6 Fun Things to Do in South Florida

5C6E7DDC-824D-4F78-A957-D35CF4CE09F2_1_105_c

Growing up in South Florida, I spent a great deal of time at either a beach or a pool and was completely content to do just that. However, now that I’m an adult, I have become interested in exploring the local community when I travel, including when I’m back in South Florida for a holiday.

This past Christmas, Andrew and I spent a full week in South Florida with my family. Prior to our visit, I researched a list of fun things to do both with my family and for just Andrew and I. We chose to rent a car for this trip – which I would highly recommend – and had a great time exploring several new things and visiting some of my childhood favorites as well. This list is no where near exhaustive but includes six fun things to do when in South Florida.

Continue reading “6 Fun Things to Do in South Florida”

Australia Needs Our Help

Australia is engulfed in flames.
Australia is on fire. 19 of the country’s 22 million people live along the Eastern Coast of Australia.

In 2015, I sold the majority of my possessions, packed a carry-on bag, and moved to Australia to start a new life adventure. It was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While living in Australia, I traveled to each of its seven states, from the coastal cliffs in Sydney, to the red dirt and clear skies of the Outback, and even down to the small heart-shaped island of Tasmania, loving every minute of it. Australia is a beautiful country filled with incredibly unique and curious wildlife, stunning rainforests and coral reefs, and people who truly know how to live life. I cannot say enough great things about Australia and it is forever on my heart.

Because of this, the images and stories I’m reading about the fires burning across Australia are gut-wrenching. If you do not know much about what is happening, please read this article to begin to gain an understanding. These fires are fueled by the current summer heat and recent years of incredible drought. They are worse than the fires that tore across California in 2018 and span a far greater distance than the 2019 Amazon fires with no end in sight. Some say the worst is yet to come.

Continue reading “Australia Needs Our Help”

Vancouver in 72 Hours

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3ebc.jpg

As I divulged the details about my recent adventure with family and friends, a question I often received was, “How did you decide on Vancouver?” The first half of my answer is frequently the same for any new travel destination: good food and a beautiful destination. The second half of my answer was less common: I found a flight for $275 USD roundtrip. Yep! You can rarely find return flights between neighboring states for that price let alone across the country. With only one brief layover in Calgary, I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. I shared my findings with a friend and we were booked! Next up, get to know a little more about Vancouver. 

Continue reading “Vancouver in 72 Hours”

Get to Know the Real Nashville

IMG_3503.jpeg

It happened seemingly overnight. ABC’s television drama, “Nashville”, premiered in 2012 to 8.93 million viewers followed shortly thereafter by a New York Times piece crowning Nashville as the new “it” city. Fast forward to 2019 and the city continues its rapid growth, averaging 90 people moving to Nashville a day. This record-setting population boom has brought its share of successes and challenges. For one, Nashville has an endless array of top chef worthy restaurants with new spots opening each week. But then some of the downsides include a downtown that caters to tourists and an infrastructure struggling to hold the increased volume of traffic.

However, regardless of the challenges we locals might experience, Nashville is an exciting city to visit with lots of great dining options, fun drinking spots, and plenty to see and do. Planning a trip to Nashville? Read on to see my recommendations for truly experiencing the real Nashville, the city that exists beyond the neon lights and honky tonks of Broadway.

Continue reading “Get to Know the Real Nashville”

Kentucky Derby Tips for First Timers

P5040995.jpeg

The hats. The dresses. The horses. The roses. This what comes to mind when you think of the Kentucky Derby. But how do you prepare for actually attending the Derby? How do you know what to wear, bring, or expect? Step One – ask a veteran! This year I had the privilege of attending the 145th Kentucky Derby and, while I won’t proclaim expert status, I learned a lot in my first year’s attendance and am happy to share a few tips for first-timers.

Continue reading “Kentucky Derby Tips for First Timers”

5 Reasons to Visit Porto

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Within the last five years, tourism in Portugal has absolutely exploded. The country is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, investing its new tourism dollars back into the infrastructure, renovating and restoring the architecture that has long been ignored. Portugal is full of European charm and a growing food scene and, all the while, is still affordable to visit. Often when travelers talk of Portugal, they immediately focus on Lisbon, but there’s another city that’s equally worth your time.

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Visit Porto”

Eating (& drinking) my way around Portugal

P3130816.jpg
Port wine tasting at Porto Cruz in Gaia (with views of Porto behind me)

I don’t typically like shirts with phrases on them. Is there ever a shirt that really represents who you are regardless of the setting? Perhaps I’m thinking about it too much but I often find the sayings pressed across a shirt to be unnecessary, rude, or dumb. Therefore, what I’m about to share is a departure from my norm.

I recently purchased a t-shirt that reads, “Travel Eat Repeat”, from a website that publishes videos about tasting delicious eats around the world. Considering the fact that eating is one of my main pleasures and purposes for travel, this shirt made sense to me; I purchased it. I mostly wear it to bed but I own it nevertheless. I share this anecdote because it is the topic of conversation for this post – traveling, eating (& drinking) and repeating through Portugal.

Continue reading “Eating (& drinking) my way around Portugal”

Ali in Peru: My trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World

f18fcf81-10cb-4d44-bf6c-2b335446c350.jpg

Viewing images of Machu Picchu has always sparked a complexity of emotions for me. The ancient ruins atop a sea of mountains stirs up feelings of curiosity, awe, inspiration, with a hint of jealousy; jealousy for all those who have made the trek ahead of me. It was a destination that felt out of reach for me but one that I always wrestled with in my mind. When I finally ceased on an opportunity to travel to Peru, I knew Machu Picchu would be the driving force behind my trip.

Continue reading “Ali in Peru: My trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World”

5 Reasons to Add Chile to Your Travel Bucket List

IMG_1556

Chile is absolutely stunning and, for many of us, it’s not often at the top of our travel bucket list — but it should be! I traveled south to Chile for a week and was endlessly impressed by the natural beauty of this country. The majority of my trip was centered around Patagonia, though I did not do a multi-day hike, as many travelers seek out when in this region. While still in the planning stages, I quickly realized getting down to Patagonia was a hike in itself and would take up several full days of my singular week. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t make sense to add in the physical hike as well.

This trip took me through the country’s capital, Santiago, as well as down even further south to the region of Patagonia (the farthest south I’ve been!). There’s much to love and explore in Chile but I’ll try my best to narrow down my experiences to my top five reasons to visit. I’ll begin with what I’m calling a “pre-reason”: it’s not super packed with tourists and for many of us travelers, this is enough of a reason to visit. And now, here are my five reasons to add Chile to your travel bucket list.

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Add Chile to Your Travel Bucket List”

7 Plane Etiquette Tips for Travelers

IMG_6391

With the holiday season upon us and a final push to solidify our travel plans, it’s time to brush up on plane etiquette. While some rules of plane etiquette are well known and obvious, others are more unspoken, though still widely understood.

As a frequent traveler, I’ve collected a list of seven travel tips to share with my fellow travelers. Each of these are generally accepted and echoed among the travel community as well. Help make flying more enjoyable by following these seven simple tips for traveler etiquette.

Continue reading “7 Plane Etiquette Tips for Travelers”