Italy will always have soft spot in my heart. After an adventure-filled week in Croatia, I was ecstatic for a relaxing stay in Sicily. I met up with my friend Jami in Rome, where we explored for a day before jumping on the night train to Sicily. Although night trains normally have a bad rep, we had a wonderful experience and one I’d suggest to everyone. I mean, when else do you get to wake up to breakfast in bed in the view of the Italian countryside?

We stayed in On the Way Hostel for our first few nights where the adorable owners baked us fresh breakfast every morning. We spent these days exploring Palermo and nearby areas. We visited the botanical gardens where we had so much fun swinging on vines and smelling flowers. The local markets were bustling with fruit, meat, pastry and vegetable vendors. The GIANT 6 foot swordfish lying on the tables never failed to startle me.

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Monday morning we got a rental car and moved into the flat we rented on the outskirts of the city. Having a car made all the difference on the trip. The next day we woke up first thing and drove to Taormina, on the other side of Sicily where I got to do a shipwreck dive. We explored the adorable shops and made a day adventure of exploring nearby cities. Taormina’s colourful shops, rolling hills and beautiful ocean had just the charm we were looking for.DSC09057IMG_8914DSC09056DSC09136 DSC09108DSC09134

The next day we found my ancestral village of Lecara Friddi, tucked away in the mountains.  We spent a few hours in the city talking to locals, taking pictures and exploring its charm. Afterwards, we threw out our plans and drove to explore.DSC09184DSC09206IMG_8900 IMG_8915DSC09225IMG_8788DSC09213

After a few hours we ended up in an old, abandoned village in a valley. It was suuuuper creepy but there were beautiful horses guarding to keep us company. Jami and I both love photography so the day was filled with cool opportunities to shoot.DSC09119IMG_8821 IMG_8823IMG_8813DSC09167

All in all, the trip was incredible. Though we had our fair share of obstacles  in the beginning of the trip, we had so much making the most of Sicilian culture. Until next time Italy.





Within  hours of arriving home from Denmark, I jumped on a train to Brighton for a day trip with friends. They call Brighton the “San Francisco of the UK for its hilly roads and beaches. The weather was sunny, beautiful and I loved every second of it. Once I arrived we grabbed some food, we headed to the pier for carnival games and rides. Coming from Arizona, I hardly get the chance to play on piers so I was like a kid at a carnival. Afterwards we walked around town, and soaked up rays in the park with some beautiful tulips. The day ended with some delicious cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres before heading home. DSC08323DSC08347 DSC08337DSC08352DSC08374DSC08334


I decided to book a last minute trip to Edinburgh, Scotland when I got a mean case of wanderlust. MegaBus had a cheap night bus and EasyJet’s insane prices were too hard to resist! So why not right?

Edinburgh was just wonderful! Normally when I go to a new place I always feel a little resentment from locals, but the Scottish were anything but! Every person I met was animated, helpful and so so proud of their country. Men would walk down the streets in Kilts and bagpipes just cause.

We stayed at Castle Rock Hostel, which looked AMAZING upon arrival. It was located in the center of town, great facilitates and full of lively travelers ready to mingle. However, during our second night, my friend woke up covered in bug bites and found her bed infested with bed bugs! The hostel refunded her one night but was surprisingly nonchalant about the ordeal….

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Sandeman’s free walking tour was a great way because we were able to orient ourselves and gain some basic background and history of the city. My favorite part was visiting Greyfriars Kirk where JK Rowling was known to have wandered seeking inspiration for Harry Potter. Apparently the “Tom Riddle” and William “McGonagall” gravestones really stuck with her!

The rest of the day involved some Scottish whiskey tastings, fudge shops ( lots of em) and some good old fashioned exploring! On Day 2 we hiked to Arthur’s Chair for a view and even made it to Portobello beach for some delicious soup at Porto café. Although the beach was FREEZING, you would’ve thought it was a warm summer day with all the excited dogs playing in the water.

Although Edinburgh was a short trip, it was a easy escape from London to experience a new culture. I can’t wait to return and see what the rest of the country has to offer.



Day 44

Day 44: Bed bugs! Jill was up all night with bug bites so we decided to stay in Edinburgh and cancel the day trip we had planned up North. We hiked up to Arthur’s Chair for the best view in the city and even soaked our feet in the sand at Portobello beach. Although the water was FREEZING, you would have thought it was a sunny summer day with all the excited dogs playing.

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For more pictures from Scotland check out my new travel post