What’s in my bag? Morocco

14 days. From chilly Oslo to Marrakech, all around Morocco – to coastal Essaouira, the vibrant Sahara desert, chilly Atlas Mountains, and then back to Los Angeles through Copenhagen. Temps vary in Morocco from extremes day to night, and since it’s a Muslim country I packed in light, covered layers. Shoving it all into my Osprey & trying to save room for the invertible souk shopping tempting me there.

morocco packing

Clothing: 4 pants (jeans, yoga pants, nifty warm weather running pants), 6 tops/tunics, 1 sweater, 1 jacket, my vacation-hair-cop-out fedora hat, thick socks, light gloves, a scarf (for weather, for conservativeness), 3 shoes – ankle boots, running shoes, sandals.

Electronics: NO computer! (hah take that, work), phone, charger, external battery, iPhone Olloclip, Bose noise canceling headphones

Misc: snacks (duh), book, sunnies, cross body, meds, toiletries, a lock, and a necklace to dress up those 6 plain tees.

Ma’a as-salama… See y’all in Africa!



Poor But Sexy – Berlin Vibes

Ah, Berlin…

Biergarten in Kreuzberg, Berlin phyllthis

“Berlin ist arm, aber sexy”
“Berlin is poor but sexy” as they say. (they = their mayor, Klaus Wowereit)

Victor Ash astronaut mural street art Berlin phyllthis

This quirky little city is full of character, streets vibrant with graffiti and art, clubs pulsing with live music all night long (literally, till noon the next morning).

sunrise in Berlin phyllthis

The city is diverse, (largest Turkish population outside of Turkey) the food is cheap, the beer is good.

East Side Music Days Berlin phyllthis

biergarten Berlin phyllthis

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Yosemite: A Land Frozen in Time

When life hands you lemons, and your mind spins into a tizzy about leaving your beloved home state before you’re ready…. you hop in a car and go on an impromptu adventure.
<insert cheesy John Muir quote here>

Glacier Point Yosemite Valley phyllthis

Land of towering cliffs, iridescent mountains, fields of Sierras, and sparkling lakes. Birds soar and hum overhead while hikers ascend switchbacks, pausing every so often to catch their breath and take in the view. The infamous landscape transforms throughout the day as the sun & clouds drift, kissing the mountains with their soft rosy hues.

Tenaya Lake Yosemite phyllthis

It was an completely spontaneous trip (but aren’t those the best ones?) within 36 hours we went from zero to out the door. And it was a short – a 2.5 day shotgun mission, where it seemed like we managed to do almost everything wrong.

So here are my notes – a brain dump of tips and advice for my future self. And pretty pictures (duh)

Panorama Trail Hike in Yosemite Valley phyllthis

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Link Line Up

Wow, how is it late July already… this summer’s been flying by & I haven’t even hopped around the country like I usually do.  Anyways, some links I’ve been sitting on:

I paint music. Completely fascinating!

phyllthis - I Paint Music Synethesia

The artist’s interpretation of Soulive’s Interlude II

More (& more) proof that Taipei is one of the best places!

This track’s been looping on repeat lately.

YES – I used to spend hours just coloring & drawing line/protractor designs. Proof that it’s a soothing, therapeutic activity.

Some tangible advice on how to kick your butt in gear.

Also! Since I’ve been in my new LA apartment, I’ve been elbow-deep in design blogs & have a million ideas floating around (hah, and probably only a handful actually in fruition)

IKEA malm dresser hack

This DIY transformation is my absolute favorite!

More idea: Overlays to elevate your furniture | A little wallpaper goes a long way | Obsessed with this Ikea transformation | DIY agate drawer pulls | call me trendy but I’m loving these macrame hangings | An awesome, extensive list of IKEA hacks


Cartagena’s Doors

phyllthis in Cartagena Colombia

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I was here… living life’s been getting in the way of writing about life… but, c’est la vie.

phyllthis fruitstands in Cartagena Colombia

phyllthis walls of Cartagena, Colombia

Anyways, Cartagena – located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is better told through photos anyways. It’s mainly an old colonial city, the Walled City, that is probably the most touristy city of Colombia. Next to the Walled City lays Getsemani – a grungier sort of more hipster area of town.

phyllthis murals of Getsemani in Cartagena Colombia

Getsemani street art

phyllthis street art in Getsemani, Cartagena Colombia

Don’t expect to lounge around any beaches in Cartagena… they’re all pretty crummy, but luckily there are many tiny boats that will take you out to the islands (main one being Isla de Rosario). Of course, you should head over to Santa Marta & trek out into Tayrona National Park to beach it up properly (longer post on that later.. plenty of logistics there).

phyllthis in Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia

But mostly Cartagena is full of beautiful chalk-colored buildings, local ladies selling fruit, so much humidity & THE best door knockers ever! Seriously guys, I should’ve taken more photos of them & just made a coffee table book out of them or something haha.

doorknockers in Cartagena, Colombia phyllthis

phyllthis walls of Cartagena, Colombia Continue reading