Growing up: signing up to volunteer as your birthday activity. I spent the evening volunteering with a nonprofit at their local urban farm. It’s interesting getting into the weeds (literally) of food access and education in DC. I will also be at farmers markets throughout the summer to help low-income community members access fresh produce. With all of the conflict and negativity in the world right now, how could I sit at home waiting for change? I’m looking forward to continuing to take action in my community. Baby steps.
For my birthday this year, I went to Columbia Room for drinks with a few friends. Tucked away in Blagden Alley, the cocktail bar has a nice punch garden perfect for enjoying the outdoors before the summer heat really sinks in. The drink list is aptly named “This is Not a Wine List” with cocktails inspired by wines.
Complete with Georgetown Cupcakes (thank you, Claire!) and a quick dinner at Le Diplomate, my birthday was low key and enjoyable. My goals for this year include volunteering more in my community,
acing taking the GMAT, and traveling to at least three new countries. Easy, right?
In terms of travel, 2015 was tough to beat. This year included traveling to Africa for work, planning a group trip to Peru, and returning to Paris on
my annual another solo trip. A new job even led to a few opportunities for business travel. Five continents, seven countries, and 40 flights later, 2016 was quite an adventure.
“Hey mom, do you want to go to Japan in three days?” It was her first trip outside of the U.S. and Canada! We ate a lot of ramen and sushi as soon as we got there.
Beautiful temples, the bamboo park, Fushimi Inari Shrine, and my squad at the Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto is my favorite city in Japan.
Hello, Mount Fuji! What a view from the Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) en route to Hakone’s hot springs.
Is your first trip to the windy city complete without this picture?
My annual trip to the homeland included a quick hike to Manoa Falls.
A visit to the “warm heart of Africa” and fulfilling my professional goal of
Snapchatting traveling abroad for work. Here’s the 5:30 a.m. sunrise at Lake Malawi.
When you have a long layover here, you go into the city on a quest for stroopwafels.
8. Las Vegas
My favorite part was renting a car and driving out to Red Rock Canyon.
The ceviche and sunshine make up for a terrifying non-taxi experience and having to purchase a new flight to Cusco (note to self: never fly Copa Airlines again).
We took a cooking class and made pisco sours, walked around the Maras salt mines, wandered through the markets, and met the best driver, César.
11. Aguas Calientes
Pro tip: take the bus up to Machu Picchu. Always take the bus.
12. New York
I always stop by Maison Kayser for a little taste of Paris, even on a 24-hour trip to NYC to shoot a video.
Then I actually went to Paris, because, you know… It’s Paris. Galeries Lafayette was dressed up for Christmas!
Crossed the Tower Bridge and another thing off my London bucket list.
I’ve missed the history and charm and studying in the UK.
A conference, UX class, and coffee at Dominican Joe.
Cheers to more adventures in 2017! Where should I go next?
What to do when you return from Paris and London? Invite your closest friends over for “a casual yet proper afternoon tea.”
**It helps if your friends are incredibly talented in cooking and baking.**
We had homemade treats including scones, palmiers, and a Pinterest-worthy pink champagne cake. Add dainty cucumber sandwiches a variety of the finest Twinings tea, and you have the perfect afternoon staying in and catching up.
I scored the three-tiered stand at Miss Pixie’s the morning before the event. Fate.
A day trip to Maryland calls for sunflowers and wine tasting. We ventured to The Sunflower Garden in Westminster to
frolic through the field and pick some fresh blooms. Oh, and a quick photoshoot to experiment with my 50mm lens. Then we headed to Linganore Winecellars for a tasting and downtown Frederick for dinner. The perfect weekend activity.