Yesterday was probably one of the coolest days of my life. Geoff and I went to Elephant Nature Park, a beautiful reserve just outside of Chiang Mai were they rescue elephants. Many elephants in Thailand are treated poorly by forcing them to pull logs though the forest or trekking tourists around (riding an elephant is very bad so don’t do it!). This massive reserve between the mountains was one of the most tranquil places I have ever been. There was so many rescued elephants, water buffalo, cats, and dogs running around. They all seemed so happy!
While there we learned the stories of many elephants as well as fun fun facts! See below:
1. Elephants eat 10% of their weight daily
2. One elephant tooth can weigh 5 kilo and be bigger than a human hand
3. Elephants sense things through the vibrations in their feet as well as smell through their very impressive trunks
4. Elephants are always throwing mud on themselves because it acts as a sunscreen
5. Elephants are pregnant for two years and their babies can weigh 80 kilo!
While at the park we got to feed the elephants, watch them bathe/play, as well as pet them and love on them. It was an absolutely magical day. I’ll let the pictures do the talking!
We have had an absolute blast in Chiang Mai and we are sad to leave but excited for our next city. While here we got a Thai massage, rode in a Tuk tuk (sorry I’ll try to get a picture), played with elephants, went in many temples, and ate out weight in Thai food. Chiang Mai has been wonderful to us but now we are off to Krabi! We will be in Railay Beach, which is one of the majestic looking beaches here in Thailand. We can’t wait to see what this beautiful island has in store. Thanks for reading!
We made it to Asia in one piece! Boy oh boy has it been an adventure so far. But before I get into Thailand, I have to mention our weekend in New York!
This whole trip came up because Geoff was so sweet and surprised me with Hamilton tickets last summer! Hamilton is the biggest show on broadway and tickets are either won through a lottery or hundreds of dollars. Needless say, I am a very lucky girl! The show was everything I wanted it to be and more. Plus, I think Geoff actually enjoyed the show! This was Geoff’s first time to the city and it was so fun to show him around and introduce him to my friends.
It was quite the journey getting to Thailand. We took a fourteen hour flight from New York to Beijing and then another five hour flight to get to Chiang Mai. The fourteen hour flight was actually way better than expected. The Chinese food was a nice change from regular airline food and as a plus, there was an open bar! What we found to be the strangest part was that people kept walking all around the plane and serving themselves drinks. It was crazy! In America you have to stay seated and wait to be helped. Here it was one big free for all. Our flight out of New York got delayed an hour so we almost missed our flight out of Beijing! We were those horrible American tourist sprinting through the airport all while trying to understand the meaning of Chinese signs. Thankfully we made it with five minutes to spare! Finally after 24 hours of travel, we made it safe and sound to our hostel in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a lot of what I expected it to be. It is a mid sized city with coffee shops, restaurants, small shops, and massage studios on every corner. This town actually reminds me a lot of Lima, Peru but much more safe and clean. We have spent our first day in town doing exactly what all the tourists do, visiting all the temples. The temples are gorgeous and on just about every corner. It’s amazing how the city is built around all of this history.
The best part about Thailand is how cheap it is. Want pad thai? That will be 50 baht or about $2. Amazing. Massages are huge here and Geoff and I treated ourselves to a wonderful hour massage, which was a whopping $10. Now we are just taking it easy before going to a night market. Tomorrow we will be playing with elephants so stay tuned on pictures from that. Thanks for reading!
We made it. The moment we arrived to Machu Picchu I was in complete shock. There are no words to describe the beauty of the Incan ruins in the Peruvian mountains. But before I get into all that, let me back up.
Geoff and I arrived in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, the night before our big adventure. The town is super tacky, touristy, and not our style whatsoever. On the second day Geoff and I woke up at 4am to catch a bus to the ruins at 5:30. It’s crazy how early you’ll wake up for a view! When we arrived the entire place was covered in fog so you’re kinda blindly walking through ruins. At 7am Geoff and I went off to hike Machu Picchu mountain. Let me just sum it all up by saying it is basically an hour hike of stairs, it rained the entire hike up the mountain, I hardly made it and Geoff was fine, amd the view was worth it. Geoff has many embarrassing pictures of me on the hike but I’ll save those for another time. After that whole saga it was finally time to go back and see the ruins.
Pictures of me at the top of the mountain and Geoff super happy during the hike.
Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time is hard to describe. The view just takes your breathe away. Geoff and I were also super fond of the llamas. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t chase a few of them to get a picture. I’ll let my picture do the talking.
