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Category: Europe

Prague: Snowy but mulled wine and pretty bridge

I was not convinced that Prague was the place to visit in the middle of an abnormally chilly winter. In September when I bought the tickets, I did not choose it for the pretty holiday lights, cozy fireplaces or snow covered castles-I agreed to it because I was meant to have someone to keep me warm. But as my flights approached, I unflinchingly pulled up my big girl panties, packed my suitcase and took off alone. My Airbnb listing was in Mala Strana, right at the foot of the despairing beautiful and famous King Charles bridge. The flat was luxurious…

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I already love you, 2016

In 2015, I just continued learning how to be an adult.   I switched many desks at work, I paid my student loans, I moved into another studio downtown, I read books, I made friends with strangers, I danced on bars, I volunteered, I traveled often and traveled far, I adopted a cat, I developed a taste for tequila and port,  I dragon boat raced, kick boxed and started rock climbing, I bought a lot of booze, I paid my bills on time, I created memories with my best friends, I survived hangovers that should have killed me, I survived…

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If I leave Portland, you’ll find me in Seville

It took me about ten minutes after getting off the train to consider quitting my job and selling all my things to move here. For the first time since my eurotrip started, I was able to relax once I arrived in Seville. Oh, what a difference one train ride through Spain made! Seville is a gorgeous, warm city in the south of Spain, about an hour and a half drive away from the ocean. After a joyful reunion with my travel and childhood buddy Jenny, I was immediately embraced by our Airbnb host Oscar. I love being greeted by kisses…

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Lisbon: another reason to learn Portuguese

I stubbed my toes a lot in Lisbon, probably more than I have anywhere else in the world. I couldn’t stop staring up at the buildings in Old Town (Alfama) and with their steep, bumpy stoned streets it’s impossible to not trip a few times. This beautiful Airbnb tucked into the narrow, twisty alleyways of the oldest district of Lisbon was my home base, and it was perfect for exploring local cafes, restaurants and Fado houses. The streets in this neighborhood are SO hopelessly confusing, but it was okay cause I found gelato shops, beautiful churches and even a walking…

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Everyone Loved Barcelona But Me

We once watched a short film at work on a top-secret project to revolutionize the way the world travels. It was a before-and-after video, a transformative journey that a traveler takes. In the first part of the film, this guy is in San Francisco and doesn’t know what to do so he hangs out at his hotel, walks around Pier 39 to stare at the seals, tries to take photos of the Golden Gate bridge on a foggy day, has a clam chowder bowl…ugh it was painful to watch and seemed like such a pitiful way to waste time and…

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Encounters while traveling (Part One of millions I have)

Writing about my travels is a real struggle sometimes, especially if too much time passes. Things I remember the most clearly about my trips are the people I’ve encountered along the way. I’ve always wanted to keep track of new friends or strangers I’ve met, whether we have decided to keep in touch or not. Who knows, the world is small and everything happens for a reason. Pablo, the guy from Seville -We were lost and hungry, looking for the Contenedor Restuarant highly recommended by our Airbnb host. (Sidenote: I love going to restaurants recommended by Airbnb hosts. I have…

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A few days in Belfast

On Sunday three weeks ago, I landed in Dublin Airport and straight into the arms of my Joe. We hopped onto the Aircoach (7 euros, excellent service) and in two hours I was in the center of his hometown-chilly Belfast, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a pretty unique part of Ireland because they belong to the UK, and many jokingly argue that they aren’t ‘really’ Irish. Due to their complicated political past and strong personal beliefs, as a confused American I’ll just leave it at that. They are known for their troubled history due to conflicts between the Protestants and Catholics.…

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