Greece

White buildings and blue water in Paros, Greece[Harbor in Paros – I don’t remember the exact name of it, so if someone does let me know!]

Because it totally makes sense that I’m posting this in winter, when I’m currently in the middle of planning a trip to Sweden. LOLZ. But I miss Greece so so so much. And thus I’m going to talk about my trip there from like a year ago. There is something in the air in Greece that just screams CHILL (just like that, in all caps). Especially Paros. I could go back there again and again – they spray Xanax or beaver tranquilizer vapor in the air. How legal that is, I’m not sure, but how super CHILLED out I was, that I am sure of!

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apple hill

Fall in Apple Hill in Placerville, California[Delfino Farms’ selection of mini pumpkins, gourds, and random green lumps that I have no clue what the hell they actually are]

Okay so I wanted to go to Apple Hill so badly once I found out about it. I love hills. And apples. So clearly it was made for me.

But let me tell you – it’s much more than that. Although there are many apples and hills involved. And apples in so many forms – (hard) cider, beer, strudel, pie, freshly picked, it goes on and on. We couldn’t actually do any apple picking while we were there (all the apples are gone by like September, news to me), although we did go rogue and pick some off the ground on the side of the road. There were a ton of them and they looked like they were going bad! So I was doing them a favor! Otherwise they’d attract deer and other unwanted pests and the like…

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california travel bucketlist

california travel bucketlist[Driving on a random road in Arizona]

Okay so these are things I’ll most likely cross off in the next year (so they’re basically ALL in California). Mainly because making a legit bucketlist makes me cry because I want to go to places like Iceland and Kyrgyzstan and it’s not likely gonna happen right now at this very exact moment. So here’s some California weekend trips inspiration!
ALSO, in my head, a “year” kind of starts and ends in September instead of January – it just makes more sense to me? Thanks, school schedule (even though I’m not in school anymore, I work in a job where I do school programs – so I’m kind of still on that hype).

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solo travel doesn’t mean lonely travel

Solo travel doesn't mean lonely travel: a guide to making friends[Look at me and all my friends!!!!!! I just can’t help it that I’m so popular…]

Okay so – I was terrified that I would make zero friends if I traveled solo. I’m an introvert, and can easily sink into hermit mode if I’m not feeling motivated to socialize. I can be outgoing when I want to be, but I don’t always want to be – I was afraid I’d end up having a major pity party while everyone else was laughing and having a great time. But – spoiler alert – that DID NOT HAPPEN! For the most part. There were definitely a few nights where I felt like a big ol’ lame-o (it’s a vicious cycle: I feel like being alone so I don’t try to meet anyone, but then I hear people laughing together and I feel bad for myself. SIGH). But most of the time, it was easy to meet people and I’m now super hyped on solo travel!

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favorite ‘popular’ european cities

my favorite 'popular' european cities[The Cathedral of Florence, aka The Duomo, is absolutely gorgeous]

So, by ‘popular’, I mean the cities you’re most likely to go to on your first whirlwind European tour, i.e. Rome, Barcelona, London, etc. Those cities you’d have to be living under a rock a la Patrick from Spongebob to not know about. This list is all just my personal opinion, and keep in mind that I definitely based the list off of my experiences, too. That said, here are my favorites (along with some I’d like to visit):

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ireland

grassy hill with stone fences and houses on slea head drive in ireland[Scenery from Slea Head Drive – read on for more info on that!]

Ireland is soooo much more than Dublin! When I hear that people only went there it literally pains me (especially because I was not the biggest fan of Dublin). I’d say spend like 2-3 days in Dublin (depending on what you want to do) and after that get the heck out of there! IMO it’s overpriced and overcrowded with tourists (especially Temple Bar area – avoid at night at all costs!!!!). And also – yessss I’m that girl that went to Ireland a year ago and is STILL talking about it. Ugh. But if you read on, you’ll understand why…And also, why not start off with a bang with one of my favorite places ever? Want to learn more about the logistics of getting around, currency, where to stay, etc.? Go here.

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