Fun Facts about the Sydney Opera House

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Fun Facts about the Sydney Opera House

Fun Facts Sydney Opera House
  1. All the “sails” or roofs if put together create a perfect sphere, which the architect devised while eating an orange. 
  2. In 1956, Jørn Utzon’s design was rejected by the first three judges but picked by the fourth judge to win the competition, which had 233 total designs.
  3. The architectural style is called Expressionist Modernism, which utilizes new materials.
  4. The opera house cost was estimated at 7 million, but the final cost was $102 million
  5. The foundation is believed to be the biggest column free chamber in the world.
  6. The Grand Organ is the largest mechanical organ in the world, with 10,154 pipes.
  7. The highest roof reaches 67 meters above sea level or 22 stories high. 
  8. It is one of the only buildings that has an opera written about it “The Eighth Wonder” as it’s considered the eighth wonder of the world. 

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29 Gifts for Women Travelers

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29 Gifts for Women Travelers

It’s the most wanderful time of the year! Still not sure what to get for the women travelers in your life? From packable tote bags to TSA friendly body butter to compression socks, we have it all for every woman on your list!

The Twill Snap Backpack

1.     The Twill Snap Backpack: Who said backpacking can’t be done in style? This sleek bag even contains a padded interior compartment for your laptop. $65.00 Everlane 

2.	Packable Travel Tote Bag in Leopard, Herschel Supply Co

2.     Packable Travel Tote Bag in Leopard: This compact travel tote is lightweight and indispensable when you’re headed back home with too many souvenirs to fit in your bag. $19.99 Herschel Supply Co

Velvet Jewelry Bag, Fairgoods

3.     Velvet Jewelry Bag: Keep your jewelry organized and protected with these darling pouches. $4.00 Fairgoods 

4.	Small Toiletry Bag

4.     Small Toiletry Bag: Stash your toiletries in this stylish bohemian patterned pouch, with an adorable pom-pom zipper. $7.99 H&M  

Kammok Roo Hammock

5.     Kammok Roo Hammock: Built for life changing adventures and colorful Instagram photos, this hammock gets you off the ground to enjoy your next camping trip. $79.00 Kammok

Pinch Provisions Miniemergency Kit

6.     Pinch Provisions Miniemergency Kit: Everything you forgot you needed magically fits in this kit. It has everything from adhesive bandages, safety pins, earring backs, deodorant, nail polish remover, to double-sided tape and will have you ready in a pinch. It does NOT include parabens, sulfates or phthalates. $16.00 Sephora

Super Chill Cooler Bag Watermelon

7.     Super Chill Cooler Bag – Watermelon: Make your next trip to the beach more fun with this bag that will keep your beverages cold and is sure to be a conversation starter. $32.00 ban.do 

8.	The Bandana Travel Wallet, The Walart

8.     The Bandana Travel Wallet: Bring your passport, boarding passes and cards on board in this slim but secure travel wallet constructed from a single piece of environmentally friendly paper. $14.99 The Walart

Cat Eye Mask, Catbird

9.     Cat Eye Mask: The perfect accessory for your next in-flight cat nap. (Plus they support charities like Girl Up, a UN foundation initiative uniting girls to change the world.) $24.00 Catbird 

10.	Hot Stuff Thermal Mug – But First, Coffee, ban.do

10. Hot Stuff Thermal Mug – But First, Coffee: For the coffee addict on the go, let people know the day’s adventure will start after coffee. $14.00 ban.do

Travel Body Butter Bars, Speakeasy Travel Supply Co

11. Travel Body Butter Bars: Stay moisturized wherever you go with these TSA friendly (no spills here) solid lotion bars with organic coconut oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter. $12.00 Sam+Plants 

Everywoman’s Travel Journal

12. Everywoman’s Travel Journal: Wonderful travel companion for any woman who wants to document her travels and reference helpful information on security, dress, natural remedies to combat common travel ailments and more. $7.90 Barnes&Noble

13.	Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke

13. Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke: This is a fun guide for young travelers to learn everything from why you should try fried bugs to where to get a tattoo to the best clubs to party until dawn and much more! $11.67 Amazon

HogwardsTM Replica Exercise Book 1

14. HogwardsTM Replica Exercise Book 1:, For the girl who rereads Harry Potter annually and is headed to Orlando soon, buy this collectible replica of the exercise books used by Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Harry Potter films. This book is designed by two of the film’s graphic props designers. £19.50 MinaLima

Passport Scarf, Speakeasy Travel Supply Co

15. Passport Scarf: Stay warm with this infinity scarf, complete with a zipper pouch to hide your passport or cash. $55.00 Speakeasy Travel Supply Co. 

