So I’m not sure if any of you remember websites like Livejournal, but I not only blogged on there once upon a time (to no one’s surprise), I still maintain friendships with people from there. This past Thursday a friend who I’d been in contact with for at least 12 (maybe 13?!) years was going to be close by in NYC doing modeling work for fashion week, and there was zero chance I was letting the opportunity to FINALLY meet in person pass! (An extra note: there’s actually a group of 5 of us who have all maintained contact from around the age of 13!)

I somehow had off from both jobs, so I took a day trip up to NYC. I actually had the worst experiences ever with the bus (both ways), but all good! Aside from the nonsense bookending the day, I had a great time hanging with Kim, exploring the West Village (correct me if I’m wrong), and thrift stores! Here’s some pictures to prove it:

NYC day trip
I fell in love with Pret in London and it was imperative I made a stop. Can we get a Philly locale tho?

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It’s Monday, and normally that would mean it’s time for a new Monday Mantra, but I think I’d like to carry last week‘s over for another week. I kinda fudged that one and really need to commit myself. In lieu of something new, I’ve decided to share the final installment of my Kenya series.

In case you’re new or somehow managed to miss my last posts mentioning it, I took a big trip to Kenya last month. Posts one and two of the series can be found here and here. I think in the future I’ll be better about taking a more abridged approach to a trip like this, but because it was the first time I’ve traveled that far, and to a place kind of off the grid (seriously, Meru is out there), a little extra oversharing is okay! 🙂 Here it is, part 3, and the final part of this travel series!

kenya part three


Day 6

We left Samburu to head toward Nairobi (where we’d ultimately fly out of). It was a long 4 hour ride mostly full of me napping because I can’t handle long car rides. We made a pit stop at a restaurant called Trout Tree that was literally in a tree house, in the middle of the jungle. From what I understand it’s a trout farm, but I don’t eat fish so that’s kind of lost on me. All in all this day was mostly full of traveling between destinations, and not as much about sight seeing.

I’m not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the hotel in Nairobi that we checked into, but it looked like something from the future; it gave me a very Tokyo-sleek vibe.

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In case you missed my past posts talking about it (including part one, here), I took a major trip last month to Kenya. Because I didn’t want to just make a single highlight reel post of 100 or so pictures (which frankly would’ve been easier on me, because I took so. damn. many), I’ve opted to break it up into multiple parts for you! Here’s part two:

kenya part two


Day 3

We started this day by heading to the outdoor food market, but it was alarming because I wasn’t really allowed to look around too deply; since Meru doesn’t seem to get a large amount of tourists, we were somewhat of a spectacle. I’m used to cat calling and unwanted attention from people in Philadelphia, but it was hard at times to deal with here, because you can’t really gauge a proper way to respond other than to just allow it. Men just came and stood or sat next to us without a word, and it was kind of like “Can we just confirm you’re not gonna touch me?” All that aside, it was still nice to look at what we could!

kenya part two
Just look at all that produce.

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That blue machine (I’m not sure what it is) is being carried on a MOTORCYCLE.
People carried everything on motorcycles out there.
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Okay, so you may know you’re going on a big trip, but something like going to Kenya doesn’t hit you until right when you’re about to leave. FOR ACTUAL KENYA. And after staying awake all night so you can sleep on your 14 hour flight, you’ll probably fall asleep in the airport before you even get on the plane.

I really had no idea what to expect as the only trans-atlantic trip I could compare to was London/Paris, and I didn’t need three different vaccines to go. My dad had given us (John, my sister, and I) an itinerary, but aside from knowing we had a dowry ceremony and a safari in our future, I pretty much imagined scenes from the Lion King going down.

The first flight (14 hours) on Qatar Airlines was phenomenal and I basically wanted to live on the plane a la Snowpiercer, whereas the second flight (5 hours), I wanted to jump out the window because of annoying passengers. If you ever get the chance to have a layover in the Qatar airport, do it. Give yourself a solid 5 hours to explore, because we had maybe one and I know I missed a whole lot besides my sister and I buying a buttload of foreign candy (there were so many types of Kit Kat bars, whoa).

So much happened on this trip that I’m just going to try to highlight parts for you:


Day 1

Kenya part one Kenya part one
In flight movies. I watched every Daniel Craig James Bond movie, as well as every Tom Hardy movie available during our flights. Sup, handsome men.

Kenya part one
Kenyan shillings, fresh from the ATM.

Kenya part oneDad up front in the van we borrowed from his wife, Pauline’s, brother. They drive on the other side of the road in Kenya, and I had many heart attacks over it, as well as all the motorcyclists. Everyone had a cheap cafe racer! View Post

5 things i wish i'd packed(post may feature affiliate links)

So you packed and repacked your things a dozen times for your trip, but somehow you arrived at your destination with important things missing. Or at least… that’s what happened to me during my trip to Kenya last week! I felt like I’d thought of everything I’d possibly need, but once there, discovered I’d definitely missed a handful of items. Here’s 5 things I wish I’d packed during my trip (and will make sure to remember next time):

  1. Slip on shoes. I chose my white vans high tops as my main shoe for my trip, and that was a huge mistake. When you walk into buildings (and houses) in Kenya you often have to take your shoes off in exchange for house slippers or flip-flops, and constantly unlacing high tops is a major pain in the butt. I’ll definitely be investing in some low slip ons, maybe like these or these.
  2. Bentonite clay. I set some of this aside on a little carry-on jar to take with me, but changed my mind last minute. While I’m pretty sure the jar was the appropriate size for TSA requirements, I wasn’t sure if they’d be picky about someone carrying an unlabeled container of powder onto the plane. That said, my skin went crazy due to the weather change and the hard water over in Kenya and it definitely would’ve fared better with the detoxifying bentonite clay. Next time I’ll take the risk.
  3. iPod. I don’t have an iPod, but oh my goodness I definitely need to invest in one before I take my next trip. It was fine not having it on the plane to Nairobi because there were in flight movies (hellooo James Bond for 12 hours), but the long car rides averaging 2-4 hours were KILLER without music! Anyone wanna suggest some good playlist additions?
  4. Zoom lens. I made the mistake of only bringing my 50mm lens with me and I’m kind of sad about all the rad landscape and safari shots I missed because of it. I generally prefer to stick with the 50mm since I love how pictures turn out with it, but there’s definitely a time and place to utilize something else (and I’m pretty sure that was last week, all over Kenya… dang).
  5. Lavendar essential oil. Guys, jet lag is so real. I wish I’d brought this along to help me sleep not only on the multiple plane rides, but also when I was struggling to adjust to a normal schedule. I debated taking sleeping pills instead but the idea of struggling to wake up because of a chemically induced sleep just doesn’t sit right with me, ya know?

Can you suggest any other items people might need?
Or is there anything you tend to forget while traveling?

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