Wanderlust and Love: May 2012

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Collection: Wide Crawl Number 14 – Started Mar 4th, 2016 – Ended Sep 15th, 2016The seed for Wide00014 was:
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25 May 2012

While in South Africa, we posted about how to speak Xhosa (try it!) and I thought that maybe you would like to have a lesson in speaking like a Newfoundlander (but never a Newfie – this term offends some people!) 

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18 May 2012


Happy Victoria Day everyone! We hope you enjoy your long weekend.
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08 May 2012

I really love to cook, and Jens tells me I am pretty good at it! I brought these two dishes to a family potluck this week and I was asked for the recipes so I figured I would post them here. I made a Waldorf Salad and German Pretzels.   

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gastronomy: une tranche de vie ~ sweet flowers for spring

Happy Spring and Happy Norouz!

To celebrate the first day of spring I have decided to create a few flower cupcakes. I made a dozen super simple vanilla cupcakes and whipped up a batch of Swiss meringue buttercream (my favorite go-to frosting). I divided up the frosting and flavored a third with rose water (to make roses), a third with vanilla bean paste (to make hydrangeas) and the rest with homemade Meyer lemon curd (to make chrysanthemums).

rosehydrangea

chrysanthemum


SUPER SIMPLE VANILLA CUPCAKESspring cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake cups with liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and butter. Add the egg, yogurt, milk and vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

Scoop the batter into the liners, filling them about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely while making the buttercream.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
this yields a good amount for a substantial swirl of frosting
if you like a lot of frosting this recipe is easily doubled

1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
150 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
flavoring of your choice

Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160°F. Place the bowl into the mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat for about 8 minutes. The outside of the bowl should feel neutral, not hot. Begin adding pieces of butter, little by little, until it is all incorporated. * Whisk in any flavorings you like until well combined then frost the cupcakes. 

I used a 1M piping tip for the rose and hydrangea and a no. 80 piping tip for the chrysanthemum.

* If the frosting looks curdled just keep beating until it comes together. If it looks too soft, pop the whole thing in the refrigerator for a couple minutes then continue to beat.

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FINDING MY BALANCE

~

It has been a while since I last posted on the blog, as I have been struggling to find a balance with my work and personal life. It has been a good busy, with a tremendous wealth of creative energy bursting from the seams. My recent trip to Washington was exactly what I needed to change my attitude and submerge myself in the company of brilliant minds, whose words were both uplifting and encouraging to the growth of the organization and myself as a person. I walked away feeling immersed with gratitude, equipped with a strengthened strategic outlook and tangible tools to implement in the now. Continue reading

~

For the past few months, I have placed a significant amount of effort into mapping out my career aspirations, to fit my idealistic dream of making a move into international development. My curiosity into this field and the light I feel within myself to contribute all that I can to humanity, has become progressively louder over time. The more like-minded people I meet and actively listen to the stories they tell, the more certain I am that I am guided by something that is larger than me. Existent in a serene spot in my soul, I know now, that everything will fall into place, with no room to worry or question. Continue reading

~

The work environment is filled with many different personalities, hidden agendas, stalwarts, leaders and followers, all trapped in the realm of politics. As a young person, learning how to orbit around the industry, my eyes are observing what I would want to adopt in the way I approach my team and my work. What I found to be a huge gap and possessed by a few luminary souls, are encouragers who make the time to be avid supporters of an individual’s idealistic career dreams. It is important to maintain your inner circle with people who listen to you speak of them with fervor and unstoppable drive. Learning how to navigate, in a world where people and things contaminate those ideals, can be challenging and if not protected, dangerous to you falling off balance to conforming to a life, that changes the trajectory of your true calling. Continue reading

November | 2013 | mel’s wanderlust

If you haven’t already got Christmas sorted, then I might have a few ideas just for you! Whether it’s for her, him, them or their house, you should find something quite brilliant in my list below!

Mere leather note book – available at Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 2.49.23 PMwww.mere.com.au

If you know someone who looooves writing, and by this I mean, with a pen, in a notebook, then this is the perfect gift for them! A burnished, full grain, leather notebook is perfect for the loved one who likes to write in style. You can buy this notebook with a plain front, or embossed. Definitely a piece that will stick around for years to come.

