Happy 2 year anniversary!

I can’t believe it. It has already been two years since I started this blog. It all started with a trip to Bolivia, to see my best friend from my all-consuming, incredible and once in a lifetime experience in Oklahoma. The journey to Bolivia was my first ever solo trip and it made me learn so much about myself and the world and experience South America’s beauty for the first time. Another continent crossed off my bucket list! We ventured around La Paz, spent some days at the Salar de Uyuni salt flats and I took an overnight bus trip to see Sucre on my own.

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Sucre, Bolivia

The rest of the summer was filled with trips around Germany, a week in Ibiza and a long awaited trip to Santorini, one of the most heart-warming, dazzling and enchanting places on this earth. Exploring this tiny island by hiking from one end to the other and enjoying utter tranquility and the natural beauty of the island just left me breathless.

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Galatia Villas in Santorini, Greece

Then it was time to prepare for another adventure: a year in Wales, finishing my Master’s degree in Cardiff. Little did I know that I would find my soul sisters, two incredible souls that I know will never leave my side, wherever life will take us. We share something real, something that is beyond words, beyond this world and even beyond my imagination. Definitely changed for good! I finished off the year with a trip to Dublin, Ireland to spend some time with my dear friend Susann to ring in the Christmas time.

Besides meeting incredible friends from all over the world, I got to experience that Wales is a truly underrated country. The landscapes, cities and people in Wales are so much more than beautiful, I cannot wait to come back this summer! I also got the opportunity to go back to Greece and see Athens, Cape Sounio and the Kaisariani Monastery. Despite being robbed my adventurous spirit made me make the best of it!

During my time in Wales I was lucky to travel to Canada for my best friend’s wedding. I definitely left my heart there and hopefully I’ll be back rather sooner than later to go and collect it. I can’t wait to be back in Alberta, meander windy roads around the Rocky Mountains and just LIVE.

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On our way to the Glacier Skywalk.

2015 got even better once I handed it my dissertation and left Cardiff for good. I jumped on a plane to Southeast Asia with my best friend and soulmate Nicole to start our first backpacking trip around Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. It is safe to say that I more than fell in love with backpacking and taking the day one hour at a time, truly relishing the bliss of having the day at your disposal and enjoying a time off without responsibilities.

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Bali Bliss.

The incredible and eventful year wrapped up with a huge surprise. I got invited to go on a roadtrip through Japan! Never would I have imagined to get the opportunity to travel even more that year. I will forever be grateful and humble for this opportunity and wouldn’t want to miss the experience for the world. I got to admire Japanese architecture, eat carefully crafted dishes day in and day out and experience the craziness and mind-blowing size of Tokyo.

Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan

The new year started on a more slow note. I am incredibly happy to have found a full-time job and I even got to take a little trip over Easter, recharging from the craziness of everyday life in the Netherlands.

I am more than positive that this year and this life has so much more to offer and I cannot wait for all the experiences to come and to share them with you! Happy Birthday on wanderlust!

 

 

Daydreaming. Throwback. Summer.

This is a throwback. Technically, throwbacks apparently only work on Thursdays now, with the widely known #throwbackthursday. But you can’t really control your longings and feelings, can you? Summer has finally arrived in Wales. Blazing hot summer days, long and warm nights on the patio and blissfully enjoying the warm and hot sun streams on your skin.

Can you really enjoy it though? When you’re in your everyday life, you most probably can’t appreciate summer as much as you would want it. Running to work or to uni, hauling groceries around in 30 degree-stuffy-air and only finding time to truly enjoy the weather in the evenings.

In these times, I always pretend my head is in a little travel-bubble. In my head I am in Santorini right now. Sitting on the patio, drinking coffee and enjoying a Greek breakfast.

Or, even better, returning to my favourite memory – hiking from Fira to Oia, the two biggest towns in Santorini. Passing by lush infinity pools, admiring the endless and ultramarine coloured ocean and taking in the tranquility around you.

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Do you have these reveries you can escape to when you’re feeling you need a break? My advice is to keep them as close to your heart as possible. There’s nothing better than going through your memories and pictures from past travels and feeling an excitement bubbling up inside you, only waiting to board the next plane and go on a trip.

I am lucky to say that my next take off is only 22 days away now. Soon I’ll step foot onto Canadian land for the first time, visiting Calgary, Banff and Jasper. And of course, being a guest at one of my best friend’s wedding!

Where do your throwbacks and daydreams take you? Or even better, where are you travelling next? I still have a long bucket list for 2015!

2014 Favorites!

With 2015 around the corner, I decided to sit back and reflect on this amazing year. At the beginning of 2014 I decided to take a few months off from studying and working to travel the world. My trips took me to Berlin, Bolivia, Greece, Hamburg, Ibiza and finally to Cardiff, Wales where I started my Master’s degree in September. All of these trips have left me in awe and fuelled my wanderlust. There are three main destinations that stuck with me the most:

1. SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA

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2. SANTORINI, GREECE

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3. BRECON BEACONS, WALES

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Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the main travel destinations in Wales. I haven’t written a blogpost about it yet, I still need to sort out hundreds of pictures until I can finally share them with you. Watch out for it, the blogpost will come when you least expect it!

These are my highlights of 2014. They might be your highlights of 2015 soon?! I can’t wait for the new year to come with even more travels, trips and journeys to satisfy my urge to see the world and breathe in the air of new places. Believe me, my head is already buried in a number of travel guides and I can’t wait to book my flights, pack my bags, prepare my paths and then finally board the plane!  Do you already know where your year is going to take you? Read about my bucket list for the new year here.

See you in 2015!!

Hiking from Fira to Oìa.

