#theatlasheart

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#theatlasheart#naxos#wheniniceland#fira#santorinigreece#parosisland#girlboss#LoveIreland#TBEXIreland#portara#slieveleague#paros#ireland#visitlondon#eeeeeats#mtzas#thisislondon#travelgreece

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Last weekend, my housemates and I decided to get out of the city and explore the small seaside city of Peniche (mostly because it was the only place within 2 hours of Lisbon that wasn’t raining 😛). About an hour and a half by bus from Lisbon, this is a hotspot for surfers. There’s also a lovely headland walk you can do around the peninsula. It takes about an hour and a half, and there’s a lighthouse and breezy ocean views along the way. It was the ideal place to close out the weekend and appreciate the natural beauty of this country. An easy thing to do in Portugal! Also, there’s a delicious little seafood spot at the end of the walk called @profresco. It ain’t cheap, but it is tasty if you love fresh seafood. 🐠🐟🐡// #theatlasheart .
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💗Let me know - have you taken any memorable day trips recently?
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📷 by @g.galindezurbina


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Chasing fortress churches in Évora. 🏰 Although we didn’t find a lot happening in Évora because we arrived on a Sunday, they take the cake for cool churches. Cathedral of Évora was my favorite cathedral that I’ve visited in Portugal so far. It provided an impressive view over the yellow and white buildings of the city. A close runner up was the Chapel of Bones (or Capela dos Ossos). It was created when the city needed to expand and start building but Évora was already covered in graveyards. They decided to consolidate the bones, and some of them ended up in this chapel to remind everyone who came through its doors of their own mortality. The chapel is literally made from thousands of human bones. Creepy but kind of beautiful in a morbid way. Let me know —> what is the quirkiest or weirdest religious site you’ve been to? // #theatlasheart .
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📷 by @adithya


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**New Post Alert** My June Wrap Up is now up on the blog, including my travels through the beautiful city of Porto, as well as the UK, Spain, and other magical spots around Portugal. Find out why it was such a special month for me, and where I plan to enjoy the rest of my summer! (Link in bio💗).
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Tell me - have you ever been to Portugal? What is your favorite European city? 🏰🇵🇹
#theatlasheart


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I’ve spent the last week exploring southern Portugal and Spain with my friend from San Francisco, and it has been a blast discovering more of my new home base with someone who makes me laugh everyday and who is just as excited to learn about new cultures as I am.
In the last week, I made it through the flu, basked in the Flamenco culture of Seville, got lost in the limestone caves of the Algarve, stayed in a beautiful convent turned pousada from the 15th century, partied all night in Lisbon, and got my first taste of live Fado. It was an adventure to say the least.
Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer has in store for me!
Now that I’m all settled into my sublet in Lisbon, please feel free to send me your recommendations for what I should see, taste, and experience in this city. 💗 #theatlasheart .
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📷 by @adithya


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**NEW ON THE BLOG** My picks for the 7 most peaceful places in London (link in bio!). 🇬🇧 'London' and 'peaceful' are two words you don't normally hear in the same sentence, but even London, with its many unique attributes, has a few quiet hideaways that allow you to get away from the city without ever having to leave it.
I captured this shot at the Kew Gardens' Palm House. As soon as I walked into the humid greenhouse I felt like I was back in the jungles of Malaysia. I love finding local spots like this in my travels, especially in cities that are visited by so many people - how about you? .
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#theatlasheart #visitlondon #thisislondon


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In case you missed it ➡️ my May Wrap-Up is now up on the blog (link in bio!). Last month took me from the shores of California to Iceland, Scotland, and England. I also rang in my 28th dancing at a music festival in London, and partying with a number of friends I’ve met from around the world. May was wonderful in a number of ways, maybe most importantly, it made me realize how much I now think of California as home. I guess sometimes it takes leaving a place to realize how much it means to you. And I definitely felt a kind of homesickness in May for California that I’d never felt before during my travels. We’ll see how this summer goes in Portugal, but there’s a chance I may be ready to set-up a proper base in San Francisco before the year is out. 💗Let me know - where do you consider home? What made you choose that place? #theatlasheart


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“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” // Roman Payne 🌸 —-
#theatlasheart #wheniniceland
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📷 by @theurv


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When you come across rapids on the side of the road, you have to stop, take a photo, and appreciate the view. 📷 I don’t think I’ve ever pulled over more during a road trip than I did in Iceland. 🚗 Processing the profound amount of beauty and unique landscapes in this country left us feeling exhausted but fulfilled by the end of each day. It’s really unlike any other country I’ve experienced before. 🇮🇸➡️ Let me know - what is the most unique country you’ve been to? What made it so different? #theatlasheart #wheniniceland


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Climbing on flood-destroyed bridges, aka what you do in Iceland. 🇮🇸 In case you missed it 👉🏻 I just published my latest birthday post, about all the places I once called home in the past 28 years and the personal anecdotes that go along with them. The list includes multiple spots in California, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, Thailand, and Greece. You can read the full post by heading to the link in my bio 🔝 I’ll be heading to London tomorrow for my birthday weekend, including a new music festival that’s happening on my actual birthday and which one of my favorite bands is headlining - the XX. More to come about that soon! Let me know — how do you usually celebrate your birthday? I spend every birthday of my 20s in a different city. This year’s will be much different from my birthday in Don Det, Laos last year, but I’m excited to take on London Town for my 28th. 🎉🎈
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📷 by @theurv


