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Saturday, March 23, 2019

3 Reasons Why You Should Keep Dating

In the first episode of Sex and the City, Carrie says they're dating in "the age of un-innocence". I'd rather be there than in the age of "send nudes" and 2am "U up" texts. 

Dating isn't hard. Thanks Tinder. *swipes left from my couch*

Finding someone who you would like to continue to date, is hard.  Like, I think I need a stiff cocktail hard. Add the difficulty of meeting people in NYC to the mix and that's the sour cherry on top. How many Bumble, Tinder, Match, POF, The League, Hinge, etc matches have you racked up and have any of them actually evolved into something that is not platonic that you are genuinely interested in? 

If the answer is more than you want to admit and no, I'm here to tell you it's completely ok. Don't be discouraged. I've been there and most of my friends have too. 

Here are 3 reason why you should keep dating:

Dating different types of people will help you learn what you are looking for in a partner
If you happen to notice you consistently vibe well with European men who are well traveled and worldly (if you know me you know I am talking about myself) or guys/girls/cis etc... who are all about the gym and being active - take note of that! Especially if it brings out the best in you.

You can figure out what you DON'T want in a partner
Yeah, think of those bad dates. Those get me tf out of here, what is life, pls help, bad dates. Pay attention to what is not working for you about that person and make a mental note. Are they arrogant? Boring? Close-minded? thank u, next.

Eventually you'll find someone you want to learn more about
If you are being open and fair, then you will find a person who is worth getting to know and maybe progress to something more than just casual dating. 

They may just be #bae in no time. 


Friday, March 22, 2019

Travel Diaries | Porto, Portugal

When I think of Porto, Portugal I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and picture captivating views of the city that overlooks the twinkling Douro river. Porto felt like Lisbon's more refined older sibling. You know, the sibling who has a more refined pallet and can handle port wine. Speaking of which, when I checked in to my hotel, they gave me a complimentary glass of port! Yasss! 

If the views won't make you cry, the steep hills certainly will. Hello quads. Breathe deep and keep moving upwards because there are pretty buildings and churches around every corner.

My second day in Porto, I wanted to find viewpoints that over look different points in the city. I found an innocent looking pathway that lead to a bridge. Somehow, I didn't realize this was the very, very high bridge that lead to the town of Gaia. The concierge at my hotel said the only thing good about Gaia was the view of Porto. The shade. But I don't disagree because once I crossed that bridge (my legs have never felt such nervous sensations) I was in absolute awe with the outline of the city. 

I sat for hours.

My stomach started to growl so I ventured back to Porto to grab a bite for lunch. After I finished eating, the view was still calling my name. And back to Gaia I went. 

I said this in my Portugal vlog (shameless plug) but I think I liked Porto even more than Lisbon.

Traveling breathes life into me and only makes me more curious to see more pockets of the world.


Things to do While Living Your Life in Lisbon

With pink streets, tasty pastries, sunny skies and good people, it's hard not to be impressed by the lovely allure of Lisbon. 

I was glad to have the opportunity to cross this city off my travel to-do list.

I couldn't believe how much personality this slightly under-the-radar city has. Artsy, diverse, eclectic, while still being traditional, I felt like I blended right into the culture. Well, right up until someone began speaking to me in Portuguese and I just stared at them like a deer in headlights. 

Luckily, "bom dia" and a friendly smile will get you pretty far. Not to mention most people I encountered spoke fluent English. I found myself wandering through quaint streets in between colorful buildings and strolling along calming waterfronts with cool breezes. 

If you ever find yourself bored in Lisboa, you're not doing it right. Here are just a few things to do:

Visit the pink street! A millennial's Instagram dream. Calm during the daytime, bustling at night

Crash an art party at Raw Culture Arts & Lofts in Barrio Alto - feel fancy while you sip your complimentary wine, take in the contemporary art, and laugh sophisticatedly with a stranger

Drink on the street in Barrio Alto - because why not

Go to LX Factory - an industrial concept of street art, shops, food and good vibes

Check out Time Out Market - so. many. food. options. and a good bathroom that you don't have to pay for. 

Eat a Pastel de Nata - you must try this traditional egg custard pastry 

Eat a pastel de Belem - you also must try this pastry because it's the original egg custard pastry. I think is better - try the two to compare

Watch the sunset by the Tower of Belem - GORGEOUS. At night the tower is illuminated beautifully

Take a day trip to Sintra and Caiscais - If you like castles, Sintra is for you. check out Pena Palace. Caiscais is cute and quaint

Try some Sea Bass at Toma la da Ca - A local told me about this restaurant. Enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine

Stroll along the water - the sun will meet you there

Enjoy traditional Fado music - Traditional music...reminds me a bit of flamenco singing

Enjoy Park Rooftop - you have to go up through a questionable looking elevator but the rooftop on top of the parking garage is worth it. Grab a drink and enjoy


Saturday, March 16, 2019

How to Get Pick-Pocketed In Portugal

My first international trip of the year? Portugal! People had been telling me so many good things about Lisbon, I just had to go there to see it for myself. 

