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.
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.
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.
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.
Dublin is a glorious city! I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. Everything from the easy to navigate city streets to the wonderfully ornate cathedrals and traditional pubs on every corner, Dublin has much to offer. I spent two full days in Ireland’s capital city and am ready to return again! But why all the love? I thought you’d never ask…
Photo by A.Reid
What’s a trip to Europe without a stop through at least one country? One of the best things about Europe, in my opinion, is the close proximity of its countries. It’s always fun to compare distances between states in the US and countries in Europe. It may take 7 hours to drive through Florida alone and, in Europe, those 7 hours would put you through at least 2 countries! On my recent trip to Ireland, I tacked on a quick visit to London. My timing was tight and the itinerary was lengthy but it was too much to resist so a whirlwind 48-hour trip to London ensued.
Spain has always been on my travel shortlist but, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure about Barcelona. Perhaps it was because of their differing heritage and culture from the rest of Spain or their desire to break away. Whatever the reason, I was wrong! Barcelona is truly remarkable and one week was not enough!
I like to cram as many explorations as possible into a trip, often planning day trip excursions to neighboring towns as well, but on this week-long trip, I happily remained in Barcelona, soaking up everything the city has to offer. Prior to arrival, I often prep a list of potential activities in order to avoid wasting time wondering what there is to do. Of course, I will also leave room for local suggestions and try not to plan things back to back to allow time for spontaneity but I always have at least an idea of what I will do. I never accomplish all of it and, for this post, I’m sharing my planning and actual lists for your recommendation pleasure.