I haven’t written an update in a while and with lots of exciting changes taking place and new travel plans being made, I figured it was time for one!
So, first up, I graduated from university…AGAIN!
You might remember that last fall I decided to go back to school to earn my Bachelors of Education. Teaching ESL in South Korea helped me realize that it’s an option I’d like to have in the future, and while I have no immediate plans to trade travel for a classroom, working at an international school somewhere down the line wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question. I had a very positive experience teaching at an international school in Lima during my practicum, and I like that my degree carries a great deal of mobility. So who knows, maybe one day I will teach in Austria, Argentina, or Australia. Who’s to say?
I also just got back from South Africa and have lots to share from there. After attending our final classes at Queen’s University, Sam and I did what any travel junkie would do – we hopped on a plane and decided to visit a new continent.
There were so many highlights during our 3 weeks there – going on our first safari and spotting the Big Five, hiking the majestic Drakensberg Mountain Range, wandering along the rural hills of the Wild Coast, walking through lush forests in Wilderness, and drinking our way through Stellenbosch – just to name a few. It was the perfect way to kick start our travels again.
Then there was a 5 day layover in NYC to catch up with some friends and enjoy summer in the city. I can’t say I was too ambitious with my time there – I was so jet lagged that most days I was ready for bed at 5 p.m., but I did manage to check out Smorgasburg in Brooklyn (so much good food!), eat at the original Shake Shack which recently reopened in Madison Square Park, visit Governors Island, and dine my way around Hell’s Kitchen and the Village with my German friend Verena who is currently calling the city home.
I’m happy to say that most of June has been spent at home visiting family. I may travel a lot, but truth is I’m a homebody at heart. I’ve been enjoying my dad’s Argentinean style barbecues, playing with my sister’s new pet chinchilla, watching movies with my mom, and catching up TV shows like Downtown Abbey. Quite the adventuress back at home, right?
And that brings us to upcoming travel plans…
SAM AND I ARE GOING TO EUROPE!!!
Here’s a little sneak peek at what’s to come:
Brandenburg & Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
I always love going back to Germany and this time I’ll be visiting 2 new-to-me regions. Sam and I will be teaming up with the German Tourism Board to go in search of unique customs and traditions and document those on video. It should be a really fun project and I’m excited to see what this part of Germany has to offer.
Officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this is one of the smallest sovereign nations in Europe. It seemed like a good way to break up the journey from Germany to France, so we’re planning to spend a few days wandering the town on foot.
Then it’s off to Paris where Sam and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary. One year! We didn’t even plan for it to work out this way, but the City of Love does seem like the perfect destination to celebrate. We’ll also be in town for Bastille Day, so it’ll be fun to watch those festivities unfold.
From there we’re off to Madrid. It’ll be my first time in the city so I want to do it all – the Palace, the gardens, the plazas and the museums. I’m also plotting a few little side trips from Madrid to Segovia and Cuenca if time allows.
Irish Road Trip
My two sisters, Ashley and Arielle, and my dear friend Alyssa will be flying out to Ireland for a week and we’re planning to embark on a road trip across Ireland. The trip may or may not be inspired by the sweeping landscapes depicted in movies like Leap Year and P.S. I Love You (cough cough) and the itinerary is bound to include a lot of castles. Sam has graciously opted out of this one, so he’ll likely be visiting friends somewhere on the continent.
I’m feeling slightly intimidated about visiting this fashion capital… What does one wear?! Again, the plan is to cover a lot of the main attractions and perhaps take a few day trips to places like Bergamo and Como.
So that’s what we’ve got planned so far, and we’re kind of winging the rest of it! We’re armed with Eurail passes for 2 months, so we’ll see how far we get. If you want to follow the adventures on YouTube, check out the channel and hit subscribe! There will be lots of vlogs and fun city guides coming your way.
What will you be up to this summer?
You’re visiting three of my favorite places in the world! Paris, Madrid, and Ireland are all so dear to my heart (and I’ve got some posts about Madrid/Segovia on my site if you want any inspiration!).
I briefly lived outside Milan and fashion capital my ass. It surprised me how horribly people dressed. I’d be more worried about what to wear in Paris — which by the way, I’ll be back in two weeks! See you there for Bastille Day? (is July 14 your and Sam’s anniversary? That’s Joe and mine!)
I’m so looking forward to meeting you, Edna! I’ve been reading your blog for years – it’s about time we met in person! I have to admit, Paris didn’t make the best impression on me the first time I visited, but I’m feeling optimistic about giving it a second try. (Oh, and Sam and I are celebrating our anniversary on the 12th – close to yours. 😉 )
Congratulations on graduating! That’s great for you.
