The Truth Behind the Photos #1

The Truth Behind the Photos[The Northern Lights were not at all what I had expected – read on for the truth behind my experience]

I thought it would be super fun to pick some pretty/epic looking (or just lame but maybe I have good stories ok??) travel photos and tell you the honest truth behind what was actually happening behind the scenes.

Because we all know that with Instagram and all those other social media platforms that are full of lies, it can be kinda disheartening sometimes.

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The Time I Met Two Strangers & We Went Hitchhiking

I went hitchhiking in Ireland with 2 strangers and it was awesome

So let’s do a real quick #tbt to two summers ago (ugh was it really that long ago, brb, gonna go cry my eyes out and maybe teleport there real quick…), when I was gallivanting through Ireland and just basking in the Irish-ness of it all.

I’d thought about hitchhiking (seemed like a cool way to meet people and have some unique experiences) but I was like ahhhhh I’m a solo female traveler and that. Is. SCARY.

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Should You Bike the 17-Mile Drive or Stay Home?

The Lone Cypress on the 17-Mile Drive in Monterey, California - Should You Bike the 17-Mile Drive?[The Lone Cypress Tree, which suspiciously doesn’t look THAT lonely with another tree right next to it]

Ahhh, the 17-Mile Drive – land of the super wealthy and amazing coastal views. Most people drive it, but what is it like to bike?

First, the pros:
– Good exercise
– Biking is fun
– If there’s car traffic you can be like SEE YA
– And there’s something about pedaling with the salt spray tingling in your nose, and the wind rushing by…

A beach, house, and flowers on my bike ride through the 17-Mile Drive in Monterey, California[Biking is fun, plus you get views LIKE THIS]

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I Made a Bajillion Mistakes My First Time Abroad

I Was a Total Shitshow My First Time Abroad and You Might Be, Too, and That's OK[The Duomo in Florence was amazing and all, but what no one tells you is that it’s SO WINDY at the top! Soooo don’t wear a really loose shirt like I did LOL]

Continuing the shitfest from Arizona with a summary of how much I fucked up when I went to Europe first time abroad. I’m sharing because I want y’all to know that travel isn’t always perfect – in fact, most of the time, it’s far from it. But that’s all part of the beauty – you get into shitty situations, and you get yourself out.

And that feels good, somehow. Even though it might suck in the moment.

Full disclosure: this article is NOT encouraging you to be an asshole and to be disrespectful in other countries. This is more like a chronicle of my mistakes for your reading pleasure. And to let you know that it’s OK TO MAKE MISTAKES. Just go, and deal with them as they come.

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Why I Regret My Visit to Upper Antelope Canyon

Why I Regret My Visit to Upper Antelope Canyon[This is what I pictured about Upper Antelope Canyon – quiet, serene, stunningly gorgeous]

Upper Antelope Canyon was absolutely beautiful – I’d even argue breathtaking. Like I literally had to remind myself to breathe again because I was too busy staring at the gorgeous canyon walls, mouth agape, which let in a horde of flies causing me to choke on my own spit.

And Rattlesnake Canyon – we added this onto our tour before going to Upper Antelope – was amazing! I liked that so much more than Antelope. I’ll go more into why below.

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Sometimes, Travel is a Total Shit Fest

Sometimes, Travel is a Total Shit FestOkay, so I wouldn’t describe my recent trip to Arizona a shit fest per say, but. There were definitely some hiccups. And hiccups that I couldn’t just scare away ya know.

So, to start off, getting to and from AZ was A MISSION. Just LET ME TELL YOU.

So, we left at like 2PM meaning we drove almost all damn night and didn’t arrive until 3:30AM.

SO FUN RIGHT.

Lots of gas station stops and some casual peeing-on-the-side-of-the-road stuff too. Because we gotta keep it classy AF up in here.

And then we slept in the parking lot of Horseshoe Bend until sunrise. Ok well – a little after because we were so so damn sleepy.

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How Not to Get Sick While Traveling

How Not to Get Sick While TravelingHealth problems in general suck, but having them while traveling is THE WORST. I’ve had a bad cold in Ireland, a UTI in England (and had to be on a 2 hour bus ride with no bathroom…NOT FUN, I legit was about to pee my pants in front of my whole class), and a shit ton (lol) of stomach issues (although not food poisoning, thankfully!). Sometimes, getting sick or having health issues is unavoidable, but often, very preventable! Here’s my game plan next time I travel:

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When You Wanna Travel But You’re An Introvert

Travel as An Introvert[Hanging out at Hag’s Head at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland]

What to do when you’re down to travel, but you’re an introvert? When you’re on a budget, and have to stay in hostels, but need to balance time with meeting people and recharging? When you’re easily overwhelmed by busy situations?

In my opinion, solo travel is a great way to travel when you’re an introvert – BUT I was nervous that I’d meet basically NO friends, because I can get hermit-ty and lazy as far as socializing goes. BUT – I actually met more people than when I traveled with friends!

However, it was nice to be able to CHOOSE when I could make those friends, ya know? Like I could be like, mmmk, today it’s just gonna be me and my DSLR and RBF (resting bitch face), and the next day I could put on the RNF (resting nice face) instead and try to not look so pained in social situations. (And somehow that worked, although I’m sure I looked constipated at times).

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Belgium is Such a Babe: 5 Sultry Cities To See

Belgium is Such a Babe: 5 Sultry Cities You Should Check OutBelgium is SUCH an underrated country! I wish I’d had more time to explore – lots of beautiful scenery and lovely architecture. If you do make it over to Belgium, promise me you’ll try to put more in your itinerary than just Brussels!! (I wasn’t the bigggggest fan of Brussels – but then again, I’m not a huge city person, so…). Admittedly, I don’t think I really went to the “off-the-beaten track” destinations in Belgium, but maybe I did compared to the average tourist? I’d love to go back and explore more of the countryside – my train rides to Dinant and Durbuy were absolutely beautiful.

The Grand Place (Grote Markt) in Brussels, Belgium[The Grand Place in Brussels – I’d argue that it’s the main tourist attraction in Brussels, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also just fancy AF]

As far as communication goes, many people speak English, but there are 3 official languages: Dutch, French, and German. However, most people speak either Dutch, French, or both, depending on the region.

And the food is GOOD. Between the chocolate, waffles, fries, pastries, and sandwiches (they have so many specific types of sandwiches there! They’re usually in long baguettes, and have a very specific yummy flavor – one of the chains is Panos, and their sandwiches are actually pretty good quality), I was happy happy happy.

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