Archive for the Travel Category


Posted in Travel with tags , , , on Saturday, July 4, 2009 by dragonsvamp

It’s hard to believe that my stay in Oslo, Norway is nearing it’s end. I’ve been here for almost 20 days and will be leaving soon. I remember buying the plane tickets back in April and so there was plenty of time for this to build up in my mind. Surprisingly, I was ready and packed with my apartment, for the most part, clean and ready to be ‘boarded up’ for three weeks (which is actually not how I usually go about things) days before my flight was scheduled to leave.

Vigeland Paark

Vigeland Park

Oslo Norway

Oslo Norway

It was somewhat worrisome knowing that just a few weeks before a plane holding more than 300 people on it’s way to France crashed into the sea leaving no survivors. But I kept this in the back of my mind. I had more important things to worry about like my luggage being too heavy or getting lost, like making sure last minute things were done before I left and like finding a gift for the friend whose going to be ‘taking care’ of me during my stay in Norway.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

The Royal Palace in Oslo

The Royal Palace in Oslo

I’m really glad I overcame my inhibitions and went on this vacation. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I got the opportunity to go and see places and never would have seen like the Royal Palace, Vigeland Park, the Edward Munch Museum and Stockholm Sweden. I got to see The Scream by Edward Munch in person. I got a chance to buy reprints of two of his artwork that I fell in love with. Vigeland Park is a sight. It’s beautiful and huge and full of naked statues in varying stages of the human life cycle with more than one fountain.

Gay Pride Parade

Gay Pride Parade in Oslo

Munch Museum

Munch Museum

I got to even see my friend get his very first tattoo and I myself added an extra piercing to my collection. I even got to see Gay Pride being celebrated in the streets of Oslo as the Gay Pride Parade ended the week long event.

Prison Wall in Oslo

Prison Wall in Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

View from Fort of Akershus Oslo

Church at Fort of Akershus

Church at Fort of Akershus

Apart from my friend being extremely sick on our two day trip in Sweden (which limited what we got to see) I had a blast there and saw what a beautiful sprawling city Stockholm is. Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures when I toured the Palace in Stockholm. It was phenomenal. The city had all it’s beautiful old architecture surrounded by the bustling more advanced buildings and public transportation.

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

View from Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm

Royal Palace in Stockholm



The bus ride to and back from Stockholm lasted over 7 hours and it was mind numbing how gorgeous the scenery was. The only thing that caused a bit of difficulty during my stay was the weather. I had kept track of the pattern of the weather in Oslo and for the most part it was nice cool-ish weather. The day I arrived in Oslo was really nice, the next day it rained, the third it was nice and then after that it became progressively warmer and warmer until a pretty permanent and unusual heat wave hit. It’s been almost unbearably hot since about my fourth day here.

Bus Ride

Bus Ride back to Oslo

Though I had a great time and love Oslo and Stockholm, I’m ready to go home. I’m ready to go back to my life (maybe not refreshed and well rested but at least ready to face it) and get back to reality (as I know it).  Three weeks is a long time to be away from home and- don’t get me wrong I love it here- I do miss my ‘normal’ life.

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)

Love and Pain (later renamed The Vampire)



And though I’m ready to go home I’m already mapping out my next ‘big’ trip. I want to go to so many places and I realized that if I don’t take advantage of going to them while I can then I may never get the chance to later.



Posted in Family, Travel, University in America, Work Arama on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 by dragonsvamp

It’s been a whole hell of a while since I’ve written on here. I keep thinking of my blog and how I want to keep it up but I just don’t know where to begin. I don’t feel like talking about the kids I work with since it’ll probably just bore readers to death though it keeps me super busy and focused in my goals career wise. 

Thought a few of what I’ll talk of here should by right have their own post I don’t have the time to give them the ‘airing out’ they need. So I’ll keep this short and simple. 

First, lets start with college. I’ve been a senior in college forEVER now and I don’t see graduation anywhere on the horizon. It’s a long story but the biggest roadblock is the costs involved in getting an education. Yes, financial aid covers half of my tuition but I pay double what residents pay. Yes, I still have yet to get rid of my ‘out of state’ status and attain my ‘resident’ status. It sucks that the universities here in Michigan have been given ‘autonomous authority’ when it comes to setting residency guildlines.

