I’ve been back in the US now for a few days and I’m really starting to miss entire towns built out of stone and Brits who are so stubbornly optimistic that today will be the day it’s nice outside that they’ll sit outside at a cafe while it’s raining. 🏡 The U.K. really has become a second home to me over the last few years, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Where’s your second home? 🏡
Much love to Astrid and Leoni for giving us free accommodation in Vienna (unfortunately that accommodation was not in Schönbrunn Palace)
So we didn’t actually manage to go IN to Schönbrunn Palace because there was a two hour wait and we wanted ice cream, but the view from the outside was pretty dang impressive (so was the ice cream 🍦)
Fun fact: I’m so white I have to sunscreen my part. Sunscreen was absolutely essential in Vienna, where the sun was shining all day every day and my Scotland-weather-adjusted body was NOT READY. There is apparently also no air conditioning in the entire city, so that was fun.
Been indulging in a lot of #kaffeeundkuchen in Vienna and it’s been worth every calorie 😍🍰☕️
What does your dream home look like? 🏡 Anyone who knows me knows that I am certifiably OBSESSED with the color of this door. Basically everything I own is this color in one shade or another, and I dream of living in a house one day that has this color all over (but, like, in a tasteful way). Daniel basically had to tear me away from this house we found in the Lake District. I was ready to knock on the door and ask the owner if they would be willing to sell it to me 😍
When you find the perfect picture rock 👌🏼
Important public service announcement: the Lake District is straight. up. gorgeous.
Take me back to carefree days in the Lake District before exams
So apparently today is #nationalrichterscaleday Totally random holiday to be celebrating? Yes. But it also reminded my of the time I spent in Lisbon, which was ravaged by a huge earthquake back in 1755. This was way before the Richter Scale was invented, but it's estimated would have been in the range of 8.5-9 on it 😲And fun fact: Alfama was the only district that wasn't affected by the earthquake, which is also why it's the only district that still has all of those old, windy, non-sensical streets! The rest were completely redesigned in a grid system after they were destroyed.
OK I know I made a sweeping ban on staring-into-the-distance shots a while back but this one was just too good not to post. Lagos was drop. dead. g o r g e o u s. Take me back please. ⠀⠀ 📷: @adventuresinscotland
I bought my flight home for the summer yesterday, and that always gets me thinking about some of my favorite things to do when I'm back in the US. Taking day trips to Chicago is definitely one of them, and something I haven't done in a criminally long time (this photo was taken in summer 2016).⠀ ⠀ I can remember as a kid, Chicago being the most exciting place in the world for me. Only a three hours drive away, it felt like a completely different planet from my small, cornfield-surrounded town. Imagine if kid me could see me now!
Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Leave the most beautiful shell ever behind, because lbr what are you going to do with a shell???
The face of a girl whose jeans just got soaked by the FREEZING waves (and whose jeans will subsequently get DRENCHED because she was stupid enough to leave them on when she went kayaking). Oh well, Lagos was still stupid beautiful.
I am actually obsessed with the story behind this mural. So it’s no secret that Lisbon loves its street art, but did you know that there’s a granny graffiti gang? That’s right, these badass grandmas go around Lisbon leaving their own marks on the city everywhere the go. I want to be them when I grow up.
Craziest moment in Lisbon? Going in a walking tour and stopping down the randomest little street in Alfama, where Tininna opened up her shutters and served us her homemade Ginjina, the famous cherry liqueur. Like, what??? I was so confused but loved every single second of it.
In Prague, there’s a Starbucks right next to Prague Castle that monopolizes the best views. In Lisbon, it’s practically impossible to monopolize a viewpoint because literally every time you turn a corner you’re greeted by another, even more beautiful view. You’ll find tiny snack kiosks selling coffee for €1 where you would normally find overpriced tourist restaurants. Elevators through supermarkets that lead up to sweeping viewpoints. One of the best seven terraces in the world through an unassuming craft store. It’s like Lisbon was like: I’ll take your beautiful city and raise you 500,000 viewpoints. Not bad, Lisbon, not bad.
