Becoming Dutch for a few weeks!

So funny story about most of my travels is I actually fall into them on accident. Friends ask me to tag along, someone I know lives there or it's the perfect meeting in the middle place for me and someone I know on this lovely planet.

My trip to Europe was absolutely the weirdest one yet! I met someone who was studying abroad in my hometown and his hometown just happened to be just outside of Amsterdam. When my favorite Australian DJS were playing a big music festival there in October (I missed them in the US all summer because of work) I invited myself to visit him and he was more than accommodating. My trip consisted mostly of eating local foods, riding my new bike around town, drinking beer and wine and meeting amazing people.

I have to say absolutely nothing beats a local tour guide when you're visiting somewhere and I don't know how I get so lucky but each new place I visit I feel more and more at home and welcome. Two of his friends are coming to visit me next week! I can't wait to show them around my hometown and where he lived for a few months.

This trip to Europe also help me check off stepping foot on two new continents in just ONE year (Asia and Europe!) 2016 was incredible and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store :)

Visit Amsterdam with me below:

Annual NYC trip

I am really lucky to live in the same state as the world famous New York City, it makes for quick weekend trips to the city very easy. I love that every time I am in the city I do something different!

This time we caught a Yankees Game,
walked the High Line (old train tracks turned park),
visited Chelsea Market and CitiPups chelsea,
ate at my FAVORITE italian place near central park (again),
and took a Hard Hat tour of the hospital wing of Ellis Island!

This was my first time at Ellis Island and it was pretty awesome to see my family name on the list of immigrants and learn about the history of Ellis Island and how easy we have it today compared to  those who risked everything to move countries for a better life!

Check it out here:

and last years vlog here!

A L O H A, Maui

I only touched on Maui for four short days- after my two short weeks in Asia I decided to extend my time in Hawaii and hop on over to Maui, but again it was like the blink of an eye. I barely got to see what I wanted to, let alone explore outside the beaten path, but I can definitely tell you this was not my last time in Maui :)

Paradise in the form of Oahu

Okay so I just got back from three weeks island hopping in Hawaii and all I have to say is WOW! Seriously and all the cliches are true- paradise, why can't I live here, breathtaking, gorgeous, ect, ect.

I spent two weeks on Oahu (Honolulu and the International airport are located on this island) and was lucky enough to be able to reunite with my neighbor from college. Hawaii is in the middle for both of us, (ten hours) so I am grateful that she invited me along on her vacation. We spent one week of that up at the North Shore, before she headed home and I headed to Maui. There was SO much to explore on this little island that I really truly feel like I didn't even make a dent in it, so this calls for (of course) a trip back :)

Things I did on Oahu:

1. Waikiki Beach

Australia Journey Journal: Cairns

So I thought it was finally time to share my family trip to Cairns- only a year later, but what's that they say? Better late than never? Yes!

January 28th:

Cairns was the third destination on our family Journey around Australia- and definitely one of my favorite places in Australia. I love the promenade they have with the public pool, we took a water zumba class after we went out to see the Great Barrier Reef. We also had an incredible dinner at an Italian restaurant on the promenade. 

I haven't seen the GBR from any other place in Australia- but I can tell you that Cairns is great for it. We boated past a small island called "Green Island" where you could stay overnight with a small group of people, so it's really like you have a private island and snorkel with turtles and stingrays and catch a larger boat farther out into the reef- talk about amazing. Anyways down to the nitty-gritty, the visual effects, the reason you probably read my blog:

Picture Perfect view from the aeroplane
the color of the blue aint messin around

Tokyo, Japan VLog!

2 days in Tokyo in 2 minutes!

I hadn't planned on visiting Tokyo when I was in Seoul, but it was so close, so on Friday I booked a flight, and on Sunday Night I arrived. (thank you to FLIGHTNETWORK.COM, I was able to get a cheapish flight, still expensive because it was so last minute, but $100 cheaper than on the actual airline website.)

I used to find a hostel near the sumo wrestling arena (this was why I chose Tokyo for my short two day trip, over Osaka/Kyoto, although I wish I could've seen it all!)

Seoul, South Korea

Wow, okay so freshly off the plane from my first time in Asia,

(by the time I publish this it may be 1-2 weeks to 2 months "fresh off the plane" but hey at least its coming at ya!)

Seoul South Korea and Tokyo Japan to be exact.

It's truly amazing when another place on the map comes to life. Adventure, friendships and unforgettable experiences are guaranteed to come along with it.

Top FIVE favorite things I did from my two weeks in Seoul. (Two weeks really is the blink of an eye anywhere, so I didn't even touch on as many things as I would've liked to- but there is always next time!)

1. Insadong-  shopping street with aisles and hidden aisles of goodies and restaurants. The subway stops right at the beginning of it, so you can't get too lost!

2015 in Postcards

Have figured out a fun way to showcase the post cards I have collected from my trips in 2015. I have just started this year and have actually completely forgotten to grab some from some places I have been, but heres to getting better at that in 2016- so far so good!

Dear 2016,

So hey, it's me again another 365 days around the sun.
Rereading what I wrote to your brother? cousin? 2015 (here)
I am still no good at conveying my thoughts on paper, so that hasn't changed.

I am even more grateful for my health and wealth and the people around me who give me guidance everyday this year.

That I was born in a country where my opportunities really are endless, I have a roof over my head, easy access to clean water and a job.

I am learning that as many rotten people as there are in the world, there are also some awesome people. I am trying harder to focus on those awesome people more and more and the rotten ones less and less, (while being more awesome than rotten myself) because as one of my favorite sayings goes

"Don't focus on the one guy who hates you, (or the people that hurt you) 
you don't go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog sh*t"