Crazy Travel Stories: Getting that perfect lighting

Note, this post was written earlier in Quarantine but our site has been going through some renovations. Sorry for the delay!

EYYYYYYY, QUARANTINE EXTENSION IS THAT YOU? 

Yup. It fucking is. 

Gotta admit, we hit the let’s rearrange the furniture and bake bread part of quarantine much earlier than expected, but here we are.  

I can also now solve a Rubrik’s cube and have not given myself bangs. 

👏This 👏 is 👏 growth 👏 people 👏

Although I am very sick of how well acquainted I am with my living room, I am very grateful that myself and my family are healthy and to all the essential workers keeping everything going.  From the healthcare workers to the service workers, your work is appreciated. 

To everyone who is protesting or demanding a haircut, get over yourself and stay home. Let’s look forward to creating new travel memories by reflecting on some oldies but goodies. 

And that is my brilliant segway into this post’s crazy travel story! Do you see why they call me the Segway Queen? 👑

TBH, no one calls me that but things can change. Crazier things have happened. I mean look at Nicolas Cage’s acting career. If that can happen, then surely I can one day hope to have defined abs and a badass nickname. 

But moving on, this post’s story is about KDanks and I spending time in Croatia and, probably the best night of our trip. We had just landed in Zadar and looked forward to spending the whole day together exploring the city. 

Zadar is a cool city and worth the visit.  The city is right on the coast and has a rich history. We explored the city from the Land Gate (built in 1543) to the Cathedral of Anastasia. 

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I somehow even convinced KDanks to spend over an hour relaxing on Boric beach! But two things we were really excited to see were the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun.  Both of these are right next to each other and we waited to visit until just before sunset. Why before sunset? Because Alfred Hitchcock claimed Zadar had the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen, and I had to see for myself. 

Now to be clear, I don’t base all my decisions on Alfred Hitchcock’s life choices.  For example, I have never felt a need to make birds more terrifying than they already are or make people think that they’re probs gonna get murdered while trying to enjoy a nice shower.  

Hitchcock did some fucked up shit that I am not here for, but this is a message I have for every horror writer or director.  

You people are the reason that I will accidently dropkick my future children down the hallway at 3 AM  screaming ‘return to the depths of hell, demon’ when they just want a glass of water. 

Back to Zadar’s sunset. The ocean was beautiful and the sky had the most amazing colors.  It was just so peaceful to be sitting there with my sister and enjoying the moment by splitting a thing of fries. 

 As much as I love exploring new cities with KDanks and checking off our bucket lists, it’s moments like watching the sunset in Zadar that I will treasure for a lifetime.

The moment was fleeting, but it was perfect. 

Now this wouldn’t be much of a crazy travel story if I just ended with a sappy moment right there, would it? Nahhhh, this is a Danks adventure and you know shit is gonna get weird. 

Now next to the Sea Organ is the ‘Greeting to the Sun.’  These solar panels light up at night creating these beautiful colors.  Of course, KDanks and I had to get a selfie, but do you know how hard it is to get a selfie with color panels in the back in the dark? 

Very. Hard.

And that is where our three heroes enter the story.  Thanks to them, our lighting went from subpar to ON POINT. 

LOOK AT THIS LIGHTING!🔥🔥🔥

You can see our faces ✔️

We look cute as hell ✔️

You can see how the Greeting to the Sun looked ✔️

Did I mention we looked cute as hell? ✔️✔️✔️

One hero took the photo, while the other two strategically held their cell phone flashlights to make sure the light caught and it CAUGHT!

Obviously, after they took our picture, we started chatting with them and it led us to spend the rest of our night with them.  They were American as well and one had been living in Zadar for the past year studying the aftermath of the civil war. His friend and boyfriend were visiting and he was showing them Zadar.

We walked around Zadar just talking about history, psychology, politics, fun facts — everything and anything. We checked out bars and just enjoyed each other’s company. At the end of the night, we went back to our Airbnb much later than our planned 10 PM return, but we had a blast and didn’t get murdered by randos. Win-win right there. 

Sometimes the best nights are made by being a little spontaneous andI can’t wait to have those moments again. 

Crazy Travel Stories: These Flip Flops were made for walking

Note, this post was written earlier in Quarantine but our site has been going through some renovations. Sorry for the delay!

Ah, another day, another quarantine.  

What day is it? Not sure.

What time is it? Really not sure.  I just know I’m rewatching The Office for the 489th time in a row.  There was a study that apparently binging your fave old shows is good for your mental health, so don’t mind me and my self care over here 💅

Other things I’m doing for my mental health?

