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

It’s Always Happy in Hamburg (March, 2016)

I have visited a dear friend in Hamburg, Germany twice now: once in 2012 and once in 2016. I love this city very much and have nothing but good things to say about it. In fact, Hamburg was my first city visited outside of North America and has been a gateway for my many adventures abroad! The late night dancing, scenery, food, streets, harbor and good company keep me easily entertained and happy whenever I spend time with Saskia and her parents!

Hamburg, Germany in Photographs

During my junior year of high school, I met a foreign exchange student named Saskia.  Saskia grew up in Hamburg, Germany, and never once did I imagine that we would become best friends.  It was hard parting ways with her; however, I knew it was not goodbye (just “see you later”).

Rather than having a graduation party the summer after, I decided to go on a three week trip to visit her and her parents.  It was the first foreign city I have experienced…and it sure hasn’t been the last!  Hamburg holds a special place in my heart, which has inspired me to travel even more.

These photos are not the best and are not edited whatsoever.  The few inserted in this post are some of the only photos I have on my desktop as we speak.  I wanted this post to feel immediate and as true to my feelings as much as possible; I miss Germany and I miss Saskia way too much.

I hope this post inspires you to look back on distant memories and own them; it is better to “feel all the feels” instead of masking your true, raw emotions.

My friend's home in Germany.
My friend’s home in Germany.
Petting zoo outside of the city!
Petting zoo outside of the city!

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When the monkey tried to steal my chapstick...
When the monkey tried to steal my chap-stick…
My German family
My German family
Uptown Hamburg, Germany
Uptown Hamburg, Germany
In the shopping district!
In the shopping district!
Hamburg nightlife!
Hamburg nightlife!
Alterhaus
Alsterhaus
Last night in Hamburg
Last night in Hamburg

Hopefully one day I can visit Hamburg, Germany again!  I also hope that you can revisit your favorite spot, or relive your most cherished memory…