royal palace landscape

Dam Square

Dam Square is the center of Amsterdam’s energy–it’s always bustling with Dutch people on bikes, tourists ducking into souvenir shops, and street performers attracting large crowds. Our first hostel was a two-minute walk from Dam Square, so we spent a lot of time in and around the plaza. I think every time we went I got…

Planned or Spontaneous? The Best Way to Travel

My parents raised me to be a traveler. I’ve experienced almost as many countries as I have birthdays, and many of those trips were with family. My mom takes planning a trip to the extreme, filling a binder per trip with daily itineraries and pre-purchased admission tickets and Google Maps printouts and Rick Steves city guides. I learned from…

When in Amsterdam…Get a Tattoo

“I kind of want to get a tattoo while we’re here,” Matt told me on Thanksgiving Day as we wandered the streets of Amsterdam. I wasn’t shocked–Matt is constantly coming up with impulsive ideas and acting on them–but I was a bit skeptical that he’d actually follow through. Choosing a tattoo design can be a…

Amsterdam in 9 Squares

In November, I traveled to Amsterdam with my roommate/travel buddy Matt. Even though the weather wasn’t great, we both fell in love with the city’s vibe. Here are some of the highlights, as seen on my Instagram: We got to simulate what it was like for Jews in WWII: going into hiding, being found, and getting sent…

Home Sweet Home

After 14 states checked off and almost 3700 miles driven, Matt and I arrived in Ithaca, NY to move in and start the school year. I’d never even seen our new house or met our two other housemates before moving in, so I was a little nervous and a lot excited. Turns out I absolutely…

Oregon girl pumps gas

7 New Ways to Pass the Time on Road Trips

So you’ve found yourself on a cross-country road trip, and now you have to keep yourself entertained for long hours in the car. The license plate game and 20 Questions are classics, but it’s more fun to think outside the box. Here’s what Matt and I suggest for passing the time: 1. Play the Cow…