If you ask anyone what they picture when they think of Provence or the South of France, most people immediately think about lavender. Well today I will be sharing tips and photos about one of the most exciting days of my trip, when I visited the incredible lavender fields of Valensole! I also visited one of the most gorgeous villages in the region, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, and then spent the afternoon kayaking the Verdon Gorge.
Today I am going to talk about Bonnieux - which was my home base village - Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes, and Lacoste. Since Bonnieux was so close by to my AirBnB, I visited it several times but I explored it the most on the same day that I visited the other three just mentioned. If you haven’t already read our overview post about visiting Provence, please do that first and you can find it here!
The Cote d’Azur, which translates to the Azure Coast, is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and it’s located on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. Also called the French Riviera, it stretches from Marseille to the Italian border. I had visited twice before this summer and had a good time but there was so much more I wanted to see during my trip in June and this most recent visit ended up being the best experience thus far! Though I only had three full days (and I recommend more to first-time visitors), I was able to pack so much in. I would agree that it was quite exhausting but I had 5 full days of relaxation in Provence to look forward to, so I didn’t mind the fast pace.
When I began planning my trip to Europe for this year, I knew that I wanted to explore more of France outside of Paris. I had visited other regions, such as the Loire Valley, the Champagne-Ardennes province (where my family is from), and Nice and Marseille, but I hadn’t yet been to Provence. Of course, Provence is well known for its breathtaking lavender fields, but I had little idea how incredible all the hilltop towns and villages were until recently. I ended up staying in the Luberon area for 5 nights and it was hands down the highlight of my trip. I got many requests from you all to write a blog post after sharing photos of that portion of my trip on Instagram, so today I aim to inspire you and help you plan your time in Provence.
If you know anything about me or read this blog, you know I’m all about traveling with a backpack. For many situations, I will still always choose a backpack while I’m young enough to handle the weight on my back because it is much more portable and convenient than luggage with wheels. However, I decided to upgrade my wheeled luggage for my upcoming Europe trip in June because I will have a rental car for a large portion of it.
Now if you haven’t been living under a social media rock, you’ll know that the Away luggage brand is the new favorite of bloggers and Instagrammers alike. I didn’t choose to buy an Away bag just because it’s trendy, though it does help that the bag I chose is super cute. I bought it because it really is that great of a suitcase, and I’m here today to tell you why.
Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling to New Orleans to attend a wedding for a long weekend. I’ve passed through New Orleans before but it was winter and I didn’t get to do the whole tourist thing, so I was really excited to come back for several days and see what this city was all about. New Orleans is a strikingly unique place and I can understand why so many people rave about it, because that’s what I’m about to do here in this post. While New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the most popular cities to visit in America, I find that New Orleans should be at the top of any one’s ‘must see’ list, especially if you’re looking for something different.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding travel is "Where does one even begin to plan a trip?" Oftentimes, organizing a trip abroad is a daunting task and causes many people to stress out and dread starting. I personally enjoy researching new destinations and dreaming up fun itineraries, so much so that I know where I want to travel for the next 5 years. Today I want to explain to you the general process I use when I’m planning my next trip in the hopes that it helps make your life a little easier.
After living in Charleston for nearly a year, I finally had the opportunity to visit Boone Hall Plantation. It is one of the oldest continuously operating plantations in America, having been producing crops for over three centuries. It was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone, who came to Charleston from England as one of the first settlers of the South Carolina colony that arrived in 1672.
It hit me the other day that I have lived in Charleston for almost 8 months now, which is hard to believe as it only feels like yesterday that I got on a plane to move here. I often get asked what I think about living here and if I miss anything about back home in California, so I decided to talk about that in today’s post. Overall, I love this city and I am so happy that I made the crazy decision to move here.
The Ring of Kerry is a 111-mile or 179-kilometer circular route around the Iveragh Peninsula and will show you some of Ireland's most beautiful sights. It's a great place to visit if you're short on time and want to venture out of Dublin to see some of the verdant Irish countryside. These are just a handful of the many points of interest along this route and you can obviously see more than these or cut some out, depending on your time and interest but these are the most popular and the ones that Erin and I saw on our road trip.
