Before heading to study abroad in Cambridge, I travelled to Singapore, Taiwan, and Bruges. On the flight to Singapore, I got to ride the Eva Air Sanrio plane! All the decorations inside are Sanrio/Hello Kitty themed, including the pillowcases, the in flight entertainment welcome screen, napkins, and even the toilet paper.
When I arrived, I was greeted with great peking duck (thanks so much!!):
Then, I went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Fun fact: it is the only tropical garden to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s very large, with different sections including an orchid garden, an area featuring plants used for medicine, an educational dinosaur-themed area, and an open park for picnics.
There were a lot of interesting ferns and tropical plants around.
I didn’t get to go to the orchid garden section this time since it was near closing, but I got to eat great Hainan chicken rice instead. It was actually the best chicken rice I’ve ever had. Guess you can’t find this in LA :P
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.