Traveling

Check out some of the cool places I’ve been!
Washington
Australia
Ireland
Cabo San Lucas
Maui
Pittsburgh
New York

Washington


While growing up in Idaho, I mainly stayed in my home state. I also spent 8th grade through undergrad in Washington, so I hail from the Pacific NW, which is already pretty awesome. I’ll get to the fun places I’ve been, but first, some examples of the beauty where I’m from.


Golden Gardens 001

Somewhere in Seattle that really does look like Twilight

Pretty Campus! 008

The view from campus to Mt. Rainier

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Me being one with nature

Mt. Rainier 006

Actually camping on Mt. Rainier

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The trail I always used to jog on less than a mile from my old apartment

Australia


Despite not having traveled much before the end of college, I’ve managed to get to some pretty cool places in the last few years. So far, the most unexpected was Australia, where we went to Melbourne, Cairns, and Sydney. We found our favorite koala and wallaby, which I really wanted to shove into my suitcase and take home with me. The prettiest views we had during the trip were on the Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, while flying over the Great Barrier Reef, and while hiking through the Blue Mountains near Sydney.

We enjoyed some delicious food (including Australian wine) in downtown Sydney and chatted away with the waitress. I tried to keep my distance from a koala, but when he started walking toward me I couldn’t resist. We flew over the Great Barrier Reef in a Cessna and saw the infamous heart-shaped coral. I cooled off for a bit during a very toasty walk through the jungle near Kuranda (and saw a terrifying snake not much later, which likely could have killed me as most things in Australia can).
We were rewarded after a long day hiking through the Blue Mountains with a sunset view of the Three Sisters. We appreciated the blueness of the Blue Mountains during a long and beautiful hike. We snagged a breathtakingly beautiful sunset view of the Twelve Apostles at the end of our Great Ocean Road venture.
A koala climbed down from a eucalyptus tree to pose for us. ZOMG penguins!!! These are the smallest of penguins (blue penguins), and we got to watch these little guys come ashore at dusk in droves to lay eggs. We showed up at Kuranda first thing in the morning and got to feed the animals before they had been totally stuffed by all the tourists. This is my favorite wallaby on the planet.
While exploring the Great Barrier Reef, we snorkeled and later took a semi-submarine to check out the amazing coral and see all the life it supports, which included a huge sea turtle! While wandering around the gardens in Melbourne, we stopped to take a picture in some cool-shaped rocks.

Ireland


I went to the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) Conference in Dublin over the summer, and the conference was amazing for population genetics! I got to hear about some fascinating work and meet awesome people. I also got to hang out in Dublin, which was pretty amazing. We saw Trinity College, went on a James Joyce walking tour of the city, and spent a fair number of hours in the Temple Bar district. I stayed in an Airbnb place that I found very close to the conference center, which was pretty awesome! Brenna, the postdoc that I was supposed to share the place with, had massive travel issues and ended up not being able to make it unfortunately, so I had the whole place to myself. I also went on a run to Phoenix Park, which was super beautiful (much like the rest of the country)! One of my favorite points was Kilmainham Goal, a jail where they kept prisoners during the famine and disease spread everywhere. It was very cold and exposed on the inside. My dad is a deputy warden, and it was interesting from a security perspective how exposed the staff had to have been. Nonetheless, very cool on the inside! Another obvious favorite was the Guinness factory. Everyone is right when they say that Guinness tastes way better in Ireland.

After the conference, a couple girls from Stanford and I rented a car and ventured off to the west coast to see the Ailwee caves, the Cliffs of Moher, and Galway. As the resident driving expert (both of the girls were from NYC at some point), I took to the left side of the super narrow road and managed the roundabouts and mountains. The city was OK, though we had some issues getting out of Dublin, and it turned out that one street that I thought must have been a one way based on narrowness was not. That freaked me out for a second.

We were all super excited to get to Ailwee caves and explore everything. We saw cave bear bones and stalactites and stalagmites that were thousands of years old! They fail to advertise the beautiful views of the Burren from Ailwee Mountain. The hills looked purple when we went by them because of the limestone. It was strange to see bald green hills. We finally made it to the Cliffs of Moher and saw the beautiful view of the greenery and the castles. We walked for a while along the cliffs and enjoyed the beauty. Unfortunately my allergies took over and I had to go back to the car before too long. Overall, it was an awesome trip in a beautiful country with lots of fun sites to see.

