Category Archives: Travel


how and why to invest in life experiences

I recently read this awesome article on Medium about the importance in investing in life experiences by Sean Kim. Here’s a few bits and pieces from the great post, including three tips on how to start living a life full of experiences. I know this blog post is LONG, but I promise it’s very worth it. You can also read the full article here. PS, this photo is from one of the best and craziest adventures I’ve had – a trip to Marrakesh, Morocco!

We’ve fooled ourselves into believing that the sole recognition — no, definition — of success and happiness comes from the type of cars we own or the number of zeros in our bank account. We’ve put the notion of material success on a pedestal and convinced those around us to adopt the same beliefs.

In a society that idolizes the pursuit of happiness, carrying out a life where one’s destination is to find joy through material goods is not only ineffective, but it’s a never-ending journey.

The key to happiness is not spending our time & money acquiring goods.
The key to happiness is spending our time & money experiencing life.

Every experience brings with it a mistake or triumph, and often a realization about who we are as individuals. Experience helps us clarify how we think, who we want to surround ourselves with, and ultimately an understanding of what makes us happy in life.

We live in a society where tangible things appear more valuable because we can feel, hold, and touch the materials we purchase. Above all, it’s because tangible things are tied with currency that places a price of its value in the marketplace.

There’s no way to physically feel the experience of diving off a cliff on a Sunday afternoon with our closest friends. Nor can we “sell” the experience of our first fight with our partners. It’s the same reason that we can’t put a price value on a human being.

Experiences bring us happiness not just when we’re having the experience, but also when we simply think about them.

Here’s tips on how to live a life of experiences:
If we want to start living a life of experiences, we need to prioritize our financial budgets to accommodate the adventures we’ll undertake.
It’s as simple as saving up for a flat-screen TV vs. a trip to South America.

Figure out what you actually need in your life, and what will truly serve you in the long-term. The truth is, we need very few materials to enjoy our lives. Learn to be prudent when purchasing materials, because salvaging those few extra nickels could lead to the experience that could change your life.

Growing up, we were taught to make decisions by calculating risks and carefully thinking things through. If we want to start fulfilling more experiences in life — we need to unlearn these principles.

The best adventures arise from moments when we least expect them.
Filling our mind with “what ifs” is only going to keep us on our couches watching other people live their lives. Before we know it, our “what if” will turn into “should have.” Start saying “yes.” Learn to be present in the moment. When the next opportunity for experience appears, ask yourself this simple question.

Will I regret not taking this opportunity?
Tomorrow, next week, or even next year?
If the answer is yes — or even maybe —your immediate response should also be yes.

The future will always be uncertain. That’s never going to change.
But you can control how you shape it by thinking less and taking action.

Are you the type of person that watches the same movies over and over again, takes the same walking route to the office, and eats at the same restaurants? You need to break out of your regular routine.

Opening our mind up to new experiences needs to start with the small decisions and interactions we have in our daily lives. Instead of going to that same Italian restaurant near your office because you know it’s a safe decision, go somewhere new.

The most fulfilling experiences don’t have to cost a lot of money.
Often times, it’s right next door. We just need to know where to knock.


san francisco adventures map

i often get asked where my favorite places to eat and explore san francisco are. out-of-town visitors seem to email when they are in town and friends who live here also ask me for tips. i love love love being able to give them recommendations on things to do, places to visit and of course, coffee and food spots to hit up. i decided to make a ‘san francisco adventures’ pinterest map to easily show some of my favorite spots. right now, i have about 50 places on there! on the map, you can see a larger map of san francisco with different icons for each spot. when you click on an individual icon, the map zooms in to that location and you can easily see a photo, my description and {most important!} the address and neighborhood so you can get a general sense of where in the city it’s located.

here’s a sneak peek at some of the spots on the map, but check out the full san francisco adventures map here! i’ll be adding more spots to the board as i keep discovering new ones. xo!

coffee shops: mission public, coffee cultures, trouble coffee,

breakfast/brunch: sweet maple, plow, jane

dinner: pizzeria delfina, starbelly, burma superstar

awesome views: alamo square/painted ladies, twin peaks, corona heights

cool spots: the ferry building, mission bowling club, the exploratorium

On solo travel

Yesterday I read this beautiful T Magazine article all about solo travel. I’ve had vacation and traveling on my mind and certainly want to do much more solo travel in the next couple of years. Traveling with others can be lovely, but also – a complete disaster. What I love about exploring cities and beaches and new places by myself is that I can do everything on my own pace. I can take every sound and scent and moment in on my own terms, without feeling like I’m holding someone else up. Here’s my favorite parts from the T Magazine article:

I want to think new things on holiday and the best way to do that is to go it alone, allowing yourself a space — a beautiful space, with any luck — that is circumscribed neither by your need to perform nor your need to blame. Get up when you like. Skip as many museums as you like. Eat or don’t eat. Dance or don’t dance. Swim far out if you want to. Drink Champagne at breakfast. Write a paragraph if you have one to write. Say nothing for days and dream of home. Keep the light on all night.

