Cool Shirt

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Where do people even get shirts like this?

The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann)

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The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the protagonist of the story.

I’m pretty sure this was my first opera and probably my last. I was really confused the entire time and had a hard time understanding the translated subtitles. I was impressed that the actors/singers were able to memorize 3.5 hours of dialogue/songs and the set design was incredible. However, pretty sure opera isn’t my thing.

However, I was pretty excited to go inside the National Centre for the Performing Arts, which is super cool looking building surrounded by water.

Broken Bikes

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Colorful Beijing Sunset

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Yonghegong - Llama Temple

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Around the 京

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WWU - Travel Thoughts

People need to travel. Too often we get caught up in our daily lives, our routine, and the comfortableness that comes from having everything figured out. Many people live lives without challenges. Struggles, for sure, but no challenges. Traveling presents a myriad of challenges, but the best part is being able to confront them and enjoy the success that comes with it. 

Language barriers, not understanding the local culture, getting confused by the subway, funky food, and “odd” behavior are all things we’ll inevitably confront when traveling. However, the exploration is the best part. We not only get to explore a new country, but also get to explore ourselves in the process. How do we respond when faced with challenges abroad? How has my perspective about life, work, or the pursuit of happiness changed since my trip? And perhaps most importantly, how have I changed as a person? 

Sure, traveling is about trying new food, relaxing, and taking pictures in front of famous monuments. But as a whole, I think it’s about opening your mind. For example, I didn’t know I liked eating cow heart until I traveled to Peru, and China is constantly making me say, "I didn't even know that was a thing available to buy". My point is, traveling is so much more than just the destination, it's about finding out who are you within that destination. I've come to learn more about myself through my travels than I ever did at school or through sports. 

I don't care if you travel, but I think you should. Understanding just how big the world really is and connecting with people from different cultural backgrounds is something I believe will make the world a better place. Too often we sit back and judge people based on stereotypes or what we see portrayed on tv or in the news. Learning firsthand what a culture and its people are like can have enormous effects on how we live our lives and the way we treat people going forward. So it's with these closing thoughts that I urge you to take a trip, even a domestic one, because life is short and there is so much waiting to be explored.