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Exploring the otherworldly landscape of Iceland. 🇮🇸You just have to drive for another 5 minutes and you’ll feel like you’re in another country (or planet). This spot is a popular geothermal field called Seltún in the Krísuvík area, only about 40 minutes from Reykjavik by car. It smelled like a whole lot of sulfur and acted as a natural heater from the cold weather. The pools here get up to 100 degrees C, so make sure you watch where you step on the narrow platforms. This was probably the most well developed geothermal field we saw during our time in the country, I love how all of the colors run together in a way that reminds me of a painting. Let me know - have you been to many geothermal areas in the world? I’ve now been to three major ones - Yellowstone National Park in the US, the North Island of New Zealand, and Iceland. Love me some rotten-egg smelling electric blue boiling water. 💙👏🏻


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Being humbled by epic waterfalls is a daily occurrence in Iceland. 💦🇮🇸
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📷 by @theurv


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On my last day in Naxos, I rented a car with a couple of guys from my hostel and we hiked up Mt. Zas. It was a scorching hot but beautiful blue sky day. We came across goats that blended into the mountain, and explored the Cave of Zeus (where locals in ancient times believed the god Zeus was born). After the cave, it was basically just scrambling up loose rocks and gravel at a steep incline to get to the top. We didn't make it to the very top since we started a little later in the day and one guy in the group had to head to the ferry port shortly after, but even the views from mid-mountain were stunning. After our hike, we stopped by the tiny village Filoti to grab lunch at a local taverna and feasted on Greek specialities from the region with a cool breeze lightening up the hot afternoon. The American guy had to soon take off to catch his ferry, but me and my German friend spent the day driving around the west coast of the island, checking out a couple of popular beaches, and taking in the perfect afternoon at our leisure. It was my last island in Greece before heading back to the mainland, and it was just the type of adventure I was looking for to say goodbye to summer and my island life that I had grown to love so much in the past few months. #theatlasheart #naxos #mtzas


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Doesn't this just make you want to drool a bit?! 😵 Three fun facts about Naxos! 💕🇬🇷 1. Apollo is a favorite Greek god on the island. It's said that Apollo left his son, Aristaios, on Naxos to teach the islanders the art of cheesemaking. 2. There are more than 10,000 cows and 100,000 free-range sheep and goats, which account for 1,500 tonnes of cheese per year. 3. Unsuprisingly, Naxos is famous for its specialty cheeses - especially Graviera, Arseniko, Xynotiro, and Xinomizithra - so, of course, I had to try a dish that used 3 out of 4 of these cheeses. And yes, it was damn good. 🍴 Tell me - have you been to a city or island that is known for a specific dish? What was it? #theatlasheart #eeeeeats #naxos


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There are so many strays in Greece, you can’t visit a village without a few cats or kittens walking around. It took a lot of self control to not wind up adopting all of them. One of these days I probably will take home one of the many stray cats or dogs that are so common in the countries I visit, but this trip I stuck to just giving them lots of love.😻🇬🇷


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Santorini views.🇬🇷It was hard to tear my eyes away from the famous cliff top views in Fira during the day. My last night in Santorini I sat down to eat dinner with a similar view looking out over Fira, but this time in the dark with its calm twinkling lights. The day had been pretty perfect, my bones relaxing after a long afternoon in the hot Greek sun, and a good meal with a chilled glass of white wine in front of me to finish off the day. Everything was in its right place, that is, until I realized I forgot my wallet in my other bag back at my hostel. I NEVER do this. And it was really bad because I was traveling by myself and without a dinner companion to temporarily cover me. Embarrassed, I explained to the very nice waiter who had been serving me all night that I had to walk back to my accommodation, a 20 min walk away, to get my wallet because I forgot it. I offered to leave my ID with him as a guarantee that I would come back. Instead he asked where I was staying, said he knew the owner of the hostel, and to just leave the money with him and he could collect it tomorrow. He would hate for me to make the long walk all the way back just to pay tonight. I was baffled, I could imagine how this same conversation would’ve probably gone in a number of other cities, countries, cultures. Greece is a beautiful country without a doubt, but its hospitality a d local kindness are really what endeared me to it. I immediately hightailed it back to my hostel, found a fellow hostel mate had stolen all the money out of my wallet while I was gone, walked back into town, found an ATM, and finally paid the owner before he turned in for the night. Even with all of my money stolen, a slightly embarrassing last meal on a famous honeymoon island in a fancy restaurant, I expressed my sincerest gratitude to the kindness I was shown on the island that day, and the fact that it wasn’t made worse by a lack of trust. It’s those little moments that really give you insight into the mindset of a culture, and just how wonderful local people can be. // #theatlasheart #fira #santorinigreece


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The sun is gleaming through the palm trees, I’m riding alongside the ocean, the orange sky as my canopy. What a way to say goodbye to this cherished place I’ve taken for my own, a place I call home even with these restless bones.
The southern winds pushing me onward toward my journey, the new adventures that await. This feels right, even with the tug of nostalgia filling my chest, a montage of memories in my head.

This is my purpose, my path in life. I hate goodbyes, but I don’t see this as such, because those who I’ve met, who have touched my heart in someway, will stay there even after I’m long gone from this place.

Life is such a beautiful art, with its stops and starts, passing glances and what ifs that fade away as the sun descends its last rays.