16.	EcoTools “Starter Set”

16. EcoTools “Starter Set:" These eco-friendly soft brushes are great for doing makeup when you’re on the go. $12.99 EcoTools

Hair Tie Bracelet

17. Hair Tie Bracelet: Don’t let your hair get in your way when you travel, tie it back with this convenient elastic or leave it on your wrist on this stylish stainless steel bracelet. (Available colors: Silver, Rose Gold, Gold) $45.00 The Grommet

Luxebelle 110lbs Digital Luggage Scale

18. Luxebelle 110lbs Digital Luggage Scale: Use this small but sturdy scale to avoid ever paying overweight luggage fees again. $7.99 http://www.amazon.com/Luxebell-110lbs-Digital-Luggage-Scale/dp/B00O9R7DIW

19.	The Cartography of Kitchenware Apron, Pop Chart Lab

19. The Cartography of Kitchenware Apron: Do you travel to eat? Serve up the latest local recipe you’ve learned, wrapped in this colorful yet educational apron perfect for aspiring chefs and traveling foodies. $30.00 Pop Chart Lab

Ring To It + Bike Bell

20. Ring To It + Bike Bell: Put a ring on it… your bike of course. Cycle in style with this safe, but sassy bike bell. $15.00 Kikkerland

Kate Spade Wash & Wear Lingerie Bag Set

21. Wash & Wear Lingerie Bag Set: Separate your clean and dirty undies with these cute drawstring bags. $25.00 Kate Spade

22.	RejuvaSocks Fashionable Compression Legwear

22. RejuvaSocks Fashionable Compression Legwear: Need fashionable long socks for your next long flight, these are both pretty and practical! $20.99 RejuvaSocks

23.	Ballasox Stretch Flat

23. Ballasox Stretch Flat: For the girl who likes to stay out late in a new city but will probably take off her heels, these fashionable flats come in every color, included sequins and come with their own carrying pouch. $69.00 CorsoComo

24.	The Getaway Luggage Tag

24. The Getaway Luggage Tag – I’m Outta here: Never lose your bag again with these stylish excuses to get outta town. $10.00 ban.do 

Waterproof iPhone case, CatalystCase

25. Waterproof iPhone Case: Take cool underwater photos on your next trip with this waterproof case, which promises to protect your iPhone on dives up to 16.4 feet or 5 meters. $69.99 CatalystCase

UncommonGoods City Map Glass

26. City Map Glass: Sip your local favorite from a glass etched with your city’s grid and raise a toast to city pride. $12.50 UncommonGoods

Breweries of Europe Map, Pop Chart Lab

27. Breweries of Europe Map: Pop Chart Lab, $38.00, This is the perfect gift to decorate a study abroad dorm room or inspiration for new trips for beer lovers. Pop Chart Lab 

Scratch Map, UnCommonGoods

28. Scratch Map: Scratch off the places you’ve been to uncover a colorful map, the perfect motivation to plan your next trip. $28.95 UncommonGoods

29.	Crumpled City Maps

29. Crumpled City Maps: For the oldschool soul who must refold a map perfectly or the indifferent Google maps expert, this map is indestructible, waterproof and meant to be crumbled. It saves you time getting to where you’re going. $16.95 Amazon


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23 Gifts Anyone Obsessed With Photography Will Love!

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23 Gifts Anyone Obsessed With Photography Will Love!

Photography Gift Guide

Do you know anyone who always needs to get that shot? Always losing their lens cap? Looking for fun visual inspiration? Here’s the ultimate gift guide with something for everyone obsessed with photography!

 1. Fujifilm instax SHARE SP-1 ($199.) Instantly print and share snaps from your smartphone in 16 seconds thanks to this inkless printer. You can even print directly from Facebook or Instagram and display the photo likes. 

 1. Fujifilm instax SHARE SP-1 ($199.) Instantly print and share snaps from your smartphone in 16 seconds thanks to this inkless printer. You can even print directly from Facebook or Instagram and display the photo likes. 

2. Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card 8GB ($29.95) Give your camera magic powers! Send photos from your DSLR or point and shoot camera directly to your phone, via Wi-Fi for easy social sharing without being hassled with cables or card readers for quick Facebook or Instagram updates while you’re on the road!

2. Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card 8GB ($29.95) Give your camera magic powers! Send photos from your DSLR or point and shoot camera directly to your phone, via Wi-Fi for easy social sharing without being hassled with cables or card readers for quick Facebook or Instagram updates while you’re on the road!

3. Hackxtack ($24.00) Constantly losing a lens cap when you travel? This magnetic clip keeps your lens cap secured where you want it – attached to clothing, a bag, or your camera strap. It even comes in a variety of classy wooden finishes.

3. Hackxtack ($24.00) Constantly losing a lens cap when you travel? This magnetic clip keeps your lens cap secured where you want it – attached to clothing, a bag, or your camera strap. It even comes in a variety of classy wooden finishes.

