Category Archives: Travel

Adventuring | How authentic do you like your vacations?

Adventuring | How authentic do you like your vacations?

Adventuring | How authentic do you like your vacations?

I’ve been thinking a lot about different ways of having authentic travel experiences, and about the various ways to vacation. Right now I’m on a getaway in Mexico, and I’ve had some of the most real (read: uncomfortable) interactions with a different culture.

I could barely hold back my gag reflex as we walked through a market filled with smells of raw seafood and meat, out at a nice 85-degree room temperature. And I’m pretty sure our surfing instructor was talking to a drug lord as we rode away from our lesson. Don’t worry- he left us by telling George and I not to walk in our neighborhood alone at night because people hide in the bushes waiting to mug you. Oh, and did I mention that I only speak about 30 words of Spanish?

Two-Week Vacation Essentials

Large Le Pliage Longchamp | The perfect travel companion

Our honeymoon is the longest trip I’ve even been on, at least as an adult. It clocked in at 15 wonderful days over 4 different cities. As I mentioned before the trip, I was nervous about, but committed to, only packing one suitcase. That ended up being an incredibly good decision since I hauled my luggage up stairs, onto trains, and around old cities. Here are the items that deserve MVP status for my long vacation. I’ll be taking these things on every future trip that’s over a week.

Large Le Pliage Longchamp | The perfect travel companion

Longchamp Tote
The biggest award goes to my Longchamp tote bag. I loved carrying my navy blue Large Le Pliage version around because it was big enough to hold my clutch, camera, Italian phrase book, water bottle, and any other essentials. However, it’s classy enough that I didn’t feel like a mega tourist toting it around. Some people even use this same bag as a daily purse. I’ve brought this bag as a carryon for many trips and it works wonderfully for me. When it finally wears out, I’ll be replacing it with the same bag in a new color.

Souvenirs from Italy

Souvenirs from Italy - What I brought back from my honeymoon

Souvenirs from Italy - What I brought back from my honeymoon

I’m always very conflicted about the decision to buy or not buy souvenirs on trips. When I was younger I would get in a fervor to buy mementos, and they always ended up being meaningless later because they were low quality and not useful. We also do enough traveling now that I can’t afford to purchase and store goodies from each little weekend get-away. But when we were in Italy for two weeks on our honeymoon, I certainly wanted to bring back one or two things (in addition to photos and memories) to remind me of the trip. Here’s what I have to remember Italy:

Visiting Rome in July

Roman Colosseum and george / A Rome vacation recap

Roman Colosseum and george / A Rome vacation recap

Rome was the last stop of our Italian honeymoon, and it was also the longest amount of time we spent in one destination. It was certainly a busy city, and I think the crowds of tourists and the hectic nature made it a little less fun. However, the city was filled with amazing pieces of history and loads of delicious food.

George on balcony by Via Del Babuino in Rome

Adventures in Tuscany

Visiting Livorno, Italy

George and I had a wonderful honeymoon in Italy. This marks part three in a series where I share our photos and fun little tidbits from our adventures.

After quick stops in Venice and Florence, George and I switched things up with a longer stay in Livorno, Italy. It’s a working port city that has a little bit of grit, which allowed us to get a better feel for what Italy is really like. Plus, Livorno is well situated on the western coast, on the Mediterranean and within the Tuscany region.

Visiting Livorno, Italy

At this stop we stayed at an AirBnB apartment, so we really were living like the locals. We did a lot of walking around town, and noticed so much graffiti. It seemed like few things were spared, and even statues in the middle of plazas were covered in tags.