Current Design Love: LT Josai

Even though I have nothing, I’m quite happy living like this.

Sasaki Haise

In honor of Valentine’s day, here’s a post in honor of my love, who always comes before anyone else: architecture.

If you know me, you might know I have a long-standing love affair with Japan. In elementary school I had a minor obsession with Bento boxes (that continues to this day– you should have seen how excited I got about my new lunchbox). I learned Japanese in the hopes that my best friend’s family would bring me with them on a vacation to Tokyo (it didn’t pan out). Even when choosing study abroad, I was a solid 50/50 split between Japan and Denmark, so I applied to both. Obviously, I didn’t get in.

However, I still continued to be inspired by Japan, whether it be embracing a Wabi-Sabi lifestyle or their designs. The current design project I am working on is an extraordinarily small communal living space in a diverse neighborhood of Copenhagen, and I’ve found myself consistently drawn to Japanese precedents in communal housing. Here’s a bit of a case study I did for class that is helping me stay in love with architecture.

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Case containing an array of baked goods

Full Stomach & Empty Wallet: Copenhagen Edition

So long as you have food in your mouth you have solved all questions for the time being.

Franz Kafka

I’m a bit of a foodie, largely in part with the fact I’m the child of a chef who had a food blogger roommate, so I’m not one to say no to an amazing dining opportunity. There’s one caveat, though: ya girl is broke.

Copenhagen is a notoriously expensive city (it’s just as bad as London or Paris). However, I’m crazy lucky that my homestay family are just as epicurean as I am, and even more frugal than I. I have at least two meals a day taken care of from them (all three if we have leftovers) and I’m pretty sure that’s the sole reason I can still travel.

Here’s the list (in no particular order) of cheap eats I’ve found that have kept me from starving on many a day in Copenhagen when I forgot to pack my lunch. Good luck and enjoy to all you budget gourmands out there.

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Plane views

Travel Tips from The Worst Backpacker Ever*

Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things will always work out.

Gordon B. Hinckley

For some reason the people I meet in hostels think I’m qualified to give advice, as if I actually know what I’m doing. Apparently I know how to hack travel websites better than some people, so here are a bunch of the travel tips I’ve told literally everyone I’ve come into contact with, combined in one place.

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Photo of medieval city streets with white walls lined with flowers

And We’re Off: My 2018 Travel Bucket List

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.

John Muir

For someone who spent a good portion of their weekends in Copenhagen, I made a dent in my travel bucket list. So far I have been to:

  • Århus, Denmark
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jelling, Denmark
  • Kolding, Denmark
  • Flåm, Norway
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Turku, Finland
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Paris, France
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • London, England
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Lyon, France
  • Chamonix, France
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Budapest, Hungary

So not too shabby! I’m trying to keep the rest of my to-go list reasonable, seeing as how its not really feasible for me to get to Thailand, Japan, Bali, or anywhere around Australia. I’ll save those for other trips (and I promise this isn’t self-pity, I still get to go to some pretty cool places). Without further ado, here’s my travel bucket list for the next semester!

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How to Survive a Christmas Abroad

Sorry I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth! I’ve been too busy living it up to update this (though one of my New Years Resolutions is to do better, we’ll see how that goes). I was originally going to post this forever ago (as in before I surprised my mother by suddenly appearing at home for Christmas) but there’s no point in keeping up that charade that I’m spending all of the Holidays abroad.

I did get a bit of travel in before I came back to Chicago, with some quick visits to Amsterdam to see the cousins, London to see Queen in concert and Dublin to see Guinness before I came back. In just a few days I’m off again to snowboard in France and explore Croatia before the new semester starts!

However, I know these tips are still applicable for people out at Christmas. While some people may not be able to fly home, others may not feel welcome at home, or not have a place to call home at all. To any and everyone wondering WTF their plan is for the holidays, hopefully these tips can help:

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