Shut Up and Go

14+ Awesome, Cheap Gifts For Travelers

By November 26, 2015 Must-Haves

The best part about buying gifts for travelers? They don’t need much. The worst part about buying gifts for travelers? They don’t need much. If you’re stuck/blessed with the opportunity to buy a gift for your best friend, bae, or anyone who’s obsessed with travel like we are, take these ideas as something we actually want.

[PS: This blog post will not show up if your ad-blocker is enabled. The photos are links to Amazon and therefore considered “ads.”]

High-quality neck pillow

Price range: $15-20

Do not underestimate the power of a sturdy neck pillow. Emphasis on the sturdy. If you buy a microbead neck pillow, chances are it’ll flatten and you’ll have wasted your $15. Buy one with memory foam or at least microbeads and extra neck support. Your big head will flop around in that airplane, so don’t sell yourself short on these. Love your neck; Invest in a neck pillow.

Travel guide book about your hometown or somewhere else

Price range: $10-20

Do I live in Paris? Not anymore. But do I literally pick up everything I see about Paris? You better believe it. Apply this to any city your friend may be interested in, and wa-bam, you have the perfect book to read whether you’re reading it at school, on an airplane, or let’s be realistically, on your toilet.


Travel-themed fiction or non-fiction books

Price range: $10-20

Hard facts and dense history about a city are super useful for an accurate representation of a city, but sometimes it’s nice to get lost in a story you could see yourself living once there.


Disposable cameras

Price range: $12 for 2

It’s one thing to have the latest iPhone or DSLR, but when you’ve only got 27 pictures, you pay more attention to capturing the moments that really matter. No meaningless selfies, re-dos, or editing filters is what makes disposable cameras so cool. The moment was captured as it was.

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One Life Lesson My Chipotle Bag Taught Me

By November 25, 2015 Motivation

It all started with some hunger and a Chipotle nearby.

The one at 7th and Flower. The only one in Downtown Los Angeles. The only thing I wanted at the moment too, which doesn’t happen often. There must have been something in the universe pointing me there (…or maybe just proximity), cuz Chipotle is not exactly a location you’d expect to walk out of feeling empowered, with a new, fresh perspective on life.

It was noon rush hour. I got in line, read my book, ordered my Sofritas bowl with a tortilla on the side, and then as usual, contemplated filling up my “cup for water” with soda. I didn’t, but man, the struggles of maintaining your integrity. I sit down and I’m munching on my Sofritas, trying so hard to have a moment away from technology, when mid-bite, I see a story on my Chipotle bag. Sure, why not? Let me use this moment to feel like I’m 10 again and reading the back of a cereal box on Saturday morning.

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Advice to the 13 Year Old Me

By November 23, 2015 Life Stories, Motivation

Most people write letters to their future selves to keep track of goals they want to accomplish, or to laugh about how pathetic their tiny worries were in that moment, or just to feel as though they have a friend in themselves by writing a letter that will arrive at a later date. Time capsule letters are all the rage and as an appreciator of sending a bit of your past into your future, I started thinking about the possibility of sending a little wisdom from the future to the past. If my 13 year old self were to get much needed advice from older, wiser, more white-haired Jo, it would look a little somethin’ like this: 

Let your curly hair get as big as possible; a little frizz never hurt anyone, unless it’s raining and you get caught in other people’s umbrellas

Let your light shine just as bright and big as your uncontrollable hair

Don’t let people try to dim that light for any reason

Your dark circles will never go away, let it go

Your AIM name, BabyBugJazz will not live past 2008, neither will AIM for that matter, enjoy getting creative with those away messages while you can

Do not, I repeat, do not shave your legs every single day unless you want to look like Chewbacca by 18

Run to clear your mind, run to appreciate your physical body, run often

Learn the definition of tenacity and start applying it to everything you do

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What To Do In Los Angeles Aside From Hollywood

By November 20, 2015 USA

When our best friend Dominique arrived from New York for the first time ever in LA, we knew we had to show her the ropes of LA, and most importantly, try to convince her to move here, duh. She arrived, and straight-up, before any “Hi, how are you’s,” told us she didn’t care about Hollywood Boulevard or Universal Studios, but that she wanted to get to see the LA that you see when you live here. See how the Shut Up and Go brand extends even within our friend group?

So we whipped up a list of not-so-obvious things to do and this is what we came up with:


250 S Grand Ave

Free on Thursdays, from 5pm-8pm. If you can’t make it then, take the Metro and get two-for-one admission.