4. Mug ($24 - $30) Need some caffeine at your next early morning photo-shoot? Look no further than your camera bag. These “Canon” and “Nikon” branded lenses look real, and even have moving buttons for fun! Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t pour your coffee into your actual lens!

4. Mug ($24 - $30) Need some caffeine at your next early morning photo-shoot? Look no further than your camera bag. These “Canon” and “Nikon” branded lenses look real, and even have moving buttons for fun! Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t pour your coffee into your actual lens!

5. The shotglass Lens Set  ($18) This set of 3 tiny ceramic lenses allow you take a different kind of “shot”. Get the shot then take one too! These cute containers come in both “Canon” and “Nikon” styles and can even be used in cooking or holding toothpicks or keeping you organized on the go!

5. The shotglass Lens Set  ($18) This set of 3 tiny ceramic lenses allow you take a different kind of “shot”. Get the shot then take one too! These cute containers come in both “Canon” and “Nikon” styles and can even be used in cooking or holding toothpicks or keeping you organized on the go!

6. Joby GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic for smartphones ($39.95) This convenient tripod doesn’t just stand in place, it molds around what’s there, AND now it even has strong magnets to keep the photos coming from all angles!   

6. Joby GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic for smartphones ($39.95) This convenient tripod doesn’t just stand in place, it molds around what’s there, AND now it even has strong magnets to keep the photos coming from all angles!   

7. The Power Wallet ($79.99) This fashionable wristlet holds everything you might need on the go and can even hold and charge a large smartphone like the iPhone 6 Plus!

7. The Power Wallet ($79.99) This fashionable wristlet holds everything you might need on the go and can even hold and charge a large smartphone like the iPhone 6 Plus!

8. Humans of NY ($18.06) This is the perfect coffee table book or easy reading on the train. It’s great to page through for avid street photographers or just photography-lovers – it shares beautiful human stories!

8. Humans of NY ($18.06) This is the perfect coffee table book or easy reading on the train. It’s great to page through for avid street photographers or just photography-lovers – it shares beautiful human stories!

9. GoPro Fetch mount (59.99) “Capture the world from your dog’s point of view” If you have a GoPro and a dog, then what are you waiting for? 

9. GoPro Fetch mount (59.99) “Capture the world from your dog’s point of view” If you have a GoPro and a dog, then what are you waiting for? 

10. Create Your Own Pinhole Camera ($1.99) Pinhole photography is a fun homage to the history of photography. Learn how a camera captures an image and have some fun building this cardboard camera for JUST 1.99 (down from 19.99!). 

10. Create Your Own Pinhole Camera ($1.99) Pinhole photography is a fun homage to the history of photography. Learn how a camera captures an image and have some fun building this cardboard camera for JUST 1.99 (down from 19.99!). 

11. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Camera ($175) This is a retro version of the popular instax cameras -  perfect for parties or to document a road trip! One fun feature to play with is the double exposure setting. Just keep in mind that film can be costly. 

11. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Camera ($175) This is a retro version of the popular instax cameras -  perfect for parties or to document a road trip! One fun feature to play with is the double exposure setting. Just keep in mind that film can be costly. 

12. Mini Instax Photo Album ($12) If you get the Instax Mini camera, where are you going to put all your photos? Here, of course! 

12. Mini Instax Photo Album ($12) If you get the Instax Mini camera, where are you going to put all your photos? Here, of course! 

13. Film Roll Salt and Pepper Shakers ($15.00) Spice things up with these #throwback film canisters and bring your love of photography into the kitchen! 

13. Film Roll Salt and Pepper Shakers ($15.00) Spice things up with these #throwback film canisters and bring your love of photography into the kitchen! 

14. Camera Cufflinks ($28.99) Wear your love of photography on your sleeves with these classy cufflinks.

14. Camera Cufflinks ($28.99) Wear your love of photography on your sleeves with these classy cufflinks.

15. Selfie stick ($20) Bring your selfies to the next level. Sure, you’ll look ridiculous, but isn’t it better than having to constantly ask someone else to take a photo? 

15. Selfie stick ($20) Bring your selfies to the next level. Sure, you’ll look ridiculous, but isn’t it better than having to constantly ask someone else to take a photo? 

16. Polaroid Hot Shoe Three Axis Triple Bubble Level (10.99) Crooked horizons? Make sure your camera is level with this lightweight and precise tool.

16. Polaroid Hot Shoe Three Axis Triple Bubble Level (10.99) Crooked horizons? Make sure your camera is level with this lightweight and precise tool.

17. Gee-Whiz Smartphone Projector ($27.00) Watch your smartphone videos anywhere, hands free, magnified on a wall with this simple, power-free projector. 

