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For the Love of Travel Series- Jenn from My Life Dictated (Guest Post)

Did you miss the series last week? Well, it is back! However, now that I have almost met the criteria for school credit, I am going to be posting on a bi-weekly basis. Don't forget, you can join in the fun by emailing GAPeachAbroad@gmail.com

Today's For the Love of Travel comes from my friend Jenn. Jenn and I met at my first grown up job, she was a rock for me there. Since then, she has left Georgia and moved back to her home and favorite state Florida. You can check out more about Jenn at My Life Dictated

 

Where did you grow up?
 
Anna Maria Island, FL (South of Tampa Bay)
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
I love NYC, Seattle, Southern California and the Carribbean - all for different reasons and hard to pick just one
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
I would have to say Cincinnati or Cleveland, OH... not very cultural and when I have been in town, toooooo cold
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
It would have to be a toss up between a day spent eating and drinking my way around San Juan, Puerto Rico and my tradition of drinks at Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center. Before 9/11, we started every trip to NYC this way. It was wonderful and brings back some really happy memories.
 
What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?
 
Technical Writer/ Illustrator. I do not travel in this position but I did travel for three years, every single week, all across the US. And I loved every minute of it.
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with your?
 
Pack the night before and the only real "must includes" were my camera and my yoga mat. Regardless of where I wake up, I have started my day on the mat for the last 14 years. 
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
 
No solid plans but would definitely like to plan a yoga/ surf trip to the Dominican Republic and visit my good friend who is living in Shanghai. (I would also love to see the Netherlands and the friend who is there now as well.)
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
With my travel partner, choose a few destinations and then by price/ schedule. Best of both wins.
 
What is your dream vacation?
 
My dream vacation would be a trip around the world and high places on the list would be around the Mediterranean, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia), French Polynesia, Argentina and Brazil for sure. Also would have to include at least one month in France. I'd love to see the places where my family comes from.
 
What kind of traveler are you?
 
I love to travel. I love the beach and the city but not too fond of country-esque trips unless there is a full schedule of adventure: horseback riding, boating, etc... I've done a tour group once but prefer to research and get a little help from the concierge. Now that my mom is no longer with me, my friends are the best travel partners and I LOVE sharing these adventures with them. 
 
Thanks so much Jenn! If you have any questions for her, leave them below! 
 
 

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For the Love of Travel Series- Lily from Lily Wanderlust (Guest Post)

Lily in Ghent

Today, I bring you a post from one of my best friends, not just in my expat life, but in life in general. Lily of Lily Wanderlust. After all, it isn't many people you down two bottles of wine with over lunch the first time you meet them. I could go on and on about how awesome she is, but I think it might be best for me to just let her speak for herself. Here it goes. 

Tell us a bit about you.

Hi there, Georgia Peach Abroad readers! I’m Lily, an expat blogger and friend of Kaitlin’s here in the Netherlands. Amsterdam has been my home for the most part since 2009 when I moved here on the fly to work as an au pair and in that time, serendipity brought my Dutchman and I together and now we live along the canals.

Where are you right now?

Keying in tonight at home in Amsterdam.

Where did you grow up?

My early years were spent outside of Chicago, so my roots are Midwestern but my formative years were spent in Central Florida which explains my penchant for southern charm, bluegrass tunes and a constant craving for sunshine! My mom is a flight attendant, so it’s no surprise my first passport was issues at only a few months old and every holiday from school was spent in a different corner of the world! I’ve been to 35 countries so far and plan to keep that list growing. My mom definitely instilled an appreciation for cultures and globetrotting. 

What is your favorite destination and why?

My current favorite is South Africa! I honestly had no idea what to expect before spending three weeks trekking around on safari in Kruger Park and road tripping along the Garden Route with my mom. Aside from the friendly, interesting people of South Africa, learning about nature on safari and exploring a completely new side of the world, there's just so much to learn about yourself and others while traveling through new places! 

What is your least favorite destination and why?

You’ve got me racking my brain trying to think up a place that I’d probably never return to again and I can’t think of any! In my experience, every location has its perks and disappointments and every adventure comes with a lot of laughs and a few tears of frustration. Although, I will admit that studying abroad in China made me lose all appetite for their cuisine, sadly.

What is your favorite vacation memory?

