For the Girl With Severe Wanderlust: Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is built of 14 islands; the city center is virtually situated on the water. It seems as if everywhere I look, there is a beautiful cityscape framed by the sea. The city is a puzzling paradox – one minute a bustling metropolis, then right around the corner there’s a quaint alley that swiftly transforms it into a peaceful sanctuary. The labyrinthine like streets, each with their own personality, keep me wanting to explore, to leave no stone unturned and discover … [Read more...]

The Magic of Crete

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A majority of our time in Crete was documented in little blurbs on my Instagram - @chelsapphire, but as I keep thinking back to the trip and remembering bits and pieces – I want to fully divulge all the details here. Taking the ferry from Mykonos to Crete – we [my mom/photographer] did not anticipate how large the island of Crete actually was… Especially in comparison to the other Greek islands – the entirety of Santorini, for instance, could be traversed in about 2 hours via a quad. Our … [Read more...]

We’re Too Busy for Happiness

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“How are you?” A friend eagerly asks. “I’m good, I’ve been so busy!” You reply, then asking them the same question. “Yeah, me too! Just really busy!” How many times have you heard this brief snippet of conversation? I’m betting too many times to count. The everyday small talk that we make with our friends and our acquaintances is reflective of our society, and at the moment – we’re busy. This glamorized notion emerged that if you’re constantly busy and you’re always on the go, it means … [Read more...]

Athens

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Athens, Greece: the busting metropolis with the Acropolis In thorough planning of our 10 days in Greece, our agenda allotted for just 1 day in Athens -- but having inquired of my well-traveled friends, they all advised that one day in Athens was perfectly fine. Late afternoon, we arrived into the Athens International Airport and hopped on the X95 bus taking us to Syntagma -- Athens City Center, for €5 each (way better than a taxi!). Our initial impression of Athens was, "This is it?" A city … [Read more...]

Insider’s Guide to Paris

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Since I will soon be fleeing the city of Paris and won't be frequenting these spots anymore, nor have angry Parisians harangue me for divulging their top-secret places, I've decided to compile a guide of all of my favorite/under the radar hang-outs that one only finds after living here.  While the list isn't long, this is truly about quality and not quantity. Paris is brimming with cool cafés, swanky bars and deliciously decadent restaurants and oftentimes it's overwhelming and difficult to … [Read more...]

Truffle Hunting in Tuscany

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A heart-warming experience, a burst of passionate energy and a delectable meal -- truffle hunting in Tuscany was the icing on the cake. I knew of truffle hunting, but not much. Growing up I can remember reading clippings in the library about an incredibly expensive mushroom like fungus and thinking, "THEY PAID HOW MUCH FOR THAT?" and immediately proceeded to search my backyard for these buried treasures after school. As it turns out, I wasn't an expert truffle hunter, nor did truffles … [Read more...]

Pasta Making Class with Walks of Italy

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Enter into a private courtyard off a bustling street in Rome, taking the elevator four storeys up and finding yourself on a whimsical terrace overlooking balconies strung with clothing lines and twinkling lights. Chef David greeted me with brilliant smile and bellowing laughter, inviting me to sit, drink and enjoy the present moment while we waited for the others to arrive. I scooped in the scenery, holding close to my heart the nearby call of the seagulls, the warm spring air and the rustic … [Read more...]

Cappadocia in a Day

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When planning our trip to Istanbul, we looked to other places we could possibly squeeze in during our limited time. Weighing the options - we decided to pick between Pammukale and Cappadocia. While both places looked absolutely incredible, we ended up opting for Cappadocia as there seemed to be more to do than just the hot air balloon ride that we were dreaming about. To get to Cappadocia from Istanbul we flew out of the SAW airport to Kayseri. Other options are IST to Nevsehir or a … [Read more...]

Staying in a Cave Hotel

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Upon arriving in Cappadocia, our hotel, Esbelli Evi, arranged for a shuttle to pick us up from the airport. Buses run into the city, but if you can find a shuttle that will take you directly to your hotel - it'll cut out the frustration of getting lost in a foreign city with your luggage. The shuttle took awhile as we waiting for everyone to load in, (probably a solid 45 minutes) but once we got on our way - anticipation and excitement set in, and also a bit of dread. Dread - because we began to … [Read more...]

Back Lot Tour in Cappadocia

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In travel, and in life, one has to learn to go with the flow and things don't always work out as planned. Sometimes it's better to go in without expectations, that way one doesn't miss out on the present moment by comparing to what it could have been. Keeping this in mind, we tried to let go of the dream of flying over Cappadocia via hot air balloon and just go with it. Still in a bit of a stupor and researching where to go and what to see, we received a call from the staff letting us know … [Read more...]