We spent a week walking every last foot of this tiny island off the coast of Italy. We drank limoncello, bought our dinner each day from the local market, ate gelato until our stomachs hurt, and dove head first into the deep blue waters. We traveled in January and had the island to ourselves, making it the perfect romantic getaway.
My favorite part of Rome is that one can spend the entire day walking and only touch the surface of this ancient city. During our stay we made sure to stop by the classics (The Colosseum, The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, etc.) in between our endless journeys down cobblestone streets. We discovered bookstores tucked between the nooks + crannies of centuries-old buildings and never failed to take multiple afternoon breaks for gelato and espresso. We fell in love with both the history of this place and the sweet couples who walk the streets hand in hand.
A gem of Eastern Oregon, the Painted Hills have a way of capturing the traveler's heart. Just a short drive from the town of Bend, this state park provides a gorgeous landscape and trails to explore.
I'll admit I was hesitant to visit Paris. The hype had me a little wary of being let down. I went in expecting it to be like every other European city and was completely blown away. The French charm captured me entirely and within minutes of stepping foot on its cobblestone roads I was in love. Or maybe it was after eating fourteen fresh croissants and eclairs that I fell in love. Either way, I'll never grow tired of getting lost between ancient buildings and gorgeous architecture. Or of spending the afternoon at a street side cafe, drinking espresso and dreaming about the beauty of life.
A budget traveler's paradise, Thailand truly has it all. We divided our trip into three phases; city living in Bangkok, a beach escape to Phuket, and a rainforest adventure in Chiang Mai. All three places providing incredible food and sinfully good Thai massages at a bargain of a price.
While studying abroad in Argentina I became great friends with a fellow exchange student from New Zealand. Years later I was able to visit her home country for the better part of a month, during which we spent hours driving every square mile of this gorgeous land. Like Paris, I didn't think seeing New Zealand in person would live up to the hype it received. I was blown away to discover it only exceeded the amazingness everyone raved about. It's one of the few countries I'd move to without second thought.
I spent a few weeks traveling up the Rio Coco river bordering Nicaragua and Honduras to the small village of Sumo Pipi. We ate and danced and laughed, all before spending 48 hours scrambling to safety as the Rio Coco flooded the village and washed away homes. As the river rose it also brought with it an overflowing supply of snakes and spiders. We spent a few nights in a school atop a nearby hill as we watched the water rise and the rain continue to fall. Eventually we boarded our wood canoe and made the two-day trek back down the river and into cars for our four hour road-trip back to Managua.
A lesson in discovering the beauty in our own backyard, Lake Tahoe is one of those truly stunning landscapes that won't disappoint. Snow capped mountains and deep blue waters greet visitors year round, and left me convinced I'll one day live at the base of the mountains.
A visit to Peru's Macchu Picchu was every bit as awe-inspiring as I had hoped. A ride aboard the Hiram Bingham train, climbing for what seemed like forever, delivered us to the picturesque town of Aguas Calientes. It was here where we stayed for a few days to enjoy the surroundings, the food, and the nearby hot springs before making the journey to the world famous Inca ruins. After arriving back to the infamous town of Cuzco, be sure to reflect on your recent adventures over a Pisco Sour.
We spent a week in Malaga doing little more than walking the beach and taking naps on the sand. The few times we ventured out into the city we enjoyed tapas on the boardwalk and live music at many of the numerous local pubs. This beach town in the south of Spain embodies everything a relaxing vacation should be, without too much of a touristy flair.
The diamond of Orange County, San Clemente shares its small-town vibe with world class surfing. It has a way of feeling like a secret spot you'll want to keep for yourself. Its sense of community and its gorgeous, unpopulated beaches make it the perfect escape, and one of the few remaining gems, in an otherwise bustling Southern California.
Yellowstone + Glacier
America's original national park, Yellowstone is one of those places I've visited a million times and yet still long to return to. The Teton mountain range welcomes tourists and beckons them to stay, while the display of wildlife encourages a life in the outdoors. I'll never grow tired of taking summer trips to this truly beautiful place.