  • Online cooking classes
    • signed up, looked at the needed kitchen tool list and lol’ed
  • Signed up for an online dutch class
    • I feel like we all know how this is not going to go
  • Not given myself bangs
    • I gave myself side bangs in high school and, looking back, disaster. I feel like I just deserve applause for not coming near my head with scissors
  • Walks through the park.  I get so excited the second I hear ‘let’s go for a walk’ that I completely understand dogs now.
    • And that’s what we call a SSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGGWWWAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY

That’s right. We’re keeping it fresh. We’re keeping it lit. We’re getting shit rolling with another crazy travel story. 

And this story? Is about WALKINGGGGGG 🚶‍♀️

Oh you guessed that already? Because of my fire segway? I got you boo boo. 

So this story takes us to beautiful Italy.

Ciao bella.  

KDancks and I had just spent the day exploring Pompei and, you guessed, met a group of people that were awesome to explore the city with. They spoke English, laughed at my jokes and had the same ‘let’s see EVERYTHING’ attitude that KDanks and I really treasure. 

While exploring Pompei, I had Bastille’s Pompei stuck in my head over and over again. We’ll have another blog post on Pompei (highly, highly recommend hopping on one of the guided tours), but that’s a post for another day. 

Today, we’ve gathered to talk about KDanks and I climbing Mt Vesuvius very unprepared.  

The group we had met in Pompei already had plans to climb Mt Vesuvius after finishing the tour of Pompei. KDanks and I had planned on returning to Sorrento to grab our suitcases and be on time for a flight. You know, be responsible.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

You already know what we did. 

We did not go back to the hotel to get our bags, instead we decided to climb Mt Vesuvius with the possibility of missing our connection in Rome.. 

Now, you can’t climb for the bottom of Mt Vesuvius to the top.  There are tour companies (i.e. sketchy vans) that take you up ¾ of the way and then you walk the last part of the way.  I’m glad I don’t remember the name of the company we went with.  The driver was so horrifying, he had me begging for my life on the way up the mountain and the way back down. More on that in a minute. 

Remember how I said we were unprepared? 

Well I am lazy with asthma and KDanks decided to climb in FLIP FLOPS. 

FLIPPY FLOPPYS. 

FLIP FLOPS. 

Us at the top:

This is a completely dirt path at a solid incline, so allow me to fucking zoom in on this girl.

FLIP FLOPS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THIS WALK. 

I REPEAT, PLEASE DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS.

Did KDanks crush it? Duh.

Was this a hint that this was going to go more downhill? Also, duh. 

Like champions, we finish the hike with our group and slay a photo at the top.

Yeah, we know we’re cute. And don’t @ me for wearing a Red Sox hat. 

  1. They’re a great team and I’m from Boston
  2. IT’S SUN PROTECTION
  3. I literally can’t see in any form of sunlight, hence the sunglasses and baseball hat. A single glare of sunshine and this bitch is blind and HURTING. 

I already hear enough from my mom that I ruin potential Christmas card photos with my sunglasses/baseball hat vacay look but this bitch is just TRYING TO SEE. LET ME LIVE.

Anyway, it’s time for us to head back down the mountain.  We stop by the gift shop, pick up some wine to enjoy at a later date and hop in the van. 

Remember how I said this man was a bad driver? 

Well.

Apparently, he is a MUCH WORSE DRIVER WHEN GRAVITY IS INVOLVED. 

SO. 

MUCH.

WORSE. 

The road has lots of turns and is pretty narrow, but this man has decided to take our lives into his hand and fucking YEET THEM OUT THE WINDOW.  

I have never seen less fucks given and last week, I wore the same sweatpants 5 days in a row.  

Yes, I showered, but I still put those same sweatpants on after.  I thought that was a whole new low, but this man surpassed quarantine-me. 

He was cutting people off, speeding and yelling at other drivers going to slow on this thin mountain road.  There are two ways to get down the mountain:

  1. Safely use the road that was designed to get you from the top to the bottom
  2. Fall off the road and tumble down the side of the mountain to meet what is sure to be a fiery death

Now, most people would select 1, but not this man. He was ready to welcome the end and take us along for the ride. 

Remember the bottle we picked up from the shop to enjoy at a later date? Who knew later just meant 5 minutes later to help stop a panic. 

The 6 of us are passing around 2 bottles of wine and DRINKING. Drinking with some dark jokes about how at least we saw the top and had some nice wine before the end. There was nervous giggling and chugging of cheap wine. 

I’m 112% positive the driver did not notice.  Maybe he did notice, but just couldn’t be bothered to give a hoot. This seems more realistic tbh. 

We survived the ride although our wine did not. A trade which seemed more than even to me. 

We said our farewells, made record time to Sorrento to grab our suitcases and made it to the airport with moments to spare to get through security for our flight back to Germany. 