The next day Geoff and I took the train back to Ollantaytambo and then got a private car to Cusco. It is crazy finding a driver. Basically from the second you get off the train a ton of Peruvian men are yelling at you to go on their car. Luckily riff and u found a good driver that only cost us 60 soles (about $20) for a two hour car ride. This country is very affordable!
Now we are in Cusco and loving every minut. This city is gorgeous and has so much culture. On top of that the bed and breakfast we are staying in is amazing and has a complete view of the city with a private balcony. I’ll have pictures in my next post. For now we are just going to enjoy our final days in Peru. Adios for now!
Day three has been extremely good to us. Geoff and I decided to wake up early and hike El Camino a Pinkuylluna. We hiked around for about two hours and boy was it worth it! Being from Colorado, Geoff was easily able to hike up the mountain as if it was nothin at all. I on the other hand was a bit slower because the elevation makes it so much harder to breathe! Luckily Geoff was nice and waited for me every once in a while!
Clearly I wasn’t as ready for the hike as Geoff was..
After our wonderful stay in Ollantaytambo, we caught a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. This town is nothing like I thought it would be.. It is very tacky, touristy, and run down. Not really our style at all but fun none the less. We even made a new friend from England! Our hotel is this really cool treehouse up in the mountains. It isn’t a great example but you can see the picture of Geoff below. The most exciting thing to happen so far in this town so far is trying guinea pig. Yes, you read that correctly. Geoff was the brave sole who ordered it. See the picture below!
Tomorrow is the big day where we hike Machu Picchu! We are so so excited. We’ll be catching the bus at 5:30am but it will absolutely be worth it. Adios for now!
Hola from Peru! We made it to Lima. It sure is nice to be back traveling again. It has been so wonderful to be traveling with a friend this time around (shout out to Geoff)! The first day of this trip was a little crazy. Let me explain.
So far South America is a completely different beast than Europe. I know that sounds obvious but allow me to explain. Lima is crazy hot and humid all the time. There are also many people here who do not speak English at all or very little of it. Thankfully all my years of Spanish in school paid off and I have been able to communicate with our taxi driver who got lost but eventually got us to our final destination. Poor Geoff on the other hand doesn’t speak a word of Spanish and had to sit there and just listen until everything was figured out. While our place to stay for the night wasn’t exactly a five star hotel, we were both relieved to have finally gotten out of the taxi.
Today we flew from Lima to Cusco and then took a private car ride (two hours of the most beautiful scenery) to a town called Ollataytambo. We have absolutely loved our stay here. The food is amazing, the people are kind, and the views are breathtaking. We are within the Peruvian mountains and life honestly couldn’t be better. Towns like this within Cusco are much more our speed. Due to the high altitude (around 11,000 ft) the humid drops, there are no mosquitos, and the views are gorgeous. Things move a little slower in this city and we are having the best time taking it all in.
We are loving Peru so far and we can’t wait to see what the next week has in store. Adios for now!
I made it to Greece! I am so excited to not have to eat pasta and pizza for every meal! The food of Greece is amazing so I can’t wait to try everything (Greek salad, falafel, gyros, baklava)! To get to Greece we took a 17 hour ferry from Naples to a town called Patra. The ferry was actually so much better than I expected. Our room was tiny but we made do with what we had! It was so fun to just hang out with everyone in my group enjoy each other’s company rather than running from place to place. I also got one of the best night sleeps because I loved the rocking of the boat. The 17 hours went so much quicker than I thought and we safely arrived in Greece!
Our first stop in Greece was to an adorable restaurant off the beaten path call Clovino. The restaurant was right on the water and had great food! The staff was extremely Greek and so kind to all of us! We even had some time to layout and jump in the see when we were done eating. It was the perfect start to our Greece trip.
Next stop was Delphi, an extremely small but adorable town up in the mountainside of Greece. We only stayed in Delphi for one night but we had a great time checking out the ruins and eating all the gyros we could ever want!
The next morning we were off to our last city of the trip, Athens. Athens was not at all what I expected. For a city with so much history expected it to be beautiful and a more enjoyable city to be in. However, I quickly learned that athens wasn’t really for me. Roughly half of the Greek population lives in Athens so the city is extremely crowded and overpopulated. The city also remind me of some sort of scary metropolitan area back in the states. There is graffiti everywhere and tons of people sitting in the streets.
