So this morning I was playing around with interactive maps where you can enter the places you’ve visited, like an online scratch map. I wanted to see how much of Europe I had actually covered, because I felt like I’d done a pretty good part of it, and MY OH MY WAS I WRONG. Continue reading “European Countries I’ve Visited”
There are many places on my bucket list (the whole world) and I try to focus on new places to visit as much as I can, but today I want to take a pause and think about a few of my favorite places in the world. Places I would go back to without a second thought, given the chance. Here they are:
It might look small on a map, but there’s tons of things to do in Croatia, and I only got to visit a few cities when I went. I did visit the Plitvice Lakes twice, and I would totally visit them again. Continue reading “5 Places I Want to See Again”
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: YA, Romance
Publisher: Doubleday Canada, Penguin Random House
A love story between a girl who believes in science and facts (Natasha) and a boy who’s all about romance, fate, and poetry (Daniel). In the course of a life-changing day—Daniel has Continue reading “Book Discussion – The Sun Is Also a Star”
2016 did not go as well as I’d hoped. Most of the TBR on my list remain unread, and I only read about 40 books in total. Overall, it was a good year anyway, because I read some REALLY great books, which you can have a peek at over here.
But 2016 is behind. Let’s focus on the year ahead! I have three goals for 2017. Continue reading “2017 Reading Challenge”
Dublin, Ireland. 2012.
I remember finding a very cheap way to get to Dublin (£35) to Dublin from Glasgow, Scotland, that included three buses, a ferry, a taxi, and that took over 20 hours of terribly uncomfortable naps.
If you’re planning on travelling to Ireland (and I sure hope it’s somewhere high on your bucket list) here’s a few things you should expect, just to be ready. And it’s good to be ready. So be ready.
I’ve been working on a post about my trip to Scotland for a while—I have, honest, I really have—but it just seems like all the words that I write don’t do justice to the journey. Incidentally, I also end up drowning myself in tears of nostalgia every time I reminisce about that trip more than five minutes, so I decided to just post a few pictures of my favourite things I did over there. Hope you enjoy!
Scotland is amazing. Amazing sceneries, amazing music, amazing culture, amazing accent. I fell in love with it the moment I set a toe in this fabulous country. Yet through all the magical landscapes I saw, there’s one thing I had to visit twice, and that really made an impression on me: The Elephant House.
Because of J.K. Rowling.
I’m a book geek, sue me.
I’ve been to London, England, a few times, but there are still things I haven’t had time to do. (Could the city be any bigger?) So here’s my big fat London Checklist and what I checked off so far.
I mean, London’s great, but what makes it even greater is that you can hop on the Knight Bus and visit the Warner Bros Studio where the Harry Potter series was filmed. The experience was so magical, it killed the geek inside of me. (Not as in, it actually murdered my geekiness, but as in, Geek Me couldn’t help but have a heart attack once exposed to so much MAGIC.)
The first time I travelled on my own, I went to England. (Yes. Because I’m a Harry Potter fan—always.) As much as I thought I would fall in love with London, I didn’t. I fell in love with Bath.
As I previously said, I usually need to switch my default setting from I So Badly Want To Go There One Day, to OMG, I’m Really Doing This? Let Me Get My Shit Together And I’m Ready To Go, in order to make a trip happen. And here are more ways for me to achieve this:
Besides the obvious budget/trip planning, there’s a big step to cross in order to make your dream adventures happen, and it’s to actually stop visualizing it as a dream, and consider the reality of it. At least that how it works for me. And here’s how I do it:
Day 107. I don’t remember much about what I did in Barcelona, not even the travel fails. I remember a sun rather bright for the end of November.
I remember Park Güell.
I remember eating the best veggie burger ever, but I don’t remember where.
I remember a lot of pickpockets.
And the realization that my backpack didn’t seem heavy at all compared to Day 1, four months before.
But through these snippets of memories, I know I didn’t notice as much as I usually do, because I was too conscious of these travel days being my last. Continue reading “Barcelona – My Old Self”
Day 103. Confession time: I actually only had time to do 5 activities in Granada, so my Top 5 is definitely biased. Still, that was enough to make me adore the city, but feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments if you’ve tried different things.
