While I’ve known about Lithuania’s existence for a long time, having been seated next to a new student from there in my eighth-grade English class, I had never heard a thing about it from a tourism perspective. I knew that Riga, Latvia was a cool city based on what my friend Marie had told me about her long layover earlier this year and I knew that Tallinn, Estonia was a frequent stop on Baltic cruises. It just made sense to add Vilnius into the mix if I was already visiting the other Baltic capitals, but I had no idea what to expect. Here’s what I found fascinating during my quick two days of exploring:
I had trouble with Vienna. It was the halfway point of a six-week trip after two weeks in Cape Town with two friends, a wedding in London with many friends, and a few solo days in both Budapest and Bratislava. I love traveling by myself, but for some reason, in the middle of February in Central Europe where I seemed to fit in with the crowd, I hadn’t had any conversations of value in a week.
I don’t think I’ve ever spent less time planning for a trip as I did when I traveled to Lagos in the Algarve solo after spending time with my family in Ireland. It wasn’t until a week before I left home that I finally booked my flights and Airbnb in Lagos and that’s because before it was a trip to Portugal, it was a trip to Scotland, then a trip to Wales, and then a trip to Norway. I’m so glad that none of the other trips ended up working out and that I settled on a few days in Lagos. But trust me, I was not “settling” at all. Lagos is an incredibly beautiful destination with a party vibe that reminded me of a fun Jersey Shore resort (think Sea Isle City) except with charming centuries-old buildings and winding, cobblestone streets. Here’s what I recommend doing on your own trip to Lagos:
I went to my TEN-YEAR college reunion this summer. While I definitely don’t feel as old as someone who graduated ten years ago, I don’t necessarily feel as young as I was then either, especially after having an intense allergic reaction to Miller Lite, of all things. A few weeks before I traveled back to the University of Delaware for alumni weekend, my friend Kristyn and I relived our college days in Madison, Wisconsin. In some ways, the University of Wisconsin – Madison reminded me of our alma mater, but in other ways, I was envious of the current Badger population. Here’s how to relive your own college days in Madison:
While many people I’d told about my February travels hadn’t yet heard of Bratislava, Slovakia, I’ve known about it for quite some time. During high school and college, I worked at a local restaurant for six consecutive summers. Some members of the staff visited during the summer season from Slovakia. I became close friends with a few of them. They told my other friends and me all about Europe, taught us how to say “please” (“prosím”) and “thank you” (“dakujem”) in Slovak, and, well, bought us beer before we were of age. When I saw that Bratislava was on the way to Vienna from Budapest, two cities I already had on my list, I knew I had to check it out for myself.