TRAVEL IS GLAMOROUS YALL. 5:45 am yesterday we woke up in Edinburgh to get gas and return our rental car before boarding our 7 am flight. 12pm Barely keeping my eyes open, we waited in line for half an hour until we got our new rental car to explore. 1pm we ate a grocery store lunch on the beach in Mallorca. 2pm made the epic hike down to see one of my favorite beaches on earth (see precious insta for a video) 6pm drove as fast as possible back to the airport and boarded with still wet hair and sand in my shoes. 11pm landed in Germany and paid the €68 to get our car and head back to Heidelberg. Midnight on the dot get home and shower. 7am wake up to take the dogs on a hike. 10am do laundry and swing by the bakery for breakfast. 1pm leave to drive the 6-7 hour drive (there’s sooo much traffic) to the Dolomites Currently: in the car writing this caption and trying not to get motion sickness and pretending I’m on the puffin filled island of Staffa. 😂 Super glam y’all. #heleneinscotland
THIS IS REAL. And it’s where I am right now. Island hopped straight from Scotland to Mallorca! 😍😍😍 I often get so many messages asking how I can “not have any savings” or “whittle away the money that I have.” But the thing is, I DO have savings and I do make sure I have enough money for the future. I know it seems odd but a blog can be a stable job. In fact, I make more from my blog than I ever did from a corporate job! On the blog I’ve got 10 things every blog needs to start making money or take it to the next level. Many might surprise you and are totally free! P.S. the flight was actually cheaper to go home via Mallorca so... win win! Link in bio or stories 🙌🏻 (and bc I’ve had so many questions I also have a fairly recent post on Mallorca, including this spot!) #heleneinspain
I HAVE A SECRET ... I’m actually a huge homebody. The same anticipation I get before a trip, I also experience as I’m heading home. Curled up with my pups, watching Netflix, and furiously typing out all about the trip is something I love equally. Come to think of it, it’s the same as moving abroad and now moving back to home (Texas home!). While I love life abroad there’s something special about home. And many more travels there to come. #heleneinscotland
While the landscape of Scotland is EPIC I have to say I’m more smitten with the animals: furry Highland cattle, cute puffins nesting on the island of Staffa, and (my favorite) I’ve never seen so many spaniels in my life. This is not sponsored but umm... visit Scotland. #heleneinscotland
A castle on every corner, dramatic cliffs paired next to rolling green hills speckled with sheep, and mystical stone circles echoing from thousands of years ago- Scotland is a dream. JK Rowling wrote every Harry Potter in Scotland and now I can totally see why ⚡️🏴 P.S. you can get real Butterbeer at The Dog House pub in Edinburgh! #heleneinscotland
Having a wee bit of fun in the Scottish Highlands 🏴 Today’s highlights: - seeing puffins on the island of Staffa!! I’ve attempted to see them a few times in Norway and Scotland before but today was a dream - eating the best mussels I’ve ever had in my life on Iona island overlooking crystal clear blue Carribbean like water (stories or it didn’t happen) - 3 mile hike in Glencoe where we got perfect skies to end our first full day and last big trip before we move home Spending the next week in Scotland and plan to drive the highlands and try and find the Loch Ness monster. Also eat more seafood because WOW. #heleneinscotland
THIS IS FOR ANYONE THAT FEELS THEY DON’T MEASURE UP. I like to think that Instagram doesn’t make me feel less than, but that’s just not always true. Michael and I were in a bit of a tiff and I decided to cool off and scroll Instagram. My feed is filled with lots of loving couples and travel photos. One struck me in particular. It was a couple poised in a bathtub (ok) who said they hadn’t spent a day apart in two years and couldn’t imagine being 12 hours from each other. After resisting the urge to throw up and getting annoyed, I realized that this also is a false sense and depiction of reality. I can tell you right now michael and I NEVER bathe together. And I absolutely love my alone time. And sometimes we fight. Because we are human. I think it’d be a little weird not to. So just because we see smiling couples lost in their embrace let’s realize there’s a camera and either a person or, in this photo, a tripod that’s snapping the pic. And while this moment captured does reflect a “Mr Darcy” vibe, I can tell you it’s not always sunshine and roses and sometimes Michael is the most annoying person in the world. Maybe I’m alone here, but I often get a bit jealous looking at others on social media and feel like I don’t measure up. But I have to realize they have struggles and pain (and hopefully fights too) because otherwise they are psychos and I should probably stop following them 😂 Double tap if you agree. #heleneandmichael
