Bridges

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Astoria, NY’s HellGate Bridge

I’m still waking up from the long holiday break, so coming up with a topic worth writing about took a little more effort. The world has remained quiet for the last few days—we all had to nurse our post-NYE celebration hangovers, and then slowly revive ourselves back to life in time to kick start our resolutions (I, personally, will continue my annual tradition of being a cliché and visit the gym for a month before dropping back into a life of lounging and take out).

 

Work has also been slow today, which has given me a chance to really dive into one of my passions—reading obscure articles on Twitter. So far, the winner of stupid Internet trends is a video of a NYC subway rat dragging a dead rat through the subways (you’re welcome), but it was actually this short article on Curbed.com about China’s obsession with building scary bridges that really caught my attention.

Apparently, China’s longest all glass bridge wasn’t enough of a thrill, so designers decided to create a tire and rope bridge suspended between 12 to 30 feet (depending on the section) above tea fields in China’s Xuan’en County. Essentially, this is a high school gym class challenge course on steroids, and from the pictures, it doesn’t look like you get a harness, so hold on tight.

The vertigo-prone side of me finds this bridge terrifying—I can barely look over a railing without getting dizzy. But for the adventurer in me, this looks like a perfect way to get my adrenaline pumping. You see, I love that thrill of taking a chance, of putting myself in a situation that may scare me.

I love bridges. In college, we had the Mount Hope Bridge looming over our campus, and during my four years that became my own symbol of hope. I find so much comfort with bridges—standing at the water’s edge in Astoria Park near my home, I can stare out at New York City and its network of bridges. I’ve made an effort to cross most of them by foot (at least the ones I can cross), and it’s rare for my Instagram to go a month without a carefully-filtered photo of these metal monsters. Because for me, bridges are a sign of better things to come.

I mentioned in my last post about how 2016 has become a year of change for me. Change is scary—you’re crossing into unknown territory and hoping that the outcome will work out for the best. But that initial journey is scary, much like crossing that Chinese rope bridge. For me, I don’t know what to expect, but I have to trust that I will be able to help myself through the struggle—I don’t have a harness, and there are holes in the bridge that will make my journey dangerous. But on the other side, there is safe ground, there is comfort, and when I look back, I will be glad I took the journey. It will be a story I can tell for ages.

I hope that 2016 brings the same joys, moments of growth and struggle, and ultimately, happiness to you all. Let us all take a moment to really think about what it is we want out of this year—New Years Resolutions may appear cliché, but they are also our chance to restart.

Saying ‘Yes Please’ to 2016

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The other day, a friend and I discussed the habits we all have when we go through our ‘dark days’—those little life moments when your world seem to collapse around you, forcing you to find some sort of comfort in the chaos. These habits are sparked from loss most times—the loss of a friend, of a relationship, of a loved one—whatever the case may be, it forces you to learn to live without that comfort. It forces you to cope with change.

The approaching new year always puts me into a mood—I think about my past year, the ups and downs I faced, and what changes I hope to see in future. I could really have these reflections at any time, but the marathon of the holidays always leaves me exhausted, and ready to create some sort of structure in my life after so much chaos.

On top of my usual reflections, 2015 for me wrapped up with some dramatic changes, both very good and very bad. Over the last few weeks, I’ve managed to take the time to process most of my thoughts, and the best way to describe my situation is this—I’m going through a period of transition. I’m not always the type of person who deals with change well, so to cope with this, I turned to a few of my routine habits that help me find a bit of comfort in my life.

I start with a playlist of music that brings me back to happier times—Matchbox Twenty (the only band my family ever agreed on during long car rides growing up), Mumford and Sons (my obsession during the first few months living in New York City), Ed Sheeran (he brought me out of ‘dark days’ 2013 when my apartment was infested with bed bugs), and Sting (just because). Using this as my backbone, I’m able to reflect on my thoughts with a clearer perspective.

Outside of the safety of my headphones though, I’ve found a solid cocktail solution of three things that always make me feel better. First, I try to set aside one day a week for me—the activity changes week to week, but it gives me a chance to slow down and get out of my head. Usually I’ll try a yoga class, or if it’s warm, I’ll walk up to the park after work and sit in the shade with a book.

