Day 2: Game of Thrones Tour | Girona, Spain 

Yesterday was such a fun day! I decided to spluge on this trip by booking a Game of Thrones tour north of Bardelona, in Girona, and it was such a good way to get out of my shell and hang out with other nerds. The Medeivel town of Girona is like 2,000 years old so it’s pretty incredible in its own rite, but Season 6 of Game of Thrones was also filmed there and so there’s this whole other dimension of awesome in the city.

Asking random strangers to take pics of me. As one does.

This building was used to stage the big bang that Cersei may or may not have done.

These Arabic baths were so beautiful but the bath house was also so cold. The last thing I’d be thinking about here would have been bath time.

In addition to movie locations we also got to see some real castle ruins that were 1500 years old!

True talent is that this picture was taken by a dad who was balancing one kid on his shoulders while his five year old daughter told him how to take the picture. Shoutout to R. Riveter for my new favorite travel bag!

This is our tour guide. He didn’t actually love Game of Thrones but he loved history and architecture so that made up for it. These are the stairs blind Arya sat on.

Hanging out with my Otto bag and enjoying my golden hand. #kingslayer

This popsicle was actually gross, but the cool thing was that it turned your lips metallic gold as you ate it!

In a way im going to count this as my Thanksgiving. I got to eat tapas and traditional Catalonian food with 20 strangers next to the Mediterranean Sea!

And speaking of the sea. There she is!

Tomorrow I’ll be doing a walking tour around Barcelona so that should be fun! Then tomorrow I’m off to Morocco!

Tea Talk 4: Claudia Graf | Lifestyle Blogger & Photographer

Claudia and I are both part of this completely awesome Facebook group called Female Travel Bloggers, and I immediately knew I needed to reach out to her when I saw her adventures on her blog. Supporting, encouraging and highlighting other women who travel blog is such a huge priority for me, so collaborating with her for this Tea Talk was amazing.

Claudia started her blog A World Full Of Fairytales after a 6 week adventure in California, and she’s been photographing and writing her way around the world, ever since.

What started your passion for traveling? 

I went on a road trip in 2016 from San Francisco to Los Angeles what is one of the best road trips in the world. On my way from San Francisco to LA, I visited Carmel, Monterrey, Big Sur, Morro Bay and Santa Barbara. The beauty of the California coast hit me like a bolt out of the blue, and I fell in love with the magic of exploration.

What’s one travel tip you think the world should know? 

Be fast when it comes to booking of flights, cars and hotels. It’s always hard for me to decide on times and places. I never know how long I want to stay somewhere. Unfortunately prices can rise after days or weeks of research. If I had been faster now and then, I definitely could have saved some money.

What’s your favorite cultural habit you’ve picked up (ex. Food dishes, lifestyle changes etc.)

It sounds like a cliche but it’s the lifestyle credo ’Don’t worry, be happy’. During a vacation in Argentina and Chile I met and stayed with different local people. All of them were very relaxed and spontaneous. Nobody cared about time, nothing was stressful. That can be annoying (e.g. when you have to catch your flight ;-)), but overall I loved it.

What would you suggest for other women who are thinking about solo traveling? 

Every woman should ask herself a few questions: Would I like to spend a whole day on my own? Would I like to go out for breakfast or dinner on my own? Would I like to go to the movies on my own? If everything is a yes, go for it. If you don’t feel comfortable, travel with a friend and plan a short solo trip for two, three or up to five days during that vacation. That’s a good way to find out, if you would love to be a solo traveler.

What’s one failure that you learned a lot from, when it comes to travel? 

Sometimes, I despaired while reading too many hotel or Airbnb reviews. I mean, reviews are great and I appreciate them. However, it can be exhausting. Now, I try to check reviews only for a few requirements like cleanliness, friendly host or hotel staff. In the end, I rely on my gut instinct.

What’s the best and worst part about traveling solo? 

The best part is that you meet and get to know a lot of new people and friends. I made so many new contacts during my solo trips in the last year and have made new friends in LA, New York, Dubai, Italy, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris. For me there is no worse part, I love it 100%.

What’s one fear that you overcame, while traveling? 

I have much less fear in general when it comes to areas of a city and crazy people. 

What is your favorite way to travel (ex. Plane, train, automobile?) and why? 

I love flying. It’s calm, you can watch movies or listen to music. You don’t have to do anything else and nobody can call you. However, a road trip is still the best way to explore a country. You can stop wherever and whenever you want to and you see so much more.

What is one piece of advice that you wish you could give your past self? 

I should have started earlier to travel the world. It really changed my life and mind. It gave me the conviction that everything is possible and I started my travel blog and Instagram account.

What is one place at the top of your bucket list that you’d like to visit? 

Oh, that’s hard. I have so many places on my list and almost everyday I add a new destination. I would love to do a trip with the Trans-Sibirian Railway from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar. That trip must be an amazing once in a lifetime experience.

