Ingrid Lozada (@off_the_ingrid) — Traveler. Pizza enthusiast. User of paper maps. Veggiesaurus. From the Yay Area. I write about Awkward Moments While Traveling. 📍SF Bay Area
YELLOWSTONE IS DANGEROUS Signs are everywhere warning visitors of “Dangerous Ground” and “Wildlife is Dangerous, Do Not Approach.” There are many ways to get hurt or die if one isn’t careful in this park. Yellowstone also reminds us that your safety is your own responsibility...So don’t be stupid (Despite the many signs, I still saw people disregard them 🤦🏽♀️) . So what’s the appeal that draws millions to Yellowstone? It’s the same thing that drew me there. It is the opportunity to see Earth at its rawest and wildest form. Where you can see wild bison roam and where you can walk amongst geysers and hot springs, revealing at the surface, the inner workings of the planet. . Amazing AF
SO UNREAL, IT LOOKS LIKE A PAINTING Four days in Yellowstone with shitty cell coverage. It was my ultimate way of treating myself. . The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is roughly 20 miles long, more than 1,000 feet deep, and 1,500 to 4,000 feet wide, carved by the Yellowstone River. It was cold AF this day, maybe 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit (This is cold for Californians, East Coasters), but my FOMO pushed me on...it always does.
Just hanging out at a relatively unknown theme park in California. . HA! Big JK. Did you know that Disneyland is the most Instagrammed place in the world?! Google it. . This time I visited the resort on a business trip, so I got to experience Disneyland in a way I normally wouldn’t. I learned that staying at a resort hotel is worth the extra dollars, and that boozy Dole Whips and gourmet churros are my new must-eats whenever I visit.
Three interesting things I learned about Westminster Abbey: . Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church for the British monarch since 1066. The last coronation was over 65 years ago for Queen Elizabeth II. . Over 3,300 people have been buried or memorialized here, including 17 British monarchs and other notable people such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. The British like their memorials. . There is a tomb of an unknown WWI Soldier, representing the army from the British Empire and all those who gave their lives. Their memory is so revered that when Kate Middleton walked down the aisle on her wedding day, by tradition, she had to walk around the grave. . Knowledge is power!
Why I really went to London #harrypotterpilgrimage . All eight of the Harry Potter films were created at the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden (about 20 miles from London). The sets, props, costumes, etc., used in the movies or recreated (If it was unable to be saved from the films) are on display for Potterheads to enjoy. So...I may have cried a little bit. 😜 . What’s amazing is that you can see the massive Worldwide appeal the books and films had. There were so many people that I wished I could Stupify the over-excited ones who liked to push. It’s been 8 years since the movies ended, but to get a ticket for the studio tour, you’d have to buy it months in advance.
A cafe in London that just serves CEREAL?!!! 🥣 @cerealkillercafe took me back to my childhood, when I would wake up at the butt crack of dawn to eat unnaturally colored, all-sugar, not-very-nutritious cereal, paired with Saturday morning cartoons like The Smurfs and Pound Puppies. Sweet nostalgia. 🥣 What’s your favorite childhood cereal?
Temple of Karnak - another Instagram hotspot. If you didn’t get a picture like this, did you really go?! . Totally kidding. But seriously, wandering through places like the Temple of Karnak, the Pyramids and Petra, I noticed a good amount of people dressed up, like “They’re definitely doing a photo shoot,” dressed up. . In places like Petra, where you have to hike up for some of the best views, it definitely wasn’t practical. Obviously, I’m not opposed to taking staged candid photos to preserve a moment, but sometimes doing it for the ‘Gram takes you away from living the actual moment. It’s good to get your photos, but sometimes we need to just put the camera away.
What lies beyond the crack . . . Many don’t realize that a lot of walking is involved to visit Petra. From the visitor’s center to the entrance to The Siq (a narrow gorge leading to the ancient city), it took me about 10 minutes to walk. From The Siq to the Treasury, as seen here, it took me another 20 minutes. Remember that you’ll have to make the same trip going back. You will be offered horses to ride along the way, then when you are past The Siq it’ll be donkeys and camels. I advise against this, as the care and treatment of the animals are questionable. . Make sure to have good walking shoes, sun protection, snacks and plenty of water. Petra is much more than the Treasury...but it definitely is a highlight.
I may not remember the Pythagorean theorem, how to turn a potato into a battery, or even how to play the recorder, but I can tell you about the mummification process and how the Ancient Egyptians used long hooks to remove the brain from the body 💁🏽♀️ #lifeskills . I’m so glad that I paid attention during the Ancient Egypt history portion of class. It did me well on this trip.
The first rule of The Dead Sea is: You do not talk about The Dead Sea. The second rule of The Dead Sea is: Don’t EVER, EVER get the water in your eyes (because of the extremely high salinity), unless you want to experience a blinding pain that makes you wish for death. . Other than that, it was cool.
Fuck yeah, I did that. . I was pretty terrified, so I had to push myself to do it. I mean, how can you come to Petra and not get this photo? . To get to the Treasury Vista point, you can do a self guided hike to the top for 45 minutes, or you can do what I did and hire a Bedouin guide to take you up in 10 minutes (15 for me, because I like to eat). The hike up is doable, but a bit strenuous. Since you’re at the top, visit the High Place of Sacrifice for a great view of Petra. Make sure to get a Bedouin guide, and not the ones at the entrance. They will usually approach you in front of the Treasury, asking if you want to go to the top. . Exploring the top of Petra was the highlight of my visit.
Abu Simbel is my favorite site in Egypt so far. . The Great Temple of Ramses II was carved directly into the mountain a long ass time ago (12 something BC). The four huge statues of the pharaoh acted as warnings and as a display of strength to anyone entering from the south. . When the High Dam was built in 1971, Abu Simbel was moved from its original site, to its current location to prevent it from a lifetime of being underwater. Crazy!