One of my favorite places that I've ever visited is the Loire Valley in France. I did a day trip there from Paris during my first solo trip back in 2015 and had a wonderful day exploring gorgeous chateaux and tasting delicious wines and food. I was looking at my pictures from that day and I honestly got really down about how awful my photo taking skills were back then. I'm by no means I'm a professional photographer now, but I have learned a lot about composition and angles and am much more patient with waiting for a shot to clear of people. Lots of people visit Paris and never venture outside the city limits and I think it's a shame that they miss such an amazing region that's so close by, so I decided that it's silly to not share my travel advice just because I'm not happy with the photos I took of the location and to write up a post for you anyway! :)
If you know one thing living in the South, it's that weather forecasts are hardly reliable. When it seemed that Charleston would get some snow, most of us didn't think that we would actually see any. How wrong did we turn out to be!!
The day started out super icy; the courtyard outside my apartment looked like I could go ice skating on it by noon. I accidentally took a nap on my couch because of how warm and cozy it was in my living room, and I was greeted with such a beautiful snowy sight when I woke up and looked out the window!
I think we can all agree that no one likes to drop a ton of money on airfare when they could be spending that money on eating in nice restaurants, buying cool souvenirs, or incredible experiences like scuba diving or wine tasting. Unfortunately, flying costs can be a large expense to bear if you desire to travel almost anywhere. Today I'm going to provide you with my best tips for saving money on airfare so that your budget can be put towards the better parts of traveling!
There is no doubt that Charleston is a damn cute town. Even though I knew how photogenic this city was when I visited the first few times, I still can't help but pull my phone out to take a picture every other minute when I'm walking around. Just walking my dog Tinker turns into an hour long promenade down every little alley because I see another pastel-colored house I've yet to photograph. While just about every corner of Charleston is eye-pleasing in some way, these spots below are my favorites and the most 'instagrammable'.
Even though it barely feels like fall has begun where I live, I thought I'd get a little bit ahead and write up a holiday gift guide to help anyone looking for the perfect gift for their travel-obsessed loved one. While money or airline gift cards are never a bad gift, it's sometimes more fun to give a wrapped up physical gift. Some of the items listed below are things I received as a gift and loved, or purchased myself and used frequently in my travels.
After watching the first episode of the latest season of Master of None (you MUST check out this show!) that is set in beautiful Modena, I realized I've never really posted about my short time in neighboring Bologna. Now, I'm not saying that Bologna is this unheard of spot that no one else has discovered because that wouldn't be true, but it is certainly overlooked by tourists in favor of places like Rome, Florence, or Venice. I was drawn to this capital of the Emilia-Romagna region because of my favorite thing in the whole world: food.
While the city of Dubrovnik down on the southern Dalmatian Coast is the most popular tourist destination in Croatia, I actually prefer the Istrian Peninsula up north. I went there for the first time at the end of May this year and was blown away by its beauty and cuisine. I was only there for a handful of days but I already know it's a place I'll want to visit again and again!
Last year I visited Charleston, South Carolina for a quick three-day stop in between visiting two close friends that live on the East Coast. Little did I know that I would not only fall in love with Charleston but that I would end up moving there! Now that I have spent much more time in the Holy City (nicknamed because of all the church steeples dotting the skyline), I can provide you with a much more detailed guide of what to do and where to eat and drink if you happen to visit this wonderful place. As I explore more of my new home, I will update this with more recommendations. I hope you have a spectacular experience visiting Charleston!
Traveling with two passports can be quite convenient but it is also a confusing process when it comes to immigration control. I decided earlier this year to apply for a French passport, as I am a dual citizen with both America and France. I was born in California but my mother is French, which automatically gives me French citizenship through the right of blood. Once I got my shiny new passport, I was excited at the thought of being able to travel freely and without any time limits throughout the European Union, and to be able to quickly pass through border control. I realized, though, that I had no clue how to travel with two passports, and I didn’t want to risk sitting in some holding room because I messed up with a stern-looking border agent.