Second, I turn to my favorite TV show (Parks and Recreation) and binge through the entire thing again. Mike Schur and Amy Poehler were able to create this perfect fictional world that is hilarious, welcoming, supportive, and loving, and when reality seems to be too much for me, I’m always glad I can escape to Pawnee for a few hours. And finally, I’ve found a very recent comfort—rereading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please.

I’m a comedy nerd for sure—biographies and interviews with my favorite comedians are pretty much my crack. But unlike books that focus on the person’s career, Poehler’s book is much more open and raw. She still talks about her rise to stardom, but in between her tales of improv and her years on SNL, Poehler gives us an inside look at her daily life. She talks about her highs and her lows, and while other books by my comedy heroes make me want to drop everything and start writing jokes, Yes Please inspires me to try to make the best of the life I have now. She talks about her divorce, and how she dealt with that, and gives you that little reminder that even the most famous celebrities are venerable.

This time, the chapter that struck me most was about Poehler’s trip to Haiti. She was still in the midst of her divorce, and in an effort to escape from everything, she decided to accompany a friend to the country for some humanitarian work. Traveling to Haiti is not the same as traveling to some Caribbean island to relax though—you don’t go there to vacation, you go there to meet the people, to try to help them, and to gain some perspective.

As you read about her trip, you only get a snapshot of her thoughts. She reminds us that even when you separate yourself from everything, your reality will still haunt you, but every day you can find moments that can center you, that can help bring you out of those dark days. It was in this description that I cam across this line, describing the children she met at the orphanage:

“Most of these children were living in the moment. Thinking about the future was a luxury.”

It makes you pause for a moment when you think about this. The future is a luxury. Highlight on luxury. On any given day, I can guarantee 90 percent of it for me includes thinking about my future. I’m obsessed with planning—I make at minimum five lists a day. I map out my exercise routines, my meal plans, how much money I expect to spend in the week, how much money I need to save over the next year, where I want to be in a year, in five years, in ten years. I actually map out what days I will do my laundry over a whole month (I have a system. It makes so much more sense in my head, I promise.). It’s no wonder I’m exhausted all the time—my mind is always worrying about tomorrow.

I would never describe this as a luxury though, but when you are reminded that there are people all over the world who don’t know if they will make it into the next year, it really hits you. We take so much for granted, we stress so much over our futures that we forget to enjoy the moment. I am constantly trying to remind myself of this, especially in times when my present isn’t exactly going the way I want it to.

That’s why we constantly need to remind ourselves of the fortunes we have in our lives. It’s so important to be present, and to be thankful for all that we have.

Why My Facebook Went French

On Friday, November 13, terrorists struck Paris in what was the deadliest attack on the country’s soil since World War II. Explosions were reported across the city, shootings in a restaurant, a hostage situation at a concert hall. The attack left more than 120 people dead, with another 400+ wounded.

Over the past week, we’ve read up on every development—who organized these attacks, the retaliation from the French government, responses from other countries, and most importantly, the stories of hope that comes from the tragedy. You see, in the wake of every terror attack, we have to rely on each other to move forward. In Paris, direct victims will feel the effects for the rest of their lives. Residents, tourists, businesses, etc. in the city will see immediate regulations put in place to prevent future attacks, and the rest of the world will be on high alert, even if for just a short time. We’re still figuring out how to deal with this—it’s an ongoing battle.

For those of us who were not in Paris, who had to watch this attack unfold from our TVs, and we want to do something to help, if for nothing more than to show the victims that they are not alone. Some may donate money, some may pray, and for the millions of users on social media, we tend to turn to the simplest task that can still make an impact—we change our profile picture.

The Paris attacks are not the first time this has happened—we tend to use this tactic every time tragedy strikes. The colors and design change each time, but the message is always the same—we are thinking of the victims, we understand what happened, and that we stand with them. It’s the same reason we wear yellow ribbons—to silently remind the world that we are thinking of the troops fighting overseas. These little posts, they are symbols that offer some comfort to those who were directly affected. They remind us that we are together in this.