5. A walk on la Carrera del Darro
Continue reading “Top 5 Granada, Spain”
Day 100. Quentar is a small municipality in Granada of about 990 inhabitants. We were staying at the Fundalucia Guest House, and the website’s directions to make it there from the bus station, said to, quote, cross the whole village to the other side. We were doomed to get lost. Continue reading “Quentar, Spain”
As I mentioned before, one thing I love to do when I travel is to find a nice spot where to spark my imagination and write. So here are my favourite European ones so far. Continue reading “Top 7 Places in Europe to Write (or Read)”
Day 97. I have to say, we almost gave up on Seville. The city just didn’t seem to want us. But I’m so glad we persevered. Continue reading “Seville, Spain”
Day 95. When we arrived in Toledo, I got hit by a car. I’d been warned Spanish drove a little crazily, so when I saw the red car zooming through the narrow cobblestone street, I shrank on the wall of a house, shutting my eyes, hoping my backpack wouldn’t be dragged along. It’s my left arm that took the blow. I had an ugly bruise on my elbow for the rest of the week, and a fear of red cars for the rest of the trip. Continue reading “Toledo, Spain”
Templo de Debod
Day 93. What I learned through my rainy but enjoyable stay in Madrid:
1. Ernest Hemingway ate just about everywhere in Madrid but at this one restaurant Continue reading “5 Fun Facts I learned in Madrid, Spain”
Day 92. When I arrived in Budapest, around 5-6 o’clock in the morning, a thick fog hovered through the city. I could barely see three meters ahead, and after meandering uselessly around in search of the street toward my hostel, I had to give up and take a taxi. But for the 100th time in my trip, I did the mistake of Continue reading “Budapest, Hungary”
Day 90. About an hour from Sarajevo is a town named Visoko, known for its mystical pyramids and tunnels. With a girl from my hostel (hi Bryony!) we packed our bag for the day and decided to check it out. It’s a really small town, yet it wasn’t exactly clear how to get to Ravne Labyrinth (tunnels) or the pyramids. One thing was sure, every time we asked around, people made a point of reminding us how amazing it would be to feel all the energy.
Day 86. The importance of asking questions when you travel…. It’s easy to fall into a lonely routine when you travel solo, and I was about to buy a €50 train ticket that did a crazy detour from Belgrade through Zagreb to Sarajevo, because I could find no better option on the web, when I decided Continue reading “Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina”
Day 85. One Monday, in Belgrade, I decided to walk to the famous fortress, which had been highly recommended by many. From this point, I could also admire the confluence of the rivers (Sava and Danube). The walk through the Kalemegdan Park was truly nice and calm, and then Continue reading “Slava – Belgrade”
Day 80. After a short stop in Zagreb, I took a plane and flew over Bosnia to reach Belgrade (Београд/Beograd/the white city). I arrived during the night, and true to myself I forgot to google what the currency was before I got there. I needed to withdraw money for a taxi, and the only options the ATM offered were the following:
Day 77. Before I show you why, let me tell you the few fails I encountered on my stay in Korenica. So the thing is, there is precisely one youth hostel in Korenica, the recluse little town where UNESCO’s Plitvice Lakes are. Not only the bus had kind of a weird schedule, it dropped me at a “bus stop” (a restaurant) which wasn’t the “bus stop” (a hotel) I was told it would be. Continue reading “6 Reasons Why You Should Go to the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, During Autumn”
DAY 71. There’s just no way, no way, that I find my hostel on the first try. I always get lost, even though I check the routes 12 976 times first. In Zadar, for some reason, every street that I took led me to the beach—which could’ve been bloody magical if I hadn’t been carrying 12 976 kg of luggage, because the weather was perrrfect. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Time Is Slower in Zadar, Croatia”
Day 70. The plan was to make my way up Croatia, since I had started at the bottom in Dubrovnik. But on the way to Zadar is a great Bosnian city (Mostar) so close to the border it would be just silly not to go. So I went. Continue reading “Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina”
Day 65. I grew geographically claustrophobic at the thought of being squared by cities. Brussels, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Berlin; all amazing places, but all big cities, in the very middle of the country, surrounded by tall buildings and cars. I needed to see the sea, the ocean, or at least a huge lake. I needed to not be able to see the end of the water, to feel like it’s never-ending, like there’s no way to grasp it all or even to see it all. I dread finality. “Arrived to destination” is my biggest phobia.
So I flew to Croatia, Continue reading “I need to see the sea – Spontaneous flight to Croatia”
Day 62. In Germany, I had the chance to be hosted by the marvellous Julia, in Mainz. (Thanks again!) I loved Munich and Berlin, but I also wanted to discover a city less known and Mainz was the perfect one for me. Continue reading “Mainz + Berlin (twice!)”
Day 58. In Berlin, it was cold. Thus, I caught a cold. I blame the Oktoberfest, the lack of sleep, the rain. the crappy nutrition, and my bad karma. So my days were brief since at about eight I was dead and in bed, but at least from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. I got some crucial things ticked off my list Continue reading “Berlin, Germany”
As a writer, one thing I love to do when I travel is to find a nice spot where to spark my imagination and write. Berlin has numerous nice cafés for that, and while I didn’t get to try them all, I tried enough to pick five of my favourites. Here they are. Continue reading “Top 5 Cafés in Berlin to Write (or Read)”
1. When on your way to the metro station: “I really hope the others know where to go, because I don’t want to get lost and arrive too late.”
