Online quiz’s are fun, but you shouldn’t take them seriously. I took this Buzzfeed Quiz, because it's an addiction and I can't stop:
Click HERE to take this quiz. I got the "Wanderer", which is partially true. I think I am a mix of a Wanderer and Planner. For example, I planned my India trip and planned every detail meticulously. Every flight, hotel, city, etc. BUT most of the time, my friend and I showed up to our destinations and asked our concierge and anyone that we talked to, where we should go for the day. I believe in not having a structured itinerary. I think that things that are supposed to happen along the way will happen. I have some pretty amazing travel stories because of it.
Below are my results. Let me know if you take it and what your personality is! I'm dying to know what other travelers are out there.
I have always loved collecting mementos that remind me of my experiences in life. Something that I started to do when I traveled, was keep a journal of my experiences, and to put some of those mementos in it. Receipts, tickets, chip bags, gelato spoons, and anything that I can fit in that sucker...gets put right inside.
My very first travel journal was created in 2000, during my first trip to Europe during high school. Unfortunately I lost that journal on that trip (I blame my reckless 15 year old self), but started another one when I studied abroad my junior year of college.
I recently started reading through it, and thought I would share the entries that I wrote before I embarked on my adventure.
Thursday January 26th, 2006
I cannot believe that I am actually packing. It's surreal, its bittersweet, and its just fucking nuts. So many thoughts are circulating through my head, so many emotions can be felt. The one thing that I've always wanted has to happen right before I leave. This is the story of my life. "All dressed up and nowhere to go". Honestly though, I do have a wonderful life. I love my family, I love my friends, and I know that I am very blessed. Everything happens for a reason, that's what I believe. I just hate being confused, and hate being in the dark. I can't believe that I am actually leaving. I've wanted this for so long. When I first found the program I was almost in tears. I couldn't breathe. I wanted to explode. I want everything there to be wonderful. I'm excited, but sad to leave everything behind. I guess that's normal. Who would have thought that the boy from my class would have been the nicest boy I have ever met? I think I will miss him the most.
Saturday January 28th, 2006
Today is the day that my lifelong dream came true. I am actually on a plane to Rome at the moment. The realization that I am going to study abroad makes me realize that I can do anything I set my mind to. Last night was sad. You can almost say it was bittersweet. The day started off with my cousins funeral, who was killed in a drunk driving accident. I didn't know him well, but the funeral was extremely sad. After the funeral I had to finish running errands and I couldn't make it to the reception. After errands I went back home, and my grandma came over for dinner and to stay the night so she could come to the airport in the morning. Packing was still not home when Jason* arrived at my house, and I was so happy that he came. He brought me a dozen pink roses with red brims. They were so gorgeous, and he also brought me the new John Mayer CD and a card. I think that he is the kindest, most awesome person that I have ever met. Although it was hard for me to let him go last night, I knew it was the right decision. Studying abroad was --> IS my dream. I had to do it no matter what. I just hope that he is there when I get back. And if he is, it is for a reason.
Saying goodbye last night was sad, but I knew I'd be back. This was something I have to do. Now I'm on the plane to Rome. It feels like a small village of Italy on here. It almost gave me a panic attack LOL. The flight from Canada to San Fran was ok. I think there is a little less than 6 hours to Rome. I hate the fact that it will be 11am when we get there. Jason says he knows where we stand since we didn't have "the talk". I am curious to know what he thinks, especially since nothing has happened to influence his opinion.
*names have been changed
I hope you enjoyed. Do any of you write when you travel?
Iceland is one of those countries that I had never actually wanted to go to. Then there suddenly started to be quite a bit of hype, as well as the allure of extremely cheap flights. A friend (that I had met in Italy when we studied abroad) and I were trying to figure out where to go to celebrate our 10 year "friends-versary", and Iceland got thrown in the mix. We decided to go to Iceland for 4 days, Rome for 2 days (we stayed where we first met), and then 3 days in Tenerife.