Since the Paris attacks, my Facebook page has turned into a sea of red, white and blue. Among the twitter of news headlines, funny cat videos, and Star Wars trailers, we’ve created a unifying reminder that as our lives move on, we are still thinking of those affected by the terrorist attacks. Days will pass, and slowly the social media site will go back to the way it was, exactly as the real world grows and moves on from each tragedy. But for those few days, our pictures act as a symbol that shows we are there, and that we feel their sadness. It’s our gesture to comfort those facing the unimaginable, and if it makes one person feel a little better, then I will be satisfied.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same idea. Countering the posts of hope and love, I’ve seen so many people feeling compelled to criticize the profile picture change. They take a tragedy and, in an attempt to display their wider social view (?) or maybe their negative look at the world (?), and turn the argument into the weight of these pictures. They make the tragedy about them, showing how their self-righteous decision to NOT change their picture will have a better impact on the world. They could not be more wrong.

Some make fun of the concept, saying that it’s pointless to change your picture because it will not make a difference. But let me remind you, these pictures are meant to inspire and replenish hope to those in need; it’s just one little step in a bigger structure to make the world a better place. By pouring your negativity into that, you’re not helping. You’re just trying to tear our structure down.

Others may argue that instead of changing your picture, you should donate money. I agree that donations are appreciated, but sometimes people are in situations where they can’t make a donation. Or maybe they choose not to. But these people, the ones bitching about the pictures, are just looking for the pat on the back—it’s not enough that they donate money, but they need to be acknowledged as a good person for doing that. They’re missing the point—this isn’t about you.

Now yes, it may be a bit hypocritical of me to write about this, but the more complaining I see online, the sadder I feel. There is so much negativity in our world that it gives me anxiety—I shouldn’t feel guilty for changing my picture. I shouldn’t feel angry when I read these opinions. If I am feeling this way, I’m sure your negativity is not making anyone else feel better, especially those who are trying to piece back their life in Paris.

I chose to change my profile picture to the red, white and blue French flag to show my support, to let the world know that Paris was on my mind. If it makes one person smile, then it will be worth it.

‘Hamilton’ on My Mind

Our rappin' founding fathers.

Our Rappin’ Founding Fathers.

How does a Broadway superstar, adding to his repertoire, transform the tale of a founding father into a hip-hop legend selling out every night? Ok, so I tried to rhyme against Lin-Manuel’s Miranda’s narrative beat from his hit Broadway show, ‘Hamilton,’ but unfortunately I don’t think I have the creativity to write for the stage. But that doesn’t mean I can’t gawk at the sheer brilliance of Miranda’s latest sell out hit.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, I’m referring to ‘Hamilton,’ a hip-hop musical that tells the story of our “Ten Dollar Founding Father,” Alexander Hamilton, and his contributions to the American Revolution and the birth of the United States. It’s a mix of rap narrative, meshed with hip hop/ pop numbers that will leave you humming the tune every hour of the day, all while teaching you about the start of our country. I never thought I’d see the day when American history would seem sexy to me, but then again, you never know with today’s creative minds.

I’m not sure if I can pinpoint my favorite part of this musical—since I discovered the soundtrack on Spotify last week it’s been the only thing I’ve listened to (unfortunately tickets are sold out or insanely expensive all the way into July 2016, so unless you are Beyonce of Obama, you are stuck listening to the recordings). If I’m being honest, ‘Hamilton’ is the only thing I’ve TALKED about in the past week, hence why I was compelled to write about it. I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more Alexander Hamilton.

I’ve listened to the entire album start to finish more times than I can count. Work, subway, before bed, it’s really consumed my life. I’ve over-analyzed every line, researched every battle, and I figured the easiest way to discuss it was in list form, since I’ve had a piece of paper by my desk for three days where I jot down ideas about why I love this so much.

