High By the Beach

As a novice traveller, I have yet to plow through my list of places I want to visit. It’s especially difficult when you’re on a tight budget, so I make up for it by taking short vacays, staycations, or road trips every now and then. I particularly enjoy unplanned trips because they create the most unforgettable memories. Trust me; I can pack my stuff in a matter of minutes. I also love it when a trip doesn’t go quite as planned, and yet something more exciting happens. There’s joy in not knowing what to expect when you travel, especially if you’re with friends who are willing to take that risk with you. Gaaaaah, I miss my home. :(

Speaking of travelling, I love, love, love being in the water. The only sport I’m willing to partake in is swimming. There’s something about being in (or on) the water that keeps me at peace. And so before summer ends, I made sure to plan a trip that would get me near the water. Thus, my friend and I spent Labor Day weekend at Lake Tahoe. To summarize our overall experience, WE LOVED IT! We frikkin love Tahoe, y’all! The locals are super nice; we discovered a few good restaurants; and…WATER SPORTS!

The first activity we did – which isn’t really a water sport – is parasailing. I must admit I didn’t really enjoy the experience because I’m scared of heights! The harness was a bit uncomfortable, and the height (350 ft. above the lake) was unsettling (for me, anyway)! But I still wanted to do it to hopefully overcome my fear of heights. Well, at least I know my friend was enjoying it. Lulz.

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Tip: This was at Ski Run Boat Company. To get away with cheaper parking fee(s), take advantage of the valet parking service as long as you spend some time inside Riva Grill. We love their cocktail drinks! I recommend the Bombasilberry and Lickme Lemon Drop.

We also did zip lining, which required us to take the Gondola up the mountain. Again, I know I’m supposed to be enjoying this but I can’t! I was terrified! Just to give you some perspective…

Surprisingly, though, I enjoyed zip lining very much.

Tip: This was at Heavenly Mountain Resort. There are two options for zip lining: Blue Streak Zip Line (3,300 ft. long/ 50 miles per hour) and Hot Shot Zip Line (1,000 ft. long/ 40 miles per hour). Tickets to the Blue Streak are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ticket booths open at 9 a.m., but people usually start lining up as early as 8 a.m. By the time we got there at 9:15-ish, the lines were already long. Tickets to Blue Streak were already sold out at around 9:45-ish, so we had to settle for the shorter zip line.

Lastly, we did my favorite water sport – jet skiing! I just love the adrenaline rush whenever I drive a jet ski.

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In other words, I go into beast mode when I drive this thang!

Overall, I had sooooooo much fun…all thanks to this gal!

Tanya and I before the shenanigans
Tanya and I before the shenanigans


Back to Blah

Hey, waddayaknow? It’s September 1st already – a date that signals a new beginning for a lot of people. The first day of a new month that alludes to the “-ber” months usually gets people excited for the holidays this early on – geez! But why am I talking about this particular day of the year as if it’s worth a 500-word blog entry? It’s to have a misleading intro to an otherwise nonsensical blog post.

Really. This blog entry, aptly titled “Back to Blah,” is my re-emergence to the blogosphere. The last time I blogged was eons ago. And, as I have done so in the past, I deleted my previous posts because of how terrible the writing was. Color me overcritical but I cringe every time I reread my posts. It’s a tough habit to break, and believe me, I’m working on it.

So, if you happen to come across this blog randomly, I am a wannabe struggling writer as you might have guessed. When I was first asked the perennial childhood question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I knew immediately how to answer. I’ve always wanted to become a writer, and I aspired to be one of those writers whose works will leave you mind-fucked in a good way.

It’s a work in progress. Right now, I’m working as a part-time editor/writer for a small, local newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon reassessing myself, I’ve come to realize that in the past year and three months, I have gone through different phases of being a writer:

  1. The testing-the-waters writer

When I first started writing for the above mentioned newspaper, I wrote my assigned mini-articles the way I was used to – firm, factual, monotonous. This particular newspaper is different in a sense that the writing is more creative than “news-y.” So I had to deviate from my usual writing style and adapt to the tone of our newspaper. It was a struggle at first, but I soon realized that I am simply learning a different way of doing things – and that writers don’t have to be inclined to just one style.

  1. The eager-to-prove-myself writer

Months later, I figured I should try easing my way in and start incorporating my writing style into my articles. By this time, my writing has evolved from my boring, ol’ style to a more personal, heartfelt tone. But that doesn’t mean I know any better; I still have a lot to learn, y’all! The key is to ASK for feedback, consider your editor’s sage advice, and take whatever pointers make sense so you can establish a style that works for you. Remember though that you’re not just writing for yourself; you also have to consider your readers. (#notetoself).

  1. The lazy-dazy editor

I must say that I have improved my craft since I started. I’m still not the writer that I want to be (more on that later), but as Hemingway (name drop much?) allegedly said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Now THAT’S what I wanna tell my 11-year-old self. Anyhoo, as months flew by, I became too complacent. I noticed I became self-assured with my editing that I failed to recognize the mistakes I was making. What once was an eager writer became a stagnant editor who stopped trying and learning and improving because she got lazy. Nothing challenged me anymore because I stopped (or maybe avoided) looking for tasks that would shake me to the core. So now I am getting back on track!

But fear not, aspiring writers. It’s not all that bad. If you’re not too sure as to what you want to pursue, just keep trying different things until you find your niche. I wish there was a Tinder app for choosing a career! I kid, I kid! Seriously, though, somebody should get started on that.

I’m hoping to put this writing thing to good use someday so that my future sagging self will have my 26-year-old self to thank.


by Poyan Maniego


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