Perusing the streets (and past memories) of Paris

With the COVID-19 chaos among us, all I can think of is traveling. Last Monday I was supposed to venture off to Banff National Park for some solo adventuring, yet here I am soaking up some sun on my couch…

While I may not be educating myself on wolf-dogs, tubing down mountains or glacier hiking, I am currently lost in past travels. I recently spoke with one of my best friends who I met while we studied in France, so I’ll continue my French-inspired posts for now.

One of my favorite photos from the weekend…

Carolyn and I spent one weekend in Paris during over summer abroad; for both good and bad reasons, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. I can only explain our weekend mishaps by sharing a piece of my matron of honor speech from September 2019:

“During our time in France, there was only one moment when I feared that Carolyn wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. We were lost in Paris for a while, wandering the outskirts in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that it brought out the worst in us. Our phones weren’t working and we had no clue how or when we would find our way back.

For once, there were no stories about our significant others, no rants about Veronique and her subpar cooking, and most importantly, no laughter. Thankfully, things went back to normal once we found our hotel, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

In fact, we’ve had a reunion every year since that summer, and in 2015 we were also lost in Chicago late at night. We laughed while we struggled to find our way back to the hotel, and it brought me back to that hectic night in Paris.”

I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones (and favorite TV series!) ❤️

So many “Foss’s”! Seljalandsfoss and Svartifoss Falls, Iceland

“Foss” in Icelandic is “waterfall” in English, so there are many long names with “foss” at the end in this country!

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Seljalandsfoss and Svartifoss were two of the last sites seen on our South Coast tour.  It was breezy, hailing and damp, but well worth it 🙂

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That’s a wrap for my Iceland posts!  Thank you for reading and following my story.  Now I need to start writing about Peru… 😉

Black Sand Beach, Iceland

My mom and I returned from Peru yesterday evening!  I really need to wrap up my Iceland posts to start my Peru ones…

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After Bethany and I left the glacier, we were able to visit a black sand beach!  It was great because the sun was out (at first) and the landscape reminded me of Ireland all over again!

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As you can see, the sun doesn’t stay out for long in Iceland…

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The sand was so pure and dark, that my boots blend in here!^

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My Michigan roots have always led me to water, and I’m happy to have seen this side of Iceland!

Sólheimajökull (South Coast Glacier)

I can’t pronounce, let alone SPELL, the name of this glacier.  What I CAN tell you is that this glacier is a must-see on Iceland’s southern coast!

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The walk to get here from the parking lot wasn’t short; however, with views like these, I would’ve walked an extra mile!

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I had Iceland layovers in 2014 AND 2016, so I had to make 2018 count 🙂 Going outside of the city is something I should’ve done four years ago…

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Being so close to the water made me want to swim in it (or at least go kayaking)!

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The walk back consisted of hail, rain, snow, and sunshine all in one!  But with the sunshine came a lot of green.

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Note: I chose not to lighten any of these photos because I want you to see the glacier (almost) as I did!

Downtown Reykjavik & Street Art

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Reykjavik is truly a melting pot, mainly due to increased tourism over the years!  Even though the city had more authenticity when I first visited in 2014, this May was the first time I truly experienced all Reykjavik had to offer…

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The “pops of color” and street art took over its downtown area, which is something I always feel the need to photograph!

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Reykjavik is unique in many ways, one being that you feel like you’re in Norway, Ireland, and the early 2000s (at times) all in one!

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Oh, and the gluten-free dessert AND savory crepes were beyond amazing!!!

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No matter where you turned, you saw something special; you definitely weren’t in the States anymore!

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My message to you: always go off the beaten path!

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The Golden Circle, Iceland

It has been FOREVER since I’ve taken the time to write.  But it’s important for me to write and reflect on my travels; I need to make more of an effort to do so 🙂

On Bethany’s and my first full day in Iceland, we went on a 10-hour tour of the Golden Circle!  Each location on the tour kept getting better and better!

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Here were the stops we took:

  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir
  • Gullfoss Waterfall

The national park was full of history.  When we were walking on the main pathway with our tour guide, we essentially had one foot in Europe and the other in North America.  This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, as someone who loves geography and travel!

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The Geysir was much appreciated for two reasons:

  1. It’s the “original” one!  This is how ours out west received their names!
  2. The warm mist kept me much warmer than the wind tunnels at the park did…

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I have never been out west with my family, unlike many other American families I know, but I got my fix in Iceland!

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Our last stop was the Gullfoss waterfall, which was BY FAR my favorite destination!

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Mind you, every-other 10 minutes hail would hit you diagonally; however, with these views it was incredibly worth the unpredictable weather!

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Oh, and we saw some Icelandic horses along the way 🙂

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Tip: DRESS IN LAYERS…that are waterproof!!!

Teddy Bear Travels

Hello, long time no blogging!  Yet again, I have been MIA for quite some time; however, I’m back and ready to focus on blogging again!

When we travel for an extensive amount of time, it’s always nice to have something from home.  Some bring a photograph, others a keepsake…but for me, it’s always my teddy bear, Pierre!

Pierre is a 3-year-old Build-a-Bear who my boyfriend and I made for Christmas in 2015.  He is very loved, privileged, and fortunate to have seen all these incredible places!  I hope you enjoy his journey as much as he does (and as much as I do)! 🙂

Pierre loves to go boating on Michigan’s many lakes!

He and his wife, Claire, have even ventured to Chicago with me!

Pierre and his best friend, Chestnut, were my travel buddies in Sweden for my semester abroad.

Pierre has even been to castles, something that many humans haven’t even experienced!

He loved riding through Kalmar, SE with me!

Praha (Prague) was one place where Pierre could meet some cool cats 🙂

…but he enjoyed being in my dorm with Chestnut, Coconut, Barry, and Sandy!

Pierre was able to meet one of my best friends from Hamburg, Germany too!  She gave us a care package when we arrived!

I bought this bag in Copenhagen, especially for Pierre! He needed it for our weekend in London together 🙂

DOUBLE RAINBOW!!!

We enjoyed sunny days on the dock near the Kalmar castle 🙂

Pierre and I probably loved our time in Norway the most! 🙂 It made him feel at home with all the boating we did in those two weeks…

We love quality time with Juan!  Pierre loves Lake Michigan 🙂

Pierre was also my buddy on my train from Denver to Grand Junction to visit a friend from study abroad!

More traveling is in Pierre’s future, and mine as well 🙂

Two Years Ago… (In Copenhagen)

Two years ago, I was wandering the streets of Copenhagen in the freezing cold waiting for my connecting train to Sweden, wondering if I was making the biggest mistake or greatest decision of my life. My semester abroad was life-changing. Here’s the photo that started it all…✨