And times are tough, so of course they’re not going to let people get residency if they can help it. That’s cutting the amount of money they get in by half. Literally.

This brought me to the tough decision of maybe not taking classes during the 2009-2010 College year. It’s not something I look forward to but it’s something I feel I might need to do in order to prove to the people in charge of the residency that I’m not here just for an education. That I’m actually LIVING here and probably won’t be going anywhere for a long time.

Second, my sister is going to move in with me. For the most part I’m pretty pumped. It’ll be fun to go shopping, to the movies, and just hang out with someone you know will be there no matter what. No more boring old nights of doing nothing because everyone you know has prior plans or is caught up with family or work or just live way too far away to be seen all the time.

The downside is that I will probably have to move into a slightly larger apartment (that has washing machine and dryer hookups!). This means living costs will go up for me. But it’ll be much better than what I’ve got right now. Don’t get me wrong I love my apartment that I live in but I hate having to lug around my dirty laundry every week to get them cleaned and I definetly can’t see me and my sister living comfortably in a one bedroom apartment.

Which brings me to another downside. I’ve gotten so used to living by myself that it’s kind of odd thinking of how little things in my life will have to change (whether good or bad) so that I can better accommodate my sister. But she is my sister and we’ll probably never have a chance to get to know one another better and get closer as a family before we go our separate ways so I’ll most defiantly focus on the bright side of this new situation.

My my there’s so much going on. 

Work is winding down. That’s the nice thing about working at a school- you get to have the summer off to do your own thing. And though I dreaded last summer this summer seems like it’ll be a whole hell of a lot nicer. For one I’ve got a whole bunch of tutoring jobs lined up for me that I hope I can keep during next school year (to generate more income so I can afford a bigger apartment). But even if they only last the summer they’ll be able to pay for a few things I’ve got lined up.


That’s one of the things I’ll be working on making up lost cash over. Yes in less than two weeks I’ll be on my flight to Norway to see a dear friend and to be able to see a part of the world I’ve only been to in short stops that never left the airport. I’ll be staying there for about three weeks and am sure I’ll have the time of my life. It’s thrilling and exciting and I’m not sure it’s sunk in just yet that I’ve actually taken this step of planning such a huge trip.

I tell you it was tough to click that button that said ‘purchase tickets.’ So much came up that made me want to just close my browser and tell myself I was being stupid in going on such a trip. For one it is expensive. Of course it’s only a fraction of the price it would have cost me to go if I went last summer but it’s still quite a chunk of money- which thank God I actually was able to save up and pay off before my credit card statement was due. 

Another thing that bothered me and made my fingers hover in hesitation over that button was how much time I would be gone. Three weeks is a lot of time when you calculate all the stuff you could get done if you stay at home. I would be loosing the opportunity to earn more money and save up more to pay off my *cough* accumulated student loans from last year ($5500 may not seem too much but it’s a hell of a lot to me). And knowing the tutoring I’ve got waiting for me when I come back that’s a good chunk of cash I wouldn’t be around to earn. Yes, I’m a total workaholic and that just made me realize how much I needed to let go a little and live a little. Not everything is work and I need to relax and reenergize if I don’t want to crash half way through next school year (work-wise I mean).

And so I’m offfff!

In less than a week, I’ll be turing 21. I’ve already gone and renewed my driver license. I will soon be trading in my vertical DL for a horizontal one. It felt weird walking in there and getting all the paperwork in order. It felt almost like another stage in my life was about to begin. It honestly felt like somewhat a coming of age ritual and I was just about to pass through.

It’s a big deal to me because I’m now officially really in my twenties and I realized I need to start thinking like that. It’s hard getting rid of the mindset that I’m still a teenager. I’m always accidently thinking of myself as one of the ‘kids’ in school still and it’s still tough thinking of myself as an adult whose completely and (thank God) successfully taking care of herself. What drove the point home this year was working with the middle schoolers at the school I work at. I realize that I was no longer a 15 year old and that it was ok to start growing up. And surprisingly it also made me realize that I don’t want to be a 15 year old. There was no yearning to be a teeny-bopper anymore.

