Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Travel Photo #11: Rocky Mountain National Park

Words cannot fully describe my experience at Rocky Mountains.  You need to go see the Rockies by yourself!

The Rockies, Colorado.  Summer 2013

Rocky Mountains Overview

Rocky Mountains also called Rockies are famous mountain range in western North America. They were formed between 55-80 million years ago. These mountains are famous for having the highest peaks in North America central.
The rocks in Rocky Mountains were however formed before tectonic forces raised the mountains.

Top Attractions At Rocky Mountains

1. Alluvial Fan
Basically, majority of the attractions at Rocky Mountains are located in Rocky Mountain National Park. Alluvial Fan is a place you can view nature at its best.  Here you will see how destructive water can be and how the power of water has changed a lot of things in a short time. My visit to this national park in Rocky Mountains was worth it and I believe you will have a great time as well if you visit Alluvial Fan in Rocky Mountains.

2. Bear Lake Trailhead
Bear Lake Trailhead is another attraction at Rocky Mountain National park. It is a half-mile hiking trail that will give you a clear view of beautiful forests and lakes in the park.

3. Adams Falls Trail
Adams Falls Trail is an easy and short hiking trail. The view at the peak of the trail is simply out of this world.

4. Sprague Lake
Sprague Lake is a very gentle and beautiful lake in Rocky Mountain National park. This is an ideal place to have your breakfast and start off your day on the bright side of nature. Lovers/couples always love Sprague’s lakeside because of its peaceful nature and its reflective water.

How To Get To Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains occupy a very large area, but all the major attractions in Rocky Mountains are in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The closest airport to the park is DEN. From the airport you can then use public transportation to Rocky Mountain National Park.  I do prefer driving the rental car.
You can take Greybound bus services to get to Rocky Mountain National Park. Greybound is the most popular and effective bus service in this region.  

 “Every exit is an entry to somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard 

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Ways Travel Makes You Fabulous

Denali, Alaska
Traveling is a passion that comes in life when you see how happy other people are while traveling to different places. Some people do business while traveling different places and enjoy life on the road.  I am inspired by folks who travel the world full time and live fully on travel blogs.  E-book sales and advertising on blogs funds the whole life.  It is a great way of living life.

South Beach, Miami, Florida

When you travel, you get new ideas and tricks to expand the business or work.  You share experience with other travelers on the road.  You get information about many different things, which you cannot get without traveling. To me, travel is a priority passion while I also need to prioritize work.  Here’s 5 ways travel makes you an awesome person.

1.  You become more interesting and sociable
Balanced Rock, Arches, Utah
When you travel to the different places alone and automatically you become more social.  You meet with the different people and make them your friends. You share your experience with them and they do the same.  You come to know about the nature of different regions in the countries.  I used to be an extremely shy person.  Travel makes me talk to strangers, be more comfortable interacting with people and find new friends on the road.

2.  You learn way of talking
Nassau, The Bahamas
When you travel and explore the world, you learn the way of talking with people of different countries. Talking in the polite way of local style you can earn the heart of different people. If your speech is interesting and attractive, people love and enjoy having conversation with you. When I was in Nassau, the Bahamas, a sweet Bahamian lady walked me to the bus station, waited till Jitney (mini bus) arrived, told the bus driver to drop me off right in front of my destination.  I thought she was also taking the bus until she waived bye to me who seated on the bus, then she walked away from the bus stop.  It all started from a small talk.  

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

3.  You gain confidence
People who travel different places and meet with the strangers get the confidence to handle people. You gain the confidence by learning the different tricks from people. I make mistakes which I treat as opportunities to learn and improve for future.  The more places I visit, the more I believe in myself.  Travel makes me step out of the comfort zone.  Travel makes me learn to be alone and to live with less.

4.  You become adventurous
London China Town, United Kingdom
When you explore the place, you have to find your own adventures. Not every place keeps the nice beach or the hills for climbing. You have to find the way to make yourself adventure and explore the things in different ways. Life is all about building a journey.  When I was in London, I got off bus or tube whenever I saw an interesting place to check out.  I made myself lost and figured out how to get to the next stop (without having ‘G’lobal ‘P’ositioning ‘S’ystem on my phone).  I just love the sense of adventure.

5.  You feel happier
Olympic NP, Washington
When you travel solo, you don’t feel stress or concern about anyone else except yourself.  You become happier and enjoy your life without limits. That is the real life not everyone has the chance to enjoy. Traveling reduces stress from daily life, and creates knowledge and new ideas in your mind.  Travel makes me a better and happier person.  Travel makes me a fabulous woman who has her own life, who lives up to her own standards and who defines her own plans instead of following the traditions.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Travel Photo #10: Portage Glacier in Alaska

There are so over 100,000 (estimated) glaciers in Alaska and it is practically impossible to visit all of them, so I chose one that is about the most popular in Alaska, which is Portage Glacier.

