Around this time last year, I was in Peru with my family and on the beginning of our trip around the world. Sometimes it feels like the trip was all a dream – that it never happened to me. But then, I receive a Facebook message from someone I met in India or see a friend I met in Bali. It is in those moments that I am reminded how my world has changed and gotten so much smaller.
Halfway through our trip we took a two-day, 24 mile just for the fun of it.
Group post hike
My friends and I went on a Odyssey-esque type journey to Santa Cruz and Big Sur last week. Here are some pictures from our epic journey.
First sight of Big Sur
A man and his chicken
Strawberry tasting at Everett Family Farm
Lauren is the question master this week, so looks like I have some answers for you!
L: What trait do you most like about yourself?
F: I feel like I can get a long with almost everyone. Also, I rarely get nervous about going into unknown social situations.
L: What’s the last song you listened to?
F: “Africa” by Toto. I listened to this with Al (boyfriend) and David (brother) and we just talked about how awesome it is throughout the whole song. It is so awesome I am going to share it here.
L: Have you been meditating?
F: I have been meditating every morning. I only do about 20 to 25 minutes since I stopped for a bit. I need to work my way back up to 35-40.
L: Do you go to a farmers market in L.A.?
F: I sure do. In fact, I go every Tuesday and Saturday. I am obsessed with mint. I put it in my smoothies and tea, so I get that about twice a week. I also buy my spinach there every week.
L: Will you take a video of something and post it?<
F: Here ya go:
Slowly, but surely, Albert and I have been making our way from Colorado to Los Angeles. I can not get over the landscape from Colorado through Utah into Nevada. It is forever morphing into something else. See for yourself.
The final destination of our travels was the one and only, Venice, Italy. Our time was mostly spent eating pizza and pasta and drinking wine and cappuccinos on the cheap. Venice is such a unique and amazing place and is on the top of our list of places we went. Because Venice was built on a clay island, it is slowly sinking. Given the tides, some parts of the city are flooded while others are perfectly fine. It is amazing how in tact this place was after hundreds of years of foot traffic and I look so forward to going back there some time in my life.
We also spent the day in Burano, which is a small and colorful island just off Venice. It was one of the most lovely places I have ever been. What a treat! Here are some photos from our last stop:
~ Don’t book flights for 6 a.m.
~ Try your best to stay in the moment.
~ You can travel around the world for a lot less money than you think.
~ Always take the boat ride around the city.
~ Know yourself well enough to know when you need to rest, eat and sleep.
~ Value the support of the people who love you.
~ You probably shouldn’t travel to cold cities when it’s freezing. (Maybe it would have been different if we had warmer clothes).
~ Pizza is cheaper than pasta.
~ Don’t order a spritz with Campari unless you want some hair on your chest.
After our time in Turkey, we had two weeks to pass on the cheap, before our final destination on this trip – Italy. So we thought, “Let’s go to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.” It actually seemed like a crazy plan, but we did it anyways. We took an overland route from Istanbul to Budapest, spending only a couple of days in Bulgaria and Serbia; then ending up in Budapest for 10 long days.
Belgrade, Serbia was awesome (a few pics here). It is a charming city with great food and many sights to be seen. We rented bikes, saw a fortress, ate at some nice places and relaxed. I would definitely recommend visiting Belgrade, but make sure to go in the spring or summer when you can sail and enjoy the views.
Budapest is an amazing city and with a lot to offer. I must admit though, we were on a really tight budget, feeling tired of being tourists, and ready to go home. We did however do some pretty cool things. Budapest is known for its public baths and I made sure we hit one up. The one we went to had 18 pools of different temperatures, saunas, steam rooms and medicinal areas (think aromatherapy). It was the best thing to do on a freezing cold day.
The buildings around Budapest are truly stunning and it was easy to get caught up in the scenery. The Hungarian Parliament is one of my favorite buildings we have seen on our whole trip.
Another of Budapest’s draws is its ruin pubs. We went to one if the coolest bars I’ve ever been to, Szimpla Kert. It is hard to describe, but is kind of like an abandoned building that has been casually transformed into several rooms with some of the coolest hang out spaces ever. You have to experience it yourself.
When I mentioned our trip to Istanbul to an Australian tourist I met in Jordan, he insisted that I read the novel The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk and then go to the museum by that same name.
The novel and the museum go hand in hand. The novel is a true story of the love affair between a Turkish socialite and a shop girl that takes place during his engagement to another woman. The museum houses all the artifacts of their affair. As fate would have it, we stayed at a hostel around the corner from The Museum of Innocence. Upon entering the museum I felt as if I was in a different world, and was completely enveloped in an intimate love affair. I also LOVED the presentation of the museum. There are 66 diorama type exhibits with sounds, smells and photographs to incite the emotion he was feeling during those times.
The book and the museum are both completely bizarre, but unlike anything I have ever experienced. At times it seems creepy and obsessive, but I mostly feel compelled to tell you that is a masterpiece and complete work of art.
In honor of Thanksgiving, here are some more pictures from our time in Turkey! Gobble, Gobble!
After a few days in Istanbul, we all headed south to Fethiye and were super lucky with beautiful, warm weather.
Diving into the Mediterranean
Back in Istanbul before saying our goodbyes
After parting way, Albert and I headed to Cappadocia in central Turkey. It is so important to me that I stress how amazing Cappadocia is. It is one of the most unreal places I have ever been in my life. The terrain was created from lava that has eroded from rainwater and wind over the course of thousands of years. Not only that, but since 800 B.C. people have been carving caves inside and underground in the mountains themselves. The underground cities are up to 8 floors deep and at one time10,000 people lived there. If you have the chance to go to Turkey, do not miss Cappadocia.
The view from our hike in Cappadocia
Carved cave house
Tunnel in the underground city
Eating area in underground city
Love Valley, seriously.