How to Spend One Day in Hamburg

How to spend one day in Hamburg, Germany, including Miniatur Wunderland, St. Michael's Church, the Elbphilharmonie, and Christmas Markets!

Have you ended up with one day in Hamburg and just aren’t sure what to do???

Well, let me do the hard work and plan the best day for you! You can just relax, follow this list, and see exactly what Hamburg has to offer. (Which is a lot!)

I’ve spent a total of 4.5 months in Hamburg so far (1.5 in the spring and 3 in the fall) so I’ve gotten around to exploring the city quite a bit. And, I had some help – I made friends with some locals and expats who showed me some insider spots, as well!

Here’s how I’d recommend spending one day in Hamburg:

Read more

Black Friday Deals for Bloggers & Travelers in 2019

Black Friday deals for bloggers and travelers including Keysearch, SEO ebooks, Trusted Housesitters, and Siteground!

So, once upon a time I decided I wanted to buy a new Canon DSLR.

On Black Friday.

At Walmart.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Well, we went. Do I need to tell you it was awful?

IT WAS AWFUL.

There were some shelves of gifts wrapped in plastic scattered throughout the store that they only allowed people to open at midnight. Then once that time hit, Walmart let (encouraged) shoppers to tear the plastic off – and these gifts were big ticket items that everyone wanted.

It was literally like that scene in Mean Girls at the end of the movie – “It was full tilt jungle madness.”

And yes, I bought the camera. But I actually ended up returning it later LOL so all that struggle was for nothing and I am a fool. But anyways, after that experience, I vowed to NEVER go shopping at a store on Black Friday again.

Read more

12 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid (& What to do Instead)

12 huge mistakes I made as a beginning blogger and how to avoid them.

I celebrated my 2 year blogiversary a few months ago (!!!!!) which was exciting but also like WHOA.

I’ve learned a lot and made a ton (like, a TON) of blogging mistakes along the way – most of them involve some sort of inaction or waiting too long. That’s a common theme I see in my life in general – I have something in my brain for way too long and just never end up doing it. So, I’m trying to take action quicker rather than mulling it over for ages, and just generally trying to work faster!!

I am also a notoriously slow worker because I just want to get everything RIGHT, and I honestly enjoy working slowly and HATE rushing haha, but it’s definitely something I’m trying to improve upon. But that’s a convo for another day…

I try to live with #noragrets (anyone?) but I do have some blogging tips and things I would advise someone else to do differently. Or tell myself if I was starting all over again.

And so, here are 12 blogging mistakes to avoid:

Read more

The Best Eco Friendly Gifts (for Travelers!)

The Best Eco Friendly Gift Ideas for Travelers
[Can’t live without these things]
Ok, so as much as I try and buy used items, that obviously isn’t going to happen all the time. Especially for the upcoming holidays – so here are some ideas for someone who’s an eco-conscious traveler, or who just wants to reduce their plastic use in general!

I would be absolutely STOKED to receive any of these items as a gift, especially since I’m a minimalist(ish) traveler that doesn’t want to have any extra items with me. These are all things I currently use or would love to have, and deem the best eco friendly gifts!

In this list, I’ve included items you can find on Amazon as well as the store Life Without Plastic. They’re an awesome company with a wonderful message, and I myself love to support companies like that.

Read more

Apple Picking is More Fun in Germany (My Experience in Altes Land)

Altes Land (meaning "Old Land") near Hamburg, Germany is a great place to go apple picking during the fall season!
[Always reaching because being short is hard LOL]
I’m a sucker for autumn and obsessed with all the basic fall activities so of course I HAD to go apple picking this year! I went last year, too, and it’s something I want to try and do every year because it just starts off the fall season in the best, most basic fall way.

But, you ask, aren’t you in Germany? Do they even have apple trees there? Isn’t it just beer and bread that grow on trees, harvested just in time for Oktoberfest?

The storefront of Jan Hinrich Feindt, a shop that sells fruit, vegetable, and regional products in Altesland, Germany
[We stumbled upon Jan Hinrich Feindt, a store that sells fruit, vegetables, and specialty regional products, and it has the cutest storefront imaginable]
Guess what – they do indeed have apple trees, an entire region of them, called Altes Land (which means “Old Land/Country.”) And it was only about an hour away from Hamburg, where I’m currently based – SCORE!

Read more

How to Spend One Day on the Island of Sylt, Germany

How to spend one day on the island of Sylt in Germany - things to do, how to get there, and what to see!

Sylt is a place I would’ve NEVER heard about had it not been for my German friend. Sylt is known as the place that wealthy people vacation, but our peasant selves just did a day trip from Hamburg. It was def a mission as it was about 3 hours each way by train! But I have to say, it was definitely worth it.

