Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I've been asking around the internet for more bear statues. I've gotten some great responses, and I have added some new places to my list:

1. California - is basically a goldmine for bear statues. I have UCLA, King's Beach and Monterrey for sure having them .

2. Canada! Also a goldmine - Jasper, Banff, Slave Lake (Alberta) and Kingston all have options.

3. Yellowstone Park. 

4. Australia: Melbourne Australia has a city wide art exhibit of bear sculptures. So does Dadswell Bridge, Victoria (it is a Koala statue, but I completely count those).

5. Spain: There is one in Madrid in the Plaza del Sol. It is called "El oso y madroƱo" (the bear and oak tree).

6. Berlin : apparently has a ton of statues due to the Buddy Bear project. And even though I've been to Germany many times, I haven't spent more than a few hours in Berlin....so guess I'll need to go back!

7. Kobe Japan has one! Although I have been told it is small...hmmm

8. New Bern, North Carolina. A fellow redditor was nice enough to send me some pics of his favorites! 

9. Zelenograd, Russia. Again, an awesome person gave me an exact google map. Thank you so much! 

10. Laugarvegur, Reykjavik Iceland: which was going to me high o the list of future places. How convenient! 

11. Luang Prabang, Laos. Lemonymars says, "there is a waterfall/bear zoo near the city. About 6 bear statues in a row".  6 in a row? BRB booking flights. 

12. The Paddington Bear statue in Paddington Station, London. I LOVE Paddington Bear...this might be my grand finale. 

Thanks again and please send me more suggestions, especially from countries not yet on the list!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today is a very special day.

Every month, I celebrate a certain train ride. I rode on that train to what I had hoped would be a brief stopping point on my hectic schedule filled with constantly leaving/fleeing. However, at the train station I was lucky enough to meet a fellow adventurer - someone who taught me how to stay put and not run away. Someone who taught me how happiness works. Someone who became my traveling companion.

So today let's celebrate all those who travel with us. <3

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why I love cruises

Ok, we all knew this was coming. It is time for me to poetically describe why I absolutely love traveling by cruise.

1). It is relaxing.  Everything is taken care of for you. Going off -grid and exploring by yourself is an awesome rush. It is also exhausting: you have to plan out your stops, find sleeping arrangements, worry about safety, make sure you can communicate, have back up plans, and have back up plans for the back up plans. So there is something to be said for having your hotel travel with you. You are like a friggin turtle: the boat slowly meanders its way from port to port, with all necessities (i.e. bars) right there on its back. And you know who wins races? Turtles. 

2). It is surprisingly budget friendly. Well, this one really depends on how you travel. You can obviously spend less if you are staying in the bare minimum hostels, eating out of local street carts, and only doing free hiking tours. But if you want private rooms, decent food, and constant access to entertainment then a cruise is pretty hard to beat. Especially ones that go to multiple countries. I mean, you can leave your stuff in your safe room, have good food, enjoy ship concerts and games, and travel easily between several ports --- all for a couple hundred bucks.  Not bad. ( Just don't hit the spa because those prices are jacked up about 200%) 

3). Unlimited food. Speaking of things to help your budget...let's talk about the food. It is usually solid, it is always available, and it is included in your price. All you can eat crab cakes? Don't mind if I do. 2 am pizza because I drank too much at the pool bar? Glad I won't have to see that bill in the morning. 

4). You can go a lot of places in a short amount of time. Let's be honest - I have a lot of fucking countries left. We are really going for quantity not quality at this point. One boat can take me to 4 ports in one week? Sold. Would I consider doing this for every country on my list? Obviously not - there are places you want to go and spend weeks or months to fully enjoy. But there are places that a two-day layover on your boat will be all you want or need. 


I can already hear some of you out there: "Aly, you want to travel the world and explore other cultures and live on the edge. You're going to try and do that in a giant slow boat because you get lots of crab cakes?" I understand; it seems to go against everything that being an adventurer is all about. Where is the action, excitement and spontaneity? 

But see, while adventuring is awesome it can also be hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. There are days where you will be tired and hungry and frightened. You will find yourself in a freezing village smelling disgusting. You will find yourself in a taxicab with a driver who has a high probability of kidnapping you. You will wake up sick as hell and think 'holy shit, eating food out of that street cart was probably a bad idea because now I feel my intestines liquefying." 

These moments will happen. There is nothing you can do about it, and they certainly don't make the trips less worth taking (honestly, they probably are some of the greatest moments). BUT...there comes a point where you say "for this next trip, I just to lay down and have a drink with a little umbrella. And eat crab legs. Lots of crab legs." 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I really love cruises; so much so that my friends and family are probably exasperated with me for continually lauding the benefits of traveling by boat ("The food is unlimited, guys. Think about it. UNLIMITED!").  Well guess what...I've been once again been given the opportunity to take a cruise to Mexico. Prepare yourself - the ocean posts are coming!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Koala Bear

I wasn't sure if this would count...but if this is my hobby I'm already creepy and beyond the point of having 'rules' about this.

Nashville, TN

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Return of the Bears

I make no promises, but this might be a hint of things to come?

Portland Oregon Zoo