And your upcoming travel plans sound amazing.
I’m currently in Philadelphia after spending a week in New York. Have no idea where the road is gonna take me after that. We’ll see! 🙂
Thank you, thank you! It feels good to have graduated. I hope you had a great time in NYC – wishing you lots of happy travels for the rest of the summer.
Just returned from Madrid, loved it. If you have the chance, I recommend a day trip to Cordoba to see the great Mosque, La Mezquita via the Renfe train. A great food market to check out is Mercado San Miguel, it has it all. A favorite restaurant that we discovered and dined at twice, is called El Viajero. After a few days of jamon and bread, we were ready for a lighter fare and El Viajero has a great salad with chicken that was yummy. Madrid has a lovely park called El Retiro, check that out too. Enjoy!
Thanks for the recommendation, Claire! I had another person also recommend Cordoba to me this week, so it sounds like I’ll need to schedule some time for a visit. 🙂
Congrats on your graduation and one year anniversary! Time flies when you’re having fun 🙂 We’re off to Italy in a week! I’m beyond excited. I’ve missed traveling so much! Hope you guys have a blast! Hit us up if you’re ever in Seattle 🙂
That’s exciting, Andrea! Wishing you two a wonderful time in Italy. Have lots of gelato for me. 😉
Congrats on receiving your Bachelor of
Happy travels..can hardly wait for your updates
Everyone says they loved visiting Paris but I will wait for your opinion
Thank you, Marilyn! We’re both very excited to hit the road again. Lots of Paris articles coming up. 🙂
Hi Audrey and Sam, we love reading your blog and hearing where you are going!!! Safe travels this summer and congrats on your degrees!!!
Thank you, Patricia! That’s so nice to hear. We’re looking forward to sharing stories and videos from Europe. 🙂
We were in Paris for Bastille Day last year and it was AMAZING! Honestly the parade and all the pomp was fantastic, but the highlight for me were the fireworks – it was possibly the best show I’ve ever seen (they shot them off the Eiffel Tower!!).
That’s great to hear, Emily! Last time I was in Paris I missed the Bastille Day celebrations by only a day. That’s a party I won’t miss this time around!!
That’s super exciting you guys! Can’t wait to read about your new adventures!!!
Thank you, Amélie! I appreciate you reading along. 🙂
Congrats on your graduation! I’m really glad you enjoyed your time at the international school in Lima. I just finished up my contract (yesterday!) at my international school in Beijing. I’m planning on having a break from teaching for now after over 6 years of it- but I’d definitely teach at an international school again! Enjoy your Europe trip- you deserve a good trip after a year of teacher training for sure!
Congratulations on finishing your contract in Beijing, Joella! I hope it was a good year. Wishing you happy travels as you embark on some travels of your own. 🙂
Congrats, Audrey, on officially becoming a teacher! Thank you for your postcard from South Africa. The students were excited to receive it. It’s cool that you are very tech and social media savvy, but that you still send real postcards through the mail.
South Africa looks incredible, and your European itinerary as well. On my year off next year I will travel to Bermuda, Morocco, Costa Rica and Italy. When we go to Italy next summer we will add on either Portugal or Turkey. Tough choice…which would you recommend if you could only visit one?
All the best…I will continue to dutifully follow your amazing blog.
I’m happy to hear that the postcard arrived. I hope the riddles weren’t too easy! The students must be so excited to be done for the summer. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to teach them.
Your travels for next year sound amazing! I really enjoyed both Lisbon and Istanbul so it is a tough choice, but if I had to pick one I’d go with Istanbul. There’s something enchanting about the city – a skyline dotted with domes and minarets, hearing the call to prayer ring out over the rooftops, sitting at a cafe that specializes in nothing but apple tea and Turkish delight…it’s unlike any place I’ve ever been to.
Wishing you a wonderful summer,
Hey, your travel plans sound so exciting! I am waiting to hear about your Irish road trip in particular. I am just back from a vacation – I went to Kashmir!
I’m really looking forward to road-tripping across Ireland. It’ll be nice having my sisters and a friend as my travel partners in crime. That’ll be happening in September and I’ll be sure to write about it here. I hope you enjoyed your holidays in Kashmir. 🙂
Congratulations! I hope you have a great time in Europe. I wasn’t much of a Milan fan, but the other places on your list that I’ve been to are awesome!
