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Cheers to the weekend! These pictures were taken in Jeffersonville, IN in the pouring rain. It has been a challenge over the past few weeks to get photos due to the weather. I have been wanting to write a blog that revolves around travel destinations. I am writing this strictly because the world has drastically changed over the past 3-4 months and everyone is going to handle their transition to their “new normal” differently. One thing I want to say is, I hope at some point in the near future you no longer fear traveling to some extent, or you realize that life is too short to not take that trip you have been wanting to go on for months, years, etc. Life is also not necessarily about where you go, but who you are experiencing it with. 🙂
I am extremely passionate about traveling and I grew up with parents who impressed upon me how important it is to see the world and educate yourself on other cultures. I thought I would share a little glimpse into some of my favorite gems across the globe. Below I have listed 10 of my favorite places I have visited in ABC order. It is hard to pick an absolute favorite! I am going to try and keep it short and concise, but travel details can get long. If you would like additional details on certain cities, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If I have previously written a blog about a specific city or country, it is linked below as well.
If you have questions about traveling to Europe, I have done it a variety of different ways. Whether you are staying in hostels while backpacking or going through a travel agency and staying in hotels, I can share some dos and don’ts depending upon the location you are interested in.
Bon Voyage! 😉
- Antwerp, Brugge, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven (my home base while abroad), and Mons.
- Belgium holds a very special place in my heart. I lived in Leuven, Belgium for five months while studying abroad at KU Leuven. These were some of the most amazing five months of my life and I cannot thank Hanover College enough for offering extensive abroad opportunities. Five months was longer than most universities offered in Europe that had partnerships with U.S. schools. I literally went abroad by myself and thrived! Looking back, I completely understand why my parents worried the entire time, it was also considered a more “dangerous” time to travel in Europe due to the terrorism that was occurring in European cities almost every week in 2017. I met great friends, immersed myself into the Belgian culture, and made connections with professors, hallmates and classmates from all across the world that I am still in contact with today. In fact, the trip that I had planned for September, which we have moved to the spring of 2021 is somewhere that one of my abroad buddies lives and we are planning to meet for lunch or dinner while there.
- Belgium is a very small country and it is easy to get to places within an hour-two hours by train if you are in the Brussels area. Therefore, all of the cities I listed above were very quick trips! HERE is my blog about my adjustment to life in Belgium.
- Oh Prague, what a time! I was there for a few days over my 21st birthday with my two great friends that I made abroad. We traveled together almost every weekend and Prague is considered more a ‘hidden gem’ in Europe even though it has been become quite popular over the past 10 years. Prague reminds me of a miniature Paris. It is very quaint, charming, and has many unique attractions and good restaurants.
- The link shared above is my blog about my latest trip to London. I have been there three times and spent quite a few days there each time, so if you have London questions, I’m your gal! I would say out of everywhere I have traveled, England is one of the places I have the most experiences in and look forward to visiting again some day.
- Paris, Versailles
- I’m not sure why, but I did not write a blog about Paris while I was abroad. A few years before that, I traveled there for a week with my mom and sister and we had quite the time! I have shared some of the “must sees” below.
- Eiffel Tower (1. You must go see it 2. You must go to the top 3. You must get a glass of champagne at the mini-champagne bar that is located at the very top for the best views in Paris.)
- Palace of Versailles Literally my favorite! My sister and I still randomly bring up Versailles all the time. The palace is just unreal and the gardens are magnificent. It is almost like being in a dream when you are there and you’re overwhelmed by the beauty and exquisite design.
- Arc de Triomphe
- Louvre Museum (You must go see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo)
- Notre-Dame Cathedral
- Palais Garnier (Opera House)
- Musee d’Orsay
- Dublin, Galway
- This was one of my favorite trips! After visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Temple Bar, Guinness Storehouse, St. Stephen’s Green, you must take a day trip or spend a few days in Galway visiting the Cliffs of Moher! The cliffs will take your breath away. Someday when I hopefully return, I plan to take a few days to play all of the magnificent golf courses in the area. All my trip details are linked in my blog above.
- Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Cinque Terre, Florence, Rome, and Venice
- Italy is my FAVORITE place in the entire world and I don’t think that will ever change. The culture, history, food, beauty, and the people just make Italy the incredible country it is. I need to write a blog about my Rome trips because it is amazing how many historical attractions are there. In college, before I studied abroad for a full semester, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for the whole month of May during Hanover College’s May Term. That truly opened my eyes and I have saved my itinerary somewhere. I can share that with you if you are looking for a month travel schedule for Italy. My professors were amazing and the group I went with was so much fun to learn with and explore. During the month abroad in 2016 we went to all six cities mentioned above and I mean our professors made sure we saw it ALL. Not only did we see the main attractions, but they were adamant that we also saw the smaller significant historical places and/or churches.
- In 2017, while abroad for a full semester, my family visited me and we made our way to Amalfi Coast, Rome, and Venice. Rome is a city that you definitely need about 4-6 days depending upon what you are interested in seeing.
- Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Cozumel
- I am a big beach gal and I love being outside. Growing up my family would go to the three cities above to get some R&R. Cabo has become one of my favorite places to travel. My family and my boyfriend’s family really enjoy the atmosphere in the city. It is such a cool vibe, I’m all for some cacti and beaches all in one place! 🙂
- What a place! Some of the highlights that I recommend (additional details in blog linked above) are the Anne Frank House, Red Light District Tour, Van Gogh Museum, and Rembrant’s home.
- Edinburgh, St. Andrews
- These two cities were two of the first places I ever went to in Europe. They are very unique and beautiful. I do not have a blog on Edinburgh or St. Andrews because I visited these places back in 2011. Below are some of the major highlights and I shared a little brace face pic of me on the 18th hole at St. Andrews! We didn’t have enough time to play while I was there and my handicap certificate wasn’t prepped a year in advance at that point in my life. I did get to putt though!
- Edinburgh “Must Sees”
- Edinburgh Castle
- Arthur’s Seat
- Scott Monument
- Queen’s Hall
- Walk along Victoria Street
- The Elephant House (The birth place of Harry Potter) You can go sit where J.K. Rowling brought Harry to life.
- St. Andrews
- Such a quaint little town! Go walk along the course and the beach. If you have the opportunity, be sure to go get that famous picture on the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole. 🙂
- This picture is from nine years ago. Time flies! You now have a glimpse of 15-year-old me with braces and all.
- Las Vegas, Nashville, and New York City
- There are many amazing cities in the United States, but I wanted to share the three that I absolutely love. I am happy to share specifics on Vegas, Nashville, or NYC if you have questions. I have hit up most of the major tourists areas in all of these cities.
*Additional Cities/Countries that I have written blogs about:
Thank you for walking down memory lane with me. I love to discuss travel and am happy to be a resource for anyone who is interested in learning more. The reason I share this is because travel blogs are how I learned how to navigate Europe on my own. Read blogs, read reviews, and you will have a better understanding of what you are or are not interested in seeing when planning trips. Each individual blog I linked within this post goes into detail about attractions, hotels, etc.
I also recommend these two travel books:
Have a wonderful weekend,