Italy was amazing and I can’t wait for my next adventure with KDanks ❤

OH LOOK, MOM, ANOTHER PHOTO RUINED BY MY HAT AND SUNGLASSES. 

Crazy Travel Stories: The Poor Man at Australia Immigration

Note, this post was written earlier in Quarantine but our site has been going through some renovations. Sorry for the delay!

Ah, we’re still in quarantine. It feels like this will never end. Shout out to our healthcare professionals and essential workers for keeping us all safe. 

Back to my life in quarantine. 

I haven’t worn pants without an elastic waistband in 5 weeks. 

I have day sweatpants and night sweatpants. 

Wine night is every night. 

I think I washed my hair today or maybe it was yesterday. Your guess is as good as mine. 

Still thinking about all my weird travel stories. This one in particular is short and sweet. And just offers insight into how I pack. 

So, a little backstory. I am an efficient, but overpacker.  I pack enough to give myself a few options, but I typically plan out my outfits for every day. Where I really overpack is toiletries. 

This story is about the poor immigration officer who had to encounter my toiletry packing. 

In 2017, my husband and I took our first international trip together to Australia and New Zealand.  The poor man had never flown for more than 3 hours and has flying anxiety. Sticking him on a flight for 23 hours?

 What a great idea! Brilliant!

In other blog posts, I’ll talk about our trip — favorite spots, tour recommendations and how to survive a long haul flight — but this post is strictly about the young gentleman at border control flying back in Australia from New Zealand.

Remember what I said about overpacking toiletries? When I say that, I am specifically talking about lady products. 

I pack as if I’m going to have my period every day and will be losing gallons of blood. Literally the amount I pack for, it’s almost as if I’m assuming that my body will be drained of blood. Even before being on birth control, I never encountered that on a monthly basis so don’t ask me why I pack this way. 

^Literally, this has never been me, but you would not know that from how I pack.

So waddling through security.  

It’s 6 AM. 

We’re tired but had a blast in New Zealand and my man is now a seasoned flier and knows the Quantas security video by heart.

As we’re going through immigration, I get stopped with my backpack for a random bag check.  

Sure, bro. Go through my backpack. I literally have nothing in there so have at it. 

Now my backpack is from LL Bean and has so many pockets and zippers that it’s a bit ridiculous. So each pocket is a surprise! With that many pockets, I don’t think I have to tell you that I have no idea what pocket my lady items are in. 

The poor immigration officer is going through my bag, one pocket at time and keeps asking if there’s anything sharp/anything he needs to be careful of in the next pocket. I can tell he’s a little exhausted by the amount of pockets LL Bean PROVIDES.

 And tbh, I was also sick of LL Bean’s backpack bullshit. This thing had so many pockets, it was easy to overstuff it by accident and learn later that that shit ain’t gonna fit under the seat in front of you. #strugcity

Back to the charming officier. 

Finally, we reach the last pocket.  The bottom of this backpack is one giant pocket to keep laundry or shoes away from other valuables. I cannot emphasize enough how big this pocket is.

A pocket that I have filled with an ungodly amount of tampons/pads.

As the officer is slowly undoing the zipper, I remember what is in this pocket. I turned to my husband and just uttered ‘oh no’ with a horrified expression. 

In a matter of seconds, that felt like years, a TIDAL WAVE of lady products came spilling out of the backpack. 

The officier turns bright red and has clearly never seen so many products in his young life.

He’s stuttering. 

He’s shooketh.

He has just realized that he needs to book some time with the Lord Jesus to overcome this experience.

My husband is speechless. 

Just staring at me wondering why I am like this.

And me? I am no longer horrified.

I am cackling because using my female wiles to crush the patriarchy is my main goal in life, and I had clearly just dealt a devastating blow. 

I make hard eye contact as I get my backpack from the officier. 

LOOK ME IN THE EYES WHILE YOU TRY TO SHOVE EVERYTHING BACK IN MY BACKPACK.

FEAR ME. 

STUTTER IN AWE.

And that wraps up this crazy travel story as it’s wine and fancy cheese time. Some people call it dinner but I like to call it like I see it. 

Wine.

Fancy cheese.

Tune in whenever (we’re at the point where I literally have no idea what day it is anymore, but def know the fucking year) for more crazy travel stories. 

 I’ll still be here.

Maybe I’ll be drunk. Maybe I’ll be sober. 

But I will definitely be loaded up on cheese.

Crazy Travel Stories: No hablo español, but I’m pretty balling at charades

Note, this post was written early in Quarantine, but our site has been going through some renovations. Apologies for the late posting!

Sitting in quarantine on my last bottle of wine, has left me reminiscing about all the trips I’ve taken and the memories made along the way.  And that, my enthralled readers has brought us to our newest segment of the DankTravel blog! 

