Summer

a year of travels: 2015

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oh man, you guys, this year. it was one of the best. although i managed to pack a ton of travels in the second half of 2015, the first half was alllll about that local travel while saving up my korunas to come back to the states for the wedding. i am feeling just so grateful with the travel opportunities that have popped up and looking forward to what might come in the new year! but first, let’s take a look at 2015 as it was…

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not much happened in january after the aftermath of our our austrian christmas, but we managed to make a few day trips and a weekend getaway in february happen: valentine’s day in the west moravian city of

třebíč; checking out the beautifully preserved jewish quarter, reaching new heights for a view over the town, a hundreds-year-old jewish cemetery… oh, and famously (and of course, accidentally) telling our hotel proprieter that “we don’t want to speak czech”. oops.

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march was all about sticking around budějovice, taking wanders and visiting spring markets… and really good breakfasts that were featured on the blog, good night and travel well.

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in april for easter weekend, i somewhat foolishly planned an outdoors trip of staying in a cabin in czech paradise national park (český ráj). when it ended up snowing the day before we were to leave, we moved the trip to august and went to prague instead. (what is it with these early easters?) but prague for easter was pretty charming with the easter markets and all, and we ascended vitkov hill for the first time.

we also spent a sunny turned thunder-stormy (typical april) day enjoying třeboň

and our beloved bohemia regent beer + i rode my bike to

hluboká, didn’t take enough breaks, and got mild heat exhaustion. hah.

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in may, we were gearing up for our travel to seattle at the end of the month, but had to fit in some more local travel, most notably, a fabulously springy and luxurious birthday in prague and finally a trip to

kutná hora

to see the famous “bone church” (sedlec ossuary). alex is about 95% sure he saw cillian murphy at the prague (troja) botanical garden, which would make since because he was in town filming a movie.

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june, glorious june! i typically get a bit homesick this month as june weather in czech is notoriously meh and usually pretty nice in the northwest…. but i got to spend the month in washington this year reveling in it all (and of course, the wedding). split my time between fidalgo island (and the surrounding islands) and seattle, but also found an opportunity to travel to olympia and portland at the end of june to attend the wedding reception of one of my dearest friends and visit and catch up with some other very good friends. summer in washington state is the best.

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happily spent a very american fourth of july at home on fidalgo island and soaked up our wonderful little town, our celebratory barbecue, and fireworks. then, goodbye to washington and off to eastern (thumbknuckle region) michigan to visit alex’s family and eat all of the food (i love you, cracker barrel). by the 17th, we were off again on a very “exciting” series of flights with a final destination in athens, greece for our honeymoon! wow, greece is something else… a treat for all of the senses and unlike anywhere else i’ve been up until now. we enjoyed the heck out of our five nights spent on santorini, bathed in the waves at the locals beaches of artemida, and melted in a 100°F athens summer while escaping in the evenings to explore.

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home sweet home, back to our lovely flat in

budějovice

in august, where, inspired by all of our travels, we made a few necessary home upgrades and found some time for local travels: canoeing on the vltava, a day trip to červená lhota

for a summer picnic, and our highly anticipated postponed weekend to

český ráj in north bohemia where we stayed in absolutely the cutest little cabin and saw some fascinating natural and historical sights, like trosky castle. it was a big month for local travel in czech republic as i checked off these three “must do things” off the list. bam.

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in september, we took advantage of the long st. wenceslas day weekend by living it up in prague and reuniting with a long-lost college friend. the weather was gorgeous at the end of september, inspiring outdoor wine festivals, “hikes” to the top of letná

hill, and enjoying the first

svařák (mulled wine)

of the year on castle hill.

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october brought more local explorations, like wandering through the sweetest little villages and the pine forests of south bohemia… trying to find every excuse to enjoy the autumn foliage and relatively warm weather.

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i took a week off from teaching on the second week of november to hop over to paris and meet my mother to celebrate her milestone birthday in style! it was truly one of the most memorable, profoundly meaningful, and exciting trips of the year… full of macarons, champagne, dinner parties, the airbnb open convention, and loving the beautiful city of lights.

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december brought a much needed dose of “germanity” to our lives, spending a quick little weekend in nuremburg at the beginning of the month to enjoy the christkindlsmarkt and a week for christmas in peaceful berlin. ever heard peaceful associated with berlin? yeah, me neither, but during the holidays it was calm and quiet. a real stille nacht!


what happened on the blog?

this blog’s facebook presence was born! i had my first big contest and gave away a parcel of cozy winter goodies to celebrate a bloglovin’ follower milestone (which… by the way… are you following adventurings yet?) some super rad expat bloggy friends shared with you where they went on their honeymoons this summer while i was on mine, i started the prague metro roulette series, i participated in a long and winding british bake-off, was interviewed on an expat podcast, and more fun to come in 2016! although i’m not always posting about how strange expat life is (because, uhh, after three years it’s not as strange anymore), i’m still loving sharing my thoughts, observations, and stories with you.

the three most popular posts in 2015…

1) travel fails & how to fix ‘em  (who doesn’t love a good failure story?)

2)  i dyed in szczecin (did get orange hair, didn’t sightsee)
3) just married (awww)



so, where will we go in 2016?

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we’ll be headed to budapest for the long easter weekend. for the first time ever, good friday 2016 will be an official public holiday in the czech republic! however, lesson learned from last year, i think it’ll either be a city break or a purposely cold and snowy destination this time. march in central europe ain’t warm, so if you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em. i’m also hoping this is the year we finally make it to the wine regions of moravia (crossing fingers) and can’t forget our annual trip to karlovy vary for KVIFF.

the big summer trip is still in the planning & imagining stages, but perhaps inspired by the summer that just wouldn’t quit of 2015 (now i know what sweat dripping down my back feels like), we are dreaming of a big ol’ norse getaway for our big summer trip: likely a long stopover in norway (which would be my 30th country at age 30!) on the way to spending the rest of the month getting to know iceland.  i’ve been really feeling the need to go back to iceland and really do it right this time, and i would also love for alex to see it because of his interest in vikings and norse mythology. if it goes through, it would be a huge undertaking… but at least i’ve got something to work on this winter!

i’m not really one to “collect” countries, but seeing how i’ve managed 29 by age 29 anyway, 30 by 30 is not so much more of a stretch, especially living in europe… and then i can be done with it!


happy new year, friends, and thanks for continuing to follow my journey here! where will the new year take you?

ps, you might like last year’s a year of travels: 2014.

this post is part of the january travel link-up with emma, jessi, & angie.

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