• Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    What My Czech Republic Travel List Looks Like These Days

    And no… I’m not going to call it my Czech list. It’s been interesting to see that different people are coping with this pandemic situation in different ways. Some people are writing and communicating a lot more than usual. Some people prefer not to mention it and have pretty much stopped posting on social media. Everyone’s confused. Nobody knows how to plan anything anymore. I mean, when this headline came out (“Czech borders could be closed as long as two years”) came out earlier last week, many of us were bummed. Upon discussion with a few other people about this terrible two year announcement, most people think that the borders…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Travel,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Surviving March + Thoughts on Traveling “These Days”

    Ahoj, friends. I spent much of February reading the novel, Station Eleven. I didn’t know what it was about at all when I picked it up as it was part of a book club, but man — this one was a doozy! It dealt with the topic of a worldwide influenza pandemic (not a spoiler) and really got me thinking about what I would do if the same situation happened to us now. Every night I would read a little bit before going to bed, wake up and read the news and feel like it was all starting to blur together. The timing of this read was all a bit…

  • Czech Republic,  Prague,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Valentine’s Day in Prague

    Even though this is my eighth winter in the Czech Republic, I still have never spent Valentine’s Day in Prague before. Valentine’s Day isn’t even the traditional Czech “day of love” (that would be the 1st of May) but you can’t deny that it is certainly has completely caught on! I know it’s a divisive day, with the main criticism that it is too commercialized, but my feeling is that it is whatever you want it to be. And who doesn’t love a chance to go celebrate a day of love and togetherness with someone special? After working (even during our half-term break! More on that in the next post…)…

  • Bad Ischl
    Austria,  Budějovice,  Christmas,  TravelTips,  Winter

    An Austrian Alpine Holiday

    As it’s the last weekend of the holiday season, so a perfect opportunity to share a little bit about 2019’s holiday season and our Christmas spent in the Salzkammergut. Before we left, we had a nice relaxing weekend wrapping up the work year and taking in some tunes and last punches in our beautiful square. On our way home from doing some Saturday morning errands, I noticed a tree in the park near our house full of fruits and things tied on with a sign. (Below, with the message “Christmas tree for homeless people – Have a beautiful Christmas”) I love when whimsy and kindness intersect and to see this…

  • Life Abroad,  Travel,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2019

    Hello all! Hope you had beautiful holidays if you were celebrating! The Czech celebrating period seems to go for about two weeks so I am still enjoying the beautiful downtime, lit candles, all of our decorations and tree – this time is honestly one of my absolute favorites of the whole year, even though Christmas is over. We’ve just had a nice holidays in the Salzkammergut lake region of Austria, not very far at all from Salzburg (but in the smaller villages). I will post about it soon but I wanted to get to the annual and much anticipated (by me, if nobody else) ‘Year in Life and Travels’, 2019…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Austria,  Autumn,  Language Learning,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Language Progress + Thoughts on Solo Travel

    “That was a really good lesson. I felt like we sort of… are getting it now, you know?” A moment Alex and I shared after our Czech lesson today. We started taking Czech language seriously in autumn 2015 – that means it’s been now over four years of really studying the language. Before that, I had taken a couple classes sporadically the year I first arrived although they didn’t amount to much as I was a total beginner in a class with people who clearly had some sort of grasp on the language and a teacher who couldn’t explain Czech grammar in my native tongue. Four years of serious study!…

  • Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Czech Republic’s Must-See UNESCO Sites

    sometimes it feels like you may have all but exhausted the travel opportunities in your immediate surroundings. when this feeling strikes, turning to a list of UNESCO heritage sites in your vicinity makes for some great trip (or even day trip) inspirado. i am unofficially trying to see all (or as many possible) of the UNESCO sites in czech republic. here are some that i’ve already checked off my list, and some more that i’m hoping to see in the future… PRAGUE’S HISTORIC CITY CENTER why is it UNESCO? it’s one of the most important and best preserved medieval city centers in europe! in few other places in the world…

  • Iceland,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Iceland Uncovered: How My First Ever Trip to Iceland Went

    right around new year’s day, 2011 (about a year and a half before this adventure began), i won a sweepstakes contest to win a trip to iceland. i was naturally ecstatic about this development, as i’d been dreaming about the country for years. about two and a half years ago, i went on said trip. however, after my return the photos i took never really surfaced anywhere and weren’t really shown to anyone… because at the time, the trip was not my idea of an ideal vacation. it left a bad taste in my mouth and a chill in my bones. to be fair, there were circumstances unrelated to iceland…

  • Berlin,  Thoughts

    It’s Not Me, It’s You: The Remnants of my Berlin Dream

    i love berlin. everyone who knows me knows this. everyone who knows me and doesn’t know this, should. i first visited in 2006 on a whirlwind month backpacking central europe where it was by far my favorite stop on the trip, made even more fun by the fact that i knew some locals living there at the time (uw german department professors and affiliates) and they really pulled out all the stops to show me a good time. dinner parties, city tours, an evening at a crusty prenzlauer berg bar trying different flavors of berliner weisse– i loved it all. my friends there convinced me to take german language classes…