Monday, June 29, 2015

Prague | Must List

      With only six days left before I leave for Prague, I have been thinking a lot about the new places I am going to visit during my stay. Being a city of adventure, Prague has so much to offer, from live entertainment to restaurants to outdoor events. After doing some research the past few months, I came up with my definitive "must list" for my visit to Prague. Let the exploring begin!

One | Meet Factory
Hosting live music and art shows, free movie series, galleries, and workshops, The Meet Factory is a creative heaven. The tickets to shows are usually affordable and the offerings are immense. I cannot wait to grab a pivo and enjoy some of the talents The Meet Factory will showcase this summer.

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Two | Hot Chocolate at Cafe Kaficko
As a lover of both music and food alike, my next stop has to be Cafe Kaficko. This small cafe has, what is said to be, the best hot chocolate in all of Prague. Despite the fact that it will probably be warm during my stay in the city, I still plan on seeing what all the hype is about and trying the hot chocolate for myself. 

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Three | Franz Kafka Museum
A renowned author born in the Czech lands, Kafka remains a very strong part of the culture of the country to this day. Even though this museum has only been around for ten years, it is a must see for me because of the many exhibits and showcased samples of Kafka's work. It also makes the list because of a statue called Piss that is located right outside the museum. This controversial work by Cerny brings in a ton of tourists hoping to snap a picture of the two men midstream. 

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Four | Petrin Hill
Rising from the center of Prague, Petrin Hill provides breathtaking views of the city and surrounding areas. There is nothing more beautiful to me than looking down and seeing hundreds of brightly colored roofs and a city full of energy. The hill is also home to the Petrin Lookout Tower, which was designed to resemble the Eiffel Tower. 

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Five | The Dancing House
The last must see on my list is the peculiar, but incredibly special, Dancing House. Nicknamed the Fred and Ginger Building, this structure is almost fluid-like in appearance. It was designed right after the fall of communism and symbolizes, to many Czech people, the much desired freedom of expression. The unusual design is something I find most intriguing and I cannot wait to see this building in person.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

You Sound Like You're From London

I've arrived in London! I'm so excited to be here! I was very nervous for the flight because I flew by myself and get very anxious when flying. Luckily I ended up passing out for most of the flight. I arrived at 10:00am London time and found the airport to be very efficient and easy to navigate. I met up with with my friend and roommate, Ashely, and ran into my classmate, Dana. My mom had ordered a car service and we were at our flat within less than an hour. We live in South Kensington and it's absolutely beautiful! It's such a quite, safe, and lovely area. Hyde Park is right near by and is great to go running in. Kensington Palace and other landmarks are in Hyde Park, which makes it a very enjoyable run.

I went to see Big Ben the first night I got to London with Ashley and my friend Tori, who studied abroad during spring term. I loved seeing it at night and later went to Big Ben during the day time for one of my classes. I'm really enjoying my classes so far! All my teachers are very knowledgable and friendly. They're also very impressive and have had amazing experiences in the fashion industry and other industries. I'm excited to have all my classes this week. 

I've also had some incredible food while I've been here. There's an amazing crepe place nearby our apartment. I got a toffee crepe, which was absolutely delicious! On our first day we grabbed lunch near some of the shops not too far away and went to a restaurant names, Cote. I had a delicious and very fresh Nicoise Salad. I'm so excited to try all the food when I travel with my friends We've already booked flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague! Plus we go to Paris for five days with our program. I'm so excited to be in London and to travel to other European countries! It's going to be a summer I will truly never forget! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Packing | The Golden Rules

Packing. Most people dread the task entirely. Whether you are going out overnight or heading on a five week trip, packing is something that makes travelers anxious. How many pairs of shoes do you bring? How many bathing suits can you stuff into your suitcase? How many days before should you begin packing in order to avoid scrambling at the last minute? 

While I am not the world’s most seasoned traveler, I have been to Italy, Spain, and London in the past and know packing for an extended stay is tricky. Since I am about to embark on my next adventure to Prague, it is time for me to face the task of packing. With only 13 days until my departure, I am starting to worry about what I should bring in my suitcase and what should be left in my drawers at home.

Like me, I am sure most other Design and Merchandising students also have a terrible tendency to over pack. Which of my five black dresses do I bring? Will the shoes I pack work with every single outfit in my suitcase because we all know shoes complete the look.

These questions may seem trivial, but I think anyone who packs for a trip should take them into consideration. One trick I have learned from my past travels is to pack as cohesively as possible. I find when most of my clothing options can mix and match well with each other, it makes dressing as simple as possible. I usually pack three to four different pairs of shoes, from casual to fancy, so I have a pair for any situation I may encounter. I also make sure to color coordinate most of my pieces. This is actually pretty easy for me to do considering my wardrobe consists mainly of neutrals, but packing with a general color palette in mind will help you immensely when dressing each day. This will make packing jewelry and even makeup an easier task. You will only bring styles or products that match your palette.

                  Another tip I have for packing is to use clear toiletry bags. This is particularly helpful if you are camping and will most likely be leaving your hygienic products in a travel bag your entire trip. By utilizing a clear bag, you will be able to easily access any product efficiently. When it is dark in your tent and you already took your contacts out, the clear bag will make life so much easier for you.

                  Lastly, my golden rule for packing is to use the rolling method. I swear by rolling my clothes. It allows me to utilize the space in my bag fully and gives me more room for souvenirs and clothes that I typically purchase abroad. I am sure I am going to stumble upon some great outdoor markets and cool stores during my stay in Prague. By rolling my clothes, I will be able to shop without worrying about whether or not my new purchases will fit in my suitcase.

                  All in all, while packing is no one’s favorite task, it is an unavoidable one. I recommend starting to think about packing two weeks prior to a trip. This gives you time to acquire things you might need without the pressure of a time crunch. As for physically packing, I suggest starting five days prior. You can do your laundry in that time period and make sure everything you plan on packing is clean. Plus, your stuff also won’t be sitting in your suitcase for too long before your departure. 

                  This blog post is my jumpstart for packing. With only 13 days left before I leave for my adventure in Prague, I have to get my gears churning and start a checklist so I am ready for my flight on July 5th. Wish me luck!