WOW Bluetooth speaker – available at wowwhitebluetoothspealerwatermelonred.com.au

For the young-en you don’t know what to buy, this rubberised bluetooth speaker is perfect! They can sink it up with their iPhone, Android, iPad or laptop and share those sweet tunes with a crowd. It’s rechargeable so no need to battle with dead batteries, and it’s rubberised casing means it can go wherever you do! It also comes in an array of colours, suitable for gals and guys.

Lush Christmas Candy gift box available at Candy Box gift LUSHwww.lush.com.au

I bet you’re tired of hearing me rant about how much I love Lush. Well of course I’m going to put it on this list! Filled with lots of delicious Christmas goodies (you can’t eat them though) this Lush box is perfect for the beauty lover. It contains a shower gel, lip scrub, bath bomb and soap, it’s a gorgeous gift that you’re sure your loved one will use. If you’re not really into this particular gift box, that’s fine! There’s plenty more to choose from.

Crabtree & Evelyn Specialty at Breakfast giftCEspecialtyatbreakfastavailable at www.crabtree-evelyn.com.au

If you’re really having trouble picking a gift, but you know your loved one loves their delicacies, then why not buy them food? Crabtree & Evelyn have a huge range of delicious fine foods and this gift pack contains their Oat and Fruit Crumbles, Breakfast Marmalade and English Breakfast Tea so that your loved one can wake up to the perfect breakfast. If you’re not sure they’re all that into breakfast foods, then have a look at C&E’s other gift packs, you’re sure to find something they’ll love (plus its all beautifully packaged).

Pandora Silver Ring with Cubic Zirconia available at Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 2.13.09 PMwww.pandora.net

If you’re looking for something really special to gift, what could be more special than jewellery? Pandora has a great collection of beautiful pieces, besides those charms they are so well known for. This ring is elegant and sophisticated and the cubic zirconia gives it that extra bit of sparkle.

glasshouse-fragrances-mini-candle-trio-christmas-collectionGlasshouse Fragrances Christmas Collection Miniature Trio available at www.glasshousefragrances.com

A present you know wont go unused, these delicious smelling candles will have a lasting impression on your giftee. In the Christmas collection your loved one is getting not one but three yummy seasonal smelling candles. Who wouldn’t want a Glasshouse candle?! You can’t say no to that.

Vue 4 Person Picnic Basket – available at www.myer.com.au Vuepicnicbasket

If you have a large family you need to buy a hundred presents for, then put down your list of who should get what and listen to me. Why not get them this super cute picnic hamper and fill it with stuff for everyone! It doesn’t have to be picnic or food related, it can be small knick-knacks that everyone will love, or bits and pieces that might be suitable for each different family member. Think about it.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 2.32.56 PMKikki K Live, Love, Eat gift pack – available at http://www.kikki-k.com

There’s no one who couldn’t do with a little organisational stationary in their life. This pack comes complete with a shopping list, recipe folder, tea towel and sticker booklet for the lover of food. Not to mention, everything is super cute to look at and super handy to have! If you think your loved one isn’t really into organising what they eat, have a look at Kikki K’s other gift packs.

Learning Czech–One day at a time – Jordyn in Wanderlust

Czech is a hard language. I’m are harder languages but coming from someone who has tried to learn french, german, and swedish…czech is hard. 

I don’t take a class–yet– but I am still always learning things. How? Little things like this:

The morning that I was supposed to go to Vienna, I still needed to get a paper notarized. Frantically running around downtown to find the notary office, I ran into the place I was advised to go to. 

“The first door on the right” she had said. Ok, I thought as I marched in there and grabbed my number. It immediately dinged announcing that someone was ready for me. I approached the glass window and handed her my papers and the attached sticky note that explained what I needed in czech. 

After a moment of the woman looking over my paperwork, she pushed it back to me and shook her head. She rambled some czech and pointed into the next room. “Děkuju” (Thank you) I mumbled as I hurried out of the room and into the next. 

Again, pulling a number and immediately hearing the ding, I rushed over to the next window. The same series of events happened. More rapid czech and pointing.