Below are my top 10 tips if you are planning a trip to Iceland.
1. Stay In Downtown Reykjavik For At Least A Few Nights.
We stayed at an AirBnB that was very close to the center of Reykjavik, the entire time we were there. I recommend staying somewhere central at one point on your trip. It is very easy to walk around downtown (a 10 minute walk to Laugavegur, the main shopping street), and the best part was that most of the excursion pickups are at nearby hotels- If you booked where we stayed you are also close to Centerhotel Thingholt (a common pickup), and it’s easy to find. The bus stops are also very central, if you want to utilize public transportation.
2. Book Most Of Your Excursions Before You Go.
Iceland is really trendy right now, and even two years ago excursions got filled up and were booked fast. We booked a Northern Lights Tour, a Golden Circle Eating Tour, as well as the Blue Lagoon. It was easier than being disappointed, and also saved us tons of time (believe me – the Blue Lagoon line is NO JOKE.)
Here are some sites that are helpful in booking tours in Iceland:
3. Visit The Blue Lagoon, And Get A Underwater Massage.
The Blue Lagoon was one of my favorite things that I did, but we decided last minute to get an underwater massage. It is about $70 to get into the Blue Lagoon, and for 30 minute underwater massage, it is an additional $100. If you want to double your time and get 60 minutes, it is about $160. I’ve had many massages, but never anything quite like that. 100% worth it.
4. Buy Alcohol At Duty Free In The Airport.
Buy alcohol at Duty Free, right by baggage claim when you get off the plane. Alcohol is SO expensive on the island. We bought a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne, but wished we had bought more. A beer costs about $18 USD in restaurants, and cocktails were usually priced at $25+. This island makes New York cocktail bars seem cheap. Also, while we were at the airport liquor store, there was an unsupervised "wine tasting" station. After snapping a photo, you better believe we took advantage!
5. Pack For All Types Of Weather
I experienced snow, rain, sun, and hail, all in one afternoon – and all while bundled up and wearing sunglasses. Luckily I came prepared. I went in March, so it was still really cold, but I made sure to buy insulated thermals, and I packed a hoodie, and three different kinds of jackets ranging from light to heavy. Make sure to pack a jacket with a hood, something warm for your ears, and shoes that can take you through all the elements!
6. Be Ready For Extra Expenses.
Iceland is extremely cheap to get to. I got my ticket for about $400 round trip, and it was surprisingly only 7 hours from Seattle! Once you get to Iceland though, everything is extremely expensive. From alcohol, to meals and hotels, you will be paying quite a bit more than you probably would have anticipated.
7. Go With Adventurous Taste Buds.
I tasted some very interesting dishes on this trip. I’m a pretty adventurous eater and I will try anything once. Every time I travel, I like to ask restaurant servers what are their favorite dishes on the menu, and what is actually a local cuisine. I tried puffin (poor little guys), fermented shark, a lobster dog, and whale steak (actually tasted like steak, and don’t worry it was not extinct). I also got to go on a really cool food tasting tour.
I HIGHLY recommend this food tour. It is called the Golden Circle Gourmet Food Tasting Tour, and you can find more information here: Viator Food Tour. It's an entire full day tour through the best of Iceland's cuisine. You get to visit a farm, where most of the meal is produced; go to really beautiful natural springs and waterfalls, and meet farmers at a greenhouse. I LOVE LOVE LOVED this tour so much.
8. Drink The Tapwater.
I remember being at the airport, and not being able to find a water fountain anywhere. I finally went to an airport kiosk and asked where I could find a fountain, and the woman told me to go to the faucet in the bathroom. I was SO confused, and then I realized that you can totally drink the tap water in Iceland! Bring a reusable water bottle, and get ready to taste the freshest water of your life!