This is probably going to be my favourite blogpost about Santorini. If you ever visit Santorini, don’t only be a tourist, be a traveler. Take the chance to explore this jaw-dropping island as much as possible – there’s no better way doing this than hiking! One hot and sunny afternoon Marina and I decided to take a 5 hour and 12km long hike from Fira to Oìa. Oìa is the city in Santorini that is located at the far northern edge of the island and is famous for its sunset. Some say that it’s one of the most amazing sunsets they have ever seen. I can definitely say it is!

Taking the hike is not difficult at all. If you are in a medium good shape and feel good with the thought of walking a couple of hours in the sun, this hike should be no problem for you. Be aware of the fact that the paths are sometimes rocky and very small so be sure to wear some good shoes. Take a sunhat and put on some sunscreen and off you go!

We started off the hike at the orthodox cathedral in the heart of Fira. Since the island is so tiny, it is always easy to locate yourself and to stay on track. The only thing you have to make sure is to always walk at the edge of the caldera. This way you can almost always see where Oìa is located and walk in that direction.

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Right outside of the borders of Fira, you start walking a little uphill towards the town of Imerovigli. It is a very small town with some shops and restaurants. Not many tourists walk around the streets which is a welcome change from the bustling streets of Fira.

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Once you continue your journey away from the main street in Imerovigli, you encounter the most amazing spots on the whole island. Walking close to the caldera, you catch yourself staring at houses, hotels, spas and the fascinating nature with an open mouth. Everything is calm and quiet, the ocean reflects the sunbeams just perfectly and you won’t believe how lucky you are to be on this unique island.

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Although the houses around you are mainly hotels and spas, you will find yourself completely alone. Every half hour or so, you may encounter other hikers who are just as amazed as you are and you greet each other real quick with a quiet smile before continuing your journey.

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Soon after passing these beautiful sights of Greek architecure, you are faced with nature’s simple beauty. You walk past different kinds of ashes that remained from Santorini’s times as a volcano. But what will take away your breath and make you stop your walk every other minute is the picturesque view of the ocean.

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From time to time you will spot a cathedral or a church up on a small hill or a little off the beaten path. I strongly urge you to take the little detour to visit these churches. Although you mostly won’t be able to enter these churches, they are definitely worth visiting and they offer you a different and one-of-a-kind view of the island. Three churches that you will pass are the chapel Ágios Antonios, chapel Ágios Márkos and the chapel Profítis Ilías.

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Once you have passed these chapels and churches, a rather difficult part of the path will start. You find yourself on a 1,2m wide path that is rocky and winds downhill. Just make sure to take your time walking down – this way you will be totally fine. Soon the street will be paved again and you are around 40-60min away from Oìa.

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On this final part of the hike you will pass the church Tímios Stavrós that is located at 270m above sea level and then you will be able to spot the city of Oìa and soon reach its borders. Just continue following the path and you will find yourself on Oía’s main street with shops and restaurants. Take a little peek in there, it’s definitely worth it!

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When you arrive in Oìa in the early evening just like we did, you will recognize a huge amount of people rushing to one spot in the city. There is a viewpoint in Oìa from where you have the perfect view of the famous sunset. Of course it is crowded there. You will be surrounded by hundreds of tourists, trying to catch a glimpse of the sunset and taking pictures of it. Just don’t let them disturb you. Enjoy the sunset and block out all the people around you. This sunset is a one in a lifetime experience.

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So, this is it. Me introducing Santorini to you is accomplished! I hope I was able to deliver you an idea of how stunning this little island in the Aegean is. From what I can tell, Santorini is the most breathtaking place on earth that I have seen far. And let me tell you, I have seen a bunch of places!

Santorini Sightseeing!

Today I am back from a long break of non-blogging! I have spent another vacation in Ibiza so I haven’t been able to blog a lot lately. So let’s go back to Santorini and find out a little more about this beautiful island. The best way to get to know a place is to do some sightseeing! That’s what Marina and I did a lot during our days in Santorini.

First of all, there not so much typical sightseeing going on in Santorini. The main thing I advise you to do would be just walking around the island, enjoying the scenery and the architecture.

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But: in Fira there’s more to see! There are a bunch of different cathedrals which are definitely worth a visit! The biggest one is the orthodox cathedral which is located close to Fira’s main square, right at the caldera. You won’t miss it I promise, it’s the big white, round shaped cathedral that hovers over the whole town. It’s as pretty from the inside as it is from the inside – but since I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside you will just have to see for yourself!

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What’s also worth visiting is the catholic quarter which is located east of the cable car station. In the catholic quarter you can find the dominican monastery and the roman catholic cathedral. You are welcome to visit the services in the dominican monastery at several times during the day. The roman catholic cathedral is open during the day – go inside and take in the beautiful architecture. You will also notice some differendes to the orthodox cathedral!

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Santorini is also home to a couple of museums which are all located in Fira. Marina and I visited neither of them so I won’t be able to tell you much about them except their names – the archaeological museum and the santozeum. Since Marina and I weren’t so keen on visiting museums, we decided to only visit the most famous sight of Santorini: the city of Akrotiri.

Akrotiri is Europe’s oldest city, it’s existence dates back 3500 years. During that time, Akrotiri was the center of trade in the Aegean. If you are now starting to get bored by my description, please keep on reading! Akrotiri is definitely not a boring archaelogical site where you can only try to make out traces in the sand or hills of dust. Akrotiri offers you so much more! When looking around you can make out house walls, stairs that fell apart and actual windows. Even numerous pots are standing around inside the houses – only merely damaged!

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As with everything else that you can do in Santorini, the sightseeing is so worth it! Take some time to learn about the Greek culture and history. It will make your trip just so much more memorable!