This time hoping for some answers on where to go I decided to speak up and say “Nemluvite česky” (What I thought was “I don’t speak czech”). What ever I said had clearly taken her aback, her sassy response of “NE! Ja mluvim česky, Nemluvite česky” startled me as she shoved my papers under the glass along with a slip of paper telling me in english where to go. 

In that moment it dawned on me, mluvite is “You speak”, while “Mluvim” is “I speak”. I had been telling people for months that they don’t speak czech. How embarassing! 

Have you ever had an embarassing language ordeal?

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For the Love of…Road Trips! |

Travel these days is all about convenience, as it should be. There’s a plethora of information and websites designed to help you get to where you need to go, in the most economical and expedient way possible. I love it, don’t get me wrong. I’m constantly checking Kayak and Expedia for air fare and hotel deals in the domestic cities on my bucket list. But I think an important part of traveling is taking time to soak in and enjoy the experience of getting there. The best way to do that thus far, for me, is taking a road trip.

open rod

I love road trips. Most of the traveling I have done has been in a vehicle, and I’ll be honest – not all of those trips have always been fun (I have a tendency to fidget when I sit for long periods of time). Some trips felt like they were never going to end. Other ones (those ones piloted mostly by my father) did not allow for enough bathroom breaks.  But there’s a certain beauty and freedom that you have in traveling by car that you don’t get in an airplane.  You don’t have to deal with security check points or worrying about whether or not any of your toiletries are going to get confiscated. You don’t have to pay extra if you want to bring more bags, or worry about carry-ons. You don’t have to pay eight dollars for a cup of juice that you don’t get to refill, and you don’t have to worry about sharing an armrest with sweaty strangers. It’s just you, in your car, with the radio on and the windows rolled down, going whichever direction you like. Sometimes I like to hit the road when I’m bored; other times it’s the best solution to Life just getting a little too…real. It may seem spontaneous and foolish to some, but to me it’s a way of reclaiming a piece of yourself that you sometimes feel like you lose in the course of everyday life.

Last year, there was one time when I hit the road late one night after too many things seemed to be going wrong, and I just had to get out. I couldn’t explain it to anyone; my family and friends thought I was nuts and over-reacting to the snowball of stress I was crumbling under. But I had to do it. The moment I left the city limits, I felt some of the weight that had been sitting on me. It was just me and the hounds in my backseat. I didn’t have a plan for an exact destination, and I didn’t care. I just wanted to go and see where I ended up.

These days I prefer taking my car when I can so I can bring my dogs along. It’s also much easier when you’re making short trips, like a weekend at the beach or in the mountains. We make plenty of stops for them to go to the bathroom, and I get plenty of opportunities to stretch my legs. It may increase travel time, but I’m a big believer in a trip not just being about the destination but also the journey. I also find more frequent stops cuts down on how restless I get during the drive. One thing I don’t like to do is play Russian roulette when it comes to lodging – I have done that once before with my parents and it’s an experience I’d rather not relive.

Hit the road next time you want to get out of town.  You don’t have to go anywhere fancy or hit any popular tourist spot.  Just get in your car and go. You’ll never feel more liberated, or more in control of your destiny.  I’m hoping to get back out on the road soon. When I do, I will let you know. 🙂

Photo via Pinterest 

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About | the wanderluster blog

Hi there.

For the purposes of this blog, there’s really only two things you need to know:
1. My name’s Breanna. You can call me Bre if you like. (And I’d like to know yours – please introduce yourself anytime! Consider this an introductory hand shake or hug extending out through your screen.)

2. I love to write and travel. The Wanderluster Blog is the unification and brain child of these two passions. (Just stating the obvious for good measure…)

And that’s really all you need to know. Feel free to say deuces to pleasantries and check out the posts. Enjoy.

But if by chance you want to know a little more, feel free to read on.

I’m a recent college grad entering the real world armed with nothing but my unfailing optimism and disarming vocabulary. I firmly believe that every place is worth visiting at least once, that every person is worth talking to at least twice, and that a good day is one in which I learn or experience something new.  I’m a writer, a thinker, a big ol’ smiler, and I can usually be found doing one or all of those things.

You might have noticed that the tagline for the blog is “Getting lost is not a waste of time.” That’s something I’ve come to believe at my core. If I had to pick a motto, that would be it. Ironically, I realized this at a time when I really was lost in Rome, thought I was losing the little precious time I had remaining in the city, and not very happy about it at all. You can read about that experience here.

