Hanging With the Galapagos Turtles

This page is a combination of my two passions - traveling and learning new things. These travel logs are interspersed with coding tidbits and programming revelations while either piranha fishing on the Amazon or eating guinea pigs in the Andes.

First Glimpse of the Amazon

Dream Come True

Photo Credits to Charlotte Newell

Ever since I was young, I had dreamed about going to the Amazon. Something about the river always made me imagine of adventure - of trekking through the jungle in search of a lost city. My grandfather used to buy me National Geographic magazines when I first learned to read and I remember staring at the pictures and cutting out the ones of the Amazon to tape up all over my wall, to the frustration of my parents. As I got older, My room was covered with world maps, each map marked with circles of where I would someday travel, always a big black line tracing the Amazon.

And there it was. The Amazon.

The section we were flying over was winding, brown, and languid, stretching as far as the eye could see with nothing but tropical canopy to match.

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From Lima to the Amazon

Virtual cats become dangerous

I am almost a week into my trip in Peru and I have yet to write a blog post about it! I never know how to start, should I write about reccommendations of where to go? Or should I just focus solely on Ruby and make a few mentions about Peru. I guess a blend of the two would be best. Then there’s the struggle of finding time to write. My travel partner and I are always on the go, whether we’re exploring Lima or trying new food.

Ruins of Huaca Pucllana - ancient, pre-incan ruins which exist in the middle of Miraflores. It is a singularly odd experience to stand on ruins dating back to the first century C.E. while surrounded by high rise banks and apartments (Charlotte Newell)

The first five days we were in Lima, the capital city of Peru. I had packed for a full on winter with long underwear, fleece layers, wool socks, etc. only to find myself sweating in long pants and a T-shirt by noon. The weather is noticeably different from my hometown in Naples, Florida. Instead of constant sun, Lima has constant cloud cover. Clouds that loom low over the city and make it impossible to determine if it’s raining or if you’re constantly walking around in damp, ground-level clouds.

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Upcoming Trip to South America

How I coped with leaving my family and beginning my 2 month trip exploring South America - through code!

And so it has begun! My friend Charlotte and I have boarded our flight for Lima, the capital of Peru. Saying goodbye to my family and extended family brought tears to my eyes.

My own cat picture

I couldn’t help but feel bittersweet as we drove out of my driveway towards the airport, leaving my family waving at the doorstep of the house. Going on big trips is always bittersweet for me, I always hate saying goodbye to those I love but at the same time I can’t wait for another adventure to begin. For me, there is nothing like new sites to see and new experiences to be had, all the while meeting new and interesting people.

Like most other people on the internet, I’m obsessed with my cat. She is my pride and joy, even if she can be a bit peevish sometimes. I swear, with the rate of cat pictures being uploaded daily, the percentage of Mr. Whiskers pictures might surpass the amount of porn to be found on the web.

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Upcoming Trip to South America

How I am going to keep track of everything

I am counting down the days until I board my flight to the captial of Peru!! I wrote a small program that will display my statement of purpose, my itinerary, and how many more days I have left until my return flight. Since Archer is one of my favorite TV shows, I often run my programs under the name of Woodhouse and he is incredibly helpful. In this blog post I’ve linked my incredibly simple program to github so you guys can take a look! The beginning was easy. I tried to use a little bit of everything I’ve learned in the first ten chapters of Learn to Code by Chris Pine.

I used my first array:

options = [['Statement of Purpose'],
                  ['Itinerary'           ],
                  ['Days Left '       ]]
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My Arsenal

In about a week I will be taking a one way flight to Lima, Peru armed with nothing more than a daypack and the smallest Dell Chromebook I have ever seen. For the past month before my trip I have been familiarizing myself with the chromebook and with Chris Pine’s Learn to Program (second edition).

Thanks Pine!

The Technology: Dell CRM3120-1667BLK 11.6" Chromebook

This has been my favorite laptop that I have ever used. Granted, I haven’t used more than probably 3 clunky old laptops but I can gaurantee that this is undoubtably my favorite. It’s small, fast, spill proof (incredibly important when it comes to me), and it isn’t loaded down with stupid and unecessary programs. All this for the price $199.99 on Amazon which makes it a steal unless you’re planning to use it for gaming…but I don’t know much about that since I’m all about the Xbox.

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Introduction to the Traveling Code

The beginning of Traveling Code

The Sahara on camelback

Life is full of surprises. Four years ago, if I was told that one day I would be writing a travel blog about coding, I would have laughed. Four years ago I was herding cows in the Atlas mountains in Morocco, living with the Berber people in a tiny village that didn’t have running water, let alone internet or computers. Even up to a couple of months ago I hadn’t the slightest idea of what coding entailed or what Ruby even was…

One night, a good friend of mine started pitching the idea of coding over a couple of beers. It was cold outside and the two tankards of Blue Moon had warmed me up to the idea of learning a computer language. After all, I thought, I am a linguistics student, learning a computer language can’t be all that difficult after my experiences learning languages such as Chinese and Russian. Boy, was I wrong. Read on →