I’ve always been the kid student and now it’s my turn to be a little more than that. 

Yes, 21 is still young and I know I’m not going to have the mindset of a 40 year old just yet (and hopefully never) but I also feel as though I’m much too old sometimes. It’s weird when you realize that you have an easier time befriending people in their 30s than those your own age. And I’m just beginning to realize that I am who I am and that’s okay. And in the end, age is just a number and not much else.

But it’s taken me a while and I’m sure still a while more to come to fully accept and feel comfortable in the ‘skin I’m in’ and not have to constantly wonder and ask myself Where do I fit in this wide (age) group of people?

Well that wraps up the majority of what’s happening in my life. For now I need to go take a shower and sleep because I’ve had too many late nights this weekend and I need as much sleep as I can get to be able to get through the rest of this week. Thank goodness kids get out of school this Friday! 


Goal #1

Posted in Goals, Travel with tags , , on Monday, March 24, 2008 by dragonsvamp

I have decided to start setting up goals that aren’t super long term nor super short term. They will be all types of goals. Small. Major. Insignificant. Anything. We’ll see if I can keep them. 

My first goal is:

#1 To take a summer off and go traveling through Europe before I turn 25.

So far whatever major goals I’ve put for myself (i.e saving up and leaving Jordan, getting a job in Michigan, going to university, studying to become an accredited teacher, buying a Mac, traveling to specific places, etc) I have been able to achieve. Yet, now that most of my previous goals are met or being met I have to start setting some new ones for myslef.

 Here we go!

Zoom! ::NC, Snow, and OH::

Posted in Travel on Saturday, November 24, 2007 by dragonsvamp

Last weekend I went to North Carolina for the weekend. I wanted to check it out there and get a change of scenery. It was beautiful. In this time of the year, in Michigan, the trees are already bare and everything looks barren. The only color you have are from the few and far between evergreens speckling the area and the grass.

When I was in North Carolina the leaves were still on the trees. But oh man the colors. It was all so bright and distinctive. Sharp reds, bright oranges, crisp browns, soft yellows, and the occasional green. The trees themselves were usually completely one color. And there were barely any leaves on the floor. It was amazing.

I went to the park. It was breathtaking. There was a large pond in the middle of the park and trees all over the place. It was such a nice weekend. I just chilled. Did nothing and thought of nothing. And so when I got back to work on Monday (and only had a three day week because of Thanksgiving holiday) I was so charged. The week went by so quickly. And on Wednesday it was said that it would snow in the night and we’d have a white Thanksgiving.

And then it was Thanksgiving weekend. The weekend I was to drive down 4 hours to Ohio to see my long time friend. A friend I had met in Jordan and who was going to college in Ohio.

The drive lasted five hours. I left right after work on Wednesday. I was very worried that I’d get lost and not find my way back to her place. But though I did miss one of my exits to another highway I realized it then miles away and was able to just turn around and go back without a problem.

It rained like crazy most of the time and I had bad terrible traffic for about an hour but other than that it was a breeze. I got to my friend’s house around 9:30. It felt good getting out of the car. I thought it would be hard for me to drive for that long all by my self. But I love driving and so it wasn’t much of a problem. I got tired half way through the drive but I had the new Native Deen album, Not Afraid To Stand Alone, blasting and that kept me awake.

It’s so nice seeing my friend. I hadn’t seen her much in the past year and half because most of it she was in Ohio when I was still in Jordan and when she went to Jordan for the summer I left.

Thanksgiving morning, we woke up to a beautiful white carpet covering the whole area. It was only about two inches but it was so pretty. My friend is living with her American grandparents and so we had a very tasty thanksgiving dinner.

Now I’m hanging out with my friend and her friends. Went shopping on Black friday and just chilling.

I’ll be going back to Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Hope the drive back will be smooth.

It’ll be weird getting back to the normal schedule after two weekends of vacationing. At least we have about four weeks until winter break.