Unplug LA and Beers @ the Marathon

Time, again, flies by with the blink of an eye. I’m finishing my final assignments for the quarter and flying out to Boston in merely a few days! Aside from incredible learning and studying, two events I attended in the last two weeks in different capacities really stood out.

Firstly, two friends and I attended UNPLUG LA, supported by Digital Detox, which is an evening of fun without technology. How is that possible???  You may ask. Well, let me tell you. It’s possible because you literally have to check in your phone at the reception before going into the venue.

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Unplug LA was a celebration for the National Day of Unplugging. Unfortunately much of our society has become one that has to consciously take time to unplug to recognize the fun without technology, the conversations without being able to instagram, tweet, or take notes on our phone and even writing without a computer. During this event, I got my face painted, made friendship bracelets (what a throwback to elementary school!), and even wrote letters on an old school type writer and sent it back home to my family. We also ended the night with a dance party with Magic Giants – a great pop folk band. Shout out to bringing us that great music and atmosphere!

My favorite part of the event was the conversations I had with my friends and strangers. As we drank wine and braided strings for bracelets, we picked conversation starters from a mason jar. These ranged from humorous questions, to deep tell-me-about-your-whole-life-story questions. Out of all the questions, the one that took a while for my friends and I to answer was “if you could take back one day in history, what would it be?”

We had trouble with this question because it could be interpreted so many ways! Was it history in terms of the world? History in terms of our lives? We got personal and went with our own lives. Need less to say, we got to know each other much better after that! In my future home, you can be sure I’ll have a mason jar full of quirky yet intense questions on a daily basis. So future friends, be on the look out for that jar and be prepared to get deep at the Ninja Fort!

LA Marathon – March 15, 2015

As you may or may not have heard, the LA marathon was this past Sunday. As this is my first year in LA, thus, first LA marathon experience and it sure was one of the best! I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with Hostelling International Santa Monica at the Beer Garden hosted at 2nd and Santa Monica Blvd.

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Yesterday combined two of my passions: connecting with strangers (especially those who had the courage and motivation to run 26.2 miles), and volunteering for HI (to be a part of supporting their mission). HI-Santa Monica is an official charity for the LA Marathon and this year, all the beer purchase “proceeds benefit HI USA travel scholarship & education programs. Creating global citizens through the power of travel”.

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It was a busy day at the Beer Garden with runners and spectators alike enjoying the beer and sunshine. To witness all the runners of all ages limping around as well as seeing their emotions sway in between excitement and exhaustion was inspirational to say the least. It was my absolute honor to be able to meet and congratulate everyone who ran. To see a genuine smile on their face as we exchanged brief words throughout the day left me feeling remarkable, inspired, and once again, motivated me to continue to live my life for each and every moment I can make someone smile.

Despite my personal exhaustion at the end of the day, I cannot complain nor compare myself with the thousands who pushed themselves to their absolute limit simply to cross the finish line. I can’t say I will ever run a marathon, but I do hope to participate in an obstacle race of some sort in the following year. Congrats again to all of the runners yesterday, and I hope to see you all next year at the Beer Garden once again!

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