Do you have any upcoming trips? Where to and what will you be doing? 

I want to go to Iceland to visit blue lagoons, do horse riding and visit Reykjavik. A lot of people told me that this is an amazing city.

Looking for more travel inspiration? You can also follow Claudia on her adventures on her blog, or at any of the links below! 

Denver, CO: Day 2


Well, it has been a bit of whirlwind since my second day in Denver, and I lost track of posting, but day 2 was filled with beautiful art and hipster coffee shops, so it is definitely something I still need to share. Denver wasn’t my cup of tea, as a whole, but I did love the art museum. Not only was it huge, but it also had one of the most extensive Native American exhibits I’ve ever seen.

Another happy little surprise was that I got in for free! I’ve been to most of the museums that it covers in Seattle, but if you haven’t checked it out, yet and you bank with Bank of America – look up your city for “Museum On Us.” Basically, the first weekend of every month you get in to museums (general admission, no special exhibits) for free. All you have to do is show your debit/credit card. Which is wicked awesome because I love museums like nobody’s business. On this round, it saved me +$20 dollars…which I then spent on books. But the point is, getting into museums is always a bonus.

Anyhoo, I thought I would share some of my favorite pics from wandering around the Denver Art Museum and Denver itself. One thing that I will say, is that being at some crazy elevation kept me from taking long days of exploring because I could not breathe. It was the worst. But, I did manage to visit a few spots before feeling like I was going to collapse from my faux smokers lung.

These were all made out of tree bark. Which makes me feel like I do absolutely nothing with the basic resources I have accessible to me.
One of my favorite paintings, which I bought a postcard for. I never thought of Denver as the “Wild West” but I guess it is. And that makes sense. Shame on me.
I wish you could see how big these cows really were. Something about cows, but there were statues of them all over the city. (*I know, I know, the city’s history or whatever)
Beaded purses that probably took a lifetime to make. It’s crazy to think that artifacts like this lasted hundreds of years. Talk about making something that will last a lifetime.
I love Native American designs so much. Maybe it’s my own heritage coming out, but I’ve always been so attracted to the beauty of intricate and geometric patterns.
Yeah yeah. A real chief’s feather headdress. As in not from an culturally appropriating ad. That’s right Free People/Urban Outfitters: I’m talking to you.
This pic does a good, but still not completely extensive job of showing how huge this space was. There was so much to see!
Be still my heart. I’ll take one of each.
This picture looks super cool and high-up like I’m one of those awesome photographers who climbs things in the name of their art form. Lies. It was taken out of a museum window. But looooook – mountains!
Somebody painted this by hand. Appreciate that for a moment.
So there were a couple of Samurai exhibits. The other one was an additional $20 to go see, so I chose to look at the main exhibit armor instead of the fancy shmancy ones. I don’t regret this decision. It was still pretty cool.
This picture has no significance except that I love beautiful rooms. And just outside there were two Monet paintings that made my heart soar.

Pere Lachaise Cemetary

DSC_0774As a sort of “last adventure” I decided to go visit the Pere Lachaise Cemetery yesterday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the cemetery, it’s absolutely beautiful and known for having the graves of celebrities such as Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Moliere and Delacroix. But what really too my breath away were the tombs of people who I had no idea who they were. There were some absolutely beautiful sculptures and a serious lack of weeping angels. But overall I spent a good 3 hours there and it was absolutely beautiful.

Oscar Wilde

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12 Favorite Moments

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This year has been full of so many crazy amazing experiences, that I thought it would be appropriate to look back over the last year and  show you all some of my favorites. As this chapter comes to a close I’ve really been trying to take a few moments to reflect before I hop on the plane back to the U.S. The whole last week has seemed so surreal, and I can’t even believe that in only 3 days I’ll be back in Seattle!

While I am (of course!) so excited to be coming back to the U.S., it still is a bitter-sweet experience to be packing my bags and leaving Europe. I have definitely not taken the ability to hop on planes and visit places I had only ever read about in books. During this experience I’ve learned SO MUCH about myself, and no matter what my was happening in the smaller picture, I can now look back and say “That was a great adventure.” I feel so amazingly blessed to have been able to travel the world, meet amazing people and live a life some spend their lives dreaming about living. So without further adieu, here are my top 10 beautiful memories (in no particular order)!