9. Exchange Cash At The Airport.
Exchange money at the Reykjavik airport - because there is no fee. BUT, don’t exchange too much. You can typically use credit card for 99% of your purchases. I collect foreign currency, so I had to exchange something. :)
10. Visit the Flea Market.
One of most interesting things that I got to experience was something that I stumbled upon - The Kolaportid Flea Market. It is located in the old harbor area, a few minutes from the city center, and is indoors and opened every weekend. They sell antiques, knick knacks, and vintage clothing. I got some really cool Icelandic kids books (in Icelandic), and gifted them to my niece and nephews. A lot of locals frequent the market, and there is also a portion of the market where you can try delicacies. We tried fermented shark (I did NOT like it), because it was really bitter. Also, if you go, know that they do not take any credit cards and it is cash only.
I hope these tips help you as you plan your trip to Iceland! If you've been, what else would you add?
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good Buzzfeed quiz, especially those of the travel kind.
I stumbled across this one and I had to take it:
Where Should You Go Next Based On Your Travel Habits?
It probably takes a minute or two and just asks you a few things about your travel habits, favorite foods, and your favorite kind of souvenir. Here is the destination I got:
Luckily I’ll be in Istanbul next month! It’s my first solo trip, and I’m excited and nervous all at once! If you have any tips for me leave them below. :)
Packing is literally THE WORST. The organizing, the outfit contemplation, the regular vs. travel size products. All of it makes me crazy. If it weren't for the amazing destinations, sites, and cultures in the world, I would not do it. Unfortunately this is a battle I will never win (because travel ALWAYS wins), and I will always be faced with this dilemma.
With my upcoming trip to Russia and Turkey rapidly approaching, this is something I have forced myself to start to think of. I have a very weird way of packing, and I thought I'd share because it has made my packing more efficient. I've forgotten less things, and I've always been prepared for the unexpected.
This trick works for a wide variety of trips, and for shorter trips that I don’t actually need to write a list, I use this:
I Pack According To My Anatomy.
Now what does this exactly mean? Well, first I break down all elements of my body, and then I think about what I'll be doing on my trip.
For example, I'll start with my Feet: Am I going to work out? Yes, I'll bring running shoes. Do I have an event where I want to dress up? Yes, I'll bring heels. Will I be walking alot? Of course! So I need to find a comfortable pair of shoes that I can walk for miles in.
Here is more of a visual for you:
Whenever I think of my Legs/Lower Body: I decide what kind of travel I'll be doing. Will I be on a beach? If so then I need to bring self tanner (for my white legs), moisturizer, and some sunscreen. Is this climate going to be colder? When I packed for Iceland, I packed leggings for under my jeans,. I needed to stay very warm. I also think about what kind of underwear I'll need.
When I think of my Hair: I have to think about everything that goes into doing my hair for the environment I'll be in. When I went to India I knew I wasn't going to use a blow dryer (I needed to pack light and I shower at night), but that I needed a small curling wand and flat iron. Other things on my list were hair ties, some fun hair accessories (i.e. a turban), and some leave in conditioner. I also thought about having smaller travel size shampoo's, so that way when one is empty I could throw it away and save space in my luggage.
Other elements that I look at are:
My Face: I think about every part of my face and what I need. For example, I pack a face mask to refresh my skin every 3-5 days. I need to pack eye cream, eyeliner, and mascara for my eyes. I pack a lipstick color and some gloss for my lips, and I even think about my ears - do I need to pack one fun pair of earrings?
Bust: Am I going to be bringing anything that needs a strapless or nude bra? For my armpits I need deodorant.
Upper Body: I do think about what I'll be doing on my trip, and I think about the culture. If it's a more conservative culture, I make sure to pack nothing that shows cleavage. If it's a beach destination, do I need some tanks to cover up my bathing suit.
For big trips I do make a packing list, constantly thinking about what I'll be doing while I'm at my destination. I do use this anatomy tip though after I've made my list, to ensure that nothing was missed. For shorter trips where I don't make a list, this tip 100% saves my life every time.
