Happy International Women’s Day!

Today’s post is for some of my favorite women that I’ve either met abroad or are from another country (or both)!  People are the reason why I love travel as much as I do; it’s about immersing yourself in new cultures and creating strong friendships along the way.  In case you’re reading this, thank you for all of the fond memories, laughs and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences with me 🙂

Saskia – friends since 2011 (met through foreign exchange)

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Hamburg, Germany – 2012
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Hamburg, Germany – 2016

Carolyn – friends since 2014 (met as roommates in France)

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Aix-en-Provence, France – 2014

Anwar – friends since 2015 (met as coworkers at our SVSU Writing Center)

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Saginaw Valley State University – 2015

Bethany – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Chicago – 2018

Jacomijne – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Arctic Circle, Sweden – 2016

Gloria, Jagoda & Hui Jun – friends since 2016 (met as exchange students in Sweden)

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Lund, Sweden – 2016

Kaila – friends since 2017 (met as volunteers in Chiang Rai, Thailand)

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Bangkok – 2017

Why I Left Social Media (Part I)

Those of you who know me outside of WordPress know that I LOVED Instagram! It was my favorite social media platform and it’s the only one that had remained with me (I’ve kissed Facebook and Snapchat goodbye years ago)! With that said, however, there are loads of issues I encountered with Instagram.

Despite the fact that traveling is and always will be a huge part of my life, it isn’t for a lot of my Instagram friends (who are also my friends in life – I only added people I knew). In fact, one of my best friends on this earth has never been on a plane! That’s the beauty of my closest friends: we are so different yet so similar. Instead of sharing about myself, I want to hear about my friends and their successes (their schooling, careers, relationships, etc.).

In a roundabout way, I’m trying to say this: this blog is a community where we all love traveling. We can all share our experiences without envy, without bragging… it’s storytelling and an exchange of memories. Instagram has become a bragging mechanism, which will I expand on in part two, and I don’t want any part of it!

I want to leave travel stories here, not Instagram. And if my best friends ask about my travels, I can share photos and stories in person as opposed to social media (and vice versa).

One positive thing about Instagram is that it made me love WordPress even more! It’s true. I love chatting with bloggers from all over the world, sharing travel adventures, hearing about others’ goals and what we’ve overcome. I absolutely love my blog and it’s definitely here to stay 🙂

Throughout this post, I included some of my favorite photos from my now-deactivated Instagram account. I hope you enjoy; thank you for reading!

So Much Fun – and fog – in Finland! (March, 2016)

Two students during my 2016 study abroad adventure were from Finland and downplayed Helsinki so much; I was amazed to find out that Helsinki had quite a bit to offer.  All of us (especially the Americans) LOVED Finland’s capital. Helsinki had the most unique churches, which were actually made of rounded wood and rocks. Surprisingly, this city had one of the best Mexican restaurants I have ever experienced! Who would’ve expected that from such a small country in Scandinavia? 

“The Times we had” in Tallinn, Estonia (March, 2016)

I remember having zero expectations of Tallinn; I simply thought this was a “break” from the rest of our cruise rather than a city I would love. All of my friends and classmates LOVED Tallinn and had the greatest time! We went on a pub crawl to a few very unique places, including a science lab-themed bar (one even had shots that you snorted and one had the coolest pool table area)! The last photo below proves how much fun I had… Even walking in the streets late at night with my friends are memories I’ll never forget. I will always cherish “The Times we had” in Tallinn!