We got to see the Cliffs of Moher and the beautiful castles nearby. Shaila, Nandita, and I sat on a brick wall near the Ailwee Caves. The caves were cool, but they failed to advertise the beautiful view of the Burren as well! While I was in Dublin, I got to go out to an amazingly delicious dinner with my labbies. Great food, great company, and great new location. What more can you ask for?
We toured the Guinness Factory and enjoyed their product at a rooftop bar overlooking Dublin. I was pretty pleased! We also took a tour of the Kilmainham Gaol, which had interesting and haunting history.

Cabo San Lucas


My younger cousin graduated from high school, and since I’ve sort of been adopted into their family for travel adventures, we all went to Cabo to celebrate! We rode on some banana boats, walked down the beach, ran in the ocean, took a sunset cruise where my aunt danced with youngins like there was no tomorrow, and enjoyed the sites like Cabo Wabo. I caught up with Lauren, a friend I’ve known since 8th grade. The only bummer was when my iPhone was stolen. On the upside, the bf came for a whirlwind 48 hours, which was a bit rough on everyone’s liver. So much fun though! We got to go ziplining. Hothot!

We took a sunset cruise where my aunt (the teacher) turned into a dancing machine with the little kids. Upon watching a pretty hilarious video back, she said, “Why am I the only one dancing? I thought everyone was dancing.” Hilarity. On the cruise we got to see el Arco de Cabo San Lucas, the famous arch. For dinner the first night, my cousin and I shared a pretty delish food, served complete with eyeballs. Noms.
We rode around on a tipsy banana boat, and the driver decided to whip us around in the ocean. It was super fun and we got soaked. There were puppies all over the beaches. The two little guys were adorable. I was also randomly in Cabo at the same time as a friend that went to junior high, high school, and undergrad with me, so we caught up for some drinks.
Our resort had several pools and a restaurant, but we didn’t spend too much time there. Most of the random locals we ran into were a bit rude. The view from our balcony sure was beautiful though!

Maui


When my cousin graduated from high school, I was graduating from undergrad (UW). We decided to go on a big graduation trip to Maui, which was beyond amazing! We got surfing lessons, to go parasailing, to go snuba diving. (Cross between scuba and snorkeling. You have a breathing line run down from the boat but there’s a tank on your back, so you go down ~20 feet.) We got to see some super cool fish and a huge sea turtle! It was amazing. The parasailing was a lot more peaceful than I would have guessed. We saw some dolphins jumping in the clear blue water around the boat. Overall, it was a blast!

I think my favorite part of our Maui trip was hanging out on the beach and watching beautiful sunsets. There were lots and they were beautiful! Our resort was really nice too!
We got to go parasailing and see dolphins jumping around the boat. Cute playful little things. My cousins couldn’t leave the vegetation around and ended up picking a weird fruit out of a tree. We cut it open to figure out what it was and some weird milky white stuff came oozing out. After some googling, we learned that it was bread fruit and probably wouldn’t taste very good. The flowers there were gorgeous!
We played in the water the whole time we were there. We went snuba diving and saw some really cool fish and a giant sea turtle. We also took surfing lessons, which was super fun!

Pittsburgh


Between undergrad and grad school, I decided to do a 6-week biostatistics program at the University of Pittsburgh with the SIBS program. It was a good change of pace, and I met a bunch of cool people along the way. It was also cool to see another area of the country for a longer period of time than I otherwise would have been able to.

I got to see Fallingwater, a beautifully designed house by Frank Lloyd Wright. The low ceilings made it feel me-sized. I also enjoyed all the parks while I was there. This was a park (I think Schenley Park) that I jogged at pretty often, including one time in a crazy lightning storm (silly Eastern states with their weird summers). We also went to a Pirates game in PNC park and watched them beat the Phillies. Madness.

New York


I finally got to see NYC during the fall of my second year of grad school. We were only there for ~48 hours, but we saw lots. We saw ground zero, Times Square, Wicked (off Broadway… so fun!), the Museum of Natural History, went to the top of the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Building, saw the Statue of Liberty (from afar, since we missed our boat), run through Central Park, and saw lots of other cool stuff. Now that we have friends in NYC, we’ve been back to visit them, and it’s been super fun. Love that whirlwind city!

We saw Central Park from atop the Empire State Building, along with the rest of the city. So fun! We also ventured to the Museum of Natural History, where I imitated dinosaurs and monkeys.