OKAY HERE’S THE DEAL. 3 years ago I moved abroad. Now, I’m about to make the journey home. So, what next: - we leave our home, Heidelberg, Germany on August 10 - Michael, Millie, Hugo, and our 4 suitcases will take a train from here to France and switch to a driver to transport us in a shuttle - We will shuttle across the channel to England - We will take a rental car to just outside of London to a boat, the Queen Mary II - We will all embark on a 7 day journey all on water (no stops) to New York. Yes, the dogs will have their own rooms! - We have never been to NYC so we’ll explore for a day ish, then start making our way back home - We will drive the 24+ hours from NYC to Dallas (our home) in 5 days - We’ll live at my parents house for a couple weeks while we inspect our own home - Then we’ll finally move back in our house (kick out our renters)- we haven’t lived there in 4 years!!! - Lastly, I won’t be moving my butt for a while 😂 #heleneinthenetherlands
What’s your travel style? Are you a go-cationer (guilty), laid back cultural lover, adventurous thrill seeker? I think we all have a different style and after my recent river cruise with @avalonwaterways I had a lot of questions on whether this type of travel will work for you. So, I made a little quiz on the blog so you can see if this would suit your travel style. I’m also answering any FAQs about river cruising so you can decide if it’s right for you. Link in bio or stories! #heleneinhungary #avalonad
I didn’t get up early for this shot. I didn’t plan my outfit. I didn’t premeditate my poses. I was just exploring Dubrovnik and found this spot and we took a few photos. Maybe this is just me, but I keep seeing the emphasis on “photo shoots.” While I definitely understand the benefit of incredible photos, if you’re wanting to travel and see a destination, then a 3 hour photoshoot with hair and makeup and outfit changes isn’t usually written into an itinerary. I know that we often feel pressure to get the shot. But remember to be in the moment. Relish in the place you are. That’s what’s going to count years from now. Not the insta pic. #heleneincroatia
People often ask me WHY I chose to move to Germany. I personally didn’t know much about the country, having never stepped foot here before moving. I thought it would be pretty, sure. Home of Oktoberfest, nice Christmas markets. But I didn’t know it would be my fairytale dreams come to life 😍 Tag a friend you need to come to Germany with!
I thought Mallorca would be meh. I had already been to Ibiza, could it really be that great? Turns out YES. Some of the most beautiful beaches, epic hill top towns, and shockingly cheap. Frankly, Mallorca is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to (so much so we’re going back next week. Whoops!) On the blog I’ve got a full guide to the island: best beaches, what to see and do, eat, and even my entire trip budget! Link in bio or stories (also sharing my top places to visit Europe in summer on my story🙌🏻) #heleneinspain
It’s my last 4th abroad! And I’m torn. On one hand I feel like I can’t wait even one more minute to be back in the USA (mostly because I’m so hot without AC here in Heidelberg and honestly just want some Chic-fil-a). On the other hand I’m tearing up every time I see a charming boulevard. Which is often. Life abroad hasn’t been easy one bit. But it’s also been epically awesome and filled with lifelong memories. We chose this. We weren’t sent here for a job or an escape. As we reflect on our goals and plans for the future I know I’ll always keep this part of my life sacred and special. Instagram stories for a bit of an odd story I didn’t even know I was going to tell. #heleneloveseurope
Taking breakfast in bed to a whole new level 🧖🏼♀️ 💻🥐 I think sometimes as a “travel blogger” I find it hard to slow down and appreciate the world around me. I tend to take “go-cations.” And don’t get me wrong, I love those. But taking a river cruise is a pretty awesome way to see the world. First and foremost you get to experience the destination- not just hop on a tour and leave feeling like you just breezed by. Secondly you get to see the world right outside your bedroom window- passing pastel colored churches, fluffy green hills, and picturesque villages. There are people on the boat who are season travelers, first timers to Europe, or river cruise newbies and the resounding feeling from everyone is that @avalonwaterways is so good, we all want another trip. It’s safe to say this won’t be my last! Questions about river cruising? Let me know below 👇🏻 #avalonad #heleneinaustria
Well y’all, it’s the final stretch. We leave to start our journey back to America in 40 days! 🇺🇸 You’d think we’d be bright and not do too much traveling until then but instead we’ve done just the opposite. 4 trips planned and 4 different countries to visit. Any guesses on where? Hint: not Greece 😂 #heleneloveseurope