In January, I spent a few weeks back home in Florida. It’s my current favorite for the great memories I made catching up with hometown friends. Most afternoons were spent relaxing in the sunshine so this wasn’t what I’d consider wild traveling, just a (well needed) holiday. Spending cozy, quality time with my amazingly sharp 95-year-old Granny was a big part of my trip home as well. 

What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?

I split my week between an English language preschool and working as the Lifestyle Editor forIamExpat.nl a media platform for, you guessed it- internationals in the Netherlands. You could say I’m very immersed in the expat community here in Amsterdam, which makes sense since culture and creativity are two important aspects in both positions. Engaging with other’s who are living overseas is great and after going through so many up’s and down’s in my own expat experience it feels good to help other’s find new ways to settling into life abroad.  I’d love a job that requires more travel and still haven’t given up on my mom’s dream for me to join a flight crew! At the moment, any travel for work is within the Netherlands and usually related to international community events.

How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with your?

I’m definitely a light packer- that is, unless I’m heading back from America with a suitcase of my favorite bits from home (especially hot sauce, sour patch kids and beef jerky for my Dutchman). For trips two weeks and under day backpack and a purse fits enough. This backpack and sleeping bag have been to a few different continents with me and I recommend both!

Clothes always flex with location but I’m a casual traveler. Mix and match outfits work great and save space. In my experience, long skirts, a jean jacket and a multi purpose scarves can go a long way with the right clothing combinations. 

At least one camera is always on hand while traveling! I use the Cannon Powershot G series, my Iphone 4s and on occasion one of my 35mm cameras like an old Nikon or Holga or FishEye. Capturing special moments while traveling make the best souvenirs. 

My must-have list includes: an mask, q-tips, rosebud salve, baby wipes, mini first aid kit and a good book. Any favorite things usually end up staying tucked inside and ready for the next trip! You can read about how I packed for safari in Kruger Park here.

Do you have any trips planned for the future?

One of my best friends from back home is visiting me in Amsterdam (this week!) and we’re heading off for a few days in Paris together! It’s her first time in Europe and I can’t wait to her around Amsterdam! Plus, I haven’t been in Paris in years so there’s a lot to look forward too.

How do you plan your trips?

Planning trips is one of my favorite hobbies! Not just for the anticipating and curiosity that comes with discovering a new place but also because I genuinely really, really, enjoy research and planning! I like to pick my top 5 - 10 spots to check out (museums, festivals, monuments, eateries, etc…) and the adventure comes along with trying to navigate your way there- I love maps and navigation, getting lost is half the adventure!

What is your dream vacation?

South East Asia  and India are both high on my list for my next big trip. My Dutchman has visited multiple times and a slight hint of envy always strikes when he talks about how amazing his adventures were! Visiting India has always been a dream and after this much time spent in Holland I’ll take as much sunshine and warmth as I can get!

What kind of traveler are you? 

Budget travel is definitely a preference, along with discovering places off the beaten path and supporting the local businesses and artisans. Growing up, my mom and I made it all over the world with a rental car and an overly examined map and that’s still how I tend to travel today. A lot of our favorite adventures came along whilst trying to get to ‘our final destination’ (isn’t that what they all say?) For suggestions, my travel favorites are Lonely PlanetSpotted by Locals and Couchsurfing. Of course, if you have any connection to a local (through friends or family) then it’s great to get in touch and hear tips from locals.

After finishing university I spent 6 weeks backpacking and couch surfing around Scandinavia with a childhood friend. We made it all the up to the Arctic Circle of Finland for a friend’s summer wedding and also celebrated Swedish midsummer in the countryside in an adorable farm house stuffed full of Couchsurfers! That was such a random and memorable travel moments!

My personal blog is www.lilywanderlust.com,  a lifestyle blog about everyday adventures of life in Amsterdam. You can also find me on instagrampinteresttwitter!

Thanks so much Lily! Check out her awesome pictures below. If you love her pictures or have any questions/comments drop them below. Also if you want to help a student out and be part of the series, drop me a line at GAPeachAbroad@gmail.com

South Africa

South Africa with a Cheetah

South Africa

China

Lily in China

Panda China

HollandDutch Canals

Sweden

Midsummer Sweden

Venice

St MarksB

 

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For the Love of Travel Series- Jana from Breaking One Hundred (Guest Post)

Cruise in Russia

I first met Jana at a now defunct book club here in the Netherlands. I thought she was super sweet, and I really wanted to learn more about her, which is why I was so excited when she said she wanted to be part of my For the Love of Travel Series! I hope you have as much fun getting to know Jana through this post as I have. And don't forget to check out her blog over at Breaking One Hundred!

