Street in Rome

I can still remember the moment I fell in love with Rome like it was yesterday. Alex, our mutual friend and I were nursing glasses of white wine and sharing a small meal at a tiny restaurant, surrounded on either side by happy, laughing Italians. View Post


London Edited-17

I’ll say it right now: my time in London was way too short. Sandwiched between a week in Paris and a quick jaunt to Rome, London was my first experience with backpacking and a welcome break from struggling through my limited foreign language vocabulary.

Getting there alone was an adventure — to save money on travel and hotel for an extra night, we opted for a 10-hour overnight bus ride from Paris, which involved the bus itself boarding a boat and us being paraded through customs in Calais.

We arrived without much of a plan and flew by the seat of our pants for the next two days. After fueling up on some English breakfast at a greasy joint near Kings Cross station, our first order of business was to find the nearest Wifi spot  to book a hotel for the night (thank God for Starbucks!) My friend Jusan had been to London a few times, and Alex and I were more than happy to follow his lead, as he took us on an epic walking tour through London, guided mostly by memory and the occasional glance at Google Maps.

As we explored one neighborhood after the other, I couldn’t help making comparisons to New York — from what we saw during the two days, London felt like New York City’s cooler, more mature sister with a distinct European flair. View Post

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

I don’t know when I started dreaming about Paris. It must have been back in college, somewhere between watching one too many Audrey Hepburn movies and pondering the possibilities of studying abroad.

I never did get there until last fall, but the years only intensified my fascination with the city.

In my mind, my boyfriend and I would stroll the banks of the Seine with a baguette in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. We’d ride bikes through the city, exploring the hidden alleyways that you see only in romantic movies and blog photos. There would be cobblestone streets everywhere. And maybe, just maybe, the theme song from “Midnight in Paris” would be on repeat.

A sweet kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Click for more cool photos. View Post

Old Montreal-3244I never thought I’d be happy about 20-degree weather. But after five days of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds in Montreal a couple weeks ago, even this unusually snowy New York City winter has been looking really good.

As an islander and lover of all things tropical, Montreal in February was not an obvious choice. But somehow, with its French vibe (appealing for me) and its storied hockey history (appealing for my boyfriend), the city snuck its way onto our list of places to visit.

From the moment we exited the airport and felt our lungs physically adjust to the shock of the frigid Canadian air, it was clear Montreal was going to be experienced on its own terms.

View Post