Nostalgia

Yo it is hittin’ me…

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Hey friends,

I hope you all have surviving the winter weather and are hoping for warmer days just like I am. Since I have been back in the swing of things, it has been hitting me harder and harder everyday just how much I miss being in Ireland and all my travels. Don’t get me wrong… I love being back home and being surrounded by all my favorite people. But sometimes I almost have to remind myself that I spent the first half of my school year on a different continent. I sincerely miss it and ask “Did that even happen?” to my sister Megan, who had her own trip the Emerald Isle a few years back.

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Have you ever realized that the time and place of an event in your life, is strongly correlated to the music you just happened to be listening to at the same time? I think one of the reasons I’m deep in the nostalgia is because of a song or rather album, that I just listened to again for the first time since Ireland, and it just brought me right back. On some rainy day in like October I think, I was doing work with my forever gal pal, Courtney and this song came on my Spotify that immediately caught my attention. It completely changed the game. The artist was Daniel Caesar, and the song was Best Part (ft. H.E.R).

One of my favorite artists ever is Chance the Rapper, and I had just discovered a video of a new unreleased track performed by Chance ft. Daniel Caesar on Stephen Colbert’s show. The song was phenomenal and is now titled “First World Problems”. While I was loving the song, I was also loving Caesar and wanted to check out his music. So while I was just listening to his songs as background music, Best Part made a lasting impression on me, followed by the rest of the album.

Anyway lol, the song came on while I was jamming out in the car with Meg and it just hit me. Damn, I really miss Ireland. I used to play the album on repeat and walk my way to campus nearly every single day.

Just wanted to update y’all lol but I hope you’ve all been enjoying life!!

P.S. Heres First World Problems for anyone who hasn’t had a listen before this.

See ya soon,

Dev

 

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Connemara

A trip with a thousand views…

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Happy New Year friends!!

Hello, hello, I hope all is well and that you have all enjoyed the holiday season. With the cold weather upon us, I have been reminiscing about the warmer weather and beautiful views that were rather prosperous in Ireland! One place that immediately comes to mind?

Connemara, west of Galway.

This gorgeous place offered both my friends and family a number of breathtaking views along a winding road that seemed to never end. It was our first trip as a group in early September and it renewed our love and excitement for traveling abroad in such a magical place. After being stuck in a loop of going to school and town, it was a refreshing change of pace and a reminder to adventure out into the unknown.

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When my family visited in the late November, I was determined to take them out to Connemara as well, so that they may enjoy the amazing views that I witnessed a few months earlier. To my surprise, we took another route that took us on a path I hadn’t experienced before and the views were even more mesmerizing.

We experienced four seasons in a day and took a thousand pictures to try and capture something unbelievable. It’s honestly too hard to describe, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

 

In the mean time, I’m going to go move my laundry along and live my now very normal and uneventful life lol

 

See ya soon,

Dev

 

Aran Islands- Inishmore

All the islands in Ireland are magical…

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Hello, hello, hello,

Before we start, I’ll have you know I’m writing this one handed as my cat Olive, is sleeping in my lap and has pinned down my other arm. She doesn’t seem to mind too much…

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She’s snoring…

Anyway, it’s been quite an adjustment being back home but the nostalgia has yet to hit so we’re doing okay… for now. I had some time today before shopping with my mom so I  figured it would be a good time for a blog post and some reminiscing.

Way back in September, ya know, when the trees still had leaves and Summer was only just biding us farewell, we took a trip to the lovely Aran Islands. I had heard enough to know that to travel here was well worth the visit and was stunning when the sun was shining. Though we may not have had a cloudless sky, the day was perfect all the same.

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We ferried our way over from the docks of Connemara, and from there we set out to bike around the island. We rode past endless rock walls, livestock who were pleased to make new friends, and the gorgeous shores of the Atlantic. This was one of the first times I realized just how lucky I was to be in a place like this. Definitely had some tears well up in the eyes but it could’ve been a combination of the overwhelming beauty and the wind rushing at my face as we biked lol To be determined.

As we biked up and down feeling rather tired, we stopped for some lunch at this little cottage at the foot of the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa. The plan was to hike up to it after our lunch to see a view that was worth the walk.

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They had some bomb lasagna there, not gonna lie.

After eating our fair share we began our trek up the hill and I was not wearing the proper shoes, but when am I ever. We get to the top and my goodness was the ankle twisting walk up there worth it. It was this magnificent view stretching out over the Atlantic. With the greenest land and steepest cliffs, we tentatively moved over to the edge and peered down to the bottom to see the bright blue water crashing on the rocks. We explored around and took in the sights, all thrilled to be there. How could you not be happy with a view like this.

