Three Years Ago in Montmartre

(View from my apartment in Montmartre)
As I begin to look for a new place to move into in Chicago, I have been learning about new neighborhoods and parts of Chicago I had never really explored. This moving experience reminded me of my semester abroad in Paris. Exactly three years ago this week, I landed in Paris and began my adventure in the city of lights. My new neighborhood I would be calling home was the beautiful Montmartre. Overlooking all of Paris, Montmartre is home to Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, Amelie, and for four months moi.


Walking around London - London Part II

The best way to start a day of sightseeing around London is to grab breakfast and a freshly brewed coffee at Hej Café. A café tucked away between the streets of Bermondsey, Hej offers the best breakfast options, from apple, brie and rocket Panini to a sweet pastry. It’s the perfect café to spend all day in working on your computer or studying. We didn’t have much time to stay because our first stop of the day was Buckingham palace to watch the changing of the guards and we were already running a little late. The three of us grabbed our breakfast and coffee, and headed to the tube.


Afternoon in London - London Part I

(Millennium bridge with St. Paul's cathedral in background)
After our quick stop in Amsterdam we flew to London to visit my best friend and spend some time exploring the city. Our flight landed in Luton airport late Saturday morning and by lunch time we were at my best friend’s apartment in London. E and I hadn’t seen each other in four years and when I was­­ planning a trip to Europe I made sure to have her on my top list of people to see. We have been best friends for over eleven years now and thanks to technology and social media we talk almost every day and stay connected. Every time we reunite it feels like we just saw each other only a few days ago, and we simply pick up where we left off, even if it’s been a few years.


Essentials for Long Flights

Long airplane flights can take a toll on your skin, especially when flying for 9+ hours. During my trip to Europe last month I brought a few essentials in my carry on:

Neutrogena Deep Moisturizer Night Cream – I bought this cream for the winter months when my skin gets really dry. But it's especially great for those long red eye flights. Before the plane takes off I made sure to moisturize with this cream so my skin is restored when I land. This cream is also soft on your hands.

Mini Hairbrush – this little brush is perfect for when I travel and it fits in my purse so I can brush my hair easily on the plane after hours of tossing and turning to find a comfortable position to sleep in.

Teddies Organic Rose Water - I’ve been reading a lot about rose water and how refreshing it is for long flights. After looking into a few different sprays I found this one online. It smells amazing and feels so great on my skin. I tested it on myself before I left to see if I had any reaction to it. I always recommend testing out new products before going abroad just in case you may be allergic to something in the product. Even though I have been back for a few weeks now I still love the misty feeling of spraying it on my face and the soft smell of roses =o) 

Scarf – It always feels like the temperature on the plane is always below zero and freezing. I like to travel with a scarf that I can wrap around my neck for extra warmth or covery my head with when I sleep. I brought one of my favorite scarves with me on the trip, I bought it at Topshop last year for only $4! I love the palm leaf pattern.

Rituals Relaxing Serum – I bought this during a school trip to New York City two years ago and am in love with it. While traveling I dab a little on my temples or just below my jawline. The smell is so relaxing and gentle. Back at home I spread it on my temples before I go to sleep or when I have a stressful day ahead of me. Unfortunately Rituals no longer carries this serum but this one is similar, Dao Relaxing Serum

Water – hydrate, hydrate! Every time a stewardess comes around with water cups take one. Your skin can really dry out when traveling and it's especially important to stay hydrated.

All of these essentials are great as well because they are small enough to fit into my bag and don't exceed the 3ml liquid rule for carry ons. 

What do you use on long overseas flights?

x the Adventurer


Amsterdam Cuisine

(Stroopwafels are my favorite Dutch food)
Our flight to Amsterdam landed late afternoon and a fast 15 minute train ride R and I were in Amsterdam Central station hopping onto our tram to our Airbnb apartment. After so many hours of traveling we were both hungry and excited to see what local cuisine we could find. We decided to stay close to our apartment and found a restaurant that exceeded our expectations.


Biking in Amsterdam

Our European adventure started with a full day exploring the streets of Amsterdam by bike. Having stayed in Amsterdam a few years ago for separate school trips, R and I were excited to enjoy the city together. In order to see the most of the city, I recommend renting a bike to get you around, but be mindful that people take their biking very seriously in Amsterdam so know the rules of the road before heading out. With the weather forecast calling for some rain showers, we lucked out on a beautiful day with only a few clouds and sprinkles of rain. Our plan was to ride around and see where our bikes would take us =o)


"Light" Packing

A few days ago, I jetted off to Europe for a ten day adventure to Amsterdam, London and Prague. Packing was quite a task this trip because I wanted to bring as little with me but due to our busy itinerary and stops along the way I had to minimize how much I brought with me. Usually when you go on a trip it can be easy to pack because you are only bringing things you need for yourself. Most of my suitcase is filled with gifts for family in Prague, but I see those gifts as placeholders for things I will buy as I travel. In the end I managed to pack just enough =o)