Category Archives: travel

“Leve Som Dem”

Hej. Mit navn er Mariah, og jeg kan godt lide den farv grøn. Jeg snakker dansk ikke godt, men jeg lærer det. Jeg har lært det i et år. Jeg underviser mig selv med Duolingo. Jeg er ikke en “polyglot” (de taler meget sprogene flydende) men jeg ønsker at være en dag.

Hi. My name is Mariah, and I like the color green. I don’t speak Danish well, but I am learning it. I have learned it for a year [on and off–I’m worse at practicing than I like to think]. I am teaching myself with Duolingo. I am not a “polyglot” (they speak many languages fluently) but I wish to be one day.

Watch this excellent TED talk by Lýdia Machová on the secret to becoming a polyglot.

One of the things that I do to make language learning fun is to listen to music and learn the lyrics. I recently found the Danish version of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid on YouTube, and was excited to discover that, by the fifth listen or so, I could understand some of the lines and sing along.

It’s not an exact translation from the English version–even the title of the song, “Leve Som Dem,” means “live like them,” not “part of your world”–but it’s even more interesting, because the Danish version still rhymes. While the lyrics were altered from an exact translation, they still have roughly the same meaning, and they also maintain that sort of musical poetry that we would expect in a Disney/children’s song. That’s super cool on a number of different levels.

I really want to find a copy of the whole movie. The utter appropriateness of a Danish Little Mermaid is indescribably appealing.

(I’m a total nerd, so I couldn’t write an introductory post without going all-in. So hey. Hi. This is me. Nice to meet ya.)

Travel Cheap, Experience More

Recently my girlfriend and I have been finding cheap flights & hotels to places in the United States and exploring new places. We found that though the flights are cheap and might be a little snug on Spirit Airlines…. but we’ve had more fun than we ever thought possible. Traveling can be affordable if you plan right and do the right activities once you get to your destination! We recently traveled to Colorado for under $200 for the two of us!

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 12.28.14 PM

While we were there we spent our time outdoors and enjoyed the mountains. This was a super easy way to save money because everything we did was outside and FREE! We camped for $15 a night and were literally on the side of a mountain with the best views I could ever imagine. My point is traveling doesn’t have to be something that is a huge cost. It can be affordable and still a great experience.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 12.28.23 PM(Our campsite at Longs Peak Campground)

30 BY 30


What is 30 BY 30?

My dad once asked me if marriage had ever crossed my mind. At that time, I was only nineteen so my immediate response was “no, because I want to travel as much as I can while I’m not tied down to anything.” That was the end of his marriage conversation with me. I am twenty-five today and I am still very adamant about my decision. Over the years, I eventually gave myself a goal to reach before I settle down which brings me to my answer of what 30 BY 30 means: to travel to thirty countries by the time I am in my thirties. I even came up with a hashtag on Instagram to  help sort my travel plans and help motivate my viewers. Check it out on Instagram @ #30BY30WITHKAY

More than Motivation

I guess you could say I lied a little bit when I said I’m not tied down to anything because I am actually tied down in my student debts, job, and school. I only have fifteen days paid vacation and I could only travel during each semester break which cannot allow me to fully go wild with traveling. 30 BY 30 has helped me adjust things in my life that I wasn’t happy with. It picked me up from my negative attitude towards life, triggered me to finish school, and helped me become better at saving money. I wouldn’t say traveling is a motivation for me to get rid of these obstacles that are tying me down, it is a lifestyle for me because I know what I need to do to keep me alive. I enjoy the little steps I do now, but I know I will enjoy it to the fullest once I graduate in May 2017 because that will be my ticket to travel as much as I can to reach my goal. I also believe traveling in the twenties is a good way for me to educate myself about me as well as other cultures. WorldofWanderlust and AirTreks does a great job of explaining why it is important to travel even if you’re not in your twenties.

Time and Money

As I mentioned earlier, I can’t travel as much as I want to right now due to school, little paid vacations, and bills. However, it has not stopped me from traveling whenever I can. I make an effort to go anywhere as long as time and money allows. For instance, I love using thriftytraveler to look for any cheap flights and I just work it in my schedule. Depending on how much or little money I have will determine what type of lodging I should have. I usually look at lodging on websites on Priceline, AirBnb, and Hostelworld. I’ve been doing this for three years now and I will reach ten countries by the end of this year. This will leave me left with twenty more countries to visit before I reach my goal. I know I can do it!

Wanderlust and the American Dream

Wikipedia definition: Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

I’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug. This isn’t a recent development; I’ve always been a wanderer, dreaming of exploring distant lands, meeting new people, and trying new things. Part of the reason I write is because I can create those places, people, and ideas on the page. It opens up a new world, an escapism, for others to enjoy.


Writing, though, isn’t a replacement for the desire to travel. In fact, I’ve realized my impulse to just go somewhere gets stronger every day. I find myself checking airline prices and reading travel blogs, daydreaming about when I might be able to stop living vicariously through other peoples’ pictures, stories, and happiness. Wouldn’t it be great to just get up, hop on a plane, and fly to Japan? Or backpack through the countryside of France and sip wine with the locals? I would, in a heartbeat, snap up a ticket to Thailand to visit a place that has different thoughts, experiences, and attitudes than my own.

Continue reading Wanderlust and the American Dream

Visit Pike’s Place!!

Reasons to Visit Pike Place Market: 
An Enthusiastic Tourist’s Thoughts on one of Seattle’s Greatest Attractions

If you are a friend of mine on Facebook (if not–why aren’t you?!), you can’t help but notice that I do a bit of traveling.  Okay, a lot of traveling.  One of my favorite places is Seattle.  In the past 10 months I have visited this city three times.  Each time, I am more convinced that I need to live there at some point in my life.  So what is the draw to Seattle?  There are many factors, but my favorite thing about the city is the Pike Place Market.  If you haven’t heard of it, drop everything you’re doing and look it up.  Then put it on your list of places to see before you die.  In this very biased and enthusiastic post, I will enlighten you on what I consider to be Pike Place Market’s biggest draws.

