Monday, April 16, 2018

Visiting the Arabian Peninsula

So sorry for the lack of posts over the past month! As I mentioned before, I had a pretty big trip out of the country planned. Over spring break I visited the Arabian Peninsula! I went with a group from my school to experience the gulf culture as well as learn Arabic. I had been considering taking this trip ever since last spring break, and this past fall finally put down my deposit to go. 

I'm so glad I went and so grateful for the opportunity to go. The farthest I've ever been away from the U.S. is Europe, so I was so excited to be in the Middle East. The culture was so different yet so similar. It was great to be somewhere so unfamiliar yet I found yet again that while we all have unique and equally special cultures, at the core we are so similar. Seeing parents eating with their children at a restaurant, young adults hanging out at the mall, and even just the clerks doing their jobs at the grocery store reminded me that no matter how far you travel you will always find someone you have something in common with. I hope everyone can remember this in efforts to have more empathy for one another and try harder to get along. 

That's my "world peace" speech haha. Here are some other things I learned!

1. To greet someone in Arabic you say "wa-salaam-alaikum", and they say back "wa-alaikum- a salaam"
2. There is a popular sweet called hallwa- which is basically a stiff jelly made from pure sugar. There were different flavors though that were really fun to try.
3. Just like we have cow farms in the US, people have camel farms in the peninsula. They milk the camels and some restaurants even serve camel meat (I didn't try it though)
4. Mexican food is internationally appreciated (no surprise- Mexican food is amazing). There were so many restaurants that boasted about their Mexican menu. 
5. The women know how to do makeup so well. Some friends and I were having coffee with a new friend and her cousin, and she asked, "So I noticed you don't wear makeup." It was so embarrassing to explain that I was wearing makeup, but "it just wasn't showing." Afterward we laughed so hard. 

I highly recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you get to see this part of the world. It was an irreplaceable experience and I would visit again in a heartbeat. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

All Black Everything

If you live in the southeast like me you probably have been confused by the weather this past month. Literally this one weekend I was wearing a knit scarf with my winter coat, and a few days later I wore shorts. 

I was out of the country for a little bit which is why I've been away from the site for a while. I traveled to a really warm place which has disoriented me even more (more on where I went later!). I left home in a mild temperature week in the middle of a wind storm, and I came back to 40 degree temperatures and a prediction of snow. They say that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Virginia, which is especially true in the transitions times between seasons like the month of March. 

During this transition time it can be hard dressing for the day. I try to find outfits that are versatile and can be layered under a jacket or just worn by themselves. While I enjoy colors, my favorite ensembles to wear are ones that are neutral and I love how effortlessly stylish wearing all black can be. This outfit is literally just a black sweater and black leggings, but I always get compliments on how "cool" I look when I wear it. Paired with the white sneakers, the outfit is great for days that I'm on the go, but helps me feel put together, even when life is hectic.

Do you have outfits that double in functionality and style?

P.S. I wore this outfit when I went to see Black Panther a few weekends ago. I'm not super into Super Heroes or comics but I would totally go see the movie again! Go check it out if you haven't already and let me know what you thought!