Travel Styles & Preferences #2

Rolling Luggage V. Backpacks:

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I use the ‘Expedition Travel Pack’ by L.L. Bean. They’re without a doubt one of my favorite brands for luggage – tough and durable, but lightweight. Robert uses the ‘Expedition Duffle’. I don’t think they make these exact models anymore, unfortunately; however, I’m sure L.L. Bean has bags that are comparable. We’ve brought our packs with us on several long trips, including an 11 day trip to Florida and on our 16 day honeymoon to Italy. That being said, we are not ‘backpackers’ and therefore if that’s the kind of bag you’re looking for, I can offer little insight into which bags are appropriate.

For rolling luggage, I’ve been using the American Tourister 20″ Spinner DeLite Hardsided carry-on in black. Hard-sided luggage can get a bit pricey, so I’ve avoided taking the plunge until this little guy went on clearance at Target this past winter just in time for me to visit a friend in Orlando for an extended weekend. I’ve used it on about 3-4 trips now and I think it works great. This is the bag I plan on bringing with us to Florida for this next trip. Before now, the longest I’ve ever packed this bag for was 5 days, so 8 days might be a bit of a stretch, but I think I made it work! Robert’s rolling luggage came from a flea market type of place, and I have no idea what the brand or model is, and truthfully it’s not the most durable bag on earth, but it works for what he needs and has so far {knocks on wood} never let us down.

There are pros and cons to both types of bags.

L.L. Bean Expedition Duffle

L.L. Bean Expedition Duffle

We bought the L.L. Bean backpacks because we didn’t want to deal with rolling luggage on the cobblestone roads in Europe. The 11day Florida trip was a dry run with the bags, and I thought they worked out well. Most obviously, the biggest downside to these types of bags is, of course, the weight. If you’re not careful or if you’re going on trip longer than a week (or if you’re like me and like to have clothes for a variety of situations) the weight can get really very cumbersome. But, if you’re going on a trip where your attire is more straight forward {i.e. you’re going on a business trip and need less casual or evening wear} than the weight thing may not problematic at all. It all depends on how much you know you can realistically carry around. For Italy, my backpack was just over 40lbs — which when you do a test ‘drive’ around your living room seems like nothing at all, and then when you carry it for hours around the airport seems like the biggest mistake you’ve made that day. Also, if you don’t pack the bottom layer as flat as possible, it may get a little uncomfortable against your back.

That all seems like negatives, I guess. But in truth, I did love the convienience of having everything on my back. We had no trouble walking the unpaved side streets of Italy with our backpacks and, because they’re carry-on size, enjoyed having everything so compact. The L.L. Bean bags fit perfectly in the overhead compartment on airplanes, much easier than my rolling luggage, and because they’re soft-sided smush down smaller if necessary. 11-16 Days was a stretch, with regard to weight, but both of these bags would be perfect if you are able to bring less items with you when you travel. On the website, L.L. Bean refers to this bag as a ‘weekend’ bag, and the newest model measures at 22.5Hx14Wx9D. My personal opinion, is this bag is great for much longer than a weekend, but not for much more than a week.

Another consideration with backpacks is to think about what kind of personal bag you’ll be using on the plane, if you’re going to be using one. As a woman, it’s not a problem – I use my Longchamp Large Le Pliage tote and just hold it on my arm or in my hand. However, as a man your options become much more limited. My husband likes to use a bookbag as his personal bag or sometimes even his camera bag and finds it very challenging to to have both bags be backpacks. A messenger bag might be a better option.

L.L. Bean Rolling Duffle, Large

L.L. Bean Rolling Duffle, Large

Rolling luggage, in general, is great for so many reasons. Weight is not an issue, especially if you have a well built bag. I’ve had many rolling bags over the years, including the L.L. Bean Rolling Duffle, in ‘Large’. I bought this bag before going to Paris on a study abroad trip, thinking that it would be my ‘European Luggage’ {haha, oh how naive I was!}. I way overpacked using this bag, I brought probably everything I owned and very little of what I needed. I also brought it with me on a few vacations after that, and realized, slower than I probably should have, that this bag was just ridiculous for one person. I have to say, that the only times I’ve ever liked rolling bags, is in carry-on size. Anything larger than that for luggage of any type gets very unwieldy.