In typical Taylor fashion, I booked my airline tickets through Expedia (I'm not sponsored), then decided to treat myself and stay in hotels instead of Airbnb's. I heard that Portugal was one of the less expensive cities in Europe and I totally agree after booking my hotels! All of the hotels were chic, elegant, and two of them had a little balconies where I could stand out on and sip my Portuguese tea. 

Lisbon surprised me. Yes, it's traditional and the architecture is of course beautiful but the city was also upbeat, cosmopolitan, trendy, and largely DIVERSE! When I was in Spain and Italy, I stuck out and received lots of curious "I don't really ever see black people" looks but in Lisbon I could roam without so many people being confused about my appearance. #bestlife

My second night there, I found myself in a park on a bench enjoying the bustling nightlife of Lisbon. I decided to be bold and chat up a group of friends who were hanging out near the bench next to me. They were friendly and invited me for a drink at a bar in Barrio Alto. The streets in this neighborhood are packed with locals and tourists, drinking (outside, yes, you can drink on the street) and chit-chatting. The bar we went to had a good vibe but was tiny and I felt more like I was back in NYC on the crowded 6 train because there were so many people jammed inside. 

I crossed the small and crowed space to get closer to where two of my new friends were standing, then I got this sudden and very specific feeling of "where the my phone??"! I frantically check my left pocket where my work phone was and it wasn't there. I look on the floor and see my case face down on the floor right next to my foot. I picked up in relief thinking I had just dropped it, flipped the case to the front, but no phone. 
Someone pickpocketed me in about 7 seconds.

Around 3:30am, I get back to my hotel after looking for my phone on the floor of the bar. Frazzled and sad, I ask the concierge where a police station was to file a police report. A day later, when I am supposed to go catch the train to Porto, I woke up late, look at my personal phone and see a notification that my iPhone was found! 13 minutes before I need to check out! Just a few hours until my train! 

I get dressed, throw my stuff into my suitcase and struggle out of my hotel room and down to the concierge so they can hold my bag while I run to the police to then run to the jerk who stole my phone. 

I make it to the police station, tell them what's going on and they're moving slowly. REAL slowly. Not exactly the hot pursuit I was hoping for. 

The Police officers at the station walk me to these two guy dressed in regular clothing. I'm confused, but then realize they are dressed this way because they are working undercover. 
Pickpocket special forces unit. This is a thing.

We walk to the location (not sure where their police cars were??) of where my work iPhone was pinned and at this point I have missed my train. The location was an approximate location and we ended up at a bank/corner store/fruit store in not the greatest neighborhood. The corner store worker said there was a guy who bought an iPhone charger. We guess he plugged it in and it came on briefly pinning the location but he was long gone especially after our stroll to the location. 

After I leave the undercover cops, I see that I had a few texts I hadn't responded to from my mom due to the craziness of the morning. I call her, and tell her what happened and why I wasn't responding, and she starts CRYING. She thought whoever took my phone may have followed me and done something since I wasn't answering her and since I didn't use any emojis in the earlier texts I sent. Hearing her upset was gut-wrenching and I explained to her (multiple times) if she thinks I'm in trouble to just call me! Don't just sit in peril! What a morning. Not even 12pm. I need to catch my train to the next city then I need a glass of Port wine and a shot a whisky. STAT. 

I couldn't help to think was it the new friends I just met, or maybe the guy I saw in the bar who was looking at me? I decided to let my theories go. My work phone was gone and I just needed to accept it and move on to enjoy the rest of my trip. It could have been worse. I wasn't harmed and it could have been my wallet with my passport and credit cards. I still had my personal iPhone to use so could still navigate and communicate. It could happen anywhere and I tried my best not to hold too many ill feelings against Lisbon even though I'm just a tad bit salty about it. 

And is your ultimate & very simple

How to Get Pick-Pocketed in Portugal Guide

  • Make sure you stand in really, really crowed places with lots of people surrounding and brushing past you. The more people the better. 
  • Take your phone out and be on it so people can see that you have a nice phone. Hold it in your hand and very obviously put it away.
  • Be sure to keep your phone in your pockets at all times when you're not using it. 

Follow these simple steps and you'll have no phone and be filing a police report in no time.

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