17. Gee-Whiz Smartphone Projector ($27.00) Watch your smartphone videos anywhere, hands free, magnified on a wall with this simple, power-free projector. 

18. Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens for the iPhone 6/6 Plus ($79.99) This versatile lens is pocket-sized and now works both on front and back phone cameras. 

18. Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens for the iPhone 6/6 Plus ($79.99) This versatile lens is pocket-sized and now works both on front and back phone cameras. 

19. 360degree time lapse! “Camalapse” ($30-40) Capture 360 degree panoramas and time lapse videos on your smartphone easily, with this rotating stand! This also works for small cameras (weighing less than a pound) and can be easily attached to tripods.

19. 360degree time lapse! “Camalapse” ($30-40) Capture 360 degree panoramas and time lapse videos on your smartphone easily, with this rotating stand! This also works for small cameras (weighing less than a pound) and can be easily attached to tripods.

20. Une Bobine ($9.99) This bendy charger works like a tripod allowing you to take photos as if on a tripod while it charges. 

20. Une Bobine ($9.99) This bendy charger works like a tripod allowing you to take photos as if on a tripod while it charges. 

21. Kogeto Dot ($39) “Share the world around you” by shooting 360 degree videos from your iPhone, and instantly sharing on social media.

21. Kogeto Dot ($39) “Share the world around you” by shooting 360 degree videos from your iPhone, and instantly sharing on social media.

22. LOMOGRAPHY SMARTPHONEFILM SCANNER ($49.00) Uploading your next #throwbackthursday just got easier! Scan old film negatives to be saved on your smartphone and easily share via social media.

22. LOMOGRAPHY SMARTPHONEFILM SCANNER ($49.00) Uploading your next #throwbackthursday just got easier! Scan old film negatives to be saved on your smartphone and easily share via social media.

23. The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas ($24.95) Get inspired by reading famous photographers’ tips and tricks while also challenging yourself to go outside of your comfort zone – for example, to photograph “something timely” and “something timeless” (p6). It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

23. The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas ($24.95) Get inspired by reading famous photographers’ tips and tricks while also challenging yourself to go outside of your comfort zone – for example, to photograph “something timely” and “something timeless” (p6). It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 


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Top 15 Things to Do in San Francisco

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Top 15 Things to Do in San Francisco

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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona

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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona

Barcelona has a certain kind of magic to it! Taking a few wrong turns before we found the street where Casa Batlló stood, made it that much more exciting. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. This was technically an apartment building, yet I saw no hard lines, no squares, barely a rectangle. The fluidity of the wood details decorating windows, the undulating walls of mosaic tiles made it look like a living, breathing work of art. Pay admission to this fairytale place, which includes the audio guide, to learn more about Gaudi’s functional yet beautiful designs.

 

13 Things you didn’t know about Gaudi’s Casa Batlló:

1.     The locals call it “Casa dels ossos” which means house of bones after it’s skeletal looking balconies and bone-like columns.

2.     The house was originally built in the 1870s by Gaudi’s former professor, Emili Salas Corés.

3.     When Josep Batlló bought it in the early 20th century, he intended to tear it down until Gaudi convinced him to keep the old structure and simply remodel it.

4.     It is one of three competing modernist buildings on the block, called “Manzana de la Discordia,” meaning block of discord.

5.     The roof’s tiles replicate scales, which many agree alludes to the dragon killed by St. George (the patron saint of Catalan).

6.     Gaudi’s cross in the roof represents the sword of Saint George slaying the dragon, which has four arms pointing north, south, east and west.

7.     The roof’s tower also has the gilded initials JHS (Jesus), JHP (Joseph) and M (Mary).

8.     Gaudi used central heating, rare at the time, requiring chimneys and air vents on the roof, which he decorated with colorful tiles inspired by shapes from nature, like mushrooms growing in groups.

9.     The attic uses Gaudi’s hyperboloid arches, reminiscent of ribs.

10. The blue tiles in the internal courtyard are darker colored at the top and lighter colored blue at the bottom, and even the windows are smaller higher up to evenly distribute the light throughout the building.

11. The carved hardwood banister represents the spine of an animal, meant to fit ergonomically beneath your hand.

12. The ceiling is not flat, but wavy like the sea, with an ingenious whirlpool effect, achieved using an esparto plaster filling around a sun lighting fixture.

13. The wood-framed windows in the long gallery open and close without jambs or mullions, but instead using counterweights. When the windows are open there’s a continuous panoramic view.