When you enter the metro station: “Oh. I guess following the five thousand people in dresses and leather pants is today’s GPS.”
Occupation: To travel around the world with me
I’m supposed to take a picture of Robin in every city that I visit, but I’m such a horrible human being that I forget half of the times. Continue reading “Leaving Vienna, Austria”
Just when I thought I was done with travel fails. Everything was going so well in Vienna. I planned a week-end in Innsbruck to go in the mountains, but for some reason I couldn’t buy any train tickets online. Everytime I tried it said that the transaction had failed, and so I started to freak out there was a problem with my credit card Continue reading “Innsbruck, Austria”
I was Sisi in another life.
I had to be. Continue reading “Sisi Museums, Vienna”
Day 30. The second phase of my trip consisted of a language school in Vienna. Yep, I thought I’d try to learn a new language while in Europe and, for no particular reason, I picked German. I guess I’m doing a kind of Eat, Pray, Love, mine being something like Drink, Learn, Wander. (It’s not exactly settled yet what I’ll be doing for the third phase of the trip, so…) Continue reading “Vienna, Austria”
Me: Come on. I thought we’d been through this.
God: Oohh, let me sabotage your trip a little more.
Me: What? No. No. Enough.
God: But I’m having a blast! Come on, man, one last fail. One.
Me (sighing): One, and then you stop.
God: One, and then we’ll see.
Me (chiding): God.
God: Okay. I’ll stop.
Me: Thank you.
God: Tsk. Party pooper.
Day 24. Fun fact: In the tower of Kraków, a trumpeter opens a window every hour to play a tune to the city. Okay, it’s probably more than one trumpeter, but I like to think it’s just this one guy, utterly dedicated to his passion. Some of us have a cuckoo clock; Kraków has a trumpeter in a tower. How Disneyish. Continue reading “Auschwitz and Kraków, Poland”
Day 22. People, leave me the f**k alone, was what I kept thinking when I was in Kraków. I just needed a break from the hyper-social vibes of hostels, which is squarely impossible to avoid when you sleep in a hostel. Yes, you always have the choice to ignore people, but that would automatically make you three things:
- The Grinch.
- A target to get your food stolen in the fridge.
Day 20. I liked Warsaw so much that I extended my stay of one day. Of course, then things started going not so well. God was like: Neehee, gotcha! Continue reading “Vodka and Flowers – Warsaw, Poland”
Day 17. I didn’t know what to expect of Poland, I just knew I wanted to go. Turns out it’s one of my favourite stops so far. If you like vodka, history, and are a little tight on your budget, go to Poland. Continue reading “Warsaw, Poland”
Day 14. So, besides Anne Frank Huis, I’ll admit there wasn’t that much I was interested in doing in Amsterdam. I figured I’d just walk around with a map and get a feel of the city. First mistake. Continue reading “Amsterdam, Netherlands”
Day 10. To avoid the expensive hostels and the masses of tourists in Amsterdam, I decided to stay in a city near the capital. Utrecht. If you’re planning to go to the Netherlands, I suggest you do the same. Utrecht is known for its university and students’ parties. It’s as beautiful a town as Amsterdam, and it’s very well situated from everything the Netherlands have to offer. Continue reading “Utrecht, Netherlands”
Day 7. After over ten wonderful hours in a night train trying to sleep in such a position, I arrived in Brussels. I had one afternoon only, so I ignored my aching body and sore throat—which was getting worse, but it was Sunday in Europe, therefore drugstores were closed—and left my backpack in a locker at the station to see Brussels’ main attractions with my hands free.
Sounds like a very practical plan, doesn’t it? Ha-hum. Continue reading “Third Stop – Brussels, Belgium”
Day 6 (37 days ago). Somewhere between Nice and Lyon, I lost my voice. When I arrived in Annecy, I sounded like Voldemort.
I thought, Hey, it doesn’t matter! I can play it like Liz in Eat, Pray, Love and make it a silent week.
First Stop/Nice, France. There was this one thing I really, really wanted to do in Nice, and it was Les Gorges du Verdon. I looked it up several times online and for some mysterious reason…
Day 4 (39 days ago). There was this one thing I really, really wanted to do in Nice, and it was Les Gorges du Verdon. I looked it up several times online and for some mysterious reason, it led me to think that once I’d be in Nice, there would be guided tours/buses going over there just about every hour. However, once there, I started to substantially freak out Continue reading “First Stop – Nice, France”