  1. Immigration Pride. ‘Hamilton,’ while it may be about the start of our nation, has many themes that are still relevant today. Most notably, the theme of immigrants coming to this country to make a name for his or herself rings through every song. America was founded by immigrants, it relies on immigrants, and sometimes we forget that. But one of the things that makes me most proud to be an American is that you can come to this country and work your way up—we’re not perfect yet, we’re still fighting for full equality, but we have more opportunities than other countries. ‘Hamilton’ reminds us just how important this truth is.
  1. Strong female characters. The Schuyler Sisters are pretty badass. Especially that Angelica, who knew how to work a crowd to get what she needed, but will also fight for her sister before anyone else—even herself. And you have to love her best line in that catchy, all-girl soul number—“We hold these truths to be self-evident/ That all men are created equal/And when I meet Thomas Jefferson/ I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!”
  1. Aaron Burr. As the narrator of the tale, Burr kind of has this Antonio Salieri vibe—Hamilton was this young, unknown name who quickly rose in the ranks. You can sense that jealously and tension as Burr and Hamilton’s relationship progresses, much like Salieri felt over Mozart in the classic film, ‘Amadeus.’ Of course, we know how the story ends, in a duel between the two men that (spoilers) ends Hamilton’s life, but the story is so well told in this musical that the final songs bring you to tears. And you feel for Burr—like in the song “The World Was Wide Enough,” he says his decision to shoot Hamilton made him the villain of the story, even if he wasn’t the worst person ever. (Related: there is an Aaron Burr card in Cards Against Humanity and I hope to God I get that during my annual Christmas Eve game with my extended family).
  1. The lyrics. Miranda is a lyrical genius. I’m not throwing that term out lightly either—it’s a rare thing to really see the story through just the words, and yet in every battle scene, every argument that I listen to in the story, I can see it in front of me. In “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” you can see the surrender as the man in the red coat stands on that parapet (also, who else looked up parapet when they heard that part?). You can see King George prancing around in his hilarious numbers. And when some of the characters get their shouts outs (Hercules Mulligan! Lafayette!) you want to stand up and cheer with them. The words alone bring you back to the 1700 and 1800s, just with a badass twist.
  1. Leaving a Legacy. Hamilton is obsessed throughout the musical about what his name will mean after he dies. “Non-Stop” really plays this with the line “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” Of course it’s dramatized a bit since we know what happens to him, but it still shows truth behind how much the real Alexander Hamilton worked to help this nation before his early death. And as Alex says, ‘a legacy is planting flowers in a garden we never see.’

To be honest, I didn’t know much about Alexander Hamilton before this musical—I had to take some time to research each battle and his role in the American Revolution. But Miranda’s work is doing what so many history teachers have tried to do—make history cool.

    I've become so enamored with 'Hamilton' I get emotional over the ten dollar bill.

    I’ve become so enamored with ‘Hamilton’ I get emotional over the ten dollar bill.

    Onto the World Series

    The NY Mets celebrate after sweeping the Cubs on October 20.

    The NY Mets celebrate after sweeping the Cubs on October 20.

    I am a Mets fan.

    Six months ago, that statement usually got responses of laughter and questions. Why? I grew up in Massachusetts, and the Mets are notoriously one of the MLB’s worst teams. So why would I choose to join their *sometimes* self-deprecating fan base, when all signs point me towards the bigger teams? Well, to be honest it’s as simple as I like the underdogs.

    I didn’t choose the Mets for that reason alone—my father is a Mets fan, so I was raised on them. We were the secret New York fans in a sea of Red Sox. When I was younger, that New York vs. Massachusetts rivalry didn’t matter—the Sox were still suffering from the Curse of the Bambino, and the Mets last won a series in 1986, before I was even born, so by the time I started to like baseball, the Red Sox and Mets never saw each other as legitimate threats. We were all suffering under the regime of the evil empire (New York Yankees), so I was among friends. Then 2004 hit.

    I keep referring to that season, when the Red Sox, who for 86 years hadn’t won a World Series, broke their curse and came out on top during one of the most exciting comebacks in baseball history. Even last week, when the Mets were up 3-0 against the Cubs, sports reporters were referencing when the Sox came back from that against the Yankees. I don’t think the sportscasters were anti-Mets, but even with some of the best playing the team has shown all season, we’re still skeptical about whether the Mets would pull through—they are known to Mets it up, meaning they drop the ball when they need to play their best.

    When you’re the fan of an underdog team, it just takes time before you get your day. I truly believe this—to mimic that Dos Equis guy, I’m not always a sports fan, but when I am, I’m dedicated. For 86 years, my home state waited, and fought, to win the World Series. They were gracious losers, year after year, becoming the butt of jokes, but eventually they came out on top. And they did it again in 2007. And again in 2013.

    The Mets were always on my radar, but it took me moving here to become a die-hard fan. For the last few years, I’ve made it to a few games a year, convincing my Yankees and Sox fan friends that they should come with me for the food and cheap tickets (you can always get decent seats for a game at Citi Field for less than $20). I would go to support my team, while everyone else would laugh at the Mets’ record. We became the joke team, replacing the Red Sox, even though only a few years earlier the Sox were in that position. Sigh.

