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Wrap Up: September 2018

Yearly Wrap Up September 2018 - San Francisco

September was an exciting month of returning back to California and setting up a base in San Francisco. It was a bit surreal to be back stateside after only a few months abroad, but I couldn’t deny how happy it made me to be back in California and in a culture that I knew like the back of my hand.

I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself that I was actually home and that I didn’t have plans to leave again anytime soon. It was a weird but refreshing feeling.

After running around trying to see as much as possible in Portugal and Morocco in August, it was nice to simply slow down and focus on my work, my writing, and spending quality time with family.

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6 Unique Things to Do in Grants Pass, Oregon

6 Unique Things to Do in Grants Pass, Oregon

6 unique things to do in Grants Pass, Oregon and why it’s easily one of the most charming cities to visit in Southern Oregon.

As little as two years ago, Grants Pass wasn’t known for its bustling downtown. If you lived in Josephine County, where the city is located, you would have one of the lowest property taxes in Oregon.

However, with a very low property tax in Grants Pass and no sales tax in Oregon, there was little to give to local services, such as the sheriff and fire departments. Crime rates rose. There was a meth problem on the outskirts of the city, a drug that continues to haunt many cities around Oregon.

But this city’s story became a much happier one.

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Travel Tips for Portugal: 20 Things That Surprised Me

Travel Tips for Portugal: 20 Things that Surprised Me | The Atlas Heart

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Travel tips for Portugal so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Here are 20 things that surprised me about Portugal!

It’s baffling to me how much of an underrated destination Portugal still is. I only heard countless good things from other travelers before I finally saw it myself, but it still has far less visitors per year than nearby countries, such as Spain, France, and Italy. 

Perhaps that’s where its charm lies, however – it’s not overrun by tourism. Although, it’s now starting to get there, with tourists taking over in the summer and swarming to spots like the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto in recent years. 

Because Portugal isn’t at the top of everyone’s list when they visit Europe, I had a narrow view of what to expect from a few select perspectives, all of which said pretty much the same thing: Portugal is the best country in Europe, you’ll never want to leave, etc. 

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Traveling Iceland in May: One Week Itinerary

Traveling Iceland in May - One Week Itinerary | The Atlas Heart

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Thinking of traveling Iceland in May? Read through this detailed one week itinerary for Iceland to figure out where to go and what to see during your upcoming trip!

So, you’re planning a trip to Iceland? And in my favorite month?! Congrats! I’m already jealous of you because Iceland is a crazy beautiful country and the first (or second, or third) time you see it is magical.

After noticing Iceland pop onto the radar circa 2012, with the creation of WOW Air and their layover deal, it has been a country that has peaked my interest.

Northern Lights, puffins, and raw shark meat? What’s not to love! Okay, maybe not the potent raw shark meat, but everything else sounded great.

Except for the fact that it’s one of the most expensive countries in the world. Womp womp.

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Wrap Up: August 2018

Wrap Up: August 2018 | Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal | The Atlas Heart

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I arrived back to California a few nights ago and I already feel like a weight has been lifted, as if my shoulders can finally relax from carrying around the backpack that I’ve been living out of for the past 5 and a half years.

Without a doubt, it feels good to be home because I know this is exactly where I want to be right now.

It’s the first time in a long time where I’ve been content to not have any future trips planned at the moment. Mostly, I’m excited that I moved into my new place in San Francisco yesterday and that I’m already starting to set up a more fixed life in the Bay Area.

When I was walking around the city on my first full day back, waves of excitement kept washing over me with the dawning realization that this is my city now. It’s a place that I can start calling home and get to know in a more detailed and nuanced way.

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Top 7 Things to Do in Ashland, Oregon

7 Things to do In Ashland, Oregon

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These are the best things to do in Ashland, Oregon to get a good overview of the city and all it has to offer.

I think I’ve already raved enough about Ashland on this blog that you guys should know how much I’ve enjoyed my time there. It is a one-of-a kind place and easily a favorite city of mine in Oregon.

I’ve only visited Ashland twice, so I’m by no means an expert on the place, but I did want to share with you my top 7 things to do in Ashland, Oregon with the time that I’ve spent there.

Let’s dive into Ashland!

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I’m Moving (Back) to California!

I'm Moving (Back) to California!

After 5 and a half years of slow travel around the world, I’m ready to have a more stable life in California. This is why. 

When the wheels lifted off the tarmac for Iceland in May, I felt my heart sink and float back down to San Francisco. 

A realization set in. I was leaving for yet another indefinite amount of time abroad, and all I could think about was how much I was going to miss California. 

I rarely get homesick, and the fact that I was already feeling a homesickness creep in during takeoff was proof enough that, at least for now, California is where my heart and mind are at.  

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6 Local Experiences to Have in Calgary in the Summer

6 Local Experiences to Have in Calgary in the Summer | Alberta, Canada

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A few local experiences to have in Calgary in the summer to show you why it’s still one of the most underrated cities in Canada.

The Atlas Heart is a place to find the best local experiences in cool cities around the world, and to throw out misconceptions we might have about other cultures. With this in mind, I sometimes seek out other perspectives on this blog to help with a more layered view of the world. 

Today, Cat Lin, a Calgary-based food and travel writer from For Two, Please, is sharing her love for “Cowtown” through her favorite local experiences to enjoy around the city. 

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Wrap Up: July 2018

Wrap Up: July 2018 | The Atlas Heart

I moved into my sublet on July 1st, signifying the start of my summer and new life in Lisbon. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that only being 4 weeks ago because so much has happened this month. 

I’ve settled nicely into my life in Portugal, although I would by lying if I didn’t say that there are quite a few things that have surprised me about this country – both good and bad.

I knew within about 2 weeks of living here that it’s not a place that I’d want to live longterm, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as a temporary expat. 

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How to Spend a Weekend in Boise, Idaho

How to Spend 3 Days in Boise, Idaho

How to spend a full weekend in Boise, Idaho – from street art to live music, hiking and more!

I had the pleasure of seeing a new state last month: Idaho! Surprisingly, I had never ventured into Rocky Mountain territory until this year. As I’ve traveled this area more, I’ve only become further impressed with the amount of natural beauty that lies in this region of the states.

I knew I wanted to go through Idaho at some point this summer while I was planning my road trip around North America. Boise was high on that list since my blogger friend, Brianne from Everyday Runaway, is from there originally and she had great things to say about it.

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