I love a solo holiday. It tends to refresh the part of oneself that is most depleted by modern life — patience.

The wanderlust of the solo traveler doesn’t kill homesickness, it partners it, making the vacation all the better for involving one’s profound wish to go home to normal life a little changed.

The article reminded me of something I read in Shauna Niequist’s Cold Tangerines.

There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling and for the same reason. When you travel and when you read, you are not actually alone but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.

Now you tell me – would you travel alone? Happy Friday!



Big Sur: Sunlight

she’s lit by the warm sun spreading from the horizon as the not-quite-day becomes not-quite-night.
-david levithan

this quote from david levithan’s book every day filled my thoughts as we watched the sunset over the beach at big sur. we caught the sunset through the trees while walking down this sandy path in between the parking lot and the beach. it was the perfect time of day – when day finally hits night, when the sun and the sky become one yellowy, pink and orange glow. we sat back and took it all in. it was one of those special moments hard to explain but has that power to stick with me for awhile. happy tuesday!

more big sur photos here and here.

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Barcelona Snapshots

Happy Thursday! I haven’t shared very many photos from my Barcelona trip yet {latest here} and wanted to share a few of my favorites today. The city itself was beautiful, with jaw-dropping architecture spilling from every corner. Barcelona had a … Continue reading

Marrakech is my Happy Place {Part 2}

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I wanted to share a few more photos from my trip to Marrakech last month {more here}. On our first day in Marrakech, we immediately dropped off our bags at the hotel and headed over to the souk, the open place market in the center of the city. After walking around for an hour or so, we caught sunset at just the right time. We enjoyed this view of the Place Jemaa el-Fna over from a balcony sipping expresso. We saw the sky change from bright blue to orangey pink to lavender to a deep violet blue to pitch black. It was a completely breathtaking experience and definitely something I’ll never forget.

Enjoy your day!

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Darling, let's be adventurers!

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“the very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. the joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences.”

I also just started reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and this line reminded me how new adventures and experiences are intertwined with joy. Impromptu adventures really are my very favorite. Zach is the one person I can always count on to be up for any adventure, any time. We met up early Saturday morning for coffee and breakfast at The Mill and then trekked over to Billy Goat Park. The park is pretty small with a lovely view of San Francisco – you can see downtown, Bernal Heights and the Bay Bridge right from the top. The definite best part of the park was the rope swing. What a perfect opportunity to act like a little kid again! Such a great day.

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Marrakech is my Happy Place {Part 1}


“Be an opener of doors.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Marrakech, Morroco is officially my happy place. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we made a quick weekend trip to Marrakech a few weeks ago…I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the trip since. The city explodes with inspiration and culture and one of my favorite things to do during our trip was snap photos of doors and doorways we passed. These photos are from villages near the mountains and from the colorful roads inside the heart of the city: the souk. My eyes were wide open during the entire trip, trying my best to take in all of the inspiration and goodness. There’s something about bright doors and doorways leading to the unknown that I’m just captivated by. Too good!

Lots and lots of photos to come!
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Favorite Morning Moments in Barcelona

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I’m going to share lots of travel posts on Polish My Crown this week. Hope that’s okay! I’m really excited to share my adventures with you here.

One of my favorite mornings in Barcelona was spent enjoying breakfast at City Bar inside of the Grand Central Hotel. The hotel is centrally located in Barcelona on Via Laietana in the Ciutat Vella district. Marta, Phil and I enjoyed a light breakfast of freshly pressed orange juice, lattes and pastries while enjoying the decor and aura of the cafe. Fresh flowers and aorable signs reading”Drinking Champagne and Dancing on Tables” and “Enjoy the Rest of your Day!” splattered the tables and I couldn’t stop smiling and soaking up the amazingness of the entire room. After breakfast, we headed to the rooftop to check out the arguably best view of the Barcelona skyline. Imagine enjoying this rooftop pool in the summer or grabbing drinks at sunset up here with friends!

Next time I’m in Barcelona, I absolutely will be coming back to this gem of a spot.

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