1. I got to see the Berlin Wall!Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.51.52 PM

2. I got to visit a 14th century REAL castle (with its original moat!!!)! DSC_0837



3. I saw the Mona Lisa (and, like, all the original art I could ever wish for) and probably should have just moved into The Louvre.DSC_0008

4. I went to 3 scifi/manga conventions and met the real life (okay, Cosplay, but damn awesome) TinTin!1424510_10204495246754590_986803764695503958_n


5. I became part of, and viewed, original Miyazaki sketches from all of my favorite movies! 10850296_10204622487375526_4532807605400135729_n


6. I made beautiful friends and we made beautiful memories all over Paris.1528591_10204755801748302_6677248749756096313_n




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7. I WENT TO THE VAN GOGH MUSEUM, and almost died from an art love overdose!! Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.04.52 AM

8. Galway, Ireland stole my heart and Ireland won the “Most Visited” award for the year!DSC_0683

9. I went to Normandy and saw history in real life (also biked 22 km)!DSC_0082


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10. I spent Easter weekend in Rome and went to the Colosseum! DSC_0234


11. I went to the Cliffs of Moher and unintentionally spent my Spring Break falling in love with Ireland.DSC_0526

12. I went to Versailles gardens/Palace and became the little Marie Antoinette fangirl I always wanted to be.10421139_10205851538021024_2635329984024940649_n (1)

Thanks to all who have made this such a crazy wild experience. Cheers to next time!

Versailles: Part 2

Versailles is such a massive residence that I split the gardens and the palace into two days! Today was day 2 and well, the only pictures I have (of me) I had to beg from disgruntled tourists, so they’re both a little abstract.  Walking through Versailles palace is a pretty incredible experience, and takes French artistic and architectural beauty to an entirely new level.

But it also allows you to understand why there were disgruntled citizens during the French Revolution. So much beauty, so much splendor, but at what price? The sheer enormity of rooms that were used for little more than show, the amount of art and gold and crystal chandeliers shining from the ceilings! But I couldn’t help but feel like it was an overdone beauty, a beauty screaming for attention rather than allowing it to speak for itself. It’s such a contrast to some of the most beautiful (in my opinion) places I’ve traveled this year.

Yes, you can melt all the gold in the world onto pillars of marble, but give be the beauty of a mountain river or a salt winded beach any day over the pomp of kings.

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Versailles Gardens

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There has always been something beautifully captivating, to me, about Marie Antoinette. Aside from the political issues, I’ve just always been a fan of hers. I’m pretty sure I spent an entire year of my childhood just studying her, her life and history (for fun. Nerd alert.). This whole year, while living in Paris, I’ve been about 15 minutes away from Versailles palace (by train) but I’d never gone because I wanted the experience to be perfect. I wanted the gardens to be beautiful, and the palace gold to be glistening in the sun. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, that wasn’t quite how things happened. See, it would appear that Paris is on a cloudy, rainy and cold stint that we can’t seem to shake, and the weeks are winding down quickly until I’ll be returning to the U.S. So, yesterday one of my friends and I decided to just hop on the train and go. It was cold. It was cloudy. But the beauty of the gardens still shone through the experience and I’m very happy to say that overall it was pretty magical.

The gardens are absolutely huge. And I know you might think that’s a given, but until you start to walk around them, you don’t really realize just how enormous ‘huge’ actually means. After two hours we still hadn’t seen everything, and trying to fit in the palace on the same day would have been exhausting, so Part 2 of this adventure will be happening (hopefully!) this Tuesday! So excited! I’m going to go eat some cake.

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French Alps 2015: Part 1


The last few days have been such a whirlwind that I haven’t had any time to post an update of where I am, what I’m doing etc. Right now I’m on holiday with my au pair family (although, I’m working so I’m not sure how “on holiday” it is haha) and we’re staying a ski resort in the French Alps!
My daily schedule is watching the youngest kid, and then getting some drawing in before everyone comes back. The apartment is pretty small, so it’s kind of crazy to have us all crammed in here, but it’s so beautiful outside that it makes up for it. The youngest and I have been marathoning Disney classics like 101 Dalmations and Aristocats, so it has been pretty chill (pun intended) overall.

Last night I got to go to a hockey game, and that was pretty fun! There was a lot of profanity, including the goalie flipping off the crowd so it was definitely entertaining. I’m pretty sure I’m going to another one on Saturday night, too. Hopefully it’s a better opposing team because the end score was 10-2. Hardly a fair match. I kind of felt sorry for the goalie.  Here are some pictures, so far!

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Galway, Ireland: Through My Lens

DSC_0683 Galway was such a dream to go to this weekend. I honestly wish I hadn’t had to come back, but all good things must come to an end…for now, at least. I forgot the right adaptor while I was in Ireland, so my phone died right after I got there. Luckily, I had my trusty Nikon, whom I love, to take photos with. Here are some of my favorites – I can’t wait to make another trip back in the Spring!
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Amsterdam 2015


A couple of weekends ago (time flies!) I went to Amsterdam. It was cold and rainy and wet, but I managed to catch some sun breaks, hit up some museums and have an overall good time. Not my favorite city I’ve been to, but there was something magical about the architecture of it. I love the history, too! But that’s a given with any city that I travel to. On to the next weekend adventure!