Tell us a bit about you?
 
My life goal is to visit 100 countries and join the Travelers’ Century Club (hence the name of my blog, breakingonehundred). I’d also like to break 100 in golf, but honestly the former feels much more attainable at times! I met my husband when we were both studying abroad in London (he’s also American) so I knew he had the traveling spirit and would be up for the challenge too. I’m currently at 45 countries according to the club rules and he is at 30.
 
First things first, where are you at this moment?
 
We’re living in Amsterdam for a few more weeks. At the end of the month we move back to our home in Boston with our Old English Sheepdog Ozzie.
 
Ozzie in Amsterdam
Ozzie in Amsterdam
 
Where did you grow up?
 
I grew up about an hour northwest of Philadelphia in a very small town. Despite that, my parents had us traveling from a young age. I have them to thank for my wanderlust and it’s something I am eternally grateful for.
 
A view of the Oley Valley
A view of the Oley Valley
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
London will always hold a special place in my heart. I fell in love with London on my first trip to Europe when I was eleven and I fall further every time I’m back. It’s also the place I met my husband and some of my best friends, and where he proposed!
 
University of Manchester
Our Uni
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
Yet to be found.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
Our ‘destination’ wedding in Bluffton, South Carolina! We got there early so we could just relax and enjoy time with everyone as they arrived. I have wonderful memories of lounging by the pool, spa time with my bridesmaids, and my bachelorette in Savannah in the few days before our wedding. And of course it only got better when we reached the wedding weekend events. It was an incredible week.
Jana's Wedding
Our Wedding at Berkeley Hall. Photo © Tim Zielenbach Photography
 
What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?
 
I am in Finance for a Chemicals company. When we were in the States, I regularly went to our office in western Massachusetts and took a few trips to NYC per year. Here, I frequent our office in the south of the Netherlands. My more exciting work travel comes when I get to visit our other offices, partners or attend conferences. That has taken me to Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chicago, LA, Sweden, Turkey and London on multiple occasions. And of course Amsterdam when I wasn’t living here!
 
Istanbul by Night
Istanbul from my hotel room window.
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
 
Ah, a favorite topic. So much so I do a regular bit on my blog, “The Packing List” where I detail what I packed and how I wore it. I was terrible at packing for a long time. I over packed and often found myself buying lots of clothes before trips. Of course it’s fun to get new things but I saw this as an indication that I was missing key pieces and not putting outfits together in a smart way. Now I’ve got a pretty good handle on what to bring to feel appropriate in all situations [and not like a tourist] while still packing light.
 
Two things I always bring are comfy shoes (and at least two pairs, because even your comfiest shoes can start to hurt after a lot of walking) and my cashmere wrap (keeps me warm on planes and doubles as a scarf if our destination is chilly).
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
We’re spending ten days in South Carolina [Bluffton and Charleston] and Georgia [Savannah] right after we get back to the states.
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
The first decision point when we plan a get-away is do we want to take a ‘trip’ or a ‘vacation’. I’m a firm believe there is a difference between the two! Next, of course, is can we hit a new country on the list. (Note, this is much easier while living in Europe) Then we look into flights and hotels for our shortlist and pick a winner. I love a point system (we used points for our honeymoon and only had to pay for one of our ten nights!) so, if we can, we stay at Starwood hotels and fly SkyTeam. If we hit all those in one trip it’s the trifecta but we don’t let that
limit our travels.
 
What is your dream vacation?
 
Tough to pick just one! (I dream a lot). I’ll go with staying in an over water bungalow in the Maldives. It just seems like pure bliss.
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
My husband is my main travel partner. Luckily, we have the same travel style which I will classify as ‘leisurely.’ We’ll make a point to see the major attractions in a city, but we’re not the type of people who wake up at 6am and sprint from museum to museum. Before trips we research a few spots we want to go and use those as a rough guide. We walk everywhere we can and generally just explore. In my book, eating and shopping are the best ways to see a city so those are things we include. I always seek out the market or food hall at our destination - it’s a great way to sample local treats and see more of the city.
 