Though I nearly twisted my ankles, and definitely had the most cardio exercise that day than I had all summer, I loved every second of my adventure there. Alright… maybe the nostalgia is starting to set in lol

Hope y’all had a lovely adventure today.

See ya,

Dev

The end of a great adventure

They’re not lying when they say that time flies when you’re having fun…

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Today is December 15th, 2017, and tomorrow marks the end of my journey abroad. I would be lying to you if I said I was fine and wasn’t about to cry tears into my chai latte. Truthfully it doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t feel right, and it feels like I just got here. But I would also be lying to you if I didn’t say I wasn’t excited to go home. I’ve just got a lot of feelings.

I have to apologize, my blogging skills have been lacking this entire trip, but can you blame me? I mean c’mon, I was a little busy exploring the world! So in this blog post, I will be sharing my overall thoughts and feelings about my entire time here. And in the blog posts to come, I will dedicate them to some of my favorite spots and adventures to get you all caught up on my travels. Sound fair? Cool.

Wow, wow, wow I don’t even know where to start..

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Okay first of all, if you’re reading this and have the chance to study abroad, I STRONGLY urge you do to so. This experience has been one of the best times of my life. It’s been the first time I’ve ever been completely on my own for so long and with out the immediate comfort of those I love. It’s a strange feeling realizing you can’t run into your roommates room to talk about a problem, or catch a bus back home to spend the weekend with your family.

For me, I made sure this time alone and this journey was just for me. For the past three years at school, a lot of my time was spent in a rather toxic environment. While there were those who I loved and who helped support and lift me up, it got to a point where all I wanted and needed to do, was get the hell out of there. It took me a while to understand that all you can do for yourself to take care of yourself, is to separate yourself from all of the things that weigh you down. It takes a tediously long amount of time but its necessary. And frankly, I’m pretty sure my whole being and spirit got like ten times brighter so if you have people in your life trying to act like they’ll be there for you, but aren’t, do yourself the favor of cutting them out. You’ll be so much happier, speaking from my experience.

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So! I did it!! I studied abroad and damn what an experience it has been. For the past year I spent countless hours researching, making phone calls, sending emails, and dreaming of the possibility of studying abroad. I faced one too many challenges and nearly gave up at least twice, but all that craziness led to a journey that I couldn’t be more grateful for. And now I am crying into my finished chai latte but its true. This opportunity has helped shape me into the person I’m striving to become. I’ve cried out of frustration, have traveled to places I never thought I would see, I’ve pushed away my fears of failure, and I’ve proven myself in more ways than one. But I think the thing I’ve experienced the most that I will be forever grateful for, have been all the smiles I have shared with new friends, and at all the beauty I’ve seen in this world. If you know me, one of my favorite things in life is sunlight. And if you know Ireland, you’d know how scarce that is. But here the air is so much clearer and the clouds are so much brighter. So when the sun did shine, it was almost blinding but nonetheless perfect. And I think the universe decided to smile down on me today cause there isn’t a cloud in the sky here.

I think a lot of people think that going abroad or going away will just be a piece of cake and the whole time will be all sunshine and roses. While that is definitely something that happens and occurs, there are a lot of roadblocks that pop up that you may not be expecting. School for one, is still a pain in the ass. Unless you’ve come abroad to just do whatever and you don’t have any grades coming back to your GPA, you still have to do well in school. FUN FACT: College in Ireland is nothing like College at home. From the class schedules, to the grading system, it was a journey all in itself trying to solidify a schedule. But if you just try your best and don’t give up completely, you’ll be just fine. C’s get degrees right?…

Not only do you have to deal with College, you’re thrown into an environment you’ve never been in before with people you’ve never known. You’re essentially isolated while being surrounded by a ton of people. If you’re lucky though, you’ll end up making some great friends. More importantly, you’ll make contacts to hit up again when you want to spontaneously come back for a week and need a friendly face to stay with. But also the great friends. I was given the opportunity to meet so many new people with amazing lives, who taught me things about myself I never would’ve known. No one from home (except my family who visited me) will know what this has been like. The friends I’ve made here though, they’ll be the people I’ll always share this experience with.

I’ve never been one to be extremely adventurous. I’ve always done what I’ve been good at, and have been fine with that. But here… I’ve walked miles, stood under historic monuments, tried all types of food, have danced till dawn, have held a baby sheep, and have seen the Atlantic from atop a great mountain. I have traveled to 3 different countries, seen the sunrise and fall from above the clouds, and have laughed with great people.

This time has meant everything to me and I will surely miss it. Please do this if you have the chance. Please travel to a new place if you can. Please meet a new face if there is ever the opportunity.

Don’t do it for anyone else, just do it for yourself. I’m happy I did.