In creating The Wanderluster Blog, I hope to both inspire and be inspired. Interacting and connecting with the people and places around me is what I’ve found makes life worth living.

Eventually my goal is to be a bona fide, on-the-books, ain’t-no-questions-about-it, paid travel writer. I have (what I like to think is) a healthy obsession with National Geographic in particular.

So if on the off chance you’re someone who can, I don’t know, say, give me my dream job, email me. Facebook message me. Comment on a post. Just find a way to contact me. Ok? Thanks! Consider my fingers perpetually crossed.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you snoop around and stay a while.

Follow me on Instagram: the__wanderluster 

Half Dome John Muir Trail Sub-Dome 

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Unpacking the Writing Pact | Wanderlust Redirected

In late June of 2013, I was given an amazing gift and opportunity.  Through a program called Birthright, I spent an amazing 10 days in Israel for free… Well mostly free, I had to pay for a plane ticket to JFK and had to purchase one meal a day and souvenirs.  The program is for Jews between the ages of 18-26 with at least one Jewish birth parent.  It was basically a group of 40 of us traveling all over israel in a tour bus, spending our nights in a hotel or a kibbutz.  The program I went with was a group of people from Colorado.  The trip had a few spots left open, which is how I got in, along with a few other Californians.  I met so many interesting people, and it really opened my eyes to everything.  The downside was that being from California, I can’t take part in the parties and reunions the group has every few months, because they are all in Colorado, which is sad because I really miss all of them.

This was my first time leaving the country (not including Mexico and Honduras) and I was going all alone.  The most incredible part was that I was emailed 2 days before departure that I would be going on the trip!  Even though I had applied months before, I hadn’t heard that I was confirmed for a trip.  In the early summer, I had gotten a few emails about last minute spots for a whole bunch of different trips.  I had never considered responding, but then I had a very life changing dream.  When I received another email about last minute spot available on a trip leaving 3 days later.  I decided to respond to the email saying I was available, even though I was sure that it wouldn’t actually happen.  Later that day, I checked my email at work, and was shocked to see that I got a reply saying that I just needed to get a flight to JFK!

The next two days were crazy getting things packed and ready, and before I knew it I was hugging my mom good bye in Reno, departing on my first flight all by my self to New York.  

Jerusalem

After spending the night alone at JFK, I finally met up with my group and we departed for Tel Aviv, Israel.  We arrived at 3:00 am local time, and we spend the next 10 days exploring the entire country.

During my time, I made many friends, had my first legal drink ( a mojito, of course), floated in the dead sea, and learned about the country and culture.

To be honest, I definitely did not soak in as much information as I would have liked.  This was a major regret I ended up having, along with being too conservative with my money.  I should have definitely bought some shirts with hebrew written on them or spent a little more money buying dead sea products.

We did so many other incredible things, including: rafting down the Jordan River, riding camels in the desert, wine tasting, bike riding, and visiting so many towns!

Camels in the Desert

One of my favorite days was when we went camel riding in the desert then spent the night in the Bedouin tents.  It was catered more toward tourists, but the camels did not seem to be mistreated and it was preferable to have access to running water and toilets.  The night at the Bedouin was so peaceful and amazing.  It was definitely one of the most amazing places I have stayed.

Jordan RIver

Casual guns

Western Wall

Western Wall

The western wall in Jerusalem was another amazing experience.  Aside from two different sides of the wall for women and men.  It made the feminist in me a little upset, but if I want to be a world traveler I will have to get used to this kind of segregation.  I am not a religious person, I am also very skeptical of spirituality.  At the same time, I am very open and curious of other people’s beliefs.  However, when my hand made contact with the wall, I felt something go through me.  Maybe it was just because the way the spiritual people treated this wall, or maybe there was actually something about that effected me.  Either way, it was something else entirely.

Tel Aviv

Haifa Gardens

We were only able to spend a few hours in Haifa, but it was amazing and beautiful I really want to spend some more time there in the future!