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Favorite Five Articles of the Week

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Favorite Five Articles of the Week

1.     How to Travel When You Work Full-Time: “Sometimes it’s the guilt factor: that you don’t feel as if you can really “leave” even when on vacation. Other times, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort: how much can you really see in Thailand when you only have 10 days off and that (expensive) flight requires two whole travel days?” Via ‪@cestchristine for ‪@20sTravel http://twenty-somethingtravel.com/2014/03/travel-work-full-time/

2.     What Kind of Traveller Are You? Quiz: Let’s not kid ourselves, we like categories. Putting everything in neat little boxes of patterns, stereotypes and expectations. But do you ever do that when it comes to your own travel style? via ‪@travel_on_brainhttp://travelonthebrain.net/what-kind-of-traveller-are-you/

3.     So You Don’t Know Where To Travel “‘Where do you think I should travel?’ I’m always happy to respond to emails asking for travel tips and advice, but this is one question that leaves me stumped. There are 196 countries in the world today (though even that’s a disputable number) – how do I even begin to narrow it down?! I think travel destinations are a very personal choice. Sure, there may be certain countries that are easier to travel to, or cheaper to travel to, but at the end of the day you’re the one that has to decide where.” Via @thatbackpacker http://thatbackpacker.com/2014/07/04/best-travel-destinations/  

4.     The Shortest Yet Most Epic Road Trip Ever “Usually when you think “road trip,” you think of vast distances and open highways. Something like driving across the US, perhaps. But one of the coolest road trips I’ve ever done only lasted for 8.3 kilometers.” Via @DangerousBiz http://www.dangerous-business.com/2015/07/the-shortest-yet-most-epic-road-trip-ever/

5.     Why People Climb Mountains “I wanted to climb up high, and look down deep into myself.” Via @insidetravellab http://www.insidethetravellab.com/messner-mountain-museum/

 

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13 Things you didn’t know about Prospect Park, Brooklyn

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13 Things you didn’t know about Prospect Park, Brooklyn

1.     The park was originally going to be called “Mount Prospect Park” as it included Brooklyn’s highest point, Mount Prospect.

2.     The original park design by Egbert Viele, Olmsted’s nemesis, was only supposed to be half the size of the current park without a lake.

3.     Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park, but they considered Prospect Park their true masterpiece.

4.     The park cost almost $10 million, even though the original 1860 act authorized only $300,000.

5.     The park is the only Revolutionary War battle site in a city that has barely changed since 1977, the battle of Brooklyn, where many of the Maryland Regiment died to allow Washington’s Army to cross the East River.

6.     The park’s muse was Birkenhead Park in England.

7.     The park became the location for “croquet mania” since the Croquet Club House was built in 1892.

8.     The Grand Army Plaza was originally known as “The Plaza” which held the first ever statue of Lincoln erected in the United States. (It can now be found in Concert Grove.)

9.     The Grand Army Plaza subway station has an angel theme, with a mosaic of two trumpeting angels announcing an early 1900s train. The angels were meant to mimic the angels on top of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial arch outside the station but also pay homage to the old IRT logo of the train with angel wings.

10. The walkways and paths aimed for “the impression of unending space” with no straight lines.

11. East drive follows an old Native American trail.

12. The frozen lake in the winter was not only packed with skaters but also “ice baseball.”

13. In the late 1800s, picnics were illegal in Central Park but popular in Prospect Park. 

Brooklyn Prospect Park Jen's Bucket List
Brooklyn Prospect Park Jen's Bucket List
Brooklyn Prospect Park Jen's Bucket List
Brooklyn Prospect Park Jen's Bucket List
Brooklyn Prospect Park Jen's Bucket List


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Favorite Five Articles of the Week

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Favorite Five Articles of the Week

1.     Most Holidays Are Fake, and Here's Why: “It’s not just your imagination — there really are more unofficial holidays than ever before. And yes, most of them have been started by advertising firms who are just trying to sell you stuff. But contrary to popular belief, fake holidays didn’t start with the internet era. We have to go back much further, plumbing the depths of American consumer culture in the second half of the 19th century.” ‪via @gizmodo http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/most-holidays-are-fake-and-heres-why-1720031146 

2.   How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight: “Long-haul flights are easily my least favorite part of traveling. I love the thrill of boarding a plane for a new destination, but the love affair ends there.” Via @Tami_Villa http://hunterlytravels.com/how-to-survive-a-long-haul-flight/

3.   Notes on personal brands: “The thing about personal brands is that we’re trying to act like ourselves–our lives, our quirks, our likes and our dislikes, our relationships and our childhood, all of the little things that make us us–are a business entity that can be redesigned and dashed with a new color scheme and molded to fit the swinging shifts of customer opinion. We try to fit ourselves within the box that we’ve created for ourselves with nothing but a URL and a handle and a photo filter or a consistent emoji use.” Via ‪@cestchristine  http://www.cestchristine.com/2015/09/notes-on-personal-brands/