Thank you Galway, for everything. I’ll be back.

 

Sliánte,

Dev

The Emerald Isle

Hello Friends,

My, my its been far too long. Sorry for the delay in posts but I’m back now with some exciting news, events and adventures to tell! Today will just be a recap of whats been going on but I hope you all have been well and I can’t wait to tell you what I’ve been up to. IMG_3906.JPG

Well first things first, I’m currently writing this blog post, on this glorious September day, tucked away in an oversized sweater with some tea in the beautiful city of Galway, Ireland. That’s right, ya girl is back in the Emerald Isle studying abroad for the next 3 months and is living her best life.

Technically I’ve been here for the past three weeks, but as you can imagine, it has been a bit hectic and exciting- so sitting down for a blog post was put on the back burner for a bit. But now that I’m here, let me take some time to reflect on how I’ve been getting on.

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I really just love my parents 

My parents and I left for Boston on August 28th with two large suitcases, a stomach of nerves and a bottle of wine waiting for me on the plane. As it was my first time traveling alone, we all had our reservations, but my parents overwhelming amount of love, support, and kindness made it all seem okay. We made it to the airport in what seemed like no time and I could’ve sworn I was about ready to jump ship. It only took 30 mins before I was through check- in and then I was to the point where my parents could join me no further on my journey. So with a tearful picture and a dozen hugs, I said goodbye to the two people who mean everything to me.

Fast forward to now:

I’m staying in the lovely, picturesque city of Galway Ireland. An artsy, colorful place on the west side of the country thats brimming with national and international life. Studying at NUI Galway, I live in Gort na Coiribe student village which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the campus and to the heart of the city. Me and 6 other girls are here together through our program which has led to numerous adventures, laughs, and late night takeout. But it works out well since we walk an average of 4-5 miles a day traveling around the city and walking to class!

Say hello to the CEA crew:

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Top row: Natalie, Lana, Alexandra, Clare     Bottom row: Savanna, Courtney, and Me

We’ve all had a blast getting to know one another these past couple of weeks and luckily, we all live in the same village which is perfect for some movie marathons, ordering takeout from our favorite places and watching marathons on RuPaul’s Drag Race (a new fav of mine)

I’m still getting situated in this new life but I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier. Ya know that feeling you get in your chest when you see something just overwhelmingly beautiful? Yeah I have that at least once a day, and low-key cry over the beauty of this magical land of sheep and accents.

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Theres so much to do here and for such little money. The Irish are magical, especially in their ability to go out every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. No weekend parties or jaunts to the clubs/ bars. No just weekdays, which I can assure you, confused the hell out of us Americans (who thrive on the Thursday- Saturday night life). But along with that, theres bus tours that stretch the coast, countless cafes and coffee shops, live music whoever you go and plenty of places to eat. I’ve had my fair share of crepes, pastries, chai lattes, beer, pie, and fish n’ chips to last a life time… but you know I’m gonna eat so much more.

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What a beaut…

But anyway, in my next couple of blog posts, I’ll tell you all about the adventures we’ve had in the past three weeks and I’ll be sure to stay on top of blogging at least once a week to keep y’all updated.

In the meantime, I hope you all have an exciting adventure today, and I’ll talk to ya soon.

See ya,

DevProcessed with VSCO with c6 preset

Culture Shock 2k17

Everyone who’s anyone ( who goes to SUNY Purchase ) knows what Culture Shock is…

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Hey guys,

It’s that time of year again. Where everyone is drowning in finals, the weather has no idea what to do, and Culture Shock weekend is upon us! If you do not go to SUNY Purchase, culture shock is a two day music festival held on our campus. There’s live music almost all day, carnival rides, food trucks, tons of activities, and free shit (my fav).

Along with the main stage acts, which are posted above, Culture Shock also has a side stage!

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Located at Whitson’s in The Stood (student center) on campus, many of Purchase’s finest will be taking the stage to share their music with their peers! Among the line up posted above, is the amazing band Cherry. As a member of Purchase’s Arts Management Club, we are planning to start a blog series focused on artists on Purchase’s campus for the following academic year! To start things off with a teaser of what the blog is going to look like, I had the awesome opportunity of sitting down and talking with Marina Espinet who is the lead singer and creator of the band Cherry, who will be playing tonight!

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, NYC based singer-songwriter Espinet attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts. In high school, Espinet wasn’t sure how to put her band together especially with the idea of having a full band to play her music. An old friend gave her the push to find the players that would then make up her band Cherry.

