interesting finds in an interesting city

Once in a while you discover new things about a place that’s considered as somewhere that’s “always just been there.” You ignore it without realizing how beautiful and actually great it is. That’s my relationship with Denver. I’ve always seen Denver as a place to layover when I’m headed home, or when I’m leaving home. Despite the many different times I have been in this city, I’ve never actually gone past the airport. I almost somehow have it memorized better than any other airport in the world. Landing and taking off, I would often think how ugly and empty Denver seemed.  Turns out, the actual city proper is a half hour or more away, and I’ve just been viewing the almost secluded “ugly and empty” landing strip.

One of my best friends(ew) Ricardo, decided that he is turning himself into a “traveler” and will now be going to places he’s never been to; and because we’ve missed being assholes to each other in person, we’ve missed each other(ew, again) and none of us have ever really spent time in Denver, we decided to come “travel” the city together.

The city is such a fun and colorful place with a lot of hidden gems everywhere, even in the alleys! It’s one of those places that’s very artsy-funky, and historical but also kind of modern at the same time with a gorgeous mountain view surrounding it.

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We spent most of the time we were there just walking around Union Station and discovering something new around the area every single day.

 

 

 

We paid a visit to the Denver Art Museum and had so much fun watching the exhibits. Although, to be honest, I think we probably weren’t sophisticated enough for Rembrandt because we seemed like two fishes out of water compared to all the guests inside that gallery. The museum had so many interesting art displays that we must have spent hours literally just getting lost in there.

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When we left, the outside actually felt like an extension of the museum. Almost every building-wall was painted with cool murals; a lot of the alleys had interesting interactive installments; random areas in the streets and outside some of the buildings were a couple of weird-but-cool statues; and pretty much everywhere else was a random street performer a mile away from one another.

 

 

 

The food places we’ve been to eat were also nothing short of amazing. I have no complaints with every single place we went to. It might’ve possibly been the other way around though, since at one point, we went to an all-you-can-eat Korean restaurant and REALLY got our money’s worth. The waitress looked at my tiny frame and probably assumed I ordered more than I could handle. She was wrong. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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On the nights that we went out, we had such a great time because the Denver night life is actually pretty exciting. All the bars are walking distances from each other, and we pretty much went inside each one of them for one drink or just to warm up. They all had good local beer, funny-named drinks, and were just all-in-all really great places to chill in.

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My favorite must’ve  been the place called 1UP. It was this really cool bar that’s partly an arcade. The whole place was surrounded with a lot of different vintage pinball machines and arcade games with the full bar situated in the middle of the whole thing. People pretty much just casually took turns playing games while drinking and mingling. Not a lot of mingling from my part since I was mostly just playing and I was being a little competitive.

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Towards the end of the night, we randomly walked into this bar called Ophelia’s and ended up staying there ’til closing time because we had so much fun people-watching and surprisingly enjoyed ourselves dancing to 80’s music.

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During our last day, the weather decided to match with our feelings, because it was suddenly too cold and gloomy. It was scheduled to snow the night we were both leaving, so the city was a little dark and empty. Not a lot of people were walking around the streets because the weather was around 20 degrees.

 

 

 

We also just bit the bullet and braved the freezing weather to do the full tourist experience and just walk from landmark to landmark in the city hall and the civic center.

 

 

 

 

 

Our uber driver suggested for us to visit Larimer St before we left, and we were not disappointed! Despite my frozen fingers and Ricardo’s swollen ears, we managed to still do our dumb photoshoots and enjoy ourselves. Larimer St was amazing! They had a great festive Christmas display(and if you know me, you know how much I love Christmas!) They had all the christmas lights turned on in the middle of the day because it was such a gloomy morning, but that just made it  even more interesting to look at.

 

 

 

The whole time I was there, I just felt happy and unfazed by my version of real-world stresses. It made me want to commit to making it a habit of visiting Denver as much as I possibly could. I know there will be a lot more to discover, and I can’t wait for more adventures.

Til next time!

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#findgizel in Denver, Colorado

xx Gizel

 

Digital Detox

I recently came across the phrase “digital detox” and it resonated with me on a deep level. There was a point in the beginning of my (adult) life that I was unknowingly going through my first digital detox experience; It was after I graduated college and wanted a clean slate. I deactivated my facebook, changed my phone number, cut my hair and travelled around the country. It made me feel good. It was a great and humbling/freeing experience to not depend everything on technology and social media, but then it also felt that I was basically cutting off everyone and everything in my life. If you know me and understand how my brain works, you’d know that whenever I tend to decide on one thing, it would always be one of the extremes.

So instead of getting either too in your face everyday that you’d get sick of my shadow, or falling off the grid completely, I decided to now try and find the perfect balance. I know. Seems easy enough, but such an arduous task for someone like me. (Why can’t I just be a normal person?)

Starting today, Im gonna try this social media hiatus. I am not gonna be gone completely, but I will definitely be online a lot less. I’ve already deleted my facebook app (not the account, coz I still need to talk to my family and best friends that are continents away) so I don’t have as much things to waste my time on. I’ve found myself more invested in the relationships of other people rather than the ones I have, and I grew tired of making comparisons and unnecessary judgments. I honestly don’t think me deleting anything makes a difference to the people around me, but it will make a huge difference to myself and the way I perceive things.

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The plan is to decrease a significant amount of time staring at my phone as the first step. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I’m not on it as much as every other person. Its almost impossible to set it down because somehow there’s always gonna be content that I would unashamedly devour, no matter how nonsensical it is. It also already proves to be such a challenge considering how working in the fashion industry, I’d always have to be well versed and know about whats going on around it. I literally get emails of runway shows from my manager that I have to watch and share knowledge about. Giving myself a limit on media time is a smart way of prioritizing what I need to look at, and what I shouldn’t even bother concerning myself with.