I hope that you find some value in this post. Do you have any travel tips that are super valueable? Share below. :)
Once you start traveling, you start to realize that we are all very connected, and at the end of the day we are all humans. Traveling has made me more empathetic, more understanding, and more compassionate. It has given me confidence, helped me overcome my shyness (although its still there), and has made me extremely adventurous. In a nutshell, I wouldn't be who I am without travel. And if you know me personally, you know it's what I live and breathe.
I've been lucky enough to have had experiences that have connected me with people from all over the world. Not only face to face, but digitally as well. I tend to gravitate towards people who have the same outlook on travel that I do. I've had a travel blog for awhile (guys I'm really trying to update it more frequently, because I have so much to share with you all), and I've been blessed to cross paths with travelers all over the world, in a digital space.
I know many have questions about the "travel blogging world", and I connected recently with Lauryn, from @LEtravelgram, so I can give you all insight into what it takes to be apart of this very unique world. Lauryn and her husband Eric live in Atlanta, and are super passionate about travel. Their instagram feed is beautiful, warm, and full of personality, and their blog give their readers inside tips on how to spend their days in foreign cities, and what to expect. Lauryn recently took some time out to connect, and I was able to snag some of their secrets to how they are following their passion effortlessly.
Can you tell me a little more about yourself?
In my day-to-day life, I am an Executive Assistant for an HR outsourcing company in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA. My husband, Eric, and I travel when we can get away from work. I am a planner in my personal and professional life, so travel planning is fun and exhilarating for me. I love figuring out how much I can fit in to our limited time away. It's amazing what you can fit in to a 3 day weekend ;)
How did you fall in love with travel?
When I was little, my family would mostly travel to beach destinations. We went on a few cruises to the Caribbean which was so fun, but my love for travel didn't really start until I went to Europe for the first time in 2006. I was 16 years old and it was like a whole new part of me awakened. I was hooked! I went back to Europe in 2008 and then didn't go back again until last year, 2017. It was like going home. Now I'm ready to see even more of the world!
Why did you decide to start a travel blog?
I have always loved to write. However, in school, it was very hard for me write about things I wasn't interested in. I sort of fell out of love with writing in college because being a Psychology major, I was mostly writing research papers. I fell back in love with writing when we traveled to the Grand Canyon in 2016. I wanted a way to keep track of everything we were doing and add in pictures. As I wrote the travel diary for that trip, I realized how much I really enjoyed doing it and I received wonderful feedback from family and friends who read along. A travel blog was the perfect outlet for me and so LE Travels was born!
What are some of the positives from having a travel blog?
I get to look back and remember all the little details about our trips that most people forget. I love reading back through my posts and getting those same butterflies in my stomach that I got when we were actually in the moment. Also, I've made SO many friends through Instagram and blogging. The amount of people I know around the world is astounding. I'm actually going to meet a few of them when I travel to Asia in September.
What would you say are some of the “not so fun” parts of having a travel blog?
Trying to keep active and relevant. Sometimes I really want to write about something but it might not be considered a "popular" topic. Or I might go through periods of time when I'm just not in the mood to write. In order to keep traffic going on your blog, you have to keep writing. I told myself if I ever start to feel like the blog is becoming a chore, I need to step back and give myself a break. I might lose traffic, but at the end of the day, this is something I enjoy and I want to continue to enjoy it.
What is your most favorite place or memory that you have had on this journey?
Wow this is so hard!! There are so many. The first thing that comes to mind is traveling to Switzerland. We traveled by train from Paris, France all the way to this tiny village high in the Swiss Alps called Murren. It was an incredibly long journey with so many trains, but I can't even describe the feeling I had when we arrived. This little village was straight out of a fairy tale. It is nestled high up in the Swiss Alps and has the most incredible views I've ever seen. No cars, just lots of cows and sheep. It was VERY hard to leave!
Are you constantly remote, or do you have a home base?