4.   5 Reasons To Live Abroad With Kids: “It is for my children that we are living every moment of every day on our own terms. We are giving them opportunities and experiences that we hope they will cherish throughout their lifetimes.” Via ‪@liisavexler  http://familyfreedomproject.com/reasons-to-live-abroad-with-kids/#

5.   Why I travel: “‘You lived in the Bay Area for how long and you never crossed the Golden Gate Bridge?’ It’s a tale as old as time, really.  You spend so long in one place that you begin to take for granted the plentiful opportunities all around you.” Via ‪@lamochilera‪  http://www.themochileradiaries.com/travel/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

 

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Williamsburg Graffiti

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Williamsburg Graffiti

Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List

What better place for free art than the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn? I was on the hunt for donuts but six hours later realized my camera was inevitably attracted to the colorful walls, doors, and people that make Brooklyn, well Brooklyn. 

Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn FDNY Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Visualize Pi Jen's Bucket List
Williamsburg Graffiti Brooklyn Jen's Bucket List

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Favorite Five Articles of the week

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Favorite Five Articles of the week

  1. The World’s oldest backpacker "His travels have brought him into danger many times. Sometimes in places you wouldn’t expect but, more often than not, in regions that are embroiled in conflict. John doesn’t go looking for trouble but, at the same time, he wants to see the world. That’s why he’s on this journey. He’s had 89 good years on this planet and he’s spent the last 30 exploring it. He’s not prepared to compromise at this stage in his life." http://www.timetravelturtle.com/2011/12/worlds-oldest-backpacker/
  2. 20 Signs To Diagnose Your Chronic Wanderlust “You can’t get no satisfaction. The more places you see, the bigger the wanderlust grows. There’s just something about the unusual that leaves you wanting more. But it doesn’t matter because you know that wanderlust isn’t about getting satisfaction. It’s about thriving.” http://thoughtcatalog.com/erica-villas/2015/08/20-signs-to-diagnose-your-chronic-wanderlust/
  3. Revisiting the places you love “My ‘destinations’ page remains mildly pathetic compared to those of other travel bloggers. I always sheepishly admit that I’ve only been to 28 countries – like that makes me a lesser traveller or something, or as if that number isn’t large in comparison to those who don’t do this for a living. But I’ve always believed that if you find a place you really love – and I mean truly, truly love – your owe it to your soul to go back, over and over again.” http://candicedoestheworld.com/2015/09/revisiting-the-places-you-love/?utm_content=bufferf7b8a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  4. I Just Didn’t Like It… “Everyone always talks about the trips they have been on and the places they have visited where they absolutely fell in love with, but rarely do you hear the stories of the places that you just didn’t like. People are always hesitant with sharing these stories, because as travellers, it’s hard to complain about going anywhere without someone rolling their eyes at you.” http://www.twirltheglobe.com/other/i-just-didnt-like-it/
  5. Escape to Bro-topia “People talk about chucking their jobs. They say they will leave behind the madness of the city and hit the road… But nobody ever does it. Nobody. Except for one guy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/style/escape-to-bro-topia.html?hp=&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

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The NEW Whitney Museum

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The NEW Whitney Museum

The #NewWhitney building is as modern as its art, designed by architect Renzo Piano, who also designed the Shard in London. As of May 1, 2015, the Whitney collection moved from 945 Madison Avenue to its trendier new downtown location on Ganesevoort Street, at the start of the highline. It is now the largest column-free museum gallery in NYC. Check it out on Fridays from 7-9 for a pay-what-you-wish donation, but get there early to beat the line, which moves pretty quickly.

Below are some highlights of the inaugural exhibit, “America Is Hard to See” and the very sophisticated yet artsy café (downstairs) where we got milk and cookies, called “untitled” and the panaromic view from the rooftop café perfect for watching the sunset over the Hudson.

The New Whitney Musuem The Highline view Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
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The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List Untitled
The New Whitney Musuem Jen's Bucket List Untitled

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5 Reasons to love Yosemite – and all National Parks (especially if you’re a New Yorker)

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5 Reasons to love Yosemite – and all National Parks (especially if you’re a New Yorker)

Yosemite National Park Tunnel View Jen's Bucket List

1.     Perspective: “Tunnel view” makes you feel small and humble and you realize how much world there is out there to see.

2.     Hiking: Challenge yourself and your body to really sweat but be rewarded not by calories on an elliptical but by views of waterfalls you can only see by foot.

Yosemite National Park light through trees Jen's Bucket List

3.     Light: Things are just clearer, no buildings to hide the sun, you see the light everywhere, through the trees.

Yosemite National Park Hikers Hiking Jen's Bucket List

4.     Connect: Disconnect from technology (because your phone doesn’t really work) and have conversations with friends new and old in person.