The American Tourister bag is turning me, quickly, into a convert for life. This upcoming Florida road trip is the longest I’ll have used this bag on. So far, I’ve brought this with me on a few long weekend trips and it’s served me very well. For our 8 days coming up, the fit is a little snug, but everything fits well enough. I love the 360° spinning wheels, it makes it so you don’t have to drag your luggage behind you, which can get extremely uncomfortable after long periods of time. The hard-sided feature can take a beating without me worrying about my luggage inside. Yet, even though it’s hard-sided, it is still extendable if you need a little more room. I usually prefer not to use that feature, because the more compact, the better.

With rolling luggage, you can use any type of personal bag you’d like – backpack, tote bag, camera bag … the possibilities are endless, which is ultimately what led Rob to want to use his rolling bag on this trip.

It seems, that rolling bags are most people’s preference. They are in abundance whenever you walk down the luggage aisle of most stores, whereas duffles and backpacks are harder to come by. It’s hard to say what my preference is, because I love both of these bags for very different reasons. For European adventures, I really don’t see myself ever using anything except my L.L. Bean Expedition Pack. There’s just so much more walking from one place to another and I’d rather not have to drag a bag behind me. I’m much more mobile with the L.L. Bean bag than with the American Tourister, oddly. However, my rolling bag has been great when I’m traveling by myself, or to places where I know exactly where I’m going an don’t have to do much walking.

I’d love to know what your preferences are, and what brands you use and love (or hate!). Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your sharing!

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What’s in my personal bag?

Thankfully, this will be a much shorter post than the one on what’s in my carry-on! But, I really love seeing how other people pack and organize themselves for trips and I had so much fun writing the posts in this ‘series’. That being said, this is just one photo and a explanation of what I’ll have in my personal sized carry-on bag.


 

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Sorry this one’s a little dark, I had some camera troubles!

From the top!

1. Reef Flip-flops. I know it might seem silly to put these in my personal bag, instead of in my carry-on, but I like having very easy access to them. I’ll wear my sneakers to the airport, because they’re the heaviest shoes I’m bringing, but I never know how swollen or puffy I’m going to get once airborne.

2. My travel journal for jotting down blogging ideas and inspiration once we arrive!

3. Fuji Film & Fuji Film Instant Camera: Probably excess baggage, but I love these. We bought a few for our wedding last summer and I really enjoyed using them and think it will be fun to play around with these on our travels!

4. Passport/Wallet: My BFF just bought me this Kate Spade Passport Wallet for my birthday in early July and I love it! I like having everything in one place. I’m always nervous I’m going to forget my passport, but I {knocks on wood} have never forgotten my wallet.

5. Paper Towns, by John Green: After much consideration about which book to bring for the plane and beach/pool side reading, I decided to go with Paper Towns. My decision wasn’t easy but my reason for choosing this book was simple: It takes place in Florida (Orlando specifically, I believe) and the movie is coming out so soon and I’d like to have read the book before it does (or at least before I see it).

6. The black case to the left will hold all of my small chargers, i.e. cell phone & camera.

7. Sunglasses & sunglasses case, again for easy access once we get off the plane!

8. The little red case hold my camera, so I can take lovely pictures of our trip to share with you all!

9. EcooPro Lightweight Portable Adjustable Over Ear Stereo Headphones.

10. My laptop & charger. I probably won’t use this on the plane, because I usually just take advantage of the personal screens on JetBlue flights, but it’s easier to go through airport security if your electronics are someplace easily accessible, and at 5:00AM I have no interest in prolonging that particular experience.

11. My cell phone, of course! Equipped with the charging case I mentioned in a previous post.

12. The bottom row is all skincare and moisturizing products: (warning: If you have no interest in reading about these products, skip ahead.)

