• 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!…

  • Summer

    the villages of the drôme provençale

    this summer heat has got me thinking about one year ago on our holiday in provence. i wrote a little bit about the stay at our cottage in the drôme region and a day in arles, but nothing much about the many, many provençal villages we visited. the most known area of provence is perhaps the luberon, thanks to the popularity of a year in provence by peter mayle (a book which i highly, highly recommend if you’re going to provence at all), but we ended up staying in the northern drôme (southeastern france about halfway between marseilles and lyon) which was even more beautiful than i ever could have imagined. every day we would…

  • Summer

    a spring wander around brixton, london

    what is it about blogging, lately? i have a theory that other forms of social media is slowly killing off blogging (do you agree?) and i am taking staunch measures to prevent this, at least for myself. in the past, if i haven’t written, it meant i couldn’t think of anything to say. nowadays, over six and a half years into my life abroad, if i don’t write, i’m too busy with life or my personal studies (language or herbalism).  but! i can’t let spring fade sweetly into warm, sun-drenched summer without talking a little tiny bit more about our spring day out in brixton at the end of april.…

  • Summer

    travel, living abroad, and a more ecological lifestyle.

    travel + an ecological lifestyle – can these two things belong together? it’s a hard thing to reconcile for any traveler – how to lessen your personal impact and be a more responsible traveler? there’s carbon offsets you can purchase, either as you make your flight purchase or separately from a few different organizations. there’s booking a trip from a company with a ecologically-responsible policy. (in the past week, rick steves just announced all his tours will be certified carbon neutral) there’s opting to take the bus or train more vs. flying. we live without a car here and do almost all of our errands on foot (including grocery shops, hoofing it…

  • Summer

    walking london + the afternoon tea bus tour

    i don’t really ever go on those “weekend away” trips everyone talks about when they move to europe. well at least, not of the kind with an airplane. flying is a much bigger “to-do” than the ever-convenient train, and when you live in the center of europe, it’s easier to get almost everywhere by train… except great britain. but a couple weekends ago, i did! it felt really fancy!  i went to london, mainly with the intent of seeing a band i love so much i’d fly for– which i could write a whole post about in and of itself as it was incredible–  but all the other in-between stuff…

  • Summer

    find your spring bliss {south bohemia easter hiking weekend}

    hi all, i hope you had a nice easter! it’s our tradition to go on a trip every easter (as here in the czech republic, we have a nice long four day weekend – five if you’re lucky!) and as this year it fell deliciously late into the season, we opted for another countryside hiking trip. last year’s trip was much too cold and bleak, and this year, all i wanted was sun and relaxation with a bit of hiking, which led us to the czech/austrian borderlands, basing ourselves in vyšší brod, a kilometer or two from the border. we had been to vyšší brod once before as we started…

  • Summer

    the best souvenirs to bring home

    among the online travel community, souvenirs are sort of a divisive issue. there are those who would never even touch a souvenir and feel like they are a waste of money and not an accurate representation of a place, and then there are the people who can’t stay away from those touristy shops with knick-knacks and bags that say the city’s name all over it (made in china). while i don’t like knick-knacks (clutter!!!), i do love a little bit of shopping on a trip and almost always regret not picking up something. over the years, i have developed and refined my stance of souvenirs – often there’s not a…

  • Summer

    7 things to do when you REALLY miss a place

    i am an expert place-misser and i know many of you can relate! you go around the world and leave your heart in so many places, with many people, and then go back to where you live and just sort of slump around for awhile in those periods of heavy homesickness. and hey, homesickness isn’t just for your hometown. travelers, wanderers and expats all know that the concept of home is a tad bit more complicated than that. without a doubt, i believe it can be for another place where you leave your heart and it hurts not to be there sometimes… especially when you’re fresh from a trip to that place.…

  • Summer

    year of life & travels: 2018

    it feels cliché to start with “it’s been a year for the books”, but it’s true. 2018 has been my favorite year abroad since 2012, the year we started our adventure and moved to the czech republic. i touched on a few reasons why i thought that in a previous post but it’s mostly due to progress: progress with feeling at home here and building a life, huge progress in communication and language learning, and some of the best trips and memories to date. i feel like this is the year that living here, despite the trials we’ve gone through, has really clicked for us. all things coming together and…

  • Summer

    imagine peace on viðey island

    as one of the main reasons we went to iceland was to celebrate my mother’s birthday as a family (which luckily happened to be directly after iceland airwaves ended), i started thinking of something memorable we could do together. one of the first thoughts that came to mind was a day trip to viðey island. you may remember how much i like tiny islands? having been to flatey (which is only just a tad bigger) in the west fjords on my last trip, two years before. it is really not often talked about, but there there are a handful of tiny islands in the kollafjörður bay (of which viðey is…