Well, for starters: Happy World Toilet Day! (What?!) A day to break toilet taboos
Mass crowds on NYE stress us out, but this does look pretty cool… Fabulous New Year’s Eve in Sydney
Scarves are definitely a travel must. What is the one travel item you always bring with you?
You had us at “free wine.” Where to Drink Wine for Free in Paris
It’s true: getting on and off a camel is seriously awkward. Five Adventurous Forms of Egyptian Transport
the romantic & the wino
It’s jetsetter day! This week’s jetsetter is Erin of The World Wanderer and it’s hard for us not to be seriously jealous of her next trip. In July/August, Erin is off on her first solo trip (!) to Africa, hitting up Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Egypt, where she’ll meet up with her boyfriend for a tour of Cairo and Luxor. I mean, honestly.
We strongly recommend catching up on Erin’s past adventures on her blog, and following along on her safari adventure via twitter!
Favorite Place: I honestly love everywhere I’ve been, but if I have to choose one place, I would have to say Croatia. My grandfather was born there, so when we visit, we stay in the house he was born in. It’s very “Under the Tuscan Sun,” with an old house full of surprises, like moths and scorpions, but uncovering the history is what I love most. The town he’s from is tiny, only eight people live there year round, with a church, cemetery, and a convenience store that’s open a few hours morning and evening. There are trucks that deliver wine, fruit, and vegetables a few times a week, and the town feels far from civilization. While there, we sit and drink wine, eat fresh food, and relax. Add in the pebbled beach down the block and swimming in the Adriatic, and you have absolute paradise.
More importantly, favorite meal: Growing up right outside of New York City, I have to say that even though I’ve traveled all around, it’s hard for me to say that the food anywhere else is better than the food here. I couldn’t pick just one, so I have chosen two sandwiches, and both are from restaurants in Brooklyn. First, is the turkey leg sandwich from Henry Public in Cobble Hill. Pulled turkey meat topped with fried onions and served on Texas toast, there’s really no better meal for lunch.
The moment you caught the travel bug: I think I was born with it. Growing up, my parents would always take us on trips, even if they were local, and I loved learning about the world I lived in. Then, in high school, we took our first trip to Ireland together, and I think that’s when really I realized that I wanted to see the world. Since then, I’ve taken any opportunity I could to travel and haven’t looked back.
Ever been (or thought you’ve been) in imminent danger while traveling?: I’ve never been in any real danger while traveling, but I do remember feeling on edge in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Everyone we met told us that they had been robbed at some point during their stay. Luckily, out of my group of five girls, we all left the country with all of our possessions.
Best hotel/hostel experience: My friends and I stayed at the Novotel in Nha Trang, Vietnam, and everyone on their staff went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. But, what set it apart from any other hotel experience is the service they provided when we needed a bus home back to Ho Chi Minh City. Not realizing that the week we were there was also a school holiday week for Vietnamese children, most buses were all booked up, and those that weren’t began filling up quickly. Unfortunately, we needed to be on a bus by a certain day to catch a plane home. When the staff realized this, they called their friends and did everything they could to get us tickets for a bus. They even went as far as to have someone motorbike our tickets over to us, so that we wouldn’t have to go to the ticket office, and after the stress of finding a bus, this was definitely a relief.
Favorite family vacation: The summer my family spent three and a half weeks in Europe. We visited family in Ireland, flew to Germany, drove through Austria and Slovenia to get to Croatia to visit more family, drove to Italy, then back up to Germany, and flew back to Ireland to visit family. It was one adventure that I will never forget.
Must-have packing item: Wipes. You can clean your face, your feet, and freshen up when you feel disgusting or can’t shower for a few days.
Most unbelievable travel experience: Seeing Brussels in 24 hours with no sleep. My friend, Lara, and I headed straight from the pub in Dublin to the airport, barely sleeping on the journey. Then we only had a very limited amount of time in Brussels before heading to Amsterdam, but there was lots for us to see. With the help of the friends we were visiting, we managed to see a good amount of the city and had enough time to sample plenty of Belgian beer.
Favorite “I can’t believe I’m doing this” moment: While in Chiang Mai, we went off-roading, elephant trekking, and white water rafting, but the most unbelievable experience was tiger petting. We visited Tiger Kingdom, signed our waivers, and then entered the cages with the tigers. I’ve never been more terrified in my life. But, I do love getting out of my comfort zone and this definitely did the trick. I still can’t believe I did it!
Place you can’t be paid to return to: I don’t really know if there is one, but, there is one place I didn’t really love…Germany. Everyone I meet thinks that I’m crazy, but Munich didn’t do the trick for me. I would, however, like to give it another chance at some point.
