I’m Moving to Berlin

It was a Friday. I woke up early, around 8 AM. I jumped up and got in the shower; I was so proud to be getting ready before Maria even woke up. I got out of the shower and made a french press coffee. I was sipping my coffee when Maria came in around 9.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning!”

I felt so comfortable and happy to be there, at Maria’s flat in Berlin. Beevus the pit bull came into the kitchen shortly after Maria and laid his head on my leg. I scratched his head as I read my book and continued drinking my hot coffee.

An hour later, we were on our way out the door. I started to feel sad that this would be the last time we left the house together. As we walked down the stairs, we talked about how much fun we had the last few days. How many places we went, how much food we ate, all the soy chai lattes we drank. How much I wanted to move to Berlin and stay there forever.

We got on the underground at Seestrasse. We sat next to each other on the train and looked out the windows.

When we got to the restaurant, we ordered soy chai lattes and filled our plates with tofu scramble, toast, hummus, fruit salads, bulgur salad, and lots of dipping sauces. We ate slowly and talked about me moving to Berlin. Maria told me that there were flats for vegans. I wondered about what my life could be like in Berlin, living in a flat with a couple of vegans, working and taking the underground and drinking matcha lattes in vegan cafes in my free time. I could write and take pictures and make videos. I could learn German and say tchusse and hallo and teach people english. I could talk to people who feel the same way as I do and I could talk to people who feel completely different than me. I could eat vegan food at restaurants and drink green juices and I could become a part of this culture. I wanted it so bad.

We got on a tram after eating and went to a place that I can only describe as a magical community place of giving. There is a collection of trees, which have shelves carved into them, and plastic flaps over the shelves. People place books into the shelves that they are finished reading, and then you choose a book to take. There are no rules – you can take books without leaving books, you can leave books without taking books. Maria and I each took two books (she left a few and I left one), and brought them home. When we got back to her house, I made another french press coffee and Maria made a soy chai latte.

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We talked for hours. I didn’t want to leave. Maria gave me directions on how to get to the bus stop. When the time came, I picked up my backpack, hugged her good bye, and made her promise to come to California. We had planned out our California road trip already. We were going to rent a convertible and drive from my house to San Diego. I wanted it to happen now.

I patted Beevus on the head and headed out the door. As I was walking downstairs, I felt so sad. It is so hard to say goodbye to people that I have become close with. I love traveling so much; I am so happy that I have the opportunities to meet the people that I do. The people I have met have enriched my life and made me a better person. They have taught me to be happy, to be grateful, and to feel free again.

The Feeling of Berlin

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Berlin has such an incredible energy to it. The people are bustling around, but everyone is so friendly. The city is filled with happy people. It feels safe and creative and inspiring.

I spent my time in Berlin mostly in vegan cafes, stores, and restaurants. My purpose of going to Berlin was not to be a tourist, but to explore the vegan cafes and restaurants.

I did go to the Holocaust museum, which was a little hard to handle. I wandered through the museum, reading stories about the families killed in the Holocaust. I felt so terrified and sad and mad and upset. After I left the museum, I meandered my way to the information center. There was an older couple in there asking about a cathedral. I followed them to the “cathedral,” which turned out to be a room of silence. I sat in the room of silence for about an hour. It was so incredible to be in a room of complete silence, and be able to think and not think. I worked on clearing my mind. I had just watched “Eat, Pray, Love” the night before, so I had been thinking about meditation. If you meditate, please leave me some tips in the comments!!

The next day, I headed to the Berlin wall. The East Side Gallery is the largest intact portion of the Berlin wall that is still standing, and the city asked artists to create murals on the wall. The art was incredible and beautiful.

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Berlin is an incredible city, and I hope to spend more time here someday soon!

Carnival In Venice, Italy

I stayed an extra day in Venice to see the Carnival. I made some friends at the bed & breakfast that I was staying at, and we planned out a fun day. We got ready together in the morning, then headed out for lunch – we wanted some real Italian pizza. We went to RossoPomodoro, which was my favorite pizza place in Venice. P1230053.JPG

We were there around noon, which is early for Italian standards, so we got to chat with the pizza makers a bit. They let us check out the pizza oven and even made our pizzas into little hearts! <3 We split a bottle of Italian prosecco and had a really fun lunch. It even started snowing for a second right outside of the window as we were eating!

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After lunch, we went to the nearby San Marco square and walked up and down the harbor, checking out all of the people on the gondolas and taking pictures with our masks.

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We spent the day just wandering and laughing before heading back to the house to rest up a bit before the night started. In the evening, I headed out with my host, Mirabela, to check out the lights on the boats!

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To see more on the carnival, check out my video here.

 

5 Reasons You Must Go to Turin, Italy

I just spent a week in Turin, Italy. So many people I’ve met asked me, “why are you going to Turin?” It’s not a very touristy destination. But.. I LOVED IT. I’m sure that this place will get a lot more touristy very soon, as it is a beautiful, low key, relaxing and gorgeous spot in Northern Italy. The park running along the river is stunning, the bridges are romantic, and the museums are not to be missed. Here are my favorite parts of Turin:

  1. The Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum): This place was so incredible! There are so many interesting parts of Egyptian history, and this museum is so massive, it will easily take up your entire day. Good thing there is a cafe inside! The museum houses mummies, the book of the dead, sculptures, sarcophagi, human remains (!), and even a full on tomb that you can go inside. I don’t want to give it all away… seriously, go here. P1140072OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. The underground tunnels! I went on a tour of the underground tunnels where Peitro Micca set off a bomb to prevent the French from invading Italy in the defense of Turin in 1706. I got to see the actual place where the bomb went off, the place where Pietro Micca’s body was found, and I learned a lot of really interesting history that I had not known about Italy and Turin. Going in an underground tunnel war zone?! Checked that one off my bucket list. PietroMicca
  3. Mole Antonia: This is currently a cinema museum with a massive tower. I got a ticket to go to the top of the tower, where you can see the entire city of Turin, plus the Italian alps. It is pretty breathtaking. P1150030.jpg
  4. The Royal Palace: This was one of my favorite places to go. The inside of the palace is just incredible. I got some great decorating tips for my future castle. But really, the detail put into this is just really amazing. I was in awe the entire walk through. P1170135.jpg
  5. Via Po: This is a great street to walk down to the Po River. The entire sidewalk is covered in arcades and filled with great shops, restaurants, and cafes. At the end of the street, when you get to the river, is a massive piazza (open square) that is a great place to stop for a coffee, snack, meal, or afternoon drink. There is a great spot just down the river to sit down and enjoy the view. P1160077.jpgItaly is one of the most romantic places in the world. It is beautiful! It is a great place for a couples getaway, a trip with a friend, or a solo trip. I would definitely recommend a trip to Turin. P1140106.jpg

Which place would you like to visit first in Turin? Let me know in the comments below!

I saw dead people in Turin, Italy

I saw a lot of dead people today. Really really old dead people… MUMMIES.

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I went to the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy today, and saw some crazy stuff.

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THAT IS AN ACTUAL MUMMY.

There were actually a large amount of mummies, so many that I lost track of how many I’d seen by the time I left.

The museum was super interesting, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Turin.

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The statues were insane to see.

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The detail is just so amazing.

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Then we found an actual Egyptian temple that had been moved from Egypt to the museum in Turin. I never thought I would actually go into an ancient museum temple in my life, but today it happened.

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All in all, it was a great time. I think the craziest part of the museum was seeing the actual human remains pictured below. CRAZY.

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Have you ever seen a mummy?? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Montjuc, Barcelona

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I spent the day taking a long walk over to Montjuc, a garden/castle with an exceptional view of Barcelona.

 

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It took hundreds of steps to get to the top… but it was worth it.

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Not too bad! I very much enjoyed the greenery surrounding the view also.

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And of course found my favorite alley ways and most unique pieces of Barcelona on the way.

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I can’t believe my time in Barcelona is coming to an end… I love this city so much. I am definitely adding it to my new bucket list of places to live. 🙂

Please let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been to Barcelona or are planning a trip here!

Have a great day 🙂

Barcelona: Part 1

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I love the atmosphere here; everyone is happy, there are fruit and vegetable markets everywhere, and THE BEACH. I have accidentally stumbled upon so many incredible places and I’ve only been here two days.

EXHIBIT A: I found this place while searching for the beach on day 1.

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EXHIBIT B: The beach. I mean… it’s stunning.

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EXHIBIT C: The city.

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The city is filled with winding roads that house adorable shops, markets, and restaurants.

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You know I can’t pass up a vegan burger!

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Mexican-style black bean burger with bbq sauce, guac, and caramelized onions. I will DEFINITELY be recreating this at home.

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I can’t get enough of  the greenery hanging from the balconies.

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EXHIBIT D: El Masnou. This is a tiny city just north of Barcelona. I’m staying here for a few days, then back to Barcelona for another 4 days.

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If you look closely at this picture, you will see that the trees each have little sweaters on. Yes, someone knit sweaters for the trees. That is knitted yarn, not fabric. How cute is that?!

I can’t wait to explore more of Barcelona – this is only the beginning! Thank you for reading – if you would like to see more, I have a video showing my first day in Barcelona here.

PS. Hi Pepe! Thank you for reading my website every day. I love you <3

 

Paris: Part 1

I arrived in Paris via bus, and found my first airbnb rather quickly, thanks to the great directions given by my host. I am getting much better at public transportation, which is great since I am getting tired of getting on the wrong bus or train. 🙂

As soon as I got to the airbnb, I met my host (who very kindly brought me a french baguette), threw down my luggage, and sprinted over to the eiffel tower. I arrived just at sunset.

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The pictures don’t even do it justice. Seeing it in real life is just a surreal experience.

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After the excitement of the tower, I wandered back to the airbnb to get a bit of relaxation time. I stopped at a little fruit market and picked up some clementines, grapes, and bananas for my Parisian apartment.

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These little markets are scattered throughout Paris, and I get super excited every time I come across one. I found the cutest little flower shop across from the fruit market.

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And of course, a chocolatiere. 🙂

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The next day, I was able to wander a little further into Paris.

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I made it over the Seine and down Champs-Elysses to the Arc de Triomph. I stopped at the fanciest “drugstore” ever (they were selling iPhones, nice jewelry, and had a full restaurant, but it was called the drugstore), and picked up some snacks. All vegan, of course! Yum.

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Found this little gem of a fountain as I was wandering down to the gardens.

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After walking all day, I went straight back to my apartment, fell asleep, and then proceeded to be sick for the next two days. I realized that I have been traveling for five weeks, and I’ve hardly had any days “off.” Lesson learned – take a break when you need it!

Following my two days of sickness, I switched apartments to a more centrally located place, took some rest time, and also took some more exploring time.

Here is the Notre Dame!

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I switched it up and made a video of this day’s adventures; click here to see it.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Paris: Part 2.

PS. Hi Gpak! Thanks for reading my website!