  • A little detergent (although it’s really supposed to be a Shout Wipes, but I have to pick some up still)
  • Deodorant wipes, you can buy these at Whole Foods, or Amazon. I was hesitant to buy these at first because they do tend to run on the pricier side, but they are WELL worth it to throw in your gym back or while traveling to hot locations.
  • Caudalie Grape Water. Definitely the weirdest purchase I’ve ever made, but I liked the idea of having something to spritz on your face while traveling to freshen up, and I love it. I bought this last year before traveling to Italy (13 hours each way! yikes.) and I was so glad I had it!
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. Just a little face lotion to keep away any skin dehydration from flying.
  • Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream, a little sample I got in my BirchBox subscription! Again, I realize this seems like a lot of skincare products (at least it does to me) but we’re leaving at 4:00AM for the airport, and I could use all the help I can get!
  • Bio Republic Face Masks: Aloe & Cucumber for when I get the inevitable sunburn from hell. I also received these in a Birchbox. I doubt I’ll use these on a plane, or anywhere public for that matter, but I think it’ll be nice to have them on the trip to help my skin recover from travel and exposure to the sun.
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint Sunscreen – want to guess where I got this little sample? If you said Birchbox, you’re keen on picking up themes! Hoping this little guy will help brighten me up after a long, early morning of traveling and a little extra sun protection never hurt anyone.

Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to know what you all bring with you in your personal bags when you travel. I look forward to you sharing!

Only 3 days left!

Only 3 days left!

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.

NCL

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.

Glamping

#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.

SnapLive

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?

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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!

8 Days, 14 Outfits, 1 Carry-on

It all starts with a list…

As I mentioned in the last post, years ago I created what I like to think of as my “universal packing list”. It has any items necessary for our trips: winter/cold weather, summer/hot weather, camping, and so on.

Click of a larger image

Click of a larger image

This is not necessarily where I begin, however. Usually it starts with a lot of daydreaming at my desk, or in the middle of the night, when I’ll get inspired by what I’d like to bring with me and I start jotting those ideas down. This is usually a messy process that requires me to create charts and ruin a lot of perfectly good sheets of loose leaf paper. Then, after several “drafts” of my packing list, I’ll create a neatly typed version and put it someplace I will be able to access it easily.

I like to plan out outfits in advance based on what I feel good in at the time and based on our plans and itinerary.

I like to plan out outfits in advance based on what I feel good in at the time and based on our plans and itinerary.

In this case, I taped it into my travel journal, which I use more as a planning map than I do a journal. Even for me, this felt like a lot of items to carry and I was worried that it might not fit in my 21″ carry-on, which is the only suitcase I plan on bringing for myself. I’m usually pretty ambitious about how much I can fit in a small bag, and remain under weight requirements, but Florida is pretty straight forward in terms of weather during this time of year — hot, hot, wet, rainy, hot, hot. Easy enough to prepare for, because even when it’s wet and rainy it’s still hot. Therefore, my next step was to just lay everything out and see what I was actually dealing with.

Travel sized face soap, razor, cleansing wipes, cotton pads, razor, Roberts shampoos, tooth paste, makeup remover, makeup brush cleaning spray, travel sized deodorant for me, 2 travel size body washes, 2 shampoos and 2 conditioners for me, and a dry shampoo spray.

I prefer to get most of my travel sized toiletries from Harmon Discount Beauty Supply stores. I just think they have a better and larger selection than my local CVS and Stop & Shops. Robert and I will buy shaving cream and sunscreen when we get down there, because between the both of us for 8 days we will use a full size bottle, or nearly so, of each. He will obviously be bringing his own deodorant and razor, which isn’t pictured here.

Don't forget your Magic Bands & Disney themed hair bows.

Don’t forget your Magic Bands & Disney themed hair bows.

I will actually pack the box the magic bands came in, and very likely put our reservation paperwork and other Disney related paperwork and information in the bottom of the box. I’d just rather have everything in one place, in the event that the magic bands get finicky.

Cant go to Florida without plenty of bathing suits! I plan on swimming nearly every day so having a variety of bathing suits will give the others ample time to dry.

Can’t go to Florida without plenty of bathing suits! I plan on swimming nearly every day so having a variety of bathing suits will give the others ample time to dry. I also plan on bringing 1 one-piece bathing suit for our day at the waterpark.

Theme park attire. Running shorts are often made of quick drying or water resistant materials which will come in handy for water rides on humid days, I try not to bring a bag or too much excess with me to the theme parks because its too hot to carry things around. The Magic Bands will have our credit card information and park tickets, and I have a charging phone case for some extra battery life on my cellphone. Ill bring my ID with me in the pocket of my running shorts, and likely nothing else.

