in Paris defied my expectations. I’m sure there are people there that don’t like Americans or tourists or whatever, but that could be said about any place in the world. Every person I interacted with was polite to me. Maybe I got lucky. Or maybe people should stop listening to generalizations and stereotypes and actually go out and form their own opinions based on actual experiences.

And that’s Lori’s Life Lesson for the day. You’re welcome.


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Traveling the World

I was inspired to write this post after seeing this article online a last week.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=TR_PPTG_20140110&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2

While the article offers places to visit in the year 2014, that’s obviously not realistic for me. I decided to make a list of places I want to actually want to go to within the next 10 years. I really think it’s important to travel and see the world, and I think that your twenties and thirties are the perfect time to do that. Some of the places are cliché and I really don’t care how much of a “tourist” I’ll be. I’ve seen amazing pictures and shows and heard stories of all these places, and I don’t want someone else to alter how I imagine them if they have their own negative reviews. I want to see them for myself and experience them for what they are.

1. Italy

My mom is 100 percent Italian, and many of her relatives came from Italy to the United States in the early 20th century. Aside from it being an incredibly beautiful country, I want to see where my relatives are from. I want to see the whole country. The major cities, the countryside, the coast…all of it.

2. Ireland

I’m also part Irish, and I’ve always thought Ireland is one of the prettiest countries I’ve ever seen pictures of. Friends of mine from riding went on a vacation there and specifically visited the countryside to spend a week riding and I’ve been jealous ever since.

3. Paris

Since I was little, I’ve been obsessed with Paris. It looks like one of the most fascinating places in the world to me. I was so interested in it that I chose to take French in middle school and attempted to learn the language (I failed miserably and should have just given up in high school). Of course, Paris is popular in film and television, so the idea I have of it is the romanticized version from on screen and until I see it for myself, that’s what it will be.

4. London

My dad used to travel to London pretty much monthly for a good portion of my childhood, and every time he would come home, he would bring my sister and I little trinkets and gifts from his trips. I thought the world basically consisted of home and London. Naturally, I created an vision of what London was like and decided that I wanted to go with my dad on one of his trips. Of course, now that I’m older, I still want to go, but only because it’s the home of the Harrys (Prince and Potter). Just kidding…kind of. Watch out London. I will be THAT tourist.

5. African safari

Call me crazy, but I want to go to Africa. I never really thought about it until my sister briefly expressed an interest in caring for exotic animals. She wanted to learn about it by going on a safari. Now, I know this is probably the least attainable goal as far as these trips go, but how amazing would it be if it actually worked out? I’ve heard it costs several thousand dollars, not to mention it is risky going to Africa, but I think it would be a once in a lifetime, absolutely incredible experience.

6. Ballpark tour of America

So you know I’m a diehard Yankee fan. But aside from that, I really do enjoy the game of baseball and have learned quite a bit about the game and it’s teams and players. Following the Yankees as much as I do, I’ve observed  the characteristics of each ballpark around the country and see the individual beauty each one has. I think it would be awesome to travel across the country for a season seeing a game at every park, regardless of what teams are playing. What better way to get to see the country and enjoy America’s pastime?

7. Nashville

I love country music, so this is the perfect place for me to visit. It would be ideal to see this place during a country music awards show, but hey, if that can’t happen, so be it. I’ll still visit anyway.

8. New Orleans

I don’t know much about this town, but it sure seems funky. I think I need to experience places that are the complete opposite of where I’m from. All I know is the hustle and bustle attitude of the Northeast, and don’t get me wrong, I was born and raised Jersey-style, but the rest of the country is so foreign to me. I think New Orleans might be a mix of the laid-back southern style with a bit of chaos that I recognize. Plus, Pat O’Briens.

9.Vancouver

This place looked absolutely spectacular during the Olympics in 2010. I’ve pretty much had my eye on in since then because I was so drawn to its beauty. I don’t really know what’s there, and I am probably not coordinated enough to try any winter sports there, or anywhere for that matter, but I’d be willing to try. Canada looks like a pretty chill place, and I can dig that.

10. Bermuda

I’m pretty much drawn to any country in the Caribbean, so just say the word and I’m there. The only reason I can see this as working out is because my cousin just married a Bermudian and is moving there. She suggested that we come visit when they are all settled in and I am so down for that.  What better way to spend time in a place like that without (potentially) spending a ton of money? Get me to da beach!

I have a list a mile long, but that’s just a basic idea of some places I want to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to make visiting some of these places a reality within the next ten years. Otherwise, I’ve got a lifetime ahead of me to do that!