Any exciting trips coming up?: Yes! I will be heading to Africa for four weeks at the end of July. I’m starting off at Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side and then going down through Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, and eventually up to Egypt. It’s a much different trip than I’m used to, but I’ve been waiting to get to Africa for as long as I can remember, so I’m very excited.
Favorite tourist attraction: Probably the Eiffel Tower. I waited years to see it and fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I’m still waiting to go back to see it again.
Normally, we’re on team “check out the view” but we may need to switch to “jump on the bed in our bathing suits.” Looks more fun. What’s the First Thing You Do When You Check into a Hotel Room?
Making a mental note of these. Food poisoning in Egypt was more than enough for the romantic & hubs. Top Places Around The World You Do Not Want To Get Sick
Honey badger don’t care. Confronting the Ethics of Zoos at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita
Hadn’t heard of the Nomading Film Festival until this year! Officially on our “someday” list. Nomading Film Festival
The Grand Canal
the romantic & the wino
This week’s FriFotos’ theme = sand. Though we have more than our fair share of pictures of coastlines and lazy beach days from around the world, we decided to skip those and be a little creative.
Our flight to Egypt was the very first flight that I’ve ever slept through, start to finish. I literally closed my eyes in JFK and, nine hours later, opened them up to this:
This weekend will be less sand, more snow apparently. Not really ok, but we’ll manage.
the romantic & the wino
Dream vacation. Dos and don’ts for sailing Turkey’s Mediterranean coast
SOLD. When can we leave? No but really, this is a good read if you’re on the fence about all-inclusives (*raises hands*) Fact or Fiction: The Truth about All-Inclusive Resorts
HOW DID WE NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS? Did they shield us from this knowledge so that we wouldn’t hog the sunball? Brazilian “Sunball” Heats Up New York
We approve this sentiment. The Couple That Travels Together Stays Together
Check out all of these photos, but the romantic & hubs can attest that the Alabaster Mosque really was this amazing. Egypt – A photographic journey
the romantic & the wino
Hidden in hubs’s stocking was this:
As soon as he opened it up, we started looking through the little cards–and though I thought we’d have an impressive amount ticked off our little travel bucket list, I was surprised to see that we came in well under ten! Here’s what we did have…
Tentatively planned for late July/early August! I’m sure I’ll hit you all up for advice on this in the coming months, but can anyone tell me now… how impossible is it to try and do Peru and the Galapagos in 10 days? We’ll come back to this.
ANYWAY. Though some of the cards don’t appeal to me (Venice via the Orient Express, for one–I was just fine with flying in), it’s a cute little source of unexpected travel inspiration.
Now seriously: tell me all you know about Peru and the Galapagos.
As it’s the first official day of Fashion Week, we wanted to give fair warning that this next week is going to be a bit rough on posting. We do have a great jetsetter lined up for Wednesday (hint hint: he’s the daddio of yours truly), and will definitely try and get a few more things up, but don’t get mad if we’re slacking with No Travel Required!
Anyway, because of all the craziness, this morning when I woke up feeling achy and sleep-deprived thanks to Fashion’s Night Out (aka the Worst Night of the Year), I was having trouble figuring out how I’m going to tackle another 12-hour+ day. I put on my pre-planned outfit that didn’t feel quite right, attempted to straighten my humidity-hating hair, and went to put on my current favorite scent. But right as I was about to spray, I looked at my near-empty bottle of Chanel, and decided this was a good day to use up the last few drops.
I bought the bottle last year right before our wedding. I’m one of those people that has a pretty serious case of sensory recall, and I wanted both hubs and I to have a new scent to wear so that I would always associate that smell with our wedding. The morning of the wedding, I spritzed on my new Coco Mademoiselle, hubs his Chanel Bleu, and we were off. We also packed it in our suitcases for our honeymoon, and wore it everyday while we were away. For a few months, nothing happened. Then one day in February, when I was feeling a serious case of winter blues, I sprayed on my perfume and I wasn’t back at our wedding–I was back on a cruise down the Nile. The next morning, I was walking around Venice, brioche de cacao in hand. And now, every time I wear it, I feel like I’m in Florence or Rome or at our cooking class at Toscana Saporita (recommended!).
So today, every time something is URGENT or someone is STRESSED or WHY ISN’T THIS FINISHED?!?!?!!?, I take a deep breath and pretend I’m sitting at a cafe in Cinque Terre, eating cheese and sipping wine and wishing I was born in Italy.