The name of the band was inspired by a few very important things to Espinet. Pin-up fashion played a large role in Espinet’s fashion and lifestyle when she discovered it at the age of 15. One symbol of pin-up fashion is a cherry, so it only seemed fit to include that in her band. Another inspiration was Amy Whinehouse’s song Cherry, about her acoustic guitar.  Hesitant with the name at first, she finally decided to stick with it when she realized the success of other one word named bands/artists. “If an artist like Future can be come successful, then Cherry can to.” claimed Espinet in my interview with her.

Pulling music and vocal inspiration from artists such an Amy Whinehouse, David Bowie, and Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground, she enjoys portraying her self unapologetically whether it’s being a badass or showing her more vulnerable side. Though she doesn’t put her music into one genre, Espinet believes Cherry falls under the Rock genre with sub genres like funk rock and blues rock. With jazz and pop influences as well, she enjoys the sound of todays mainstream radio with artists like Hiatus Kaiyote and she feels her music is able to spread a wide field of genres.

 

Through her music, Espinet looks to tell an “untold story of a woman” and always uses honesty in her lyrics. She looks to connect with those who identify with femininity and celebrate who she is as a woman. Main singer and leader of the band, Espinet enjoys the company of her talented musicians and loves to receive help of her band. Current members include Marco Gill on drums, Carey Ozmun on trumpet, Eial Kestelman on trombone, David Millen on jazz guitar, and has worked with bassists such as Sean Power, Evan Lawrence, and Colin Dooman. Though currently a studio composition major, Espinet is grateful for the time she spent as a jazz student as well. Along with the theory she learned, the number of connections she made through the conservatory and through other schools was unparalleled and something she will always be thankful for.

Along with her supportive friends, Espinet is grateful for all the support given to her by teachers such as Beatriz Martiz-Ruiz, Peter Malinverni, Charles Blenzig and Rebecca Haviland through her time in the Music Conservatory.

Her latest project Like a Lady dropped in August of 2016 and is available on sound cloud currently and will be available on all streaming services soon. But in the mean time, check them out live at a couple of their upcoming shows!

May 4th – Acoustic Set at the Planned Parenthood benefit at SUNY Purchase 

May 4th – Taco’s Shack in New Paltz, NY

May 5th – Steer Roast at MIT in Boston, MA

May 12th – Temple Fest @ SUNY Purchase (check Facebook for upcoming details)

May 19th – The Bitter End @ 11:30 in New York, NY

To here more of Cherry, check out their website at cherrymusicnyc.com or through lacherrycita on instagram!

Catch Marina and her band Cherry tonight on side stage in The Stood at 8pm!

I’ll be there, will you?

See ya soon,

Dev

Steppin’ outside my comfort zone

Everyone needs a little push outside of their comfort zone right?

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Hello friends,

So for those of you who know me, I’m a pretty vibrant, extroverted performer who is rather comfortable on stage or behind a camera. This past weekend I took part in S.O.C.A’s 14th annual fashion show All Around The World! and let me tell you, it was exciting.

My friend Caiti was the one who got me to audition for it with her. Though reluctant at first, I thoroughly enjoyed my time and can’t thank her enough for making me do it. She is a badass on stage and it was so fun to cheer her on. What’s really nice is that we became so much closer through this experience and she is someone I’ll always have around in my life. We are the kind of friends who listen to stories till 2 in the morning, push each other to try new things, and embrace change. Who doesn’t love that?

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When I told people I had rehearsal and what not, a lot of them would say “rehearsal to do what? Walk?” and though it sounds funny, yeah we had to learn how to walk. There was so much that went into the show and the amount of time we spent learning formations was crazy. You gotta learn how to strike a damn fine pose, how to walk and turn, how to use your entire body, pose for pics, all while remembering the formation. Though it may sound super simple, it takes a minute to get it right.

The day of the show came and I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous to get up on stage.  Frankly, a fashion show can do a couple things. It can either make you feel like a Queen slaying the stage, can make you feel self conscious about the fact that people are going to be judging your every move, or it can be a combination of both. For me, it was a combo.

I was completely feeling my self up there…

*Photos by Tevin Tinto*

But at the same time, it is really hard not to pick at all my flaws at the same time. You’re standing in a dressing room trying on clothes that either fit or they don’t and staring in mirrors noticing everything that you may want to tweak and change about yourself. You compare yourself to others and maybe wish you looked a little different.

It was a tough place to be in but coming out of it, it forced me to recognize that, I really enjoy who I am. There are always things to work on but I’m grateful for the fact that I was surrounded by such a body positive group of people. Every one of those models and students I walked with were such supportive people, and would always cheer you on no matter what.

So I walked with pride and did my thing and people cheered my name. I just felt good ya know? It was a scary, powerful, and thrilling experience… but I hope to do it again soon.

Let’s all jump out of our comfort zones, shall we?

See ya soon,

Dev