It’s common knowledge that Grand Rapids is Michigan’s best city for good coffee. Whether you plan your travels around coffee, or you simply want to visit a nice cafe, the Grand Rapids coffee scene won’t let you down. Over years of visiting, I’ve tested out the best coffee shops in Grand Rapids.
Lots of people dream of trekking in Nepal. But with the recent news of Everest’s deadly season, and the internet circulating photos of long queues of neon-jacketed climbers pushing for their chance at the summit, it begs the question: Should we really be encouraging travelers to go trekking in Nepal?
Looking back, it is hard to believe how many places I was and how much happened in May. I traveled a TON – early in the month I returned to the USA from my trip abroad to the UK and Nepal. But the travel continued stateside as I traveled throughout the USA. The highs were matched with a significant low: the passing of my beloved Grandfather. This was definitely a sobering month and I’m still absorbing everything that’s happened.
If you’re dreaming of the trek to Everest Base Camp but it’s just that… a dream… I understand. To trek Everest Base Camp requires a huge commitment. It’s a financial investment, is physically demanding, carries health risks, and will take you at least two weeks. This is not a vacation that you will return to work rested and rejuvenated from! For instance, I trained daily and had to quit one of my jobs prior to the trek in order to get the time to do it.
While I have so much still to say about the Himalayas and the trek to Everest Base Camp, I also want to give a nod to Kathmandu, Nepal. The brown city I flew into, the plane circling above Kathmandu’s thick layer of smog for an extra hour, idling until we could land. My first Asian city. And what a contrast it presents when you compare Kathmandu’s hectic streets to the rocky paths of the mountains. I only spent a couple days in Kathmandu, and as I was part of a tour group, we got shuttled around to the important sights. It’s maybe the first city I’ve visited where I’m glad I had this more canned experience. I’m not sure how I would have navigated its streets otherwise.
April was a thrilling and life changing month. From the streets of London to the fells of the Lake District, from chats over Thai food in Bristol with an old roommate, to new friends in the expansive valleys and mountains of Nepal. It was a wild month. Looking back I want to relive it again and again, but at the same time it’s made me so excited for future adventures to come. Read on to see what exactly I got up to in this month of travel!
Completing the Everest Base Camp trek was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had. I posted daily updates about the trek to Instagram, but I also kept a pen-and-paper journal during the trek. I wanted to remember the Everest Base Camp trek in the most authentic way – and for me that’s through writing. So I brought along a notebook and every evening I spent a few minutes recording my thoughts on the day.
We’re sitting down to an Indian buffet, tucked away on a side street in Chester, England, when the manager comes over to us. He’s got a sheepish look on his face and I already know what he’s going to ask. “So your accent,” he begins. “Are you from… the USA?” Dan and I make eye contact and I smile, before nodding, and clarifying “Michigan.” I’ve only been back in the U.K. for a week, so the questions like this don’t bother me yet.
When Dan and I were booking our most recent stay in London, we wanted to experience the city differently. We’ve both been to London countless times, and while it’s a city that it is difficult to grow bored of, I still wanted to see it in a new way. A big part of that comes down to accommodation and location. That’s when I started looking for an eco hotel in London — a phenomenon I’ve experienced in Amsterdam and seen across the USA, so I was curious how London would compare. From my searches, it was obvious that the best eco hotel in London was Qbic in East London. It’s the only hotel that has completely branded itself around its efforts at sustainability. Which honestly came as a surprise to me in a city as innovative as London, but maybe nobody wants to compete with Qbic? We stayed at Qbic for three days, and this is what we thought!