Exploring Italy With Advice From 100 Locals

ultimate Italy guidebook

Italy is one of my favorite countries. It’s one of the few countries I’ve been to more than once, and I just can’t get enough. Two sets of my great grandparents moved to the US from Italy, making me half Italian, so maybe that’s part of why I’m so drawn to the country. But I’m now more interested in exploring hidden neighborhoods and soaking up the real Italy. It’s just not always so easy to find good information on where to find those places.

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3 Years into the Life I Never Could’ve Imagined

Ali & Andy wedding

Today is our third anniversary. Three years since we stood outside in the sweltering Georgia heat, hoping to get through the photos and the wedding ceremony before melting away. Three years since officially committing to a different kind of life. But I never really wrote about it. I never really shared the pictures with everyone, at least not online. You see, about a month after the wedding, I was boarding a plane bound for Germany, so the weeks before and after were filled with stress, anxiety, and culture shock. After three years, I’d like to finally share some of the wedding photos and stories with you here. (Thanks to our wedding photographer for all the pictures in this post.)

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Schauinsland in Photos

Schauinsland Freiburg

Freiburg is in the Black Forest, which is a mountainous area as well as a forested one. One of the highest points in our area is called Schauinsland, where you can take a ride on the longest loop cable car in Germany. The cable car takes 20 minutes and takes you up nearly 750 meters in elevation. The top of the peak is 1,284 meters high and offers gorgeous views of Freiburg and the surrounding areas. On a really clear day, you can see all the way to Switzerland.

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Not Enough Time

Lisbon, Portugal

Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who are happy going to the same place for vacation every year. It would make things so much easier sometimes. Instead I’m constantly battling between someplace new and someplace I’ve already been to before and loved. Even with our new flexibility, there’s still only so much traveling we can do each year. I’ve ended up feeling like there’s not enough time for all the travel I want to do.

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Travel-Inspired Meals: Pad Thai

Pad Thai recipe

Germany has good food, but nothing overwhelmingly delicious, at least not to me. I love a good schnitzel, and they certainly know how to make good potatoes here, but when I’m out of the country I don’t really find myself craving German food. However, travel is a wonderful way to try new food, and I often dream of the tasty meals I ate in some far away country. As a result, I’ve started looking for recipes to make some of these meals at home. I’m not a food expert or a trained chef, but I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you. First up is one of my favorites from our time in Ao Nang, Thailand: Pad Thai!

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How Much We Spent Traveling in Singapore

how much we spent traveling in Singapore

Singapore is expensive, there’s no way around it. But it’s a great place to ease your way into traveling in Southeast Asia if you’ve never been there. It’s also an easy airport to get to from other parts of the world, so even if you’re going somewhere else in the region, it’s worth considering spending a few days here before flying to your final destination. Andy and I spent three nights in Singapore at the beginning of our trip and one more night at the end.

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My New E-Book: Packing Made Simple

Packing Made Simple: A Simple Guide to Packing Light

I finally did it. I wrote a book!

For years now, I’ve been traveling carry-on only as much as possible. On the rare occasions when I do have to check luggage, I still pack light because I hate having tons of stuff to drag around with me. I remember trips to Europe when I was a teenager and my study abroad trip to Spain where I brought such a huge suitcase I could practically fit inside of it. It was a struggle trying to transport that thing through narrow cobbled streets and up several flights of stairs.

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That Time I Took a Shower at the Airport

Singapore photos

At the end of our Southeast Asia trip, Andy and I had one last night and a full day in Singapore. We had to check out of our hotel before lunch but our flight didn’t leave until 11:30pm, giving us all day to hang out in the city. But since Singapore is very close to the equator, it’s really hot. I was not looking forward to arriving at the airport after a full day of sweating in Singapore’s heat and then having to sit on a 13 hour flight back home. Luckily I found a solution.

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Singapore in Photos

how much we spent traveling in Singapore

Singapore is a convenient place to start a trip to Southeast Asia. It has one of the biggest and busiest international airports in the region, which is why I ended up flying there to start my round the world trip a few years ago. It’s also why Andy and I ended up starting and ending our Southeast Asia trip there. I’ve now been there four times, never more than a few days at a time, and the last two visits were both on our recent trip.

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How Much We Spent Traveling in Malaysia

how much we spent traveling in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is often overlooked in favor of its cheaper neighbors, such as Thailand. While I can’t say Malaysia was my favorite country, it’s definitely worth spending some time there. It has a completely different culture and vibe from the rest of southeast Asia, and that alone makes it interesting.

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