Thatched roof and brick house on the island of Sylt, Germany
[An example of one of the super cute houses on Sylt] 
It was such a pretty place! We brought our own bikes on the train, but you can totally rent bikes there, too (which I would highly recommend since the bike paths are wonderful, and what’s better than biking by the sea?)

On the west side of Sylt, you can take advantage of the more rugged North Sea and do activities like surfing and kitesurfing. On the east side, you can enjoy calmer waves in the Wadden Sea. There are also plenty of beaches for dogs if you’ve got a pup along with you. And in the summer, since it’s so far north, it never gets completely dark at night!

Read more

7 Fun Things to Do in Arundel, England

7 fun things to do in Arundel, England

Arundel is a historic market town in southern England. It’s not a large town by any means, and totally walkable (my favorite!) It’s a popular place to visit, partly because of Arundel Castle – which was one of my favorite things to see while I was there!

Arundel is quite easy to reach, too – it’s about 2 hours south of London, both by train and by car. If you’re coming by train, you simply get off at Arundel Station! So easy.

Sooooo, like, what are you waiting for?? Here are some fun things to do in Arundel, England.

Read more

Arundel Castle: All You Need to Know for Your Visit

All You Need to Know About Visiting Arundel Castle in England!
[I got this shot from the rose garden]
I will never NOT be enamored by castles. But to be honest, I’ve never met anyone who said they blatantly DIDN’T like castles? I feel like it’s kind of impossible not to like them?

But if you don’t, well, we really shouldn’t be friends.

Arundel Castle grounds in England
[Imagine rolling up and just parking at this castle like NBD]
But if you do, well, Arundel Castle in southern England is definitely a place for you, my friend (because I’m friends with anyone who loves castles.) I even visited alone and it totes wasn’t weird and semi-befriended these 4 older ladies (and by “befriended” I mean I just took their photo. Once you become a solo traveler anyone you interact with ends up being a friend LOL.)

But aside from its beauty, what was the most mind blowing thing about this castle to me? Um, that people actually STILL LIVE THERE.

Mic drop.

Read more

8 Places to go in Fall in Northern California

8 Destinations in Fall in Northern California
[Mammoth in the Eastern Sierras – YES California does have a fall, contrary to popular belief!!]
UPDATED: September 2019

FALL IS COMING PEOPLE. NOBODY PANIC. REMAIN CALM AND GRAB YOUR SCARVES, BOOTS, AND CARDIGANS IMMEDIATELY. THEN HEAD TO YOUR NEAREST PUMPKIN PATCH AS SOON AS YOU CAN. I REPEAT: EVERYBODY PLEASE. REMAIN. CALM.

But actually it’s impossible for me to remain calm because fall (or ~autumn~ as the fancy people call it) just happens to be MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SEASON. In fact, I love it so much, that I even wrote a¬†bucket list of all the fall activities I HAVE TO DO every year. I think it’s about time to revisit that, shall we?

Feel free to steal my ideas. I’ll allow it.

Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park in California
[Yosemite is obviously great to visit at any time of year, but I especially love it in the fall!]
It also just so happens that fall is the BEST time to travel (in my humble opinion) – prices are slashed, the crowds are gone, temperatures are lower (I HATE running around all day in the heat), and you don’t have to fight tooth and nail for accommodation.

And maybe in other places it’s freezing in autumn, but in Northern California, the weather is PERFECT at a balmy 60-80 degrees most of the time. Sometimes it can even climb up to over 80! Of course, this depends on where exactly you go (California is gigantic and spans many different climates, something I have to remind people often), but on average, I’d say that’s the temperature.

Read more

What I Learned From Spending 2 Months Traveling Alone in Europe

What I Learned After Spending 2 Months Alone in a Foreign Country

There’s something so romantic about going off to a foreign country or place by yourself. Or at least I always thought so???

Cue movies/books like Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat Pray Love, Wild, and the like.

I am such a sucker for that shit. As a hopeless romantic, nostalgic-obsessed introvert/INFP, I eat. It. Up.

I took my first solo travel trip to Europe three years ago, when I was 23. I went to Greece, Ireland, and Belgium over the course of 1.5 months and ate my weight in crepes. I met a ton of other travelers by staying in hostels, which was perfect at the time, but these days I’m not as keen to share a room with 10 other travelers and pray that none of them snore.

I also purposely wanted solitude and reflection time during this trip (and hostels aren’t necessarily the BEST place for that LOL). My goal wasn’t to make a ton of friends and see ALL THE THINGS like it was before – I really just wanted to meet other digital nomads (in real life/online), work on myself, reinforce healthy habits like meditation and journaling, establish myself as an online English teacher, and get my shit together with this blog.

And so, I traded in people for pets and was house sitting in various locations around England from mid-June to mid-August. I spent 2 weeks in Welling (near London), 1 month in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, 1 week in Chichester, and 2 days in London.

My time alone was and wasn’t exactly what I thought. Here are my main takeaways:

Read more