UCLA Update/Travel Thoughts

Me again! Just wanted to post an update from the past few weeks at UCLA, as well as share some recent thoughts I’ve had about traveling/my nomadic life. I am back at USC now until Thursday, when I head back to UCLA. Here are some photos of what I have been up to:

I was finally able to check out the UCLA campus! Though it is very hilly, it’s gorgeous. I also took some photos of the chapter at the famous Bruin Bear during their Polish Week :).

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The Sisterhood Coordinator surprised the chapter with a bounce house to take a break from recruitment training! I also surprised the USC chapter by going to their “Mac n’ Cheese with AGDs” philanthropy event one night :). Some of the UCLA members came too and it was great to see them all interacting. Big shoutout to Delta Alpha Chapter for letting us borrow some of the decorations for House Tours for UCLA recruitment. Perks of being in the same city!

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Bucket List- check! I got to go to the UCLA vs. BYU football game a few weeks ago and even sat in the student section. It was a crazy game and it was really fun to pretend like I’m a student ;). I’m still on the quest to figure out if I was meant to be a Bruin or Trojan fan… not to worry though, I am headed to a USC football game in a few weeks!

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On a free afternoon, I went to the Getty Museum with one of my consultant friends, Mike, which was incredible! We went on an architecture tour of the property and I learned so much about how and why the buildings were designed. My favorite part about the Getty was seeing some incredible European paintings from the 18th century, especially a couple of paintings of Venice. I was just there a few months ago and I was able to see spots on the Grand Canal that I stood on in a painting from 1713– now THAT is a piece of history. Makes me miss Italy! The Getty also has amazing views from downtown all the way to the ocean, although the smog was so bad the day we went, we couldn’t even see the Pacific. The joke of the day came from our tour guide saying we couldn’t see the ocean because it was an “overcast” day. There wasn’t even a cloud in the sky! We definitely laughed out loud (#LAproblems). If you ever get a chance to go to the Getty Museum, do it! Parking is $15 but admission is free. Definitely a must-see in L.A. 🙂

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UCLA was my very last recruitment visit of the semester! This is Delta Epsilon’s decorated courtyard for Open House round and some of the decorations around the house :).

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Preference Round! My favorite is the last photo, where the Chapter President laid on the floor in relief after it was all over :).

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Here are a few Bid Day pictures, including ones of the entire chapter and Delta Epsilon’s new member class (last photo). They extended bids to 67 women and I am so proud of their accomplishments already! They have been great hosts so far and I am really looking forward to getting to know the women at UCLA even better this year. My favorite part of Bid Day was the delicious food truck and watching the crazy dance party in the courtyard- they all had a blast.

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On a completely unrelated note..

I recently joined a Facebook group called “Girls Who Travel”, which is a group of over 10,000 women from all over the world who love traveling. It’s a unique community to be a part of and I have loved seeing all of the inspiring posts, pictures and conversations happening on this group, not to mention potential connections for the future. This group has gotten me thinking a lot lately about the traveling lifestyle I live. I have lived out of a suitcase for the past year and a half and still have another nine months to go. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job- it fulfills me, I meed incredible people, serve my organization, make an impact in many different areas and get to see lots of new places. As I have had time some to reflect, I’ve been thinking about the difference between my travel for work/day-to-day life versus when I travel for pleasure on my off-time. Some of my favorite memories while traveling abroad have been those crazy, spontaneous trips or funny stories that came along the way. When I have traveled in my free time, whether it be in Europe or even stateside, I have a much more spontaneous, adventurous attitude. This got me thinking…why don’t I try to live that way every day? I have been challenging myself recently to live with that same attitude and find something exciting about every single day. I can think of a handful of examples lately of things I have done that I wouldn’t have a few years ago and it has shown me how much I have grown in the past year and a half. It is so easy to get stuck into a routine, even when traveling full time (I can only imagine how things would be if I lived in one place), and really, life is so much more fun if we live as though each moment is an adventure. I think this new attitude will help me get through the monotony of being in L.A. so often this year, while allowing me to challenge myself to be more spontaneous (though I think I am already pretty adventurous..). Just food for thought! Here is one of my recent stories…

A friend I met in Croatia who is from Australia recently posted on Facebook that she had a long layover at LAX and had never been to the U.S., so wanted advice for what she could do. I could have made many excuses as to why I couldn’t make the effort to see her: it was the first day of Formal Recruitment at UCLA, I don’t have a car, I don’t know where we could go in a short amount of time, I don’t know her very well, etc. But I decided to tell Georgia I would pick her up and show her around the area. I woke up early, rented a car (thanks for the Enterprise discount, Erica!), picked Georgia up from the airport and drove to Santa Monica, where we rented bikes and checked out both Santa Monica and Venice Beach. She even got interviewed for the news on the street about the new iPhone (picture below), so maybe this will be her shot at stardom in the U.S.! Though it was short-lived, it was a lot of fun and I will always have the memory of the time I showed someone the U.S. for the first time. The funniest part for me was that she couldn’t wrap her mind around driving on the opposite side of the road or sitting on the other side of the car. It’s stories like those that we miss out on if we make excuses or aren’t willing to go the extra mile for others. I know that good karma will come back to me while I am traveling one day :). Staying in touch with people I meet while traveling is important to me and I know having connections all over the world will pay off! #memories

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Yesterday, I went to an event in Beverly Hills with my friend Daniella called Fluffball, a benefit for The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, an animal rescue organization dedicated to helping animals who are victims of extreme abuse. I had no idea what the event was, didn’t have anything to wear (my suitcase is about 90% business attire clothes), am not particularly fond of animals, and didn’t have a car to get there. I Ubered to Daniella’s apartment downtown and we ended up having a blast! The event was hosted by the organization’s founder, Emmanuelle Vaugier, who has starred in CSI: NY, Two and a Half Men, Saw, and a few others. We also met “Becky” from the TV show Full House and spotted a couple of other actors/actresses. Not to mention several small dogs drinking water out of wine glasses held by their owners…only in L.A.! Daniella and I went out with some people we met at the event afterwards spontaneously, because…why not? Nothing like meeting new people and seeing new places to make your day :).

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That’s all for now! I head back to UCLA on Thursday and will be there until October 20, then I’m off to visit my grandparents in San Jose to start off my vacation for the semester :). Can’t wait!

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