The man next to me sips on his Corona, in his own space, drawing from a vivid imagination that consumes his focus as we pull into another station. We’re all in our own space, yet connected through our graceful humanity, our innocent fallacies that make us kindred souls as we tackle our independent goals.

The train stops, last call, end of the line. But this ending is my beginning, so I’m going to take it and run into the arms of a soulful passion that is all my own. That is my journey to travel.

I’m finally ready to start. // ➡️ This was from one of the first posts I ever wrote on The Atlas Heart, when I was on my way to the airport from San Diego, about to move to Australia and start over completely in a new land. I have to say, some things never change. 😉 I never thought 5 years later I would still be on my journey around the world. But that’s life in all of its elegant turns and alterations. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 💗#theatlasheart #slieveleague #ireland


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I hope I’m not oversharing my Greece photos, but I have a few more to share with you before I move onto my stories from Belgium, France, and Ireland this fall. What can I say, Greece is crazy photogenic. 🤷🏼‍♀️ This shot was taken at the ancient Portara, looking back toward the city of Naxos. The water color was even a brighter blue in person. 🇬🇷➡️ Tell me, do you have a favorite island? Or favorite memory from an island adventure? 🌴I’ve become quite the island girl over the past year or so, and I have to say, Greek islands are some of my favorites.


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While I was on Paros, I navigated the public transport system to get to Lefkes, a small historic village in the middle of the island. It was a day of getting lost down winding cobblestone streets, exploring a church from the 19th century BC, eating their famous orange pie, and finding peace at a beautiful graveyard with an impressive view looking out over the ocean. This is what Greek summers are all about. 💙🇬🇷 Let me know - when was the last time you went and explored a city or town just for the fun of it, with no agenda or plan other than to get lost and soak up the local culture?


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Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. // Steve Jobs 💗 I’ve always been of the opinion that if you don’t like something in your life, change it. This is easier said than done sometimes, and not all of us have the privilege to make huge changes in our life all at once. But all of us have the power to make small ones. The biggest issue is often getting outside of your comfort zone, your daily comforts, to make it happen. People often tell me how they wish they could do what I do, travel the world, but the truth is most of the people who tell me that could very well make it happen. It all comes down to their priorities, how they want to live their life, and what they’re willing to sacrifice. Maybe travel isn’t your dream, maybe it’s having more free time, learning how to salsa, becoming fluent in another language, or changing careers. Maybe it’s all of those things. Whatever it is, there are small steps you can start doing today to make it happen. Don’t say you “wish” you could be or do something. If you really wished that, you would already be trying to make it happen. Always remember that 1. YOU are in control of your life and 2. there’s no time like the present. 🙏🏻 // #theatlasheart


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Taking in the view from Fira. 🇬🇷If you find yourself on the volcanic beauty that is Santorini, don’t miss out on the 3-hour coastal walk from Fira to Oia (or vice versa). I hardly came across a soul during the whole walk, just me and these sweeping views for a good few hours. I did the walk in the late afternoon, so I would get to Oia just in time for its famous sunset. It was one of my favorite experiences in Santorini. 👍🏻☺️ // #theatlasheart #fira #santorinigreece


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Paros ended up being my favorite island in Greece after Crete. 🇬🇷 With its whitewashed cobblestone streets, windmills, and bright blue shutters, it was everything a Greek daydream is meant to be. 💙🏝️ I spent an afternoon getting lost in its winding streets simply because they were so peaceful and photogenic. // #theatlasheart #paros #parosisland


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Perfecting that windswept look one windy day at a time 😂😘My time on Naxos was a short one in Greece - only a few days - but I managed to go up to the Portara a couple times while I was in town. If you’re wondering what the Portara is, it’s that ancient door lurking behind me. There was meant to be a grand temple attached to it (either for Apollo or Dionysus). It started being built in the 500s BC (!!), but when war broke out between Naxos and Samos, construction was abandoned and eventually left to ruins. At least everything except for that door, because clearly whoever designed it had fantastic structural engineering prowess. It’s a great place to watch the sunset in Naxos with the rest of the town (and tourists), and an interesting look into the past and what could’ve been. Of course, I loved it. 🇬🇷 // #theatlasheart #naxos #portara


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Matala was a favorite beach on Crete, mostly because it has an interesting and varied history. Oh, and it’s drop dead gorgeous, especially at sunset. 💁🏼‍♀️1️⃣ If we’re taking about Ancient Greek mythology, Matala was where Zeus swam to shore disguised as a bull with Europa on his back. Then changed into an eagle and did some other stuff with her at Gortys. 🤭2️⃣ The mysterious caves that you can explore for a few euros next to the beach were created in the Neolithic Age. They give a sweeping view of the beach and village if you’re willing to scramble around at loftier heights. Just don’t wear a dress like I did, and accidentally flash the people below you as you climb up the rocks. 👍🏻3️⃣ Most recently, Matala was a fishing village and then a place for hippies to come in the 1960s. Joni Mitchell even wrote a song about it. The village still very much has that hippie laid back vibe to it. ➡️ Tell me - have you been to a beach that has an interesting history?