The Original Starbucks
Okay, okay, I do work for Caribou Coffee.  But this doesn’t mean that I turn my nose up at other brands of coffee.  For me it’s about the whole experience of going to a coffeehouse, regardless of the name.  This means that when I travel to places without a Caribou, I will happily pick up a french vanilla latte from Starbucks.  And what better place to get Starbucks than in its home city?  In Seattle there is a Starbucks on every corner.  No, seriously. Even more impressive is the fact that when you stroll down to Pike Place Market, you can visit the original Starbucks, which opened in 1971.  The line frequently runs out the front door, and street musicians are eager to entertain the waiting customers.  My recommendation?  Get your drink a block over and just visit this store.

Rachel the Brass Pig
In the middle of Pike Place Market is a big brass pig.  Her name is Rachel and she is quite a sight.  She is the unofficial mascot for the market, and according to Piggy Bank World, she weighs 550 pounds and has collected $100,000.00 for the Market Foundation since she appeared in 1986.  Remember when St. Paul had the giant statues of Charlie Brown characters around the city and different artists customized them?  Seattle did the same thing with pigs in the early 2000’s, but Rachel is one of the few you’ll find around these days.  Who doesn’t want to take a picture with a giant brass piggy bank?

June 2012 visit to Pike’s

Flying Fish
It wouldn’t be a pier-front market without fish.  Pike’s has no shortage of fish vendors.  A few too many for my opinion–the smell doesn’t do much for me.   But it’s part of the culture of the market.  Just inside the main entrance of the market, past Rachel the Pig, is Pike Place Fish.  This isn’t just a place to buy something fresh to take home for dinner.  The employees at this fish merchant take pride in being hospitable Seattleites who will gladly talk to visitors about almost anything.  Visiting them is pure entertainment.  The men will revive old fisherman’s chants while tossing the fish to and fro.  It’s a feast for the eyes!  

Image borrowed from Pike Place Fish

Sweet Treats
I am not picky when it comes to desserts. If there is sugar in it, I will eat it.  In fact, I just polished off a bag of chocolate chips while writing this post.  But I also know a good bakery when I see it.  On my last trip to Seattle two weeks ago, I happily explored the Market on a Saturday morning.  There is nothing better for a weary traveler than a cup of coffee and a fresh bakery treat, so I anxiously surveyed all the bakery options before leaving with a chocolate-filled croissant and a bag of cinnamon sugar mini donuts.  Let me tell you, both were amazing.  This place is not lacking in talented bakers!  There are some heavy European influences at the bakeries, which makes it different than local bakeries here, but they are no less delicious.  In fact, they are probably even more so!

The Seattle Gum Wall
My knowledge surrounding the history of this next attraction is a little fuzzy.  There is a brick wall in Post Alley (which runs through the Pike Place Market area) that is covered in gum.  According to Oddity Central, the gum wall started when people waiting in line to get into theatre performances would stick their gum to the wall and then get in trouble for it.  Somehow it turned into a symbol of the area.  There’s more than one story for its origin, but no matter what, it’s a crazy sight.  To go to Pike Place means you have to swing by the gum wall and make an addition to the wall.  If you’re really thinking ahead, you’ll bring enough gum to make some cool design and take a picture of it.  Or, you’ll just sit there and think about how disgusting it is…

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
Honestly, the flowers at the Pike Place Market are easily enough of a reason for you to go there, even if you didn’t see anything else.  There are multiple merchants selling fresh flowers, and the sight is just incredible.  It doesn’t hurt that the smell of the flowers is a nice break from the smell of the fish, either!  You can buy a gorgeous bouquet starting at just $5.  These aren’t like the bouquets you buy last-minute at Cub on Mother’s Day (yes, I’m talking to all the people I saw doing that yesterday).  These are bouquets that you would want to get for your wedding.  And they are just $5.  For $10, you get a bigger and even more beautiful selection of flowers.  The vendors are knowledgable and willing to let you just stand there and take pictures of their displays.  If you bring a decent camera, you will want to stay in one spot all day to capture images of these floral delights.

Everything Else
I feel like I’ve made my point.  Pike Place Market is great and you should go there.  But maybe you’re not convinced.  Let me give you a quick run-down of what else you would experience if you went there: gorgeous fresh produce, the best Greek gyro ever (in my opinion), eclectic street vendors, a kitchen store with every gadget imaginable, great antique stores, beautiful views of the pier, and a huge variety of ethnic foods.  Next time you’re looking for an adventure, consider Pike’s.  Even if you can only visit Seattle for a weekend, do it.  The longest I’ve ever been there is two days, but it’s enough to see, smell, and taste every part of the market.

Have you been to Pike Place Market?  What is your favorite place to visit?

Twitter for Travelers (Blogging as connected writing)

I am a Twitter fanatic (as some of you already know). Lately I have become obsessed with a handful of travel bloggers who also tweet.  Some people may think twitter is only good for news and celebrities. But I see Twitter as a way to get information on basically any topic you can think of. Here are a few tips I have received for traveling:

1) Names of places that are off the beaten path as well as places the locals enjoy (if you want to get away from the tourists. Haha).
2) Ways to save money on flights, hotels, transportation and places of interest.
3) Best times of year to visit different countries
4) Neutral insights for destinations that you cannot get from a book

Here are a few of my favorites twitter travel accounts…

The Frugal Traveler
Gary Ardnt
The Twitchiker