Testing, testing – can you hear me? It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote, did you forget about me? I swear I didn’t forget you, I’ve just been super duper busy. I hope we can still be friends! Long story short: I was taken down by what I think was the flu during our last week in Spain, flew back home three weeks ago, packed up a moving truck at my parents and drove five hours to our new apartment in Pittsburgh. There was a lot of family time, some self-imposed me time and a lot of puppy cuddles. I also got a new computer, accepted a new position working for the city, AND successfully restocked our pantry.
To say it’s been a whirlwind is a bit of an understatement!
Making our new apartment feel more like home has been my main goal over the last few weeks. I think I’ve done a fairly decent job of it, and with quite a few trips to IKEA under my belt, I’m finally done buying the necessary furniture we need. Now it’s on to the fun stuff: incorporating our travels into our decor!
Happy 2017, everyone!
How long into January is it acceptable to wish people a happy new year? A week? Two weeks? The entire month? For me it takes until the end of January, sometimes into February, to actually remember that I’m in a new year. I’ll be writing 2016 on all of my documents for the foreseeable future. Does that happen to anyone else?
Every New Years Day Ryan and I sit down for our own State of the Union where we put on our comfiest pajamas, make a pot of coffee and get to business. We talk about everything: the past year, the coming year, successes and failures, hopes and dreams, realistic professional goals and personal developments. This year travel will be featuring pretty heavily into our address, and I thought I would share my 2017 goals and resolutions here with you guys. That way I have even more people holding me accountable!
Goodbye, 2016! It’s the end of another year! I’m another year older, maybe not much wiser, and so ready for 2017.
2016 was a good year for me. We started travelling full time, I started meeting amazing fellow travel bloggers. I learned a lot about myself, about Ryan and the world around me. I learned about what I need and want in life, and also what I need from other people. We’ve had some of the most amazing experiences, and we’ve had some of the worst. I’ve definitely grown up quite a bit, but I also feel like I’ve grown my sense of wonder and amazement quite a bit. The world is a hard place to be in sometimes, but it’s also gloriously beautiful.
So back in October I happened upon this post from Adventures in Aussieland. She recounts the ABC’s of her travel life, which I loved reading. It’s a fun way to get to know someone a bit more. I thought as it’s the end of the year it would be fun and easy to do something similar! Let’s go!
The number one thing that I have come to love about travel blogging over the last six months is the people. The travel blogging community is one of the most kind, thoughtful and supportive groups of people I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of! Just thinking about all of the amazing people I’ve met online (and the ones I’m going to meet in real life, planned yet or not) brings me so much joy! I have this entire online community to turn to with happiness and hardships and I know they’ll have my back and help me through it.
I also love how we seriously celebrate each other. Every little accomplishment gets a chance to shine. My Facebook is overflowing with positivity and gorgeous travel photos, so there’s not much more I could ask for. One of the ways that small bloggers are celebrated is the Liebster Award. I happen to have been nominated by Sam from Sam H Travels, a blogger that I’ve come to know and love reading. I’m so happy to accept this honor, share my answers, and promote some fellow bloggers that I want everyone reading here to love, too.
What is the Liebster Award? It’s a way to recognize other travel bloggers for their efforts and achievements through their blog. In otherwords, it’s sunshine and happiness, rolled into an award.
If you’re looking for any last-minute ideas for a magical and wonderful vacation spot, look no further because I’m sure I have the answer that you’re looking for: Vienna, Austria!
I know you’re probably thinking that you’d rather go somewhere warm. Somewhere with a beach where you can laze around in your red and white bathing suit with a fancy, frilly egg-noggy drink. Personally, I hate egg nogg and much prefer mulled wine (or anything else, for that matter), but if that’s your jam, that’s cool! Vienna might not be warm or beachy, but it has a lot of Christmas spirit, which makes it a really nice winter destination, if I do say so myself.
So, here’s how I think you could make the most of your trip to Vienna should it fall in the month of December!
This year it seems like my Facebook feed is full of Scrooges, and it’s really ruining my buzz, you know? I don’t know if people literally can’t embrace their Christmas spirit or it’s now the cool thing to hate on the holiday (did I miss that memo?) but I’ve decided to combat it the only way I know how: by cranking up my own holiday intensity to a 20 out of 10! That means singing Christmas carols to Ryan while he works, drinking hot beverages out of my festive mugs and begging to watch a different holiday-themed movie every night. It also means embracing my newest and most favorite holiday tradition: the Christmas market.
I remember when people were a bit shocked that we were travelling around Europe in the winter. This right here is reason #1 out of, well, a lot.
In all seriousness, we went to our first Christmas market a few weeks ago while we were in Budapest. To say I was magically overwhelmed was an understatement. The lights! The smells! The sights and sounds! I had to make Ryan just sit with my for thirty minutes until the sensory overload ebbed and I could continue on. And the best part is that every city we’ve been to has had their own version of a Christmas market(s). I’ve been to a few and every single time they get better.
It’s easy to fall in love with new cities upon your first (or second, tenth or 147th) visit. I should know, I do it all the time! Some might even call me a professional. Every once in a while you find a city that really resonates with you. The kind of place that sticks with you long after you’ve gone.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and the largest city in the country. With that said, the population is just over 790,000 so the city feels more like a large town where everyone knows each other. We were always walking by people running into their friends and neighbors on the street. The city is full of really amazing architectural details, secret passageways and streets, and some of the best food and drink you’ll find in Europe (in my opinion, anyway).
It’s easy to fall in love with Zagreb. Don’t believe me? Well, I’ll reserve my “I told you so” until the end of this post. Here are my surefire ways to fall in love!
Split is one of those cities that you can easily spend a week or more visiting and not see everything. I mean you can see all of the major points of interest, but I think you need a lifetime to really see every unique part of the city. Early last month we had the opportunity to spend 10 days in the city, and it was wonderful! Today I’m sharing all of my (and Ryan’s) favorite things to do in Split!
You might be looking for a post on Dubrovnik. Don’t fear, I wrote it. It’s ready to go. I plan on still sending it out there, because I think it’s important to acknowledge that not every Pinterest-worthy place fits your travel style. But there’s been an awful lot of negativity in my life over the last week, and I want to go to a happy place. So come with me to a happy place!
It’s just over two weeks until Thanksgiving, the best holiday of all holidays that ever holiday-ed! You know that that means: everyone is already thinking about Christmas. The Christmas markets are being set up, stores are playing holiday music and even commercials are started to turn towards holiday-themed. It’s the best time of the year!
Even though we’ve been away for the holidays the last two years, this is the first time we won’t even have any friends to celebrate with. What on earth are we going to do??? I’m not entirely sure what our days are going to look like, but I can tell you that we won’t be sitting around, crying and playing that sad Charlie Brown song.
I’ve been brainstorming for weeks on how I can make the most of this holiday season. I know that our problem isn’t really a problem to some people; we’re in Europe, we’re happy and healthy. But it doesn’t stop the feelings of being left out and forgotten. It doesn’t stop the fact that we won’t be with our families. And family is what the holidays mean to me.
So you’ve made it to Dubrovnik, congratulations! I’m sure you’re excited to see all the city has to offer and take some time to make sure you complete my list of must-have moments. But there’s one thing I want you to keep in your back pocket. You ready to hear a secret? It’s two words: Lokrum Island.
Crazy, right? Once you’ve been in Dubrovnik a day or two (or maybe mere hours, depending on how fast you need a break), you’re probably going to want to get away from the crowds of people. If you don’t need a break to recharge, good for you, please tell me how you do it. However if you’re like me and need some space every once in a while, this one is for you.