Is an Overnight Stay in Greenland Worth It?

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Wow! We weren’t sure what to expect from the overnight trip we took to Kulusuk, Greenland 🇬🇱 from Reykjavik, Iceland 🇮🇸. We honestly booked the trip for the novelty of going to Greenland—a giant island that is so unknown to most travelers. We really wanted to see icebergs and a totally different terrain and way of life. It did not disappoint. It was beautiful, though cold and windy and a little rainy at first. Overall, we had perfect (and even sunny) weather. We walked around town, took lots of pictures and talked to the kind people who live and work there. It was beautiful and amazing!

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Chicago!

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I can’t believe I had never been to Chicago until last week! It’s not that I hadn’t tried. Something always came up, and I had to cancel my plans: a hurricane, a fight with my college boyfriend, etc. I was beginning to think I’d never see the Second City!
I finally made it, and I’m so glad I did. Chicago is more beautiful and vibrant than I ever imagined. Here are some of my favorite pics from my walk around town.

~ LiAnn

Cancun!

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We decided on an all-inclusive week in Cancún this winter. It was an unlikely choice for two globe-trekkers who prefer cultural immersion to R&R. But we were really glad we did it.

Everyone needs a week on the beach once in a while! Plus, our vacation drinks add up quickly, so all-inclusive pays for itself in that way alone.

And I was ok with Cancun because we could plan a few adventures to the surrounding ruins.

Plus, the people watching is as entertaining as it gets!

Here’s how we did it:

Transportation
We scheduled our transport from the airport to the hotel through Discovery Mundo. This worked out well for us. The airport is quite hectic and the taxi lines can be very long. We did have to wait a bit for our driver but a representative was there to greet us and the delay was just due to heavy traffic. We picked up some cocktails at the Margaritaville just outside the terminal and relaxed until our private car arrived to take us the short trip to the resort. Our driver was efficient and super friendly.

Since it only cost a little more than a taxi, we decided to book Discovery Mundo for the return as well. Again, our driver was prompt, friendly, and a safe driver and the vehicle was nice.

Hotel
When we booked, we were looking for something affordable but nice. We chose RIU Cancún because the chain has good reviews, and although this is one of their older hotels, the price was right and it was recently renovated.

We found it to have everything we wanted. The pools and pool bar overlooked the ocean. The rooms were clean and nicely decorated. The ocean view from our 14th floor room was amazing! We could have stayed on the balcony all week (especially since the fully stocked mini bar was included)!

All of the staff was super friendly: at reception, in the restaurants, and at the bars. Housekeeping was great too. They kept everything really clean outside during all the day drinking madness.

The beach was small but nice and totally walkable.

Ultimately, Cancun isn’t a place that’s high on our list to revisit, but it was a fun trip for a week in the middle of winter!

Why I’ll Never Say I’m Canadian

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Well the obvious answer is that I’m not Canadian. I’m American.

I don’t always feel like I agree with the majority of Americans. Nor do I think the world view of Americans represents who I am. But who does?

I love my country. Not with blind national pride, nor with the false idea that living elsewhere wouldn’t be as satisfying. I love my country because it’s what I know, how I was molded, and what I recognize in my core as home.

I love to roam as far away from home as possible, but I equally love to return.

Many Americans at any point on the political spectrum feel our system is broken. But I believe in it – not that it’s without corruption or imbalanced persuasion, but I don’t believe that any other system has perfected governance either.

I like that I can challenge my neighbor, my congress, my judicial system. But I also recognize we have serious inequities and humanitarian dilemmas.

Still, what bothers me the most in my travels is when my fellow Americans tell me they say they are Canadian when they travel. “You’d be amazed at how much better you’re treated if you wear a Canadian flag on your backpack,” a traveller told me on my first trek through Europe in 1998. I have heard a similar sentiment throughout the nearly twenty years of world travel I’ve done since.

I LOVE Canada and Canadians!

I’m not refuting the notion that Canadians are better received as guests in other countries, but why not be the best American I can be and make a good impression as I leave my footprints on the world’s surface?

Why deny who I am? Where we are from sets the foundation for our lives. It is paramount that we all rise above the labels we’ve been given without any reason other than it’s where we are from or it’s how others have behaved that came before us.

Maybe instead we should reflect upon why we may be received negatively and try to develop a better cultural understanding to move beyond the stereotype.

I am an American. I am my own unique person. I am a citizen of the world. I am proud of all these things.

~ LiAnn

The Dying Gaul Filled My Heart with Joy

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I was absolutely thrilled, as I was walking along the National Mall, to see an ad for The Dying Gaul on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. This is the sculpture that made me fall in love with Greek art (even if it is actually a Roman replica of a bronze sculpture).

The raw emotion, physical pain & beauty, and psychological defeat that are presented in this incredible work of art are what make the Hellenistic period so moving.

This sculpture hasn’t left Rome since the 1700s. What an amazing surprise to discover it in my own backyard today!

~ LiAnn