Tag Archives: traveling

California Dreaming

I seriously need to post more!! But it’s better late than never I guess! 

Last Thursday – yesterday, I traveled from Detroit, MI to San Jose, CA. I visited two friends who I met while volunteering abroad, and another friend who I met in Sweden last year through study abroad. 

To start, my friend Kaila picked me up from the airport with her roommate, Anthony. We got drinks for happy hour on the water, and I ran into the freezing Pacific Ocean (I only had one drink mind you)! 

Visiting San Francisco and exploring by myself on Friday afternoon was full of fun, hipster vibes, and amazing Mexican food! 

The following day Kaila drove us to Felton, where we hiked in a redwood park, met some hippies, and snuck into a music festival with them! It was an interesting day to say the very least… 

I was able to grab dinner with another friend who I met in Thailand, Wendy. We reminisced about our time abroad with some Thai cuisine in Mountain View. 

Lastly, I spent the day with my friend who just moved to SF, Ali. She’s originally from Montana, so we had fun wine tasting in Napa for the first time! 

I had a wonderful time with friends in Cali, and I can’t wait to go back someday! 

Twenty Countries Visited & Lessons Learned

  1. Toronto, Canada (2012) Canadians are super nice. (sorry, no saved photos)
  2. Hamburg, Germany (2012) Life is too short; travel often! IMG_5757
  3. Aix-en-Provence, France (2014) French people are super nice, too 🙂 IMG_3250 (1)
  4. London, England (2014) Solo travel is easy if you have common sense and a sense of humor! IMG_3546
  5. Genoa, Italy (2014) Non-touristy towns are better than overrated ones…IMG_4230 (2)
  6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2014) Cities with bad reputations can actually be extremely clean! IMG_4621
  7. Reikivik, Iceland (2014) Innovation and open-mindedness are in unsuspected places… IMG_4640
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark (2016) Always wear wool socks in your boots during the wintertime! IMG_5300
  9. Kalmar, Sweden (2016) Studying abroad will grant you life-long friends and experiences you’ll always want to relive. IMG_4357
  10. Prague, Czech Republic (2016) Although beautiful, operas are boring as can be.  IMG_5531
  11. Tallinn, Estonia (2016) The part of your trip that you were least excited about could end up being your favorite! 
  12. St. Petersburg, Russia (2016) Vodka is in fact cheaper than water here. No exaggeration! 
  13. Helsinki, Finland (2016) Who knew a Scandinavian country would have THE BEST Mexican food?! 
  14. Dublin, Ireland (2016) Riding in the passenger seat is as anxiety-driving (no pun intended…) as actually driving the car on the “wrong” side of the road! Also, stumbling into a random bar for pub food could be the best decision you’ve ever made. IMG_6427
  15. Edinburgh, Scotland (2016) You can always trust a group of Scotsmen in a bar who order grilled cheese with their pints.  IMG_6673
  16. Budapest, Hungary (2016) Thermal baths will cure any sickness, even the stomach flu.  IMG_7041
  17. Alicante, Spain (2016) Spontaneous trips with friends and gelato seven times per day are two of my new favorite things. 
  18. Bergen, Norway (2016) Staying connected with old friends is more important than basically anything else. 
  19. Chiang Rai, Thailand (2017) Volunteering in an orphanage will open your eyes wider than a fridge door opens when you’re hungry… 
  20. Macau (2017) Finding yourself in a place that you can’t quite compare to anything else seems impossible, but it can happen if you explore the world enough! 

An Old City with a New Friend

As I grow older, my friend circle dwindles down and becomes more tight-knit. This may sound like a bad thing, and at first I thought it was, but I get it now. 

I am blessed to have great, close friends in my life who I would do anything for and vice versa.

One of those friends is someone who I met in Sweden. Bethany and I visited each other in Chicago two months ago – I will always cherish our weekend together, full of exchanging study abroad memories, sore feet from walking everywhere, and acknowledging newfound inside jokes! 

It was also special because I have been to Chicago several times (many of my favorite childhood memories are from Chi-town) and Bethany had never been there prior to this summer. I was able to show her my favorite places, as well as experience new bars and clubs together! 

Bethany, I’m not sure if you’ll see this anytime soon, but thanks for being a gem of a friend! I’m beyond thankful to have met you in Sweden! 

 Cheers to more adventures together! 

Ă–land, Sweden

Ă–land: where stereotypical Swedish stugas and breathtaking views come to life! Ă–land is a large island off the coast of Kalmar, Sweden where I was studying overseas. I nicknamed it “the Mackinac Island of Sweden,” but Michigan’s island is much smaller!

Three of my closest friends and I decided to spend the weekend relaxing, playing cards, having BBQs and making s’mores here; we mixed our American ways with traditional Swedish life.

The stuga was barn-colored red and was much bigger on the inside than it appeared on the outside! There were five bedrooms in this tiny place, but somehow it still felt spacious. The only thing that didn’t feel so spacious was the ceiling in the kitchen area; it must have only been four or five inches taller than me. Now I know how players in the NBA feel on the daily.

The outdoor patio was by far my favorite part of the Airbnb. I loved how cozy, comfortable, and “summery” it felt. It was like this square of no stress about school, no drama, and lots of laughter. The four of us all have mixed feelings about heading home in June, so the weekend getaway was just what we all needed.

The ONLY bad part of our location wasn’t that it was on a main road or that the bike ride took forever (that’s what makes for the best stories)!  It was the bugs that found their way into our home away from home. Bees and wasps kept swarming into our kitchen, as did two huge beetles! I have never seen beetles quite that large in my entire life, and I live in Michigan (where the summer bugs are enormous).

Nevertheless, the creepy crawlers didn’t hold us back from having a relaxing weekend. We all needed some R and R, and I would highly recommend visiting Ă–land someday!