Mischief Night

Mischief Night, October 2018


Twas’ the night before Halloween, and all through the house, mischief was stirring in and under the devils’ blouse. Her horns were growing with precision and care, in hopes that tricks, not treats would be there. The ghosts were ghoulish, the monsters tucked under the beds, while visions of horror danced around in their heads. By: Trisha McQuade

What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than sharing a quick little Halloween poem I put together and reminiscing about last years trip to Mexico City for Dia de los Muertos?!

Last year, on this day, I was on a plane to Mexico City to indulge in the festivities of Dia de los Muertos!! To say I was excited, was an understatement. The atmosphere was ALIVE with horror, putting my right I to my element. Seeing all the babies, children and toddlers forgo the ‘cute’ costumes to embrace the terror brought me pure joy. Streets filled with baby ‘It’ clowns, Freddy Krueger’s, Jason’s, and of course, baby Chucky dolls was nothing but a pleasure to see. Not only were there horrific costumes, the streets were also filled with colorfully decorated ‘candy skulls,’ statues, unique decorations, makeup designs, and tradition.

My favorite part, wasn’t just the city coming alive, but the graveyards; full of life, light, memories and of course TEQUILA! Mariachi sounds enchanted the graves and loved ones honored their deceased with brightly colored ofrendas. Tequila, tequila, and more tequila flowed at every graveyard. It was a wonderful feeling to be welcomed by local families into their unique forms of celebration. To say it was special is an understatement. It’s an experience I will continue to treasure, until I make my way back to Mexico for another Dia de los Muertos celebration.

I’m currently kicking myself for not being emerged in the culture again, RIGHT NOW! So instead, I’ll plan for next year and take a look back into my first blog posts about one of my best trips to date.

Did I mention how much I LOVED being in Mexico for Dia De Los Muertos?! If you haven’t had a chance to read about my experiences, now is the perfect time!

Dia de los Muertos Festivities

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) A broken down bus and a gondola ride.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) ” There is no life, except by death”

Into the artistic side of Mexico City

The Romance of Hangzhou, China

‘Heaven on Earth’

January 2018–Hangzhou, China


Some call it ‘Heaven on Earth,’ some say ‘City of Romance,’ and others refer to it as ‘Honeymoon City.’ No matter which title you choose, each of them will accurately describe the city of Hangzhou. I mean, even Marco Polo fell in love with Hangzhou, so it must be true!

This ancient Chinese capital city is a scenic beauty in the Eastern corner of China. Life here is a bit more relaxed and easy, compared to most cities in China.  With a population of just nine million people, Hangzhou is considered a small city.  I know what you’re thinking…nine million, SMALL?!? Well, if you compare it to the one hundred and twenty Chinese cities with a population of over ten million people, yes, Hangzhou is small.

It’s a city filled with natural blossoms and gardens, tea fields, silk, mountain views, authentic cuisine, and the ever so famous, West Lake.  If you have only one day to discover this dreamy city, much like I did, spend it taking in the romantic views of West Lake. It is by far the top attraction in Hangzhou, as a World Heritage Sight and ‘symbol’ of the city.  So hop on a bullet train from Shanghai and forty five minutes later, you can enjoy some of the Chinese countryside.

Have a look and enjoy some of the beauty that is Hangzhou, China.

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Sunset Through The Trees
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West Lake Bridge
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Mountain Sunset
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Pink Blooms
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A Garden In A Garden
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Flowering Kale
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Sunset Over West Lake
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Garden View
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Gardens
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Flowers
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My Peaceful Place
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Ornamental Cabbages
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Chinese Writing
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Capturing West Lake
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West Lake Beauty

 

Journey to the New Seven World Wonders

June 2017–Agra, India


It all started with a quick 36 hour escape to Delhi to visit a few temples, with a day in Agra to experience the Taj Mahal.  I needed to cash in some Etihad flight miles… So what better way than to see a World Wonder?

In all honesty, I didn’t have a strong desire to visit India.  I had a vision in my mind of crowded, loud, intense streets filled with people shoulder to shoulder, barely able to move. I blame it on movies…they always manage to put an unrealistic image into our heads. But even with these crowd-frightening thoughts, I wanted to experience India for myself and make my own conclusions.  Plus, I’m a sucker for romance, so seeing this “Labor of Love” was right up my alley.

36 hours later, I was hooked.  The Taj Mahal exceeded my expectations; the inspiration, the architecture, the reflecting pool, the outlying buildings, all were a vision of pure beauty.

It was on my plane ride back to Abu Dhabi, that Saturday night, I made the decision to experience ALL seven of the New World Wonders. I wanted to start jetting around the world at that very moment, and forget about work. But realistically, I only had a few more weeks until summer break, so I managed to suck it up and finish off the year.