Crazy travel stories!  These stories range from the heart-warming wholesome tales, to the ones that would have my mother uninviting me from Thanksgiving dinner. 

Mom, if you’re reading this.  Let me save you some trouble. 

You know I am garbagé. 

See that fancy spelling? Oh, yeah, I’m garbage but I’m cute and boogie. I am garbagio

I am essentially the embodiment of a chonky trash panda. 

Ah, yes a noble beast.  Our sleeping habits, diets and spherical shapes are not all we have in common.  I, too, hiss at people. 

Why don’t we both save ourselves from embarrassment and unnecessary intervention attempts regarding my alcohol consumption? 

We both know how this ends.  

In disappointment. You being disappointed.  Me, drunkenly reliving some of my greatest hits and the miracle that I am still crushing it. 

No? You want to keep reading? Cool, cool, cool.  We’ll kick off this segment then with a heart-warming tale that won’t get me into trouble. 

Let’s set the scene.  Murcia, Spain. A beautiful, quaint Spanish village.  KDanks and I yelling at each other in the car because we have never been so lost trying to find our Airbnb.This was the time we stayed in a Windmill, which you’d think would be easy to find, but you are very wrong.  

After asking a few locals for directions and having our host come out to locate us (did I mention how lost we were? SO LOST. SO VERY VERY LOST), we finally made it to the Airbnb. 

Stunning! Majestic! Can you tell this is the trip I finally convinced KDanks that we can no longer stay in hostels? This is what next level looks like 🔥🔥🔥🔥

But I should mention here that the price of this Airbnb was so reasonable that there was no way she could refuse it.  

You can check out the Airbnb here.  The hosts were amazing, the pool was refreshing and the views were beautiful! I’m honestly a little mad at myself and KDanks because we only spent one night there and I could have easily spent several. But we can discuss the windmill at another time. This crazy travel story is about KDanks and I having literally our best meal in Spain with our Airbnb host, his wife, his father and his father’s buddies.  

After finally settling into the Airbnb, KDanks and I realized we would need to eat dinner and asked our host for recommendations.  Instead of giving us recommendations, he invited us along to dinner with the family.  

As you can imagine, a lot of these stories start with KDanks and I looking at each other, shrugging and saying something along the lines of “LETTTTTGOOOO.”

Off we go in the family’s car to this tiny local hangout that we would never have found on our own. 

Food here was AMAZING. I am fully confident in saying it was our best meal in Spain and I would never be able to find that restaurant ever again in my young life. 

Crucial thing with this story — no one besides our host speaks a word of English. And KDanks and I can say maybe say three things in Spanish– Hola, Grasis and No hablo espanol. Arguably, all important things to be able to communicate, but when that’s all you can communicate, life gets REAL HARD. Especially, when a bitch in the group has a very deadly allergy to tree nuts. 

Hint. I am that bitch. 

^Me when I hear the tree nuts whispering and demand my life as tribute.

Have you ever tried explaining a food allergy to someone who has never heard of a food allergy? 

Have you ever done that without speaking their language? 

And you don’t have data to use your Google Translate app because the town you’re in is so small and quaint that you are getting almost no service? 

No? 

BECAUSE THAT WAS ME AT DINNER TRYING TO CHARADES MY WAY TO FOOD AND NOT DYING.

Using some very aggressive charades, a few drawings, a few french names I remembered for cashews and hazelnuts and explaining a tree nut and my allergy as much as possible to our host, I got the point across and was able to eat happily and safely.

It was so worth it. I still have dreams about that food. 

Sometimes crazy travel stories end with an amazing view or some sort of life lesson learned. 

This one just ends with me being full of Iberian Ham and an introduction to tinto de verano.

All in all, not too bad in my book. 

5 Fun Facts About Boston

With the Boston Marathon coming in just a few weeks, there will be thousands of people joining in on the excitement. As a fellow runner, I can’t wait to partake in the Boston Marathon one day with the bustling crowds and the longstanding history.

But for those of you visiting our famous town for the first time, how much do you know about it? And for those of you who are Boston natives, how much do you know about your own hometown? Below are some fun facts, geared to help you make the most of your time in Boston:

1. The North End: Famous for Italian food or molasses

The North End should be on your list of places to check out (especially for those of you looking to carbo-load before the big race). The North End houses a variety of different Italian restaurants and the famous Mike Canollis (though be warned the line is always very long here. I recommend going to Modern Pastry which is right down the road and just as good).

What you may not know about Boston’s Little Italy is that in January 1919, there was a tsunami that flooded the streets, killing about 21 people and injuring more than 150. The wave – according to reports- was more than 40 feet tall. But waves like this don’t exist in Boston, which rests along a quiet bay. So what happened?