    But let’s look at the Mets before 2015. This team is family—they are dedicated and always offer their fans something to enjoy. Even when they are losing, the games are a blast to attend, and year after year they would lose with style. You could never really hate the Mets, because they were always smiling. We put up with the jokes, the criticism, the eye rolls, because we knew one day we would get our turn. That turn is now.

    This year has been one of the most exciting seasons in sports for me. I remember at the start of the season, I told my friend (a Red Sox fan) that this was the Mets’ year. She laughed at me. Now, she isn’t laughing. I got to watch my team win 11 games in a row—unheard of for this team. We got Matt Harvey back, we watched our other young pitchers rise, Yoenis Cespedes joined us halfway through the season to round out our batting order, Daniel Murphy is still keeping up with his streak of post season home runs and Wilmer Flores showed us what it truly means to love the Mets when he cried at the rumors of a trade. It’s been a year of ups and downs, and tomorrow, we start game one of the World Series.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this. Wearing my lucky charms, my hat on backwards, whatever superstitions it takes to support my team. Because we’ve waited for a long time, and I have a feeling that this is our year. So, please join me as we chant ‘Let’s Go Mets!’

    Open House: Queens

    9th-Annual-OHNY-Weekend-2011-500Each October, the organization known as Open House New York welcomes visitors to hundreds of landmarks within the city’s five boroughs for one weekend. The event celebrates the past, present and future of New York’s architecture and design by opening the doors to these sites, providing educational tours about each spot’s role in the city landscape.

    It was back in 2011 when I first discovered this organization. I wasn’t living in the city yet, but was visiting a friend for the long weekend when we stumbled upon one of the sites near Battery Park. I dragged my friend into the site for a full walking tour, and there met a few of the volunteers with the organization. They explained that OHNY is a cultural organization that aims to spread awareness and appreciation of New York’s architecture scene, and as volunteers, they help man individual sites to welcome guests and provide more information on the organization.

    Now, as a strong advocate of the arts and culture scenes in my previous homes, I was pleasantly surprised at the dedication these volunteers had towards OHNY, and made a mental note to return each year to continue to support such a fun weekend. That was before I decided to move to the city.

    2012 was my first year volunteering with OHNY. I was assigned to the Grand Lodge of Masons in Chelsea, where for four hours I helped welcome tours and direct traffic. 2013 was my second year volunteering, where I helped give tours of an architecture firm in TriBeca.

    What I truly love about volunteering for OHNY year after year is sharing in the joy of New York’s history with others. With so much culture on every corner, it can be almost overwhelming to find where to start. I’ve lived here now for three years and have only seen a fragment of the city—and I explore it all the time! But with OHNY, volunteers are placed in one of the hundreds of participating sites, where they are given a chance to not only interact with weekend visitors, but also learn about a location they may have never traveled to before.

    This year, I was assigned to LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal, a once thriving gateway to the glamour of flight in the late 1930s-early 40s. This terminal was the base for Pan American’s Clipper aircraft, as well as for ‘flying boats’ that could land on both land and water. You can still see the docks where these planes would land outside the windows of the terminal’s restaurant.

    LaGuardia Airport's marine Air Terminal lobby.

    LaGuardia Airport’s marine Air Terminal lobby.

    Today, the Marine Air Terminal still boasts its original mural in the main lobby, an art deco-style tale of the history of flight, painted by James Brooks in 1940 (a fun fact, in the 1950s, the mural was painted over because of fear that it contained Communist propaganda, but was restored in the 1980s). The terminal is still active, mainly used for Delta’s shuttle flights to Chicago and Washington D.C., as well as for private planes (Joe Biden comes through this terminal when he visits the city, and has famously referred to it as feeling like going through some ‘third world country’). But despite criticism, the terminal is a sight to see, and the employees working there were friendly, helpful, and informative, providing me with all the information I needed to tell the terminal’s story properly.

    The other perk of volunteering for OHNY is that you get to skip the lines when you’re not on duty. When you meet up with volunteers and visitors at your site, they always give out information on where they’ve already stopped by, and where they are headed next, so by the end of your shift you usually leave with a list of 50 sites to squeeze in within the hour. I only had Sunday afternoon to explore, so I narrowed it down to one site: The World’s Fair Grounds in Queens, a spot I have always wanted to see.