I wish I could be constantly on the go, but I do have a home base in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA. With the work Eric does, it's nearly impossible for him to be 100% remote. Technically, I could be remote, but since I'm an assistant, I have to be available when my people are working. So I would run in to time zone issues. However, I have traveled with my husband on work trips around the US and worked from there. I've done this in Las Vegas and New York so far. I do it whenever I can just to squeeze in as many destinations as possible throughout the year!
On average, how many cities and countries do you frequent weekly/monthly?
Every year is different for us and most of our travel happens in the last 6 months of the year. Eric is a CPA so he can't leave between January and May. Summer for us is usually spent at my in-law's lake house in north Georgia. Our primary travel time is August/September. This year, we're headed to Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia in September, Costa Rica in November, and New Orleans in December. I've been to New Orleans twice already this year. My mom lives nearby so I try to go as often as I can. I was lucky enough to be there for Mardi Gras this year which was SO fun!
What helps you determine your next location?
There are many things that help determine this. Sometimes it's just life. For instance, Eric will get invited to conferences and sometimes they are in really cool locations. I tag along with him and we make a short trip out of it. Our big trips like Europe and Asia are really just identifying what we want to make sure we get to do before we slow down and decide to start a family. We decided on Asia this year because we aren't sure if that's a destination we would want to try to navigate with kids. Asia scares me a bit because I am much less familiar with it than Europe. I'm excited to experience it, but I wouldn't want my first time in Asia to be with small children!
Do you use any apps or programs that have helped you gain traction on social or your blog?
Yes!! I can't recommend these apps enough:
Do you work for a company that enables you to work remotely, or do you solely profit from your blog?
I work for a wonderful company that allows me to work remote on occasion. Like I said above, I'm able to work remote in places with similar time zones. I could go anywhere, but I would be working through the night in some places just depending on the time difference. There are times when I absolutely have to be in the office, but I've never been denied the opportunity to work remotely if a trip randomly comes up throughout the year!
What advice to you have for anyone who wants to start their own travel blog, or wants to have a social media presence?
Never lose sight of why you initially start your blog or social media profiles. I would hope that if you start something like this, it's because you have a passion surrounding whatever it is you're writing and posting about. It should never stress you out and should never be something you're just doing for money. Stay true to yourself and enjoy the journey! I would also say building up your network is key to being a successful blogger/influencer. I'm in a Whatsapp group with some other bloggers and we are always talking about different things. It's awesome because the girls are from all over the world. Some travel constantly and some don't. We lift each other up and support each other in everything we do. I love having a group of like-minded people to bounce ideas off of and get advice.
Is there anything else you would like to include?
For anyone with an itch to travel but not the support or the finances to do it, there are ways to see the world on a budget. One thing I've learned on this blogging journey of mine is how many opportunities there are out there for people to see the world on a budget. One girl I know house-sits for people as a means of income and a free place to stay wherever she goes. You can become an au pair in Europe and explore different countries on the weekends. You can teach English in China and explore Asia that way. If you want to see the world, make it happen for yourself. I think the world would be a better place if more people made travel a priority!
Lauryn and I have a similar story. We didn't travel until our teens, and from there we fell in love with the world. I would also like to reiterate her point on seeing the world regardless of your budget. If it's a passion of yours, you will always figure out a way to make it happen. I hustled to get my Master's abroad, as getting that degree in Europe was on my lifelong bucketlist.
Travel is not for the elite or for the wealthy. I've experienced many trips where I stayed in hostels, and bought 1 euro bottles of wine.
If you invest one dime into yourself, invest it in travel. Because at the end of the road,
you can't take it with you.
Thank you Lauryn for letting me into your world for a short time. Please got check her out on Instagram @LEtravelgram and follow her travels! :)
Also, what are some of your favorite travel bloggers? Comment below, I'm dying to see!
Bellisima = "Extremely Beautiful" in Italian, and how i would describe the world, and how I view it through travel.