Santorini

Santorini

Part two of our mediterranean journey takes us to Santorini. Thus far, our big plan is to rent a Vespa and scoot from one glass of wine to the next while wearing a giant sun hat.

That last part might just be me.

Advice?

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Viva Italia!

Italy

I almost can’t believe it, but our 1-year anniversary is just around the corner in September. To celebrate – and because we never took a proper Honeymoon, unless you count that overnight at ye most glamorous Westin in Park City on our drive back to SF – we are taking two weeks off and spending them in the Mediterranean. First stop, ITALY.

Recommendations? Places to stay, eat, and see? If you were landing in Naples and had absolutely nothing else planned yet (ahem) for seven days…what would you do?

Thanks a million

xo

Traveling Well

Travel quote

As everyone’s Summer travel winds down, these quotes seemed wonderfully apt.

Travel is a big part of my career, both as a communications consultant and as a writer/dreamer/observer of life. But it definitely took some time to wrap my head around the fact that life is unspooling all around me, whether I’m at home or not.

At first, traveling so frequently felt like a treat. Then, an exhausting interruption. Finally, I’ve decided the best way to travel both frequently and well is to simply embrace it as part and parcel of my everyday life. I can live my life – all book reading, coffee drinking, running, writing minute of it – whether I’m in my apartment in the San Francisco fog belt or in the heart of London…which, coincidentally, is also probably ensconced in fog. I guess I just love clouds that are low to the ground.

Champers on a plane

The trick is to develop some travel rules, especially for business travel. Here’s what I need to travel well:

1. Always find time to run. If that means at 10pm so I can tire myself out like a hamster on a wheel, or just getting up 20 minutes earlier in the morning, I always find my run.

2. Coffee is a must. Whether I’m in Dallas or Denmark, starting the morning with the ritual of coffee is a way to center myself for the day.

3. Write every day. I write every single day, no matter where in the world I am. Whether it’s a blog post, a snippet of a short story, or some hard hours of planning and research for my novel, writing brings me back to a state of internal-ness that is easy to lose when surroundings are unfamiliar or chaotic.

4. Indulge intelligently. At first, every work trip felt like vacation, and to me , vacation is a free-for-all. A little Tuesday-Thursday rumspringa to indulge in everything. A few headaches and extra LBs later… It’s not worth it. I continue to eat as I normally do (plus or minus a few delicious shared desserts) and instead, indulge by watching an episode of Scandal or going to be at 9pm because there’s no one there to judge. Ha!

What does traveling well mean to you?

PS – a great airplane playlist, and how to blend in while traveling.

Europe Taught Me…

photo 1

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve been, well, everywhere in the past few weeks. Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Nashville! Oh the glamour. If you’ve been to Nashville, you know glamour, amirite?

I am so fortunate to have a job that sends me all over the world, and not just because I love to travel. The experience of seeing new things and checking the box on a new country is, to me, secondary to the things you learn from people in other countries. For example, in France two weeks ago, I learned that even though my French is “making progress” (which is nice person code for “still pretty bad”) I am still nowhere near fluent enough to be ordering things unsupervised. Especially not cocktails. Some cocktails are delicious, while others may or may not taste like mushroom. What is a martini rouge? Still don’t know, and also do not recommend that you order one yourself. Unless you like your drinks like you like your mushrooms: mushroom-esque.

Key learning #1: stick with wine. This is just a life learning, really.

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The other (and probably more important) takeaway from this trip was around spontaneity. I’m a major planner and I love checking things off a list and getting shit done. I haven’t always been this way, but that’s what we’re working with now. Traveling with a colleague who is the complete opposite of that was a wonderful exercise in letting go of planning and fully embracing a wander mentality. Shall we hop on a train to Milan and wander with gelato in hand? Yes. Shall we hop on a train to Zurich and spend hours touching soft things in their opulent department stores? Yes. Would that have made a daily agenda item? No. Am I extremely delighted it happened? YES. Always make time to wander.

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Other things I learned:

. Swiss people are the nicest people in the world. Courteous, friendly, and kind. And with its big city amenities, college town energy, and alpine air, Zurich is the most perfect city in the world. I’m moving.

. Tina Turner also lives in Zurich. This newfound knowledge neither persuades nor dissuades me.

. Fondue makes a great lunch. And snack. And dinner.

. Do not buy the large bottles of interesting beer at the beginning of the day. Rookie move all the way.

. Italians are too cool for you. They are also too cool to explain things to you, so if you want that panini you gotta throw some ‘bows and yell at somebody until you get it. But seriously, jump in there.

. It pays to leave extra room in your carry-on to bring back chocolate.

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Have you been anywhere recently? What did you learn? DO TELL!

Stereotypes

CrossProcessed Photo

Had to laugh when I overheard these snippets in my class in Switzerland:

“The key to life is good footwear” – a French woman

“You can go pretty much everywhere on your bike, no?” – a Swiss woman

“Where did all the lunch go? I would like more of those sandwiches.” – a German woman

Basel

Basel

Of all the places I’ve wanted to go in the world – and there are many – Basel, Switzerland, was never on the list. Not for a lack of wanting, mind you. It’s just that Klosters takes the glitz, Zurich takes the glam, and Zermatt gets whatever is left. Small, unassuming Basel wasn’t even in the periphery.

Luckily for me, the world is a wonderfully mysterious place, and I’m headed to Basel next week! I know very little about this gem of a city and I’d LOVE any recommendations and tips from those of you who’ve been before.

Thank you!

Image via the beautiful blog All Things Lovely