Yosemite National Park reflections brook Jen's Bucket List

5.     Reflect: It’s so quiet you can actually hear yourself think. 

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Weekend Trip to Philadelphia

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Weekend Trip to Philadelphia

The sunset over the Hudson steps from Spruce Street Harbor 

The sunset over the Hudson steps from Spruce Street Harbor 

There’s more to Philly than visiting the Liberty Bell and running up the museum stairs like Rocky. There’s a thriving art scene with amazing new restaurants constantly opening. Just an hour and a half southwest of NYC on NJ Transit ($30 round trip), Philadelphia is the perfect weekend getaway. It’s a smaller, cleaner and cheaper version of NYC. (It’s also where the Prince of Bel Air was “born and raised.”)

Eat lunch at Tria Cafe – one of my favorite places for bruschetta and figs and prosciutto and all types of little appetizers! It feels like you’ve sat down at a café in Europe –one of those places where the honey is as good as the cheese. It’s a cheaper version of NYC’s Eataly (and there are three locations!). The waiter said, “I overheard you talking about the honey and I totally understand it’s so good!” Order your favorite type of cheese (which comes with honey) and order this, (thank me later): “Warm Poached Black Mission Figs with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto di Parma $6.”

Tria Cafe Jens Bucket List Philadelphia

Take a walk through the fun and colorful Gayborhood! I admittedly made my friend take a ton of photos of me walking across the awesome rainbow crosswalks.

Spend the night at Spruce Street Harbor Park, a pop-up park for the summer, one of my new favorite parks ever! It has everything you need: food, ice cream, games, music, a great view along with a sick light show and sometimes even fireworks!

Spruce Street Harbor Philadelphia Jens Bucket List

BAM! Get brunch at the new restaurant Brick And Mortar or B&M. One thing I love about it is the subtle “Princess Bride” movie themed menu. I had the Inigo Montoya (Gin, fresh OJ, Orange blossom water, Crème Faiche, toasted Cardomom and Egg white) and my friend had the “Dread Pirate Wesley” (White rums, fresh lime juice and Bam blueberry Tea Syrup).

Brick and Mortar Brunch Philadelphia Jens Bucket List

 

The chic industrial decorations and exposed ceilings with hints of graffiti are calling to be instagrammed. Though there are not many options for brunch, you cannot be disappointed with the ricotta pancakes ($10) or the Pork Belly Benedict($13). They also have Oyster shots (Hand shucked oyster, Sake, Bloody Mix, Mirin) all in a shot glass – if you’re into that.

Brick and Mortar brunch Philadelphia Jens Bucket List

Oh and did I mention everyone who works there is super friendly? If you want to start up a philosophical conversation over great food, talk to William, our waiter said this, “Refuse to narrate, refuse to become a character in your own story, author your story, dictate your future!”

Brick and Mortar Philadelphia Jens Bucket List

Brick and Mortar Philadelphia Jen's Bucket list
Brick and Mortar Philadelphia Jen's Bucket list

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20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Eiffel Tower #funfacts

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20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Eiffel Tower #funfacts

  1. The Eiffel Tower was originally built as a temporary entrance to the World’s Fair, commemorating the centennial of the French Revolution. It was built to only last 20 years before it was to be destroyed.
  2. It was Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s engineer and builder who kept the tower standing after 20 years thanks to the installation of a giant antenna for the earliest radio broadcasts.
  3. Gustave Eiffel built a secret apartment at the top of the tower with a small laboratory for his experiments.
  4. Gustave Eiffel was also responsible for the Statue of Liberty’s internal structure.
  5. 300 famous artists originally protested the tower with a petition, calling it useless, monstrous and a gigantic black factory chimney. "We, the writers, painters, sculptors, architects and lovers of the beauty of Paris, do protest with all our vigour and all our indignation, in the name of French taste and endangered French art and history, against the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower."
  6. The Eiffel Tower was originally painted red.
  7. A decade later, it was painted yellow, then yellow-brown, until it was painted its current “Eiffel Tower Brown” color in 1968.
  8. Today it is painted 3 shades of bronze – darkest at the bottom, lightest at the top – perfectly hued to complement the color of the Paris sky.
  9. The Tower is repainted every 7 years.
  10. Gustave Eiffel climbed the 1,710 steps of the tower with a French flag when the monument opened on March 31, 1889.
  11. Since renovations in the 1980s, there are currently 1,665 steps to climb to the top of the tower.
  12. The base pillars of the Eiffel Tower are oriented with the four points of the compass.
  13. The 5 elevators’ annual journeys combined are equal to two and half times around the world or more than 103,000 kilometers.
  14. For four decades the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York topped it at 319 metres. (7 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower’s 312 m height)
  15. The tower was once the world’s largest advertisement, when a quarter-million colored bulbs spelled out the Citroën, the French automobile company between 1925 to 1936.
  16. 2,500,000 rivets hold the structure together.
  17. The Tower sways slightly in the wind. During the storm of 1999, it moved approximately 13 centimeters from its initial position.
  18. Hitler initially ordered the demolition of the symbol of Paris, but his command was never carried out. Also during the German occupation of Paris, French resistance fighters cut the Eiffel Tower’s elevator cables so the Nazis had to climb the stairs.
  19. The Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited entrance-paying monument, with around 7 million visitors each year.
  20. The Eiffel Tower has 20,000 lightbulbs that sparkle for five minutes on the hour, every hour, from nightfall to 1AM.