Theme park attire. Running shorts are often made of quick drying or water resistant materials which will come in handy for water rides on humid days, I try not to bring a bag or too much excess with me to the theme parks because its too hot to carry things around. The Magic Bands will have our credit card information and park tickets, and I have a charging phone case for some extra battery life on my cellphone. Ill bring my ID with me in the pocket of my running shorts, and likely nothing else.

Some evening outfits for dinners out, still pretty casual but a little nicer than running gear.

Some evening outfits for dinners out, still pretty casual but a little nicer than running gear. 😉

4 Tank Tops and 1 pair of shorts for casual daytime attire. I don't mind rewearing shorts several times in a row.

4 Tank Tops and 1 pair of shorts for casual daytime attire. I don’t mind rewearing shorts several times in a row.

 

My one piece or close to outfits: 2 knee length dresses, 1 romper, 1 pair of overalls and a crop top, and 1 maxi dress.

One piece (or close to) outfits: 2 knee length dresses, 1 romper, 1 pair of overalls and a crop top, and 1 maxi dress.

It all folded up smaller than I anticipated! Now were off to the races...

It all folded up smaller than I anticipated! Now we’re off to the races…

Ready...Set...Go!

Ready…Set…Go!

Hope you enjoyed seeing my packing process. It’s still a little early so this was just a dry run, I will have to add the shoes I plan to bring, but the general idea will remain the same. Share your packing tricks in the comment section if you feel like sharing, I’d love to hear how you prepare for quick trips!

Tentatively, Maine.

If you follow my twitter at all, you’ve likely gotten a glimpse into my ADD. Lately, I’ve posted a few “Polyvore Sets” (For those of you not in the know, basically this.. [see picture]) for a tentative weekend trip to Maine at the end of the summer.

My best friend loves Maine. Her and her family go every summer, and this year her beloved family vacation was cut short due to work requirements. As far as I’m concerned, there was nothing particularly special or different about her annual trip to Maine, apart from my anxiety about her last few months in the states before she moves to England for a year to finish graduate school. Daily, I received pictures of her enjoying Maine’s lush piney greenery, rolling oceans, Dooney & Bourke factory store, and her parents’ lobster rolls.

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Suddenly realizing how hard next year is going to be without receiving my daily Snapchats or pictures I’ve grown so accustomed to since she moved from New York to DC last year, or being able to pick up the phone to chat whenever we’d like, and actually going for extended periods of time without one of us visiting the other… I became overwhelmed by the feeling that I need to experience Maine with my pal before embarks on her new life across the pond.

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Those who know me know what happens next.. I “suggest” we visit. Most of the time, people in my life respond with a snicker and a,”…Yeah ((sigh)), Wouldn’t that be nice?” And the me’s of the world have already packed (at least on Polyvore). My best buddy on the other hand is similarly packed and is searching for hotels probably as we speak (type? read? don’t be so literal, you know what I’m trying to say). The only roadblock we’re currently facing is coordinating weekends between my last month as a graduate student in New York, her brief move back to New York, and her big move over to London.

This is by way of saying, look out for some additional posts on Maine! If you’ve ever been, or if you’re from Maine, please share what you love about the Pine Tree State, or any suggestions you might have on things to do! 🌲

What’s a few snaps between friends…

Do you recall, in the beginning, when I told you that I needed an outlet? Here’s a prime example of why. This is my side of a Snapchat with my best friend while on a 5 minute coffee break at work. Whoops. =) (Don’t worry, she sent some back) Enjoy the Friday silliness, my Wanderkin friends!

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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.

Where to first?

As you can probably already tell, I love traveling. I’ll take it in all shapes and sizes, and because of my husband’s work schedule we’re pretty limited on when we can travel.

Rob insists on making a stop at Silver Diner for a Nutella Banana Milkshake whenever we are in DC! Then some fun wedding selfies and monument pictures for good measure!