Thanks for your input, Arianwen. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Milan too, but I guess if I don’t click with the city, there are plenty of day trips to take. 😉
Congrats on graduating and looking forward to your posts on Eurpope!
Thank you Aaron!
Wish you all the best and safe travels!! Greetings from Australia!
Congrats on earning your Education degree. As an ESL teacher here in the States, I can say that you have chosen an amazing field to get into. Good luck in your future teaching endeavors!
That’s great to hear, Whitney! I feel lucky to be in this field – there are so many different options to branch into.
Congratulations on your degree! Those sound like some solid travel plans, Audrey. Can’t wait to hear about your foodie finds along the way. And Paris… le sigh. Great way to spend an anniversary.
My summer plans are exploring my own country, Canada, for a change. In fact, as I write this I’m sat in a coffee shop in Vancouver (not my home city!) after three days of exploration and delicious foods. July will be spent with Stampede, the Cowboy Trail and taking part in some Alberta road trips and come September I’ll be taking a week to explore Toronto for the first time. Any Toronto tips are always welcome.
Have an incredible summer/fall of travel!
That’s exciting Victoria – it’s always nice to get to explore a bit of your home country. (I did a little bit of that myself this past weekend!) As for Toronto tips, I really like Kensington Market and Queen Street West – very artsy with lots of cool shops, bars, and restaurants. If you’re a thrill-seeker, the CN Tower has the Edge Walk, and if you’re up for zip-lining and aerial games, Treetop Trekking is a cool spot to check out (they’re located in Brampton, which is outside Toronto).
Amazing! Thanks. I am normally an adventure junkie… but I’ll be about 5.5 months pregnant at the time… so might skip the Edge Walk 🙂 We’re actually staying within walking distance from Kensington Market, so I can’t wait to explore and EAT!!! Thanks for the tips.
Great post !!congratulations for your graduation and I am happy that you are had great summer with family and friends !!
Congrats and have a good time!
So much happening! Must be so great graduating! Have fun in Europe and particularly Ireland! I was there last year and thought it was one of the most beautiful countries I had ever seen!
Congratulations on your graduation. Now you have time to go and travel as much as you like. Good luck!
Congratulations on your degree, Audrey! That’s super exciting! I’ve often thought about teaching abroad as a career so will be interested to hear what you end up doing with it.
Have fun on your European travels this summer! I’ll be staying in the Baltics and Scandinavia so unfortunately our paths probably won’t cross, but you never know!
Congratulations on graduating! I’m still 2 years out, but this Fall I at least get to trade my setting from the U.S. to Scotland. I’m exciting to follow your travels in Europe!
Congrats on graduating. I am curious though. You already had a bachelor’s if you taught in Korea. Why a bachelor’s in education and not a Master’s? I am starting my own education path soon so Im so excited :).
Good luck in Europe.
I could have gone the Master’s route, but the B.Ed. offered a lot of classroom experience and it’s a requirement to teach in public schools in Canada or international schools overseas. The Bachelor of Arts I had only allowed me to teach ESL, but not actual subjects.
Your blog update is beautiful. Hopefully we can connect in Paris, although I hope I’m not interrupting the anniversary festivities!
Happy graduation! You deserve to have some fun traveling!
HUGE news Audrey 🙂 Congrats to you both. Come to Australia!
Congrats on your Graduation, so excited you’re coming to Europe and Italy!
Graduating is an opportunity for you to reach the world. This is your time to open yourself up to the world.
Congratulations on graduating!!! Excited to read about your next adventure.
I recently went to Qatar (in May) and it was awesome! You can read about it on my page. In a little less than a month, I’ll be going to Cuba, which I am ECSTATIC for. I hope you have fun in Europe! Let me know if you’re in Washington D.C. and I’d love to meet up.
Congratulations on your second degree you guys! Well done!
It looks like you have both got some excellent destinations planned out. Germany is going to be great. I live in Germany so that’s a golden star right there LOL! Paris & Milan are two of my favourite cities. I’ve been to both many times. All I’m going to say is dress up smartly for dinner and get ready to spend more than your budget would normally allow!
The Republic of Ireland is going to be amazing. It’s such a beautiful country and the people are lovely. Going with your sisters is going to be sooooo much fun. Three beautiful Canadian girls? The Irish boys won’t be able to contain themselves!!!
I’ve never been to Luxembourg so I look forward to reading all about that. Have fun!
Oh I can’t wait to follow along your Eurotrip! It sounds magical (especially Paris, shamelessly my favorite city in the world). PS: I love the redesign of your site!