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Step number two is to reconnect with the earth. I’ve found that I personally always get a sense of balance whenever I do nature trips and the like. It’s somehow a sort of reset button that whenever I go up to the mountains by myself or go to the lake with my friends, I always “come back” to the world with a renewed sense of energy.

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Going up on little hikes without any phone service actually helps you look a little less at your device and a little more at what surrounds you. Spoiler alert: its beautiful.

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A few days ago I went floating with a couple of my friends and just looking at the scenery or listening to the river and to the birds was such a calming experience that it made me not want to leave that state of mind.

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With that said, step three is to spend more time with people. Actual physical people that you get to have conversations with right in front of you. I want to make a habit of just being in the moment with my friends and family without any worries of what the rest of the world will think. I want to be there and be present instead of being in their company, but occupied with some other people’s curated lives on their pages.

Buying plane tickets to go to places and see my friends and family, just so I could be physically present in their lives is something that I found very important. I had the realization that I didn’t really mind spending money to travel because that’s what I was saving up for in the first place. To see the people I care about in person instead of through a screen has proven great benefits for my mental health.

These little steps are the beginning of my so called digital detox. Cleansing myself from the negativities of the internet, and trying to get a break from it every once in a while.

Less screen time, more nature time, and more people time. It would make me become a better person, and it would give my poor phone a chance to rest. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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#findgizel @ Maroon Bells, Colorado

xx Gizel

Hello, 2018!

South Rim Trail – Snowmass Village, Colorado
Miles: 6.60
Ascent: 1,212
Temperature: 32F
Steps: 4,104
Playlist: Today’s Top Hits (Spotify)

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On the very first day of 2018, I decided to go for a hike.
I wasn’t trying to do a “New Year Hike” or a “New Year, New Me” thing. I’m not planning on making this a regular habit, like how everyone wants to start the year by doing something healthy, although I really should.

Honestly, I just wanted to go up the mountains and just be by myself for a little while. Somehow everything is just easier when you get up there.

I literally felt all my worries physically pulling away from my body and staying down in the ground. The higher elevation I went, the more I stopped thinking about all of the things that has been bothering me in the past few weeks. I wanted to just focus on myself, and that’s exactly what happened.

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I went up to go find the Yin Yang Spiral Point at the very top of the trail. It was somehow symbolical in a way. The Yin-Yang; the perfect balance. Balance of what exactly, I didn’t really know. I sat down on one of the benches overlooking the whole of Snowmass Village and just reflected my past year. I guess this was a “New Year Hike” after all.

I loved having time for myself, and being able to acknowledge what really mattered. I’m thankful to have had this “pause” from the regular world nonsense- I wasn’t even able to think about anything else but the beauty of what I was looking at. All I know is, I needed a breather, and I had one.

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I think sitting on a bench feeling like I was on top of the world put a lot of things into perspective. 2017 was about taking risks, and I’ve jumped in so many cliffs this year, that I feel like, everything I’ve done was a risk at some  point. Some decisions have been “brave” while others have been stupid. Maybe this year will be about, facing the repercussions of my bad decisions, or doing something to make the changes I needed in my life. That part, I still haven’t figured out completely.

I didn’t make any resolutions for this year, because I never really follow through on all of them; and instead of focusing on the failures to come, I wanted to just start the year in a positive note. So even though, I can’t make any promises on resolutions or any of the sort, I decided that this year, I will try my very best to appreciate things that I usually take for granted. It’s not exactly a promise, or a goal, like I said: no resolutions. It’s more of a reminder, to look at the good things instead of overthinking the bad.

Re-shifting my focus for 2018!

New Year Hike from Find Gizel on Vimeo.

Hope you’ve had a happy New Year.

xx Gizel

Ending up where I needed to be.

Hello peoples!

It’s been a little over a month since my move to this new state, and since then, I have made a few new friends, found a job, and kind of(sort of maybe but not really) figured out my footing.

I’m still getting to know the town, and learning about some of the aspects of living here, but so far, I feel like I have made the right choice.

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People are so much nicer over here, and honestly I think it’s the fresh air. Strangers smile at you, bus drivers tell you to have a good day, and even cashiers in the little groceries try to make conversation with you. It’s not creepy, even though I sort of made it out to seem like that, but people are just genuine here and the community is tight. It’s extremely difficult to be mean to them. It’s a complete 360 from the drunken tourists that I get the displeasure of “experiencing” in Vegas on a daily basis.

The mountains are really a good place for a fresh start. The fortune teller was right when she told me I needed the mountains in Colorado (but that’s a story for another day.) Hiking definitely takes a toll on your legs, but its good for the soul. You get a lot of thinking done during hikes, you have time for reflection and even catching up with your hiking buddy- which is also your roommate, (so I really don’t understand how we still have the need to catch up!) Aside from the mental peacefulness it brings, it’s also a great workout and does good things to your butt. There’s so many things you can do here in the mountains. People would always be hiking, camping or biking, plus the view is undeniably amazing!


I came here to get away from the loud city life, and the fake people, and I got exactly what I wanted and needed. I have no regrets whatsoever.

I love you, Colorado.

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xx Gizel

Hello, Aspen!

How do you fall in love with a place?

How do you decide you just want to leave everything behind and begin again?

In somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere like… Aspen.

Hello, Aspen! from LAD Films on Vimeo.

January 27-31 2017 Trip to Aspen Colorado. (X-Games 2017)
I fall more and more in love with this town every single time I come to visit! Now, the question is, should I move here? Big thanks to my maga, Nenita for showing me around! x
Music used:
Follow You – Cheat Codes
Shots – Imagine Dragons (Broiler Remix)