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"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." —G.D. Anderson ......................................
Happy International Women’s Day!! 💕💕💕 As I’ve gotten older and into my late 20s, I’ve realized just how important solid female friendships are. It has been the women in my life who have stood beside me, lifted me up, inspired me, and challenged me most in the past few years.
I don’t take any of them for granted and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have so many sisters around the world that I can count on, laugh with, and get along with as if I’ve known them since birth.
The women I surround myself with stand up and fight for what they believe in, they run their own businesses, they are good-hearted and gracious humans. They are strong warriors who speak their mind and believe in equality.
I participated in the Women’s March this year in Chicago, and it moved something in me. It opened up a desire to be more involved, volunteer more, to listen. I’ve also been reading a lot of feminist-orientated books recently and I love the passionate discourse it has unlocked, the new perspectives (intersectional feminism heyooo) I have cherished and related to.
For all the women who are killing it and/or still finding their way (aren’t we all?!), I love you. You are strong, beautiful, and you are more than enough. 🙏🏻💗 Let’s keep talking and having uncomfortable discussions that need to be had. I stand with you. 🙌🏻
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A few books that I’ve loved recently: 🔸We should all be feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
🔸 Sex Object - Jessica Valenti 🔸 Anything by Brené Brown
A few books that I plan to read this year:
🔸 Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay 🔸 Lean In - Women, Work, and the Will to Lead - Sheryl Sandberg 🔸Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit 🔸 In the Land of Invisible Women - Qanta A. Ahmed
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➡️ Any other book recommendations that I should add to the list for this year? Let me know!


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My first day in Greece I was in a daze. The jet lag hadn’t caught up to me yet, and my body was still getting used to the continent change.
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In less than 24 hours, I had left the hot sticky air of Singapore to arrive in the hot dry air of Greece. The language was different, the birds and trees, the ancient history, even the sunshine felt different. .
It wasn’t a new thing for me, continent hopping, but all the same I felt a monumental shift by getting on that plane and leaving Asia early just because my gut told me to. .
After 8.5 month in Asia, arriving in Greece was a shock to the senses. It was also like taking a breath of fresh air. It felt like home from the moment I stepped on the metro that whisked me into Athens. .
I had made it through almost a year in Asia. 8.5 months of testing my boundaries, sadness and loss, and figuring out how to just be me and to be happy with exactly who I saw in the mirror. .
I lost myself a bit in Asia, or maybe even before that, but Greece felt like my homecoming. A place where I didn’t have to be anything or anyone that I didn’t want to be. A place just for me.❣️
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I still worked through a lot of things in Greece. I dealt with painful bouts of loneliness, disappointment, and bittersweet goodbyes, but I also had some of the most beautiful moments. I watched the sunset most nights from my perch on the beach, a cold beer or homemade pasta always beside me. I made friends with locals who would take me to their favorite taverna and make me try all the local specialities in one night, while opening up another bottle of raki and laughing underneath the stars that lit up the Mediterranean sky. Every night I would listen to the waves from my little white balcony. I could always feel sand between my toes and the warm breeze on my lips. The lights twinkling up the hill in the distance before I turned in for the night. My skin tan, my body strong, my mind in transition. .
I knew my time in Greece would always be special because it was a time of new beginnings. Of finding my own way. It was also a time to enjoy the little things that make life what it is. It was a time for moving on, growing up, and letting go. 🇬🇷💙


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Face the world with your head held high and carry the universe in your heart. // Before I left Crete for Santorini, I decided to solo hike the Samaria Gorge, a popular 13 km trail in Crete and the longest gorge hike in Europe. 💪🌼 It ended up being one of my favorite experiences in Greece, and made me realize how much I miss just being outside in nature all day. Let me know ➡️ Have you been solo hiking before? Where has been your favorite hike and why? 🌿🍁🌲 #theatlasheart


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As I do with any new base, I took advantage of as many day trips as I could while I was living in Heraklion, to explore more of Crete. 🇬🇷 Crete is the largest island in Greece and the 88th largest island in the world at 3,200 square miles. Although some of the more remote (and stunningly beautiful) spots are hard and/or impossible to get to without some kind of wheels, there's a decent network of buses that connect the many cities around the island. ✌️☀️ One of my favorite solo day trips was to Rethymno. It has a bustling waterfront, grand Venetian fortress, and cute souvenir shops that line the cobblestone streets. There wasn't much more I could want for a half day of exploring a new island city. My favorite memory from the day? Eating lunch at a lazy cafe underneath the pink trees. It served humongous crepes. I spent over an hour there people watching, reading a good book, and being present with the hot breezy Greek air that was tinged with the smell of salt. These little moments are what best bring me back to what it meant to live in Greece, those daily doses of beauty that make up a life well lived. 💗  #theatlasheart


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When you're a walking cliche of summer. 😜☀️ // Let me know ➡️ Do you have any summer travels planned yet? I'm dreaming of Portugal this year!


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One of my favorite things about living in Greece 🇬🇷 was the colorfulness that greeted me throughout the country. Blues, pinks, whites - the bright hues always brightened my day and made me smile. You just can't beat those sunny Mediterranean vibes. ☀️ Tell Me - do you ever see countries as a color? If I had to choose a color for Greece, it would most definitely be 💙. What is your favorite country and which color would you call it?