2.3 million gallons of molasses burst from a gigantic holding. The sheer force knocked a firehouse from its foundation and overturned vehicles. Since this was winter, the force of the molasses was extremely detrimental, since the syrup would harden making it harder to rescue people.

1015956_1_1129-molasses-flood_standard

2. What’s the weather? Ask the Old John  Hancock

Colored lights on top of the old John Hancock tower (or 200 Clarendon) tells the daily weather forecast:

  1. Solid blue – Clear skies
  2. Flashing blue – a cloudy day or clouds are coming
  3. Solid red – There’s rain coming
  4. Flashing red -SNOW! (or the Red Sox game is rained out in the summer)
  5. Flashing blue and red – This happened in 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series

And having trouble remembering the colors? This poem from the 1950s mights help (Please note, the last line was added in 2004)

Steady blue, clear view

Flashing blue, clouds due

Steady red, storms ahead

Flashing red, snow instead

Flashing blue and red, when The Curse of the Bambino is Dead!

old john hancock.jpg

3. Beware of Art Thieves

The biggest art theft to date occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (highly recommend you visit this. It’s very close to the MFA at the Museum of Fine Arts stop.) $100 million worth of paintings were stolen. Empty slots remain the stolen pieces in the museum itself in the hopes that they will be returned.

4. Boston invented pretty much all of your favorite things.

Dunkin Donuts. The first chocolate factory in the US. The first public garden. Chocolate chip cookies. Thanksgiving (Plymouth is close enough). And…America. Yes, you’re welcome 😉

pilgrims-to-church_1625

5. The Boston Marathon: An Iconic Race

As you cheer or race the Boston Marathon, remember that this is the oldest race in the country and it is held on Patriot’s Day, a holiday celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine, to celebrate the first battles of the Revolutionary War. How much more patriotic can you get?

So as join the other 500,000 spectators (about 80% of Boston’s population), we hope you enjoy our city and have fun at one of the most highlighted events of the year.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/science/boston-molasses-flood-science.html

http://www.espn.com/blog/endurance/post/_/id/1527/26-2-facts-about-the-boston-marathon

https://www.americaninno.com/boston/what-is-the-rhyme-for-deciphering-the-weather-lights-on-the-old-hancock-building-in-boston/

Frolicking Around Ireland

Author: SDanck

Alright, guys. Time to be honest here. I, a fake redhead who loves potatoes, have never been to Ireland. GASP. OMG THERE I SAID IT.

beyonce

Well, I mean I went when I was really little, but visiting a place under age 5 doesn’t count.  I was a glorified sack of potatoes. Granted I had a little bit more personality than a sack of potatoes, but not by much.  

Btw, totally not dissing potatoes here. Potatoes are great. The universal food. If you’re friends with someone who either a. Just plain old doesn’t like potatoes or b. Doesn’t like potatoes because she hates joy but is totally feeling her new diet, then

GET emojiTHAT emojiPERSONemoji OUTemoji OF emojiYOURemoji LIFE.

You do not need to be surrounded with such negativity.

What you do need, is to be surrounded by potatoes. Glorious potatoes!

potatoes

Now I could spend this whole post discussing the benefits of the great potato, but instead I will share my Ireland bucket list.  

The one that KDanks said we could do this summer.

The one that we are no longer doing.

 

It turns out I am related to a curly haired liar and destroyer of dreams. NBD, KDanks.

 

N.

B.

D.

thief of joe

 

Dublin, Ireland

Obviously, Dublin is going to be at the top of the list. The Guinness factory, the Jameson distillery, the National Leprechaun Museum, the library at Trinity College?  I feel like I don’t need to say more on why I need to go there.

Can Dublin kick you out for drunkenly making lucky charms jokes or mimicking a bad Irish accent?

Because when the leprechaun from General Mills shouts ‘they’re after me Lucky Charms,’ it’s a great and lovable marketing strategy. When I legit do the same thing, I am “drunk” and “causing a scene” in the grocery store.

leprechaun

 

Cliffs of Moher

I love standing on places that feel like I’m on the edge of the world and the Cliffs of Moher offer that experience.  There are also a lot of myths surrounding the cliffs (let’s face it, Ireland’s biggest exports are folklore and potatoes).

cliffs

My fave? The Lost City of Kilstiffen. According to legend, the city of Kilstiffen will remain lost under the waves until the golden key is recovered from some unknown location.

Um hello, I grew up with a father who LOVES quoting famous dead people and when Disney’s Atlantis came out (how did this movie only score 49% on Rotten Tomatoes?! What is wrong with our society?!!!).

Either way, my dad made me love history and the story of Atlantis allowed history to retain some mystery. So a place with a similar myth to Atlantis? Sign me up for a visit.

tenor.gif

 

Giant’s Causeway

Another really cool spot with a great myth?! Ireland, you are spoiling me without me even visiting (#thankskdanks).

