Living Update: College Dorm

In August I started school at Indiana University and honestly I could not be happier with my living situation. My room is so incredibly homie. Adding a couch and rug made the biggest difference. And having a Keurig in the room makes me feel like I am living in luxury. I have the best roommate (she makes hot cocoa ya’ll) and the cutest room- not to brag or anything, but we totally have the best looking room on our floor.

I am honestly shocked at how well we were able to pull this off. Never in my life have I had full responsibility over every piece going into my room. And never have I gone into it so blind. When assigned a room at IU the only detail you are given is the room number. Sure, you can look online at the sample layout but the website also says each room varies in layout. Trying to decorate a space that you have the slightest idea of what it theoretically looks like is quite the challenge. I was able to see a sample dorm room before moving in and that did not get me excited for dorm life at all- the room was so rough. So bare… So unappealing… Very drab.

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BUT- I am so pleased to say that I am happy with my living arrangements. And my room is so much better than those neutral curtains, plain walls, beat up doors and dirty carpeting.

It is much cuter.

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Boats & Bikes

My dad and a few of his buddies committed to a 160 km ride around the island of Okinawa. They were so easily persuaded to go for the 160 verses 100. Go big or go home, right? So the guys brought along their families as well. The weather forecast for the day of their race was predicted to be thunderstorms, heavy rain, and extreme winds. The morning of the ride the weather looked good enough, God was looking out for them surely. However, they weren’t so lucky. They started with five minutes of great weather until the rain started. And that rain came down, and down, and down. It didn’t stop. While the boys were out getting completely soaked, the ladies of the trip were also getting soaked but under different circumstances. The women went whale watching in the craziest weather, probably the craziest weather possible to still take a boat of people out to sea. Rain + gigantic waves = a very wet group of whale watchers.

The People Of Bhutan

As some of you know I recently took a school trip to Bhutan (Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, and Paro again), Bhutan is a tiny country– kingdom actually, with the two of the most attractive rulers ever–wedged between the two giants of Asia, India and China. It is known for being the only country in the world to practice Gross-National Happiness (GNH) instead of GDP and for being one of the happiest places on the Earth. After spending seven incredibly days in Bhutan I can definitely vouch for that claim. I love this country so much I could literally give you an entire history lesson on Bhutan; filled with Buddhist legends, unique features like animal, geography, etc. etc.. I could tell you all about the national animal, flower, and flag in a heart beat but I will save the history lesson for another time.

As more of you know I also have a passion for photography. After a good two hour hike to a mountain top Himalayan monastery, I was enjoying the view when I saw a monk journaling behind me quietly. I could not resist asking him if I could take his photo which then inspired my next project– a photo collection of the people of Bhutan. Bhutan is filled with raw untouched beauty and authenticity, so staying true to the authenticity of Bhutan all of these photos are 100% unedited.

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  1. This woman worked outside of the Takin Preserve weaving scarves.
  2. When we arrived in this tiny little village by bus and then a hike these little ones went chasing after us but kept their distance too shy to actually talk to us. Curious but shy.
  3. Little monk in training. This guy was in a hurry to bring the holy water to the temple for the next day.
  4. This boy was asleep the entire time I was with his family. His sister was carried on his mother’s back just like his father carried him.
  5. Our quiet monk escort through one of the monasteries.
  6. I first spotted these twins in a tiny trees looking at all the newcomers. Like most Bhutanese they were shy but extremely curious and friendly. They weren’t shy at all once we taught them how to give high fives. Unfortunately I am terribly at remembering names that have five syllables or more in them. However I do remember the first letter of their names. Meet N and G.
  7. Now meet L. Dorji. Possibly the funniest man I have ever met. Definitely the happiest. He loves to tell jokes– none of them actually make sense but he thinks they are hilarious and walks off laughing to himself every time. For example: Cauliflower. Did you know cauliflower looks like cows nose? This is where L. Dorji would be almost in tears because of his joke.
  8. I met these two in some remote part of the forest where his family and friends were on a picnic. The dad was very eager to talk to me and find out where I was from.
  9. And the monk that inspired me.

Thailand

I apologize if you were ever given the impression that I am a timely person because I most certainly am not. I am the polar opposite of timely ninety percent of the time. Very sorry to those of you about to watch this video and look at these pictures who are bundled in multiple layers of clothing because it is 52 degrees and cloudy out. But my Thailand video simply could not wait any longer. It is already long over due.

I’m going to be perfectly honest, I spent a lot of my time in Thailand poolside with a box of pizza. Who wouldn’t take advantage of poolside service? Not the mention I could walk to the ocean in seconds from the pool. In the time that I wasn’t enjoying a beautiful slice of golden margarita pizza I was in the ocean, exploring the island, eating Thai food, riding and feeding elephants, watching the locals play with fire, boating to Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee, no joke) Island, checking out Maya Bay or gushing at the beauty of Thailand.

Thank you parents

Thank you parents! We missed you B.

Week 10- Fall Break

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Again I am exhausted but loving life. It is fall break and I am selfishly taking all the time in the world for myself and doing so without any regrets. The five hours of sleep that I got Friday night was made up for the fact that I was woken up for a road trip out of the city. For a much needed trip away from everything. What I really had been needed over the past couple of weeks had been time to decompress and I finally got that this weekend. I love road trips and I am so glad I got to experience one here in Tokyo.

Tokyo looks vastly different, depending on where you are, from what most people would expect. Yes, it is a big city but you can drive an hour and a half to mountains and beautiful nature. I hiked Mt. Fuji and managed to trip up the mountain and fall down it. The Japanese guy behind me laughed…. so I started laughing with him. Luckily no one else in my family saw. I was so far ahead of them all- I was really happy to be done with the mountain and got a little too excited. But now I have some awesome Fuji battle scares.

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I’ve also developed a guilty pleasure of chocolate covered almonds that are so conveniently located in every convenient store and there are a lot of convenient stores here. A LOT. I can walk to three within five minutes from my house.  It is almost an addiction considering they were my breakfast yesterday.

Living in this city is honestly great. I spent yesterday exploring Tokyo with my German friend. Essentially we went to as many pet stores as we possibly could, ran around an 8-story shop that has absolutely everything (Don Quijote),then consumed ice cream and gummy bears.

Good day. Good weekend. Good break. Good life.