• French Riviera Coast
    France

    The French Riviera Explored

    The French Riviera or Côte d’Azur rather, is a destination one could only dream existed, except that it actually does. From charming hillside towns to bustling coastal cities, you can find high-end glamour next to laid-back seaside villages. The drive along the coast itself will literally take your breath away, as picturesque views of the Mediterranean Sea captivate you. And the food, oh the food! Don’t even get me started on the Provençal cuisine that will delight your palate. With sun, sea, food, wine, and views for days, the South of France is not to be missed. Nice Nice makes a great base to begin your exploration…

  • Monet's Garden, Giverny, France
    France

    Monet’s Garden

    Located in Giverny, France, you will find the former residence and garden of the famous impressionist painter, Monet. His home is open for visitors every day from 9:30am to 6:30pm and the visit will cost you 9.50 euro. It is possible to visit as a day trip from Paris or Brussels but it’s best enjoyed as part of an overnight stay or included in a Normandy tour. You can tour the inside of his home, walk through his bedroom, kitchen and work studio to imagine life as Monet would know it. Several of his paintings are located in the studio and scattered throughout the house. The interior…

  • Mont-Saint-Michel
    France

    Normandy Discovered

    Normandy is a dynamic region in Northwest France filled with history, rolling green hills and 300 miles of dramatic coastline. It’s a perfect getaway for the history buff, those wanting a lush beach getaway, or foodies ready to indulge in a cheese and cider coma. The unique combination of culture and beauty create a vast region to discover. Sites With the mindset of quality over quantity, taking it slow is the recommended way to road trip through Normandy. The four days we spent here barely scratched the surface of sites to be seen and experiences to be had. Below, I’ll share some gems to give you a…

  • Bastille day, Eiffel Tower
    Belgium,  France,  Netherlands

    Immerse Yourself: Top European Festivals

    As someone who lives by carpe diem, my goal while stationed in Belgium was to participate in as many cultural festivities as possible. Whether it be celebrating the slaying of a dragon or the memory of a deceased poet, I wanted to experience it all.  Traditions are not taken lightly here in Europe. They are deeply ingrained in the culture and are celebrated with passion year after year. To make the most of your time abroad, dive in headfirst. Perhaps you will find yourself dodging oranges in the midst of a parade or picnicking at the Eiffel Tower as fireworks dance in the sky. Next time you…

  • Canals of Petite France
    France

    Strasbourg, France

      Are you looking for a magical winter getaway with picturesque sights and delicious smells wafting from every street corner? Well, I’ve found it in a charming city located in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Once belonging to the German empire, Strasbourg’s culture, cuisine, and architecture are such a unique Franco-Germanic blend that the city has UNESCO World Heritage status. This breathtaking destination is ideal for all seasons, but a visit during winter should not be missed. Christmas Markets To be in Strasbourg during the holiday season is like being a kid in a candy shop. Every street and storefront is decked out in such an…

  • Belvedere Viewpoint
    Belgium

    Tips for Day Trips: Durbuy Edition

    Recognized as the “smallest city in the world,” Durbuy has more to offer than I originally imagined; so much so, that I made the trip three times in one month. Located in the Ardennes region of Belgium, 2 hours from Brussels and 90 minutes from Mons, the drive there is gorgeous and that’s when I first fell in love! The timber architecture, quaint atmosphere, and artisanal shops make Durbuy a dream destination. Not to mention there is an impressive Chateau appearing in the skyline.     Old Town Durbuy Old Town is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Spend time wandering the cobbled streets and admiring the ivy cascading…

  • Kinderdijk
    Netherlands

    Tips for Day Trips: A Taste of Holland

    When visiting the Netherlands, indulging in pancakes, cheese, and windmills is a must. Touristy, yes, but it’s a delicious way to experience traditional Dutch culture. Below is a blueprint for a leisurely day spent exploring South Holland. Are you ready to go Dutch?! First Destination There is no better way to start the day than the pancake way! Pannenkoeken Restaurant Onder de Molen is a traditional pancake house conveniently located next to a beautiful windmill.     If this is the Dutch version of iHop, I think they are winning. You have your choice of savory or sweet pancakes, and when I say pancakes, they are more of…

  • Belgium

    Tips for Day Trips: Chillin’ in Mechelen

    Have you heard of it? I hadn’t, until a friend suggested checking it out. Located in the Flemish region of Belgium, nestled between Brussels and Antwerp, it’s the perfect day trip destination. Cute and compact, you can explore at your leisure without feeling the rush of “I have to see it all.” The Grote Martk is an ideal place to start. This historic center is a pedestrian zone lined with cafes, perfect for sipping an Aperol Spritz and admiring the impressive facades. Each building is ornately designed, showcasing architectural characteristics of its time. You could easily spend an hour or two people watching and absorbing the ambiance of this vibrant square. Next stop…

  • Urban Therapy, Brussels
    Belgium

    Brussels: Beyond the Grand Place, Delirium, and Manneken Pis

    Looking for a fun day in Brussels that doesn’t involve the typical tourist destinations? Below is a walking tour that goes beyond the beaten path. One of my favorite places to start is St. Catherine’s Place, a 10-minute walk from the center; it is a vibrant square full of life on a sunny Belgian day. St. Catherine’s Church, the focal point of the square, is surrounded by restaurants featuring Belgian and international fare. From sushi to crepes, any palate can be satisfied! My top choices are Noordzee, a famous seafood counter where you can get fresh oysters, shrimp, mussels and more. With no indoor space, it’s best enjoyed…

  • Bulgaria

    Sofia: You Stole My Heart, Instead of My Wallet

    Want to travel somewhere your money can go twice as far? Look no further than Sofia, Bulgaria! With Wizz Air offering cheap flights, and apartments on Airbnb ranging from 30-60 dollars per night, you can definitely make the most of your trip.     In addition to cheap flights and accommodations, there are numerous free walking tours around Sofia! We participated in Balkan Bites, the first free food tour offered in Europe. Our guide led us to six establishments, each providing a different delicious bite. While tasting we learned how Bulgarian cuisine is a fusion of flavors, formed through the invasion of the Greek, Scythian, Roman, Byzantine…