The Strength of a Smile

It has been challenging to write about this vacation because it was not a typical European getaway with a beer in one hand and a selfie stick in the other. Okay, fine, I had four beers, and we used a selfie stick once – on our last day at a fabulous airbnb.     I dove deeply into Poland’s history before arriving there. I found it necessary to do my best to get a feel for the country’s past in order to value it during my visit because Poland was never really high on my list. That is, until I found out it was the cheapest … Continue reading The Strength of a Smile

Breakfast in Budapest (and other meals)

I had no idea what I was eating. It was like a giant pretzel. There was no coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. “Sometimes I forget I have an addiction,” I had told the girls. It is not until I get that mid-morning headache after not getting my early morning cup of coffee that I realize how dependent I’ve become on it. Our biggest challenge in Budapest was finding a place where we could grab a quick, to-go breakfast while rushing to our first tourist attraction. This day we were headed to the Jewish Quarter with a 2 1/2 hour free walking … Continue reading Breakfast in Budapest (and other meals)

Enchantment

Simone opened the door to our Airbnb, her hair wet from the shower, and a lose dress. “Of course she already looks like she lives here,” I thought. She had arrived a few hours before us. Sarah, Kristen, and I flew together, coincidentally sitting next to each other. These three girls are my Girl Power Team while living in Madrid. This trip was overdue. We decided to travel together during a late lunch at De Patata Madre in Bilbao, Madrid. Kristen and Sarah had spontaneously bought cheap flight tickets with a sketchy sounding airline: Wizzair. Simone and I spontaneously decided to join, though this city … Continue reading Enchantment

Day 3: freedom and choice

It was magic. A moment that balanced me out, and unraveled my existence into something that made sense. Suddenly everything made sense, or maybe it was the opposite. Once again I was walking in darkness. Lee, Lim, and I headed to Park Güell a little past 7 am. We went early because we heard it is all free before 8 am. Lee had gone before, but only to the free zone. Lim…I am not sure. Her stay in Barcelona was a little longer than expected, and she was anxious to move on to Portugal. But for me, this park (along with Sagrada … Continue reading Day 3: freedom and choice

The day a pigeon’s tush covered my eyes.

I learned how much happiness can fit into a single moment.  I retrieve images of this day from my memory to calm myself with its lifetime guarantee joy supply. After Stonehenge, the tour bus drove us to Bath. We were falling asleep on our way there, listening to the tour guide speak an overwhelming amount of information about this place. All I remember is that this was Jane Austen’s hometown and was founded by the Romans. The trees opened up in the mountain road to reveal a sight so incredible, and unreal, that my best friend smashed me against the … Continue reading The day a pigeon’s tush covered my eyes.

Paris is a broken heart.

“We look before and after, And pine for what is not: Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught – Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, To A Skylark (1820) This was Paris. In a surprising, burning heat (that even more surprisingly became a cold wind in the shade), we were not sure whether we should be taking clothes off or putting more layers on. We passed the masses, crossed a bridge, and found the booth for the 1 hour cruise on the Seine…But before…we snacked on French Fries 🙂 We sat on … Continue reading Paris is a broken heart.

Life Is Good & I Can See The Light Of This World

It seems to me, that everyone has periods of darkness and periods of light in their lives. I have been recently coming out of a period of very personal darkness, and coming to Ireland has felt like a celebration of my transitioning into better times. Going to see the Cliffs of Moher was a very profound experience for me. Taking in the sight for the first time, I could only think one thing: “Now you can see the light in the world.” The world is grand. My eyes felt so rich with this sight, I felt like a million bucks, … Continue reading Life Is Good & I Can See The Light Of This World

Ireland, I believe in your enchanting magic.

   I am a mess. I have no idea how to write this entry. But here is my best attempt at organized chaos. TRAVELING TO GALWAY: My flight was uneventful and sleepless. But once I got off the plane and realized I was on Irish land, I felt tremendous relief…which made me laugh. I guess in the back of my mind there was an irrational fear that my trip was not real. As if once I got to the plane they were going to say to me, “JK! You did not really book this trip, you dreamt it. Get off … Continue reading Ireland, I believe in your enchanting magic.