March 24, 2017

It felt right.

March 24, 2017
You know that I'm on cloud nine when I'm so happy that I take the time to sit down and write about it. 

I'm in a really good place right now. 

Everything about right now just feels right. And there's a bunch of unknowns and I have so much to figure out, but I can feel myself progressing and improving and I am so happy with some of the work I've created and the things I've done in the past few weeks. I travelled solo and took some of my favorite pictures to date. I finally found an editing style that evokes all the right feelings. I've made more attempts to cook and have really enjoyed being back in the kitchen, from trying not to cry while cutting onions to plating a big bowl of pasta or wiping down the counters, I've enjoyed every moment. I'm hitting my creative stride and I couldn't feel anymore at ease. 

My game plan this summer is to really work on myself and things that make me excited. I want to revamp the blog and hopefully find a way to mesh it together with my personal portfolio (which doesn't exist yet). I want to spend more time trying new recipes, and shooting more photos, and trying new things. I want to learn more about SEO and social media branding and engagement. I know I'll also need to have a summer job to help save up some money, but I'm hoping to find one that engages me creatively as well. If I learned one thing from last summer, it's that working 9-5 doing mundane things in an office is not good for my mental or physical health and I vow to never do that to myself again, even if the pay is great. I love myself too much to not be devoting time to the things I feel I was meant to do. 

It's exciting to feel excited again–and I can't wait to see what will come from this new found energy. 


March 23, 2017

Budapest in Style

March 23, 2017
Top: Uniqlo //  Scarf: Old Navy // Jeans: J.Crew (similar) // Shoes: Adidas (similar)

I've been thinking a lot about the content I want to create a post on the blog and whether or not I want to continue doing outfits. Although I don't like writing about outfits as much as I did when i started blogging, I still feel like they have a place here on Unmapped Territory. 

I wore this in Budapest which seems like forever ago when I was really working on getting my travel style down pat. It's still pretty cold in this part of the world, and that combined with the fact that I spend a lot of time walking means that I have to be very practical with what I wear. I've been obsessed with turtlenecks ever since they came back in style and this HeatTech top from Uniqlo is ideal for keeping in body heat. I also really love my blanket scarf because it's great to wrap around myself when I'm inside and it's too warm or awkward to wear my coat. I used to be all about the infinity scarf, but blanket scarves are definitely more practical and I've had to stop myself from buying a million and two more since I've been here. 

March 3, 2017

Travel Guide: Budapest

March 3, 2017
Budapest what a gem you are. Budapest was my first trip outside the country while studying abroad and it did not disappoint. I really loved the vibe here and walking past all the adorable coffee shops, restaurants, and shops. We only spent two days there, and while I think that's enough to be able to see all the major things, I wish I would have had another day to aimlessly walk around and pop into some local stores. The city is incredibly affordable, walkable, and should definitely be on your list of places to visit if you are ever in central eastern Europe.

As far as Logistics go, we stayed in a hostel and walked almost everywhere. The only times we used public transportation was getting to and from the bus station and from the baths back to our hostel (we walked there, but it was too cold for us to walk back). It costs about $1.30 USD for a metro ticket one way. Food was very affordable and I probably spent around $6 USD per meal. There are nicer restaurants that are more expensive, but you can still get a good meal (a burger and fries, or pancakes and a latte, etc.)  for a very good price. Something that surprised me about Budapest was how commonly and well english was spoken. While it's always nice to know basic phrases in the language of the place you are traveling to, I had no difficulty talking to people at restaurants or shops.

For your convenience, I've included a google map with all the placed mentioned, including some places that i didn't get the chance to check out, that you can save to your phone and use as a guide if you're ever in Budapest!


