Why To Travel By Yourself

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At the beginning of this year when I went on my two month world trip by myself, I was asked by multiple people if I was scared, nervous, or worried about venturing on my own. For some, the thought of traveling by themselves is very daunting. However, for me the thought of traveling solo thrilled me. To be frank, it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

I was determined from the get go of my trip that I was going to do it all by myself. From the researching of travel agents to never ending emailing back and forth with contacts, I did it on my own. I knew I wanted to prove to myself that I could it.

Like anything in life, there were ups and downs. Yes, there were moments when I wanted to cry and have an “adult” do something for me. That’s when it hit me. I am an adult, who is fully capable of doing this on my own.

Of course when I got back everyone wanted to know all my fun adventures and to know where my favorite places were. I would always answer the questions with an automatic response, “It was SO much fun.” Until one day, I clearly remember a family friend asking me what did I learn from my trip. That was the first time I even thought about something like that. It took me a few seconds to reply with my answer, but I knew it was one of many answers.

• I learned to vouch for myself.
• I learned to live in the moments
• I learned to enjoy the simple things
• I learned to be open to new experiences

To have the chance to travel is truly a blessing. Use opportunities and experiences to develop yourself!

N-

Bashing Around Washington D.C.

I had such a blast in our nation’s capital this past week. The company was even better!

Top 5 things to do in DC

1) Rent a bike! – Capital Bikeshare had stations all over the city. The first 30 minutes of each trip are free. Each additional 30 minutes incurs an additional fee. Plus, it saves you so much money compared to paying a cab fare.

2) Go sightseeing at night. – The monuments have a total different feel at night.

3) Stuff your face with Georgetown Cupcakes! My word! Those things were a party in my mouth!!!

4) Pay attention to the Metro map. On second thought, it’s not always a bad thing to get lost.

5) Wear walking shoes! Even though you want to look cute, comfort is always key!

N-

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Cherry Blossom Followers

This week, I’m up in the Washington, D.C. area sight seeing the beautiful Japanese cherry blossoms. The trees are like nothing I have ever seen before. Crossing it off the bucket list.

N-

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West Palm Beach Getaway

This past week, I found myself in sunny West Palm Beach.

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The weather was perfect and it was definitely a great way for me to relax after traveling for nearly two months. Almost everyday, I found myself next to the ocean. The water was incredibly warm compared to the Gulf. The saltiness in my hair and on my skin is one of best feelings ever. I have said it before, but when I am next to the water I am the most calm.

The palm trees down there are taller than the buildings. The boats cruise around with a certain prestige.

Along with visiting the beaches and venturing around the island, I was able to visit with my best friend, who is a resident of the beautiful city, which is always a pleasure.

On one of the last days I was there, I was able to walk around the local fresh market. The local produce vendors had a various things to offers. I had such a hard time deciding on what to get as a mid morning snack. I ended up with fresh Amish donuts. So good!

Lets just say, I’m always up for visiting West Palm.

N-

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Switzerland Sight Seeing – Tuesday and Wednesday

I believe as a Floridian I am managing quite well with the weather change. Layering is a big key in keeping warm. Every time I go out of the house, I am wearing some sort of leggings under neath my pants, fuzzy socks that come up to my knees, two long sleeve shirts, my big fuzzy green scarf, boots, and my borrowed winter coat. I honestly like the layered look. It is something totally different way to dress from my style back home.

Yesterday, little Lennon, Ms. Franzi’s youngest, was terribly sick. So this called for the two of them to go to the doctor. After their appointment, the three of us went to visit Lake Biel, which is just down the hill from their home. The water was super clear and there were tons of ducks near shore, alongside with a pair of swans. I immediately started to hum Swan Lake. Lennon and I made it our goal to try and find the flattest rocks to skip. After playing near shore, we played at the near playground for a while before heading to the grocery store. Something neat about the store here, they have you pay 2 Swiss Francs for a shopping buggey. Once you return the buggey at the end of your shopping, you get your money back. This is a pretty genius idea…making sure the buggies bl make their way back and not being stolen or being left around. Another observation at the store, the cashier does not bag your groceries. You, the customer, must bag your own.

