Honestly, any city you explore in Italy will leave you wanting more & more. More views, more wine, second helpings (and probably thirds), and most importantly more time. Siena was no different. Siena is a small town about three hours north of Rome & one and a half hours south of Florence, the perfect middle between two beautiful Italian cities: Rome & Florence. If you are catching the train from Florence to Rome or Rome to Florence, I highly recommend stopping (for a day or two) in this charming medieval town. Check out the map below to a better layout of each location.
One day someone mentioned the town of Trieste to me, I had no idea where it was or how accessible it was. But, after that, all I knew is that I would one day find a way to visit. And I did…for the afternoon! Trieste is a tiny tiny port town in Italy located in the northeast of Italy, considered the capital of that region of Italy & one of the largest seaports in that region (Austro-Hungarian Empire region). Located so close to the border of Slovenia & the Adriatic coast, the architecture found throughout Trieste has developed an Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influence mixed with the traditional classic style of Italian Renaissance.
Italy is the heart of many food staples that I consider to bring meaning to life. Pizza, pasta, tomatoes, gelato, and pesto. Just thinking about it makes my stomach growl and is enough to convince me to pack my bags and drive to the airport. (Damn you, adulting responsibilities). If you consider yourself a #foodie, someone that loves cooking or if you are like me and enjoy the art of indulging in anything (#foodislife) then while you are galavanting around and falling in love with Italy. I recommend you find yourself in an Italian kitchen, elbow deep in dough, learning how to craft some of Italians finest cuisines.
Throughout the years of traveling, Italy has been romanticized and continues to stalk my daydreams and bucket lists, it is a country that everyone deserves to visit at least once in their lifetime. I will even volunteer to be your tour guide. I have started the Ultimate Italian Bucket List for those that are traveling to Italy.
If gelato or the Colosseum isn’t enough to convince you I am going to give you thirteen words and by the time you get to thirteen, your bags should be packed.
Traveling throughout Asia is a whirlwind of emotions, a travel rollercoaster unlike any. For me, Thailand ignited my wanderlust and made me realize just how big the world is and how much of it needs to be explored. Thailand was also my first real international trip & prior to going, I didn’t do much research on the country itself but rather what to pack for a year in a foreign country. So naturally, a few/lot of things went a little skew. Learning from my mistakes of the past, I’ve created a list of all the things I wished I had known before traveling to Thailand, rather than just how many skirts I should pack.
Chiang Mai is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, founded in 1296 and once was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, today Chiang Mai offers a charming and laidback vibe; everything from green mountainous landscapes, admiring beautiful animals & of course, the most exotic and droolingly delicious flavors. Of course, two days in any city is not nearly enough time to see, do, and eat everything but with three days in the northern capital, you will be able to get a teaser of what Chiang Mai is.
I am the queen of lists. I love all lists, but I have to say that my favorite kind of lists are bucket lists! Every time I got a new place, city or country I start a bucket list. I am already over the moon with excitement for the trip but creating a bucket makes me even more so excited about the trip and helps me organize my trip. I am able to see, do and eat all the things I really want to and always leave room for some spontaneity.
If you are trying to get away from the booming and busy city of Bangkok, Ayutthaya is just what you need. Learning about the history of the “Land of Smiles” will take you deep into the temples found spread through Ayutthaya. The ancient capital of Siam is located about 70 km or about an hour outside of Bangkok. As it may not be as much of a popular destination today, Ayutthaya was once the thriving capital of Thailand, home to over millions of people. The city flourished in the eyes of its competitors, who jealously drooled over the success of the city.
The moment I landed in Bangkok I anticipated an adventure. My yoga pants vacuumed to my already sweating legs, not a sign in sight I could understand or a letter I could read, and people were literally a blur, zigzagging around me. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity of traveling to Bangkok a few times and each time it is a whole new adventure, and that is one of the things I absolutely love about Thailand. Every time you go, it’s like experiencing it for the first time.
There are 48 countries in the continent of Asia. That’s a lot of places to attempt to visit and some are more difficult to get to than others. So instead of creating a personalized bucket list for every single place in Asia, I’ve decided to let reality bring me back to Earth and make a some-what-reasonable bucket list that I could potentially accomplish!
From what I learned & what I wished I knew at the time, Helsinki is not about sights and structures. It has to do with experiences and becoming a part of the Finnish culture. While you are spending time in Helsinki or neighboring cities try relaxing at a Finnish spa, or de-stress at the sauna, get your nerd on in one of the exquisitely designed libraries, embrace the coffee culture and devour the taste of the Nordic capital. Helsinki is the World Design Capital.
FOOD IS LIFE (obviously) and with the world being so big and filled with such exotic flavors and cuisines it only makes sense to eat your way through every city, country, and continent. While I spent two years in Europe, I had the pleasure of being able to travel to a number of different cuisines, naturally, I made a bucket list of the foods that needed to eaten, tasted, licked, slurped, chewed or gulped throughout Europe.