Our last day in Greece was wonderful. Our guide, Tyson, took us to a beach on the coast of Greece. We hung out there for hours swimming, eating Greece food, and just enjoying each other’s company. We were all sad to leave! That night we all went to our farewell dinner at a rooftop bar in the city. The food was classic Greek and could not have been a better last meal. Afterwards we all went up to our hotel bar to exchange goodbyes and tell our favorite stories from the trip. It was a wonderful goodbye to the 34 friends I made over these past eighteen days. All this being said, I still had a wonderful time eating a the Greek food (it was about time for some veggies after all that pasta in Italy) and exploring the beautiful Parthenon. Our hotel was definitely one of the better ones we have stayed at this whole trip. The wifi was at least decent and it had a rooftop bar that overlooked Acropolis! In the end, I really enjoyed my few days in Greece. While I don’t plan on returning to these same cities, I hope to make it to the Greek islands at some point!
Now that I’m sitting in an airport waiting for my flighty to leave, I can finally reflect on these past eighteen days. I have absolutely loved being able to travel again. Traveling is so exciting and adventurous and I can’t imagine my life without it. I can only hope I have the means and the time to do it in the future. This time around I had a wonderful guide and a great group of friends that I will miss dearly once I return to the states. But now it’s time for my next adventure! While I am sad to leave, I am thrilled to return to the land of Target, fast food, and a good wifi connection. For my family members who read this blog, thank you for following me on another one of my adventures! Until next time!
I didn’t realize we were going to Capri or Sorrento but they turned out to be my favorites. Capri is gorgeous. This is an island off the coast of Italy where many rich people and celebrities are known to vacation. We are so lucky we got to go there! There is lemon themed stuff everywhere, which I absolutely love. We had a lemon slushy when we arrived and I got one later when I needed wifi from a cafe. Afterwards I went and sat on the beach with everyone. It was such a beautiful area to spend some time in. Somewhere in the middle of the day we went on a boat cruise all around the coast. It was beautiful because the water is so clear and blue there! It was extremely cold and a little rainy by then but nothing we couldn’t handle.
Soon enough it was time for us to leave and head for Sorrento. I really love Sorrento. It is basically a beautiful and more affordable Capri. We really didn’t get to do anything besides eat dinner and sleep there but I am still so glad we went. I hope I can vacation there in the future. I also hope I don’t have to stay in a weird extra building of the hotel with no wifi ever again haha.
The next day we left for Pompeii. Traffic was terrible but we finally made it. The town is completely run down and not pretty to look at. We took a tour through the ruins but I didn’t care it a whole lot. There wasn’t much to see and we were all just starving so we were ready to get out of there. It was cool to see the dog and people who died in the lava (that’s not as bad as it sounds) and the volcano that erupted.
We finally left and now I’m stuck on a bus for four hours. Once we get to Barry we will be getting on a ferry for 17 hours. It should be interesting. Well that’s all for now! I’ll write more when I’m in Greece. Chao for now!
Chao from Rome! This city is stunning an full of so much history! On the night we arrived our group went to visit the Colosseum, pantheon, the Roman Forum, and so many other landmarks. It blew my mind how these city was essentially built around all of these beautiful landmarks.
The Colosseum is one of the coolest structures I have ever seen. It’s strange to think that it was used as a massive stadium for people to fight in. Our group decided to watch Gladiator while on the bus on the way to Rome, which gave me better perspective as to what may have happened there!
The next day was one of my favorite days we have had on this trip. I signed up for an option foodie experience and boy am I glad I did! Our group first went to a wonderful Italian market and tried all different types of Italian pesto, balsamic, olive oils, and lemonchello. The food was amazing and it was fun to be right in the middle of the market! Soon after we headed over to our Italian cooking class! The class was even better than I expected. The class was taught in a beautiful apartment in the heart of Rome on a rooftop terrace. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Our wonderful a chefs taught us how to make pasta and sauce from scratch and we were able to eat it at the end! It was some of the best pasta I have ever tasted!
Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we all hopped on a bus to Saint Marinella, a small beach town on the coast of Rome. This is also the home of our wonderful guide, Tyson! We spent the entire afternoon sunbathing on the coast of Italy and eating wonderful food from tyson’s friend who owns a local restaurant. The day could not have been more perfect.
Yesterday was an extremely busy day! Our group woke up extra early to go to the Vatican to see the pope. While we were still far away, it was co to see him in the distance giving his regular Wednesday speech. After listening to the pope we headed over to the Vatican Museum, which is full of religious paintings, sculptures, and the famous Sistine Chapel. The chap was unreal. I don’t know how else to describe it. The ceiling was massive and the paintings by Michelangelo were so beautiful and vibrant. I could have looked at the beautiful ceiling forever. It’s hard to believe that Michelangelo spent four years looking up at an awkward angle to paint the entire ceiling. My neck hurt after looking at it for twenty minutes! I wish I could show you pictures but unfortuntely pictures are not allowed!
Afterwards we went to Saint Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. It was beautiful and full of so much history. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
That’s all for now! Cheers!