Back in March we visited Washington D.C., easily one of our favorite cities, for a good friend’s wedding. We realized that quick little weekend trips might be a nice way to fill our summer with travel and quell that aforementioned buzzing in our brains, without interrupting Rob’s work schedule too much. We talked on the way home about all the little trips we wanted to achieve this summer, and almost within seconds our brilliant idea about quick weekend trips turned into a basically planned 8 days in Florida… whoops.

Photos from my first trip to FL in 2010. Don’t worry the shark is fake 🙂

Our plans began the derailing process right as we started talking about our first year wedding anniversary. We decided we would begin in Amelia Island, Florida – such a unique and beautiful part of the state. It doesn’t feel like so much of the rest of Florida, in the sense that you will be hard pressed to find a strip mall or big box store anywhere near the main drag. You will, however, find warm ocean waters, beautiful sandy beaches, remnants of Colonial influences, horse and carriage rides, and lots of surf gear clad locals.

We go to Orlando about once a year – Rob went to college near there and one of my best friends moved down to work for the Mouse – so, I assumed we would avoid it on this particular trip… until, hubby said, “Why would we go to Florida and not visit Disney World?” I’m 100% a kid at heart and I will never turn down a chance to visit the happiest place on earth… Not even when we already planned to go at the end of September for, what is in my humble opinion, the best time to visit Orlando – Disney’s Food & Wine Festival and Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights (25th anniversary!). And thusly, Orlando became the next stop on our trip.

Then, we decided we should go someplace new and we’d heard lots of good things about the Tampa Bay Area. I can’t really say too much about Tampa because we have zero plans once we arrive and we’ve never been before!

Me and Rob last October at Food & Wine and Halloween Horror Nights

There’s lots of things that I find particularly exciting about this trip:

  1. We leave mere hours after I finish my last ever class as a graduate student, HURRAY!
  2. We will be celebrating a pretty spectacular 1st year of marriage.
  3. Apart from our time in Orlando, we have absolutely no set plans for Amelia Island or Tampa, and our whole trip is open for us to be spontaneous and explore or relax or whatever. Truthfully, we would have liked not to plan Orlando either, but summer is a busy time of year and without fast passes it can be quite difficult to do or see the things you want – including getting dining reservations at places you’d like to eat (which for me is just about everywhere… eating is one of the best parts of traveling, isn’t it?)

So, that’s trip #1 – Amelia Island, Orlando, and Tampa.

Trip #2 is, as I mentioned, at the end of September. We will be returning to Orlando for an exciting 3 day weekend of Food & Wine festivities at Epcot and a fearfilled night of Halloween Horror Nights 25!

Trip #3 is the big one! The day after Thanksgiving Robert and I will be traveling to Munich, Germany and London, England to visit the Christmas Markets (a dream of mine!) and visit my best buddy who’s moving to London for the year to finish her graduate studies.

I hope you stick around as I share my process for planning and preparing for our upcoming adventures. I can’t wait to continue filling you in on our plans and hope that you will share your travel plans and adventures with me!

Wonderings of a Wandering Mind…

Hi! I’m PJ and I love to travel. It’s virtually all I think about all day long while I try to navigate through my life of graduate school, internships, and work.


You see, it all started back in 2009. I’d never stepped foot inside an airport, let alone a plane, before then. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and traveling certainly wasn’t a priority. Having never been anywhere, I didn’t know that I would want to see so many new places, until my adviser in my history program dragged me to Paris for two weeks to study revolutionary France.

Since then, there’s been a constant buzzing in my brain wondering where I’m off to next, if I’ll be able to afford to travel forever, if I can afford to travel now, what kind of suitcase is best, what on earth is a packing cube and why do I want 500 of them so badly, how do I pack for 8 days of winter weather conditions in a 20 inch suitcase, to check or not to check, converting US measurements to metric, and on and on until husband is left rocking back and forth in a corner and throwing credit cards my way to shut me up. I’m kidding… Kind of. 

So I decided I should probably get an outlet. That’s where you come in. Here I hope to share with you my process for thinking of, planning and preparing for travel, and traveling.

Additionally, I hope this becomes a community where fellow travel lovers and wanderlusts share their experiences with me. Again, I’m pretty new to the world of travel and I know I have a lot left to learn and hope this can be a place where I’ll be able to do that. But be nice. The internet doesn’t need to be a place for judgments and meanness.

I look forward to meeting you all!