Legend has it that Fionn mac Cumhaill had a bone to pick with a Scottish giant, so like a totally normal person, he built a bridge to teach him a lesson. And then he saw the giant andddddddddddddddddddd promptly ran away.

Can you blame him? Yeah, I’ll poke someone sitting at the bar if they’re real annoying, but the second I learn they’re same height or bigger than me?

UM SOSORRYHAVEANICEDAYBYE.

I am not looking to be a hero and neither is Fionn mac Cumhaill.

Sunset at Giant s causeway

 

Ring of Kerry

So the Ring of Kerry is apparently one of the last places in Ireland where you can still see a leprechaun.  Funnily enough, you can also see a leprechaun when you go bar hopping with me.

Hint: I am the leprechaun.

Don’t ask about the pot of gold. I don’t have any. When I say I’m a leprechaun, I really just mean I happen to be short, red headed and beer can make my speech funny.

Ring of Kerry Landscape

 

Galway

Ok, so Galway got thrown in here for two reasons (besides the fact that it’s a beautiful city).

2018-03-17_6-07-23

  1. I was accepted to the History Masters Program at Galway University but was told 2 weeks before the semester started (oh hey admin office that is totally reading this – can I maybs get a little more lead time next time? Just asking for a little favor here).

and

  1. ED SHEERAN’S GALWAY GIRL.

Honestly, I feel like those are two pretty good reasons. Go see the campus of the University with my dream Masters program and then frolic the streets singing Galway Girl (which I’m sure the locals hate this song by now tbh).  

giphy.gif

 

Also don’t ask me what you do with a Masters in History. Be broke? Yup. Just be broke.

 

Or start a travel blog sprinkled with fun facts!  I should mention, that we’ve started a travel blog and, guess what? Yup, still broke.  #winning

 

There are about a billion other things on my bucket list for Ireland but this sums up some of my top priorities.  Part of my hopes you found this article helpful, but 99% of me is just using this article to hint at KDanks THAT I AM HEARTBROKEN WE ARE NOT GOING.

 

I mean, I’m fine.

tenor.gif

Have any recommendations or other must sees? Comment below!  Wishing you and yours a Happy St Patrick’s Day!

 

I want to be where the people are….JK I want the Sea in Mexico

Author: SDanck

I want to be where the people are

I want to see
Want to see ’em dancing….

Little Mermaid

My 24th birthday was right around the corner and this (artificial) red head was ready to have her Little Mermaid moment.  Not the moment where she makes the mistake to join the human populace and get legs.  I mean the under the sea moment, where I’m best friends with a couple of fish and my hair looks AH-mazing underwater.  

(Real talk, Disney didn’t mess up my expectations of love.  It seriously messed me up on what realistic hair expectations should be.)

Little Mermaid_2

I could totally be Arielle. Mind you, when I’m rolling around the beach singing about how great it would be to have legs, it’s a ‘you’re-drunk-please-use-the-legs-you-already-have-and-leave’ moment.  Less of a Disney masterpiece, more of a real life shitshow disaster.

But back to my actual Little Mermaid minus the glorious hair — swimming in cenotes and with sea turtles in Mexico.

Let’s start with the simple lesson of ‘WTF is a Cenote?’ I’m glad you asked and am pleased that I can quench your thirst for knowledge.

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A cenote is a sinkhole filled with groundwater that was naturally created by the collapse of limestone bedrock. The water in a cenote is always extremely clear, as it is filled with rain water that has been slowly filtered by the ground. In ancient times, cenotes served as the only source of freshwater for a majority of the Yucatán Peninsula.  Cenotes are still a source of drinking water today!

The most well-known cenote, the Sacred Cenote, can be found in the vicinity of Chichen Itza. According to post-conquest (Spanish) sources, Mayans would sacrifice objects or humans to the rain god, Chaac.  From 1904 to 1910, the cenote was dredged and items along with human bodies showing wounds consistent with human sacrifice were found.  Luckily in the Cenotes, KDanks and I snorkeled through, there were no bodies.  Just crystal clear blue waters and 8 other tourists.

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I bet you’re wondering, ‘what does human sacrifice have to do with your Little Mermaid moment?’

TBH, (thankfully) nothing.  

I just figured you could further your education and it serves as a very casual reminder that your Starbucks order being wrong is not the worst thing in the world, Susan.

Also KDanks and I visited the cenotes and swam with sea turtles on the same day via a specific tour, so it just made sense to include them. #yourewelcome

Going back to me channeling my inner Disney Princess. While I mean Disney Princess, I have a feeling my underwater grace is similar to Dory’s. Grace may be the wrong word but whatever.

