My Travel Playlist

Inspired by Travellersoul76 (Check out her amazing blog. She’s lived everywhere!) , I decided to make a list of my favorite traveling tunes. These are songs that have calmed me to sleep during flights, entertained me on long bus rides throughout Spain, and , recently, have been reminding of all the places I’ve been and where I want to go.

Click on the titles to hear the song.

1. “Good Life” by OneRepublic

Favorite Line: “Woke up in London yesterday/ found myself in the city near Picadilly.”

I found this song the summer before visiting London and now every time I hear it, I remember my favorite city. And the time that old guy attacked a car in Picadilly Circus

2.”I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

I listened to this over and over again while packing. I haven’t been to most of the places but it’s catchy as heck. And, yes, I was a bit annoyed when no one realized Rihanna sampled it in ‘Where Have You Been”

Favorite Line: “Of travel I had my share, man/I’ve been everywhere.”

3. “Me Gustas Tu” by Manu Chao

This song was used in a grammar course to refresh us on the use of me gusta.  Translate the lyrics if you need to and you’ll find it’s both funny and useful for learning the language.

Favorite Line :“Me gustan los aviones/ me gustas tu.’

4. “Mas” by Nelly Furtado

I listened to the whole Mi Plan album constantly but this song is a bit special. I had been in Spain for a few months and had this playing one day while I was walking home. I noticed that I actually understood the lyrics and wasn’t just enjoying the beat as usual. For me , it signified that I was actually learning Spanish and not wasting time there.

Favorite Line :“No quiero perder mas todo mi tiempo/al lado de alguien quien no quiere entenderlo.”

5. “I was Here” by Beyonce

At every new experience, I keep thinking that no one would ever be able to take my memories of it away from me. Traveling felt like a dream to me, which is why I am working so hard to continue. The video also features clips of her travels around the world.

Favorite Line: “ I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted/And it was more than I thought it would be.”

6. “Sofa” by Ed Sheeran

One day I will love a man so much that not even the prospect of travel will make me want to leave our sofa.

Favorite Line: “Say the word and I’ll take ya/ But I’d rather stay on the sofa with you.”

7. “So Good” by B.OB

The video for this song is awesome and full of places I’ve been and want to go.

Favorite Line: “ Five hour layovers from Norway to Egypt/I’m to the point like the Pyramids of Giza/ Still leaning left like the tower out in pisa.” 

I would love to know what travel songs I should add to my playlist as well as what songs are on yours.

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Revisiting Childhood at The National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD

Growing up in Owings Mills, MD has defiantly left some impressions. For starters, I will eat anything that comes from the ocean with no opposition. Purple and black seems like the most natural color combination and , as most from the neighborhood will attest, the Inner Harbor seems more like the local playground than a tourist attraction. I grew up 30 minutes away from the harbor and the area was the setting of numerous class trips, birthday expeditions, and nights out as a teen. A few weeks ago, I got to return to the harbor. It didn’t feel like a thing changed at all and, in this case, that was a good thing.

 The Harbor

Inner Harbor

Inner Harbor with Baltimore Sky Line

Reflecting off of the Chesapeake Bay are the impressive buildings that make up Baltimore’s famous skyline. Both chain and traditional restaurants line either side of the bay. Most places have outside seating where you can enjoy your fish while, well, watching the fish.

Shopping is also plentful in this area thanks to souvenir shops and the Harbor Place mall. My favorite stop, of course, is the gigantic Barnes and Nobles that was converted from a power plant.

Barnes and Noble Power Plant

Barnes and Noble Power Plant

If you’re not keen on taking one of the many boat tours , you can view them from afar in one of the shaded seating areas . Or if you’re lucky, there might be an impromptu break dancing or  jazz performance.

The Main Attraction

The National Aquarium looks huge from the outside but can be seen in its entirety in four or five hours. If you go on an weekday during the school year, as we did, you can zip through with no problems.

Waterfall at Entrance to Museum

Waterfall at Entrance to Museum

Among my favorite exhibits was the Amazon Rain Forrest. With the humid and oppressive heat, the oversized leaves that canopy the ceiling, and wild parrots, sloths, and tarantulas, it ‘s more than easy to forget your in a building in the middle of a large city.

Rainforest Parrot

This parrot stared at me for 3 minutes straight

National Aquarium

Gator

Green & Black Poison Dart Frog

Green & Black Poison Dart Frog

Indoor Amazon Rainforest

Indoor Amazon Rainforest

The Shark exhibit winds up along several, dark floors. With the sharp- tooth sharks swimming past you as you go deeper and deeper underground, it feels like your walking through the deep , dark sea.

Diver in the Tank

Diver in the Tank

I also enjoyed  The Jellyfish Exhibit

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

JellyFish

JellyFish

 Another highlight of the day was getting to view the 4-D movie. We saw Happy Feet and for about 15 minutes we were snowed on, splashed with ice cold water, and pecked by Penguins as  they danced across the screen.

If you need one more reason to visit The National Aquarium, here it is: The people who work there not only seem to enjoy their jobs but are actually quite good at what they do. We ran into the same employees throughout the day and they would always stop, ask us how we doing, and then lead us over to wherever we were heading next. One of the people in our party had trouble walking and needed a wheelchair. The employee at the service desk not only helped her get into the chair but then got down on her knees to tie her shoe lace. It might not seem like a big deal but it unusual for me to experience customer service like that, especially at such a large attraction. Heck, it hard enough getting the cashier at CVS to make eye contact.

Coral Reef

Coral Reef

Don't know what this is , but it's pretty

Don’t know what this is , but it’s pretty

Riding Camels and Sniffing Strange Things in Morocco, Africa

Arabian Donkey

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My New York

There’s something lovely about living in a new place. The process of the unfamiliar becoming the known is so interesting to me. All of a sudden your feet known the way home all by themselves and you’re on a first name basis with the cashiers at the drugstore. The best part is seeing how much you’ve grown post move. Since moving back home in July, I’ve been thinking about how different I am now than I was when I moved to New York four years ago. For one, I hate not being able to walk. Car dependency is so inconvenient. I also learned that despite what my family thinks , quiet little me can, and actually prefers to , make it on her own.

It’s always the places that make a neighborhood feel like home so below are some of the places that make New York City feel like home to me.

1.Café Bacio on 3rd between 71st & 70th

  2.Central Park ( 60th St. Entrance)

©http://www.centralparknyc.org/

 3.Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market 116th St between Malcolm X Blvd & Madison Ave

Picture from NYC Mag

 

4.New York Public Research Library 5th Ave & 42nd

5.Stumble Inn Bar on 2nd Ave & 76th

6.The Union Square Area 

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This past weekend I visited my old stomping grounds and decided to stop by the Afro-Punk Music Festival. I was drawn to the festival because my favorite band, Gym Class Heroes , were scheduled to play but cancelled due to … Continue reading