Excuse my French but I’m in France: A weekend in Paris

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First stop on the grand European city trip tour of September: Paris! Last weekend marked 2 days filled with walks down the Champs Elysées, visits to Shakespeare & Company, shopping trips to Sephora, lounging in front of the Eiffel Tower, and of course: Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On The Run tour at Stade de France, including a surprise act by Nicki Minaj. As Kanye said it best: excuse my French but I’m in France.

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23 going on 24: another spectacular year

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Ever since I became a One Tree Hill addict when I was 14 (yes, I was that kind of a girl in high school) and first heard Jimmy Eat World play their song 23 , I’ve been obsessed with being 23. I always expected it to be the most spectacular year of my life, a year when incredible things would happen. And on the eve of my 24th birthday I’m sitting here thinking – it actually was. Wonderful. Filled with surprises. Amazing. Unexpected. Hectic. My own kind of spectacular.

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Thursday Tips: 6 Favorite Hostels

I absolutely love staying at hostels, but finding the right one can be quite a hassle. How do you know which ones will be über nice and which ones will have ants crawling into bed with you? I usually rely on Hostelworld’s elaborate feedback and ratings system to distinguish the good hostels from the bad, noisy ones, but unfortunately that strategy has failed me more than once. So to save you the hassle, here are the 6 best/most fun/coolest hostels I’ve ever stayed at.

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Universal travel truths and valuable lessons

A gorgeous view over Sydney, August 2013

A gorgeous view over Sydney, August 2013

It is a truth universally known that traveling is a life-changing, soul-enriching, heart-warming experience. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not all rainbows and candy canes. Yes, you will meet inspiring people, see mind-blowing sunsets, and experience unforgettable moments on magical beaches. However, there will also be moments of loneliness and adversity. Moments when the only thing you seem capable of is booking the first flight home and lie in your own bed for 17 years. Here are a few things I’ve learned the hard way that may help you through your hardships.

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Sunset walk along Brooklyn Bridge

 

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Last month marked my third visit to New York City, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, the city that never sleeps… You name it. During my sixth day in the city – second day of my official vacation with my friend there – we crossed the ever so famous Brooklyn Bridge driven by our desire to devour one of the famous Grimaldi’s pizzas.

After a long but magnificent day of walking all around the city we were planning on sitting our pizza-filled bodies on the subway, but just as we were leaving the restaurant we noticed it would be a beautiful sunset. So we took a short walk around Dumbo park and Brooklyn before crossing the Bridge again during sunset. It was without a doubt one of the most magical, unforgettable moments in my life. The pictures speak for themselves. (Click for a bigger view! It’s worth it.)

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Lost in New York City

7 months ago, I was an unemployed graduate.

6 months ago, I got the job of my dreams.

5,5 months ago, my boss uttered the words “you’re coming to Book Expo America with us.”

5,5 months later, I’m sat in a fancy suite in a New York hotel wondering how I’ve ever gotten here.

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Scenic flight over Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef

During our trip from Cairns back down to Sydney, we spent a few nights in Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is a typical cute lil’ Australian town with lots of bars, surf shops, and fish & chips restaurants, but ultimately it is the main gateway to the Whitsunday Islands.

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The Whitsunday Islands is a cluster of small islands, most of which are uninhabited, right off the coast of Queensland. It’s a popular destination for those who have a few millions to spare for a private yacht, or for tourists like me, who have learned that the best way to enjoy the Whitsunday Islands is from up in the air.

As soon as we arrived at Airlie Beach, I immediately decided that I wanted to do a scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands and, a bit further away, the Great Barrier Reef. At this point, I had already experienced one of nature’s seven wonders up close and personal on 2 snorkelling trips, but it was time to marvel at Australia’s prettiest natural feat from the air. So we went to a nearby tourism office and booked ourselves a scenic flight.

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