Our favorite stand at Borough Market in London. Grilled Cheese and Raclette.
Our favorite stand at Borough Market in London. Grilled Cheese and Raclette.
 
Fresh fish at the Central Market in Helsinki
Fresh fish at the Central Market in Helsinki
 
Amazing traditional Swedish fare at the Willy Ohl counter in the Stockholm Saluhall
Amazing traditional Swedish fare at the Willy Ohl counter in the Stockholm Saluhall
 
Delicious Estonian Garlic Bread in Tallin.
Delicious Estonian Garlic Bread in Tallin.
 
 
Thanks so much Jana! Check out some more of her great travel pics! I'll admit, I'm more than a little envious! 
 
 
Crete
The view from our room in Crete
The view from our room in Crete
 
Budapest
Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest
Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest
 
Berlin
Berlin’s Eastside Gallery
Berlin’s Eastside Gallery
 
Saint Petersburg
Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg
Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg
 
Copenhagen
Adorable Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
Adorable Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
 
Norway
Gaustatoppen Norway
Gaustatoppen Norway
 
Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo
Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo
 
Belgium
Walking in the Belgian countryside
Walking in the Belgian countryside
 
Morocco
Dirty faces after 4-wheeling through the Moroccan desert.
Dirty faces after 4-wheeling through the Moroccan desert.
 
Hong Kong
Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
 
Macau
Cotai Strip in Macau
Cotai Strip in Macau
 
Golfing!
 Golfing in Phuket
Golfing in Phuket
Golfing in the Canary Islands
Golfing in the Canary Islands
 
So pretty, don't forget if you want to be part of the For the Love of Travel Series, send me a line at GAPeachAbroad@gmail.com And don't forget to leave us a comment, we love comments!
 
 
 

If you liked this post, you should also check out:

For the Love of Travel Series- Sarah from Life in a State of Wanderlust

For the Love of Travel Series- Amanda from Poppies and Ice Cream

For the Love of Travel Series- Carolyn from Carolyn Horne Illustration 

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For the Love of Travel Series- Sarah from Life in a State of Wanderlust (Guest Post)

This week's post comes from Sarah, a fellow American expat who currently resides in Tillburg (in the Southern part of the Netherlands, for those of you who aren't familiar).She is originally from Virginia (Southern Girls Unite!) I've had so much fun learning about Sarah's adventures and it looks like soon she will be moving closer to my neck of the woods! You can learn more about Sarah at Life in a State of Wanderlust

Let's do this thing!

Tell us a little about you.
 
Let’s see. I’m 23 years old, and I have always loved to travel. So far, I have lived in three countries and visited 20 others. My bucket list is a mile long, and I’m constantly adding to it. I was born and raised in the United States, but I spent the past year in London completing my Master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Politics Science (LSE). Currently, I am residing with my boyfriend in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Living in Europe provides far more opportunities for international travel than in the States, so I am trying to take
advantage of every chance I get to see as much as I can while I am here!
 
Windmills do exist!
The cliché is true- windmills are everywhere in the Netherlands
 
Where did you grow up?
 
I spent my whole life in Virginia before I moved abroad for graduate school. Virginia was an amazing place to grow up. In only two hours by car from where I lived, you could be hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, swimming at Virginia Beach, or enjoying a city-break in Washington, D.C. There’s really something for everyone.
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
This is a difficult question! There are so many amazing places around the world. I think my favorite destination so far would have to be Dubrovnik, Croatia. Dubrovnik’s nickname is the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” and if there is any city that deserves its nickname, it is Dubrovnik. There are gorgeous beaches, winding alleyways to explore, and breathtaking cliff side cafes where you can dive right into the sea—if you dare! The old town is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, yet there is so much more to the area than meets the eye. Dubrovnik was nearly
destroyed during the Balkan Wars in the early 1990s, yet it has been painstakingly rebuilt over the years. You can still see evidence of the war if you look closely at the famous red roof tiles, because the ones that were replaced after being bombed out are slightly different colors than the original tiles.
 
The Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
My least favorite destinations are those where the only “cultural experiences” include laying on the beach during the day and partying every night, only to repeat the process for a week straight without ever leaving the resort. That is pretty much my travel nightmare. I travel because I love history, culture, and seeing the way different people live around the world. If I wanted to party into oblivion, I might just as well do it at home.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
In 2011, my dad took me and my brother to Tanzania for two weeks. We spent half of the trip wilderness hiking and camping in the African bush, an experience that was unlike anything I had ever done before. The trip was more than just a typical safari-vacation for us, though, because Tanzania was also the place that my dad grew up. His parents were missionaries in Arusha, and he lived there from when he was a baby until he returned to the U.S. at age 17. This was his first trip back to Tanzania in twenty years, and the first time my brother and I got to finally see the places we had been hearing about in stories our entire lives. The trip brought both tears and laughter, but having that shared experience definitely brought us closer together.
 
The house in Arusha, Tanzania, where my dad grew up.
The house in Arusha, Tanzania, where my dad grew up.
 
At the top of Ol Donyo Sambu, Tanzania
At the top of Ol Donyo Sambu, Tanzania
 
Close encounters of the elephant kind
Close encounters of the elephant kind

 

How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
I have traveled so much in the past two years that I pretty much have packing down to a science. I generally try to travel with only a carry-on, mostly because I am cheap and hate paying baggage fees. The possibility of forgetting things used to worry me, but I’ve since realized that stressing over something like a toothbrush is not worth it. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world; I promise you will be able to buy a new toothbrush when you get there.
That being said, I always take my camera (of course), a good book, and a pair of earplugs. Nothing can ruin a trip like a symphony of snores coming from your seat mates on a 14 hour overnight bus ride in Morocco.
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
I have been living in the Netherlands for months now, but my Dutch boyfriend has still never been to the United States, so I would love to take him on a classic American road trip to show him my home turf. On the other side of the globe, my best friend is currently teaching at an international school in Brunei (on the island of Borneo). If I had the opportunity to go somewhere a little more exotic, visiting her would definitely be first on my list!
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
I love planning trips! Researching and learning about my next destination is one of my favorite things to do. I’m one of those people who brings along a stack of information with me whenever I go somewhere. I still love to do spontaneous things once I get there, but the planning is part of the fun of travel for me. It increases my anticipation and excitement for the place I’m going to be. It is always a good idea to at least learn a few words in the language of the place you will be, and not just assume that English will be spoken everywhere.
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
I believe it is important to pick your travel companions wisely, no matter where you are going. I grew up taking road trips with my family, which I think is a great way to develop a love of travel. Now I generally travel with my close friends. I have found that small groups are always better to travel with than large groups. Large groups (even if you are all friends) mean too many opinions. Everyone is forced to compromise on what they want to do, and in the end no one is satisfied.
 
I am definitely not a tour group kind of person. I know some people greatly enjoy tours, but I do my best to stay away from them. Tour groups hardly ever allow you to do something on a whim—the kind of random adventures that make travel exciting. I don’t want to spend ninety percent of my vacation on a bus with people from my own country. That defeats the point of travel for me.
 
Thanks so much Sarah! I enjoyed reading about all your adventures, and I am totally with you on the tours thing. I hope you guys are loving this series as much as I am! If you want to be involved, and I so hope that you do, drop me a line at gapeachabroad@gmail.com.
 
Check out these other gorgeous pictures!
 
Middle East
Sarah with her Berber guide on a camel trek through the Moroccan Sahara
Sarah with her Berber guide on a camel trek through the Moroccan Sahara
 
A Sufi Dervish (“whirling dervish”) ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey
A Sufi Dervish (“whirling dervish”) ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey
 
Europe
A cold winter night in Bruges, Belgium
A cold winter night in Bruges, Belgium
 
View of London from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral
View of London from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral
 
Prague Castle at night
Prague Castle at night
 
At the top of Untersberg Mountain near Salzburg, Austria
 
Light streams through the windows inside St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican City.
Light streams through the windows inside St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican City.
 
If you liked this post, and I know you did. You should check out:
 

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For the Love of Travel Series- Carolyn from Carolyn Horne Illustration (Guest Post)

Carolyn is a former colleague and great friend of mine from Georgia. She and her husband Daniel (the one with the epic 'stache) are two of the most creative people you could ever hope to meet. I mean they designed their own wedding invitations, created their own decorations, and perhaps most impressive of all, they made their own wedding bands. So sweet! You can see some of her work at Carolyn Horne Illustration, when she updates it. (hint, hint).  Here is Carolyn's story:

Where are you at this moment?