If you’re not familiar with the New Seven World Wonders, let me lay it out for you.  In 2000 a campaign was started to choose new world wonders from a list of 200 existing monuments. It was somewhat of a popularity pole with people voting by internet or telephone. Seven years later, how fitting, the winners were selected and publicly announced.

So here I am, ten years after the big announcement, making it my personal mission to visit each of the new wonders withing a twelve month span.

Just for clarification, because this was more of a private initiative, UNESCO has not jumped on board with affirming the list as scientific.

So here they are, the official, or unofficial, who knows…list of the NEW SEVEN WORLD WONDERS!

Great Wall of China (China)

Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Machu Picchu (Cuzco, Peru)

Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico)

Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

Petra (Jordan)

The Roman Colosseum (Rome, Italy)

I’ve had in my mind all this time that The Pyramid of Giza was a part of this list, but after a bit of research it turns out the pyramid received honorary status due to being the oldest and only surviving original Seven Wonders of The Ancient World. Since I’ve already visited Egypt and the Pyramids, I may try to go again, but it’s not at the top of my list.

Starting in June, on that exciting 36 hour visit to India, I’ve made it to the Taj Mahal, Petra, and Chichen Itza.  I’m off to the Great Wall of China in January, and am working on plans for Christ the Redeemer Statue and Machu Picchu for February.  That only leaves planning a trip to Rome for the Roman Colosseum, in April or May.

As I’ve made my way to each wonder, the history and story behind them is what has drawn me in and given me the desire to experience them entirely first hand.

Are you still curious about that 36 hour stint in June??  Stay tuned, I have plenty to share.  It was an eye-opener to say the least, full of adventure, enlightenment, and forgetfulness.

Dia de los Muertos Festivities

October 30-31, 2017–Mexico City, Mexico


Arriving a few days before Dia de los Muertos, the festivities were in full effect!  I was lucky enough to stay in the heart of the Centro District, right smack in the middle of all the excitement.  There was a festival to my right, and a festival to my left.  Food, costumes, decoration, vendors, all right outside my doorway.  A photographer and adventurers dream!

My absolute favorite part of it all??  Parents did NOT dress their children in cute elephant or teddy bear costumes, they were full on horrific!  From babies young enough to be in a stroller rocking the Chucky doll costume, to toddlers dressed as Harley Quinn and the IT clown.  Every time I saw a child in their spooky dress, a glorified smile crept across my face.

I was lucky to have picked an Airbnb located on Avenida Juárez, one of the main streets in Mexico City’s downtown, filled with extraordinary museums and the well-know Almeda Central Park. The city was busy!  Filled with tourists and locals alike, moving with no purpose in mind, just enjoying being in holiday mode!  The park was a sight to see, well decorated with lady skeleton statues in preparation for Day of the Dead.

To the right of my Airbnb was ‘Calle Madero,’ a bustling street, filled with shops, restaurants, historic buildings, and cathedrals.  In addition to the beauty, the street gave you the feeling of being on Hollywood Blvd. in LA; with the money hungry characters, gold and silver still statues, and homeless. The street led the way to the heart of Mexico City, the Zócalo. One of the world’s largest squares, the Zócalo was fully prepped and ready to celebrate Dia de los Muertos!

To the left of my Airbnb was a small festival with food vendors and stalls selling various Mexican souvenirs and skulls.  I couldn’t resist bargaining for a few creative hand carved skull women and painted head skulls.  I even managed to catch a small street parade full of bobbing skull heads! In these two days of exploring and taking in all the colors of Dia de los Muertos, I was in my element and fully embracing the cultures of Mexico City.

Welcome to Traveling-Trish

toesThis is it..It’s happening…

I’ve dreamed, visualized, and worked my tail off to get to this point…so here it is, MY FIRST OFFICIAL BLOG POST!  My greatest passions in life are now becoming real. No more dreaming or imagining, although I’m still pinching myself just to make sure.

First, let’s start with a little background about ME!  I bought my first DSLR in July of 2015.  I always knew I had a passion for photography, but I didn’t know the fire that would light inside of me from the moment I held it in my hands and started snapping photos like a mad woman.  At the time, I was spending my summer traveling through Southeast Asia; Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.  I have to admit, I had no idea what I was doing.  I had never touched a DSLR in my life, and I wasn’t even sure where to begin.  But anyone that knows me, knows I am persistent, and NEVER give up. This was the perfect opportunity to be surrounded by beauty and attempt to take amazing photos.  Well…..let’s be honest, average photos at best, considering my lack of knowledge.

In the two years I’ve had my DSLR, I’ve grown tremendously.  I’ve put in the work, done my research, completed courses, learned my camera, and have shot thousands of photos along the way.  I made the decision to quit my full-time job of teaching internationally and fully pursue my greatest passions in life; photography, travel, and writing.

57 countries later, here I am! A fire in my soul, making all of my dreams come true.

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