Tag Archives: Europe Travel

Wrap Up: October 2017

Wrap Up October 2017 - Road Trip around Ring of Kerry, Ireland | Europe Travel

I know I say this every single month, but whoa, where did the time go? I’m not sure how we’re already into the second week of November, but here we are.

With that said, one of my goals before the end of this year is to get into a better habit of mindfulness. I want to be able to value the passing of time more, to take one day at a time, and to not always feel like I’m running one step behind.

October was bursting at the seams, which is probably why I felt so exhausted by the end of it – I barely had time to catch my breath. Note to self: slow down in November and December. Your body, mindset, and bank account will thank you.

The month started with a fun travel blogging conference, then turned into two weeks of road tripping and traveling around Ireland by myself, and finally ended with my return to California after over a year of being abroad.

So, let’s dive right in and get to the good stuff. This was my October!

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30 Thoughts That Went Through My Head in Paris

30 Things That Went Through My Head in Paris, France | Europe Travel

Ah, Paris – the city of love, light, and romance. Oh la la!

I just finished up a week in this French capital, and as usual I had a range of thoughts that went through my head while I was in the city. Writers’ brains seem to be in constant motion. Call it a gift or a curse, but my brain is no exception.

In fact, my brain is more the equivalent of a dog when he sees a squirrel – easily distracted and excited about the mundane things in life.

I make it sound like a cool superpower when I describe myself as having “the curiosity of a child”, but really I just have a lot of random thoughts that ramble through my brain on any given day.

These were a few of the deep thoughts and reflections I had about French life while I was in Paris.

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Wrap Up: July 2017

Sunny Days in Crete, Greece - Europe Travel

Yassas – July was my first full month in Greece!

I know I’ve said this multiple times already, but I can’t believe how good it feels to be back in Europe. Besides it being more expensive than Asia, which was to be expected, there’s not much I’ve disliked about my summer move.

I immersed myself in all things Greek in July and my only regret is that I didn’t visit this country sooner. Greece was never at the top of my list as a destination I had to see, but now I’m imagining making it a regular summer spot from which to write for a month each year.

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12 Reasons Why I Already Love Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece - Europe Travel

“Some folks call her a runaway. A failure in the race. But she knows where her ticket takes her. She will find her place in the sun.” // Tracy Chapman

I know I throw the word “love” around a lot on here, but I have to admit I fall in love with places easily. There’s something about the concept of the foreign that has always intrigued and excited me.

I’ve already been in Greece for 19 days, which baffles me. It feels like I just arrived the other day. Time has flown by already, and I know it will continue to do so for the rest of the summer.

And time is flying because I’m happy. Like, head-over-heels in love happy with where I’ve decided to base myself right now.

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Snapshot Memories of the Week: Budapest, Hungary

Snapshot memories is a new weekly series, giving a visual glimpse into different destinations and unique ways to view them. It’s also a way for me to look back on travels that occurred before and after I started this blog, and to give each place I’ve traveled the attention it deserves. 

This week my memories go back to Budapest.

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Budapest is a city of vibrant contrasts, a fact that is fitting due its divided history.

Budapest used to consist of the two separate cities of Buda and Pest, until they were united in 1873 after the struggle for Hungarian independence to become the city it is now. The two separate sides of  the city are still connected by the Chain Bridge.

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Budapest has endured a lot in the past years with nazi and communist occupation that has been the cause of a painful history.

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With that said, Budapest is still one of my favorite cities in Europe. It’s also the furthest east I’ve traveled in Europe, and I found the history captivating, heartbreaking, and profound all at once.

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Budapest is different from any other city I visited in Europe mostly because of it’s history and the scars or the growth from those scars that have come since the iron curtain days.

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A lot of Budapest’s tourism is centered around dark tourism, a type of tourism I’ve come across numerous times around Eastern Europe and Cambodia.

In particular, I remember visiting the House of Terror, which not only housed Hungary’s Arrow Cross Nazi party, but was also used by the AVO, or the communist secret police after the nazis were removed from power.

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The basement cells where prisoners were tortured are still intact and were viewable to us as visitors. It was an important building to go see, but it didn’t make it any easier to go to.

In contrast to the darker aspects of Hungary’s history, there’s also a great Byzantine influence in the architecture, Turkish thermal baths of every kind from the 15th and 16th centuries, and an overwhelming feel of a student-centered city that is intellectual, cool, and fashionable.

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In the younger generation you tend to see a free-sprited nature, where couples kiss on the streets and there’s a lightness in the air.

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In the older generation, which has been through so much, there is still a lot of pain and grievances. It would come off as Budapest simply having a high incidence of grumpy old men, that is, if you were unaware of the history that has taken place in such a short time.

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There are some positive ways the communist history has been used around the city, most notably in the unique and quirky ideas and artwork. My favorite thing I came across would have to be the ruin bars in the dark back alleyways around the city.

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Someone had the idea to turn old communist houses that were falling into ruins, into these bars that are actually some of the coolest bars I’ve been to in my travels. Brilliant.

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Above all, even with all of the extras things on offer, Budapest is a city that has so much natural beauty, it takes your breath away.

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When I think back on Budapest I remember the communist history that is still seen all over the city, the Byzantine architecture, and the ridiculously good looking landscapes. 

I think it’s about time I explore more of Eastern Europe.

Communist History


Byzantine Architecture


Good Looking Landscapes