IMG_1512

This was (unfortunately) my best picture of the dead sea.  I’m not gonna lie, my skin has never felt as amazing as it did the day after I went to the dead sea, but I did not expect floating in it to be so incredibly different from any other time I went swimming.  First of all, you can only go in for like 15 minutes at a time, otherwise you will get very dehydrated from the all the salt.  The extreme sodium content does allow you to float in it (in fact, it is almost impossible to do anything but float).  But it also makes it painful on your body, kinda like when you have a cut an swim in the ocean, but times 20.  It is 100% worth it though. There is also mud baths to do, which make you look very funny, but feel amazing.  My friend and I had a routine of floating to mud bathing to floating.  It was an amazing experience to float in the dead sea, and I definitely am going to go back someday.

Israel was my first real opportunity to travel across the world to somewhere I have never been.  Because of the people I met and things I experienced, my life took a few turns and I was lead to many opportunities I would never have had.  One of the most incredible was giving me the courage to audition for the Chico State theater department, just for fun.  That lead to me spending a year in a glee type class, where we would sing and dance and preform for schools and senior centers in the area.  It was an awesome thing for me, and something that I would never have done if I hadn’t gone to Israel.  The most important thing Israel did to me was give me the travel bug.  I want to go everywhere, explore everything I can and learn about different cultures and lifestyles.  I want to open my mind to new things, and most importantly, I don’t want to be limited to living and being any one location.

IMG_1599IMG_1580

July 3, 2014 | Delightful Wanderlust

When booking my plane ticket to Thailand, I really wanted to have a long layover somewhere.  I was planning on a 2-3 day layover, so that I would be able to explore.  After looking into it, I realized that it would be too expensive.  Luckily, I found an itinerary that included a 21 hour layover in Singapore.  When I discovered that the singapore airport (Changi airport) was a destination on it’s own, I figured it was going to be my best option.

Singapore

Since I only have 21 hours, I decided I would do some research and plan what I wanted to do with my time.  So here’s my list of things I am going to make sure to do:

  • The Slide:  In terminal 3, there is a 40ft tall slide.  It’s the tallest slide in Singapore, so obviously I will be spending some time on it.
  • Lounges: There are a few lounges throughout the airport, at which you pay  for a certain amount of time.  They have places to rest and sleep, and some of them even have showers.  This option is cheaper than renting a hotel room in Singapore for the night, plus, you don’t need to figure out transportation to and from a hotel.  There is also no need to worry about checked luggage when remaining in the airport!
  • Free Singapore Tour: The airport offers free tours of SIngapore!  The downside is that it takes 4-5 hours, so less time exploring.  But I am guessing that it will definitely be worth it!  There are 2 different tours offered: the Heritage Tour offered multiple times during the day, and a City Lights Tour at night.  You have to register for a tour an hour before it departs, and you can register in either terminal 2 or 3.
  • Zone X: It’s an arcade.  I don’t want to disappoint my brother, so I will definitely be stopping by here.  But, lets be honest, I definitely want to get some gaming on!
  • Aviation Gallery: After spending so much time on a plane, it could be pretty cool to get to learn some more about them.  Also, the physicist in me is dying to to explore and learn!
  • The Entertainment Deck:  There are different game consuls and technology available to keep entertained.  Also there is a movie theatre, which is a great place to relax from all the exploring!
  • Music Bar Lounge: I am not yet 21, so I’ll enjoy actually being able to actually go to the bar without getting kicked out!
  • Nature Trail and various gardens: A chance to appreciate the beauty of nature, in the middle of an airport.
  • Gym:  This one is still up in the air ( no pun intended) for me, just because it’s around $15 to get in, which might not be worth it for me, especially with all the walking I’ll probably be doing.  But, it also might be a great thing to do after a long time spent in transit.  It is located at one of the lounges, the Ambassador Transit Lounge.  Staying at the ambassador lounge is a considerable option because it makes the gym rate a few dollars cheaper.  It is the one located in Terminal 2, in Terminal 3 there is a spa with a lot of services available.

9V-STM | A330-343X | Singapore Airlines | HKG

For more information, the Changi Airport website has specific times for the tours, as well as pricing for the lounges.  There is also information on fun activities at the airport that I did not list, including some really fun looking playgrounds.  Unfortunately, they only let children in.  Lame, I know, but there is so much else to do, I’m sure it won’t be missed!