Went to meet the count at his castle on top a hill and snuck up on a ZZ Top and Foreigner concert 😍 Stories for more! I am blown away with the excursions included on @avalonwaterways. From wine tasting, bike riding, canoeing, hiking, or guided tours it’s always an incredible experience. #avalonad #heleneinaustria
Mozart. Beethoven. Haydn. Brahms. There’s a reason Vienna is known as the World’s capital of Music. Walking the streets- day or night, feels like you’re listening to a waltz 😍 I’m here sailing down the Danube River with @avalonwaterways and am loving the active excursions options (hikes, canoe rides, concerts, etc) the beautiful boat and the convenience and ease of floating down the river. #heleneinaustria #avalonad
Budapest reminds me of Vienna’s cool younger sister. She’s just as lovely but she also stays out late, likes to party, and her boyfriend is definitely a bad boy. She’s trendy without trying and is somehow grungy but still clean (she often goes to the Turkish baths after all). The first time I visited I was immediately taken with the city, but this visit has confirmed my adoration. If you haven’t been, add it to your list. If you have, you need to come back- it just keeps getting better. #heleneinhungary @avalonwaterways #avalonad
Well, I’ve just had my most watched Instagram Stories of all time. I guess we like to see others in pain 😂😂🙈 honestly, same. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT I CREATED A HIGHLIGHT CALLED “Life in Germany” For those wondering, Millie will continue to pee to her heart’s content and I will avoid confronting people in public having sex in parks. Oh Germany, you sure are an interesting place. #helenelovesgermany
I travel for fun and blog for a living...but there’s more to it than that: ✈️Almost 3 years ago i moved abroad. It took us about 3 years of planning- we saved up, moved from Dallas to Nashville (since I had only ever lived in Dallas), and picked Germany first (good economy, freelance visa program, centrally located, speak some English) and then Heidelberg (beautiful, close to airports, university town with lots going on). It took us 7 months to get a visa (we were denied the first time!) but it’s been so worth it. 💻My blog is mine and my husband’s income. We didn’t think we would work together but after living abroad for a few months we decided to try it. It’s worked better than expected. BUT we always put the relationship first and if either of us wants out of working with each other there would be no questions asked. 🏠We are NOT moving home because our visa is up. When we moved abroad we decided that 3 years would be a good chunk of time in Europe. Our journey home starts August 10 and I can’t wait to be back in my house. 🗺I travel about 80% of the time. Sometimes it’s quite a lot and I feel like I can’t get my work done but I also have extreme FOMO. 😎I am strongly opinionated. However, my opinions are loosely held. Meaning if you present a counter argument that convinces me I’ll gladly concede. I say this because this is basically the key to my personality 😂 🙈I’m pretty messy. Right now I have 3 glasses on my desk and my suitcase is still packed from Mallorca. I leave tomorrow for Budapest. Tell me something about you!! Or find someone in the comments and make a friend! #heleneinbosnia
Friend: I’m going to Paris! Travel blogger: have you even read my Essential Paris travel guide? If you did you would know that nearby the Lourve there’s a small cannon that is a sundial in the garden that until 1990 would go off everyday at 12 when the sun was highest. Bet you didn’t even know that. Oh, and rent a scooter. I have so many tipsssss Friend: *walks away slowly* SPILL: what’s the most annoying thing about a travel blogger? Above is me (and also swipe to see me at age 73😂) #heleneinfrance
What’s on your life bucket list? I write down EVERYTHING. I mean everything. I always have this feeling that I’ll forget an important moment. And I get it from my mama. My Mom just texted me the coolest thing ever: on a trip 5 years ago to the beach in Florida the rest of the car was sleeping and as Michael drove, she wrote down each of our “life bucket lists” and “what would you do with your time if there were no obstacles.” It’s funny how many of these things have come to fruition for all 3 of us. (SWIPE TO READ THEM!) Not all of them, I need to work on being in shape and being in a Mardi Gras parade 🎉 But I am actively working or have achieved some of these goals. If you want to achieve something: moving abroad, traveling, Saving money, etc write it down. Look at it everyday. Make a plan. And if you’re like me you write everything down and can look back on it and sometimes laugh, cry, or be proud. Sometimes all of the above. #heleneandmichael
The five colorful, cliff-side villages on Italy’s coast always seemed like a movie set to me. Every picture I saw of the Cinque Terre made me think of a romantic scene where the male lead whisks a woman into his arms as they saunter into the clear waters. Probably over edited Instagram shots right!? Turns out, Cinque Terre is just as beautiful as I imagined it to be and more. There’s a new blog post with my full guide to this very Italian slice of heaven. Link in bio or stories. #heleneinitaly