The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St

A cozy, classic bookstore that even offers $1 books upstairs.

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My “Me Date” in Miami

By November 17, 2015 Life Stories, Motivation, USA

Picture this: a giant pineapple, some live Jazz music, Salsa dancing, and a couple of Europeans; Alex from Spain and Anna from Sweden.

I was out sipping an incredibly overpriced Mojito, (if I paid $15 for one damn drink, you know I’m gonna maximize the evening), at a quaint Cuban lounge called Ball & Chain in Miami when the world stopped for a few moments so I could appreciate every little thing the night had to offer.


Let me backtrack for a second.

This was my first time in Miami, and although I wasn’t solo, Damon and I split up at night after we we were done exploring to do our own things. Let’s face it, going “Kale hunting” isn’t exactly my go-to activity when traveling, and finding the best live Salsa music to bailar isn’t his. After five years of traveling together we’ve acknowledged that it’s critical to “do you” every now and then.

I spared no moment doin’ me during this Miami trip. On our last night, Thirsty Thurzzz, I made it a goal to dance and mingle with strangers in Mr. 305’s favorite street: Calle Ocho in Little Havana.

Despite preaching the whole “Going Out Solo” concept, I admit that I haven’t done the most adventurous things on my own in the last few months. After moving to LA, I got too excited with having my own room for the first time in legitimately 10 years. Confession: I consider snuggling up with a teddy bear in bed on weekends and watching Spongebob the best time ever, *doing that exact activity right this minute.*


But, since I didn’t pack Jiggly, my beloved teddy bear, I challenged myself to be a big girl and strut out the door into the mystery of Miami. And come on, when will I ever have the opportunity to Salsa dance as close to Cuba as you can get without leaving U.S. soil? Exactly, never. I put on strappy Salsa-proof wedges, and the most Rico Suave looking shirt I owned. I flung my purse on my shoulders and felt a tingle of confidence, empowerment and even nervousness for my “Me date in Miami.” The only difference between this and a date with someone else is that I knew the evening wouldn’t end with the sour taste of crappy conversation, or an awkward attempt of a kiss Goodnight.

I know how to treat myself right.

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By November 16, 2015 USA

Miami. Honestly, it was never a city that screamed to me. Never a city I felt like I must visit before I die. Never a city I heard that much about. Yet guess who just got back from a four-day work vacation in none other than Miami? Lil’ ol me.

Miami, for me, was both surprising and at the same time, not at all. The people of Miami’s South Beach, really are exotic-looking, beautiful, and if described as a food, would legit be chili peppers, or if an object, fireworks. You know how sometime you spend your Sundays just watching early 2000s RnB music videos with like Fat Joe, or JLO, or…Sisqo? Ok, just me? Well now you have that visual for your next trip to Miami. Yeah, Miami, to me, is just like the music videos (Down 4 U, to be specific). The girls are smiling and wearing thongs and sarongs, and the men, well they just look like nicely-moisturized ballers. Still trying to figure that one out since personally I spent 105% of my time in Miami sweating my ass off.

What people know of Miami is South Beach – a remote island where most of the hotels are located, as well as most of the “tourist attractions,” and nightlife destinations. It’s a must-visit. Because of the Art-Déco style of all the buildings, the island of South Beach feels like a Disney Village. And I ain’t mad about it. South Beach is in fact the largest concentration of Art Déco buildings from the 20s and 30s in the world, mainly because it was around that time that the island grew in popularity.

Then you have the other note-worthy Miami neighborhoods like Little Havana and Wynwood, which I really don’t know why I’m mentioning since I barely have any photos of either.

Little Havana is the closest thing Americans could get to anything-Cuba. Walk down Calle Ocho, eat at El Exquisito (we ate lunch and our total for 2 people came to $15), and go salsa dancing at Ball & Chain. Uber over to Wynwood – the hipster neighborhood centered around industrial buildings, where you’ll find coffee shops, independent shops, and the best part of all: murals and street art, everywhere. After traveling the world and seeing the hipster neighborhoods in each city, nothing, and I’m telling you nothing compares to Wynwood’s art. Literally every street in the neighborhood is decked out with street murals and quotes spray-painted on the sidewalks. We stopped in Warby Parker Miami and sipped on iced coffees from Panther Coffee.

Miami was everything and nothing that I expected. It’s a city where English truly feels like a second language, where you feel like you’re in Europe, Latin America, and the United States at the same time, and where, honestly, you sweat your ass off all day long. Enjoy!
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