Bright Lights, Big City, New York City

New York is legit, is like one of the best places. I think it's all the hype and then when you actually arrive, all the hype is true. 


Here's me - I am born and raised in LA. Too be honest, the only downfall to NY is the public transpo. Yes, it is so reliable, but coming from LA where you literally must own a car to function in normal society, not having a car, was just a little rough for me. But why should I care, I am on vacation? I think a lot had to do with me just being grossed out. I always felt so dirty and gross coming out of the subway, and seeing all the rats. Crowded subways, and don't get me started on the hassle of it being a certain temperature in New York and then it being 85 degrees of pure heat in the subways station. 

Anyway enough about that. The amazing thing about New York, is I truly believe New York is that one place where you can 100% be who you want to be. Not that LA crap, where you can be yourself but still need to impress others to be accepted. Not the comparing of clothing, cars, and house or apartment size. It seems that in New York, one is all, and all is one. Everyone rides the subway. But I just saw characters in New York, people with style and hairdo's that one would never do in LA. It seems like a true judge free zone, and people just really mind their business in New York. Of course, this is only my opinion and experience. 

I rented a Airbnb in New York, Brooklyn to be exact. Really nice trendy spot, in a loft, I rented a room last minute and it all worked out. Basically I was visiting a friend, who was visiting New York for a month and renting a room, in God knows where, and I just saw one too many roaches, I was out.

I did a little working in New York, so basically my adventures were a) eating b) working.

Here is my straight forward breakdown of where you should eat if you only have ... say 4 days. This was my 3rd time in NYC, so I've already done all the touristy things, my main goal was to get good food.


1) Bar Pitti - it's a celebrity hot spot, and well known. Also, if you want real Italian food, with Italian waiters, go here. (side note: Cute tall one from Brescia). The food was really good, and authentic. I believe they change the menu everyday, definitely check it out. 

2) Chelsea Market - Chelsea has everything, from seafood market, to sample sales, to cupcakes and pasta. The tacos and pho were amazing. It's a pretty crowded spot but great food options and cute trendy photo opps. 

3) Sarabeth - Central Park South - Really great food, make reservations because it is very crowded. Also a hot spot location, because it is literally across the street from Central Park. On our way there, we literally saw Lady Gaga's ex fiance getting into a taxi from his high rise right there. (Couldn't bother to google his name, but bothered typing this sentence out, explaining I couldn't google his name).

4) Pies & Thighs - Williamsburg, Brooklyn's way of doing Westside's Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. In my humble opinion, it is nothing like Roscoe's, Roscoe's being absolutely amazing and mind blowing. Pies & Thighs is good, and extremely popular, and if your'e on the East Coast, then it's worth a try, get there a little early, it get's crowded.

5) Butter & Scotch - The neighborhood may seem a little sketchy when you walk out of the subway and go to Butter, but it's a super cute place with great dessert, and a little hidden gem.

Did I take pics of the food? Lol, of course not. (Shame on me, so you'll just have to go and share pics for me) I took a ton of pics of myself though! haha

Tuk Tuk Thai Life

(BTW a draft from August 3, 2016) When you try to login into your account in Squarespace and can't remember your login, and freak out, then see that someone left you an awesome comment! Yes that's what happened to me a few days ago. Sunday is my new blogging day, although it is Tuesday, Jan 24, I have been drafting since Sunday. I have too many travel stories to tell!

Sawadee Ka Bitxng (banana leaf). Two of the three words I learned in Thai. Why banana leaf? You may ask. I don't know, to be honest. I mean I do, but there's not enough room to share it. 

I've had dreams and dreams of going to Thailand.  And it  just happened. I booked my flight on November 11, 2015 and boarded a plane on November 19! Can we just speak about how inexpensive flights are to Asia? Round trip $600 easy, that's last minute too. I did Premium Economy because I thought I was running a show, I'm not and I am no money bags, stupid mistake. The thing is with international airlines, they take good care of you! Whether you're in economy or not, there's no need to spend an extra $2,000. I went with Cathay Pacific, 15 hour journey from LAX to Hong Kong, we spent the day in Hong Kong then that night headed to Bangkok. I didn't spend enough time to go into Hong Kong in detail but it is very westernized, all signs are in English as well, and like everyone speaks English. Also, side little story, I dropped my wallet in one of the poorer neighborhoods in Hong Kong, and literally freaked out because it had both my debit and credit card, and a few Hong Kong dollars, it also meant that if I lost my wallet, I would have no money for the rest of the trip! None. Someone I told, encouraged us to go to the police station a few blocks down. I had a little attitude because I knew the wallet wasn't going to be there, I felt so stupid and dumb (leaves giant wallet in front pocket that only covers half the wallet, it was bound to happen), and no one seemed in a rush to take me to the station. Anyways 20 minutes later, wallet is at the police station, found and returned by a older man that I was unable to meet, bless his heart!!!!

