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My Top Moments from the last DECADE

Last post, I wrote about goals and my plans for the upcoming year. I reflected on my the last twelve months but this time, I wanna reflect back on nineteen of my favorite moments of the decade! I thought it would be fun to start (or end depending on where you live) the year with a post reminiscing on the last ten years.

19. Graduating High School -2010

It’s crazy that I graduated high school and college in the same exact decade but hey, a high school diploma is something I’m really proud of. Shoutout to Olympia, class of 2010 X

18. Enlisting in the United States Army -2011

Probably one of the highlights of this decade simply because without the military, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

17. Learning to Bartend -2012

Still one of the funnest and best jobs I’ve ever had, slangin’ drinks back for people had to be one of the most stressful yet exciting jobs yet. I also met a ton of super cool people throughout the years.

16. Getting accepted into FSU -2012

Okay, probably one of the highlights of the decade because growing up FSU was my dream school. Some people want Harvard, I wanted to be a Seminole.

15. Deploying -2013

One of the most humbling experiences I ever had in the military was my deployment. We didn’t go anywhere crazy but it taught me some major lessons in life and it’s how I learned how to do VTC’s.

14. Graduating from FSU -2014

I took 45 credit hours over the year I was gone and then commuted from Orlando to Tallahassee my final semester at FSU. To walk across the stage was a huge goal of mine and it felt GOOD.

13. Landing my first contracting job -2015

Ahh, without taking this leap I would have never met some of my best friends or even live in Kuwait.

12. Starting my blog -2016

When I moved overseas, I wanted to be more spontaneous and I wanted to be able to understand my feelings more so I started this blog. Tea Time with Tia was born and I’ve had a lot of awesome support since I started it! My first post ever, is linked here.

11. My first trip to Dubai -2016

This was a last minute trip for me and that introduction to Dubai set the tone for every other time. I flew with a back pack and just said fuck it, stayed in my friends hotel room and spent 36 hours there.

10. Smoking in Amsterdam -2016

I’m not a huge smoker but if you visit Amsterdam, you have to try this at least once.

9. Visiting Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day -2017

Everyone needs to do this at least once. You probably won’t have time to visit anything “touristy” but drinking your way through Ireland is a unique yet fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

8. Going to Europe with my best friend -2017

One of my favorite trips of the decade and probably when I started to transform from blogging about life and start blogging more about travel. We traveled through France and Italy for two weeks, I’m already looking forward to the next BFF trip! However, a travel tip is don’t travel through Europe with a suitcase and buy a back pack like everyone else.

7. Becoming a Cat Mom -2018

We adopted four cuties in July and they’ve been with us ever since!

6. Visiting Petra -2018

Petra is one of the seven wonders of the world! I’m looking forward to going back and visiting again soon, the entire city of Petra is magical.

5. Hiking Adam’s Peak -2019

This is how I started my year, climbing over 5000 steps to the top of a mountain in Sri Lanka. It’s definitely one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever completed.

4. Going on my first real solo trip -2019

I went to India for nine days by myself, it was eye opening and worth it. I wrote a ton of blog posts on my trip, two still pending if you’re interested in a solo trip to India.

3. Walked around the streets of Barcelona -2019

Barcelona is a city of culture, taste, good food and good people. Walking around the city not only got my step count up but was the best way to discover the city of Barcelona.

2. Celebrating Michelle’s Birthday in Ibiza -2019

For those who don’t know, Michelle is my roommate and one of my best friends. Ibiza is a beautiful place and even if you’re not a big partier, it’s still worth a visit. There’s more to do than just party and celebrating Michelle’s birthday was really fun.

1. Starting my Master’s Degree at FSU -2019

Yes, I realize there was a lot of school in this decade but getting reaccepted in FSU for the MSIT program was a huge accomplishment. I’m excited to graduate next decade 🤪

So there you have it, my top nineteen moments of the decade, nineteen moments for the year 2019! Cheers to ending the year ten years wiser, ten years better and ten years funner! Whether your new year has already begun or you’re still waiting for the clock to strike midnight, happy new year to you and your family from me and be safe! This last decade was a fun one, I can’t wait to see what the next one brings! Until my next post, inshalla.

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Travel

The Best Places to Visit in Jaipur, India

Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Generally, the last (or first) stop in what we call the “Golden Triangle” and probably the most picturesque city of the three. Jaipur, known as the pink city or the old city, has so much to offer. UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed Jaipur “the Pink City of India” amongst one other UNESCO sites in Jaipur- Amber Fort. The best time to visit Jaipur is during the Winter months, from early November through February. The Summers are extremely hot and they have an intense monsoon season during the month of July. I visited during the beginning of March, it was perfect because it was the end of tourist season and the weather fairly cool in the morning when we were shooting and it would warm up during the day. Most of my India tips are linked here, however when visiting Jaipur be cognizant of monkeys because they WILL take your stuff, like anywhere in India don’t eat just anywhere, and be careful with what taxi services you use because you can get ripped off. Jaipur is a delightful and charming blend of lively culture, rich history, stunning palaces, wonderful art, and delicious cuisine. The city is filled with some of the nicest people and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, these were some of my favorite things to do whilst visiting the Pink City.