In my apartment in the Atlanta suburbs.

Where did you grow up?

Mostly in Augusta, GA. Which is a great place to grow up, until you hit about 14 or 15- then it becomes Disgusta. (I say that with love...)

Do you have to travel for your job?

No.

What is your favorite destination and why?

That’s so hard! That’s like choosing your favorite child- they’re all different and beautiful in their own way. It’s funny, I love museums and cultural attractions and history, and I don’t consider myself super outdoorsy. And yet my very favorite places I’ve visited so far are Zion National Park, Miur Woods, and the El Yunque rainforest. There’s something really transcendent about these primal, unspoiled places.

What is your least favorite destination and why?

I can’t say that I’ve ever really disliked a destination. I usually travel with family or friends; even with the more touristy/commercial places that I wouldn’t normally choose to visit on my own, I still enjoy seeing new places. With the right company, anywhere can be an exciting destination.

What is your favorite vacation memory?

There are so many good ones, but since my husband and I just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and I’m feeling sentimental, I have to go with one from our honeymoon. After the day-after-the-wedding brunch, and after the goodbyes to our friends who attended the brunch, and after we had somehow, miraculously, managed to smash all of our luggage into our car, we finally hit the road. And as lame as that sounds, driving down I-95 singing along to Journey and Queen with my shiny new husband will always be one of my favorite vacation memories.

How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with your?

I pack the night before, like a maniac. A camera is a must, and I also try to bring a sketchbook and some drawing supplies.

Do you have any trips planned for the future?

I’m really hoping to go visit my sister in DC this spring, and I’d love to be able to visit all my far-flung friends. She means me, well and some others, but mostly me! 

How do you plan your trips?

Honestly, I’m not usually the planner of the trip. I specialize in finding bizarre attractions and activities to inflict on my travel companions once we’re there, like the time I made a group of friends accompany me to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, TN.

What is your dream vacation?

A very leisurely tour of Europe, with time to satisfy all of my art nerd desires.

What kind of traveler are you?

I enjoy cities and usually think of myself as more of a city person, but I love visiting beautiful natural places as well. I’m not a huge fan of flying, but will put up with the indignity of a public boob grope by a surly airport worker for the sake of adventure. I’ve never really had the opportunity to join a tour group, so I’m not sure if I would like that.

Thanks so much Carolyn, if you have any comments for Carolyn, or would like to commission an amazing art piece, leave your comments below! Have I mentioned how much I love comments?

17 Mile Dr, California 

San Francisco Tea Garden, California 

San Diego, California 

Muir Woods, California 

Grand Canyon

El Yunque Rain Forest, Puerto Rico 

 

If you liked this post, you should check out:

 

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For the Love of Travel Series- Christy from Living in the Promise (Guest Post)

*This week, we are going to try things a little differently, mainly because Loek takes issue with my use of orange font! So, the questions will be in bold. Let me know which one you like better. 

Today's post comes to you from someone who is more like a sister to me than a friend. Christy and I grew up across the street and one house down from each other. Along with our friend Hayley, who was four houses down from me, we were inseparable from the time we were eleven until eighteen. Then we grew up and moved away, went to college, started families, etc. But, whenever we get together it is like no time has passed at all. 

Christy just recently got her Master's in Counseling in Student Services in Higher Ed, she lives in Statesboro, Ga with her husband Scott. You can follow her at Living in the Promise. Let's start this shall we?

Where are you at this moment?

My husband and I live in Statesboro, Georgia, which is about 45 minutes West of Savannah. If you aren’t familiar with the state, we’re in the SE of the United States, and my city is in the SE of Georgia. We are very close to South Carolina and just a few short hours away from Florida. We recently bought a house, so I’ll probably be here for the next 5 years at least!
 
Where did you grow up?
 
Snellville, GA, which is close to Atlanta, that state’s capitol.
 
Do you have to travel for your job?
 