An ode to the Pastel de Nata: Yummy yummy yummy In my tummy Creamy Flakey Tasty tasty tasty 😍😍😍😍😍😍
Major tourist attractions: yay or nay? It’s a mixed bag for me. Sometimes, they can be super impressive, but most of the time they end up being overpriced and disappointing 😕 In Lisbon there’s kind of a lack of traditional major tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building. The Praça do Comercio is one of the few, famed for its beautiful yellow walls and Arc de Triomph-esque Rua Augusta Arch. While I never sought it out specifically as a “thing to see in Lisbon”, it often served as a convenient meeting place for walking tours, meeting friends, etc. and it never failed to take my breath away by how gorgeous it was–especially at sunset! 😍😍😍
Getting photos of yourself as a solo traveller is hard. On the one hand, I kind of love having complete creative control, but it also means toting around a tripod and looking like a crazy person. Sometimes it’s nice to just hand your camera off to someone trustworthy and not have to worry about it. That’s why tours are so fab, and just one of the many reasons I will always be a huge proponent of them. 📷: Miguel from @wehatetourismtours
Obidos? More like Obi-damn.
“Perhaps travel can not prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” —Maya Angelou I really don’t think I’ve ever heard a better way to sum up my feelings about travel and about life in general. I’ve always thought that getting to know and understand people who are different to you is not just fun, but vitally important. It may sound hippy-dippy as hell, but it’s true. What do you think?
🙋🏽♀️ Raise your hand if you’re a sucker for beautiful doors 🙋🏽♀️ I always find myself taking pictures of random doors when I’m traveling. I think there’s just something so beautiful about brightly colored and interestingly designed doors, and I can’t help but imagine what the people who love behind them must be like! Are you as obsessed with doors as I am? #ihavethisthingwithdoors
Travelling alone is NOT easy. In fact, I called home crying just a few hours after this photo was taken, pretty sure literally every decision I’d ever made was wrong. That’s just what happens when I’m allowed alone with my thoughts too long. I think I need constant reminders that everything is going to turn out okay, and it’s hard to get those when you’re all by yourself in a foreign country. So no, I’m never going to be a full time solo traveller. It’s just not for me, and it’s okay if it’s not for you either—even if sometimes the travel blogging world makes it seem like the end all, be all of traveling (to the point where I thought something was wrong with me when I tried it for the first time and hated it). So tell me: have you travelled solo before? What did you think? If not, do you think you’d like to try it? Also, just to switch things up a little, who’s your favorite travel buddy (mine is my boyfriend, Daniel)?
Major public service announcement: Obidos isn’t real. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. It’s literally just too beautiful to actually exist. If you try to visit, you will be disappointed. And if you aren’t, chances are you’re hallucinating. Because it isn’t real. It’s just a story made up in a fairytale in some random book. 100% I was hallucinating for two days while I was here.
On the lookout for ovos moles 👀👀👀
At what point to pictures of brightly colored houses get old? Because I have a lot of them from Aveiro but I need to know how many I can post before people get annoyed 😂😂😂
I’m long gone from Aveiro but I still can’t stop thinking about the ovos moles 😍😍😍 These delicious little treats are said to have been invented by a nun with a serious sweet tooth, and can be found pretty much everywhere you look in Aveiro. Be sure you try one (or 100) if you ever visit!
Okay, I take it all back. I might have felt bad about not giving Porto enough time yesterday, but now that I’m in Aveiro I can safely say that I made the right choice. Aveiro is SO MUCH more my style. Life is laid-back, the houses are prettier than I ever could have imagined, and there’s a local famous pastry: ovos moles. What more could you ask for??? And if I hadn’t cut time off from Porto, I never would have been able to make it here. Moral of the story? Go to the places that call your name over the ones everyone tells you to see. You’ll always end up happier that way.
Spring break, we made it!!! 💃 💃 💃 What with all the pension strikes going on in the UK, it’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks, especially not knowing if I would have class one day or not. But now, it’s two blissful weeks where I don’t have to worry about anything—except exploring Portugal, that is 😉 TBH I didn’t come into Porto expecting to love it, and the only real reason I chose to visit at all was because it was the cheapest place to fly into. But wandering around this morning, I was definitely surprised that I didn’t hate the place and was excited to get to know it better. I had grand plans to go Port wine tasting in the afternoon, but was unfortunately hit with a serious headache during lunch and decided to lay in bed for a few hours instead. So needless to say, I really have not given Porto a fair chance. I’m headed off to Aveiro—aka the Venice of Portugal—tomorrow, though, so Porto’s second chance will unfortunately have to wait for another time 😢