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Ignorance Is Bliss*

Paradoxically, ignorance is not bliss*. Before any departure, I check the map to pre-navigate points A to B. I seek out walking tours to learn about cardinal historical facts. I learn “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, and of course, “Cheers!” in the new language. And while a few of these personal travel ...

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My “Last” Day in Firenze

Two years ago I stood beside the Santa Maria Novella train station, distressed against my luggage, crying into my cup of stracciatella gelato. It was my last hour in Florence after four months of living in utopia. While my short-lived roommates looked forward to this day, I refused to believe ...

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Budapest and the Magic Baths

Water. I need water. And aspirin. Where’s my phone? Where are my clothes? Buried by my feet, I turn the volume off my iPhone as friends in central time zone buzz me updates about their Friday night escapades. Their check-in spurred a flashback from last night’s pub crawl in Budapest. ...

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10 Things I Learned About Budapest

Because learning is fun, and so is Eastern Europe 1. Budapest is by far the largest growing city in Hungary. Severed by the Danube River, Buda and Pest unified in 1873. 2. “Buda” refers to the lush hillside west of the Danube, and “Pest” lies flat on the east. Together, ...

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Barcelona

Sophomore year of high school, I anticipated my fourth period Spanish class with Señorita Hillen. The advanced class mastered simple conversations and focused on Spanish Culture. Upon flipping through slide shows about Gaudi, I urged to visit Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and other famous houses designed by Spain’s greatest architect. With Barcelona ...

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Greece

Thursday, October 31st For the past two decades, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. A marathon of classic thrillers and costumes, a party-worthy duo. Though I managed to stream “The Shining” with friends, the day-long cruise to Corfu, Greece killed the Halloween spirit. But I couldn’t complain. We were on a cruise ...

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Bolzano

Biking Bolzano With included spas and breakfast buffets, Mom did alright booking the Stadt Hotel in Bolzano. Wednesday morning started with mimosas, strudel, and fresh fruit before our bike ride. What a ride it was. We passed hundreds of Italians biking and jogging on this calm, cloudy morning up to ...

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Rome

Early Thursday morning, rain poured down the streets of Florence and a flashback of yesterday’s dreadful walk from the train station appeared in my head. Two hours south, Rome welcomed us with warmer weather and overcast. Past the platforms a mall of stores and restaurants towered our path leaving the ...

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Salzburg

The Hills Are Alive  8:30 AM, birds chirping, sun shining. The Martins are not. A day wasted on a train sparked a mood swing and restlessness. Walking to the tourist information desk, I carried a poor attitude and snapped at my mother’s lack of direction. Long days with the parents ...

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Stuttgart Day 2

Strolling Around Stuttgart Allowing myself to wake up naturally, I figured I would have enough time to stretch out on a morning run before breakfast. This thought dissipated when I rolled over to see the screen on my phone read: “10:39 A.M.” No time for a run, I’ll eat instead. ...

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