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Visiting the Acropolis in Athens was a dream come true and one of my major bucket-list items. 🇬🇷 The ancient citadel stands high above Athens and looks out over the city, and it always gave me a comforting and humbling feeling seeing the ancient ruins lit up every night on a hill in the distance. The most famous monument in the Acropolis is, of course, the Parthenon, but I loved walked around and getting to know some of the other famous but lesser known sites as well, such as this beauty and it's grandiose view over the browns, greens, and whites of Athens - the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. ☀️💗 Selfie-sticks be damned, the Acropolis and its famous architecture, buildings, and monuments within its 3,300+ year-old walls are still a must-see if you're in Athens and you're looking for a taste of ancient Greek history. Let me know ➡️ Have you been to Greece and/or the Acropolis? Do you have a favorite historical monument that you've visited?


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Wine tasting on Crete was an experience and a half. It involved renting a tiny yellow manual Fiat that we named Bumblebee, and getting lost on back roads on the way to remote wineries. 💛🍷 Crete is one of the best places in Greece to go wine tasting because Cretan cuisine (wine included!) is unique and separate from the rest of Greece. 🇬🇷 In fact, it was once considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world (those Mediterranean ingredients!). Cretan wine is no exception in terms of its crisp quality and homemade nature. In addition to Raki, locals always take pride in offering you some local - usually white - wine with your meal, and many restaurant owners around the island make their own wine to serve with their food. ➡️ Let me know - have you tried Greek wine before? Where else have you been wine tasting? I also have loved the wine tasting in California, Australia, and New Zealand!


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A typical Greek breakfast for me my first week in Athens - sipping on Greek coffee and eating a meat pie while watching the world go by. Mmmmm. 😘👍☕️ This was taken at a cafe near my Air BnB around Monastiraki Square that I quickly became a regular at. It was off one of the alleyways of the main square and it was perfect for people watching in the warm Greek mornings before the scorching hot afternoons. ☀️ So many people told me how much they disliked Athens, but I loved the city - its heat, busyness, and colorful cobblestone streets with ancient ruins never too far away. There was an abundance of live music, Greek dancing, and a hipster bar and arts scene that reached all ages.💃 Sure, it may be a little rough around the edges but that’s what adds to its character. There’s a vibrancy in Athens that is unique to Greece. Most of the islands are laidback getaways with a slower pace of life, and much more based around tourism - especially if you stick around the Cyclades. Athens is brash, in your face, and not always easy on the eyes, but I found it to be beautiful in its own right with friendly and welcoming locals that always made me feel at home.
TELL ME ➡️ Have you ever been surprised by a new city that you thought for sure you wouldn’t like? Or vice versa?


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Since I’m going to be in India for the next couple of weeks with minimal internet, I thought it would be the perfect time to catch up on my travel photos from last year - starting with Greece! 💖🇬🇷 I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos from my summer living in Crete, and traveling around Athens, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, and Thessaloniki. 🚢
One aspect that stood out to me about Greek scenery is the many blues, browns, and whites that can be found around the country. 💙 I love that color combination. It was such a bright and beautiful place to live for six weeks. I still have a twinge of longing every time I think back to my Greek summer and the many wonderful memories I made there. It’s always going to be one of those places that I’ll always want to return to.
This shot is a perfect example of one of those fond memories. My Aussie friend Chenee and I decided to wrangle together a group of girls for a girls weekend around Crete. 👯 On our last day, we were hopelessly trying to find how to get down to Preveli Beach, but kept getting stuck on donkey trails or backroads that dead ended with fences. Lesson learned that day? Never trust Google Maps on Crete, especially if it tries to give you a quicker route off the main roads!
We eventually made it to our beach, after about a two hour detour, but I have to say my favorite part of that day was constantly getting lost with that group of friends. With views like these at our deadend roads, all we could do was laugh at our situation and appreciate how lucky we were to have found ourselves on such a beautiful island.
TELL ME ➡️ Do you have a place that you’ll always want to go back to? Greece stole my heart in so many ways, when I was least expecting it. ✌️


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California road trips never get old. 🌻
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I went on a road trip to Monterey with one of my best friends right before the New Year, and I finally got to experience the famous 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. 💁🏻‍♀️💁🏼‍♀️ It costs $10.25 per vehicle to do the drive, but it’s so worth it for the views of the coastline and the cute seals. And I loved doing it in the winter, right before sunset, when the road and stops weren’t that overcrowded with cars.
The 17-Mile Drive used to be driven by horse drawn carriages in 1881, that’s how long it has been around! If you happen to be on the Central Coast of California, make sure to stop by Monterey, Santa Cruz, and spend an afternoon road tripping this drive. It would be a perfect weekend to take in this part of the coast. 👌🏻
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LET ME KNOW ➡️ Where in the world do you love road tripping?


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Sunsets in Chicago are not soon forgotten. 🌇🇺🇸
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The last time I was here was for my 26th birthday. It was an interesting trip to say the least, but it gave me a good overview of the city and its more touristy draws.
This time I’ve been enjoying simply getting lost in the city streets and catching red-orange sunsets, when it’s not too freezing cold. One of my favorite pastimes when I’m in a new city is to walk without any direction, to try and get a feel for the local vibe. Every city has its own unique flavor. 💕💕 I’ve also been loving the quirky bars around town. So far I’ve been to an underground tiki themed speakeasy, an arcade game dive bar, and a soulful southern inspired blues bar, complete with Jerk chicken nachos! 🍹🍽️
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➡️ LET ME KNOW - have you been to Chicago? What is your favorite city to visit in the US?


