Tag Archives: travel

First! on the Laguna Surf

A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to try my luck at surfing, thanks to Oakley and my gig at LAmag.com! Read more about it here. While I feel lucky to consider that “work,” it was a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of a neighboring coastal town that usually never warranted more than a drive-by along picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. As it turns out, Laguna Beach and the nearby Doheny State Beach in Dana Point were the perfect settings for a string of firsts.

Photograph courtesy of Gary Copeland

With nothing but the sound of crashing waves before us and the soft earth below us, a bout of early morning yoga lifted my spirits and prepared me for a day in the water. Numerous sun salutations (how else would the sun come out?), warriors I, II and III, and balancing poses galore gave me energy and confidence for the day ahead. Having done yoga on my own for the past couple years, it was so refreshing and encouraging to be in a class again. I even did my first yoga head stand!

Photograph courtesy of Jason Merritt/Wireimage

Keep reading…

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eBook Review for LostGirlsWorld.com!

Bienvenue mes amis! While I haven’t had the luck of traveling outside the country, “Where is Ashley?” has become a veritable question for the past few months. Even with full-time university classes that kept me anchored until May, I’ve been lucky to host many friends from back east and Europe, meaning I was not only taking them around my own city but going on road trips to show off the beauty of Southern California. Now with school out of session, I’ve flown back and forth from my parents’ place multiple times already this month with at least another in planning before the end of July. Top that off with a trip to D.C. in three weeks, and you have one jet-set, happy Ashley.

You can imagine with travel on the brain, I was more than excited to write a book review for the ladies at LostGirlsWorld.com, a web site run by three friends who left their jobs and lives in NYC to travel the world together (ahhh, what a dream). The book of choice is The Art of Solo Travel: A Girl’s Guide by Stephanie Lee, and as much as I love jetting around my own country, it gave me daydreams of mornings in the Philippines and evenings in Argentina.

Take a look at my review below and check out the original article on LostGirlsWorld.com!

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eBook Review: The Art of Solo Travel: A Girl’s Guide

by Stephanie Lee

Indie Travel Media, $12.95

3.5 stars

Photo courtesy of Indie Travel Media

Keep reading…

Travel ALERT!: Get outta Long Beach with JetBlue!

Hey travel friends! I’ll keep this short because 1) this deal might be selling out as we speak! and 2) I’m at work. oops.

The Goods: You getting your butt out of SoCal up to an impromptu vacation in NorCal for $9 one-way!

According to Travelzoo, JetBlue is offering unpublished flights from Long Beach, Calif. to San Fran or Oakland for $9 each way. The only drawbacks: You gotta move it quick! The crazy-low fare is only valid for Tuesdays and Wednesday through May 19, and Travelzoo claims that final price with taxes could be as low as $40.

So seriously. Why are you still reading this?? Book your flight before these flights sell out! (And then send me some pictures from your trip!)

One Reason I Love: Flying

It’s the window seat. No. More specifically, the views from your window seat.

View minutes before arriving at Oakland Airport for the first time.

The views afforded to patrons in the window seat as the plane rises from the earth are a much-welcomed different angle of a place you’ve already seen so much of. Even better are the aerial sights of a place you’ve never been. The oblong window of your plane is a peephole offering a perspective of your destination unknown anywhere else, save for the few moments before the plane’s wheels hit the tarmac. Keep reading…

At least there’s snow on WordPress

Alas, still none of the good stuff in Lausanne. I’m looking forward to a day of snowboarding in Verbier this weekend to alleviate me. Still, two days of mild weather (7°! Amazing how a few months has changed my idea of cold!) and tons of SUN – December beats November any day!

With only a week left of school here’s the official countdown:

3 papers to go (oh what a downer!)

9 days until I get to see my cousins

13 days until Christmas in Konstanz!

16 days until Christmas day

20 days until my favorite arrives

23 days until 2010!!!

I’m kicking off the new year with 3 weeks of whirlwind travel, and I can’t wait! Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy and of course good ol’ Switzerland. Not only will I have the pleasure of sharing this experience with my other half, but we’ll be meeting up with plenty old and new friends along the way. Hopefully I’ll be able to pop in with an update on the road, though I’ll be leaving my massive excuse for a laptop. Don’t take it personally laptop, you’re just a bit too dense and large to carry around as I traverse borders and snap endless photos. Although how do I upload photos and not run out of memory…

But before I let myself be engulfed in a sea of travel hopefuls and what ifs, there are still the dreaded papers sitting atop my list of countdowns. I’m off to the library so I can cross off one of those papers tonight. À bientôt!

To $ave or $pend?

It’s official: I’m more than halfway through my semester abroad. This means two things:

  1. I’m sad and can’t believe it’ll be over so soon.
  2. Wait…where’d all my money go??

Here I am, loving all the trips I took and things I got to try, but hating the lint left over in my wallet. Where did it all go exactly? Here’s a look back at what was worth it and what should have been left on the store shelf:

  • Good idea: The Swiss railway half-fare card. Exactly as it sounds, it permits you to purchase train tickets and even public transport/metro tickets at half-price. Even though I had to purchase the card for the whole year, I’ve already made up the money I spent to get it, and my university has even reimbursed me for half of the price. Sweet cheap and reliable travel? Yes please.
  • Bad idea: The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) card. OK it was only 10 francs. But this card is useless, despite the claim that it gives you discounts on Erasmus-organized events and other places. Most Erasmus events this semester ended up costing the same with or without this card. As for general discounts, any student/university ID will suffice, so no need to add another card to the wallet.
  • Good idea: Having a Swiss bank account. Because I can only pay rent from a Swiss account. And NO ATM fees! Plus, depositing euros (useless in this country) into my account magically turns them into oh-so-useful francs. Also, the interest is not bad. But really, it comes down to the cool factor of saying I have a Swiss bank account. Anyone need to hide embezzled money? Read the full article…