Helsingør and Helsingborg

Helsingør and Helsingborg are cities in Denmark and Sweden, respectively. They are a short ferry ride away from each other across the Øresund, a strait that connects the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

My friend, Lexi, and I decided to make a day trip to visit both of them during my stay in Denmark. Lexi had already been to both places, but was nice enough to accompany me on my visit to them.

Helsingør is about an hour away from Copenhagen by train–we just hopped on an early train in Copenhagen and were in Helsingør before we knew it.

About Helsingør–it’s adorable. Almost disgustingly adorable. While in Denmark, I found that most towns and hamlets relied heavily on quaint, rustic architecture and aesthetics. Perhaps I was easily swayed because I’m the type of person who values aesthetically pleasing areas and perhaps it’s because I had just come from Thailand, which isn’t exactly a country of highly aesthetically pleasing towns (streets and sidewalks in Thailand are generally unkempt and dirty, at least by Western standards, and often times buildings appear to be quickly put up simply to serve a function). That said, I very quickly fell in love with the kitschy, cute nature of Danish towns and cities. Helsingør certainly was at the top Continue reading “Helsingør and Helsingborg”

A Day Trip to Si Satchanalai

When I was planning my trip to Sukhothai, I knew I wanted to stay there for a few days. While I knew Sukhothai Historical Park was the main attraction for visitors coming to Sukhothai Province, I decided to look into other things to do in the area to keep me busy for the entirety of my stay. When I travel, I like to spend at least a few days in a given area. I tire easily (a reality of being a highly sensitive person) and I also like to take time to really get to know and appreciate an area. I’d always rather see less overall on a trip and take in as much as I can in one place than constantly be moving from place to place. During my trip to Sukhothai, I was satisfied to just explore the town of New Sukhothai on one day and had Sukhothai Historical Park planned for another day. Given that I had three full days in Sukhothai, I wanted to find another adventure to go on elsewhere in the province for the third day.

Enter Si Satchanalai. Si Satchanalai (more commonly know as Si Satch by the locals) is a district in Sukhothai Province about an hour north of New Sukhothai, the capital city of the province. It is home to Si Satchanalai Historical Park, a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous temple ruins in a wooded and rustic setting.

Si Satch was the sister city of Old Sukhothai and the administrative center of the Sukhothai Kingdom.

Lovers of history and architecture and those travelers intrigued by sites off the main tourist path will love Si Satch. It’s a bit out of the way and requires more planning, more walking/biking, and definitely more water (a mistake I ran into that I will get to later), but, as someone who is both a history nerd and appreciates places outside the main tourist path, I absolutely adored Si Satch–and came away with a few lessons about solo travel along the way. I wouldn’t recommend going to Si Satch in place of Sukhothai Historical Park–you’d be missing out on a lot of really great sites and culture by doing that–but if you have an extra day in Sukhothai Province and aren’t put off by spending two days in a row visiting ancient cities, I definitely recommend the trip to Si Satch; it is an absolute gem of a place. Overall, I found my experience Continue reading “A Day Trip to Si Satchanalai”

Sukhothai Historical Park

The night before I was planning to go to Sukhothai Historical Park–the first historic capital of Siam–I met a fellow traveler at my guest house who was also planning on going to the park the following day. We decided to go together, which ended up being a wonderful adventure–it’s always fun to meet new people while traveling and though I don’t expect to ever see her again, my new guest house friend and I had a lovely time exploring the ancient ruins together.

Rested and ready for more adventures after my first, quieter day in Sukhothai, I got up early to get some breakfast prior to heading to the park.

A local bus–which was really more like a songthaew–goes between New Sukhothai and Old Sukhothai on a regular basis for a small sum of 30 baht ($0.85 USD) one way. We caught it on New Sukhothai’s main road, not far from Poo Restaurant. The bus takes about twenty minutes to get from New Sukhothai to Old Sukhothai; while on the bus, we chatted with another solo female traveler who was also heading to see the ruins.

We were dropped off right outside the park entrance and immediately headed to rent bikes. There are a few bike rental places right across the street from the park entrance; for a small fee (I can’t remember how much off the top of my head), we acquired two rickety and questionably safe bikes for the day. I mean, I’m still here to tell the tale, but I’ve Continue reading “Sukhothai Historical Park”

Sukhothai: An Introduction

This is part one of a three-part Sukhothai series

The Sukhothai Kingdom, dating from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries C.E., is historically known as the first capital of Siam (just to clarify, Siam is the name that The Kingdom of Thailand was known by internationally until the mid-twentieth century). Sukhothai Province is, therefore, one of two provinces in Thailand that is home to significant cultural and historical ruins from a former capital city (the other is Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province just northeast of Bangkok, which is home to Siam’s second capital).

