Weekly Inspiration

Sorry it’s been so many days since my last post! It’s been a crazy hectic week of leaving jobs and internships & finishing graduate school to move on to new an exciting adventures! I’ll try to be more consistent with posts going forward! And will finally have some traveling to talk about!

There’s been an awful lot of inspiration this week! Here’s a look at some of the things that almost ruined my credit score.

1. NCL – 7 Day Cruise from Copenhagen to Norway.

Lately I’ve had a major itch go on another cruise and to visit Norway, but it hadn’t really occurred to me to put those two together. I was perusing the new Norwegian Cruise Line brochure and my curiosity for their European cruises peaked. A few years ago, Robert and I began thinking about our honeymoon and one of the original suggestions was to go on a European cruise. Immediately following a wedding, this seemed more stressful than just picking a few cities to visit, so we put it on the back burner. When I went to the NCL website, I discovered they had several options for a cruise to Norway! Well, it’s been a mental planning session ever since.


Let’s go Fjord hopping together!

2. Glamping.

I love camping. I used to go all the time when I was in high school and early years of college. There’s something to sleeping outdoors. Some of my best nights’ sleep have been in a tent. However, I’ve never really been able to fully embrace the not being able to shower for a few days at a time thing. Glamping seems to be the best of both worlds, and I’m more than a little obsessed with looking at pictures of it on Pinterest.


#DreamHome Anyone?

3. Snaps!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, SnapChat Live Story Feeds are always inspiring. They are mini-reminders that people around the world are different in beautiful ways, but also not so different as we’d think.


4. Kings Landing, Croatia.

Dubrovnik seems to be a trending topic among the travel sites I follow, and among my friends who are enjoying their summer Eurotrips. As a relative newbie to travel, I have to admit that until recently, Croatia had never really been on my radar (a huge mistake on my part, I’m realizing rapidly).  This is changing with haste, and not just because I’m more than a little in love with Game of Thrones. Croatia looks as close to Paradise as one can get, and I want to be in those glistening blue waters as soon as possible, please?


Me and Cersei will definitely be enjoying some wine together while becoming new BBF’s.

5. Last, but most definitely not least – my Italian honeymoon.

This coming Monday, August 3rd is my 1 year wedding anniversary to Robert. So, Tuesday is the anniversary of our departure to one of the most magical trips I’ve ever been on. We spent over 2 weeks in Italy, visiting Rome, Florence, and Venice. Leaving Italy was heart wrenching, I could have stayed there forever – improved my Italian and eaten carbs like it was my job. Without question we will return one day, but until then I will just keep flipping through our beautiful pictures…

If you're considering locations for a honeymoon, I HIGHLY recommend Italy. Absolutely the best trip I've taken to date.

If you’re considering locations for a honeymoon, I HIGHLY recommend Italy. Absolutely the best trip I’ve taken to date.

Thanks for reading & I look forward to hearing what inspired your wanderlust this week!

Encierro & il Palio – My stream of conciousness

Chances are you’ve heard of the Running of the Bulls in Spain, but if you’re anything like me, it’s very likely that you know very little about the actual event. Until recently, I could definitively tell you that the encierro happens in Spain… the location and date, however? That would be a very different story. Well, today – July 7 – is the first day of encierro (corral) in Pamplona, Spain. So I went searching for a bit of background on the event.

Image borrowed from: http://sanferminprensa.com/

Image borrowed from: http://sanferminprensa.com/

It all started this morning with Snapchat, which has a story category for ‘Running of the Bulls’. (Sidebar: If you have Snapchat, I highly recommend you tune into these. I can’t get enough and believe these short videos do a lot in the way of bridging perceived cultural gaps and making small connections with people from all over the world. If you do not have Snapchat.. Welcome to 2015, you should probably download it and get with the program.) Curious, I did a general google search for the history of the annual ‘encierro’, made popular in the US by Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. If you’re interested in a brief history, I recommend the Time article I posted on my Twitter feed.

From what I’ve gathered today, Hemingway is to blame for the draw of Americans to Pamplona every July for the San Fermín festival. Well, a romanticized image depicted by Hemingway along with wine filled celebrations and what may possibly be foreigners’ blatant disregard for the rules du jour.

Something about this mysterious Spanish tradition reminded me of il Palio in Siena… Maybe it’s the swarm of visitors to the regions to witness these historically brief moments linked to much deeper cultural roots, or maybe there’s just something fascinating about people engaging in risky activities with large, fast-moving animals. Who knows?

Siena begins to prepare the square for il Palio, horse race. August 2014

Siena begins to prepare the square for il Palio, horse race. August 2014

The Palio is a much less publicized (in America, at least) event that occurs twice a summer in Siena, Italy. I first learned about these centuries old bareback horse races last August when Robert and I were on a tour of Tuscany.

It is believed that the Palio dates back to the 12th century and is an extremely important event for the locals. Siena is broken up among seventeen districts and a jockey and horse ride on behalf of their district – the prize for the winner is the glory awarded them by their district. It’s a really fascinating spectacle!

The square is prepared by matting down the angular stone roads with soil, and the center of the square is crammed with visitors who stand (only the lucky, and wealthy, few get the shady seats on the perimeter) in blazing Tuscan summer temperatures for hours awaiting the, only moments-long, race around the square.

Panoramic view of "Piazza del Campo" during the historic parade just before the Palio race begins

Panoramic view of “Piazza del Campo” during the historic parade just before the Palio race begins – this is not my photo, but a stock image that offers a much better view of the square.

I think my real fascination stems from my abrupt realization that I know very little about the intricacies of so many different cultures. The Palio for instance, lasts no more than 90 seconds (Encierro lasts just over 2 minutes), and preparations begin months before, excitement and glory for the victor last a whole year after, and pride in their heritage and cultural identity runs deep. As for the rest of us, we’re just lucky enough to be a very, very, very small piece of these historical puzzles.