EUROPEAN SUMMERS 😎 My favorite places for summers in Europe: In Spain- Mallorca (here!), Ibiza, San Sebastián, & Southern Spain (road trip), Greece- Island hop in Santorini, Crete, Mykonos, & Corfu, Portugal: Lagos, The Azores, & Lisbon, France- The Calanques & South of France, Italy- Amalfi Coast & Cinque Terre, Croatia- just literally everywhere! Istria, Hvar, and Dubrovnik, Denmark: Copenhagen (and pop over to Malmö Sweden!). What would you add to the list? #heleneinspain
One of the prettiest and most dramatic beaches I’ve ever seen in my life (partly because I almost ate it multiple times climbing down the treacherous path.) Getting here sucked: an hour drive with far away parking, heat of the day sun pounding on my shoulders, a rocky cliffside to meander down (and I didn’t bring my knee brace - if you’re new here I’m a klutz and I tore my ACL and fall a lot). ANYWAY, we almost turned around. But we soldiered on. And then we saw the clearest blue water I’ve ever seen in my life. I FREAKED OUT YALL. So as far as Mallorca goes it’s a hell yes from me. Rent a car and just go everywhere - you’ll be heartily rewarded. #heleneinspain
THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Yesterday I watched as a pink sunset sunk into the Mediterranean Sea by a lighthouse overlooking the dramatic dinosaur tail cliffs of Mallorca’s most northern point. The day before that I was in the Austrian Alps and “mountain carted” down a dusty fire road. I could still see snow as the cows munched their way on patches of fresh green grass. Life will not always look like this. And as epic as this sounds, I also look forward to the days at home with nothing to do and watching TV. Whoever said “more sunsets than Netflix” is wrong. There’s beauty in both! One is just easier to post pictures of 😂 #heleneinspain
A legend, the GOAT, the smartest human being I know of (no really), and most of all my Hero #happyfathersday
Sneaky last minute trip to the alps?! Don’t mind if I do. We’ve been so many times, this place just feels like home 🇦🇹 😍 What’s a spot you can go back to again and again? #heleneinaustria
Once you pop you just can’t stop 🍓🍓🍓QUESTION: Would you rather have 10,000 Instagram likes or 10,000 blog views? 🧐 I think Instagram likes feel good, but blog views equal long lasting followers, connections, and even money. Speaking of, I’ve got a new post on the blog with 11 surprising ways to make no ey blogging. Link in bio or stories #helyeahheidelberg
Haven’t left yet and I’m already feeling nostalgic. 🇩🇪 I have always been this way. Scientists call it “anticipatory nostalgia” I call it a reluctance to let go of the now. But I’m not just nostalgic about now. I’m this way about the past, too. As much as I love traveling and seeing the world and living abroad, I also despise change. I have never cared much about physical things, but memories and events are something I wish I could bottle up and relive again and again. Although at times living abroad was stressful, I know I’ll look back so fondly at this time in my life. I guess I should stop reminiscing, it’s not even over yet! Are you nostalgic? #helyeahheidelberg
There’s something about Santorini y’all. Maybe it’s the white washed buildings, clinging to the sides of the cliffs. Maybe it’s the epic sunsets that cast a golden, pink light on everything. Or maybe, it’s just magical. I keep going back again and again! ON THE BLOG (finally) my ultimate guide: everything to see, do, eat, stay, and more. I’m also including the best spots for sunsets, where to take those perfect Instagram shots, and how to maximize your time (and money) on this tiny, mystical island. 🇬🇷 Link in bio or stories for the post! . *FYI we did have permission to be on top of this church but please be mindful of signs in Santorini, more details on the blog! #heleneingreece #heleneandmichael
Yesterday was a dream: 68 and sunny (my all time fave weather, yes I have a fave temp), great music, beautiful stages, and an incredible festival. @worldclubdome is one of the best festivals in Europe and I can’t wait to come back! #heleneraves #worldclubdome #wcd2019
The number one question I’m asked: WHY ARE YOU MOVING BACK TO AMERICA? Y’all, I want to. I can’t wait to be home (We still own our house on Dallas). My friends are there. My family. A yard. A garage. Mexican food. Target. Chick-fil-a. White rock coffee. Friday night lights. Traveling America and visiting people like @laurelwilson (In this pic!) Shaved ice. An actual space for my car in a parking lot. There are a million reasons. My mom just asked me recently, “But don’t you worry about it being thrilling?” And the thing is life is thrilling. I always have something to look forward to. And right now, that is home.