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So swimming with sea turtles was an amazing experience.  While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll actually see any (believe it or not, sea turtles do their own thing and are not required to show up when you’re available), it’s a pretty high probability as the tour takes you to a beach where sea turtles frequent.

There are also plenty of other snorkeling options if you’re a monster and snorkeling with turtles isn’t your thing. You do you, Boo Boo.

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I tried getting a selfie with a turtle, but those little flippers are faster than I give them credit for. I also tried humming Under the Sea to solidify my friendship with them, but got a mouthful of water instead.

So I’d rate my experience an 8/10 success.  Points docked as a sassy crab did not pop out of the sand and try to tell me how to live my life.

Sigh.  There’s always next time.

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Either way if you’re hitting the beaches soon, be sure to check out any snorkel tours that let you appreciate wildlife the way it’s meant to be; gawked at from above wearing a life vest hoping one of the turtles will ask for some fin.

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Also Please keep in mind how awesome these animals are and help us preserve them and their habitats. Recycle, reduce your carbon footprint and donate to organizations protecting sea turtles for the future.   

People of the World: Jumping into Adventure

People of the World is a chance for you to share your stories of traveling, the people you meet and the lessons you learn. It is published every Wednesday. To submit your story, email: dancktravel@gmail.com. 

Author: Sarah, USA

A and I were en route to Varanasi from Udaipur after completing a three-month study abroad program in southern India. Just beginning to get over some of the worst food poisoning we’d ever experienced (I’ll spare you the details :P), A and I were so excited for the sleeping bunks of the train we’d cross the country in that neither of us thought to set an alarm for the next morning. After what felt like two seconds of sleep, I woke up with a start after I drowsily looking at my watch and realizing that it was 11:14am and we were pulling into the station we were meant to switch trains at. I yelled for A to wake up and we began packing our oversized backpacks like madwomen. Meanwhile the train had come to a stop and was starting back up again. We were gathering speed. A and I rushed to the train doors and she asked what we should do. So I said what any other mature 19 y/o would say…

Jump!!

I regretted that decision the moment I saw A hit the platform and start rolling. Obviously I couldn’t leave her alone in some unknown train station in the middle of who knows where, so I jumped too. I hit the ground just meters before the end of the platform, and with such force that I immediately passed out. I awoke a minute or so later to a group of men surrounding us, wondering wtf those crazy tourists were doing. Somehow I found the energy to get up and walk towards A. She was worse off than I was. Her glasses were broken and arms and face scratched up. It didn’t exactly help that as I stood up, I got my first proper look at the station name. And it wasn’t the one that we had to switch trains at… we had, in fact, „disembarked“ one station to early!

The twenty or so hours that followed were a mess of compounded delays and incorrect bookings, a 7-hour stay at the sketchiest hotel I’ve ever stay in, and an overnight train ride wedged between live chickens, bags of rice, and concerned locals who couldn’t believe their eyes. I still have the scars from that day but also memories that I will never forget.

Also, amazingly A and I are still good friends 😉

New Year’s Eve Around the World

Author: SDanck

So last week, we celebrated Christmas and judged celebrated Christmas traditions from around the world. This week we’re going to explore – you guessed it – New Year’s Eve traditions. Say what you will, this blog keeps it fresh, exciting and is NEVER predictable.  

NEVER

From writing these traditions around the world posts, I’m just noticing how weird unique the world is and that everyone brings their own special little something to the table.
So why wait? Let’s dig into how everyone else around the world will be celebrating the end of 2017 and the start of 2018 diets that will end February 1st.

USA

The ball drop in NYC is pretty iconic but that doesn’t make it any less weird. Thousands of people gather to stand around outside, where there are no bathrooms and wait until midnight. In the freezing cold. With thousands of other people surrounding you.

And in case you are skimming this… Did you read that I mentioned there are no bathrooms?

Being cold and needing a bathroom = my own personal hell.

Or maybe this is one of the layers in Dante’s Inferno. Pretty sure he mentioned an ice layer as the final circle of hell.

How convenient that you can go visit that layer on December 31st. Either way, we’re talking about Hell. But hey if you’re a sadist, go ahead and plan that trip for a quiet NYC getaway.

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Not feeling NYC and the balldrop?

Luckily for you, Boise has you covered for a different kind of evening. Boise hosts a Potato Drop that 40,000 people attend.

WILLINGLY ATTEND.

I feel like this is their social event of the year. Everyone shows up in their best dressed potato ensemble and talks only about potatoes.
I’m screaming right now that people go watch a potato drop. I can’t decide if watching a potato or watching paint dry is more exhilarating. Why do you have to be like this, Idaho? Why?

But at least there are bathrooms.