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A bit late, but my December Wrap Up is finally up on the blog (link in bio🔝👩🏼💻).
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December was a way busier month than I was expecting it would be, but it was a great way to end 2017 with some of my favorite people. 💁🏼‍♀️💁🏻‍♀️ It included a few California road trips, beautiful sunsets, and a trip to ‘Siberia’ (aka my friend’s family estate in Eastern California, in the middle of nowhere). I spent my time between Mendocino, San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey, and Siberia last month! 🇺🇸⛄️
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➡️ LET ME KNOW - how was the end of your 2017? What has been your favorite moment from 2018 so far? 💕🙏🏻


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I arrived in Montreal a couple of days ago, and I’ve found myself in a winter wonderland ❄️⛄️🧤
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I remember the first time I woke up to my first snow day experience in a city setting (when I was living in Portland), and how magical that feeling was. I’m sure it gets old if snow is what you’re used to in the winter, but it’s still relatively novel to me, having grown up on the California coast and living places like Australia and SE Asia.
I still consider myself a hot weather/beachy person, but damn there’s something so cozy and peaceful about a snow laden city...especially when I get to have bomb poutine at the end of the day. 😻🤙🏻
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➡️ I’ll be in Montreal ⚜️ for the weekend, do you have any recommendations for what I should see or eat? Leave them in the comments below! 🇨🇦


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My yearly review post is now up on the blog (link in bio).🔝I never expected 2017 to be a year to myself, but then again, I guess you never really know what life will bring you with each new year. What I can say is that I’m very glad that it was, because it ended up being one of my favorite years, and I discovered a part of myself that I didn’t quite know existed. It was a year of seeing the strength, compassion, and determination that guide me on a daily basis, come full circle. 🌏💕✨
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➡️ LET ME KNOW - how was your 2017? What are you most looking forward to in 2018? ✈️


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Drove a few hours up north to have a wine weekend getaway at @brewerygulchinn with one of my best friends. 👯‍♀️🍷Russian Gulch State Park is only a few minutes up the road from the inn, and such a beautiful place to get lost in nature. Last time I was here, I was sleeping in a hippie van and traveling for two months up the California coast. It still looks exactly the same 3 years later. Most people don’t know much about the California coast that’s north of San Francisco. I’m looking forward to sharing more about my wonderful time in Mendocino soon! 🍂💗🍃 #theatlasheart


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NEW POST on the blog ➡️ Announcing my travel plans for 2018! 🎉🎉Can you guess where I’m going? I felt burnt out by my travels by the end of 2017, because of the pace and length of time I had been on the road. For 2018, I’m ready to not live out of a backpack, which is why I’m actively looking for a base this year. I’ve chosen my destinations with this in mind, and also to visit as many of my favorite people around the world as possible. If you want to see where I’m going, make sure to follow the link in my bio. 👩🏼💻🔝Although I’ve been enjoying home life for the last past month, I’m looking forward to more international adventures coming soon! 2018 is sure to be an interesting and fulfilling year. 💗🤘🏻LET ME KNOW: Do you have any exciting travel plans for 2018 yet??


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GIVE THANKS!! 💙💜💚❤️Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my American friends. I have so much to be thankful for this year, like every year, but this year has been even more special because I’m home and I was able to spend it with family. My favorite parts? Eating my mom’s homemade pumpkin pie and giving lots of hugs to my 91 year-old grandpa. Even though I spend the majority of the year abroad, I’m always so appreciative when I come home, of where I come from and the people who raised me and grew up beside me. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. 😘🙏
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➡️ LET ME KNOW: How did you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Or if you’re not American, tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you think of American Thanksgiving. 😜🦃


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Just because I couldn’t get enough of this gorgeous sunset at Baker Beach in San Francisco the other night. Sometimes I just have to take a deep breath in with views like this, and appreciate the moment and how damn good it feels to be home. It makes me always come to the same conclusion - there really is no place like California. 💗🌅 Also, having bomb Mexican food later that night just solidified that appreciation even more. 🌯🌮
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LET ME KNOW ➡️ Where is home for you? Is it the place where you grew up or somewhere else? ......................................
CONGRATS to Toni for winning the recent book giveaway I hosted. And cheers to all of you who entered. You made my week. 👏🏻🎉


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✨GIVEAWAY TIME✨Hey friends - I’m giving away a copy of @whylapourquoiparis by the talented @dianeratican to one lucky reader! The book is an artsy look at Paris and LA and how these beloved (yet often misunderstood cities) compare and contrast. A great coffee table read, or just another reason to daydream about colorful cosmopolitan cities that are brimming with culture. It was especially perfect that I just read this book, because I was in Paris only a couple of months ago, and just got back to California in October. It was meant to be.💗 If you want to know more about the book and/or enter the giveaway, it’s super easy - just hop on over to my blog from the link in my bio. There are still a few days left before I choose a winner! 💌🎉📚
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➡️ LET ME KNOW - have you been to LA and/or Paris? Which city did you prefer and why? I love both cities for very different reasons, but I guess I’ll save that for another blog post one day. 😘


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How beautiful is this lobby? I walked into Hotel Prinsenhof on a blustery rainy day in Bruges. 💦 I had come up from Brussels to experience this medieval city for a few days, and I found the accommodation to be the perfect base for exploring the city. Plus, they offered champagne at their buffet breakfast, so you could make your own mimosas - win 🥂😊 I was still getting used to the (much) colder weather - aka freezing my bum off - after spending the summer in Greece, so enjoying a cozy plush accommodation was amazing for my short stay.


