Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where in the world should Brea go next?

At 27 and single, I feel that it is my duty and privilege to travel the world. I was counting up my states and countries I've visited, and I realized that for the first time in my adulthood my state list is longer. That needs to change.

States I've visited (not including airports)
  1. Washington
  2. Oregon
  3. Idaho
  4. Utah
  5. Wyoming
  6. Montana
  7. California
  8. Nevada
  9. Texas
  10. Virgina
  11. District of Columbia (it counts)
  12. New York
  13. Pennsylvania
  14. Arizona
  15. New Jersey (I drove through it, so I guess I need to count it)
  16. Maryland (Liz reminded me we went there together)
Countries I've visited
  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Germany
  4. Austria
  5. Switzerland
  6. Italy
  7. The Vatican (like DC, it counts)
  8. Ukraine
  9. Poland
  10. Mozambique
  11. Barbados
  12. South Africa (I have a stamp in my passport, but didn't really visit)
As the list shows, I need to add some more countries. To remedy this, I have decided to work on planning another trip. I have opportunities and reasons to go, now it's just all about funding. Here are some of my options.

Germany: visit Oma and other relatives. I know Oma would love to see me and I would love to see her. A visit to Oma also means a visit to Switzerland, Germany, and many other places as well. I'm looking at going north this time and seeing northern Germany and Denmark.

Cape Town, South Africa: I have just started my graduate project which is analyzing qualitative data from a hygiene project that has been going on in Cape Town for the past few years. As of now, I'm doing the analysis in Provo, but I'm sure I could come up with a reason to go to S. Africa for further research.

Sweden: After visiting Oma, I would like to travel with Alison up to Sweden where her family will be living for a month or so this summer. I think it's important to do family history and I know that we have Swedish roots. From Northern Germany and Denmark, Sweden is just a hop, skip, and a jump, plus I have a place to stay and people to stay with. Alison also has some crazy plans in the works to hop over to England and Scottland to finish a bike ride she started years ago while on a study abroad in London. She wants me to come with and I want to go.

Peru: I started working on a project that would take me to rural Amazonian Peru to do research in a small village. I have a professor who would like me to go test a survey instrument that has been developed to assess a community's water, hygiene, and sanitation facilities. This project has been delayed for now, but if funding becomes available, then myself and 2 other MPH students who speak Spanish would come with me. And while in Peru, we can't miss Machu Picchu.

Any suggestions? Any other places I should consider for 2010? I'm thinking of adding Ukraine (after the Temple dedication sometime in 2010) and Hawaii. Happy Travels to me!


Welcome to New York City!! This was my first time to the Big Apple and I loved it. I did not get enough time, didn't get to eat at any famous places, but I did get to feel the hustle and bustle of the city. I love the fast paced, super busy pulse of the city. I went to NYC with two of my classmates for a weekend before heading to Philadelphia for a public health conference. I spent two full days in the city and got to see some sights.

Me in NYC!

Me with Lauren and Alisha (2 fellow MPHers) on the Brooklyn Bridge. We were there the day after the Yankees won the World Series, so there was a parade to honor the team earlier in the day. We got to the city just after the parade was over and walked through the aftermath. The parade route went right by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Central Park

More Central Park...isn't there a song, "I recall Central Park in Fall...." If I knew the words, I'd post them for you. If you do know them, you can just sing right along. The park was beautiful and filled with fall colors. People were out running, walking dogs, and enjoying the fall crisp weather. It was seriously BEAUTIFUL!!!

Broadway- We saw West Side Story. It wasn't my first choice, but the tickets were cheap and I wanted a Broadway experience. I'm still sad about not seeing Wicked or Lion King, but as a student, I just don't have that kind of cash. Next trip. All in all it was a fantastic trip and I am eager to head back east again soon!

City of Brotherly Love

I went to Philadelphia the first week in November for a Public Health Conference (American Public Health Association). Some of my classmates were presenting and we all got funded to some degree to come out for the conference. I was pretty excited that this year's location was in Philly. It was my first time to the city and it's a pretty cool place. The original downtown is fairly well preserved and Independence Square sits right in the middle of the city. As you walk the streets you can see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, old Quaker meeting houses, Benjamin Franklin's grave, a Masonic Temple, and more. Here are a few pictures of my trip in Philly.

This is me in front of Independence Hall. This is the location where the Declaration of Independence was signed as well as where the Constitutional Convention took place. It's pretty remarkable to think of what conversations and debates took place in this building. I still have a firm belief that every American citizen needs to visit the places where our initial founding took place. DC and Philadelphia are musts!!

The Liberty Bell with Independence Hall right behind.

This is in the Constitution Center, which is an interactive museum of early American political history. The center starts with a dramatization that talks about the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution. It goes through the different struggles for freedom from all the different groups throughout American history. The last exhibit is walking through a room of delegates (like the Benjamin Franklin statue here) at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and then you can sign your name on the declaration...which I did of course.

A couple of my classmates met up with a friend who is studying at Princeton and came down for the evening to join us for dinner. Yeah for friends!

Vacation and eating go hand in hand and on this trip I got to try my first authentic Philly Cheese Steak and Falafel. The cheese steak was pretty good, but I definitely couldn't eat one of those every day. Falafel is a middle eastern sandwich/wrap, which I enjoyed. Sorry no food pics. I would definitely come back to Philadelphia and spend some more time exploring the city.