    You can't say you're from Queens until you visit the Unisphere.

    You can’t say you’re from Queens until you visit the Unisphere.

    Bonus: Sunday was also game two of the NCLS championships, with the Cubs playing my Mets at Citi Field, so I had to stop by to give the Mets some luck. They won 4-1!

    Wishing the Mets good luck before their win on Sunday!

    Wishing the Mets good luck before their win on Sunday!

    YOLO Walk to Canada (Or Why You Should Always Go Exploring)

    The first glimpse of Niagara Falls.

    The first glimpse of Niagara Falls.

    I can’t remember the exact moment I added Niagara Falls to my bucket list. I think it was after binge-watching ‘The Office’ for the 100th time—you know the episode, when Jim and Pam have to get married on the tour boat because everything was going wrong back at the church. I remember thinking, “Wow, Niagara Falls is such a cool spot. It’s beautiful, natural, and only six hours from me. So why haven’t I seen it yet?”

    In college and my early twenties, I took a lot of time to explore other countries. I trekked around Italy, ate Sushi in Japan, drank beer in Germany, hiked through Greece, but there was so much about my own country that I needed to explore. So, I made it a goal to try to see more of my own country, putting Niagara at the top of my list. I didn’t really have a deadline, but more of a ‘when I can I will’ type of attitude, with the hope that one day I could stand at the top of the falls and watch the water rush over the side.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have a career that sends me to many industry events around the country, and this has allowed me to explore cities that normally I’d never actively seek out. In many cases, I may only have a few hours to spend in a location before hopping back onto a flight, so I rely heavily on the Internet to lead me to the must-see spots. Such was the case with my most recent business trip up to Buffalo, NY, with one exception—I knew exactly where I wanted to go.

    I always say that when given the opportunity to explore somewhere new, you should always accept. Maybe it’s my wanderlust attitude, or just my love for adventure, but put me in a new location for a few hours and I will easily entertain myself.

    My lovely poncho post-tour boat ride.

    My lovely poncho post-tour boat ride. I managed to fit this into my afternoon at the falls.

    For this particular trip, I did all of my planning on the fly. I knew I wanted to see the falls, so getting there just required a quick recommendation from my hotel. I stayed at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott, which is tucked between Niagara and Buffalo, so it made more sense to rent a car instead of rely on taxis to get around—it also gave me more freedom. Being a city girl, driving isn’t something I do on a daily basis, so getting behind the wheel was invigorating. It just added to the excitement of what was already going to be a tremendous day.

    With trips like this, it’s important to take in as much as you can in the time frame you are given. For me, travel always gives me a kind of natural high, so I actively seek out adventure, but in short time frames, sometimes I have to compromise the big adventure with something within my means. Luckily for this trip, I had all afternoon to explore, so I really got to take in everything the falls had to offer.

    I'm on a boat.

    I’m on a boat.

    I should also mention that I did this trip to Niagara Falls by myself. Under no circumstances should you ever let being alone prevent you from doing something you love. For me, seeing new places is important, so I’ve learned to enjoy my alone time. So what if I was hopping on a tour boat by myself? I did it because I wanted to, because the regret of not going was bigger than people feeling sorry for me because I was by myself. These trips have become almost therapeutic for me—when reality starts to overwhelm me, I tend to travel not exactly to get away, but to remind myself of the beauty in this world. Niagara was able to give me just that, and it came at such a perfect time. Plus, I wasn’t sure when I would get this close to the falls again, and I really wanted to go.

    And I am so glad I did.

    Niagara Falls is a wonder that everyone should see. The site is stunning—just think about the first settlers to come across it. You travel for miles along mountain ranges, coming to the flat valleys near the lakes, and suddenly…BOOM! The river you were following suddenly drops. Today, the site is surrounded by commercial properties—casinos, hotels, dinosaur mini golf—but it’s the falls that still sticks in your mind.

    So, as I mentioned before, you should always say yes to an adventure. When I saw that I could walk across a bridge to the Canadian side of the falls, I was ecstatic that I had brought my passport—it was time to cross into another country simply because I could. Sometimes that is the only reason you need to do something—because you can. And when it comes to travel, saying yes to adventure is important, because the reward is ALWAYS worth it. You only live once, so walk to Canada.

    The most tempting sign ever.

    The most tempting sign ever.