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April, 2015

  • 15 April

    Budget Travel Guide for Florence, Italy

    Florence Sunset

    In Florence, or Firenze in Italian, it’s all about the art! From what I picked up, Florence really was the birthplace of the Renaissance. The Medici family sponsored and commissioned Da Vinci and other famous artists to uplift their city, and boy did it work! The city itself is quite a work of art, to say nothing of the magnificent …

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  • 10 April

    Budget Travel Guide for Rome, Italy

    Rome from Palatine Hill

    All roads lead to Rome. It certainly looks that way when you look at a map of Italy! I spent 3 days in Rome, which was not nearly enough, and perhaps too much. Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world, and one of the top five most visited. While I had my own activities over the three …

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  • 8 April

    How to Pack for Travel

    Travel Gear

    Knowing how to pack for travel, whether for a few weeks or a whole lifetime, can be quite a challenge. I spent months myself trying to plan out what I would need, and I even wrote a post about it on a previous blog I had. However, now that I’ve been traveling for a few months and have a bit …

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  • 7 April

    Gelato and More in Pisa, Italy

    Leaning Tower of Pisa

    Pisa is known for the leaning tower and not much else. In truth, there isn’t much else special in Pisa. Which is why I only spent less than a day there. I arrived in the town a little after lunch on Friday, jumping off the train a station before the final terminal when I saw I was only a couple …

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  • 3 April

    Budget Tips for Transport

    Florence Train Station

    I had a great experience today with budget transport which I’m obliged to pass along. With my fickle travel nature, I decided this morning to leave Florence, skip Bologna and head straight to Venice. I walked to the train station to find how much a ticket was. Much to my consternation, I found they were all around €60. Way out of …

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  • 3 April

    Travel to Italian Paradise Cinque Terre

    Vernazza Night Shot

    Before I even made it to Italy, I already had several people tell me I needed to go to Cinque Terre. I had never heard of it, and had no idea what to expect. There are some drop-dead gorgeous places in Italy, and Cinque Terre is definitely in the top of the list. Cinque Terre means five lands, and is …

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  • 1 April

    How to Spend an Afternoon in the Italian Town of Genoa

    Genoa Harborf

    Italians might not consider Genoa a great city to visit in Italy, but it was my first experience in Italy and I loved it. Genoa wasn’t on my original plans to visit in Italy. I ended up in Genoa from Barcelona as the ferry between the two was the cheapest transport I could find. It wasn’t the fastest way to …

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March, 2015

  • 21 March

    Barcelona, Spain

    Cathedral of Barcelona

    Ah, my beloved Barcelona. A truly international city. True, it has been designed and built for tourists, making it one of the most visited cities in the world (ranked #10 by Forbes last year). That didn’t stop me from loving it as much as I did. I actually ended up in Barcelona before I went to Italy simply because the …

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  • 16 March

    Touzac, France

    River Le Lot

    Never heard of this place? Neither has anyone else. I don’t think it even qualifies as a village. I was able to find a hair salon, a bar that health inspectors in America would shut down in a heartbeat, and a physiotherapist. That was it. No market, no gas station, no nothing. Population: 355. This leg of my journey definitely …

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  • 6 March

    Exploring the Fairy Tale European Town of Ghent, Belgium

    Center of Ghent

    Gent in Dutch, Gand in French. I will use the English spelling, Ghent, in this article. The name comes from a word meaning “confluence” and is the merging of the Scheldt and Leie rivers. In the middle ages it was the second largest and powerful city in Europe (behind Paris), and currently it is the second largest city in Belgium …

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  • 2 March

    Brussels, Belgium

    Brussels, Belgium

    Brussels, the seat of the European Union. A very diverse city. Frankly, no easy way to describe it. First of all, there is a difference between the region of Brussels and the City of Brussels. Just as Los Angeles is usually confused between the city and the county, so too is Brussels confused. The City of Brussels by itself is …

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February, 2015

  • 23 February

    A Weekend in Middelburg, Netherlands

    Middelburg, Netherlands

    I finally made it into the Netherlands, the birthplace of my Opa (grandfather). With a population of around 50,000 (compared to 800,000 in Amsterdam) Middelburg is a small, picturesque Dutch town where “everyone knows everyone” as they told me several times. But being small only enhanced the wonderful experience. To encapsulate the idea that “everyone knows everyone” there, I stayed with …

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  • 19 February

    A Guide to Belgian Chocolate

    Belgium Chocolate Shop

    Many countries have their signature food. Japan has sushi. Thailand has Pad Thai. Iceland has hotdogs (believe it or not). And Belgium has waffles, beer, frites (fries) and CHOCOLATE! Without question, the Belgian chocolate is the best in the world. Usually I like to write a blog on my experiences within a certain city or country. But today I need to talk about …

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  • 16 February

    Bristol Again

    Bristol Bridge of Mist

    Brycgstow, “the place at the bridge.” I ended up in Bristol for a couple days after Wales as an interim stop before Brussels. I am so glad I made it back. Just a couple weeks ago, Bristol became the European Green Capital. This week they started several attractions to commemorate the occasion. Between that, taking a fabulous free walking tour …

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  • 13 February

    Wales

    Host in Welsh Countryside

    Wales is a land of stunning beauty. It hardly compares to England, which has been largely industrialized. Even the colleges in Wales, especially Prifysgol Bangor (Bangor University) is a marvelous work of art. Aberystwyth is a charming community on the western waterfront, and I felt like a kid again running through the ruins of the castle on the beach. While I have …

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