November 10, 2015

Supporting a Good Cause

Hey lovelies,
I wanted to take some time to shout out a really great organization called Teza Technologies, that is seeking to bring about a change in the STEM profession. There is a huge disparity between the number of men and women who enter the field of science, technology, engineering and math.
This organization wants to change that by encouraging more women to pursue these areas of study in college and ultimately fill the gap in the work force.

There is even a huge push by the Obama administration to foster more opportunities to allow this to happen. Check out what Obama said about STEM education.

One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to.”
-- President Barack Obama, February 2013

I am a huge proponent of any organization that seeks to empower women and create opportunities for us to grow and defy gender roles. This is why I support Teza Technologies.

Check out some statistics and learn what you can do to support them on their mission.

International Day of the Girl is a holiday committed to celebrating the successes and opportunities available to girls all over the world. Teza Technologies CEO Misha Malyshev  believes that everyday should be the Day of the Girl in order to celebrate their successes in life. These opportunities pertain to everything in life, but Teza Technologies wants to celebrate the women in science, technology, engineering, and math.

November 8, 2015

favorite travel memories

Hey lovelies,
I hope you're all enjoying your weekend.

This weekend my urge to travel was so intense. I spent way more time than I'm willing to admit on putting in random countries and checking prices. I used the explore option and saw lots of amazing prices and it took every ounce of self-control not to book a flight, that and the fact that I have a job and very few holidays(insert sad face).

I began thinking about my previous adventures and looking at pictures. I sure had some good times. Here are a few of my favorite travel memories and a little about why they will forever put a smile on my face.

Chitchen Itza, Mexico
Mexico was my second trip with my mom. Chitchen Itza had not been on our itinerary as all the packages I saw when planning our trip were way too expensive. I really wanted to go but just couldn't afford the almost 150 dollars per person prices. Luckily while in Mexico I found a last minute deal that was super cheap. The morning of our trip I woke up with food poisoning and was so sick but I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. So I went anyway and I'm so glad that I did because how many chances will I have to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World?
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
A totally spontaneous trip with one of my best friends. I loved that we planned the entire trip in less than an hour and skipped out on work to have the experience. Seeing the pyramids in real life and actually touching them was indescribable. 
Paris, France
Paris was my mom's first proper international trip (now she's gotten the travel bug) and the fact that we shared that together made it extra special. We had a great time and began our little tradition of one girls trip a year. Paris stole our hearts. 
Jebel Akhdar, Oman
My very first camping trip. I was super proud of myself for making it out in the wild, with no toilet and shower for 3 days. My friends didn't think I could handle it but I did! I hiked for miles, visited ancient remote villages in the mountains of Oman and participated in a midnight dance and drum ceremony to celebrate the recent engagement of a local man. It was one of my most memorable trips.  

Amsterdam, Netherlands
I saw my friend Katharina while in Amsterdam this past summer. We met in 2013 when I was traveling in Thailand and have remained in touch since then. We had talked about meeting up but our schedules never aligned. when she heard that I was going to be in Amsterdam, she hopped on a train from her home in Germany to spend the day with me. Nothing beats making new friends. 
Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam
I met these awesome folks while in Vietnam. We were on a tour together and after the tour we decided to go out for dinner and to hang out some more. We shared amazing food, lots of beers and laughter. The beautiful thing about traveling, is the chance to meet people who would never otherwise cross your path. 
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand was by far my best travel destination. I had so many"once in a lifetime" experiences, from riding an elephant, eating bugs, petting tigers and so many more amazing memories.

I can't wait for my next trip! I'm already thinking about a few places for 2016. I don't think 2016 will be as epic as 2015's 3 international trips, but at this point the wanderlust in me will be satisfied with even one adventure.

November 2, 2015

A Farewell

As I write this post, I'm on a plane heading back to NY.
I spent the weekend in Florida attending the funeral of my beautiful cousin. 
She was shot and killed by a family friend two weeks before her 20th birthday. A tragedy that has left so many lives deeply affected and irreparably broken. 

As I sat in the thanksgiving service hearing about her life and seeing images of her always smiling face flash across the monitor, I couldn't help but think of my own mortality. I guess funerals are always a time of reflection about the fleeting nature of life. Everyone spoke of her beautiful spirit, her passion for life and her determination. That is the lasting impression she has left on this earth. 
I began thinking about the legacy I would be leaving behind when my time to leave this earth came. I wondered what my biography would be, and it made me realize that I need to ensure that I'm living a life that positively impacts those I come into contact with every single day, in the same way my cousin did.

In honor of my cousin,  I pledge to live my life in such a way that will always make others happy.

Rest in Peace Janel