Today, Ms. Franzi and I ventured around Bern. This city is like nothing I have ever seen before. Cobble stone streets, beautifully designed churches, and expensive stores. This city is known for their bears and they have a special exhibit for them. However, doing what they do best in winter, they were sleeping.

In the middle of the streets there were these fountain statues. Quite neat. All of them with different designs. And there were open drains in the middle of the street as well.

Over here, the pedestrians rule the road. The cars must stop for anyone walking near by. This is great if you are walking, but quite obnoxious if you are driving.

The two of us climbed the inside of a famous church, Berner Münster, which is located in the middle of the city. The cathedral is the tallest one in Switzerland. The stairway was eeny meanie thing, but we made it to the top. The sight was definitely worth the hassle.

We also saw the famous clock tower,
Zytglogge which rings every hour. An interesting sight.

I was very impressed with the city.

Tonight, I had a special treat for dinner: a real Swiss cheese fondue :) Delish!

Friday is just around the corner.

N-

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Dubai and Switzerland – last week of travels

Arrived safely in Zurich, Switzerland yesterday after a beyond frustrating experience the day before dealing with my airline and their staff. But that’s the whole experience with traveling.

I was given an extra day in Dubai, but not the way I wanted it. Without a doubt I would love to go back soon. My visit there was too short.

On Saturday, the Earps treated me to the view from the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Amazing sight to see even with the fog! We also went walking around the Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world. It had a nice skating rink and an aquarium.

I ended up leaving on Sunday morning due to overbooking of my Saturday flight. The plane from Dubai to Zurich was an A380. Absolutely huge! My row was 68A and I was on the bottom deck. The wing span of the plain was huge! I could not see any view whatsoever because the wing was that big.

Today, Monday, Ms. Franzi took me to the mountains. The drive was so beautiful. Along the road, we could see Lake Geneva! Breath taking!!! Then, we drove up to the Alps, where all the snow was. We passed by all these villages and traditional style homes. It looked like something out of a movie. The two of us went up the ski gondola towards the top and on the way up it stopped for about a minute. Longest minute of my life! However, the view was beyond words. God is an amazing creator! Such beauty!!! Up at the top, I took my barefoot photo in the snow (Cheyenne had dared me!) My toes went into shock ;)

I’m still trying to adjust to the time. Switzerland is three hours behind Dubai which isn’t so bad, but my tummy is a bit confused on what time to eat.

Bed time is calling me!

N-

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Dubai Adventures – Thursday

Quite an adventurous 24 hours in Dubai!

The buildings here are like nothing I have seen before. “We’re not in Tampa anymore!”

After arriving alittle past midnight last night, my hosts, Mr. Tommy and Ms. Christine, drove me through downtown. The lights were a sight to see. It was amazing that there was so much traffic on the roads in the wee hours of the morning. Once we arrived at their humble high rise flat, we stayed up for sometime longer visiting and catching up.

Let me say, my bed here has been the most comfortable bed I have slept on so far! Reminded me of home.

We had a lounging morning which was exactly what I needed. After we had our bellies filled and ourselves dressed, Ms. Christine and I headed towards the train to go and visit the mall of Emirates. This is an absolutely huge mall with a snow ski slope inside it! Along with venturing into a few shops, I fully enjoyed people watching at the mall. For the majority of the shops at the mall, there is an Arabic sign right next to the English one too.

Later in the day, the three of us went to this place which was a mix of Epcot + flea market + state fair. Here, there were not too many people wearing Western clothes. Something a bit different from what I am use to seeing, but an interesting sight.

At this place, I had both my hands done with beautiful designs of henna. This has always been one of my dreams! So I was a bit over the moon choosing my designs!

Excited for the next days to come!

N-

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