Portage Glacier.  End of Summer 2011.

Portage Glacier Overview
Portage Glacier is one of the most popular and most visited glacier in Alaska. Not only is it easily accessible but the drive to the place is a treat in itself. On your way to Portage Glacier, you will also have the privilege of viewing other glaciers along the way like Explorer Glacier and Twentymile Glacier.

Top Attractions
Note that when I say Glacier in Alaska, I am referring to the area encompassing majority of the glaciers in Alaska.

1. Glacier Cruises
This is obviously one of the best ways of exploring most of the tidewater glaciers in Alaska. In the course of the cruise, you can view beautiful water animals, fish and even birds. This is a cruise you wouldn’t want to miss if you visit Alaska.

2. Anchorage (Glacier and Wildlife Cruise)
If you are a nature lover, then Anchorage Glacier and Wildlife Cruise is for you. The ecosystems that encompass the glaciers always make this cruise a memorable one. You can start your cruise from downtown Anchorage to Portage Lake, you can make a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation to have a view of Alaska’s rich wildlife collections. If you want your vacation to be a memorable one, then Anchorage Glacier and Wildlife Cruise is a must do for you.

3. Glacier Bay National Park And Preserve  
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is situated on the border between Alaska and Canada. This park is packed with a lot of glaciers and so many spectacular displays of ice and iceberg formation. In this park, you will also see different plants, wildlife, mountain goats, whales, seals, eagles and even black and brown bears.
You can also engage in a number of activities at the park like; fishing, hiking, backpacking, birding etc.  So if you ever find yourself in Alaska, endeavor to visit Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, lots of fun awaits you there.

How To Get To the Glaciers In Alaska
There are numerous glaciers in Alaska and one cannot begin to describe how to get to all of them.  So here is what you should know, fly to ANC,  get to Alaska first then you can use commercial vehicles to get to any part of Alaska’s glacier region.  As always, I rented a car at ANC for freedom of exploring the local.

 “NOT I – NOT ANYONE else, can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself.” – Walt Whitman 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bucket List: Things to do before I die

It always seems impossible until it is done!

(I started the list in 2007.  I let the post date change to the last time updated.)

I don't give myself the deadlines; I do what I can when the time is right.
- successfully completed

     get rid of all negativity in life and start being optimistic
     start own business (2007)
     become an Engineer
     raise a kitten
     donate blood
 ☑    register to be an organ donor
     no more game apps on any of my electronic devices
     maintain GPA 3.0 minimum (graduate GPA 3.39)
     start a blog (2010)
     earn a Master's degree (2012)
     become a US Citizen (2013)
     hike at least 10 miles (completed 11JULY13)
     get my first US Passport (July 2013)
     stop drinking; ok for socializing or celebrating (Aug 2013)
     volunteer at American Red Cross (Oct 2013 - Nov 2013)
   donate hair (12") to St. Jude Children Hospital (completed 31JAN14)

   become a home owner
   run 2 miles in 15 minutes.
   swim 20 laps in 15 minutes.
   spend a week in a monastery in Burma or in the US
   feed at least 100 kids at orphanages in Burma
   volunteer at an Animal Shelter
   pay off school loans