1. Watch the Sun Rise at Amber Fort

The wall surrounding Amber Fort is the third longest in the world, a hike uphill will take about thirty minutes to an hour depending on your fitness level and it’s completely free. The hike isn’t hard but the stairs are fairly tall, you’ll want to make sure you wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothing.

2. Visit Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal is a palace made with red and pink sandstone, it sits on the edge of the City Palace and extends to the Zenana. It’s possible to go inside the Hawa Mahal from the entrance around the back but if you want a good photo, you’ll have to go to the cafe across the street and purchase something. Government tickets, cost 300 rupees for Indians and 1,000 rupees (about 10USD) for foreigners, tickets are available from Rajasthan’s Department of Archaeology & Museums. These tickets are valid for two days and also include Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jantar Mantar observatory, and Albert Hall Museum. Otherwise, the entry fee is 50 rupees for Indians and 200 rupees for foreigners. The Hawa Mahal is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m

3. Explore the City Palace

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built the City Palace as part of his new capital in Jaipur. It was completed in 1732 and has an expansive complex of courtyards. The royal family still lives there, in the graceful Chandra Mahal. Various parts of the palace are open to the public according to the types of tickets purchased at the front gates. Standard City Palace tickets cost 300 rupees for Indians and 700 rupees (about 10USD) for foreigners. These provide access to palace courtyards, galleries, Jaigarh fort, and the royal cenotaphs. A highlight is the palace’s Pritam Niwas Chowk with its colorful painted doorways representing the different seasons, the most infamous being the doorway with the peacock. Other attractions include displays of royal costumes, old Indian weapons, paintings and photographs. Special tickets provide access (with a guide) to the royal family’s private quarters and the “blue” room, and start from 1,500 rupees for Indians and 2,000 rupees for foreigners which is about 28 USD. The City Palace is situated in the Old City and is open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. It reopens from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the evenings for a sound and light show, plus night viewing. Tickets for this cost 500 rupees for Indians and 1,000 rupees for foreigners. The City Palace has a Baradari restaurant also with a bar if you’re looking for a break between exploring. If you’re looking to take photos without people in them, going in the morning when they open or at night when they’re closing would be beneficial, however- if you purchase the more expensive ticket then the blue room rarely ever has people in it.

4. Explore Amber Fort

Amber Fort sits on top of a hill overlooking Maotq Lake. They have elephants that can take you to the top but I believe it’s really cruel to the animals, you can walk or park close to the top without having to ride an elephant. Maharaja Man Singh I, who led Mughal Emperor Akbar’s army, commenced constructing the fort in 1592. It was the home of Kachwaha Rajput rulers until Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II relocated their capital to Jaipur City in 1727. Inside the Fort is the infamous Ganesh Pole, the royal door of the Amber Fort and the old latrines have become a very popular photo spot. The fort is open daily from 0800 until 1730, most people love to watch the light show in the evening which brings life to the forts night views and history. The fort reopens at night from 1830 till 2115 with the option of eating at the restaurant inside. The entry fee is 100 rupees for Indians and 500 rupees for foreigners, which is about 7 USD. If you want to take photos without tourists, I’d go right when they open or towards the end of the day. Otherwise, it’s a struggle to get photos without people in them.

5. Tour the city with a local

I was lucky and talked with Apoorv before I made it to Jaipur. I found him on Instagram because I wanted pictures whilst touring the city. The best part of hanging out with a photographer all day is you’ll get amazing photos and a local tour guide in one! It’s probably the best thing I did and was really fun, whether you’re looking for the best food or the best photos a local is the best person to show you around the Pink City. If you’re headed to Jaipur, I linked his Insta on his name if you’re looking for a photographer.

6. Pose for photos inside Patrika Gate

Jaipur is well known for their palaces and gates, and Patrika Gate is no different. Jaipur’s ninth and most colorful gate, filled with so much life. The entrance to the gate is free and you can go at any time and get a photo with no one in it! The Patrika Gate is the entrance to the Jawahar Circle Garden and only about five minutes from the airport.

I only had one day in Jaipur, we visited some of what I think are the “most instagramable” spots versus visiting all the different forts. If I had more time in Jaipur some things I would have liked to do include watching the sunset at Nahargarh Fort, do a cultural tour of the Old City and visit the Jantar Mantar. I only had one full day in Jaipur before I had to fly to Goa, but I personally think two to three days is needed if you want to really explore and visit everything. Overall, I really believe Jaipur is the most picturesque city in the Golden Triangle and the people are so friendly. It was definitely my favorite city whilst visiting India, if you’re planning a trip to India make sure to check out my Delhi and the most instagramable spots of the Taj Mahal blogs to help you plan the perfect Golden Triangle trip! Until my next post, Inshalla.