Hong Kong to Bangkok I flew Emirates! Emirates sent me an email a few weeks before I flew out for this Business class upgrade for $200. Of course I bumped it up, let me tell you! It was so wonderful, I fell asleep so fast! Even when my lamb and wheat bread came out! VOSS water, full shower, and bar. Absolute heaven! 

The most expensive part of my Thailand trip was actually getting there, as I am sure you know, it is very inexpensive in Thailand. The first night we stayed in a hostel, my first and last time doing that. I am not a hostel person, I like my own bathroom, toilet, kitchen, and comfortable room with real beds. Yes, I know there are different types of hostels but I am more of a Airbnb person - one hundred! My friend got bumped up to a suite and she had her own bathroom, and queen maybe even king bed with A/C!!!! (and no, she didn't invite me to her room....). As I was stuck in a barely locking small room with a jail type bunk bed and a nasty shared bathroom, at least it was only two nights. We went to Sky bar, Lebua in Bangkok and a waxing place. When in Thailand, get waxed haha! It's so interesting how they handle waxing compared to the women out here. You can tell there are immune to seeing everything there!!! I won't go into detail but I am definitely glad I went for it out there first. We didn't really see much of the city because we knew after this lake house adventure tour we booked we would have more time to see Bangkok. The Lake House was amazing, and I highly recommend it. I will go further into detail in my next post, two years from now :)

After the lake house (next blog) we journeyed back to Bangkok and went to the famous Khao San Road, Wa Pho, and Sky Bar. Oh, and a little advice, at Sky Bar they are very picky about your clothing. No tennis shoes, jeans, shorts, but this still allow ugly people and tacky dresses in, so idk what they are trying to uphold, jk! Outside there is this woman who sells clothing to rent to go to SkyBar, look at her sign below, so funny. We got street food, pad thai to die for. We stayed in an Airbnb our last few nights, to my demands and wishes, it was so much better. We did laundry, there was gym and pool (not that we used), small cute kitchen, clean bathrooms! Thailand was great! I loved it, still need to visit the beaches though, Chiang Mai and the river market. Btw I didn't see not one elephant when I went, not one! I guess in my ignorant mind I thought they would be roaming the streets all over, kind of how people not in LA think that celebrities live on Hollywood Blvd. :) 

Ashamed, Ashamed, Ashamed. I Can't Call Myself a Blogger!

Hi there! If anyone is there! I keep saying I want to be a blogger, I want to share my stories. Blah Blah. Blah. I embarked on my first trip on June 10, 2014. It has now been two years since then and a little more! 

I want to share my experiences and my tips. This time it's gonna happen!!! I've been posting on my Instagram, backtracking (@livebyella). I still want to share those stories and those pictures. The last time I wrote on this blog was a little over a year ago. And I did nothing else with it. 

A little snip-it of pics and stories to come (Barcelona June 2016) 

A little snip-it of pics and stories to come (Barcelona June 2016) 

I've had the below draft sitting on my iPad since February 9, 2015, referencing August 2014! See below: 

"Guys I wrote this August 24, 2014! I am so ashamed of myself. I was just looking back and thinking how cute my post were and that, me taking a solo trip across Europe needed to be documented! I haven’t even told my dreadful transportation stories in Europe. Now I am in Guatemala, doing some humanitarian work, and have been to Europe once again in November, after returning from my first Europe go around in September, and I am hoping to go back again to Europe and hopefully Africa in May, so I really want to be good. But first I have to talk about Sweden, which is down here, and then make a blog based on my memories for Spain and Italy, my last two stops. So here we go, shall we time travel backwards to August 24, 2014. I do remember where I was when I was writing this. On my way to Sevilla on a two hour bus ride from the Malaga airport. My phone was dead, so I pulled out my laptop and started type typing away. Okay ready!"

