12 August 2009

Post Africa, Pre Apple... the BIG Apple.

Home Sweet Home.

So I’ve gotten numerous requests to do a “Post-Africa, Pre-New York Blog.” Not a bad idea, right?

It’s been a little less than a month since I’ve been home yet it feels like it has been only a few days. I still can’t believe how fast that trip went by. Coming home was definitely something. Aside from the dramatic change in weather, the extreme jetlag that lasted about a week and a half, I could honestly say the transition was not as bad as I expected. It’s nice to have the feeling of just being home and close to my family and friends again. I really missed my bed too. For the first couple of days home, I would literally sleep about fifteen hours a day because I was so exhausted from everything. I'm fully adjusted now, but then again, I have horrible sleeping habits... that's the what the summer is all about though.

I’ve probably said this so many times since coming home, but the trip really did change my life. Everyone I have talked to and had a deep conversation about what I did and went through, while in Africa, told me it was obvious that this trip impacted my life. There are just so many things that remind me of that place. One thing, for example... every time I notice the sky during sunset, it reminds me of the times I would be sitting out on my balcony with my roommates, just hanging out. You know, the times you don’t want to forget, but easily do. And man, those African sunsets were gorgeous, indescribably different from the ones in California. I miss them so much. I could write for days and day about how differently I look at things now, but let's not get into that.

All in all, the experiences of being there are only making my life here, in good ol’ America, much better. I am very appreciative of more things than I ever have been. We’re lucky to live in such a great, diverse, amazing, country. If I could preach one thing to all of you who read my blog, it would be to take advantage of being an American. Unlike many countries around the world, we have so many opportunities to travel. I remember talking to many of the locals I befriended in Africa, telling them to come visit me one day. It’s so much easier said than done for them. For them, as well as so many other countries, coming to America is probably one of the hardest things to do. But for us… get the cash, book the ticket, and you’re there. Where am I going with this? Take a break from working sometime, plan a trip, get some rest and relaxation… explore the world. It’s at your fingertips, why not?

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
- Nelson Mandela


So what’s next for Vino on a Voyage? (Cheesy, I know.)

New York, New York!

Photo by: =xxchange; deviantart.com

I really, honestly, shouldn’t even be going because I’m so broke, but I’m going anyways and I am extremely excited! This time, it has nothing to with school and I’m going with one of my best buddies, Chryssa. We’ve got a rough schedule of what we want to do, but who knows what will happen. For those of you interested, this is what we’ve got planned:

8/13: Depart from Orange County at 21:35

8/14: Check in to our hostel: 311 Times Square, Explore Times Square, New York Harbor Cruise @ 19:00

8/15: Rockafeller Center, Saint Patricks Cathedral, more city exploring

8/16: Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Little Italy/China Town, Possible Broadway Show!

8/17: Central Park Picnic, American Museum of Natural History, Ground Zero

8/18: Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, relax and hang around the city, last minutes shopping

8/19: Farewell lunch, depart to Orange County... Home!

Other than it being pretty expensive, I've heard so many good things about New York. I over-read, on a Facebook comment, that "NYC really is amazing... there's a charm about it that you won't find anywhere else." I guess I'll have to see for myself. Hopefully, I think the same.


Sorry Lys, I had to.

I just thought I'd take the time to say farewell and good luck to my buddy Elysabeth. She's leaving this Sunday to take on a four-month, full-immersion, study abroad program in Lyon, Fance. She's worked her bum off to make her trip possible and I can't express how excited and proud I am of her. Not only is she one of my best friends, she's the one who inspired me to start a blog... heck, she even helped me come up with my blog name. If you have the time, check hers out:


Anyways, good luck Rice Cake! You're going to have a blast out there! Just remember, don't get home sick, we'll all be here when you get back. Keep in touch though, ok!

I'll miss you.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading again, everyone. I'll have another post when I get back. So be ready!

Until next time,


PS. Shout-out to Western Michigan University! Thanks for reading my blog!


  1. Jeebus, Vino! I'm at work for another 45 minutes...I can't start turning on the water works now! BUT I really, really appreciate it. You have been very supportive of my travelling, money-making and just being there. Thanks :) I always love hanging out with you and we're really going to make this summer work. I may actually be addicted to travelling. Have a blast in New York...there's no doubt you will. (btw, that was my comment to Chryssa that you "over-read on Facebook") I love you so so SO much and will see you tonight. :( but :)

  2. Hey Mr. Alvin, awesome that you're back in the good ole U.S. of A!
    I'm sure your mommy is happy that you're safe and back home. OH BUT WAIT-NO not yet-You're in NEW YORK!!! GEEZ, I'm so envious. But seriously though, I'm happy for you as a friend that you are having a life changing summer. It was awesome running into you at the bank. Checking the pennies huh? Well I hope you know that running into me at the bank was no coincidence. MamaLu prayed over you! Keep up the wonderful blog and I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing lots of stories and pictures. BE Safe!