Urban Exploration

Photo credit to startribune.com

Just the other day I was browsing some dank memes on Reddit.

I got really bored so I went to “reddit.com/r/random/” which directs the user to a random subreddit.

After three attempts I finally stumbled upon a decent-looking subreddit that I had never even heard of: /r/urbanexploration.

I spent the rest of my evening on that subreddit. The subreddit is dedicated to exploring ruins in urban areas. It’s all about people’s findings of abandoned monuments frozen in time.

Spanning from secret basement doorways that lead to a massive tunnel system that were likely used by Al Capone, to old Yugoslavian monuments from the 1960s.

Photo credit to Michael Mehrhoff

The subreddit is mostly crap, but every few posts is an amazing story. The stories are really just a bunch of captioned pictures in the order of their findings.

My favorite was the post titled “Bad Ass Bunker.” The album is a series of 31 pictures with detailed captions.

The person who explored the bunker was visiting his old friend in northern Germany, which was formerly GDR.

They found a massive bunker. Some of it was already explored and had been tagged by teens. But the further and deeper they went, the more they found.

Eventually, the bunker was flooded and they had to turn back.

Photo credit to Johnny Joo

Urban explorers find a thrill in going through these abandoned buildings. Some even travel around the world.

They love it because the building tells a story and they get to be the ones to figure it out. Like what is this place, who was here, why was it abandoned?

Urban explorers are each like a modern-day Indiana Jones. Some of the explorers are photographers that actually take photos of abandoned places for a living.

Photo credit to Daniel Barter

For those who want to get started, the subreddit is a great place to get advice and learn of new locations.

Keep in mind, in most cases breaking into abandoned places is trespassing, and a lot of people on the subreddit have been arrested.

But there are websites that can be found on the subreddit that help avoid this issue.

Have you tried it?

Some people believe that horseback riding is easy, that all you do is sit on the horse and it works for you.

Let me tell you from experience that horseback riding is not an easy thing to do.

Now, before I continue on why horseback riding is so difficult – let me explain my interest.

As a junior, I decided to try something different.

So I enrolled in my schools equestrian program; specifically the Western riding program.

Being that there was just one other male in equestrian before I joined – many students thought that it was a more feminine sport.

Now, let me prove that thought wrong.

First of all, riding is based on the idea that a rider, who weighs no more than 300 pounds, is trusting his 1000 plus pounds of pure mass to carry him.

Granted, most riders do trust their horses – accidents happen and riders fall. It’s basically guaranteed in horseback riding.

Photo Credit: “www.dauphinhorsemanship.com”

It also requires skill and patience. According to The Top Tens, horseback riding is definitely one of the hardest sports.

Like most sports, horseback riding can’t just be learned form a video or from books. Where horseback riding differs from other sports is that the rider needs to feel and understand every movement the horse makes underneath him.

If you’re riding Western like I am then the rider has to control his horse with the shift of body weight, leg positioning, and precise touches to the reigns. One wrong move and you can end up on the ground.

Photo Credit: “static1.squarespace.com”

There are so many details to horseback riding, not including all the other styles, that I just can’t get into it in this blog.

Point being, don’t judge a sport by what is looks like, find out for yourself and you might just enjoy it.



Tim Burton

Tim Burton has always been my favorite director. 

From the first time I saw Nightmare Before Christmas I knew I loved his style.   Burton’s dark and quirky genre of film has attracted many fans, including me, over the years.

The thing that always appealed to me about his work, is that no matter how dark the colors and the characters may be, the movie always seems so bright. 

Take Edward Scissorhands, for example. This movie terrified me the first time I saw it, 7-year-old me would cling to my mother at the sight of a transformed Johnny Depp.

As I got older, I began to look past the frightening front of this movie to the much deeper meaning found in it. 

Edward Scissorhands was much more than a bizarre story about a man with scissors for hands.  It was about isolation and self discovery, and I learned so much from it. 

Movies have always been a constant in my life. 

Whenever I was sad, angry or just felt alone, the eccentric and beautiful characters of Tim Burton would fill me with laughter and joy. 

I related to his characters so deeply – so much they’ve almost became apart of me.

In my life, I’ve always been considered an outsider, I’ve done my own thing and been happy while doing it. 

When I started high school things began to change.  If you weren’t like every other girl in the school you were suddenly weird. 

Not fitting in is an age-old story, especially for teenage girls, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.  I was different, and I knew that, except suddenly it didn’t feel so great.

 Naturally, I turned the imagination of Tim Burton.  His characters are almost always outsiders, look at Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice or Sally from Nightmare before Christmas. 

These two outsiders both have huge hearts and make a difference to the people around them.  That’s what I strive to be. 

While I know I’ll probably never be a Tim Burton character (though Tim if you’re reading this, call me), I know, no matter how weird or different I may be, I can make a difference.

And that’s what I’ve learned from Tim Burton.

Photo Credit to: http://www.d2fzf9bbqh0om5.cloudfront.net