Cities on my radar (2)

My last cities on my radar post was not accomplished at all. I mean, I got distracted. I moved to China. So now that I am in eastern Asia, I have a whole new list of places I want to see. These are mainly cities that I wouldn’t have thought about before being in such close proximity to them! Now that I am traveling with a bit more frequency, I hope to keep up this series more.

Busan, South Korea After visiting Seoul, I really feel connected to South Korea. This city has beaches, mountains, temples, and probably a good bike rental system which really gets me going. Some friends tell me to go to Busan, get a beer on the beach and drop some soju in it. Which sounds really fun and wild, but I’m a bit more interested in the mountain views, winding roads, and tiny historic towns. Either way, we know Busan has a lot to offer.

Hong Kong I will soon be checking this one off my list. A more tropical city, a little more expensive than China, but still very interesting. It will be cool to see how different it really is from mainland China. I have heard that it’s really boring, but also that is has some of the best juice anyone can ask for. And who doesn’t love juice?

Osaka, Japan I have not been to Japan yet, but I am extremely excited to go soon. Osaka seems like a great place to start. The seafood, the history of the temples, and then there are the cool dotonbori and and namba areas. Neon lights, street food, and hip shopping.

Cambodia Before moving to China my knowledge about the history of Southeast Asia was slim. I had watched the Ken Burns documentaries about the Vietnam war this past fall. Of course, I had taken history classes in high school about world history but in college I mainly studied west civ. Being in China though, you kind of have to face the facts that you walk by people who have had a harder life than you and lived through things you only heard about from a text book.

So I want to visit every country I can to meet the people, learn about the stories. Cambodia was where I wanted to start because the ruins of Angkor Wat are fascinating and huge, the people there are working so hard to rebuild their country. I will not go there until I read the book First They Killed My Father.

Manazita, Oregon Yeah, super random because I’m currently in China but this place is on my mind. I met someone who took a van trip down the pacific coast and it just made my desire for the west coast even stronger. I have never been! After living in a city like Beijing the smallness of Manazita might be perfect for a trip.

 

So let’s see if I actually make it to any of these places this time! I hope I can cross off at least a few of them, I mean why live in Asia if you aren’t going to see Asia?

Lexington, my reluctant Kentucky home

So we are going to rip off a bandaid here: I didn’t get into TAPIF. A lot of you readers are going to say, “What the heck is TAPIF?” and that’s because I haven’t mentioned it at all. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But here I am, telling you that my plan for moving to France has been moved back a year. Technically, I am still on the waitlist with a pretty good chance to be accepted for this coming school year, but I’m not in a position to be waiting. It really stinks to be writing this, but I think it’s going to force me to do what I have refused to do for the last year: really call Lexington, Kentucky my home.

I have lived in the same place for a year, stayed at the same job for a year, seen road construction begin and actually be completed in a year. I called myself a nomad for so long, maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore! I do keep the fact that I have the desire to move abroad around, with my pursuit of the French culture and understanding the laid back French lifestyle. You can still count on me to be a travel blog, I will just start to be more accepting that maybe I can be a travel blog who still has a home? We’ll see!

This means that I’ll just have to explore this city more in depth! I know that I think Lexington can be really cool, I have my favorite bars and ice cream shops, my favorite place to watch planes take off and land. So all this is to say, expect a Lexington guide soon, but also maybe I can branch out a little. Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Asheville? These are all cities I have heard by word of mouth are great, but I want to put pen to paper about them.

Let me know how you guys have turned some sort of negative experience into a positive one! Also, what cities are you headed to? I’m currently planning a Canada and Iceland trip- and about 20 imaginary trips too!

Lyon: Snacks

Best Bagels, Mercière: Bagel stores. They always seem to be better in Europe, but very American themed. The bagel shop I went to in Lyon is not an exception. It even offers American sodas and Arizona Tea to go with its pictures of NYC on the walls. If you’re feeling homesick for some good old Jif peanut butter or Big Red Soda, you can find that here. There are other locations of this bagel shop around town too, if you find yourself craving a bagel, but you’re far from this place.

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Crock and Roll: A very cool shop that features a twist on the classic croque monsieur. It’s settled in Croix Rousse, my favorite area of Lyon, and it even stays pretty popular. This could be because they have a Nintendo available for play, and a bathroom with some pretty weird ceiling art? I don’t know, but if you’re heading there soon, I just looked at the new spring menu. It looks delish.

Frite Alors: As an American, I guess if I was looking for easy French access, I could just go to Canada, but instead I went all the way to France. And there, at Frite Alors, I tried the Canadian classic, poutine. This spot seems like a really fun place for friends, and for just a nice hang out. The food is super delicious, Johnny and I both got fry dishes (because duh) and I scarfed mine down.

Celest: Okay, maybe this shouldn’t be in a snacks post… but seriously, I have to mention it somewhere! The bar does have snacks, as well as great cocktails that change seasonally. Charcuterie is one of my favorite things to order because I’m such a snacker, and with this plate you get so many bits and pieces to munch. If you have saved a night to treat yourself, I would do it here.

Do we dare talk about bouchons? Just walk anywhere in Lyon, and it is jam packed with bouchons. I could tell you which ones are the best, but I think part of going to a bouchon is walking through the streets and picking the one that feels right for you. Look at the menu, discuss the options, and then choose. I will tell you that Daniel and Denise is one of the most popular, for good reason too. So mark that down in your notebook. IMG_4691

Honestly, if you guys see or hear about a restaurant, TELL ME! I always say this. I love getting to make notes of places to visit for when I return. Also, you can always browse Le Petit Paume — they have reviews of the restaurants in Lyon.

Cathryn Takes Amsterdam

So as of right now I am currently in Lexington, Kentucky. I unfortunately cannot be constantly traveling. I do spend a ton of my time reading and researching for future trips that I will take, and for trips that my friends are going on so i am not uper bored staying in one city. I am super lucky to have friends traveling abroad- not only does it make my Snapchat and Instagram feeds so much better, it helps me to extend my ever growing list of things to do in every city in the world.

Now while I have been to Amsterdam it was over a year ago so my mind is a little fuzzy. So may I present to you.. Continue reading Cathryn Takes Amsterdam

Lyon: deux

Okay, I’m writing this from a cafe in Lyon. I know, I’m supposed to tell you everything every step of the way, but things were really stressful so I just kept all my thoughts in a little folder for you guys.

Alright, here we go. I flew from Cincinnati to Paris, which was nice. I don’t like the connecting flight life. Though, for all my money saving friends, sometimes it is a lot cheaper (moins cher) to have connecting flights. My boyfriend used STA travel; he had a fright from Cincinnati to New York, then to Paris. Once there we had a train to Lyon. This is where the first travel hiccup starts.

Continue reading Lyon: deux

Rotterdam

Have you ever had an awkward day between your travels? You’re in a city for one night just because it kind of worked out that way, not because you really wanted to be there? That was Rotterdam for Johnny and me. We arrived early on a rainy morning via BlaBlacar, this time driving with a cool Flemish businessman.

We spent most of the day just walking. We got lost walking to the train station, and then we got lost walking to some museums. We walked some more. Hey, in Rotterdam you should take the public transportation. Its not that expensive, but we didn’t realize that until later on our way to the CouchSurfing location (stay tuned for another blog post on this experience).

Continue reading Rotterdam