Given my love of history and desire to see new places, I was eager to make it to the ruins of Sukhothai prior to my departure from The Kingdom–and boy, am I glad I did. My trip to Sukhothai happened in the five days I had between returning to Bangkok from Europe, and meeting my parents in Bangkok for our travels around Thailand together. What a grand time I had on this solo trip. I’m so thankful I took it upon myself to make this journey in the few extra days I had to myself in Thailand–especially when I could have very easily stayed in bustling Bangkok…I mean, it’s not like Bangkok is hurting for things do see and do. Still, I wanted to experience some place new…and Sukhothai was an absolutely perfect adventure.

Aside from the two lengthy days of travel that it took to get to and from Sukhothai from Bangkok, I spent three full Continue reading “Sukhothai: An Introduction”

70 Years

Thailand feels like college in the sense that I feel like I’m in a bubble here and the outside world just doesn’t exist. The only reason I have any inkling of what’s going on outside of this country is because I recently subscribed to theSkimm. Well, that, and the occasional news story that pops up on my feed on Facebook.

So, it goes without saying that I completely forgot that yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day–something I am usually aware of given that Holocaust history has always been something I’ve been interested in and passionate about.

I may be a day late, but I still want to reblog this post from January 27, 2015…because whether we want to hear it or not, genocide is still happening–and it will continue to happen if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t educate ourselves about the past horrors we have implemented in the name of hatred.

It's a Britta Bottle!

70 years.

70 years may seem like a life time to us, but in the grand scheme of this thing that we call time, it is merely a blink of an eye.

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Slut is NOT a Nice Word

slut

[sluht]

1.

an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute.

2.

Obsolete. a dirty, slovenly woman.
— — — —

What do you think of when you hear the word slut? Probably something akin to the dictionary definition above (courtesy of dictionary.com a.k.a my go to site for quickly defining the English language).

Slut isn’t a pretty word. Definition aside, it doesn’t even sound nice. It sounds dirty. Just like the the image it defines, an image that that has become so dirty because of our societal perceptions of woman and sex.

 I actually just experienced this first hand the other day–this being, the centuries old societal perception of women that insists that we females cunningly tempt men into sex because we’re sinful, dirty, second-best, cut from Adam’s rib, etc., etc. The experience? When I called out a married coworker for flirting with me (something that has been going on on and off this whole summer, mind you). Upon making my point, he and another coworker exchanged amused glances; the other coworker simply Continue reading “Slut is NOT a Nice Word”

#WeekendCoffeeShare–My Brush With Fame, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, and Other Stories

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this week has been soooo busy. In a good way. But I’m exhausted and I haven’t even left the country yet!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I saw Passenger in concert this Tuesday with my friend Nicole. We went to dinner beforehand and arrived at the concert fashionably late (for the opener at least). The concert was amazing (aside from the obnoxious and very clearly intoxicated superfan right next to us who was constantly getting in our way). Mike Rosenberg, who is Passenger is so down to earth. Not only was he fabulous live (he sounded exactly like, if not better, than the recording), but he was really quite funny and engaging, also.  Continue reading “#WeekendCoffeeShare–My Brush With Fame, THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, and Other Stories”

The Power of a Symbol…Or, Will Intolerance Ever End?

I’m not the type of person you’ll find at a protest. You’ll be hard pressed to find me at a rally of any sort. I went to the 2014 Pride Parade in Washington D.C. last summer because my roommates went…but I never would have thought to go on my own.

It’s not that I don’t care about Black Lives or LGBTQ issues or the environment, what have you.

It’s not that I don’t believe we should strive for a better planet, a better human race.

It’s not any of that.

I’m considering a career in genocide education for heavens sakes. I care a lot.

I’m just very reserved. I don’t like to draw attention to myself in public places like a protest or a rally. I abhor arguing unless it’s with someone I’m very close to and trust. I’m pretty non-confrontational and generally speaking, would much rather express my urgency for a better world, a better human race through writing or a small group or one on one conversation. Humanity frustrates me a lot. For all the beauty and grace and good there is out there, there is also a lot to be concerned about. Humanity scares me. Humanity makes me wonder how much we as a collective really value this life at all.

But I would feel no satisfaction in marching in a protest, holding a sign up at a rally. In fact, I’d feel unnecessarily in the spot light. And I’d want to go and hide.

So, when I saw the first Confederate flag waving proudly(?) in the front lawn of a private family home in a small Midwestern town, I said nothing. I later texted a friend my disgust, but in the moment, I said nothing.

When I saw the second Confederate flag waving across town on the lawn of a different private family home, I again said nothing. I texted two friends this time as my distress over the two Continue reading “The Power of a Symbol…Or, Will Intolerance Ever End?”