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Best Hot-Air Balloon Rides in the World

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Best Hot-Air Balloon Rides in the World

The oldest form of aerial transportation is back in style so forget about your bucket list, here’s the ultimate “Basket List” to give you a new perspective on some of the most spectacular landscapes and ancient sights in the world! 

  1. Albuquerque, NM: The International Balloon Fiesta is the largest and most photographed hot-air balloon event in the world. Watch over 500 balloons of all shapes and sizes climb during a sunrise mass ascension. Balloon pilots can even perform synchronized “splash & dashes” when they skim the water and then rise in the air again. Additional activities include evening balloon glow, fireworks, concerts and more. If you cannot attend the week-long fiesta in early October, Rainbow Ryders operates tours along the Rio Grande almost 300 days a year. 
  2. Cappadocia, Turkey: Located in the central Anatolian region of Turkey, this otherworldly terrain of caves, pinnacles and “fairy chimney” rock formations look like you’ve traveled to another world. 
  3. Bagan, Myanmar: Balloon is the best way to see the over 2,000 surviving pagodas, especially at sunrise or sunset, when the temple silhouettes glow in the mist of this once capital of the first Myanmar Empire. 
  4. Loire Valley, France: Two hours south of Paris, ascend in a balloon over 800 castles and manor houses that dot Loire Valley.
  5. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: Go on a safari above it all in Serengeti National Park to view “the largest mammal migration in the world.” Quietly float over wildebeest, hippos, lions, giraffes, zebras and more.
  6. Napa Valley, CA: Get a bird’s-eye view of the rolling hills and vineyards. On a clear day you might even be able to see the San Francisco skyline in the distance. 
  7. Letchworth State Park, New York:  Soar to incredible heights above the middle and upper falls of the Letchworth Gorge, between dramatic slate cliffs. 
  8. Melbourne, Australia: See Australia’s second largest city from an aerial view to see the skyline, Melbourne Park and the Rod Laver Arena, site of the Australian Open.
  9. Muelle, Costa Rica: Balloons dip low to skim the jungle’s treetops and sometimes fly so high you can see the smoking Arenal Volcano. 
  10. Gstaad, Switzerland: The International Balloon Festival in Chateau d’Oex takes off every January above the Swiss Alps.
  11. Queenstown, New Zealand: Lift off to get the best panoramic views of Queenstown, known as the incredible backdrop for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. 
  12. Luxor, Egypt: Travel 3,000 years back in time as you float over the world’s greatest open-air museum. Fly over the Nile, the Luxor temple, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Temples of Ramses II and III and more.
  13. Reno, NV: Reno’s reputation for gambling takes flight every year in early September for the Great Reno Balloon Race, which includes quirky contests such as steering balloons over giant playing cards and tossing a beanbag from the basket to try to hit “21.” 
  14. Yangshuo, China: Colorful balloons meander through limestone karst peaks during this unforgettable ride along the Li River. 
  15. Lake Tahoe: Just after sunrise board the Tahoe Flyer, the world’s only US coast guard certified balloon launch and recovery vessel for the ultimate view of the “jewel of the Sierra.”  
  16. Teotihuacan, Mexico: Rise above the City of the Gods, built in 300 B.C., once the greatest city in North America. Lift off near Mexico City to appreciate the massive pyramids and ancient ruins of this holy city. 
  17. Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Climb aboard a hot-air balloon to see Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s top tourist attraction, unfold beneath you. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, dating back to the early 12th century. 
  18. Wadi Rum, Jordan: Take in unbeatable views of the majestic desert, dotted with rock formations like the famous “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” 

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What is a bucket list?

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What is a bucket list?

bucket list: (n) a list of dreams you want to fulfill before you “kick the bucket” or die

Bucket lists challenge you to LIVE in the moment, dive beyond the “day-to-day” and instead set long-term goals and accomplishing them. It’s not about racing time but rather maximizing every minute to live one’s life to the fullest. A bucket list is a personal journey where you’re the driver. It shouldn’t be too fantastic that you’ll never achieve it. A list is never fully finished because as you achieve one thing you grow and your goals are subject to change.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Bucket-List

 

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog! Along the journey of creating and checking off my bucket list, I hope to share with you helpful travel tips, stories and photos here. Enjoy!

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