Brand spankin’ new FREE Summer Mobile Lightroom Presets!! Grab them while they’re hot! Swipe to see the before and watch me edit this pic from my phone 🙌🏻 Link in stories to get them. THESE ARE FREE. 🐔⛱🔫💯🛴 (these emojis just felt right, just go with it) if you’ve downloaded them give me some random emojis!! IF NOT GO GET THEM NOW. HURRY.
I HAVE A SECRET. No one cares about your social media. I think we sometimes worry about things like: I can’t post this picture again, I’ve already posted something similar. I can’t wear this outfit again people will notice. This pic won’t fit with my feed. In reality people don’t care that much!!! Can you think about the last 3 things you scrolled through? What was their point?! We consume so much- we don’t think about it all that much. I think there’s A LOT of freedom in this. Hopefully, in 2019, we can STOP being so stressed about the details and focus on being ourselves. Because CONNECTION is when we start really caring about someone else on social media. Truly, no one is keeping tabs on you except yourself. So cut yourself a break. Better yet, go get some Starbucks. Because if you read until the end here 👋🏻 I’ve got a Starbucks code on my stories and once it’s gone its gone so 🏃♀️ #heleneingreece
I didn’t make the cheerleading squad in 7th grade I didn’t get in to SMU’s theater program My first business of selling T-shirt’s flopped Failures have been some of my greatest lessons and produced some of my finest achievements. Because I didn’t make cheerleading I tried out for dance team instead. This started one of my favorite activities in the whole world. I had always danced before, but this was a team and we performed. I thought theater was my destiny. I truly thought I’d be performing on Broadway. But instead I went into Public Relations which helped me land a career in social media and marketing. Which is way more useful for what I actually want and love doing: writing. When my shirt shop flopped I thought I couldn’t really make money from my blog. I went back to work. But I had a nagging urge inside of me to keep going and keep trying. Now, I do blog for a living and I don’t sell shirts. I’m honestly not very clever. And @thedailytay is much better at it than me. I wrote about travel and social media and make money that way. And I love it. Right now, I’m working on my first novel. And I might fail. But I think failures put you on the path to what you NEED to be doing in this life. And it might not be what you expected.
QUESTION FOR YOU: what are you doing with all this content you create? All these photos you take? Feelings you have? Opinions on life, travel, relationships, etc? If you haven’t yet, please please PLEASE start a blog. My theory is that the world needs more voices. Yours is unique and can express something no one else’s can. So just do it. Yes it’s scary. Yes there’s a bit of a learning curve. But if I can do it anyone can.
Me: Just because you follow me on Instagram doesn’t mean you know the *real* me. Also me: reveals all and looks like a train wreck on stories 80% of the time. Swipe to see my “starter pack”. What’s in yours?
May, you were quicker than a barefoot jackrabbit on a greasy griddle but I’m READY FOR YA JUNE. Zoom in and try and not throw up. I double dog dare you. #heleneandmichael
Here’s what 6 (almost) straight weeks of travel looks like: 8 flights, 6 bus rides, 50+ hours driving in the car, 6 train rides and 8 countries. Also, very little actual work done. - Happiness in the tulips in the Netherlands - Delirium in Paris from lack of sleep - Escaping the crowds in Bruges - Peace and quiet in Arles, France - Lots of eggs in The Azores, Portugal (we stayed at an Airbnb with friends and went through 65 eggs in the span of 5 days) - Locking your keys out of your house when you come home for 10 minutes to pick up the dogs -Sound of Music moments in the Austrian Alps - Rain and snow in May in Hallstatt - Sun drenched mornings in Santorini, Greece - And throwing a coin in Trevi fountain and quickly losing my voice I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe not fishing my keys out of the house with a stick. Other than that, solid plan. By the way, I do own other shoes other than adidas, I just choose not to wear them #notsponsored #butidtotallybesponsored #adidaslookatme #heleneloveseurope ALSO where should I go in Europe for my last 3 months abroad? Preferably somewhere I haven’t been...!