TO SEE AND DO

  • Szechenyi Thermal Bath
    • -Must do while in Budapest, it costs about $16 for entry and to get a locker if you go during the week. Make sure to bring your own towel and flip flops!
  • City Park
    • -The thermal baths and Vajdahunyad Castle are inside of this park, which I can imagine would be a nice place to stroll around when the weather is nice. 
  • Vajdahunyad Castle
    • -A beautiful, smaller castle located in the park. I wouldn't say it's a must see, but it's very close to the Thermal Baths so you might as well stop by. 
  • Buda Castle
    • -The grounds are huge, you can easily spend a lot of time walking around and taking pictures of everything. 
  • Hungarian Parliament 
    • -Walk to it to admire it up close, but also make sure to go see it in all it's glory from across the river. 
  • St. Stephen's Basilica
    • -St Stephen's is absolutely gorgeous. I went at night and during the day and I think I preferred it at night. You can climb to the top, for a small charge, for an awesome view of the city. 
  • Chain Bridge
    • -We walked across the bridge to get to the Buda part of the city (fun fact: Budapest used to be two separate cities named Buda and (you guessed it) Pest)
  • Liberty Statue
    • -This is quite a hike, so be prepared. If possible I would try to go around sunrise or sunset. You get an amazing view of the entire city for free!

TO EAT AND DRINK

  • Cirkusz Cafe
    • -Great spot for brunch but they're pretty popular so you may have a wait. I had the french toast which was perfect and a lavender lemonade which was sooo good. 
  • Szimpla Kert
    • -Ruin bars are quirky bars in abandoned buildings and are a huge deal in Budapest. We only spent a little time at this bar, but the it was super lively and upbeat. I'd recommend that you get there a bit earlier in the night (8/9 pm or so) to find a spot to sit. When we left around 10 there was a huge line going down the street. 
  • Bamba Marga Burger Bar
    • -Y'all. Let me tall you abut this burger joint. Honestly to this day I'm still thinking about those burgers. They are beyond delicious and very affordable. Their fries are also well done and taste great with their various dips (I recommend the coriander and lime!)
  • Zoska
    • -This is where we went for breakfast our first day in the city. Very cute atmosphere and pretty decent food. 

KEY:
Blue= things to see/do
Green= Food/bar
Yellow=Desserts

Photo Diary: Budapest

I generally don't like taking photos of buildings, but Budapest was so beautiful that I couldn't help myself. This city has some pretty impressive architecture (Parliament, Buda Castle, and St Stephen's Basilica are absolute dreams), but overall the city has more of a relaxed feeling to it. I'll also be posting a travel guide with more details on what to see and do, places to eat, and I'll include a map with everything on it! I recommend that you go and fix yourself a snack because this post is definitely photo heavy. Enjoy, and please let me know what travel posts you'd like to see!

February 22, 2017

Winter 10x10 Recap

February 22, 2017

Later is better than never right?

As a quick refresher, I decided to partake in the Winter 10x10 Challenge where I would only wear 10 items over the course of 10 days. Going in to it I was excited. I mean, I basically wear the same outfits every day, how hard could it be, right?

THE GOOD:

My favorite outfits were two, seven, eight, and nine. I really love outfit 7 because it's something that I probably wouldn't have put together if it weren't for this challenge. I think I did a pretty good job of creating outfits that worked well for the situations I was in (brunch or coffee with a friend, walks in the west village, and traveling) 

THE BAD:

I didn't realize how much I'd miss having options. Sure I can wear a white shirt and jeans everyday for a month, but the ability to choose from a variety of white shirts and jeans is actually really important to me and keeps me from getting bored. It also didn't help that the weather wasn't as nice as I expected it, so some days all I wanted was to wear one of my cozy sweaters. Going into this I thought my Gap cardigan would be the perfect layering piece, I think there was a period of time where I wore it everyday for about two months, but I quickly realized that it did not layer well under my coat and that it was generally too light to wear on it's own. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I don't think I'd do a capsule wardrobe/challenge again in the future. It felt too limiting and made getting dressed boring. Instead of focusing on having a certain number, I'm starting to focus on owning items that are well made, fit like a glove, and things that fit my everyday life. Looking back I wish that I had added something with color to help break up the neutral color pattern. I don't own very many colorful items, but even something as simple as a chambray shirt or a burgundy long sleeve would have helped to make me outfits feel different and more interesting. 