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Spain

In Spain, people ring in the new year by eating 12 grapes. One grape for each bell chime. This tradition is also very popular in Latin America. The grapes represent wishes for the new year. I can definitely get behind wishing on grapes for 2018. Does it still count if my grapes happen to take liquid form?

FYI, my 12 grapes will be 12 glasses of wine.

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Colombia

One of my best friends is Colombian, so I have had the pleasure in taking part of this tradition. In Colombia, people walk around with suitcases to represent the hope of a year filled with travel. I love this tradition, just wished it was more clear on who was paying for the plane tickets. Me? Or does some stranger see me waltzing around with my suitcase and Venmo me?

Really hoping for the second option, TBH.

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Japan

In Japan, they celebrate Joya no Kane which is a traditional ceremony that takes place on New Year’s Eve. Bells are run 108 times to symbolize the Buddhist belief of the 108 human sins. The 108 chimes rid Japanese citizens of the sins from the past year. 107 chimes happen on the 31st before the stroke of midnight, with the final chime ringing after midnight. I’ve looked at the list of 108 human sins, and I’m pretty sure they’d be stuck ringing that bell for me well into 2050.

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Germany

Coming from a German family, I’ve also had the pleasure of enjoying this tradition. Every December 31st, Dinner for One (also known as The 90th Birthday) airs on German TV. The British sketch was recorded in 1963 and is about twenty minutes long. The sketch features two British comedians, Freddie Frinton and May Warden, playing the roles of Miss Sophie, an elderly upper-class Englishwoman, and James, her Manservant. Miss Sophie has outlived all her friends, so James plays the roles of each and ends up drinking for four. By the end, James is more lit than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
I’m not sure why this sketch has become a New Year’s tradition for Germans, but I love it.

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South America

While your clothes you pick out for your NYE celebrations will determine how many Insta likes you get, apparently the color of your underwear can determine what kind of year you’re going to have. This tradition is very common in Latin and South America. Red underwear will bring love, and yellow will bring wealth and success. White underwear stands for peace, green underwear signifies well-being and nature. If you need all of these things, I suggest layering. I also suggest maybe not showing the whole party what color underwear you’re wearing. Might as well start 2018 off with some dignity.
Or don’t.

If you start 2018 at rock bottom, you can only go up, right?

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Here’s hoping you and I make some better decisions in 2018. Though I know myself as a creature and foresee good decisions lasting until January 3rd. Which is better than how I did in 2017, so I’m very casually moving up in the world.

Happy 2018 from the Dankie sisters! Bye, 2017. It was horrible nice knowing you.

People of the World: Flying solo

People of the World is a chance for you to share your stories of traveling, the people you meet and the lessons you learn. It is published every Wednesday. To submit your story, email: dancktravel@gmail.com. 

Author: Sarah, USA

At age 28, I decided to create a “Before-30 Bucket List”. Among other menu items such as “Fly a Plane” and “See as many Broadway Shows as Possible”, I also wanted to have the rare experience of traveling completely independently.

I planned and booked the trip by myself (not easy, since my husband is the vacation planning expert in our family.) It was important to me to choose a location that was safe, had great weather, and was already on my travel wishlist. Then it occurred to me: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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As an outspoken advocate for people with developmental disabilities, I see myself as a Hufflepuff/Gryffindor hybrid. The Hufflepuff side of me was dying to bring a friend along with me – ideally a fellow Harry Potter fan. But remember Dumbledore’s wise words: “It is our choices that show us what we really are, far more than our abilities.” As I get older, I find myself stepping more into the Brave New World of the Gryffindors, and seeking new and challenging experiences.

So in March 2017, I booked my overpriced tickets to Universal Studios, Epcot, Discovery Cove, and Sea World, and off I went into the great unknown!

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I thought it would be fun, but it turned out to be so much more than that. What I got was a once in a lifetime experience of self discovery.

I learned to enjoy my own company and keep myself engaged with an inner dialogue. As it turns out, I am my own best friend! I also discovered my own potential of self-sufficiency and independent problem solving. (Pro-tip – never drive in Florida without a roll of quarters, I learned that the hard way!). I also learned that some things are actually more enjoyable when you’re alone! I was able to observe and experience the theme parks in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to with the distraction of a constant companion. Then, the discovery that is most difficult to explain to others: The spiritual experience of being surrounded by people yet being very much on your own, while feeling supported and comforted by your one and only travel companion – God.

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In our busy lives, we never have a chance to truly be alone. Some of us are even afraid to be alone. When I tell people about this vacation, I urge them to give themselves the gift of a solo trip. Even it’s it’s just a weekend in the next town over, the experience of being without a companion to talk to can be truly awakening. As suggested in my favorite poem, The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” Can you?

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