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Sometimes even the most touristy sites draw you back time and time again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower and every time I see it, whether it’s up close, peeking out from behind a building, sparkling at night, or glittering in the sunshine, it still takes my breath away a little. Paris you’re a beaut, don’t ever change. 🇫🇷😻Is there a popular tourist attraction or monument that you liked more than you thought you would? And that you keep returning back to?


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Doing my last day in Ireland the right way. 👏🏻😊🍀🇨🇮🍺


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When I was 7, I had to get glasses. I hated the idea, liked my face the way it was without frames added to it, and there was still the stigma in elementary school of being the biggest dork if you had glasses. I felt like there was something wrong with me, why didn’t evolution already fix this problem anyway, I thought. When my dad brought me to my dreaded eye appointment, he paused before we got out of the car and told me, “after you get out of your appointment with your glasses, look up and around at the trees. You’ll be able to see the individual leaves swaying in the wind for the first time in a long time, and it’s one of the most beautiful things.” And he was right. To this day, it’s still a sight that makes me smile. ☘️🍂🍃🍁The fall foliage game in Ireland is on point. 👍🏻🍀


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I am so in love with Ireland. 🇨🇮🍀People always make fun of the fact that Americans are so into our family heritage. In America, we say we’re part Irish, when our last ancestor from Ireland was something like 3 generations ago. With that said, there is a special place in our hearts for our history because almost all us were immigrants to New England, and a lot of those traditions brought over from Europe can still be seen today in America. 💟 My family history? I’m part Native American (Cherokee), Swedish, French, Dutch, Irish, and Scottish. I’d say my family is most proud of our Scottish heritage though. Our family name started as MacFayden (from the clan of Lochbuie), but when we came on hard times in Scotland we had to move to Ireland. We changed our surname to McFadden to fit in better with the locals. Maybe it’s silly, but there is a deep-rooted part of me that feels at home in Ireland (and I’m sure I’ll feel the same when I visit Scotland for the first time next year). Perhaps it’s because I know that’s where part of my ancestry is from, or maybe it’s something else. I just know that I feel closer to home than I have in almost a year. It was the perfect place to come back to before finally heading home to California next week.✌🏻
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➡️ Are you into your family history? Where does your ancestry go back to?
#TBEXIreland #LoveIreland


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In case you were wondering, oui, the macarons were just as amazing in Paris as I thought they would be. 🤤🇫🇷 My latest post on the blog is now up about a few random thoughts I had about the city of love, light...and macarons! Including me ruminating about whether it’s okay to have a separate budget for macarons. Hmmm 🤔
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➡️ What’s your favorite and least favorite aspect about Paris? If you’ve never been before, what would you be most excited to experience in the city?


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I have so many pictures I want to share with you all - coming soon! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travels: from saying a bittersweet goodbye to Greece, to exploring Belgium, and now France. It has been one heck of a month already. 💗This shot was taken in Naxos, Greece at the famous Portara, the remains of an ancient temple from the 500s BC. I'm constantly amazed by the amount of history to discover in Europe (especially in places like Greece). It's one of the many reasons why I love this continent. I've always considered myself an old soul. I think in a way that's why I've always felt so comfortable here, no matter which European country I'm in. And it helps when there are a surplus of beautiful views like this one, cosmopolitan cities, and an abundance of culture and languages. ............................................
➡️Have you been to Europe? What's your favorite European country? 🌷


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Listening to Beyoncé while my candle simultaneously melts into my cake - yup, that pretty much sums up life as a #girlboss. You have to know when to laugh at the slight mishaps and keep on keeping on. I was celebrating because The Atlas Heart has officially been an LLC for a year now!! Time flies when you're running your own biz. 👊🏻💗#theatlasheart


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Paros was everything I imagined Greek islands to look like before I arrived - white washed cobblestone streets, windmills, and cats everywhere. ✨My wrap-up of what I got up to in August is now up on the blog, including walking around this fairytale-like small Greek village called Lefkes. Greece I miss you already, and I still have a few days left with you. 🇬🇷👏🏻😻
........................................... ➡️ What has been your favorite place that you've visited this summer? ☀️


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One of my favorite experiences in Santorini was doing the 3 hour walk from Fira to Oia, watching the sunset at the end. The best part? It was one of the few times I was able to escape the hoards of tourists on the island. I only passed a handful of people on the path. So, if you're looking for great views without the crowds, this walk is a good place to start. 👍🏻🇬🇷✨#theatlasheart


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My last day in Crete has finally arrived. It's interesting how you sometimes don't realize how much you've bonded with a place until you choose to leave it. These last six weeks have flown by. When I arrived in July, I was full of excitement and that giddy feeling of new beginnings, and although the giddiness has faded somewhat, that excitement for new adventures is still strong. Let's see what Santorini has in store for me. I know that regardless of where I find myself a year from now, Crete will always be one of those special places that I look back on fondly. We'll definitely always be chill bros. 🇬🇷👊🏻
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➡️ Have you ever connected to a new place from the moment your arrived? I had a similar experience when I first got to Florence, Italy. Perhaps it's a European thing! 💖


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And my favorite beach in Crete is ...*drumroll*... Seitan Limania!! Located on the west side of the island, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the beach from this viewpoint, and it was just as magical swimming in its turquoise blue waters. It's also quite the adventure to get to, with a steep zig zag road down in a car, and an even steeper and dustier walk to get to the beach itself. Just make sure to wear decent shoes! 😎👣#theatlasheart #travelgreece