Feel free to check out the rest of the posts here:

February 13, 2017

Dobry Den from Praha

February 13, 2017

Uhhh hi there! So I never mentioned it on the blog, (but If you follow me on instagram you already know this) but I'm studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for the next four months! I've been here for about three weeks so far and it's been quite an adjustment. I've felt uncomfortable and confused and have missed home, but that's exactly why I came here. If you expect to feel comfortable and cozy while studying abroad then you probably haven't chose the right place. 

Prague is an absolutely beautiful city and I will definitely have some more posts showing the beauty of this place but it's also very easy to feel bored, which is where I'm currently at.  I feel like I have so much to say and talk about, but have no idea where to start, so I'll let the pictures do the talking for this post ;) However, if there's anything that you'd like to hear me talk about in regards to studying abroad, packing, traveling, or Prague in general please let me know!

February 1, 2017

i believe

February 1, 2017
This should really be my 10x10 winter capsule wrap up post, but it just doesn't feel like the right thing to talk about at a time like this.

i'm not good at talking about stuff like this.

the headlines from the past two weeks have been terrifying. i've been in europe since the 17th, three days before the inauguration, and while i was (am?) beyond grateful to have been out of the country when it was handed over to this monster i can not help but feel a sense of hopelessness from this side of the pond.

i will not deny the fact that i need to work on my activism. in times where women, black and brown people, muslims, lgbtq+, immigrants, the disabled, and anyone who has been labeled under the term of "other" have been under attack i have sat back. i have voiced my opinion and provided support when directly asked or confronted, i have sent texts or held friends who felt unsafe, i have retweeted and favorited tweets providing additional information or sharing words i wish i could find the strength to speak, i've posted quotes as my Facebook status as a cryptic way to express my feelings, but i have not come much farther than that. i have not directly and unabashedly claimed where i stand, and while i do not think we should pressure people into doing so, i feel like i can no longer be a silent force as my country self destructs.

as a black woman, the daughter of two nigerian immigrants who moved to the u.s twenty years ago for more opportunities for themselves and their children, i am fully aware that society has not always been kind to people like me, but i also understand that while i am not a straight white male, i do have some privilege in this world. i have two parents with good jobs that mean that i have never experienced lack in my life, i've done well in school and have the means and ability to study at a top university, i have support and know that if i ever need help, there will be at least one person there on my side. i have let this sliver of privilege protect me from feeling the impacts of a society where sexism, racism, and a plethora of un-American ideals are rapidly revealing themselves.

in times of difficulty i tend to retract, try to make any and every attempt to withdraw myself from the situation in an effort to preserve my own welfare– but now is not the time for this.

there is a man leading this country with absolutely no direction or ethical compass. he is using fear and hatred and spite for his own personal gain while millions of citizens, would-be citizens, should-be citizens suffer. he is a threat to the environment, and women's rights, and refugees, and the american people, and, and... he is not my president, and he does not represent what america is about.

being in prague at a time like this has been any eye opener and the similarities between america today and the czech republic (then czechoslovakia) under nazism, communism, and through it's various revolutions and uprisings is unsettling to say the least.

like i said, i'm not good at talking about this stuff, and i struggle to wrap my head around our current reality and form a coherent response to everything that's going on but i can say this:

i support the rights and fair treatment of human beings regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, ability, or class. i believe that science is real and that we must work on limiting our effects on the environment. i believe that women should have full and autonomous control of their bodies and that the government should play no role in dictating what women can and can't do. i believe in access to affordable healthcare and quality education for all. i believe in helping refugees and immigrants (just like my family) find a home in this country, regardless of where they come from. i believe in feminism. i believe that black and brown lives matter, and that police brutality has no place in our society. i believe that love is love is love.

i believe in the words of charlie chaplin, which after nearly 70 years still ring true:

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

let us fight for what is right and true.

let us fight the good fight.

let us do better, friends.