    drive across the country alone (several times)
    take a solo road trip with Leo the kitty
    stop by Hollywood (many times)
☑   see David Copperfield's Magic Show live in Vegas (2007)
☑   ride a cable car in San Francisco
☑   hop on a subway in NYC (2004)
☑   go see the US Open Tennis Final Matches in NY (2003 and 2004)
☑   stand between the two different time zones at the Hoover Dam (2010)
☑   visit the Grand Canyon (2010 and 2013)
☑   tour Graceland, the home of Elvis in Memphis Tennessee (2010)
☑   say hello to the Giants: the tallest trees in the world (2010) and Sherman the largest tree on earth (2011)
☑   drive through a Redwood Tree (2010)
☑   take a cruise circling Alcatraz (2011)
☑   explore the geysers at Yellowstone (2011)
☑   take a glacier cruise in Alaska (2011)
☑   visit Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth (2011)
☑   drive on Scenic Hana Highway in Maui Island, Hawaii (2011)
☑   take a self-photo on Millennium Bean in Chicago, Illinois (2011)
☑   drop by Mall of America in Minnesota, the largest mall in the US (2012)
☑   spend the New Year's Eve on Las Vegas Blvd (2012)
☑   taste beer at Miller Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2012)
☑   learn the history of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Oahu Island, Hawaii (2012)
☑   buy a pair of Navajo earrings from Monument Valley (2012)
☑   drive from Miami to the Keys (completed 09FEB13)
☑   hike to see 10 Waterfalls in Oregon (completed 11MAY13)
☑   hike solo at Rocky Mountain (completed 08JUN13)
☑   visit Georgia Aquarium, World's Largest Aquarium (completed 23JUN13)
☑   watch the sunset in Sedona, Arizona (completed 07AUG13)
☑   pay a visit to the White House (completed 15AUG13)
☑   peregrinate across Washington DC (completed 15AUG13)
☑   visit the Great Smoky Mountains in TN and NC (completed 25NOV13)
☑   take a  drive on Blue Ridge Pkwy in NC and VA (completed 26NOV13)
☑   tour Biltmore Estate, America's Largest Home in NC (completed 27NOV13)
☑   explore all National Parks in California (completed 25DEC13)
☑   listen to Jazz in French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana (completed 04JAN14)
☑   visit at least 4 Hawai'ian Islands (Mau'i in 2011, O'ahu in 2012, Kaua'i and Big Island in 2014)
☑   go see Mount Rushmore, South Dakota (completed 01JUL14)

   hear Niagara Falls, New York State
   go see the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights in Alaska
   take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York
   hike the Applachian trail

☑   visit 15 US National Parks (completed 04AUG13)
     visit 20 US National Parks (completed 20APR14)
   visit 25 US National Parks
   visit 30 US National Parks

☑   visit 30 states (completed 16AUG13)
☑   visit 35 states (completed 01JUL14)
   visit 40 states
   visit 45 states
   visit 50 states

☑   visit 5 countries (completed 14SEP13)
   visit 10 countries
   visit 15 countries
   visit 20 countries
   visit 100 countries (if I live long enough)
   travel at least 5 continents
   visit 7 wonders of the Ancient World
   go home (Burma) and travel across the country for 3 to 4 weeks

☑   take a solo trip internationally (completed 14JAN14)
☑   eat street food in Thailand
☑   drive to Canada then take a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (2010)
☑   take a glass bottom boat to see the Arch in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (completed 14SEP13)
    visit at least 5 museums in Europe (completed 03MAR14)
    travel to London (Tower) bridge in England (completed 02MAR14)
    go see Edinburgh Castle in Scotland (completed 05MAR14)

   ride an elephant in Africa
   hold a Koala in Australia
   go on African Safari
   ride a camel in a desert
   go see the Pyramids and Valley of the Kings in Egypt
   walk the Great Wall of China
   see the Taj Mahal in India
   spend time at the Mount Everest (and climb if I find a right partner)
   stay in a bungalow in Bora Bora, the French Polynesia
   go to at least 5 Carribbean Islands (2 Islands in The Bahamas in 2014)
   drink beer to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
   catch sight of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
   walk around the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
   visit Machu Picchu in Peru
   take a jungle walk in the Amazon Rainforest, South America
   travel to Jerusalem in Isreal
   go see Moais in Easter Island, Chile
   explore Mayan cities of Yucatan in Mexico
   take a picture of Angkor Wat in Cambodia 
   visit Tibet
   go to the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
   lay on top of Victoria Falls on the edge and look down in Zimbabwe
   see Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
   enjoy the beauty of the Iguazu Falls in Argentina
   visit the Sydney Opera House in Australia
   take snapshots of Mt. Fujiyama in Japan

This will take forever:
   complete everything in bucket list

Why having passion is so important for happiness

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Passion is a secret to happiness.  You feel unstoppable when it comes to something you really love to do.  Follow your dreams in both personal and professional life.  At Stanford graduation ceremony, Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.”

Iron Man, Alabama
The other day, I was a bit overwhelmed with something that I was having a hard time with, then I felt like researching for a flight for my next Euro trip. 
I wanted to celebrate my next birthday in somewhere easily reached, in a different country that I have not been to.  Paris!  My birthday is not coming up for another 5 months, but it’s going to be in Paris.  I am going to France and Italy (and maybe Germany as competently) in my birthday week.  My mood immediately changed with full of excitement for my next solo adventure in Europe.

Atlantis, The Bahamas

I know it is easier said than done.  I always knew that travel was my passion in personal life, but it took me years to really figure what I was passionate about in professional life.  Every weekday morning, you want to get up and go to work to be fulfilled, not because it pays the bills though you don't wish to be there.  If you don’t know what your passion is, find it now.  It lives in your heart.

“Nothing is as important as passion.  No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.” –Jon Bon Jovi