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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Dublin, Ireland


For the past two weeks I have been having entirely too much fun in Dublin. I would say I’m sorry for not posting amidst my time of bliss, but the truth is – I’m not. This year has been such a difficult one, and has pushed me past every limit I ever thought I could be pushed past. But, in the true manner that life seems to work in, the best was saved for last.

Originally my travel plans included Germany, Dublin, Copenhagen and Oslo…but when I got to Dublin I realized something that I’ve never experienced before in my life – complete and entire contentment with where I was.

I’m not one to cancel itineraries. I generally stick to the plan – no matter what. But there was just something deep down that told me not to leave Dublin. So I didn’t. And that was, perhaps, one of the best decisions of my life.

The grand total was 10 days.

I really wish I could give a play back moment by moment of how amazing every one of those days was, but I’m afraid I barely remember, myself.
I will tell you this: I lived. Wholly, completely and without inhibition.

I got a new tattoo, I went on bus tours and walking tours and visited museums and jails and mountains and oceans. I read books, tried my first, and not last, Guinness. I learned how to throw darts, saw some new movies and old TV shows. I learned to cook chef cuisine in a hostel, made friends with people from all over the world. I learned some new and some old songs, visited too many pubs to count. I visited cities all over Ireland, saw castles and cliffs and realized the splendor of simplicity. I slept on the wrong side of the morning, and forgot what it was to have a curfew. I met people there’s not even a chance of me ever forgetting, and laughed more than I have in 9 months combined. I felt loved, accepted, and in a weird way like I was a puzzle piece that had always meant to be there to fill a hole.

In short, I don’t even know how to convey how much I enjoyed the last couple of weeks. I should probably just stop trying – so, instead I leave you with some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

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I just finished watching the movie “Wild” and, as everyone said, it’s a movie worth seeing no matter who you are. It was impactful for me, especially, because I’ve been that lone woman backpacking – I’ve had the voices in my head, and had to face the demons of myself and my own failings.

But like Cheryl, I’ve also felt the overwhelming sense of liberation and freedom that comes with packing all of your belongings in a pack and deciding to overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of you.

There were SO MANY quotes I wanted to chew on from the movie that I decided to make some meme like memories using photos from the film so that I could remember them. Backpacking (regardless of where, or how long) is such a challenging and simultaneously rewarding experience. It molds and creates you in a way no other experience ever will, and I loved that this movie allowed viewers to see the impact it brings. I really hope some people were inspired to strike out on their own adventures. Go chase some sunsets!


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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!