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Thailand Travel Tips

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Hello!

I wish I had written this post immediately after I had returned from Thailand but I suppose I'll just have to go from memory. Though there were some unfortunate parts of my trip (missing a flight from Hong Kong to Okinawa and having to buy a new one for $400) it was an amazing 10 days.
My friend from high school KC and I met up in the Chiang Mai airport and headed to our Air BnB in the city's center. The room was quite simple but it had all the amenities we needed (air conditioning!!!) and the location was incredible. I would definitely recommend staying inside the walls of Chiang Mai if you can.


I really liked Chiang Mai. It's just busy enough to be entertaining but not too overwhelming. We got multiple massages for under $10, spent a day playing with elephants, lounged by the pool, hit up the Sunday night market (hello souvenirs!), visited a few temples and took an incredible cooking class. 
From there we headed South to Koh Yao Noi, a small island in the bay half…

Week 5

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Holy moly! Can you believe I've been here for 5 weeks?!?
I really like living here. You can't really beat the weather and the scenes are just beautiful. I miss some of the luxuries of home but those thoughts are usually drowned out by a beautiful sunset or some awesome Indian food (who would have thought?)

Basically every time I explore I find a new beach prettier than the last. 

No, this isn't Indian, it's Okinawan Soba (buckwheat noodles in yummy broth) and it's delicious.


On another note, I used my first "squatty potty" today. Slightly challenging but not horrific I must say. 
Hopefully I'll post more but I'm not making any promises. 
Off to bed! 
Cheers!



First 10 Days

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Hi there.

These first 10 days have been a strange combination of calm and chaotic. I'm thankful that the Navy has given me copious amounts of time to get my life together here on the island.

In my free time I bought a car.

And I've been hanging out with the other 5 new nurses.


But most of all, I've been enjoying the wonderful sites.

Cheers!


Konichiwa

Hi there! As you may have assumed, I made it all the way to Okinawa! The trip was horrible. Not to complain, but a plane of about 20 crying babies for 36 hours...ugh. Stay tuned for a "What to expect on an AMC flight" post.

Anyways. Time for the good stuff.

I got in on Friday night and my awesome sponsor picked me up from the airport and took me to Chile's. Yes, Chile's was my first meal in Japan. But believe me, anything besides airplane food or a Kind Bar was a great change of pace.

She then dropped me off at my new apartment on base. I walked in my room and took a long awaited shower. I then realized that I didn't have a towel so I walked around to air dry a little and went to bed wet.

After sleeping for 10 hours, I woke up feeling refreshed and surprisingly not jet-lagged. Sid took me to the Japanese phone store (I'm loving my iPhone 6s!), the BX (like a Walmart on a military base), the grocery store on base and the internet store to get internet for my r…

What I'm expecting to miss about America.

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So, if you haven't already heard, in about 16 hours, I'll be hopping on a plane headed to Okinawa, Japan. How am I feeling about that you ask? Oh don't even get me started. Excited, terrified, ready, not ready and in denial all come to mind.

I'm preparing to fully embrace my new surroundings but I have a feeling that there will be some things that I'm going to miss.

1. Trader Joe's and Costco
You all know I'm a foodie so this shouldn't surprise you. I know that there will be many new culinary experiences but I think I'm going to miss things like dried mango, almond butter and Costco pumpkin pie. (Seth, that last one is for you)



2. American Shopping Malls
Another no brainer. I love to shop. Yes, I know that I can order things online, but that just doesn't replace going into J.Crew and touching every item in the store.

3. Speaking the local language 
I'm really excited to experience a new culture and language but I'm also aware of how frustra…

Gringa Thoughts

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As I begin to wrap up my trip here, here are some thoughts about the wonderful city of Santiago where I've spent the last 3 weeks.

1. I find the city to be very much like a Latin infused New York. It's very corporate, there are a lot of universities, the public transportation is easy and reliable and there are plenty of places to eat and shop. Besides the fact that I don't understand what anyone is saying, it feels a lot like the States here.

2. Chilean food is not so good. I find it to be a bit bland. Luckily the food scene in Santiago is excellent. There's great Peruvian, Italian, Japanese, and of course gelato. Chileans love ice cream, it's everywhere.


3. The people. The people here have been extraordinarily nice to me. From the cab driver from the airport that called the hostel instead of just leaving me on the sidewalk at 6 am, to the grocery store employee who stopped me to tell me my backpack was open to all of the people who offered to take my picture when …

Viña y Valpo

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This past Sunday I utilized multiple forms of public transportation (a major accomplishment for me) to take a little trip to the Chilean coast. Arriving in the middle of Viña del Mar without a map was a little disorienting but after a quick stop into an internet cafe, I safely made it to the Street Garden Hostel.

After dropping my stuff off (and acquiring a map) I began to explore the city and immediately fell in love. I'm a sucker for beach towns and this one was no exception. 
Unfortunately, it's almost winter down here so I wasn't able to swim but it was still nice enough to take in the sights. 
Tuesday I took the metro to a neighboring town, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valparaiso. This was a major world port until the Panama canal was built. Now it is a bit dirty and run down but is bursting with street art. 


Since I only brought a little bag of clothes and left most of my belongings in Santiago, sadly today it was time to return to Santiago.
Viña and Valpo are abs…