Very little. Sometimes I have to travel to other cities for conferences or other events, but it’s usually just to Savannah or occasionally Jacksonville, Florida.
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
My favorite place I’ve ever visited would probably have to be London. I studied abroad and spent 6 weeks there in the Summer of 2007. It’s definitely the farthest I’ve ever traveled and for the longest amount of time. Part of what I loved about it was simply the independence of doing something so outside of my normal routine and having the guts to do it without any family or close friends by my side. Fortunately, I made close friends while I was there (one of them is actually my sister-in-law now because after coming back to the States, I met her brother and we fell in love.) But what I loved about London itself was the way that everyone walked around and used public transportation to get places, the history, the beautiful landmarks, the pubs, the plays, and the accents!!
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
I guess my least favorite place that I’ve visited would have to be Nassau in the Bahamas. I’ve been twice. The first time I just visited the city itself. I’m not a big market shopper, so I wasn’t impressed with the straw market that everyone raves about, and I felt very uncomfortable with all the people trying to talk me into buying things. We went to Senor Frogs for lunch and it felt like a Spring Break party which is not really my scene. And I didn’t feel particularly safe walking around the city. The second time I visited, I went to Atlantis which was BEAUTIFUL! But I realize that’s just for tourists and isn’t a good depiction of what the city is really like.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
This is a hard one!! It would probably have to be during my honeymoon in Aruba. Everything was beautiful and fun and exciting, but I think my favorite thing was planning all the activities with my husband and realizing that I would be spending the rest of my life making plans with him and I couldn’t be happier about it!
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
 
It depends on the length of the trip. If it’s a week or less, I usually try to pack at least one outfit per day, and maybe a couple extra ones for just lounging around or fancy ones for going out. I hardly ever go through all of them, but I’m terrible about packing things “just in case!” If it’s a longer trip, like my trip to London, I try to pack enough basic pieces like jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, etc…things that can be mixed and matched, and just plan to do laundry. I always pack way more underwear than I’ll ever need! For other, non-clothing items, I always make a list just to make sure I don’t forget anything. I always pack a camera, sunscreen, aloe (I burn easily!), and at least one book.
 
 
 
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
 
My husband and I are thinking about our anniversary trip (May 30th is the big day…it’ll be 4 years!). We may go on another cruise (it’ll be our third one) or we may just do something low-key like getting a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia or Tennessee. We’ve also talked about doing a long weekend in Charleston or something. Honestly it’s going to depend on our tax refund and how much vacation time I can get at work!
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
We usually do one big vacation a year for our anniversary, and then maybe a couple weekend trips throughout the year. And we usually do a week at a beach house with my hubby’s family during the summer. When it comes to our anniversary, we first consider money. We usually spend most or all of our tax refund on that trip. So, we wait until we file taxes to see what we’re working with. Then we try to plan accordingly. After we have a destination in mind, we research all the attractions and make lists of things we want to do. We are definitely planners! When we took a trip to Disney World for our 2-year anniversary we had custom maps ordered from Disney that were specially marked with all the attractions we wanted to visit while we were there.
 
What is your dream vacation?
 
I’m happy with trips small or big. I just love getting away for a while and spending quality time with my hubby. I think my dream right now would be to go back to London and take him with me. It was such a special time in my life and I have such wonderful memories from there. I just want to share those with him in some way. There are SO many places I’ve never been and would love to visit, but I don’t have one particular place I want to see more than others. I’m open to almost anything as long as the company is good! (Or to visit one of your besties who lives across the Atlantic?)
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
I like city trips, like London. But I often feel like beach vacations can be the most relaxing and affordable. Sometimes we are working with a small budget and we just want something where we can be together and relax and forget about work or school or whatever else life has been throwing at us lately. Beaches often fit the bill better than anything else. And it’s much easier to control how much you spend at the beach. I don’t mind flying, but we don’t often go on vacations that require it. Plus I find that car trips can be a fun way to kick off a vacation. I love singing in the car or just having time to talk.
 
 
Thanks so much Christy! If you have any questions or comments leave them below! We love comments! Let me know how you feel about the new layout! Don't forget if you want to participate in this series, send an email to gapeachabroad.com
 
England
 
London Eye
 
London Big Ben
 
Stonehenge
 
Savannah
 
Savannah Forsyth Park
 
Savannah
 
 
Aruba
 
Aruba
 
Aruba
 
Aruba Sunset
 
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