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Harbor vibes in Agios Nikolaos - one of the prettiest little cities in Crete. 🇬🇷❤️


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All my donkey dreams came true in Greece when I visited a donkey sanctuary and spent time showing my love for these animals. ......................................
👉🏻Donkey rides, especially in Santorini are a popular tourist attraction in Greece, but the donkeys are often overloaded and not very well looked after in the hot Greek sun. Personally, I'd much rather spend my time visiting sanctuaries that rescue animals from these types of situations. There was more than one donkey whose back had given out and permanently stayed that way because their haul was too heavy so many times. ........................................
👉🏻 If you have the time to visit a donkey sanctuary while you're in Greece, I highly recommend it! This one is run by a lovely man named Fanis and is located on the southern part of Crete. Visits are free (although donations are always appreciated), and they offer two visiting slots during the day when the donkeys are feeding. You can even adopt or sponsor a donkey if you want! .....................................
👉🏻 Find out more at agia-marina-donkeyrescue.com
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➡️ Have you been to a donkey sanctuary before? I never realized how much personality donkeys have - they're hilarious. 😊💚🇬🇷✨#theatlasheart


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My first post on Greece is now up on the blog! I've already fallen head-over-heels in love with my summer base, I can see now why everyone and their mom raves about how wonderful this country is. 🇬🇷💖
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➡️ I'll be based on Crete for awhile yet, and I look forward to sharing some more of these endless summer moments with you. This shot was taken this past weekend when I had a girls weekend with a bunch of other solo female travelers. It was just as grand as it sounds, girl power for the win. 👊🏻💃🏻#theatlasheart


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In case you missed it, my latest post was a recap of my last 8.5 months in Asia - including this adventure to Wat Phu in Laos, discovering my inner Lara Croft. 👊🏻 It's crazy how time flies.💃🏻❤️
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➡️ What has been your favorite adventure abroad?


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Hiking in Penang National Park was a highlight of my time in Malaysia. I didn't get to do as much hiking as I would've liked while I was in Asia, but this 7 hour hike was a lovely way to end my last week in the region. Baby monkeys were included! 🙊🙉🙈


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On the blog today, I'm talking about what I got up to in June! Namely, it was my last month in Asia and the start of my European adventures in Greece.🇬🇷➡️ Also, how beautiful is this rose mocha from @beansprout_cafe in Penang, Malaysia! So good! 😍🙏


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Oh hey, Parthenon, you're looking really good for your age. 🙌🏻 It was interesting learning about the unique history behind this popular site in Greece. Did you know that it started as a place to honor the goddess Athena, but then it was turned into a Christian church, and then a mosque, before it was plundered by a British ambassador called Lord Elgin? I guess if you were born in the BC era you would have a lot of tales to tell as well. 😉
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➡️ Have you been to Greece? Please let me know of any recommendations of what I should see in this beautiful country! 🇬🇷


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I can't believe it's already my last day in Asia! 😮It has been a crazy 8 months, and so much in my life has changed since I hopped on that flight to Hong Kong last October. I'm ready for my next adventure! Can you guess where I'm going next? Hint:📍it's somewhere in Europe!


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It was so easy to spend my afternoons getting lost in the streets of Penang Between the architecture, colonial buildings, and street art, there's not much more I could ask for in a city. These archways are especially common around town, aren't they beautiful? 😍👏🏻🇲🇾


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I've been in Penang, Malaysia for a week already! I've loved having it as my base for work and fun sightseeing, the street art is my favorite...and the food, oh my god the food is great here. 👏🏻👏🏻
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➡️ Do you enjoy discovering street art in new cities? It's one of my favorite pastimes. 😻


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Because sometimes you just need a damn good egg sandwich when you're in Asia. 🍳
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This spot came highly recommended for where I was staying in Kuala Lumpur - A • Toast. They apparently have really good fresh juice here too, although I didn't have a chance to try it this time around. I was in love with this egg sandwich for breakfast though. Yum! 😍🙌🏻


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Scenes from Don Det, Laos - easily my favorite spot in the country. Have you been to Laos or is it a country that's on your list? It was a place the constantly surprised me during the month I was there. 🙌🏻🇱🇦


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Throwback to that time when my friend Pascale and I bathed elephants for an afternoon at the Chiang Mai Mountain Sanctuary. My wrap-up from May is now up on the blog - see what else I got up to last month in addition to making friends with these amazing creatures (link in bio). ✈️💖


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Colorful flowers floating in water near the ancient ruins of Wat Phu in Laos.🌸🌼🌺


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Just because that water color will always be my favorite. This world is incredible, I hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day!! 🌏🌷🌳


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"And through timeless words and priceless pictures we'll fly like birds not of this earth...And we tore our dresses and stained our shirts but it's nice today. Oh, the wait was so worth it." 💖
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➡️ Do you have a favorite song that brings back a place to you, filling up your senses with travel memories? Jason Mraz has been with me through a lot of travels, and this is still one of my favorite songs of his...because what is life but a beautiful mess. ✌️


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I'm sad to say that I'm leaving Vietnam today, this place always captures my heart and imagination each time I visit. I'm sure I'll be back before too long - but for now, I have two more months in Thailand to look forward to! What should I see?✌️🇹🇭
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➡️ Have you ever connected with a city or country that made you feel at home immediately?


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