........ Okay so now back to present day- Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Starting this week, I will share my drafts that have been sitting with me since 2014, Guatemala (spring 2015), life in Italy (summer 2015), New York (Oct 15), Thailand (Nov 2015), Cancun (Dec 15), San Fran (Dec 15), and my most recent trip to Europe, tackling London, Paris, Barcelona, and Italy (June 2016). 

Please stayed tune! This time I'm staying for good!!! 

It's June 10, 2015!

Not that it means anything to you, but if you read, it does mean something to me. 

Turnin' up! This picture was taken a day after I graduated high school! Hehe and I was babysitting, but I think it does justice. 

Turnin' up! This picture was taken a day after I graduated high school! Hehe and I was babysitting, but I think it does justice. 

Okay so technically, right now it's June 11th in Europe, but in America it's still June 10th. 

Happy one year anniversary to myself! June 10th, 2014. At 19, I embarked on my first solo trip, I boarded my first international flight, and I had no idea what I was in store for me. What we thought would be a month travel to Germany, Greece, and Turkey, turned into a three and a half month tour of Europe, seeing 14 countries, all on my own. It's just amazing, because if you would have told me a year and a half ago that I would be seeing all of Europe, or going to serve in Guatemala by myself. I would have thought that was insane. Now, here I am, for the 3rd time in Europe, in less than a year! I know this is very non original but it's so true, you can't let ANYONE tell you, that you can't do something. Just because they've never done it, doesn't mean you can't do it. What I'm about to say is super cliche! But yes there are skeptical ones,(aka- haters), out there, who don't want to see you accomplish anything they can't. It's so sad, but honestly, if you are able to do something, and you have the opportunity, and have the resources, and you're not breaking any laws- do it. There's no reason why you can't! Sometimes you can't wait for others, you have to do something on your own, and I have no problem with that. I will continue to travel the world, hopefully no more Europe, because, I'm kind of done with it, unless there's like a wedding or something. But it's time to take over the world and see all of it. Traveler to the extreme. That's me. I've learned so much about myself this past year. I've lived (living) on my own, I've learned to cook.... I guess if you count zucchini and tacos, (meat free- because cooking meat is way too much work). I can do my own laundry guys! I did missionary work, now I'm attending school!! In Europe!! Wonder what I've would have accomplished June 10, 2016! We shall see. One year anniversary to myself! 🎉🎉
Whoop de whoop!

There is also a ton of post I still need to post. My second time to London for a wedding, my post on Sweden, Spain, and Italy. Ugh I need to start this now again! And I want a new blog name. For now....



Kings, Queens, and Palaces- Oh My!

This past weekend I went to Berlin! I was only there for three days and boy was it hectic! The person I was with wanted to show me all the tourists spots. So on Friday we went to the Parliament, Klassenfahrt, and just so many other places with German words and pronunciations that I can't even remember.

The best of it all! I have to admit is seeing the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam! It was absolutely amazing! Being from the states we have nothing like that! The closest you get it the Hollywood Castle in the Hollywood Hills- which is a total ripoff! But it was awesome seeing this palace. I still must see an actual castle though! Which if I go to London will be on the top of my list. It was very fun, oh and I got to see the Berlin Wall! But I must admit I still prefer Hamburg and Bremen over Berlin.

Sanssouci Palace

Sanssouci Palace

The Hipster Part of Hamburg- Sternscheanze

Well the title is very self explanatory. Yesterday I went to the Hipster Part of Hamburg, which is called Sternscheanze. It reminds me of Venice Beach, but since it is no where by the beach, it also gives off a New York kind of feel, how the apartments are built and all. But in front of this one building, there are German nomads just chillin and probably doing drugs- like parts of Venice.

Hamburg in general has a lot of graffiti. Like everywhere, but it doesn't mean the city is dirty at all. All the entrances of the apartment buildings have graffiti up and down the windows and doors. But it is super cool, and I could totally imagine myself living here.

There is great great shopping, kind of like Abbott Kinney, but less of a craft, unique feel. Think awesome suede boots, great leather jackets, so many colors. The stores themselves are almost all two story, with very open spaces.

I haven't been wowed by the style of the Hamburg women but the men sure bring it. Hopefully in the next few days I can get awesome pics of these mysterious and fashionable men. Not to mention, alot of them rock the poni (meaning buns and ponytails, I have yet to see any headband game though.